Obesity and Violence

Today is the international day against Violence against Women … and I thought I would just share that domestic abuse is definitely violence and it has many faces… it doesn’t just look like “beatings”… it is not limited to obvious physical violence, it includes sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling, intimidation, stalking, etc…  Alcohol consumption, drug addiction and mental illness can be co-morbid with abuse, and present additional challenges in eliminating domestic violence.

I was a victim of domestic abuse in the past… (previous marriage) and I’ve experienced many of the consequences and scars from it… Obesity, in my case, was one of the many issues that got worse as a result… not that I didn’t struggle with my weight before but it was definitely something that exacerbated the issue. Say NO to violence against women, against men, against children… The focus today is violence against women and it’s a topic that is very close to me… too close.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ah! I am doing much better! I finally got my walk in today! I got out in the cold and a bit of rain (just a drizzle) and felt alive again! It’s amazing what “moving” can do for you! I even got in the groove of cooking and experimenting again!

Would you believe it if I told you I had never had butternut squash? It’s a vegetable that has always intrigued me… it looks so beautiful! So perfect for fall… so inviting and at the same time a little scary! It’s one of those things I just have the feeling I won’t like but I made myself buy it at the store just to try it!

So… I made a butternut squash soup and it was delicious! JUST DELICIOUS! I used whole milk instead of heavy whipping cream just to reduce calories and fat so… and when I checked the amount of calories on myfitnesspal (I entered the recipe and each ingredient) I came up with this:

This soup makes 4 generous servings (I say 4 because I loved it so much that I know I ate a quarter of this soup) and… for a serving that size… it has only 199 calories! Isn’t that great? So… here we go… get ready! this is GOOD!!! (I took the picture using a ramekin, which obviously isn’t big but each serving is about 1 bowl)

IMG_8984RECIPE:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

1 2lb. butternut squash, whole, not peeled, quartered, seeds and fibers from the center removed and set aside (don’t discard)
1/2 white onion chopped
3 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup of whole milk
1 tsp. packed light brown sugar
5 cups of water
freshly grated nutmeg (a pinch or two -or three-)
salt to taste

Directions:
1. In a large saucepan melt 1.5 tbsp. of butter (medium/low heat). Once butter is melted add the chopped onion and sautee until translucent. Add the reserved squash seeds/fibers, stir frequently and sautee until fragrant and the butter has turned deep orange/redish (about 8 mins.)
2. Add water to seeds/fibers and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling turn the heat down to a simmer, cover -leaving it a bit open- and simmer for about 50 minutes.
3. In a large pot (or a steamer) add a little bit of water, quartered butternut squash, cover with a tight lid and let it steam for about 50 minutes (while the seeds/fibers of the squash simmer making a nutty broth)
4. Once the steamed squash is ready (there should be no resistance at all to a fork/knife) remove carefully using tongs and place in a bowl. Let it cool a little bit so you can handle it with your hands.
5. In the meantime strain your pumpkin seed broth into a big bowl or measuring container. Discard all the seeds/fibers and chopped onion. You should have about 3 cups of broth, that’s about all you’ll need (if you have more than that don’t get rid of it)
6. Using a big spoon scoop the flesh out of the squash and discard the peel.
7. Using a blender (and in about 3-4 batches to avoid having an explosion) carefully blend the squash along with the liquid, making sure it has a nice consistency but not too runny and/or thick (you can always add more of the broth if needed later).
8. Once all the squash is blended pour it back into the big saucepan and bring to a simmer at medium heat. Add the milk, remaining 1.5 tbsp. of butter, teaspoon of brown sugar and pinch of nutmeg (or more to taste), season with more salt to taste. Add more of the broth to thin if too thick. Let it simmer and stir until all flavors are combined.

Enjoy!

