Category:

Weight Loss

The Embarrassing Side Effect of Losing Weight that No one Tells You About

Today was an amazing day. 12 weeks after being diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure, I am 30.1 pounds down. I have lost an average of 2.5 pounds a week, every week since May 6th. I was ecstatic when I stepped on the scale and saw the number. Just 19 pounds from being in the 100’s again. Yes! However, for all of my joy and happiness with losing that weight, there was one thing I did not anticipate…my body is changing. Surprise, no one told me how to avoid loose skin when you lose weight fast and so all the changes are not to my liking.

I know, of course if you lose weight, your body will change. I’ve been pregnant before, I know the human body can do all kinds of things you never expected; stretching, giving and returning to (close to) its previous shape. I thought I was doing so well and then I saw the picture I took of myself at the pool the other day.

READ ALSO: Food’s an Addiction, Sugar’s a Drug and I was an Addict

No, I am not going to diminish all the hard work I’ve done. I started out at just nearly 250 on May 6th.  Since then, I’ve been carb counting, walking every day for 60-80 minutes and generally living a healthier and more aware lifestyle. I’m not perfect but with portion control, dedication to eating healthier and being aware of my carb intake, I’ve been moving the scale and bringing all my numbers down to where they are supposed to be.

It’s a choice every single morning to get up and just do it. I’m choosing me and my health. I’ve been full steam ahead, laser-focused on the goal of health. As long as the numbers are going down and the clothes are getting bigger, life is fabulous but I NEVER expected what I saw in that picture. I give you…the thighgina.

weight loss, lose weight fast, loose skin, thighgina, weight loss problems

Loose skin from weight loss = Thighgina

There I was standing proudly in my weight loss, in my bikini because I believe every single body is a bikini body, and there it was just standing there, blending in like a skeevy creeper, my brand spanking new FUPA meets a walrus vagina meets the sagging skin on my shrinking thighs. It was not fabulous or spectacular. When I saw it, I was mortified.

For the past 3 months, all summer, I’ve been walking around daydreaming of the day when I could shop in the regular size section and everything fits and nothing is tight or makes me look like I’m a sausage. That’s not me being mean, that’s me telling it like it is for me at 250 lbs. I was not even thinking about sagging skin or thighginas. But, that thighgina has been thinking about me. Just waiting until I hit that 30-pound mark to poke out his (yes, he’s a dude because a lady would not do that to another lady) sinister little head and say hello, at.the.pool.

READ ALSO: The Burden of Being Fat

But I refuse to let the thighgina win. Nope. Not today, thighgina. I’m going to persevere because where there is a will there is a way and I will rid you from my life. Oh yes, I will. So I’m on the hunt for all the best exercises for toning your inner thighs because thighgina will not stand. No, I am not in pursuit of a thigh gap. Been there, done that. Have the diagnosis to prove it. I firmly believe that thick thighs save lives…and iPhones from the toilet. But, thick thighs are not a thighgina. Folks, a thighgina is not pretty.

If you have any inner thigh exercises that you do to tone and have worked for you, please share them with me. I’m trying to tone all of my body as I go. I’m going the slow and steady route. I still have to lose 89 pounds to get to my optimal BMI weight of 130 pounds, or so they tell me. Today, I’m headed back to the pool and I’m taking my thighgina with me. I hope he enjoys it

Have you ever lost or gained a significant amount of weight? How did you mentally and physically adjust to all the changes your body went through?

What are your tips for how to avoid loose skin when you lose weight fast?

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food's an addiction, sugar is a drug, I was an addict, carbaholic

I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food. It’s always been the one thing I’ve loved and I’ve hated. I love the taste of food. It comforted me when things were tough. It would console me. Then I would use it to punish myself; to find myself unworthy. I would withhold it from myself, like love from a misogynist. Yet, I never thought sugar is a drug and I never considered myself an addict. This is how I lived in this vicious cycle pursuing perfection that doesn’t exist. It was a controlling relationship wherein I was the victim and the abuser.

But then I had a revelation, food’s an addiction. Sugar is a drug and I was an addict.

Yes, food is a drug and I am an addict and it’s almost killed me twice. Anorexia in the ’90s and diabetes in 2019. I used to proudly proclaim, “I’d rather work out for 3 hours straight than give up my French fries!” I was also the same person who secretly high-fived myself when people started to tell me that I was getting “too skinny” and looked sickly. In my mind, I was winning. I was cheating the system and beating food. Really, I was killing myself.

READ ALSO: Bulimarexia the Consequence of Impossible Standards

Here we are, 20 years in recovery from starvation and purging. Nasty little fact, being an anorexic is like being an alcoholic, every day is choosing to not indulge in the bad behavior no matter how much you want to. I won’t lie, there have been slip-ups. I’ve had a big meal and thrown it up. I’ve skipped meals. I’ve worked out excessively. I’ve tried to cheat the system and lied to myself that it was, “Ok, just this once” knowing how slippery the road really was. But for the most part, for the past 20 years, I had to let go of the control.

