Day 3 of 21

So apparently we rocked out too hard with are dancing last night. The first sign was how incredible sore I've been all day, partly due to the weight lifting on monday, but I can feel dance soreness in there too. Very sore all over today. The second sign was my back being a little twingey again today, argh. And finally a kind little note asking us not to be so loud after 10pm. Oops, sorry neighbor.

Today, I'm keeping things light. An hour of stretching, yoga and tai chi. Nothing too fast today. Will be back with cardio tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope everyone had a great day three!

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Day 2 of 21: spastic dance

Coming by a little late tonight, its 11:30 pm. Better late than never, right? So, I just now finished my hour of exercise for today and I feel really good. I'm sweating while I type this and drinking a huge glass of water.
Let me tell you- I did not want to go to the gym today. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times I truly love full body cardio. It doesn't matter if its dancing or kick boxing, I will love it. When I think about getting on a machine at the gym a little part of my soul gets crushed. Okay, not really, but I just prefer doing something "real" for exercise, if that makes sense.

I'm rambling, so I didn't make it to the gym. I did do cardio dance with Josh in our cramped bedroom and it was awesome! We took turns leading the moves, he was more freestlyle dancing and I was more spastic cardio/kickbox. I defiantly burned a lot of calories and just feel good and uplifted. Its a reminder to myself that exercise doesn't have to suck. We danced to the entire MIA album and then to about three Michael Jackson songs for a total of 60 minutes.

I feel great!

Thanks to everyone who is joining along for the challenge its really motivating to have a growing list. If you're interested, its never too late!

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Day 1 of 21

Okay folks, I made it to the gym today! We went pretty late, around 8:30, but I didn't want to skip out on my first day.
I did about 20 minutes of strength training and 45 minutes of cardio on the stationary bike. I made sure my heart rate was up and I definantly broke a sweat.
Overall, I'm really glad I went. My lower back was bugging me all day today and the gym really helped with that, its not hurting at all.

My lower back doesn't hurt often at all, but it used to hurt me much more. That area is typically vulnerable to people who carry excess weight and have little core strength. Sitting for long periods of time can agitate my back, or in my case playing rock band for too many hours this weekend :)

I've got a few people lined up for the 21 day challenge and will list them all tomorrow.

Just for fun today's food: I ate about a cup of fat free vanilla yogurt for breakfast, tuna fish sandwich for lunch (on a whole wheat bun), and about two chicken and cheese enchiladas that I made for dinner (on whole wheat wraps).

Can I rant for a minute? What is it with people and cell phones? Seriously, there should be a cell phone etiquette or addiction classes for some people. There were two people yammering on at the gym today and it was so frustrating. The last person to do it was right behind me on the elliptical, I mean this girl was having a hard core conversation. Very chatty and very loud. I could feel my body tense up with annoyance. Thank goodness my time was up on the bike or I would have lost my mind even more. This sort of thing doesn't bother Josh, nothing bothers him when it comes to other people. I just don't have that ability, he always says to me "I've just accepted that their are inconsiderate idiots in the world". And to me, I just fume over people who are annoying.
What is it with people and checking their text messages during movies, do they think we can't see their little light shining during the movie? Why do people use cell phones to feel more important about their lives? ugh. cell phones. I hate them. End Rant.

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twenty one days: round two

After a couple of emails from people wanting to give another 21 day challenge a try and a comment from Giyen about her completion of the first challenge, I decided to give it another go myself. And you know, actually do it!

Giyen's posts like everyone else's are really good and revolve around living more authentically. Check it out! So, last night I pulled out my calendar and realized that I only have 23 days left until moving day (omg!) and thought, why not? I'm ready to do it and give it another try. I'm ready, are you? If you're interested in joining along for the next 21 days, starting today (for me) leave a comment or send me an email at tokenfatgirl@gmail.com. I will post an entry with your name, challenge pledge and link to your blog.

I've been feeling very unmotivated lately to do much of anything. I've been following my diet plan lately as usual, although sometimes not following exactly. Exercise, for me, is the key to weight loss. Sure I could starve myself and lose muscle, water and then fat, but whats the point? I like to eat.

Exercise improves my mood, improves my skin, give me more confidence, and I feel better. Not to mention my body moves better. When I exercise, life becomes easier, tasks become easier and I forget about what I'm putting off because I'm actually doing it. Sometimes its so hard to just get back into these grooves. I've been in them before and it seems each time I get out of the exercise habit the harder it is to get back in.

My solution? Just doing it. Telling my brain to shut up. Those thoughts about being sweaty, putting on exercise clothes and spending time doing something other than being lazy. One lesson I really took to heart from Eckhart Tolle's book The New Earth is "you are not your thoughts". That was so freeing for me, as my thoughts often sabotage my best efforts. My thoughts bring insanity and then I was able to recognize that I am not what I am thinking. And then it stopped and the uncomfort went away.

