Tag Archives: journey

The Workout Nanny

7 Jan
This'll be me and Willa...one day.

This’ll be me and Willa…one day.
photo courtesy of Tumblr

Not too long ago, I was scrolling through my TimeHop. For those of you out of the loop, TimeHop is an app that lets you know what you were doing in social media that day going back a few years. One of the posts that came up was from Facebook where I thanked a friend for dragging me to the gym even though I had a bad case of the “I-don’t-wannas.”

I get the “I-don’t-wannas” from time to time, but they really get aggravated around this time of year. In case you haven’t been paying attention: I HATE the cold. Right now it’s 20 degrees and the low tomorrow is expected to reach of sweltering 7. Seven!! Nothing turns me into a hermit more than single-digit temps.

That’s why I’m glad to have friends like Willa. We both get lazy about working out. Fortunately for us, it’s rarely at the same time. So when I don’t feel like it, she’ll make me go and vice versa.

After you’ve reached your goal weight, the hardest part will be to maintain. Ice cream sundaes don’t seem so intimidating anymore. The Five Guys ultimate of burger, fries and a soda tends to look like a good idea more and more. And huddling up near the heater during one of the coldest days of the year is way more inviting than going outside wet from sweating it out at the gym.

It’s times like this you need a workout nanny. The New York Times recently ran an article about SIN Workouts, which offers to be your workout concierge.

SIN employees can turn up at 5 a.m. with coffee and an organic banana to rouse clients and stand sentry while they get dressed ($100), provide car service ($25, plus the cost of the ride), arrange for freshly laundered clothes to be waiting at the Barry’s Bootcamp studio ($25), or courier over a favorite green juice ($25).

During the winter months, this isn’t such a bad idea. It’s so hard to find motivation to leave the house when it’s cold. But instead of paying hundreds of dollars to have someone convince me to go, I just look to Willa.

Until then, this is us.

Until then, this is us.

Having a workout concierge/nanny/buddy sometimes can be all the difference between maintaining your weight loss or not. Until the temperatures dropped, you were on a roll. Now it’s cold outside and all you eat are rolls. If cuffing season didn’t work out for you, your friendly motivator will have to do the trick.

I’ve discussed before about how the weight-loss journey is a solo one. It always will be because no one can live a healthy lifestyle for you. But everyone needs cheerleaders. Everyone needs someone who will not take your excuses for having a bad case of the “I-don’t-wannas” or “it’s too cold” or whatever else you came up with that morning. Encouragement from a close friend or family member is a necessary item in your toolkit for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

And that was always the goal, wasn’t it? Your weight-loss journey wasn’t some vacation from your regular life. It was a mission to move yourself into another way of living. When you’ve reached your goal, you become an inspiration to those around you. They want to see you continue to do well. So the next time the “I-don’t-wannas” threaten to derail you from your path, talk to your concierge/nanny/buddy. I’m sure they’ve got a few words to help get you moving.

Who do you talk to keep you motivated? Would you ever pay someone to take on the role?

Advertisements

The Long Game

5 Jan
photo credit: Bringsverd via photopin cc

It’s a long road to maintain the weight-loss lifestyle
photo credit: Bringsverd via photopin cc

I got my first grown-up job almost nine months after I graduated college. When I was hired, I was told there would be a six-month waiting period before I was eligible for health benefits and 401(k) enrollment. Health benefits I was familiar with. A 401(k) was a foreign concept. Like any young person confused about the world, I called my father. Daddy explained that I needed a 401(k) to help me save for retirement so that, in his words, I “wouldn’t have to work well into old age.”

At 23, old age was far, far away and having the company deduct even more money from my already meager check seemed like a rip off. But after a few more conversations, he convinced me that it was better for the long run. Over 10 years later, I’m still amassing a nice little nest egg for myself.

Your weight-loss journey is a lot like putting money away in savings or a 401(k). You hit little milestones along the way—10 pounds here, a new dress size there, a great photo every once in a while—but those can be minor victories in the long run. The weight-loss journey isn’t just about vanity, it’s about health. In the long run, you want to pocket away lessons that will ensure you’ve done everything possible to live a long, healthy life.

It’s easy to look at that new bikini as the goal, but what about fitting into that two-piece in another 15 years? Your waist is smaller now, but how is your cholesterol and blood pressure? You’re the envy of all your old friends, but how was your last physical?

I started my weight-loss journey with the short-term goal of losing at least 20 pounds. Then I got on a roll and continued losing until I’d dropped 60. Maintaining the loss was the hard part, but it also taught me valuable lessons about maintaining a healthier lifestyle, especially diet-wise.

While New York is famous for its abundance of restaurants, I know in the long run that my home-cooked meals will serve me best. Re-learning how to cook for myself, using fresher ingredients and less processed food, has helped grow my appreciation for different types of food. I wasn’t making curry before I started this journey. Now it’s one of my go-to recipes. I know that sauteed fish can be just as good if not better than it’s deep-fried. And 30 or 40 years from now, I’ll still have that lesson under my belt.

There’s a saying: It’s about the journey, not the destination. That’ is what your weight-loss journey is—a long-game plan. You’ll reach your destination, but the journey is what teaches you the most about yourself.

Keeping It 100

5 Nov

keepit100Every year for my birthday, I do an annual self evaluation. Beyond celebrating the most important day of the year, it’s also a time for personal reflection: What goals have I accomplished, what goals did I let fall to the side, what to I want to accomplish in the coming year, how am I going to make that happen.

