Saturday, July 31, 2010


I always have thoughts running through my head about what the next blog post will be about. Ironically, some of my better ideas come to me at the gym. For today’s post I had a topic all picked out, but I had this nagging voice telling me…No. No. No. Instead, acknowledge those who support you – the folks who are helping you walk this journey.

So here it goes…

First, and foremost all praise to God, for giving me the strength, courage, and love for myself to fight this battle.

My baby girl, Jasmyn for being there every step of the way, she’s so sweet. To show her support she started the strict eating plan with me three and a half weeks ago (never mind she only made it to day three). Mama loves you, no matter.

To my, fitness coach and hero, for arming with information about nutrition, exercise tips, listening to my constant complaining, keeping me focused, and telling me like it is. Thank you, thank you!!

To my, family - they’ve known and loved me the longest. They know, Ceety, the chubby little girl, who couldn’t ride a bike - the best. I love all y’all!

To my, closest dear friends, y’all know who you are even if we haven’t talked in a while. Thanks for believing in me even when I didn’t. And, Katina I’m not sure I’m able to fully express my gratitude for the encouragement and support you’ve given me throughout this journey. Sigh. I love you.

To my, wonderful circle, of newly acquired friends I’ve met through Zumba and the gym. Whoa! Where do I start… y’all have really helped me change my life. Each and every one of you have embraced, supported, and shown me nothing but love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And, to anyone, who doesn’t necessarily fit into these categories but is a part of my life and journey. Thank you.

To my, followers of the blog and FB, you’re the reason why I do this. I hope by sharing my story with you - together we can combat childhood obesity. Thanks for showing your support.

Sorry for the diversion, but this was on my heart today. I’ll be back tomorrow with a more traditional post. Until then...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

So Far

Woke up this morning, went to the bathroom, and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Whoa. I’m still fat! I’ve worked SO hard, shed over 130 lbs., and according to the BMI chart I’m still considered obese. SMH.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of myself for coming so far, but I still have so far to go! Discouraging? Sure. Enough to make me give up? Never. Why? That’s a loaded question but suffice it to say… I love myself and I owe it to myself to live a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle free from being trapped inside of a body that is dead. So yes, I’m still fat, but not for much longer. Thank you God for giving me the strength, courage, and love for myself to fight this battle. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An American Classic Slims Down

Changing your eating habits doesn’t have to be boring. And, please never deprive yourself of good old classics – you don’t have to. Get creative. I did and the results…

Buns are overrated! A grilled portabella mushroom acts as a bun and holds this lean grass-fed ground beef burger. And, who needs French fries? Grilled asparagus lightly brushed with olive oil, garlic, and seasoned with a touch of salt, Tarragon, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Eating healthy never tasted so good!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Genuine Love

Since the inception of Farewell Fatso! a little over two weeks ago, three mothers of overweight children have reached out to me. The common thread between the mothers is their love and concern for the health of their children.

One of the hardest things about change is, it's flat out HARD! Especially when it comes to telling our kids no, but when dealing with an epidemic as large as childhood obesity – it is imperative we say NO and make the necessary changes. Let’s show our kids we love them by not pacifying them with sweets, treats, and food but with genuine love.

I would like to share an email exchange I had last week with one of the mothers, my friend, as I think it may help others. I’ve withheld the actual names of the people to protect their identities.

Lauren’s email to Farewell Fatso!

