Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Life

Weekly six-pack, 2017, v25

Not much to report this week. Which I like.

Reading. ARC of Grist Mill Road (why not actually read one before it releases?) and The Locals. Two because one is an ebook and sometimes I need a screen break. Nothing from the library or NetGalley.

Watching. Random shows all over the place and nothing consistently. I think I went 3 days without turning on the TV for me (I watched the American Ninja Warrior finale under duress). I did watch the Emmys. Mixed feelings on the Sean Spicer thing but hooray for all the history making!

Eating. Cookie butter Oreos. You must eat them, too. It’s a moral imperative.

Raging. Just when it seemed like fucking 45 was going to act like a human, he goes and acts just like himself again. From the golf ball gif to failing to recognize or show any sympathy for Mexico and Puerto Rico (and we all know exactly why, too) to the Rocket Man nonsense (so it’s okay to quote a gay man but not okay to make sure they have rights? Got it) and everything else he continues to do, I don’t even know what to do with myself some days. I can’t even rationally address the health care situation. I have never in my life had less respect for a person or been more afraid for my and my country’s safety.

Loving. Bagels. Not like I can eat them but I wanted to profess my love anyway.

Laughing.

Have a great weekend guys! See you on Tuesday!

8 things I’ve learned about losing weight

Over the last 11 months, I’ve lost a bunch of weight. I’m not comfortable disclosing the actual amount but it’s enough that I need all new everything and that people I see regularly, including the owner of my gym, notice. I mean, I don’t see it but apparently it’s there.

I’m not saying that to brag or show off or make you feel terrible about yourself. Because honestly, this was a decision I made for me and if you make a different one for you, that’s cool. I support whatever you want to do and whatever is best for you. But after the 80th or so time of my weight being alluded to in conversation (and the final time by a woman for whom I have a ton of respect), I was sick of comments. I needed to change something (aside: it is never, ever okay to comment on someone’s weight. No matter how self-deprecating you might be in your comment, even as a form of commiseration, you’d be better off shutting the fuck up. If you think you should say something, don’t. Just don’t. This applies also if a person is naturally skinny because there are people who want to weigh more and simply can’t).

So I did.

Truth be told, it’s hard. So. Fucking. Hard. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you (incidentally, one thing you learn through losing weight is that sugar is in everything. Every blessed thing). But when you commit to doing it, you learn some things:

  1. Social media will either inspire you or make you feel worse. There is no in between. You will either look at pictures of people who’ve lost tremendous amounts of weight and feel like you too can conquer your weight loss or you’ll feel like it’s insurmountable and you’ll never be successful. You’ll figure it out rather quickly, which is nice, and once you do, go with it. For me, I can’t look at it because I’m in the latter camp. It’s better for me to ignore. I have enough self-esteem issues.
  2. Speaking of social media, you are under no obligation to declare anything on any form of social media. You do not have to post weekly pictures or check-ins of your weight loss or mention on Facebook that you’re on a diet or anything of that nature. If it helps you be accountable, then go for it. But if you’re like me, you need to do it quietly and in your own world. We live in this weird world of oversharing and being public about every fucking thing and if you’re fairly private, you feel awkward sharing and that may have to do with…
  3. The fact that you are fucking ashamed and embarrassed. Because OMG, HOW DID I GET SO DAMN FAT? Well, you might not say those exact words but I definitely did. Sharing my weight loss progress on social media meant and means admitting publicly what I say to myself daily. And because I judge myself so harshly I assume that others will do the same.
  4. However, you’ll need to get over your shit because without a support network you will fail. Specifically, having people who encourage you even on your worst days will make all the difference. For you it might be a FB group or an online community or your spouse. For me, it was friends I made at the gym (and trust when I say I struggle making friends. I’m weird and awkward and self-conscious so making friends was a huge step for me). There are two women there, not counting some of the instructors, who have helped me through this whole process probably even more than they realize. Without them I might have quit months ago. Also…
  5. Find exercise and an eating plan you can live with. Eating low carb and running isn’t going to help you if you’re miserable every minute of every day or dread doing it. Counting calories and Zumba aren’t going to work if you hate them. There are tons of options for how to eat and how to exercise. Find what makes you happy and fits with your life because that is the only way to keep at it on the days you really really don’t want to. But remember that…
  6. It’s okay to take it easy for a day. Or even a week. Most people cannot be committed to perfect eating and exercising 100% of their days. So it’s fine for you to go off-plan for a day and feel like a normal person. Just don’t step on the scale for a few days afterwards because it will kill your motivation and self-esteem and you will berate yourself more than usual. Fine, that might be just me but feeling “normal” is sometimes the only way to sustain the long arduous process of losing weight.
  7. While we’re talking about the scale, it is also essential that you have nonscale victories. Sometimes the scale might not move but a pair of pants you couldn’t fit into 6 months ago are too loose or your rings will fall off or being able to run a 5K without stopping. You must celebrate those victories in some way. I don’t care if it’s with new makeup or a manicure or an IG post or a piece of cake. You must celebrate and acknowledge your progress. Your mental health through the process will thank you.
  8. And finally, accept that this is not an easy thing to do. It’s not a quick process at all. Basically, losing weight fucking sucks balls. Hard. You will want to quit on more days you want to keep going. Getting off the couch in the cold and rain to go to the gym is awful. Eating with no restrictions is fun; counting calories is not. Your self-image will take a beating one day and you’ll feel amazing the next. But. If it’s something you want for yourself–and, let’s be clear. You must want to do this for yourself and no one else–it is worth every agonizing day.

If you’re curious how I’ve lost weight, it’s simple. I use the app Lose It, eat mostly protein and veggies (with some exceptions. You can pry my cheese out of my cold, dead hands), and take a variety of exercise classes (boxing, Pilates, and BodyPump. I’ve also started running 3 days a week. I double up some days if I need to). That’s genuinely it. Nothing gimmicky, nothing tricky, nothing else.

Also. Who you are doesn’t change whether you’re thin or fat or somewhere in between. You will still be you and who you are is just fine. But if you want to change the packaging, I say go for it.

Let me be clear. I’m not at all qualified to tell you what you need to do to lose weight. You should consult a doctor or nutritionist or even a health blogger. I’m just a formerly fat lady who’s less fat now. And, if I may, I’m kind of proud of that.

P.S. Set your own goals. You know how much you want to weight or what your ideal clothing size is. Aim for that and don’t let anyone else dictate what it is. Unless it’s a doctor. Maybe listen to a doctor’s suggestion.

P.P.S. When I say fat, it’s an adjective. It’s not a moral judgement. Fat does not mean bad or less than or whatever else we as a society use it to mean as a value or person’s worth.

Weekly six-pack, 2017, v24

My to-do list looks like this: 1. Get my shit together. That’s actually the only item on there. I am a mess lately and the harder I try to fix it, the worse it gets. Not sure why. I think I need a weekend to just get ahead and that’s not happening any time soon. So I’ll just settle for being a shitty, messy adult. It’s pretty much my only option. 

That being said, here’s some snippets from the past few weeks so you know what I have and haven’t been up to:

Reading. Finishing up Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions. Picked up 3 new ones from the library (The Locals, Janesville: An American Story, and Bird Box), got a couple from NetGalley that I probably won’t read until a year passed the pub date like all the other ones I have, and have a couple I need to buy. I think I need a readcation or readathon is in order. 

Watching. After bingeing the shit out of Rectify, I don’t have the emotional bandwith for another show right now but am looking forward to a few new ones, including two on Netflix, one of which stars Regina King who is one of my all-time favorites (it’s called Seven Seconds for those who are curious).

Planning. All the things I’m going to buy. Losing weight is an expensive thing. Not so much in the methods for losing it (calorie tracking and running are mostly free) but the end result means new clothes and bras and ring guards and I hate to shop because there’s a whole bunch of mental problems that going along with it. And I still have more I want to lose so everything right now is interim and I get to do this again in a few months. Awesome. I also have fun things like a Paperwhite and books and makeup I plan to buy, too. Those do not cause me stress or affect my mental health.

Needing. A change of scenery. I admit that the view from my backyard isn’t terrible and I’m not that far from the beach but I’m getting itchy feet and need to see somewhere new and different. I’ll be in Dallas in a few weeks and I hope that satisfies my need but I’m not convinced it will. When you need a change of scenery or your wanderlust kicks in and you don’t have the time or tons of funds available to actually go on a real trip or adventure, what’s your favorite way to scratch the itch?

Drinking. Obsessively consuming the maple pecan cold brew from Dunkin Donuts. You can have your PSLs. I take these any days over that shit.

Winning. Mother of the year. I told my child she is garbage chicken. 

 

This weekend I’ll be heading up to my parents’ house for the final visit to my childhood home. My parents are moving shortly and I need to say goodbye to the place they’ve lived for 32 years. It’s bittersweet but I know it’s necessary for them. Hope your weekend is less emotional than mine and I’ll see you guys back on Tuesday!  

Add It To My List: Escapist edition

Remember last week when I ranted about needing to protect my sanity because of the chronic shit 45 puts this country through? I figured that maybe some of you guys are going through something similar and so, for this month’s edition of Add It To My List, I’m giving you my recommendations for when the news is too much and you need an escape. 

