inspiration

A healthier FAT girl!

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Hi everyone!

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I am on my way home, from a very long vacation. I am rejuvenated, happy and full of all kinds of horrible delicious foods! I’ve traveled and eaten a great deal through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas! I also rode on a large swamp boat, alongside alligators, soaking in some serious Vitamin D! I also got to meet some of the Gator Boys, from the Animal Channel, although I didn’t know who they were. LOL

Alligators in Moss Point, MS
Alligators in Moss Point, MS
Moss Point, MS
Moss Point, MS

I’ve visited New Orleans for the first time. I went in hot pursuit of authentic New Orleans food. I had the best Shrimp and Grits and Gumbo!

Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and Grits 
Seafood Gumbo
Seafood Gumbo

I wish I could make something like that! I had home cooked food, by the boat loads, which included sugar, sugar, sugar, white flour, and everything else nice!  Then I found a place called Slap Ya Momma BBQ in Gulfport, MS. I’ve not been on the Gulf, since Hurricane Katrina. They’ve grown tremendously, and the people are so amazing!

Slap Ya Momma
Slap Ya Momma
Slap Ya Momma
Slap Ya Momma

From Louisiana and Southern Mississippi, I went home to see my family in Arkansas. Oh my lord, I ate everything that was put in front of me. There’s something about home cooked food that simply feels so good!

Crawfish
Fried Crawfish
Diabetes
Diabetes

It was so good that it was sinful! I rarely go home, and I miss it. Until next year, I will not do this again, especially at this level. I am going to the park to get my workout on, when I get back in North Carolina this weekend. I received such a warm reception from my family, and my weight loss was noticed. They are so proud of me; therefore, I will NOT go back! I think I became an inspiration also. I have shown that plus size women are beautiful, smart, determined, and just as deserving. The reception I received, in spite of my horrible food binge, was so overwhelming and encouraging. I will keep going for sure!

I am planning my next 5K in October! Wanna come with me? I may do the one with my job. Now that I know that I can do it, I am feeling invincible! So, although these past two weeks were pretty deliciously bad, they by no means show who I have grown into. I am a healthier fat girl, and I love it. Most importantly, I love me!

This is where I am in my life both, professionally and personally!

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Comfort Zone

I love this song, and it reminds me that it’s okay to come out of my comfort zone. It’s okay to be challenged, and allow even the most intimidating person to know me. I am stumbling forward, but at least I am moving, again! I have been stagnant for a few years now, and it has been long past time for me to reintroduce myself to the world. I have dreams, professionally that I want to see come to fruition. So, now I will move out of my way, and allow God to challenge me, while coming out into my destiny.

Epidermolysis Bullosa and this HEAT

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Oh my goodness, this weather is horrendous. Today, we have very high ozone levels in Charlotte. It is pretty severe. Last summer, we experienced our worst time, with my daughter’s health, which lead us to her diagnosis on 7/15/11. The palm of her hand had developed third degree blisters, within minutes, and we didn’t know why. She was screaming and crying, and in my mind, in horrible pain. By the time, we got her to the emergency room, we were immediately admitted, because (1) she appeared to have been purposely burned, and (2) this was our second admission for weird problems that were not normal or natural. Their first thought was to rule out child abuse, which is the worst thing ever to go through, even if mentioned as a protocol.

IS IT CANCER?

Because this was not our first time at this pass, I was ready to ask more questions, without sobbing uncontrollably. My worst fear was that my 6 month old had some form of weird cancer, and they were having a very hard time diagnosing her. I had begun mentally preparing myself for the absolute worst. This time, when the same inpatient pediatrician had come in, my baby was playing happily and was very content. Her behavior was normal. She was playing with the big ‘bubbles’ that had formed in the palm of her hand. I said to the doctor, we have been here so many times, we are seeing her pediatrician 2 and 3 times a week and that alone should let you know that my daughter is not being abused. My husband and I are bringing her to you, we are not hiding in the shadows. Therefore this time, I need for you to think like a doctor; I need for you to become nosy and inquisitive; become the researcher you were, when you decided to become a doctor. What can cause blisters that look like a third degree burn without pain? She is clearly not in any pain, at least now she is not. If it was a true burn, she would be hollowing now. I need for you to think. What can cause this, simultaneously, without an obvious reason?

