Psychological WARdrobe of weight loss – HaliPawz

Losing weight has its benefits, and here is no doubt about it.  I think sometimes though, we forget that our body is going through more changes than just the loss of fat from our body.  As the pounds come off, we have to address a variety of things, things other may not completely understand.  For me, one of the hardest areas is my wardrobe.  I know this is more psychological than anything, but it is something I’m sure others losing weight may have an issue with as well. It’s like waging war with yourself, but no one is the winner.

I’ve lost 50 pounds so far.  While I am happy with the weight loss, I am still very overweight and I’m back on track trying to lose another 40-50 pounds.  I will share more about the “getting back on track” part later.  Today I want to address clothing.  I wear black pants and button up shirts with our company logo on them every day at work.  Seems pretty simple.  When I started the job a year ago, I paid close attention to the sizing chart Lands End provides with their business attire.  I made sure I selected shirts matching my measurements.  When I first started wearing them, they fit fine, they buttoned up ok, but when I sat down, I HATED the way they fit.  I do not usually wear button up shirts and I’m sure this is the reason.  They would pucker in the belly area, reminding me, and everyone else, I am overweight.  As I lost weight, the shirts slowly started to lose the visible pucker.  It was nice.  The only problem is I now look like I am swimming in my shirts when I’m standing up.  When I heard they were placing a Lands End order, I went ahead and had them order me one new shirt.  ONE.  Not five like I currently own, but ONE!  My rationale was, I’m not done losing weight so I didn’t want to use up my uniform allowance on shirts too big for me.  It sounded good.  I knew the truth though….I knew I didn’t want to go back to wearing a shirt which would pucker in the belly.  The shirt arrived, I took it home, I tried it on, and, yes, if I was being honest, I would say it fit me EXACTLY like the first set of shirts fit me when I first started losing weight.  The only difference is, I have five BIG shirts so I don’t have to wear the tighter shirt.

We were taking pictures for work so I wore one of my baggy shirts and brought my new one along to put on for the picture.  Again, my reason for the second shirt was because I knew we were doing the pictures later in the day and I have a propensity for spilling something on me and I wanted a spare shirt.  Let’s face it, we all know the real reason, I wanted the baggy shirt for comfort then change into the tighter shirt for pictures and THEN change back into my baggy shirt for the rest of the day.  It is a little ridiculous, I know.  I admit it.  Typing it here and now reminds me how silly it is, but it’s something I have to get past.

I own two pairs of black pants I wear to work every day.  I do a load of laundry every other day throughout the week.  I have one other pair in the same size, but they don’t have pockets, so I will only wear them when I truly forgot to do laundry.  The sad thing is, over a month ago I bought a pair of pants in my new size.  They fit great.  You can actually see my legs.  They don’t look like they are two sizes too big and dragging on the ground…..which, by now, I’m sure you can imagine is EXACTLY how my current work pants look.  I’ve worn them ONCE to work.  They weren’t baggy.  They weren’t loose.  They weren’t comfortable.  I felt like I looked fatter in them.

Please understand, body image isn’t really an issue with me.  I openly admit I’m overweight.  I’m not the type of person to wear a bikini the size I am, but I don’t feel it would be wrong to do so if I wanted to.  I just don’t want to.  I’m happy with myself and who I am.  I just can’t let go of the baggy clothes to wear clothes to fit my new size.  I’ve gotten used to the comfort of the ones I’m wearing and when they are tight, it bothers me.  I try to convince myself to wear them, because then they would be tight and it would motivate me to keep losing weight and I TRY to do it.  I look at them in the morning and think to myself, just wear them.  It’s how your clothes USED to fit you before you lost the weight and then I grab the more comfortable clothes.

I use other excuses as well, such as, I don’t have the money to buy a bunch of clothes in my current size only to have to buy more when I finish losing my weight.  Another one is, maybe I’ll like the smaller size and then get frustrated because I only have one pair.  The funniest one, to me, is well I can’t find the exact same pants I’m currently wearing and I don’t like the material of the new ones as well so I just don’t wear them.  I know it is all psychological.  I know the clothes fit me now like my old one’s fit me when I was 50 pounds heavier.  Perhaps just putting this down in words, sharing the craziness, will help me to realize it is time to start wearing some of the clothes to fit me today.

What are some of the psychological obstacles you face in your weight loss?  Has anyone else had trouble giving up their larger clothes?  I have given up a few pairs of jeans because they just would not even remotely stay up anymore and with my weird build, belts don’t really work.  Baby steps I guess.

No matter where you are in your weight loss,  remember someone has gone before you and someone is coming behind you with the same, or similar struggles.  Don’t give up.  If you get off track, just plant the seeds to get back on.