…I really do need to talk. I hate to admit it, I am not a great example and Shelby is well not thin. It's hard as a parent to admit certain things about your child. I know she's beautiful, but I really don't want her to struggle with body image like I did, or at all for that matter. It hit hard this year while trying school clothes on and she cried. I won't say she's fat and it's just as hard to admit she's overweight. I just want her to feel comfortable in her own skin. We LOVE food. She's chubby okay I'm saying it. AND she's got my athletic deficiency. And when it comes to food, I feel so bad trying to limit her portions etc. I don't want to cause her to feel insecure like I feel my dad did with me. IDK it's just a fine line that I am struggling with. She's developed a dislike for veggies and has limited fruit likes. She's much like me...a meat and potatoes kinda gal. But I do love veggies now too. NOT to mention it's expensive to eat healthy now-a-days. Produce, in most cases, costs more that meat anymore. Red, Yellow, Orange peppers OUTRAAGEOUS. I love them, but simply cannot afford them. And I have gained so much weight over the last 4 years it ridiculous. I quit smoking in January and probably put on another 30 pounds. I don't eat THAT much or THAT THAT bad. But I eat it all wrong and do that starve all day binge at night and go to sleep thing. The canned veggie blog.....that's all me. I try to feed us all right, but it's hard sometimes. We have salad with dinner at least 4 times a week. I do a side a meat and a veggie most nights. But it still feels wrong. I know I sound like I'm full of excuses, really right now, I'm reaching out and expressing what seems to be roadblocks to me. It doesn't help having other people in the house with other feelings. David's grandmother lives with us raised David on fried foods and real butter, sour cream, etc. She doesn’t care much for my style of eating. Baked/grilled not fried, low fat items where you can etc. I don't even really know how to fry stuff. I never used to even keep cooking oil in the house really till David moved back in with me 6 years ago. And I cannot afford to buy doubles in everything. IDK I'll shut up's just that, well if I wasn't thinking got me thinking now. Heavy sigh, long story short, I am proud of you; I miss you and would love to see you soon. We need to catch up. Keep up the good work I am very very very proud of you for all you've accomplished, not just the weight stuff but everything. You're really an amazing woman and have come so far.


Farewell Fatso’s reply email to Lauren

Ahh…thanks so much for your complete honesty. I just read an article that talked about parents struggling to admit their child is overweight. So that was huge of you! That's the first step in solving any problem - admitting there is one. I’m so glad you opened up to me. This is exactly why I started the blog to raise awareness and offer support.

Now, I’m gonna hit straight at the hip… You talk about issues with other outside forces and while they all are valid. They still are excuses, nonetheless. You are Shelby's rock – you are her foundation. It's up to you to guide her through this. Yes, eating healthy is expensive and you may have to learn how to budget shop to get the right items in your household but whatever the cost are I think it's imperative that you make the necessary changes. Last week, I helped a friend rid her pantry and fridge of all the crappy stuff, made a grocery list of good foods, and we went grocery shopping together. I’m willing to do the same for you. It’s very important that you lead by example and Shelby is at the age where you can talk openly with her and let her know you want to help her. Helping her will also help you. This can be a rewarding reciprocal relationship. Since I restarted loosing weight in December, Jasmyn has dropped 30 lbs. She didn’t even try it’s just because I was making better food choices for the household. Please let me know if you’d like me to help – it would be my pleasure.

You’re doing a great job! I know it’s hard raising a child. Especially a girl, so hang in there this is going to work out! Shelby is beautiful – she looks a lot like her mama.



Please parents with overweight children I plead with you to seek the help your child needs and deserves. Parents, you are the ROCK, you are the foundation – it all starts with you. Please call and make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to develop a plan. In the meantime, check out these websites for tips:

Afterthought: I think I might as well coin this term now, “Let’s show our kids we love them by not pacifying them with sweets, treats, and food but with genuine love.” So if it starts popping up everywhere we all know its origin.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Go Green…

…with your diet! I have and I love it. I’ve retrained myself to make better food choices and it starts with the vegetables I choose. Now when I eat I think about the effects the food I’m eating will have on my body. Basically, I make a concentrated effort to eat food that will do my body good. It’s like the gas you choose for your car – if you fill your gas tank at ---- your car will be running on very little gas and quite a bit of crude.

So when picking vegetables, green vegetables are the best choice for your diet. Green veggies pack tons of nutrients, are ideal for weight management as they are typically low in calories, and most are easy to prepare.

Let’s take a look at some popular greens:

Arugula has a peppery taste and is rich in vitamins A, C, and calcium. Arugula can be eaten raw in salads or added to stir-fry, soups, and pasta sauces.

Broccoli has both soft florets and crunchy stalks, and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and fiber. Broccoli can be eaten raw or steamed, sautéed or added to a casserole.

Collard Greens have a mild flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C and K, folate, fiber, and calcium. The best way to prepare them is to boil them briefly and then add to a soup or stir-fry. You can also eat collard greens as a side dish. Just add your favorite seasoning and enjoy!

Dandelion Greens have a bitter, tangy flavor and are rich in vitamin A and calcium. They are best when steamed or eaten raw in salad.

Kale has a slightly bitter, cabbage-like flavor and is rich in vitamins A, C and K. Kale is tasty when added to soups, stir-fries, and sauces.

Mustard Greens have a peppery or spicy flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and calcium. They are delicious when eaten raw in salads or in stir-fries and soups.

