Monday, November 18, 2013


Days 20-24

So today we talk....permission! Funny how as kids we can't wait to grow up......thinking that adults do as they please and never have to worry about a thing and never have to answer to anyone. As adults we know that those beliefs could not be further from the truth.  I haven't done what I really wanted to since 1986, I worry about everything and there is always someone to answer to. Believe it or matter how old you are, you will always answer to your parents. Then there are bosses, bossy friends and various authority figures but the one we have to answer to most often is..... ourselves. It sounds ridiculous but it is true.

By a certain age, our minds and our bodies are pretty intertwined. There is a little voice that seems to always be at a loud roar when we do things deliberately that we shouldn't. Run a yellow light it goes off. Try to wear skinny goes off. Eat an entire goes off and alerts the neighbors! There is no getting away from it. It is especially loud and annoying when you make goals and instead of working on those goals, you lie on the couch and watch tv. That voice gets so loud sometimes that I have to turn the tv up even louder to drown it out. The truth is....I hate having to answer to me and it is one reason that I get down on myself at times......because I know better than to do what I am doing and that inner voice is proof of it. It is especially frustrating when I know that my goals are either too lofty to achieve as I have imagined them or unforeseen situations happen to derail a kid in the hospital. At these times....that voice can be unmerciful and then I just give up feeling like a failure. It sucks!

So of late I have set some daily goals and sometimes those goals have been achieved minute by minute, but I have yet to give up on them. Yes....the voice is there but I keep it muzzled to a point by just pushing forward and working on mind, body and soul daily. Yesterday though....I was tired. I had gone to church Saturday evening and I had planned to allow myself to sleep in yesterday morning....which I did. However, even after sleeping in to a enjoyable 8 a.m. I still couldn't manage to drag myself out of bed. My eyes kept closing and I kept drifting back to sleep. Finally I did force myself out of bed but I had zero motivation. On top of that I was feeling crappy inside because that voice was going off sounding to me much like the robot from Lost in Space. "Danger! Danger Lisa E! You are about to fall off the track and disappoint the world because you are not achieving your goals!" I could feel the frustration and disappointment start to fill me up, along with already feeling blah! This usually sends me into a tailspin of bad health choices and a derailment of at least a day or two. Yesterday though.....I stopped it before it got started. How you ask? By giving myself permission to have one day to do anything I wanted.....even if that was doing nothing and even if that meant eating an entire cheesecake.

Funny how just telling yourself "It's okay," changes everything. Of course I had to mentally talk it out with myself and include a time line, flow chart and a 500 word essay on why I deserved a day off....but in the was as if a weight had been lifted. Just knowing that I could lay around all day if I wanted to gave me energy and knowing that I could eat what I wanted without guilt seemed to curb my appetite. Who knew? So yesterday I rested, enjoyed a small piece of pie and still managed to handle some laundry and had everything laid out and everyone ready for today before I went to bed! It was a win all the way around.

No, we never get away from the voice. It is both our conscience and our guide and sometimes our beacon in the dark when we find ourselves at a crossroad. At times though, we give it too much say, too much control and we have to rein it in a bit. Giving myself permission for a day of nothingness was the key and today I am back on track, rested and ready to get this party started.

Because I am in a pretty good state of mind today I took my 4 lb weight gain in stride this week. I knew it was coming because I was on a steroid regimen for a week and I always gain weight when I am on them. Since I saw this coming I knew that today would be a great day to start a juice cleanse. I started today with a green smoothie and will drink healthy juices only for the next three days. By then that 4 lb gain will only be a memory and hopefully that will be one of the last weight spikes I have this year! Wish me luck. Now....lets all go eat a stalk of celery! (Mine will be juiced!)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Diet vs. diet

Days 18 and 19

Let me start by saying thank you to all of you who took the time to watch my video blog and to comment, email, text and fb me about it. It did my extremely self conscious heart a lot of good.

Today we talk Diets vs diet. Diets are orchestrated efforts with certain foods, points or shakes to take weight off. A diet is what you eat....good or bad. If your diet is bad, then chances are.....a Diet is in your future.

