Friday, June 29, 2018

My Truth and the Lies We Tell Ourselves

Soooooo.......let's just pretend that almost 18 months hasn't gone by since my last blog post here. *Poof* forgotten.

Lies! I've talked about them before and likely, I will talk about them again.

Usually the biggest lies we tell ourselves are about ourselves. With our own body image it is really hard to be honest sometimes, especially as we get older and our bodies change. Truthfully though, I have always had a warped image of my body and therefore been a damn good self deceiver when it came!

Now bare with me as I start pointing fingers. I am fully aware as an adult where the fault lies with my diet, exercise and health in general. However, I didn't just frivolously jump on the bandwagon that led me here. No, I was shamed and in some ways, forced into it.

As a very young kid, I was a picky eater and very skinny. I was tiny from my head to my toes. I even had a dentist tell me once that I had the tiniest teeth he had ever worked on. I remember still wearing a size 6 little girls long after my friends were in size 8's and 10's. I was not a food lover and spent many an hour sitting at the table long after everyone else was through eating, because I wouldn't eat my food. Then, my mother who was also very thin and who had always had the metabolism of a hummingbird, got a divorce. That divorce did us all in I think.

My mother began to turn to food as comfort during this time and her once active lifestyle was replaced with what I now believe was depression. She began preparing large fattening meals and supplementing with fast food. After she put on about 20 pounds and started feeling physically like crap (mom had Lupus and a good diet is crucial to Lupus survival) she joined Weight Watchers and took it all off in 6 weeks. As far as I went, I had taken a liking to homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, scalloped potatoes, pizza and hamburgers and yes....I put on some weight but mostly my metabolism was still pretty good and my weight was more puberty related.

Looking back, had my mother just changed all of our diets over to more of a Weight Watchers mind set and not focused so heavily on weight, scales and body image, I might not ever have gone down the road I did. The icing on the cake for me though(no pun intended), was my mom taking me to the doctor for a physical and the doctor telling "me" not her, that I had put on 5 pounds in the last year but that I hadn't grown any taller, therefore if I didn't go on a "diet" right now, I was going to be "fat!" Yep! My self image was pretty much in the toilet at 11 years old.

From that moment on, I was on a lifelong journey of self-love vs. self-loathing, binge eating, diet pills, laxatives, anorexia and obesity. I judged myself the way I felt the world judged me and that was by how I looked. This was validated by peoples attitudes toward me based on my weight.

During my high school years, I was not skinny by any stretch, but I was not fat either. At that time in society though, the world worshiped "skinny" to the point of no butt and no boobs. Now you could get by with the bigger boobs if you had a tiny waist and butt, but if you had a voluptuous figure at all, you were "fat!" Since I was only 5'1", I had no waist, but I did have boobs and a butt and because I wasn't bikini body, waif thin.....I was viewed as and talked about as fat. Then, my senior year in high school, right at Thanksgiving I got sick. I couldn't eat for about a week and being young and having a decent metabolism, I dropped about 10 pounds, which was a lot for my tiny body. Then my mother got sick and we thought she had heart issues. The worry and stress over that caused me to drop another 5 pounds. Then I got a crush on a guy at school. My obsession with him caused another 5 to come off. By the time I went back to school after Christmas break, I was 20 pounds down and it seemed that everyone noticed it. Guys who had never given me the time of day suddenly found me "interesting" and girls suddenly either got friendlier or meaner depending on whether they found my new weight loss a threat or not. Even my parents were noticing. Suddenly my dad was "proud" of the way I looked and was taking me out to buy brand new clothes, something he never did before.

There was a problem with all of this though. I was still me and I still liked scalloped potatoes and hamburgers and once I was no longer sick, worried and infatuated, my appetite was back and I was hungry. When I started gaining back the first 5 pounds, I panicked. I liked thin me and I wasn't going to give it up. That is when I took out stock in laxatives. The fact that I have any colon left today is a miracle as I would down literally boxes of laxatives after I ate. It worked but one of the nasty side effects (aside from the obvious) was that taking that many laxatives dehydrates you and dehydration caused me horrific migraines. At the time I didn't realize the correlation, but now I know why I spent the last half of my senior year literally in agony all the time with migraines. Apparently though, the number on the scales was worth ALL the side effects of the laxatives.

It wasn't long before I found myself completely addicted to my scales. I would literally weigh myself 8-10 times a day. I had no understanding at the time that your body weight fluctuates throughout the day and therefore I would panic if I weighed half a pound more in the evening than I did in the morning. By this time, laxatives were not enough for me and so I began not eating at all or eating very minimally. The pounds were dropping and people were telling me how great I looked by I was literally starving. I wanted to eat so badly, but each morsel that went into my mouth I felt guilty about. Peoples admiration for how great I looked was worth everything to me.....including my health, so the starvation continued.

I was never a true bulimic simply because I hate throwing up. I could never force myself to throw up no matter how much I tried. What I could do though, was drink until I puked, which I got very good at. My friends and I would go out to the bars and clubs and we would drink. I drank a least for my size....and every time I would end up puking sick and hungover. The weird thing was, I never liked alcohol. To this day I am still not a fan, but back then, drinking was a means to an end and each morning after a night out of drinking and then throwing up, no matter how bad the hangover, I was on the scales checking to see how much weight I had lost.

Eventually I couldn't stand the drinking anymore or the laxatives and I started to gain a few pounds back. Panic again began to set in and then I learned of a doctor who was an osteopath, who practiced over the state line. He was pricey as you had to pay out of pocket (can't imagine why he turned none of this into insurance). You would go in and get blood work done and then he would give you diet pills. Phendometrazine and something else, along with a vitamin. Yeah....that vitamin helped a lot. Looking back, the doctor was criminal for giving me, a 5'1" girl who weighed 100 pounds soaking wet, diet pills....but he did. 

The diet pills in my mind were the answer to all my prayers. By taking the pills, I was never hungry. I could literally go without food for days without the pesky side effect of hunger. I would eat something unhealthy like a bag of chips, a candy bar or a burger every couple of days just to keep from keeling over, but other than that....nothing. I was literally starving myself to death. I don't think I cared though because the world was giving me "positive" feedback. I say positive loosely as in my warped brain, my mom being worried about my weight loss and people telling me that I was getting "too thin," were positive. Even my dad told me I needed to eat more, where as before when I was heavier and healthy, he told me I looked like a "hog." No one had ever told me I was "too thin" before and I loved it.

It wasn't until after I met my husband and he convinced me that he found me beautiful regardless of how I looked, that I started to get a handle on my eating. By handle, I mean I began to eat regularly and not worry about the scales. Then after I had my middle son, the weight grabbed a hold and didn't want to let go. I did get back down to a healthy weight after he was born and then I found out I was pregnant again. During this pregnancy though, my body had changed so much and I put on a lot of weight. Following my youngest son's birth, the bottom fell out of my world and then the next three years I dealt with the NICU, losing my husband, a hysterectomy, a special needs child, a teenager grieving and going wild, losing my mom and full on depression caused by anti-depressants. (Yes....I said caused by anti-depressants and that is another story for another day).

My weight kept climbing and my energy was declining. I felt horrible all of the time and my doctor just kept wanting to put me on more anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. I was in a limbo of exhaustion, hunger and frustration. Then as I was sitting in his office one day, I read an article about hypothyroidism. Everything in the article spoke to me. I knew this was my issue and when I finally got called back I told the doctor what I thought. I literally had to argue with him to get him to test me, but low and behold, my thyroid was so out of whack and so slow, it was helping to contribute to everything else that was out of whack in my life. Once I started Synthroid and weaned myself off of all the other unnecessary crap, I started feeling like a human again. That being said though, by this point my metabolism was so slow and my eating habits were so bad, that for the next few years, food was my friend and my weight climbed.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine talked me into starting a food program called Trim Healthy Mama. She had actually started trying to get me to do it two years prior, but I am a hard sell. I really believed that I would always be overweight and that fat and unhealthy were how I would spend the rest of my days. Doing THM though, I learned I was wrong. In three months I lost about 30 lbs and I felt amazing. I was healthy and I was actually happy and never hungry. I did well for quite sometime and then..............

This is where I would normally throw in a multitude of excuses as to why I quit taking care of me such as......a child on drugs, another child's impending surgery, almost losing my house, almost losing a grand child and the list goes on and on, but the TRUTH is......I just gave up and let life overwhelm me. It was my fault, my choice and although I might be able to blame my start on this unhealthy path on others, my current issues are my own fault. I obviously know how to live healthy, I just made the choice not to.

So the other day I had to go to the doctor for a tick bite(another fun story for another day). My blood pressure was a scary 154/114 and my weight was....well let's just say......not pretty. What the heck was I doing to myself? Why was I doing it? Was I not worth better?

Body image and the lies we tell ourselves about our body, our health and our eating habits can literally kill us, especially the older we get. So here's my truth. I am not perfect, but I am definitely a worthwhile person. In the big scheme of things, I still have some good years ahead....if I stay healthy. I have health problems that would be made so much better if I lost weight. I don't feel good about me, the way I look or how I feel. I want to lose weight. I know how to lose weight, eat, not be hungry and be healthy......and most importantly.....I am worth everything it takes to do it. I deserve to be the very best version of me I can be! And that folks is the truth!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The "Real" in Mama Junes Reality TV

You know...I was never a fan of Honey Boo Boo and her mother....Mama June. I like a little class with my tv and try as I might, I could never find any in that show. Now they are back or Mama June primarily is in a show called From Not to Hot. For those of you who have never viewed this new reality show endeavor, Mama June is on a journey to lose weight and look amazing for her ex, Sugar Bears wedding.

Now please don't judge me for watching this low brow reality show, but I simply can't help myself. I am somewhat addicted to any show that talks about and shows true weight loss in individuals. Yes, I know you are saying to yourself...."But Lisa, this is 'reality' tv. How true can this be?" Well, you are right. For some of this show, the non-reality of it is glaringly obvious such as when June starts losing a lot of weight a little too quickly and has to wear an obvious fat suit to film some sections of the show. That being said though, the weight loss is real and even more so......her struggle with weight loss is very real.

Mama June tipped the scales at somewhere around 350 lbs when filming started. The premise of the story goes that June found out her ex was getting remarried in 10 months and he had invited her to the wedding, so she decided she wanted to show the bride up and go to the wedding with a whole new look. Of course reality tv saw $$$$$ and made it their mission to make as much money off June, her weight loss and her dysfunctional brood as they could.

Without giving away all the stimulating drama and plot points of the series, I will give you the condensed version. June had gastric sleeve surgery. The series gave her a personal trainer and her daughters bought her a size 4 dress so that she had a goal to achieve in 40 weeks. Again.....reality tv heaven. For me, it was like a train wreck. I knew I shouldn't watch, but darned if I didn't get sucked in. To my credit though, I DVR the show so that I can fast forward through some of the more ridiculousness of the show.... and some weeks that is a good portion of it, however.....the show is a pretty accurate portrayal of the difficulty involved with losing a large amount of weight and this is why I guess it holds my interest.

A gastric sleeve is one of the more extreme ways that someone who is unhealthily over weight can turn to for weight loss. Because it is a surgery it holds some degree of danger from anesthetic to the possibility of infection, blood clots and all the other potentially dangerous side effects of anyone post surgery. Once the surgery is over, there is of course the recovery from the surgery and because your stomach has basically been shrunk, there is a period of time where you are only allowed liquids and then you work yourself up to small portions of food.

A gastric sleeve can help a person literally drop 100-200 lbs in a relatively short period of time, but it is not a miracle worker in itself. The person undergoing the surgery has to be dedicated to losing the weight and keeping it off and also has to be resigned to the fact that for the rest of their lives they will never be able to eat as they did before the surgery without risk of damaging the sleeve or themselves. In other words, if you are going into something as drastic as gastric sleeve surgery, you better be all in on this being a permanent lifestyle change and you better also be losing for the right reasons. Needless to say, showing the bride up at your exes wedding is not in my opinion, a good reason.

June of course drops the weight initially quite quickly and with this large amount of weight loss come some of the less pleasant side effects of losing this much weight quickly. Everything sags and bags and flapping arms, excess stomach skin and sagging thighs are not only uncomfortable, but they can also get in the way of exercise and day to day living. They also have an affect on self image. It's great to be a size 4 but if the skin on your arms make you look like you have wings instead of arms.....that becomes a self image problem. Surgery then again becomes a necessity. The thing about skin removal surgery though, is that you basically have to be pretty near your goal weight before having it or else the surgery does no good.  So Junes story does not have an automatic happy ending. In fact, at times the story gets quite "real" and becomes something that most of us can easily identify with.

June does not like exercise and yet exercise is as important to her weight loss and overall health as eating right is. It is a real struggle for her to get with the exercise program....even with a very animated and professional trainer. The struggle is even more difficult when it becomes obvious that June went into the whole weight loss, surgery, etc. thinking that her weight would come off much more easily and with a lot less work on her part, than is actually required. Eventually though, even June figures out that exercise is a key factor in her new lifestyle and gets on board to some degree.

Another glaringly evident theme in the show is that Junes two daughters who live with her are anything but supportive. Alonna (Honey Boo Boo) and Lauryn (Pumpkin) are used to a diet of sugar, fast food and comfort food and obviously supporting their moms weight loss by cutting out the unhealthy foods or even cutting back is not in their game plan as they eat cheeseburgers and ice cream in front of June. This is something that many of us can relate to as often our families are only supportive if it doesn't affect them.

Weight loss is challenging for the toughest of people as it is overcoming an addiction. A food addiction. Anyone knows you wouldn't smoke meth in front of a drug addict or drink alcohol in front of an alcoholic but people don't think twice about eating a piece of cake or downing a cheeseburger with everything on it in front someone trying to lose weight. Junes daughters not only eat all the things she can't have in front of her, but it is quite obvious at times that the two girls who seem to have weight issues of their own, aren't truly accepting of their moms new size or attempt at a healthier lifestyle. In fact there are definitely times that the two seem to be almost sabotaging their mom's efforts. Again....a lot of us can relate. If those around us see us changing for the better and they aren't, it somehow becomes a threat to them and their way of life, so they load on the sabotage. I think this is when reality tv crosses over into real life for some of us.

So I am not sure how far into the season we are with Mama June. I know in the last episode she had given into her old habits and she has become quite proficient at hiding cookies, candies and other forms of unhealthy and fattening contraband much to her trainers shock and dismay. This "bad" behavior had been instrumental in causing her to gain some of her weight back. Fortunately her gain wasn't enough to keep her from getting the first of her two skin surgeries (a skin removal and tummy tuck on her stomach and a breast lift/enhancement). Her excitement over her knew boobs and flat stomach was somewhat squelched though at the realization that beauty sometimes hurts and these surgeries were starting to be much more painful and life restricting than she had originally signed on for.

Will Mama June get her arms and neck done or will she give up the whole surgery idea? Will she continue  to hide food and sneak eat and allow her family to continue sabotaging her? Or..... will she start to realize that her weight loss is more than just a moment of revenge at her exes wedding?

Bottom line is that many of us who carry extra pounds, whether it is 20 lbs or 200 lbs have all kinds of reasons for wanting to lose weight. The fact is though, that if we don't lose for the right reasons and learn a little about ourselves as we go, the weight will never stay off and we will fail ourselves over and over again. Losing for the right reasons (love of ourselves, our health and our desire to live a full healthy and happy life) is the only thing that will get us through those moments when our family and friends aren't as supportive as they should be or when we are contemplating doing our own self-sabotage.

So yeah, I am still not a fan of Mama June or reality tv as a whole but what can I say.....I'm invested! 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Losing It....The Hard Way

So I have lost 2.6 pounds my first week back on THM and quite honestly, I haven't done a full day on THM yet. Oh no....I have lost all of this on another kind of diet called.....The Stomach Flu or as I like to call it,  Losing It....the Hard Way, and no.....I do NOT recommend it. Quite frankly I am surprised that after being as sick as I was this week, that I didn't lose all my weight and hit my goal in one fell swoop. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but there is definitely no food left inside me after the week I have had...(sorry for the TMI). 

Well, it is January and usually every January I suffer through some illness that throws me off....mind, body and soul. Why should this year be any different? Actually, I think that if I had not taken my THM hiatus for several months and had stayed on plan this whole time, I might not have gotten this or at least not to the extent I did. Why? Because the entire time I was 100% on-plan I simply didn't get sick. My migraines even almost went away. I was nourishing my body and keeping healthy foods in it which was in turn giving me the energy I needed to sustain my health.

Several times when I was on-plan, I started to feel as if I might be coming down with something. Immediately I began drinking the Singing Canary twice per day and making sure that I was eating plenty of protein and my green veggies such as broccoli and spinach and I simply never got sick. Now though....I've been sick!!!!!

Today thankfully, I do feel better. I will take the 2.6 pound loss even though it was a default loss and I will not let still not feeling 100% derail me. FYI: Did you know that getting sick during a weight loss plan can derail you or even completely throw you off plan and make you quit? It's true, because as you start eating again, your on-plan foods may not sound good or even taste good, therefore you drift off into comfort food and foods that "historically" make you feel better. Before you know it, Sprite, Gatorade, pudding, Popsicles and mashed potatoes, become burgers, fries and tacos. Trust me, I know of what I speak and traditionally, cold and flu season have not been my best times to try to stay loyal to any kind of healthy eating. This year though, I hope to break that pattern.

Yes, it might be tea, sprouted bread toast and chicken broth still for a day or two, but I am determined that the moment eggs, bacon, veggies and my beloved fauxtatoes (broccoli, cauliflower mashed as potatoes) can be handled on my stomach, then I will be back on plan.

Here's hoping that the rest of you are having a healthy January. Till next time....Happy Sunday!

Monday, January 2, 2017

And I'm Baaack!

Annnnd I'm baaaaack!


Life, the holidays, blah blah blah. It all left me feeling bleh bleh bleh. Since October, I could feel the pounds creeping back and all the hard work I had put into losing falling to the wayside. This year though, I did not fall into a tizzy, nor did I start self loathing. In fact, I really didn't sweat it because this year I know something that I didn't know for sure last year. This year I know that I CAN lose the weight and when I finally put my mind to it.....I WILL lose the weight.

Guess what.....I've put my mind to it and I am back!!!!

Ladies and any gentlemen reading, I have learned that through Trim Healthy Mama, absolutely anyone can lose weight and be healthy. I also know that THM is a committed life style change that is not just weight loss but also a change of body, mind and soul. Never have I felt more in tune with my body or my health than I did when I was eating right and taking care of myself and exercising. So many of the issues I had had prior to THM suddenly reversed themselves. My acid re-flux was all but gone, the pain in my feet and legs was gone and I had tons of energy, slept well and simply felt good all over. I realized that I had really turned a corner though when all the changes suddenly were no longer about how I looked, but instead had become about how I felt. I really felt good.

So why stop? Because I am human and a creature of many years of bad habits. I had some really sudden and dramatic changes in my life and as good as I thought my coping skills had become, some things only cheesecake can calm. Then it became that I was simply too tired and warn out from drama to cook, so fast food trickled back into my diet and then finally, the holidays came and I said %&*$ it and I gave in to every bad eating habit I had ever had.

Sadly, there was no joy or comfort in the nefarious "comfort" foods I succumbed to. In fact, there was much discomfort as my acid re-flux came back with a vengeance....usually about 2 a.m., causing me to wake up choking and gasping and in tremendous burning pain. Then there was the hands and feet swelling from the evil sugar that I was ingesting on a daily basis, not to mention the continuous stomach discomfort and constant lethargy that comes from eating a crap diet. I also was back to the pain in my feet and legs. Then of course there was my face rounding out again and my clothes getting tighter by the day. The real problem was....I couldn't gain too much weight, because I had thrown out all of my really large size clothes, so if I got any bigger, I was going to be down to a bathrobe and a pair of sweats with a hole in the butt. was time. 

At Christmas, I decided that I was giving myself until New Years Eve to eat whatever, but New Years Day...the bad habits would be tamed. Funny thing was, giving myself that permission kind of turned me around. Between Christmas and NYE, I was already eating back about 60% THM. The other funny thing.....there was no worry or doubt in my mind that starting 1-1-17 that I wouldn't be 100% back on plan and stick with it. 1) I knew I had done it and could do it again and 2) My body was ready for it and food to be friends again.

Yesterday I stepped on the scales. It was the one thing I was really NOT looking forward to, but I knew that I had to be honest with myself and face up to what I had done these last few months. As expected, the number wasn't pretty, but I also wasn't having to start back from my heaviest weight either. I had gained, much more than I would have liked, but it was fixable. I was fixable.

Being back, I feel better emotionally and I know the physical is not far behind. I know that once again I am in control of my food and not the other way around.

I can't speak for anyone else and I am not here to tell anyone how to live their life or change their life. All I am doing is telling you what my truth is and my truth is.....THM works and I am baaaaack!

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Me I am Suppose to Be

No....I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. the last month or so, I have proven that I am human though, and fallen off the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) wagon which to some of you, may make my journey a bit more relatable.

The moment school started, or maybe even a bit before for me began to change. As anyone who attempts a lifestyle change knows.....added change above and beyond the lifestyle change itself, can be difficult and even derailing at times.

For me, July 2nd, through Sept. 28th, is always a hard time of year for me. It started in Sept. of 2000 when my son was born 13 weeks prematurely and he as well as our entire family began a years long roller coaster ride with him, first with months in the NICU and then years of dealing with his many diagnosis which include but are not limited to cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and a seizure disorder. Then in July of 2001, I came home to find my husband had died from an undetected brain aneurysm. In August it is our wedding anniversary and Sept. is his birthday. So those months in the best of times, have their trials for me.

This year though, there was added stress with one of my sons and his daughter moving home, some added projects I gave myself and just some things I was going through personally trying to acclimate myself to weight loss and keeping myself emotionally built up, so I would not stall out and back slide and so I would continue to lose.

You know, I like to think of myself as a strong woman who is tough as nails and that what people say about me or think about me has no real affect on me. The truth is though, I am human and sometimes my force field is not nearly as strong as I think it is and BOOM....I am wounded and all my hard work feels like it is for nothing.

I have a great family. I love my kids dearly and I do try and be "Mom of the Year," more than I should....especially since all but one of my kids is grown. That being said, they are young people caught up in their own world and they have no understanding of how important it is to me to hit my goals and maintain this lifestyle change for the long haul. At first, they were fairly supportive eating with me and giving me the ol' "great job Mom," comments along the way. Then they just stopped. THEN....I started hearing rumblings about the THM food I was making. They wanted, junk food, sugar, soda and all the things that I had fought to break away from. Finally it got to the point where they started getting snide about food, about my weight loss and even about me.Add to that, one of my sons constantly commenting on my food intake and asking me...."is that on your diet," and I began realizing that I was losing myself again in their negativity and judgement. ENOUGH was ENOUGH!

 Truthfully, for about the last 6 weeks, I have been eating the THM way about 50-60 percent of the time and while I haven't put a huge amount of weight back on, this morning when I stepped on the scales, it was significant enough to give me a wake up call. My body has been giving me aches and pains that it wasn't before and I feel sluggish and unenergetic. To say that I am not happy with myself right now is an understatement.

Little fun fact, if you aren't actively participating in the THM facebook pages, they quit showing up in your news feed as much. In the last few weeks, I have barely seen a THM post, but just like back in May when I first decided to change my life, the THM Challenge page miraculously showed up on Oct. 7th (and I say miraculously because I hadn't seen a Challenge posts in a couple of weeks). It happened to be a post about a new challenge that runs Oct. 7th through Nov. 4th. I knew that once again, I was being guided to get busy and get back on it and not for anyone but me!

This week may prove challenging as it is my birthday week, but I decided that the best gift I can give myself is taking care of me and getting back to feeling healthy and happy. I refuse to allow anyone including my children to dictate how I live my life or to allow anyone's negativity to affect what I know will ultimately make me the best me I can be.

So yes, I am human and yes, I stumbled and fell back a few steps. However, this is not the end of my journey. It is merely a speed bump and it was put in my path for a reason. In these last few weeks I have learned a great deal about myself, my family and how much I want this. Perhaps it was a gift given to me so that I can now push harder, become stronger and ultimately......find the me I am suppose to be. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes!

I am changing. I see it on the outside and I feel it on the inside. It is all part of the process and one might think that losing weight and getting healthy are nothing but rewards, but like with anything else, even this has its challenges. In the big scheme of things though, these challenges are so worth the end result.

I didn't post last week because quite honestly, I felt pretty crappy. Last week was our hometown celebration called Old Settlers. If you have watched the news, you might have heard that on the Friday night of Old Settlers, we (Mulvane, KS)  had extreme slow moving storms that went through the area dropping anywhere from 7-9 inches of rain on us in just a couple of hours, which caused major flooding in our little town. We had 6 feet of water rushing through the downtown area and the area where we have the rides, concessions and vendors. People had to be helped out by boats and the destruction was pretty massive. Businesses as well as individuals lost a great deal. We are a close knit bunch though, and rather than let it get the town down, people jumped in and soon our little community will be good as new. That is just who we are.

Every year for Old Settlers, people come back to visit and those of us who still remain here, gather and we make it a huge party. A little water was not going to change that for us and this was my first "cheat" off THM since May 15th. While the temptation was there to eat everything in site, the reformed me kept thinking...."everything in moderation." I knew this was the best I was going to do this weekend so I wasn't going to fight it. Yes, there was cheesecake...full fat, full on carb and lots of sugar....chessecake. I did however, manage to keep it to one slice. Trust me, that was an amazing NSV for me. I snacked on chips, candy and things that haven't touched my lips in months BUT I tried very hard not to overdo it. I also kept in mind others talking about eating sugar after not eating it for awhile and it being very hard to get the sugar out of their system again. I certainly didn't want to have to start from ground zero again just because of one weekend. I could tell all weekend that my system was off and my body was definitely not happy with me, but I trudged ahead like a good little "cheater." The worst thing for me though, was the alcohol.

I am not a drinker for many reasons, but once a year, when everyone is in town and we celebrate Old Settlers I do enjoy drinking with my friends. Usually I know my limit and I never exceed it, but this year.....I did not take into account my current weight loss or the fact that my body was already functioning poorly because of the weekend festivities. I drank no more than I normally would have and it would likely not have affected me at all, but being down 25 lbs and not eating nearly as much as I usually do and eating all the wrong things, affected me! Let's just say that the toilet and I had some very close moments Saturday night. When Sunday morning rolled around, I really wanted to be angry with myself (especially because I felt so awful), but I decided beating myself up was not the answer. Instead I chose to use it as a learning experience and a cautionary tale of how to proceed in the future.

It did not help that due to the weekends festivities, I had also gained almost 2 lbs. Again though, forgiving myself the indiscretions of the weekend and learning from it were crucial. I was not going to let 3 days ruin all these weeks of hard work. After all, life is messy. It has cheats from time to time and they are fine as long as they don't become a habit! This was not going to be a habit!

Monday I jumped right back on THM and never looked back. Those 3 days did do a number on me and it was about Thursday before I was even beginning to feel normal again. I won't lie, food was a challenge last week. Luckily, the sugar I ingested didn't seem to give me any horrible cravings although, I did dream about Jif peanut butter a couple of times during the week. Go figure.

Even on the days when I had difficulty eating the things I should eat, I did make sure that I drank a lot of water and tons of Good Girl Moonshine (GGMS). The funny thing was, that suddenly my shorts and jeans started feeling a lot looser. I can now feel my ribs when I lay down and I am going to have to get rid of a lot of my shirts as they are starting to fall off me in some rather obscene ways. On the other side of the coin, I am also starting to see some rather unattractive saggy skin on my belly that I am not pleased with. I know this comes from a lack of exercise and muscle toning. Again it is all part of the process but it is also one of those challenges I was referring to. Needless to say, it was a weird week for me.

This morning when I stepped on the scale, I had lost the 2 pounds I gained plus another 6/10ths of a pound. I was good with that. I feel like I am back on track and ready for the next challenge which I will be starting Sept.1st.

The changes are coming. For me they feel like they have been slow but steady. I am ready for the next phase of my weight loss and it is becoming abundantly clear that muscle toning exercise along with fat burning exercise are crucial as I begin this new challenge. The thing doesn't stop or slow down just because I am trying to become healthy, so I have to work eating right and exercising around the craziness that is my life. I also have to remember that life is not perfect and I am not perfect. There will be those cheat moments and they are long as I remember that they are moments and not bad habits returning.

The next few months are going to be a test of my ability to stick with THM and my desire to truly change my health. We are going into fall and the holidays and they are tricky for most of us. We will get to see if I really think I am worth it or not. I have every faith that I will do fine and  whats more, I am learning so much about myself and how strong I am.

Yes, even positive changes hold challenges. It is all part of life, but the changes I am making are for me and ultimately, those who love me. Wait! Did you hear it? I can almost hear David Bowie in the background singing....."Ch ch ch ch changes!" 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Short and Sweet

As of today.....I have lost 25.6 lbs since May 15th! This week I lost just shy of another 2 lbs!

Today's blog is short and sweet. May 14th, just a few weeks ago, I was convinced that I could NOT lose weight. I was absolutely sure that I was destined to be overweight, sluggish, unmotivated and unhealthy for the rest of my life. I hated getting out of bed in the morning. I hated looking at myself in the mirror and I hated going anywhere because I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. It was not a life I was happy about, but it was the life I deserved as no one forced fast food and candy down my throat and everyday that I did nothing about it.....well that was a choice.

May 15th, literally changed my life. It was the day I opened up the THM cookbook and decided that I was going to prove to myself once and for all that I deserved better. I have stayed committed for all these weeks and as I felt better and started looking better, I refused to allow myself to stray....not even for a jelly bean. Today I have renewed energy, motivation and I feel oh so much better in my own skin.

I am far from finished on this journey. I have a lot more weight to lose, but each 10th of a pound means that I am that much closer to my goal and totally regaining my health.

So my message to each of you is......don't give up on you!!!! Make the choice that you deserve to be healthy and feel good about you. Remember that you are worth it and that by taking care of you, then you will better be able to take care of those you love.

I told you....short and sweet! :)