September 21, 2019

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

My life without Meds and with Supplements

Having medical issues since I was 18, I have been prescribed tons of different medications to take. The two times I remember taking the most were after my accident in 2000 and then again after my accident in 2008. In 2000, there was a lapse of 14 months were my Doctors could NOT figure out what was wrong me. (I ended up having severe damage done to my lower spine). In this time frame I was put on multiple medications…and at one point in time I was on 9 different (taking 21 pills a day). Two of those medications were BLACK BOXED by the FDA to cause severe/deadly reactions. No one caught this…not my Doctors nor the Pharmacy. I ended up having 3 Gran Mal seizures and adding more issues to the already growing list. After the seizures, my doctors took me off EVERYTHING, which led to me going through 5 days of the worst withdrawal symptoms ever! Then after my accident in 2008, they practically did it all over again (a different group of doctors due to workman’s comp). I was on 11, yes 11 different meds, and NONE OF THEM WERE WORKING. Come to find out my body has grown immune to ALL prescription drugs and I even have to be triple dosed with anesthesia to stay under for a surgery.

So here is a list of all prescription drugs I have been on:

For Pain: (also includes neuro, joint, & arthritic)

Dilaudid 2mg (5mg in hospital), Lyrica 150mg, Aspirin 325mg (4 at a time), Lodine 400mg, Neurontin 600mg, Voltaren Gel, Lidocaine Patch, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Morphine drip and time release, Darvocet, Mobic, Naproxen, Celebrex & Demerol

For either Muscle Relaxer or Spasms:

Diazepam 5mg, Baclofen 10mg, Flexeril 10mg, & Soma 350mg

For migraines:

Indomethacin 25mg & Imitrex

For Seizures:

Topomax 150mg & Ultram (found out I am allergic too)

Steroid Packs: Prednisone

For Sleep: AmbienCR (was up to taking 6 pills a night with no sleep)

Blood Thinner: Coumidin

So, now I take NONE of those. I even did my last two major surgeries (spinal fusion and total hip replacement) with NO MEDS, that includes NO PAIN MEDS!

Now onto supplements:

Yes, I take them. No, I don’t tell others to take them. To each his own.

Here is what I do take, and below this lit is just some knowledge I have learned by reading.

In the morning I take:

Vitamin D 2,000IU, Super B Complex w/Folic Acid, Multi-Vitamin, CLA,  Glucomannan & Green Tea Extract

At lunch time I take:

CLA, Glucomannan, Green Tea Extract, Ester C 1,000 & FiberSol

Then at dinner:

Ultimate Flora 50Billion, Fish Oil, CLA, Glucomannan, & Green Tea Extract

Then Pre-Workout I take:

L-Arginine 500mg & 1 scoop of EVP (Evogen)

Post-Workout I take:

Glutamine 500mg & 1 scoop of CEllKEM (Evogen)

I have learned that there are different supplements you should NOT take together or should be taken with food. So I am going to touch on that a bit.

Did you know your body absorbs supplements better on a well-balanced diet than with junk (go figure)! Some of the types of supplements that need this are vitamins, minerals, and oils (like fish or flax). There are those supplements, like Amino Acids, Herbal medicines and enzymes, which are better taken 30 minutes PRIOR to eating. As for which ones not to take together and which ones benefit each other. Iron, taken with Vitamin C increases absorption, but taken with Zinc, Soy, Coffee or Tea it decreases the absorption. Calcium, taken with Vitamin D & C, protein and lactose increases absorption, while Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphate decreases it. Don’t combine your Vitamin B12 with Vitamin C either or even better for your woman on oral contraceptives, DON’T take B6 at the same time!

My Challenge

Well, as most know, I am doing a challenge to get my butt back in gear after a terrible 2011 (medically that is).  Let me give you a little bit of a background of what 2011 had for me…I started the year off pretty great…in the gym 5 days a week, but then it came to a halt when I had selective surgery in February, it was a surgery I was looking forward to for over 5 years and one I definitely deserved! Then just when I was able to start back up and moving again and got the OK from my Doc to return to the gym…my back gave. I knew it was serious but with NO insurance, I just suffered through it. I gave up the gym and reverted back to being bed ridden. Finally on Aug 9th, I couldn’t walk and my dad rushed me to the ER, basically for them to just turn me away without doing anything! They thought I was a pain pill shopper (yet I never once asked for a pain prescription…since I am immune to them all!). So my dad brought me home and made a call that changed everything. He called my old Neuro Doc from 10 years ago that did all my 3 previous back surgeries. My dad updated him on my situation (including the on the duty accident), this was Aug 12th…I was given an MRI that day and then told to report to his office first thing Aug 15th. Pushed in a wheelchair, I was told by my Doc to go directly to Cape Hospital for emergency back surgery, I had blown out the 3 discs above my last fusion he did 10 years prior. Again, I was bed ridden for 4 weeks, then slowly started feeling somewhat normal…that was until my left hip started acting up! I had an amazing friend, Amanda, who had a great friend, Edward, that she made a call too. Needless to say he is the TOP joint implant surgeon in the area! He told me to come in Oct 19th to see him…he took one X-Ray and then asked me how I was even walking!! I was schedule that day for a TOTAL LEFT HIP REPLACEMENT on Nov 3rd! He was a little concerned due to just being under anesthesia twice already this year, and also knowing that I have to be doubled dosed with it so I don’t wake up during surgery, but he pressed on! The day of surgery he went over the pain schedule…needless to say I cut him off and told him NOTHING works. He was like, “Are you telling me you are gonna have this surgery WITHOUT ANY PAIN MEDS to help?”…yep that is EXACTLY what I am telling you. He wasn’t sure how to take that. After all, I am only 36…how can I already be immune to all these meds!! Well, surgery was a success…12 hours later he asked if he could try a pain med cocktail with me over the next 12 hours to see if he could try to lessen my pain…I said sure. Well he monitored me closely…and I was alert, not loopy, talking fine and my blood pressure didn’t drop…so then he said I should have basically been dead…the mix he gave could put an elephant down. So he took me off everything and I just suffered through it. Finally on Jan 25th of this year, I got the OK to get back in the gym…and oh boy, did I take that seriously!! I gained 28 pounds over the course of 2011…and my joints can feel it!! So I need to get this extra weight off to get my hip flexors and back/core strong again. It’s my challenge…..

Click here to read MY STORY

Back at it….

Well starting yesterday I’m back at serious training, including eating the right way. Two months strict then I’ll cut back and even things out. I’m also back in college classes…19 months to go till graduation!

So I figured I would track my progress back on here…

May 1
AM training
strength train – shoulders
30 min StairMaster
30 min Bike

PM Training
Insanity DVD 30mins
100 push-ups

May 2
60 min Elliptical
100 push-ups

Things happen…

As much as I can say NOTHING has been happening in my world…so much has been happening within me. I am learning a lot about things that I once thought I knew a lot about! (Does that make sense?) I am basically starting my life all over again. Venturing out into a new career, being back in college, about to have a TEEN in my home, being single again and being ok. I know God has a hold of me and of my daughter. I have realized why I have not been happy and I am working on fixing it. I have been asked by a friend to help her tone up, I am getting back at it too…back at eating right and being healthy for me and training with Amanda (who has been such a huge blessing in my life!)!! All I know is that even though I have been jobless for 7 months and dealing with huge budgeting strategies…I am looking forward to all the NEW in my life and saying goodbye to all the OLD!!!