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!

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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!!

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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?

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.

Getting Over Myself

This journey has been a long one, but wow, has it been worth it!! While I have overcome many obstacles to this straight and narrow of great nutrition and consistent exercise, now it’s time to get over the biggest obstacle of all — ME.

Yes, I totally get in my own way, CORRECTION, I DID get in my own way. Note the past tense!! I am conquering that obstacle now.

I need to get out of the way of my vision. I need to open my mind to what the future does indeed hold for me. With the knowledge that I have of where my journey is going, I need to begin preparing for the future. I was feeling like I needed to wait until my body reflected the changes that I’ve made, but that is a lot of wasted time. I shouldn’t wait to change my mind about myself just because others haven’t changed their mind about me yet.

SOOOO, I am preparing to take the BIGGEST step in my HC-Elite-iPadjourney. Maybe even the bravest step in my journey. I am going to pursue certification as a Health Coach. EEEEEKKKK!! I just typed that in black and white! Yes, I DID AND I AM!! What an awesome way to further support my health goals than to further educate myself about health, fitness (Crystal, I said/typed it!) and behavior change specifically for people just like me (well, the me I used to be!). (I already hold a B.S. degree in Behavior Analysis, but this will be a specialization in the health side, which is really exciting)

So, please root me on. I could use your support! I am very excited about the future and the changes that are happening in my life. I can’t wait to begin sharing it with others, even beyond this blog.

Thank you for sharing in my journey. I would love to hear from you, so please comment to let me know that there is life out there!!

Baby Steps to Eating Healthy

Continuing my series on Transforming in a Fat Prejudiced Society, today’s post is how to make baby steps to eating healthy. In July 2014, I completed my 1st round of Whole30 which is babystepsvery simply eating meat, vegetables and fruit in their most natural state, which means eliminating foods with added ingredients  (see graphic at right–Whole30 Nos).

This experience was awesome, but for me, 30 days wasn’t long enough to keep me on the straight and narrow beyond 4 months. Christmas time, which is difficult for most everyone, totally killed my weight loss for the year, and I realized that sugar was indeed my enemy, along with dairy which is a big time trigger food group for me.

I’m now 90 days into my plan to implement this for the entire year and maybe the rest of my life. Again, I didn’t just wake up for my first baby step and conquer this (although I do believe if you’re really fed up, you may be able to, so don’t restrict yourself. It’s always worth a try! You can do anything for 30 days, right?).

All of that being said, this was a process. I’ve been working on modifying my behavior over the course of years and have been successful doing it. The behavior changes didn’t result in weight loss, but they did result in control over food options. Now, to share how I did that.

It’s really very simple. You are ready for change emotionally. You are ready, right? You’re ready to give the effort? Or are you just wanting change to come without your effort because that only exists in really bad infommercials, and none of that is for sale here. This is for the person who is ready for change. Sick to death of feeling like you do emotionally and physically. Yes, you! You’re ready!! You can do this!!

So the very simple step is to not buy anything in a package. Of course everything comes in packages, so let me clarify. If it went through a “process” to be edible, then don’t buy it. At this phase, if I wanted lasagna, I made it. Macaroni? I made it from scratch. If it is worth having, it is worth you making it yourself. What? You can’t cook?? No excuse. YouTube exists! Blogs exist. You can find step by steps everywhere on the web now. So you have NO excuse for not being able to cook. Don’t want to cook?? Then consider a raw food diet. That is actually a very viable option. Check it out.

This step made shopping very easy. I skipped all of the prepackaged meals and sides. I bought the ingredients necessary to make the items I wanted. My cooking skill improved. There are lots of healthy eating resources out there for free recipes online. People just love sharing what they’ve cooked and how they did it. I personally love the Clean Eating Magazine. The great part about this is almost all of these resources are on FB, too, so you can combine this step along with the previous step of making your environment positive. Add the healthier FB pages and unfollow those that aren’t healthy, so it isn’t in your face how to create a tripe chocolate, oreo cookie, peanut butter, chocolate whopper, dessert because honestly, who needs any one of those items much less all of them in the same dish?!

So, back when I was taking my first step toward healthier eating for me and my family, my shopping buggy was full of items like milk, cheese (although processed–that’s a different process than what I’m referring to) and juice. I skipped all the aisles with crackers and cookies and went straight to the canned fruit and vegetables. I bought fruit in it’s own juice instead of syrup. I bought plain canned vegetables without anything else added other than salt. I then went to the pastas and bought angel hair pasta because it’s quicker to cook. I do prefer the brand that is made with vegetables, so I suggest those. It is a healthier option.

I did eat beans and rice at the time (although I do not now). Choose Basmati or Jasmine rice, they have a lower glycemic impact. Use real butter instead of margarine and eliminate items with added sugar as much as you can begin doing. Of course, the next step is meat. Get it from the meat department. Fresh meat, no added seasonings because they almost always include sugar or brown sugar.

Add your own spices and be careful–many of them have added sugar and flavor boosters that border on addictive. Stick with simple spices that when added together are awesome like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Thai seasoning free of sugar, there are many options out there. Just be sure to get the unsalted options because you’ll add salt also to make your mix, and you don’t want it to be too much salt.

Finish up in produce and bread. While I don’t eat bread now, I did choose breads higher in grains. They are really good. I was eating the 12-14 whole grain option, and it was really good, but baby step up to that if you need to. Look for bread options that say no high fructose corn syrup and low in sugar.

Have a blast in the produce department. You may be walking into this area for the first time in your life. What? You mean that squash doesn’t come already sliced and frozen when it’s born? 😉 Now don’t get me wrong. Frozen is ok, too. I actually forgot this aisle. This does help in prep time and makes cooking faster. Totally ok as long as it doesn’t come in sauces. Just raw veggies or fruit, frozen.

I do encourage you to get some fresh produce and begin adding it to your meal plan. Potatoes, white and sweet. Squash and zucchini. Spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions, everything you need for your salad. I’m from the south, so those are my go to veggies, but there may be other options where you live. Eat what is in season because it will have the most flavor. As far as fruit, have fun with it, but be careful with those that have a higher natural sugar content. They can sabotage your weight loss goals. Eat them in moderation–those are grapes, apples, and really ripe bananas. Eat plenty of citrus and berries. They are lower in fructose. Enjoy nuts in moderation. Eat them in their raw state. You’ll be shocked just how awesome they taste! Be careful for peanuts, many people have allergies to peanuts an don’t even realize it. If you have gut troubles, eliminate beans (not string beans) and peanuts.