The problem with me is that there is no in between. There is micromanage everything that goes in my mouth and purge, there is restrict and starve and there is eat all the things with wild abandoned and no worry of consequences.

READ ALSO: How a Simple Doctors Visit Might Save My Life

Let me create a picture, so you all don’t think I was shoving whole sleeves of cookies down my throat. When I say wild abandon, I mean I ate food in moderate amounts but without worrying, caring or writing down anything. I had to do this because the alternative behaviors sent me right back into obsessive, controlling behavior that caused my anorexia in the first place.  Basically, I was out of control for two decades to avoid being dead. Or at least, that is what I made myself believe.

Now, here I am. Last month, I told you all about my come to Jesus meeting with my doctor. It was eye-opening, if not traumatic. She told me some hard facts. I feel like, for years, my doctors have been coddling me. I went from 103 pounds and inched up over the years and through the pregnancies to a whopping ( gulp..I’m about to say it out loud) 259.9 pounds at my heaviest. On the day my doctor gave me the bad news, I was 249.9 pounds. I’m 5’7”. I am morbidly obese. You know morbid means deadly, right?

I went home that day, cried my eyes out, stayed in bed for a couple of days, quite frankly, terrified of food. After all, it was literally killing me. But really, it wasn’t the food at all. It was me. I needed to take ownership of that. It was always me from anorexia through to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

READ ALSO: A Day in the Life of a Girl with Eating Disorders

I took my 3 days to cry it out and feel sorry for myself and then I did what I always do, I put on my big girl panties and I figured it out. Not as easy as it sounds. I am still figuring it out.

Here’s where I began to break my food addiction.

I changed my thinking. I stopped thinking of it as a death sentence and began to think of it as a blessing. I was still alive. All I needed to do was change my behavior and learn how to eat.

I began to measure my food. You cannot imagine how off my portions were. Try it, you will be floored.

I began to count carbs. My doctor gave me grams per day; 45 per meal 3x a day, and 15 per snack 3x per day. The thing about counting carbs is first, carbs were not taken away. There is nothing that makes me want something more than making it forbidden.

I eliminated all pop and juice because they are nothing but sugar. Instead, I opted for fresh fruit and if I need a drink other than water or milk, I drink Bubly. Actually, I am obsessed with the cherry flavor.

I am learning to say no to things. I am learning that sometimes it is ok to say yes to a bite or a ½ of something you really want but always in moderation and always aware of the portion size and carb count. Through this process of cutting my carbs and portion control, I’m learning that I really don’t love some of the food that I thought I loved as much as I do.

Case in point, pizza. I can have one piece with a salad if I feel the need. However, wasting 27 carbs on one slice feels ridiculous and it just doesn’t taste the same to me anymore. Pizza, the food that I thought I couldn’t live without. I don’t even really like anymore. It tastes weird to me.

I’m eating real food. I’ve been focusing on lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits and logging every single thing I put into my mouth. I’m not living on chicken broth or cabbage. This isn’t a diet. I also weigh myself every morning and check my blood pressure and my blood glucose every day. It feels a little bit like restricting and that terrifies me because I can’t slip back into those old behaviors but I can’t eat with wild abandon either because my life is at stake. For now, this is what is working for me.

So far, I’ve lost 20.5 pounds in 6 weeks. I’ve lost 17.5 inches since May 29th ( that was the first time I measured but by then I had already lost about 10 lbs. so I’m sure I’ve lost more than that). My blood pressure is completely normal. No more headaches. My blood glucose is completely in the normal range. No more insomnia. I’ve had insomnia my entire life. Now, I shut my eyes and go to bed on most nights by 10 p.m. I feel better than I’ve felt in years.

Maybe food’s an addiction. Maybe sugar is a drug and I was an addict but I’m changing all that and you can too. Do you think you’re a carb or sugar addict? Does your health say otherwise?

 

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simple, easy and delicious healthy Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe, buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo pizza, healthy pizza, buffalo chicken pizza recipe

Want to eat all the food that tastes good but still want to be healthy? Want to look great in your bathing suit this summer but still want to eat chicken wings? That’s the quandary, right? We all want to look good and be healthy but we simultaneously want to eat whatever we want to eat, whenever we want to eat. This is possible if you’re a teenager but if you are over 25, 30 and certainly 40-years-old, you know that concessions have to be made.

Things like moderation, taste, salt intake, sugar intake, cholesterol points all need to be weighed. Do you know that saying, “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”? Well, sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself is that basket of French fries something you are willing to sacrifice your bathing suit body for?

