Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The "Real" in Mama Junes Reality TV

You know...I was never a fan of Honey Boo Boo and her mother....Mama June. I like a little class with my tv and try as I might, I could never find any in that show. Now they are back or Mama June primarily is in a show called From Not to Hot. For those of you who have never viewed this new reality show endeavor, Mama June is on a journey to lose weight and look amazing for her ex, Sugar Bears wedding.

Now please don't judge me for watching this low brow reality show, but I simply can't help myself. I am somewhat addicted to any show that talks about and shows true weight loss in individuals. Yes, I know you are saying to yourself...."But Lisa, this is 'reality' tv. How true can this be?" Well, you are right. For some of this show, the non-reality of it is glaringly obvious such as when June starts losing a lot of weight a little too quickly and has to wear an obvious fat suit to film some sections of the show. That being said though, the weight loss is real and even more so......her struggle with weight loss is very real.

Mama June tipped the scales at somewhere around 350 lbs when filming started. The premise of the story goes that June found out her ex was getting remarried in 10 months and he had invited her to the wedding, so she decided she wanted to show the bride up and go to the wedding with a whole new look. Of course reality tv saw $$$$$ and made it their mission to make as much money off June, her weight loss and her dysfunctional brood as they could.

Without giving away all the stimulating drama and plot points of the series, I will give you the condensed version. June had gastric sleeve surgery. The series gave her a personal trainer and her daughters bought her a size 4 dress so that she had a goal to achieve in 40 weeks. Again.....reality tv heaven. For me, it was like a train wreck. I knew I shouldn't watch, but darned if I didn't get sucked in. To my credit though, I DVR the show so that I can fast forward through some of the more ridiculousness of the show.... and some weeks that is a good portion of it, however.....the show is a pretty accurate portrayal of the difficulty involved with losing a large amount of weight and this is why I guess it holds my interest.

A gastric sleeve is one of the more extreme ways that someone who is unhealthily over weight can turn to for weight loss. Because it is a surgery it holds some degree of danger from anesthetic to the possibility of infection, blood clots and all the other potentially dangerous side effects of anyone post surgery. Once the surgery is over, there is of course the recovery from the surgery and because your stomach has basically been shrunk, there is a period of time where you are only allowed liquids and then you work yourself up to small portions of food.

A gastric sleeve can help a person literally drop 100-200 lbs in a relatively short period of time, but it is not a miracle worker in itself. The person undergoing the surgery has to be dedicated to losing the weight and keeping it off and also has to be resigned to the fact that for the rest of their lives they will never be able to eat as they did before the surgery without risk of damaging the sleeve or themselves. In other words, if you are going into something as drastic as gastric sleeve surgery, you better be all in on this being a permanent lifestyle change and you better also be losing for the right reasons. Needless to say, showing the bride up at your exes wedding is not in my opinion, a good reason.

June of course drops the weight initially quite quickly and with this large amount of weight loss come some of the less pleasant side effects of losing this much weight quickly. Everything sags and bags and flapping arms, excess stomach skin and sagging thighs are not only uncomfortable, but they can also get in the way of exercise and day to day living. They also have an affect on self image. It's great to be a size 4 but if the skin on your arms make you look like you have wings instead of arms.....that becomes a self image problem. Surgery then again becomes a necessity. The thing about skin removal surgery though, is that you basically have to be pretty near your goal weight before having it or else the surgery does no good.  So Junes story does not have an automatic happy ending. In fact, at times the story gets quite "real" and becomes something that most of us can easily identify with.

June does not like exercise and yet exercise is as important to her weight loss and overall health as eating right is. It is a real struggle for her to get with the exercise program....even with a very animated and professional trainer. The struggle is even more difficult when it becomes obvious that June went into the whole weight loss, surgery, etc. thinking that her weight would come off much more easily and with a lot less work on her part, than is actually required. Eventually though, even June figures out that exercise is a key factor in her new lifestyle and gets on board to some degree.

