Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Phenomenal Woman....That's Me!

Hi All!

Sorry I haven't been posting as much....Christmas comes the same time every year and again I am not prepared for it!

Still in Christmas cookie and candy heaven - my diet buddy Michelle wants to strangle me- but the monthlies are over and I am at 225. That is a gain of six pounds.... :/

Now, I was preparing to blog a "woe is me, I is so bad" and whine and moan about the holidays but something happened tonite that set me on a different path.

Damn ?!@%$# muffler on the van broke off - while I was shopping at nite! I was getting some last minute gifts when I heard a "thunk" and the awful scraping of the manifold on the street. So I pull over and inspect the damage. The front weld had come off - but it could be lifted and tied back into place . So I go around looking helpless and waited for someone to see this po pitiful lady and help her out.

Only tonite, I wasn't looking like a helpless lady. I had just finished painting and putting up new moulding in my bathroom, so I had on sweats , a big hat and no makeup....I short, I looked like a guy! A big black guy - NO ONE was stopping!

So, I went to the nearest shop, bought some wire coathangers (and found some neat gifts for cheap!) put my coat on the snow and crawled under the van to the muffler. It took me about 30 minutes to rig the thing, but I did it! Yes ! I am She Ra!!

After giving a hearty one finger salute to the jerks that sat and watched me, I headed home. One the way, while waiting for my fingers to thaw, I realized that not everyone could have done that. A lesser woman would have sat and cried in the snow - a better woman would have called her boyfriend! Damn, I gotta get a guy for '08 - I could be having 'thank you' sex right now.....

Anyhoo, I managed to face and resolve conflict AND get my shopping done all at once... that's pretty good if I do say so myself.

So six pounds? That's nothing! Weigh in is January 4th, a little under 15 days...I will have a loss that day!

If Ms. Johnson doesn't mind, the saga will continue after January....My goal weight is 160 and I figure that after the holidays, when I get my treadmill that I asked for for Xmas, I can go full force again! I CAN DO IT! I fixed my damn car, I can lose weight! Yeah!

Til next time!

Merry....wait, no...Happy Kw...Oh wait....Happy Rama....Hanuk...
Hell with it! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Weight Loss Update: 155.5ibs

A new Hot Girl is on the scene....

So it doesn't look like I'm going to make my goal of 140lbs by December 31 (although I may make 150) but I have lost 10lbs since my height of 165lbs and you know what....I 'll take that and be HAPPY about it. LOL. It may not be where I want to be...but it's where I'm at and hell, I'm LUVIN' IT!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas

I am leaving on Monday for Barbados for 3 weeks. So this will be my last post here for the year.

Writing here has helped me decide that I need additional support in order to stay on track with my weight loss goals and I'm seeking that help in Greysheet OA once again. I will listen in on their 1 hour phone meetings every morning until I leave for vacation and once I get back I'll do their program for at least 90 days.

My food goals over the next three weeks is to take one day at a time and decide what my boundaries will be with food at the beginning of the day using my food plan as my guide. Hopefully, I'll be writing and posting my food on my own blog as usual.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! See you in the New Year!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

One More Time Around ...

After 10 successful years in Anonymous programs and running 5 days a week, things began to unravel, not dramatically you understand, just slowly … as things often do.

First I had to give up running as years of not stretching adequately led to a knee injury. I tried to replace my running routine with the gym and swimming, but neither fitted neatly into my schedule or had the same appeal.

Then I met my current partner who wooed me endlessly over expensive meals in posh restaurants. This was such a happy time in my life that I developed amnesia about my problems with food and began to eat things I normally avoided. Of course, once Pandora’s Box was opened, old patterns began to reassert themselves and I began nibbling when stressed, anxious, angry etc. instead of dealing with my feelings head on.

When my weight began to creep back up, I should have gone into panic mode, instead I began to buy stretchy clothes so I could be comfortable … just until my weight went back down, I told myself. The problem with stretchy clothes is that they offer no resistance to weight gain and one can gain and gain and gain with a certain unconsciousness. Unwittingly, my partner made my unconsciousness even worse because he didn’t care what size my body was. He never once said anything and when on occasion I would comment about my weight. He’d say, something to the effect that there was more of me to love. This was a radical change from the men I'd dated before him who I am certain would have been very critical if I gained even 1 lb.

I wasn't binging, just consuming far too many high calorie foods too often and not exercising. It took about 5 years for my weight to return to my original adult number of 190lbs.

About 2 1/2 years ago I woke up from my amnesia and was horrified that I had undone my healthy routine of good diet and exercise and had regained all my weight and then some. I became determined to return to a healthy weight and committed to Overeaters Anonymous again. I ate the prescribed three meals a day with nothing in between for 1 year but refused to exercise and felt deprived most of the time. In the first few months I lost 20lbs., and then plateau for 9 months. That was the most frustrating of experiences and eventually I gave up and slowly gained the 20lbs back.

I took some time to really think about how I wanted to proceed with my weight loss goal and in August after a false start, launched a blog called 55kgs.which crystallises everything I have learnt over a lifetime of struggle with food, exercise and weight and charts my journey to my ideal weight of 120lbs. Here is what I've learnt:

1. I love living in a slim body.

2. If I eat more calories than my body can burn, I will put on weight.

3. I NEED A FOOD PLAN. Just going into the world and making healthy choices on the cuff doesn't work for me. If I am to survive every party, wedding, lunch and dinner etc. that blows my way without overeating or making poor choice, I need a clear idea of what I can eat when and how much constitutes a portion. What, When, How much are my buzz words.

4. Eating a balanced, healthy food plan and getting regular exercise are NOT always fun, but have a profound effect on my body, emotions and mind and on my ability to function effectively in the world. They can also prolong my life and stave off illnesses. In other words, I love what they do for me.

5. Sustained weight loss is only possible if I maintain the food plan and exercise routine that enabled the weight loss to begin with.

6. I am hard wired to eat sweets as a way of nurturing myself and soothing my feelings. I will have to contend with this for the rest of my life.

7. If I don’t build sweet treats into my food plan, I’ll feel deprived and have a greater tendency to go off my plan and overeat sweets when I do.

8. My chance of success losing weight is greater in a community than alone. I had my first success with weight loss in two Anonymous programs in New York. It is very hard to find accessible OA meetings in London, so in August, I started a weight loss blog, 55kgs. to help me develop a community of like-minded people and of course, that's why I am writing here at Sweet Potato Pie.

For background reading on this post see:
1. Compulsive Eater and Sugar Addict
2. The Beggining of an Abuse Love Affair
3. Listen to the Hunger
4. What is the Hunger About?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Have Been a Bad Girl....

Hey All!

It all started Sunday morning....after a nite of paaartying with the girls (2 margaritas, 1 long island iced tea, and I vaguely remember some chicken wings) (and no I did not drive home! Thanks for the ride Teresa!) I woke up Sunday morning famished! I decided not to go the buffet route, but rather to get something small but tasty and filling.

So what did my dumb ass do? WENT TO PANERA'S!! For those of you who are not familiar with this slice of heaven, Panera's is a low carb lovers nightmare! Bread, bread and more bread! They even have, I kid you not, a croissant with a chocolate bar in it!

So anyhoo, I walk (or float) in the door, and the carbs are a'callin! "Welcome back Tracy, we missed you!! Ooooh , you look so thin, you must be sick, let us help you!" I swear, on top of the fresh bread, the homemade bagels, they had every kind of pastry known to man...

But I was determined not to fall, so I ordered a spinach-artichoke egg souffle! Cute little thing, all wrapped up in a gold foil tin. I get my order, sit down to inhale it, and GASP! I have half of it in my mouth before I realize that the damn thing is baked in PASTRY! I have never been so pissed and so happy at the same time! It was great!

Well, that was it! Took my butt back up to the counter and got me an apple danish and a pumpkin spice latte and I have been on a downward slide ever since!

Got on the scale today - 228! That is almost 10 pounds!! AAAAA!! So gotta get back on track, but it is hard. I have been exercising, but not at the same pace as I was. Today was a clear nite but a little cold. I could've wrapped up and braved it but I did a paltry 1/2 hour on the stair stepper instead!

I don't wanna undo all of my hard work! I dont wanna start gaining and growing out of my new clothes! But right now, I can't seem to say no to what I know is bad for me. I read and re-read Nona's posts, but I can't figure out what is triggering me to keep abusing myself! I thought I was pretty happy - maybe I'm just greedy! Don't know but tomorrow is another day to start over. We have a exercise bike at work - I am packing my workout clothes and shoes and getting on it!! And if I "forget" my stuff, I am going to Walmart and buy me some stuff!

Can't stop now, I've come so far!!

I can do it!!

Til next time, hopefully I'll have better news!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What is the Hunger About?

By the time I finished reading Listen to the Hunger by Elisabeth L., I understood clearly for the first time that I was using food, mostly sweet foods, to mask various issues in my life.

I was desperate as the author said to get “unstuck” from this behaviour. I was ready to learn the answer to the question “What is the hunger really about?” I called the woman who’d recommended the book and we had a good chat at the end of which she invited me to accompany her to my first “Greysheet Overeaters Anonymous” meeting.

Greysheet Overeaters Anonymous is a 12 step program and like all 12 step programs it is based on the principles and traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous and believes that the first step to recovery is to first admit that there is a problem. I knew I had a problem and I was desperate to find a solution, so I had absolutely no reservation about getting up during that first meeting and saying: “Hi I am Nona, I am a compulsive overeater and sugar addict.” That evening I got a sponsor (someone to support and guide me) who gave me a low-carb food plan known as the Greysheet food plan and the next day I began the most amazing journey of my life.

When I started the program, I had reached an all time high of about 86kgs/190lbs. Over one year at a consistent rate of about 5-6 pounds per month I lost 31kgs/70lbs to achieve 55kgs/120lbs. for the first time in my adult life. I maintained that weight for 5 years.

In order to lose the weight and maintain it I ate 3 meals from the Greysheet food plan which consisted of fruit, vegetables, and protein. I weighed and measured everything I ate without exception even when I ate out. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life but it was also the most freeing. I also ran for ½ an hour five days a week and lifted 5-10lb free weights in my apartment. I stayed in Greysheet for 5 years and then switched to regular Overeaters Anonymous because I wanted a less rigid food plan.

OA did not recommend a specific food plan and my weight fluctuated a little as I tried to figure out what food plan would work best for me. Finally I decided to use the Greysheet food plan and continue to weigh and measure but with exception. I returned to my optimal weight of 55kgs/120lbs.

Attaining and maintaining a healthy weight changed my life in several ways. for the first time I felt comfortable in my own body. I was amazed at it ... at what it could do. I loved to run, jump, skip move. I couldn't believe how easy it was to move. Having been overweight my entire life, movement didn't always come easily to me. I loved the way my clothes fitted and I loved the confidence looking great gave me.

As great as the impact on my body was, the impact on my psyche of doing the 12 steps program and seeking therapy was more profound. Slowly over 10 years I was able to excavate, examine and resolve in the minutest of detail the debris of my life. Finally I understand what the hunger is about for me.

After 10 years of "recovery", I thought, "okay this is it. I've got this thing all wrapped up." Well, I was to discover that when it comes to addiction you never have things all wrapped up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Any loss is a good loss!!

Me, Before, still gorgeous

I LOST 8.4 LBS!!! TOTAL LOST - 26!!

Hi All!

Weighed in at 219.2 ! Yes , I did go up, but I also counted my blessings and was thankful for the nice loss this month!

I am tired from running both physically and on the computer last nite. I wasn't trying to be funny, but you wouldn't know it from the emails and comments that I got - mostly from family and friends:

"Tracy, only you could find a way to make water fattening!"

"That was the funniest post yet - I laughed til I cried! Just picturing you running for anything keeps me in stitches!!"

And my personal favorite - "You are so ignorant! Love, Mom" No wonder I'm crazy.....

Well, note to self, have a glass of wine after panicking and before blogging!

Just to keep me in the spirit of things, I went shopping on my lunch hour - I am now a qualified size 18!!! and a tight 16!!

And ....for your viewing pleasure (mine anyway) here are some "new me so far" pics, taken today by my wonderful and talented photog Michele. She is also my team member and diet buddy. Michele has lost over 30 pounds so far! WOO WOO! I am so proud of you , Michele!

We are going to see this thang all the way thru!


I'm ready for my closeup!!

Arms down, suck it in!

Damn, I'm hot!!

Cya! You can do it!!! Oh almost forgot! Thanks to all for your love and support! Could not have come this far without you!!

Obsession, You're My Obsession....

Hey All!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend! I took some "me" time, got mani'd and pedi'd and the hair did, and got a few things done around the house for Christmas! Didn't do too bad on Turkey Day - managed to fry one up without burning down someone's house or having to roll someone around in the grass......

I really would like to be funny tonite (or today, depending on when you are reading this), and I had a couple of ideas on what I would write, but something happened just a few hours ago that has kind of shaken me up .

I put a question to Nona earlier this week about being obsessed with the whole weight loss thing. I admit, I dwell on this subject more than I should, almost to the point to where it takes over most of my conversations. Nona informed me that she rarely brings the subject up herself, and that she uses her blog to vent and rant about the struggle. Sooo...I'm gonna take her lead and do that tonite.

For the month of November, I have been in all or nothing mode. I think with the weigh in being right after the holiday and me not reaching some of the goals that I had set for myself had put me in a tailspin. All that I have been able to think about is those numbers on the scale, what I they say now and what I would like them to say by weigh in. I planned what I was going to eat until then, when my period came and how I was going to deal with the excess bloat and how I was going to handle Thanksgiving.

The week of the holiday, I was on a downward slide, so I figured if I upped my water, and ate only when I was hungry I could get a good jump in before the next Tuesday. My only big meal was lunch. On Thanksgiving, I would only have that one good meal. Plus walking every nite, no matter how cold.

Well, it worked. I would have my flavoured coffee w/cream and a few macadamia nuts, a good lunch or a nice meal around five (nothing big after 7p) drink my 64oz of water, then go and do my power walk. Last Monday I was at 222 - this morning I weighed in at 217. I haven't lost 5 lbs in a week since this whole thing started. And I admit, I felt great!! I finally had control over this thing.....

Control...remember this word, we will be coming back to it...

I took and extra vacation day to rest up from the weekend and get a few things done. I ran my mom to her doctor appointment, we did a little shopping and I started and completed a small painting project. I got ADHD, what can I say? Anyhoo, I looked up and realized that it was about 7:15 and I had not had any dinner or water. I had a small salad for lunch, and I was very hungry so I made some tuna salad and poured myself 20oz of water. By 7:45, I had eaten the salad and managed to drink all 64 oz of water. The water was no problem, it was the food that I was having trouble with. On Atkins, or any diet, you are advised to eat until satisfied, not stuffed. Because I was hungry, I was eating a bit more that I would have liked, but I noticed that I was trying to make do with two or three bites of food. I was equating the feeling of hunger and an empty stomach with the weight loss, when just the opposite is true. So I choked down a little more and finished off the rest of my allotted water.

Now, I usually go walking about an hour after my last meal. It was pretty late so I decided to do maybe a half hour on the stair stepper and call it good. That was before I got on the scale..

See, I am a scale junkie...I would say that I weigh myself 3-6 times a day. I use the scale to measure how much exercise, if any, that I would do that nite to either maintain my current weight or lose for the week. On a normal day of eating , if I weighed in before my walk, my weight would be up about 2 lbs.

When I weighed in tonite, the scale read 224 - seven pounds! I had a panic attack, my head literally swam. All that I could think about was how I blew it, how I shouldn't have eaten that damn tuna (never mind that a gallon of water probably weighs 5lbs) and how I am not going to make my goal for the weigh in tomorrow. Then I looked in the mirror and something happened that made me almost get sick.

I didn't like what I saw. You know how you look at circus mirrors and it's all distorted? That's how I looked. All that I could see was an old "before" image of me.

Well that did it - I bundled up and at 9:00 pm in 27 degree weather, I headed out for a four mile walk. Only, I didn't walk. I felt crazy, just really anxious and the walk didn't feel like it was doing any good. I still felt bloated, I felt bigger. So I started to run. Not jog, not fastwalk, but run - and run til I was out of breath. Then I would slow down, catch my breath and run some more. I probably was running two blocks and walking two blocks, something that I always wanted to be able to do at this point in my exercise training. And I tried to tell myself that I was finally getting to a new level, but I knew exactly what I was doing.

I was trying to control my body and get rid of this ugly feeling of failure that I had. A scale - an inanimate object - had me losing my mind. Look, I am far from being an anorexic, but I got a taste of what goes on and it scared me. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why it was so important to be at a certain weight or why I was being so competitive in the first place. Or why I was panicking.

So, I arrived home winded and confused, and immediately sat down and took a minute to count my blessings. My mom is in good health, my brothers are prosperous and have their right minds, I have great friends both here and in the blogosphere, I am gainfully employed and life overall is good and filled with God's blessings.

So why can't I get over the scale? I did weigh myself again - the running worked, down to 219. And I have told myself that I will be happy with whatever the scale says tomorrow - but I don't know if I believe that.....

Til next time.....

Oh! Shout out to Nona! Glad you are feeling better! And to Dia at Runchilde, congrats on your recent loss! You will be on that motorcycle in no time!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sorry ...

I have been wretchedly ill this weekend with a stomach virus and not able to complete my weekly post. Will be back to regular programming this week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Do What You Love.....

Hey All!

Nona does the tango and plays tennis. TS has dance fever. Ms. Runchilde takes karate lessons. And your's truly is a hiking fanatic.

What do these women have in common? Besides the fact that they are four strong beautiful Black women that could snap mere mortals in two like a dry twig (don't know about you, but if I ever meet Dia / Runchilde I'm gonna be reeeeeeally nice)?

We all have found a way to combine fun and fitness into a formula for success. Exercise does not have to be a chore. In fact, the more you dislike it, the more excuses you make for not exercising, and poof! it's back to the cheeto's and tv.

But find something that you love and cannot wait to do, like dance or tennis, push a little harder so you get your cardio in, and WALA! There is your no nonsense, gee was that exercise workout routine. Try it! YOU CAN DO IT!!

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Course, mine can't be too happy, cuz I weigh in on the Tuesday after! What genius thought of that one? So far, I have dropped 3 more pounds for a total of 22 lbs since the start. Would like to get in the 2 - teens for weigh in - that was my goal. Sooo, eww I'm gonna be like those folks that you see in the afternoon on Thanksgiving, running or walking their dinner off! Guess I'm hooked!

Sorry to be so short - been battling the flu bug! But I got well just in time to cook dinner for the pack of ingrates that are passing themselves off as family members. Think I will cough all over the turkey......

Til next time!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Listen to the Hunger

Moving to the USA to attend graduate school, was a big change for me. Moving is generally recognised as one of life’s big stressors, and this move was no exception. It wasn’t just the challenge of getting used to a new environment that was problematic for me, I’d lived in Paris for two years preceding my move to the USA and so was prepared for that challenge. The thing that made the move most difficult for me was America’s racial politics which depending on one’s temperament, can generate more distress and heartache than any human should have to endure.

My sense of displacement, alienation, disillusionment, hurt and anger manifested themselves as a gnawing hunger which eating did not satisfy. This hunger grew more and more insatiable as time went on. I felt as though a huge hole had opening up in my soul and I needed to fill it to survive … to be whole. At first I would make myself little treats that I’d always enjoyed at home over conversations with my friends. I was trying I guess to recreate the warmth and connectedness of those moments. When that didn’t work I increased the quantities and when that didn’t work I began to branch out, trying one thing after another in larger and larger quantities. By the time I was consuming 20,000 calories a day in cakes, ice cream, sweet biscuits, chocolates and growing larger and larger, I realised that I was locked in a destructive cycle from which I desperately wanted to escape.

Every morning I tried to start fresh. I'd promise myself that I would not eat as I had done the day before. Sometimes I made it until 10am, sometimes noon but always I caved in before the day was over. It often started with having just one chocolate bar and that one would lead to 10 within an hour, which would lead to whole cakes, pints of ice cream, boxes of sweet biscuits etc.

Luckily for me, I happened to be invited to a party about 6 months into my binging career, where I overheard a women talking about her problems with compulsive overeating. I was not that familiar with the term then but I recognised it immediately as one that fitted my behaviour very well. I managed to catch her alone later on that evening and asked her how she managed to stop compulsively eating. She suggested I read a book called Listen to the Hunger by Elisabeth L. and gave me her number to call her once I’d read it. I got the book a few days later. It is quite a small book. Only 84 pages and I read it in one sitting as I cried and binged on chocolate bars.

The introduction read:
If someone habitually overeats, it is safe to say that person is hooked on using food to do things food cannot do. Habitual overeating is an addiction as powerful as the addiction to alcohol or other drugs. In many ways, it is even more difficult to deal with food abuse, since no one can stop eating completely. We can put alcohol and other drugs out of our lives. We do not need either substance for survival. We do need food. We must find a way to identify our legitimate hunger for food without letting it expand and absorb other hungers that need to be fed.

If whenever we feel a twinge of emotion, our first impulse is to put something in our mouths, we are misreading our inner signals. The key to getting “unstuck” is learning to pay attention to what is behind the craving for excess food. What needs are being masked or covered up by the desire to eat more? What is the hunger about?

The path away from food abuse leads out of the boredom and despair of compulsion into a many-splendored world of feeling and participation. The way out is sometimes steep and twisting, with temporary roadblocks, detours, and slippery places. It is a path to be travelled daily with all the aid and assistance we can get. Professional healers can help. So can fellow travellers. Our greatest resource – which is always available – is the inner voice that tells us who we are, what we feel, and what we need. If we will take time to listen and learn, we will slowly discover what the hunger is all about. The hunger will lead to an ever-increasing knowledge of what life is all about. We will grow through our hungers into greater understanding and strength. Each day will be richer and fuller. We will not cease to be hungry, but will learn what satisfies.
That was the beginning for me of a long and arduous journey of recovery from compulsive eating and sugar addiction to a healthy and balanced life.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adios - For Now

Alright Ladies and Gents ( I know you're out there),

This is me saying goodbye....for now. I have a Masters Thesis that has to get written and I have been procrastinating and procrastinating and now it's down to the wire. I'm not very good at multi-tasking so I'm not going to be able to blog and write my thesis. So I'm signing off for now. I'll be back no later then Jan 1.

