November 19, 2017

Let The Truth Be Known

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I thought I would do a little heart to heart blog. As I think these are just as vital as putting out information.

Since the beginning of 2013, I have been hit every which way emotionally, mentally and physically. And the one thing I didn’t want to happen…HAPPENED…I gained weight. The scale number is not what really bothers me, it’s how I feel in my own skin and in my clothes.

I have dealt with a huge emotional turmoil with my daughter, then to deciding to sell my house and it closing so quick I had only 15 days to find a new place for my daughter and I to live and pack up my entire house by myself, move and unpack.  To having my hours cut at my job that didn’t even pay the bills before the cut.

You see, let me get you in my head for a bit…hold on this could be scary!!

When I weighed 275, my self-esteem was in the negative, not even at a baseline of zero. I hated being me! I hated my own skin, my own body, everything. I hid behind oversized baggy clothes.

Then I lost HALF OF ME…I hit 138 and I hated how that looked too. I finally found a place where my mind agreed with what my body showed.

Now fast forward to this year…I have gone from a happy size 7-8…to a very unhappy size 12. (I use to be a size 24). My bras don’t fit like normal; things don’t lay across my body like they should. I am disgusted with myself.

weight gain

BUT HERE’S THE THING…this is where your mental state of mind can destroy you! The way I felt at 275 is EXACTLY how I feel now at 175! I have gained 15lbs in over 3 months, yet in my mind it feels like I regained every pound I initially lost!

So where does this leave me?

I am now dedicated this month to getting back on track mentally…if the weight follows, GREAT; if not, I know I am at least MENTALLY back in the game!

2013…This truly HAS to be MY year!!

2013

You might be asking your self, WHY?

Well, if you don’t truly know me yet, then you don’t know that my lucky number is 13! So with it being year 2013 and then my birthday is on the 13th, oh and might I add it also falls on the greatest of all days (at least for me)…it’s a FRIDAY the 13th at that!! So YES this truly has to be MY YEAR!!

friday the 13

Though 2012 wasn’t so bad, the first half I was still recovering from my total left hip replacement. I finally got the “OK” to get back in the gym in May, but no low body weight training til almost August. I have had tons of set backs due to issues that have come up because of my surgery, that left me bed ridden for a few days here and there.

Let me talk about an issue, that actually has become second nature to me…my weight. I am one of those women who can tell anyone any “stat” of my life…whether it be years as a mom (14), years single (37), my age (37), years at the sheriff’s office (10), years dealing with medical issues (19), number of surgeries (20), number of tats (20), how many bones I have broken (seriously I have lost count), how many true loves have I had (1)…see the list can go on forever!

So back to my weight. At my highest, I was 275 (1/1/2005) and at my lowest I was 138 (9/1/2009).  I finally settled at my ideal weight for me, which is between 150-155. But over the last year my complete mindset on my weight has changed. You see being bed ridden from Feb 17, 2011 until January 30, 2012 (being able to get up an about but no exercise at all) left me at 181lbs. So I started back to really watching what I ate, not counting calories, but nutrient content (protein, carbs, fat grams). You see I decided I didn’t care about the number on the scale, I wanted my body composition to change this time, meaning lowering my body fat and not caring what my weight was. I started at 28.3% body fat, which is deemed overweight for my height of 5’7″. So now this became my goal, gain lean muscle, lose body fat. Well I was on a roll up until Dec 8th (when I kind of fell into a slump which then turned into mild depression).  I dropped weight to 160 and my body fat dropped to 21.7%, I was ecstatic! Now I was to only lose 5 or so more pounds but I want to be at 16-17% body fat. Well 3 weeks of depression and not really caring did me in…gained back weight and it wasn’t healthy weight because I was constantly in starvation mode due to hardly ever eating. So the last few days I have refocused and besides my emotional eating last night (yes I am human), I am gonna set out to ROCK 2013!!

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“Scale” Weight

Are you type of person who wakes up every morning and steps on the scale? Then depending on what it says, decides your mood and what you decide to do for the day, in means of eating and exercise. Then you continue through the day rechecking your “scale” weight, only to get discouraged, mad, disappointed or even depressed that it is fluctuating from what it read that morning.