She said she understood, and will make some calls. She was going to finally speak with a dermatologist, because whatever problems my daughter experienced related back to her skin. She came back, after speaking with a dermatologist and said that Gabriella may have EB, but the dermatologist needed to look at her himself. He came in later that night, and sure enough that’s what he felt was her diagnosis.

OH MY GOODNESS, IT’S THE HEAT

About two weeks later, on her other hand, her fingers had begun to swell, and then they just burst open, at the creases. The front and back creases on her little fingers were open. You could look down, and see her meat. We were being hit with a tsunami. It was so frightening. We did not know why she was suddenly getting so bad. This had never happened before. I didn’t find out until December 2011 that it was the heat that had wreaked havoc on our summer and my daughter’s skin.

After joining the support group, mid-August, my daughter had begun getting better. The fingers opening at the creases never happened again, nor the huge blisters. Her new finger and toe nails grew in properly, and had not fallen off again. Usually, they would grow back, and fall off. We had stopped seeing red spots on her fingers and toes, which was our signal that there was some irritation. The skin on her toes stopped shedding. July and August were the worst months, and then it was just over. It was like a bad dream, not our reality.

We went on to do three biopsies that came back inconclusive. The EB specialist in Chapel Hill, finally said to us that we may have seen the worst of it. He advised us that there is a type of EB that has a life span of only one year, and Gabriella my have just went through it, although the chances of that is as rare as the disease itself, but possible. He felt confident that we were probably not going to have any more problems, but still to check and protect her skin. If there were any more abnormalities to come and see him immediately. He also said that next summer will let us know if she has seen her worst. That’s when the dots connected that high heat (summertime) causes huge problems for EB children. It’s when they suffer the most. Wintertime is when the skin heals mostly, even in the worst cases; if there is a problem, they are not as severe as it would normally be in the summertime.

OUR PROTOCOL

We finally have a fantastic pediatrician, in Charlotte, that I am confident can handle any issues that may arise. Now, if she does not remind me, I go about life with my baby, without a thought of EB. However, she had to remind me last week, it’s getting hot. So, let’s make sure she has sunscreen, and bug spray that is deet free. However, do NOT take her out in the highest temperature, and if so, only if necessary. Make sure she has thin socks that will protect her from frictional rubs, in her water shoes or crocs. No, we do not wear any pair of shoes; we need breathable cloth shoes. or crocs,which are perfectly ideal. However, I found some cute water shoes that some EB children favors, at Target. I really like these, because she can run in them. She has also outgrown her bucket hat from last year, and I found a replacement at Wal-mart last week. With my small efforts to protect my baby, we are doing just fine. We are approaching our one year anniversary to this diagnosis, and it is hotter than it was last year, and I am thankful to say, so far so good.

There are other things that I still do as well. She only wears 100% cotton. I have found that other materials irritate her skin. She is moisturized from head to toe, after every bath. Every morning, regardless of the weather, I still check her hand and feet for any blistering or shedding or redness. I guess old habits are hard to break, huh? Nothing is certain, but God, so I pray, check, and keep moving. We are no longer held hostage to this disease.

I lost a pound!

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I lost 1 pound this week, with 1 1/4 inches less in my waist!!! I’ll take it! Last week, I lost 2.2 lbs! This put me at a at total of 29.4 pounds lost, and .6 pound from my 20 pound goal. I have lost almost 7.5 inches from my waist.

I actually own a little black dress, which I thought I would never show enough interest in. I put it on this weekend, and I looked and felt fantastic. I have much more to do; I am not delusional, but I can keep dancing and enjoying my small victories, all the way to the finish line!

Twice, in two weeks, initially, it appeared I had gained, and not lost. I would weigh in again in the afternoon, and both times the number has been less. Water weight can fool you. I have grown accustom to its tricky ways, and now during my weekly weigh in, I am not discourage, especially if I am only seeing less than a pound weight gain. I know that if I see an increase of 2 or 3 lbs, then I can rest assure that I gained from whatever I had eaten, and will need to do some tweaking.

There are a lot of people, in my life, working on their weight, and some are moving faster than me. I have done well, thus far, not to become discourage or drift into someone else’s life and goals. I am staying my course, and I am glad in it. There are times, we get so distracted with what someone else is doing that we lose focus of our own agenda.

So I say:

  1. Identify what you need to change
  2. Create a plan of action
  3. Focus on what works for you
  4. Live your plan

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