making awkward look even more awkward since 1980…

A Different Kind of Two Piece

two piece
Every year it’s, “I gotta lose weight….I really need to get on this…I’m getting too big….” None of that really stopped me from eating like there was some sort of impending food shortage though. None of it made me not crave cupcakes and cheeseburgers. None of it made me not want to inhale pizza and wings on the regular. None of it was more important to me than my favorite past time of GOING OUT TO EAT. Losing weight was something I wanted…until I was hungry again. And then nothing was more important to me than satisfying that craving for insert-whatever-food-here. I could write a dissertation about my relationship with food, but that’s another story for another day.

By the time it had gotten so out of hand that I was seriously online seeking solutions and help, I’d ballooned up to 266lbs. And I’m 5’4”. It wasn’t pretty. Things on my body hurt that shouldn’t hurt…I was tired all the time…all my clothes were too tight…I was very unhappy about my appearance…I thought about weight and food constantly, and I just wanted help at that point. But I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to start. And I was deathly afraid of hiring some Billy Blanks-esque trainer who was going to yell at me to do way more than my body was capable of… Still, I knew I needed the help of someone certified to do so. SoI was keeping my eyes peeled, taking a few cards, and trying to figure out who I thought could help get me where I needed to be, which was far away from where I was.

Through a series of random internet searches on things totally unrelated to diet and exercise, I happened across a woman’s weight loss success story which she attributed to a health coach at Body Refined Inc. “Health Coach” stood out to me because it sounded a lot less like someone who’d tae-bo kick me in the neck if I didn’t finish my set, and a lot more like someone who would work with me to get me to optimal health. And then she mentioned that the focus was more heavily geared towards nutrition and I was sold at that point. I reached out to the health coach she mentioned at Body Refined Inc, Kurt Dixon, back in December of 2013. It’s now June of 2014 and I’ve lost 68lbs in in 6 months…


This has been, by no means, a piece of cake, no pun intended…(well, maybe a little intended.) Point to fact, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. But not for the reasons I thought it would be. It hasn’t been hard because I was made to do more physically than I could, though I have been challenged to push myself a bit further than what I believed my body was capable of. But low and behold, my body has proven quite capable, despite my doubts. And it hasn’t been hard because I was put on some rabbit food-like diet where I was only allowed 5 lettuce leaves and a spritz of vinegar for all my meals. Some days I’m allowed to eat way more than I even want to eat, though it’s not what I would have chosen to eat. But I’ve learned that giving your body exactly what it needs, in the exact amount it needs, will yield amazing results if done correctly and consistently. Below you’ll find my top misconceptions about weight loss and the truths that contributed to my current progress.


• You are supposed to keep doing an exercise until it becomes easy, and then move up.
-I’d perform some exercise that my health coach would show me how to do, and I’d be a sweaty mess by the end of my set. We might do that exercise again another day, but then the next time we’d work out, I’d be on something totally new and even harder. Eventually I asked him, “Shouldn’t I master some of these? I mean, every week I’m doing something new and just as tiring. When will I get better?” To which he responded that I was getting better. Changing your routine up is good for the body and even though your exercise routine is continually hard, it doesn’t mean you’re not advancing. Exercise, while it shouldn’t’ be well above your capacity, should be hard. And it should be hard, every time you do it, even when you get advanced. Or maybe a better word is challenging. You routine should challenge you, consistently. If you do not challenge your body, it won’t’ change. If you stuck with the same exercise until you those exercises were very easy for you, you would have wasted a lot of time during which your body would have stopped responding to that particular exercise. When I’d finally came back around to some of those moves I did in the beginning that used to kill me, I discovered I was better at them, even though I hadn’t done them in weeks. I could complete more reps or had better form. And I didn’t have to do that same exact exercise every week, day after day, to get better (barring some things that do improve with continued practice like push-ups or planks). He challenged my body in different ways through different moves. And there is never an easy week where everything is a breeze to move though. Every session is challenging. But I’m getting better, at things all the time. So there must be something to it!

