Monday, October 4, 2010

This Crap-cake journey with Awesome-sauce on it...

Hello everyone!

Once again, I'll start out with deepest apologies for my calloused neglect in blogging, updating and being present here. Life has been super busy the last few months (and will continue through October,) but... I'm here. I'm sitting in my Aunt's office while she finishes some work and I have a bit of time to chat.

I have so many thoughts running through my brain right now... this might sound / read / feel sporadic but I have no other way to get it out.

I feel like I've been really brought face to face with a lot of things going on in the Blogger world right now, as well as in my personal world regarding weight loss. Today I read the Marie Claire article on the "Big 6" bloggers, and I'm battling between being frustrated and offended, to being unsure if it's really all that bad. I personally don't read any of the blogs mentioned in that article. Let me clarify by saying that it's not because I don't want to... it's just that I didn't even know those blogs existed. (Okay, I've totally heard of Carrots N Cake, but I haven't subscribed or taken the time to delve in.) SO. After reading the article that so many of you (and others) were vehemently pissed about... I now want to go through those blogs, read and get to know those ladies. Funny, Marie Claire's article (it seems,) has garnered a new reader for all of those blogs. But then again, I also have a sneaking feeling in the back of my mind that maybe the author of the article wasn't all wrong. (Or was she!) -- Yes, most likely, she was. I spent a good amount of time this afternoon reading through hundreds and hundreds of comments from loyal readers and folks who were flat-out pissed off, sickened and saddened by the article. I can't get in line with those comments personally because I don't know that to be true. But as far as I'm concerned, that's a frack-load of evidence for their side.


Okay, in other blog-related news... I read The Anti-Jared's blog post today. It immediately freaked me out, making me think, "Fuck, am I a Paper Tiger?" ... I feel like (particularly compared to our honest, amazing and inspiring Jewlia Goulia,) I have been lately.

I've been conveniently leaving out of my blog my cake-binge episode from about six weeks ago. (Yes, MizFit says there's a difference between a planned indulgence and a binge, but...) This started out as "planned" the day of, and turned into six...SIX pieces of cake. It subsequently turned into the shakeyshakes, the in-my-mouth-bad-taste, and the "I can't sleep because my mind is going 2304980239 miles an hour, holy crap!"

I also let you all believe that I don't eat sugar (98% of the time this is true, but...), when Dan and I both had a piece of cake to celebrate our engagement on Sunday, I decided you didn't really need to know.  I admitted that to him, but not to you.  I also am pretty sure I don't tell you about the intense food-guilt I experience... all...the...time.

I used to talk about my food addiction, overeating, carb attacks and scale obsession. These days I quietly hide in my busy-assed-schedule, and while my good friends go through horrible bouts with food issues, I'm quiet in the corner, telling them I love them. I don't really relate out loud, and I certainly can't offer up any gems of advice on how to get through it.

The only way I know how to lose weight is to categorically and strictly monitor my food intake.  The level at which I do this, particularly compared to some more balanced eaters, could very well seem a bit extreme.  I make sure to put it out there to you that I don't like working out, and I don't go to a gym or ride a bike or jump rope (though those last two things I still want to start because they sort of sound fun, though the cold is almost here, so just like this guy is waiting for winter to start getting his shit together, I'm gonna conveniently wait for next spring.)

So where does that leave me? When people I know and love are struggling with weight loss, or more committed to their losing weight, and I watch the things they eat and feel superior to them? That my Mother makes healthy choices in her diet, but when she says she had a peach for a snack or a sweet potato (as Beth does all the time, and she's amazing,) -- I can still hear the little bitchy voice inside my head say, "I would NEVER do that."  That when I'm spending time with Wes, and I watch him eat chips and salsa and a piece of pizza, I glare at him, or scold him?  (We've had the type of relationship where this behavior from either of us would garner that type of response, and it's not a bad or mean thing between us,) - but still.. why do I feel the need to be his keeper?  Why do I feel like it's my job to wag my finger at his little eating indiscretions, and yet if a different friend is going through a full-on, multi-day binge, I can calmly and sweetly tell her that it'll get better?  Is it because Wes is my low-carb eating buddy?  That we've (somewhat silently but have nevertheless) made a friendly agreement to be each others accountability partner?  So, should that make me support him, or kick him in the ass with stern looks and disappointed sighs?

I know, KNOW that different plans work for different people. I know that others are successful while eating more than I eat and being more active than I am.  So, maybe it's fear that I really don't do this the right way. That maybe not today or tomorrow, but in a few weeks or months I could easily binge for a week because my body has had it with me. Or my mind will become totally sick of lean meat and spinach hand over fist.  Could it be the fear that all the kudos and "Wow's" and "You look great's" that I've gotten over the last few months will only require further and further dedication?  That I'm terrified of losing ground?  That the very, very last thing I want is to ever be fat again?  That I'd rather struggle against food the way I do...forever?

I don't really know where all of this is going, or what I am trying to say. Basically, I'm trying to be a little more transparent. I want you to know that I'm not doing this or working through the Ex Hot Girl blog to be an example, but I feel more like I am part of a community. Like... we're all a big family, and we screw up and live life and breathe and fall and succeed together.

I value and respect each one of you, even though I don't always have time or make time to read/comment/email you. With that, I leave you my pledge:

I, Jennifer Brindley, hereby make the commitment to blog more often, be balls-to-the-wall honest, and stop being a pansy-ass Paper Tiger.



Nissa Nicole said...

