Woman Within and Advocacy

Earlier this month, I was at a conference that dealt partly with advocacy.  It was very comprehensive and informative and the folks at the OAC (Obesity Action Coalition) did a great job.  http://www.ywmconvention.com/  One thing that I have been paying attention to since I arrived home is how I can be an advocate or a  positive voice for obesity, weight loss surgery, certain conditions, etc in my daily life.  This brings me to the Woman Within magazine.

I started receiving this magazine after I had purchased a plus sized bathing suit in 2008 or so.  I had not paid much attention to the name of the catalog until I continued receiving it after I lost weight.  What does that name mean anyway?  Woman Within?

Woman Within?

To me, it means that they want you to buy clothes so that you can bring out the character of the Woman Within the layers of fat and skin.  There is a woman within that shell, I guess.  It implies that there are no womanly features on the outside.   Within means Inside.  So, I am led to believe that there is a thinner woman on the inside who wants to be more fashionable?

I guess the frustrating part of the whole thing is that I never put a second thought to it when I was obese.   I must have agreed that there was a skinny woman within who wanted a better style.  There are several examples of things like this that only have started to upset me about my past obesity SINCE my weight loss.  Most of these examples deal with how I am treated by other people.

To be honest, as a thin person, people smile at me more.  They talk to me more.  They don’t cut me off in line as often.  (And, when they do cut me off, I speak up more!)  Men give me more attention.  They hold the door for me.  I get sly winks.  I get mail in my “other” inbox on Facebook from random men who think my “smile” is hot.  It’s not fair.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day.  I guess it is from the Bitch Within.

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How can I lose weight without surgery?

People ask me for weight loss tips all the time.  I have to preface my advice with saying that now that my insides are modified I am not just a random person giving advice anymore.  I wouldn’t join a Biggest Loser contest at the office or anything.  I have a tool that makes losing weight a little less complicated for me IF I CHOOSE TO USE IT.

That said, there are a few things that I did not know about losing weight before I went through the required nutrition classes.  These are things that can apply to anyone:

1. Protein.  Eat lean protein.  I used to see the big tubs of protein and think that they were only meant for body builders.  Well, yes, some of those are meant for body builders but if you go to GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe or your local health food store, ask for a lower carb / lower sugar protein powder or shake.  (And if you buy milk to mix it in, get the Skim.)  In fact, most GNC franchise stores will take back your tub of protein if you don’t like it within 30 days with receipt.  Ask before you buy it!   Some of this stuff is expensive!  You could also go to a site like http://www.vitalady.com and she sells samples of a variety of powders. This way you wouldn’t have to spend a whole lot of money on a bunch of stuff!  Also, you could write to different companies and ask for free or low cost samples!   Anyway, though, protein is key.  You need to eat it at every meal.  Hard boiled eggs, low fat cheese, lean lunchmeat, jerky, Greek yogurt, chicken breasts.

2. Eat within a half hour of waking up.  This could be a shake —  even a caffeinated shake! For me, I have a single serving size of cottage cheese and a Greek yogurt.  It’s 20+ grams of protein to start my day off right. You need to fuel your furnace.   Some people will also tell you to eat before you go to bed — a protein bar, a string cheese, anything to help your body not go into a fasting mode while you sleep.   I know people hate to eat in the morning.  It’s important, though.

3. Move your bod a little.  I’m not suggesting that you run a marathon or buy a treadmill.  Just walk around the mall or the grocery store.  Park a little farther away from the store instead of in the front row.  Borrow your neighbor’s dog.  Personally, I did not do anything crazy strenuous to lose weight, but I was very strict with my diet. You can lose weight without exercise.  It’s true.  But I don’t recommend it.  I have an every day headache and it gets worse with movement.

4. Avoid pop and refined carbs.  We all know this, right? I’m not saying to never have stuff like this.  But while you are trying to lose weight, you will need to find better options.  There are some pretty awesome substitutes out there that are sugar free in many products —  just look around!  But, you’re probably not going to lose weight on Lean Cuisines and Healthy Choice ice creams.  How long have you been buying those? I bought those for a long time.

5. Get accountability.  Join a group that has you tracking your weight weekly.  This way you can see if you are going up or down.  And you know that you will be weighing in!
6. Drink water.  I don’t care if you flavor it with Crystal Light. I don’t care if it is caffeinated unsweetened tea.  Drink it. It’s good for you.  Your body needs it to function properly.
7. Talk to your doctor. Maybe he/she has some ideas for you.  Maybe you can get some bloodwork done and you can find out if you should focus on things like low cholesterol or pre diabetes. Maybe there is a free pass at the local YMCA that he/she knows about. Take control.
8. Don’t stress about it.  It didn’t get put on overnight, it won’t come off overnight.
9. Remember your veggies. I like those ones that steam in the bag. Spray some butter substitute on them. Sprinkle on some yummy seasonings like Bacon Salt or Cavender’s Greek seasoning.   Good for you does not have to equal crappy tasting! Focus on green veggies, not so much on corn/carrots/potatoes.
10. Last but not least, track what you eat.  It’s kind of a pain in the butt, however a program that can be put on your phone like My Fitness Pal is very helpful in telling you how many calories you have eaten, how much protein you have consumed, etc.  And, sometimes you may not eat that sugary treat at the office because you don’t want to track it.  😉

Dear Readers:

Hi you guys.  It’s been a little while since I have written.  I kind of feel bad about it.  I was wanting to write, but you know….  time passes….  I didn’t get a lot of feedback on my last post… I don’t want to write things that aren’t worthwhile for you.  I’m writing this for YOU.

I’m going to a conference this week about obesity and advocacy, and I know I will get a ton of ideas of stuff that is relevant to you.  Please bear with me.  It seems like I get a lot better response when I talk about stuff on my busy Facebook page than on here.  That’s ok. Maybe a blog isn’t my ideal medium?  I want to tell you about good and neat and important stuff where it reaches YOU.  🙂

Otherwise, summer has been good.  Husband had ankle surgery so he is sidelined for 6 weeks.  I’m looking forward to getting out of town for some “me” time and refocusing my weight loss journey and refocusing this blog.  Stay tuned.  🙂

Love,

Julesy aka Peevy

Obesity and Child Loss

This is part 1 of my 4 part series on why we overeat when we grieve.  Or, more specifically, why we have problems with weight after an event that includes major grief.  I’m writing about this one first because, well, it’s my life.  My life is forever changed due to infertility and subsequent miscarriages and infant loss. 

There are some coping mechanisms that are pretty common during infertility/hormone treatments and also after losing a baby.  One important one is drinking the empty calories of alcohol.  I certainly indulged in some karaoke.  Yes, it numbs you but it is true that there is never a solution at the bottom of the drinks. I looked.

Another  way of coping has to do with generally not taking care of yourself and using convenience foods.  Some women just get depressed and exhausted and don’t care about the calorie content and don’t get out and exercise.  (If you think you are depressed, it is okay to ask for help!  Call your doctor.  Call your county mental health people.  Just call.  Or find me! I’ll talk you into calling someone professional!)

Lastly, comfort foods are usually pretty full of calories.  I know that one of my favorite comfort foods was Kraft macaroni and cheese.  Totally devoid of nutrition! But it made me feel full and comforted and happy  for a few minutes. 

I’m not trying to change the world, but I *get* that after you lose a baby / miscarry / have your 5th round of Clomid and get a BFN that you will turn to food or alcohol for comfort.  All I am here to say is that if you eat something healthier half the time you might feel a little better.  Comfort foods are full of chemicals that make you want more comfort foods.  And they might start a trend of healthier eating.  🙂

~peevy

Why do we overeat when we grieve?

 

I’m going to write a few blogs here that are going to cross over to both of my blogs. Sort of like when the kids from Diff’rent Strokes tv show would show up on the Facts of Life.  (I loved both of those shows, by the way.)Something that I am passionate about is supporting grieving people.  I’m also passionate about overcoming obesity.  And the lack of material out there that talks about the two of them together is pretty much nil.  Surprised? I’m not.  Let me tell you why.

Two very taboo subjects in our culture are grief and weight. It’s only in recent years that people have started focusing on healthy grief after a loss and have realized that they have been going about it the wrong way.  And with obesity, well,  it’s something that no one wants someone to focus on when it is happening to them.   Conversely, no one wants to focus on another person’s obesity either because it is probably going to come off as offensive.

I’m going to write a series of blogs over the next few days and what I want to focus on are four kinds of loss:  loss of a child, loss of a parent, a loss that takes a long time to happen like cancer or Alzheimer’s, and a quick traumatic loss like a suicide or car accident….  or even a public quick (and incredibly traumatic)  loss like 9/11.  I want to focus on why we probably overeat when we are experiencing/have experienced them.  I want to brainstorm ways of PREVENTING that in the future.  So, in bringing it out in the open, I hope to make it less of a taboo subject and get people more proactive in thinking about how they are soothing or comforting their bodies or how they are building up a wall around themselves or how they are thinking that food is the only way to cope, etc.

I’m totally open to any thoughts or ideas about this.  🙂

 

Diff'rent Strokes

Diff’rent Strokes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

I’m CLICKin’!

People always ask me for advice about protein shakes.  The truth is, you have to find one that you like.  Your tastes may change if you get the surgery.  One shake that I have consistently loved is Click.  ( http://www.drinkclick.com ) I’m not a big coffee fan, but this is more of a frappucino drink.  You can put flavored syrups (sugar free or not, from Torani or Davinci…. or you could use those new stevia drops in there) or powdered peanut butter (PB2) in there.   I put it all in a Blender Bottle and shake! My favorite flavors to put in are peppermint, coconut, raspberry, and caramel.  It’s just a different drink each time!

It has 15 grams of protein per shake which isn’t a ton but it  was enough for me to drink down in a half hour or so for the first year.   It has vitamins and minerals in it so it helped my labwork look great, too!  I went to bed looking forward to my Click each morning.  🙂

Anyway, I will probably be having a giveaway of sorts either here or on my Twitter account ( @jeepjules ) soon, so stay tuned!

clickin

Happy Summer!

Summer is finally here!  I hope you are all getting in your fluids!  I mean, not only are you more likely to dehydrate in the summer but it is important for weight loss/maintenance.   Get some unsweetened tea or Crystal Light packets.  🙂

I haven’t seen many topics that I have been compelled to write about this week.  Anyone have any thoughts on what they would like me to talk about?  I am not an exerciser – most of my weight loss and maintenance has been diet alone.  I love my yogurt and jerky.  I ate 2 cupcakes last week.

What’s going on with your summer? How’s your weight?

~Peevy