So that is your first shopping trip of eliminating processed foods. There are no canned meals or boxed meals in your shopping buggy. You’re reading labels and avoiding anything that has sugar or high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient. Some items may have sugar as an ingredient lower on the list, and that’s ok for this baby step phase with the plan to eventually buy only items free of sugar.

You can totally do this. You’re going to feel very good about yourself and so good about your improved cooking skills. You’re even going to see that you’re having fun. I would love to share more of what I’ve learned about cooking and preparing healthy food, so if there is a place that you would like for me to start, please comment. Let me know what types of food you like, and I will show you how you can do it at home. Hey, I’m all about simple and fast. I don’t do the long elaborate recipes, so I’m not expecting that of you either. So what would you like to see?

Come back soon. I will be writing on the next big phase that you may want to join me on. It’s called #Fit30. I will be writing on it this weekend. Don’t miss it!

GoFundMe/241Journey

I am SO excited to announce that I am taking the next step in my journey by starting a GoFundMe/241Journey campaign. This comes at a perfect time after the post on creating your own group of support. This, however, is a little different. It is my motivation.

I am highly motivated by helping others be successful. It causes a “practice what you preach” response in me, which really helps me dig deep in pursuit of my goals. I also feel that as I experience success in reaching my goals, my success will in turn motivate those who I am assisting. It’s an awesome cycle!

I have been faced with opportunities to help people who are obese/morbidly obese. I don’t charge anyone to help them, and in cases when I buy something that will help them reach a goal, I don’t request repayment. I am by no means rich. I just believe in paying it forward when I am able to. Limited funds, however, prevent me from being to cast a wider net. I can help one person here and one person there, but I would like to really be able to reach out and begin building a much larger network.

GoFundMe/241Journey will offer that opportunity. There are a lot of people out there who say, “Oh, I’d love to help but I don’t have the skill or the time,” and helping to fund this campaign will allow them to do just that without needing skill or time. They help others through making it financially possible for me to assist participants in eliminating as many obstacles to good health/nutrition/fitness as possible.

Notice the new menu at the top of this blog. I will be providing regular feedback also to allow donors to know just how effective their support was. NOTE: 100% of the funds received will be used to assist participants.

Please take time to share this post with your friends across all social media avenues. You’ll notice there is a list of share buttons at the end of this post. Thank you for sharing, and if you choose to support my campaign, thank you, thank you, thank you for paying it forward. May it return to you 100 fold!

 

Live in the Positive Zone

My second elaboration post from my article on being successful in a fat prejudiced society encourages you to live in the positive zone. What is the positive zone? It is anywhere there are positive messages and positive people. It is a zone that you create for yourself in your mind and in those you surround yourself with.

1. Positive messages.
voice in your head a liarThe messages around people with a lot of weight to lose are grossly negative. It is very easy to be demotivated and even sabotaged by such negative messages, so be intentionally positive. Find positive messages that inspire you to work past the negative. Pin them on Pinterest for easy access.  Find them on Twitter. Share them on Facebook. Wake in the morning to positive messages, and before you sleep at night, end with positive messages.

2. Positive people
Margie no photoYou know the type of people I am talking about. The ones that just seem to have “found it.” They have found the way to be excited about any type of success in health and nutrition or in mind and spirit. Surround yourself with those people. By the same, rid your life of negative energy that will zap your life of anything positive. They are bad for your health! Make changes where changes need to be. Sometimes, we set ourselves up for failure because of the places we decide to frequent. Think it through. Does it make you excited to be in this phase of your life? If not, change.

3. Social Media
Over the course of a year, I have gone through a major purging of social media. I started with things that would trip me, like Food Porn. What is food porn? You know what it is. Those photos that float around social media that you “Share,” “Pin,” and “Tweet” because they look so incredible you want to look at them over and over again. Those meals that you have no intention of making, but you want to dream about them. They are kryptonite! I’m not saying you have to do completely without good looking food, but I do have suggestions.

Make your social media outlets all healthy food friendly. While you are working on getting your physical person healthy, this may require you “unfollowing” some friends. I have friends who I love to death. They are still my friends on all social media outlets, but I have unfollowed their posts because they haven’t reached the same point I have in eliminating food porn. If they tag me in a post, then I will see they are talking to me, but otherwise, I check out their profile to see what’s going on with them. It keeps me updated without having images pop up in my face at times when I may be vulnerable.

4. Follow Positive Blogs
Just like this blog, follow positive blogs that will encourage you every day. Be careful. Some blogs may appear to encourage you to be a better version of yourself health wise, but may in reality be a negative venting blog for someone who is trying to make their way to being positive. I know what that is like because my blog started out that way, but then I realized that positive-in equals positive-out. I’ve constantly made changes, and will probably continue to make changes. We aren’t growing if we aren’t changing.

I hope you found this post to be very positive and motivating. I ask you to share it with your friends. Maybe you’re already in a healthy place in your life. I am sure you have friends who could really use this advice, so please share it across all social media platforms. You’ll find the sharing links at the bottom of each post. I also encourage you to comment. Let me know how you’re doing on your journey. Until then, may you find much about your day to smile about!

Transformation Environment

I shared in my last article the top ways to have a successful transformation in a fat prejudiced society. I feel that each of the steps should be elaborated on, so you can feel comfortable with getting started on your own transformation journey.

Step 1: Join or create a support group.

I have always been a hands on learner and creator. Since the first grade, I have been a leader–always walking around helping others. Put those things together in an adult, and you have an advocate. Advocates want to do something about injustices in the world. The term “world” can be defined as environment. For transformation to be successful, you really need a supporting environment. That is something as an advocate, I decided to create.

So what if you don’t have one? Join one or start one! I have been a member of several groups on FB, and it always seems that the group gets so large, so there is no real one-on-one interaction. You still feel as alone in your journey as you did before joining. So, I started my own. I started with a couple of friends with the same health goals, and over time, I have met ladies online who were on the same journey. Sometimes they are further along in their journey and had advice to share and sometimes, it was day one for the 1,987,438 time. I’ve been THERE.

In starting the group, I have to not only be accountable to myself but to these ladies also. I have had weeks when I didn’t post anything. They would speak up, and I would be able to get back on track. Now, I am firmly on track, and our group is really thriving. I keep my group small because I want to be able to provide one-on-one support to each of them. In providing them with support, I in turn am encouraging myself. It really helps me to help others. It’s more of that “practice what you preach” kind of thing.

So if you don’t have the technical skill to start a private FB group, consider starting a LIVE group in your area, or join one. Look for groups that will be able to provide that environment of encouragement and accountability. Look for groups that have rules for accountability. You don’t need more people who just let you do whatever you want. There are plenty of those people in your life. You need someone who will say, “It’s time to check in.”

Most importantly, be sure the group is an encouraging group. You don’t want to join a group that just sits around and talks about how horrible they feel. You don’t want to join a group that allows negative self-talk. Join a group of cheerleaders. You need to be around people who are going to want to know your goals and want to see you achieve them.

Are you a member of a group I’ve described? I’d like to hear more about your experience in the group. What do you like or not like? What would you like to see more of or less of? Let’s start talking! I encourage your comments.

 

Transforming In A Fat Prejudiced Society

Transforming in a fat prejudiced society is not an emotionally simple task. In the United States (and perhaps even worse elsewhere), people are judged by the condition of their body. Not even the true condition of their body, but the visual condition of their body. If you are small, you’re typically considered more attractive or desirable and healthy than if you’re large (there are some exceptions of course).

So how does someone who has 100, 200, 300 lbs to lose stay encouraged and motivated in a society that judges them on the basis of their body? For years, the demotivating stare of others would speak volumes to me. They may not have even been thinking about me, but the stare would communicate to me negative things that caused me to resort to behaviors that would comfort me. Eating was one of those because when someone has an eating disorder (and obviously you do when you have large numbers to lose), you seek silence while eating. You hide. This is dangerous behavior and one of the first ones that needs to go for your success.

Here are my top ways of transforming in a fat prejudiced society:

1. Join or create a small support group of people who will cheer you on and who you can cheer on.

2. Be proud of your journey. Find motivating messages on t-shirts and on social media.

3. Shop healthy. Cut all the bad stuff. Shopping healthy is one of the most motivating and empowering experiences I’ve ever experienced!

4. Smile at those who are looking at you. Look at them directly in their eyes and smile your beautiful smile. Let them see the beauty inside you.

5. Stop all negative self-talk (even in your head). Don’t assume others are thinking the worst about you.

I will write on each of these topics individually in the future because there’s more that can be said about each of them. If you have a suggestion for how you positively handle transforming in a fat prejudiced society, I would love to hear from you. You’ll find the comments link on the left of the article.

Let your inner beauty shine through.You may even have to do a little work, find it, and dust it off because you haven’t even appreciated your inner beauty in a long time. If you have problems with finding that beauty, you message me. I’ll help you get there.

Practicing What I Preach

I have a 2 1/2 year old who has a significant speech delay. He loves to play educational games on my iPad, but doesn’t know yet how to verbalize his frustration when he can’t get the game to do what he wants it to do (like put a triangle where the circle should go). This morning I actually listened to something I told him. He was fussing about a game he was playing, and I said, “It’s ok. Keep trying. If you don’t like what it is doing, do something different (i.e. match the triangle to the triangle instead of the circle).” For some reason, I personally heard that message this morning and none too soon.

I am working on my second round of Whole30 in 2015. I am 12 days in this round, which makes 42 days in all so far. I feel a very safe distance from sugar and those foods that once bound me. My cravings are completely gone. Yesterday, I felt so good that I was searching for an explanation of why–apparently, it’s been a while. I have totally hated the way I feel physically, emotionally, professionally, and spiritually. In considering the lesson I was trying to teach my son, I realize that I am actually practicing what I preach to him–FINALLY. Whole30 helped break the food addiction and helped me work on unhealthy behaviors that lead to poor nutrition choices, and now, I have taken it a step further.

Monday, I started eating differently. I know you think, “What? How can you eat more differently than Whole30,” but maybe I should say that I have reordered my meals. The amount that I typically eat at supper, I’m eating at breakfast (eating supper for breakfast), which has increased my intake of vegetables over the course of the day. My lunch is about the same because during Whole30, it’s always been spot on (maybe now it’s a little smaller and more vegetable intentional), and supper is a green shake (spinach thickie) with fruit for snacks (there’s still some evening eating behavior issues I need to deal with like the need to snack while watching television).  I am truly doing something different, and the results I am getting are different everywhere except on the scale, but it’s only been 3 days. It will catch up.

Just in three (3) days, I am going to sleep easier around 9-9:30 p.m., sleeping with my CPaP better (still having crazy dreams from time to time though which disrupts my sleep), and waking easily at 5 a.m. (something I thought would never happen in my lifetime). On top of that, yesterday I had more energy than I have had in a very long time–so long that I don’t even remember it. I am enjoying those results, even though this morning, the scale was up a little. The number on the scale is not nearly as important to me as these other non-scale victories are. I will give it time and enjoy the other benefits. As for those other areas of my life, I’m working on that. One step at a time.

So here’s to learning from lessons for a toddler. What lessons do you teach others and need to adhere to yourself?

My Night and Morning with Superheros

AND I AM BACK…back in the saddle, securely back on the sugar-free, junk free wagon, and slept really well last night (I’ve been getting to bed before 10 each night and waking around 5:00-5:30 a.m.).  Holy moly batman! What are these lines on my face this morning? It looks like I actually made it a complete night with my CPaP mask on. My life looks SO much different than it did the month of December and completely unrecognizable as compared to pre-July 2014. Surely, I will be documenting some major life, body, & health changes throughout this 2015.

In addition to my night in the mask, I spent this morning with the Ninja. When I start the morning with a green drink, I always seem to do so much better throughout the day. Yeah, I’ve been doing good through the day anyway, but portion sizes still need to reduce and veggie counts need to rise above fruit counts. This is one great way of jump starting that process each day. My breakfast drink consists of 2 fist full of spinach, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk, a little less than 1/2 a sweet potato, 2 dates, and some chopped pecans (that would generally be almonds but I’m out–gotta make a store stop today). Sweet potato makes it so smooth. I really like that.

So this talk of masks and Ninjas makes me feel like I have spent the night and day with superheros. I feel like I have. I feel really good this morning. Here’s to breathing while you sleep, sleeping through the night, and starting the day off nutritionally right!!

Find your inner superhero! Share with me your leaps and bounds accomplishments. I would love to hear from you.

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.

How to Survive Obesity: Identifying Triggers: Understanding How, Why & When They Impact You

This post will discuss in detail triggers and how, why, and when they impact you. I believe that most people suffer from some form of food trigger. Some triggers are stronger than others. Some people may only suffer from them during certain times of the year. There are even people who don’t suffer from food triggers, and instead, their triggers are human or situational. Those two will be discussed in separate posts because they are quite comprehensive and serious to break all by themselves.

So, let’s talk about food triggers. The best way for me to explain this is to share some of my triggers.

1. Chocolate — sometimes just sugar in general
2. Comfort foods
3. Large portion foods

This is a good place to start with me. Number 1. Chocolate. As a woman, it isn’t uncommon to suffer from a chocolate trigger, but my trigger can spin out of control. I think this trigger is the most powerful at this point in my life. (fortunately, I have dealt with many others and broke them) Sometimes, I can just HEAR the word, and it’s almost like I can smell it. Once I get to that point, it is best for me to get a small candy bar or piece of chocolate and eat it. If I don’t, I will literally eat, eat, and eat trying to kill that craving.

Triggers that have that degree of power over someone will need to be addressed, psychologically, to break the obsession with the item. There are a number of different ways to do that, but for me what was most helpful was only eating chocolate that didn’t contain high fructose corn syrup, which greatly eliminates most U.S. made chocolate. There is just something about sugar in that form that makes it addictive, but that’s another post worth of information.

Another way that I have broken my obsession with items is to keep a can of very strong, minty, breath spray with me at all times. Anytime a craving hits me, I take a couple of sprays, and nothing tastes good with that stuff, so the craving goes away. Eventually, the unhealthy connection is broken. It can easily come back though if you slip up and eat some, so beware.

How triggers impact us is simple. They distract us from our goal. We begin to reason, well this one time will be ok. I’ll reward myself for such good work. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with some form of your trigger, as long as it is the least powerful in strength. For example, let’s say that my most powerful trigger is chocolate candy, but I’m out of candy, so I eat chocolate pudding instead. Low fat, sugar free at that. I found that I really enjoy it. I can eat the pudding and be ok, but the candy bar will lead to a lot of other binge type eating. It’s like a really bad friend. The one that encourages you to break the law and have fun doing it.

Why do triggers impact us? Some triggers are literally engineered to impact us. Some companies actually hire scientists to tell them how to make their product so good that customers are almost guaranteed to buy it again. This isn’t your fault; however, you can’t use it as a crutch either. You have to take this information and be informed and realize that companies want your money, and they don’t care what condition you’re in as long as it doesn’t blow back on them. You have to decide, “hey, I’m not going to let anyone give me something that’s going to decrease my control over the item.” You have to identify those triggers and acknowledge, “these triggers, in short, make me sick, so I will not indulge in them.”

When is it that triggers impact us? Well, those strong ones can impact us with a quick image on a television screen, or in a narrative as someone is describing a famous meal or dessert. With social media like it is, it can trigger you anytime someone “pins” a unbelievable looking dish on Pinterest, FB and so on. They can impact us around the anniversary of a happy or sad event. Emotions play a huge role in the development of such connections, so we have to be quick to identify the trigger and distance ourselves from them. If social media is a problem, then remove those pages. If it’s a specific friend, then hide their posts from your newsfeed. I’ve had to do that before. Do whatever you need to in order to rid yourself from this obstacles.

One last suggestion, and this really worked well for me. Make a commitment to a specific number of calories and document them daily for whatever period of time you need to until you can do this without posting. If your commitment is 2,000 calories, then you can eat whatever you want, as long as you don’t go over 2,000 calories. When I realized how many calories these triggers were eating up, I started choosing healthier options–those that enabled me to eat larger quantities while satisfying my craving. This works extremely well for me.

I have broken A LOT of triggers. I still have some, and we never stop forming them. New ones have emerged. The plus is that I know what works for getting them under control and not letting them control me. Being mindful of what you’re eating, and only choosing foods that you deem “worth it” will help you form a much healthier set of foods in which to crave.

Take a look at your list and ask yourself, How, why and when do these foods bother me? This week, try a couple different things to bring them under your control. I’d be happy to talk to you about yours if you need someone to talk to. If you’d like to share things that work for you, I encourage you to comment to this post. Until our next article, be mindful and in control!

How to Survive Obesity: Identify Triggers

Well, the first of the year is here, and maybe you’ve set a weight loss goal. My goal for this blog is to continue where we left off last year, which is Identifying Triggers. We have covered How to Survive Obesity: Accept Need for Change (please read back through those posts if you haven’t already). So let’s get started. NOTE: If your triggers aren’t food related, list whatever they are.

I didn’t set a weight loss goal for a New Year’s resolution because it isn’t just something I work on at the beginning of the year. I have been working on this goal what feels like the better part of my adult life. Fortunately, the more I learn the more hope I have. I have identified my need for change and all of of the steps that come along with preparing for change. Now, we need to identify food triggers.

Food triggers can COMPLETELY derail your efforts. I’m not referring to an “opps, I gained 2 lbs because I ate a trigger food and got of track for a week.” I am talking about, “I gained 15 lbs because I ate a trigger food and got off track for 2 months.” We each have foods that are our our kryptonite. It is up to you to identify which ones are yours. It is IMPERATIVE that you identify which ones are yours.

To make a truly honest list, think back to all of those times that you fell off the wagon. What was it that caused your fall? It may be a food category like CARBS, or it may be very specific, Mac/Cheese. Be honest with yourself and try to identify as many as possible.

Next week, we will review our food triggers. Use this week coming to make a list of foods that make you feel weak in the knees. Foods that make you eat more. Foods that make you feel guilty. Foods that you just shouldn’t eat at all because you get too far off of your plan for better health. Make the list, and we will categorize them next week.

See you stronger next week.

How to Accept the Need for Change : Enlist Family Support

This is the last post on how to accept the need for change. In this post, we will cover the importance of enlisting family support. It is so important to have a strong support system when you are attempting to make such a huge change in your life.