Every day is a new day, embrace it, and move forward! Paula Halifax Optician

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Do you want the icing or the cake? -HaliPawz

Sometimes it is important to take the time to make sure all of the ingredients are correct in the relationship before you add the “icing” to the cake. Remember, if you don’t put the correct ingredients in or cook for the right amount of time, the cake isn’t worth eating.  Once it’s done, it has to cool before adding the icing or it doesn’t stick to the cake.

Take your time and your cake will be amazing.

Why is my vision worse when I drink soda – HaliPawz

Why is my vision worse when I drink soda, or for my Michigan friends and family, when I drink pop? It’s a random question, I know, but the optician in me has been bothered by this question for a while.  

Since I have been trying to lose weight, I have not been drinking as much soda.  I still drink it, I just make sure to include it in MyFitnessPal calories, so when I do drink it, it is usually one can of Coke followed by one or more glasses of water. On rare occasions, I have a “I don’t care” day and don’t track all of my calories. These days are usually when I have plans with friends and I just want to enjoy myself.  Last night was one of those nights.  I had plans to go out with friends so I was careful to not eat too much during the day, keeping my available calories on the high side. 

Our plans changed slightly, so we ended up going to a local bar I had never been to before. They served Pepsi, not Coke. I would usually opt for water with lemon, but I wanted something more and didn’t feel like drinking alcohol. I had three glasses and no water for the night. 

I fell asleep on the couch watching tv, nothing unusual, but Bella, my Mastiff, woke me up at 3am. I still had lights on, the tv was loud, and I had to throw a load of clothes in the laundry, so I stood up to fix all of it and go to bed.  I looked out my patio door to see what the dogs were doing and noticed halos all around the lights.  My eyes felt heavy and dry, I couldn’t focus clearly on the clock. Since my LASIK surgery, I hate when my vision is blurry but I know it’s temporary. I really hate halos. I always notice them more after I’ve consumed a larger amount of soda (last time was after leaving a movie theater). 

I saw the pattern, the question still loomed as to WHY….now, common sense tells me it is because I’m dehydrated and dehydration affects your whole body, including the vision, but I wondered if there was more too it.  I began my Google search, since there is always an answer in Google, it might not always be right, but there is always an answer.  First five results were about caffeine affecting your vision.  Great! There are answers.  Until I started reading them. The answers were about a study showing where consuming coffee daily can affect your vision health. I’m not a coffee drinker but kept reading because I thought it might be the same thing, until I get to the line….

Researchers found that participants who reported drinking three cups or more of caffeinated coffee per day were at a higher risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma. The results were interesting though in the fact that they linked coffee consumption to exfoliation glaucoma, and ruled out other drinks and foods that were caffeinated.

The optician in me was interested in learning more about this study, but I wanted to stay on track. I found a blog where someone noticed worse vision after sugar binging since they went paleo. Of course, everyone went to diabetic conclusions, which I have been tested often for diabetes and I do not have it, plus my vision isn’t affected when I eat chocolate, only when I consume soda.  Still no answer.  

I then when to my scale, not that I wanted to check my weight after a “cheat” evening, but my scale also measures BMI, body fat, and water. 3:48am and I’m stepping on a scale. 26%. I knew it was lower then my typical percentage of anywhere from 33-37% but I realized I had no idea what it should be. Back to Google.  

Google Results for what should my water percentage be


50%!?!? I was currently at 26%. First thing I did mentally was set a goal, not only for weight loss, but to also get to 40% water; steps to the goal of 5o+%. After reading a couple articles, I realized my water percentage should go up as I lose weight, but I still need to step up my water intake in general. 

I think it’s safe to conclude consuming so much soda isn’t the sole contributor to my halo vision, but the lack of consuming enough water to counterbalance the soda consumption. I’m dehydrated, clearly, and my eyes are warning me to do something about it before it affects more of my health. 

Health through eye exam, hazel eyes
As an optician, I understand your eyes are the window to your health, so it is important to listen to what your eyes are telling you.  When your vision changes in any way, process what was different in your day, if you can conclude what the cause was, great, if you cannot, make an appointment.  It could be your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. 

So now I know, if I’ve consumed a large amount of soda, I need to make sure I also drink plenty of water. If you are someone who notices a lot of halos at night, you might want to check your water percentage. For now, I will drink a glass of water, put some Refresh in my eyes and get a couple more hours of sleep.

Optician PSA: Even if your vision is perfect, get an eye exam ever 12-18 months. It truly is so much more than just a prescription for glasses or contacts. 

Know what the band is playing before jumping on the bandwagon – HaliPawz

I recently watched a video being shared on Facebook regarding Donald Trump being a racist.  I know the intent was to show a protester not fully informed about the subject of his protests, but I saw so much more. 

The video – Black Lives Matter protester regarding Donald Trump

Video courtesy of Dennis Michael Lynch

  

Screenshot of Dennis Michael Lynch’s video regarding Black Lives Matter protester

As you can see, it has been shared over 8000 times. People are reacting in many ways to it.  