I'll be honest - when I first read your blog and saw what your eating plan was (no carbs, no sugar) I laughed out loud. There's absolutely no way in hell I could live without bread and fruit. Ever. Those are things that I need to feel like I'm getting balanced nutrition. Also, I lost a lot on the south beach diet a few years ago. When I got carbs back, I went INSANE. Keeping that stuff out of my diet created a mental issue that was almost WORSE than my food addiction and I gained a TON of weight back. And, so - when I read that you lost your weight by not eating two things I couldn't live without, and without exercising (which I'm convinced is integral to a balanced weight/diet/lifestyle) I was very worried you'd suffer the same consequence I did.

But, in the end, we're only accountable to ourselves. It doesn't matter if what you're doing is what I could never do. My fitness plan includes LOTS of activity and I'm a pescatarian!

THAT BEING SAID...I think the power of this community is, really, discussion; talking about issues and finding solutions. Which is why it's important to talk about why what you're doing could be wrong. Or, could be right. And, by airing this stuff we'll be able to reach more people who don't fit in to the same mold, but need to know that it's a struggle, a process, for everyone...regardless of how we do it.

A lot of rambling but I have been thinking a lot about accountability today after coming off a binge of my own.

Thanks for blogging Jen, I have enjoyed your posts and would love to hear more of your journey - the positive AND negative.

The Insatiable Host said...

Oh Jen you are fucking awesome! Crouching paper Tiger let it roaaar!!!

I think that silently trying to fit in while obviously holding your feelings in is something that we all are guilty of and likely most of us use this tactic to survive life.

Me at a party??? Well, if i am ever at the ball, this cinderella doesn't always wear the glass slipper - but she sure knows to how to fake it!

I just know (and we have never met) that you are the most genuine and sincere person who likely snorts when you laugh and have occasionally let yourself think that you are not as awesome as you actaully are.

As for your lack of blogging-- WHO DOESN'T!!! Take time, get adjusted and when you have something fantastic to tell us, we're there!!!

Anyhow, keep rockin chickita and I swear no matter if you are a paper tiger or a crouching tiger I will always be here!!


A. said...

I have to say, I commend you. It isn't easy to confess your downfalls to a general public, as I've recently discovered. =/ So I guess here we both go to no paper tiger'ing. =D

Also, that article in Marie Claire is extremely harsh. I've read a bit of Katheats blog, and it's not altogether bad. I must admit that I don't think I could eat some of the things she does, but like you said, one thing can't work for everyone. =/

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Ah Jen, you're human! And really, you're only accountable to yourself. Just be yourself!

Thanks for putting on the link to the Marie Claire article (I hadn't heard about it). After reading it, all I can say is that most of the weight-related blogging world is not dangerously thin and over-exercising. (And according to the news, the latest is that 2/3 of Americans are obese (!).)

I can read all sorts of things online and think "Wow, that's quite a workout" or marvel at what other people eat...but that doesn't mean I'm going to imitate what they're doing.

Marie Claire is trying to get people worked up...and of course focusing on what "harm" some blogs could do to their readers. They probably want to squash the blogosphere a little too...wouldn't you be mad as a magazine writer that amateur bloggers are getting book deals?

Most of us are a little obsessed, and most are far from over-exercising and being borderline anorexic.

Online blogging, for most of us, is a way of motivating and inspiring each other, and is a heck of a lot cheaper than traditional therapy.

So I simply say "Meh" to that Marie Claire article. They have an agenda to sell magazines. That's all...and usually happy, rah-rah stories sell fewer magazines. That's all.

(They managed to get all of us bloggers reading their magazine article now, didn't they?)

Trevor Philbrook said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I have to say looks good! Done very well.

If you have time, check out my blog at

I would love to hear what you think.

Sincerely, Trevor

a!k0 said...

You look amazing :D you're so strict about your diet which I am not :P I need to get into shape!! ^__^

I am not an avid reader of Marie Claire so I don't really know what to say :P


theantijared said...

I never understood ExHotGirl. I think once you are hot, you are always hot.

Unknown said...

I got an award and passing it on to you!
check it out

rachaelgking said...

"I, Jennifer Brindley, hereby make the commitment to blog more often, be balls-to-the-wall honest, and stop being a pansy-ass Paper Tiger."

I, LiLu, love that with all of my heart.

Kendra said...

You know what, life happens! There's really not need to totally beat yourself up over it! Granted, we're all in love with your blog...we certainly don't expect to see you each and every day and know that you ate the exact right amount of carrots while we gorged on some chocolate! Hell, tis life...

In all reality, you're awesomeness just streams out ALL the time...why else would you have as many followers as you do?! We're proud of the progress you've made thus far..and if you decide a few months are needed to repeal from our grasp...please do! The true believers will be here when you're ready to come back! :)

Claire Dawn said...

I don't think you've been a paper tiger. Just busy.

We all are at some point.

Runnergirl said...

I think that inner voice that kicks in when we watch what other people eat is inside of all of us. I watch my skinny friends eat cake and the voice inside of me says "why can't I eat that and not worry about putting on weight?" and is horribly jealous.

At other times I feel diet-ly superior when I watch other people stuff their faces and think "I wouldn't do that" - but equally I know myself and I know that I so easily WOULD.

But we do need to hear it all - hearing your struggles and battles helps us feel more normal. It makes us realise that even those people who successfully lose weight have their own battles.

Btw. I bought 2 pairs of Old Navy Dreamer jeans that you recommended about a year ago - they rock!

p.s. 6 slices of cake? I could so easily do that!