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