Monthly Archives: March 2016

“You’d Be Sexy if You Lost Weight”

My blog this week has been written by a guest. It is not realistic fiction, fiction, or semi-realistic fiction. This is a real story written by a real person that needs to be told. It is someone opening their heart and soul to the rest of the world much like Megan Schmidt (@veganmathbeagle) has done time and time again in her blogs. If you are unfamiliar with Megan read this blog and you will see what true courage looks like.

What would your blog look like if you let your guard down? If you didn’t have to hide behind motivational quotes and start talking about real stuff. About kids that you struggle with, parents who hate you, failures in the classroom or school. Would we learn about the real you? Maybe that is too public for some. Too real. After all, we want to be heroic! We are educators. We will save the world. 

What would real friendships look like on social media if we didn’t pretend we were perfect, had the perfect solution to every problem, or knew every time we hurt a co-worker? Would we hear people connecting as people? Learning about each other’s families and mental health status? Where are the real connections being made? Maybe these conversations are happening in private. I hope they are.

Take this journey with the author as they meta-cognate through their troubles.

“You’d be sexy if you lost weight.”  Those seven words triggered something in me that literally made me want to puke.

It was June 2005, and I was visiting a relative, who took me to another, distant relative’s, house for dinner.  The relative, an older woman, asked me if I had a boyfriend, as most family members do.  When I said no, she then said that to me.  I remember excusing myself and going in the bathroom to cry.  This was normal.  What was not normal was that I purged.

It was the second time this had happened.  The first time was a few years earlier.  I don’t remember what triggered that particular incident.  

This behavior was abnormal for me, as my usual M.O. was to just stop eating entirely for a few days or even a week.  I’d been doing this since the sixth grade, and wrecked my metabolism pretty badly.  

What also didn’t help was that during my teenage years, I ate horribly, as most teenagers do.  While most of my friends could get by on a steady diet of pizza, french fries, and soda and not gain a pound, I would look at a cookie and gain five.

I hated my body, and myself.  For most of my life, I didn’t want to be here.  I have swallowed more pills than a little bit, but somehow I always managed to wake up.  Some of my friends have not been as lucky.

That day in my relative’s bathroom, I began a bad habit that would last for the next three years of my life.  I remember turning on the water to drown out the noise, but when I came out of the bathroom, I felt all eyes on me.  It seemed like everyone knew.  But I felt better.

A few days later, I was visiting another relative, but was alone in the house when the urge struck again.  The more I did it, the more frequent the need became.  

Nobody would have suspected that I was doing this to myself, intentionally.  My weight didn’t change much, if at all.  As a matter of fact, it probably increased during this time.  However, it became a psychological addiction.  If I didn’t purge, I became extremely anxious.

When I did get caught, I blamed the flu or nerves.  Coworkers would ask me if I was pregnant, which I took as a jab regarding my size.  People will be people, and will sometimes make rude comments from left field.  The more comments I received about my size, the more I converted them to fuel for self-hatred.  I continued to internalize these negative feelings, and my drug of choice to ease the pain was purging.

I don’t know what made me stop.  It was probably the guilt I felt, knowing that this was wrong.  Perhaps it was the physical nuisances, like the abnormal heartbeats and weakened teeth, both of which continue to leave annoying reminders of this awful time.  I decided that I wanted out of this kind of behavior.  No more purging, no more starving.  I set my next birthday as the end date.

The date came and went, and while I didn’t meet my goal, I was able to decrease the frequency.  Eventually, the behavior disappeared until it went away completely.  The urge, however, has never left.  It has taken other forms, such as excessive exercise, diuretics/laxatives, and “cleanses,” which in many cases still allowed me to starve and feel better about myself but put a nicer, socially-acceptable title on it.

Over a decade later, I’d like to say that I’ve come to peace.  The truth is, I have come a long way, but I don’t know if I’ll ever see the world through normal eyes, if there is even a such thing.  I have been up and down the scale, and even on the lower end, it wasn’t good enough.  Every time I feel physically critiqued, I find myself slipping into the bad place once again.  However, now, I have developed the strength to hold onto the ledge before going into total freefall.  Hopefully it lasts.

