This is my second blog in this new self-care journey with the intention of losing 100 pounds through diet, exercise, and a severe attitude adjustment – all based on Carolyn Brent’s upcoming book, Transforming Your Life through Self-Care: A Guide to Tapping into Your Deep Beauty and Inner Worth.
It’s a pretty vulnerable thing being so public with this I Can. We Can. blog series. But the dialogue it creates and the accountability factor are worth it. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback at this point, and it falls into three categories:
- You Can Do It, Kathy! People really want me to succeed, even those who do not know me personally. Since many have seen me on a version of this journey before, I think the unsaid subtext is also – “Don’t let me down.” That’s a powerful motivator.
- Stop Calling Yourself Fat. People think I am using the “F” word as a put-down of myself. No, I use it because it is a true word. Fat is what I need to get rid of. Unfortunately, society has put so much negative garbage behind that word, but I am going to own it and use it to take authority of my life.
- Here’s What You Should Eat. This kind of advice is meant well, but not really helpful and sort of condescending. In my experience, many fat people are experts on nutrition and diets. I will give you my own diet history in future blogs, but, honestly, do you really think fat people believe going to bed every night with Ben and Jerry (the ice cream, not the guys) is a good idea?
So here is where I currently am in terms of exercise, diet, and attitude:
- I have been exercising at least three times a week – swimming, light weights, stretching, and a sit-down step master. It is hard to make the time, and it is not fun yet except my body actually feels looser and in less pain after the stretching and swimming.
- I have switched to a vegan/vegetarian diet. I am enjoying it and don’t miss the meat at all. I have also found that it helps me in two important ways. First, going vegetarian takes away some favorite foods. Barbecue, pepperoni pizza, sesame chicken, fried chicken – gone. Second, vegan/vegetarian requires more thinking and that is good for me because I have to plan and actually think about what I am putting in my mouth.
- I am still charged up and have a positive attitude, but that is not unusual for me.. I can do anything for 30 days with boundless enthusiasm. Then I go off the cliff. So that’s the work I am doing with Carolyn – how not to go off the cliff and stay out of the danger zone.
Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your thoughts and progress. Yes, going public can be a pretty vulnerable place to be, but there is an upside. You have created an “accountability” factor for yourself, which is a good thing. And you are getting out of your “comfort” zone to reach beyond to a place you’ve never experienced before.
I know exactly how you feel from hands-on experience. Many years ago I suffered from an injury that changed my life. One of my doctors cautioned me: “Carolyn, you will be in a wheelchair if you don’t start practicing self-care.”
What a sobering moment, and I too went public during my wellness journey by practicing bodybuilding, and then going on stage to be judged by professionals. Sometimes we MUST get out of our comfort zone and push ourselves beyond any place or anything we’ve ever done.
Now, I’d like to address the three things you mentioned regarding the feedback you are getting.
- You Can Do It, Kathy! Yes, most people want to see you succeed. But don’t worry about letting them down. You are practicing wellness and lifestyle changes for YOU. This is your journey.
- Stop Calling Yourself Fat. Unfortunately, many people do view the “F” word as a putdown and a bad thing. Well, I’m here to tell you I am “fat” too! You just can’t see it. I have a family history of heart disease, and have been battling high cholesterol since I was 22 years old. My mother, age 63, two brothers in their early 50’s, and my younger sister at age 49 all died of heart disease and high cholesterol complications. So I have to be very careful about trans and saturated fats. Looks can be very deceiving.
- Here’s What You Should Eat. For anyone to provide his or her personal advice is like a stranger writing you a prescription and having no knowledge about you. Ignore unsolicited advice. That’s why I am here as your coach. As my wise father once told me, “Just because a person has a mouth doesn’t mean they have anything to say.”
As to your Week Two progress, when you first start anything new it’s hard to carve out the time, but you are already starting to feel the benefits of a good body workout. So keep it up and follow this advice:
- Continue using light weights. But, increase your repetitions by working up to fifteen repetitions — three times. Take your time and make sure all of your repetitions are effective.
- Be sure to switch body parts — one-day upper, next day lower.
- Continue stretching before and after your workout.
- Continue swimming on the days you have on your schedule.
Switching to a vegan/vegetarian diet sounds like it’s working very well for your body and blood type. Yes, planning your meals and exercise routine is vital. So continue practicing daily your new lifestyle changes.
You will overcome the 30 days block. I believe in you.
(Learn more about Kathy Palokoff).
Empower Learning with Educational-Focused Content 🌎 Carolyn A. Brent is an award-winning and bestselling American author, bodybuilder and eldercare legislation advocate. Designated as an Editor’s Choice, she was reviewed by the Library Journal as well. Verdict: excellent! Her work grace the bookshelves both national and international libraries such as The Library of Congress, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins Medical Research Library, Stanford University and more. Harlequin | Thorndike Press —Gale, A Cengage Company, has made it available in LARGE print and hardcover to colleges, universities, and libraries nationwide.
Brent is also known as a National Physique Committee (NPC) Masters Women’s Figure Champion—1st Place Winner Age 60 category; and Health & Wellness Guru. She is the founder of Across All Ages and two nonprofit organizations, CareGiverStory Inc., and Grandpa’s Dream.