First, let’s talk about what the number on the scale ACTUALLY means. The most important is that if you see a number, it means YOU ARE ALIVE!! But really, your weight is made up of three main components – fat, water, and lean body mass (muscle, organs, and bone).  A regular bathroom scale can’t not give you these three separate numbers; you would need a body composition scale.  I have come across a scale I would buy for myself, not for the measurement of my weight, but for everything else it gives me. It’s called the Iron Girl Body Composition Monitor, and yes boys there is an Iron MAN one too! It measures your: weight, body fat %, body water %, muscle mass, bone mass, daily caloric intake, visceral fat and physique rating.  Can we just say…WOW!! This line of scales are amazing, they have one in the Iron Man line that actually helps you balance out your right side to your left (so say you have an injury to your left leg, it will help guide you into rebuilding it to match your right)!

(CLICK PICTURES TO GO TO AMAZON AND CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE LINE)

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Second, when you see a loss on the scale, do you know what it is you exactly lost? Is it water, is it fat or worse, is it lean muscle? The answer is probably no. But how can you help your mind understand this better…EASY, measure yourself! Take your measurements at your chest (females on top and under), your waist (maybe in 2 different sections), hips, arm, and leg. Another way to gauge composition in our body is by your clothes. You can do this in two ways: one by the clothes you fit into right now and then also by that goal pair of jeans. The one thing you don’t want to lose is your lean muscle mass. Why? Your muscle is what keeps your metabolism on fire. The more you have the higher your metabolism is, means the more calories your body burns. How can you not want more muscle!?

Third, would you rather weight 150lbs with 26% body fat OR weigh 150lbs with 18% body fat? Would you rather, at rest, burn 2000 cals a day or burn 2500 cals a day? I know I would much rather have the latter!

You see everyone who starts a weight loss journey, gets discouraged around week 3. Why? Well, if you every have seen the Biggest Loser, there first week weight loss is extreme, mainly because of water weight loss. Then their 2nd week is still pretty good, but then week 3 hits and it’s like a wall! Their smiles are gone, they are disappointed and confused. They have eaten the same way as the first two weeks and possibly have worked out even harder this week, but the scale barely shows it. If the composition of their bodies were measured too and were posted on the screen, you might see something very impressive, the loss of body fat was great and that their lean body mass went up. THIS IS A VERY POSITIVE THING!

Here is a wonderful friend of mine, Magda, she did a Paleo Challenge at her CrossFit Box for 52 days. During this challenge, she lost only 2lbs, if she never took before and after pictures, she would have never seen the body composition change in herself!

 Check her out at TriWellnessByMagda!

In the end, don’t give up when you see no loss on the scale when you step on, after all it is JUST a number. Ask yourself how do you feel, do your clothes fit different, can you see changes in your body (take progress pictures, it is easy to forget what you look from month to month, when you see yourself daily). Do you have more energy due to your new eating changes? Do you feel stronger when your workout? This is what is MORE important, than ANY number on a scale!

If you truly want a scale for your house…get a FOOD scale to measure your exact intake!!

Jeans and Diets – THEY ARE THE SAME

Have you (women, that is) ever went somewhere and see a friend wearing an awesome pair of jeans and ask who makes them and where can you get ‘em? Only to go to that store, grab your size and head to the dressing with all the positive thoughts about how great your are going to look in these!

Then it happens…those perfect jeans SUCK!!!

Why does this happen? Well, it is simple…not everybody has the same body. Some are top heavy, while others are bottom heavy. Some have no butts, while others have hips they can’t stand. Some are super straight and others have curves in all the right places. All these traits, is what make us….well US!

Imagine this, if we all had the same body structure and makeup, the fashion world would not be a booming business. They wouldn’t need all the different cut lines and lengths of jeans. It would be one staple design and that’s it! How boring?!!

Well, same goes for diets! Though we all have the same body parts (bones, organs and such). How our bodies respond to different foods and even exercise vary greatly from person to person!

Just like those jeans on your friend look amazing on her and that same friend just lost 40lbs on this great diet, to make her look fabulous in those jeans…those jeans were just not made for you, just like when that diet she is on fails you. It’s not that you failed on the diet (if you were devoted to it), it’s just the diet failed your body. It just didn’t fit!

This is why every where you look, there are so many different types of diet plans. I am not saying that any certain diet is better than another AND I am also not saying that any of them are bad (well maybe except for Atkins, my opinion).

