Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cleavage-shaming modesty police are "Pick me" and "not like other girls"

 I've become a Reddit AITA fan and recently a poster asked if she was "TA" for calling out her co-worker's cleavage. The OP (original poster) asked if the co-worker "purposely exposed herself." OP indicated that other male co-workers were uncomfortable with the cleavage on display and asked her to talk to the offender (as you do?) So Ms. Modesty Police Woman confronted the "unprofessional attire" and basically body-shaming the cleavage sharer (as you do). 

Probably not surprisingly, the AITA consensus was overwhelmingly YTA. (you're the arschloch). The OP said that she herself veered toward tomboy and was good buddies with all the male workers, ergo her appointment to modesty patrol. Many commenters suggested that she was a "pick me" and an "I'm not like other girls" gal. (I've learned a lot of new urban terms since reading Reddit AITA :D) 

A "pick me" is a person who will do anything for attention or approval including putting others down. "I'm not like other girls" is a trope the internet has created to identify women who eschew "girl things" and embrace "non-feminine" things. All these terms are in quotes because they are stereotypical and very user-defined.

They polarize themselves as rebelliously different because they drive trucks or use tools or read (!?) and "other girls" as cartoonishly feminine because they wear makeup. The irony (and ridiculousness) lies in the conformity of the "not like other girls" "non-conformity. They literally almost have a dress code and the things they believe makes them different are so transparently alike. Also the things they believe set them apart, like reading or dressing like a "tomboy" are things most all women do. Their definitions are oddly outmoded. Even OP's term tomboy went out like 50 years ago. And dressing tomboy can also be very provocative itself (tight jeans, tight T-shirt, etc). So, color me confused.

 Women identified as "pick me" and "not like other girls" tend to be very self-involved and also lacking in self-awareness. They don't understand how silly they sound. Which brings us back to the modesty police issue (and believe me, we'll get more into cleavage and body-shaming later). The fact that the Pick Me OP had no problem body-shaming someone and actually feels right doing it, is bad enough. Don't even get me started on her inability to see that breasts aren't something you can hide let alone should. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds by feeding cravings

Greetings on this lovely fall afternoon! A few days ago, I blogged about how I lost 100 pounds by feeding cravings. Yes, you read that correctly. If you follow this weight loss blog, you know that I like to write quirky, aphoristic titles. But it's not just to grab eyes. Fighting obesity is about breaking stereotypes and rethinking conventional wisdom to see if it really is wise. 

So, how I lost 100 pounds giving in to cravings: that just doesn't make sense, does it? That's how obesity started, was by indulging in said cravings, right? Yes and no. Cravings as those seeking gastric bypass on "My 600-lb Life" refer to, yes. Eating insane amounts of sugar, salty snacks, fried, processed and fast foods is a one way ticket to morbidly overweight. 

However, the cravings I'm referring to aren't for addictive high calorie, low nutritional value foods. Gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" confuse junk cravings with what their bodies really want: healthy food. I lost 100 pounds by yielding to those deep longings and also by really listening to what my body is requesting. 

The culprits that confuse us are sugar, salt and empty carbs.  All of these are highly addictive. So like heroin, they make us think we want and need them. Their voices scream pretty loudly. So loud that folks such as those on "My 600-lb Life" oblige them to the point of obesity. Only by listening past their noise can we hear the still small voice of our inner wisdom--call it the Holy Spirit, common sense or Al-Anon's higher power. 

Al-Anon has a lot to teach about weight loss. Intermittent fasting or calorie restricting, such as with the 1200 calorie diet I follow, are tools to achieve sobriety from food addiction. But it's about more than just calorie restricting. It's about what to eat. Listening to the body's plea for vegetables in many colors, whole grain fiber, protein and good carbs will lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. 

But having said all that, weight loss isn't just boring calorie restricting and salads. Cliffhanger alert: part of how I lost 100 pounds was by eating sugar and junk food. More later so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds and keep it off: do you want the good or bad news first?

 Hiya, friends! As you know, if you follow this blog that I lost 100 pounds 8 years ago (has it been that long??) When I first began to lose weight, I was warned that getting it off was the easy part but that keeping it off was harder. A few people even scoffed that I'd gain it back. Well, thank you, Queen Obvious and Miss Taken. First, it's clearly easier to begin than maintain a new habit and second, I did maintain my weight loss. And here's how: do you want the good or bad  news first? 

