Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Becoming overweight - Food Addiction 101

As I was doing some light reading on the NIH (National Institute of Health) website.  (laugh, you know that was funny!)  I came across a Symposium Synopsis that was published in 2009 as to whether or not a person could become physically addicted to foods that are high in fat and sugar content.

Since food is not a illicit or illegal drug, they call food addiction a pervasive addiction as they try to figure out if overeating or eating bad foods is an actual behavioral problem or one that affects your neurons, as cocaine or heroin do.

You need to understand what an addiction actually is.  According to the NIH an addiction or dependency must meet 4 of the 7 following conditions:

1. Tolerance (more drug is needed for the same effect). (One piece is great, a dozen is even better)
2. Withdrawal. (Getting pissed or doing anything for a piece of chocolate, pizza or whatever floats your boat?)
3. Taking a larger amount of the substance or taking the substance for a longer period than was intended. (hmmm second helping of cake, maybe even a 3rd)
4. Experiencing a persistent desire for the substance or an inability to reduce or control its use. (sugar cravings or junk food cravings)
5. Spending much time seeking or consuming the substance or recovering from its effects. (I call this binge and barf)
6. Use of the substance interfering with important activities. (like never leaving the house or giving up things you once loved to do!)
7. Use of the substance continuing despite known adverse consequences. (knowing you are going to gain 5lbs from eating that hole entenmann's cake but doing it anyway?)

If #1 or #2 criteria are met, then the addiction is physiological, meaning that you are physically addicted to the substance, such as a heroin addiction. However, according to the NIH doctors, even if you do not meet the #1 or #2 criteria you can still be behaviorally addicted, which is where what we call "Food Addiction" falls most of the time.

I can not speak for anyone else, but I can tell you about my personal challenges, I have suffered from 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 at different times in my life. I suppose too that I suffered from #1 and 2, since I just kept eating more and more and more until I was stuck inside a 350lb body and basically suffocating myself!

Recently there have been other reports from the medical field that validate my point. Food addiction is real and there are a number of valid reasons that a person would eventually obtain this mental illness. I feel that at some point it becomes a vicious circle of eating, crying, eating, guilt, eating, sadness. It's almost like a carousel that you just can not jump off of. Maybe the underlying cause is depression? I don't know. I have never considered myself depressed though, but mental issues have a way of surfacing in the oddest ways.

Even though an estimated 34.9% of American adults are obese and 68.6% are considered obese or overweight. Insurance companies refuse to help them, because the science technically is still out on the subject (just like global warming), but they have no problem treating the symptoms and illnesses that come with being obese. I guess there is no money in curing someone. But there is a shit load of bucks in pharmaceuticals and co-pays!

Only recently has Bariatric Surgery become the standard for treating people who are obese or morbidly obese (I really hate that phrase). Most insurance companies still consider this life saving surgery no more than a nose job or botox injections, saying it falls under the category of elective and cosmetic surgeries. WTF is elective about wanting to live without shooting 200 units of insulin a day and having to take a fist full of pills and STILL spiraling health wise out of control?

While I realize that Bariatric Surgery is not for everyone. I knew my only and last option was to remove what could never be satisfied and that was my stomach. When I finally had the ability and financial resources to be able to do it, and the health insurance plan that would pay for most of it. I jumped on it.

Today I can say, a year and a half after surgery and 130 lbs down (and holding!) That I just wish anyone with this problem could do what I did. It really is life changing. I no longer have to give myself needles 3 times a day. All of my medications have been lowered substantially and I am hoping in the next few months I will be off of most of them. I am no longer plagued with a waking BS level of 210...it's actually in the 90s now, most of the time.

I have learned much going through this process. I have learned how to eat in moderation. I have learned that just because I want it, doesnt mean I should eat it. I have learned that sugar is NOT my friend and to treat it as such. I have also learned to experiment with different foods because anyone with a tiny stomach will tell you, some things you just cant eat anymore! But that's ok with me.

Be Kind to Yourself,

Peace out


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Things I Learned Traveling In the South


    The nastiest drivers are in Virginia, second only to NC
   The best Coffee is always in Truck Stops

   They do not use milk in their coffee south of the Mason/Dixon line – they use cream, Parmalat or half/half.

   If it looks like the Bates Motel, it probably is…

   Billboards will tell you everything you need to know about a city or town

   The roadkill down south is grosser than in the north, I mean it’s like the deer “EXPLODE” on impact.
   Be careful who you yell at, everyone is packing.

   It costs about 20 bucks to get out of NJ, MD and DE after that it’s free sailing.

   Waffle House is a staple food.

   Everything is fried – breakfast, lunch and dinner, all day, every day – except peanuts, they boil them.

   Boiled Peanuts – YUCK

   There’s no such thing as “instant” grits down south (I love me some grits!)

   There really is such a thing as Southern Hospitality; mostly everyone is very pleasant, except when they are behind the wheel of a car!
   Even if you have a GPS, bring a map it’s good to know where you are actually going!

    Have fun on your travels! And stay away from them Bates Motels!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

50 Things That Piss Me Off!

1. People that do not stop at stop signs, no, slowing down is NOT stopping.

2. People that walk behind your car when you are trying to pull out of a parking       space, are they retarded?

3. People who stop more than one car length from the car in front of them at stop lights/signs, what is that about?

4. People who pull into traffic and then slow down, are they trying to cause accidents?

5. People that park on the line of a parking space, so that the next space is too small to fit in. Then get pissed when you get out of your car and hit their door!

6. People that are way too aggressive in their driving habits.

7. People with huge gas guzzling, F U mobiles that think because they can drive over bumps without feeling them everyone else can too!

8. People with huge gas guzzling, F U mobiles that act like that are carrying around dynamite when they go over bumps.

9. People that cut corners instead of actually making the turn.

10.People with huge gas guzzling F U mobiles.

11.People that drive BMWs, Lexus’s, and Mercedes all SUCK at driving.

12.People who are too busy talking on their cell phones to pay attention to the road – see # 11 – it’s usually them.

13.  People that speed up when you are trying to change lanes or pull into traffic.  Were you born and asshole?

14.  People with bumper stickers on their cars.

15.   People that do not understand what a 4-way or 3-way stop is.

16.   People that do not understand what Yield means.

17.   People that walk in the street, not on the sidewalk.

18.   People that do not say “please”, “thank you” or “EXCUSE ME”.

19.   People that talk loudly on their cell phones in public.

20.   People that talk on their cell phones when they are in line at the supermarket, really? Can't it wait?

21.   People that run into you with their shopping carts then look at you like YOU did something wrong to them.

22.   Bus Drivers.

23.    Mexican Taxi Drivers.

24.  People that race with their shopping basket so that they can get in front of you in line.

25.  People that only speak American when there is money involved.

26.  People that refuse to learn to speak American while living in the United States.

27.  All Illegal Aliens, especially the eastern europeans, very rude people!

28.  All Politicians.

29.  The fact that Politicians REFUSE to make a national language – American!

30.  People that think they know everything!

31.  Doctors that think they are Gods

32.  Some lawyers – not mine!

33.  Being the last person to know.

34.  Having to stick myself 4 times a day or more. (update - no more!)

35.  Having to tell people how to do their jobs, all of the time, even if you don't work with them!

36.  Having to do other people’s jobs because they are too stupid to do it themselves.

37.  People that call you over and over and over again to sell you something you don’t really want or need.

38.  Insurance Companies.

39.  When a person refuses to take “no” as an answer.

40.  People that pay lip service to their religion.

41.  People that preach.

42. People that lie, cheat and steal.

43.  People that will allow their Constitutional rights to be whittled away all in the name of terrorism.

44.  People that do not use their blinkers.

45.  People that coast through stop signs.

46.  People that are too arrogant to think that they can learn something if they would just listen to others!

47.  Having to ask the same question over and over and never really getting an answer.

48.  Being ignored when I am speaking.

49.  People that don’t flush at work.

50.  People that always think they have the right of way even when they don’t!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I am an Addict

Wow it feels good to get THAT off my chest.  Oh wait, I forgot to mention what I am addicted to.  You would think it would be a powerful drug, narcotic, alcohol, sex? Nope, the thing that does it for me is FOOD!  Usually high carb, high fat, high sugar crap or as they call them in bariatric-land, slider foods.

