The Never Before Update

As of September 28, 2015, I have been working my spiritual, emotional, nutritional, and physical self. This holistic approach is what I believe is necessary for my goals to be fully realized.

God has been so good to make this process simple for me. I am a highly analytical person, so I have that personality type (A) that makes you want to overdo everything. I look for ways to make something that should be simple, hard. Yep. That’s me. I don’t need a 12 step program to overcome my bondage–I need God. He has been revealing to me through many different ways that simplicity is all that is necessary. While faith without works is dead, works doesn’t have to be insane and it should free you not bind you.

CharissaSo, I joined my local YMCA, which I TOTALLY love!! I had plans to use the pool primarily and not the gym, and I’m using the gym primarily and not the pool (yet). It’s interesting how God works things out. I have an awesome trainer, Charissa Dixon, who has already helped me so much before even beginning to work with me. This was a God thing, too. A relative of hers from my church had suggested that I work with her. By divine appointment, she’s the one that was in when I came by unannounced to join. While I felt no obligation to work with her as a trainer, after talking with her, I immediately felt a connection. I am expecting great things!

I use ActivTrax (through the YMCA) to develop my workout that I follow on my iPhone, and I get in the gym daily and hit it hard. I don’t hold back. When I walk in, I walk in feeling like I belong there, instead of feeling like I need to hide, shameful of my size. God delivered me of that, too!! There is no shame in Jesus’ name and His unstoppable love! I now realize that my body represents years of energy that hasn’t been used. It had to be stored somewhere! Well now, I am wearing myself out every day. I am burning that energy! And even though it’s just been two weeks, I can see a difference in the photos below–especially around my neck and face–that’s encouraging.

I have gotten messages from people stating that I have encouraged their own personal journey. If you’ve followed my blog very long at all, you know how happy that makes me. Knowing that I encourage others motivates me to continue for them and myself. I know what it feels like to be alone in a pursuit. Even if you don’t workout side by side, sharing posts and encouragement joins your two journeys together. I love being able to share with others how God is working in and through me and introducing them to His Son, Jesus. Without Jesus, none of what I do would be worth it at all. The liberty that comes through my relationship with Jesus is what ultimately frees me from all worldly bondage and allows me to see the truth of the matter. The comfort that I receive from the Holy Spirit helps me to overcome any negativity that may try to rise up in me. Praise God, I’m FREE!! And I can feel that in my body as well as in my spirit.

I pray that those who follow this blog will find that same freedom. If you would talk more about your journey, please message me. I look forward to hearing from you, and pray that God blesses each one of you!

week2

Doing The “Never Before”

I can now share with you what I am doing to change my health situation, but first, a little background to explain why this is so difficult. Aside from the financial ramification of this choice, there is a HUGE faith related reason for my decision.

I have been working since I was 16 years old. Very young, I had aspirations to be successful in business. I have to admit that anything I’ve ever tried, I have succeeded in doing and have done very well. Whether it was pursuing my real estate broker’s license making me the youngest real estate broker in the area at the time, or continuing my education as a first generation college student, graduating summa cum laude (with highest honors) and going on to earn the only master’s degree in my extended family on either side, there was a common thread that ran through all of my ventures–hard work, sacrifice of time and money, and discomfort.

Recently, God has revealed to me that I am not a stranger to hard work, sacrifice of time and money, nor have I avoided a goal because of discomfort. Working two and three jobs to pay my way through college, which required me to stay up all hours of the night completing homework assignments was pretty uncomfortable. It was definitely hard work and a sacrifice of time, and if you’ve ever paid for a college degree, you know it is definitely a sacrifice of money. He reminded me that there is NO door that He opens for me that He would not fully equip me to handle, so here comes the big GULP and deep SIGH of faith. You know the one that happens just before you step out onto a visual cliff. I can turn tail and run, or I can JUMP, so I…..JUMPED!

resignation-letterEffective yesterday morning, I resigned from my job. As I typed that, I felt like I was going to vomit for a millisecond. Yeah, that’s the feeling of stepping out of faith. It gets down in the pit of your stomach. It’s that feeling you get when you drive over a bump in the road too fast and leave your stomach at the top of the bump. Can you see the connection between my decision and my goal yet? Maybe not, so let me continue in just how this is going to play out.

