For those of you new to reading my blog, welcome! In some ways, I feel a little new to it myself. I began writing the Coming Clean blog in April 2010 after I started working as a freelance fact-checker for Experience Life. At the time, I was running my own copyediting company, Mixed Bag Media, and proofreading copy for eight different magazines. I had also, unfortunately, put on 65 pounds, exhausted my body so that I was sick once a month, and prioritized work over my relationships with my family and husband. I was pretty miserable — and I take full responsibility for the poor choices I made.
I saw the blog as a way to document my path to better health. Everything I was learning through fact-checking and reading Experience Life was fascinating and completely foreign to me. I thought of weight loss as counting points or calories obsessively or eating “diet food,” and running on a treadmill or some type of hated exercise for an hour or more each day. I thought it was all about calories in and calories out, discipline, restriction, and a bit of emotional abuse. With my weight gain, I thought I was lazy and stupid, I did this to myself, and no matter how I excelled in my career or however pretty I felt at an event, I’d still feel fat, and would assume that’s all others saw as well.
I wanted to right my wrongs, lose weight and have more energy, all while sharing what I learned along the way. But my updates were sporadic, then eventually absent after last May when my grandmother passed away. By the fall, when our dogs, “our girls,” could no longer coexist and we had to find a new home for our basenji, I was pretty depressed. I was working out and doing my best to stay focused on my meal plan and the big picture of improving my health, but I’m not sure if my heart was completely in it.
I know it frustrated my trainer, even if he didn’t admit it, and I’m positive that it frustrated my life coach, Lauren Zander of the Handel Group, well, because she said it. She’s a New Yorker, after all. No beating around the bush. You make these goals but you’re not following through, why? Our conversation would go. And, I need you tell me why you want all this drama in your life. And the more I thought about it, I realized there was so much I needed to understand in my mind. Because this “on a diet” and “off a diet” was simply drama that I created. Would I lose weight or wouldn’t I? It wasn’t about calories and treadmills as much as it was about my commitment — and more than that, my love for my body. And I haven’t been very loving.
So this blog doesn’t really have a category. It’s not a fitness blog, specifically, or a nutrition blog or weight-loss blog. Similar to Experience Life itself, this blog is whole body, whole life, whole mind. Because, even if weight loss is my first goal, it’s so much more than just the weight — and it’s never just about the weight. It’s about my priorities, my work-life balance, my relationships, my home, my clutter, my pets, my vision, my purpose. It’s personal, yes, but I hope it resonates with you, whether you are struggling to get healthy or if you feel you are there and need a friendly reminder of why you continue to make healthy choices every day. I appreciate your support and feedback, good or bad, and hope to start a dialogue in the comments section or via email, Facebook or Twitter.
When we re-branded the magazine in September 2010 and published Pilar Gerasimo’s enlightening essay, “Being Healthy Is a Revolutionary Act” in January 2011, I really felt like our mission was speaking directly to me. It’s about a practice, about making those healthy choices every day even when it’s difficult because of location or busyness or because you’d rather just give in to all those endless excuses you can make.
But it’s so much easier with support, and by finding a community of like-minded individuals that keep you focused, and in the end, keep you happy. So I’m glad you found ours.