Think about it. If you are morbidly obese, most likely, you have been overweight a great portion of your life. You became morbidly obese by not accepting the need for change, and NOW you have accepted that need for change, and your life will look much different than it does now.

Whenever a morbidly obese person begins to make changes in order to shed the years of unwanted weight that has been dragging them down, it isn’t something that is planned for 90 days. Power 90, while an awesome program and great if you’re going to use it back to back for multiple sets of 90 days, won’t help you reach your goal in 90 days (unless of course your goal was to workout 90 days in a row and to that I quote Tony Horton the creator of Power 90, “Press Play Every Day.”)

If you aren’t morbidly obese, perhaps you are the friend or family member of someone who is. Let me tell you that the measures you take to lose weight that work for you each time you need to shed the weight you’ve added on, won’t work (at least as fast) for your loved one. If I could say something to those family members who wish their loved one would lose weight, I would say, “Put on a fat suit for a month and live. See if you feel like changing anything except shedding the suit which you can do in a flash. Your loved one has to live in that suit.”

This IS NOT going to be an easy process. Your loved one is going to come face to face with so many realities about him/herself during this journey, and they are going to need you. There will be times they will want to hide under a rock, and there will be times they will want to dress up and be seen. YOU NEED TO BE THERE FOR BOTH! They need you!

They DO NOT need you to be judgmental. They DO NOT need you to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do. If you’ve never been there with the same set of issues, you don’t truly have a clue what they need to do anyway. You need to just be there to say, TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY. YOU GET TO START ALL OVER AGAIN!! DON’T LOOK BACK. ONLY LOOK FORWARD BECAUSE THE FUTURE IS ALL THAT MATTERS.

Be ready to help pick them up when they have worked out 6 days a week with Tony Horton doing Power 90, making HUGE changes in their food choices and don’t lose a significant amount of weight. They need to be reminded that there are changes being made inside the body that can’t be seen yet, but their hard work IS paying off. It takes a while to get over being abused.

I didn’t really intend to speak directly to the loved ones, but hey, if you don’t know how to address them about your need for their help, then give them the link to this article and let them read it. The work isn’t all for them though. You have to be strong enough to step up and say, “I need your support.”

On my birthday this year, I sat with my family and had a serious heart to heart. I told them, starting today, I will only drink water (excluding milk and occasional 100% juice). No sweet tea. No Diet Dr. Pepper. Not even Crystal Light additives to my water. They could have said, “ok here we go again,” but they didn’t. I was determined to succeed. I looked to my husband and said, “if I text you saying to bring me a drink home, you better bring home a large cup of ice and a bottle of water.” I went on to tell each of them, “I will likely contact you and BEG for you to bring me a Diet Dr. Pepper, but if I do, please bring me crushed ice.” (It’s what I have learned helps me get past the need for a soda. That and a really strong breath spray, which will kill your craving very fast.) I succeeded. He brings home large cups of crushed ice when he wants to be sweet and surprise me. I haven’t had anything except water since. It was a small battle toward winning a HUGE WAR. Drinking water makes me want to eat healthier. I’m sure there’s some physiological reason for that.

So, today’s homework. Who is your support system? Make your calls or better yet, call a meeting and talk to them all at once. Let them know that you may likely fall on your face several times throughout this process, after all it will likely take a long time to get to the point you want to be (that’s ok–the time is going to pass anyway, so why not be working toward what you want to be.) Be sure you let them know your weaknesses, and how they can help you. Remind them that you don’t need them to make healthy choices for you by changing everything around you, BUT they don’t need to sabotage you with making things they know are triggers for you (so be sure to discuss your triggers–we will be covering Triggers next week).

I know you can do it. We can make this journey a successful one. Just remember, it’s only the future that matters. Who cares what you DID? Look at what you are yet to do. THAT is what is of importance. I, too, am here as support for you. Comment and share with me what your plan is. I look forward to being a part of your journey and having you be a part of mine.

This is the end of “How to Survive Morbid Obesity: Accept the Need for Change” the 1st portion of the series “How to Survive Morbid Obesity.” Next in the series, “How to Survive Morbid Obesity: Identify Triggers.”

 

 

How to Accept the Need for Change : Eliminate Obstacles

Well after the day I have had today (it’s still officially Sunday at this moment, but will be Monday by the time this article posts), I can definitely talk about obstacles. I have a sick 15 month old. There’s nothing that can throw you off your routine that a child who is sick, especially when they are so small.

This is an ideal time to mention that this article is on how to accept the need for change: eliminate obstacles, but an even better time to caution that not all of lives obstacles can OR SHOULD be eliminated. Obviously, I would never want to eliminate my child’s need for me when he isn’t feeling well. I can, however, attempt to stay on track (even if it means writing my blog post at midnight (and no lie, the clock JUST turned midnight as I typed that statement…cool!) This article is officially Sunday’s post, so you’ll be seeing two (2) posts today, so don’t miss it. Actually, I just realized that I overlooked an earlier post, so I’m actually a day ahead in my posting. You didn’t miss anything though because I can see how I overlooked it. I wrote all about lifestyle and sickness in one article. Oops. Next week, there will be a post per day.

Lord knows that if you could look back at my life as daily blog posts, you would see excuse after excuse of why I haven’t succeeded in my pursuit for improved health. For me, excuses are my main obstacle. I can come up with some good ones, too. It’s strange how I don’t even try to have an excuse, but one will come to my mind quickly. Now, it isn’t uncommon for me to stop myself mid-excuse and say something like, “no, really I have no excuse. Truth be known, I was being lazy this week and not focusing on what I should.” THAT is being honest with yourself and others. If you aren’t going to be honest with others, at least be honest with yourself. Eventually, the other will show through.

Do you know what your obstacles are? Look over your day yesterday. Why didn’t you do what you should have done? My answers would include things like because I was watching television, or because I decided to take a mid-day shopping trip after going out to eat with some friends. There is always something else that you can be doing. Blocking off an hour of time to focus on improving your health each day is the absolute least you can do for yourself and your family. This isn’t just for you, remember. It’s for them, too. They want to keep you around (we hope).

After you identify those obstacles, develop a driving path. It’s just like Google maps. You put in two destinations, and according to what you want to avoid, highways or small towns, your driving plan is developed for you. You need to do the same thing for yourself. How can you navigate your day around those obstacles? The better you get at planning for that drive, the faster it will become second nature to you.