Truth be told, I am powerless against it. Most people know how to control what they consume, but I do not.  I really want to, but when it comes to crap food, my mind goes blank and I just start to shovel it in.  A lot of times it makes me sick now, but I find that I go right back to it the very next day.  I must be crazy.

I even went so far as to have 90% of my stomach removed (Bariatric Sleeve) in September of 2014.  Sure, I lost lots of weight (130lbs). I have never gotten to where I really want to be, weight wise, though (I'd be happy being 199 at this point!).  And now I find myself slipping quickly back into my illicite food addiction once again.

It always starts slow and quietly.  Maybe a piece of bread here or a small bag of chips there, you are staying within your calorie limit for the day, you give up something healthy always for something you know is not good for you.  Then before you know it, you are hiding in the bathroom with your 3rd piece of cheese and you know damn well you are not hungry, but you just have to have it before you go to bed.

Speaking of thinking you are always hungry, but you know you are not.  I never learned how to differentiate between actually being hungry and being bored, I think that is part of my problem.  As a child I was always told to clean my plate and because I was a good kid, I did what my parents told me.  There would always be rewards of ice cream or cake for doing so.

I feed my boredom with food instead of ideas or hobbies that won't add calories to my day or lbs to my size.  I am riddled with bad habits that I just can not seem to kick.  I never drink enough water, I wish I could love water like some, but it makes me gag.  Before you start screaming, crystal light or lemon or cucumber, I have tried all of the above.  I can not get it down without gagging.  I can drink coffee or tea so that is usually what I opt for or the ever present fruit juices cut by 50% with water.  I just can not drink water straight.

Being overweight is not fun.  It's hard to move sometimes, although not as much now as it was when I was 350lbs.  You are usually hot even when it's 32 degrees out.  Its nearly impossible to find clothes you actually LIKE to wear, short of making you look like you are old and frumpy.  It's a miserable existence but yet you learn how to justify your bad habits and long for the day that you wake up and realize it was all just a dream.  But that never happens.

I want to change.  If I didn't want to change I would have never had that surgery. But like a heroin or alcohol addict needs their fix, so do I.  Some would say that it would be easier to kick a drug habit as opposed to a food one.  You can live without heroin or alcohol, you can't live without feeding yourself.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

FaceBook Revolution & Social Media Suckers

Do you have a facebook page?  Twitter account? Instagram account? Pintrest account?  I'm pretty sure everyone in the world these days has one or many of these social media accounts.

I first signed up for a facebook account about 7 years ago.  It was hot off the heels of My Space.  Remember my space?  I think its defunct now.  My Space sucked.  To be honest so did Facebook at first.  Then little by little it grew into a new form of communication. Sometimes good or even great, most times just stupid, disappointing and soapbox-ish.   It's the communication tool that silences the masses and yet gives balls to people anonymously or are too afraid to voice their opinions face to face.  

On the upside, it's great connecting with old friends and family from across the country or making new friends in your town or city or even hooking up with your co-workers is fun.  Its nice to be able to see these old and new friends and family and connect with them again or for the first time, see how they are doing in their lives.  Secretly comparing how you are doing with how others you went to school are doing now...come on you know you do it! Check on how your distant family is doing, check on your nieces and nephews and all the furry family members.  You could maybe even reconnect with your old neighborhood friends, maybe have some lunch and cocktails at the boardwalk and reminisce about how great of a childhood you had and the way things used to be.  Or you can connect with other like minded people in your town and other surrounding towns, make new friends.  Oh yes, these Social media sites do have a reason for being so popular.  They really are a new form of communication.


Then...there is the downside...

Funny how everyone has an opinion on facebook.  People, they could be your old friends, family or maybe people that you know from around town, tend to have giant balls when it comes to voicing their opinions on the social media platform.  Because they are essentially faceless and not up in your face for real, all of a sudden the most meekest person you have ever known, now has a giant set of gonads.  Then there is the ever present bully, that claims they are a victim, but seems to always be the one stirring the shit pot.  But some of my most favorite facebook assholes are the ones that get drunk and think they are spewing worldly advice or prophetic ideas when in reality, they are so full of shit you can smell it right though the computer along with their dank breath.