Another glaringly evident theme in the show is that Junes two daughters who live with her are anything but supportive. Alonna (Honey Boo Boo) and Lauryn (Pumpkin) are used to a diet of sugar, fast food and comfort food and obviously supporting their moms weight loss by cutting out the unhealthy foods or even cutting back is not in their game plan as they eat cheeseburgers and ice cream in front of June. This is something that many of us can relate to as often our families are only supportive if it doesn't affect them.

Weight loss is challenging for the toughest of people as it is overcoming an addiction. A food addiction. Anyone knows you wouldn't smoke meth in front of a drug addict or drink alcohol in front of an alcoholic but people don't think twice about eating a piece of cake or downing a cheeseburger with everything on it in front someone trying to lose weight. Junes daughters not only eat all the things she can't have in front of her, but it is quite obvious at times that the two girls who seem to have weight issues of their own, aren't truly accepting of their moms new size or attempt at a healthier lifestyle. In fact there are definitely times that the two seem to be almost sabotaging their mom's efforts. Again....a lot of us can relate. If those around us see us changing for the better and they aren't, it somehow becomes a threat to them and their way of life, so they load on the sabotage. I think this is when reality tv crosses over into real life for some of us.

So I am not sure how far into the season we are with Mama June. I know in the last episode she had given into her old habits and she has become quite proficient at hiding cookies, candies and other forms of unhealthy and fattening contraband much to her trainers shock and dismay. This "bad" behavior had been instrumental in causing her to gain some of her weight back. Fortunately her gain wasn't enough to keep her from getting the first of her two skin surgeries (a skin removal and tummy tuck on her stomach and a breast lift/enhancement). Her excitement over her knew boobs and flat stomach was somewhat squelched though at the realization that beauty sometimes hurts and these surgeries were starting to be much more painful and life restricting than she had originally signed on for.

Will Mama June get her arms and neck done or will she give up the whole surgery idea? Will she continue  to hide food and sneak eat and allow her family to continue sabotaging her? Or..... will she start to realize that her weight loss is more than just a moment of revenge at her exes wedding?

Bottom line is that many of us who carry extra pounds, whether it is 20 lbs or 200 lbs have all kinds of reasons for wanting to lose weight. The fact is though, that if we don't lose for the right reasons and learn a little about ourselves as we go, the weight will never stay off and we will fail ourselves over and over again. Losing for the right reasons (love of ourselves, our health and our desire to live a full healthy and happy life) is the only thing that will get us through those moments when our family and friends aren't as supportive as they should be or when we are contemplating doing our own self-sabotage.

So yeah, I am still not a fan of Mama June or reality tv as a whole but what can I say.....I'm invested! 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Losing It....The Hard Way

So I have lost 2.6 pounds my first week back on THM and quite honestly, I haven't done a full day on THM yet. Oh no....I have lost all of this on another kind of diet called.....The Stomach Flu or as I like to call it,  Losing It....the Hard Way, and no.....I do NOT recommend it. Quite frankly I am surprised that after being as sick as I was this week, that I didn't lose all my weight and hit my goal in one fell swoop. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but there is definitely no food left inside me after the week I have had...(sorry for the TMI). 

Well, it is January and usually every January I suffer through some illness that throws me off....mind, body and soul. Why should this year be any different? Actually, I think that if I had not taken my THM hiatus for several months and had stayed on plan this whole time, I might not have gotten this or at least not to the extent I did. Why? Because the entire time I was 100% on-plan I simply didn't get sick. My migraines even almost went away. I was nourishing my body and keeping healthy foods in it which was in turn giving me the energy I needed to sustain my health.

Several times when I was on-plan, I started to feel as if I might be coming down with something. Immediately I began drinking the Singing Canary twice per day and making sure that I was eating plenty of protein and my green veggies such as broccoli and spinach and I simply never got sick. Now though....I've been sick!!!!!