• You are not capable of doing HIIT.
-I used to watch YouTube clip upon YouTube clip of people doing High Intensity Interval Training. I mean that seemed to be all the rage in recent years. It’s the reason P90x and Insanity has been so popular; you work out REALLY HARD and take small “rests” where you work out lightly or just catch your breath, and then back at it. Me? I’m a steady-state cardio type of girl. Give me a slow walk on the treadmill and I’m good. The most I ever used to be challenged, aerobically, was in my advanced step class (which I still love and swear by to this day)…but I tried P90x and Insanity and quickly decided that it wasn’t for me and that I was not capable of HIIT. Some people aren’t built to exercise in that way. And then a little into my exercise training, I started noticing we were doing things that very closely resembled what I’d come to know as HIIT. I couldn’t do a lot of it…certainly not hours of it, but I was doing it. The moves I saw these workout gurus on Instagram and YouTube perform such as burpees or jumping lunges? I was doing them too. Oh, they still make me tired. I still sweat profusely when getting through them, but he put them in there and no matter how out of his mind I thought my heath coach was, I’d attempt it. And I was always capable of doing it, if only for a few times, even if they had to be modified initially. I think sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we can do. We doubt our bodies before we even give them a shot. I’m by no means “advanced” in my training, but I can do more physically than I thought I could do at one point.

• You can cut back one or two things and lose weight.
-The biggest and most important aspect of my current progress has been my diet. Food. Food is my number one friend in life. Food is my FAVORITE thing. I love to eat. And I don’t just love to eat, I love to cook. I love learning about the science of food and different techniques. I love the taste of food, the smell of food. I love pictures of food. To say I am food obsessed would be an understatement. But my love of food has been an unhealthy addiction for quite some time now. And after countless hours spent in the gym in the past, I eventually was taught by a step aerobics instructor years ago that you can’t out exercise a bad diet. I’d known this for some time before I started working with Body Refined Inc. It’s what drew me to this particular health coach in the first place; his focus on nutrition as the ultimate means to health and weight loss. That being said, I don’t think I fully understood the gravity of the statement that weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% diet. To me, this still meant that you eat healthy most days, but one or two small indulgences won’t kill you. You can have a cupcake if you want, or pizza on the weekends. You can still eat spaghetti if you make it a little healthier. Just cut back on a few things and substitute a few things and voila! Weight loss!
I learned that I had to eat MUCH cleaner than I thought, for MUCH longer than I thought, to see the weight loss I was expecting. I couldn’t go hard for a few days a week, indulge for a small portion of the week, and see significant drops in weight. That’s just not how it works. I had to come to grips with the fact that a lot of the things I loved had to be cut out of my life for a period of time longer than a couple of days. Maybe it doesn’t work that way for everyone, but for me, one less soda a day and taking the top bun off my burger did not a 10lb drop make. My health coach made a very specific plan that allotted for the appropriate amount of macronutrients for my body, and I’d have to eat that way for at least two weeks at a time before I could get a new option of something different to eat. And that something different did not include burgers or fries or any of the things I’d indulged in. It was good, healthy proteins, fats, and carbs. And it was this way, day in and day out, for stretches of time.
If I make it sound horrible, it wasn’t. It wasn’t that I was eating things I hated. It was that I wanted the food I was eating before. But that food was killing me slowly. The hard part was mentally getting passed the fact that I couldn’t have those old foods every now and then, and still somehow lose weight. The hard part was eating the same types of meals consistently. Truth be told, this is STILL the hardest part of this weight loss process. Cause when you are addicted to food like me, you never get used to it. That’s the cold hard math of it all. I don’t care how long I go without having those indulgent foods in my body, I still want them. Sure I don’t crave them like I used to when they were so high in my system, but that want? That desire for a specific taste? It doesn’t go away. So the fact of the matter is, you have to flex your mental muscles, every day, and work through it. It is tiring. It is draining. It is not easy, at least not for me. Some days I just didn’t care about sticking to the plan and I failed at it. Every month wasn’t a good month. I didn’t lose pounds consistently. And when I backslid it showed; most noticeably on the scale. I didn’t always gain pounds, but I certainly didn’t always lose. And when you are busting your butt working out, you want pounds lost to show for it. I still back slide some days now. But overall, I have more good days than bad. And when I follow the plan consistently for the period of time specified, the weight comes off; just like my coach said it would. And I also eventually started to get days where I’d get a “carb up” meal like pizza or pancakes. YOU BEST BELIEVE THOSE DAYS ARE GOLDEN IN MY EYES. Eventually, I will get to a point where my eating does not have to be so “regimented”… but right now, to lose, this is what it has to be. Once you get past that, and maintain a really clean diet for consistent lengths of time, that is when you TRULY see weight loss.

