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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Other Bad Carb

I know of many diets that stress watching your carbs. I have friends who are cutting out all breads, rice, pastas and potatoes to try to keep those carbs in check. There is one carb I think most of them are forgetting, even the ones who claim they are cutting out white sugar...what is that carb? Carbonation!

Yes, the carbonation from soda, soda pop, pop,fizzy, a cool beverage or whatever you call it from your part of the world is just as harming than the carbohydrates that are in them. Yet I, like so many other people, are addicted to them.

I used to feel a little big headed because I stopped drinking dark sodas long ago, well cola, at least. After all cutting out that corn syrup was major. Although if you give me some fried rice; a grape soda must accompany it. I didn't care about the Red dye #40, or the sugars, and holy moly, the carbonation.

I was able to cut out soda altogether for about a year. Not even a Sprite touched my lips. It was only because my kid did a science experiment with a nail and the fact it didn't dissolve that gave me pause. Now, I've developed several health issues I really need to address because of the other carb.

My teeth. I don't even think the damage I've done to them is reversible. The carbonic acid in carbonated drinks cause premature enamel breakdown. I have developed nine cavities in the past year. I go to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. The last time I went was when I was just starting to drink soda again. Boy was that a mistake. I haven't researched it yet but I don't think enamel can be restored but I can keep helping it from breaking down.

Bone health. A few years ago I was seriously active on my weight loss journey. I was achieving weight loss goals weekly, entering in 5ks, and enjoying an active lifestyle. One morning I walked out of my house and my ankle just snapped, crackled and popped. I have four pins and two screws in that joint as a result. I hadn't tripped, slipped or fell. I always say my daughter put a hex on me because it was her last day of school and she was mad I was making her go. I know the truth is I was experiencing my first case of bone deterioration. I was drinking a lot of soda back then. Studies have shown that the phosphoric acid in carbonated drinks break down the calcium in bones and active women are five times as likely to have fractures because of it. In addition to the tib/fib break, I have several stress fractures reveal themselves while running.

OMG, and the kidney pain. My left kidney is hurting right now. Unfortunately, I drank a soda, two, and it's what sparked this blog. In addition to the affects the sugar has on our kidneys the carbonation does a number on them as well causing inflammation and of course once they are swollen, pain.

Speaking of inflammation, have you ever wondered why you just can't lose that pregnant looking belly. Every where else you seem to be losing inches but in the belly you look like you're due any minute. Yep, its possible you've had one too many carbonated drinks. The carbonation is a gas and gas, well, keeps you bloated and distended. I know so many people who testify to weight loss just from cutting out soda. What's really happened is they have loss the bloat. Oh what a feeling.

There are so many problems with drinking soda that I haven't begun to experience, like heartburn, and I don't want to. Or maybe I have, maybe that was the burst of chest pains I was getting a few months ago. Yet here I am; bloated, kidney experiencing pain, tension in my left ankle and hefty dental work in the near future and I still have a bottle of soda on my nightstand. SMH.

I need to up my water game. Sure, I will be running to the bathroom in the beginning but essentially it will restore my kidney health, slow down the deterioration on my teeth and bones, regulate my bowel movements and help me reduce the gas in my belly. On top of giving me healthier skin, hair, and nails.
Time to let go of this addiction.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Leaving Kansas

My heart is heavy and my nerves are frazzled. While everybody I know is posting pictures of their little smiley faced munchkins heading off for the first day of school, I'm quickly reminded that my little Munchkin is not so little anymore. Soon she will be tornado-ing out of my home into the Wonderful World of Oz called college.

The first day of school pics will be, my one and only daughter, unloading the car and moving into her munchkin sized dorm room. Everyone else I know are gleefully easing on down the yellow brick road, happy their kids are back to school, leaving them an empty nest for the day but for me it seems as if I'm about to head into the poppy fields. I find that I'm lacking the courage to send my baby off into the Emerald City, I don't have the heart to stand the separation, yet I know she has the brains to make it out there and find her heart's desire.

So many things I worry about because I've always been her protector. I know she'll just be on the over on the other side of the rainbow but it feels like we'll be worlds apart. I hope I've equipped her with courage, knowledge, wisdom, and if she needs me or just wants it, she'll always find her way home.  I hope I haven't sheltered her and made her naive because she will have to face bad witches out there to get my pretty and then those lions, and tigers, and bears; oh my!

More than nervous, I'm proud. She has accomplished so much as a child far beyond societal expectations. She taught herself Japanese and how to draw. I want to take full credit for the who she has become but I know it is with some help from me but a whole lot of her own black girl magic. She's a motivator an inspiration; a wizard of her own making. She's the kind of child, no she's a young woman, who creates her own rainbows if their aren't any in the sky. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Anchors Away!

I did it y'all. I finally fucking did it. You can't possibly begin to understand how monumental this moment is for me. It's colossal in its nature. After years of struggling with my weight and most recently months on top of aggravating months of trying to lose one simple pound, IT happened.

This weekend, I took a little cruise down to Nassau, Bahamas with my family for my daughter's graduation cruise. In a few short days she will be heading off to college, leaving me to care for the pup and kitty.  I'm not ready at all for this experience. Neither is she because she has yet to pack.

Anyhoo, we flew down to Orlando via Frontier Airlines. This was my first time flying with them and my introduction to the staff was nothing to be desired. My attitude was instantly turned up by the rudeness of the ticketing agent. I don't want to get into details but I am filing an official complaint and will rip that bitch to shreds like I wanted to physically do. Some people really need to work on their customer service skills. I had to thank my damn self for doing business with them because she surely wasn't going to utter anything nice my way. I would tell you what started it all but I don't have a clue. She was rude and disrespectful it seems because we stepped in line or she woke up that morning, one of the two.

Frontier had more space than Spirit but the seats didn't recline, the tray table was only four inches in width, and they charged for everything. No free cookies, peanuts, or beverages on this flight. Even carry on luggage cost. It was more than checking your bag and you were the one carrying it.

From the airline we set sail on Carnival Victory. Our shuttle bus there was cool but on the way home a whole nother story. This cruise was way different than the first time I sailed. Everything that used to be free, there was a charge for. From the lanyards to hold your ship ID to going to the beach party the ship was throwing. I remember last time stepping off the ship right into the fun. Beach parties, junkanoo parade by the locals but this time the only thing I stepped into was a barrage of people trying to hustle your dollar out of your pocket. The taxi cab drivers were the worst. They followed you until you either got a cab or cussed them out. I did the latter.

Within thirty minutes, I lost my mom and she lost her ID. Luckily she had a passport too or she wouldn't have been able to get back home. Ugh, talking about all of this is exhausting. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed my little getaway. Maybe too much.

If you've ever been on a cruise or a resort with all inclusive buffet you will understand that eating healthier is hard to do. Sure, they had lines were you could get wraps or fruit but the lines would be so long you would pass out from hunger. I didn't think I ate a lot, I never went for seconds at the buffet. At the sit down dinner, I rarely finished my food. You couldn't substitute the way food was prepared. The deserts were less than desirable so I didn't indulge pass a bite in most cases but I probably drank more than my share of calories. I had so many frozen drink (non-alcoholic) I lost count on how many. Other than that I was downing lemonade left and right. Don't fret, I still got my water in but I had just as many glasses of sugar as I did water.

Here's the breakdown of the meals. Thursday afternoon's buffet, I had chicken strips, chili cheese fries, and several cups of lemonade. I can't begin to count how many. Then I had dinner which was ceasar salad, roast beef, potatoes and cheesecake. Maybe I did go overboard but I didn't eat half of the meat or the cheesecake it was nasty. I caught a movie and indulged in a couple cups of air popped popcorn. If it would've had seasoning I would've an entire bag.Somewhere during the evening I had a virgin strawberry daiquiri. I danced the night away and then had two slices of pizza (which was basically half a pizza) for a midnight snack. It was nasty too; super thin, sauceless and bland.

Friday for breakfast. I had an omelette, french toast and roasted potatoes with a couple cups of guava orange pineapple juice. Lunch was wingettes and chili cheese fries, two types of cake (half eaten), not sure what kind, and again lots of lemonade and a frozen strawberry mango drink. For dinner, ceasar salad, fried chicken (ate half). Okay typing this out....I was out of control with this food. Oh don't let me forget the alligator fritters, the black forest cake and a spoonful of molten lava cake, and a bag of gummy bears. Then I had a late night meal cheeseburger and fries after the movie. I cant even begin to tell you how disgusting that cheeseburger was. I don't even think it was real meat. I took two bites and it was over.

