Friday, May 28, 2010
I read a lot of weight loss blogs and there's one thing that really annoys me about them... why is it that everyone waits until the week they've gained weight to talk about " its the journey that counts" but as soon as they lose some pounds its back to being " woohoo weight loss!"?!? Its like they're walking around with their eyes looking at the ground and it isn't until they run into something that they decide to look up. Let me tell you something, it is about the journey no matter if it was a good week on the scale or a bad week. I had a fantastic week on the scale with a 4lb loss and yes thats exciting but it wasn't the highlight of my week, not even close! The highlights of my week was taking time to put together outfits to wear this weekend that looked nice on me and get the nails done... That might sound odd but for the first time in my life, I am seeing myself as someone worthy of taking the time to look nice. Those are the things that don't show up on the scale. Health is so far beyond what the scale says. Its who we are, its who is around us and how we interact with the world. We cannot forget this and only remember when we're not successful on the scale. If your not focusing on healthy relationships, healthy environments, healthy families, healthy communities then your missing the big picture. I said this once, I'll say it a million times, Only 5% of people who lose significant weight will keep it off... 5%! If you want to be in that 5%, you need to lift your head up and see the bigger picture long before you bump into something!
Posted by Lexy at 7:07 AM
Monday, May 17, 2010
Anyone who knows me know that I am a firm believer that healthy food IS flavorful food and nothing sums that up more than my recent trip to the International Vegetarian Food Festival at the Capitol Memorial Church in DC. I guess I’ll start out by saying that I got there on a whim. A friend of a friend cut out a little ad posted in the Washington Post about some vegetarian festival. My friend casually mentioned that she had wished she could go. There was little detail other than the address and starting time so I thought I would go and check it out, not knowing what I was getting myself into. Boy was I pleasantly surprised!
The International Vegetarian Food Fest is like taking a trip around the world to eat. The congregation of the Capital Memorial Church come from all over the world and share a deep history in their food and a passion for health and life. At the festival, members of the congregation prepare dishes that come from their native countries, their family cookbooks and their own kitchen pots and serve them up for all who come to try. I will admit I was a bit overwhelmed at first.
There were halls divided into regions and in each region there were many dishes to try. The regions were Africa, Asia, India, Caribbean, North America, Latin America and Europe. Some countries shared recipes that just happen to be vegetarian ( like the many different takes on rice and beans or curry) while others put a vegetarian twist on a traditional recipe (like Tofu Pacit from the Philippines or baked empanadas filled with TVP). But no matter how they served it up, no dish lacked flavor. I use a lot of spices in my food and I love to come up with different combinations but I can honestly tell you I learned more in the 3 hours I spent at this festival than I have in the years of playing around in the kitchen.
Each food dish had a new and different flavor combination., a play on spices that I hadn’t thought of. The few that truly stand out in my mind is the Ginger Beer in the Caribbean ( it uses ginger, cinnamon, clove, bay and Vanilla) Black beans in Latin America ( that uses carrot, eggplant and other veggies!) and a Split Pea sauce from Ethiopia. I loved seeing how each culture can take something so humble as a bean and put their own flavor spin on it to turn it into a dish so unique of that country. Of course I didn’t leave without picking up a copy of their recipes which I can’t wait to start recreating in my own kitchen.
While I left very full, I have to say the most incredible thing about today was talking to everyone there. Those who made dishes had such pride in the food they were serving. It is more than food, it is their history that they were sharing. There wasn’t a “you must convert to being a vegetarian” message, in fact I didn’t really hear anyone talk about being a vegetarian at all. I did hear them talk about being happy to share their food and being thankful to get to meet new people in the community. I left Capitol Memorial Church full, excited at all the new things I had gotten to try, and feeling like I had just spent an afternoon with good friends.
The lesson here today is healthy living is about eating food that tastes great AND is great for you, its about working towards a healthier community, be it from sharing your food or just reaching out to talk with one another. There is a connection between what we eat, how we live and who lives around us and this event was a great reminder of that. Thank you to everyone at Capitol Memorial Church and to everyone who has been a part of this online community. Lets keep our community strong and out commitment to healthy living even stronger! P.S. I’m already gearing up for next year’s Festival, who’s joining me?!
Posted by Lexy at 8:03 AM
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Today something great happened, I hit two major milestones for myself... I did a legitimate push up (5 of them to be exact) and I did a full bridge pose. Now that might not seem like anything big to you except its been a year long process to be able to do it! When I started out, doing a wall push up was HARD I could do 5 and then started to get tired - a few months later I graduated to knee push ups and then onto a million and one variations of the knee push ups but it took me a year to build up enough strength to do a full push up. I was good at the pushing up part, it was the lowing back down and coming up again that got me every time so I've been practicing and practicing .
Along side my push ups, I've been working on a bridge. Now push ups the strength comes from your arms. A bridge requires strength in your arms, your legs AND flexibility in your spine. I've worked hard on all of those individual elements and started to try and put them all together now for a few months and I know it looked pretty crazy. Even I got a good laugh from it but I kept trying.
Now is a good time for me to tell you about my friend Tracy. If you think I'm stubborn, this chick doesn't know the word no and " can't" is not on her vocabulary list either. Throughout all of my attempts to do a push up or a bridge, she has been there to tell me to keep trying and keep practicing. And when I would get really close, she would say good, not make it better! So today, like every day, I practiced my skills and what do you know, I knocked out 5 legitimate push ups as if my body had been just waiting to do them. I was SHOCKED and excited.
A years worth of work and I was now pushing my own body weight. So then i stretched and got ready to practice a bridge. I've been so close for a few weeks now and I just knew it was only a matter of time before I could bend that extra half inch and get my head tucked under... and today was the day! Now doing push ups was enough to make me so happy but being able to achieve two major goals in one day... two things that I've worked on over a year... that was magical! It may seem not that big to you but being able to work so hard for something and achieving it changes you in a way that nothing else can.
Of course I couldn't wait to tell Tracy, I mean she's been there encouraging me the whole way. And in typical Tracy fashion, her response was " now do a one handed push up and be able to go into bridge from a mountain pose" haha which was a reminder that YES it is great achieving your small goals but always strive to do better. Push ups and bridges may not seem that big to you but to me, today was a year in the making! Oh and hey, thanks Tracy!
Posted by Lexy at 5:46 PM
Sunday, May 2, 2010
In war, there is a space between enemy lines, a space where no side has claimed as theirs…it merely exists as No Man‘s Land. Funny thing is that weight loss has the same space which up until now, I have been calling weight loss purgatory. This unclaimed space is where people who once were obese but aren’t quite thin yet live. I, having been newly introduced to this weight loss no mans land , am sending you a blog-postcard describing what its like.
I am neither obese nor thin. I spend my time having to find clothing that both fit my slimming upper body while dealing with the massive extra skin that hangs down under my belly but still trying to fit my much more slimmer thighs and legs, which means that I buy both “regular” clothing and plus size clothing depending on the cut, the style and how it fits around my belly flap. Along those lines, ladies in weight loss no mans land, you will find that bra sizes do not exist for you. I have a smaller rib cage measurement and not a lot of boobs left but a lot of extra skin on the sides so you will need to go up a cup size and down a band size and if you lucky to find that they have something that fits, then you will need to find one with wide sides to hold everything in… GOOD LUCK!
In weight loss no man’s land you are treated differently. Your overweight friends look at you differently because you don’t quite look like them any more but your skinny friends haven’t really adopted you into that “club” You can’t swap clothing with ANY of your friends. At any weight, people’s judgment of you hurts but in no man’s land, it can be extra harsh. Being super obese, most people wouldn’t dare say anything to your face about your weight and if they do, its with an understanding that you have an illness. Being in weight loss no man‘s land, people assume that you are overweight because of carelessness or laziness and somehow they have a right to tell you.
I can honestly say that at 426lbs, no one EVER said to me at the grocery store “ oh you shouldn’t be buying that” and yet 200lbs later in weight loss no man’s land I’ve been told not once but twice while looking at the frozen fruit ( which happens to be next to all the frozen pies) that I shouldn’t be buying pies. Why thank you stranger for providing that acute observation! I learned two things, fat people are only allowed to buy certain foods AND when I’m skinny, I too can tell strangers what they should and should not buy! But of all the minor annoyances of weight loss no man’s land, what takes the pie (haha) is telling people how much weight you’ve lost.
Now I LOVE talking about my experience in hopes that it will encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle but things seem to have changed the past few months. Before, I could tell someone “ Oh I lost 50lbs” or 75lbs and the reaction would be THAT’S GREAT keep up the good work. But now, when I tell people that I’ve lost over 200lbs, they get this confused look on their faces which clearly reads BUT YOUR STILL FAT?!?! I often find myself quickly adding that I started out at 426 lbs which leads to an even greater look of horror as they wonder how in the world did you get to 426lbs. Which in a way is understandable, most people don’t have 200lbs to lose and when you do see people that have lost that much, they are on the cover of magazines or on the Biggest Loser finale coming out thin as a rail.. Then there’s me, 200lbs lost and stuck in weight loss no man’s land! Its starting to feel a bit lonely here in purgatory, anyone else here too? If you are, please come find me! I’m the not obese not thin girl looking at the pies in the frozen section of the grocery store!
Posted by Lexy at 4:09 PM