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Amy Tracks Her Progress is my new blog. It’s more or less an online archive/back-up of my spankin’ new food/exercise journaling/progress tracking program I designed for myself by tweaking a food/exercise journal template I found on The Balanced Weight Management site . Go to my new blog and you’ll learn of how I tailored my new journaling system to work just for me (although it may help others as well). I’ll be keeping a Weekly Assessment page (which is also in spreadsheet form on my PC), as well as my journal entries (which are also saved as Word documents on my PC). It will differ from this blog in the sense that it’ll focus mainly on my personal weight tracking and thoughts regarding weight, whereas this blog’s topics have strayed all over the place (not that there’s anything wrong w/ that).

Also, I have a page on there with pics of myself at various stages of weight gain and loss since 2001. I’ve blocked out my face, as a personal safety and privacy measure (I only show un-masked photos on more “private” venues online where only people I know can see them), but it gives a bit of a visual representation of my battle of the bulge. It also helps me, because sometimes the number on the scale isn’t always the whole story.

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OK so today when I logged in my Top Searches said that the top search is “amy – passed away anorexia.” That’s mildly disturbing. This blog is not about anorexia or eating disorders, though I may cover the topic from time to time. It’s about me losing weight (and I’ve been obese and overweight for all of my adult life, so I hardly feel like I fit the bill for being diagnosed anorexic) and my observations and sometimes rants and raves about the misconceptions and societal weirdnesses surrounding weight and food. Just thought I’d clarify there…

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I lost a very dear and close friend the other day. He was like a brother to me. He passed away in an accident. He left us too soon. I will always remember him and miss him for the rest of my days. He brought a lot of brightness to my world and his spirit and memory will continue to do so for always. He loves a lot of people, and a lot of people love him, so I know he’ll be well taken care of. I miss you, brother! 😦

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OK so I posted last week after experiencing an illness of suck. The nurse practitioner I saw assumed I had a bacterial infection and put me on antibiotics. To be fair, my symptoms mimicked a lot of bacterial infections, like bronchitis and such. BUT, here’s the thing. After being on the antibiotic for a few days, my symptoms did not improve, they only worsened. What’s more, my roommate also started having the same symptoms and his duration of symptoms and such matched mine exactly. Not only that, multiple people I know had the same thing going on. Because of the duration and severity of the symptoms it’s leading me to theorize that people were actually experiencing a strain of influenza. I deduced that it wasn’t a cold simply because of the fact that people had high fevers and were down for the count for days on end, and with colds it’s not usually that severe. What annoyed me is that medical practitioners hand out antibiotics like candy. Antibiotics have saved countless lives for sure, but they’re overused. We all know what happens when you overuse these medicines: you lose your tolerance for them, and bacteria evolve to be able to resist them.

Overuse of antibiotics in the meat industry is very disturbing because people can actually become infected as a result of these supergerms infecting the animals that they eat. This is why I don’t eat that much meat, mainly because I want to purchase it from local, non-factory farms that not only treat their animals better during life, but they also don’t overuse antibiotics (some don’t use them at all). Also, check this out: Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health

SCARY SHIT. So will we allow antibiotics, which were once considered miraculous and lifesaving, to kill us all? Only time will tell. I would personally like to commit some activism to the cause of convincing both patients and doctors that they are not a cure-all for everything and to stop prescribing them unless they are truly needed. I also plan to boycott commercially-produced pork and only purchase it from a farmer I know who uses sound and sustainable methods to raise his pigs, and uses no antibiotics.

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Well, I woke up with a head full-o-snot and a sore, scratchy throat. So much for not getting sick. I have decided if I have something infectious, I’m not going to be a jerk and go to the gym and spread it around. But that doesn’t mean I get to slack off! I have a bunch of chores I should have done yesterday that I’m going to do this morning. I’ve already got the garbage and recycling out, and I have a kitchen that needs to be gotten into shape, as well as laundry going. And that aerobics tape that’s normally too easy for me? I’m going to do that today. I still want to exercise even though I’ve gotten the yuck, just take it down a notch so my body can still heal. Since I don’t feel any lung congestion, I feel like some cardio will still be safe to do today. I’m still optimistic that I won’t get as sick as others around me since I’ve been taking good care of myself lately, so I shouldn’t be absent from the gym too long. I just don’t want to spread my illness to others.

