“You Can. You Will. You Are.”- Meghan Tonjes

About three years ago, I came across singer/songwriter Meghan Tonjes via one of her videos on YouTube.

Like so many other people, I became a huge fan of her voice and music. I think it’s safe to say many people who come across Meghan have the same reaction I did. It’s like we’re programmed to be amazed at how a beautiful voice could come from a woman who is overweight.

Back then, I would have thought I was too evolved to be narrow minded and that, of course, I could see beyond someone’s exterior, and I wasn’t one of those people who thought a great singing voice could only belong to a thin, “beautiful” woman. However, when I came across Meghan, I realized I did judge.

The more videos I watched, the more, I think, I became more open and more aware.

Recently, Meghan has been working hard at losing weight. Below is a really powerful video she made in which she was brought to tears talking about how she ran/jogging five miles for the first time. No matter how tired she was, she didn’t give up.

Also, if you’ve never heard Meghan sing, check out this video. There were many I could have chosen from, but I loved this video of one of her original songs that was filmed in NYC:

I respect Meghan because of her talent, but I also really respect her for putting herself out there. Over the years, she has gotten a lot of hateful comments because of her weight yet she kept posting videos. She is amazing.

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The Good: A New Salad Bowl The Bad: Beyond Sugar Shock

Today’s calories: 1671
Exercise: None

For years, I’ve resisted eating salads.

It’s kind of been a strange thing. Ever since I first read about green smoothies and started making/drinking them, I’ve consumed a lot of greens in liquid form, but rarely ate greens.

In fact, I have drunk tons of spinach, but had never actually chewed it.

So, when I thought of salads, I could only see myself eating romaine lettuce (the only leafy green I liked) along with various other things you’d typically put in a salad. My thinking was, if I was only going to use romaine lettuce, I was going to get tired of salads really fast. It was better to stick with smoothies.

A few days ago, I ordered takeout. I wanted to try something I typically wouldn’t order and I wanted something healthy. I went for a BBQ chicken salad. The salad was made from spring mix (which included spinach). I ate it, and, to my surprise, I liked it. Spinach is quite good!

This salad inspired me to buy a huge salad bowl (my first) so I can have huge salads for dinner. Last night I had my first. It was awesome. It consisted of a ton of spring mix, about 6oz of grilled chicken, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of goat cheese.

I know I should be making my own dressing. Eventually, I’ll do that. For now, I’m using this really tasty Tarragon Dijon Organic Vinaigrette.

While it’s low in calories, it’s quite high in sodium.

Speaking of sodium…

HayHouse has a new Web site for book reviewers. The deal is, if you agree to post a review of their books, they’ll send you a free copy to review. I signed up and chose Beyond Sugar Shock.

Wow. That book was really awful. There’s nothing I hate more than book that is filled with the usual recipes, grocery lists, and blank pages for notes. Pages were devoted to marketing the author’s Web site and other HayHouse books. The meat of the book was a six-week plan to stop eating sugar. Even those pages were filled with not a lot of high quality, useful information.

And whose idea was it to put images of cupcakes on a book about eliminating sugar?

Within the book was The Sugar Shock Quiz. It included such questions as:

If someone broke into my home, she or he would find candy wrappers hidden behind sofa cushions, a box of cookies stuffed into my closet, or crumbs hanging on my sweaters and shirts.

If I had to choose between a night noshing on freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or a romantic evening out with my partner, the Sweet White Stuff would win hands down.

God knows I’ve eaten my fair share of sugar, but I’ve never felt like I was truly addicted. I can’t recall if I’ve ever come across anyone who was that far gone with an addiction to sugar to the point where they would have to write a letter of apology to their family and friends for their behavior thanks to their sugar addiction (as the author has the reader do).

However, after I was done reading the quiz (whose questions seemed completely ridiculous to me while I was reading them), it dawned on me that I come really close to being that fanatical about salt.

While I don’t actually sprinkle salt on my food, a lot of the foods I crave are really high in sodium. And while I can wrap my brain around not eating salt-ladened potato chips or French fries, it’s frustrating to discover the organic vinaigrette I mentioned earlier is also jacked up with sodium.

Sometimes this weight loss endeavor is so mentally exhausting. There’s a lot of emotional stuff, physical stuff, and nutritional stuff to be aware of. I suppose the hope is that once change is made, like once I decrease the amount of sodium I take in, it will become a part of my life and not something I’ll have to put so much thought into anymore.

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Start Where You Are

Over the weekend, I started listening to the book Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Chris Gardner. I’m not quite finished the book, but will have a review and some weight loss-relevant takeaways when once I’m done.

I’m taking comfort in the mantra “start where you are” as I continue to go around in circles in mind.

The last three months have sucked.

The crazy thing is, it’s not so much that my motivation waned. It’s that I feel like I was thrown off course and haven’t quite gotten back. A life coach once told me that I have this pattern—when I start to do something good for myself, I create some situation (or even just react to some situation) and I get distracted, lose focus, and sabotage. When she said this, I couldn’t quite see what she was talking about. Now I’m starting to.

What’s going on in my head:

-I’m frustrated that I haven’t made more progress. My friend is coming in five weeks. BlogHer is in six weeks. I’m traveling to Montreal for a writing seminar in nine weeks. How can I travel, meet people, and accomplish stuff if I have this cloud of disappointment hovering over me because I haven’t made much progress?

-I’ve cut back on juicing and making green smoothies. The thing I can’t quite figure out is, how can I tell that I’m getting enough nutrients? All along, I’d either take in nutrients in abundance or not at all. How do I find a middle ground?

-I want to be on the treadmill…but it’s so freaking hot. (I don’t have air conditioning in my apartment.) And while I want to move my body, I also want to sit and write. What I don’t want to do be doing is spending so much time at my computer. Yet here I’ve been, doing the usual—getting lost in “research”, talking to a lot of people, and watching TV shows, movies, documentaries, and some YouTube videos (but not as much as I have in the past).

-I so completely envy people who making choices and living out their story. I feel like I’m just stuck.

See, here’s the most frustrating thing:

Today, I was reading a thread on the 3 Fat Chicks forum in which someone wrote about how they don’t perceive themselves as being as heavy as they really are. I feel the exact same way!

Is it denial? I don’t think it is. I think I’ve just creating an inner world in which my weight doesn’t affect me that much. My weight doesn’t hinder things like my curiosity, my intellect, and my talents and skills. Apart from my weight, I feel really good about who I am.

It’s when I have a desire to venture out into the external world that I start to experience jolts of shock at how different I am and how I’m perceived. Suddenly, I take up too much space. I feel incredibly self-conscious. I feel worthless.

Then I feel resentful that I have to change so that I’m more accepted. I know I should focus on having ease, having more freedom, and, of course, improving my health. Yet, I get stuck in this loop of wanting to lose weight, wanting to lose weight fast, yet hating the fact that I’m, pretty much, doing it so I will be able to have an easier time connecting with people.

A part of me doesn’t want to document my weight loss because I’m so tired of thinking about it all the time. But as I said, I want to write. I want to be honest. I want to write a better story of how my life unfolds.

Whether it be updates or reviews or whatever, I’m recommitted to this blog.

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