True Beauty: The Weight Of My World

This post has been churning in my head and in my gut for about two weeks now. I don’t want to write it. Yet, I’m compelled to write it. Maybe the writing will be part of the healing.

Reading this passage from A Holy Experience brought me to an all to familiar feeling.

Sometimes when I stand skin nervous, too exposed, before the hangers and the choices, his hands find the waist and finger around the bare that has stretched wrinkle thin six times and I cringe. He says it then in the light, what he whispers in the complete pitch with the door latch hooked close. I doubt that word beautiful from his lips and I shake my head and I regret hurting him, but I can’t help it. To accept it would seem a lie but he says it is his God-honest truth. Why do I argue?

The Feelings

The cringing, the doubt, the voice inside my head telling me it’s all a lie.

I feel it when John puts his hand on my waist leading me in to a restaurant or initiating a spontaneous dance in the kitchen. I feel it when my son tells me I’m beautiful in his most earnest heart-felt 4 year old way. I feel it when my daughter pats my stomach and says, “Mommy, you have a fat tummy, but I love you!”, as only 4 year old honesty will allow.

I feel it more when I am alone. When I have to get dressed, yet again. This never ending torturous process of dressing on a daily basis. The putting on and the taking off, over and over, trying so desperately to find something, anything that will not make me hate the obese image reflected in the mirror.

The disgust and the shame are overwhelming. It’s paralyzing. It’s restricting.

I hate to leave the house for fear of running in to people I know. Embarrassed at what they may think of me. What they may tell their spouses or friends about me.

I rarely socialize, even with my friends. The ones who have known me for years. The ones who know about this battle with my weight. The ones who have seen me gain and lose 40 to 60 pounds three and four times now.

I am so uncomfortable in this skin. I feels like it belongs to someone else.

And the feelings that accompany the weight are just as unbearable. They make me distant. They make me silent. It’s a gentle mix of apathy, hopelessness and nausea.

The Logic

Logically, my head knows this is not hopeless. It knows that what I am feeling is not to be trusted. It knows that I am beautiful to my son and I am loved by my daughter. It knows that John is telling me the truth, his truth, when he says I am as beautiful as the day he met me. (I am jealous of that 15 year old girl.)

Logically, my head knows that how I look physically is not important. It knows that where I am spiritually is the most important. It knows that regardless of what the scale says, or what anyone else says, God loves me and my heart and thinks I am His beautiful creation. This I know is true.

My head also knows how to fix this, how to change it, how to make it right.

My head knows how to turn around an obese BMI score of 31.5 to a healthy 24. Heck, I’ve done it multiple times. Last summer I was a size 8, the summer before that a size 4, and finally the summer before that a size 16, just like today.

The Struggle

What my head doesn’t know is how to stop letting the feelings control my actions.

At least for today.

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Drink Red Wine… Lose Weight!

Well, if that’s not the pefect post for Watercooler Wednesday & Works For Me Wednesday, I’m not sure what is! But it is good news isn’t it.  Here’s the skinny ; )

Red Wine a Weapon in Battle of the Bulge

Health Benefits of Resveratrol May Include Fighting Fat, Study Shows By Kathleen Doheny  WebMD Health News  Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 17, 2008 — An antioxidant found in red wine and grapes known as resveratrol — already thought to help keep the heart healthy and ward off cancer — may also turn out to be a fat fighter, according to new research.

They exposed some fat cells to resveratrol and did not expose a comparison group of fat cells to the antioxidant. “Forty hours is the normal doubling time [of pre-fat cells],” Wabitsch says. “At 48 hours, the pre-fat cells in the control dish had more than doubled. In the resveratrol dish, the number of pre-fat cells had decreased by 40% to 45%,” he tells WebMD.

 

The volume of fat cells exposed to the resveratrol was also less, he says, in effect producing skinnier fat cells. Exposure to the resveratrol also reduced the secretion of substances called interleukin 6 and 8, which may be linked to the development of diabetes and clogged arteries, both thought to be obesity-related problems. Wabitsch says the finding is consistent with the theory that red wine’s resveratrol explains the so-called French paradox — the observation that French people, who eat a relatively high-fat diet but enjoy their red wine, have a low death rate from heart disease.

There is more research to be done. And please let us not forget that red wine contains calories.  We can not sit on the couch and drink vats of red wine and become super model skinny. On the other hand if I could drink a glass with dinner instead of saving it for a special occassion and my fat cells become skinny cells, well I’m all for that! 

Want to learn more?  Read the entire article HERE!

SAVE $600 A Year On Fresh Produce

This is a part of Works for me Wedsnesday. This is a great article from the website http://sparkpeople.com. It’s what I used to take off the last half of my baby weight and it certainly worked for me. Fruits_Veggies 

How to Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh

Proper Storage Prevents Spoilage, Saving You Hundreds

— By Liza Barnes, Health Educator and Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer

Eating more fruits and vegetables is a requirement for every healthy eater. But when you buy more fresh produce, do you end up throwing away more than you eat? You’re not alone.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away nearly 31.6 million tons of food every year. And a recent University of Arizona study found that the average family tosses 1.28 pounds of food a day, for a total of 470 pounds a year! That’s like throwing away $600!

Storing fresh produce is a little more complicated than you might think. If you want to prevent spoilage, certain foods shouldn’t be stored together at all, while others that we commonly keep in the fridge should actually be left on the countertop. To keep your produce optimally fresh (and cut down on food waste), use this handy guide.

Countertop Storage Tips
There’s nothing as inviting as a big bowl of crisp apples on the kitchen counter. To keep those apples crisp and all countertop-stored produce fresh, store them out of direct sunlight, either directly on the countertop, in an uncovered bowl, or inside a perforated plastic bag.

Refrigerator Storage Tips
For produce that is best stored in the refrigerator, remember the following guidelines.

  • Keep produce in perforated plastic bags in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. (To perforate bags, punch holes in the bag with a sharp object, spacing them about as far apart as the holes you see in supermarket apple bags.)
  • Keep fruits and vegetables separate, in different drawers, because ethylene can build up in the fridge, causing spoilage.
  • When storing herbs (and interestingly, asparagus, too), snip off the ends, store upright in a glass of water (like flowers in a vase) and cover with a plastic bag.

What to Store Where: A Handy Chart
Use this color-coded key along with the chart below:

  • Store unwashed and in a single layer
  • Store unwashed and in a plastic bag
  • Store in a paper bag
  • *Ethylene producers (keep away from other fruits and vegetables)

Store in Refrigerator

Apples (storage >7 days)
Apricots
Cantaloupe
Figs
Honeydew

 

Artichokes
Asparagus
Beets
Blackberries
Blueberries
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Cherries
Corn
Grapes
Green beans
Green onions
Herbs (except basil)
Lima beans
Leafy vegetables
Leeks
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Okra
Peas
Plums
Radishes
Raspberries
Spinach
Sprouts
Strawberries
Summer squash
Yellow squash
Zucchini

 

 

 

 

 

Store on Countertop

 

Apples (storage < 7 days)
Bananas
Tomatoes

Basil
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Garlic
Ginger
Grapefruit
Jicama
Lemons
Limes
Mangoes
Oranges
Papayas
Peppers
Persimmons
Pineapple
Plantains
Pomegranates
Watermelon

 

Store in a Cool, Dry Place

 

Acorn squash
Butternut squash
Onions (away from potatoes)
Potatoes (away from onions)
Pumpkins
Spaghetti squash
Sweet potatoes
Winter squash
Ripen on Counter,
Then
Refrigerate

Avocados
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Plums

Kiwi

*More about Ethylene: Fruits and vegetables give off an odorless, harmless and tasteless gas called ethylene after they’re picked. All fruits and vegetables produce it, but some foods produce it in greater quantities. When ethylene-producing foods are kept in close proximity with ethylene-sensitive foods, especially in a confined space (like a bag or drawer), the gas will speed up the ripening process of the other produce. Use this to your advantage if you want to speed up the ripening process of an unripe fruit, for example, by putting an apple in a bag with an unripe avocado. But if you want your already-ripe foods to last longer, remember to keep them away from ethylene-producing foods, as designated in the chart above.
Food is expensive, and most people can’t afford to waste it. Print off this handy chart to keep in your kitchen so you can refer to it after every shopping trip. Then you’ll be able to follow-through with your good intentions to eat your 5-9 servings a day, instead of letting all of that healthy food go to waste.