READ ALSO: Delicious Avocado Toast Recipe

Now, I’ve lived in this world long enough to know that, yes, sometimes they are. Sometimes you just want to eat the French fries and that’s ok but you have to be willing to do the exercise. I think everything is fine to eat in moderation and I don’t believe in artificial sugars and preservatives. My family is foodies. We love traveling the planet and trying new foods and meeting new people. We are all about experiences and while I may not care so much about forever on my hips, I do care about missing adventures because I’m unhealthy or worse, dead.

It’s taken me years to realize that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating boring. It just means swapping out a few ingredients, cooking more and moving more. Nobody wants to be the person at the party watching everyone else eat and drink. And who likes to chew on celery while everyone else is snacking on buffalo wings at the tailgate party? It’s embarrassing and you feel singled out for trying to be healthy; you feel punished. I don’t like feeling on the outside. This is why I am taking some of our favorite recipes and making healthier versions.

READ ALSO: The Moment I Stopped Caring What Others Think about Me

Needless to say, my family doesn’t get to eat chicken wings or buffalo pizza as often as they’d like to.

That’s why I created a simple, easy and delicious healthy Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe.

Simple, Delicious and Healthy Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe

If you love pizza and you want to be healthy and not feel deprived, this simple, delicious and healthy buffalo chicken pizza recipe is perfect for the entire family.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
5 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buffalo chicken, buffalo wings, pizza
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken Breast boiled and shredded or you can buy pre-cooked chicken breast chunks. We prefer to cook and shred our own but if you are in a hurry, pre-cooked works.
  • 1 Refrigerated Pizza Dough Wewalka Classic Pizza Crust is our choice
  • 4-6 ounces Part Skim Milk Mozzarella Again, you can use more or less, depending on your personal taste.
  • 1/2 cup Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce You can use medium or hot and add as much as you like. I use mild because I dine with children every day of the week.

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Unroll the packaged refrigerated pizza dough on its parchment paper. I usually use a large cookie sheet for this, as it is a rectangular crust.
  • Spread your wing sauce across the pizza crust dough, going almost to the ends but not quite. The reason for this is that when the buffalo chicken wing sauce heats up it thins out and gets runny. By not going to the ends, you can prevent the sauce from running over the edges and ending up on the bottom of your pizza and transferring to your hands and clothes when you eat. 
    simple, easy and delicious healthy Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe, buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo pizza, healthy pizza, buffalo chicken pizza recipe
  • Top the sauce with the shredded chicken, dispersing evenly throughout. 
    simple, easy and delicious healthy Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe, buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo pizza, healthy pizza, buffalo chicken pizza recipe
  • Top with mozzarella cheese, using as much or as little as you like. 
  • Bake pizza for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is a stringy and golden brown.
    simple, easy and delicious healthy Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe, buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo pizza, healthy pizza, buffalo chicken pizza recipe
  • When it is done, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes so that you don't burn your mouth when you bite into.

simple, easy and delicious healthy Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe, buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo pizza, healthy pizza, buffalo chicken pizza recipe

What’s your favorite recipe hack to make those delicious dishes we all love so much more healthy?

 

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weight loss, Getting Healthy is Nothing a Little Blood, Sweat and Tears Can't Fix, SWEAT app, weight loss tech, weight loss wednesdays

If you read my post yesterday, you know that I have had a change of perspective. A way of thinking shift. A come to Jesus meting with myself, if you will. And the truth hit me like a throat punch, getting healthy is nothing a little blood, Sweat app and tears can’t fix. Weight loss is an investment in your future. 

I no longer believe in “try” only “do.” I’ve been telling the girls for years that we cannot control how people react to us or what we do, we can only control how we behave and what we put into the world and so now, I’m focusing on what I’m doing. I’m taking a more active role in my own life. Sounds stupid right? Shouldn’t I have been doing this all along? I should have but I’ve spent the past 13 years taking a more active role in my daughters lives, and lets be honest, before than 20 years putting my husband first.

READ ALSO: Bringing the Feisty Broad Back

I’ve made a conscious decision to look at the world more positively. In that spirit, I am choosing to see the good in other and in myself. I deserve to be happy and I have the power to make it happen. Only I can do this.

It’s pretty liberating because when you choose to be positive, it lightens your load and enables you to stop worrying and start focusing on the people and things that matter. I know that I want to make friends, family and myself a priority in my own life ( something that I have neglected for literally years). I met with some friends on New Years eve and it reminded me of something that I’d forgotten, friends fill up your soul. We need to make time for them. They are not an option.

Another thing I really want to focus on is better spending habits. I have a terrible habit of spending when I am stressed. I really do use retail therapy to make myself feel better ( at least until I get my credit card bills) and that has to stop. I want to learn to live within my means and that is not a bad thing. It’s nothing to be embarrassed or feel bad about.

I also want to waste less and live with more purpose and intention. Patience is a virtue that I am trying to embrace and minimalism is a way of life that I’d like to learn to live. For me, chaos in my home breeds chaos in my mind, in my heart and in my soul. I don’t want chaos. For once in my life, my manic mind is willfully choosing focus and less “stuff.”

READ ALSO: How to Conquer to Succeed

But the thing I want to really focus on this year is my health. Nope, I’m not talking about getting skinny. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I did it the wrong way for many years and it backfired on me. Big Time. So if you know anyone thinking of doing it the wrong way, warn them, it doesn’t work in the long run. You end up one of two ways, either you stop abusing your body and your metabolism mutinies on you or you get to be a really tiny corpse. I chose the former.

For many years, getting healthy equated to being skinny but thats not what I think anymore. I think healthy is my knees not popping, my ankle not hurting, not getting winded riding a bike too fast, not being diabetic, not having high cholesterol or high blood pressure. I just want to get back to normal and be able to buy my clothes off the rack and have them look great on me.  I want to be able to go for long walks with my girls and talk about everything. I want to walk under the starts with my husband on a beach somewhere without it taking forever and leaving me exhausted. I don’t ever want to wear Spanx again. I want endorphin highs back in my life.

The problem is that even though I know how to be healthy, I don’t really. I’ve read the books but I can never translate it into a functioning part of my life. I’m not a fan of deprivation but I’m cool with moderation but I need to be conscious of portion sizes. Also, I love to work out but I never make time for it. I have to make time for it. And since I am embracing doing and not trying, I’m doing it.

READ ALSO: The Burden of Being a Fat Woman

My fellow blogger and someone who inspires me every day, Ana-Marie Klizs of Bluebird Kisses, has had her own weight loss journey to get healthy and she has done it all with adjusting her diet to a healthier version and by using the SWEAT App.  I’ve been laid up for about 8 weeks from the surgery that I had in November and I was just released from the physical restrictions yesterday so I’ve been waiting for that day to get active again. Following along on Ana’s blog and Instagram has kept me inspired. She is an amazing human being and if you’re not already following her, you should be. She lit a fire in my soul and gave me the confidence to know I could do it. So, I’m doing it with he help of SWEAT app.

For now, I am starting off with walking ( per doctors orders) and in a couple weeks I want to start a more organized workout program program. The SWEAT app  is at the top of my list so I wanted to share the app with you all in case you are looking for a way to start.

Train Your Way

SWEAT recognizes that women want flexibility, variety and support when working towards health and fitness goals.

We understand that your goals are personal and always evolving so we put the choice in your hands! Offering flexibility and variety through multiple styles of training, SWEAT connects you with the best female personal trainers in the world. Choose the trainer and training style that fits you and your lifestyle! Whether you take your first step with yoga, post-pregnancy workouts, weight training, power-training or high-intensity workouts, SWEAT is right here to support you. We are always adding new workouts and exciting features to ensure you find your fit!

Join the SWEAT Community and set off on your fitness journey!

Start Your Fitness Journey At Home

With various options, there is something for everyone.They offer BBG (Bikini Body Guide), BBG Stronger, PWR ( weight Training), Post-Pregnancy, BAM (Yoga), Fierce (varied workouts) and Build (Power building).

Kayla Itsines – Bikini Body Guide (BBG)

Changing the way women around the world exercise, Kayla Itsines’ 28-minute BBG workoutscan be done at home with or without equipment. (Perfect for me!)

Start your fitness journey with Kayla and feel your body become stronger each week as you progress. With each workout, Kayla helps to encourage and educate you to take charge of your health and fitness. Use the planner to schedule your workouts for the week, including your HIIT and LISS sessions, resistance, rest and recovery.

The high-intensity BBG workouts are designed to build your strength, fitness and bikini body confidence!

Track your progress and plan your workouts!

SWEAT encourages you to get stronger week by week! You progress gradually, increasing the intensity in each workout. When you’re ready to take on fresh challenges and step up your workouts, SWEAT has you covered.

Weekly meal plans and shopping lists!

Plan your meals for the week with ease using SWEAT! All our recipes have been designed to help you achieve your health and fitness goals while enjoying delicious and convenient meals. Select meal plans to suit your dietary preference and find hundreds of recipes to match. Food shopping is a breeze with the automated lists, so you’ll always have something healthy to eat!

Journey With Like-Minded Women

We know how important it is to feel supported throughout your fitness journey.

The SWEAT forum is the perfect place to connect with women who are focused on their health and fitness. It’s a place where you can share your experiences and aspirations, as well as encourage and motivate each other.

We’ve long understood how important it is to feel supported in your workout program. Through your connections with like-minded women around the world, together you can build confidence, power, balance, performance and courage to reach your fitness goals.

To connect, motivate and share experiences with other women, join the community for FREE today.

Full disclosure: I’ve tried many other fitness programs with limited success. But I don’t think it was them…it was me. I need a program that allows me to eat real food and exercise when I can without involving a lot of expensive equipment or health club fees. I need guidance and fellowship. I need support.