Romaine Lettuce
is a nutrient rich lettuce that is high is vitamins A, C, and K, and folate. It is best when eaten raw in salads, sandwiches or wraps.

Spinach has a sweet flavor and is rich in vitamins A and K, folate, and iron. Spinach tastes great eaten raw in salads or steamed. (My all time fav – my nickname should be Popeye).

Swiss Chard
tastes similar to spinach and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, potassium and iron. It is best stir-fried or eaten raw in salads.

Did You Know? Dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of many vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy, such as vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron and calcium. They are also great sources of fiber. Research suggests that the nutrients found in dark green vegetables may prevent certain types of cancers and promote heart health.

Source: CYWH Staff at Children's Hospital Boston

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Time of My Life

Yesterday afternoon I happily walked down the path of Blue Lake Park toting a huge straw bag, two small Igloos ®, and a folding chair. Since I was unfamiliar with the layout of the park, I parked my car quite a ways away from the actual place I was meeting my party. In the days of the past having to walk so far surely would’ve made me upset. But, on this bright sunny day, I strolled the length of the park, smiling, humming, giving praise to God, and taking in all the beauty surrounding me: Kids playing, BBQ pits roaring, and ahh…The beauty of the lake. Once I arrived at my destination it dawned on me I wasn't at all fatigued from the walk even with all the items I carried. Sigh. The heavier, less active, less fit me would’ve surely had a miserable walk. My, oh my, how things have changed.

My journey has been about so much more than loosing weight; instead it’s about everything I’ve gained. What an oxymoron! Yesterday’s outing at the park with my *Latino friend’s is about me learning to step outside of my comfort zone, surround myself with different people, and try different things. I’ve lived most of my life unwilling to explore and venture out, but those days are long gone. I even played Volleyball yesterday - for the fat trapped girl that would’ve never been an option. The new me, however, hopped right up when I was asked to join in on the fun. Sure, I only hit the ball a few times but I was out there trying and having fun! Our team won and the gang jokingly named me, MVP. Smile. My life has changed in so many ways. I’m no longer sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to happen. I’m making them happen. I’m having the time of my life!

*It’s important for me to point out I only mentioned the race of my friends because it’s part of the new me. In the past, being heavier, lazy, and anti-social I probably wouldn’t have never wanted to go to the park in general and certainly not with a group outside my race. Not prejudice, quite the contrary, but being overweight use to keep me from trying anything new.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Living Up to the Challenge

Yesterday, I created another fabulous dish incorporating more fresh veggies. This Asian inspired dish included: Bok Choy, cabbage, broccoli, cremini mushrooms, chicken breast, lightly tossed in a Garlic Black Bean Sauce, and topped with scallions and sesame seeds. I think my fitness coach will be proud of me for moving beyond salads - I certainly am!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekend Success

My intention for today’s blog entry was to totally rant and rave. For a myriad of reasons (mainly lots of negative self talk), I’m in a whiny, frustrated, impatient mood. And to add insult to injury, I’m HUNGRY! My role, however, is not to dump on y’all. Instead, I’m supposed to inspire, inform, and uplift, so here it goes.

Last weekend my girlfriend blew a whole week of good eating habits and exercising over making some bad mistakes while dining out. So I thought since the weekend is upon us I’d share some tips for staying on task over the weekend.

Plan ahead
Don't load up your kitchen with lots of tempting, high-calorie snacks. Keep fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain crackers and your favorite cheese on-hand for nutritious snacking.

Don't skip breakfast
Start Saturday and Sunday mornings with a healthy breakfast with plenty of protein and fiber. Good choices include eggs, whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, or whole-wheat toast with peanut butter.

Use a food diary every day
A great way to stay motivated to eat a healthy diet is to keep track of the foods you eat. Print out your own food diary, or use Calorie Count, a free online tool that can help you track your eating and activity (you can even look up food labels).

Give yourself a small treat or two during the week
Any diet that leaves you feeling deprived will ultimately fail. Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate or one scoop of ice cream during the week.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
They are low in calories, and high in nutrients and fiber. Fiber is key -- it will keep you feeling full.

Eat less at restaurants
Going out for dinner? Most restaurants serve very large portions. Choose a soup and a salad, or a salad and an appetizer for your meal. If you order a large meal, take half of it home for a delicious lunch the next day.

Be careful with shopping trips
Eat a healthy lunch before you go to the mall. If you go hungry, you are much more likely to give in to the temptation of unhealthy foods at the food court.

