My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou


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Science (Again) Shows It’s More Complex Than Calories In < Calories Out

This is a research article, written for professionals, so it’s dry & full of blahblah, but the take home point is weight loss is not a simple math problem.  It is actually a very complex math problem, because I’m good at math & even took physics in high school (I know, you’re all impressed!) but it gives me a headache to look at.   Though, TBH, I have had a terrible headache for the last couple of days.

Here is the abstract from the article:

One of the most pervasive weight loss rules is that a cumulative energy deficit of 3500 kcal is required per pound of body weight loss, or equivalently 32.2 MJ per kg. Under what conditions is it appropriate to use this rule of thumb and what are the factors that determine the cumulative energy deficit required per unit weight loss? Here, I examine this question using a modification of the classic Forbes equation that predicts the composition of weight loss as a function of the initial body fat and magnitude of weight loss. The resulting model predicts that a larger cumulative energy deficit is required per unit weight loss for people with greater initial body fat – a prediction supported by published weight loss data from obese and lean subjects. This may also explain why men can lose more weight than women for a given energy deficit since women typically have more body fat than men of similar body weight. Furthermore, additional weight loss is predicted to be associated with a lower average cumulative energy deficit since a greater proportion of the weight loss is predicted to result from loss of lean body mass which has a relatively low energy density in comparison with body fat. The rule of thumb approximately matches the predicted energy density of lost weight in obese subjects with an initial body fat above 30 kg but overestimates the cumulative energy deficit required per unit weight loss for people with lower initial body fat.

What is the Required Energy Deficit per unit Weight Loss?

Weight, gaining, it losing, whatever is a very complex & personal thing.  And I do find it baffling how we can so easily believe some people are just bone thin & that’s it, but find it impossible to believe that some people are just naturally fat.

It made me sad today when I was looking at a picture of a very thin young man, & my first thought was “he must be an anorexic or something”.   We have reached a point where all bodies are suspect.  Not only if being fat considered a crime against nature, but being thin makes you disordered.  If someone isn’t too thin or too fat, how often do we hear about what sorts or surgeries they must’ve had?

Overall the standards for women have gotten to be so thin, I think they want us to disappear all together.  Or at the very least, be too weak to fight back.  It scares me.

I don’t want to be a size 0, I just want to be my best, healthiest self, who feels positive about life.  To that end, I have been working on something, which is going well so far.  I will be blogging about it soon.  Maybe Tuesday.  (Today is my birthday!)

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Gene Might Boost Risk for Obesity: MedlinePlus

Scientists have discovered a genetic mutation that makes some people more prone to gain extra weight from a high fat diet.  They make mention of the regulation or appetite & the production of fat cells, but I’m not sure they are exactly saying this gene mutation is responsible for that, or if they just meant they were studying those areas in general.

They even have a test for the mutation.  It costs $200.  Not cheap, but less than I’d imagine.  Can’t say I’ve been price checking genetic tests though.

Not sure what you could really do with this info, since high fat diets are generally considered unhealthy anyway.  It could be a more severe issue than this article lets on however, so a greater intervention that just not eating a high fat diet could be needed.  But either way I thought it was interesting.  Who knows what this could lead to or what they might find next.

Gene Might Boost Risk for Obesity: MedlinePlus


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“Depression can seem worse than…”

Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem.
~David D. Burns (Brainy Quote)

I like this quote & wanted to share it.  Depression is often compared to illnesses like Cancer, but one thing that separates it from those is Depression robs you of the will to get better & even the hope that things can improve.  It’s hard to remain motivated to make any changes when you can’t believe they will make any difference or that you can even be successful.

That is why having a good support system is so vital because you need someone to believe & have hope & be motivated for you.  Someone who can gently nudge you to take  care of yourself, but be there to care for you with love & understanding when you are not even ready to take that step.


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Oxytocin – Yes Please

Just read this article & I think it sounds very interesting.  I especially like the delivery system of a nasal spray.  Hurray for not another pill to take.

“Previously, studies of healthy individuals have shown that intranasal doses of oxytocin reduce activation of brain circuits involved in fear, increase levels of eye contact, and increase both trust and generosity,”

Early clinical data also indicates oxytocin may help women with anxiety disorders.

“A hug or a touch that causes a release of this hormone might somehow change brain signals,” MacDonald said.  “We want to see if we can harness this response to help patients who suffer from depression.”

Treating Depression with the Oxytocin, the Love Hormone | Psych Central News

The article was brief & lacked a good punchy snippet, so I put together a bit of highlights there for you.

Currently, I am not on any anti-depressant atm, because my psych is still tweaking my mood stabilizer.  That’s cool, but if I don’t get one soon I may murder myself on her desk in protest.  I have been on a higher dose this month, & have actually felt worse, more blah & unmotivated.

I have exercised very little, despite the unseasonably nice weather we have had & the fact the long loop I preferred has finally opened back up after last year’s tornado damage & finally dried up from January’s flooding.  C’est la vie.

What I have been doing still is binging.  Thankfully, I just don’t seem able to manage the quantities I used to, so that’s good.  I am still eating more of unhealthy foods than I should.  Often I feel like a bottomless pit.  I am driven to eat regardless of hunger & do not feel like I can ever get full.  No amount of food satisfies, but rather I eat until I feel numb, or run out of food.  Whichever comes first.

As I said before, I am not following an diet plans or rules, I am just eating & trying to make better choices.  I have been eating more fruits & veggies.  My current favorite snack is sunflower seeds with dried cranberries; sweet, crunchy, & filling.

I had gotten into daily sugar munching mode, which exacerbates my binging & general bad eating patterns.  For the last three days though, I have not had any sugary snacks.  It is not by plan or by rule, I just realized one day I had did not eat any sugary snacks the day before & decided to just roll with it.  I can have them if I want them, but I really do want them to take a step back in my life & be the daily habit they so easily become.

I have been visiting a forum for over eating & binging, & someone there recommended xylitol as a sugar sub.  It is said to be good for your teeth & also good for sinuses & ear infections.  My research into the matter has my intrigued.

Hope everyone is doing well!  I have group therapy this week (blah, but maybe I’ll participate) & my next psych appointment is in a couple of weeks.  I expect a dosage change, up or down I’m not sure.  Hopefully we’ll get it right soon, so I can get an anti-depressant.  I am sure I need one.


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Sugar High: The Dark History and Nasty Methods Used to Feed Our Sweet Tooth | Food | AlterNet

I thought this would be of interest to others dealing with sugar addiction, etc.  It’s not going to make me give up sugar, but it does make me feel guiltier about eating it:)  But I certainly did learn some things about sweeteners in general & sugar in particular, its history especially.

It’s six pages long, so honestly I did not read them all.  I read the first two pages & skimmed the rest.  IMHO, the first page is the most interesting, but that’s how articles usually are.  If you put the best stuff at the end, no one would ever that far.

The comments had some interesting information regarding alternative sweeteners.

Sugar High: The Dark History and Nasty Methods Used to Feed Our Sweet Tooth | Food | AlterNet.


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I think one of the hardest things about clinical depression, as opposed to situational depression, is the discord between what you feel & what you know.  I know that there are people who love me & would be sad if I stopped living, but in my dark times I am unable to feel that no matter how much I try to remind myself.  No amount of rationalizing or remembering or looking at pictures can stop the endless sense of being alone & unloved, uncared about.  It’s a horrible feeling.