Obesity and hunger, obesity and prejudice

I was reading up on a few things today and came across this article about Americans and the struggle of obesity and hunger. The read itself is very good and I implore any of my readers to check it out:


Something that struck me about this article was the mention of the documentary “A Place At the Table“. It can be found on Netflix streaming and I highly recommend it. It features obese children who are nutritionally deprived. It shows that side of obesity no one can live up to or admit to. I liked this quote: The cheapest food is often “junk food” and Americans who consume it are fat and malnourished at the same time.

As an obese person, the insults I hear are “put the fork down”, “she should go on a diet”, “she shouldn’t buy all of that food” (I love that one, when I am bulk shopping for our MONTHLY groceries at Costco). What bothers me is people do not know. People do not understand what it like to be in an obese body unless they have lived it themselves. And even obese people show intolerance towards their fellow obese people. I can’t tell you how many times I have been made fun of, gawked at, or straight up told off in public because someone decided it was their job to tell me so. A few nights ago I had a dream that an older man came up to me in a craft store (I was making cards, which is strange because I suck at crafts…) and told me I was obese, then walked off. I got up and walked up to him and asked him why he was cruel. He said, “You’re obese, it’s plain to see, you’re HUGE”. I said, “you don’t know me OR my story, or what I have been through in my life”. In my dream I was applauded by other customers. It was such a random dream.

Honestly, for the most part I try to ignore the disgusting insults thrown my way, but it is hard when it happens all the time. When I go shopping I see it a lot. In the past I would cry. Now I get filled with such anger that I actually spout off at the person doing the insulting. And what happens every time? The person doing the taunting and the insulting and the gawking walks away like they’re scared and can’t come up to me and say why they’re acting like an asshole. Typical. Typical run and hide because you’re too chicken shit to come tell me to my face what you were saying behind my back. Oh, but don’t get it twisted, I can hold my own.

I have a father who has never been able to accept my obesity. Because of this I have lived my whole life competing against him in the career sense, trying to show him up. Not that I am doing it for show, but because I am extremely career-motivated. I have been at my current company for almost three years now. In those short three years I have been promoted three times. I mostly talk about business and work with my father, because it seems to be all I can relate to with him. As he gets older, he is less of a workaholic and is realizing what he missed out on when he decided that his career was more important that his daughters. The difference between him and I is that I can balance the two. I have to. I do fill him in on my weight loss. He knows what I am doing and is encouraging, which helps, but in the back of my mind, I always worry that the judgment remains and that when he sees me, he will continue his judgment of me. When I was married, my ex-husband knew I dreaded my father coming for a visit. My father lives 1,000 miles south of us, and we don’t see him often, more like once every 2 years or so. I dread it because my dad would usually make a comment about my weight or judge what I eat. This started years ago when I was 8 years old and he put me on a diet. I wasn’t a chubby kid, I was husky. What’s the difference?? I was very active. I just was tall and husky for my age. I loved junk food. My dad made sure I didn’t eat it. Long story short, once he left and gave our mother custody of us and stopped visiting us, I stuffed myself senselessly with food to make up for what I had lost. It’s something I don’t discuss in therapy and perhaps I should. When I was 14, I began binging and purging. The cycle of bulimia lasted until I was 16 years old. As an adult it has taken me 35 years to fully understand the scope of what the obesity was truly doing to my body and what these issues have done to me as a person. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. Someday I hope I can get over that hump of having a father who just couldn’t accept my obesity. The last time I saw him was at my sister’s wedding in late March of 2012. I came dressed up and saw him, he looked at me, showed disapproval of me and walked off. I ran to where my mom, boyfriend and daughter were and burst into tears. I was so hurt by his lack of everything. All three consoled me as I couldn’t stop crying. I was so angry because my makeup was running and I felt like he ruined my day. I drove 1,000 miles south to visit my family and this is what I got? After a couple of minutes, my mom left and later on, from my boyfriend, I found out that she had confronted my father about how he treated me, and of course, he acted in typical fashion, like he didn’t do any wrong. Shortly after that, he came up to me, and thankfully by then I had calmed down and stopped crying but it was obvious I had been crying. He asked the most stupid question: “Is that your natural hair color? It looks great!” Seriously?? It hurt to see him walk my sister (who is not thin but normal sized) down the aisle with pride in his eyes. When he walked me down the “aisle” (more like grass) when I got married, it was the most awkward thing ever. He will NOT be invited to my next wedding, if and when I ever remarry. I’m a proud independent woman and I don’t need ANYONE to walk me down the damn aisle!!!! It also hurt to see him dance with my sister during the daddy-daughter dance, and my boyfriend knew how much that hurt. Before the reception I ran to the liquor store and got a small flask of Rum and 20 oz bottles of Pepsi for my boyfriend and I as it was a liquor-free reception. I had to, knowing I was going to have to deal with my father and that Daddy-Daughter dance… Later on I would find out that my uncles were in the parking lot drinking Jack Daniels…hahahhaha.