Q1: What is said to you that you internalize that most people don’t realize? #slowchatpe

Q2: What have you said about someone’s looks that you wished you hadn’t? #slowchatpe

Q3: How do your looks affect your confidence? #slowchatpe

Q4: What is the unhealthiest thing you have done to lose weight? #slowchatpe

Q5: What signs should we look for that someone might have an eating disorder? #slowchatpe


You Can’t Out-Exercise Your Mouth

New Year’s is when people start losing weight for spring break. Spring break has arrived and now is the last push we have to get our summer bodies in gear. Let me be perfectly clear. “You can’t out-exercise your mouth”. (link) If your goal is to lose weight you have to change how you eat. Take a look at this image below and you will see why.

out exercise your mouth

It is simple. There simply isn’t enough time in the day for you to exercise your poor diet away.

This blog is about four simple ways that I have lost weight quickly. I am not a doctor and take anything I say (as always) with a grain of salt.

Step 1. Really want to badly lose weight. You have to be so disgusted by what you see in the mirror or have so much motivation to fit into that piece of clothing that you can taste it. There is no going halfway. Halfway means you don’t really want it and you are destined to fail. Some ways to avoid losing motivation is writing notes on your refrigerator and your bathroom mirror. Setting an alarm to go off every day and labeling it Lose Weight!! or Keep Going!! right before you usually workout or eat breakfast will keep the motivation going. Making a video of why you want to lose weight and automatically emailing it to yourself is another great motivator.

Step 2. Limit my carbohydrates. Carbs are my enemy. The reason why this is so for me personally is all my foods that I overeat (and over drink) are carbs. When I limit my pizza, pasta, beer, chips, and various high carb/low nutrient foods my caloric intake automatically drops. This alone helps me drop pounds. A food journal is the only way that you will really understand how much and what you are eating all day. Every time something enters your mouth that you will digest write it down in your journal. This will allow you to see what you are actually ingesting not what you think you are.

Step 3. Drink a glass of water before and after every meal. This simply fills my stomach up. There are some major benefits of drinking water. Some of them include increased blood circulation, increased metabolism, better regulation of body temperature and more efficient removal of body waste. (link) I know I am drinking enough water when my urine is almost clear or a light colored yellow. Drinking enough water also helps cut down on sugar cravings.

Step 4. Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. This is non-negotiable. This will get you 140 minutes a week. Hopefully, you will walk or make up the ten minutes you need to get the recommended 150 minutes a week. If you are serious about losing weight you want to do High-Intensity Interval Training. Use this free website for great HIIT workouts. If you can’t handle that do any exercises you can. Just don’t stop!!!

Once the weight comes off the key is to make lifestyle changes that will allow you to keep it off. Eat a natural healthy diet, exercise 150 minutes a week, sleep at least 7 hours a day and so on.

I think I am going to take my own advice and start getting ready for summer!!

Special thanks to Erik Myer for telling me about the phrase “you can’t out-exercise your mouth”!!

Q1: How do you ensure you get enough water every day? #slowchatpe

Q2: What motivates you to lose weight when you start falling off the wagon? #slowchatpe

Q3: What is the food that kills your healthy lifestyle eating habit? #slowchatpe

Q4: When do you feel that exercising is the best for your routine?

Q5: What is the best exercise free resource you have come up with?


Podcast Me Please!

Podcasts. I love them. I am a good five years behind the rest of the world when it comes to recognizing just how wonderful podcasts really are. A podcast is:

A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically. Link

You can listen to podcasts when you are driving, cleaning around the house, doing yardwork, or during a break at work. They can be background noise or the focal point of your attention. You can pause it, rewind it, or fast forward it. You get to listen to it at your pace and on your time. The best part is most podcasts are free! (if you know me I love free!)

The reasons that podcasts work so well is that the only prerequisite for them is passion. Anyone with who can record audio can upload it to the interwebs and create a podcast. I even have a podcast I participate in! (really Jorge Rodriguez does all the work)  Any time passionate people get a chance to speak about their passion you can’t help but be mesmerized.

