Something New - Admire Greatly: Joyce Duncan

If you read my 2018 goals post and last week's Friday Favorites, you know that I am trying some new things out for Dog Lady Horse Crazy.  There are so many people that I admire, from afar that I've never met and a ton that I know personally.  For my first Admire Greatly post, I would like to introduce Joyce Duncan.  

Image courtesy of Joyce's website: Yours, Most Sincerely

Image courtesy of Joyce's website: Yours, Most Sincerely

Joyce and I met through the Younger Women's Club of Louisville.  Joyce is a Realtor®, entrepreneur, fantastic chef, incredible interior designer, and a sweetheart to boot.  I remember first being fascinated that her bright lipstick never seemed to be out of place, a feat I can't ever seem to manage.  

Her home is always impeccable; she has an eye for interior design that is uniquely her but also so covetable!  I am always impressed by her arrangements of fresh flowers and attention to detail.  Just look at her Christmas table: 

The buffalo plaid plates. I dieeeeee!  (Photo courtesy of

The buffalo plaid plates. I dieeeeee!  (Photo courtesy of

The past year has been especially tough on Joyce, one of great personal loss.  But through it she built yet another facet of her career and re-did an entire home in Louisville and put it on AirBNB.  It is the in-town escape I fantasize about when my own home gets a bit too chaotic and messy and I'm not quite ready to face cleaning and organizing.

But, none of these things are why I chose her for the first Admire Greatly.  Joyce has quietly inspired a lot of people with her grace under stress for a while.  Last Friday, she shared an incredibly honest post on her blog:

Cleaning Out
I’ve had a terrible way of eating since I came out of the womb. My earliest memories of food include my grandmother making “fluff;” peanut butter mixed with marshmallow creme sandwiched between saltines and wrapped in my lunchbox. I remember dinner sometimes consisting of a singular forced bite of green beans followed by multiple ice cream sundaes. Every time a dessert was made using Eagle Brand Milk, I’d eat way too much out of the can and those baking would be worried that the dish wouldn’t turn out correctly.

In my early twenties, my first job took place at an office just a block away from a supermarket. I distinctly remember at least once driving over on my lunch break and coming back with a half gallon of Breyer’s chocolate ice cream. The entire box served as my lunch, with no regrets. I know that there were times at my first job in Louisville, when I would walk to the Thornton’s next door to grab two gas station hot dogs, a bag of Grippo’s potato chips, and a Mountain Dew.

Now, in my mid- 30’s it’s no different. I can’t resist the taste and sort-of crunch of chocolate-glazed Entenmann’s donuts. I’ll buy a box at the grocery, make sure they’re up front with me on the drive home. I’ll have two eaten by the time I’m out of the parking lot, scarfing them down so quickly that I almost can’t breathe. The box will be gone by the end of the night. If I have a craving for sweets with no dessert in the house, I’d quickly mix up shortbread dough- just butter, sugar, and flour- and eat it right out of the bowl. It had to be immediately followed with a sprite or ginger ale since my stomach would be so upset.

I love food…. I love wholesome food as well- bean soup, salmon in every way, shape, and form. I’m a huge fan of a sizzling ribeye covered in garlic. I love locally grown produce, grass fed beef, buttery and meat-y. But I love sugar.

It was in mid-December, on the third day in a row of bringing home Entenmann’s and wolfing the whole box that I took the remaining 3 donuts and sealed them in a ziplock bag and hid them from my boyfriend in my desk drawer. Later that night, I looked at photos for the blog and realized how ridiculously big I was, and finally realized I had a problem. I went to bed early, crying over what I had done to my health, my heart pounding and my pulse in my ears from just the walk up the stairs. When Bryan came home and found me half-asleep already, I confessed to the donuts hidden in the desk (which he removed… I’m still not sure of their fate. He may have eaten them), and we had a very long talk about how to reset my eating habits and my cravings.

After a bit of research, and a very long discussion with one of their counsellors, I decided to begin a juice cleanse with The Weekly Juicery to break my bad eating habits. I’ve just wrapped up day 10, and am hoping to begin phase two in a few days by adding in a couple of raw food snacks each day, then moving on to more food daily. The plan is to continue to incorporate more freshly pressed vegetable juice into my life from this point on.

I’ve been working on The Weekly Juicery’s rainbow cleanse, starting each day with Lively Lemon- lemon juice with alkaline water and cayenne- and ending with A Nutty Date- almond milk with cinnamon, sweetened with dates. In between, 4 juices full of kale, cucumbers, beets, romaine, ginger, lemon, and, in one, blue majik algae fuel me through the day.

Here’s the thing: I’m not hungry. At all. Instead, I’ve been downing juice every 2-3 hours, staying hydrated, and going for a nice long walk (on the treadmill, since its freezing outside) every day. I’ve added in Pilates classes twice a week, and have a plan to start lifting again once solid food comes my way.

So far, I’ve lost almost all signs of belly bloat as well as just over ten pounds. While a long-term healthier me was the goal, I would have never expected this much weight loss so quickly, though I’m sure part of the weight will come back on once I start eating again. But, I feel good, and my skin has never looked better.

I’ll keep you posted on progress, and plan on giving you a day-by-day as soon as I wean myself into a new normal. I can’t think Christopher Kent at The Weekly Juicery enough for his almost-daily conversations and pep-talks, and I’m looking forward to what real health feels like.
— Joyce Duncan; Yours, Most Sincerely

This gorgeous woman, who is always put together and impeccable was frank about her eating habits.  She details the final binge that set her over the edge, prompting her to take a look at her habits and ask for help.  Her honesty is so refreshing.  So many women, myself included, seem to shy away from talking about our true eating habits.  Sure, there is meme after meme about scarfing down a pizza but how many of us would actually put it out there - in WRITING - that we did so?  

Joyce put it out there.  Since reading her post, I've found myself marveling in her honesty.  It shows something that I realized about myself a while ago - sometimes appearing to have it all together is the thing that is holding someone together.  I've been there - where I'm so not together that all I focus on is the appearance of my shit being together. 

So, I thank you, Joyce.  And I hope to be a source of encouragement for you, because you have encouraged me to share more.  I hesitated before sharing my previous post on getting help because I was so worried about what people would think - and I was wrong.  I want to continue in Joyce's well-heeled footsteps and put my hang ups out there.  Because the flaws and cracks are what make things beautiful and interesting.  

Follow Joyce on Instagram or at her blog: