Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In + first OA meeting

 I'm trying to think of a funnier looking fruit to have for breakfast and I've got nothing.

WAIT--dragon fruits hold up a tough competition, eh? In fact, they probably win.

Have I ever told you what my mother says about pomegranates?

She says that back home people use them to stone dogs and she laughs that in this country people buy the fruits, the juice, and get all excited about antioxidants. Only, my pronounces it “pramganatee.”  And when I told her it's “pomegranate," she almost believed me until she called her sister who verified the wrong pronunciation. My mother also asked her sister, "What happened to the pramganatee tree that papa had?" Apparently, they had a pomegranate tree my grandfather cut down when he was expanding their house many years ago, when I was still dirt.

But I don't know why I'm telling you this. What I mean to say is that today is my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting. It's at 12:15.  I'm nervous.

The first time I heard about OA was when I saw an ad on the bus three years ago. I googled for meeting places and asked a large girlfriend of mine to come with me. She didn't want to, but she told me to take notes to share. Isn't she funny? I forgot about OA until Rosa mentioned it on her blog a couple months ago. Once again I googled meeting places and asked another large girlfriend to come with me. But she also wasn't interested so I'm finally going alone today. I'm excited. I'll share how it goes.

It's my first weigh-in of the new year! I said a couple weeks ago that I would start weighing in on Sundays, but scratch that because something about Wednesdays feel right.

Today I'm 227.2 pounds
Previous weigh-in, December 22nd: 224 pounds
Gain: 3.2  I think I'm a little bloated from my period because I was 225 just a couple days ago.

Highest weight - 236 pounds
Goal weight - 150 pounds

Since I want to use this blog to keep myself accountable, I'm committing to weigh-ins every single week, even if I gain.

Here are my four goals for this week:
(1.) Exercise everyday. I'm taking an Ultimate Conditioning class with my gym friend tonight.
(2.) 1200-1500 calories per day
(3.) Water! I'm so bad at making sure I get enough so I'm keeping a log.
(4.) Sleep. I've been getting to bed so late that I feel like death in the morning. I'm going to try for 10-11 p.m.

Gotta get ready to go!

-A-

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Daily Planners: through the years.

I finally got my new planner on Sunday night! It’s exciting. Really. Yea, I'm lame.

There is something about daily planners I’ve always loved. When I was little I think it was so that I could pretend to be really busy—and honestly, I think that’s still the appeal.
Recently, someone suggested hanging out and I responded with something like, “Oh? Umm. Lemme check my planner. I’ll see if I can carve out some kitty time.”

Speaking about cats, yesterday I glanced at my bookshelf when I was hit bam—but not, like, literally—in the face by my planner from 2007.


See how young I was? In mean, can you imagine me planning my day on the hipster train with it? As much as I talk about cats now, I’d never leave my house with this kind of infantile-ness.

I turned 19 that year.


The following year I was trying to be all sophisticated, grown up, and literary so I got this bore of a Barnes and Nobles one.  I never liked the color—an ugly dark green. But I did like the fact that there are famous quotations from literature on every other page. And also the list of “100 Best Novels of the 20th Century”, list of “Pulitzer Prize for fiction,” etc., at the back of the planner.


I can’t exactly remember what I used in 2008. But I vaguely remember that the aesthetic bore of the Barnes and Nobles one pushed me towards something youthful and colorful. I recall cartoon monkeys. Don't say it—I know.

Last year I found perfection in Strand for only $5.95 (suggested retail price is 15.95!!)
I’m all about visuals so I loved and still love the colors and that it could be both fun and age appropriate. It also has lots of daily page space, more of the artist’s interesting geometric illustrations inside, and a pocket in back (perfect for tucking in my gym class schedules!!)  And I love that it comes with a ribbon book mark.


I was hoping I could find an awesome one for this year, too. So imagine my surprise when I went planner shopping at Strand this weekend and found my ex-planners’ sister!


The artwork is by the same artist (love her!!) and the price was the same (a steal!!) The colors remind me of the Jamaican flag. They're so bright they remind me: “Hallo! You NEED to get your life together!”)

Now, excuse me. The rest of tonight is lots of planning! MUCH to do!

Lovelovelove.

-A-

when shame bugs bite.

"It's not oil that runs the world, it's shame" — War Dances

Recently a woman I know only by name and association emailed me and whomever else—I think those of us close enough to New York—to set up a lunch date in the city. She's from a ten day high school summer Journalism program we did—not the same year though, I think she attended the summer after I did—at Princeton U. when I was seventeen or so.  Arrangements were made for a cheap Thai place I happen to like in the city. But then last’s week blizzard happened and when I emailed to say that I couldn’t make it after all, I was glad to hear I wasn’t the only one as others sent messages to cancel, too.

The thing is…I was sort of relieved. Sure, I like Thai, I really really like Thai actually, and I was interested in getting to know everyone over good food, but when I got the original email I imagined myself with all of them—young, bright, thin—and fat me. 

Isn’t that terrible? I know.

Sometimes I allow how much I weigh to determine my sense of self. Like when I’m with my thin beautiful girlfriends and I feel especially fat. Or knowing that a boy isn’t paying any attention to me or thinking of me like that not because I’m not interesting or smart or attractive, but because the woman next to me is seventy pounds thinner. That I would become considerable better looking if I weighed as much as she.

