Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Put your happy health face on Mississippi!!!!:D

Hey y'all!!

How are you?! Have you asked yourself that today?? I highly recommend a daily emotional checkin with yourself. People habitually ask how we are doing as a form of greeting but if someone actually sat you down and asked how you were doing how would you respond? So when you can, ask yourself that very important question. It is so easy to get caught up in day to day life and worry about how everyone else is doing but don't forget about you!!!!

I find it interesting that as such a hospitable state with quite hospitable citizens we are actually one of the most depressed states.:( Not depressed as in we are a bad state because we rock but depressed as in the clinical meaning. Yes, you read correctly. Mississippi has the highest rate of depression in the US!!!! What?! I for one am deeply saddened by this. So why are a whopping 14.8% of Mississippians depressed? Well I have a theory.

As you may have heard Mississippi also ranks the highest in obesity rates as well. (Again I am not knocking MS but trying to understand the facts.) I wonder if there is a correlation between the high rates of depression and obesity. I also wonder what percentage of depressed Mississippians are obese. A person is obese if he/she has a BMI of 30 or higher. (It is more accurate to measure body fat % but for explanation purposes I'll be using BMI. The BMI of a person at normal weight is 18.5-24.9. Hugeeee difference there y'all. And we have the most overweight people of any state in the US AND the most depressed people of any state in the US! Coincidence? I think not. I think people are either obese because they are depressed and emotionally eat in an attempt to feel better and/or people are obese and have low self confidence causing the onset of depression. Either way it IS preventable, fixable, and everything WILL BE OK!!!!

I have been depressed. I am currently being treated for depression and have been recovering since I was diagnosed at 16. Shortly after my diagnosis I gained weight. I was not overweight but enough weight was gained to confuse my positive self image as I had been super tiny before. This is where the vicious cycle set in. I became more depressed. I gained more weight. More depressed. More weight. I am now technically obese according to my BMI. I still battle self image and self worth issues because of my weight but now that I have taken control of my weight and my depression has gotten so much better. Now I have reversed the vicious cycle!!!!! Less weight. Fewer symptoms of depression. Less weight. Fewer symptoms of depression. Long story short.... Choose your cycle!!!! With help and treatment your vicious cycle can be reversed and made into a happy cycle!!!! I don't care about these stats because it angers me to be called the depressed fat state but because it saddens me that so many of my fellow Mississippians are unhealthy mentally and physically.

Being there and still being there has proven to me that we don't have to be this way. If you need help or support seeking treatment for obesity and/or mental health please email me at haley.e.moon@gmail.com or comment below. I'd be happy to help as much as I can and if needed refer you to the right people. Let's be the happy health state y'all!!

<3 Haley


Monday, September 10, 2012

TRI to be Healthy!!

Hey yall!!

It is lovely here on the MS Gulf Coast today!! I'm feeling pretty lovely myself too!! Yays!! It's been a long while since I've felt this good. I actually wanted to share some information I received this morning with yall in case you haven't been feeling that great either. Here is a link to a quiz that evaluates how well you are living with your depression: Quiz!! Maybe you don't have depression but should you stop reading this post? NO!!!! The tips given throughout and at the end of this quiz are wonderful for ANYONE seeking to improve their quality of life. Although you may not be diagnosed with depression or have any severe mental health issues, improving your quality of life even in the slightest is simple and quite worth it in my opinion.

One of the tips given in this quiz is consistent exercise. I personally have noticed a HUGEEEE change in my mental health since I have started exercising consistently. I have also cut back on comsuming starch because I have insulin resistance and PCOS (I learned recently that cutting back on starch helps to reverse insulin resistance and thus, the symptoms of PCOS). The combination of these two new habits have been extraordinary!!!! In fact, I am able to focus my time and energy on training and this helps me be more motivated to choose foods that will fuel my workouts and improve my mental health. The best encouragement for weight loss, health lifestyle changes, etc. is the immediate improvements you can see and feel.

In fact, I just competed in my first triathlon this past Saturday. It was such a challenge in so many ways but I am so happy and proud that I finished it!! I was actually getting panicky before the swim started and had to use my newfound breathing techniques and self encouragement techniques to calm myself down, which I did. WIN! I had to plan my meals and snacks carefully so that I would not get sick during the race which motivated me to eat healthy and nutritious foods. WIN! Lastly, the pride and confidence I felt in myself at the finsih line was the best gift I could have ever given myself. WIN!

I truly believe that  exercise and healthy eating are marvelous for mental and physical health but I also believe that competetive activities such as marathons and triathlons, in which the focus and work you have successfully committed to culminate in pride and confidence, are some of the best ways to deal with mental health issues. Races, in my opinion, aid in improving the quality of life you have in so many ways. For example, allowing yourself to commit and focus on a goal as simple as finsihing a race takes your mind off of your overwhelming sadness if you have depression. Or it could take your mind off of your hectic schedule for the day and provide you some "you" time. Focusing on finishing a race also takes your worries off of weight loss if that is a challenge you are facing. For if you consistently exercise to promote the achievmeent of your goal, which is to finish the race, and learn to eat to fuel those workouts weight will come off naturally at the proper rate. I really believe all these things to be true and I have already noticed the immense benefits of making such lifestyle changes. I encourage you to do the same whether or not you are dealing with depression, PCOS, or insulin resistance. Every one deserves to live the best life possible. Why not give that gift to yourself?

Have a healthy day yall!!

<3 Haley

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Hey yall!!

I hope you are having a fabulous day!! I just finished a pretty awesome 2 mile run!! How have you moved today??

I wanted to talk to yall about irradiation. Irradiation is the process of exposing something to radiation. You may be thinking I thought this blog was about nutrition and exercise and mental health?:/ Why are talking about irradiation?! Well turns out A LOT of the foods we eat are irradiated in a process called food irradiation. We actually discussed this process in my Food Science class. It is something that I had actually never heard of so I wanted to bring it to yall's attention in case you haven't heard of this process either. There are many pros and cons to food irradiation. I don't want to make any opinions for anyone but I do think food in its most raw form is probably always the best way to go, at least nutrient wise. However, irradiation does remove a significant amount of microogranisms and prevents premature spoilage. These sound like great things right? Yes, they are but while they do these great things for us they also remove vitamins and enzymes key to everyday health. So should we eat irradiated foods and support the continuation of this process because it removes pathogens and just take a vitamin and hope for the best? Or do we fight the continuation of this process and research other methods of food preservation? We could all buy organic foods but I know these are not always readily availble and they are often quite expensive. How much money is too much to spend on a long and healthy life, though? Health is wealth after all. Again, I personally am pretty torn about this whole process because of everything I said above so I am going to leave it to yall to form your own opinions on it. I just wanted to bring it to your attention so that you could at least make an educated choice when purchasing the foods that will be fueling the lives of you and your families!!

Below are some links with information on food irradiation. There is a link for the USDA which promotes food irradiation and then a link for Organic Consumers which promotes the end of food irradation. I would suggest looking over both sites before forming a solid opinion.

Reasons to be for it: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Irradiation_and_Food_Safety/index.asp

Reasons not to be for it: http://www.organicconsumers.org/irradlink.cfm

P.S. This is the symbol that will be on food packages if that food has been irradiated.
Mad Cow: Stop the Madness! (http://www.organicconsumers.org/irradlink.cfm)

Let me know what find out there and what you decide. I'd love to read about your opinions!!!! Happy shopping and remember to look for labels. If you do not know what a symbol means, google it. For you never know where you food has been, how its been treated, and how it might affect you in the long run.

Happy shopping!!

<3 Haley

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Run Happy!!!!:D

I ran a very challenging but very nice 2 miler today!!!!!:D I've got a longggg way to go for my Disney marathon but I keep thinking about how absolutely wonderful it will feel to cross that finish line!!!!!!:D What are your fitness goals for the next 6 months? I am also starting a strength training regimen to prep me for the figure model competition I plan on doing next fall!!!! Have a happy and healthy afternoon y'all!!!!

<3 Haley

Take 2!!!!:D

Hey yall!!

If you read my first post hello again!!! I apologize for going sooooooo long without posting anything else. If you are new to my blog then welcome!!! If you do read my first post it's basically discussing how I want everyone to achieve optimal health and thus, happiness. First I wanted to achieve for myself which is why I started the blog.... to share my journey of achieving health and happiness with others. Well I'm not going to lie. I lost myself for about a year but now I am back and more excited than ever to share my journey with you. FOR REALS this time!!! I'll be doing so via video and posts. I am still studying to be a registered dietitian and am now a personal trainer (in the last update on myself I was studying to be a personal trainer). I also teach dance which I love and am still a group fitness instructor which is super duper fun!!! I am researching and studying TONS so I plan on sharing what I learn with YOU in hopes that some tid bit of knowledge I pass along can help YOU reach your goals of health and happiness. Alrighty, I am going to go plan my posts and research some more so I will talk to you lovely folks later!!! Have a happy and healthy day!!!

<3 Haley