I’ve done all of it. I’ve been anorexic and bulimic. I’ve worked out 3 hours a day. I’ve had a personal trainer.  I ran ( I don’t like it). I’ve done Weight Watchers. I’ve done Nutrisystem. I’ve had the BeachBody channel. I’ve done Zumba. I’ve done Cize (my favorite) and several other Beach Body workouts. I’ve juiced (not for the manic prone). I’ve tried all the tech. I’ve even tried Medical weight loss programs but meds are not the way for me. They cause their own issues. They’ve all worked but none of them got me to the finish line. Well, anorexia did (if the finish line is being 103 lbs at 5’7.5″) but it almost got me to the ultimate finish line so we’re never going down that road again.

This is where I am today. Enthusiastic and out of shape. I’m hoping the SWEAT app is the beginning of a new way of life. Not a diet. I never want to diet again. I want to learn to be healthy. So, I’m going to start a new instagram page if you want to follow along with my progress and I will be posting updates, recipes, tips and inspiration to get us all through this on Wednesdays. If you’re still here ( after this very long post) I hope you’ll stop by on Wednesdays for some encouragement and to share your own journey with me.

Have you tried the SWEAT app? What are your thoughts.  Me?

Getting Healthy is Nothing a Little Blood, SWEAT and Tears Can’t Fix

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new year, new perspective, gratitude, rejoice, positivity, happiness

It’s January 2, 2019 and I am finally physically (and mentally) released from restrictions. New Year + New Perspective + gratitude = Happiness! This is what I’m living by these days. My word of year for 2019 is positivity and I want it sprinkled all over my world like confetti.

My priorities are myself, my family, good friends, my health and pursuing my passion in a way that allows me to stay open to all opportunities. I want to be the best me there is. I want to grow deeper in my faith and stiller in my soul.

“I refuse to waste another new year with an old mind. I will rejoice.”

This is my mantra. This year, as the end of 2018 approached, I wasn’t disgusted by 2018. I wasn’t waiting for 2019 to start anew. I had a peaceful feeling wash over me sometime between the time I had my hysterectomy and Christmas where I just started feeling better, more positive. I think I finally hit my rock bottom and just let it all go.

READ ALSO: Resolving to Incite a Revolution

It was weird because I’ve been feeling pretty negative since I broke my leg in 2015. If were being completely honest, I haven’t felt myself since my miscarriage in 2012. I’ve been surviving, making it just in time to put out each next fire. Trying to fake it until I make it but I never really felt like I was going to be myself again. I just kept thinking of that old adage that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I took comfort that someday, I would be stronger.

But after what seemed like forever of feeling like I was hidden from the sunshine under my own personal cloud of despair, suddenly, I felt elated. I felt hopeful in the realest way that I have in years. I felt positive. Positive that my situation was not unsurmountable. That through determination and purposeful intentions, I.Can.Do.Anything. More importantly, I could be fully happy without remorse, pain or guilt.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t sitting around giving up. I kept fighting to come back to myself from all the things that were holding me back and pulling me down. I never gave up on myself because I’ve hit rock bottom before and I know that you can come back to a world of beauty and blessing and I know that my life is full of blessings; the Big Guy, my girls, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my health, my career and my opportunities. Things may not be where I want them to be but they could be much worse.

I needed new perspective to overcome the situation. Mentally, I knew that none of these situations were unsurmountable but spiritually, I felt deflated and weak. I knew that I needed to see things from another side to appreciate what I have. But how do you get a new perspective from the bottom of the same hole that you’ve been living in for the past 6 years. The hole that you’ve desperately been trying to pull yourself out of, so much so that your arms are too weak to any longer pull you up but you aren’t ready to give up? That is the question. I didn’t have an answer and then my salvation came from an unexpected place, as it always has for me.

In came in the form of a letter, from my priest reminding me that I needed to attend mass more regularly. It came in the form of a gynecologist who kept her sense of humor when I was desperate for answers. It came in the form of my parents showing up to take care of me when I had my surgery. It came in the form of a friend online who checks on me weekly to make sure that I’m ok and another who sent my family food when I was unable to cook. It came in the form of a husband who never complained when he had to pick up all the slack and always put my health above his sheer exhaustion.

READ ALSO: Best Tech to Help you Get Healthy in the New Year

It came in the form of my daughters making me laugh and talking to me about everything happening in their lives. It came in random hugs, kisses and smiles. It came from a friend online who inspired me with her beginning and her results. It came in the form of a mother-in-law who let me know she always had my back. It came in the form of our dog who sat by my side the whole time I recovered. It came in the form of fresh air and twinkling lights. It came in the form of late night talks with my sister in law, the smiles of my nieces and nephews and my family dancing in the kitchen for no reason at all. It came in the form of more love being bestowed upon me than I thought I deserved.

