done looking for the critics (week 10)

I flew into Texas earlier in the week. My flight landed early in the morning, and I immediately went to breakfast (really lunch for me given my early flight) with my mom. Then it was shopping and finally the first massage of my life. After that, it was welcoming my aunt's surprise visit and then setting about making, and eventually consuming, dinner (my mom grilled salmon, we made eggplant ratatouille, and also made mashed potatoes out of cauliflower - it was delicious).

The quickness of the trip continued when I made breakfast for my mom (a 2 egg and 3 egg white scramble with a poblano pepper, a green bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach, and feta cheese along with a side of canadian bacon), finished getting ready for the day, and then spent the following afternoon with my mom, my aunt, and my nana where we ate lunch at a Japanese restaurant (I ate a house salad, sashimi with jalapeno and cilantro as an appetizer, and then also a sashimi roll with fish and avocado).

There are some principles I haven't followed for the first two weeks of the South Beach Diet. I mentioned some previously but have added more - like several glasses of wine and a total of one cupcake over the span of two weeks.

I also mentioned before, and will continue to mention, that I refuse to be angry at myself for these things. Because this is real life, and real life is meant to be enjoyed - not just survived.

It all comes down to choice. Sometimes we don't make the perfect choices, but we can still say no to the things we don't really need.

We had a shrimp boil, and I said no to both the potatoes and corn (I eat steamed cauliflower and broccoli instead) but yes to the wine and part of a cupcake. I could easily think that these yeses were a mistake, or I could remind myself that it is not every day that I am in Texas, celebrating my mom's birthday, and that it's okay to enjoy a few glasses of wine - especially since I rarely drink in Oklahoma.

I'm adhering, still, to the principles of mainly carbohydrate and sugar free eating but balancing it with the beauty that life offers in the form of a glass of pinot grigot.

And I am so thankful for this week. It's offered me the chance to look at myself and my life and to see just how far I've come. It's also providing me the chance to realize just how much I enjoy this process of healthy living and thus sharing my experiences.

As I said earlier, my mom surprised me with a hot stone massage. I've always loved the idea of a massage, but I've always been fearful of actually having one. I carry most of my stress in my neck and shoulders, and so I am always tense. Whenever someone tries to rub my shoulders, it tends to hurt because of how much stress I carry and because of how tender I am.

Luckily, the massage was a wonderful experience. It didn't hurt. I felt relaxed the whole time, and I couldn't believe an hour had already passed.

The strange part was that I talked to the masseuse the entire time. Most of the conversation was about exercise, food, and eating healthy. Maybe I should have been quiet and just relaxed, but I felt a little awkward lying face down on the massage table, naked and covered by a sheet, while someone worked on all the kinks in my body. So I talked.

And after the massage ended, once I finally rolled off the table and got dressed, I felt incredibly relaxed as well as incredibly excited that I got to talk to someone about what I've done so far to lose weight.

I tell people that I started this journey at the end of April in 2011 and that I've lost 35 pounds so far. The response is always the same - excitement of my loss and encouragement at how well I have done so far. It's hard for me to accept that response as I often feel like I haven't lost enough weight and quickly enough. But what I realized after the massage was that it doesn't matter how quickly the weight comes off.

I wanted to lose 100 pounds in a year. That's not going to happen. It wouldn't be healthy to lose 65 pounds in three and a half months. But those 100 pounds will come off - maybe in a year and a half or maybe in two years. And as it comes off, I'll be able to continue to share my story and remind people that it is possible to lose weight.

My desire to be on The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition is still present. But I'm now more aware of how important it is for people to see someone "normal" (AKA without a famous trainer, unlimited grocery budget, or environment designed to help weight loss) clawing and crawling and fighting to lose the weight at home.

Because we all deserve to be healthy and happy. And we all have the tools to do it. I just hope that my story somehow gives you the tools to do it; because if I can do it (and I can), then I promise you can too.

If it takes a year, great. If it it takes longer than a year, great. As long as we do it, the time doesn't matter.

(title from "f*ckin perfect" by pink)

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