 This is an example of too many issues in our country today. Not just with racism or Donald Trump…we have a society where people jump on bandwagons without truly knowing facts. They follow crowds, spouting off “facts” that may or may not be true. Stop following others. Stop sharing things you do not know are true. Do your own research from sources OUTSIDE your comfort level. I’m not a Trump fan because he encourages the racial division and the violence that follows, because he knows it helps hype him up. He’s made a living over sensationalizing media moments and he continues to do it with his political campaign. Encouraging racial division for media sensation IS NOT the same as him being racist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I don’t know because I haven’t done enough research on that topic. I know he LOVES Omarosa for all the money she helped make him when she was on his show, so he can’t be 100% racist LOL. The point is….verify before you spout off. Don’t just be a follower. Before you jump on a bandwagon, know what the band is playing! 

#knowthefacts 

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

Unfair expectations of children set by adults who forget who THEY were as teens – HaliPawz

As I am sure in many families, when everyone gets together for the holidays, topics of discussion can range from the most mundane to heated debates.  My family is no different.  We started a discussion about some high school students who were “kicked off” their various extra curricular activities because of behavior their school deemed “inappropriate”. Short story, they got drunk at a party and got caught.  

I do not think teenagers need to drink and get drunk.  If you are a patent, it is up to you to have those discussions with your child(ren). My surprise was how the school chose to handle it.  As we discussed more, I learned many schools take this stand and I think patents need to step in and be more of an advocate for their child and stop letting this happen.  

It all stems from the fact that many students are required to sign a “code of conduct” in order to participate in the extra curricular activity of their choice. Allegedly, the students were reported drinking by another student and many of them were removed from their sports and academic events.  Because some of them were seniors, not only does it affect their last year of high school but could also affect their chances at scholarships, college choices, etc.  I found this to be a very harsh punishment for a mistake.  I went and researched other school’s published Code of Conducts and saw many of them clearly had their punishments laid out for first offense, second offense, and third offense.  None of them went right to removal of the student from the activity.  When I went to review the code of conduct for the school we were discussing, I found it interesting that the page had been removed! 

 

Code of Conduct Page Removed

 
Since I cannot comment on their particular code of conduct, I want to share some of my thoughts regarding a Code of Conduct and the punishments behind them.  

I understand playing a sport or doing an extra curricular activity is a privilege and not a right.  I understand schools have to right to set some expectations for those representing their schools.  My concern is when the expectation is greater for a minor than it is for adults.  Some of the CofC I read expected the kids to be perfect.  I wonder, how many of those adults responsible for WRITING the CofC would have been guilty of not following it when they were teenagers?

  
Another concern is the zero tolerance for making a mistake? You go to a party. You drink. One person finds out, reports it, and you’re off the team? Off Student Council? Is that really fair?  It was not a school event.  It was just teenagers being dumb. 

One CofC I read said you could not be loitering anywhere where alcohol or drugs were present.  I think back to my high school days.  My sister (college aged) would have a party when my parents were out of town.  I would be home and at those parties sometimes.  There was alcohol. According to these CofC, if a picture circulated with me there or someone reported it, I would be in trouble.  There doesn’t seem to be a gray area. 

Another question I have is; how are these even legal? How can they be upheld.  If an adult can not go into a legal, binding, contract with a minor, how can a school? I understand parents have to sign as well, but, in reality, there is no consequence for the parent, other than their son or daughter no longer being on the team.  

I understand there should be expectations and consequences for actions. I can see why the schools would have them in place, all I am saying is to take a step back and really look at the expectations and the consequences.  Does the punishment fit the crime? Are we, as adults, setting higher expectations for children than we set for ourselves? Are we teaching them there is no room for mistakes? 

At the end of the day, there is a reason the laws are different for those under the age of 18. Perhaps some adults need to review those reasons. 

The Confederate Battle Flag and the “N” word are not all that different but many may disagree – HaliPawz

racism, empathy

I understand I may make some angry with this post.  It is NOT my intent.  Please read the WHOLE blog before you form an opinion about me, about the flag, or even what your real argument is about.

I recently had a conversation with a non white male about the confederate flag and all of the drama around it.  So many people are focused on the Confederate Flag and how it represents so much hate and horrible ideas but as the discussion continued between the two of us, I stated to him the “N” word is just like the Confederate Flag and the conversation got even more intense.

His argument:  The Confederate Flag is a representation of hate and was designed around white supremacy, and therefore should be gone.

My Argument:  The Confederate Flag is a representation of Southern Pride and / or of country life, and has nothing to do with hate except for those who allow hate and racism to enter their lives.

His Argument:  But the history of it shows it represents something else.

My argument:  But history shows the true meaning of the word Negro and the “N” word and why it should not be used by ANYONE but there are those who choose to ignore it and give it  it’s own meaning.  How is the “N” word any different than the Confederate Flag, it’s just  different groups supporting the two sides.

