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!


Judge My Buggy NOT My Body

Lately, I have been thinking about how society views people who are overweight (obese, morbidly obese). For the largest segment of the population, the view is very superficial. We are measured by what we look like. Not just measured but judged. There are clicks where we won’t fit, stereotypically. There are jobs we won’t be offered, which is legal because being overweight isn’t a protected class. People judge based on the package–not the entire package but basically just the outside.

I want to send the message that just as we shouldn’t judge people based on their past because they could have changed over the years, a person’s body, thin or overweight, shouldn’t be judged. A thin person shouldn’t be assumed to have an eating disorder, and by the same token, it shouldn’t be assumed they eat healthy. The same applies to overweight people. Don’t assume that their current body accurately reflects the level of their discipline. The only way to properly determine the overall nutritional health of a person would be to judge their grocery buggy.

I have been overweight since puberty. I have gained approximately 5 lbs a year over the course of my life. When you do the basic math of junk food calories, it doesn’t take a lot to equal a gain of 5 lbs a year. Given the terrible food choices I’ve made over the years, I think my body has been pretty forgiving to only add 5 lbs a year, but I digress. This fat suit that I have been wearing all these years is much more difficult to remove than it was to put on. The worst part is that although I have maintained a healthy eating lifestyle since July 2014 (excluding Christmas season–I went awol), my body still reflects the bad decisions I have made over the years.

Unless I wear a sign that says, “Don’t Judge My Body Based On My Past Choices”, people will still make assumptions about me that aren’t true. Now, the list of people that I really care what they think is very short, but it is still a societal prejudice that should be broken. I am trying to do my part by writing about it to educate others that a person’s buggy will tell far more about them than their body will. My buggy will tell you that there is ZERO junk in my house, and my family eats very healthy–despite our out of shape bodies.

Everything that goes in my buggy is whole (in their most natural state available in a grocery store without anything added to them and a very short ingredients list of only natural items and no sugar added). Meat, vegetables (and a lot of them), and fruit. I would be happy to be judged by my buggy now. I actually love grocery shopping. It is very empowering to know that I am making healthy decisions. What is unfortunate is that it takes a years of healthy grocery shopping/eating to undo the past as reflected by my body. This is why we shouldn’t judge others based on their body because it is not the most reliable source (even chronic illnesses make the body an unreliable source).

The same is true for people who are thin. It cannot be assumed that someone who is not overweight eats well. Genetics and heredity play far too much into that equation for it to be fair. We tend to use the body as a measurement here and assume that someone who isn’t overweight is healthy. Not necessarily so. Their buggy would tell you a lot, too. It’s just for whatever reason, their body doesn’t show their poor decisions on the outside of their body–yet.

When I visited my doctor after changing my eating, she was extremely pleased with the result of my blood work–all numbers were within normal limits! I had asked her to do a “before” blood panel, so I could chart my progress, and progress it was. The outside of me hasn’t caught up with the healthy changes that I have made in my life, but it will–eventually. Until then, I will accept myself for the healthy woman that I am. I encourage you to look at your buggy and make necessary changes. If you already have or when you do, accept yourself for the healthy person that you are, and help me spread this message by sharing this post with your friends. It will take a while to make a change, but the power of social media can spread the word quickly.

Check out Judge My Buggy on FB and join us in sending the message that the body doesn’t tell the whole story about a person!! Share your buggy with us.

Whole30 Day 5 – Feeling My Past Bad Choices

Today is my Whole30 Day 5, and I am feeling my past bad choices today! Big Time! Because I didn’t read the book before starting (and didn’t know what to look for online for the what to expect information), I thought I had a virus. I woke up nauseous and all of the stuff that typically comes along with a stomach virus. YUCK! I missed work over this.

My cousin is reading the book It Starts With Food (while getting the link, I decided to go ahead and buy it for my iPad Kindle app–it was only $9.99, how silly that I didn’t do that before), and she had posted yesterday that she had the “carb flu,” and I honestly thought that she was just feeling the effects of being carbless, but I didn’t realize she was feeling some of this. She didn’t experience the severity of mine, but the website explains that the worse you were with your decisions before the program, the worse your (basically) detox experience will be. Ok, that makes sense. You don’t get a body like this without eating a whole-lotta-junk!

Now, I have completely read what to expect, and I can feel reassured by this feeling. It is an indication that I have made a GOOD decision for my body. It is showing me what a car running on junk gas is really like. A friend shared that analogy with me years ago, but it never really made sense until today. Well, that junk that the car had gotten so use to is running out, and my “car” is spitting, choking and running rough.

On a positive note, I can be reassured that once this is burned out of my system, the good fuel I am giving my body now should really be appreciated and run really well. Oh, I do hope that means a positive impact on my metabolism. I have already started my “cycle,” something I haven’t had in a long time–another impact of my bad eating that has led to infertility in the past. After just 4 days, I noticed the beginning, and by today, I was in full swing. Another “inconvenience” that I can actually feel is a good thing because it means my body is actually working right.

I feel like I can actually carry this feeling around with me (at least while I’m feeling bad, which will pass in a day or so), and wear it as a badge to prove to myself that I can endure discomfort for the betterment of my health and my body. I have always stayed away from anything that made me “uncomfortable” when trying to do something about my weight and health. Rereading that statement, I realize just how STUPID that was for me to do because I am COMPLETELY uncomfortable. That is like the BIGGEST case of self-fulfilling prophesy that I’ve ever seen. Well, it is what it is–THE PAST.

Here we go toward the future. JOIN ME? If you want to start your own Whole30 program, let me know. Buy that Kindle book. It’s totally worth it, but if you don’t, at least read the Whole30 Timeline. It will tell you what to expect now, AND if you scroll down to the bottom of page when you finish reading it, there will be a link to the next step. You can read ahead to see what you will do when this Whole30 is over.

Thanks for following my journey. I’m glad to be back. The house is shaping up, and I am working through some things in my mind that tend to keep me from taking some time for myself to do things like enjoy my blog and post for you. I am worth it, and I am taking the time for me. I encourage you to do the same for you!

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.