True Life-I’m Going to Fat Camp

Do you remember that old episode of True Life where three people, Ben, Jennifer and Stephanie all went to the Weight Loss Camp named Camp Shane? Well, it’s on YouTube and I’ve been watching it lately. So, because the show is available, I thought that I’d share my thoughts.

I felt very bad for Ben. At the time of this filming, this was going to be his eighth summer at Camp Shane. A lot of people couldn’t figure out why Ben kept going back when it wasn’t sticking. His mom had said that they had exhausted all other options. I believe that they kept sending him back because they didn’t want to give up on him.

Jennifer seemed like the sweetest woman. She looked like she was taking camp very seriously. It was heartbreaking seeing her struggle with food so much. I understand her situation, though. She lived in Baton Rouge and talked about how a lot of the events there revolved around food. This is very true, but not just Baton Rouge. You’ll see that all over the South. I love living here, but boy, we sure do love us some fried food!

Stephanie admitted to being the “princess camper.” You see her complaining and sitting out during workout sessions. This made people mad and still does to this day. Yes, we saw some attitude from her, but I can’t help but think that she was edited to be the episode’s villain. She probably had more good moments than bad, but we just saw the bad ones because they made for good TV. That’s just how I feel.

One of the reasons why I’m so defensive of Stephanie is because of the fact that I’ve constantly heard how a show will edit a person to look a certain way. MTV is not above this tactic. This isn’t me dissing the network, just saying that this has happened with them more than once.

The other reason why I’m so defensive of her is because she seems to have taken her experiences from the show seriously. From what I’ve seen, she’s in really good shape today and is a beach body coach. That doesn’t sound lazy to me!

For those of you that are critical of these three for their weight issues, cut them some slack. I’ve been obese and it’s not easy. It’s also not as simple as just “putting down the fork.” They really seemed to be trying. Ben may have been returning back to camp for the eighth time, but at least he had the gall to keep showing up. A lot of people would be too humiliated to keep returning.

Best of luck to these three! Keep fighting the good fight!

On Juggling Food and Work

I had a bit of a crazy schedule these past three days. I cleaned at one of my church’s branches during Vacation Bible School. It was very rewarding and I would do it again in a second. I truly love everything about my job. The thing is, when you’re working around ten hours a day, beginning at 6 am, it’s hard to fit in food.

I know that sounds like a silly problem. I’ve got a well paying job that I love deeply and I’m whining about fitting in food? Cry me a freaking river! I get how that sounds and I don’t mean to complain about nothing. I’m writing this to tell you that when you’re working a very physically demanding job, you need calories.

To the church’s credit, there was always food available that they offered me. They were very kind. I just have to have a very special diet because I know what my body needs to sustain itself after losing one hundred pounds. Don’t worry, I brought food every day, but I didn’t plan as carefully as I should have.

I did go home every night and made sure to eat. I also made sure to eat a big breakfast every morning. I don’t want to make it seem like I starved myself, because I most certainly did not, as I stated before, but I should have done some more planning beforehand. Like, cooked more ahead of time and brought it with me.

I want to be fair and say that I’ve never worked a schedule like this before. So, I went into a little blind. I’m going to be working another schedule similar to this week after next. I’m excited because I love my work! I’m going to make sure to be better prepared, though. I’m going to sit down and plan out everything.

I’m writing this to let you know that food equals fuel. You need your energy. I’ll let you know how it goes in two weeks!

Do They Owe You Anything?

There have been a slew of weight loss shows over the years. Some examples include, I Used To Be Fat, Extreme Weight Loss, My 600-lb Life and the Biggest Loser. All of these shows have done one of two things with viewers, they’ve either inspired them or left them so angry that they’ll track these contestants down on social media and troll them.

Why the anger? Let us take My 600-lb Life for example. This past season there was a woman named Pauline. From the way she was portrayed, it looked like she relied too heavily on her son for support and that she didn’t take her weight loss seriously. People were furious with her and pretty much bullied her on social media. Let me ask again, why the anger? Did Pauline owe you something? People sure seem to think so. If they’re not left cheering at the TV and instead feeling like their time was wasted, they then want to make themselves feel better by shaming the person to the point that they’ll feel like their time was not wasted.

First off, I just want to say that I’ve found out that Pauline has been walking, losing weight and exercising. I’ve also found out that her relationship with her son is not nearly as bad as it was portrayed on the show. I’ve found this out through multiple sources. But, that’s beside the point. If you feel like Pauline didn’t take a big opportunity seriously, then that’s her business. Whether or not she takes it seriously will not affect you one way or another. Your life will continue.

Another somewhat old example is Tanner from I Used To Be Fat. Boy, were people mad at not only him, but at his girlfriend as well. Viewers felt like Tanner slacked off and that his girlfriend was a bad influence. People trolled them so much that I actually saw one guy asking for tips on how to bully them on a message board. How pathetic.

