Monday, April 22, 2013

Stereotyped - Deficiency

I love working for myself and the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages, but one of the cons is not having health insurance.

So, for months I've been suffering from a condition that became unbearable. The corners of my mouth were cracked and bleeding and my tongue! My tongue had a indescribable, painful burning sensation and it was covered with white icky stuff. I'll stop there. I thought maybe I was allergic to some food item so I started experimenting with staying away from certain things, but no luck. I researched possible conditions online (the wrong thing to do) and was convinced that I was dying. Not only did I have this urgent condition, but since I turned 40 this summer I'm in need of a mammogram and an overall physical. Heavy sigh. What's a girl to do?

I done some research and found a clinic that accepts a $40 copay and then works on a sliding fee. Score! I finally was going to get to the bottom of this burning, icky tongue and maybe get a physical too. By the time my appointment came around last Monday I could only concentrate on the tongue issue -- I was in so much pain.

The visit:

The medical assistant completed the initial check-in: Weight (that scale has to be broke!), height (I shrunk I'm now only 5'2), temperature, blood pressure (a little high), and purpose of visit.

Moments later the doctor showed up. As the doctor looked over my chart she noticed my blood pressure was a little high. I assured her that wasn't typical for me. She replied, "Oh, that's pretty common for people around here." I'm thinking, "Hmm... people around here." Anyhow, I went on to tell her my symptoms. She examined my mouth, but of course the white icky stuff wasn't visible. Don't you hate when that happens? I figured that might happen so I had taken a photo one day when it was totally inflamed. She wasn't able to discern much from the photo. But mentioned that folks with diabetes can get fungal infections so she would test me for diabetes. I'm thinking: "Oh yeah, of course I'm black and fat so I have high blood pressure and diabetes too. How stereotypical." I kept my comment to myself, but I did joke with her and told her if I have diabetes I was going to be really ticked. I worked so hard to lose weight to improve my health and after all this hard work now I develop diabetes. No way!

Anyway, the good news -- I'm not dying and I don't have diabetes (I knew it couldn't be possible!) but my blood work indicates I'm anemic. That explains the elevated blood pressure, tongue and mouth issue.  A normal Hemoglobin score is 12.0 - 16.0, I scored 7.5. The doctor was pretty concerned about such a low score and feels if the number doesn't raise with the help of the iron pills she prescribed I may need a blood transfusion.  Yes, it's that serious. Wow. I'm so glad I got to the bottom of it and it's treatable.

Once I found out that I was anemic, I researched my condition and it all makes sense -- I have most of the symptoms: Numbness or coldness in hands and feet, burning tongue, cracked corners of mouth, brittle nails, shortness of breath, rapid heart beat, fatigue (very common), weakness (very common), dizziness, and headaches. Come to find out lots of folks suffer from iron deficiencies about 3.5 million and it's very common in women.

I'm sure the doctor meant no harm when she stereotyped me as having diabetes. I mean she sees lots of people who look like me (brown skinned and overweight) and they typically have diabetes. She wasn't at all rude about it and she ordered the necessary tests, which revealed my iron deficiency. So really that's all that matters.

For those who are without health insurance in the Clark County area and are in need of health care -- check out, SeaMar Community Health Center they may be able to see you on a sliding fee scale.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Eat Outside of the Box: Spring Salads

I spent my Saturday afternoon sharing my love and knowledge for REAL food OUTSIDE of the Box with the community. Before I could make it home good, I received this email from one of the attendees: "Thanks for the terrific presentation and FOOD today." ~Diana R. You're welcome Diana, but the pleasure was all mine.

Thanks to everyone who came out -- YOU are officially OUTSIDE of the Box! Extra-special thanks to Teresa
 Torres for taking such good care of me and Ryan Ellis too. I ♥ the public library system, especially Cascade Park Community Library.
I could kick myself for not getting a photo of the wonderful display of books and information -- after all this was a library program: Copies of both my cookbooks for loan (641.563 MOSLEY), flyers for hearth of Vancouver and Vancouver Food Co-op, Dirty Dozen/Clean 15, and of course a plethora of food related books/dvds. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Week 4 - Learn to Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box w/Chrisetta Mosley

Another week nourishing the desert...This week's session was all about fresh fruits and veggies!

On the menu: Fresh Vegetable Kebabs, Fresh Fruit Cups, and Quinoa Spinach Salad. 

Next week: OUTSIDE of the Box Healthy Snacks

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Having spent my entire life overweight, I've had a number of people encourage me to lose weight: family, friends, doctors, and even strangers -- in their own strange way. My aunt Lenora went so far as to offer me money as an incentive to shed the pounds.

There were times when I was downright irritated by the suggestions, times when I truly considered the suggestions, and times when I actually attempted to lose weight and was unsuccessful.

In retrospect, the number of people who offered me advice throughout the years were planting seeds. Seeds of encouragement. Seeds of hope. Seeds of change. It wouldn't be until I finally hit MY rock bottom that I was willing to make the necessary changes to lose weight, but these people impacted my change -- indirectly or directly.  Some crops sprout and grow in a few weeks, others take months, and some take years.  But with patience and care the crops will grow.

Thank you to all the people who planted seeds in me.

"Plant a seed and watch it grow." 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Life happens

It was nice to see that I'm still on the Wall of Success @ 24 Hour

A hiatus. A bump in the road.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. Now, I'm looking at my calendar, realizing -- I haven't worked out at a gym since November. I know. That's insane! Since I started my bid to weight loss and fitness three and a half years ago, working out had become like breathing air for me. But somehow everything else in my life became a priority and time slipped away.

Here's what I know:

- Life happens. When it does we make adjustments. We grow. We move on. It was a bump in the road, but nothing that I can't overcome. Heck, I'm the gal who lost 15 pounds while rehabbing a broken leg. This ain't NOTHING.

- This isn't a fad. I want to be healthy forever. I don't measure my success in the span of days, weeks, or months -- see previous blog post. This is my life. My entire life. I'll keep working at being healthy and fit.

- We all need folks in our lives to keep us on track, keep us accountable, and help us be the best we can be. I'm fortunate to have an awesome support system.

Fitness and optimal health require a commitment. I'm committed. I was off track a little bit, but now I'm ready to get back on course. I've re-enrolled at 24-Hour Fitness and am ready to get back in action! Plenty of workout updates forthcoming...

I'll miss my friends at Northwest Personal Training, but this is the best choice for me, right now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Week 3: Learn to Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box w/Chrisetta Mosley

Tonight marked my third session with the group at Fruit Valley Elementary School. The first two weeks of the program we've been covering the basics -- how to plan and grocery SHOP. This session we started with a brief introduction on Beans & Whole Grains and then the fun part COOKing and EATing.

On the menu: 

Hummus served with crudités
Fruit Seed Wheat Berry Bowl
Brown Bag Popcorn with Honey Butter

The ladies enjoyed all the recipes. And music to my ears: They said they could and would make the recipes at home.  I love what I do!

Next week: Fresh Produce -- Fruits & Vegetables.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Unfufilled: A childhood memory

Stew getting me adjusted
As a child, I watched from the sidelines of the school playground while the other kids hung from monkey bars, teetered on teeter-totters, jumped rope, and played all the games that children play. At home, I watched neighborhood friends, hop on their bikes and ride freely and effortlessly. I was always fearful to join in, because, you see, being overweight prohibited me. My youthful heart wanted to be out there jumping, skipping, riding, but my over-sized body kept me from the fun.

So, instead of the magical memories most associate with being a kid and playing outside. My childhood memories are of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding physical activities by any means necessary.

But, I'm not one to dwell on the past. Besides, like Eminem said: "I guess, I had to go, to that place to get to this one." Here I am, today, and I've yet to learn to ride a bike. However, along my weight loss and get fit journey -- I've lost the fear factor. I now have a burning desire to overcome all the things that once held me back. And riding a bike is high up there on my bucket list!

I'm super-excited that my friend, Angela, has offered to give me a bike that she's not using. She's even going to help me learn how to ride it! Oh, what fun this will be. Of course, I'll update you on my riding adventures.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It starts with You

As a mother, I realize that I'm Jasmyn's greatest role model. I am her most influential example. I'm supposed to care for her, love her, guide her. The decisions I make for my life, ultimately influence her life.