Fear not however Sweet Potato Pie will live on. Tracy and Nona will continue to hold down the fort I'm sure. So keep coming back. There'll be plenty of weight loss news, tips and humor to keep you on track or to help get you started on your weight loss goals. Thank you all for making Sweet Potato Pie such a success.

C-You in January,

T.S. Johnson

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Set Your Dieting Rules

Set your dieting rules. What are dieting rules? Dieting rules are a set of guidelines that you will follow to help you achieve your weight loss goals and hopefully, by the time you've reached your goal weight, they become habits and an everyday part of your life.

On average you have to do something 17 times before it becomes a habit. 17. So don't think you're just going to wake up one morning, decide you're gonna lose weight and all your old habits will just fall by the wayside. No, you have give yourself a set of rules to follow to make that transition possible. And remember these have to be things you can live with FOR LIFE. Not just something you're doing until you get fit into the little black dress.

Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about here are my dieting rules:

T.S. Johnson's Dieting Rules

1. Eat breakfast no exceptions. Even if it is just a piece of fruit.

2. Drink at least a glass (8oz) of water after I eat anything. And I mean ANYTHING. If I chew a piece of gum I've got to drink water.

3. Walk at least 30 minutes a day 6 days a week. No exceptions. If I do other things fine but if can't do anything else I gotta at least walk.

4. Eat 25 - 30g of fiber everyday. No exceptions. Doesn't matter what else I eat...gotta get the fiber in.

5. Don't feel guilty about falling off of the wagon. Recognize it happens and as long as I'm doing Steps 1-4 I should be okay.

So there you have it. Those are the rules I live by and let me tell you it makes a WORLD of difference in trying to lose the weight and sticking to my goals. So if you haven't set you some rules...get to it. It could mean the difference between losing the weight and trying to lose the weight.

Today is a new day. So what are you waiting for?

Weight Loss Tip of the Day

Make lunch your main meal. Although they do this throughout Europe, a good explanation for eating your big meal at midday comes from ayurveda, India's 5,000-year-old approach to wellness. "According to ayurveda, we're actually designed to eat the larger meal at lunch because our digestive 'fire,' called agni, is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so we digest more efficiently," explains Jennifer Workman, a Boulder, Colorado-based ayurveda specialist, registered dietitian and author of Stop Your Cravings (Free Press, 2001). "I've seen people in my practice lose 5 to 10 pounds just by doing this."


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Weight Loss Tip of the Day

Start with soup. This Japanese tradition is one of the best weight-loss strategies. That's because eating soup, particularly the broth-based vegetable kind, before your entrée fills you up so you eat less during the meal, explains Barbara Rolls, Guthrie professor of nutrition at Penn State University in University Park, and author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan (Harper-Collins, 2005). A two-year French study of 2,188 men and 2,849 women found that those who ate soup five to six times a week were more likely to have BMIs below 23 (considered lean), compared with infrequent- or noneaters whose BMIs tended to be in the 27 range.


Food Diary - Day 3

So today was a really bad day for me. When I say bad, I mean BAD. Anywho, I did what I normally do when I have a bad day...found something good to eat. This time...a pint of Blue Bell Cookies n' Cream ice cream. Sigh. I'm a work in progress.

t - Kashi high fiber cereal with 2Tbs of raisins
Fiber - 12g
Water - 16oz

Water - 16oz

Lunch - Grilled chicken with medium apple
Fiber - 4g
Water - 16oz

Snack - Pint of Blue Bell Cookies n' Cream ice cream
Fiber - 0g
Water - 16oz

Water - 16oz

Snack - Pecans and raisins trailmix
Fiber - 3g
Water - 16oz

Dinner - Grilled chicken with mushrooms, onion and carrots
Fiber - 12.3g
Water - 16oz

Total Fiber - 31.3
Total Water - 112oz
Exercise - 30 minutes walking/running
20 minutes on the treadmill
30 minutes weights

Eat Like the Master.....

Mere seconds before all the lycra exploded......

Hi All!!

Had a faaabulous time Saturday nite! Details next post, I'm still recovering (what can I say, I'm old!)

I did want to add a quick thought for y'all tho....

Recently, my mother was told by her doctor that she could eat pork. Lean pork, mind you, but pork just the same. She was astounded! She thought that all pork was bad for you and that the pig was the cause of heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.

I, of course was elated, cuz me and little oinky have been best friends since grade school. But now that I am older and wiser (and fatter), I realize that you have to be smart about everything that goes into your mouth. So, ladies, and gents too (I know you are out there! Call me!) get your pencils and papers out! Here is your guide for pork, and just about any kind of meat or food:


Ok, this part is for the Black Folks - everyone else talk amongst yourselves....

We have all heard the stories about Massa getting the good part of the hog, cow, etc and the slaves getting the leftovers. That's how we got chitin's, pig feet, ears, stomach, tongue, brain and all the other parts that should be thrown away. Yes, we were talented enuf to make all of that taste good, and we have even made some of this main stream, but at what cost? OUR LIVES!

These "parts" are all just fat and gristle, not meat. Instead of eating and "seasoning" with the leftovers, eat the lean cuts. Watch the bacon and ham or anything that is smoked(including turkey) for nitrates and salt. Folks, we're not slaves anymore, and while some of us are far from rich, there are affordable, leaner choices that can be made.

Trim the fat to 1/8" and grill or bake, and center cut chops are a lean choice. Tenderloin roasts are also and excellent choice. Same goes for beef, and chicken. Do you know I actually saw some chicken feet for sale? How much meat can be on those? And whose idea was it to market turkey tails?

If you are a carnivore, like me, make it a point, no a mission, to eat healthier, better quality foods. They will make a difference in how you look and eventually feel.

Oh yeah, get some salad and veggies in there too! ;)

Til next time, good night!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weight Loss Tip of the Day

Do you suffer from buffet thinking? If the availability of more food items adds to your temptation level then, you'll have to answer "Yes.". A recent study suggested that the more food choices you have, the more you consume. Stick to a healthy variety of a fewer number of items and you may be less likely to overeat.


Food Diary - Day 2

Today wasn't the best day but I got all my fiber in and just barely made my water goal for the day.

- Kashi Cereal with 2Tbs of raisins
Fiber - 12g
Water - 16oz

- Large pear
Fiber - 4.5g
Water - 16oz

Snack - 1 6 pack of Oreo cookies
Fiber - 2g
Water - 0oz

Snack - Pecan and rasin trailmix
Fiber - 3g
Water - 0oz

Dinner 1 - Big N Tasty value meal with cheese from McDonalds
Fiber - 8g (Yeah really. No lie.)
Water - 8oz

Water - 8oz

Dinner 2 - Grilled chicken with sauteed mushrooms, onions and carrots
Fiber - 12.3g
Water - 16oz

Fiber - 39.8g
Water - 64oz
Exercise - 30 minute walk/jog
20 minutes on the treadmill
30 minute weights/abs

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weight Loss Tip of the Day

Avoid eating anything directly out of the container, particularly foods that lend themselves to binges like ice cream or potato chips. It's virtually impossible to practice portion control when you eat straight out of a container. Plus, the experience of eating the food in and of itself will be different. As you eat from a container, you're likely to feel out-of-control, thinking, "If I'm being this 'bad' then I should just go all the way." You'll feel more in charge of your actions by eating one serving mindfully from a dish.


Food Diary - Day 1

Food diaries are a great way to keep track of what you're eating and keeps you honest about what you're consuming and how much you're consuming. I've been resisting FOREVER actually keeping a food diary. I thought it was hokey and unnecessary but it turns out it is a very handy way to keep me on track with attaining my goal of 25 - 30 grams of fiber a day and ultimately getting down to 140 pounds.