Got in my jeans and I’m going to the movies

Hello everybody… this is going to be a different post from my earlier one… If you’ve been reading you know that we’ve been sick, sick, sick… it pretty much started in September on our trip to Wisconsin, I came back sick as a dog… (that’s a funny American expression in my mind… is it a bad one? You’ll have to correct me if it is… I just use the expressions I hear… LOL! “sick as a dog” is a funny one… just like “pig in a blanket” as a breakfast item … when I was asked to bring “pigs in blankets” to a breakfast potluck in church I thought “wow, American people eat weird stuff! and they complain about us, Mexicans!” and then I pictured myself chasing a bunch of pigs trying to wrap them with blankets…  LOL)  Ok… that was a long parenthesis … I am a little random right now… too much caffeine? Maybe!

Anyway… So … I got sick in September, really sick… then hubby followed in October, then my oldest one, then my little one (bad ear infections, poor thing! Fever up to 104.5! Scary!) then I got sick, bad cold, then my little one got sick again, respiratory flu and then I got it… and that takes us to today… today I finally felt better except for some remaining congestion everything else was fine… I went grocery shopping but didn’t even shower… I was feeling totally in the dumps and terrified to even try to get dressed in “normal clothes” KNOWING in my mind I wouldn’t fit in there … not by any chance! So… my “dress style” kept getting worse and worse… raggedy clothes that I am embarrassed to admit I still keep… stained with bleach and all… that’s what I was wearing today… I was just feeling disgusted about myself… then, looking at myself in the mirror with my frizzy hair pointing at all directions, unplucked eyebrows and with red spots around my nose from blowing so often for so long… well… I still wonder how hubby still kissed me good bye every morning… (talk about being married to a godly man!) … But … I knew I was healthy enough to go to the store, so I did… praying to God that I wouldn’t see anybody who knew me and at the same time realizing they would probably not recognize me anyway. Then… I realized tonight is the Premiere for “Catching Fire” (the Hunger Games movie) and my ticket had already been bought a few days (weeks?) ago by my best friend… she called me to ask me if I am ok to go and I said yes (wondering if I could reverse some of the visible damage done to my image out of total neglect and abandonment!) So… just an hour ago I took a long shower, did everything needed to come back to the world where people change their clothes and brush their hair… And then… I started to look for my skinny jeans… even the name terrifies me… I remember buying them knowing that at least I am narrow and have long thin legs and we have to take advantage of our “better” attributes … so… I started to put them on… ready to start fighting, puffing, huffing and sweating… to finally cry in total devastation… But that didn’t happen… I just put them on like usual… I did my hair… my make up and I look… pretty! If I may say so myself! I even smiled like saying “hi! Where were you? I missed you” when I looked in the mirror. And I realize that I still have a long way to go with the way I see myself… with the way my brain makes me see myself… in my mind I was back to 223 pounds all over again… In my mind I had crossed a point of “no return”… In my mind I was the insecure, obese and LOST woman all over again… but I am not that… and I am not planning on getting there… I am wearing my skinny jeans and going to the movies… This was a great wake up call though… I felt strong and like “I got this” just recently… how could I get so far down in just a matter of days? I can’t be over confident… I have to be always watching it to identify the destructive behaviors that have damaged so much in the past.

So… I am going to the movies, the premiere is at midnight and I can’t wait. I look pretty, so pretty that I will pass on the popcorn and the soda. I deserve better.

I am the Thin Lady Inside.

Before things get completely out of control…

Ok… well… believe it or not…. Sickness refuses to leave my home… After my littlest one got better… she got sick again… First she had ear infections… later she had the respiratory flu… then I got it… and I am still sniffling here… I was so congested and just exhausted that I couldn’t even think of exercising… well… I must admit I considered it… so one night I got my clothes ready to go run in the morning of the next day… Of course I had no idea what I was talking about… in the morning I just managed to text my friend to cancel our run together… I was really, really sick…

So… for the first two or three weeks for disease here in our household I did pretty good all things considered… and then… all of a sudden… bad, bad old habits started to creep up… I blame it in part to the “not exercising” thing… Not that I can use it as an excuse but I do feel different when I don’t exercise and get my talk with my friend in the morning… the whole day feels “off” and at some point I just broke and haven’t been able to manage to get back in the groove of things… just today I had already eaten 1200 calories by 9 a.m. … my whole plan is to not eat ANYTHING else for the rest of the day… we’ll see how that goes!