During all of that time that I invested in business and education, I made some really negative health decisions. I stayed up WAY too late depriving myself of sleep causing a huge back log that I’ll likely never recover from. Being up all hours of the day and night, I had no rules for when to eat. I would eat when I was hungry, sleepy, bored, emotional because food was the quickest way to deal, and it could conform to any situation like driving, studying, etc. Food is easily accessible and very mobile, making it easily abused and misused. Needless to say, years of my focus being on my brain, my body suffered.

For at least the next 12 months, I will be a full-time student of good nutrition, health and fitness. No, I am not enrolling in a class for it. At least not right now. I will be attending the school of hard knocks. I am going to be giving my body, mind, and spirit a full-time job. It won’t pay monetarily. Financially, I will have to completely trust God (something I must admit I’ve NEVER done before). I feel wholeheartedly that God has led me to this place. He and I have stood at the door, and He said, “It’s ok. Go on in.” Faith is acting on something that you hope for–knowing that your action will not be in vain even though you can’t see the result (and you can’t see God).

It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. It’s like that zip line 200 ft up in the air that I would never in a million years ride down. It is like descending to 70 ft below water and taking a breath and your scuba oxygen being there for you to enjoy God’s creation at the bottom of a spring–I have done that! Yes, I know what it feels like. I have been a good student. I have been an excellent employee. I have ALL the skills necessary to be able to succeed in this goal, and I WILL DO IT by the grace of God.

So if you know me personally (or if you don’t), please think of the most terrifying thing you’ve ever attempted to do, and add to it you just left your financial security to pursue doing it, and please give me a shout of support. If you see me around town walking, working out, buying groceries, on FB, Twitter, or WordPress, stop and say hello. If you want to make the same leap of faith, hey, JUMP! The water is just fine!! You won’t be alone. Give me a shout and let’s continue on this journey together. This time next year we will reveal the great work that God has done in us.

Thank you God for your faithfulness and provision. I pray that all that I do will do nothing more but glorify you!

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.

 

 

Whole30 Ruined “Food” For Me

Used to, I could eat multiple portions of the most sinful pizza ever. I could eat large quantities of ice cream or other desserts.

I can’t remember how many times I whipped through a specific drive-thru just for their french fries, and would savor them.

Buffets? They used to be my preference because I liked being able to eat whatever I want to eat and go back as many times as I wanted.

This year my husband and I started Whole30 for my second time. I committed to a 90 day run of it, and we finished a 120 day run of it. From day 121-150, I became totally amazed at what had happened to me as a result of maintaining a Whole30 nutrition style for as long as we did.

After completing a Whole30, I didn’t return to eating what I used to think was “food”. I kept making the same Whole30 choices because they had become my new behavior, but then, we didn’t prepare our meat for the week. We didn’t do our typical produce shopping, so we stopped and picked something up for supper. KFC chicken that we generally really like, I sat down with my plate ready to enjoy my meal, and with bite one, I was so disappointed. I left the food on the plate, and it went into the trash. Burger? ughhh. Last night, I had a steak, sweet potato, green beans and a salad out with my family, and I only ate the steak and the green beans. The sweet potato was weird (and I love sweet potatoes). The meal was so underwhelming.

I’m ruined. Totally ruined. I can’t eat junk or fast food anymore with the same enjoyment that I once did. Do you know how much of a relief that is? For someone who has suffered with eating addictions for so long, it is nice to free from the need to stuff my face with a huge bowl of never-ending pasta at Olive Garden or all you can eat fried shrimp at a once favorite seafood restaurant.

For years, I have wanted to be free of this bondage to junk food. I felt tied up and bound by an invisible force that I couldn’t stop. I’ve said so many times in the past, “I don’t know what is wrong with me…I just can’t get control over this.” I am SO glad to be able to say that Whole30 has ruined “food” for me.