The next morning, omelette, french toast and hash browns, couple more cups of the guava juice. By the way, the omelettes were so greasy. The chef sprayed the pan with Pam and then put more grease in the pan plus added grease to the spatula every time he attempted to unstick the omelette from the skillet. I always headed straight for the bathroom not long after breakfast. My body couldn't handle all of that oil. We were able to get off the ship and venture through the Bahamas, there I was able to get some jerk chicken and macaroni pie. I had a fanta orange soda with this. For dinner, spring salad, veal Parmesan, potatoes and I decided at this moment to stop eating deserts and got a fruit plate, two croissants.

The last day, more gummy bears, french toast, croissant, turkey bacon,hash browns, and OJ. At the airport I picked up some empanadas and once I touched down at the house a cheeseburger, fries and orange drink from Five Guys.  What did I say in the beginning of the post, I didn't eat much. Serious side eye!

Back to my momentous moment; to the one thing after all this time, I finally did. Drum roll please.. no anchors away! Because I threw common sense overboard. When I got back home and stepped on the scale, I hit two hundred pounds. Yes, 200!!! I am so upset and upset that I can't think of any word other than upset to explain what I'm feeling right now. In four measly days, I somehow managed to put on 4.6 effing pounds. I'm officially fat. I knew I was overweight but I never considered myself fat before. Well I'm there now. Fat as fuck and no one to blame but myself.

OMG, I could kick my ass looking at all I've eaten. If I had been keeping this written down during my stay I think I would have been more responsible. I have no one to blame but myself. No one to blame. I knew something was wrong on elegant night on the ship. I had this beautiful turquoise laced dress that I wanted to wear and I usually step into my dresses. Well, I couldn't get the dress passed my hips. Then I tried to go over my head, I normally hate this method because I have developed claustrophobia in some instances and putting clothes over my head with the possibility of getting stuck is one of those instances. I didn't get stuck though. I couldn't get the damn dress to shimmy down my arms. I chocked it up as I bought it too small not realizing I was packing on pounds.

Two hundred effing pounds. The weight I dreaded ever reaching is now not far from reach but my reality. I want to cry but that wouldn't shed pounds so no need to muster up the tears. The crazy thing is despite the bad types of food I consumed, I walked my ass off. Each day I hit between 6-10 miles of walking. I said it last week that walking, alone, no longer benefits me. My body is too used to the routine.

My mom has surgery today, so before I get up to take her to the hospital, I will do a workout with weights. Walking is no longer enough. Excuses are no longer allowed. My heart, my health, my mental state can't take it. I need to toss this weight overboard before I anchor myself into a health situation that I can't come back from.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Blog Name Change Coming Soon

I find it suiting to change my blog name. Baby Steps to a Marathon was fitting when all I planned on talking about was getting fit and training for a marathon. Then, I started to add in my weight loss goals and I realized how much of a marathon that journey seemed like so I chose to keep the name.

I realize now, my life is so twisted, I have so many highs and lows and things that throw me of my game, that I need a title more fitting. I seem to be always searching for balance. I'm still on a journey of self awareness, weight loss, and better state of mind but there is so much more I do. I write (novels and poems), I travel (and I want to write about it), I love to dine out and also love to cook, I'm a mom (with the most awesome daughter), I have been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder and sometimes I have spontaneous outburst that journaling helps me with, I have strong political views, I have strong cultural connections, I love to read and go to the movies and I want to talk about them. Those are just a few things about me and I want to begin to share them all on this blog.

Over the rest of this month, you will begin to notice small changes to this blog. Starting with the name. It will be called Straighten Up, Fly Right...My Twisted Life.  I will change it by the end of this week.

The term straighten up and fly right basically means to fix your behavior or attitude and be a better you.

Twisted (adj) 1. forced of its natural or proper shape; crumpled. 2. (off a personality or a way of thinking) unpleasantly or unhealthily abnormal; warped.

It's strange to write out that definition and to feel totally connected to its meaning. My life is always twisting and turning in ways I can't imagine nor control. Yet, I'm always trying to straighten it out, make it right. Trying to always be in the happy medium of it all.

Soon as I learn how to properly make blog page tags, it'll be easier to navigate my post for those of you who only want to read one thing or the other. Hopefully I can have my website up and running as well.

In the meantime welcome to Straighten Up, Fly Right...My Twisted Life.