Food

Vitamin D level is 16

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I got my results back for my Vitamin D levels, and they are really low. According to my doctor, I should be around 35. I picked up some supplements and a prescription today. The prescription is for 50000 mlg to get it up fast. I will take this dose, once a week for the next 8 weeks.

My blood pressure is pretty close to normal at 124/72. Whatever kidney test he did, it’s also normal due to the drop in my blood pressure.

However, this doggone low Vitamin D means swelling, blood pressure spiked, and most terribly, difficulty losing weight. Say wha…

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Shut the Front Door! Watermelon?

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I have consistently been on the path of discovery with my foods and ways they can help me live and keep up a healthier lifestyle, while losing some much-needed weight. I am pretty sure, I have blogged about my love for watermelon. I mean, it’s just so good, especially cold. I went grocery shopping last night, and forgot my avocados, but did get a watermelon.

I am going to slice her open today. She is massive. My husband is not a watermelon fan, but my daughter and I are. My husband is 6’o feet tall, and can’t gain more than his 180 pounds, regardless of how much he eats. So, he is doing just fine. He is so lucky.

Well today, I wanted to know more about my wonderful fruit and found that

  • watermelon juice can have a significant impact on artery-clogging plaque  deposition by modifying blood lipids and lowering dangerous belly fat  accumulation. Heart disease takes the lives of millions of unsuspecting  individuals each year, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), leading  to a heart attack, is the most common form of the disease (Phillip 2011).

Shut the front door! I didn’t know that. I have eaten many belly fat burning foods, and didn’t know it. I suppose I am proud of myself, huh? Strawberries are another one, and we love them, also. So, I will stop beating myself up about where my weight comes off, and just celebrate that it is coming off. I am not as bad off as I had assumed.

In addition to the belly fat burning, watermelon also aids in heart disease, which is one of the chronic illnesses caused by obesity. So, I am killing, metaphorically speaking, two birds with one stone!

References:

Phillip, John (2011). Watermelons lower abdominal fat accumulation and reduce heart-clogging arterial plaque. Natural News. Retrieved from  http://www.naturalnews.com/034140_watermelons_abdominal_fat.html#ixzz20nuVxP91

What? No Shrinkage? Hmph!

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There is one part of my body, I would love to see decrease, and FAST! Needless to say, it isn’t happening anytime soon. I know I am losing weight, but why not there? I am talking about my waistline. Why is it so difficult? And to top it off, the muffin top has gotten larger since I had my baby.

I did some research to find out how am I losing weight, but not inches. Apparently, it’s because I am losing fat in other places, equally. I guess, I can’t control this process either. Who said weight loss is a peaceful event?

This all explains why I am losing weight from head to toe. I can now see the difference, but still look like the smaller versus of the bigger Vette. LOL However, I did read that in time, my body will begin to take the shape I want. First thing first, melt the fat away, regardless of its location, then I can begin a more focused approach for problem areas. I got a feeling its going to be my muffin top.

I looked up foods that will help lose belly fat, and found that avocados are a great aid. I like eating someone else’s, I’ve never tried to make any. I’ll let you all know how it goes. There were other foods, such as a small quantity of peanut butter, some beans, spinach, etc.

This is going to be interesting, but I am committed, and what a great game of discovery.

References:

Donner, Ed (2011). Why Am I Losing Weight But Not Inches? LiveStrong. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/386794-why-am-i-losing-weight-but-not-inches/#ixzz20hU5YIVg

Quick & Simple (2012). Eat this and Lose Belly Fat! Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.quickandsimple.com/diet-weight-loss/tips-calculator/belly-fat-foods

Ain’t everyday, a girl can say her panties have become bloomers!