I have talked before about how amazing it is that years ago when a good percentage of the nation lived on family farms that the diets were likely pretty high in fat, calories and carbohydrates and yet you seldom saw an overweight person. My mother talked about when they were young and breakfast was oatmeal, fried eggs, bacon and homemade bread washed down by fresh whole milk. Lunch was garden fare in the summer such as tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and some form of sandwich. In the winter it was usually some kind of canned meat and vegetables.  Supper was always meat, gravy, potatoes and a vegetable. Sunday dinner was usually the only time they had a proper dessert but the rest of the week there were homemade cinnamon rolls and cookies  to serve as an after school and after supper snack. That was a lot of calories for a day. The difference between then and now though....where the food was concerned, there were no chemicals, no additives and everything was fresh or home canned. Where the people were concerned, they were up before dawn working both inside and out. They stopped for breakfast and then went to school or worked again. They stopped for lunch and resumed the work. If they were in school they came home from school and worked. They stopped for supper and then went back out to finish the work. Most of these people burned the entire days calories by noon....compared to today where if most of us wanted to burn those kind of calories we would have to spend a couple of hours in the gym.

Today most of try to at least part of the time avoid the "fried," the white bread, whole milk, gravies and sugar and yet we are twice the size of our ancestors. Why? Well in my opinion.....inactivity is our first issue. Back then even a homemaker worked hard. There were no conveniences. To do laundry you hand to scrub the clothes by hand and hand crank the water out. Then you had to bend and stretch over and over to hang clothes on the line. If you baked you didn't have an electric hand beat every batter and you kneaded not one batch of bread dough but several. You didn't have vacuums and fancy mops to broom swept and got down on your hands and knees to scrub the floors and you put rugs on the clothes line and beat the dirt out of them. Add to this gardening, chasing around a house full of kids and cooking and cleaning up after three meals a day (without a dishwasher) and it was no wonder women never gained weight.

Men worked hard too. Seldom did men work behind a desk. Most worked their own farms and most did it without the benefit of machinery. Their farms, crops and animals were full time, back breaking jobs and most only rested on Sunday. It was a tough life by today's standards but one that most of them remember fondly. Today though, technology and convenience has turned a once healthy, robust nation into a lazy, overweight, disease ridden and generally unhealthy country of people.

When looking at the food intake of people back in the 30's and 40's, most of us cannot imagine eating three huge meals a day. However....they were for the most part healthy. Instead today we choose to buy and consume foods that say "fat free," "lite" and "diet" and we can't figure out why we are increasingly growing larger. It hasn't sunk in that for everything they take out of a food.....they put something else in (usually a chemical or additive that our bodies cannot digest or absorb) that turns to sugar and then deposits as fat. On the other end of the spectrum......if we aren't buying lite then we are consuming fast food as if it was our last meal. If we actually knew what we were eating we would likely lose our minds.....but ignorance is bliss so we order 20 mcnuggets, a double whopper and a 1/2 pound burrito and then get frustrated as our weight doubles in a year. And this is where our diet then requires us to go on a Diet.

Not all Diets are created equally. Some Diets push processed packaged foods on us that are just as unhealthy for our bodies in the long run as the foods that got us fat and unhealthy in the first place. Other diets give you shakes that again are full of additives and chemicals and are unhealthy because even a couch potato needs more to survive on than a shake. The Diets I am more aligned with are the ones that push nutrition, health and sakes and preparing your own healthy foods. My favorite Diet of all time was the old school Weight Watchers pre points. Back in the day WW pushed healthy foods in their "legal" and "not legal" food lists. People weighed and measured themselves into a healthy weight while learning what a portion size was and what foods were and were not good for you. It was a pretty simply black and white method and best of worked! When weight loss became a big money game though.....WW had to amp up their image with points and books for eating out, eating in, no meat, some meat and any other food phaze that was currently popular. The simplicity was gone along with a lot of peoples patients. Sigh! has your diet caused you to need a Diet? Are you overweight, unhealthy or both? Well here is another challenge. Take the rest of this week and write down everything you eat. Don't change what you are eating, just simply document what you are eating. On Sunday.....go over what you have eaten. How much of what you are eating is lite or fat free? How much is prepackaged? How much is fast food? And how much of it is fresh and homemade? If less than half of what you are consuming is fresh and homemade then here is a good place to start making changes. The fact is....if you make small changes in your diet here and there.....soon you may no longer be in search of a Diet.

I am going to leave you with the above challenge. Feel free to comment here, on the Lisa Blogs or email me at I look forward to hearing what you learn about your diet...and we will later be discussing small changes that make a huge difference. Until then.....lets all go eat a stalk of celery!

Monday, November 11, 2013

My First Video Blog Ever!

