Sunday, September 11, 2022

Health & Fitness: Lesson 4 - Regularly measure your weight

Once you believe that you can do it, one of the questions that comes up next is what you need to do. 

The answer to that question is change. You need to make changes.Your current body is a result of your past dietary and exercise habits. For you to acquire a new physique, you need evolve your habits.

One of the first habits to acquire is the habit of measurement. This habit helps you to know where you are. The action is fairly simple: you step on a weighing scale, then note and record your weight. 

But if you are like I used to be, and you fail to take this simple action, then the way you might find out your weight is something negative happens to you to wakes you up. In my own case, it  was the shock that my weight had now reached 80 kilograms that gave me the jolt that moved me to embark on the journey to my current weight of 65 kilograms.

How I got to weigh 80 kilograms 

After my second child, I became mentally ill and was put on anti-psychotic medications. I could not work, and the doctors advised that I withdraw from social contact and social networks. I had bought a ton of books during a psychotic episode and one of them was a baking book. So I had the bright idea to start from page one and bake my way to end. I baked all kinds of cakes. And guess who ate them? 

At the same time, I wasn't cooking ; we were receiving care packages from one of my aunts. Lots of fufu, palm-nut and groundnut soups, fried plantains, beans stews, ampesi, banku,  okra stews, garden egg stews. The works. Now food in my family is a big deal and my aunt cooks brilliantly. So the food was plentiful and delicious, and I ate and ate and ate. 

How I discovered my weight 

One day, I went for my checkup at North Ridge Clinic, and they weighed me. And I was honestly astounded. Eighty kilograms?! Alarm bells went off in my head. I imagine everyone has some mental limit that we think is impossible for us to reach. Well I'm not sure that I ever decided what my own limit was but I imagined myself to be 60 kilograms so to be told that I weighed 80 kilograms was truly shocking. 

My first response was blame. So my husband had noticed that I had gained weight and said nothing? The poor guy assured me that the anti-psychotic medication was to blame - weight gain is indeed one of the recorded side effects. But as you know, dear reader, medicines can't hear. How could I blame my medicines?

I was not happy.

Lesson number 1: Build the habit of regularly measuring your weight 

But by discovering my weight at the doctor's, I had also discovered my first lesson. I didn't know it then but now that I have successfully gotten my weight to where I want it to be and kept it there for some time, I know that one of the secrets of people who are able to control their weight is regular measurement. 

People who are pursuing a healthy lifestyle always know where they stand. And weighing yourself is how you know your current position.

You don't need to wait for a hospital to tell you your weight before you find out. It's your body. You are responsible for it. And one of the ways you can care for your body is to not only invest in a weighing scale but to regularly use it so that when your weight starts creeping up, you can catch it early and do something about it. 

Fast forward to my current practice, I now have two metrics that that I track. 

How I measure my weight

I measure my weight on a weighing scale and I use a seamstress' measuring tape to measure my bust, waist, and hip measurements. The bust, waist and hip measurements are  an important addition because sometimes, our body gets smaller even though our weight stays the same, and these measurements allow us to notice that progress. 

I typically take these measurement on Saturday morning before I've ingested anything. And I record them in a simple excel spread sheet as you can see here. 

You will see that I have been lazy about tracking these days. That is because my weight is fairly stable. But I assure you that when I first started, I tracked every single week. I strongly recommend that if you're now starting out, you track weekly.

Please don't laugh at my goals. We're allowed to dream Abi??😁😁😂

If you have any questions related to this post, please share them in the comments and I will try to address them in subsequent posts. All the best on your own weight-loss journey!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Blog Reviews