So… before everything gets completely out of hand (I can already start to feel the emotional consequences of these days and the fears of being obese are overwhelming, devastating) I decided to vent here and try to gain control back…. some of it?

Thanks for reading… Thanks for your comments … if you read this… say something… I am needing a word… a kick on the butt? Something!?

The Thin Lady Inside

My sister’s progress

Hello friends! Since I can’t report any weight loss of my own for now… (don’t worry… I’m ok… still counting calories/exercising)… I am pleased to share with you some pictures of my sister so you can see her progress… I am just so proud of her!!! She is doing awesome!

Here are some pics… They’re not in order… (except for the last one, which is the most recent one) they were all taken at different moments, I am not sure about the timeline… but you can clearly see the difference compared to how she looks now

denise weight loss

Here’s the shot of her “NOW” on its own

JpegDoesn’t she look great? She’s doing an awesome job! I am so happy for her! It is great to have my sister to talk to about my own journey and know she “gets it” because she is going through her own weight loss experience as well!

I had to share!

The Thin Lady Inside

Ah! The sickness!

Hello everybody! (and by everybody… it’s usually Shadowrun, Dave and Jackie) … thank you for caring about me! I sooo appreciate it! And I care about you all as well! It’s just been a rough few weeks here… First my oldest girl got sick… just a bad cold… sleepless nights with her because she was so congested that she would have a hard time breathing at night, she would cry, cough, gag… and mommy… well… mommy was the best pillow she could find… as we started coming out of it… my littlest one followed… she is soo strong that she would be “ok” during the day, just cranky and moody… I thought it was all because she was fighting a cold… but she had a little bit of fever and then it would get even higher at night… more sleepless nights, fever, angry, crying, just very upset… after a few days I finally took her to the doctor, I was hoping it would be the same thing my oldest had and it would just “go away on its own” … but no… the doctor told me she had really bad ear infections! I felt so bad I didn’t take her in sooner… so, guilt combined with sleeplessness equals: mommy bawling at the doctor’s office… not pretty! then… she got better… but… of course it couldn’t stop there… then it was me! I got a very bad cold but I missed so many days running taking care of my girlies that I felt I had to do it! So I kept running until hubby said “You’re crazy! You’re not going today” LOL! I guess it didn’t make much sense for him to spoil me so much taking care of PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING and then me going out to run! LOL! 🙂 So yesterday I didn’t run… although I was finally feeling a bit better… Sunday was the worst! I didn’t do the 5k that I had planned on running -sigh- I was sooo looking forward to it!

I have gained a little bit of weight but I know it’s because of the lack of consistent exercise… I am still counting calories and I will never, ever give up… you can count on that… God is my strength, He is my comfort in the times when I might feel in despair… and my family… well… they are a great motivation for me to keep going… I never want to go back to my bigger prison… I still don’t feel like I am “where I want to be” but I can’t keep just mourning my lack of weight loss or I would get really exhausted and consider “giving up” so I am learning to enjoy where I am now… hey … I am so many pounds lighter than when I started… I wear jeans size 10… I can run!!!! I have to enjoy this… and in my enjoying “this” I find enough motivation to keep exercising and eating right… I would never want to live a sad, inactive life again (if you could call it a life) where I sit and eat and watch others DO what I would love to be doing… THAT is not an option anymore…

Thank you all for checking on me! I love you so much! You have no idea how much it means to me to come back here and know that YOU ALL are there! I will check on you all soon too.. I am about to leave for “Mom2Mom” event at church… I coordinate the “Mentor Moms” and later I will help with the food pantry and later some grocery shopping… and later… well… I’ll try to squeeze my run in there! But I promise I’ll check your blogs as soon as I get to sit!

Love ya!

The Thin Lady Inside