Friday, April 21, 2017

April progress so far...

At an attempt at being as transparent as possible with my journey going forward, here are my stats for April so far.

When I weighed in on April 3 at 286, I felt so humiliated. Like such a failure. How in the hell did I let myself re-gain 25 lbs since October? As you can see, I did pretty good that week… but then the weekend came. And I binged away all that progress and managed to even add 2.6 MORE pounds to that high weight!
So the following Monday, April 10, I started a OMAD (one meal a day) intermittent fasting plan. I did end up going longer than that and fasted from Monday night until Thursday afternoon… 68 hours. That’s my longest fasting stretch so far. And even though I had a three day holiday weekend, I didn’t binge or go crazy. Even on Easter Sunday (which we don’t celebrate), I cooked a low-carb meal and only treated myself with sugar-free cheesecake and Halo Top ice cream. From Thursday morning to Monday, I was only up about a pound. But coming off a long fast, I thought that was decent.
This week I’ve just been intermittent fasting 16–22 hours a day. I’m really just going off hunger or timing my meal to be whenever my family eats in the evening. I do drink either coffee or tea in the mornings.
Yesterday a co-worker brought me a diet Dr. Pepper, and even though I haven’t had a diet soda in two weeks, I drank it. Big mistake. Cravings took over immediately. So, when presented with ice cream cake after school, I had a slice (a small one). Then, when I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work, I bought 3 vanilla Easter eggs off the clearance table.
What the hell? How does one slide off the rails that easily?
But thankfully, I took my ass to the gym when I got home. And by the time I was done, I decided to carry on with my planned dinner (tacos) and NOT let that behavior continue for another minute. I chugged water until bedtime, and woke up a pound less than yesterday.
Whew. That was a close one.
But eye opening. I need to be very careful not to jump the rails again this weekend. Lots of time at softball means lots of exposure to the concession stand. And even though I KNOW that food is processed and gross, I’ll still want it. Because it’s a trigger. And I’m an addict.
So my goal for tonight is to get home in time to take leftover tacos to the ballpark with me. Tomorrow is my day to actually WORK the concessions before my daughter’s game, so I’ll be at the ballpark from 11:30 a.m to around 4 p.m. I could make a big breakfast, then drink water and fast until dinner. Or I could just put on my big girl panties and fast until dinner… just say no to the junk and make a conscious decision that I won’t eat that concession stand junk anymore this season. I could also just take some food with me just in case. I’m still contemplating.
The biggest thing is not binge eating and being totally aware of my choices. Because I slip into oblivion so easily it scares me. I’ve already been on the bad habit train for so long, I have to reprogram my brain into submission. But I’ve done it before and I can do it again.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ruth's House

Last night on the way home after a delicious Sushi dinner. Clyde and I were discussing our non-profit. We haven’t really shared a lot about it because since being founded in November, we got stuck with developing a business plan and found grant writing and fund raising to be a little overwhelming (to say the least). And then there’s life… busy jobs, busy kids. Plenty of excuses.

But a few weeks ago, Clyde separated from his job and we found that it was a perfect time for both of us to actually utilize his time off to work on our non-profit, Transforming Jax. Transforming Jax is an idea that I conceived on the commute to work one day last summer. My vision is that it can be way to help teach and inform people in the Jacksonville area about nutrition and dietary management of illness. We would also provide opportunities for fitness, of course. I want to address childhood obesity. I’d love to extend education and hands on help with children who are suffering from obesity.

So, that’s how our non-profit was born. From an idea. A passion for helping others that are in the same struggle I’m in. Only I feel like I’ve found an answer. Nutrition. Not the food pyramid bullshit that has got our country fat, sick, and nearly dead. Real nutrition. Real food.

Let’s face it. Sugar and refined, processed food is killing us. If it has a label, we probably shouldn’t be eating it. But this is knowledge that I’ve just really learned over the past few years. I used to think that dieting involved a 100-calorie pack or something that said “diet” or “low-fat” on the package. Lies, all lies. And the more I’ve researched, the more I’ve learned. Most of our diet dogma is based on old, outdated, inaccurate science. Food manufacturers and government hand-greasing dictated most of what our generation knows about food.