 Thumbs down

  1. Sorry but it seems menopause has hit early for this Sarah Palin excuse for a ghana woman. Get a life and stop being so full of your damn self - Anonymous
  2. Esi or whatever your name is, I am rather disappointed in your lack of discernment. You seem very ignorant, inconsiderate and most of all unbelievable. I think you must really consider re-evaluating your sense of humor becasue you are stepping on others' toes. We want to be happy to read your blog and not see others upset over your ignorance. I'm sure you're educated enough; I know common sense is not common but use your brain! It looks like you resent certain people; free yourself from resentment!
  3. I found this podcast to be a bit disappointing & not at all funny.- Anonymous
Thumbs up 
  1. This blog is really interesting -a preparation of sorts for when I finally return home-   Miss Awo Akosua Kesewa
  2. You make me wish to be in Ghana rydi.  - MIghtTy African
  3. I always enjoy reading what you write - it's real, well-written and highly entertaining. Keep it coming!- Akyere
  4. I swear .. i have been here longer than you but u have reminded me of things i had forgotten kraaa wow was nice to read this piece.. got me giggling a couple of times too... nice - Nikoi 
  5. I love the way you write Esi its so humourous descriptive and informative. While ive only been to Ghana once you bring it all back to life for me - Paul 
  6. I'm feeling all ghana-romantic just reading about these experiences - Paa Kwesi
  7.  Your blog is awesome - anonymous
  8. Great blog..keep it up - Gerard
  9. Esi, you are a genuis - Anonymous
  10. Esi you write with such feeling and detail I fell like im back there - Pablo
  11. Maame Esi! Thanks for writing on these interesting subjects and observations. Interesting reading and so enlightening! thanks loads! cheers - Peaceset
  12. Esi, your blog is officially my distraction from writing a horrendous paper that's due tomorrow - Aya
  13. I really like the way you write, it kept me interested till the end. And i think the comments by others are also pretty interesting too - Eyuseh
  14. Esi, i must commend you on your style of writing. It sure keeps one reading till the very end. - Kwame
  15. I love your blog. I think it's a refreshing change from many of the ghanaian blogs I have read.- Anonymous
  16. Wow! From a literary perspective, it's one of the best pieces I have ever read. It has humour and wit aplenty!- Nana Yaw Asiedu
  17. Really funny piece! - Posekyere
  18. Aseda nkoaa! More of these!! - Paa Kwesi
  19. Brilliant. I thouroughly enjoyed that.- Thoughts of a Simpleton
  20. Have enjoyed your blog. This is my first time of reading it - Anonymous
  21. Still loving your great writing and loooong diaries.- Nana Yaw Asiedu
  22. This your blog is very distracting - Aya
  23. I just found your blog - and i loves it - emphasis on love - Anonymous
  24. Esi, I just added you to my favourites bar. I've been laughing for close to 2 hours and I'm sure my roomate is ready to kill me....LMAO - Anonymous
  25. This was so interesting, thank you very much! - Anonymous
  26. Chic, As usual you got me cracking up with this piece! Nice one. Keep it up! - Maame Esi
  27. Good work. You're such a leader in thinking.- Nana Yaw Asiedu
  28. Really Good Stuff. Hahaha. I could not help but laugh. I know exactly what you mean.  - RELATE
  29. Thanks for the funny blog post. You really made me smile - Oluniyi David Ajao
  30. Keep up the good work girl. Loving the blog.   - Nicola Sackey
  31. I love ur blog, brings back fond memories - Shels
  32. Good show Esi, your writing had sent me back a lot memories- i can write a whole book on it. - Nii Ayi
  33. ROTFLMAO. the peice and the comments are too funny. nothing comes to mind, i was pretty much a teacher's pet (sad to say cos now i have no funny stories to tell) but i really enjoyed reading this esp. earthkwake and broke african whose comments are longer than your blog, Esi. - Korkor Kugbenu
  34. Haha, funny post and comments!- Kajsa Hallberg Adu
  35. Another brilliant article "old" girl. i have had a very good laugh especially the comments were so hysterical.- Gift fate
  36. I'm laughing my head off cos you are hitting so close to home and I so agree with you. And after years of living outside Ghana in various more "progressive" countries, I still see traits of what you describe in my own living room!! - Anonymous
  37. I'm one of your blog-addicts. :-) - Nana Yaw Asiedu
  38. 'Our' blog shows so much promise! Outstanding performance!- Kayna5
  39. Hi Esi, this post as all the rest I think speaks to your blog's popularity, you have a very personal voice, a unique relationship with your readers paired with a lot to say! I especially get inspired by how you include your readers' voice, thoughts and ideas into your writing - since that is the ultimate advantage of blogging. Keep it up and please do continue to bless the Ghanablogging-meetings with your presence.- Kajsa
  40. This is so on point mahn, so on point!!!- Miss Ahenkorah
  41. OMG this is dead on and so funny Esi! - Ifeoma-Fobi
  42. With all this comment/contribution coming..... i just can't stop myself from laughing....mahn this is so so funny...Right on Esi, my first visit to ur blog and already "inlove with ur blog..- Nana Yaa
  43. Esi, this one is still hilarious, and easy to relate to....yet so true and I enjoyed reading it. It got me thinking too. Thanks for the post! - Anonymous
