Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mark Hyman, MD: Food Addiction: Could It Explain Why 70 Percent of Americans Are Fat?

Mark Hyman, MD: Food Addiction: Could It Explain Why 70 Percent of Americans Are Fat?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday in the Park...

Well, actually at the football field. #1 nephew has a game so I'm on it. It's a really nice day for football even though we had to be here EARLY! The game is being played in a city about 45 minutes from where I live so we had to roll out early.

Just so happen, we were in this same city last night, we being my hubby, my cousin, and her girlfriend. We wound up at one of the casinos and of course, we ate. It was sinful and I immediately had the "omg, what have I done?" guilt. I have another 15 to lose and suddenly, any misstep brings on massive anxiety!

One thing that I did learn last night (other than don't let guilt paralyze you) is that I need to count calories. The discipline of it works for me. It helps to keep me focused and aware of what's going in my mouth. I also need to stop eating with said cousin. I don't think it's deliberate but she's a saboteur. I consider last night an exercise in mindfulness.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Black Girl's "Skinny"

I had a very interesting conversation this morning with my co-workers.  There were 6 of us ( 3 black women, 3 white women) chatting over coffee and as always, the conversation turned to weight.  All of us have been working on losing and in the course of discussion, an interesting point was made.  Black women and white women have different ideas of "skinny".  We talked about how the images we see of both black and white women in the media are so different.  The ideas we have of what is considered a "healthy" size was drastically different.  As one of my co-worker's said. "After some point in seeing someone losing weight, if they get too skinny, I just want to feed them a sandwich."  I know as a black woman, we always hear lose weight but don't get "too skinny".  It's important, we are told, to keep your butt and all the other curvy parts lest you lose your man. *eyeroll*

From the time we are little girls, black females see what is considered "fine" by black men.  Using urban dictionary's definition, thick is what you wanted to be called.  Thick implied you were fine, sexy, wanted by the men.  As teen aged girls, you wanted that attention.  Then we were bombarded with images from music videos and reality shows like THIS  or THIS .  Never is healthy mentioned in this at all.  You were encouraged to be big because that's what society wanted from you.

Then I read this article and to say I was distressed and heart broken was an understatement.  One of the women interviewed bragged about the fact she maintain herself by eating junk food and not exercising.  In addition, she subscribes to the belief that "black women don't want to be skinny."

A damn shame.

There needs to be serious conversation about the way we are letting ourselves being portrayed in the media.  Not just black women but all women.   I look at young women in the school I work at and I see them emulating the images they see on TV.  Worse, I see the young men treating them as objects, not as classy, beautiful young women.  One day, I hope we can open their eyes and allow to see the life their parents intended, a happy, HEALTHY life!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


13 pounds gone! Poof! I was delighted and stunned. Only 19 more to go. Yay, team!
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Fear and the way it clouds perception.

I have a GP appointment today to take care of presurgery blood work.  I can't help but think of how I'm afraid that the doctor will find something wrong.  I'm not a hypochondriac but at times I feel pretty close.  I have always been the worrier, the "what if" person.  I have a tendency to think logically about things to the detriment of my mental well-being.  At the same time, I don't want to burden others with my worries so I bury them inside. 

I realized in the wee hours of the morning that I am afraid.  I want this so bad yet the idea of change scares me to death.  Once again the "what ifs" have come back.  You hear the stories about people can't handle it when there is significant weight loss.  I started to wonder if I could.  After reading this article and this post, I realize, at least in the African American community, the weight is a protection of sorts from the scary world, the unwanted attention.  I want to be seen for the bright mind I have, the wit that comes out sometimes not for the physical.  I learned early to avoid the unwanted attention when I began to develop because I wasn't ready for it.  I thought hiding in the weight would basically make me invisible. 

Now I am facing the very real and very literal coming out of my shell.  I can't help but wonder will I be able to handle the extra attenetion.  I know people will notice the weight loss right off but once the body shape really starts to change, I know there will be other types of attention, less than flattering attention.  Idea, frankly, scares me.  It seems like it would be so much easier to say hidden in this fat suit and allow it to be my shield.  I guess this is a true test, my way of becoming the change I want to see.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Certifiable? The jury is still out.

The psych eval was today and it was a complete session in confusion. I did a ton of paperwork and tests that kept asking the same questions. After a while, I started feeling nuts. In the back of your mind, you start to wonder if you are answering the questions right. They were true/false but some were so absolute that it was hard to say true/false. After that was a conversation with the doctor but he didn't really ask any life-altering questions. I will get a printout of the result so this will be interesting.
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Death to March Aerobics and Random Sunday Thoughts

It's a lovely Sunday and I decided to get this down before the day gets sucked away.   We tried the march aerobics DVD and nearly passed out on the floor!!  LOL  It was funny and insane.  The guy who developed the video was a drum major for Jackson State University.  For those not familiar with black college bands, it's all about the show and the music.  The drum majors could perform moves like this:

So you can see how hilarity ensued!  After we picked ourselves off the floor, we decided to break out the "Walk Away The Pounds" DVD instead! LOL!!  The video might be something I'm willing to try once I get in better shape but not now!  If you are interested in a copy, let me know!

So on one of the blogs I follow "The Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss" had an post about fat, low fat and fat free foods.  Can we just say I was stunned?  Of course, I looked into this myself after reading what Erica wrote .  In my effort to lose weight and become more healthy, I am trying the clean eating.  All that means is knowing what's in your food, less processed foods, more fresh foods.  In other words, cook at home! LOL  After reading labels, you come to realize that the full fat foods are healthier by way of knowing what you are getting and just reduce how much you eat or limit the number of times you eat them.  I mean, what is some of this stuff in the fat-free foods?  There are ingredients I've never heard of and can't pronounce.  It may just be me but I like knowing what I'm eating!

Example:  I am an ice cream junkie and I love Breyers:  Now this is Breyer's Strawberry Ice Cream.  Look at the ingredients.   There are 6!  SIX!!!

Now let's look at the fat-free! It's strawberry also but check out the ingredient list .  There are EIGHTEEN ingredients listed and you only save 20 calories!  OMG!!    I personally would rather save the calories and have a scoop of the regular ice cream. 

We always assume that eating fat-free is good for us but not at the expense of the random ingredients!  Who knows what havoc they wreak on our systems.  They may even be part of the reason the weight is not moving!  Read the labels, folks, and get out there and become more knowledgeable about what we are putting in our bodies!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Step One and Good Intentions

My psychological appointment is set for next Wednesday.  I'm really curious to see what they are looking for exactly.  I mean, can you tell in one visit if someone is nuts or not?  I'll post what happens when I go to see him.  His name is Dr. Jolly and I find that rather disturbing!  LOL

The 1800 calories is easier than I thought it would be.  My biggest problem is I'm actually eating around 1500-1600.  I'm eating constantly but I'm choosing better things so the calories are not there.  Keeping count of the calories has really made me aware of the emptiness I had been filling up on.  Now I wish I was near Madd Heather so I could check out that yoga class she has been raving about! :)  Instead, there is a class called "March Aerobics" that I've been interested in.  I have the DVD so I'm going to give it a shot and if I don't kill myself in the living room, I may actually give the class a try!

Have a wonderful and blessed day!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So It Begins...

The seminar for the surgery was very helpful.  I was reassured by the small number of people in my group (5!) and my case worker is really down to earth and really  helpful.  The physical took place yesterday afternoon and hubby was there.  He got a chance to ask his own questions and he says that he feels better now about the whole thing.  The program is really strict but has all types of supports in place for you and your family.

I have to lose at least 35 pounds before the surgery.  My date hasn't been scheduled yet, I'm just in phase one.  This includes blood work and the psychiatric evaluation.  My primary physician also has to clear me but that shouldn't be a problem considering she's the one who completed all my insurance papers in the the first place.  This means I'm back on Spark People, tracking my calories because they have the most wonderful counting tools that I can use online and on my blackberry!!   The nurse practitioner has placed me on a 1800-calorie diet.  After looking at the list, it's seems to be really doable.

This has suddenly become so real!  Sitting in the seminar listening to other women share the issues they have had with weight really hit home because they UNDERSTAND.  Anyone who has to fight with weight understands.  What bothers me is the fact a lot of people think surgery is the "easy" way.  It's not!  Do they know how much it took to get to this decision?  Can they even understand the weight of failure that comes from trying over and over again to lose weight, especially to someone who does not fail?  Do they even understand how much is required after the surgery?  They haven't even begun to feel the emotional toll.  This was not an easy decision but a necessary one.  It really boils down to surgery or die and I'm not ready to go yet.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sunshine On My Shoulder.

I must say today, I understand that I am truly blessed.  There are so many other things that could be plaguing me but I am happy.  Every now and then, a moment of bliss comes over me and I understand that everything is pretty good.  Sure, I'd love more money and the big house and the fancy car but my life is good and I happy for it.  Tomorrow is Friday, ya'll!  I hope you had a good work week!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hell is Hot!!

Today is the official first day of school with the kids and so far, so good.  My room, however, has no air!!  When we came back last week, the repair people were notified but as we are aware, no one came to fix it.  This is irritating and uncomfortable to say the least.  I've been sweating like a grilled pig and pissed off is a nice word for my attitude.  I was trying to come from a place of positivity but that rolled down my back with the sweat!!!

I only have one more class to go and one of my co-workers is letting me use his room so we won't all suffocate and die.  I'm just trying not to be extra bitchy about the whole thing but I can't see that happening in the near future!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Vacation Is Over!

Right now, I'm sitting in staff meeting, grumpy and sleepy. Today is the teachers first day back and I could really use a caffeine infusion. They are feeding us breakfast and lunch today, which is stunning because it never happens.

This is brief and there may be more later so hopefully everyone is having a good day.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award!!

I must say that this was a total surprise but I am so thrilled. Thanks goes out to Michelle at I must say that we have a great deal in common and the more support on this journey, the better! Losing weight is one of the hardest things I've ever undertaken but the community I'm finding is really making this journey much easier!

Now here are the rules of this award:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.(see above!)

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.

4. Let your nominees know about the award.

My seven things:

1. I am an accidental teacher. I didn't go to school to become an educator. I majored in Biology and avoided education as long as humanly possible. I enjoy the profession but not the politics.

2. I'm working on my Ed.D in Adminstrator Leadership. It's been a LONG time since I've been in school but I love the challenge and I've enjoyed making new friends.

3. I'm actually starting on my own original fiction. The idea of writing something that major really intimidates me! LOL I do love the story idea I have in my head though!!

4. I've be married for almost 11 years and we are looking at adoption in the near future.

5. I love the fall and football season. The fall because we get a break from this heat and football because it's football! GEAUX SAINTS!!!

6. If it wasn't for one of my friends, I wouldn't have started this blog. It has been a real eyeopener to me. I used to keep a journal all the time and I'm discovering by letting the emotions out, I'm not eating them!!

7. I have a weird sense of humor. I just don't know what makes me laugh! I love funny movies, corny jokes and silly stories. Maybe this is why my students and I get along fairly well, my brain is 16 sometimes!!

My 15 suggestions:

I won't go into much detail but I'll share the links and let you see for yourself the awesomeness!! (My dear friend) (You don't have to be black or a woman to enjoy this blog.)

Check them out and I hope you enjoy!

Cancer Cells Use Fructose to Grow: Don't Blame Us, Says Corn Lobby - Health Blog - CBS News

Cancer Cells Use Fructose to Grow: Don't Blame Us, Says Corn Lobby - Health Blog - CBS News

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Final Countdown!

My weight management seminar and physical are on August 23rd. I both nervous and excited! This is the beginning of such a life changing moment. Trying to keep prayed up and holding on to faith and friends!
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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bad Habits

I realized today that we are truly a product of our environments. I look at my eating habits now compared to before I married and the change has been incredible!

My mother cooked daily and there was always veggies. She kept healthy snacks like fruit all the time and sweets were after dinner only.

Now fast forward to married life; we eat out a lot! I'm married to a man who cooks for a living but is a picky eater (no fruit, seafood, some veggies). My ahha moment came when I realized my grocery habits had become a reflection of his eating habits. I'm sure a lot of this contributed both of our weight gain.

I know now that with the possibility of surgery on my horizons, a serious change has to come. I have been sacrificing my eating habits for those of convenience and that is something that has to stop. It's time to take back control of myself for myself.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random Thoughts

I'm sitting here, trying not to fall asleep and thinking. The option to have gastric bypass has come to me and to be honest, I'm torn. The only thing I knew to do was pray for guidance. Guidance came from a co-worker who has had it. She has been really insightful and open with questions and answers. I don't know when the dr's appointment will be but I'm ready to talk to him.

I'm also reading a book called "9 ways God speaks". If you have a kindle or kindle for pc, download it for free. It's all about learning to hear God when he speaks to you. It's a great book and I highly recommend it!
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

America’s Best and Worst “Health” Drinks

By Men's Health staff

When you think about the causes of America's obesity epidemic, you likely think about our dependence on fast food restaurants and microwaveable and heavily processed junk food. But one factor that many people overlook is the liquid calories we consume. Simply put, what we drink is making us fat. We're consuming at least a quarter of our daily calories in liquid form--more than 450 calories a day. Watching what you drink is just as important, if not more so, than watching what you eat, especially if you're trying to shed belly fat. The trick, as always, is to distinguish between healthful drinks, and healthful sounding drinks. Here, we’ve listed the 6 worst “health” drinks in America. Steer clear of these bloating beverages and drink their healthiest alternatives instead. You can lose up to two pounds a week!

Worst Water: Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water 1 bottle, 20 fl oz150 calories0 g fat33 g sugars (8 teaspoons of the stuff!)

Sugar Equivalent: 2 Good Humor Chocolate Éclair Bars

While “Worst Water” may sound like an oxymoron, the devious minds in the bottled beverage industry have even found a way to besmirch the sterling reputation of the world’s most essential compound. Sure, you may get a few extra vitamins, but ultimately, you’re paying a premium price for gussied-up sugar water. Next time you buy a bottle of water, check the recipe: You want two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, and very little else.

Drink This Instead: Smartwater0 calories0 g sugars
Worst Bottled Tea: SoBe Green Tea1 bottle, 20 fl oz240 calories0 g fat61 g sugars (15 teaspoons of the stuff!)
Sugar Equivalent: 4 slices Sara Lee Cherry Pie

Leave it to SoBe to take an otherwise healthy bottle of tea and inject it with enough sugar to turn it into dessert. The Pepsi-owned company’s flagship line, composed of 11 flavors with names like “Nirvana” and “Cranberry Grapefruit Elixir” is marketed to give consumers the impression that it can cleanse the body, mind, and spirit. Don’t be fooled. Just like this bottle of green tea, all of these beverages are made with two primary ingredients: water and sugar.

Drink This Instead: Honest Tea Green Dragon Tea1 bottle, 16 fl oz60 calories0 g fat16 g sugars
Worst Meal Replacement Drink: Right Size Skini Vanilli14 fl oz bottle263 calories5.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated)30 g sugars

The Skinni sell is hard to swallow when it comes with as much sugar as two scoops of Breyers vanilla ice cream. Whether it’s weight loss, appetite control, or muscle growth you seek, look for shakes high in protein and fiber and low in sugar, like the Slim-Fast! French Vanilla. The classic weight-loss shake curbs hunger with a respectable 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

Drink This Instead: Slim-Fast! French Vanilla11 fl oz can180 calories6 g fat (1.5 g saturated)18 g sugars
Worst Functional Beverage: Arizona Rx Energy1 can, 23 fl oz345 calories0 g fat83 g sugars (21 teaspoons of the stuff!)

Sugar Equivalent: 6 Cinnamon Roll Pop-Tarts

Obviously Arizona took great pains in making sure this can came out looking like something you’d find in a pharmacy. But if your pharmacist ever tries to sell you this much sugar, he should have his license revoked. And if it’s energy you’re after, this isn’t your best vehicle. Caffeine is the only compound in the bottle that’s been proven to provide energy, and the amount found within is about what you'd get from a weak cup of coffee.

Drink This Instead: Glaceau Vitamin Water 10 Revitalize Green Tea1 bottle, 20 fl oz25 calories0 g fat8 g sugars
Worst Frozen Fruit Drink: Krispy Kreme Lemon Sherbet Chiller20 fl oz980 calories40 g fat (36 g saturated)115 g sugars (29 teaspoons of the stuff!)

Sugar Equivalent: 16 medium-size chocolate eclairs

Imagine taking a regular can of soda, pouring in 18 extra teaspoons of sugar, and then swirling in half a cup of heavy cream. Nutritionally speaking, that’s exactly what this is, which is how it manages to marry nearly two days’ worth of saturated fat with enough sugar to leave you with a serious sucrose hangover. Do your heart a favor and avoid any of Krispy Kreme’s “Kremey” beverages. The basic Chillers aren’t the safest of sippables either, but they’ll save you up to 880 calories.

Drink This Instead: Very Berry Chiller20 fl oz290 calories0 g fat71 g sugars
Worst “Health” Drink in America: Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus GrapeLarge, 40 fl oz1,498 calories44 g fat (8 g saturated)214 g sugars (a mind-blowing 54 teaspoons' worth!)

Sugar Equivalent: 20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

If Smoothie King wants someone to blame for landing this high on our worst beverages roundup (and truth be told, its entire menu is riddled with contenders), the chain should point the smoothie straw at whichever executive came up with the cup-sizing structure. Sending someone out the door with a 40-ounce cup? Who really needs a third of a gallon of sweetened peanut butter blended with grape juice, milk, and bananas? Sugar-and-fat-loaded smoothies like this should be served from 12-ounce cups, not mini kegs.

Drink This Instead: High Protein BananaSmall, 20 fl oz322 calories9 g fat (1 g saturated)23 g sugars

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Trying the mobile blogging and what's on my mind at the moment.

I hope this mobile connection work. I like the idea of posting when something happens then and not having to wait until I get to my computer.

I know it doesn't take much to create a life altering experience. Mine came in the form of a letter. I know I'll need to be stationary to discuss it at length but for the moment, let's just say this will be a MAJOR therapy session!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Whatever Happened to Parents Just Saying "No"?

When I was a kid, places like McDonald's was a treat. My mother cooked practically every day. Fruit was our snack food and we could drink all the water and milk we wanted. Juice was strictly for breakfast and kool-aid was for dinner. Occasionally, we had soda but it was a rarity too. Most of my friends grew up the same way and that's how many of them are raising their kids.

I know now that a lot of people feed their familes fast food because it's easy. I can respect that. I'm a victim of the "easy meal" too, but I also realize it was a conscious choice that I made that I am now paying for with weight gain. Obesity is a fact of life in the U.S. and no where is it worse than in Mississippi. It amazes me to see the drive thru lines at many fast food places and I wonder how many kids today even know what a home cooked meal really is?

What bought about this post was this news item - McDonald's Lawsuit. This organization is suing McDonald's because of the toys in the Happy Meals. They feel the toys are used to entice children to McDonald's and because of this, obesity is a problem. I have several issues with the lawsuit:

1. How are the kids getting to McDonald's? - Do you know a 5 year old that can drive?
2. Who is paying for this Happy Meal?

For both questions, the answer is the parents. While fast food shares some of the blame for the obesity problem, it is not theirs alone. It's the inactivity, the bad food choices, the consicous descisions that we make for ourselves and the kids. Instead of looking to pass the blame, it's time to really take a hard look in the mirror and accept our own responsibility in all of this. Why didn't the parents just say no? Mine did.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Clean Eating - Why Cooking Is The Thing To Do!

Several of the blogs I've looked at advocate clean eating. Now before you stress out and think clean eating means giving it all up, let me explain.

Clean eating is simply knowing what's in your food. The rationale makes sense because when we eat out (especially fast food!) and eat packaged food, we don't really have a clue what we are eating. How can we be healthy when we are putting unhealthy things in our bodies? The easiest way to solve this is by cooking your meals.

I know for many, cooking is a curse word! LOL I feel the same way! But I'm learning that it's better for my health (and wallet) to cook at home. This means fresh or frozen foods and fresh meats. Lucky for me, this time of year in Mississippi, the farmer's markets are exploding with wonderful fresh produce so it's easy and cheap. I'm actually learning how to can food so some of this summer goodness can be saved for winter!

Will cooking all the time be easy? No and I'm sure I'll be back on this topic again as I learn more. Consider Clean Eating and see could it be a change to make in your life.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Try It! They are great!!

A fellow blogger friend of mine bought up the idea of food triggers. I am a popsicle junkie. I found this recipe as a way to satify my craving but not destroy my diet! I hope you enjoy!

Watermelon-Blueberry Ice Pops

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sharing Is Caring!

Today I was reading a post on a blog I follow "A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss". You don't have to be black or a woman to follow, just willing to read. She posted an article called " Handling Unsolicted Advice and Big Girl Guilt". After reading it, I really started thinking about how much guilt we all carry that really doesn't belong to us. There are times when I wonder am I a good daughter, sister, friend, wife, teacher, aunt and all of this just weighs me down. I'm learning that I bury my emotions with food instead of facing them directly. What I'm also coming to understand is the fact that I can't control perceptions about me and that I can only do what I can do. As direct as I can be, I hate to hurt feelings or have someone angry with me so I choose avoidance. Now I see I wasn't avoiding, I'm just redirecting all the negative into myself.

I know a lot of my angst stems from wanting to be in control and for a long time, I thought I could control most things. As I get older, I'm seeing that by me trying to hold it all together by myself, I was blocking any potential blessings because I wouldn't or couldn't get out of the way. It's hard to give it all up and let God take the wheel but I know as a step in this journey, I have to reconnect with my faith or it's pointless.

Baby steps, baby steps!

Monday, June 14, 2010


My reasons for starting this blog is simple. It's time to rip the coverings off my weight loss journey. This is a struggle and I figured why not share this with like minded people. Anyone who feels losing weight is easy has never had to fight with it before. It's emotional and heartbreaking to know that you have lost so much control of an aspect of your life. My struggle is to regain that control and find the me I used to be before I got swallowed by the pounds. If you chose to share this ride with me, thank you!