Health

Detoxing Sunday

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Today has been all about detoxification. I started my day with JJ’s defined body brushing. I don’t know about the cellulite, but I can attest for some seriously soft skin! Oh my lord, I have brand new baby skin. I do it exactly as she describes, in the video below. I try to do this, once a day. It’s simple, easy, and if nothing else, I have the softest skin.

I also did my Yogi Detox tea as well. I like to add a nice chunk of fresh lemon. It’s just takes it to a brand new level. I sweeten with honey. A delicious way I get my day started, every morning.

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I am going to finish the night with a castor oil heating, for about 45 minutes, while watching a movie, and then the detox foot pads to sleep in for the night!

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This will be my first time using the Castor Oil Pack Kit. So, I don’t have any feedback to give. I can tell you what my other Green Smooth Crew says, and they love it. So, here goes my new!

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

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!!!

Who motivates you?

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Everyone has vices that aren’t necessarily good for them. Most of the time, even when we know they are bad, we still take part, i.e. obesity. My dad, although he has a small stature, he makes up for it with his bigger than life personality. If you ever what to know where I get it from, it comes from my daddy! Well, he has a vice that isn’t very healthy, and he hasn’t cared to change for anyone, and that includes his wife of 35 years.

My daughter is doing well; however, when we were not sure about so many things, we simply chose not to travel. We wanted to stay close to her doctors. But, my husband and I knew that we needed to get the two of them together and soon, so we flew him out. It had been long overdue, and life was calmer, and pretty gosh darn good; there was no need in us keeping all of this happiness to ourselves.

About a month, before he had arrived, I had begun to start working on my vice, which was food. He was here for three days, and then we took him to the beach, for the rest of his stay. He said he wanted to see some girls in ‘kinis, and I wanted to make it happen. By gosh, it would be his first time seeing the ocean, in his 65 years! What’s a girl to do? I love my daddy!

Well, after he flew back to Arkansas. He called and said, “I love my grand baby! She sure is pretty! I think she looks like me! Baby, I am going to work on me, and start to do better. Can I come back for her second birthday?”

I said, “sure why not! We would love to have you, and we can do Christmas and New Years together, and this time only go to the Biltmore Estates, which isn’t far from us.”

He said, “Good! I’ve seen enough ‘kinis that drive isn’t worth seeing anymore.”

Now, I do not like my dad’s vice, but I also feel that it isn’t going to get better, until he decides to do better. Everyone chastise him about it, except me. I just want him to eat everyday, at least three times a day. I know that he wants to tell his granddaughter about the evils of the world, and the danger in boys, like he told me, and to make sure she doesn’t date until she is 25. He is very old-fashioned and a sharp dart, when it comes to his girls.

About two weeks later, he called and said, “Baby, I haven’t had a drink in a week. I am going to the doctor to make sure everything is working right, so I am there for my grandbaby.” Shocking, right?

Of course, I wasn’t sure how serious he was, so I called my mom to check. She confirmed, but was skeptical. We didn’t know how long this was going to last, but we were going to support him how ever long he needed. And this will be my dad’s first visit to a doctor in 10 years. He was finally ready to hear what the doctor had to say.

To make it interesting, since we both are clearly going through a life transformation, I made him a part of my weight loss journey. I call and talk to him about my wins and fails. Then one day I said to him, “Pops, if you keep fixing yourself, and I keep working on me, we can support each other, which pretty much guarantees that my baby will have the both of us for a long, long time, at least until God feels otherwise. You can have the fat I am shedding!” He thought it was funny, but rapidly agreed. I will shed some weight, he will gain some weight, and do as his doctors have advised. We have a plan. Although, we have fun, we both know that it isn’t going to be easy, and there will always be an obstacle; however, we know that we will walk this journey together! For God’s sake, my baby needs us!

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

20 pounds at a time

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I’ve lost another 1.8 pounds this week. I feel fantastic. I was just reading a blog that was so inspiring. She said, “Since I’ve lost, I gained a life”. How true that statement is. Now that I am on this path of discovery, I have not considered the endless life changes that I will experience. If I felt that my life was pretty good before, I am on the road to greatness!

I have already noticed changes with my sleep, mood, and energy levels. It really is truly a transformation. My goal is to not get a head of myself, and appreciate the steps that I am making, on a day-to-day basis. One thing I have done to avoid overwhelming myself is to place my weight loss goals in small 20 pound increments. Overwhelming myself is a real possibility, if I took on an insurmountable goal; my task would seem more daunting and frightening.

20 pounds is easier to digest than 80 or 100 pounds. At the end of each 20 pound victories, I do something nice for myself, and I start all over again, as if it is day one! I hope I am not making it seem that the 20 pounds are easy to shed, because they are not, but it is a real conclusion. Moving past what our society and environment expects is the tough part, because there is not a quick fix to transforming a lifestyle. Sure, I could explore the options that are available, such as gastric bypass or Phentermine or Orlistat (weight loss medications). However, are these things going to change my behavior; my mental thoughts of food; decrease my ignorance on good and bad foods? No, it is not.

These things are quick fixes and temporary. The Mayo Clinic found that ” it’s common to regain weight no matter what obesity treatment methods you try. ” This means that all the work that should have been done, in the beginning, still has to take place, to keep up the weight loss. One way or another, a behavioral change has to take place, or the weight will come back.

So, I am settling in to my 20 pounds at a time, while I walk into a better life, one day at a time.

Reference:

Mayo Clinic (2012). Treatments and drugs. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/ds00314/dsection=treatments-and-drugs