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“Depression puts low-income population at even greater risk for obesity and poor nutrition”

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This March 10, 2015 Science Daily article talks about ongoing research that could be showing that treating the mental health issues of low-income people may help decrease obesity rates among this population.  The study paid close attention to low-income African-Americans in 2 separate Pittsburgh neighborhoods to see if there was any patterns to be uncovered.

“What 2,000 Calories Looks Like”

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This 2014 New York Times: Upshot article shows us what 2,000 calories (a daily recommended caloric intake for most healthy adults) looks like when it comes to an average meal at various fast food chains.

English: The New York Times building in New Yo...

English: The New York Times building in New York, NY across from the Port Authority. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Why Screening for Diabetes is Important (Especially if You Take Psychiatric Medications) “

 

Corridor

Corridor (Photo credit: Merlin1487)

 

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This March 25, 2014 NAMI Blog post talks about the importance of people who take psychiatric medication needing to be screened for Diabetes.

 

 

 

 

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“Obese Girls Prone to Poorer Grades, Study Suggests”

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This March 11, 2014 Health Day article on the Philly.com website talks about a study that seems to show a link between obesity in girls and an increased risk of poor grades in school.

 

Two mice; the mouse on the left has more fat s...

Two mice; the mouse on the left has more fat stores than the mouse on the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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“Diet Soda: Fewer Calories In The Glass May Mean More On The Plate”

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This January 17, 2014, NPR: The Salt article talks about ongoing research that looks at diet sodas and whether they help or hinder with weight loss.  The findings seem to be indicating that people who drink diet sodas tend to eat more calories worth of solid food than folks who drink regular sodas.  They also found that folks who drink diet sodas tend to gain weight and are more likely to become obese then people who don’t drink diet sodas.

English: Diet Coke Products

English: Diet Coke Products (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“Just 1 in 4 U.S. Teens Gets Enough Exercise”

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This January 8, 2014 HealthDay article on the Philly.com website talks about research that indicates most teens are getting less than 1 hour of physical activity per day.  The research also finds that teens who are obese tend to be less likely to be physically active then teens of a healthy weight.  This observation has researchers wondering if obesity causes decreased activity or if decreased activity causes obesity (made me think of which came first? the chicken? or the egg?)

Two mice; the mouse on the left has more fat s...

Two mice; the mouse on the left has more fat stores than the mouse on the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“PTSD Might Lead to Sizable Weight Gain in Women”

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This November 20, 2013 HealthDay article found on the Philly.com website talks about the possible links in weight gain in women diagnosed with PTSD.

“Unhealthy lifestyles, increase in mental and behavioral health services remains priority”

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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This November 15, 2013 article on theTimes-Tribune.com website talks about the physical health of many with mental health issues.

 

 

 

“Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter”

Logo used during 1970s

Logo used during 1970s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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This July 26, 2013 article on the NPR Shots: Health news website, talks about the negative effect of discrimination based on a person’s weight.  Research has started to discover that judging people because of their weight doesn’t encourage them to lose weight, if anything it tends to cause those being judged to gain weight.

I know from personal experience that losing weight is a difficult task, but gaining it is super easy.  I have had to re-learn how to do all kinds of things starting with what I write on my shopping list, and including learning better ways to prepare food so it is healthier.  Cooking and organizing aren’t things that come naturally to me, so not only am I learning to make healthier choices, but I’m also learning new skills so I can benefit from those choices. for exercise, I started by walking to the store near my home 3 times per week, and over time worked to increase the distance and frequency of my walking.  Once I reached a point to where I could easily walk most places downtown, I got a bike, which is where I’m at now, and just like walking, I’ve had to start with short rides, but am pushing myself to increase my speed and distance when I ride.  I occasionally am able to borrow a vehicle from someone, or get a ride from them, and when I do use a car for transportation, I will purposely park further from the entrance than most people would typically choose to, because for me this extra distance I need to walk to get into the store gives me an opportunity to get a little extra walking and burn a few more calories.  I eat food prepared at home probably 99% of the time, but when I do opt to eat out some place I do the best I can to make the healthiest choice I can and since I enjoy salads, I will often get a chef salad or some other type of salad with lots of veggies in it and for a beverage, I love Mountain dew, but in all honesty I’m finding that having a glass of water with my meal not only gives me something to sip on while I’m waiting for my meal, but it also costs less, so I’m able to save a little cash by drinking water.