Day 17

Today I have a surprise for you. This is my first video blog! It only took me five takes!!! LOL

Happy Veterans Day!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Habits and Challenge #1

Day 16

Habits! We all have them. Some are good and some are really not so good. I have always been told that it takes 28 days to make a habit. This article in How Stuff Works says it is 21 days and that these findings are based on empirical (personal experience) testing instead of clinical. At any rate....I do believe there is truth to it. Our bodies and minds can get used to doing the same thing over and over again almost like a physical memory. The more precise you are in your action the more precise the memory and the more precise the fall out if you go off course at all. An example would be if you are a morning coffee drinker. If you are use to having at least one cup of coffee by 7 a.m. and then you run out of coffee or can't get to coffee by 7 a.m. then you could very likely end up with a major caffeine headache. Your body is so attuned to that coffee before 7 a.m. that if you miss it, your body begins to rebel. It's a habit.

The thing about the 28 day rule is that along with creating good habits like drinking 8 glasses of water daily, going for a 1 mile walk daily or drinking that coffee daily, your body can also create bad habits in 28 days. Really bad! Just as you can turn your life around for the better in little more than a month, you can also run yourself into the ground. If you eat a bag of chips everyday at 3 p.m. for 28 days, mark my word that on day 29, when 3 p.m. hits....your mind is going to start telling you it is time for those chips. You will start to crave the salty flavor and before your know it.....those chips will be all you can think about. The same goes for being a couch potato. If you come home from work and plop down on the couch everyday not to move until 28 days.....that couch will have the imprint of your rear end on it and you will have zero motivation to do anything but lift the remote.

At my age, it is all about the deprogramming of bad habits and the reprogramming of good ones. If I am honest with myself, my bad habits probably far outweigh my good ones simply because the bad ones are easier. But really in the long run, they aren't. I live a life of stress but if I am completely truthful, a fair amount of the stress I deal with daily is self imposed and caused by my bad habits.....procrastination being at the top of that list. Putting things off seldom makes them go away and usually it just compounds whatever situation or issue you are trying to avoid at the moment. Trust me I know.....I am the self-titled Queen of Procrastination!!!! You may now bow before me!

So this year is about change and the change is coming in baby steps. Today I will acknowledge what needs to be changed.....(that list may take a while!) Tomorrow I will begin some bad habit changing and some good habit reprogramming. Twenty eight days is doable, especially if I remind myself that each day I am one day closer to good habits and one day further away from the bad ones. Again, this will likely be a minute by minute journey with some things but I do believe I am up for the challenge.

Speaking of challenges.....I told you that in this year there were going to be some interesting things going on and here is the first one. I am going to challenge all of you. Yes, you at home can play along too! Here is Challenge #1 for you! Today..... think about one really bad habit you have that you would like to change and one good habit that you might change it with. Let tomorrow.....November 11th be the beginning of your 28 day habit change. Feel free to share in the comments what you are changing if you like. On December 8th, we will revisit this and see if my habit changing has been a success and you can weigh in on your own too. Now go forth and let the challenge begin!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's All About the Food!

Days 14 and 15

It is all about the food! It is essential to our survival. Without it we would die....literally. However....not all foods are created equally and today, all foods are not even created the same as they were even a decade ago. Food over the years has been processed, loaded with chemicals and hormonally injected to the point that it hardly passes as food anymore. Even what used to be considered healthy such as farm fresh meat, eggs and milk along with garden grown fruits and veggies are often  hormonally injected and pesticide grown overriding just about any health benefits they might possess. What seems healthy could actually be a time bomb ready to explode inside our bodies as it destroys our immunity and becomes a breeding ground for diseases such as cancer and heart disease just to name a few. Add to that the sedentary life styles that many of us have now with computers, video games and remote control everything and we are soon going to see our mortality rate going straight into the toilet.

If you go into just about any diet program or listen to any good nutritionist.....they will tell you that when you go shopping in the grocery stores......stay to the outside walls and not to venture down the aisles. The aisles are like Christmas morning to an excited child if you are: hungry, depressed, mad, sad or even sometimes....really happy....especially if you are an emotional eater. Aisles full of chips, candy, soda and frozen ready to eat goodies taunt and titillate all at the same time. The outside walls though are what hold dairy, meat, seafood and veggies. The bad thing.....the food on the outside walls is often much more expensive than the stuff on the aisles and all of it is perishable, where a lot of the unhealthy prepackaged food has a shelf life of infinity because of all the chemicals pumped into it. If you are a couponer.....most of your coupons come from aisle items and not outside wall items too. So if you are trying to eat healthy on a is going to take a heck of a lot more of your budget than you might expect.

Another fun fact about your outside wall items is that even though they are your healthier have to watch your item ingredients. Not all milk is created equally. Some dairy's inject hormones while others are organic. All milk though should be pasteurized. I helped out on a dairy farm for about a year and I will be the first to say that raw milk is the most delicious milk you will ever drink but it can also make you extremely sick if not handled carefully. milk is your best bet healthwise....but it can also be as much as a $1 higher per gallon. There are also some non-milk substitutes such as soy milk, almond milk and someone said there was a coconut milk. All vary in taste and what they will taste good in. Not all can be a straight across substitute for the real thing.

When you head over to the meat area, attention to where the meat comes from. It usually says on the label. Hormones can be injected as well as water especially into hams and other pork products. You could be paying for a lot more than you are actually getting. If you really want to be sure of your meat.....the ideal solution is find someone locally who raises beef, pork, chickens, etc and who you know their feeding and healthcare practices. Purchase your meat from them and have it butchered at a butcher shop that is clean and you are comfortable with. Again....there is money involved, but it is the best way to know what you are putting on your table.

Finally your fruits and veggies. When I was a kid, my mom gardened every year and a pesticide NEVER touched her crops. She swore by a book she had which I believe was called Organic Gardening and she fought bugs, blight and everything else naturally with the likes of tobacco, dish soap and baking soda. Her gardens were spectacular and unless it came from contamination already in the ground (which it likely could have) nothing chemical was ever willfully put on her garden. Today, store produce is seldom locally grown. Much of it comes in from other countries or at the very least....other states. The likelihood of the produce being covered in pesticides and other less than healthy substances is quite high. So....if you can't find locally grown, you then look for organic. can be talking a $1 or more difference in price per weight for the organic stuff and according to an article I read a while may not always be as organic as we would like. It might just be a price gouging tool! The best way to insure the organicness of your produce is to buy it locally....again from farmers whose practices you know and are comfortable with or grow it yourself.....organically!

While admittedly, prepackaged food is often easier and more convenient and yes.....less expensive than the outer wall stuff, in the long run it could end up costing you a lot. With the high fat, high calorie and high cholesterol add ins in the can be setting you and your family up for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It also teaches our kids to go for the easy whether it is healthy or not. The same goes with our diets of fast food. With the controversy over what places like McDonalds are really making their chicken nuggets from and Wendy's fresh never frozen burgers that in fact actually are have to wonder what we are really putting inside our bodies in the guise of food.

Yes, I am thinking more about food these days.....but instead of looking at it through the eyes of someone needing comfort, I am looking at it through the eyes of someone needing health and nutrition. I am learning the difference between what my body wants (Diet Mt. Dew) and what it really needs (fruits, veggies, protein). Seeing food as way to sustain myself rather than a way to make myself feel good is a huge process. It is requiring me to read, research and to come to terms with myself that I could be Diet Mt. Dewing myself into the grave. Rest assured though dear readers that as I will you. Perhaps together we will find ourselves in a much healthier place in the next 350 days!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Brain Hoarder

Days 12 and 13

Most of us have a space in our house where all the "junk" goes. Keys, purses, backpacks, unopened mail and various other objects  all end up there until there is so much stuff you don't know where to begin to clean it off. Often you just walk away too overwhelmed to even look at it. Well folks....that is my brain! Yep....I am learning stuff about myself and I am learning that my brain looks like a hoarders house. That is likely why I am so unfocused and too overwhelmed a lot of the time to achieve any goals. Inside my head is packed every medicine David takes and the times and dosages, all of his diagnosis, his doctors names and most of their phone numbers, Zachary's health information, his license plate number, phone numbers from friends back when we all had land lines, birthdays of all my family and most of my friends, recipes from my husband, mom and mother in law, cheesecake variations....and that is just a small fraction of what is up there. There are also things I need to do, things I should do and things I want to do. It is all compiled into my tiny brain and fighting for time against new goals and current ideas. Is it any wonder I have migraines and never accomplish anything?

I am a multitasker, but unlike many who multitask well.....I multitask mediocre. Meaning there is so much going on in my head that things do fall through the cracks. I also get overwhelmed at times causing me to fall off track or just give up. It takes a lot of self talk and self motivation to block out the old phone numbers, my 7th grade gym locker combination and all the other totally unnecessary and space taking information in my brain in order to stay goal oriented and on track.

One thing that has helped is that in this last year, I have done a great deal of throwing out and organizing my clutter. My real clutter not my brain clutter.....although I am finding that if your environment is less cluttered, your brain seems to follow suit. I am also learning that procrastination (one of my favorite "ations") is a great big NO NO! Procrastination is the beginning of frustration which leads to zero motivation. If I go ahead and take the few minutes to do something and do it correctly, it is just one less thing on my plate and one less thing to cram into my already overstuffed mind.

Another thing I am learning is that just because it pops into my doesn't mean it is important. In other words....just like I have organized my house, I really need to do the same to my brain. I have heard that you can do brain exercises to help with these things. Really? I have to exercise my brain too? Is there no end to this exercising madness? Apparently to keep anything in good working order....exercise is involved. The blogs help because they help to clear out some of the brain junk and keep me honest about my goals.

The biggest thing I am learning is that I really do have many of the answers that I am looking for. I hold them inside and I have to listen to my head, my heart and my body. Doing so I can move forward in being the healthiest, best me I can be.

So goals are pretty well on track. I may have skidded the track a couple of times but no derailments as of yet. The thing I am trying to keep in mind is that each new minute is a new chance to turn things around. Thank God that each of us gets 1440 new chances each day! Surely that is enough....... for even a brain hoarder like me!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Day 11

Yesterday was a very good day! A better day than I have had in literally months. At times I made it hour by hour....but in the end it was positive! I refused to allow my mind to vacation anywhere but the present and I kept the present focused. Yay me!

I guess it is time to let the cat out of the bag. I have found a new love! It is my Nutribullet! I have wanted a juicer for years. I used to love watching the Jack La Lanne juicing commercials and would wish I had one. Of course they were way above my budget and even pretty far above my justification budget. So I dreamed!

I have a friend who is beautiful and gorgeous always but in the last year or so, she made it her mission to lose weight and get healthy. She was far from overweight when she started but she was uncomfortable and she didn't feel healthy. She has grown children and spends her days chasing after grandchildren. She knew she wasn't at her best. She started watching what she ate, changing up recipes and working out with a kettle bell. Within just a few months she had lost the weight, toned up and felt so much better. Of course....she was even more beautiful afterwards and she looked about 15 years younger. It was both impressive and motivating. One of her tricks to all of this was that she found a juicer at a garage sale and she started using it!

If you look at Pinterest, facebook or pretty much anywhere anymore you will see and hear about juicing. You take raw fruits and veggies and make healthy juices and smoothies. There are green ones, yellow ones, orange ones and purple ones. It just depends what you like and what you want to get out of your juice. The great thing about juicing is that if done right (juicing skin and all) you are getting nutrients and healthful benefits from your foods that you might not be getting otherwise. A regular blender while handy to make certain kinds of smoothies is not a juicer. It cannot handle the skin and veggies that a juicer can.

This summer before I got my Nutribullet, I saw a recipe on Pinterest for healthy smoothies. It called for frozen fruit and Crystal Light mixed in a blender. Now I know many of you are not artificial sweetener fans and CL does have it but I would mix a cup to a cup and a half of fruit with 1/3 cup CL. If it was too thick I would add a little water. My kids loved it. Now my kids are not picky when it comes to fruits and veggies, but if your kid is....this is a great way to add some to their diet without them complaining. Also you could switch the CL for Koolaid or you could make it with just water. For myself I would occasionally add a few spinach leaves or kale and the fruit would keep them from being too overpowering.

Now that I have the NB I have started playing with different fruits and veggies and I am doing a little reading on what helps what. For starters....fruits and veggies, especially with the skin on, are great as far a fiber goes. Fiber is necessary to keep our bodies functioning properly and also helps in the prevention of some colon issues and colon cancer. Every fruit and vegetable has its own nutrients and aids in the prevention of something from heart health to eye issues. Mixing fruits and vegetables helps both the taste and adds to the health benefits. It is also surprisingly filling. You don't feel weighed down and yes....there is even more energy involved.

If weight loss is your goal, then you will hear a lot about too many daily fruits prohibiting weight loss because of their natural sugars. I think there is truth in this as when Weight Watchers changed their points system around a few years ago and fruits became lesser or zero points.....people started consuming more and there was a noticeable difference in the amount of weight people were losing. Some quit losing and some even gained a pound or two. This is why three fruit servings are all that is recommended daily. Some fruits like grapes and bananas are only suggested weekly because of their higher sugar content. However fruits like strawberries, blueberries and apples can be eaten daily and along with their tremendous health benefits, they are a great addition to any juice or smoothy you make.

Since my Nutribullet is still pretty new and it didn't come with any directions (still scratching my head over that), I don't have all the kinks worked out yet. I do know that it tears through a raw sweet potato, beets and apples like nobodies business but the consistency even with added water is pretty thick. I know this is not suppose to happen or at least I don't think so and I am really thinking I need to go online and read the instructions. What I have been doing is a trick my beautiful ^ friend taught me. I strain the juice from the pulp and then I freeze the pulp in ice cube trays. Later I will use those ice cubes for flavor in soups, stews or other delicacies I decide to make. It's all good.

Okay.... I figure now that I am moving forward and health is my biggest goal, then juicing at a meal or as an in between meal snack is the way to go. While fruits are a bit higher in calories than veggies, as an add in with with carrots, beets or sweet makes an amazing healthful and filling snack.

So I raise my glass of juice to the Nutribullet, juicing and my beautiful friend for pointing me in the right direction!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Very Good Day Indeed

Days 9 and 10

Yesterday was preparation day for the new week. The last few weeks have been so out of sorts and out of my grasp. Wait! Nope! That was an excuse! The last few weeks have been a complete shut down on my part. I have done only what I absolutely had to and the rest of the time I have hid inside myself in a great big puddle of denial. It hasn't been pretty. Denial puddles never are.

Today though, I start showing not my kids, my family, friends or even my readers what I am made of. But today I show ME what I am made of. It sounds almost like I should come out of my denial puddle wearing a Lycra body suit complete with a cape able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The reality though will be jeans, a t-shirt and possibly I will even manage to step over some piles of laundry on my way to the washing machine. I am not as concerned with the physical action today as I am with the mental.

I was thinking yesterday as I was seeing Christmas commercials on tv, that we are about to go into the Christmas season. As a child this was always a magical time of year for me as my religious faith and also my childhood imagination of Santa, reindeer and gifts....all seemed to roll into one exciting time where anything was possible if you really wanted it. Granted it was a childish view of the season but it was also amazing! I miss that kind of amazing where there are no limits and anything is possible if you just believe hard enough. So this year.....I decided to take that part of me back. The childlike, anything is possible, amazing part of me.

I have talked about it before and a friend said it the other day too.....I have spent too many years waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have forgotten that before shoes started falling in my life there was excitement, joy, expectation and a whole lot of amazing. I want those things again. I want to see the first snow and be as excited as the kids about a snow day. I want to hear Christmas carols and sing along. I want to see a manger scene and tear up remembering the Reason for the Season. I want to look on in awe at the brightly colored decorations and share all the crazy and chaotic moments leading up to Christmas day with my family and friends. Most of all I want to dream again and feel that even if the shoes do drop......they will only fall one at a time and be nothing that I can't handle.

I am tired of living in fear and holding myself back. I am ready to move ahead. The last few years have been exhausting and I am tired of being frozen in time. Today I move forward. Maybe my cape is just a t-shirt and goodness knows Lycra ain't touching this body, but even if I just leap one laundry pile with the knowledge that I am no longer standing still.....then today will be a very good day indeed!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Biggest Loser

Day 8

I love the Biggest Loser! It is a great show with great stories and great outcomes,  but in its own is nothing more than the reality tv we have come to know and realize.....that very little is actually reality. At least not day to day reality as you and I know it. When you take such highly overweight individuals and have many of them losing 100+ pounds in such a short amount of time....this should be sending up red flags all over the place. This is not normal weight loss AND normal everyday people under normal everyday circumstances cannot and will not achieve what these reality stars do. If you go in expecting this....then you are setting yourself up to fail.

If you look at the Biggest Loser from a realistic point of view, yes these people lose but they have a lot going for them that you and I don't. First they are kind of in their own little weight loss world where everything in their tiny sequestered existence is all about weight loss including their room mates. These contestants are not living in the real world where they have to deal with day to day issues, family, friends and work. They don't have the temptations or the frustrations that often cause most of us trying to lose weight to derail. They also have doctors on hand monitoring their health from day one. Another important component to their weight loss is that they have nutritionist/dieticians there to show them how to cook healthier and their food selections are healthy because they are not having to have extras on hand for those in the house NOT trying to lose weight. Most importantly though....these people have some of the best personal trainers in the country constantly working with them and motivating them to work out and lose weight. Also, since these contestants have nothing on their proverbial plate other than weight loss, their days are filled with mutli-hour workouts. They aren't trying to squeeze a workout in between work and fixing dinner, cleaning the house and helping with homework. No.....working out and losing weight IS their work.

Another reason we see such huge losses, especially in the beginning is because these contestants are really big people. The bigger you are usually the more pounds dropped in your first weigh in or two. Add in having a complete turn around in nutrition and 4 hour workouts daily and you too could lose up to 20 lbs your first week if you weighed 300+ pounds. The realistic part of the show is that after everyone has been working out and eating right for a few weeks, the body adapts and soon the weight loss numbers do get smaller. Luckily rather than get frustrated and give up like us in the real world tend to do....these contestants have trainers and nutritionists that know how to shake diet and exercise up to shock the body back into losing again. Thus the end result is a large percentage of total weight loss and obviously both mental and physical transformation. At the finish not only does the winner receive a huge monetary prize, but all the contestants have changed dramatically in health, looks and attitude.

I say I love the Biggest Loser because I do. I love watching people go in with no self esteem, major health issues and unhealthy attitudes emerge in the end looking and feeling like new people. I also know that these people tend to keep their weight off because working out and eating healthy has become a part of who they are. They trade their need to eat for a need to work out and eat differntly. The transformations are awe inspiring and in the end after watching all of is hard not to want to drop the cheeseburger and hit the gym. Unfortunately my reality is not a personal trainer, a sequestered house and someone who motivates me day in and day out to keep on track. My reality is far different than that and often by the time I make it through the day....I am too tired to walk upstairs to bed let alone think about going to the gym. I have no nutritionist and I have no one cheering me on and motivating me to workout whether I am tired or not. Thus my results in the same amount of time as those on the Biggest Loser will be vastly different.

Now here is my weight loss reality and likely it is the same reality for most of you reading this if you too are trying to lose weight. I don't have a personal trainer. I can't afford a Bob, Jillian or Dolvett. I can however get a pedometer and start out by making sure that I walk 10,000 steps a day (this equals 5 miles). From there I can add some cardio whether it be dancing in my living room or maybe even running a mile. I can also afford a set of dumbbells and go online to find some really good workouts for my arms, legs, etc. I don't have a nutritionist and goodness knows I couldn't afford one anyway, but the internet is full of healthy alternative recipes and if I need extra help with more guide lines......there are weight loss groups like Weight Watchers that for a fraction of the cost of a nutritionist can take all the difficulty of what to eat and how much to eat out of the equation. Finally....I may not have someone in my ear motivating me day in and day out and I may not be in a bubble that allows me to think about nothing but weight loss.....but guess what.....even they have to return to the real world eventually!!! The bottom line is, I can find a weight loss buddy that can help me when life turns inside out and I want to eat my feelings in the form of a giant pizza. There is also the fact that I need to learn to become my own cheerleader. I need to realize that I AM WORTH IT and I deserve to be healthy, fit and around for another few decades. This is my reality.

Yes, I will continue watching the Biggest Loser and cheering on my favorites. I will pull some tips and tricks from their workouts and maybe even learn a little bit about myself in their struggles. I will let the show motivate me to get started but I won't let it fool me into believing that their current reality is mine. Instead I will find my own reality and with some work, self motivation and the realization that I am worth time I too will be the Biggest least in Lisaland!

Friday, November 1, 2013


Days 6 and 7

Yes I skipped a day. We have this fun little thing going around our house called Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). For those of you unfamiliar with this particular is a VERY contagious virus which causes fevers, extreme sore throat and a breaking out of a rash and in some cases blisters that can cover hands, feet, face, mouth, throat and genitals. Z was the lucky recipient of it on his feet, hands, mouth and throat. It is painful for him to walk and his mouth, tongue and throat are blistered. After taking both boys into our pediatrician.....I found out that this is what my youngest hand and was put in the hospital for. Amazing that out of umpteen doctors and nurses they couldn't figure out what it was....all it took was one look from our pediatrician and he called it. They both had HFMD! The bad thing as I said is that the blisters and rash are painful. The good thing is that after the blisters have completely formed, within 24 hours they start breaking open and crusting over. At that point.....they just slough off and there is beautiful clear skin underneath. Hopefully Z is on his way to the sloughing part and both boys have been cleared to go back to school on Monday. Apparently we are not the only ones dealing with this as the school was not surprised when I called them and told them Z had it. Thank goodness we have a pedatrician that picks up a medical book every now and then.

Yesterday I also had to go into the doctor. I needed to know if my shortness of breath was real or stress related. Thankfully I found that is was real and asthma related. Yes....I have had asthma off and on in my life but as an adult the flair ups have been few and far between. Apparently though...this fall has been a ripe atmosphere for some with asthma. The wind, rain and humidity have caused a lot of flair ups. Add to that I actually do have a sinus infection which is affecting my ears and that is pretty much what has been keeping me physically feeling like crap. Being that I really like my doctor.....I went on to tell him how anxious I had been feeling about my upcoming CT this month to check out the spots on my lung and he took the time to talk with me and re-emphasize that the spots on my lungs did NOT look worrisome and that the radiologists are highly trained to pick out those that are scary from those that are not. However....that being said.....they do need to be followed for a period of time to be 100% sure. After walking out of there I felt much better both physically and mentally and I actually got a good night sleep last night. Add to that that after using my new inhaler I have no shortness of breath.....I feel pretty much like a new person. I must is all about the doctor. 

Lets face it, when you get to be a certain age even if you are not sick you need a doctor. Women need yearly exams to help catch and prevent ovarian, uterine and other female cancers. Once we hit 40 we need to add yearly mammograms to ensure our breast health and make sure if we get cancer it is caught early. By 50 we need to be having regular colonoscopies along with yearly exams that include blood work, chest x-rays and bone density tests. Men don't get out of the doctor game either. In their 40's they need to start having regular prostate exams and when they hit 50 they need to also start having colonoscopies along with regular exams like women to make sure that they stay in good health. Once we get into these years.....having a good and trusted doctor is a necessity otherwise the temptation to not keep up with your health can override the importance of going.

A good doctor regardless of how busy, will take the time to answer any and all questions you have. They will take time to explain any tests or procedures they order and will also explain any medicines they prescribe. A good doctor is proactive in your health care and listens to what you have to say because at the end of the one knows your body better than you. A good doctor makes you feel as if you and your healthcare are important and that you are in very good hands.

A bad doctor will rush in and out and give you no time for questions. They are often condescending and sometimes even have a God complex in which they become offended if you question them. A bad doctor will tell "you" how you feel and ignore any information you give to the contrary. Your doctor visit is often a one way conversation....he/she talks and you listen. Often meds, tests and procedures are ordered but not explained and you walk out feeling rushed and even disrespected. Not feeling good about your doctor can actually stand in the way of your mental well being and your healing.

It is not all on the doctor though. First you have to do your part and take your health seriously. Don't put off yearly exams. They can be the difference between catching something early and waiting until it is too late. Ask questions when you visit your doctor and let your doctor know truthfully what is going on with you. He/she can't diagnose or fix something they aren't aware of. Make sure that you ask questions about all tests and procedures your doctor wants you to have and make sure that you are comfortable with his answers. If a doctor is not forthcoming or you don't feel comfortable with them....then it is YOUR responsibility to find a doctor that you are comfortable with.

Lets face it, not all doctors (even specialists) are created equally. David spent five days in the hospital with about 6 hospital doctors checking him out and none even guessed that he had HFMD. Not even after I mentioned it to them. Heck....most had not even seen a case of Chicken Pox so I don't know why I was surprised. It took going to our pediatrician whom I trust implicitly and him taking one look to diagnose them with HFMD. He also spent time telling us that it was viral, contagious and that the only treatment was symptomatic....ibuprofen and gargling with salt water. Although I wasn't crazy about the diagnosis, I was comfortable with knowing how we needed to proceed and what to watch for.

The same with my doctor. His office was busy but he took the time to ask me questions and listen and answer mine. He knew I was anxious and took a couple of extra minutes to reread my chart and my previous CT findings so that he could give me some peace of mind. I walked out feeling better than I had in about a month.

So today I urge you to not put off yearly or woman....especially if you are over 40. You only have one body and it has to get you through the long haul so please take care of it. Also....don't settle when it comes to a doctor. You deserve the best care you can get only the very best for you!