If you've been following me offline, you know that in the past year and a half I lost about 85 pounds going from a size 22 down to a 10. In the beginning, the reasons had more to do with proving something to someone else, but in the end, I proved something to myself, that I could lose the weight when I choose to. And like my girl Mary J. Blige said, "I like what I see when I'm looking at me when I'm walking past the mirror."
Well the holidays are over, and I can tell you that I went into Thanksgiving with the best of intentions and came out on the other side of the New Year 8 pounds heavier. Now whether that's muscle my Grandma's sweet potato pie or my grandfather's dressing, I can't tell you. But what I can tell you is that the digital scale doesn't lie. And before I am singing Oprah's "How Could I Let This Happen to Me Again," song, I am determined to nip this weight gain trend in the bud before it gets out of control and 8 pounds turns to 18.
You know how families are.
"Girl, you better get you some of Grandma's sweet potato pie. One slice won't kill you."
Well maybe not, but after the third slice...and then there were the late night trips to McDonalds for fries just because I wanted them and all of the must have junk food for movie nights at home during the holiday season.
Gaining these pounds reminded me that like with any other addiction, there's always the chance of relapse. While some people drink their problems away, I used to eat my problems away. The more sad or depressed I was, the more I ate. I likend myself to a functioning alcoholic in that when it came to work I had no problems, but after work in the privacy of my home it was a whole different story that only me and my refrigerator know.
Since I've been working on the inner Jasmyne, the lowest I have ever been able to get down to is 160 pounds, and for me that was an accomplishment. I saw it once, maybe twice on the scale, but for the most part I level off between 163 and 168 on any given day.
Today, after losing the weight, I can tell you that I have no desire to ever see my old self where at my highest I weighed about 250 pounds. Besides, my bank account couldn't handle having to buy a whole new wardrobe seeing as how I got rid of all my 22s, 20s, 18s 16s, and 14s.
So like the rest of you, I too am starting the New Year with a resolution to lose weight. Not just the 8 pounds that I gained, but an additional 10 pounds that will take me to my ideal weight of 150 pounds.
Between my daily tennis playing routine and my weekend hiking, I am hopeful that I can get my eating back on track.
Oh and there's the added incentive of not wanting to embarrass myself in March during my first ever tennis tournament!
There's a certain added pressure that comes from letting everyone know that you are trying to lose weight. The kind of pressure that ensures that when I'm out and about on the town that folks are watching me and will quickly remind me that the piece of cake I am about to shove into my mouth isn't going to help me reach my goal of 150 pounds. It can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how bad you want that slice of cake and how serious you are about shedding the weight.
Black L.A...I am serious about it. So if you see me out and about with something on my plate you know I don't need to be eating, please feel free to check a sista. I may give you a dirty look when you do followed by a look of embarrassment, but when I reach my goal of 150 pounds and continue to be diabetes free, I'll be singing your praises.
Now, if I can just kick those cigarettes...it'd be all good!
Jasmyne Cannick is a critic and commentator based in Los Angeles who writes about the worlds of pop culture, race, class, sexuality, and politics as it relates to the African-American community. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and Ebony Magazine. A regular contributor to NPR's 'News and Notes,' she was chosen as one Essence Magazine's 25 Women Shaping the World. Her Weight Loss Diary can be read at www.jasmynecannick.com.