And it’s making us sick. Type 2 diabetes is out of control. Heart disease and other chronic illnesses are now also being contributed to poor diet. But doctors are still pushing pills. And nutritionists (using the outdated, manipulated science) are telling people that calories in/calories out is the way, and if they can’t do the SAD (Standard American Diet) way, they need more willpower. Or hell, sometimes it means another (diet) pill.

I’ve been on a diet since 2nd grade. I’ve tried everything except for weight loss surgery, and if my insurance covered it, I would have tried that, too. I’ve starved, I’ve lowered calories to just over 1000 a day. I’ve raised calories. I’ve ate 5–6 meals a day, I’ve went on green smoothie and juice cleanses. They all work for a time, and then they don’t. And I gain all the weight back and then I start over with something else. And I watched my mom do the same thing.

Which is where Clyde and my conversation went yesterday on our way home after dinner.
What would my mom’s outcome have been if she had been able to heal herself through diet?
It breaks my heart that she suffered through Type 2 diabetes for most of my life. Including wound care and hospital stays for complications. She also suffered from Alzheimer’s, also being called Type 3 diabetes. And even if you don’t believe it is (which I do), studies have shown that sugar and lack of dietary fat contribute to it.

What if I could have showed her the way? What if I could have saved her years of doctors visits and taking 10–15 different pills daily? What if I could have saved her from suffering before she died from sepsis, because of a bedsore that wouldn’t heal due to the diabetes?

“Let’s make it a goal to have a community center. Call it Ruth’s House.”

Yes. Because my mom's house was known in our neighborhood for being a refuge. And a community center could be the perfect venue to offer the services I envision this non-profit to provide. The ideas started flooding in.

Ruth’s House would ideally be positioned in a low socio-economic area that doesn’t have access to this type of services. This community-type center would provide:

  • fitness equipment
  • group fitness classes
  • nutrition support/education
  • healthy cooking classes
  • a fit camp for overweight kids
  • dietary management for type 2 diabetes
  • a community garden
  • weight loss support meetings
  • a weekly food distribution with HEALTHY food (no processed food or sugary snacks… whole, real food only)

Services would ideally be free. I think this idea could be life changing. You do NOT have to be sick and overweight. There IS another way. It’s time to stop the generational curse of obesity and related illnesses. 

I believe I’ve stopped the cycle in my family. I’m not perfect. I’m still working on myself and my family. But once you know better, you can’t go back. And I’ll keep fighting for my health every single day. One day soon I hope I’ll be able to inspire others to do the same. I want to to set a nutritional example and show everyone that I know that food can be medicine. And honoring my mom would do my grieving heart some good.

Friday, February 10, 2017

T25/Running Hybrid Scedule

So, I have challenged MYSELF to start T25 starting Monday (February 13). I've had my eye on it for a LONG time (since I started Beachbody) but have been too scared to take on Shawn T. Seriously.

BUT, it's time to start leaving that fitness comfort zone I've been in and get going again. BUT, I still want to also meet that goal of mine to RUN a 5K. So I found this hybrid schedule on Pinterest.

You can find the original HERE.

I think this will be perfect. Beautiful weather is around the corner here in Fl and I love getting outside for my workouts. I've also been thinking of joining a gym for rainy days so there will be NO excuses.

I have an accountability group for this, so if you want in, let me know. It's free... all I ask is that you allow ME to be your coach, and that if you buy T25 or Shakeology, that you purchase it from me as well. I think that's just fair!

To learn more about T25, check out my Beachbody website HERE. We have an ALL ACCESS deal going on right now that you don't want to miss.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Whole 30... Week 1 recap

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I decided to do a Whole 30 starting January 30. I needed a reset and a chance to get my bearings when it comes to food. I'd tried several times to get back on strict low carb, high fat, but the cheats were killing me. I just couldn't get back into the same groove I was in last year. Why?

Because I'm a food addict. A compulsive overeater. A binger. A sugar junkie. And those old habits reared their ugly head BIG TIME over the holidays. Besides overwhelming grief and depression, I was also dealing with some other major issues at home. So unfortunately, I turned back to food. Resulting in re-gaining 15 lbs.