So, your homework is to list your obstacles, and make a driving plan that navigates you around them to your desired location. This really does get easier and easier as you do it.

All my best to you!

How to Accept Need for Change : Create a Written Plan & Post It

When considering how to accept the need for change, creating a written plan is very important for success. It isn’t just having a goal. I think we are all very good at setting a goal like “I want to lose weight,” but that isn’t an effective goal. It’s too broad, vague, and leaves too much wiggle room.

For example, if I set the goal “I want to lose weight,” my outcomes (measurable results of the goal) would be very difficult to measure. What do I measure? For starters, weight, but what else other than weight? According to my goal, there is nothing else to measure, so what happens? We are permitted to continue on and on in our pursuit, and in five (5) years we are still “wanting to lose weight,” yet are at the same place we were when we started. If you want to see a perfect example of an ineffective goal, look at my weight loss widget. Even though I am the queen of goal setting, I obviously wasn’t all that serious about losing yet because you’ll see how my weight ping pongs along.

So how do we fix that? How do we create an effective goal? We need to answer the basic questions that we ask about anything we want to know about.

Who: me (you)

What: Lose weight (broad); Lose 2 lbs a week (short term/ongoing); Lose 5 lbs (short term); Lose 150 lbs (long term)

When: Before a special event (broad); For each Weight Watchers meeting (short term/ongoing); within 3 weeks (short term); with 2 years (long term)

Why: This needs to be specific. To fit into a new outfit for a special event is one way to be specific, but that’s not the “important” point. For those who have a lot to lose like I do, this is going to be a “journey.” It is really easy to forget the “why,” if you aren’t specific enough. My reason is to add as many years to my life as I can to LIVE and THRIVE with my husband and newest addition to my family, my son who is just 15 months old now. For some people, it may not be as worrisome to think of the future, but for someone who is morbidly obese and 41 years old, it is VERY worrisome because of the medical conditions that I can add or worsen by not considering it very serious! While my “Why” is somewhat specific, it isn’t specific enough. I need to add something that can actually be measured. A blood work panel and doctor’s suggestion of ideal weight FOR ME will work.

Where: In this particular case, it will be a goal that will be active no matter where you are (including at your favorite restaurant, so don’t forget that). There are no “free zones.”

How: This will vary according to your body type, medical condition, and amount of weight to lose. This would be a great time to go for a check up with your doctor. Tell them in advance it is to discuss a weight loss plan and ask them to schedule you a full blood panel before your appointment, so you can discuss which plan would be best considering your numbers. P.S. Ask for a copy of it. There’s a lot to be learned from this document.

So we just finished the planning phase. Now, we will use that information to create our goal statement:

241Lady is going to set a short term/ongoing goal (which is easiest to make adjustments to as needed) of losing a minimum of 1 lb per week (52 lbs/yr), effective immediately with 2 meals a week being “cheat” meals until I reach a weight my doctor and I agrees to be healthy (I’ll fill this in after my appointment), and definitely not until I have reduced my need for any prescriptions currently being used for conditions that are related to obesity such as chronic fatigue, thyroid dysfunction (at least lowering it as far as possible), diabetes (same here), etc., for the purpose of improving health in hopes of lengthening life span to experience my son grow up and start a family of his own (and to meet my grandchildren). This plan is effective everywhere I go (vacations included), following a low glycemic eating plan and incorporating increasingly challenging exercise to improve cardio and respiratory endurance.

Now this statement could be posted as is, but it’s a little difficult to see the important points. Be creative in how to correct that (or just a basic list):

Who: 241Lady

What: Lose min 1 lb/week

When: Effective immediately until Doctor agrees to end

Why: Extend life expectancy and enjoy life with son/family

Where: Everywhere, even vacations

How: low glycemic diet, eating 5-6 very small meals a day, with 2 cheat meals a week, exercise for purpose of cardio/respiratory strength and endurance

When you get your plan written out and rendered down to brief, yet concise, statements, print it out and post it where you can see it. Make yourself view it by setting an alarm on your phone and maybe put dates and checkmarks to show when you read it. This is just to constantly remind you of your goal. You’ll want to do this at least once per week.

Another reason for posting it and requiring a weekly reading is for adjustments. You may find that your plan isn’t working and you need to change something. You’ll want to give yourself a good month to get everything going before making any big changes, but after that time has passed, if there hasn’t been some changes in what you see and feel, then you need to tweak a few things. Those tweaks may not change your written plan, but they will change the way that you accomplish it.

Ok, so that is the goal for the week. Write your plan and post it. I want to hear from you. You’ve been so quiet so far, and I know that you’re out there reading. Please comment if only to say, “I’m going to try this.” I would love to know that you’re out there. Hope to hear from you soon!!

How to Accept Need for Change : Recognizing the Link between Lifestyle and Health Condition

How to accept the need for change includes being able to recognize that there IS a link between our chosen lifestyle and our current health condition. While lifestyle can include a vast number of things, for the purpose of this post it is defined as the way we eat and move.

For years (and I still do), I have asked the question, how does my body know how many calories I am eating? It’s not like a gas pump that knows how much gas has gone into the tank. There isn’t a dohickie thing that you can wear that counts the calories as they go in like a Pac-man game (if there was I would buy it). I felt like if I didn’t know how many calories were going in my body, then my body could be tricked into believing I hadn’t eaten as much as I had. I know better of course, but it’s just the way I FELT. My head understood the process, but my behavior didn’t.

As the years crept on, I would start hurting here and there. Oh, it’s just a sign of aging, I would think (except my mother doesn’t complain of it and she’s 20 years older than I…my grandmother may not even complain about the same things and she’s 40 years older that I am). Oh, well I slept wrong would explain the back woes, and I stayed up too late would explain my chronic fatigue (and I do stay up too long). I snap, crackle and pop more than Rice Crispies on a world tour, and why would I EVER think that it had anything to do with the way I eat. After all, my body doesn’t really know what I eat.

After LOTS of reading and research on how the body operates, and how it is able to determine the value of what we eat, even if it doesn’t know exactly what it is, I finally decided to be honest with myself. After all, kidding myself only hurts me. It doesn’t make the scale reflect any less. I don’t look any thinner to those around me. (I may be able to mind meld them to believe I am thinner. 😉 ) I can now say it, my body hurts me because I have hurt it CONTINUOUSLY over and over again. If someone continuously hurt you, wouldn’t you be in pain regularly? Even if you attempted to hide the abuse, your body would show signs of that abuse over the course of time.