At my heaviest weight of 388 pounds, I'll admit, I was not a good role model for her. I was not setting very good examples about health, food, and exercise. At 388 pounds, I could barely walk, barely breathe, and I knew that if I didn't do something about it. Jasmyn might lose me to a preventable disease. I started losing weight to simply save my life. But in the process I not only saved my life, I also became a better example for Jasmyn.

As the case with all children, Jasmyn was a product of her environment. She ate boxed processed food because that's what I brought into our home for her to eat. She drank soda pop because I made it available. She didn't exercise because I didn't expose her to exercise.

In March 2010, at the age of 17, Jasmyn was tipping the scale at 197 pounds. She was headed on a similar path as me. Once I started my bid to a healthier lifestyle. Jasmyn's lifestyle also changed. Today, by following my lead Jasmyn weighs 150 pounds.

I know, first hand about growing up overweight and the long-term effects of obesity. I am proud that I was able to break the cycle with Jasmyn. Jasmyn deserves credit too for embracing the changes. She learned to say no to soda pop, no to second helpings, and became more active. Now like her mother, Jasmyn munches on raw vegetables for snacks, rarely eats out, and exercises regularly.

I realize there are lots of external forces: Conflicting labeling and messaging, on boxed and packaged food, the aggressive food marketing and advertising geared towards children and young adults. I get it,  I do, but as parents, our role is to protect our children from these messages and to make better options available.

Your child's health starts at home with you. Mountain Dew doesn't magically appear in the fridge, cookies don't bake themselves, and children will play outside and exercise if we provide the means.

You can’t expect your kids to eat one way while you eat another. You can’t expect them to exercise and you don’t. You have to show and tell. You have to lead by example.

I talk the talk. I walk the walk. Jasmyn 's 47 pound weight loss is proof.

Read previous related blog post:
Today, 20% of children 6-11 are obese. It's time we come together collectively to help combat this problem. I'm proud to be the presenter for Camas and Washougal on a Diet's free screening of HBO's The Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis documentary. Please join in on this important conversation.

Tonight, Wednesday, April 3rd and April 10
7 p.m.
2050 NW 38th Ave

I'll see YOU there!

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's Happening in April

April promises to be another busy month filled with community outreach and doing all the things I love. I'm singing, Alicia Keys, "This girl is on fire.


Honored to be the presenter for Camas & Washougal on a Diet's free screening of HBO's "The Weight of The Nation" part 3 “Children in Crisis." 

April 3rd & April 10
7 p.m.

Click here to watch video of my call to action
Click here to get all the details from LiveWell / The Columbian

I'll be at the Cascade Park Library showing you how to create simple delicious Spring Salads with freshly made dressings and vinaigrettes.  Using recipes straight out of my cookbook -- Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box.

April 20
2 - 4 p.m.


- Coming

- Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box with Chrisetta Mosley (eBook)


Here's a list of all my events for the month of April:
Tuesday, April 9th
Tuesday, April 16th
Tuesday, April 23rd
Tuesday, April 30th
4-5:30 p.m.

Learn to Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box with Chrisetta Mosley

A FREE six-week program that offers fresh, healthy OUTSIDE of the Box ideas and recipes to anyone who lives, works, or plays in the Fruit Valley neighborhood.
Brought to you by The Fruit Valley Foundation.

Fruit Valley Elementary School (Family Resource Room)
3410 NW Fruit Valley Rd.
Vancouver, WA 98660


Wednesday, April 24th
6-7:30 p.m.

"5 or 50" Women's Sustainable Weight Loss & Healthy Lifestyle Group
No matter if you have "5 or 50" pounds to lose. It's time to start seeing yourself as beautiful, strong, capable and look beyond physical attributes. I'll facilitate the meeting and share my tips for staying motivated. This will be a safe, inspiring environment to share and grow.

- Motivation and tips for healthy, sustainable weight loss
- Recipe sharing
- Self-love and affirmation

Cascade Park Community Library
600 NE 136th Ave.

That's it and that's all. I hope to see you somewhere out in the mix! 

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