Friday, May 27, 2011

"You Do You...I'll Do Me..."

You might think the title of this post sounds a little off. But please allow me to explain.

I won't pretend that the idea or thought pattern for this entry is all my own. I watched a video from a lovely young lady on Youtube (her name is Jen). If you would like to check out the video I'm talking about, here is the link: just go there and its the most recent video she has posted. Anyway, in her video she talked about how she felt rather insulted when someone decided to tell her that everything (nutritionally) that she does after she finishes her 'long runs' (which means like over 20 kilometers, seriously this girl is an amazing runner and you should check her out...not literally....although she is pretty easy on the eyes...haha). This person, whoever it was, was a poorly educated person that read something about supplements or whatever online on Wikipedia (seriously? Wiki? Yes. As an aside: DO NOT TRUST WIKIPEDIA!!!!!!! -end rant) and he therefore felt like since he had read it on the Internet, it was gospel and he was right. Now, I could get into the whole fact that he's a man and men always think they're right...but I'm not going to go that route. Why? Because its not just men who are the offenders, women do it too!

Much like Jen talks about in this video, I get rather offended as well when someone decides to take it upon themselves to "educate" me on how "wrong" I am about everything I am doing when it comes to my weight loss routine, exercise regimen, or foods of choice. This is not to say that I'm not open to suggestions. Friendly suggestions here and there are wonderful tools and have helped me to learn so much thus far, however, its all about your approach. If you are an adult and you haven't learned how to speak to people yet, then I feel sorry for you. It should be pretty common knowledge (at least it is to me) that if you come from a place that's "High and Mighty" and you verbally wag your finger at others for the things they do or the things they put in their mouths, then those people are not going to be so open and receiving of your so-called "helpful advice". Rather, try your best to come from an actual helpful place.

Here's the basis of my rant: Every one's body is different. Our bodies are shaped differently, look differently, carry weight differently, respond differently, and work differently. Therefore it is simply IDIOTIC to assume that what works for ONE person will work for EVERYONE. That's simply NOT TRUE! I try to stress to everyone that watches my daily vlogs that they should try many different paths before choosing one, basically they should find what works for them. Don't assume that you can do everything I have done in the past, or do everything I'm doing now and have the same results as I am having. It just won't happen! What works for me, may not work for you. Secondly, do you see me telling people what they should or should not be eating? Nope. NOT ONCE have I ever said to someone, "Ya know, you really shouldn't eat that." And why is that? Because that type of interjection is not helpful. Even if you're truly trying to be helpful, you will most likely come off the exact opposite.

So, here's my advice on giving advice: DON'T! (lol I know, easier said than done). What I mean is that we should do our own thing and let the cards fall where they may. Should someone come to you and ASK YOU what you are doing, or ASK YOU for advice on their meal-plan or exercise plan, then that's different. And on this side of the spectrum I have to say this, don't ask ANYONE for advice unless you're willing to hear that you may be wrong. You cannot ASK for advice and then get angry when it is given, well...I suppose you could, but that's just childish.

Does any of this make sense? I just feel like its happening more and more that certain people think they know EVERYTHING and they're more than willing to shove that "knowledge" onto others. Just like Jen said in her video, "I did not lose 45lbs so far by doing it 'wrong'..." I cannot tell you how many times I've said the same thing in my head. I'm not damn near 100lbs lighter because I'm doing it all wrong. So lay off.

In conclusion, I'm brought back to the title of this entry:
"You Do You...I'll Do Me..."

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Re-Vamping of my mental state.....

This is going to be very difficult for me to convey even through my writing skills, so please bear with me if its seems as though my thoughts are "all over the place" within this blog entry. I'm trying to think things out while typing, even though some things I've already figured out through vlogging last night. See what I mean? This is already getting confusing. But hear me out:

So yesterday (Sunday) I woke up and I watched a few videos from people on Youtube that I'm subscribed to. There were three videos in specific that spoke to me. One of them talked about how our weight loss is not a competition or a race, its a personal journey or quest and you get there when you get there....furthermore if you really think about it, there is no such thing as "getting there" because this idea of being healthy, eating healthy and keep our weight in check is something we will be doing for a lifetime. And if its not something you intend on doing for a lifetime, then you're reading the wrong blog my friend. The second video I watched talked about the stress of life and how if you let stress get to you, it isn't helpful or conducive to weight loss. DUH! And the last (but certainly not least) video I watched showed me how we should all take time out to remind ourselves what it is we like about ourselves, rather than just pointing out (day after day) what it is that we want to change and therefore, dislike about ourselves.
When I tell you that EACH of these videos spoke DIRECTLY to me, I mean it like you have no idea.