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For the past couple of weeks, I have been under the weather. I was also taking an antibiotic. I do not know if it caused the swelling, but I had a lot swelling in my hands, legs, and feet. It was harsh looking at my scale. But, I knew that I had to keep going, and not get discouraged. I am finally off of the medication. I got on the scale today, and I have not only hit my short-term goal of 20 pounds lost, but I have exceeded it by 1.8 additional pounds. Holy guacamole! I have now successfully gotten off 32.8 pounds, and how wonderful it feels.

I knew going in, with the decision to lose weight, as I actually lived, was not easy, and an extremely slow process. I am in the same situation that many Americans are, unemployed, living on very little income. I can’t afford the gym, organic foods, or the fancier boost. I am losing weight through the use of everyday activities that I have to do around the house, with a boost of music, such as chasing behind my 18 month old, dancing while washing dishes and vacuuming, grocery shopping (which I extend to about an hour), and 15 minute walks with my little one, most days of the week. I figure I just need to move, and it doesn’t matter where or how often, as long as I am doing it.

Everyday activities are often not thought about as exercise, but it is. If I turn on Maroon 5, and Move Like Jagger, everyday activities can become a full-blown workout! I love that song, and who can possibly sit down and not get your boogie on when that creation of art is playing? Also, my baby is learning to jump, so I’ve come up with a game where we jump, shake, and dance!  She can’t do it, unless I am, right?

Food is becoming less of a prison for me. I wanted to go through this process eating what I wanted, and could afford, with some changes. If I want fried chicken, I cook, and eat it. However, I take the skin off. It has made a huge difference, in my weight loss journey. Thankfully, I am not a huge fried chicken girl, I prefer it baked or boiled, which I still take the skin off. Smaller portion sizes have been a nice weapon also. I am never hunger, because of fillers, my fruits and vegetables, which are not very costly.

I am losing weight on a tight to none existing budget, and I am over the moon that my panties are becoming bloomers! I am losing weight from head to toe, and I feel fantastic!!!!!! Where there is a will, there is a way!

Oh and my BMI has dropped an entire point! I am going to say it, even though I prefer not to curse in my blogs, but HOT DAMN!!!

Tracking my food

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I feel a need to go back to the basics. My energy level is down, and I need a boost. I am sure it is coming from my illness that lasted longer than I like. I started out tracking my food. I tracked everything, using the point system of Weight Watchers. It has been about 6 weeks, since I last did it consistently. I found success, but I feel like I am in a plateau, and I need to move past where I am now. I have a Nook, fantastic creation, and I was able to buy an APP for only $3 that works the same as the one online. If something else pops up in my life, managing them both, becomes more difficult. With the tracking (time management), I am consciously thinking about everything that I put in my body.

It worked marvelously for me, in the beginning. When I am more conscious about my food, I make sure that I am eating enough fruits and vegetables, and not absolutely feeding myself to get rid of the hunger. If I am not thinking ahead, about my food, it becomes too easy to reach in the cupboard and pull out the easiest food to prepare, rather than the healthiest.

My late hours have knocked me off of my sleep patterns, where I was making sure I got at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. I corrected that last night. Sleeping helps me feel better, and gives me a really nice boast for the rest of the day. I will dust off my Zumba Wii game today. My daughter likes to dance alone with me. We had not been walking, until a couple of days ago, and she had her first face plant, on the sidewalk, which messed up her nose and lips. We haven’t been out since.

So today, I start all over again, with more activities, but indoors!

There’s nothing wrong with starting over, either. Perfect is not my solution, losing weight, safely and lasting is.

Today, I ate like a fat girl!

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My apologies first. I have been under the weather, fighting a summer cold, and an infection. I am beginning to feel better, but I have other things I need to play catch up on. One, being my school work.

I have had a lot of swelling, in the past two weeks, which has been not very appealing on the scale. I have gained 5 pounds, and have now lost 4 of those. I am still within 1 pound of my short-term goal. Being sick, left me a bit unmotivated, but I was still mindful, because I DO NOT want all of my hard work going down the tubes. That’s not very cute.