Okay, so I'll go with bad news. It's difficult to keep 100 pounds off. I gained some back. But the good news is it's not as hard as I thought. And indulging occasionally didn't plunge me back into obesity. I did gain some weight back after shoulder surgery and then lost some when I was sick with Covid 19. And then I lost some again and gained a bit, you get the picture. But more good news, I know what to do when I need to lose weight. Calorie restricting with a 1200 calorie diet has been the integral part of how I lost 100 pounds and kept it off. 

There were some Miss Nomers who said that calorie restricting doesn't lose weight. Apparently, it didn't work for them. However, the 1200 calorie diet worked for me. Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" uses it. So calorie restricting didn't work for you, or you didn't work at it? Because it's a mathematical and physical fact that less in means less on. 

Do I always follow it? Truthfully, no. But I do use portion control almost without thinking. It's become second nature to eat less. And eating less has had this cool effect of controlling hunger. I don't need as much to fill me up. In obesity, I could eat two and sometimes three plates of food. Now one is plenty. Calorie restricting helped me lose weight and redefine eating. Now I eat when I'm hungry. If I'm not, I don't. Gone is the mindless snacking urge. Food isn't a friend or a solace. It's fuel. But I do still give in to cravings and I'll discuss in another post how that's a good thing for weight loss and overall health. 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Obesity and low self-esteem vs. self-confidence and weight loss, latter please

Hey friends, in today's episode on how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass), I'm going to explore links between obesity and low self esteem and self-confidence and weight loss. (I'll take the latter for 500, Alex!) So if you need to lose weight, like I did, being 100 pounds overweight at one point, it's important to look at roots of weight gain and obesity. One plus-size factor is low self esteem. I'm using not only my experiences but also those of gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life." 

Participants on "My 600-lb Life" share several things besides morbid obesity: low self esteem, zero self confidence and what Reddit would call weaponized incompetence (more on that later). Patients seeking gastric bypass surgery may come over as arrogant, pushy and controlling (that's part of the weaponized incompetence). That's to cover the helplessness and hopelessness they feel. I know the feeling of being overweight, out of control and powerless to do anything about it. 

So, in a way, it's true. Al-Anon teaches us that we are powerless over people places and things. But in this, Al-Anon references things outside ourselves that we seek to control. Within ourselves, we can find power to manage choices and behaviors. In fact, Al-Anon says that's all we can control. I can choose calorie restricting, intermittent fasting or some kind of weight loss diet to manage obesity. I can lose weight, if I'm willing to do the work involved. 

However, as "My 600-lb Life" shows, that sense of powerlessness, stemming from low to zero self esteem, that powers obesity and prevents weight loss. Gastric bypass patients tell and definitely show, that they having no control over eating. It's like someone is force feeding them. One of my clients is morbidly obese. He literally pounds one beer after another and downs plates of food as if an external force controls his hands. Yes, it's heart-breaking. But, I have another client who was morbidly obese and was able to lose weight. And the difference, that I can see, is self-confidence. The former lacks it and the other has it. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to discover self confidence. I won't say rediscover because I never had it nor learned it. So how to learn self confidence? By talking back to the voices in my head that say I'm helpless and hopeless. It's a slow process but as As Al-Anon advises, I fake it till I make it. I also watch others who are confident and try to imitate them. I referred earlier to Cobra Kai weight loss strategies. One thing we know Cobra Kai has is confidence (although as we're seeing, all in Cobra Kai had to develop it. It didn't come naturally.) 

Stay tuned for more on this because volumes can be written about the links between obesity and low self esteem and self-confidence and weight loss. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

A-Z Healthy school lunches and snacks for weight loss the whole family will love

 I struggled with obesity for a few years before I found ways to lose weight naturally without gastric bypass. One big challenge was finding healthy diet recipes that didn't require an extra meal prep. I created these quick easy healthy school lunch recipes to make for the whole family.  The good news is that everyone loved these "diet recipes" which were part of how I lost 100 pounds. 

A-Z lunch menu of quick lunch recipes and lunchbox foods for kids

A+ Applewich: Spread light oat grain bread with almond butter or natural peanut butter (no transfat). Add sliced apples or apple butter. This will be in hot demand on your monthly lunch menu. Be daring and sprouts or spinach leaves to sandwich.