Get some exercise each day
Go for a walk. Not only will you burn calories, the exercise will improve your mood and may distract you from your cravings.

Source: Shereen Jegtvig

I hope these tips help you stay on track this weekend. Have a great, guilt-free weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Weighty Matter

I work so hard at the gym and with my diet. I have a friend who described my determination as, iron willed. Consequently, when I meet with my fitness coach to get weighed and measured I get a little anxious. After all, the ultimate tale of my progress comes down to the numbers on the scale and with a tape measure being wrapped around my body. So it’s perfectly normal then to feel a little antsy right? Well, today’s the day I hop on the scale. My mind is racing with thoughts; please let the bright red display show how hard I’ve worked. I’ve been such a good girl.

Hold up, wait a minute. No sooner than I wrote the last paragraph it dawned on me – that’s nonsense. That’s the beauty of writing I’m working through thoughts and feelings. Certainly, the numbers are indicators of my progress. But, the numbers DON’T dictate my success. Sure it’s important to track these numbers because in the end the goal is to decrease them. But, for heaven’s sake, I’m more than a number. All my hard work is not tied to a scale.

My hard work and determination is evident in many other ways. First, by eating better and exercising I’ve decreased my odds for developing a slew of health issues. If I stopped at my current weight and maintained it my overall health has been vastly improved. Next, I’m breaking through a lifetime of barriers by confronting obesity head on. Today, my outlook on life is much brighter than it was even six months ago -- I’m happier, friendlier, more vibrant, and heck even trimmer.

So no matter what the numbers are on the scale today or any day for that matter, I’m not defined by them. This journey is not only about the weight loss, it’s about me improving my overall health, attitude, and life.

"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beyond Salads

Here's what I’ve done so far to meet this week's challenge: Grilled zucchini, cremini mushrooms, and onions. What about YOU?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ahh…The Wonders of the human body

I have a new found appreciation for my body. It’s amazing to me that I’ve missed treated it for many of years by filling it with crappy food and little or no exercise and yet it still has managed to hang in there with me. Gosh, I’m thankful for second and third chances... It’s remarkable, by making a concentrated effort to take better care of myself and shed the pounds - I’m transforming my body into a new. About two months ago after losing a significant amount of weight I discovered I had a rib cage. I’d lie in bed at night counting my ribs: one, two, three… I know, I know, to those who are normal weight this is no big deal, but for me it was HUGE.

Not only has my new health regimen given way to a new look, but I have so much more energy. Since I’m fueling my body with the right ingredients my body is rewarding me in dividends. I no longer am tired all the time, depressed, anti-social, or grouchy (oh well, I had to put an even number on the list). Of course, I have my days but for the most part my outlook is much brighter. I love my body! What a complicated, precious, and amazing machine.

Oh and the clavicle bone – my latest discovery. I like. I like.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

Sometimes I tend to have negative self-talk which, combined with me being a habitual line crosser, makes me a hard person to coach. Just ask my trainer. So the new eating plan (animal protein and plant carbs only) I’m on is sometimes a challenge for me because I just flat out don’t want to make the necessary adjustments. True, I want the results, but my unconstructive attitude is a hindrance in my progress - as I was bluntly reminded by my trainer this morning.

What’s happened is I’ve boxed myself into eating only salads paired with chicken, fish, or steak. However, there are a number of other veggies out there that I could eat if only I took the time to prepare them. Besides, I love veggies so why not expand my palette. Part of the reason I stick to the salads, is in all honesty, I’m being lazy. So today, I’ve been challenged by my trainer to add some new veggies to my diet and spice them up. My challenge to YOU is to add some new vegetables to your family’s menu this week. If you’ve wanted to try grilled eggplant or perhaps zucchini, why not give it a try *Lead by example: Let your kids see you eating and enjoying these vegetables and it will leave a lasting impression on them. Who knows they even may start to like them and maybe you will too! So put some new veggies on your grocery list this week – I have.
*Lead by Example is a new item I’ve added this week. I will update it each week with tips and suggestions for ways to improve your family’s lifestyle.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Broken hearted

This week my girlfriend and I took our girls to the park. We had a great time chatting and interacting with the girls - running, jumping, swinging, playing tennis, and getting wet. It was good old fashioned fun, playing outdoors, running free - not bound to video games and treats. Of course we did bring snacks: oranges, apples, grapes, cherries, cheese, raw almonds, and a few other healthy goodies. The fresh fruit was a hit. My friend’s two-year old especially liked the apples and cherries. Lil Mama was too cute running around with her cherry-stained mouth. Good times!