It came in the form of one editor telling me how important my words were and another giving me a job when I needed it most. It came in the form of a tattoo that helped me process my grief; to let go of the sadness and replace it with peace. It came in the form of driving the entire break to see family and finally on th last day of 2018, driving a couple hours to meet with a couple of my closest friends and talking…letting it all out. These small things, hundreds of what may seem like inconsequential things, filled my soul, gave me a life buoy when I was drowning and gave me the new perspective I needed to push through the misery and into the light.

I’m a work in progress. This is just the beginning. Or maybe it’s the middle because when I think of it, this shift in perspective started when I got my memorial tattoo in November 2017. I’m not sure what the future holds for me, this may all be some foray back into mania, though I hope not. For now, I am being purposeful with my intentions. I am choosing my path instead of running down the dark alley of someone else’s expectations.

Last month, I wrote a list of things that I want to accomplish personally and professionally this year. I’m working on putting my intentions and goals out into the universe, I’m taking action and I’m willfully remaining positive. I’m staying open to all opportunities and saying yes. I’m turning my struggles into fuel that feeds my soul. I am a survivor.

READ ALSO: Firework

Today, I was finally released from physical restrictions and I feel like I can breathe again. I’m moving. I am prioritizing myself. I am not allowing myself to be distracted by things that don’t better me. I am leaving behind people who are toxic to my soul and embracing those who empower and inspire me. Today, I start my journey to becoming more healthy, self aware and not letting fear stand in the way of my dreams.

I’ve been listening to this song “Rejoice” for inspiration and reflective introspection. Maybe it will inspire you to follow your bliss too because we are good enough. We deserve all the blessings and we can make all of our dreams come true.

What inspires you? Are you embracing  New Year + New Perspective + Gratitude + Positivity = Happiness ? If so how?

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how to get healthy from your desk by doing almost nothing at all, Flexispot, health made simple, how to get healthy

Do you work at a desk like most adults? Ever have trouble reconciling how to get healthy from your desk and still maintaining your career? It’s so easy, as we get older to blame our out of shape bodies on kids, business and sitting at a desk all day. We’re tired. I get it. I’ve been doing the same thing for years and guess where it’s gotten me? It’s gotten me a muffin top around my waist ( way less cute than it sounds) and looking like a linebacker for the Bears from behind.

We all love to imagine ourselves as outdoorsmen. We say we hike and do yoga, maybe even barre or spin. What that means to me is I walked to take the garbage out and pick up the mail (hike). I almost fell and killed myself but I caught myself (yoga). I got ambitious and tried to do barre with my two girls and got stuck and my back went out (Barre). I rode my cruiser around the neighborhood at a leisurely pace wherein my neighbor’s 100-year-old dachshund outpaced me (spin). Things are not what they always appear. And no matter what lies I want to tell myself about my health, the hips in the jeans don’t lie.

READ ALSO: Can Yoga Pants Really be the Downfall of Man?

Hey, I’m with you. We’re part of a society who wears yoga pants as everyday clothes. Little honestly for you, my yoga clothes have been to one yoga class. I am trying to change that. I am not happy with the status quo. I don’t want to die in my 60’s because I was too lazy to do anything about it today.

I used to work out, hardcore. I loved it. I am an endorphin junkie and I love being proactive in my life. If you know me, you know I am a planner with end results in mind at all times. My goal is to live to 103 years old. No, I’m not joking. My grandpa was 99 when he died. 103 is not out of my realm of possibility for these genetics.

But I’ve got to get off my derriere and do it. You see, my brain has done the math and while it’s totally possible to live to be 103, it becomes exponentially harder when your job is sitting on your bottom all day long. Add to that insomnia and a trash fire diet and well, in my current state there is no way I am hitting my goal and people, I am no quitter.

Here are my list of  how to get healthy from your desk

Worry Less

I am serious, worrying is a useless emotion unless your goal is to stress yourself out, have your body mutiny and release cortisol and make you gain weight. It’s also not good for you mentally. It’s just one more thing to overwhelm you. Worrying never made anything go away or get easier. It only ever makes things worse so stop doing it.

Eat cleaner

Be aware of portion sizes. Try to eat more naturally, less low fat, less processed and refined sugars and more organic. More fruits, veggies and lean proteins and whole grains. Less red meat, rich sauces and salt.

Be Aware

I know some people say to throw your scale away. I personally need accountability. Pick one day every other week and weigh yourself. I am currently using the WW scale; it tracks weight, BMI and body fat.

I also like to monitor my food intake so I use a food scale to keep my portion sizes honest and an app on my phone to keep track of the foods I am eating.

Last but not least, I use BEEM UNITED: BeActiv S100.  They are an in-ear precision heart rate monitor. They not only monitor your heart as you workout, they  allow you to have clear hand free calling for up to 8 hours of use. It has a built-in personal health management app and are waterproof.