MY FINAL THOUGHT ~ Don’t jump from one to another. Give every diet plan at LEAST 4 weeks of pure dedication. Write down everything and I mean everything…food, emotions, exercise and times of all of it. This way you can find patterns in your eating and then start tweaking from there!

In the end, when you find the right mix of foods (which is called a diet) for your body…you are going to love going jean shopping!!

Obesity in America…My Take

Overweight American’s, is it a plaque we put upon ourselves or did society and our ancestors help?  This topic hits home to me.  Just 6 years ago, back in 2005, I topped the scales at 275 pounds.  You might wonder how a 29 year old (at the time) let herself go like that. Well, here is a little background, I come from a 100% Italian family, all there ever is are get togethers surrounded by tons of food.  As a child and teenager though, I wasn’t heavy.  I was a competitive swimmer for 14 years, did triathlons and I loved free weights. It all started when I was 18, in my very first severe car accident that left me bed ridden for 2 years, then at 22, I became a single mother and yet again at 25, I was in another severe car accident that left me fighting for my life and my fiancé leaving me because “it was just too hard on him”.  I went into a deep depression, not caring about the world around me, much less myself and my health.  Then my sister said the words that became my turning point, she stated I lived through two car accidents that should have taken my life, yet I lived to only be killing myself with food.  That was it, I changed everything and in two years I lost half of me and gained so much more! Even through another car accident, this one in my patrol car on duty, and barely surviving it, I have managed to stay at 150 and though I cannot run any longer due to my injuries, I am back to my active lifestyle, even with my chronic pain and Fibromyalgia.

I believe that a little of everything is responsible to the epidemic that is occurring in America, from societies portrayal of what is “fit and healthy”, to genetics, to parents being at fault and lastly to our own loss of self control and will power.  Society can be blamed on both ends of the spectrum, from obesity to eating disorders.  Just look at some of the “role models” put out there from the beginning of our childhood. One example is Barbie, the most unproportionate doll ever made.  Her figure has caused many women to try and gain that figure, some becoming anorexic or bulimic, to having multiple cosmetic and plastic surgery to try to obtain it. Then you have the magazines out there that what you visually see is deemed appropriate health.  No one explains to them the severe crash diets that occur, the plastic surgeries done and even worse, all the computer generated “touch ups”.  So much that is put out in the media has led to eating disorders, abuse of diet pill, and even extreme steroid use.  Genetics play a role also, but more on the health side of things, with being born with traits for diabetes or thyroid disease.  As for parents role in their children’s lives, if they don’t live a healthy lifestyle for themselves, their children don’t know the difference either.  It’s not like they can do the grocery shopping.  Children don’t learn the importance of food choice and daily activity, instead they deal with overworked, over stressed parents who live off fast food, quick and easy microwaveable meals and relaxing in front of TV for activity.

The choice to overeat as adults is strictly on ourselves, it’s a conscience choice we make every time we sit down for a meal.  One issue I see with overeating is the pace in which people eat.  Life is so busy; they squeeze time in to eat, which means eating fast.  Doing so, doesn’t give the time for our brains to register that we are full, instead we just keep eating.  One thing, I know affected me, was I was always told to clean my plate growing up. Well, have you looked at the portion sizes given out at restaurants now?  Some are two or three times the portion size we need to consume at a meal.  I have learned to ask for a “To Go” box when my meal arrives and I put half in it from the very beginning, so I can still “clean my plate”.

A complication that can arise from being overweight is one of Osteoarthritis.  This is when the cartilage and joint bone in the joints wear away.  In commonly occurs in the knees, elbows, lower back and hips.  The reason it is seen more often in overweight individuals is due to the extra weight causing more pressure on the joints. (Pierce)

A disease that can be associated by the type of foods we consume is one of Celiac Disease. Celiac disease has to do with food containing gluten, which is a certain protein found in grains like wheat, barley, oat and rye. This disease affects the small intestine and the body’s ability, or lack thereof, to digest and absorb nutrients.  Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can include but not limited to abdominal bloating, chronic diarrhea, fatigue and failure to thrive.  Complications that stem from this disease can be malnutrition, osteoporosis, small intestine cancer, anemia and even miscarriage.

Works Cited

Pierce, G. (n.d.). Ezine Articles. Retrieved 2 1, 2011