• You will die if you eat another piece of salmon/vegetable/ounce of water.
-That’s actually not true. You won’t.

Overall, this whole thing is a process. There has been ups and downs and I’m sure there will be more. Sometimes I feel like I do everything perfectly, diet and exercise wise, and I don’t see the changes I want. A few times I felt like I saw big changes when I wasn’t even trying that hard. Your body starts to lose differently after a while and things have to be adjusted. It an intricate dance between what needs to be done nutritionally and physically, and that scale moving down or that tape measure tightening up. It is a science to this whole thing. And I’m constantly learning new things about my body and about nutrition and exercise, with the guidance of my coach.

I still have fears though. I still have cravings. I still have struggles. I am not at my ideal weight and body fat and some days I still wonder if I will get there. But I look at how far I’ve come and I have to believe that it is possible. Because six months ago, I would have never believed I’d be where I am now. Six months ago, I did not know that this was possible… which gives me hope for the future. I want to live a long, healthy, happy life with a kickass bod. And for the immediate future, it’s beach season… And I’ve already ordered my two peace.

Weight Loss Inspiration

So recently, I’ve lost some weight.  Not a monumentous amount, but more than I’ve been able to lose in like, forever.  And that was due in no small part, to finding a trainer who is really awesome and encouraging and hard-on-you-in-a-good-way; Kurt Dixon, of Body Refined Inc.

And me finding him, was due to reading a woman’s weight loss story whose name is Michelle.  I remember looking at her before photo in comparison to her after photo and seeing how toned and bad-ass she looked and thinking, “Wow, maybe I can do what she did, with the right help?”  I was at a breaking point with my weight and using food to cope with too many things and her words about how Kurt helped her encouraged me to reach out to him as well and the rest is history…or at least a work in progress.

Michelle has reached her goal weight, but acquired a lot of loose skin in the process that she now needs removed.  The cost of this procedure however, is cripplingly large. I see her hard work and admire her persiverence and i want to help her in any way i can.  So if you have it in your heart and your wallet, please go over to her indigogo campain and donate, or spread the word.  Her story can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/final-step-in-michele-s-weight-loss-journey/x/2747308

Thanks for any support you can give Michelle🙂

Squat Thrusts (written sometime before 2009 by me…)


I am in total awe and thoroughly amazed by folks who lose weight because they are stressed. one of my friends was telling me today on the phone that she lost 10lbs because of stress. one of my coworkers got smaller because she was stressed out. countless people blame weight loss on stress and it boggles the hell out of me.

stress though? my body will not relinquish precious, precious pounds because of stress. my body won’t relinquish precious, precious pounds period.

oh, but I’ll GAIN weight for any old reason!

I gain weight when I’m happy. I gain weight when I’m sad. I gain weight when I diet. I gain weight when I sleep. any event in my life is a cause for my body to pack on MORE WEIGHT.