First of all, I have turned my journey into this mental competition. I'm a very competitive person (who would have thought...?) and somehow I've had this voice in my head kind of nagging at me saying, "You have to get there, you have to get to goal, now now now now now NOW!" I mean, talk about "stress"????? Good lord! Its no wonder I've been a victim of late night snacking. I've been stressed out over "having to get to goal" by this certain date (Jeremiah's 2nd bday this summer) that its actually causing me to turn to these late-night snacks to relieve that stress. But instead of relieving the stress, it only ADDS more stress because I know in my head that eating those late-night snacks just made me GAIN WEIGHT! AHHHHHHH!!!! What a vicious cycle, eh?

I've been asking myself a lot of questions this morning: When did I start to think of this weight loss journey as a competition? When did I stop enjoying life? When and why did I get it in my head that I can never again enjoy a burger? A piece of pizza (or two)? A cup of frozen yogurt? Why? Why? Why? Somehow I've gotten it in my head that in order to be healthy and at my goal weight, I'll never be able to enjoy all the foods and activities that I used to enjoy so much. Why did I start to think that way? I mean, realistically, can any of us EVER say that we'll NEVER have sweets again in our lives? No. You can't say that. Not if you're being completely honest. You can avoid them, or cut them out on a day to day basis. But lets face it, you're going to be at the birthday party, or cookout, or office party, and DAMMIT, you're gonna have that cake, cupcake, brownie, etc. And whats so bad about that? The answer is that its not bad, or "wrong". But for some reason I've had this mentality in my head that it IS bad, or wrong and therefore I added that stress to my mental capacity. (I feel like I might be losing you here....stick with me, I'm almost through).

So, I've said all that to say this:
Did you read that? Did ya see it? I said it! I WAS WRONG! Putting this "Goal Date" on my journey (a journey which is basically infinite) was the wrong thing to do. So here in lies my newest and probably most important change to my plans. There is no longer a "Goal Date". Its simply, I get there when I get there. Instead, I'm going to focus on smaller goals such as: Running my first 5k race this summer, then a 10k. Possibly entering into the Warrior Dash in the fall (google-it if you think you're interested). My idea is this: I'm going back to the basics. I'm setting smaller achievable goals and I'm not going to worry about the end result, meaning my goal weight. Yes, I have a number on the scale that I'm working towards, but if I don't get there in two more months....why does it matter? It might take me another 6 months to a year to get to where I want to be. And ya know what? THATS OKAY. I'm OKAY with that fact. I know that I'm doing everything I can to lose the weight. I'm living a healthy lifestyle, I exercise, I eat great and healthy foods, so why am I going to beat the crap out of myself if my body isn't going to get me there by a certain date? Does that make sense?

Now, for those of you out there who may be thinking I'm a quitter or I'm just giving up...well, YOU'RE WRONG. I'm NOT a "Quitter". I do NOT simply give up on things that I set out to do or accomplish or achieve. If you knew me at all, you would know this. I said I'm going to be in the 150's and ya know what? I WILL BE. But I'm doing it my way and in the meantime, I'm going to start enjoying life again. I'm going to start doing the things that I haven't been allowing myself to do. In essence, I'm going to be happy again.

" Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." - Gali Devers

Friday, May 20, 2011


I cannot even convey to all of you how sore my body is today! I think I may have over-done it a bit with the strength training yesterday at the gym. My arms feel so heavy that even holding them up to tap the keys on the laptop keyboard takes some serious effort! Wow. Hope this means I built some muscle and got rid of just a little bit of my 'bat wings'. LOL

So, if you head on over to my Youtube channel this morning and see my vlog for'll notice that I woke up in a state of indecision yesterday. I wasn't in a bad mood. I wasn't grumpy. I wasn't being lazy. I was just indecisive on how I was feeling and what I wanted to do that day. This feeling comes and goes for me. Sometimes I think it is just laziness trying to raise its ugly little head...but then again, I have been doing A LOT of work at the gym lately and I could definitely use a rest. So I'm forced to try and really listen to my body to really evaluate whether or not I can handle another workout. Well, in the vlog you will see that I DID end up going to the gym...even though, I genuinely didn't want to. I'm telling you, that feeling of indecision can be such a killer!

I don't know about you, but I'm a big Check-List Person. If I have a large task in front of me that I need to get done, like cleaning my house for example, (which is what I will be doing all day today and tomorrow) I will sit down and make a 'To-Do' List of all the things I need to accomplish. -*As a side note, I've been told that this type of behavior will DEFINITELY get me VERY far in the legal field in my career! YAY! - * But I have to say that I regard my work out regimen the same way. Every day before I walk into the gym, I've already formulated a plan, or a 'check-list' in my head of what I'm going to do that day. Very rarely do I ever stray and not complete those things on my mental check-list. I started out yesterday thinking that I would just leave my workout up to chance, I would just do 'whatever I feel like doing' when I walked in those doors to the gym. For me, this is a recipe for disaster. Which leads me to one of the MOST IMPORTANT things I have learned thus far, in my quest to become healthy and lose weight:

You have to formulate a plan and WORK the plan!
Have you ever heard those certain people who say, "I swear I've tried EVERYTHING! No diet works for me! I just can't lose weight!" ? Yeah, I know you've heard that line before, in fact, it may have even come off YOUR lips at one point. I'll be honest here and say that at one point in my life I said it too. But you want to know what the real truth is? The real truth is that these people are not WORKING THE PLAN!!! Now, I'm not a believer in diets. Personally, I'm not a follower of such things as Atkins, South Beach Diet, SlimFast Diet, etc. etc. etc. I'm not going to sit here on my high horse and say that these diets are stupid or don't work, I'm just saying that personally I would rather not go any of those routes in my own, personal, weight loss journey. In fact, in DEFENSE of those diets: You want to know why they often "just don't work" for many people? BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE DON'T WORK THE PLAN!!!

Here's the basics of what I'm saying. You have to sit down and come up with some sort of a basic outline (better known as a plan) for what you are going to do and what you are NOT going to do in order to lose weight. And then, YOU HAVE TO STICK WITH IT!!! Its okay to slip-up here or there (lord knows I have!) it's the "Dieter's Condition". We all screw up from time to time, but all-in-all, if we continue to make more healthy choices than bad, the weight will eventually come off. Make a plan, Work the plan. Make a plan, Work the plan. Can I say this enough?

I have so many people in my personal life (family, friends, etc) who seek me out and say, 'Julie what are you doing to lose the weight? What should I do?' I give them VERY basic ideas of what they COULD do or change about their lifestyles (I'm not a health professional so I'm not about to give outright advice on EXACTLY what to do, besides I think everyone has to figure out what works for THEM). So they'll change these things and maybe even do what I suggested they do. The next thing I know they're sending me a message, "Its not working! Whats going on???" Well, when we get deeper into the conversation they tell me, "Well yeah I did the plan for like 3 days this week, then I went out drinking over the weekend and ate McDonald's and pizza and blah blah blah blah blah....." GEE. I WONDER WHY IT DIDN'T WORK!!!!!

Make a plan. Work the plan. Make a plan. Work the plan.
I mean really, can I stress this enough?????

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Greatest Motivator...

A viewer sent me a private message the other day to my Youtube account. She asked me: "In all honesty, what is your greatest motivator? What is it that really drives you to keep going like you do and have done in the past?" My answer may have shocked her, but I felt it was worth sharing here for those of you who are also curious. What was my answer? ANGER. Plain and simple.

Many of you may have gasped (or at least felt confused) when you saw that word, 'Anger'. But its so true. Very early on in my life, my Father taught me one very important lesson (among many others): "Julie Janee, Anger is one of life's best motivators. Use it." Of course, the older I get, the more and more his words make perfect sense. So, what was I (or am I ) so angry at, that it keeps me driven to get to my goal weight and peak of physical fitness? Well, my anger has shifted to different mediums. And by 'mediums' I mean, who or what it is directed towards.

It started out that I was angry with myself for letting my weight become the problem that it was. I was angry at my own body when it couldn't walk up stairs without feeling like it was going to collapse. That was enough to get me started. Then, after a few pounds were shed, I started to hear some negativity from the "haters" or "nay-sayers" who thought they were oh-so-clever with trying to hide their snide comments. But ultimately, I was made aware of what they were saying about me: (For example) "I mean, she says she eats healthy and works out a lot, but she's still fat!" "She thinks she can lose weight, but I just think she's a fat person and she can't change that." And I could go on and on. So, my anger then shifted towards these people. I told myself, " I'll show them! They'll never have room to say these things about me EVER again." I cannot tell you how great it felt to be at a certain event with these negative people and see their mouths literally drop when I walked into the room. "Thats right bitches, I did it!" <---That was resounding in my head and resonating on my face in my 1,000 watt smile.

So, what about now? Am I still angry? Where is my motivation coming from now? Thats a great question...and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I can honestly say that I no longer have that "Anger Drive" (as I like to call it). I think now, its more about being super excited to reach new limits of personal fitness that I never thought were possible before. I mean, here I sit weighing in within the 170's and I still can't believe it! I NEVER thought I would actually get back down to this weight and here I am, about to surpass it with a bit more work. Its amazing! So, to answer the question, what drives me or motivates me now? Excitement for what the future has in store.

For many of you who are just starting your journey, this may seem like its not enough to keep you going. And I would say, that at your beginning stage you're absolutely right. That was true for me when I was 260lbs. Simply being "excited" for the future is not what got my ass out of bed at 6am every morning to go and work out. Nope. But after you start to see yourself transforming and losing weight, you begin to realize that these things, which you once thought were impossibilities, are actually attainable! THATS when the excitement kicks in.

Yes, it is my personal opinion that sometimes you just have to get pissed off enough to actually DO SOMETHING about whats going on. I find that this is especially true with weightloss. So get angry! Get mad at those pants that are too tight, get up and go for a walk or run or go to the gym and do something that will only bring you that much CLOSER to fitting into them. If you treat all the obstacles in your life like this, then you'll be one VERY successful human being. Thats what I've always done in my life. One of my many famous personal quotes is this:
"Go ahead and tell me that I can't do something. Then when I do it, and do it better than you could ever can kiss my ass."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reaching Goals

Wow! Its been quite a bit of time since my last entry and I sincerely apologize for that. I'm sure many of you (all 50 of you, haha) were wondering, 'where the hell is this chick???' Well, its not a great excuse, but life and school got me all wrapped up and I haven't had a chance to dedicate time to making regular blogging entries. But I intend on fixing that, starting right now. School is ending for the summer which leaves me quite a few early morning hours to sit back, contemplate and blog. As some of you may or may not know, I consider myself to be much better at writing my thoughts to convey them, rather than speaking them aloud. Sitting behind this computer screen with a steaming cup of hot tea or coffee and the ability to edit my words before they 'go live' appeals to me! haha Go figure. So, within the next week or so, you will see more regular blogs and I intend on keeping it that way at least for the summer-time.

Okay, on to the topic for today: REACHING GOALS.

One of my most avid Youtube supporters sent me a personal message to my YT inbox the other day. In it, they were discussing how we shouldn't allow the scale to "make or break us" so to speak. They were talking about how our true successes (and failures) are within our actual measurements. I think what they were trying to do was render a much needed pep talk to me, after I had a rather unsatisfactory weigh in. But it was within reading their message to me that I realized something: In a way, I've already reached, AND SURPASSED, what I first set out to do!

Let me tell you a little back story here. As some of you may know, after I had Jeremiah I weighed in at a whopping 260lbs. I remember standing there in the doctor's office at my 6wk check-up after giving birth, looking at those numbers on the scale, and wanting to cry. I was ashamed, I was embarrassed, I was disgusted with myself. Shortly after that visit I got to a horrible state of mind, I immediately thought I could just starve myself back to a lower weight. (This leads back to a bit of an eating disorder that I had back in my early teen years). I can remember not eating for a few days and getting headaches, being dizzy when I stood up, being very dehydrated and weak. It wasn't until speaking with my best friend and being honest with her about what I was doing that I woke up and realized, this is NOT the way to go about losing the weight. So I started to do it the healthy way, but still the reflection in the mirror haunted me.

In all honesty, I refused to look in any full length mirrors at myself. Whenever I did look into a full length mirror, I cried almost immediately because I hated what I saw. I can remember the first Christmas after Jeremiah was born, Rob and I were invited to go to his cousin's house in NY for a Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day party. I sat there in the bottom of my closet looking up at all these plus size clothes and huge maternity clothes (which were all I could fit into at that point) and I sat there crying my eyes out. I remember sitting there, crying and wishing : I wish I could just lose some weight and be happy with what I see. I just want to be comfortable and happy with myself.....

Yes, there's a number on the scale that I'm shooting for. Have I reached it? No. Yes, there's a certain pant size that I think I would be able to get to. Have I gotten there yet? No.
All number sizes and weight aside, being happy and comfortable and not wanting to cry when I saw my reflection, was my REAL original goal, AND I'VE MET THAT GOAL! Now, I step in front of the mirror and I'm okay with what I see. What I see, is me: A mother, A Wife, A student, An Athlete (who would have thought?), A Comedian, A Counselor, A Helper, An Encourager....and the list goes on and on.

Its a pretty shocking thing when you realize that you've accomplished what you set out to do in the first place. I had this huge realization in the middle of typing my reply to this avid supporter of mine on YT. I think its important to share it here as well, because this should give others hope!

The main thing I want others to get out of seeing my struggles played out both in my YT videos and here in this blog, is this: I really DO know exactly what many of you are going through because I was there once too. I know what its like to hate the reflection in the mirror. I know what its like to be so desperate that you would STARVE yourself just to be thinner. I too, have shed those tears of shame, disgust and unhappiness. But look at this and my successes (thus far) as PROOF that YOU CAN DO IT TOO! I really do mean that! If I could get my butt up off the couch, so can you. If I could muster up the strength, motivation, determination and focus to lose the weight and become healthy, then so can you.

My main theme these days seems to be:
Don't Give Up On Yourself. You Owe It To Yourself To Be Happy And Healthy.