If you, like me, feel uncomfortable about exercise in some mental way. Or your brain is trying to rationalize not doing it, I want to challenge us all to just understand we are not those thoughts and they are not real.

My 21 day challenge is to exercise for at least an hour a day for the next 21 days. I can do 45 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of strength training or I can do yoga, walking, whatever. Not having the gym membership will have its perks too. Going to the gym can be a task in itself sometimes when I'd rather just move in some fun sort of way, like dancing.

If you want to join in, don't hesitate this could be really great!

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21 day challenger

Some of you might remember a couple of weeks ago I set out to complete a 21 day exercise challenge, and a group of others pledged their time and dedication as well. I was really excited to get an email from Olivia over the weekend letting me know that she completed her 21 day challenge. I checked out her blog and her motivation is inspiring, she did it! Everyday she worked out for at least 30 minutes, and she followed through, something I didn't do, and it was my own challenge!

She is working on her next challenge that is food related. Check out her blog to see how she did on her challenge and follow her on her next challenge. She has really inspired me to stop playing the "but, I'm moving" game and get some exercise in!

Thanks Olivia, you are amazing!!

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Body Dysmorphia: the other side?

Thanks to those who took the time to share their thoughts and opinions on the last entry. Yet, another reason why I love blogging!

I still stand by my initial thought about the dangers in the message regarding telling folks that you cannot lose weight, or that some people even if they eat a balanced diet and exercise consistently, will never lose weight. There is a layer of denial in the "fat/obese/overweight" community that does exist. And that, well, isn't deniable.

I was talking to someone recently (I hope they don't mind I share this story) who spoke to me about not seeing their weight in the mirror or in their head. It wasn't until they looked at photographs were they genuinly surprised by their weight. I could totally relate to this and wonder why this type of body dysmorphia isn't talked about? We always hear the story of the skinny girl looking in the mirror and seeing someone who is twice her weight. In her head she imagines being overweight and stops eating because of it. How could the opposite of this not be any less dangerous?

How many times have we heard the story of the women who was inspired to lose weight after she saw a photo of herself. I read it all the time "I was looking at pictures of myself during vacation and couldn't believe how much I've let myself go". It seems obvious for most people of average weight to think "how in the world can you not SEE how big you are?". But, I think for a lot of us, our minds play tricks and keep us in this bubble of denial. Being fat is hard, mentally and physically. And when we are in pain, is it not possible that our minds would then try to keep us from feeling the pain by presenting a better picture in our head?

Honestly, when I think about memories or events and I think about myself, in my head, I never see the reality of it. Sometimes when I see a picture someone took and they show it to me I sometimes secretly freak out and think "but, I thought I looked so much thinner, how could I be that big!?" And in reality what else would 260+ look like on a 5'4 frame? I know I can't be the only one that experiences this.

I feel like because I have acknowledge it, I can become more aware of how harmful it is to think this way. The pro-fat message is so tempting sometimes. I don't think weight loss comes out of self-hate and shock over fat pictures, it comes from a deep understanding and appreciation of health. To me, its not about being one size or another, its about regaining confidence and truly seeing how I really am in the mirror.

One thing I've personally noticed, is that when I'm not trying to lose weight, or when things are just sort of willy nilly food wise. Thats when the denial is strongest. I see someone else entirely, it becomes normal to eat junk food, or in my mind "like everyone else". And then as soon as I'm in weight loss mode, the blinders come off and I experience the pain I am trying to hide. Every pound that is lost, a layer of denial is shed, and sometimes that picture is very sad to me. Seeing the truth is painful. And perhaps why I've perpetually kept myself from losing weight in the past.

For me, when I start taking care of myself, I start seeing how much I've neglected and abused my body with food over the years. And that pain, and guilt is intense, and sometimes to make it go away, to make everything feel better I regress back into old habits. I put the denial shades back on, and sometimes the scenery becomes a lot nicer. This isn't a conclusion to anything, simply a personal observation.

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fat and healthy?

I was reading this blog today, and felt compelled to write about this myself. I wanted to ask some of these questions myself. If I've read the definition of fat acceptance correctly, its safe to assume that I am not fat accepting. However, I don't believe in weight discrimination.

Is it possible, that fat people are meant to be fat and there is nothing they can do about it? I highly disagree. I keep reading this argument over and over on fat acceptance blogs and on the Joy Nash Fat Rant, that fat people can live a healthy lifestyle and still be fat.

Is this true? Please introduce me to this fat person because I have yet to meet them. Everyone I know, myself included is fat because they eat too much of the wrong foods and they aren't active enough.

Every time that I've been consistent with exercise I've lost weight, even without trying to. Its true, 10th grade PE class? Lost weight. That one spring I was really into raquet ball? Lost weight. All of the walking when I first moved to NYC? Lost weight.

I like food in general, I like healthful foods, I like baked goods, I like fried foods. I just simply cannot get on the boat of "I'm fat and healthy" because I like healthy foods AND not so healthy ones too.

Growing up in WV, I've seen a vast array of fatness. I've seen a little fat, and I've seen middle fat and I've seen really fat. However, I've never met the super active/healthy eating fat person.

If you're out there, will you please send me an email and a video of yourself on the stair master for more than 5 minutes. Or hell, running up five flights or stairs?

To me, the danger of fat acceptance is that it seems to continue the trend of denial about weight. Diabetes runs in my family, but is it just some freak occurence or did lifestyle play a role in this?

Living in NYC has been great for my awakening, there are few fat people here. Is it just a mistake, is it something in the water? No. There is a higher standard of health (and appearance) here, as in most major cities. And in some European and Asian cities as well.

When I was in college I met a Chinese girl at work. I asked her millions of questions about what she ate because I was convinced that Asian people were genetically inclined to be thin. Yes, I'm aware at how stereotypical and incorrect that assumption is. However, she was blunt about it, she told me she didn't like sweets and most people in China only ate sweets/snacks on special occasions. She mentioned how sweet American desserts were in comparison and also that in China people typically regard fresh fruit as highly refreshing after meals.

I also heard this from a friend who visited France and lost 15 lbs without even trying. She wasn't even overweight by most standards at all. But, she said when she was there she noticed that people walk a lot and they never ate between meals. They even had signs in grocery stores suggesting to avoid snacking in between meals. Snacking is highly American. Did you know that most sodas made in Europe are sweetened with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup? And that most people cook at home?

Josh also has a friend who visits Germany on a regular basis, he is not someone I would consider fat by American standards. I mean he could stand to lose 20 lbs, but I wouldn't think much about it. However, he always notes how fat he is in Germany and how much he stands out compared to everyone else.

I am very much for self-love, I've been working hard on improving my insides as much as my outsides lately and feeling good about my life in general at any weight. I believe anything can be accomplished regardless if we're at our goal weight or not, but I think its naive to assume that we are "healthy" if we can't even run (I know I can't) or because we sometimes eat healthful foods. I eat good-for-you foods all the time, even when I wasn't trying to lose weight.

Similarly, I don't believe all thin people are healthy. Its annoying when I hear someone say "they take care of themselves" regarding a thin person who doesn't eat well or exercise. I've watched some of those model shows where I seriously think I could outrun the girl that weights 100+ lbs less than me because she doesn't exercise and probably eats very little.

I guess for me, I don't believe you have to be stick thin to be healthy or happy, I just think its really harmful to believe that we are "destined to be fat" or "genetically inclined" to be fat when so many people who live totally different lifestyles aren't fat.

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Plus Size Fashion Remix: Jcrew

{click to enlarge}
1. Sweater: Avenue $35
2. Blouse: Old Navy $30
3. Bermuda Shorts: JCPenny$13
4. Bermuda Shorts: Lane Bryant $45
5. Blazer: Old Navy $18
6. Dress: Torrid $68

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weight notice

Something really obvious has been happening this week. We've all heard the old "don't eat before bed" thing a lot of weight loss books tell us about. I've pretty much scoffed at this idea forever now, as I'm convinced "calories in, calories out" no matter what time of day, but I think my mind might be changed.

Normally, I eat dinner whenever I feel like it, there are no meal schedules with us. Dinner at 4? sure 6? okay 10? why not? 12? yup!

This week I'm noticing two things food and weight wise. Last week my weight was up and I felt like I was going off of my plan with those damn zone bars. Sometimes you can't really blame one thing or another, it just is. But, last week I had an insatiable appetite, it wasn't hormonal, as that was the week before and I just couldn't get rid up my cravings.

Anyway, my weight was up on Sunday because of this, I mean dramatically up. And this week, I have been going back down very quickly. My exercise hasn't increased at all. I've been packing for our move, but thats it.

However, two things have been different, I haven't had one zone bar all week, which in turn I've had no cravings. And my need to "just eat" has disappeared. I blame this on a slight stomach bug from Saturdays festivities as well. Maybe I developed a tape worm? :)

What else is different? I've been eating much earlier than usual. In fact, I've been going to bed on an empty stomach and waking up on an emptier stomach.

Here is my equation: no high fructose corn syrup "nutrition bars"/less cravings+slight sickness+ eating much earlier than usual= good times.

I realized I haven't done a weigh in, in forever, and I've got a goal that I really want to get to before we move. So my next weigh-in will be on August 23rd. Which right now, seems forever away, but its really right around the corning for me, especially when there is so much packing to do before the big move south.

PS: plus size fashion remix is coming -today- finally found key article of clothing.