Today thankfully, I do feel better. I will take the 2.6 pound loss even though it was a default loss and I will not let still not feeling 100% derail me. FYI: Did you know that getting sick during a weight loss plan can derail you or even completely throw you off plan and make you quit? It's true, because as you start eating again, your on-plan foods may not sound good or even taste good, therefore you drift off into comfort food and foods that "historically" make you feel better. Before you know it, Sprite, Gatorade, pudding, Popsicles and mashed potatoes, become burgers, fries and tacos. Trust me, I know of what I speak and traditionally, cold and flu season have not been my best times to try to stay loyal to any kind of healthy eating. This year though, I hope to break that pattern.

Yes, it might be tea, sprouted bread toast and chicken broth still for a day or two, but I am determined that the moment eggs, bacon, veggies and my beloved fauxtatoes (broccoli, cauliflower mashed as potatoes) can be handled on my stomach, then I will be back on plan.

Here's hoping that the rest of you are having a healthy January. Till next time....Happy Sunday!

Monday, January 2, 2017

And I'm Baaack!

Annnnd I'm baaaaack!


Life, the holidays, blah blah blah. It all left me feeling bleh bleh bleh. Since October, I could feel the pounds creeping back and all the hard work I had put into losing falling to the wayside. This year though, I did not fall into a tizzy, nor did I start self loathing. In fact, I really didn't sweat it because this year I know something that I didn't know for sure last year. This year I know that I CAN lose the weight and when I finally put my mind to it.....I WILL lose the weight.

Guess what.....I've put my mind to it and I am back!!!!

Ladies and any gentlemen reading, I have learned that through Trim Healthy Mama, absolutely anyone can lose weight and be healthy. I also know that THM is a committed life style change that is not just weight loss but also a change of body, mind and soul. Never have I felt more in tune with my body or my health than I did when I was eating right and taking care of myself and exercising. So many of the issues I had had prior to THM suddenly reversed themselves. My acid re-flux was all but gone, the pain in my feet and legs was gone and I had tons of energy, slept well and simply felt good all over. I realized that I had really turned a corner though when all the changes suddenly were no longer about how I looked, but instead had become about how I felt. I really felt good.

So why stop? Because I am human and a creature of many years of bad habits. I had some really sudden and dramatic changes in my life and as good as I thought my coping skills had become, some things only cheesecake can calm. Then it became that I was simply too tired and warn out from drama to cook, so fast food trickled back into my diet and then finally, the holidays came and I said %&*$ it and I gave in to every bad eating habit I had ever had.

Sadly, there was no joy or comfort in the nefarious "comfort" foods I succumbed to. In fact, there was much discomfort as my acid re-flux came back with a vengeance....usually about 2 a.m., causing me to wake up choking and gasping and in tremendous burning pain. Then there was the hands and feet swelling from the evil sugar that I was ingesting on a daily basis, not to mention the continuous stomach discomfort and constant lethargy that comes from eating a crap diet. I also was back to the pain in my feet and legs. Then of course there was my face rounding out again and my clothes getting tighter by the day. The real problem was....I couldn't gain too much weight, because I had thrown out all of my really large size clothes, so if I got any bigger, I was going to be down to a bathrobe and a pair of sweats with a hole in the butt. Yes....it was time. 

At Christmas, I decided that I was giving myself until New Years Eve to eat whatever, but New Years Day...the bad habits would be tamed. Funny thing was, giving myself that permission kind of turned me around. Between Christmas and NYE, I was already eating back about 60% THM. The other funny thing.....there was no worry or doubt in my mind that starting 1-1-17 that I wouldn't be 100% back on plan and stick with it. 1) I knew I had done it and could do it again and 2) My body was ready for it and food to be friends again.

Yesterday I stepped on the scales. It was the one thing I was really NOT looking forward to, but I knew that I had to be honest with myself and face up to what I had done these last few months. As expected, the number wasn't pretty, but I also wasn't having to start back from my heaviest weight either. I had gained, much more than I would have liked, but it was fixable. I was fixable.

Being back, I feel better emotionally and I know the physical is not far behind. I know that once again I am in control of my food and not the other way around.

I can't speak for anyone else and I am not here to tell anyone how to live their life or change their life. All I am doing is telling you what my truth is and my truth is.....THM works and I am baaaaack!

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!