So, I decided that a Whole 30 would be a way to get back to whole, unprocessed food with NO CHEATS. Yes, it allows fruit and sweet potatoes, which are not keto or allowed on LCHF. But Whole 30 also eliminates dairy and promotes good fats for satiety. 

I'm THOROUGHLY enjoying fruits and sweet potatoes, to be honest. So much so that the thought of staying Paleo afterward is going through my mind. I mean, giving up cheese and dairy hasn't really been that hard. We will see when it gets closer to the end of February. But right now, the plan is to go back to Keto/LCHF and to phase out the carbs during the last week of the Whole 30.

The following is a journal of my food for week 1. The pic of the boiled eggs is just one I took of ALL the eggs for the week.. I only ate 1-2 per day on the days that picture is shown. I've been doing great at meal prep, too.

I DID make the decision to include my vegan Shakeology during this Whole 30 because it's very minimally processed and all the ingredients are compliant. I need my Shakeology for the pre and probiotics, and also for my hair. Even when I miss a few days, I can tell the difference in my body.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Food is...

Happy Thanksgiving! I woke up early this morning with a grateful heart. I admit, for the last week or so I've had a lot of mixed emotions and negative feelings. It all started on Friday... what would have been my stillborn son's 14th birthday. It's ALWAYS a day of profound sadness every year. Grief for a little boy that I only carried for 21 weeks and held for a little while outside of my body. That grief spilled into the weekend, and lots of tears were shed.

I spent some time at the beach on Sunday with my family and it made me feel better (it always does). My two day work week flew by and I am super thankful for 5 days off.

I had not planned on cooking Thanksgiving dinner. My heart and mind just wanted to avoid the holiday all together. Thanksgiving has always been my FAVORITE holiday. And it's because of all the wonderful memories made with my mom, and then my mom and I, cooking dinner and baking pies and cakes. It was always a big deal. Momma's dressing was the highlight of my year. At some point after I got married, she passed the dressing torch to me. When my mom told me that my dressing was officially better than hers, I was so happy. Then Thanksgiving dinner was my things... I would cook for my mom. We would cook together.

I can remember preparing our last meal together... 2010. And every year after that after she moved to Missouri with my sister, my little family and I would drive the 5 hours there and my sister and I would cook together for my mom. She would join us for the day from the nursing home.

Thanksgiving = my mom. And my mom is gone now and it's so hard.

But I know she would be so disappointed if I skipped the day. Because my own family loves this holiday, too.

So once I decided to cook something, my family FIRMLY told me that if they even SEE cauliflower in the kitchen they will go crazy. Clyde put his foot down... no sugar-free desserts, no faux food. They wanted the real deal Thanksgiving dinner.

Because it's just one day.

So after my 19-year old daughter got her paycheck and offered to buy groceries on Tuesday, we planned a menu. And I promised to make their carby favorites. But I also knew I could also make options just for me. I knew I could make it work. I am NOT making chess squares or caramel pie or any of my other favorite desserts because that would just be torture. But I AM having sweet potatoes, because I want them. And wine.

Last night Clyde and I had our nightly talk (this is how he unwinds after a long day) and we talked about my relationship with food and how I want to move forward in 2017 with my diet and journey. From HIS perspective, being super strict and eliminating entire food groups has just been another food 'behavior' that eventually I need to stop doing. He pointed out (correctly) that my addiction to food and my feelings surrounding food are all embedded from my childhood. I'm emotionally tied to food. He actually compared my bond to food to the way he feels when he is warm under bed covers.

When he was a child, he used to hide under the covers of his grandmother's bed when he was scared. That was his safe place.

He told me that food was my safe place. My security blanket.

And he's right. In so many ways. Because often our safety zone becomes the place where stop growing. We hide there and die because we are unable to move forward with life because of fear of failure. Fear of something different. Fear of getting cold and uncomfortable. At some point, our safe place becomes our prison. A house from an episode of Hoarders. Our fear of stepping outside suddenly becomes paralyzing and we need therapy and interventions and Xanax just to do something that most people consider "normal".