  44. Before i re-read this for the 100th time- i love the picture- simply excellent - Thoughts of a Simpleton
  45. Hilarious!! I just stumbled onto your site and I love it. I haven't laughed so much in a while! Great Posts!! I have read about 7 today already (and counting!)- Anonymous
  46. I love this!!!  - Merrymary
  47. Esi, this was a great, great piece. The richness of your charaterisation took me. It shows how much you've studied the family scene. Thanks. - Nana Yaw Asiedu
  48. I agree with NY, this was a wonderful post. So much content, including the Ghanaian expressions I can't learn from anywhere else. - Kajsa Hallberg Adu
  49. Esi, I came upon your blog by chance, but how interesting it's turned out to be! (actually too interesting I was meant to be working on an assignment way past its deadline, and you've set me back even more. -Aboks
  50. I'm still pondering this truth you've so elegantly put in words - Antye504
  51. Loving this podcast!!! You keep this up Esi and very soon we'll be clamoring for a "Time with Esi Cleland radio show." Seriously though, I think your voice is great for radio so if you're ever looking for a new interest... - Miss Ahenkorah
  52. I looooved listening to this! I agree with Miss H , you should have a spot on radio or something- you sure do have the voice for it. - Nyams
  53. Wow Esi your voice is very lovely. We your readers can now connect the voice with your great writings - The broke African
  54. Loved this podcast and it encouraged me to come out of my usual lurking mode to comment on my fellow Lizz Wright lover's blog.- Sankofa
  55. Loved this!!! Laughed all through. - Kayna5
  56. Esi, that was an interesting podcast, my college and I couldn't help laugh out. We said we were going to ask our female colleges before I play the podcast to them. That was an insightful topic. Am loving it.- Teddy
  57. i normally just read but i just wanted to let u know how much i enjoy wo se ekyir. esp. for a 'mama samo' in the making like me. lol. great job - Pam Dodoo
  58. This is an interesting and wonderful blog site - Suani-nausgal 
  59. that was great, you are fun to listen to, and i totally agree with you. This is my first time on your blog, i'll definately check it out from now on - Lucci
  60. haha! nostalgic! I've been meaning to let you know that I admire your descriptive skills! - Maxine Mosely Totoe
  61. I love this post! Very colorful, and I could completely relive the situation - AB
  62. What you describe here Esi, is def hands down one of the things I love most about Ghana. - Miss Ahenkorah
  63. Ah, one of these wonderful, wonderful posts for us Twi-students!  - Kajsa Hallberg Adu
  64. You just made me miss home. Its crazy how the littlest details can bring about the fondest memories. - Jemila
  65. Esi - that was a wonderful account that so charmingly captured the flavor of travel around Accra. - Kwei Quartey
  66. Esi, yeah! it's intriguing how you bring up lifestyles! - Novisi
  67. Oh this is one of my fave posts!I could go on for days about what you wrote...hehe... I love it.  - Maxine Mosely Totoe
  68. Esi your light-hearted look at Ghanaian eccentricities is really cool !!! I think I looove your cheerful voice and bubbly nature. You give us the opportunity to laugh at ourselves.Lol.  - Posekyere
  69. teeeheeeheeehee. Esi Cleland. You are hiiilllaaaarrriiouuusss!!. I just got of work and you destressed me with this podast.Keep em coming. - Kweku Bonsam
  70. I love love love this post. Very well sed - Irina
  71. Great piece again Esi.You tackle the thorny issues with amazing ease. - Kofi Asante
  72. Great post and so many interesting comments!!  - The Pale Observer
  73. My goodness, that's some good stuff.............. You should see me here. I'm on the floor.......... LMAOOOOOOOOOO- K Kusi
  74. EI!!!!! Walahi! Faf, Esi and co! I have never in my life laughed THIS hard ... EVER!!  - Golda
  75. Oh wow, thats all I have to say.WoW, too funny!- Nana 
  76. My goodness Esi this blog is a blast. it got me really laughing good - Anonymous
  77. My my.... I have always loved to have a good laugh but this just takes the cake... goodness... this is super hilarious... Keep up the good work :)! Just discovered your blog Esi.. it is just what I need.. love it :) - Sheridan
  78. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA, BOFROT HEAD FIGURE. This is too hilarious! hahahahahaha. i just read it again and I cant stop laughing. - Anonymous
  79. o Esi, thanks so much for this blog. You must NEVER EVER end it. - Miss Ahenkorah
  80. Hey Esi... reading your blog got me all excited since i recently started one. Its nice to know that Ghanaians are blogging on stuff about Ghana - Enyo
  81. I just wanted to tell you that I love reading your blog. I spent some time in Ghana last year and your blog helps to keep me in the loop with Ghana. Thanks for your opinions.  - Mac and Kelly
  82. AHAHAH THIS PAGE MADE MY DAY. - Angela Dela Amafu
  83. Lol!!! Esi i've enjoyed this!!!  - Rhoda
  84. Keep them coming - you definitely get everyone thinking and travelling down memory lane!!!--The Pale Observer
  85. oh ...i'm actually very excited...loving d post. - Shels
  86. This is great! Brings such fond memories Esi! Keep it up. - Odasani
  87. This blog definitely rocks big time and its made my day. I find it surprising how all of a sudden with the advent of globalization we seem to have forgotten all these wonderful aspects of our culture as growing up as a youth in Ghana in the 80's and 90's - Mytheo
  88. I've read the post over and over again. Great post & comments. -Kwabena
  89. wo yare paa, how can u make me laugh like that? -Nii Saki
  90. How can you not love Ghana? Great story - Nana
  91. Now that's a funny short story lol.  - Sankofapictures
  92. very nice story,i like to read more please and thanks that I learn few twi words through your blog - Alexandra Seifenwelt
  93. Now you got me homesick Miss Esi :)   - Kwadwo Ofori-Mensah
  94. i have a mountain load of work to do before tomorrow and the stress meter was rather high. this has brought it down significantly! I LOVE being ghanaian!- Seyram
  95. Hahahahahaa. Thanks for the laugh!  - Pak-Wo Shum
  96. omg..this is too funny. but true - Essie
  97. Very nice, will be back - Lady A
  98. Lmao! you got me rolling, each of them triggers a memory - Lucci
  99. Thanks for tickling my funny bone!- Essie
  100. Hahahaha! This made my day!  - Selali
  101. lol too funny. I am not ghanian, but i can relate.. - BSNC
  102. OMG! this is hands down the best blog of '09!  - Kwadwo Ofori-Mensah
  103. I'm glad to be part of this.-Mondoli 
  104. Great work Esi!!!! You bring some sunshine into my cold homesick moments!!!! :)  - Jemila
  105. Thanks for the great job and creating a relevant avenue for open-minded and cultured people with affiliations to Ghana. I love everything Ghana but it was getting exhausting trying to have a good conversation with our "elites" and "grown-ups":). Again, Thank you.- Nana
  106. I have been reading for quite sometime, but I'm the one who doesn't really leave a comment! I look forward to reading more. You are doing such an excellent job and thank you for explaining 'wo se ekyir'. I speak very little fante (my friends from college tried to teach me). I have a love for Ghana, haven't been there yet, but I will go soon!You are forever making me laugh, I like that...keep it up! - Lady A
  107. You definitely have a unique angle and we all love to read your blog. Thanks :) - The Pale Observer
  108. I stumbled onto your blog a little under a year ago and it's been a pleasure to read your tales of life in Ghana.  - Sankofa
  109. Ayɛ adze papaapa Esi! Wo blɔge yi ma m'aniwa gye paa! In fact, wo mmɔdzenmmɔ sɔ ani paa. Ɛma mefe me krom paa. Ɔwɔ dɛ yɛn nyinaara bɔ w'abado ɔsandɛ ɛreyɛ adwuma papa ama Ghanaman. Nyame mma wo ahoɔdzen, nimdze, na adwen na fa yɛ blɔge yi. Mbo!- MIghTy African
  110. I'm a year late but I'm going get caught up.   - Audrey Addaquay-Corey
  111. keep up the good work, you are inspiring many.- Femme Lounge
  112. Great blog. The truth is refreshing - always.  - Shum
  113. The problem is that nobody tells us to love Ghana. The question is why? And all of this is one of the reasons I love your blog and think you should never stop it. - Miss Ahenkorah
  114. I've spent an enjoyable morning visiting your blog. - Kofi
  115. I love your site fellow ghanaian sista- Tell It like it is
  116. I like! Great post Esi. - Awurama
  117. I always come never comment. But you impress me with the things you come up with. you wake up on the correct side of the bed every single day. Keep up the good work. you seem to be ahead of your time. - Quay Smith
  118. I have never been to Ghana, but I'm an American who grew up in and does business in less developed countries around the world. And your post was incredibly positive. It made my day.- Bill Reeves
  119. Great post, Esi. Your writing really gets to the core of what defines us as Ghanaians. - KK
  120. OMG! Sounds like it was tons of fun! I laughed all the way to the end. - Marian
  121. Interesting piece. Enjoyed every piece of it. - Donkrabbus
  122. This blog post and its comments make me sooo happy!!! - Miss Ahenkorah
  123. i've been secretly reading your blogs,and i think they're're awesome!!!...this particular one is something dear to my heart. - Anonymous
  124. I have been reading your articles which are very humurous and exciting which really allows people to know cool stuff about ghana.- Anonymous
  125. I love your blog. Keep it up! - Magatte Wade
  126. Wow, this is such a great discussion and there are so many issues on the table. I'm going to go ahead and dive in here. - MNO
  127. I love this post.- Gayle Pescud
  128. Esi, you have been my undoing this evening. i laughed, cried, neighbours probably wondered what the heck was going on......but i love it - Africa's daughter
  129. hehehe... Esi, you've just made my evening. - Serwah L
  130. Thank you. Your post has made me more determined to do what i have planned. You have motivated me.  - Lyrix
  131. Wonderful Post, Esi! I think I'll forward it to all my friends! - Lady Jaye
  132. thank you thank you thank you. i needed this today! - Anonymous
  133. I love your blog and though we do not comment much, your posts do inspire 3 hour + conversations. - Ama Kyei
  134. I know the last comment was a while ago; I just found your blog 'cos my sister shared it with me, and after reading a couple of posts, I'm officially a fan! It seems like the "comments" section are livelier than the actual posts, LOL. - Ankrah
  135. You hit the nail on the head with this post! - Grahamghana
  136. Haha. This was a lively one. I can sooo identify. - Marian
  137. You write beautifully and give even fantastic advice. - Nana Fredua Agyeman
  138. Love, love, love this post..!   - Here, there, elsewhere and more
  139. love this!! reminds me so much of my childhood. - Sushi