Mine is.

I have treated my body so badly that I am hoping we haven’t reached the point of no return. Just as in human relationships, there is a point where pain will cause a split that can’t be repaired. Fortunately, our bodies are more resilient than our relationships. We can’t let the fear that we’ve gone to far stop us from trying. Just like human relationships that we beg and plead for forgiveness committed to never giving up, we have to be that way with our body.

A very wise friend of mine tells me over and over, “Give your body what it needs, and it will give you what you want.” I would just be like “yadee yadaa, yadee yadaa,” but she is so right! I have experienced a huge victory after only losing 5-7% of my body weight once (that’s not a lot of weight, but the victory was awesome!). I know that it is possible for the body to forgive.

So, can you make the connection between your lifestyle and your health condition? Can you go to your mirror (literally not figuratively) and say to yourself, I accept that I have hurt you…I accept that I have abused you…I want to change and do better for you…I realize that my eating and movement habits have caused you to hurt, and I don’t want to hurt you anymore. I want to care for you, protect you, and give you a chance to add many years of playing with the kids, sharing time with grandchildren, beating the guys at football, being comfortable in front of the mirror and those you love, and enjoying every day of your life.

If you can humble yourself enough to be honest with yourself (and eventually those around you as well), you will have a better chance at accepting the need for change enough to truly make a difference in your decisions.

You have your assignment. Should you choose to accept it, come back tomorrow and read the next step toward fulfilling the acceptance needed to move on.

Hope to see you here.

How to Accept the Need for Change : Get Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

So How to Accept the Need for Change, there are actually several steps that can help you accept the need for change. Today, I will cover the need to get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

If you are morbidly obese, don’t kid yourself or anyone else. We all know (and I know personally because I am there), you’re not feeling well. I’ll speak of me, and you evaluate your own self and honestly accept what you find.

Over the years, I have gained about 5 pounds a year. That isn’t a lot you think, but it is. Multiply 5 by 10 and you get 50 pounds. But wait, I’ve been out of school for over 20 years, so let’s go with 20, ahhh, 100 pounds. It’s been slow. Creeping 5 pounds at a time. Each year I think, well I didn’t gain a lot, but I should be looking at the cumulative total, not just a one year total. Note, when I was in school, I was already probably 60 pounds over a “reasonable” weight. Add that to my 100 pounds, and yep, I’m right on track. Uhhh…to derail my life!

The body isn’t able to continue to take on weight indefinitely. It is resilient, and does adjust, but there comes a time when our organs, bones, joints, etc just have taken all they can take before they begin to say “ouch!” I feel like I say “ouch” a lot lately. Well, I have accepted that I am asking a lot of my body. Pick up a 100 pound weight. Imagine having to carry it around day in and day out.

On the flip side, imagine after carrying a 100 pound weight around for years actually putting it down. Think about it, seriously. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. What a relief! I can only imagine THAT is what it would feel like. I want to feel that AHHHHHHH point again. I know that it isn’t as simple as just putting a weight down where you feel the relief at once, but the positive point is that you can feel the Ahhh even sooner.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, losing just 5-10% of your weight over a six (6) month period can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and a whole list of other diseases obesity contributes to over time. Of course we wouldn’t want to stop there because just think of what the second, third, and so on set of 5-10% of body weight loss could do over the course of time! AHHHHHH!!!

SO, are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? If so, read tomorrow for our next step toward surviving morbid obesity.

How to Survive Morbid Obesity: Step 1 Accept the Need for Change

After writing my first post on How to Survive Morbid Obesity, I wigged out a little bit. If you’ve been following my journey, then you know that I have been battling to lose weight for quite some time, but since August 5, 2013 (see the widget on the left menu) most recently I restarted my journey will a new commitment to succeed at any healthy cost.

I totally have Step 1 down pat. I know for a fact that for a very long time I have accepted the need for change. I KNOW that I NEED CHANGE! I have made changes in my life, but unfortunately, I haven’t found the proper combination for me.

If you are going to survive morbid obesity, you MUST be honest with yourself. I remember the days of avoiding the “F” word…FAT. I wasn’t fat. I was “healthy,” or at least that is what I told myself. My blood pressure was good. I didn’t have high cholesterol. My sugar was stellar. My doctor actually told me (around the weight of about 290-300 lbs), “I don’t know what is wrong. All of your numbers are good. I don’t know why you struggle to lose weight.” There were plenty of reasons why I wasn’t losing weight, and I don’t think her telling me what she did really helped me. In fact, I know it enabled me for a while.

Honesty. It is crucial to good health. Yes, being honest with others is good for your health too, but I’m talking about being honest with yourself. Denial is not your friend. If you can’t look in the mirror and say with sincerity, “you have gained WAY too much weight, and it is time to GET REAL,” then you haven’t truly accepted your need for change, and you are apt to continue to repeat the same struggles over and over again until you do.

Trust me! I know it’s hard. It’s a process. Owning your weight gain is your first step to recovery. It is your first step to survival! Begin working on the truth in your mind first. Think about what your diet consists of. Don’t pat yourself on the back so hard for that healthy breakfast that you completely overlook all of the unhealthy snacking that you do throughout the day and late night. When you were eating unhealthy things was there someone there forcing you to eat it? You made a choice right? Yeah.

Look, I’m not beating you up, and I don’t want you to beat yourself up. There is a difference in accepting responsibility and self abuse. Don’t self abuse. It is terribly destructive to goals! In a healthy way, accept that there are things that you could have changed that you didn’t or haven’t that have led you to a life of morbid obesity. Accept that the road is going to be long and hard, and the thin and fit people around you are not to blame. Accept that you may not be successful 100% the first several times you attempt to survive morbid obesity, but you keep trying again and again.

Hey, my journey is going to be a long one. I have bounced back and forth between awesome decisions and really terrible ones. You are not alone in your journey. I invite you to join me in mine. Having someone to talk to and be accountable to DOES help the process.

If you haven’t reached this first step, keep trying. This could be the beginning of a promising journey for you. I wish you the best of luck! The next step is coming soon.