Will I ever be sane around food? Will I ever be able to handle moderation? Will I ever be able to eat "Thanksgiving" food and not obsess over carbs and calories?

I follow a variety of "food styles" on social media, and I have learned that food obsession can really go two different ways. Some people go from one extreme behavior toward food to another. Do I want to have peace with food, but still have to constantly monitor numbers and macros? Or do I want to learn how to eat intuitively and enjoy moderation on holidays? Do I want to spend hours a day on fitness? Or just move and exercise and have fun with it? Is food really just fuel? Or can it also represent love and family and friendship?

I made Clyde his favorite chocolate cake yesterday. And I know that while I was making that cake, I felt nothing but love. It made my heart happy to know that he was going to be surprised and happy when he saw it. As I was writing out the menu for today, I knew my kids would be overjoyed at having REAL macaroni and cheese. And that made me happy, too.

Food IS fuel for your body. But food is also love.

I don't want to obsess over food. I don't want to obsess over numbers... either on a scale or from macronutrients. I want to be healthy and I want to feed my body food that makes me feel good. 2016 has definitely given me insight to what foods work for my body, and which foods do not. It's been a learning process. Processed food and sugar are definitely out, because no matter what your food template is, they are poison to our body. But I do think I want to add more vegetables. I do think I want to eat less beef and pork (because my body just doesn't LOVE those two forms of meat).

I'm really just thinking out loud. Planning for 2017. Thinking about how to end this year strong and healthy. 2016 has been my most consistent year EVER and I'm so proud and grateful for all I've learned. For getting my HEALTH back. I've made progress mentally and physically and I am ready to make even more in 2017.

Friday, November 18, 2016

I need to write...

I need to write. Daily.

When I first started my blog 8 years ago, I started it as a journal. A way to document my journey and a way to write out my thoughts and feelings about my life. It turned into so much more... and as I've said many times over the past few years... At some point I stopped writing for ME.

I am so grateful for the friends I've made through blogging and social media. Blogging has afforded me some amazing opportunities (TWO trips to NYC!), and I've also received incredible encouragement and support from an online community of like-minded individuals.

But the larger that audience grew, the more I feel like I pulled back from putting my full emotions and heart into writing.

Because people are now watching. People I know in REAL life. It became hard to put my business out there.

Now, though... things have changed a little. It might be me, but I don't think people read blogs as much as they used to. Seems crazy, but I think Facebook and other social media gets all the views. Which may be a good thing.

Because I need to write. I need to blog again. I need the outlet.

Writing is my 'thing'. It's my talent. My creative gift.

And I need it right now. I need that outlet.

But I don't want to be censored. I don't want to have to pick and choose what I disclose. I need for this to be a diary again. Somewhere that I can be candid and emotional.

Because my life is going into a whole new realm right now and I need to process it in the only way I know how. By writing through it. By writing about it.

2016 has been a breakthrough year for me. I have gone from just existing to actually LIVING in my purpose. But finding my purpose and getting past fear has been so transformative that I am now facing a lot of... emotions?... that maybe I wasn't prepared for.

Life seems so BIG now. The possibilities for my future are so endless. And for the first time in my life I KNOW without a DOUBT that I am on the edge of greatness. But it's still a lot to process.

Because I'm not there...yet. Close. But not close enough.

My brain is always on TEN lately. I have a pretty long commute every day (2+ hours total) and I spend that time listening to Podcasts or audio books. I'm in a constant state of personal development nowadays. And I get so many ideas while I'm driving! So much inspiration and so many ah-ha moments. But then I get to my destination (work or home) and my role as teacher or mom begins and I am suddenly carried away from my thoughts or ideas and they take a while to come back.

So, I had an idea today. I need to start writing again. I need to make notes in a small notebook that I carry in my purse or keep in my car (don't worry... I won't do it while driving, lol). I can also make a voice memo on my phone. But then I need to immediately write about it. Whether it's in my journal, or via Blogger. I need to start writing about it all.

Because my thoughts are important right now. I need to document these feelings and what is going on in my life right now.

It might be helpful to someone in the future. Or even now. Or... it could just sound like jumbled rubbish and only make sense to me.

Either way... it will be here. So if you choose to read, that's fine. If no one reads, that's fine, too.

I'm going back to writing for me. Because I need to. And I give myself permission to do what's best for me.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

True Transformation

One of the most amazing parts of my journey has occurred over the last 90 days, and I didn't even realize how profound it's been until this morning. Beachbody has this thing called the "Four Vital Behaviors" and one of them is personal development. Since I started coaching at the beginning of August, personal development has become part of my daily routine. And it's been a game changer.

It actually started in June or July when I started listening to podcasts in my car every day. It started out with The Chalene Show and The Ketovangelist Podcast. I think I listened to every single episode of the Ketovangelist podcast on the way to and from Georgia to drop off my nephew in July. But eventually I added Keto Talk with Jimmy Moore & The Doc, Build Your Tribe, Team Beachbody Coach Podcast, The Model Health Show and MLM Nation after I committed to being a coach at the end of July. Now my car is sort of a mobile university, lol. I learn something new almost daily. I've now graduated to audio books from Audible and have listened to several that have literally had me pulling over and taking notes. So far my favorite has been the 10x Rule by Grant Cardone and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I just got Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone and I'm excited to start reading/listening to it this week.

So, this morning I was listening to a fairly new-to-me podcast called The Model Health Show and the subject was on TRANSFORMATION so you know that my ears perked up in happiness. Because, you know, I'm in the midst of a MAJOR transformation this year. But Shawn was talking about Five Steps for Transformation. They were:
1. A trigger that leads to transformation
2. A model of someone who is doing what you want to do or where you want to be
3. Getting out of your comfort zone
4. Staying the course despite obstacles (falling off the wagon)
5. OWNING your GREATNESS (this is the one that punched me in the gut)

As I was still driving along, savoring the information that was given and thinking about it's practical application to what is going on in my real life, another podcast came on that is also new to me called Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod. And damned if THIS one was talking about having morning rituals and how by doing so you can achieve so much more than you realize. One quote that stood out at me is, "You can not fail when you act in alignment with your strengths and priorities. You can only learn, grow, and riterate." I can't wait to listen to the rest of this one later.

During my one hour drive this morning, I really received some confirmation that I need to get back on my early morning routines and rituals. I was doing so well for a while with waking up early to exercise and read, but lately... no. First excuse... it's SO DARK OUT. It's literally not daylight until I'm approaching work at 7:30 a.m. That makes getting up at 4:30 a.m. seem like the middle of the night. My body wants to sleep! I do go to bed fairly early (around 9-9:30 p.m.) but waking up is hard. My clock is set for 5 a.m. and I usually hit snooze 50 times.

But I must do better. Because from here on out, I need to be on my A-game. Seriously.

I have a huge announcement to make soon, but just know that I have something major in the works. Not with Beachbody, but something else. Yes, something else besides my job as a teacher, my life as a mom, and my Beachbody business (which is doing very well!). OH, and don't forget that I am still making my diet and exercise routine a priority no matter what.

So, I've decided that the next phase of my own transformation will finally address my own spirit.

See, I've got a pretty good handle on body and mind. I've been nourishing my body all year, and the constant reading and personal develop is definitely growing my mind. But my spirit is lacking. I know it is.

I'm not religious. I don't go to church. I don't read the Bible or anything like that. But for several years I've been really interested in practicing meditation. But I've never been consistent with it... not ever past a few days. But I want to be. Because I REALLY need to clear my mind of all the windows that are constantly open. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed about the future even though it's something that I'm totally in charge of designing and I'm happy with the direction my life is going in. But I need to be... centered? Balanced? I think meditation will help me. My personal development (podcasts and books) always recommends the practice and I know of so many that love it.

So I'm going to commit. I think I will start with a guided meditation of some sort... I haven't had much success with the other kind where you sit in silence. I have no practice with shutting my brain off like that, lol. Any tips? Suggestions on how to get started?

I am also going to commit to writing more. It's so therapeutic for me. To be honest, I don't know how many people actually read blogs anymore. But I'll do it for me.