Weight: 294 another ½ pound
Blood Pressure: 131/91
I’m not losing weight quickly. It is getting very hard to stay motivated with my personal life interfering at every turn and being so tired every night. I have been swimming upstream to even get my work done every day, the bills paid weekly and to make sure my family is fed and alive. I will say that everyone is home from the hospital and is doing fairly well, but we still have so much time invested in maintaining everyone else’s health - that I’m treading water with my diet. I’m happy I haven’t gained. I’m unhappy I’m not losing quickly - but I can tell you although I’ve been 100% vegan, my plant-based leaves a lot to be desired. And this behavior would be fine occasionally once I get healthy - but it isn’t fine now.
And that is another thing - WHY do I want to get healthy? I’ve discussed that I want to be healthy so I can walk, and have a better quality of life. But, I have to face the fact that if I don’t get my act together I will not have to worry about retirement - it won’t exist for me. As an overweight woman close to 300 pounds, with bad blood pressure (although my blood pressure is improving) - I am a woman that is just waiting to have a heart attack or stroke.
And at my current weight trying to walk anywhere is horrible. And, no, I have not exercised yet. And part of the reason is that it hurts to walk or move. I hate even trying to walk from my car to the school - I spend a lot of time at a desk or sitting on top of my desk teaching.
I’m trying to deal with my mother’s health and the fact that she needs someone with her during the day. I can’t do it because of the 4 generations in this house, I am the only one that is working. My daughter can do it but then she can’t pay her bills. Because she is spending her time making sure her grandmother does not serve herself a packet of taco seasoning for breakfast (yes, that happened). My mom knows us - but she is losing so much of herself to Alzheimers. Seriously - she would never have opened a packet of the taco seasoning you add to make taco lentils (or meat in non-vegan households) and put it on a plate with a fork for breakfast.
And I want to have a healthy retirement and if possible avoid Alzheimers. My retirement is probably 11 years away in 2033. I looked at my social security and my pension from being a public educator and it looks like I will be working until I am 67 - that really isn’t that far away, but at my current health even if I make it to that age I won’t enjoy my retirement. AND I want to enjoy life NOW and then LATER in retirement!!
So, I can’t just get by - I have to eat a fat-free, plant-based diet that heals my body.
I want to review the information I am learning about The Fat Cell from D. Thea Baldrick.
In Denise’s first week, The Fat Cell 1: What is a Fat Cell?, I learned about the fat cell and how it is a lipid-filled water balloon that is overflowing with fat. And that I am suffering from metabolic syndrome - being too fat for your own good. I really am suffering from it. Some of my physical complaints at my current weight are aching ankles, headaches, sinus pressure, exhaustion, lack of will to do anything beyond my school duties and what I have to do at home, and knees so sore that I walk like I’m in agony. Because I am.
The second week, The Fat Cell 2: Three Shades of Fat, I found out for the first time that fat is in three colors! It reminds of watching The Biggest Loser one season and they used butter and lard to measure out how much fat the contestants at the time had lost - and the bright yellow of butter was so much prettier than the white ugliness of lard — but now I find out that fat is brown, beige and white! And that ugly lard shade of white are the storage units. I don’t even want to know how many ugly white fat cells are populating my body right now! She also stresses that one of the ways to turn those ugly white storage cells to beige or brown (which burn the fat) is exercise. Sigh. Exercise.
The Fat Cell 3: The Lipid Droplet was the week's three instruction manual into my fat cell. And how the lipid droplet is the one for causing my fat cells to expand so much. Ok, I shouldn’t blame anyone but myself with my eating habits, but still - I need less TAGS in my body! And I need less lipids because they can cause toxicity in my organs/tissues. Great and another stress that exercise is so crucial comes from D. Thea Baldrick. Back when we met in Spain, we just walked everywhere and never thought anything of it. We were roommates while doing time abroad from our university in Madrid. And in Europe they walk everywhere. Where I live I take my life in my hands trying to walk on the main roads since we do not have sidewalks and people tend to speed (I live fairly rural). Walking for me takes a drive to a park. Where I live and even my front yard is filled with deer who are so lovely but also bring a huge chance of Lyme’s Disease. At least that is one of my excuses. But, I know - EXERCISE!
The fourth week, The Fat Cell 4: The Albumin Taxi, we discuss how fatty acids end up in the fat cells. And learn how the Albumin moves it through the body. I need to move so much fat out of my body that my taxis are going to be overworked! At the end of the article it looks like I may be able to convince Denise to join me in canning for easy meals later. I have some ideas for some soups in a jar that I can put up in quart jars and run through the pressure canner to have a quick dinner when I need it. Because although I like to cook - I can’t always find the desire to do so.
Finally, Denise’s last week’s installment was The Fat Cell 5: Where Are the Fat Cells? This week touched me and made me think more than anything else. If Denise and I had not reconnected this summer and if she had not started encouraging me to write again - I would have remained lost. I was lost. It is a simple statement. When I was young, I wrote, I was a vegetarian and I had deeply held convictions that I let get bypassed through life and disappointment. I literally used to journal every single day and I did so for years! But not in the last 20 years. Not since my diagnosis with ovarian cancer in my 30s. That changed me not only physically, but emotionally. For a long time I was like Anne of Green Gables when she could no longer dream/daydream anymore. Mine wasn’t for the horrible reason Anne had in the book, Rilla of Ingleside, as Anne had just lost her second son in World War I. She found she no longer could daydream or dream of the future anymore. After cancer it was like I was just trying to survive.
But, Denise and I did reconnect this last summer and now I’m writing again. I am even journaling again (although I rarely hit daily). As Denise and I fight our fat cells together this year - we are doing more than getting healthy - I think we are finding ourselves again. And if I find my “joie de vie” - that will make today and tomorrow better. So, thank you Denise for putting me on this journey and for taking it with me!
My list of rules:
1. Plant Based mostly on McDougall but using G-Bombs and F-Goals to help maintain the correct daily nutrition. Eating a lot of plants.
2. Use my canned foods and easy recipes to make it WORK! I used them to make soup!
3. Will not spend an entire day during the school year on preparation unless it is a canning day (in autumn I do sugar-free applesauce, marmalades, stock, etc). Have NOT!
4. Exercise twice a day (will start small and work up to 15 in am, 30 in pm) with allowed one day off a week. FAIL AGAIN!
5. Once a week - allowed one meal with vegan substitutes because I don’t want this to be so strict I quit. Well, just not good choices here.
6. 10 meals during the year can be “specials” - off plan BUT only 10 meals. And I’ll report them to you. None this week, so still have 9 for the year left to go!
7. Every Tuesday I will submit my weekly article to VOCAL which should show up by Thursday. YES!
8. Every Friday I will submit recipes that are easy to prepare that are plant based in a second article. I have so many ideas, but Denise has asked for more information on how to find your local farm markets and I have some information for her! And HOW I FOUND IT! Watch for it on Saturday!
Last's week article from me:
About the Creator
I write, I read, I cook, I preserve, I strive to be my best at them all. But, writing, cooking and preserving are all works in progress - just like life. I've got the reading down pat except for the lack of time.