How to Survive Morbid Obesity: An Introduction

How to survive morbid obesity? Written by a morbidly obese woman, interesting huh? Well, if there is someone who knows how to survive being morbidly obese, wouldn’t you expect the information to come from someone who has indeed survived living morbidly obese? Yeah. I think so.

Trust me, my advice isn’t going to be how to stay morbidly obese. There are things you can do to increase the chances that you won’t die from morbid obesity or the problems related to it. Yes, you read that right. I decided that I need to stop using the phrase, “live with morbid obesity” because in reality, the likelihood we will live grows less and less each day that we permit ourselves to be morbidly obese. SO, we want to make changes NOW that will ensure when we die that we aren’t morbidly obese. My hope is that ensuring that we die at a healthier weight will mean that we lived longer, happier, and healthier as well. Let’s get this picture right in our head. REALITY! Be sure the picture in your head is of reality. Be honest with yourself. It isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

So, it’s been a little quiet on the blog front, but that’s my fault. Maybe I should see if a couple of the ladies in our group would like to help write for this blog. It would definitely help. I’ll see what they have to say about that. Anyway, our group has grown and then decreased in size. We added two additional members, but I don’t think they were quite ready for our group. As a requirement of membership, active participation is a must. We share very private thoughts and fears, and it is really important for everyone to be equally as invested in such a program. We are back to four (4) members. These ladies are ready!

We have seen a little success in weight loss, and then have seen some ping pong back and forth 2 lb gain, 2 lb loss, or even staying the same. When you have over 100 lbs to lose, there are A LOT of behavior issues to deal with, and we are approaching those head on. It IS NOT an easy process. Much like any addiction, addiction to food for whatever reason (comfort, enjoyment, fear, anger, and a number of other reasons) can be paralyzing to a person’s life. If they feel that no matter what they do the result is the same, then they learn to be helpless. I’ve been there. I understand the difficulty! If it wasn’t for this group of ladies, today, I might have been there again. At the end of my rope, morbidly obese, and wanting to just give up on it all.

So what happened today? Even though I have been struggling since 08/05/2013 to lose weight, I have instead GAINED WEIGHT! I lost a little. Then my weight went up (which reminds me, I need to update my weight widget on the side menu). Today, however, was worse than any other time in the past. TODAY, my Wii was even more rude that usual. Yeah, it always tells me, YOU’RE REALLY FAT AND NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT (ok, well not in those terms, but it does tell me that–suggesting a healthy weight for me to be 119.5 HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA). Well, today it told me that my weight had (IN RED FONT) exceeded Wii’s weight maximum which is 330 lbs. So, I don’t even know what I weigh now. I could weigh 330 or I could weigh a little more. I totally don’t understand how with the changes that I’ve been making, but I can be honest and say, my changes haven’t been severe enough because my food choices are still regular choices, although I am only drinking water (34 days straight so far approx 125 oz a day and no junk food, but I did allow ice cream–isn’t it in a class of it’s own? and I also allowed sweets that I make from scratch, which I did just once.

So here I am. I don’t know what I weigh. By next week, I will or someone will need to come help pull me off of the ceiling. So is this it? Is this the end of the rope for me? Is it my wits end? Yes, I do think so.

Read my next post to see what I plan to do about it.  This was an introduction to how to survive being morbidly obese. You will want to follow this series if you are morbidly obese (or perhaps you love someone who is and you want to help them).

Critical Fat Facts! What the Fat MUST Know About FAT!

Not staying on your eating plan can be detrimental to your weight loss and health, too. Notice I called it an eating plan not a diet. The ladies (yes, plural because we’ve picked up another lady and we’re happy to accept more) that are joining me want to lose a significant amount of weight also. There’s something I want to share with them, AND YOU as we get started.

If you have less than about 10 lbs to lose, completely erase the word DIET from your vocabulary, at least as it pertains to a short duration of behavior change that will result in the desired amount of weight loss you need to be at your ideal weight. Now, I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, and this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a cheat day in our future–there will be 1 trigger free cheat day per week once we get this train going; however, the short diet I just defined will should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER be a part of a person’s life after they have gained approx. 10 lbs over their ideal weight. For some, that’s high school. For me, that was junior high. Worst yet for the generation coming up now, that’s even elementary school.

Once your body has created fat cells, they never go away unless you have liposuction done (the consequences of lipo will have to be covered in a new post). You can lose weight, yes, and they call that “losing fat,” but in reality, you’re not losing fat. They should call it, “shrinking fat.” The fat cells are emptied of the energy substance that is inside taking up less space and making you appear smaller. You are smaller. This takes nothing away from the weight loss you have achieved. It does, however, mean that you absolutely can NOT have the attitude that you can just diet for 30 days and go off of your diet (like people do who only have small amounts of weight to lose–YOU AREN’T ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, SO STOP EVEN CONSIDERING THOSE PLANS).

It will be more critical for someone with larger amounts of weight to lose to always stay on their eating plan. Those empty fat cells can quickly be refilled (and once full the creation of new fat cells occur) defeating the entire purpose of a weight loss program, increasing your frustration, increasing your sense of hopelessness, and increasing the chance that you will stay sick, tired, and die sooner than you should.

I’m sorry to be the messenger of bad news. I have almost 200 lbs to lose, so I can tell you that the journey seems very long for me, too. I completely understand how you feel after reading this, but we CAN be successful if we stick to our plan. Once I learned more about fat and have a better understanding about how it works, I can now see that I can’t compare myself to the skinny mini who gained 10 lbs over the course of the year and needs to lose it. The way to go about losing that 10 lbs will be totally different for her than it will be for me! REALITY CHECK!!!

Once we reach our goal, we will be able to develop a maintenance plan that includes foods we love while still ensuring we are eating healthy and not filling any of those emptied fat cells by weighing every single week–addressing ANY weight gained IMMEDIATELY!

SO…don’t feel all blue! I know. It stinks! I wish I had addressed the weight gain immediately once I gained it, or at the very least, at the end of the year when I had a checkup and the doctor said, oh…you’ve gained 5 lbs this year. I should have been like, BAM–LOST IT in a couple of months! We didn’t, so we have to do it now. Join us. We’re on this journey. We’re going to make it by sticking together, sharing ideas, recipes, exercise plan, etc. Having a support group is critical to the success of your weight loss plan, so be sure if you don’t join us, that you will join someone.