My passions run far and wide so it only makes sense that the podcasts I listen to are all over the place. There are lots of education podcasts out there. The ones that I love to listen to are the Voxcast, The Bedley Bros. EdChat, #dcstransforms, the House of Edtech, the PE Geek, Pushing the Edge with Greg Curran and Learning Lab Education Radio.  There are a million more I could name that are worth listening to.

The best part about podcasts are the ones outside of education. You get to listen to experts in an array of subjects that you would never be exposed to before. The Tim Ferris Show is the first podcast that really grabbed my attention outside of education. His podcast,

‘…deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics and tools you can use.”

Is there anything better than listening to the most interesting people in the world who have done the wildest things and finding out what I can take from them to make myself better?

A couple of podcasts that I would recommend outside of education are the Hidden Brain, Curious Minds, Question of the Day, and Radio lab. If you have any hobbies or interests I guarantee there is a podcast out there waiting for you! Come join me on @Voxer and tell me all about your podcast experience by clicking on this link!! If you are new to @Voxer click this link. I look forward to continuing this conversation in person, on Twitter, and on Voxer.

Q1. What are your favorite podcasts that deal with education? #slowchatpe

Q2. What are your favorite podcasts outside of education? #slowchatpe

Q3. What is your go to podcast for social justice? #slowchatpe

Q4. Share the greatest thing you learned from a podcast. #slowchatpe

Q5. What podcast should others listen to? #slowchatpe


Women’s History Month

The internet was abuzz this February. It was Black History Month and people were coming out of the woodwork to support it. This month I haven’t seen a peep of anyone celebrating March’s cultural history month delegation. I am a feminist. I believe that women can do anything men can do and are equal to men in every way shape and form. Keeping this in mind let’s remind everyone that March is Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.”  Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.”  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”  link

March 8 is the greatest day of the year. It just so happens to be International Women’s Day as well as the sharing the glory of being the day that the world first viewed Justin Schleider!

It began in New York City on March 8, 1857, when female textile workers marched in protest of unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women. It was one of the first organized strikes by working women, during which they called for a shorter work day and decent wages. Also on March 8, in 1908, women workers in the needle trades marched through New York City’s Lower East Side to protest child labor, sweatshop working conditions, and demand women’s suffrage. Beginning in 1910, March 8 became annually observed as International Women’s Day. Women’s History Week was instituted in 1978 in an effort to begin adding women’s history into educational curricula. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to include all of March as a celebration of the economic, political and social contributions of women. link

My question is what are you going to do to celebrate Women’s History Month? One idea in physical education is to teach the students Netball.

England in 1895, ladies using broomsticks for posts and wet paper bags for   baskets played the basketball game on grass. Their long skirts, bustle backs, nipped waists and button up shoes impeded running and their leg-of-mutton   sleeves restricted arm movement making dribbling and long passes difficult. The ladies decided to adapt the game to accommodate these restrictions.

If you want more help in how to play netball ask Andy Milne or Jo Bailey. Both are great resources for the game.

On a closing note, some of my PLN wants to keep Black History Month rolling into March. As I understand it, the idea is that black history is American History and there is a need to teach this all year round. I have no problem with that as long as we are celebrating Women’s History Month as well. One idea I came up with is teach about black women’s role in history. Your biggest problem will be to figure out who to highlight! You cannot possibly look at black historically important times without seeing black women at the forefront. A good place to start is with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf or Heddy Lamarr.

It is safe to say that no matter who you are a woman is the reason you are reading this right now. Let’s celebrate them and continue to push for equality between genders.

Q1: who is your favorite woman in history? Why? #slowchatpe

Q2: How do you ensure that you treat boys & girls equally?#slowchatpe

Q3: What role do we have in specifically encouraging girls? #slowchatpe

Q4: Do you believe that classes should be seperated by gender? #slowchatpe

Q5: What will you be doing to celebrate Women’s History Month? #slowchatpe womens history