Losing at Losing or Forever Fat

My weight was the only thing I was never good at. Even at my most fit, I did track I did cheerleading, I wasn’t a star athlete but I worked out enough and ate like any teenager, infrequently and horribly, yet all I had was super muscular legs, defined lats, arms I always wanted to cover up, and a stomach that would never grace the cover of a magazine.

My cheerleading skirts had to be ordered special because I couldn’t wear the ones passed down from other years. In high school I was a size 14/16 and for a girl who found herself in a group where the average was a 2 (and they still dieted) I almost always felt like a failure in that regard.

I distinctly remembering wishing I could develop some type of eating disorder. Where I over exercised and loathed food. That was not going to ever be true for me (And thank God!) but the thought did exist. I remember wondering how it was that I excelled in so many things and yet losing weight was my biggest hurdle. It was like I couldn’t figure it out.

Once my mother asked me if I loved myself. I quizzically answered yes, because why wouldn’t i? And she told me if I loved myself I wouldn’t hold on to all the weight. My mom is always on a weight loss kick so I figured maybe she was on to something. So then it became about self-work. I read articles and mastered the art of Oprah so that I could lose weight through my soul rather than the scale only the weight never came off. Again I was stuck, do I hate myself unknowingly? Am I missing it?

As I grew up and into myself I finally stopped playing the guessing game, “What’s wrong with me?” Opting for the belief that nothing was. My fatness remained an anomaly and for the time being I allowed it to remain unsolvable and unquestioned. It wasn’t until a conversation I had with myself just yesterday that changed things.

I’ve been receiving very clear and exciting (scary) messages from the universe about my next steps. In the process of trying to figure out logistics and prioritize my own professional becoming along with everything else I’m juggling right now I sat down to ask myself how I was going to manage and more importantly why? The conclusion I came to was that the things I’m meant to do are in their fundamental stages and every life experience I’ve had up until now has uniquely prepared me for this moment. Every conversation, every chance encounter, every opportunity, every blog post, every outfit, everything. Including my body. I asked myself if I could speak with any authority on fatness or fat women if I were not, in fact, a fat woman? Likely not.
I asked myself could I hold the space of the group I want to create if I did not look like my participants? Likely not.

IMG_0320Does this mean I can never lose weight for fear of abandoning my audience, no. But it does mean that even this body has a purpose and that I am not separate from it dragging it along as I carry out my calling. It is very much an IMPORTANT part of my call. This is not a cage or a prison, this is me and this is the vessel through which I will touch and change lives. It was a powerful reframe for me.

I shared with Mari and Nicki my fear of expanse. Not physically but of becoming too big. I told Nicki how when I was a kid I used to bump into things constantly. My parents thought I was clumsy or careless but it was truly as if I could not see the wall or I had no idea how much of me needed to fit through the door frame. My sense of self has always been so much bigger than my body and I don’t want to get so big that I lose my boundary. I also fear becoming too ego driven and losing my center, my spiritual side. Mariko reminded me that fear was not a good enough excuse to play small (ha!) and that it is not that all these things I’ll get into redefine or redistribute “Me” Nicki helped remind me that the output of this work isn’t me at all. This is God and I am just the conduit.

When I remembered that I am just the vessel so much of my fear subsided. Zachary told me this before last summer. Not to hold on to the power as if it were mine but to allow myself to be used in service of its distribution. Letting it pass through me and not mistaking it for pieces of me. It helps to ebb the feeling of abandonment or boundarylessness when it leaves.

In all, I’ve never been happier. I found that the place where I have continually stumbled has been the rock I build from. Daring to believe that there is reason and purpose to all things allowed me the space to grow compassion for myself and eventually to forgive and accept myself entirely.

I have already considered the counterclaim that my fatness being of use in this way is an excuse to stay fat. And rather than dismiss it as society influenced fatphobia or propaganda I’ve entertained it. I think it is likely at some point I may lose weight. In fact I am currently tracking my calories in an attempt to eat better more often. However, I do not currently feel like I am “staying fat” for anyone or anything. I simply am. I may not always be. And I imagine as with any part or piece of self, as my body changes my perspectives may. But that doesn’t mean I cannot learn from the vantage point I currently have. It does not mean that I am only valid when I am in pursuit of thinness. It means my purpose is in my right now, and I’m going to answer as my whole fat self.

The Fat Woman breaking point

I got feedback from the article I wrote about my Fat Women study. In the study’s opening I wrote the following:
The current discourse around fat bodies is a simple one: it needs to change. While body-positive and fat-positive popular culture movements are beginning to gain momentum, much of the change is focused around shifting from “thin” as a goal to “healthy” as a goal often underestimating the fact that in our society the two are commonly synonymous.” To which my professor wrote “Any citations here?” To which I thought, “Um yeah ‘America, two-thousand and always'”. I understood what she meant but it irked me none the less.

Later on in the evening I’d find myself capitalizing on a living social deal for two months of free Audible book rentals. I’d recently purchased Andy Cohen’s audiobook and loved it so I wondered what other ear candy I might find. Wondering if I could capitalize on lazy learning I searched the word “fat” to see if perhaps any books I came across might help me in my research. Of course, diet book after diet book. How to lose weight. “French women don’t get fat.” “Japanese women don’t get fat.” “But just in case you’re French or Japanese and accidentally get fat, here’s how to fix it!” Almost 200 books of bullshit propaganda on how to surely feel worse about yourself and look at your body as infected with some disease in need of curing.

Also, for the personal memoirs I encountered many mentioned this a-ha moment of knowing they had to lose weight for their health. With my tongue pressed firmly against my cheek, I roll my eyes. Not because health concerns relating to weight are mythical or to be taken lightly, but because far too often people (fat and non-fat) use health as a guise for discrimination and prejudice against the fat body. It feels much like the good Christian praying for my damned homosexual soul, if you follow. A little too, “Bless your [fat] heart.”

If I continue with the parallel between fat and non-heterosexual ((because in my American life if you’re not straight up Hetero, no cherry Chapstick fantasies then during any given week you’re likely on the chopping block)) then it feels a bit like diets are conversion therapy. As if the only way we know how to react to fat (LGBTQ) body/being is to change it to what we DO know and accept, thin (Hetero). Far too often we dangle health (straightness/cis-gendered) in front of fat (LGBT) people as if it is the key to happiness and a get out of jail free card from discrimination and pain. WRONG! I’m tired of that discourse. I’m tired of the unquestioned associations between healthy and thin and happy. As if the only way to obtain one is to have the other two.

And I’m perhaps most upset because for so long I bought into it. And I buy into it. I have to consciously undo the associations in my head daily, multiple times daily, so that I do not continue to punish myself mistreat myself or deny myself access to joy because my thighs touch. It becomes particularly troublesome when it comes to dating. I turn from a strong capable fiercely independent woman into an unsure insecure frightened girl in desperate need of validation. I’ve gotten better, but the messages that men like a certain type of woman who does NOT look like me, they are there. And here, in Southern California, they are blatant. And repeated. Over. And over. And over again.

And I try to remind myself of who I am. Who I really am, beyond just my jeans size. What I have accomplished what I am destined for and what I have to offer. I also affirm myself. I take photos of myself looking my best. I dress well. I carry myself in a way that is the woman I want to be, not always the woman I am. I’m not ashamed to say much of it is armor. But I am proudest because I can take it all off too. The mascara the gloss the filters the heels and slimming jeans. I can sit with myself naked in all the ways and still I can find light in my smile.

I just wish it wasn’t so damned hard for the world to do the same. To look at a me and see all the things I know I am without wanting to change me. Without seeing me as a problem to be fixed or an enigma to be prayed over for health and healing. Stop worrying about my damn blood pressure and just See me! Stop averting your eyes or stealing uncomfortable glances. Don’t qualify my beauty with “…for a fat girl.” I am worthy simply because I am. Do not wonder the secrets behind my laughter, and companionship as if I’ve stolen them from you. Love is not in limited supply.

My wish is that one day all the fat girls (and boys) women and men feel safe enough to show up. Make them see us. Make them see themselves. And for us to stop retelling the story of body hatred and body wrong-ness. Stop building the fortress around ourselves and believe that we are more resilient than the pain of other people’s insecurities being hurled in our direction. That we are stronger than the pain that reverberates in the cavern of our own being. I want us to know that we matter, we are not mistakes, and we deserve every happiness available in this life. Just the way we are.


Fat is the new Black

Once upon a time arguably one of the worst yet socially acceptable things I could have been called was the nword. Then of course, if I were a lesbian I would have been a dyke. That was the worst. But now that we’re an evolved, post-racial love is love America (tongue firmly in cheek), fat has become the new Black.

Jess sent me an article about the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch who said that his brand caters to the “All-American” cool and beautiful. After I read the article I was filled with a lot of emotions but mostly sadness. Sadness that this is in any way acceptable and honestly sad that someone hates themselves that much they’re emoting that much hate into the world. So after I sent him some love…I had my own epiphany. That I’m just like him.


One of my favorite quotes to re-tweet comes from my friend La. She’s such a feminist. And I never really considered myself to be, but this is one of those quotes that continually hits home. And while the A&F CEO said it very candidly, privately, I reserve “joy” and “love” and “happiness” and “beauty” to a specific demographic as well. But I don’t blame men. Or women. Or any One in particular, its shared.  After reading the article I thought about La’s quote and then I thought about fat brides. Its no secret that I have this irrational contempt for so-called fat brides. I guess in my head for the most perfect day a woman should look her most dazzling and that includes being thin.

What I was failing to realize was that I was imposing unfair, unjust, and horribly judgmental expectations on other women and on myself. This dissonance in The Bride and the overweight woman sounded like an out of tune piano or an amateur cellist. I couldn’t reconcile the two ideals because I in my mind perfect never ever could be anything other than thin. Fit. “Healthy” whatever term most appropriate to describe this woman in my head.

In my defense of all those above a size 10 standing outside the A&F target demographic I found myself also in defense of me. I can’t quite explain it…but it was like I gave myself permission to change the rules and live my own way. I thought back on enduring (very minimal) teasing in middle school about my weight, yet still managing to persevere through it. Same for high school.


So I googled ‘plus size bridal’ and came across a photo. A photo of a woman I don’t think is fat at all. In a dress that flatters her figure. And I imagine women walking down the aisle towards the women or men they love in this dress and feeling love. Not fat. I decided then that these gross thoughts of body ideals were no longer welcome and that in life I would focus my attention to experience rather than how the snapshot of it looks. And I would examine my own insecurities before I jumped to judge anyone else. Its weird that such a lover of love would get caught up in the aesthetics of a “wedding day” over the emotional and spiritual significance. But I think for me so often feeling and being (physically) manifest in tandem. My issue was that the picture I had for happy, as in the type of overflowing happiness found within the container of a wedding dress on a wedding day, was trapped in a size 6.

What a shift. Subtle, but huge in me. And I apologize. To other women, to myself…for judging. For placing limits and conditions on beauty. For restricting joy. For filling the word ‘fat’ with my own loathing and discomfort and thinking it acceptable as a label whether I said it aloud or not.

I recognize that until we as a society turn inward and begin to sort through our own shit, someone is always going to be the nigger. The fag. The fat. There will always be a target whom we will aim our self-hatred at. I, personally want to break the cycle for me. And as always the work boils down to love, and forgiveness which I think is the act of truly loving. 

Everything under the sun

I have a month almost exactly before I board a flight to Jamaica. I set the goal to lose 20lbs before takeoff like a week and a half ago. I have no clue how much weight I’ve lost because I don’t own a scale nor do I desire to…but I bought a pair of jeans a size down from what I normally need. Typically, I am an 18 (in jeans)…but Old Navy recently did some funky stuff with sizing so I was actually a 20 in their jeans and in skinny jeans even that was pushing it. However I comfortably slid into an 18 on Saturday. I decided that was worth it. That and zipping up a size 16 dress. Plus all the water I’ve been drinking has curbed my appetite TREMENDOUSLY. If I only had to offer two pieces of advice I’d say drink more water and keep filling snacks! I’ve leaned on pretzel thins, fruits, almonds and the like for my between meal snack attacks.


All that to say…I’m heading to an island that celebrates curves and I can’t wait. I read an old Fluvia Lacerda article where she talked about having 2 drawers worth of bikinis and her adamant refusal to be obsessed with what other people thought of her body. She was going to “let it all hang out under the sun without the hang-ups.” I loved that so much I made her picture my ipad desktop. Not because of her body…but because of her love of her body. Its not “not giving a Eff” its quite the opposite. Its loyalty and care to self.


I went without makeup last weekend. Something I never, no really…never do. And I had that same feeling Fulvia described; freedom, love, and sunshine. I just wanted to feel the sun on my bare skin. That was my only thought. And I didn’t want to not be able to touch my face for fear of messing it up. I just wanted to be.

I guess I say all that to say, when I head down to Jamrock I want to leave insecurity stateside. If it feels like a day for bareskin I don’t want to think twice about the decision. I refuse to obsess about bathing suits or outfits or anything of the sort. And if you know me, you know that is not me, at all. But I just want to live. Live in the moment and soak it all in as best I can. I just want to feel all I can feel without the barriers or veils of fantasy between us.


In a mere 7 weeks I leave for Jamaica where I will be for exactly 20 days.  Curb your jealous, I know. I know. But I have issued a challenge for myself. In the days between right now and June 8th I want to lose 20lbs.

First, a story. So a while back I mentioned talking to an old friend about her amazingly spectacular  100+ pound weight loss and I set the same goal for myself. Since that time I never stopped wanting it, but I was never truly committed to the goal. I would start something then quit, start then quit, start then…you get the picture. I do not really diet but I do try to eat well, but if I ate as well as I often allude to eat then I highly doubt I’d have some of these issues. But I digress. I can woman up and speak to it, I love sweets. I do.  I have a thing for ice creams and gelatos, cakes and cookies…sweet stuff is my thing. I also snack at night.  These two things I stared at sternly in the corners of my conscious and said to them, You have to go.

Next, I recognized this irrational discomfort surrounding food preparation. Namely because my roommate is a SUPER healthy eater and sometimes I order pizza…so I would eat down in my room and only when she wasn’t in the kitchen would I venture into the kitchen. I realized one day when I let myself get so hungry that my stomach was beating me up as I waited for her to leave the kitchen that I had an issue.  I was ashamed of what I knew I was going to do. It sounds like a drug addict. I remember this one episode of Private Practice when Shepard had gotten hooked back on pills and in an intervention they made her use in front of everyone. The addictions counselor said, “Oh no you don’t, you do it out here for everyone to see.” It felt kind of like that. Only, I don’t want to shame myself, but I do want to be proud of what I’m putting into my body. I want to openly engage in public displays of affection with my own body.

I knew what needed to be done. I mean who doesn’t? Exercise, eat well, drink water…it’s the things you hear all the time only now I want to do them. I watched my birthday cake disappear piece by piece until I finally threw it out because I knew  I would finish it if it stayed. I bought veggies, quinoa, lean meats like salmon and talapia. I said “No” to salt and said “Hell yes” to a gallon of water a day.

And I ran.

IMG_1095I made up excuse after excuse at 6:00am, 7:00am, 8:00am about why I couldn’t go…it was cold…it was foggy…it was WORK was the true reason. I didn’t want to do it. I went to work and had the kind of day where everyone is annoying you just because they are there. I couldn’t pinpoint where my sour mood was coming from. On top of that, I kept being interrupted by bathroom breaks from this darn gallon of water challenge. So I got home, turned on the TV flopped down on the couch and went to my google reader where I saw this (Mama Laughlin). She wrote:

I was SO TIRED and PISSED that I had to get up so early.
That I had to make those kind of sacrifices to get in my workouts.
I was resentful that I didn’t have enough time in the day.
But you know what I did?
I sucked it up, got up, and got my ass to the gym at 5am.
And the craziest thing happened…. within 10 minutes of sweating I started to feel better.
I wasn’t pissed off anymore and my day instantly turned around.
Being that I was in a similar mood I decided…lets go. So I changed clothes, and went for a run (a very slow run) around my neighborhood. Yes I stopped for breaks. Yes I felt like I wanted to d.i.e. because the last mile was uphill. Yes my lungs ached, and my feet were heavy and sweat dripped, and I’m sure cars were passing me like, “She might as well be walking,” but I did not care. 45 minutes later I was home and I felt amazing. I snapped a picture and I decided that the only way to shed some light on all the truth I have been hiding is to do what I always do….invite love in, invite truth in, write.
So here I am. I want to commit to at least archiving the 7 week journey here…maybe later tonight I will create a separate tab just for my #20byTakeoff challenge. But I welcome new visitors, old familiars, supporters, encouragers, strangers, and loved ones to see the yucky underbelly of what it looks like to start from scratch for the bajillionth time.
For my twitter updates: @PhDubb
For my instagram photos: @PhDubb
It ain’t always gonna be pretty, but I promise it’ll always be the truth.



334 lbs of silent average

How do you get to be 334 lbs? That’s how much I weighed at my heaviest in 2008. I hated everything. Literally. And everyday I woke up still trapped in that body, in that life, I hated it more. I had to do everything twice as much just to feel it. Drank more, ate more, even took death just to cry. I was somewhere living under layers of disappointment and stretch-mark covered skin.

The reason I’d buried myself alive, albeit in a tomb of flesh, was because I didn’t know how to make sense of myself. I’d always felt special yet here I was feeling physically unattractive, “dumped”  by P2AD and my dad months before, in a dead end job with no reprieve in sight. Looking back I can aptly articulate that in the time of my greatest despair and turmoil, I never felt so ordinary.

I get asked a lot how or why I’m so honest on my blog. I give a varied version of the same response everytime.  But I think that it boils down to presence, engagement, and awareness. I am not solely defined by my past nor my potential. I am who I am (right now) and that’s all that I am. In having a clear idea of self, I’ve grown to better appreciate others. Of course, right?  But I could no longer look at a 300 lb woman and not want to silently pray for her to put down whatever she’s carrying and to shrug off her excess and allow herself to be seen. Easier said..but I found compassion. Patience. Empathy, all through my own engagement with life. Lastly, awarenesses.  What do you want? Why? When did you first start wanting it? I make it a priority to check in with myself. To pay attention.

So when it comes to sharing, I do it because it scares me a little. What will people say? Or do? Or think…will people comment? Will they think I’m __________? I consider it all. And then I remember fear. The all too familiar feeling of nothing special. The sinking weight of mediocrity. And I publish.  Because fear of average got my to 334lbs. Shame that I did not measure up to my own impossibly high standards I set for myself. I was never going to. I had to accept myself. I was never going to be perfect. But I did have the awesome pleasure of being myself.

It took a great deal of remembering…that I am more than a number on a scale, or in the waistband of jeans. I am not my paycheck. My degrees,  not even my family. I am bigger than all of if, and life is bigger than me. I figure when I strip down to my secrets…someone needs it. I am playing my part. I am fulfilling my purpose.

So…how do you get to 334lbs? Silence. Not saying you need help for fear of judgment, ridicule, confusion. Shame. Of being too much of all the wrong things and not enough of all the right ones. Vanilla. Passing up opportunities because you’ve convinced yourself that only the thin/beautiful/intelligent/wealthy deserve good things.

Speaking up saved my life. It gave me life. And in sifting through the 334lbs of lies and secrecy I came across truth. And love. And divinity. And while I work to transform a body built by quiet mediocrity, my true self shines extraordinary.  Sure of my strength, mostly. Willing and happy to be flawed and myself. But utterly convinced I am anything but average. 

The Bluest Eye. The smallest waist.

I don’t know who she is but I’ve wanted to be her. I don’t know if her life is good. If she’s loved. If she’s funny. If she has a best friend who will rub her back when she cries. I don’t know if she has a gap in her front teeth or wirey hair. I don’t know if she looks up at the heavens and smiles knowingly. All I know is that she is bikini ready. That she can wear cute little outfits without exorbitant amounts of binding allegedly seamless undergarments. She can run and jump and swim and never will her thighs rub the material threadbare in her jeans.

I went to see the play The Bluest Eye today for a class. I watched as Pecola prayed to God, though she was very small, for the bluest blue eyes so she wouldn’t feel so invisible. Toni Morrison wrote of Pecola and her family, “You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.” Somewhere a long the way I’d accepted my own cloak.

I asked myself where it began. This obsession with looking a certain way. Why did it mean somuch? Flashes of my past…encounters with every man (without exception) and their harsh criticisms of my body. Something was always wrong. I do not blame them, or anyone. Those instances…for someone who sought approval and validation…it is worth noting that tonight I heard Rev. Rick Warren say, “If you live for the approval of others, you will die by their rejection.” That hit home. As I just wrote on permission. I thought about how many deaths there have been, waiting, praying, holding my breath and making deals with God that maybe if my hair was better, my waist was smaller and my thighs didn’t touch, then maybe I’d be worth loving. Worth sticking around for.

That’s fucked up.

And I hate that working through stuff makes me feel all…open and woe is me. I don’t want that. But sometimes you have to call a thing a thing, and outloud. Call attention to it before it can slink away into your unconscious and make itself at home.

So I figure, keeping in my theme of surrender I would also like to surrender the prayer. The prayer for the body which serves as the trophy for the perfect life. I have to give it up. I can’t chase it…

A Letter to Fat Girls

Dear Fat Girls,

You are not, nor will you ever be Beyoncè. Stop torturing yourself with the unfair comparisons to her, or any other celebrity who’s body you covet. She is beautiful, but so are you.

Stop reading magazine after magazine, book after book, and blog after blog on How to Lose Weight. You know how, we all know how. But don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t made it work. Don’t think there must be something wrong with you since others can seem to lose, yet you continue to struggle. There is nothing wrong with you. Their journey is theirs and yours is yours.

There is much to be said about the industry dedicated to telling you how your wrongs can be righted. The pills that suppress hunger, the exercise machine that builds muscle, the pre-packed low fat vegan non-dairy dinners that promise a daily allotment of nutrients.  But nothing for the heart.

Fat girls, I know you. I am you. We’re not stupid. We know it takes burning more calories than we consume to lose weight. We know that truly sustainable weight-loss happens from a lifestyle dedicated to health not just bikini daydreams and special K.  We know. But we don’t know how to address the distorted relationship with food.

We don’t know how to say, food was my mother, father, best friend when I had no one else. Food never judged me. Food never scolded me. Food was never cruel, hurtful, or absent. Food never lied, broke promises, or disappointed. How do we begin to separate feelings of safety, comfort, and love–usually reserved for people–from food?


I don’t have an answer. Not a sure fire one. But I can say this, I know I am not, nor will I ever be Beyonce. I recognize that when I read book after book and blog after blog about weight loss that my story is just beginning, and there is nothing wrong with me that I look more before than after. I know that prepackaged promises are not for me, and that my journey begins with following my heart and not expecting a miracle or a quick fix. I recognize that food is food, and am working to reconcile the feelings I have about it at every single meal.

I read a lot of people’s stories. I hear people talk about a moment they had, an epiphany that woke them up and begged for change. I wanted, so desperately, for me (in those moments) to be reading the story that would illicit my own awakening. And each time that it didn’t happen I sunk deeper into a despair that maybe I would always be on the outside looking in at thin. I’ve chased it with such fervor and it has escaped me, true to form, like a thief being chased. Yet now I find myself exhausted by the entire race, I hung my “size 14 goal pants” in the back of my closet and thought gingerly of throwing them out all together.

And here in my exhaustion, I’ve found myself eating cleaner working out more regularly and being content with my reflection in the mirror. I have not looked at my thighs with disgust or disdain, and I’ve found them getting firmer. So, I say it has to be in the surrender. Fat girls, sometimes its about the fight. But othertimes its about the surrender. Giving in to the feelings we eat to escape. Giving in to being tired after running up 1 flight of stairs. Its important to know exactly where you are, I think. Because only when you sit and truly look at where you dwell can you make the decision to stay or to go.

Lastly, I have to say that it wasn’t the number on the scale. It wasn’t the rising jeans size or the new body discomforts. It wasn’t the 3rd strapless and unflattering bridesmaid dress, or the inability to fasten a seatbelt on a rollercoaster. It wasn’t the threat of diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. It wasn’t even the growing chance of being sterile. It was the little voice inside of me that reminded me of who I am and what I could do.

No, fat girls, I am not Beyonce. I am Jessica. I am overweight, and haven’t even lost enough to be considered an authority on doing it right or well. My relationship with food is fucked up. I am trying to make peace with eating well and working out. I struggle, I fail, I hate admitting how hard this is. Fat girl, you might think I’m just talking…But I know you. I am you. And I love you.

On my lips

Losing weight is not nor has it ever been about losing weight. After I finished that last post, I got dressed and went on a run/walk around my neighborhood. I listened to the Belle Brigades and went to explore. Down unexplored streets and finding new views; I was looking for the sting in my lungs.

It was an hour later when I was laying on my floor dripping sweat and meditating when the thought came to me, losing weight is not about losing weight. Then I decided it was time to take some financial advice from Suze Orman and get really honest.

When I moved home from Nashville back in 2008, I was at my heaviest and I weighed 324lbs. May I just pause and in this moment reflect on what it is like for me to admit that out loud and to the entire world? I was 324lbs and so incredibly fragile. I was at the edge and incidentally, the furthest I have ever been to feeling powerful. To write that, to know that people many people will read this and know the dirty ugly truth of my life…feels good. Nothing grows in darkness except mushrooms. So I was 324 and once I moved out on my own, started to eat better, feel better and live better…find my stride in life and in my profession…a profession, might I add, that saved my life I got down to 260. When I look at the photos I don’t see it. I don’t see 60lbs gone, it didn’t feel miraculous or monumental or anything even close to that. It felt like I was 260lbs and needed to be half that. I was still not in a place where I could celebrate or even recognize my victories. I was still numb to my self.

All of that came to me in my shower after the run and after the meditation. You know how to physically do this, you have done this before. You know it and there was still a disconnect and I had the thought again, LOSING WEIGHT IS NOT, NOR HAS IT EVER BEEN ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT. I remembered old episodes of Oprah and old thoughts and reflections about how if I kept making losing weight this huge monumental mountain, and if I approached it with the mindset that it was damn near impossible that I was setting myself up for failure. And yet, I didn’t have an alternative. I didn’t know how else to think about it. I could not, having lived the life I have lived with the experiences I have experienced, reframe my view on losing weight.

Until today.

When I made the parallel between what power felt like and the sensation of running, something click for me. This is not about losing weight, or getting fit, or any of those pseudonyms we use for looking attractive to the general public. This was about being intimately connected to my power. I need to feel that connection, I need to step into my power and when I saw how to do it, I had to try. I pushed myself to keep going because the longer I went the more I felt it. And the more I wanted to cry. I was walking up hill and sweat was seeping from the bend in my arm, such an uncomfortable place to sweat, and I saw a license plate that said “Just4Jes” and I started to cry. I started to cry because it was an external manifestation of my exact internal feeling…this was about finding myself, and if I see it in that way then it’s not impossible or even daunting, it’s invigorating and inviting and inspiring and freeing and overwhelming in the best way.

It clicked for me today. And in my moment of honesty with myself and with the world, I felt so beautifully connected. It means very little to reveal numbers or even thoughts because I am not those things. I am. And nothing comes after that, nothing that follows that very compete sentence can hold me captive in shame in judgement in persecution in solitude in bondage in loneliness in silence.

I feel nothing but grace and gratitude right now, for daring to chase it, to try. I am emotional and happy and at peace.

…and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. –Anaïs Nin

Truth. Lies. Invictus and taking victories.

What would you be doing if you thought anything was possible? It was the question that Marianne Williamson just tweeted to the masses who follow her. I asked myself. And I thought, rather self righteously, “exactly what I’m doing now.” But it was a lie. I answered again I would be running. That was the truth.

Perhaps not right now, as its midnight here in SoCal, but I think of it every single day. There was a moment earlier in my afternoon where I was laying on my couch, willing myself to wait “5 more minutes” before I fixed a snack hoping upon hope that the 5th minute never came. It didn’t. I’ll take a victory where I can get it. But I was laying and thinking of running and how badly I wanted to go do it. Just be able to jog a few miles and clear my mind, think of nothing and see the city by foot. I remembered my shoes. How badly they hurt my feet, I guess they’ve gotten too small. It felt pitiful, like an excuse. I wouldn’t go anyway…I haven’t, after all. But I want to.


Why does it feel so insurmountable? Well…let’s start with the fact that I am out of shape. I did about 10 minutes of Jillian Michaels’ 30-day shred and sat down defeated. I talked to a lot of friends and have read a lot of blogs raving about at-home exercise…I get no motivation from it. I think I finally learned that lesson. Its not that I cant do more than 10 minutes, I think its just too easy to give up at home. Home is for peace. Home is for relaxing. Home is for comfort. My thoughts of home and my thoughts of exercise contradict. Its exactly why I don’t work or study at home. I’ll take that lesson.  Home is not the answer.

I silently scrolled through Tumblr asking myself “but how?” And the words “love something more” came to mind. If I believe that I cannot be a runner then that thought, that negativity has conquered me, and last I checked I was unconquerable. More than I feel I can’t, I have to know I can.

Watching Say Yes To the Dress tonight so many women had lost 40-100lbs in an effort to look a certain way for their wedding day but when they looked in the mirror they didn’t feel it. They still felt and saw that girl from before. Its why I am adamant about doing the mental work. Shifting inside out. Changing my frequency.

I can’t believe it, the goal, the 100lbs is bigger than me or bigger than my capabilities. I have to see, visualize, its completion and truly believe it is attainable. How will I look, feel, sound, I have to picture it and hold it. And I have to love that with a passion. I have to literally catch fire with anticipation of its coming into fruition. The truth is what I make it. And the thoughts I have dictate the life I lead. So it has to start there…I have to lose it there first. That’s the only way its going. That’s the only way I run.