Thank you Whole30! You returned me to my first love of fresh food and produce. REAL FOOD. I can make do with a junk meal here and there, but I am not at all satisfied with it as I once was. I look forward to fresh tomatoes, eggs, and avocados for breakfast. I love freshly grilled meat made at home with love by my husband. I don’t miss sweets, although we do have them occasionally. I am so thankful to no longer be in bondage.

This is the type of ruin that I will gladly live in the rest of my life!

You Can Do ANYTHING for 30 Days, Even Whole30 ALONE

This blog post is in response to a question I received from Kayla commenting on, “Fresh Start.” Kayla asked if I Whole30 alone, or if my husband Whole30s with me. Let me start by saying, this is one of the great things about blogging. Meeting new people and helping to encourage them throughout their journey. As we’ll see through this post, you may do some things alone, but with others out there doing the same, you’re never really alone. Thank you Kayla for reaching out to me. I’m looking forward to our journey together.

The short and long of it…no, my husband didn’t join me on my first round. He did attempt, but after a couple of days, he said it just wasn’t for him. I completed the Whole30 and felt so good that I told EVERYONE about my experience. He decided he wanted to experience what I had, so he joined me Jan 1, 2015 for what turned out to be a Whole120. We started out with 30 days planning to complete at least 90, but continued on to 120 days. I must say, the experience was totally different with him making the changes with me. Much DIFFERENT.

I truly believe that everyone should take the journey at least once, alone. You really learn a lot about yourself during the process. You learn a lot about how you feel about the new foods your body is falling in love with. The first week was a little tough. Remember, your body is addicted to things like sugar, so it has a lot of adjusting to do. After week one, you’re home free. You’ll battle a little food boredom in week 3, but nothing bad. There are groups on FB you can join that share recipes. There are apps you can get for your phone like Nom Nom Paleo (LOVE IT). Not to mention the bookoos of blog posts, Pinterest pins, and Instagram photos.

My advice on encouraging the family to join in is to live your Whole30 experience daily in front of them. I’m the cook in my family, so what mama cooks everybody eats. My family loves food, so there weren’t a lot of things off limits. After 30 days of eating clean (even though not Whole30 for him), my husband benefited from my Whole30 experience. He had lost a little weight, and he was feeling much better. We got off track in December around the holidays, so it became really obvious what we were missing, and he was totally ready to join me.

January 2015, Jeff joined me for the complete Whole30, and now, he is saying things that I was saying a lot. Things like: I can’t believe how much of the grocery store I don’t even shop in. I can’t believe I ever liked ____. I had no idea how many things include sugar that you would NEVER think had sugar in it–like chicken stock. What the what? It’s in practically EVERYTHING, which made me ask the question, if sugar wasn’t in it, would we want to eat it?

June 1st started another official round of Whole30 for us. We ate Whole30ish and then more ish than Whole30, so it became more of Whish. 🙂 I was hurting in my stomach. I was bloated and had unbelievable gas constantly. My stomach STAYED messed up. Now, day 3 of Whole30, all of that is gone! I truly stop and ask myself, why, why, why do I ever eat anything else? I’m still gathering intel on that one. My life is like one big experiment for me. I’m constantly gathering information to see what I can learn about what I am doing or going through. Be sure to pay attention to those things in your life, too. It is invaluable information.

If by chance you have a family that just WILL NOT join you, and you’re not wanting the tough love route of “then cook for yourself,” it’s a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Cook what you can have. Let them take care of the rest. Share with your friends about it and get at least one of them to be as committed to it as you are or at least as committed to encouraging you. My friend Crystal is that. She doesn’t Whole30, but she knows it is what works best for me, and she encourages me to stick with it or if I’m off plan and not feeling well, she’ll tell me, you know what works for you–do it. Again, there are groups online like the main Whole30 page where there is constantly new information being shared. There are FB groups of individuals supporting each other.

One word of caution: as with any program, there are snobs. Ignore them. There are people who will want to chime in about how you could be eating MORE Whole30 than you are, or how something you picked to eat may not be compliant. BIG DEAL. Don’t get me wrong, it is important for your FIRST Whole30 to be completely compliant. You need that, but after that point, you’ll want to continue. You will feel so good that you’ll refer to the way you eat as Whole30, but it obviously doesn’t have to be compliant. Your research is over at that point. You will add food back that doesn’t bother you or sabotage your behavior.