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simply breakfast

I want to give a shout out to a blogger that is on my daily to-read list. Simply Breakfast, is exactly what the name implies. Jen lives in Brooklyn, and her breakfasts inspire me. Her blog isn't one for losing weight or anything, its just her breakfast. But, goodness her breakfasts look good and healthful. Seriously, this is the way I image not having food issues looks like. She isn't celebratory about eating good food, or eating this or that. She just seems to enjoy the small moments she creates every morning.

Oh, and her pictures are nice and calming to look at too!

PS: I've got a plus size clothing remix coming this afternoon. I'm just missing one key piece of the clothing puzzle, and its making me sad that simple well-cut plus size items are so hard to find or if I do find them they are $100+ at Nordstrom. Why do clothing makers feel the need to add glitter thread to plaid shirts, or crazy seasonal/holiday appliqu├ęs to otherwise decent looking shirts and pants? Its like just because we're fat we suddenly regress to second grade and want to wear jeans with bright pink thread and a matching t-shirt with matching flowers. Yet another reason to get out of plus sizes.

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the imperfect blogger

I know I talk about this all of the time, but I love blogs. I really do, have I mentioned that? Seriously, thanks to blogs, the world as I see it has totally changed. Without a daily dose of others opinions, inspiration, motivation, questioning, whatever, I know my life would be totally different.

I first started reading a lot of blogs in college thanks for my internet savvy friend ashley. I realized quickly, how much stuff I was missing out on. I was first drawn in by crafty bloggers, people sharing their creations to the world. The internet allows people do pretty much do anything without formal training or approval. Want to be a journalist, baker, artist, photographer, writer, weight loss success? Why not.

I guess I don't really have much of a point, but I guess that I really like my little spaces of digital real estate. In my last post, I allowed myself to expose the imperfections that go on in my daily life as I lose weight. Thats what this blog is about, right? Sometimes I feel like posting struggles or daily stuff is pointless. But, it really is the point. Weight loss isn't easy, so I hope to make a concerted effort to represent the often gritty, grimy parts of weight loss.

For example, last week I discovered my love and hate for zone bars. I wanted a "nutritional bar" that I could eat when I was hungry, but didn't want a meal. What I later realized was that these candy-like bars contributed to some mad cravings last week. I bought 15 of them before I realized that they were made of high fructose corn syrup. Everyday last week, I felt more and more cravings, this need to eat when I wasn't hungry, I couldn't get satisfied. It was weird, because lately, I've been able to calm all of that. I don't know if I can blame the bars, but I have pretty much cut out all refined sugars in my day to day diet, which has helped greatly decreased my need to keep eating, not to mention clearer skin.

I guess thats not really gritty or grimy, but a struggle non the less. Special thanks to miz fit for keepin' it real and keepin' me real.

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soreness and fireworks

Hope everyone is having a good holiday weekend! We didn't do much to celebrate yesterday, but we are going to a cookout today. I've decided to make like a million cookies to bring with us. Is it over the top to bring four types of cookies? er. I might be insane, I'll probably stop after the second batch. Today is my day off, so it makes it easier to bake cookies and go to a cookout and not feel bad for it.

I've learned that I don't need or want to go food crazy on Saturdays, because it makes me physically sick. Why do that to myself? Having one good meal and a dessert is sufficient.

Went to the gym on Thursday, I hadn't been in awhile. I really thought working from home would be the perfect chance to exercise more. And that isn't the case at all. Which is one giant fat excuse really. Working from home is a joy to my soul, but difficult with time management and scheduling. I've been used to being on someone else's schedule my entire life, that when left to my own devices, I end up wasting a lot of time doing nothing. I need some time management tips.

That aside, I'm truly struggling with my own 21 day challenge! Thursday we went and did strength training, which has left me very sore even today. Following that was 55 minutes of cardio on the bike. It was late morning, so I watched the view. Man, day time TV sucks. Er, most of it sucks. Seriously, this two years without cable has been one of the best things I've ever done. I don't have to listen to biased news opinions, I don't have to watch TV commercials, and all around I'm totally out of the loop with whats happening. And I love it! Don't get me wrong, I still fill up my time with tv shows that I choose from netflix or dvd's: curb your enthusiasm, weeds, carnivale, etc. Thats a whole other story.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble on and I need to bake cookies! Oh! I'm reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and its wonderful. I'm reading it very slowly and just sort of taking it in. But, it is really a good. I had my first moments of awakening last night around page 54 and it was the best feeling I've ever had. Awareness. I started laughing, I couldn't help it. The joy I feel, is indescribable. Highly recommended!

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Lauren Fleishman: Camp Shane

I thought the essay and the photographs from camp shane (fat camp) were really moving, but not in a specific way.
Click here.

"I don't want to believe that I look good now because I lost weight. I want to believe that I looked good all along. I just want to believe that."

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