Through the BEEM Sport app, listeners can choose their preferred workout, including running, jogging, indoor or outdoor cycling and more, and receive real-time heart rate data as they workout.

Sleep

I’m an insomniac and it’s not fun. It’s also unbelievably unhealthy. I feel a zillion times better when I go to sleep at a reasonable hour and get enough sleep. When I only get 4 or 5 hours of sleep, I feel ruined for the rest of the day. But when I get at least 7 hours of sleep, I feel invigorated and equipped to face life. I’m more tolerant and generally, more pleasant and clear minded.

Move More

Going for a bike ride or walking 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your health but if you can’t manage that, I have the next best option for you the Flexispot bike. It’s so simple but it allows me to work out while I work. In fact, I burned 300 calories writing this post.

how to get healthy from your desk by doing almost nothing at all, Flexispot, health made simple, how to get healthy

The Flexispot bike is height adjustable, stationary bike with a desktop built on it so you can stay sedentary even when you are doing sedentary activities, like checking your emails, working remotely or even watching television. It’s whisper quiet and has 8 adjustable levels. It’s great for the entire family. My girls love it as much as I do and it even won the 2018 CES Innovation Awards.

Disclosure: I was provided a FlexiSpot bike for review purposes but all opinions are my own and the 300 calories I burned writing this post, all mine.

Drink Your Water

I am a water addict. It’s probably the thing I drink the most. When I was younger, I loved Coke, juice and cocktails. As I’ve gotten older, my favorite drinks are water, iced tea, an occasional iced coffee and the rare, blood orange San Pelligrino or martini. Water is good for your skin and keeping you free of toxins.

Take Your Vitamins

I always made sure to give my girls their vitamins. I even started giving them Vitamin-C to boost their immune systems because, let’s face it, schools are cesspools. But what about me? I need to be around to take care of them so that means, stopping, breathing and caring for myself.

READ ALSO: 5 Kitchen Appliances You Need to Get Healthy

What do you do to stay healthy?

What’re your best tips for How to Get Healthy from Your Desk?

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icrescendo fasting work best for women, intermittent fasting, crescendo fasting, fasting for women, weight loss secrets, eating disorders, anorexia

Have you ever wondered what is intermittent fasting and why does crescendo fasting work best for women? I never had until a friend of mine lost 80 pounds doing intermittent fasting. Then I got interested, really interested because 80 pounds is a lot of weight and I need to lose at least 100 pounds to be near my goal weight.

I currently weight 254 pounds. Yep. I just said that out loud. Close your jaw. I know it’s shocking. It’s the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life and it’s freaking me out. I keep having nightmares that I’m being featured on my 600 lb. life. My goal weight is 137 pounds but for starters, I’d just like to get below 200 pounds.

READ ALSO: Why worrying about being skinny is stupid

So intermittent fasting and more specifically, crescendo fasting, is just exactly what it sounds like; fasting intermittently. I’ve done some research and there are several ways to do this but since I was anorexic for a good portion of my teens and twenties, I’ve decided that I should do the least drastic of all the choices; crescendo fasting. Maybe I shouldn’t even be considering intermittent fasting or crescendo fasting since for me restriction is a slippery slope. But I’ve got to try something and crescendo fasting seems reasonable and it’s better hormonally for women.

Being that have to keep a close eye on my hormones and am of the perimenopausal age range ( anywhere between 35 to 50 is perimenopausal) doing anything that could throw my hormones out of whack sounds like a pretty terrible idea. After my experience of juicing, I have learned to listen to my body.  Nobody wants manic Debi making an appearance anytime soon and even less so, irritable Debi.

From all those years of anorexic restricting, my metabolism is the worst and since I can’t restrict the way my mind wants to, I’ve just been eating all the food with wild abandon. It’s not like I sit around binge eating (I never was one for binge eating) but I’m an emotional eater. My problem is I live in extremes; eat whatever I want to whenever I want to or don’t eat at all. Exercise incessantly or not at all. I need to find a compromise and a happy medium.

I saw a lot of my friends were trying something new and I started researching to answer the questions what is Intermittent fasting and why does crescendo fasting work best for women?

Currently, I eat whatever I want. Though, honestly, I hate eating. I love food but it gives me nothing but guilt. Yes, I have a love-hate relationship with food. Yes, I have been to a therapist this is how I can identify all of this.

I haven’t been able to exercise properly lately because I’ve been perpetually injured for the past couple of years and that makes even normal movement painful. I want to use this intermittent crescendo fasting as a way to reboot my metabolism; my life. I need to regain some control. I don’t want to weigh 103 pounds like I used to. My goal is 137 pounds but I’d be perfectly happy with 153 pounds (because it’s 100 pounds less than I am today and it’s in my healthy range). Honestly, today, I’d be thrilled to see it get to 199 pounds.

