Thursday, February 26, 2009

Re-Post; Little Steps/Locked Away

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dear Aunt Babz,

I am 20 years old and obese, and have lived with my grandmother all of my life. Ever since I graduated from high school at 17, my grandmother has tightened down on me... I got a "job" with her older gentleman friend, taking care of him. $40 a week is all I get... and my grandmother gets all but $15 of that. I am not "allowed" to get another job, and even though I've tried many, many times to get a job without her consent, no one will hire me around here. I'm not allowed to go anywhere, talk to anyone on the phone, or anything else other people my age find "fun". I've been living like this for three and a half years.

I've been sent to what people around here call a "crazy house" (mental rehab facility) several times because of false reports on her part ("He was trying to kill himself", "He threatened to stab himself") and I am always blamed when something goes missing, and was even yelled at when my cousin who I loved very much and was great friends with had a heart attack because it "was my fault for treating her like I did".

Three years ago I met the most wonderful person in my life via the internet and have established a strong, strictly monogamous (and possessive), loving relationship. We've promised to be married as soon as I get away from here. She can't do anything for me either because of her situation (he parents are much like my grandmother; we are both of age but still under the strict rule of a matriarch). I am not second-guessing our relationship, how much I love her, or the fact that I want to go to her.

I want out. I've gotten a friend of mine to help me GET to her in another state... But I have no way of getting money or a place to stay when I do. I honestly have no hope of saving money for that purpose either. I can't stay with her because of her parents. I can't afford a place of my own. Should I go homeless until I can get a job? Apply for welfare? I don't know what to do. But I'm not staying here.

Dear Locked Away,

I have no idea how you are doing what you are doing... wow. Incredible strength to live a life like yours, I just can’t fathom and completely understand wanting out.
I do want to suggest that you talk with your grandmother about what you want to do though, and tell her that you are going regardless of what or how she feels so she has the choice to either help you and support your decision or to shun you, which would be horrible for you. Explain that she has indeed raised you well, and you appreciate the life she has sustained for you and her, and you love her. But you need to stretch out and explore life, you need to live your own life, and you want her to be a part of it. But you need to do this, with or without her.

Reason I say to do this, there are two. One, is she will be worried sick if you up and leave and she has no idea what happened. Something could happen to her, which you would never forgive yourself for. Two, you owe it to yourself to stand up and take control of your life and not just run away. This is going to be the defining moment in your life, where you will look back and say “I did it, and this is my life”. You will want that moment, believe me.

I do not recommend being homeless, that’s for sure. So you need to be a little bit more proactive. Being homeless isn’t just not having a place to stay. It’s no food, no shelter, no where to keep clean (which drastically diminishes your chance at finding and keeping a job). It’s not a good route to go. And she is in the same predicament, so I don’t see her moving out of her house to live on the streets as well. Thus destroying any hope of happiness you two so want.

First things first, you have access to the internet, so use it! You can apply for jobs (there are plenty of minimum wage jobs out there to give you some experience and money, and you may need to work two jobs for the time being to get your footing) on-line, and you can look for a place to stay (like a half way house or boarding house that you can pay for daily instead of monthly like most apartments). Look around the area via on-line and see what you can do and how to survive before you do anything rash.
Get your girlfriend involved with your search, make a plan and be smart about the choices you make. You will have a great life, if you are not afraid to take the steps, and are wise enough to stay clear of the wrong ones.

Good Luck,


Dear Locked Away,

I have a strict rule within our little society, to never read an answer given by another staff member before I post it, simply because I do not want to be biased or swayed from or in my answer. This allows me as well, to look towards my own resources for my very own opinion. But damn if I wasn't tempted to look at Xmichra's answer to you. I'm almost at a loss for your answer. I will pray for guidance and wisdom in my words to you.

You are definitely in a very precarious position, one which seems to have no out. But one thing I have learned as I look back on my life; Even in my darkest hour, at the worst possible moment and situations, I can see there were always, always choices. You just must look for them. As well, sometimes it takes pure unadulterated resilience to make a change.

You must take little steps to this change, make it one day, one moment at a time. The first step is to a healthier you. You say you are obese, well, a good portion of America is obese and part of that is because we have lost touch with what it is to eat right. Once we begin to eat wrong, eating the wrong things become a "Craving." You will crave the saturated fats, you will crave the refined sugar, Debbie Cakes, Twinkies and the lot. Yes, your body craves the poison you put into it. Once you become aware that this is happening and make a conscience effort to change it...believe it or will begin to change.

Most people fall when they diet because they don't know how to properly diet. You seem reasonably intelligent so I urge you to do your homework, study yourself; Why do you eat? What do you eat? How are you eating?

I don't claim to be a diet guru and I sure as hell don't know all the answers. In fact, I don't always practice what I preach. I am 5'3 and 135lbs. That means I am not obese but I have been. In order for me to lose any weight myself, I had to take notice of a few things. It's just a few simple observations that changed some things for me. One of those observations was that if we listen to our bodies, instead of our bad habits, deeply ingrained, thing begin to change.

In example; I noticed that those children that were of normal height and weight, my own children, in fact, do not eat if they are not hungry. Their bodies, their own metabolism tells them, "Hey, slow it down there Mister." You can put their absolute favorite food in front of them; pizza hot dogs, chips, cake, whatever and if they are not hungry, they will not eat it...until they learn bad habits.

So, ask yourself; "Have I ever eaten just for the sake of eating, even when I wasn't hungry?"The start of even a tad bit of self control will begin your journey in this change. You start with every time you eat, do not eat the last bite. I'm telling you, if you can do this you will begin those little steps to a new you. Next step you leave two bites and so on.

Another way to this self control is to use a smaller plate and only eat what you put on that plate, leaving that last bite and so on. As well, to begin a diet and this self control thing I'm talking about, in your diet, you may have that slice of pizza, ya just can't eat the whole damn thing. Go ahead and have some ice cream that you might crave, just don't eat the whole box and only have one scoop. Yes, I'm giving you permission to eat some of those things so you don't argue with yourself. It's just all got to be in moderation.

I'm telling you that you can do this. I believe in you. Whatever Grandma is feeding you, eat it in moderation. See, Grandma comes from the old school, where food is comfort and a good women feeds her men. I know because that premise is deeply ingrained in me. When my sons come around, the very first thing I do, even unconsciously, is offer them something to eat. It's what we do. That's Grandma's way of saying I love you. But she's loved you so much, it shows, huh? Think about that, ok?

Little Steps

"Most of us want what we want when we want it and dammit we want it right now."

Yes, I know you want out of this/your situation right this very minute. You may even be a bit peeved because we haven't answered you until now. I do apologize for this as we are running behind, it is my fault. But you've come to this juncture, not over night and the journey out will and must begin will your own mindset.

I'd like you to begin to look into the resources which may be available to you. I've read your letter several times and what really reaches out to me is the part where you said;

"I've been sent to what people around here call a "crazy house" (mental rehab facility) several times because of false reports on her part ("He was trying to kill himself", "He threatened to stab himself") and I am always blamed when something goes missing, and was even yelled at when my cousin who I loved very much and was great friends with had a heart attack because it "was my fault for treating her like I did"."

This situation, whether you realize it or not, may be used to your advantage. See, any time you are admitted or evaluated for Mental Health, you are given, either a Case Manager and/or a Therapist, Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist, etc., etc. Now, find out who they are and begin to use them and your situation to your advantage. It will be named, just for you, " Using the System" to your advantage. Sometimes if we don't fight the system and go with it, it is a productive and possibly helpful situation.

In your scenario, you've fought the system. You were sent there against your will and I'd be willing to bet you were down right pissed off because of your involvement with Mental Health. Why don't you turn this around to become a positive experience. Contact your worker or therapist and tell them exactly what is going on. Ask them for help and let them know that it is not, your situation, conducive to your mental state of mind. After you've said this, they will have pretty much do what they can to help you or at least steer you in the right direction. To start; simply ask if there are any resources available.

If you can not do this and you insist on breaking the chain and must move right away, find out where the shelters are in the area you want to go to. Now, this may not be the most pleasant of situations, most shelters are not the best environment. The reason for going though is that when someone goes to a shelter, they open up a "case" for you. They will then try to help you relocate. There will be available resources for you in this situation, I do believe. Walking into welfare and asking for help, especially in a new state will not get you too far right away and I do believe you might get more help by going to the shelter.

If all this does not work, I most assuredly welcome you to write us again, state the existing problem and what you have done and we'll take it from there.

I wish you only the very best...

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

From Real Food For Real People

~The Cabbage Soup Diet~

The ABC's of a Negative Foods Diet
Many years ago, my Dad shared a book with me by the Monk, who invented this diet. The man had been an overweight Scientist, before becoming a monk. In his research, he pooled all his knowledge about Metabolism, Calories and Negative Calories.

He came up with the

"Cabbage Soup Diet". He warned the reader, that you would certainly lose weight in the first week but you could not continue to eat this soup, by itself. He had become malnourished, himself. He made it clear, that after the first week, you must eat a sensible diet and suggested, eating the soup before your lunch and dinner.

My Dad, Mom, Husband and I, all lost weight on this soup diet. But why?

This soup ingredients has a consistent negative calorie content. What is a negative calorie?

Definition of Negative calorie diet

Negative calorie diet: The Negative calorie diet is a weight loss concept based upon the premise that consumption of foods with a “negative caloric effect” (meaning that the calories burned by chewing, digesting, and eliminating the food are greater than those contained in the food itself) will lead to rapid weight loss of up to two pounds per day.

Negative calorie diet works from the starting point that body has to burn energy to digest food. If more calories are consumed burning the food than that is contained in the food, you get a negative calorie effect.

Here's a list of negative foods;

list of negative calorie food Negative calorie list for vegetables


Fennel *

Aubergine *

Gourd *



Cabbage *

Lettuce *


Marrow *

Cauliflower Peppers
Celery * Radish *
Chicory * Spinach
Cress * Tomato *
Cucumber *


Negative Fruits


Mandarin orange

Blackberry *

Melon Canteloupe *



Clementines Plums

Raspberry *


Rhubarb **

Guava * Strawberry
Honeydew Melon Tangerine
Lemon *


My Recipe

1 lg head Cabbage

2 lg cans Tomatoes

1 stalk Celery

3 lg Onions

1 bunch Carrots

2 lg Green Peppers

1 lg Red Pepper

3+ cloves Garlic chipped

*4 Chicken or Beef Boullion Cubes

In a large pot, fill up half way with water and boullion cubes. Bring to boil. Cut, chip, slice your veggies and bring to a boil. Begin to simmer until tender. Add salt and pepper or whatever spices you might enjoy. I like cracked pepper in mine. I also like a few *optional things to jazz it up such as *1 lg can white boneless breast and *Mushrooms or Spinach.

The Cabbage Soup is an all-you-can-eat-cabbage-soup diet which claims that the more cabbage soup you eat, the more weight you’ll lose. The diet’s so-called fat burning soup contains negligible calories so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight. The Cabbage Soup Diet states that by adhering to the Cabbage Soup Diet for 7 days will result in immediate weight loss.

How Does the Cabbage Soup Diet work?

On the Cabbage Soup Diet, individuals are encouraged to eat as much Cabbage soup and consume as much water as they want. Other foods are involved as well but their intake is severely restricted. The cabbage soup can be eaten as many times but it is not recommended that you eat soup only as it can result in malnourishment. Drinking 7-8 glasses of water a day is also recommended. The Cabbage Soup Diet’s 7-Day plan is easy to follow, however dieters are asked to consult their doctor before following this 7-day meal plan:

If you have a special occasion coming up, or you simply need to lose weight fast, the Cabbage Soup Diet may be just what you're looking for.

Although not suitable for long-term weight loss, the Cabbage Soup Diet is a low-fat, high-fiber diet that will help you get into shape fast before you embark on a more moderate long-term eating plan.

Pros and Cons of the Cabbage Soup Diet

Pros: You'll lose weight fast, and can get as much of the foods listed in the program as you want. Although the diet is only for seven days (and shouldn't be adhered to for longer), it provides a great "kick-start" for a more moderate diet.

Cons: Some people find the soup bland. Some people have reported feeling light-headed, weak, and have suffered from decreased concentration (although some who have been affected in this way felt it was well worth it, since it was only for a week and they had lost considerable weight).

Personal Note: If you're SERIOUS about losing weight, I would URGE you to check out a brand new concept I just found out about :

Fat Loss 4 Idiots

This diet actually works BETTER than the cabbage soup diet, and it allows you to lose 9 lbs every 11 days ... while eating many of your favorite foods.

Sound impossible? I thought so too, until I tried the amazing new method known a "Calorie Shifting", which actually "tricks" your body into burning fat.

Believe me when I say this will blow you away! Click here for more info ...

What the Cabbage Soup Diet is NOT

The cabbage soup diet is sometimes referred to as the "Mayo Clinic Diet", and the "Sacred Heart Hospital Diet". Interestingly, this diet has nothing to do with either the Mayo Clinic, nor any Sacred Heart Hospital we know about.

The Problem With Most "Mainstream" Diets

Most diets - especially "mainstream" diets, and those recommended by major medical institutions - work slowly but surely, resulting in around 1 pound of weight loss per week.

This "slow and steady" way to lose weight is certainly healthy, but suffers from one significant drawback : most people get discouraged and quit whatever diet they are on if they don't see results quickly.

Seven Keys to Success

1. Follow the diet religiously.
2. Drink at least 4 glasses of water per day
3. Keep in mind that it's only seven days
4. Complement the diet with a good multivitamin tablet
5. Print the information on this site so you can refer to it daily
6. Eat plenty of soup - as much as you want! Do not try to starve yourself or you'll probably cheat and break the diet
7. Try different spices to liven up the soup and add variety
Here's other versions, I found online;

The Cabbage Soup Diet
Also called "The Dolly Parton diet," for reasons that are shrouded in mystery, this 7-day diet really does work--in the short term, anyway. And there's a great purity to it--especially in the summertime when it's wonderfully refreshing served ice cold. Ingredient proportions can be varied according to your likes and dislikes. If you're interested in recent studies on the efficacy of soup in diets, click HERE And please read to the end of the recipe where you'll find testimony and great ideas regarding the diet from soupsong readers.

Okay, are you ready? Here we go:

* 1 head cabbage, shredded or chopped
* 2 large onions, chopped
* 16-28 ounces canned tomatoes, chopped
* 2 green peppers
* 4 stalks celery
* 1-2 packages Lipton onion soup mix, or any dry onion soup mix (optional)
* black pepper
* any fresh herb(s) of your choice, chopped
* 6 carrots, sliced
* 1/2 pound green beans, sliced on diagonal
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)

Put all vegetables in a big pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, stir in the soup mix (if desired), and boil gently for 10 minutes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Stir in the black pepper and chopped herbs (saving some for garnish).

Eat as much of the soup as you like, as often as you like. Drink as much water as you like and non-caloric drinks including coffee, tea, and herbal teas.

Here's what else you can eat, and when:

DAY 1: All fruits except bananas.

DAY 2: All vegetables, raw or cooked. This includes baked potato with a LITTLE butter.

DAY 3: Fruits and vegetables, but no potatoes or bananas.

DAY 4: Bananas and skim milk--eat as many as 8 bananas and drink as many as 8 glasses of skim milk.

DAY 5: Beef, skinless chicken, and/or fish--as much as 20 ounces, total. You can also eat 6 tomatoes. And you must drink 8 glasses of water. Don't forget at least one bowl of soup.

DAY 6: Beef, skinless chicken, or fish and vegetables. Drink 8 glasses of water and eat at least one bowl of soup.

DAY 7: Brown rice, vegetables, and unsweetened fruit juice.


Cabbage Soup Recipe

* 6 large green onions
* 2 green peppers
* 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
* 3 Carrots
* 1 Container (10 oz. or so) Mushrooms
* 1 bunch of celery
* half a head of cabbage
* 1 package Lipton soup mix
* 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional)
* 1 48oz can V8 juice (optional)
* Season to taste with salt, pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc.


Slice green onions, put in a pot and start to saute with cooking spray.

Cut green pepper stem end off and cut in half, take the seeds and membrane out. Cut the green-pepper into bite size pieces and add to pot.

Take the outer leafs layers off the cabbage, cut into bite size pieces, add to pot.

Clean carrots, cut into bite size pieces, and add to pot.

Slice mushrooms into thick slices, add to pot.

If you would like a spicy soup, add a small amount of curry or cayenne pepper now.

You can use beef or chicken bouillon cubes for seasonings. These have all the salt and flavors you will need.

Use about 12 cups of water (or 8 cups and the V8 juice), cover and put heat on low. Let soup cook for a long time - two hours works well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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