Different Choice For Different Result

I am SO ready for something different in my life! I have been never had never doneworking on getting my physical health in check, and I have not had great success. Perhaps if I were just 20 pounds over weight, my efforts would be golden. Yes, I have experienced positive changes, but I am needing BIG results. Since I want a different result, I realize I am going to have to do something different. This quote has really been on my mind this past week, and it is becoming more and more obvious what I need to do. I have NEVER pictured myself doing this.

CHANGEI have always stayed away from things that made me feel uncomfortable. There are actually a lot of things in my life that could be different if I didn’t allow things to make me uncomfortable. Well, change is uncomfortable. It requires you to accept that you are letting yourself enter into a world that you have very little control over. This is where faith comes in. I’m grateful to serve a faithful God.

I have promised myself a change. This week, I do-something-today-that-your-future-self-will-thank-you-foram going to do something totally outside anything I have EVER done before. I can’t tell you what it is just yet, but I can share more with you tomorrow. God has really made it clear what He is wanting to do in me when I do take my big jump of faith, now to honor the promises I’ve made to myself and DO IT.

 

 

Hartwig and Powell Offspring?

hartwigpowelllovechildWhat do you get when you cross a Hartwig (Melissa and Dallas Hartwig) with a Powell (Chris and Heidi Powell)? You get Whole30CarbCycling, which is exactly what I am doing.

I tried this earlier, as you’ll notice in the category for My Health Fusion. I have added the two programs together to develop one that allows me to focus on serious weight loss, while still eating the awesomeness that I picked up through Whole30. I give total props to all of these people. They are awesome, and the development of their programs have helped me to truly find myself–in the health sense.

This past week of Whole30CarbCycling, I lost 2.9 lbs. I have been Whole30 since January 1, 2015, and my weight had stalled. I know many people are really close to their goal, and it alone works for them, but I have a lot of weight to lose. Not just a lot of weight but stubborn weight. Carb cycling works for the participants of the Powell’s Extreme Weight Loss, so I am going to make it work for me.

What plan to you follow?

Choose To Lose – Revisited

I have written a number of posts about various programs and fitness mentors that I really like. choose to loseAmong those is Choose To Lose – The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution by Chris Powell. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I took a stab at this, but it was right after my first Whole30, and I had a problem adding back carbs without eventually losing it (not weight) over sugar.

Now that I have been over 102 days, Whole30ish and without sugar, I feel like I can take another look at this program. The behavior element is in check now. I don’t feel like I need to push the envelope, or indulge in a full day “cheat” like the program offers you the opportunity to do. I realize this element was added into the program to make it a more sustainable program, but after Whole30, I don’t feel like I need “cheat” meals or cheat days. I do take “choice” meals from time to time, and we do take a “choice” day once a month. No cheating…just good, healthy choices that veer from our norm of Whole30 eating.

I thought I would have to forget the Choose to Lose program for good since I don’t eat grains, legumes or artificial or natural sweeteners, but after taking another pass at reading the nutrition section of the book, I see that you eat meat and fruit for breakfast (or meat and a starchy carb-sweet potato will work well here). Well, I can do the meat and fruit. No problem. On low carb days, it is meat and vegetables, and I do that every day. I feel like I can really do this! Incorporate both my Whole30Life way of eating and carb cycling–at the same time.

You may ask why I am wanting to try this again. Even eating Whole30 for over 100 days, I haven’t experienced weight loss to a degree that I feel I should be. Whole30 reduces your meals to just 3 meals a day. According to Choose to Lose, you need 5 meals a day (2 are snacks of course), to keep your metabolism stoked. I believe that people who are already near their ideal weight can do the 3 meals a day (Whole30) and still lose weight, but years of stubborn weight gain and a sluggish metabolism is just not responding to it. It’s time to try again.

Today, I stopped in at Curves and had her measure me again. For the most part, I am unchanged since January. Even given my awesome eating and recent added movement. It’s time to try something else that will not throw everything that I’ve accomplished to the wind but instead will build upon it.

I plan to incorporate the workout in Choose to Lose as well as the Wii Fit Plus running and yoga. I also accomplished a 1 mile walk for charity under 20 minutes. I am already planning to participate in my second one and I am marking them down on my calendar to become that “benefit walker/runner (eventually)” that you love to hate! 🙂 I actually want to start training, so I can reduce my time. Couch-to-5K has been suggested to help with that, so I will look at adding the app to my phone, so I can have some help in building the number of minutes that I jog instead of walk.

So my health fusion is growing. I’ll get my green back on with my green thickies soon. I do miss them. I need to prepare my sweet potatoes in advance for quick/easy morning use. If you’d like to know more about my health fusion, take a look at the categories section. I have more about it there.

I will also be looking to raise money for my Health Coach certification. It’s $600, which pays for the books, helps and tests. I do have a GoFundMe tab above if you would like to help me make that happen. I would greatly appreciate your help of any amount.

Burning Calories While Entertaining A Toddler

I joined my husband in a challenge to intentionally exercise 30 minutes for 30 days. We just finished our 90th day on Whole30, which means our nutrition is in check, but our fitness is WAY off. If the 30 day challenge will be as effective as the Whole30 challenge was, then I am very excited about what my life is going to become within the next 30-90 days (I’m sure we won’t stop at 30–those days are over.)

I have the challenge of working full-time (like most people), and then picking up our toddler who wants every bit of our attention, which we love to give. The problem with that is that it gives little time for us to focus on fitness. Today, I found a way to accomplish my goal of exercising for 30 minutes while entertaining him at the same time.

I decided to use the Wii Fit Plus Running exercise to begin getting myself used to moving faster than a walk. There are many benefits of doing this. 1) My son loves cartoons, so he watched intently thinking it was one of his shows. 2) I was able to exercise without him pulling on me to stop. 3) I hope it will teach him to exercise with me. 4) As I progressed in the game, I opened longer distances, allowing me to fill my 30 minutes with running. 5) I am building my endurance, so I can take it to the road.

I plan to pick this back up tomorrow. Let’s see what happens when he sees the same “cartoon” again.  Do you have a story to share about incorporating fitness when you have children? Share in “Comments.”

Whole30 Round 2 & Bulletproof

As many of you know, I started adding a few things back to my eating after completing the Whole30. There are some things I will most likely seldom to never eat again in my whole life because I now realize they don’t taste good. I was just drugged (by sugar/salt) to believe that they did.

After adding some grains back, I felt bloated almost all the time. I had several days that I had sugar in ice cream, and of course the hidden sugar in many items like salad dressing, basically everything that isn’t whole. Within 60 days, I finally felt totally out of control again. “It Starts With Food” does discuss the hormonal changes that happen in the body when you eat certain foods, so I am sure that starting my cycle also contributed to what would happen next.  It had been one week short of 90 days of eating well (for the most part) before I went totally crazy and felt something else was making my food decisions for me.

Once I realized I was making these choices while thinking “I know I don’t want this…Don’t order it…You’ll really feel badly after eating it,” and then ordering a LARGE version of it, I WAS SCARED OUT OF MY MIND! I have lost nearly 30 lbs so far this year. I NEVER want to go back to where I came from!! The fact that I felt something else was making decisions for me TOTALLY terrified me.

I literally began praying for God to give me strength to get back in line. I know He wants what is best for my body, mind and spirit, so I knew that I was not alone and could be reassured that He would give me the strength to get back on track. For those of you who have lived my life, you know exactly the terror I am talking about. I have been on a plan before and done exceedingly well only to totally fall of the wagon and not be able to get back on track for months or even years. It is like there’s something else that gets your attention and prevents you from realizing you’re in a bad place, then a year down the road, something reminds you of what your goals were.  You look back only to see a broken promise, last year’s date, and additional pounds on the scale. SIGH!!

Something I learned throughout my Whole30 journey last time was just how encouraged I was by grocery shopping, so I went shopping and EVERYTHING in my buggy was a whole food. NOTHING processed. Almost everything was fresh. For under $100, I filled my oven and refrigerator with fresh veggies and fruit, and the next day, I started my second round of Whole30. I say second round; however, this round may likely not have an end. Just two to three days in and I felt bulletproof again! I’m back! 5.1 lbs came off the scale quickly, so all of that junk that my body was retaining by adding the grains, sugar, and more and adjusting from my cycle–GONE. I am now just .6 lbs away from saying GOODBYE TO the 300s.

I CANNOT sing the praises of this program enough. I had horrible eating habits. I had horrible views of fitness and exercise. Just 30 days changed a lifetime of broken promises and has helped me regain control over what makes me feel good or bad. I am very thankful to Melissa and Dallas Hartwig for their time and dedication to this program and the continuous information that they share with us. I pray that God blesses their work exponentially in every way possible, and I hope to one day become a part of this program in some way. I would love to become involved in the further development of Whole30 and Whole9. I guess at this point, I know I can at least do that by sharing it with you.

If you’d like to read more about my Whole30 experience, check out the category for Whole30. I also will gladly answer any questions, or even help you get ready if you would like to try it out for yourself. Just comment, and we’ll get together on it. Now, off to be social, get outside, and go offline. Check out the Whole9 link to learn more about why that is significant to this post.

Reversing PCOS

Reversing PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) has been a life long goal of mine. Actually, maybe it wasn’t a goal of mine until a couple of years ago. It was more like a plague of mine. I felt that I could only HOPE that my symptoms would improve. In reality, on the inside I felt like they never would. I felt that I would be “different” than other women because of my PCOS diagnosis (at age 17 years old). Do you know what actually caused me to feel this way? A doctor who diagnosed me but never explained to me how or what I could do to change it. To me, at the age of 17, that basically meant that there was nothing to do about it.

Now, in all fairness I did have other doctors in my life who told me that I “just needed to lose weight.” To most readers, you’re probably nodding and to those with PCOS you’re shaking your head and saying, “They don’t have a clue what they are suggesting.”

For those of you who do not know what PCOS is–in my terms–it is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries begin to form cysts over the eggs in her ovaries. These cysts have been referenced by doctors as looking like a “strand of pearls” on a sonogram. I wouldn’t know because even though I was diagnosed at the age 17, I had never had a sonogram to check my ovaries (even though all GYN docs new my diagnosis) until months before I learned I was pregnant with my son (my only child–born one month shy of my 40th birthday).

This condition is actually brought on as a result of an overproduction of insulin, and no, it doesn’t mean that the person is or will be diabetic. I know. Very confusing. It is very common for the woman to become insulin resistant which leads to a vicious cycle of the pancreas producing insulin, causing problems for the ovaries, which leads to hormonal problems that cause bothersome symptoms that aren’t all that serious, while some  are heartbreaking. Some of the symptoms really hit a woman’s self-esteem like hirsutism, weight gain and difficulty losing weight even when using all the right measures, and infertility to name a few.

I feel that if my doctor had explained to me how this condition would change my life if I allowed it to, and explained to me how to reverse it, I HOPE that I would have done something to prevent all of the years of self-hate as a result of my symptoms. I guess the doctor that did tell me I needed to lose weight was closer than anyone else in getting me headed in the right direction. While the message was short, curt, and not well received, I see now that he was right. I should have listened to what he was trying to tell me, instead of responding emotionally to his words.

When he said, “you just need to lose weight,” I heard, “you’re a fat pig now do something about it.” In reality, what he was trying to communicate when he said “you just need to lose weight” was REALLY “you just need to lose weight–that’s all you need to do to FIX IT.” Back then they didn’t know all that they do about PCOS now, so I’m sure they were not aware of just how difficult it is to lose weight. It means you have to eat fewer calories than most people and you have to workout harder for the effort to burn the same amount as others do. It means it may take longer to get pregnant, and for some, it may mean never conceiving a child.

Will losing weight reverse PCOS? Honestly, I don’t believe that solely losing weight would lead to the complete reversal of PCOS. I do believe that it could minimize the symptoms. I think that life in general would be overwhelmingly better regardless, but being you ideal body weight doesn’t guarantee that you will never suffer with this problem. I know women who are very thin who have PCOS and had to have assistance conceiving children. Is it easier to live life with PCOS if you’re thinner? I can’t say because I have never been there, but I can say that common sense tells me that the healthier I am the better I will feel, the more productive I will be, and the more I will enjoy life–if spite of PCOS.

For those up for the challenge of trying to reverse PCOS, I highly recommend the book “It Starts With Food” and following the Whole30 program. I even suggest adopting the majority of that program for your life, permanently. It helped me get my hormones straightened out. I’m happy to talk to anyone who suffers with PCOS. I have researched most of my adult life on this topic. I understand your frustration and pain. I’ve cried many tears over it. I feel confident in saying, I believe those days of crying are now over.

Real Life Obstacles You Can’t Help

real lifeThere are real life obstacles you can’t help that can interfere with your health “process.” Whether you’re a pro at this or just getting started, we all are impacted the same by these “real life obstacles.”

Sickness

Whether your own or someone elses close to you, sickness can totally throw your whole routine off. My child has been sick now for about 2 weeks. At first, it was sniffles, then it was crying out in the night that kept me from being able to get my sleep, then it was doctor visits that interrupted my work/lunch schedule, and of course my attention, as it should be, was completely on him and not on me.

Well, maybe I should rethink that. My attention should be on him enough to provide for his needs, but in providing for his needs, I should have been making sure that I was providing for my own nutrition and hydration. I didn’t eat breakfast. I was just so focused on him. I wasn’t eating my snacks and forget about drinking water. I think one day, I may have finished the day with like 20 ounces of water. BAD, BAD GIRL! I know better than that. I have to be sure that in the future, I take care of me, too.

Travel

A friend of mine has been having a time getting on track and staying there because of travel. Some of the travel has been for fun, but the rest of it has been for work. Being away from home can definitely throw you off your game, but in her case, it may actually help her. Since she always feels the need to cook for hubby, which often derails her own goals out of sheer exhaustion at the end of the day, she finds herself eating the same things he is eating. He loves good, southern, “comfort” food. For some reason, he’s able to eat pretty much what he wants, but she isn’t able to do the same without paying for it on the scale. Being away from home will give her some time to get some of her plan in place. Maybe if you’re traveling for work, you can use it as an opportunity to get on track also–and use that workout room!

Be careful for those pitfalls of “special” eating when traveling. I think it’s important to pick 1 day or one meal for a couple of days that’s special. If you’re on vacation an entire week, those “special” days can set you back months of weight loss if you treat every day like a special eating day. It won’t feel all that special in the end.

Company

Oh, well look who’s coming to dinner. A lot of times, these special drop in moments end up at a restaurant. When you have a lot of different people to please, it’s much easier to do it with a menu that can offer variety. It would be really easy to cast blame on not being prepared for eating out, but you’re not new at this. Unless it’s a completely new restaurant, in most cases it isn’t, you know that menu and know what you SHOULD eat.

When this happens to me, the longer I sit, the easier it is for me to make the wrong decision. I actually start mentally preparing myself before we get there and try to order first (then I don’t feel the peer pressure). My mother-in-law and I went to Outback Steakhouse when we took a road trip to Whole Foods (my first time, and I loved it). I asked her if she would mind if I told them not to bring bread to the table. Fortunately, we have a lot of the same health goals. She agreed. We both chose wisely.  We were able to make good decisions, eat good food, in an awesome restaurant. It can be done.

It’s much easier when everyone has the same goals, so if you get a chance to pick your lunch partner, pick wisely. If you don’t get a chance to pick, be the first to order, so everyone alters their order based on what you got, instead of you altering what you need to get based on what they ordered. Yeah, you know we all do that.

Loss

The loss of a loved one through death or divorce/breakup, loss of a job, loss of a friendship, loss of an ability such as walking, sight, hearing, etc…the loss of anything of value in your life can COMPLETELY derail your health goals. During this time, it is MOST imperative to stay on course at all cost. I know that is really a lot to ask, but your decision to workout will release endorphins which will contribute to a happier feeling. This is really important because you are most likely experiencing depression at this point. You need those endorphins doing what they do best.

Eating well and sleeping well will also help you to remain strong enough to make it through this time. It is really easy to want to crawl under a rock, but DON’T. This is when you need to do the opposite–RUN INTO THE SUN. Literally, that is a good idea. Get in the sun! The vitamin D that you get from the sun will help to improve your mood. Call a friend and go for a walk. Try not to isolate yourself during this time. If necessary, seek help from a pastor or therapist. Prayer and meditation is also very strengthening. This too shall pass.

So if you find yourself experiencing real life obstacles you can’t help, you don’t have to let it totally derail your health/fitness goals. Stay strong. Be the example. Take care of you.