Banana Boats--cut two slits in banana and peel back skin part way. Remove a little banana and fill with peanut butter and grape slices. Save removed banana for PBB sandwiches (lunch recipes below)

Charcuterie: Cheese cubes or sticks (light mozzarella), olives, broccoli flowerets, almonds, turkey pepperoni and grapes.

Dogs in the blanket--Nitrate free turkey hot dogs (Applegate, Oscar Meyer Naturals or Smart dogs (made with tofu) with honey mustard and wrapped in lettuce leaves

Eggs Devilishly Good--Hard boil eggs, chill and peel. Rinse and slice lengthwise. Remove yolk and mash with light olive oil mayo, dill weed and paprika. Fill egg cavities. Serve with cold baked potato and sour cream.

Fruit Max--Mix dried apricots, raisins, apples, guava, papaya (don't get sugared ones) with nuts, seeds and pretzels

GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) or almonds, walnuts or any nuts!

Happy Trails Mix-- Mix unsweetened breakfast cereal, pretzels, raisins, cheese cubes and dark chocolate chips (just a few) for yummy lunchbox foods.

Insanely Healthy Peanut Butter Dip (peanut butter and plain Greek yogurt mixed half and half) with rice crackers, strawberries, pineapple, baby carrots, green pepper spears.

Jumble nut butter oatmeal cookies--Make with healthy sunflower oil and blue agave syrup to sweeten. Use different nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond or sunflower). Add mixed nuts and seeds for remarkably filling protein alternatives for vegetarian lunch recipes.

Kangaroo Sandwiches--Stuff pita pocket bread with lettuce and chicken or tuna salad. Mix tuna or chicken with light mayo, spicy mustard, chopped celery, apples, grapes, nuts and black pepper. Be sure to call it Kangaroo Sandwiches on the lunch menu!

Lighten Up Roll-ups--spread tortilla shell with light cream cheese, turkey lunchmeat, large romaine lettuce leaf. Roll and slice. For gluten-ree roll up, roll cheese stick in reduced fat lunch meat or vegan cheese slices

Mucho Guacamole Boats--remove pits from avocado and scrape out some avocado. Mix with lemon juice, garlic, tomatoes, onions for guacamole. Tuck tortilla chips inside avocado, fill cavity with guacamole and sprinkle with cheese. Send some chips separately. How's that for super healthy school lunches in minutes?

Nuts and bolts--pretzels, dried fruit and Honey Nut Cheerios. Send almond milk or lowfat milk for lunch cereal.

Olives overboard pasta salad--Cook whole grain pasta, drain and chill. Add cubed feta cheese, cucumber chunks, green and black olives and a little olive oil for vegetarian lunch recipes.

Po'boy Shish Kebobs: Skewer Swiss cheese chunks, pickles and all natural Al Fresco chicken sausage slices on toothpicks.

PBB sandwiches. Make peanut butter sandwiches with banana spread like jam on bread.

Quick lunch recipes--Pita chips and hummus with baby carrots--Teens love these lunchbox foods.

Raw colored peppers and yogurt salad dressing (store separately). Yogurt dressing is Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice, feta cheese, pepper, dill, rosemary, oregano and sage.

Smoked almonds, broccoli and yogurt dip and blueberries--How's that for super portable vegetarian lunchbox foods.

Sailboat Sandwiches: PBJ sandwich cut diagonally (for boat) and then one half in half again (sails). Use light whole grain bread, natural peanut butter and low sugar jam.

Tomatoes or baby carrots and hummus are another teen lunch pleaser.

Very Vegetarian Veggie burger: Mash beans and mix with chopped veggies. Cook ahead and make into sandwich.

Wagon wheels--Cut sliced cheese round using mouth of small glass. Place inside two crackers. (This was Timer's recipe in the old Saturday morning PSAs)

Under the Sea. Serve Goldfish crackers with foil tuna packets or imitation crab sticks. Add cucumber slices and watermelon chunks for quick lunch recipes.

X-tra quick school lunches--Serve healthy power bars like Junkless, Luna, Kind or Clif bars. These make great school snacks or lunches that satisfy

YOLO--Lemon or orange flavored yogurt cups or Greek yogurt cups like Light and Fit, Stonyfield, Oikos, Dannon, Chobani. Avoid "kid" yogurt or yogurts with granola, candy, dyes or junk in them. Choose small yogurt cups for less waste. Or mix plain Greek yogurt with organic lemonade, peeled grapefruit and oranges. Serve with nuts for vegetarian healthy school lunches.

Zucchini "Sushi" Rollups--Spread turkey lunch meat or cheese slice with cream cheese and wrap around skinny spears of zucchini, carrots, green peppers, cucumbers and scallions.

These healthy school lunch and snack recipes make great munchables all day long, to keep from mindless snacking on junk. Stick around for more on how I lost 100 pounds and other weight loss thoughts. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds by deleting old messages on service vs. self-care

Who here recalls recording on cassette tapes? You could re-record but first you had to "erase" existing recordings. Now with cellphones, it's similar technology, except we delete old messages. This relates to weight loss, too. Part of how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or drugs was by deleting old messages on service to others and creating new ones about self-care. Alanon teaches a similar concept. 

I was raised on the old maxim that to achieve JOY, you put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. Which is good, to some extent. However if you're an empath like me, you translate that as serving Jesus by putting others always and yourself never. I learned young to ignore my own needs, wants, feelings and ideas and be a servant to all.  I was so busy trying to please everyone that I made myself miserable. 

It wasn't just obesity that this indentured servitude caused. That came later in life. In the early days, it meant denying myself (or being denied) everything including enough food to sustain. For much of my early life, I didn't have my own bed or pillow. I had to buy my own shoes and sanitary napkins. I had to raise siblings. I learned to make the best of situations that weren't even safe, let alone healthy.  

Self-care, I learned, was selfish and self-centered. That I should suffer with joy. That I should serve without appreciation or reward. My role in life was to help, do for and fix. I took care of everyone. Except my grandparents. There I could be a kid. There, I had what I needed. But their voices weren't loud enough to drown out the other messages. Those said I had to earn everything, including love. And no matter how hard I worked or how much I gave, it was never enough to buy that. 

So what does this have to do with weight loss or weight gain? Everything. Getting healthier requires several things: 

1) recognizing you're ill. 

2) discovering that you deserve to be well. 

3) deleting old messages that tell you otherwise. 

4) learning how to be well. 

5) understanding that you can serve others and still take care of yourself. 

6) Knowing that if serving others is keeping you from self-care, you're doing it wrong. 

7) Discerning when someone needs your help and when they are manipulating and exploiting you. 

8) Coming to the awareness that you don't have to and shouldn't help when it harms you. 

9) Believing that No. Is a complete sentence. 

10) Accepting that God wants you to be healed and that He will help you do that. 

So this post has been as much catharsis for me as advice for you. But catharsis is painful as well as healing. It's still very much a work in progress for me. And I hope, if any of this resonates with you, that you'll read, mark, learn and inwardly digest. If you need someone to tell you that you DESERVE happiness and wellness, please, let it be me. Love, mar

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

How I lost 100 pounds with Cobra Kai vs. Miyagi-Do weight loss


My husband and I have a guilty fascination with the Netflix series "Cobra Kai" and in most things I'm team Miyagi-Do all the way. Except weight loss. In that, I'm Cobra Kai with a side of Eagle Fang (who else here finds that name hilarious??) Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to get off the defensive and go straight offensive against obesity. 

Part of how I got overweight and then obese was by being defensive about weight gain. If you watch "My 600-lb Life" you'll know exactly what I mean. Like the would-be gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" I played the blame shame game, defended my reasons and took the path of least resistance (continuing the mindless overeating).  Quitting the excuse making and finally opening my eyes to how overweight I'd become, was the first step toward weight loss. 

The next step was some Cobra Kai calorie restricting. "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass physician Dr. Now, is a lot more like John Kreese than Daniel LaRusso. He shows no mercy with overeating and teaches patients how to use his 1200 calorie diet to "sweep the leg" out from under obesity. Some have called the "My 600-lb Life" calorie restricting Draconian. But it's Cobra Kai aggressiveness that helps lose weight, not passive acceptance (see my previous post). 

Dr Now tells us that gastric bypass patients with morbid obesity don't have time to "tickle" calorie restricting. They (we) need to lose weight now and to do so, a ruthless 1200 calorie diet or some other intense calorie restricting is necessary. In karate, Daniel LaRusso's defensive Miyagi-Do paired with Johnny Lawrence's  Eagle Fang, generally wins the day. In weight loss, full-on, no holds barred Cobra Kai offense is the best defense. 

Yes, Sensei Nowzaradan and Kreese!