My Fat loss journey began before I even knew that it did. I always felt that I had very high self-esteem, especially as a child. It seemed that my high esteem could never be broken down, or so I thought.
As I went from those odd teenage years to a young adult, my weight started to creep up on me. In my mid 20’s, after a divorce and a horrible unexpected loss of a step son, I over ate and packed on the pounds.
In my early 30’s, I was subject to bullying in the workplace by a wealthy business man. That was the beginning of the self-esteem plunge. I also began to have health issues including type 2 diabetes.
After going through the process of preparation for bariatric surgery, I did it! March 2012, I had gastric by-pass. About one-month post surgery I lost 50 pounds.
I was ecstatic! It was such a great choice for me. The following 3 years post surgery, I had lost about 150 pounds.
At that point, I was feeling amazing! I had never felt better! I also was living with excess skin. About 12 pounds of excess skin in my abdominal area.
I decided to have the skin removed. To say the least, that procedure did not go well for me, and I almost lost my life. In my book, “WHEN FOOD IS YOUR FRENEMY” I talk quite a bit about my journey, including my near death experience.
Today, I am happy, and I am healthy. I feel great, I look great, and I have learned so much about my food addiction and how to control it. I have also learned about myself. I DO NOT advocate bariatric surgery.
It was a great option for me, but If I can help with my message to avoid a teenager from over eating or if my message can help someone make a life change before bariatric surgery is necessary, then my mission is worth it. If my fat loss journey can help even one person to make better decisions than I did, It will all be worth my time. Within my fat loss journey, there are 6 things that I learned.
1. We live in the wealthiest country in the world! Food insecurity affects so many of us especially those in impoverished communities. How can this be? For those who are fortunate enough to have a full-time chef or nutritionist easily accessible, it seems that it might be easier to live a full, happy, and healthy life.
Food is such a wonderful part of life, and it is very enjoyable. Unfortunately, food has also become an issue for those in our society who do not have access to the best fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
In many cases, some of our youth depends on sugary drinks and on foods that are packed with colors, dyes, preservatives, and the bad “S” Sugar.
2. As rich as we are, we are not doing it right! America…We are in trouble! As of 2016, there are over 5.9 million children who are suffering from diabetes or close to becoming full diabetic. This is a national tragedy! An Outrage!
If we had 5.9 million kids suffering from heart disease, we would most definitely be treating it as a catastrophe. So, why do so many seem to be ok with our youth becoming obese to the point that their young lives are being so negatively affected? In many cultures, food is love. Food is family. Food is security.
All that being true, it is also fuel. It is energy. It is nutrition. I think we have forgotten what our food portions should look like. It is apparent when visiting any food buffet. The average American consumes 8,000 calories at any given buffet. Clearly, this is not the direction that we should be moving toward.
3.Sugar and Spice, makes everything nice……NOT! So, I get the fact that so many of us indulge in sugary treats*. It is OK to do so every once in a while. We cannot completely deny ourselves of simple pleasures, however, we have not denied ourselves of those pleasures and then some.
Sugar exists in most of our foods and drinks. The key is to read labels. Look at the sugar content and stay away from foods and drinks that contain more than 9 grams of sugar per serving. Just so I am clear, I do not condemn people for eating sugar.
I do have major concerns that we are not portioning out our meals and being cautious about our sugar intake. For your reference, 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. Have you looked at your last soda drink label lately?
4. Portion Your Plate to success! Portion control is a key factor in healthy eating. It all begins at the market. Shop your local grocery store but keep to the perimeter of the market. Most of the healthy and lean proteins, and fruits and veggies live in the perimeter of the grocery stores.
Most of the foods that are packed with preservatives and sugars live within the shelves. Foods that have been “conveniently” pre-packed for you are most likely packed with chemicals to keep their “freshness.” Don’t be fooled!
If its too good to be true, It is! It may take a bit of work, but eat good fruits and vegetables. About 3 oz of each during any meal time will be enough. Good Proteins are another key to good portion control. Eat good lean meats.
A good portion size for any meal is about 3 oz. The term “Go big or go home” should not apply to your daily diet. The USDA recommends that men consume 2,000 calories per day and women 1500 calories. Most doctors, which I am not one, will tell you that you can survive quite well on 1000-1200 calories per day.
You just need to pick and choose your calories wisely. The poor children in third world countries do not look like us, therefore we think they are too thin. I will not be the judge or the jury on that one, but they are not as malnourished as we think they may be. When we see informercials with third world kids starving, it is an atrocity.
I do not want any kid to go hungry, but in the United States, our youth are not going hungry! We must be more willing to take away the sugary drinks and the foods full of antibiotics and preservatives from our kids. We must also be willing to set a good example of eating smaller portions and taking part in regular physical fitness.
5. Make it Fun! Make it Simple! And Make it Healthful! Food is a wonderful thing. We should enjoy our food, and we should make it easy. We need to realize that everyone, no matter how beautiful or gorgeous the supermodel on the magazine covers may be.
We all have body image issues. Everyone doesn’t like something about themselves. We can start to feel great about our bodies by taking care of the vessel in which we were given! We only get one chance with our body.
Take care of it. Make foods that you enjoy. Get your kids involved in meal prep. Prep meals ahead of time just in case you’re running short on time the next day. Eat slow, and savor your food. Food is good!
Enjoy it slowly.
6. SELF IMAGE matters! For so many people, it is very difficult to love yourself. We also live in a society where magazine cover models look perfect. There is so much pressure to be perfect.
It is important for us all to realize that even those who we would view as “perfect” still have body image issues
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