Yesterday I had a “cheat day” of sorts, but I still ordered one of the healthiest things on the menu where I went to eat w/ my folks. My parents like Jimmy Buffet (I don’t, haha) and recently one of his chain restaurants opened up in my city. They wanted to eat there. Most of the menu consisted of, well, cheeseburgers (“Cheeseburger in Paradise…” is one of his songs and the name of the chain). But they had some healthy stuff on the menu. I ordered the “chicken satay” skewers with terriyaki broccoli on the side. It wasn’t too bad. The chicken was the white meat marinated and grilled on skewers kabob style, and the broccoli was steamed w/ garlic and such. I couldn’t eat all the chicken, there was just too much for one meal (obviously) so I only ate 2 of the skewers and saved the other 4 for later (yep, there were SIX skewers of chicken, probably amounting to about 24 oz. of meat for one entree!). I plan on using the rest of the chicken in some sort of stir fry dish later. Anyway, I was proud that even though I was allowed to “cheat” I went for the healthier option anyway. The real “cheat” was the ice cream I had, which I couldn’t even finish because it was so sweet.

OK, I have 2 hours and 20 minutes til I have to leave for work, so I’m going to finish up the kitchen, do my exercise, prepare food, and get cleaned up for work. I hope everyone has a great, productive day!

In other news….I am a little worried. My housemate works for a small business which is suffering due to the poor state of our economy. He’s one of the upper managers, so I’m hopeful that his job isn’t in jeopardy, but it still worries me. If he’s out of a job, we won’t be able to afford our apartment – I can’t make enough money at my job to float both of us without some kind of assistance. So if everyone out there in blogland could think happy, positive thoughts for his business to stay alive, I’d really, truly appreciate it ever so much. Thanks, all! Peace and love!

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OK, I stumbled upon this article from June of ’08 on the UK’s Daily Mail site when I was searching for some inspirational stories. Basically, this is of teh $t00pid! It made me want to bang my head against my desk.

Basically, this is a story of a woman who entered a weight loss contest in the UK, and won. She let all her success go to her head and became selfish, vain, and greedy. As a result, her marriage fell apart and she lost access to her kids. Within this article, she blames the fact that she lost weight on her poor choices, instead of herself. Seriously, you have to read this for yourself!

Oh, how the stupid hurts my brain!

Thrilled by the chance to dress in fashionable clothes at last, she embarked on an extravagant spending spree – landing the family £10,000 in debt.

Dazzled by the compliments and new-found attention, she was drawn to the world of parties and clubs, while her husband wanted to stay at home.

Her euphoria turned to despair and depression as she lost her job, her marriage collapsed and finally she lost access to the children she adored.

‘I had never had any sort of attention before and I revelled in it,’ says 42-year-old Melanie. ‘I turned heads for the first time in my life.

‘The compliments went straight to my head, and as it changed me, everything that I held dear started to crumble.

‘Now, when I see slimmers beaming on the front of glossy magazines, my heart sinks. Having a new, slender body does change your life totally – but it nearly destroyed me in the process.’

There were only two comments in the article. One was giving accolades to Melanie for being a strong woman and getting what she wanted out of life, and the other one wasn’t so kind (which is good cause quite frankly he’s right).

This woman somehow blames losing weight for all her problems. Her problems however came about by how selfish she became, not due to her weight loss. Ignoring her family and kids, blowing all that money. The sad thing is she seems to still blame her weight loss and her newfound “fun and freedom” – rubbish! She said before she lost the weight her kids came first. Well Yes she is a parent, when you are a parent your kids come first, not going bar hopping with your co-workers.

I only hope he kids can come to terms with their selfish mother, and not blame themselves for what she did. I hope the father was able to be there for them and was able to fill in the lost hole.

It does mention that her husband was the sedentary type and enjoyed watching TV more than being active, and she found that she actually enjoyed her new, healthier lifestyle. That I can see being an issue in a relationship like that. But instead of trying to work through it, or maybe focusing her newfound energy and fitness on enjoying time with her kids, she became a vapid, selfish twat and partied and drove her family into debt for new clothes. I can see how her hubby might have had a problem with that, and why her kids might have had less respect for her.

‘If I see slimmers smiling from the covers of glossy magazines, my stomach churns, because they don’t realise that their entire life is about to change beyond recognition.

Melanie adds: ‘I’ve found happiness again, but I’ve learned a hard lesson. Would I have lost all that weight if I had known what was going to happen? No – it turned out to be the most costly diet in the world.’

Melanie has a new partner who is more compatible with her, and she’s repaired her relationship with her children (who are all either older teens or living on their own). That’s nice and all, but this pisses me off because it plays into Fat Acceptance’s ideals that losing weight turns you into a selfish and vain person. I’m going to set the record straight that while losing weight really can change a person’s life, it’s usually for the positive, and it is this woman’s already weaker character that caused her to let it go to her head, not the fact that she lost weight!

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