Well, today, I wanted a burger with all the fixings and trimmings. My husband said that it was okay, since I haven’t had one in about 4 months. Someone had posted about a place called Whataburger. I have heard of them, but never eaten there. However, when I found that it was a 40 minute drive for me, it simply wasn’t worth it. I am not willing to spend more in gas to get food, so I settle on Wendy’s. And I got a large root beer. The mayor of New York would have been very disappointed in me, because today, I ate like a fat girl!

How do I go home skinny?

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I have read about the cultural differences, between African-Americans and European-Americans, of obesity. African-Americans do accept larger sizes, more so than European-Americans (Hancock, A., Smith, M., & Whaley, A. L. 2009). Quite often, we do not find anything wrong with being thicker in the waist. Our men, for the most part, aren’t turned off by a voluptuous, full-figured woman, or as they would like to say thick. Growing up as a child, the skinniest person in my home was my younger sister. She wore a size 0, until the age of 18 or 19. Why she was so small, we do not know, because my family worked overtime trying to fattening her up. Being fat in my family, or in my predominately black community wasn’t bad or a humiliating reason; however, you couldn’t be ashamed or afraid of the question, “honey, are you eating”, especially by our elders. They would go as far as trying to feed you themselves, because of the assumed lack of effort by your mother.

Because I was raised this way, it was difficult to feel that I was abnormal or that something is wrong with me. My dad told me all the time that I was beautiful, and worth my weight in gold, therefore it’s difficult to have a low self-esteem. That’s why I stated in one of my earlier blogs, I did not feel a need to change. I wasn’t sick with hypertension or diabetes or any other associated disease to obesity. I was healthy, for the most part. In fact, most people in my family are fairly healthy, yet fat. Of all the fat people in my family, we may have one case of diabetes, and she is a Type 1. She lost the weight needed to remove that diagnosis, although she never sought skinny. The two cases of high blood pressure, in my family, are of my smallest aunts. They are ‘normal’ size, and have been most of their lives.

In the rural parts of Arkansas, we have to work, and I do not mean clerking or typing. We worked the fields. There aren’t jobs in the Delta, so people had to chop cotton or pick sweet potatoes. This is serious hard labor, and we did it to make our ends meet. I, personally, cannot remember one person that lost weight doing this type of work. We worked from sunup to sundown, yet maintained our weight. Had we started losing weight, people looked at us like we were sick, because being fat wasn’t viewed as a negative. However, becoming to large, where it had begun to create immobility was a huge negative, because not working, and sitting around was a serious no-no.

This information, by no means, excuses our eating habits or waistlines, but does bring light to our mentality. The hardest part is learning how the rest of the world sees you, once you have lived outside of your community. For me, it was shocking and depressing. I come from a background, where you learned to work hard, and then reap your rewards. You don’t steal, lie, or cheat, but get your hands dirty, and all that you have earned will come to you. Statistically, since I began researching obesity, I have found that no matter how hard you work, if you are not a part of the social ‘game’ or look as society thinks you should look, you can easily be discarded. Trying to explain this to my family and friends, in the Delta, would sound like I am sharing a myth. It isn’t easily believed. My dad would ask, “baby, do they do their jobs or are they lazy?” It isn’t socially accepted being overlooked, because you are fat, in the world I grew up in.

To meet the level of success, I want, how small do I have to become? Then I will have to ask myself, how do I go home skinny? Everyone will want to feed me. I don’t think we are all meant to look the same. Skinny is not my goal, and I do not accept the readings and behaviors of negative thinkers about fat people, because I have value that is worthy, and I work hard. In addition, I have not had an overwhelming negative response; if it has happened, it was unbeknownst to me. In this case, I will gladly accept ignorance as bliss.

Reference:

Hancock, A., Smith, M., & Whaley, A. L. (2009). Ethnic/Racial Differences in the Self-Reported Physical and Mental Health Correlates of Adolescent Obesity. Journal of Health Psychology. October 2011, vol. 16, no. 7, pp. 1048-1057