I type this negative stuff about my father, but don’t get me wrong, I love him. I love him despite it. But revisiting the wedding actually makes me cry everytime. It hurts. It hurts when someone cannot accept you because you are fat. I am not a monster. I know I am a beautiful woman, don’t tell me “You have such a pretty face, if only you wouldn’t hide under that weight”. Bullshit. I am a beautiful woman regardless. A broken, beautiful woman who busts her ass to provide for her family, to build a long-lasting career in uncertain economic times, a woman who tries to be the parent her parents were not, and a woman who is hurt but loves her boyfriend with all of her heart even though at times her heart is locked up. No one is perfect.

Life is slowing returning back to normal…at least health-wise

I am almost over this nasty crud. I am still coughing up gunk and coughing, but not as much. I am constantly clearing my throat. Now that I am feeling better, I am doing more and able to get back on the low-carb bandwagon. It has been rough, obviously, with some days better than others. For example, my appetite was completely out of control yesterday, I couldn’t stop eating, I was so hungry. Today I am the opposite. I have had to force myself to eat because I have not been hungry. It’s a vicious cycle.

On Friday I went to my weight loss doctor and had my exercise assessment done. I lost TWO pounds despite the holidays and my sickness! Color me surprised. That being said, it was a relief. My visit with my doctor went well, and he has mentioned (like before) about me using Phentermine to prevent my appetite from getting out of control. As of now I do not have that problem, but I am leery about using that type of product. As it is I am already on Topamax for depression (which he knows) and it suppresses the appetite. I have also started a regimen of Amino Acids called Neuro Replete to help with the cravings. Something else I will be purchasing is Bilberry loose leaf tea to help with that as well.

My exercise assessment went very well, and I was told how to breathe when exercising, and what I should do. What I will be doing is using a recumbent bike at a local gym (which is a tough search, I will go into detail shortly), no more than 3x a week for 20-30 minutes each time. She explained to me that a “Warm up” is not stretching, but slowing easing into the exercise. My concern is trying to remember to do the breathing while exercising. Right now I need to be more concerned about finding a gym that has more than 3 recumbent bikes. I want to work out locally, but I live in a small town and two of the three major gyms here have 2-3 recumbent bikes. The one gym that has 3 has reviews that the recumbent bikes are always in use and it’s a 45 minute-1 hour wait to use one and there’s no time limit for someone to use it. I don’t want to spend money on annual fees and sign up fees and a monthly fee to find out I cannot use a recumbent bike. If I decide to go with this gym I don’t have to sign a contract, but I have to pay that annual fee, which is ridiculous, and it won’t be refunded. I really don’t want to drive out of my way to go work out, but there are bigger gyms in the bigger city by me. It might be something I might have to take into consideration. I need to come up with a solution fast, as I have a check up with her on the 21st of next month.

So things are moving. Right now too slowly for me, but it has been very busy since I have started feeling better, and I haven’t been pacing myself well enough, because I am still very tired. I’m sleeping a LOT, but it doesn’t feel like it is enough.

Time to stop avoiding it and go to the doctor…

After a discussion with a colleague, who had the same thing and found out she had bronchitis, I decided to set up an appointment with my doctor to find out if there is something more than what I am going through. I have been sick since the beginning of this month and I am not 100%. When I start feeling good, I get back to feeling worse. Now I am coughing so much I cannot sleep. I am going to get Mucinex today, but maybe I need antibiotics. I don’t know. I know that the flu and a horrible strain of it is going around and I need to make sure that I find out what is wrong before it turns into something worse.

My symptoms: sore throat, achy body, no fever though. Headaches, sinus pressure at times (which is why I think it’s just viral, this is a common problem of mine), some post-nasal drip, coughing, sometimes coughing up green stuff (this just started yesterday). Also, while my stomach is mostly healed, I am having a problem with bloat and umm…gas. Of course it probably doesn’t help that I ate bell peppers for supper last night. Oops. I love bell peppers and they’re low-carb friendly.

Yesterday I did okay calorie wise but my carbs were bad. Today I will land around 42 grams so long as I stay on the path, but only 128 grams of protein. I’ll take it.

With this doctor visit comes a weigh-in. I am dreading it. I won’t hold much weight to it as their scale seems to be off by 8 pounds less than my weight loss doctor’s office (which is what I will base my progress on). Still…if I show myself above what I was at pre-holiday season, I will know. Then again, it could be wrong, so I will wait until Friday til I go to my weight loss doctor to see the true number. Unfortunately I will not be able to get an early morning weight as my appointment is in the later afternoon, but it is what it is.

I need to stop over-analyzing this and get better…sigh.

In sickness and in health

Whatever this is that I am going through is a daily thing for me. Sometimes I feel good, most of the time I feel crappy. I have done all I can to offset the nastiness of this flu/crud/bug/whatever it is, but I feel I am pretty limited at this point and will just continue doing what I have been doing, mostly avoiding the office for the pure and simple fact that the germs are there and I do not want to give anyone who might be healthy whatever this is that I have. Last time I was in office two weeks ago, a colleague who has a cubicle in front of me was coughing and not covering her cough. I cannot begin to repeat the importance of covering your cough anywhere you go, but particularly in an office environment where there is stale, recycled office air. It’s just common sense. Shortly after that is when my descent in this madness started. I was already there with a semi-cold, but this just pushed it to its limit. 

I think about the flu shot and why I get it, year after year, and why I continue to get it. I am not looking to start a debate here and note to readers: I will not approve or engage in a debate. Like I said, this is my opinion. Anyway, I think it is safe to say that I might just skip my flu shot in November. If this is what I am going through, I see no point to getting a flu shot. 

Despite the sickness, I have my doctor appointments for this week already scheduled out. The exercise assessment as well as a follow up with my doctor about my weight loss plan. I will be letting him know there and then that I am no longer requiring the services of their bariatric nurse who doubles as their nutritionist, because I simply cannot get on board with her recommendations and I cannot put my nutritional needs based off of a plan from someone who is shoving chemical-laden protein drinks down my throat. I will work with an actual nutritionist. A friend of mine who is certified and won’t cost me a dime. I am hoping for a weight loss or steady weight, but I fear I have gained some weight. I will find out on Friday. Between the holidays and my sickness and lack of following my nutrition plan, I hope the damage isn’t too bad and I really hope I have not gained back a lot of the weight I have lost.

I am watching my carb intake but not terribly strict with it due to the illness. My goal is under 100 grams of carbs daily, which is still very high for me, but right now my health depends on certain foods, and those foods are carb-heavy, unfortunately. Ideally I would like to be doing 60-80, but I know that is not an option. I am still watching my calorie intake, so I hope that offsets the carb intake. 

The BRAT diet really sucks!

Is it crazy for me to say how much I miss my low-carb, high protein diet?? I am so tired of Bananas Rice Applesauce Toast. Ick. My boyfriend bought a loaf of white bread for the first time in…well, it has been a VERY long time. Imagine my surprise at the sticker shock. A loaf of Franz bread at a local grocery store set us back $3.39! Are you kidding me?? That is expensive. I am sure there are cheaper loaves of bread, but I remember when Franz was $2/loaf! 

While I have been sick, I have been watching some episodes of Semi-Homemade With Sandra Lee. I have to tell you, I only watch this for the pure snark of it all, because let’s not forget, It’s Cocktail Time™! (Hee.) The amount of processed food this woman uses is disgusting. Frozen mashed potatoes? That is akin to boxed mashed potatoes. Come on, people. It is really not that hard to make mashed potatoes that aren’t full of preservatives and chemicals! Have we as a society become that lazy? I understand the premise of the show, but I cannot get on board with the amount of processed food she relies on using for her recipes. The only thing I CAN get on board with is the idea of buying pre-chopped onions at the local deli section of my local grocer. Now THAT is worth the money. I HATE chopping onions, and garlic.

I also thought back to when I was married. We ate a TON of processed food and it was downright disgusting. I never liked homemade Chili until my boyfriend made a pot of chili when we first started dating. Prior to that, my idea of “good chili with beans” was a can of Nalley. Are you kidding me? I literally gag thinking about it now. It is funny how our preferences and mindsets change when we change our habits and way of eating.

Clearly, I have had too much time on my hands while sick. My stomach is still churning too, but I am hoping that it will go away. There are a ton of bugs going around right now, so one must take caution wherever they go. Stock up on your hand sanitizer!

Worst stomach bug ever…(warning: graphic if you have a queasy stomach)

What started as what I thought was food poisoning on Sunday night is actually a stomach bug that has a duration of 10-14 days. Right now I am experiencing severe abdominal cramping, amongst other nasty things (erm, bowel issues). It seems to be slowing down now, but this morning was the worst I had felt since Monday morning. Sunday night I made my cabbage soup and ate that for dinner, and then had those cutie oranges for dessert. I thought I had overeaten, but what turned into what I thought was overeating was actually a stomach bug (first mistaken for food poisoning). Later into the evening the worst stomach cramps imaginable, five to six sets of vomiting until there were nothing but bile coming up, then bowel issues. I slept a lot on Monday (called sick into work), then Tuesday seemed to be good, then I woke up this morning and I felt worse. It has been a slow healing process.