Podcasts

Seriously. Listen to these even if you’re not a podcast junkie.

  1. Homecoming. I might have mentioned this before (in fact, I’ve probably mentioned all of these before) but this one is fucking spectacular. It’s got a celebrity cast (no joke. Catherine Keener and David Schwimmer and Amy Sedaris and more), the writing is incredible and, for season 2, there’s even a book to go along with each of the 6 episodes. It’s a dual escape!
  2. Conversations with People Who Hate Me. Hosted by Dylan Marron, these are the civil conversations we need to be having with people who disagree with us. There’s only 4 episodes so far so you’re not too far behind. 
  3. All the Books! Need more books in your life? Want to know all about new releases? Then you need this podcast. Liberty and Rebecca are book enthusiasts to the zillionth degree and they’re entertaining as hell. Also, Liberty has a spinoff podcast called All the Backlist! that’s about older books. It’s a good one, too. 
  4. Alice Isn’t Dead. Listen before it’s a book and a TV show! Seriously. It’s weird and crazy and surreal and satire and hard to follow sometimes but it’s quite excellent. 

I’ve left off all my true crime podcasts (there’s a lot. A LOT) because maybe you’re not in a good place to listen to murder and stuff like that but if you want some recommendations for that genre, let me know 

Instagram

Who doesn’t like to look at pictures? These accounts provide some of my favorites.

  1. Happy Tails Resort. It’s a boarding facility in Norfolk and they have a pool and watching all the dogs swim is basically the highlight of my days
  2. Introvert Doodles. Marzi is smart and funny and she really really gets me and the introvert life (even if I am more of an ambivert). I want her coloring book!
  3.  Quincy. He’s a dog. A Bichon, specifically, and he used to be insanely popular when Vine was a thing. Now I follow them on IG. You should, too.
  4. Katie Ryan. Well, it’s more for her kid (Ava) but the kid is fucking hilarious. Please, please watch some of the videos. This kid is a like a next-generation Kate McKinnon, I swear. 

I also follow lots of publishing houses and authors so let me know if you’d like some of those. It’s how I learn about many of the books I read. 

TV Shows 

Going with some old friends this time around. 

  1. Roseanne. My favorite sitcom of all-time and I can watch every episode forever and ever. 
  2. The Golden Girls. If you don’t love them, you have no soul.
  3. The Wonder Years. Fundamental viewing for this 80s kid
  4. That 70s Show. It’s so stupidly funny but I can’t not laugh all the time. 

Songs

This was the most difficult to narrow down because of the playlists that Erin and I have but I tried to pick songs that have never been represented and aren’t exclusively from the hard rock category. 

  1. The Anthem by Good Charlotte
  2. Cry Tough by Poison
  3. Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard
  4. Ain’t It Heavy by Melissa Etheridge

What would you add to my list? 

Linking up with Lauren and Bre

Weekly six pack, 2017, v23

Trying to get back into the swing of things. It’s not going well but at least I get an A for effort. Hell, I’d settle for a C at this point. And average is good. 

Reading. Definitely not blogs but most certainly books. Plowing through The Good Daughter, picked up The Cleaner, and have only two more before I start to tackle the NetGalley queue. 

Watching. Um…nothing? I have this habit of bingeing on a few shows at once and then barely turning on the TV for weeks.  I have a few shows I DVR and then watch all on one day (currently: Ray Donovan, Snowfall, John Oliver) but that’s it. I couldn’t even tell you when a few of the shows I like to watch are starting and I know there’s one new one but if you gave me money I couldn’t name it. 

Eating. Now that I’ve finally detoxed from Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids, I’m on the cheese and tomato train. And cashews. 

Raging. At the Mets. I have accepted that this year, they suck balls. Big time suck balls. It’s fine because it comes with the territory of being a Mets fan. It’s heartache and rage wrapped in a awesomeness and delight. HOWEVER. WHY ARE THEY TRADING AWAY EVERYONE WHO HELPS THEM BE BETTER ? They’ve majorly unloaded and it’s a horror show and I’m having a really hard time liking them right now. 

Running. No, that’s it. I’ve been running. I hate every single step and every single minute but my weight loss has stalled a bit and my boxing instructor said that running is a good way to kick it back in the ass (my words, not hers. She was more polite) and it seems to be working for the most part. We’ll see what happens. 

Wanting. All the things. I have a list of like 46 items I plan to buy as money allows because I am a girl whose wants are currently bigger than her budget. Why couldn’t this have happened back in June, when it was my birthday? Oh, well. Hanukkah and Christmas are soon.  

Quick admin note: in a few short weeks, they’ll be some aesthetic changes around these parts. I’m excited for them. Tanya fucking rocks!