But, in the midst of all the fun, my heart was broken when I saw a little girl who was well into a serious battle with obesity. She stood about 4’6 and weighed about 120 lbs. From the sweet innocence in her eyes I would say she was no more than eight years old. She was so heavy she struggled to walk. I swear her stomach was so big she looked about five months pregnant. When I saw her I stopped mid-conversation, nodded my head in disbelief, and started to cry. After regrouping, I started shouting out rhetorical questions to my friend “What on earth is going on?” “Where are her parents?” “Why aren’t they intervening?” “This is a child for goodness sakes someone is suppose to be taking care of her.” Sigh. “Why isn’t someone taking care of her?”

I was and still am hurt to the core by the sight of this little girl. Most of my pain is because she reminded me of myself as a child. Oh my, God. I just wanted to run to her, shake her, hug her, talk to her, but it dawned on me even if I did talk to her it would be lost on her. For, she is only a child. She needs guidance and support from her parents.

Parents with overweight children I plead with you to seek the help your child needs and deserves. Parents, you are the ROCK, you are the foundation – it all starts with you. Please call and make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to develop a plan. In the meantime, check out these websites for tips:

Afterthought: She was not the only overweight kid I saw at the park that day. There was another elementary school aged girl, a very round little boy, and a teen girl whose stomach protruded over her jeans. People - this is such a HUGE problem. We can’t sit back and let obesity claim our children.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I had lunch at a girlfriend’s house yesterday. She prepared a lovely lunch for us, but since I’m kind of a food Nazi right now (I only eat protein and vegetable/fruit carbs), it pretty much would have limited me to only eating the gorgeous salad she made. I thought how boring and unsocial would that be to just to eat the salad. So, instead of making a big fuss about it, I just grabbed myself a plate and served up small portions of everything she had to offer. Yes, everything. For goodness sake, this is a lifestyle change I am only human and part of my healthy relationship with food is learning to enjoy it, without abusing it. Besides, I try to live by the 90/10 rule. I eat healthy 90 percent of the time and I give myself 10 percent wiggle room. I don’t want to be handicapped by food any longer - I’m in control. I eat to fuel my body, but I also sometimes eat certain foods for mere pleasure. So yesterday, I guiltlessly had a great time eating, drinking, and socializing with good friends. That’s what life is all about. Cheers!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Five more pounds gone forever

I hopped on the scale this morning and was delighted by the bright red numbers on the display. I’m down five pounds from last week, which brings me to my lowest body weight in umpteen years. Looking back, it seemed like an insurmountable task to lose weight and no doubt it has been. But, it feels SO good to be firmly in charge, now. I’m kicking obesity to the curb and lovin’ it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where to start...

…I feel like I should bring y’all up to speed on my progress thus far but I won’t bother. Let’s just recap the last couple of weeks and from here on out I promise to update y’all a few times a week. Fair enough? Good.

I just recently completed a 10-day Herbal Cleanse which meant: No bread, pasta, corn or white starches, dairy, alcohol, coffee, or soda. The first and second day went smoothly, but by day three I was having some serious bread withdrawals. I looked like a heroin junkie. I was balled up in the corner scratching and sweating. No seriously, it did become a little tricky and I was starting to doubt I could make it through all ten days. Of course, I prevailed. And, when it was all said and done, to my surprise, the peanut butter toast (on whole wheat bread) I was craving was not all that. I was also longing for Greek yogurt, but once I was able to eat it - I wasn’t really moved by it either. It’s funny how we can make adjustments when we put our minds to it.

The Herbal Cleanse was a jump start to me slowly shifting my diet and when I say diet I just mean I’m modifying my eating habits. Currently, I’m on a strict protein and carbs from vegetables only diet. I’m detoxing myself from white flour, sugar, and dairy products. Why? It’s simple. White flour and sugar have no dietary value. Our bodies are not designed to process the crap. I probably will need to revisit this topic later and dedicate a whole section to it – it’s pretty deep. No dairy? You ask. Well, it’s full of hormones, antibiotics, and the list goes on. So basically, I’m loosely following a Paleolithic diet or the Caveman diet, which consists of eating animal protein and plant carbs. I don’t want to go off on Caveman diet tangent quite yet. I’ll save that for another blog. I know, I know. I’m such a tease.

Until next time…

The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News