|46| Afro-Texturally HEALTHY...My Relationship with Weight! ッ

Thursday, 6.14.12...
  • Note of acknowledgement that made me *chuckle* to myself:  As I sat down to type this entry WELL over an HOUR ago, I intended for this to be a short & sweet piece about a recipe I made last night, but it COMPLETELY turned into something different as I was typing away!  LOL  So much so, I even had to alter the title!!  The "departure" began to occur at the moment I typed "Let me give you some background first..."  HAAAA!!!...Sooooooo, the following is the result...and it may seem all over the place at times, but, I wanted to leave it as it came to me...

Decided to stray a bit off topic today, because I'm feeling a need to start sharing some of the goings-on in my life, outside of my afro-textured hair "passion", that put me in a happy place!  One of those things is...COOKING and more importantly "eat-right" mode cooking!  Let me give you some background first (I'll TRY to keep it brief):

I didn't grow up in a house with parents who cooked home-made, from scratch meals on a regular basis and when it did occur, my Daddy was more than likely the one in the kitchen hookin' it up!  My Mama was FAR from the "domesticated" type, my Daddy worked a "mid" shift and didn't get home until after 10 o'clock at night, and I (the only child), was busy navigating my way through high-school, chores, activities, socializing, AND I had a car, so I was trying to be OUT of the house as MUCH as possible!  LOL  

Not that any of the aforementioned are "valid" excuses, but all contributed to us never really feeling a need to sit ourselves down for FAMILY meals.  The majority of the time, one of us would simply pick up something fast-foodish and keep it movin', usually retreating to our respective areas of the house or other "activity".  This is how I lived and what seemed "normal" and on top of that, I, too, had NO aspirations of ever being a "domesticated" type!  From a very early age, I always felt my paths would lead me to going to college, having a career, traveling at will, having no kids (or putting that option on the non-priority list!), traveling, and somewhere in there I would have a man who knew how to cook!

As a child, I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother (now resting in PEACE) who cooked often, but the majority of what she ate was what she ate from her Kentucky days as a child/teenager:  chit'lins, err part of a pig possible, Crisco-laden catfish, chicken, (or any other "inexpensive" meat you could throw into a cast iron skillet), greens, cabbage, (you get the picture).  As a "fast-food", ONLY-child raised in the 70's & 80's, I didn't take to all that "southern food" too often...I actually didn't start to grow a strong appreciation for it (WITH the exception of chit'lins & other pig parts *iwannagagRIGHTNOW!!*) until much later in life...just in moderation.

I always was a "thin" child and suppose I had a high metabolism because I was pretty active as a child/teenager, so I never really gained a lot of weight.  As I hit the college years, I believe I packed on the typical "freshman 15", but outside of that, was always considered skinny, because, again, I was very active, this time with trekkin' around campus to/from classes, college dance team, work, social life, AND I started working out at a gym for the first time & discovered I LOVED it.  Talk about IN SHAPE!?  Chiiiiild, couldn't nobody tell me NUTHIN' in those days!!!  I just KNEW I was the bomb.com!! *cheese* Though I'm still a pretty confident individual, my "vanity" has significantly fallen by the way-side as I've MATURED!  But here's one of my FAVE pics from my college days:  
Well, fast-forward to "real world" after college, dealing with jobs, relationships, bills, and life in general, when other things take priority over trying to be cute all the time!  By 2005, though I didn't consider myself overweight, I was for SURE much heavier than I was used to, and finally decided to start doing something about it.  I started working out HARD, BUT this time, I incorporated what I call "eat-right" mode, based on a "boot camp" regimen created by Oprah Winfrey and her trainer at the time.  Part of what was involved was taking all the "white stuff" out of what I would normally eat, i.e. white pasta, bread and replacing with whole-grain, not eating after a certain time of day...EVERY day, eating more "green" vegetables, portion control, etc.  This is when I really started to COOK on a regular basis, to help control & monitor specifically what & how much I was feeding my body.  Along with the discovery of figuring out more healthy ways of eating, I very quickly discovered I LOVED to cook!!!  So, I've accomplished *almost* everything I thought I would AND I can cook?!  Who'd've thunk it!?!  LOL  [Now THIS (cooking) is what I was SUPPOSED to elaborate on in this post, by talking about how I alter recipes to make them healthier, then post some pictures from yesterday of how I revised one of my favorite dishes to make and eat...but I'll save that for a later date!  LOL]

Anywhoot...Three months later (in 2005), I was down 22 pounds and was SO proud of the results and VOWED I was never going back "there" again!

