Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fight those calories and women who bear cupcakes!

It is nearly ten minutes until 6 AM, and I already can tell that today is going to be a good day.

How can I be so sure?  Well, I am drinking coffee from my favorite cup, and carrot muffins have delighted their way into my oven, and soon one (or two) of them will be in my belly.  OK.  Probably just one.  I plan to go for a run this afternoon, weather permitting, and we have a photoshoot this evening with a good (however new) friend (again, weather permitting).

The point of this particular post is not to lure you with muffins and coffee, but the opposite, really.  Or is it?  I can't be sure.  What I am getting at is that yesterday morning, I asked a friend what sort of cupcakes I should bring to our very last small group meeting Wednesday morning, which began a dialogue.

You see, I have been struggling to deliver cupcakes to people since the start of the year, as a small gathering of dedicated men and women have joined together to slim down as a contest of sorts.  Some of them have done incredibly well, and now, during the last week of said "contest," they are really trying to keep the momentum going.  And I think it is great.

Really, I do.

Really: to the point of tears.  There is very little that makes me happier than people who conquer their food issues.  All of us who have done it know that it is an ongoing battle, but it can be done; and... and... I really am struggling with where to go here.  Pictures.

This is me, now(ish):

Remember, from yesterday?

This is me 10 years ago:

Yes.  On the left.  More?  OK.

Someone told me a pixy was a good idea.  And one more...

Geez.  I am hoping this was just the worst angle ever.  I thought that shirt made me look thin.  EESH.

First of all, let me tell you what I was doing 10-12 years ago.  I was in Bible college in middle Tennessee, and I was not happy.  I went there for three reasons:

1.  If I went, I got to keep my car (if I went to Converse where I was already enrolled with scholarships, my car stayed at home).
2.  I chose Converse because... well, Converse had no essay on its application.
3.  Converse was an all-girls' liberal arts school and would 8 years of single-sex education make me into a lesbian?

I admit, all ridiculous reasons.  All RIDICULOUS reasons.

I struggled at this Bible school to fit into the mold of what was a "godly woman," in my vintage clothes and pixy-cuts, questions about EVERYTHING, and hormones that were simply going wild.  When I entered Bible school, I was not thin, nor had I ever been; but I was curvy, and carrying my weight in "all the right places."  I was not proud of my figure in the mid-to-late 90's, when Kate Moss's boyish physique was at the height of glamour, but I could put on a nice dress and still feel good about myself.

At this Bible school, there was an honor code of no drinking, smoking, etc., but in my quest to rebel, I found myself at every 24-hour restaurant; sometimes two or three in a night, eating up every greasy treat I could find.

"Haha!  I am up past my bedtime!  Eat that!  Ooh...don't mind if I do."

The summer after graduation, I made a major error in judgement, and this error caused me to binge even more.  I remember looking in the mirror at this point and thinking, "I am officially fat."

For the next five years, I went back and forth between "curvy" and "fat," until the summer of 2004. It was then while sitting on a sofa, watching my 8th hour of television with my future husband, that I had an epiphany: I was gross.  I joined the gym the following day, and never looked back.

It took me about 7 months to lose 40 lbs., and nearly seven years, a baby, and a baking obsession later, I have managed to keep it off.  There have been times in those 7 years that have been much harder than others: more obsessive, and more unhealthy.  There have been times I have catalogued calories, times I have worked out 3 hours in a day, and times I have stepped on the scale upwards of 20 occasions in a morning.  I really did think that losing that weight would solve so many problems, but for the 2 people who think I am cooler because I am thin, there are 3 who think I can "never relate" to weight issues because I am thin.

Yes, I eat cake, and cupcakes, and muffins, and by extension white flour and sugar.  No, I don't drink my calories, I don't eat fast food hamburgers, and no more gummies (the WORST candy ever), high fructose corn syrup or trans fat.  I eat between 1200-1500 calories a day (1200 if I don't work out, 1500 if I do), and sometimes I blast those totals out of the water, and it really bothers me.  I am incredibly aware of what is in EVERYTHING I eat, and this knowledge (I believe) is what keeps me small.

All of this to say, eat a cupcake.  Or eat half of one.  Or eat it and (God forbid) don't eat lunch.  Don't replace cupcakes for lunch everyday, but you are a grown-up.  You can eat a cupcake for lunch if you want to.   I tell myself that at least once a week, and it makes me happy.

So there you have it.  Stay the course, and fight those calories and (if you must) women who bear cupcakes.  You can do it!

Rachel Bee


  1. I know the day will come when I can enjoy treats, I am praying for the day I don't have to be so rigid. God is doing His work and teaching me so much about Him through my food! Crazy as that sounds, it's working for me. A single cupcake can be enjoyed, but I'm not at a point where I can have cakes and more than one of certain things in my home. I glad you shared this. I pray for the day that I am comfortable in my skin and around food. ...until then GO TEAM LEAN!! Now. Off to the gym I go, working extra hard so i can enjoy breakfast Thursday morning! :) love ya!

  2. girl... i think that is the issue with most of us- it is not one cupcake, but it is three. what i have told myself is: "this is not the last cupcake i will ever have. there will be more cupcakes." there is always another meal, just around the corner- always another opportunity to eat. i use smaller plates, smaller bowls- individually bag servings- even weighing everything out on a food scale. it stinks- as i watch my hubs down a tall glass of chocolate milk after a big meal- but life is life, not food.

    looking forward to wednesday night :) BRING IT!

  3. This was amazing. I cried...and still am crying! For your story, for mine, for others! So now...I am going to stop crying and pray for the end of your story, for mine, and for others! Glad you came this way Rachel!

    I will be there Mother's Day weekend...just sayin! :)

  4. Not to disregard all of your hard work to lose weight, but I think you look cute in some of those pictures. :). And I like your pixie and I'm not just saying that b/c I just went and chopped off all of my hair. ;)

  5. Since I've only known you with the pixie and the ample tah-tahs I have to admit to being partial to that look :) I'll never forget how distraught a certain kid on our trip to Ecuador was when he kept bumping into them: "I'm sorry, but they're just.... EVERYWHERE!!"
    But since we all look best when we feel our best, I'm happy for you that you've managed to balance the scales (literally) and find your happy medium. Self-discipline is not only SO attractive, but it really does get you a lot further in life.. obviously in many areas, not just eating or working out, although for a lot of people those are the most obvious ones. And I love reading your blog. It's real and funny. You're great with words! Much love from down here.....

  6. oh, girl. cannot wait to see your hair! there have been times when the pixy was ok, but others (when i thought i could do it myself), when it was NOT becoming. and thanks to both of you who think i am cute in those pics. i feel greasy just looking at them:)

    and portia, man, those things WERE everywhere! they still are, really, now that they are... hmm... post baby with 36DD capacity with not so much to fill said- ew. joys of the postpartum body.

    thanks all.

  7. Not only are you a sweet person, talent hair-sylist (is that correct term?) and a amazing baker...well, you're just amazing.

  8. oh, dear. amy, thanks, but perhaps you should spend more time with me before you jump to that glorious conclusion ;)

  9. Thanks Rachel for you honesty and for exposing your struggles to everyone. I think when we all see that we are not alone in this food battle it makes us all a little stronger and less shameful. I love me some cupcakes and I would give up lunch anyday for some sweets of any kind. I love the small group moto "Doing Life Together" it is so appropriate to what Team Lean has done for me over these last 12 weeks. We are all stronger, thinner, and healthier because we have done life together for the last 12 weeks. I have been changed from the inside out and I am so blessed to have endured this journey with so many awesome ladies!!!

  10. Loved this post. I too have photos of heavier days. Turned out mine was medication related (why in the world do people voluntarily take steroids?) - didn't make it any easier to take the weight off, and then, oh irony, when the weight was gone, so was my cleavage!!!!!!