20 Pounds Down, 80 to Go


The headline would be more impressive if I hadn’t been sitting on a 19-pound loss for the past three weeks or so.


While some of you took me out to the woodshed for stating at the beginning of April that I was concerned about how stress would impact my weight-loss goals this month, I really did know just how crazy this month would be for me, and know well what stress hormones do to my body: pack on the pounds.

But this singular pound signals a breakthrough, and I’m happy. I’m finally down to 275, which is six pounds away from the 260s, and forever away from the 270s, 280s and 290s.


Surprisingly, the loss came while in Virginia over the weekend. Confession: I didn’t eat as healthfully as I wanted, settling instead what was convenient along one of the city’s major east-west corridors, Broad Street. Our hotel was way out on one end, downtown the other. In between, just about every fast-food joint you can think of, and that’s what we needed: Food. Fast.

Friday night we had Chinese, and if I could blame one thing for Saturday night’s barfing incident, I could start with that. Sky ordered her favorite, sesame chicken; I ordered crab rangoon and steamed dumplings.

We arose around 6 a.m. Saturday, and I had to rush Sky down to the convention center, grabbing breakfast at McDonald’s on the way. I opted out because I was just going to drop her off and head back to the room to work a few hours, but on my way back something really strange happened: The car began to slow down, and next thing I knew it turned into the drive-thru lane at Krispy Kreme. I ordered three of my favorites and slunk back to the hotel, feeling just a tad guilty.

I think I got as far as signing on before the sugar high wore off. Next thing I knew I was waking up two hours later, feeling queasy. I packed a granola bar and a bottle of water and headed for the competition, where I remained for the next six hours.


That evening, Sky went to a surprise birthday party at a restaurant; I headed down Broad Street, craving fish. I found a great little place where they fry or broil the seafood, fresh. I ordered some fish and scallops, then back to the hotel I went to eat and once again try to get some work done.

After several bites of the best fish I’d had in a long time, I suddenly felt violently ill. I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that as a one-time bulimic, I barfed like a true champion.


After the room stopped spinning, I sipped some cranberry juice and ate some fruit before turning in.

It was a fitful night’s sleep; all day Sunday, stomach-storms threatened. Still, it was a beautiful day in Virginia, and I spent a lot of time strolling downtown Richmond when our gym’s squads weren’t on stage.


I credit two days full of walking and fresh air with the loss, and how good I feel today – the first day of, hands-down, the most stressful week for me of the month.

Praying to get through it.

Give me liberty or… OOOooo… A jelly donut !"  ~  Homer Simpson

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.

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