Others on the facebook scale of assholeism are:

  1. Political Idiots
  2. Shit Pot Stirrers
  3. Morally Superior (or at least they want to think they are)
  4. Know-it-alls
  5. Closed Minded People
  6. Bullies
  7. Verbally Abusive
  8. Big Mouths
  9. Trolls
  10. Haters

 It's actually very sad how people communicate these days or should I say, Don't communicate these days.  Before social media we would not always say the first thing that came to our minds.  We would run what we were thinking through our mind filters and gave it a thought about who we were hurting before we actually said something.  Bullies were few and far inbetween, now they are everywhere.  You can't post something on your own wall without some asshole saying something derogatory or combative.  Forget about groups, they are like the wild west, where only the quick witted and sharp tongued can survive.

It's a shame social media is going to the assholes....It could have been so much more...

Friday, April 1, 2016

Open Letter to the Southern States of America

Dear Southern Brethren;

Are you out of your cotton pickin minds?

Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina have you really become THOSE states that have no problem in discriminating against LGBT people?  Have you actually become the ones that most people say they hate in the world, all for your religious convictions?  Really? Are you NOW the terrorists that are INSIDE our country? Because in my book, you may not use bombs but you use the law to hurt people, which unfortunately hurts a lot more people than bombs. YOU have become OUR homegrown Terrorists.

Even Georgia came to its senses when pushed to the wall.   I just thank all that is right in the world and the giant corporations of the USA, that are against these ludicrous laws.  (SHOUT OUT to Disney, Coke-Cola, Unilever, Intel, Microsoft, Home Depot, Apple, Marriott, Twitter, Dell and the AMC network and a host of many more major corporations for coming out AGAINST this bill in Georgia)  You can believe and worship anything or anyone you want but YOU have no right to push your beliefs down anyone else's throat, don't you understand that?   That is all of our protection under the 1st Amendment not just YOURS!

I would even go as far to say, if you own a public company, and feel that strongly about LGBT people then don't hire or have them as customers, but you better put a big ass sign on your door saying so, so that the people that DO support them can boycott YOU if they feel the need too.  I know I would never patronize your establishment if I knew that you were discriminating towards anyone.  I'm pretty sure most people feel like that too.  Because just like YOU want to be fully informed, I do to, it goes both ways.  

Now I understand that all these "feelings" of yours comes from your religious beliefs and the Book you all hold so dear.  Have you ever even read it?  Even though I am an atheist, I have read the book twice in my lifetime from cover to cover.  I can tell you this; no where in that book does it say that you should discriminate against LGBT people, nowhere. As a matter of fact, since it's more than likely you have NOT read that book, let me tell you what it DOES say:

LUKE 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
JOHN 8:7 Let anyone of you that is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.
JAMES 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

So are we blindly picking and choosing what we are to believe from your good book now?  

I understand that in the book of Leviticus (which is actually not in the New Book but the old one!) that you get the idea that being LGBT is bad, and these people should in someway be punished, but it's very apparent you are going by what you have heard not what you have read because it clearly states that not only homosexuality is an abomination but also you should be punished for eating shellfish, pork, charging interest on loans, and a host of other punishable by death things.  So if you are going to buy into the first thing, maybe we should start lining up our bankers and pig farmers because they, along with the LGBT people all need to die now.  Oh wait, I'm so sorry, we are choosing to NOT listen to the second part of that. Right?  Because we pick and choose what suits us now, Correct?  Better yet out of a book that YOUR GOD said is the old covenant not the New and everlasting one!

My point is, please stop using your religion to be mean to people that are not like you.  This country was not formed as a christian country (so get over it already and do some reading for crying out loud), they were atheists and protestants and puritans (who made the first penal colony) that settled it because they were free to worship who they wanted.  I'm not going to go into the whole history of it, but the 1st amendment, and the freedom of EXPRESSION (free speech, religion, peaceful assembly and petition) was not by mistake.  But you have to understand it's NOT JUST YOUR EXPRESSION, it's EVERYONE'S and for you to make laws that infringe upon another's freedom of expression is WRONG and against YOUR GODS WORDS!

So please just stop with this nonsense already and get on with your lives, we have so many other more important dangers in this world, can't we all just come together and take care of them, together?

Peace out