Now mind you, I was driving across state heading from Michigan to Missouri so I couldn’t take the time to break it down with facts about the Confederate Flag and I wanted to refresh my memory of the N word before I stated facts.

Please understand, I am not trying to divide the races even further, but rather to get everyone to understand similarities exist, even when we don’t want to see it.

Let’s look at some true facts first…..the term “Confederate Flag” is used when people are talking about this flag:

This is the Rebel Flag, not the Confederate Flag

This is the Rebel Flag, not the Confederate Flag

But the Confederate Flag actually looked like this:

White Man's Flag

Actual Confederate Flag

William Thompson, who designed the Confederate Flag DID say it was the “White Man’s Flag” but the Rebel Flag, causing all the uproar right now, was designed by Willliam Porcher Miles.  Was Miles racist?  Probably.  He was a Southern man living during a time when the country was divided.  Yes, he was known as a slave owner, but so were some of our earlier presidents and key men in our history.  I’m not here to discuss slavery.

The history of the Confederate Battle Flag or Rebel Flag

The Confederate Battle Flag was just that, a battle flag.  It was NOT a representation of slavery, it was just the battle flag of the south.  There have been people saying it flew on slave ships.  Not true.  The south NEVER owned any slave ships.  Technically, the slave ships were from the New England State, the dutch, and the Portuguese, NOT the south! It wasn’t even a southern NATIONAL flag, it was JUST a battle flag.   When racist groups, such as neo-nazis and skinheads choose to use this flag as “their” flag, they are, in fact desecrating the Confederate Flag and technically have no right to use it.  There are southern men and women who lost their loved ones, their ancestors, who died under that flag flying.  While we may not agree with WHAT they were fighting for, they have every right to want to respect the flag that represents THEIR history.  You don’t have to agree with something to respect it.  Black men, of their own free will, chose to fight under this very same flag that everyone is saying represents white men only.  So not true.  There are a lot of myths surrounding the Civil War.  It wasn’t as simple as the north was free and the south was slavery.  It goes so much further.

One group you may want to study further is the “Sons of Confederate Soldiers”  and read their statement so many, including the media, ignored.

Before I get into my deep comparison, think of a tradition such as “jumping the broom” that was passed on from ancestors to today.  A white person living in a predominately white town may have no idea what “Jumping the broom” means, but that doesn’t make them hate it or fight to have it removed from the weddings of those who choose to keep that tradition.  Yes, I understand there is a difference between someone choosing to have a tradition at their wedding vs a flag flying high on a government building.  All I’m trying to say is to understand the meaning TODAY behind something before you get upset, not the meaning the media or hate groups want you to believe.

47% of those polled only think of the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of pride in the south.  They don’t even know the history of it other than that.

This leads me to the N word…..

Negro comes from the Greek word Necro meaning dead, empty of life, corpse.  Now, I can say I choose to never use the N word or the word Negro but there are those who choose to use it as a sign of empowerment, indicating that, by using the word, they are taking it back and taking the negativity away from it.  But it comes with rules.  It is not OK for EVERYONE to use it.  Who decides?  At the end of the day, some use it almost like a word of pride.  I personally don’t understand how a word representing death and empty of life is a word to be proud of, but it’s not for me to understand because it isn’t MY history.

At the same time, I would hope those who CAN understand the pride that goes with the N word for themselves or those they know would look deep in their hearts to understand how the Confederate Battle Flag can be a source of PRIDE for those with Southern Roots.

The south wasn’t the only one who owned slaves.  There was slavery in the north as well.  In fact, there were some slave owners in the north that tried to ignore the laws even after Emancipation Proclamation.

At the end of the day, we don’t have to agree with something in order to be accepting of it.  Try to gain a little better understanding of WHY one group supports something, even when you may not and ask them to understand the things you support.  By taking the time to understand and appreciate another point of view, there will be less knee jerk reactions to all situations.

All I ask if for you to think about it, consider what I’m saying, and try to understand a point of view different than your own; it might just help make the world, and relationships with others, a little better!

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When life gets too rough, take a nap – HaliPawz

dog, sleeping, couch

When Life Gets too ruff, take a nap

If you are anything like me, when things aren’t going the way I had hoped or planned, I don’t always want to deal with it right away.  Sometimes I want to sit back and assess the situation, consider my Plan Bs, or even Plans C or D! Unless it is critical, it is ok to sit back, take a minute, take a day, to get a game plan together before you move forward.  Just don’t procrastinate too much and let things escalate too much. Don’t run or ignore the problems because, as I have learned, they DO NOT go away!

It is, however, ok to take a breath, reasses, and “take a nap!”

To see more pictures featuring Bella, the Neapolitan Mastiff, Click Here

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz