I Made the Decision…to Make My Health a Priority!

Made the Decision

We all have defining moments in our lives; those times when we KNOW that we need to take action…now!!  Well, I had one of those moments this week.  I had to opportunity to visit with someone who is dealing with some serious health struggles.  As I listened to this person’s story all I could really think about was, “I don’t EVER want to deal with these things… EVER, EVER!!”  I am not placing any judgment on this person at all; I don’t know their diet, exercise or personal care habits or their health history so I am in no way being critical toward them.  All I know is that I decided in that moment that I would do whatever I had to do to avoid multiple prescriptions, doctor’s visits, hospital visits, medical procedures, etc..  We have made many changes in our family (replacing chemical cleaners with safe cleaners, replacing chemical-laden personal care products with safe products, using essential oils to naturally support our body, etc.) but I know that we have back-slid with our diet.  Spring is busy with sports and that always seems to mean to0 many stops at a local drive-thru or pizza place for a quick dinner or buying items at the grocery store that are quick to prepare but not necessarily nutritious :-(.  So, I commit here and now to get back on track!!  My skinny jeans are getting a little snug (eek!) and I REFUSE to go back up a size on my jeans!  R.E.F.U.S.E.!!!  The next jeans I buy will be a size smaller NOT a size bigger!!!

I put the “My Fitness Pal” app on my phone and tablet so that I can get back on track with focusing on what I eat (I know that I eat way too many carbs and my abs show it!).  When I feel my best I am eating a paleo-type diet* (here is a website with info on paleo diets), so I like how this app helps me to easily track the amount of carbs and protein I  consume each day.  I strive to keep my carb intake under 100 grams each day.  This graphic is my inspiration:

credit:  www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-blueprint-21-day-challenge/

credit: www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-blueprint-21-day-challenge/

The following info goes along with the graphic:

“Carbohydrate intake is often the decisive factor in weight loss success and prevention of widespread health problems like Metabolic Syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes. These average daily intake levels assume that you are also getting sufficient protein and healthy fats, and are doing some amount of Primal exercise. The ranges in each zone account for individual metabolic differences.

  • 0-50 grams per day: Ketosis and I.F. (Intermittent Fasting) zone. Excellent catalyst for rapid fat loss through I.F. Not recommended for prolonged periods (except in medically supervised programs for obese or Type 2 diabetics) due to unnecessary deprivation of plant foods.
  • 50-100 grams per day: Sweet Spot for Weight Loss. Steadily drop excess body fat by minimizing insulin production. Enables 1-2 pounds per week of fat loss with satisfying, minimally restrictive meals.
  • 100-150 grams per day: Primal Maintenance zone. Once you’ve arrived at your goal or ideal body composition, you can maintain it quite easily here while enjoying abundant vegetables, fruits and other Primal foods.
  • 150-300 grams per day: Insidious Weight Gain zone. Most health conscious eaters and unsuccessful dieters end up here, due to frequent intake of sugar and grain products (breads, pastas, cereals, rice, potatoes – even whole grains). Despite trying to “do the right thing” (minimize fat, cut calories), people can still gain an average of 1.5 pounds of fat every year for decades.
  • 300+ grams a day: Danger Zone of average American diet. All but the most extreme exercisers will tend to produce excessive insulin and store excessive fat over the years at this intake level. Increases risk for obesity, Metabolic Syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
The biggest problem I have is that I am a carb-addict.  I have beaten the addiction before but backslid, so I know that I can beat the addiction again; I actually feel better (more energy and better mood) when I am eating few carbs and more nutritious foods.  I have many high-carb weaknesses, but the hardest thing to cut back on will be my beloved chai tea latte from a local coffee shop.   I did some research and found that the chai I love has 50 grams of carbs in each 20-ounce cup; that broke my heart.  I won’t deny myself of chai, but I will be more careful of how often I drink one and will plan ahead carefully!!  :-)  So, I now know that I will need to plan my meals carefully on Thursday (aka chai Thursday – when my beloved chai is nearly half price) so that I stay within my carb limit.  :-)
So, I will keep you updated on my progress.  I look forward to sharing many successes with you over the next few months.  While I do not have a specific weight loss goal, I do want to use enough weight that I can take off my wedding ring so that I can get the solitaire replaced (it broke off a few years ago).
wedding ring without solidaire

wedding ring without solitaire

I hope that my story and my decision will help you to make the decision to take your health seriously and make whatever changes are needed in your life so that you can have health in abundance!
*If a paleo-diet isn’t for you OR you have a different eating plan that is working for you, that is awesome; there are different nutritional types and food preferences, so let’s celebrate our differences rather than argue about them.  :-)

A Year From Now…

This saying has been on my mind a lot lately.  We have been making changes to be healthier and I want to look back in June 2015 and see concrete results of the work we are doing today.  I am committed to being healthier!  I really need to take a picture of myself so that next year I will be able to see the physical results.  I know that I should post my “before” picture here but am feeling insecure about doing that.  I remind myself that this is all about accountability AND that those of you who are reading this know me also already know what I look like SO I might as well just do it, huh!?  Okay fine… tomorrow I will post a before picture.

I am also thinking that I need to make an appointment with a family doctor for a general physical so that I can get my blood work done so that I also have a baseline for comparison a year from now.  My only doctor is my OB/GYN, so maybe I’ll just go through her to get that done.

Next year I will be healthier and stronger… but that all starts with today and tomorrow!  TODAY I have been healthier and TOMORROW I will be healthier too!!  I just may not see the results until next year…

Stay healthy my friends….

Feeling yucky – sugar detox?  hmmm….

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Hello friends!  I haven’t posted in a few days… I’ve been feeling yucky!  I woke up a few days ago and just couldn’t get awake and felt achy in my elbows and shoulder joints; bad thing is that I haven’t been able to shake this feeling for a few days.  (boo, hiss!)  I wondered if perhaps I wasn’t drinking enough water (I still struggle with that) or if I just wasn’t getting enough potassium (my nutrition tracker on MyFitnessPal showed that my diet was low on potassium – I tried eating more bananas but it didn’t help very much).  Since this has lingered as long as it has, I got thinking about the fact that I have been eating a much healthier diet and haven’t been eating as many carbs nor as much sugar so perhaps my body was detoxing as part of getting healthier.  So, I did some research and here is what I learned:

When you change to a healthier diet, your body goes through a detox process.  Whether the toxin you are eliminating is drugs and alcohol (which is what we typically associate detox with) or food-related (such as gluten, sugar, dairy, pop, coffee, etc.), the body goes through a process of eliminating those toxins from itself.  Symptoms include:  headache, rash, fatigue, nausea, bloating, etc..  Though these symptoms are certainly not fun, they are a great sign that your body is cleansing itself and you are on your way to feeling better.  Don’t think those signs are an indication that your body doesn’t like the changes, just work through the process!!  Here’s an article that talks about this.

Next thing I learned is that even though I had seriously decreased the amount of sugar and carbs that I was eating, I just learned that I was still consuming more of each than was truly ideal.  According to the FDA my Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) (assuming I wanted to lose 1 lb. per week) for carbs was 216 grams per day and for sugar was 65 grams per day.  HOWEVER, further research indicates that a healthier RDI for someone like me (pre-diabetic and overweight) is actually 55 grams of carbs and 25 grams of sugar!  WOW!!!  That’s a big difference!!  I thought I had been doing so well with my reduced consumption of carbs and sugars until I started looking at them based on these revised recommendations.  I have updated my goals in “MyFitnessPal” (an app where I track my food, exercise, weight and measurements).  The one thing I keep thinking is:  how much carbs and sugar was I eating BEFORE I decided to get healthy??  I can’t even imagine how much I was consuming; it’s overwhelming to me!!  No wonder I am overweight!!  BUT… I am doing well on my journey to get healthy and I’m not looking back!!  I feel better when I am eating fewer carbs and sugar, so I am going to stick with it!!

That’s all for now…
Stay healthy my friends…


June 2014 Recap

Here’s a recap of my progress and struggles for June 2014.  Overall it has been a good month.  I think I have a good momentum going and am enjoying the process.  I am also enjoying feeling healthier!!  My family is being encouraging each night when I take my walk as well as when I do my floor exercises (except the dogs who think I am on the floor to play with and pet them).  They are also patient with me when I can’t sit down with them at the start of a meal because I am weighing and measuring my food as well as when I sit at the table logging my food so that I don’t forget anything.  My sweet hubby, has even mentioned that he’s noticed that I am carrying myself differently (that I am standing straighter, walking taller).  I also feel very blessed by the encouragement I have received from all my friends.  Many, many thanks to all of you for making my journey that much nicer!!  :-)

So, here we go with the nitty gritty details (I still can’t believe I am sharing these facts on the internet for all to see)…  First, I am down a total of 5 lbs. for the month.  Here’s a summary of my measurements:

June 11, 2014   July 1, 2014    Net difference
Weight:                            217 lbs.         212 lbs.            -5 lbs.
Upper arm                        15″                    15″               none
Abs (at fullest point)   45.5″                  42″               – 3.5″
Waist                               44″                    43″               -1″
Hips                                 50.5″                 49″               -1.5″
Thigh                               27.5″                 27″               -0.5″

And here is my official picture for July 1, 2014:

I am the most amazed by the 3.5″ lost off my upper abdomen.  I know that I have been much more mindful of holding my abs in while walking (both just in general as well as when I am on my walks).  So, perhaps that is helping to tone up those muscles.  Also, my daily floor exercises focus on my core so that is likely helping as well.  I am going to keep working on this area because it is my biggest problem area in my opinion.  (I will feel a lot better in my clothes when this area is slimmed down!)

Things that appear to be working for me:
1.  As you may have read on my FB page, I have been eating more good protein, healthy fats and more veggies.  I have found that I feel better when I limit my carbs and sugars.  (I have also learned a lot about insulin and hormone-sensitive lipase, but I will share that in more detail later in a whole separate post.)
2.  I have been walking and exercising more.  Thanks to the MapMyWalk app on my phone, I have been logging all of my walking and exercising.  Since June 14th I have logged 21.25 miles walked (11 walks) and 2 hrs, 41 minutes of exercising (10 workouts).  Funny, I really do feel better since exercising more.  I never would have thought that.
3.  My sugar cravings are down.  It has been 5 weeks since I’ve had any pop/soda!  That is amazing for me!!  This has been a continual struggle for me; I was always craving sugar and pop.  I had a hard time making it through lunch time and the afternoon without a glass of pop (or two).  I have tried a variety of things in the past without success.  This time I did one thing differently:  each day I drink 1 ounce of Young Living’s Ningxia Red and take 2 drops of Ocotea essential oil.  The Ningxia Red is made from wolfberry puree from China’s Ningxia province as well as other super fruits and is good for a variety of health issues. (If you want to know more, click here. ) As far as the ocotea essential oil, it comes from a tree in Ecuador and is beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels.  (You can read more about it here, if you are interested.)  Can I prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these two things are what has cured my sugar addiction?  No, I most certainly cannot; but this is the only thing I have done differently regarding sugar and it seems to be working… and I am going to keep doing it!!

But, all isn’t rosy, there are still some things I struggle with:
1.  I have a hard time getting enough water.  I have tried a variety of things but I am still falling short of 107 oz. per day (that is half my body weight in ounces).  I know that I need more water, I am just having a hard time with it.  I’ll keep trying though!!
2.  The other day we had a family afternoon at the beach and on the way home we stopped for an ice cream cone.  I had a luscious scoop of double chocolate almond  (yum!), however, since then I am craving that ice cream; not all sweets, just this particular ice cream (there are other kinds in the freezer for the kids and I have no temptation for any of those  – go figure!).
3.  I need to work on finding local, affordable sources for grass-fed/pastured meat. I know that grocery-store meat is full of lots of hormones and other yuck that is not good for us, so I need to get better quality meat… that actually fits my budget.  I also need to commit to shopping more at the local farmers’ markets, especially for produce that is grown organically and not sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4.   I’m having a hard time getting to sleep at night.  I wonder if my nightly walk is too late in the day and my body is having a hard time settling in.  I need to do some research on this.

Well, that’s my update!!  I am making progress and that feels great!! Thanks again for all the wonderful encouragement; it means the world to me!!!

Stay healthy my friends…

Here’s a fun challenge – let’s do 30 miles in July!!

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Who’s up for a challenge?!?  A sweet friend in Texas (big wave to Colleen!) was telling me that her trainer (Tiffani Findley Allamon) has challenged her bootcampers to do 30 miles in July – that is 30 miles of walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming, rollerblading or whatever other exercising you do that can be tallied in miles (no, driving does NOT count – LOL!). CHALLENGE starts Tuesday (today!)!  Let’s see how many people we can get moving in July.All you have to do is give a shout out on FB or Twitter that you are joining the challenge; be sure to use #MyJuly30Miles for tracking!  You can also search #MyJuly30Miles to see who else has accepted the challenge as well as to give (and get) encouragement!!

I’m in; how about you??

‪#‎letsgetfit #challengeyourself  ‪#‎letsgethealthy  ‪#‎healthy ‪#‎motivation ‪#‎inspiration ‪#‎determined