About this blog

I started this blog in 2008 as a way to document what, in my opinion, is glorious about Ghana. I shared my first posts with a few friends. They shared them with a few friends, and in two years, it had become one of the foremost blogs in Ghana and arguably, the most loved. It was written very much from the perspective of a returnee. 

After two years, however, my romantic notions of the Ghanaian experience began to fade as the not so wonderful realities gradually became evident to me. I deemed it wise to attempt to solve, rather than complain about problems. However, I did not then understand that my writing could be a tool to contribute to Ghana, and I certainly didn't know how.

I became an entrepreneur, and along with a friend, pioneered e-commerce and social-media marketing in Ghana. Even though that business failed, I committed to entrepreneurship as my career path, and went on to learn how to succeed at it. Now in my twelfth year, I can share that my journey has been long, difficult, and rewarding. 

Developing and implementing solutions to problems has proved to be an enduring interest. My career choice, my spiritual birth, marriage to a loving and supportive man, my role as a mother to our two delightful girls, and my relationships with my birth family, have challenged and stretched me, and as by God's grace, I have been able to find solutions to the problems I have encountered, I have grown. 

Although family obligations have necessitated a move abroad, there remains a piece of my heart reserved for Ghanaians. And so at this time,  I've decided to return to this blog for three reasons: 

First, my mind is teeming with insights about the problems I'm solving in my own life that I want to capture. An old email that a dear friend wrote me in 2014 is proving particularly apt at this time in my life. 

The email was entitled: "The advantage of writing". It read: "The palest ink is better than the best memory". Chinese proverb. 

As I age (I turned 40 last month), it is just the nudge I need. The best time to have written was in 2014 of course. The next best time is now.

I also find myself beginning to really enjoy my life. I'm exploring the world with an approach and verve that is distinctly my own. I would like this blog to become a space where I process all that is happening, share my lessons, and maybe even inspire you to become more engaged with your own life. 

Second, it is my hope and desire, that a community will once again form around this blog and that this community will discover and enjoy the hilarity of the older posts and at the same time enjoy the lovely balance that the new posts bring through their utility. A little play. A little work. And Jack is neither lazy nor dull. Perhaps more importantly, I hope for constructive sharing in ways that move us all forward.

Third, what compelled me to continue this blog rather than start a new one was that I discovered that not only is this blog still being read by more than one thousand people every month even in its dormant state, but that in fact, most of its readers are people who search specifically for it on google. I'm amazed and gratified. And also encouraged to grow it because I do not have to start building an audience from scratch. I can write for the already existing audience. Not only that, doing it this way allows me to live one of my core values which is being integrated.

The name maameous can be considered an anglicised form of Maame. It was my late Dad's nickname for me. It comprises of two elements. The first piece is Maame. The second piece is ous as in delicious. So it is pronounced maame ous with something like a French liaison between the two elements. For those who don't know me personally, my first name is Maame Esi. 

So with all that ground covered, welcome! Don't stay here too long. I'll try to keep the posts useful and concise so that you're not procrastinating here, but finding information that spurs you on to work on rather than avoid your problems.