⇇⇇⇇ I went from THIS:  
To THIS!⇶⇶⇶
Weeeeeeell...fast forward AGAIN...I maintained this weight for about 2 years, then gradually started slipping back into old habits.  After about a year or so after the initial weight loss, I'll note, I saw a picture of me and thought I was TOO skinny!  I actually thought I looked a little sickly!  LOL  So, I "allowed" myself to gain about 5 pounds and by 2009 that increased to about 10, but I was actually very comfortable with that.  I could still fit my cutie-patootie clothes and it was a weight I knew I could maintain without having to go crazy with the 6-8X a week work-outs and "eat-rightin'" ALL the time.  

After 2005, I gradually had cut down the work-outs, but would make sure I kept "eat-right" mode a priority.  But, let's face it, every once in a while you just need to indulge!  I don't care who you are!  Post 2007, I have been on and off the work-out/"eat-right" mode bandwagon, which has resulted in my weight fluctuating often.  Through early 2011, I was still FAR from that 2005 weight, (and I still fit my jeans comfortably), so I was "cool".  WELP!  As of about two months ago, I found myself back to where I was in 2005.  For the first time since then, I was back to the weight I had VOWED I'd never see again!

Not to be the "Debbie Downer", but just need to note this for a better understanding of why my mind & fingertips decided to put the aforementioned words to "paper".  The past year and a half has been less than desirable for me for a number of reasons, which I have, unfortunately, allowed to help contribute to my current weight state.  I knew it going into it and through it, but last month, I decided to stop "woe-is-me"-ing and start taking the steps necessary to focus again on those things that help me find my "happy".  

One of those "things that make "T" (that's my "real" nickname) a happy gurl" is cooking and "eat-right" mode.  On May 1st of this year, I began to eat better and monitor my portions.  I'm not yet ready to get back to working out, but I am PROUD to say, as of Wednesday, June 13th, I am SEVEN pounds down...simply from cutting out all the gar-bahge I was eating and focusing of putting the "good stuff" back into my body!

So, what am I doing you might ask?  Again, my "eat-right" mode is based on the "Boot Camp" regimen from the Oprah Show...(click here for one of the articles from her website).  I modify it periodically to make it work for me and my lifestyle at the time, but when I started it back in 2005 I did the following:
  • 30-45 min Cardio and 30 min strength work-outs 6-8 times a week without fail (2X a day on Mon, Tues, & Thurs, and 1X a day on Wed and Friday)  IF I missed any workout during the week, I'd make it/them up on Sat or Sunday
  • Stopped eating after 8pm EVERY day
  • Cut out sweets, white potatoes & bread, white pasta (replace with whole-grain and sweet potatoes), sugar (replaced with Splenda or "Sugar in the Raw"), alcohol, soda (or POP, for my fellow mid-westerners)
  • More water, fruit, and green vegetables
  • Ate more healthy snacks to eat between meals (i.e. granola bars, trail mix, etc.)
  • Ate leaner beef (use ground turkey as a replacement often) and chicken, fish
  • Eat three solid meals a day to help increase metabolism
  • Most importantly, watched the PORTIONS I put on my plate!  Eat until I'm satisfied, not FULL!
So, when I say "eat-right" mode, it always goes back to the above list (minus the work-outs!).  This is ALWAYS the basis of me staying on track and balancing my weight.  Of late, I just lost sight of it!  

Eating right usually gets me back on track to WANTING to work out, but this time I wanted to "test" to see how much impact would be made without it.  The "experts" will tell you they both go hand in hand, but these past few weeks have proven to me, that yes, though working-out improves overall effectiveness, eating BETTER definitely serves as a strong foundation in losing excess fat.

I will continue "eat-right" mode until the end of June and starting in July will start partnering it with some cardio work-outs, i.e. walking outside or light-treadmill, HOPEFULLY with my "other half".  My ultimate goal is to shed 15 pounds in total...anything else in addition to that will just be a bonus!  I really just want to focus on a "manageably" reasonable routine I know I can stick to for longer periods of time.  Now I know I don't NEED to excessively work out to lose weight AND I know I NEED to start eating better more often than not!

I think this post has gone long enough, don't ya think?!  Though I started this with the intent of talking about one thing, my spirit lead me into a completely different direction and I now feel "purged"!  I tell this story, not only for me, but I am sure there is someone out there who has had or has a similar experience.  It comes down to mind over matter...if there is something you want to do, eliminate the excuses, determine a course of action, then DO it and stay consistent!  Not only has "all things afro-textured hair" been a mental lifestyle change for me, but actively LIVING a healthier lifestyle overall and STAYING that way positively contribute to my mental AND physical being as a whole...I just need to remember that! 

I'll end on that note...
Afro-Texturally Speaking...HEALTHY ッ,


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