While Paleo is the foundation of the Whole30 program, I choose to live closer to Whole30 than to Paleo. It’s nice to have a name for it, so I refer to it as my Whole30Life when I am not doing an official round of it.  So the final take aways from this post: Try Whole30 at least once. Be completely compliant. If you choose to Whole30Life, don’t fret the snobs. Find a buddy who supports your goals. If you still find yourself alone, you find me online. I do have an online group you’re welcome to join if you’re looking for a private support group online. You can do it. I had a lot of really strong food addictions and negative behaviors. If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT.

I’m happy to help. I’ll be your Whole30 consultant. 😉 Do it for you! You won’t be sorry!!

.

 

 

What Not To Wear – Motivation Edition

I’m sure you are familiar with the show What Not To Wear. Well this blog post will be a spin on that topic. Not because the fashion, not because of vanity but for motivation.

I’m going to focus on time that you have at home after work or on the weekend. How do you dress whenever you get home from work? Do you stay in your work clothes until time for bed? Are you like a lot of women (like me) who begin to shed the bra I soon as you walk in the door? Do you get out of your work clothes and into something more comfortable? Believe it or not, your answers to these questions can determine whether you will be motivated to exercise or not.

I have been thinking about this topic for quite some time. I decided I would do a blog post on the decisions that I make. In one picture you see a blue gown. In another picture you’ll see a workout outfit complete with shoes and Fitbit. The one that I choose will greatly determine how the remainder of my day will go. Let’s take a look at each of those hangers.

Hanger 1 is the blue gown. I admit when I am at home after working, I want to be comfortable.  After a whole day of being in a 44DDD bra, I am definitely ready to shed the bra. My shoulders have red imprints on them from the pull of gravity. My back is tired from that pressure also, so if I go home and change into that blue gown, then you can forget it. The most exercise I am going to get will be from moving around the house. This is generally the type of decision that I have been making until now.

Hanger 2 is the workout outfit. It doesn’t really have to be just a workout outfit. It can actually be my “getting comfortable outfit” too. The difference, however, is the bra because as I mentioned if the bra comes off all deals are off. Interestingly enough, when I put on the workout outfit, complete with my socks and my shoes, I am pretty comfortable even with the bra still on. Now, I say that having not been in the bra all day long, so just for long enough to take a walk and then get back in and get a shower and get changed into something comfortable I’m sure that would be okay too if it is a workday.

 Picture three. This is the decision I made today on a day off first thing when I woke up. I chose a workout outfit with my Fitbit, my socks, and shoes. As soon as I got my shoes on, something interesting happened. I filled up my water bottle and headed out the door for a one mile walk. I’m participating in a challenge from someone on FB, I Lost Big And So Can You, to walk a mile a day for 30 days. Since I do tend to be tired after work, my goal is to walk my mile at lunch during the week, or just before I pick up my son at the YMCA.

So I am motivated to get active, motivated by someone to walk a mile a day, and now motivated by the positive choice that I made in clothing. So let’s get moving. I’m glad that I made the choice I did today. While this idea of choosing the blue down or choosing the workout outfit was more of a theory for this blog post initially, testing it today showed me that what I choose to wear does have A LOT to do with whether or not I take additional steps. At least, it is true for me. Do your own test to see if it is true for you.

If you are that type of person who comes home tired and just wants to shed those work clothes and get comfortable, choose the comfortable workout clothes. That means that you need to have comfortable workout clothes. Look I know the struggle of not being able to find workout clothes. For a long time I was a 4X and a 5X in some sizes. Now, I am a 3X/4X. The point is that I kept looking and I found clothes that work for me. Since the pants I wear now aren’t available anymore, I will be buying a couple of pairs in the current size and the next size down once I find them again. I highly recommend Cato Plus. If you have suggestions, PLEASE share with us in comments!!