Last week I wrote about respecting my body while trying to lose weight because it’s me, every single part of it, fat and all. But where do you draw the line between self love and body fat hate because, really, I don’t like the additional weight I’m carrying? How do you not like the rolls on your back, while claiming to love yourself? Or if you’re underweight—anorexia, etc.—how does one make that same conscious effort when your body tells stories you—I mean, WE—don’t like? I wonder…but at other times I can write about how precious we all are, no matter the size. And I believed it too, even right now.

-A-

Monday, January 3, 2011

What you had to say.

Like my new background? It's a new year, y'all!

In other news, I just closed the survey. Thank you to everyone who took it! Honestly, I never thought I'd ever ask readers to take a survey because something about it seemed pretentious in my mind. But then I realized that it isn't so, not if I'm genuine about wanting to create meaningful conversations with all of you.

Overall your comments verified what I've long believed we all want to read because lots of you encouraged me to stay true to myself and my own voice:

"You keep being 'you!'"
 "Keep on writing from your heart."

Thank you for reminding me.

 Someone wrote:

"This blog is YOUR place, and while you are taking consideration of others into mind, I can honestly say that there is nothing that I can say I would be "least interested" in. Some days there may not be anything that hits home to me on your blog, but it doesn't make my reading it any less enjoyable. You are interesting enough to sustain it."

Great point. I agree - I think it's important for us to never forget that our blog is indeed our blog, but if we want to be meaningful members of the community we have to function as such and I believe that a large part of that is the sharing we do on our blog. Remember, too, that we all have biases so what's meaningful and interesting for you may not necessarily be that way for everyone. In other words, not everyone who comes to my blog is going to want to revisit. And that's okay.

Someone else shared constructive criticism:
"You post too many photos which usually makes me skim over your blog in my reader and not even read your post!!"

At first, I was like: "Huh." But then I realized that there is some truth to it. In general I can't imagine that my blog posts should have more than 3-4 photos, but I certainly haven't always considered that because looking over some of my posts, I've been photo happy. I think that a photo heavy post works well for specialty blog posts, but in general I want a balance between my words and my photos. Then again, like I said, we all have our biases. I don't necessarily mind photo heavy blogs. I'm a visual person. The first time I visited this well known healthy living blog, I was surprised by how many photos she will share in one post. And apparently it works for her! Thanks for you comment, whoever you are! I'm definitely keeping your comment in mind.

The other thing I've wondered about and asked you to comment on was whether daily exercise and food blog posts are something you wouldn't mind reading. I wondered if this kind of blog would help keep me accountable and whether this kind of intimacy into what exactly I do and eat would be interesting to read. Sorry, it's hard to see the results on the chart below, but I shared my concern in the form of a multiple choice question and most people advised that I do want works for me. I love that. The blue is people who thought, "Maybe on some days, but certainly not everyday." The light orange is the only person who answered, "YES!"  And the dark orange is the person who picked the option, "I don't know why I'm here. Who are you again?" Ha.

I really don't think I'll end up keeping an eating and eating journal. I think I'd get jaded real fast. I imagine it would be a pain to photograph and talk about everything I eat. Because really, it's hardly interesting.

What I found especially interesting about the survey is that y'all are least interested in hearing me speak about "health considerations + tips." Huh. Interesting. It's purple on the chart below. I suppose that could be because we are able to find that stuff anywhere on the web. Rather, you're most interested in "random musings/personal life documentation (not necessarily health related)." It's blue on the chart below. 
Light Orange - Weigh-loss chronicles
Dark Orange - Vegetarian/Jamaican Cooking/Recipes/Experiments
Green - Coming of Age (Life lessons)

Interesting. A few people expressed that they liked what one person termed as the " gumbo-potness" of my blog. Huh.

To the person whose comment was..."I like what you like:"  :))))))

To the person who wants more cat photos: Umm, cat lady? Can you be worse than me? Is that even possible? Whoa.

Thanks, everyone!

-A-

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Love.

Today a woman with promises of "it won't take long" tricked me into her car to the outskirts of Brooklyn and back to shop for deals.  I call this woman, "mommy." Yea, it's weird.

Anyways, after the 3rd or so hour, while I was dreaming up an oasis, I spotted this!

"BE KIND": my theme for this year!  Eeeek! It's a sign!


 I'd love to talk about my goals for this week, how gasey Vex Kitty is of late, chicken bones I spy on the sidewalk, etc., but I'm so so tired. So that has to wait till tomorrow. But now here are three healthy living bloggers I'm really loving lately. Please check them out! I'm sort of obsessed with their blogs:

Then Heather Said - AND ALEXIA LISTENED (and even took notes and highlighted)
Soul + Food- Jin is...like me...except she doesn't have cats (I don't think?) and has a husband (does he have a brother?) and is Jamaican with natural hair. Yea, I like her blog lots and I'm sure you will, too.
Try Try Again - You know when you read someone's blog and you just like them? Because you can tell that they're that genuine and nice in real life? So it means even more that you'd root for them in their weight-loss journey? Yea. That's Melissa for me.

I hoping to make "Sunday Love" my weekly link lovin'
Hoping you're enjoying the weekend!

-A-