Friday, September 11, 2009

Applying my GPA to my Thighs

I am a New Year baby.  This means that forty knocked on my door on the morning of January 1st, 2009.  By May 15th, I finished my undergraduate degree (well, mostly).  By June 13th, I was sprinting down the aisle to wed my handsome Garrett.  I would have thought that sleep would have been an option at that point.  Nope.  Six days after my nuptials I was training with my newly acquired "other" Mom out at Kenneth Hahn Park, Bonnie.  This instantly turned into a 3-4 day per week 6:30/7:00am commitment.  

In fact, today I was out there extra early.  Extra early being 6:27AM.  But this is what I saw when I arrived upon "the hill."  The sun was not yet up, offering only hints of another hot day in the eastern California sky.  The day was looking gorgeous and I couldn't wait to get it started.

I have been working out up here for about two and a half months.  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find me here at this hour.  Sometimes I am here on Saturdays.  And what amazes me most is that I continue to do so.  I haven't given up on it.  I haven't talked myself out of it.  I haven't fibbed to get out of it.  All I want is more of it.  

You see, I have a blockage about my body image.  I am about 50-60lbs over my ideal weight - that which makes me feel most comfortable in my own skin.  Weight management for me has been a challenge since I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Patience, when I was twenty-two years old.  Usually on the manageable end of this challenge, I have encountered two difficult periods of weight gain.  Once, I gained drastically during a post traumatic stress period in my late twenties.  This occurred after I was a victim to a violent crime (I will get into that story on another day).  For three years, I suffered and I gained.  

This second problematic gain came during my latest attempt at undergraduate education - a six-year journey.  When I started at Santa Monica College in 2003, I weighed a sexy 155lbs or so.  Now, do the math.  With every semester, I buried my head further and further into my studies.  It was my intent to overcome my educational obstacles and, in doing so, paid no mind to my body.  I did spend my third year preparing for and running in a 5k.  I built my endurance but I did not lose the weight.  By the time I enrolled at USC in the fall of 2006, my weight had maxed and, frankly, I did not want to know the real truth of the actual figures in pounds.  However, with everything I had learned through my education and my sustainability pursuits together with the sound advice of some dear friends, I began to change how I consumed.  My whole household changed their perspective on what we were consuming versus what we should be consuming.  Conscious consumption had been born in our home.  

So while we made efforts to go organic in addition to cutting out things like high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated whatever oil, the weight was still there.  Some came off.  I don't know how much.  I just know that my clothes fit better and my complexion was better.  I felt better but I was still 50+ pounds heavier than my comfort weight.  

The entire time that I pursued my education, I had this fantasy.  I wanted to apply my grade point average to my body.  I wanted a great big old fat tube of GPA that I could squeeze out in massive amounts and rub onto my thighs and my upper arms and my belly like a heavy night cream.  Really, this was my fantasy.  The way I saw it, I was achieving monumental goals through the exercise of my brain on a daily basis.  I was assaulting my blockages psychologically to retrain how I approached mental processes.  I was winning this battle and, as a result, receiving outstanding scholarship awards and grants - massive recognition to help me achieve my academic goals.  It seemed that the higher my GPA grew, so did my weight.  So, I thought to myself, why couldn't I apply the same techniques that I used to get past my own mind to get past my own body?  This fantasy eluded me as I continued to chose my studies over my body.  

Upon graduation and wedding, my unspoken fantasy surfaced.  It has come to fruition in the most unexpected ways.

I get to work out with my new mom-in-law, Bonnie.  And one of my trainers is my new sister-in-law, Tianna.  The local natural environment is our gym.  Our trainer, our coach, Erich Nall, presents such a positive force that there is never any doubt.  Ours is a family environment that extends to everyone on the hill.  Always smiling, always laughing, we have a great time while we put our best selves forward challenging the physical and mental barriers within us.  It is all of these factors that keep me accountable and committed and excited about this new venture in total wellness.  

In my near-three months that I have been participating in applying my GPA to my thighs, I have shed somewhere between 6-10lbs.  My physicality is in constant positive change and my mental processes are smoothing out.  I am loving the heck out of conquering fears and blockages that have been there for years.  And, I am eager to see what each new day brings.  

I may still be tired and I may still be pounds over my ideal but I am making progress toward my own personal transformation.  And, like a mentor of mine said to me today, "If you are moving in the right direction, why stop and ask for directions?"  Gaining the weight took me six solid years, so dropping it isn't going to happen overnight.  I will remain focused and patient and revel in the little accomplishments along the way.  My new husband loves me exactly as I am.  I am already the cake.  I am adding the icing along the way.  

OH, man.  Did I just say cake and icing?


  1. Wow quite a story. With all good dedication anything is possible. If you can be a Trojan Alumna then you can do anything. All it takes is determination and the support.. and you know we all got ur back !

  2. You speak to the whole wide world!!! I felt as if we was in the room together having a conversation as I read your short bio. I remember how you helped me at a time I needed guidance. I look forward to reading more xxs

    Nat UK

  3. Love this! And can totally relate as a member of the 40 club. I started working out on January 1, 2009. Don't think I've lost a pound, but I feel great!