(random side note: remember in the stories about the salem witch trials, how they accused farmer, giles corey of being a witch? and he failed to enter a guilty plea cause, well, cause he wasn’t a witch? and he refused to give testimony to that, so they sentenced him to death; crushing him by placing heavy stones on his chest? and they kept trying to give him a chance to say he was guilty. and the sheriff asked him at what point, “what say ye!” to see if he would give in? and old giles corey said, “MORE WEIGHT!” and they added more weighted stones to his chest and he died? I always thought that was the most gangsta shit I’d ever heard. giles corey is one of the original g’s.)

what was I talking about? oh yeah, more weight.

I have been going to the gym for a couple months now…not everyday, but at least 3 times a week, usually 4. my ultimate goal is to consistently get in 6 hours a week. and I’ve KINDA been changing my eating habits.                         I don’t eat out for lunch everyday anymore. I eat nasty ass grapefruit as a snack along with cups of apple sauce and sugar free jello….oh I still eat a lot of bad stuff too! but CERTAINLY not as much as in months passed.

yet for the life of me, I can not understand why I’ve only lost about 7lbs.

more to the point, some weeks I seem to keep creeping back up! and yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat and some times in the month women put on more water weight and yada yada yada.

still, in my personal opinion? I’m doing more than enough to have at the very LEAST been about 15lbs down from where I originally started!

but noooooo. my body just refused to give up the ghost.

then I think, maybe I’m not trying hard enough?

like all those people in my powerflex class at bally’s. they’re barely sweating. they do all their reps. and not just the men. I’m talking women, with 40lb bars on their backs, doing squats. and they’re not fat. they’re not even that “muscley”. they’re thin! and I’m struggling with my 20lb bar to get through a 2 minute set!

I hate them! with their small bodies and cutely color-coordinated tops and shorts. I even hate the fat ones. they sit there and do an hour of powerflex and then stay for another hour of a class called hi-lo which is SUPPOSED to be a combination of hi-impact, low-impact aerobics. but they may as well call it hi-hi because the bitch does not slow down for anything! they all stay, fat, skinny, in shape, out of shape, and sit there and run and jump and fall to the floor for pushups and jump back up for jumping jacks and jog in place and tai-bo kick and karate chop for a whole hour, while I’m getting my coat on like, “yeah right.” isn’t working out one hour enough? apparently not.

and then there’s this black lady. hands down, BEST body I’ve seen at the gym. I mean, if you gave me her body right now, I’d die happy. weird thing is, she has to be at least 45! in her face, you can see she’s old. and even when I see her walking to the train some days, she dresses like an OLD woman. like an old black lady government worker. and if you work in dc, you know what I mean. really long, lose church lady dresses. and her face obviously shows her age. but her body? her body is the body of a girl. and I don’t mean, she looks like she is in good shape to be 45. no, I mean if you took away her head and looked at her body? it looks like the body of an 18 year old. no stomach, no back fat, no rolls, no cellulite, no age spots, no dry skin. not too skinny, not too muscle bound. perfectly rounded hips and bottom, cute perky sized boobs, nicely taut arms and legs…it is the perfect body. and every time I see her in the front of the class, bouncing up and down, running full throttle, I want to be like, WHAT THE FCUK! WHAT GENE POOL DID YOU SWIM IN AS A BABY! it’s freakish how good her body looks. like she has cases upon cases of “fountain-o-youth” water in her fridge.

and then I look in the mirror at my wobbly, stretched marked, heavily sweating, barely keeping up self and say, “bonita, you got to do better than this.”

but I will NOT be discouraged. oh no!

well…i am kinda discouraged. but I will not stay there! I will not give up! I will not succumb to the idea that my body is incapable of losing weight! oh no! I too will one day be taut and back fat roll free! I too will be able to get through an hour of powerflex followed by an hour of hi-lo, no matter how much I may appear to be on the verge of collapse! I too will be among the “gym people” with my matching sports bra and biker shorts set and sparkling white terry cloth head band and when the instructor stands in front of me with my barbell behind my back, ready to lead a rousing set of squat thrusts and lunges and she asks “what say ye with your 20lb bar!” I will say,


Things That are Impossible No. 132:

132. Leaving Ikea without buying at least one thing.

Why is 6 scared of 7…


Because 7 8 9…  7’s are tricky.

Today is my birthday.  February 7th.  I’m 34 years old.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  It flies when you’re not having fun.  It just flies and flies, whether you want it to or not so you may as well get used to it.

I don’t celebrate like other people do.  I haven’t had a party since I was 16 years old and my sister threw it for me.  It was a surprise party.  And I was upset.  I don’t like a lot of attention.  I don’t know why…well I do know why, but that’s another story for another blog.  I don’t mind quiet birthdays so much.

But I don’t usually get that.  Typically I get some sort of horrible cosmic joke of a birthday.  One of those days that’s a lot less like a birthday, and a lot more like “one of those days.”  Today is no different.

I just moved and moving brought a whole new set of issues and conundrums and things needing money thrown at it.  Today I go to wash a load of clothes and about 20 minutes in, water starts erupting from the utility closet, all over the floor, down the hall, into the kitchen under the cabinets, under the fake hardwood so I can hear sloshing when I step on the boards, underneath the carpet going into the bathroom… everywhere.  So not only are all my clothes dirty, but I’ll probably die of some mold disease before my 35th birthday.

So while I’m mopping up water with good towels, my sister calls.  My dad is in the hospital and has been for a week.  He was to be released tomorrow.  I was happy.  We could have cupcakes and sing happy birthday and celebrate me and him at the same time.  Now the hospital says they want to release him to a rehab center for 2 weeks.  And he is REFUSING to go.  He wants to go home.  But my mom can’t take care of him.  She is going through her own health issues and has to go to treatments everyday.  Treatments that we have to take her to, because my dad can’t drive right now.  Still he doesn’t want to go.  Even if it means getting worse and his infection never healing.  I think he’d rather die at home, than go stay in another facility.  So I called and tried to get him to go, and he still refused.  So I cried.  Not to get him to go.  But because I am sad.  Because I love him and my mom and I’m scared neither will get better or stay better…  And I can’t make them better.  And I’m tired of sickness.  And my sister is trying to orchestrate things and be on top of everything, but she already has too much on her plate and I’m scared she’ll have a breakdown.  So I’m just sitting on the couch, trying to figure out what to do and how to help and it feels like stones in my throat and weights on my chest.

But it’s my birthday, and things like this are standard fare on February 7th.

Happy birthday to me.

My Life/ Joke of the Day

So the cable TV technician just left after setting up my cable at my new place.

He texts me a few minutes ago and says, he doesn’t normally contact customers like this, but has a question.

So I say, “ask away.”

And he says, “do you date younger men?”

And I laugh and say, “why?  how old are you?”

And this dude gone say, “33…”

The punch line of this joke is I am also 33.

Moving Locations like the Homeboy’s Shopping Network


You know how when you’re at the dead end of packing for a move, and you start to lose all ability to figure basic shit out?  Yeah, that’s where I’m at right now.

“I should cook so that I can finish packing the kitchen…Wait no!  I should wash my hair first…Do I have any pans not already packed to even be able to cook?  I know; I’ll just roast the food over the open flame on my gas stove…No wait, that seems dangerous…How do I pack a computer monitor???…Wait, I’ll carry it in my car…I’ll carry everything else in my car…No wait that doesn’t make sense…”

I’m at that stage where you want to give up, but can’t.  And whose idea was it to move in the dead of winter, during the POLAR VORTEX anyway?  I mean, what even is a Polar Vortex?  I feel like its something that carries you between dimensions or something.  Its too cold for my brain to sufficiently function.  Shit’s about to just get thrown in boxes marked “stuff”…


Just so you know…

I’ll always want you to find me, Jack…

Watching Numbers

The last thing I want to have to do is help my parents into scrubs so we can do our best not to contaminate my sister who is in the ICU at St. Agnes hospital, but I’m doing it because they can scarcely figure out how to get things on for themselves sometimes.  And because they are nervous.  We are all nervous.  But now my sister is sick so one of us has to be not nervous.  So I guess it’ll have to be me.