So I will keep a daily food diary until I reach my goal weight. Feel free to comment. Talk about keeping it honest...with the whole world watching and all.

- 1 cup of Kashi high protein, high fiber cereal with raisins.
Fiber - 1 2g (including raisins)
Water - 16oz

- 1 small apple
Fiber - 3.0
Water - 16oz

Lunch - Spinach salad with tomato, cucumber, carrots and oil and vinegar dressing.
Fiber - 5.6g
Water - 16oz

Snack - 1 large pear
Fiber - 4.5
Water - 8oz

Snack - 1 6 pack of Oreo cookies
Fiber - 2g (Really. Scouts honor)
Water - 8oz

Dinner - Veal with carrots and mushrooms
Fiber - 0g
Water - 16oz

Snack - 1 small apple
Fiber - 3.0g
Water 16oz

Total Fiber - 29g
Total Water - 96oz
Exercise - 30 minutes of walking/running
20 minutes on the treadmill
30 minutes of weights/abs

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Dose of Hateration: Damn Those Men!

Why Men Lose Faster than Women

Men Have Faster Metabolisms
Men are biologically programmed to have higher amounts of lean body mass, or muscle, than women. Lean body mass is the key factor that determines the rate of one's metabolism, the body's calorie-burning system. Since men have more muscle, their metabolisms are higher, and they burn more calories even when they're resting, so the final result is a more rapid weight loss.

How much faster are men's metabolisms than women's? Research has found that on average the metabolism of a man is 5 to 10 percent higher than that of a woman of the same weight and height.1

Men Are More Active
Another reason men often lose weight faster then women is that they tend to be more physically active. In fact, a study reported in the American Journal of Physiology found that women burn an average of 16 percent fewer daily calories than men.2 The researchers looked into that difference, finding that the women's resting metabolic rate was 6 percent lower than that of men (e.g., a slower metabolism) and that the calories burned in physical activity was 37 percent lower than that of men. In other words, the women were simply not moving as much as the guys so were burning fewer calories.

This burns me up. I know it shouldn't. But I'm sure if you've ever dieted with a male friend or significant other and watched while he gets all svelte and sexy and you still look like a chunky monkey you know how I feel.

This is why there will never be a female Biggest Loser. I just don't think it's possible with men burning off more calories at a faster rate. I'm convinced that as long as the game is played the way it is it's just not going to happen.

This particular article doesn't mention it but others do that because women are the birthing ones of the species we keep a higher percentage of body fat which also makes it difficult for us to lose weight. ARRRRGH, I say.

But the more active thing we can work on. Even if men aren't athletes they still get out there and play ball or something physical in nature. Women aren't so inclined to do that. We sit around and And if you're like me and my friends, there is usually some food involved. LOL. So yeah...we gotta take responsibility for what we can.

To read the rest of the article click on Why Men Lose Faster than Women under 'Articles' in the sidebar.

Weight Loss Tip of the Day

Dietary control and exercise. It’s true what they say - all you need to do is watch what you eat, and expend more energy than you consume. It’s really that simple. You now know everything you need to know and didn’t need to fork over $500 for the privilege of me telling you the secret of losing weight. You don’t need to read a 4,000 page book, you don’t have to buy a tape series, you don’t need to stay up late at night to watch infomercials to understand this basic premise. It’s 100% true.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Beginning of An Abusive Love Affair

I have searched my memory for the one defining moment that moved me from a “normal” eater to a “not-so-normal” one, but I can’t find it.

I don't think there was just one defining moment but rather many little moments that had the cumulative effect of driving me to eat more than my body needed for its health.

My parents, though married for 50 years, have had an acrimonious and contentious relationship which I think created great obstacles to them being emotionally available parents. They fed, clothed, housed, schooled and protected us, but they were almost completely incapable of providing emotional stability, nurturing, support or guidance.

When I look back at my childhood, I still feel keenly my sadness, loneliness, bewilderment and fear. I suspect that my inability to manage so many distressing and destabilising emotions drove me to seek comfort in sweet foods. Of course, I don’t remember the exact moment or circumstance when it struck me that sweets had special powers to anaesthetise pain, but I do remember that from the age of 8, I developed such an obsession with sugary foods that I was driven to steal coins from my father’s trouser pockets to finance my growing taste for toffees, sugar cakes, nut brittle, boiled sweets and whatever else I could get a hold of. I was even willing to risk the wrath of God, by keeping half the money my mother gave me for Sunday School collection each Sunday, to buy sweets on my way home from church.

My mother ran a very healthy kitchen and she rarely gave us snacks or sweets, so I had to be very careful about concealing my habit from my parents and my three sisters.
One thing I could not conceal though was my growing body. I moved from an average sized little girl to a chubby one seemingly overnight if you go by my childhood photos. Yet I don’t remember anyone expressing alarm or realising that something must be wrong.

A few years ago I told my mother about my stealing and secret binges as a child and in her characteristically emotionally detached way, she said, “Oh that’s why you used to bring your lunch back home almost everyday.”

I didn’t remember not eating my lunch, but I did remember eating so many sweets between leaving school and arriving home that I didn’t have any appetite for dinner and would often just nibble stuff and push my food around my plate to make it look like I’d eaten something so I wouldn’t get into trouble for not eating.

I asked my mother if she didn’t find it strange that I didn’t eat lunch and sometimes didn’t eat dinner, but was growing fatter by the minute. She just shrugged which I took for a 'no'.

When people talk about obesity being a family illness, they are usually referring to parents who overeat and cultivate the same habits in their children, but what you hear less about is children eating to comfort themselves in a dysfunctional environment or parents who are themselves a healthy weight but watch their children growing fat without acknowledging that something is terribly wrong in their child’s life.

My mother did try to intervene a few times when I was a teenager, after doctors warned her that I was too heavy for my height, but whatever strategy suggested by the doctor she tried to enforce never
worked because it did not take into account the reason for my eating.

When I left primary school for high school at 11, I no longer had to steal to acquire sweets because I got an allowance and could buy whatever I wanted. It seems to me though that when I entered high school my consumption of sweets slowed down and though I did continue to have what I called at the time a “sweet tooth”, it didn’t seem quite as intense as it had been in primary school. I went from what I now understand was "binging" to "grazing", which essentially means that while I still needed sugar I no longer felt the need to eat huge amounts of it all day long. I just took smaller quantities throughout the day. So for example instead of having 5 bags of M&Ms for lunch. I would have lunch and one packet of M&Ms after for a treat. If my friends and I went out for ice-cream intead of ordering a double cone in front of them and then when they were gone doubling back for two more double cones, I was satisfied with my double cone while they ate their singles.

I was
definitely still attached to sugar and I was still overweight but as I grew less emotionally dependent on my parents and began to develop my own life and perhaps some emotional resilience, sugar played a more minor role in my life ... that is until I moved to the United States for graduate school.

Speaking of Compulsive Eating....

Hey All!

It's been like a rollercoaster these past few days! Yes, I fell off of the wagon, but I am back on and holding on to the reigns!

"Oh goodness, Tracy, how ever did that happen?" I can truthfully say that it was not my fault....It was my Uncle's fault....He died. The wake was last Friday and the funeral was on Saturday. All weekend long I was up to my ass in fried chicken, sweet potato pie (I ate a whole one by myself), greens, dressssinng, and every kind of cake you can imagine.

Ladies, it was not pretty. Now I know how drug addicts feel when they relapse - I totally lost control. And I kept telling myself "Okay, just have one more piece of this pie, then stop. You can cheat a little, it won't hurt". Next thing you know, Sunday morning I'm at the all you can eat breakfast buffet with two plates full of french toast sticks and a bowl of maple syrup. The maple syrup was my beverage...

What stopped me dead in my tracks was two things - I started to feel dizzy and lightheaded from all of the sugar and carbs that I was eating, and I totally forgot about a certain purple sequined dress that I had to squeeze in THAT NEXT SATURDAY!!

Soooo, I put that weekend behind me, and started fresh last Monday - four pounds heavier!! have managed to shed two of those pounds so far, and my goal before the next weigh in is 10 lbs. I want to be in the 2-teens by the end of the month. I can do it....but for right now, I gotta get in that dress!

It's a cute little number...I was going to post pics this time, but the dress wasn't fitting as smoothly as I would have liked. But no problem!! I came up with a solution tonite as I was retrying the dress on.

Now, ladies, Moi is a firm believer in foundations - ya know, girdles! Put one on, drop a size and smooth out the love handles, plus they help your posture. You won't be able to exhale, and you are probably crushing some major organs, but who really needs a liver and a pancreas anyway? You are looking good, that's all that matters!

The dress is a little snug around my problem area - the middle! I swear, I look like an apple on two sticks. I am doing 50 crunches a night and it is helping some, but I gotta look good by Saturday, so I needed a quick fix. Now, the girdles that I have are pretty much for support, so if you have a belly and no waist line, they kind of meld into one round like shape. For this dress, I needed some hips and a waistline, so I went to the tried and true method for fakin' the funk.....

That's right, I reached for the Saran Wrap! Laff if you want to, that stuff is better than Spanx! And cheaper too! Five or six go rounds around my middle and WALA! - instant waistline! And as an added bonus, once you are wrapped like a mummy, you don't want to eat as much because you are scared of the whole thing rolling into a big tourniquet and cutting you in half!

HAHAHA! Don't ya love being a girl? I'm not even going to mention the purple suede matching shoes that deform my feet as I walk! By Sunday morning, I'm going to have hoofs (hooves?) but Saturday nite, I'm gonna look great!

Well, I think the lesson we all can learn from this is :

a. When you are dieting, try not to have relatives die. If they can't help it, don't go to any funerals til after you have reached your goal.

b. When you fall, get right back up, forgive yourself, and carry on. No one is perfect, and the road to success is paved with little slip ups.

c. French Toast sticks RULE!!

d. Saran Wrap is a girl's best friend.

Til next time, keep up the good fight ladies! YOU CAN DO IT!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Compulsive Eater and Sugar Addict

A long time ago I came to the realisation that I was a sugar addict and compulsive overeater. This realisation did not come overnight. It took years to understand myself and my relationship with food.

I was a pretty normal eater and average sized kid up until the age of 8, but around 8 I developed an abnormal and unconscious relationship with food. Abnormal because I used food particularly sugary foods not just to fuel my body’s functions but to comfort, nurture and protect myself. Unconscious because for a long time I didn’t understand that that was what I was doing.

I have lived in Barbados, France, the USA and Britain and though these are very different societies in many ways, two of the things they have in common regarding obesity is their lack of understanding of many of the psycho-social issues that create obesity and their assumption that overweight or obese people are simply greedy, lack willpower, don’t care about ourselves, have not pride, are lazy, stupid etc. and therefore can be ridiculed subtly or overtly and generally discriminated against.

I’m not a doctor, dietician, psychiatrist or psychologist and I don’t pretend to know everything about obesity. What I do know from my own experience however, is that obesity is a symptom and the most successful way to treat it is to identify and address its root cause(s).

Thanks to Sweet Potato Pie for affording me a space for this weekly post sharing my history as a compulsive eater and sugar addict, and my journey to living a healthier life.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy dance, y'all!


Hello Lovely People!!

Gotta run to another hiking expedition, so this will be short....Weighed in Friday at 227.6 for a contest loss of 7.9 pounds for the month - yay!

Wanted to keep the momentum going, so I tried faster walking/slow jogging for a few blocks of my nightly walk.

Got on the scale this morning, and danced all thru the house!! 19.2 lbs. lost so far!!! Maybe I will make my goal after all!

Talk at ya later!!

OH! And a big welcome to Nona from England! Can't wait to hear from the other side of the pond!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Welcome a New Blogger

Hi All,

A new Blogger has joined the Nona. She hearkens from England and has a blog of her own 55kg that chronicles her journey to get back to her goal weight of 55kg (That's about 120 pounds for the metric unit challenged folk. lol).

Let's give her a big Sweet Potato Pie welcome. And I look forward to her first post.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Setting Weight Loss Goals

A while back Tracy talked about setting goals if you're serious about losing weight. Well, I agreed whole heartedly....and then didn't do anything about it. Namely setting my own goals. Conventional wisdom tells us that those people who set and implement their goals are the most successful at whatever it is they are trying to accomplish. It's a way of holding yourself accountable and gives you a visual representation of where you are and where you need to be.

I NEVER set goals. At least not enough to take the time to write them down and say, "Okay. This is what I want to do and this is how I plan on getting there." And maybe that's why I never (or rarely) end up where I want to be in the time I want to be there in.

Well, today is a new day. And I'm no longer waiting.

My Weight Loss Plan

Current Weight:
161 pounds (Publix scale. It doesn't lie)

To be 140 pounds

Start Date: Already Started

End Date: By December 31. Trying to look good for that New Years Bash! And for a lifetime. This time I'm keeping it off!

How: A combination of diet and exercise mainly focusing on fiber intake and ratcheting up the cardio via wogging, stair master, walking on treadmill and soon dancing.

Plan: I don't do well with diets. I've got authority issues and don't like being told what to do even if it's passively from a diet book. But I recognize that I HAVE to change my eating habits and adjust my workouts for my body type if I'm going to succeed. And as I've mentioned before, I like ice cream too much and most diets don't allow it.

So because of my ice cream desires and my authority issues I've decided to focus on something that I can do....and that's focus on my fiber intake. Americans get about 7 - 15 grams of fiber a day and if you're a woman you need about 25 - 30 grams of fiber to keep the system moving.

Studies have also shown that eating fiber keeps the weight off AND helps you to lose the weight. I figure if I focus on my fiber intake then the rest will take care of itself. 80% of weight loss is diet anyways.

As far as exercise goes I have generally been good about that but I have to tailor my work outs to my body type (more on that later) and that's been my big issue.

So that's it. My Great Weight Loss Plan. I'll update weekly with weekly weigh ins, food diaries and dress size changes. If I'm encouraging everyone else to get on the ride then I need to make sure I'm hopping on the ride as well. And a weigh we go!

Today is a new day. What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

If nothing that I have said so far has persuaded you....

Where the hell are we?

The Gang! Ken, Me, Michele, Cynthia, and Little Lizzie! change your lifestyle and get healthy and fit.....please read on!!

Hi All!

I have been really happy lately, just really, really happy. Dunno if it is the exercise or the vitamins or what, but I have just been elated. OH!! I know why! It happened last Friday....

I was getting some lunch. It had been a long week and I decided that I would treat myself to some pizza - crustless of course! (God, I love this diet!!) So I placed my order and sat on a bench in the foyer to wait.

Now, let me set the scene for you. Here I was, little ol me, in my cute Jones New York slinky top, my boot cut slim pants, and my brand new wig (yes I unapologetically wear wigs! You got a problem with that, you are more than welcome to come over and do my hair every morning!)

In short, I was looking F - I - N - E fine! To me anyways....Anyhoo, there was this guy in the buffet line probably 30 feet from me. Tall, cowboy lookin guy, wavy hair, nice butt - and he kept looking over at me! ME! It was like, get some pizza, look at me, get some salad, look at me, get some cheesy bread, you get the idea....

Now I am a stickler for eye contact and smiling and saying 'hello'. I don't trust anyone that cannot return your gaze, especially when speaking to you. When you are a big girl tho, eye contact from another male can be rare. Sometimes you get the quick look away, or the look over your head thing, or the look scared and run in the other direction. Ladies, any man that would do any of these things is not worth the precious breath that you are wasting on them.......MOOOVE OOON!

Oh, back to the anyway, dude was looking at me, and I smiled and said "Hi! How are ya?" and dude KEPT EYE CONTACT, KEPT SMILING and said "Good, how are you?"

I said "Fine" and he said, get this, he said "Yes ya are"! Just like that, country twang and all!

Then he went and probably joined his wife for lunch......but that one moment made me feel so wonderful!!!

And it happened a couple more times this weekend! Eye contact, little conversation, no ones running away.......Dang, I must be getting good looking!

Every one says that they can see the loss in my face....which I thought was a nice way of saying "....but your butt is still massive..." but..I am starting to see and feel different, better, more energetic. Every morning is like Christmas....wait, barf, change that.....Every morning is exciting because of the subtle changes that I am going thru.

Weigh in is this Friday and so far I am at 228. I am a qualified size 20 and an and 18 in elastic.

My body and the scale are doing two opposite things, so I have come to a decision. The first weigh in showed our team with a total loss of 37 pounds. The number one team had a loss of 90 pounds. So I don't think that we are going to win this one. But my team is not giving up the fight for fitness!

In my obsessive battle with the scale, and because of a slight injury, I decided to drop the weight training, thinking it was the training that was keeping my weight from dropping. (Sorry, Grant)

Well, I am starting weights up again, along with my powerwalking and my new sport, hiking. In the end, its only numbers on a scale. And those numbers are the only thing blocking the total picture - my health. So, no more jumping on the scale until it says what I think it should say, no more fretting over hormonal/water retention bouts, no more weighing up to 10 times a day!

I will continue my diet and exercise plan, and let my body do it's thing the way it wants to. Make Peace and Mooooove On!!

Well gotta get some of my fabby new clothes out for work tomorrow! Life is really fun!! Oh, and the pics are of a hiking trip that my team went on a couple weeks ago - four miles in the woods! We had a great time!!

Til next time.....YOU CAN DO IT!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Socio-economic Reasons Behind Obesity and Responses From Readers has an interesting take on the obesity epidemic in the U.S. They look at it from a genetic, body image, socio-economic and class perspective. While I don't know if I agree with the body image take and study after study has shown that genetics play a limited role in obesity/overweight issues, the socio-economic/class issues really hit home.

Just from personal experience it can be very expensive to eat healthily. If you're poor or on a fixed income you just don't have the money to shop at Whole Foods. And fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats are EXPENSIVE. Here is a bit of the article:

It's not as if we don't have the evidence that these factors -- culture, class, education, genetics -- matter. Yet another study just came out by University of Washington researchers who found gaping disparities in obesity rates among ZIP codes in the Seattle area. Every $100,000 in median home value for a ZIP code corresponded with a 2 percent drop in obesity.

Adam Drewnowski, director of the UW Center for Obesity Research, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,"If you have this mind-set that obesity has to do with the individual alone, then ZIP codes or areas really should not come into this. But they do, big-time."

This is not to say that individual behavior doesn't play a vital role in our country's obesity rate, but we too often neglect to think about the cultural and institutional influences on a person's behavior when it comes to eating and exercise.

You would never look at a working class, single mother driving a jalopy with three kids crawling around in the back and say, "Gees, what's her problem? Why can't she drive the Lexus hybrid like me?" You understand that she doesn't have the means, and furthermore, probably doesn't have the peer influence that would make it seem like a viable option.

In the comments section of the article a working mom comments about the class aspect of weight loss and healthy eating:

Most interesting, this article. I am a working-class single mother
who, until very recently, worked two jobs, six days a week, and
could only squeeze in one weekend afternoon (after work) a
swim at my local "Y". I worked out for three years, and made
much progress on my physique, but also note that without a
car, I was not able to work out more often.
Two years ago, I was suddenly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, had to move to a smaller residence (where I now live
alone, my kids are now grown), and cope with my new illness
as best as I could living on S.S.I.
What I've discovered that compared to my previous working life, I now had time to focus on physical health, learn to be
able to pamper myself, and eat healthier than I used to.
What I've also discovered is it takes a lot of work to eat
healthier, as I've noted, you can't keep a head of lettuce
(or any produce, for that matter) for a week in your fridge.
In order to be able to just keep up a regimen of healthy eating, you have to shop several times a week to keep
fresh fruits and vegetables available for most every meal.
There is no way on God's earth with the kind of grueling
schedule I used to keep that I could have the luxury of
sashaying off to my local health food produce store to
keep fresh food on hand as I can now that I no longer am

Other readers make an excellent point that the article actually misses and that's the role of Big Food, Big Agriculture and Big Government play in the obesity issues that face the US:

However, what is missing here is some discussion of the effects of industrial farming practices on the nutritional content/value of the food we buy and eat every day. And the preservation of the integrity of the soil. [This is not the place for organics-fans, vegetarians and vegans to insert a statement of how clever they are to buy organic: this problem is much bigger than your adorable little consumer habits. Call me hostile, but it would be a real break if the solipsists could just peek above their personal horizons for a brief moment to look at the bigger picture.]

We cannot continue to extract our food by the brutal forces we apply in crop farming, animal farming, food marketing, artificial this and Bt that, terminator seeds a third, and still expect to preserve the integrity of our food and our environment. It's gradually becoming clearer to the brighter lights among us that despite the vast amounts of food consumed by many here in the West, that people are actually still hungry, that no amount of this nutritionally empty industrially produced food laced with hunger-generating hormones will satisfy.

And another

...check out the labels on some common foods and condiments (ketchup, worcestershire sauce, etc.). these days it is difficult to find a prepared food that does not include the ingredient "high fructose corn syrup". this is not a naturally occurring additive - it is highly processed and has no nutritional value. in fact, it is very likely a health hazard. even bread products now have this as one of the main ingredients. i challenge you to look at the list of ingredients next time you go to buy bread. asking people to give up carbohydrates entirely is absurd, but even food that is not considered "carb" contains this ingredient. it is entirely for the profit of the manufacturers that this is in our diet, and its inclusion probably contributes to the problem of weight with which many of us struggle. obesity in america has many underlying causes. let's not forget that seemingly innocent foods can be as much a part of that as the trend over the past several years to make servings at restaurants and take-away food merchants enormous. some responsibility has to be laid at the feet of the purveyors.

I think what the article and the comments show is that the obesity issue in this country is no where near as simple as "Just take personal responsibility for your behavior and choices." While that is a part of it there are also a lot of entities working to make SURE you overeat. I think you have to look at the whole picture and understand ALL the FACTORS involved regarding weight and food in America to best devise a strategy to lose the weight and live a healthier life.

To read the rest of How to Address Obesity in a Fat-Phobic Society click on the link in the sidebar under "Articles." Be sure to read the comments as well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Word for Us Diabetics....

Me, Before

Hi All!!

Tonite, I am tired!! Good tired, but tired nonetheless! I weigh in next week and so far I have lost 5 pounds! Woo Hoo but I want five more off!! So, I have gone back to walking on my lunch hour and again in the evening, along with weight training. I think I overdid it, cuz tonite I am sore. Soooooo.....I'm going to listen to my body tonite and rest up a bit. I wanted a chance to catch up with y'all anyways!

Got some really good news from my doctor last week! As you all know, I have Diabetes that I control by my diet and pills. My type of Diabetes has less to do with the pancreas and insulin and more to do with the sugar my body takes in not tranferring from the cells to the muscles.

Now, I have one of those in- your -face doctors. I honestly think that he is a fat-a-phobic because everything that is wrong with me is because "You're Fat". Not overweight, not carrying a bit too much weight, but "fat". According to Dr. Sensitive, if I would stop drinking the soda, stop eating all the sugar and breads and donuts etc., and FOR GOD'S SAKE get some exercise, I wouldn't have :

Constantly blurred vision
Yeast Infections
Blotches (they are called Diabetics rash and form on your neck and back)
An urgent need to go to the bathroom at least twice in the night

And.....if I took care of myself now I could completely avoid:

Kidney Problems
Problems with Circulation
Heart Attack and Stroke
Premature Death

For two years, I laughed at this man and did not take him seriously, because I did not feel that bad. And for two years he kept on telling me that it is only going to get worse, but keep on because my insurance company pays him whether I listen to him or not. Charming and blunt!

Well, I hit 40 and the bottom fell out! Suddenly, I started needing my "reading glasses" more and more, and I felt tired all the time. After a nite of eating and drinking the wrong stuff, my eyes would be bloodshot red, and I had a constant yeast infection. And worst of all, I was getting so big!! I couldn't pull off "thick" anymore. I was deep in "fat-assed" territory. (see pic)
(don't laugh!) (ok, you can laff just a little). And worse than that, the only man that was even remotely attracted to me was the dishwasher at Bob Evans!! The one with the brown teeth! Eww. At that moment, I decided that I needed to do something about the situation.

So anyhoo, I went back to my doctor, and told him that I would like to try the Atkin's diet since it would cut down on my sugar and carb intake. If the man could have kissed me, he would have.....

Since I started the diet in August, Dr. Killjoy has been monitoring my blood sugar, cholesterol etc. We also have been adjusting the dosage of medicine that I take. Now for those of you that don't have the big D, I will explain blood sugar levels. When your body is functioning as it should, your blood sugar levels should be around 85-110. When I was diagnosed with Diabetes, my level was at 502. And for two years I fluctuated between 190-300. Oh, I could get it down to 110 by not eating for a couple of days, but when I was "safe" again, it was back to the soda and candy. This is the phase in my life that I call "Being a Stupid Ass". My doctor agrees with this (of course).

Well, I am happy to report that since I have been on my diet and exercise regimen, my blood sugar has not gone over 112...that is almost normal. I have lost over 14 pounds, and three dress sizes. My eyesight is loads better, yeast is gone, and I sleep thru the nite! I have a ways to go before I get the total stamp of approval from Doc. Tellitlikeitis, but even he is kinda sorta happy.

Ladies, I realized finally that this was not going to get any better and decided to make a change for the better...... before I had a stroke or heart attack or my kidney's failed. Don't let your love for cake and soda put you in an early grave. I have only been doing this for a short period of time, and while I hurt tonite, the rewards are outweighing the inconveniences.

Diabetes is a silent killer - by the time you start showing symptoms of being sick, the damage has been done. Nothing is worth your health or the precious time that you have on this earth!
So, you have this disease, please take care of yourself....YOU CAN DO IT!!



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Permanent Weight Loss and Yes, Diets DO Work

Gaining weight is easy, losing it is hard and according to several well published studies keeping it off is damn near impossible. Studies show that 95% of people who lose weight put it back on in five years or less.



Why is that? I'm not sure what the studies say but my guess is people don't fully change their lives. The diet/exercise program they were on was just temporary. They started their weight loss regime to reach a goal: reunion, new years, summertime, something. And once that goal is reach they go right back to their old, fatty ways.

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar:

You start your diet/exercise regime. You follow it to the letter (mostly), the whole time counting the pounds you lost and the counting down the days until you can end this godforsaken diet. Ouch. And the moment you reach your goal weight it's HELLO OREOS! WOO HOO!

And then we complain that diets never work and how is it we managed to put the weight back on so fast. And this is for those of us who actually got started to begin with.


As a person who has gained and lost twenty pounds most of my adult life I understand the process all too well. What I've come to realize however, is there is only one way to lose the weight and to keep it off: Recognize that whatever I do I have to do it FOR LIFE.

That's right. For life.

So if you're going to do Atkins, you're going to do Atkins for life. If you're going to do Weight Watchers, you're going to do Weight Watchers for life. If you're going to do The Zone, you're gonna do it for life. It's just that simple.

You can't look at a 'diet' as a temporary thing. It's PERMANENT. So change your way of thinking and recognize that whatever you decide to do, it needs to be something you can do forever.

For me for example, I recognize I can't be on a diet that's not going to allow me to eat ice I can't. I tried. It never works. SMH. And the reality of it is I just eat more ice cream. LOL. I've never been good at deprivation.

So think long and hard before you start that next diet program. Ask yourself if this is something you can do for life. If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board and try again. Remember it shouldn't feel like a diet. It should feel like your life. 'Cause the truth of the matter is.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Practical Guide to Getting 90 Minutes of Exercise a Day

This was posted at the bottom of the previous blog but I thought it was important enough to warrant its own post.

Tips to Getting 90 Minutes of Exercise A Day

1. Take the stairs. Stairs burn lots of calories. Instead of taking the elevator, hop on the stairs. Yes, even if you're on the sixth floor. The higher the better.

2. Park far away. You'll be amazed at how much walking you do when you don't park near the building you're trying to enter.

3. Take a page from Tracy's book and work out on your lunch hour (or half hour). A brisk walk or weight work out will contribute to the 90 minutes you need to make each day.

4. Get up early and walk, run or go to the gym. If you just don't have the time during the day to work out, get up early and make it happen. Yes I recognize that could mean 4 or 5 in the morning for some of you, but hey if you treat exercise like you do work then it shouldn't be a problem.

5. Go for a walk after dinner. It's simple yet effective.

90 Minutes a Day Keeps the Fat Away

90 minutes.

That's the magic number to losing weight AND keeping it off.

Some years ago I was watching Dateline and they were following three people who had lost a significant amount of weight (30 pounds or more) and kept it off. What they had in common and what a medical study the show quoted showed: if you want to lose weight and keep it off, 90 minutes a day of working out is what it is going to take.


That's very different then the 30 minutes a day that was recommended for decades and more in line with the new government guidelines that say 30 - 45 minutes of aerobic activity at least 5 days a week PLUS an additional 30 to 60 minutes of additional physical activity a day (walking, taking stairs, housework, yard work, etc) for weight loss.

So how do you get 90 minutes of exercise a day into a busy work and home schedule?

Well ask yourself this: Do I watch 90 minutes worth of TV a day?

If the answer is yes - then you have 90 minutes to work out.

I recognize that it is not that simple but my point is that 90 minutes represents an hour long drama and a sitcom or three sitcoms or a Lifetime movie, so it is possible.

Practical Tips for Getting 90 Minutes Worth of Exercise a Day

1. Take the stairs. Stairs burn lots of calories. Instead of taking the elevator, hop on the stairs. Yes, even if you're on the sixth floor. The higher the better.

2. Park far away. You'll be amazed at how much walking you do when you don't park near the building you're trying to enter.

3. Take a page from Tracy's book and work out on your lunch hour (or half hour). A brisk walk or weight work out will contribute to the 90 minutes you need to make each day.

4. Get up early and walk, run or go to the gym. If you just don't have the time during the day to work out, get up early and make it happen. Yes I recognize that could mean 4 or 5 in the morning for some of you, but hey if you treat exercise like you do work then it shouldn't be a problem.

5. Go for a walk after dinner. It's simple yet effective.