First off, Tanner’s girlfriend was not responsible for his transformation. That was all on him. Second of all, I have read that Tanner was dealing with drug addiction behind the scenes and that’s what caused tension between him and his girlfriend. I am not 100% positive, but it seems pretty likely.

Look, I’ll admit that I don’t think that Tanner really grabbed the bull by the horns on his episode. He had also looked like he had gained a lot of this weight back when he came back for a reunion episode. I will give him credit for at least having the gall to show up. The bottom line with Tanner, just as it was with Pauline, was that he owed you nothing. So, he didn’t take it seriously. And? Your life will continue. You’ll still have bills to pay and a job to go back to in the morning. Your life will not end because of Tanner’s lack of success.

I’m writing this blog not so Tanner and Pauline can see it. Chances are, they won’t. This is a very blunt message to everyone that thinks that they can shame a person enough to change their lives. You’re wasting your time. Take that energy and do volunteer work, become an advocate, or take up a hobby. But, trolling someone will achieve NOTHING!

Mouth Hunger

There is more than one type of hunger. One type is physical hunger, where your stomach is actually growling and you feel a slight pain in your stomach. Another type is mouth hunger. This is where your body may be telling you that it doesn’t need any more food, but your mouth starts to want it and crave that taste.

This reminds me of a man named Wally that was on the first season of Extreme Weight Loss. Wally admitted to eating to the point where he wanted to throw up and to the point his jaw would hurt and he still couldn’t stop. Wally without a doubt was experiencing mouth hunger.

I think that a big reason that we experience mouth hunger is because we crave that high feeling we get from the taste that those foods give us. Usually, we crave really dense calories. For example, calories that are high in sugar or salt. When we taste them, we get such a high from it that we want to keep eating. A lot of the time it gets past the point of taste and we’re not even tasting the food anymore, we just want that pleasure of eating.

I’ve been there. It’s hard, very hard. I hope that with my blog I can inspire you to realize when you are experiencing mouth hunger. Hopefully, you can turn from that and turn to God. Please don’t think that I’m trying to preach to you, but you cannot do this alone. Turning to a Higher Power can be comforting. You know that you’re not alone.

I used to desire food way too much. I believe that God used that pain and wants me to help others dealing with that same pain. Like I said, you’re not alone. You’ve got many people, myself included, that know what you’re going through. That’s why I feel like it’s good to turn to God. The LORD can help you through the darkest of times. Reading your Bible and prayer and distract you. Also, you can pray for the wisdom to know the difference between mouth hunger and physical hunger.

You’ve got this!

I’ll Have What She’s Having Book Review

I’ll Have What She’s Having, My Adventures in Celebrity Dieting is the 2015 diet book by Rebecca Harrington. It humorously details her ups and downs as she tries out different celebrity diets. Some of the celebrities include Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Victoria Beckham, and Dolly Parton.

Harrington is a trouper. For the sake of her writing, she put herself through a lot of crazy fads and odd food pairings. For instance, Elizabeth Taylor liked cottage cheese and sour cream, and Victoria Beckham would eat five handfuls of food a day. I would have gone crazy not only for the lack of food, but with some of the foods that she had to eat. Celery loaf? Really? Yuck!

I loved Harrington’s sarcastic sense of humor along with her willingness to keep her humor alive, despite what she was putting both her body and mind through. I probably would have ended being grumpy and snapping a lot during these diets. Reading about her misadventures was one wild ride!

If you’re looking for a break from the typical diet book telling you what to do and when to do it, then you’ll love this book. It’s a great change of pace and makes for a fun, relaxing, breezy read. You can order it on Amazon here. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did!

She’s Losing It! Book Review

She’s Losing It! is the 2015 memoir by Lisa A. Traugott. When Lisa’s 20th high school reunion approaches and personal/professional life seems to be hanging by a thread, she decides to do the unthinkable and enter a bikini competition.

Lisa started out at the beginning of this as a frazzled wife and mother of two lovely kids. She had a dependency on food, was almost in the “obese” category, struggling with her business, was trying to be a good wife and mother and was left feeling really bad about herself. She took a chance, joined a gym, started a blog, hired a trainer named Daniel and together, got her competition ready. Lisa lost 50 pounds, gained muscle and learned new things about herself personally along the way.

I loved this book! I had the best time reading it. Lisa is so adorable, but will stand toe-to-toe with anyone that stands in her way. She admits when she’s messed up and laughs about it along the way. She makes no excuses, just tells her story as it is. She’s soccer mom one minute and a workout machine the next.

Her sheer focus was so inspiring. She really had a hard time. There was potty training, work, food cravings, twice a day workouts, and on top of all that, it was all crazy expensive! But she never, ever gave up. There were times that others doubted her. It hurt, but she kept going.

Lisa, you have gotten yourself a new fan! I encourage you all to check out her blog here. You can also follow her on Twitter here and buy her book here.