In summary, I am out to get healthy. Dress to impress your goals–not other people. Unlike the television clothes, don’t think twice about what other people think of what you have one. If it motivates you to exercise, wear it! Find clothes that work for you. Most importantly find comfortable shoes. Find things that motivate you and get moving. Let’s do it!

I Don’t Miss A Thing

outrunforkI’ve had people tell me that they wouldn’t be able to follow a plan like Whole30. To each person who has said that I have responded, “Yes, you can.” Because we, as a people, have allowed ourselves to be perfectly ok with full-time junk to fuel our body (no judging here–I was really good at it), we feel like we just can’t live without all of the things that we THINK we enjoy.

I remember making all types of decedent desserts. Many people purchased them from me when I was baking from home. I was a really good baker and very creative with sugar, flour, and CHOCOLATE. There were many of them that I would indulge in myself, so yeah, I get it. Are you kidding? You had to find someone to make it for you. I was able to make it for myself, and I did–way too much. I realized this was not a healthy profession for me.

Having a low tolerance to sugar and flour, I didn’t need to be consuming it regularly. I was tired of feeling the way I was feeling, so when I read that Whole30 was only a 30 day program, I said, I CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 30 DAYS. I didn’t know what that was going to mean for my baking business. I thought I would just slowly add things back and be in control of it enough to continue, but Christmas proved that wasn’t the case. I wanted to get healthy and feel proud of my accomplishment. I did just that!

So Margie, why are you still eating Whole30? Well, I’m not eating COMPLETELY Whole30. If this were my 1st Whole30 attempt, there would still be things I would be cutting out (although very little). I guess the short answer is that I don’t see any reason to add any of the things I eliminated back. I don’t miss it, so why add it back? Does it mean I will NEVER eat dairy, rice, flour, sugar, legumes or soy ever again? No, it doesn’t. It means that I will not make a place for those things in my home. It’s like vacationing with family. You love to visit, but you don’t really want to live there.

My home is a nutritionally safe place for my entire family now, and I intend for it to stay that way. Why would I want to change that? If I want ice cream, then we’ll make a choice of what type we want to have and have some, but it won’t be in my freezer at home, nor will it be consumed on a regular basis. What is really great is that even though we have allowed ourselves those choices, we seldom make them. When we do, we’re like, “well that was ok, but it wasn’t really all that great.” Our taste buds have changed, and yours would, too. You’ll give up things you thought you couldn’t live without and add things you never thought you liked. I’m serious!

You never think you can do without something until you do without it. A cell phone. Internet. Cable. Junk food. It’s all the same. Things that we have developed obsessions over. I’m glad that I’ve broken that obsession. The program helps you eliminate “snacks” and “grazing.” I personally needed longer than 30 days, but you may not. Some people do just 30 days and find perfect balance like the maker’s of the program. I’m sure it has a lot to do with just how deep you are in that obsession. I was pretty far.

So, don’t close your mind to the idea. It is by far the simplest program to follow. It is free. I do highly recommend their book because it totally explains why everything does start with food. If you take medication for things like high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, thyroid disorders, hormone imbalances, then you are spending a lot of money to provide medication that allows you to continue eating the way you do. You’ll be surprised how awesome you feel, and how your numbers will find their healthy place, eliminating your need for medication and saving you money.

If you suffer with auto-immune disorders, there have been rave reviews from people who are managing MS and others with this program. Really…30 days…you can do anything for 30 days, right?? A serious, true effort. If it does nothing for you, then hey, there are fast food places all around. Knock yourself out, but don’t knock it until you try it. I really think you are going to be very surprised and will feel like me–why add back what you don’t miss?

I am available to help you. If you live in the Waycross/Blackshear area, I am happy to meet with you to discuss this program further. I will also be offering other services (regardless of your nutrition program) on a fee basis such as meal prep coaching (in your kitchen), healthy shopping (what to buy/what to avoid–this is an in-store service), and development of behavior modification plans (for those who have long standing habits that need to be eliminated). These services can be one-time services or ongoing at your discretion. See me as your partner in the pursuit of improved health. We’re on the same journey! NOTE: Online coaching is also an option for those outside my area. Message me for more information.

The next 30 days will pass regardless–what would you like to have accomplished in that time frame?