In January of 2012 when I decided I had enough of being overweight, I weighed about 256 pounds which put me deep into the class of obese, but by making small changes and learning new skills I have managed to get my weight down to 225 as of a couple of days ago.  I’m a former smoker, and to be honest, for me it was tough to quit smoking, but it’s been even more difficult to stay on track with losing weight.  Not only is food everywhere, but it is a necessity to survival, the problem I have is I enjoy food too much and many of my hobbies have been things like video games and blogging.  The first 6 months were brutal trying to convince myself to go for a walk as many days as I possibly could.  So I literally had to re-train myself in how I looked at getting up and moving around.  I discovered that cleaning can count towards my daily doctor recommended hour of exercise each day, so since I struggled with keeping up with housework also, I developed a cleaning schedule and purposely worked out the schedule so that at least half to 3/4 or the housework I did each day included actively moving around. I did this on top of my walks to the store.  Then I got a Nintendo Wii game system and started playing a game called “Walk it out” that combines a simple game with walking to the beat of music.  The pace might be slower or faster from song to song, so for me it keeps me from getting bored while I walk.  I got an iPod also that has helped when I’m walking outside listening to the music helps me work on keeping a faster pace, much like playing “Walk it out”, I try to walk to the beat of the music on my iPod.

So, why am I sharing all this with my readers?

Well, it’s to show that seeing someone who is obese and judging them based on what you see may not be fair to them.  I can’t look at someone else and know whether they are working on making healthier choices  in what they eat any more than someone can look at me and decide if I ate salad or a big mac for lunch.  I’ve heard people make comments about things I’ve purchased when I’ve shopped, and while they may be right that some things I have purchased aren’t all that healthy, but how does the person making that judgement know if the item is for me or someone else?  or if the item is a special treat or not?  often times when I’ve heard a lot of judgmental comments as I’m going through the store, I will begin to struggle with the idea of ‘fine, they are accusing me of eating unhealthy I may as well live up to their expectation’  and will end up grabbing a bag of chips I didn’t plan on buying, but now feel compelled to because someone made a judgmental comment.  So as I read the article about the research done in Florida on the subject, I didn’t have to think too hard to know that there was truth to what they discovered, because I had experienced it personally.

My bottom line for all this is that people need to actually get to know someone before they make assumptions about them based solely on appearances, it isn’t fair to the person being judged or to the person being judgemental, because the judgmental statements can mean that an opportunity to meet an awesome person will be forever gone all because of a snap judgement.

“Too Fat for Seat Belt: Woman Loses 250 Pounds”

English: Obese man early 20th century

English: Obese man early 20th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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This July 4, 2013 video on the ABCnews website is about a woman who lost 250 pounds after a wakeup call in the form a a traffic ticket.  This video is something I’m posting, because I know from personal experience that being obese is more expensive then being at a healthy weight.  Everything costs more, clothing, furniture, healthcare, I’m sure if I really dug, I could comeup with even more things that I have had to pay a high price for because of my weight.  I also know that it is possible to lose weight without a gym membership and equipment amounting to nothing more then a pair of sneakers and a bottle of water.  The exercise I primarily perform is walking, I force myself to walk to the store for my groceries, even when I’m in pain due to my arthritis, If I have access to a vehicle for running errands, I intentionally park further from the entrance of the store then most people do, because it gives me an excuse to get a little extra walking in.  I started out only being able to walk about 1/4 mile once or twice per week, but I’m to a point now where I can walk 2miles per trip 3 or 4 times a week I didn’t reach this point overnight, it was simply me deciding I had enough of being obese and finding ways to increase how much physical activity I get each day.  I’ve also made changes in what I eat, decreasing the mac-n-cheese to almost none and increasing fresh produce, lean meat, fish, and some dairy.  Decreasing my grains and starch intake has also been helpful, not only in helping me to lose weight, but also in helping me manage my pain.  Humans need some starch, but I’m confident that none of us need as much as what is found in the typical American diet … corn is in just about everything, whether it be corn syrup or corn starch, it’s extremely difficult to avoid starch since it is hidden in most processed foods.  My cooking skills were almost non-existent when I started making healthier choices, but since I started learningto improve my cooking skills.  My skills still aren’t great, but I can say I’ve learned a few things that I didn’t know before I decided to try to take charge of my weight.  My weight loss hasn’t been as dramatic as what the woman in the video has lost, but like my doctor has said, any loss is better then no loss at all.   Incase you’re wondering about the bottle of water I mentioned earlier, it can be used as a weight, but more importanatly it will help keep you properly hydrated which is very important for all of us to do.  I think the most important thing I found that helps me keep going though despite the often frustrating journey to a healthier me, is to have a few people who support and encourage me on my journey.  Everyone needs a cheerleader 🙂

 

 

 

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