I called my doctor’s office to see if I should come in as my problems were not easing up, but they advised me that there is nothing they can do for a viral stomach bug, and that it is going around right now. The duration is 10-14 days, which made me cringe. I hope it is shorter for me, but still. It makes life a bit miserable and I cannot follow my nutrition plan as I am following the dreaded BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) diet to keep things in check. A lot of toast. A lot of carbs. But in order to get well, I have to do this. As it is, it isn’t like I have much of an appetite anyhow, and frankly speaking, I am almost scared to eat.

My boyfriend ended up with this at the same time, but he seems to be doing better. My daughter had a bout of it on Friday night, which I also mistook for food poisoning, but she is better now. I know that it’s flu season and that there is a lot of illness going around. I’d rather have the actual flu than this…this is for the birds.

The only upside to this, is hopefully I will have lost my holiday weight! Ha ha.

Who is Mommy Needs a Valium?

She is a driven, harried, motivated, anxious, sometimes sad, opinionated, and independent woman.

I don’t blog about myself outside of the weight loss world because I try to stay as anonymous as possible. This is not my first blog, in fact, this is my third blog. The first blog was a recipe/foodie blog. My last blog was dealing with having a total hysterectomy. That last blog was supposed to be about my recovery, about the ups and downs, trials and tribulations. It turned into a blog that documented the downfall of my divorce and the subsequent abuse inflicted on me by my ex-husband. I don’t read it often as it is very hard to read and brings up too many painful memories. Then I started this blog with the intention of blogging regularly about my adventures in weight loss. I am not good about keeping up with blogging, never have been, but I am trying.

I am not a complicated individual. I love and when I love it is a loyal love. When my trust is broken it takes a lot to repair it. Like any other human, I’m just as confusing as the next. I think we all have had our hearts broken, and faced disappointments in our lives, and that is what we must remember when trying to understand a certain individual we might not understand.

(Note: I started this blog on Friday, but never finished. Oops.)

Sickness and setbacks

I have been sick since yesterday. First what started out as a cold turned into a full-fledged stomach bug/virus. I ended up needing soup, craving Top Ramen (of all things), so I had that for dinner with tuna fish sandwiches. Don’t judge me, that’s what we had growing up. What I call “poor food”. I haven’t eaten ramen in over 3 years…and haven’t craved it until last night. I don’t eat bread anymore, so this was very strange, but my stomach needed something less heavy and being sick, I just had to do what I needed to do.

These setbacks happen as soon as I start low-carbing and I feel let down, as if I am letting myself down, but when it comes to something like this, you simply cannot avoid it. Then I started wondering if the virus I thought I had was actually a flu/bug/virus, or rather, the Keto Flu I had made mention of in my last blog. Whatever it is, it has kicked my butt. That and old man winter…the two combined are dragging me down. I just want to sleep all day, but be it as I have rent and bills to pay, I cannot do that.

Here’s to better health…hopefully soon…

Back on track

I actually started yesterday, and not New Year’s Day, and I did very well, but I had gnawing pangs of hunger towards the end of the night, even after dinner. Re-adjusting my body to the low-carb, high protein lifestyle will be tricky and hard, but it needs to be done. Today I will be around 50 grams of carbs so long as I stay on track. Yesterday I was around 65. Not desired, but better than what I have been eating. 

Yesterday, my first mistake of the day was ordering a non-fat, no whip tall Caramel Brulee Latte from Starbucks. I should have seen if they could have made it sugar free as well. It was 50 grams of carbs in that cup! So that was most of my carb intake, and had a few more carbs for dinner, like carrots in my salad, and miscellaneous items. During my work day I did just fine, no massive hunger pangs, but it wasn’t until after dinner that I felt it and couldn’t escape it. I didn’t cheat, but I certainly got in a bit more food than expected. I was still under 2,500 calories for the day, so I am happy about that.

Having to get past two weeks of eating horribly is a tough thing to do, but I know that once I get past the eventual Keto Flu, I will be okay. I have been dealing with muscle cramps in my legs (calves, groin, hamstrings) even before I got back on track, but yesterday was the worst. I felt like I was hit by a Mack Truck. All I can think of is that Keto Flu. That nasty Keto Flu that set in during the beginning, and I dread it. But this is the price we pay when we deviate from the plan.

I’m just hopeful that the Keto Flu won’t be quite as bad this time around…