On the drive to the hospital I let little thoughts slip in like, “What if something happens, for real?  What if you get there and they have bad news?  What will you do?”  And then I pushed those thoughts out and decided that that is NOT what is going to happen.  Because it can’t.  Because it’s my sister.  And I know a lot of people feel that way about their family and don’t get the luxury of having things really be alright the way they want them to in their head.  But I just decided that this time, it’s different.  And that’s that.

She is hooked up to oxygen machines and wires and looking pretty tired and isn’t supposed to speak or strain herself.  The blood clots in her lungs are making her heart work overtime to supply oxygen, which means it doesn’t have any reserve to do much else.  I think that’s how it works.  The doctors use a lot of convoluted words because they are doctors and only know how to dumb things down so much.  So we all sit and listen to her doctor describe the course of action they are about to take to try and get the clots to safely burst; only the procedure itself is just as dangerous as leaving the clots alone.  Still, with my sister’s age and health, they think it the best course of action.  So they administer the procedure which takes 2 hours to run its course and the only indicator we have of knowing it is working, is watching the number on her heart rate monitor go down from the dangerously high number it is at, to a normal one; a numbers game, if you will.

So we sit and wait.  I play a game where no one is allowed to talk for 10 minutes because between my mom asking my sister too many questions and my dad’s pained look of concern that is clearly bothering my sister, I’m afraid she will be too stressed and her numbers won’t drop.   No one lasted more than a minute.  So instead I tell stories and jokes and refuse to take a seat even though I think it’s making my parents nervous.  They need to sit more than me anyway.  And I can’t sit down.  I feel like I’m on watch or something.  So I keep moving around.  We look at games on my brother in law’s phone and talk about my new place and try on various sized gloves.  Everyone has an appearance of semi-calmness…but I don’t think more than 10 seconds at a time goes by that we don’t look at that number.   I tell a joke.  I look.  I tell my dad to go get food.  I look.  I read a page out of the book I brought.  I look.  It’s a numbers game.  And my sister seems to be winning.

Her number is well on its way down by the time we all gather our things to leave for the night.  She needs her rest.  So we kiss her and tell her goodnight and that we love her.  This morning her number is still on the way down.  And I’m happy.  But the nervousness has not subsided.  I wish I could place her in a plastic bubble.  We all do.  So she won’t get hurt.  Now she’ll have to watch herself with cuts and bruises and get checks for things and take medicine for a while.  I know this happens to people all the time.  But they are not my sister.  So it’s a big deal.  Because she happens to be pretty damn important. And my love for her is immeasurable…  I guess I’ll be doing all the vegetable prep at Thanksgiving.  I knew she’d find a way to get out of family chores.

Dressing Room Pressure


Why do I feel the need to lie to the dressing room clerk at Target…like she’s my mom.  Like she’s going to critique whether or not my clothes fit with a comment on how maybe if I cut back on the French fries, I’d find a size that fit.

I tried on some clothes this past weekend and when I left, I had to confess to the clerk that they in fact “didn’t” work.  Then I spotted a larger size and told her I was going to try that on.  Yeah.  That didn’t work either.  While it fit, I looked crazy in it.

But when I came out and she asked a second time did that work for me, I felt pressure to say “Yes they did!”  very enthusiastically.  Then I put it in my cart and threw it on another rack.  I felt bad I’m making more work for her while simultaneously lying to her about something I’m sure she doesn’t care about at all.  I just feel so much damn pressure to make something work when the dressing room clerk asks.  Damn them and their mom like questions.