In the past year, I’ve accomplished the goal of starting a health and wellness blog that tells some of my stories on the road to weight loss. I have been able to reach so many people and engage with them on the issues that are important to me. I’ve been able to fulfill my passion for writing on my own terms, and it has been amazing.

This marks the 100th post at I’m Skinny, Now What? I’d like to use it to tell you some of the things I’ve learned, some lessons I’m hoping to learn, and what I want this space to become.

1. Blogging is not as easy as you think. Everyone knows how to write, but not everyone is a writer. I’ve been writing fiction since I was 7. It was easy to make things up and tell different tales that I didn’t have to be a part of. This blog is a different animal. I am innately private. I don’t like people in my business. So I had to balance my need to write with my need for privacy and also my need to engage an audience with stories they could relate to. Luckily I am a trained reporter, so getting the facts to you all wasn’t  as much of a bear as I had expected. I’ve been walking a narrow tightrope deciding what to divulge and what to keep close to the chest. Still, I appreciate the feedback on the stories you all relate to. It gives me a little more confidence each time I tell an embarrassing story.

2. Building an audience is even harder. Not that I don’t appreciate all of you who check in on post days and those days in between, but building an even bigger audience is difficult. When I’m Skinny, Now What? started, average page views were in the low single digits. Now they’re in the mid-30s. Good, not great. The business side of this is something I didn’t plan for, but it is something I’m learning and hoping to conquer soon.

3. You never know what will click. Posts that speak to current events, like Prince Fielder’s Body Issue cover or the recent street harassment post, I had a feeling would do well. But personal stories like The Gym Rat’s Ugly Truth or How I Got Into a Bikini really hit with audiences. Sharing how I deal with the ugly side of losing weight or even the mental workout it takes convincing myself it’s OK to wear a two-piece were some of the hardest stories I wrote. But I appreciate your support in getting those out there. I will do more.

4. Never give up. This would seem like a gimme, but there were a few times when I thought of letting the blog fade. I kept running into writing blocks. My page views were decreasing. I wasn’t feeling motivated. But I’d talk to friends or family who really appreciated what I was doing. I’d post something that would just click with an audience (like my recap of the BET Awards). Or I’d just start having fun again in my posts. This blog is for you, but it’s also for me. It’s a way for me to vent and to share. It’s a way for me to improve on my craft and to motivate myself to stay healthy. This blog holds me accountable to you.

Thank you all again for a great year. It has been such an honor to take this journey with you. Let’s see what the next 100 will bring!

Video

Happy Anniversary!

21 Oct

End of Summer Vacation

2 Sep
This summer, I could have been doing more of this...

This summer, I could have been doing more of this…

The worst season of all is upon us, but don’t let that get you down. If you’re in New York, you’re experiencing the long-awaited heatwave that was promised at the end of May. Let’s use it to our advantage.

Yes, Labor Day is over. Though the wretched fall season won’t begin until Sept. 23, its’ Back to School and Back to Work for the rest of us. We took the summer off to lay about on the beach, in the grass, by the grill, etc. It was too nice outside to stay in the gym. Working out seemed like a good idea, but there were sooooo many concerts to go attend. Sure, we all ate lots of fresh fruits and veggies this summer, but those bottomless mimosas couldn’t be left alone on the table, could they?

We just have to come to grips with the work that’s ahead of us. So how do you turn off summer brain to prepare the grunt work of fall?

1. Deal. If the first step toward recovery is acceptance, the first step toward getting back on track is admitting you got off track. It happens to all of us. And you. Will. Deal! Don’t beat yourself up about it, just accept you’re at a new starting point.

But this seemed like more fun.

But this seemed like more fun.

2. How’d you get here? Summer days almost require laziness. From brunch to the day party to the concert in the park later that night, you’ve found yourself doing things you wouldn’t make time for in the fall or winter. For me, it wasn’t so much the lack of activity (though I didn’t grind as hard as I usually do during the year) as it was the alcohol. Between the vacations and brunches, I emptied a few cups. Alcohol causes your body to burn its calories faster, leaving the food you eat stored as fat. So, a lot of those omelettes went to my waist line.

3. Remember the fun times. Working out and monitoring your diet can be a drag. It’s no fun being the responsible one. But there had to have been a point in the journey where you not only enjoyed the fruits of your labor, you also enjoyed some of the laborious acts. Is there a dish you really enjoy making? Is there a class you haven’t been to in a while? When was the last time you saw your friends at the gym? One of the easy ways to stay off track is focusing on the negative. This is your journey, and having a negative attitude about it will keep you from doing good work.

4. The never-ending journey. The weight-loss process and healthy lifestyle aren’t just things you’re doing for a little while. Full commitment means understanding this is a life change. And in life you will stumble while trying to make yourself better. You didn’t fall off your diet. You didn’t stop your workout program. You didn’t pay much attention to what you were doing. We’re in the season now of getting it back together. Do that with the knowledge that your focus shifted for a short while on your lifetime journey.

I don’t know about you, but this summer was a fun one, even if it felt a little short. I got to see friends and family I hadn’t seen in a while. I took some awesome trips and met some really great people. I can incorporate this summer’s lessons into my lifetime journey, just as you can. Let’s do it, people!

How was your summer? Did you enjoy it so much you feel you may have gotten off the fitness track? What are your plans for fall?