READ ALSO: Tips for raising healthy daughters

I’m not searching for perfection. I’m searching for less weight on my knees. Shopping off the rack and clothes fitting me right. I want to look nice in the clothing that I like. Be able to sit Indian style on the floor and not cry from the weight on my tailbone. Fall and not break something because there is so much weight on every impact. Feel good when I look in the mirror. To not jiggle when I walk. I want to not feel like my center of gravity is going to make me topple in heels. Be able to dance and not worry about if anything is hanging out. Get out of my head because what my body looks like shouldn’t make me take pause but mostly, I want to be healthy. My goal is to be around to dance at my daughters’ wedding receptions and run around the yard with my grandchildren someday without getting winded.

I know that many of you may be shaking your heads thinking, this sounds like a bad idea. Maybe it is but I have checked with my doctor and it’s not like I’m going days on end without eating because there are other versions of intermittent fasting where people go 24 or 48 hours without eating anything at all. I know that would be a bad idea for me. I get hangry and I turn mean but also, as a former anorexic, I know this would be too comfortable for me and I don’t ever want to go down that road again.

What is Intermittent fasting? Why does Crescendo fasting work best for women?

Rules of Crescendo Fasting:

  1. Fast on 2–3 nonconsecutive days per week (e.g. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)
  2. On fasting days, do yoga or light cardio.
  3. Ideally, fast for 12–16 hours.
  4. Eat normally on your strength training/intense exercise days.
  5. Drink plenty of water. (Tea and coffee are okay, too, as long as there is no added milk or sweetener)
  6. After two weeks, feel free to add one more day of fasting.

 

what is intermittent fasting, why does crescendo fasting work best for women, intermittent fasting, crescendo fasting, fasting for women, weight loss secrets, eating disorders, anorexia

I started today along with logging everything I eat and how much. I’ll keep you all posted on my crescendo fasting journey. We’ll give it a try and see if it bears results and I’ll check in once a week on here and let you know how it’s going, what I’ve lost and how I’m feeling.

Update: Fell off the wagon with some traveling. Restarting this journey when 5/16/2018. Updates will follow.

Now that you know the answer to the questions; what is Intermittent fasting? Why does Crescendo fasting work best for women? Will you consider this healthy lifestyle?

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skinny, vanity, weight loss,

Have you ever looked at a scale and worried if you were skinny enough? Some days people disappoint me in ways that leave me flabbergasted. Insulting someone to their face while extolling the virtues of how great they themselves are. Wouldn’t time be better spent helping others rather than telling others how they could be better if they were more.like.you?

News alert: People know their shortcomings. You never have to tell them. Keep it to yourself. Telling an ugly person they’re ugly doesn’t help them not be ugly, it only makes them feel bad about not being attractive which they were already completely aware of…same goes for being rich, popular, thin and successful. Be who you are, enjoy your win and stop rubbing the loser’s nose in it. It’s petty, shady and just about the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.

This is not a story about superficial looks. It’s the example I’m using because I used to be vain and shallow. The subject matter is known well to me.

I used to care, more than I should have if I was skinny enough.

Wasting time worrying about getting the perfect body,  was my sole purpose in my teens and 20’s to the exclusion of all else. I had a certain idea in mind of what happiness would look like and it all started with being 5’8” and a size zero. My happiness hinged on how skinny I looked; the size of my pants. I knew that if I could “achieve this” hard to reach goal, I could do anything and I would definitely be happy.  It was mathematically impossible not to be.

skinny, vanity, weight loss, are eating disorders genetic? , raising girls, tweens, eating disorder, bulimarexia, eating disorders, anorexia, weight

Skinny+tall= beautiful = happiness.

I knew I was smart. I was popular enough. All I needed was the “perfect” body and I would have it all. So, I went after it with all I had, like I did everything in those days. When I get an idea in my head, I get obsessed and so began my obsession. Restriction. Exercise. Expulsion. More restriction. Even more exercise. I was never growing passed my 5’7.5” (God’s way of keeping me humble) but I was going to get that perfect body if it killed me and it almost did.

READ ALSO: A Day in the life of a Girl with Eating Disorders

For 13 years on and off, for 8 years hardcore, I chased the unattainable because it was a moving target. Happiness is not a pant size. I know this because each time I reached my “ideal” weight, I realized I needed to be smaller. Just 5 more pounds, over and over again. I was never happy and always unsatisfied. To be honest, I was miserable because the goals never lived up to the expectations.

skinny, vanity, weight loss,

Then there is now. I’m a grown woman. I’ve finally realized that the most important thing is to be healthy, feel good in your own skin and not give a damn about what other’s think (much easier said than done ).

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had some health issues, unexpected bumps in the road and I realized how stupid I was to be killing myself to be a certain weight. I am now at a point where, all I want is to be fully functioning, walking upright and to be healthy. That’s when it hit me that wanting to be “skinny”, obsessing over every workout and every piece of food I put into my mouth and trying to impress others with the way I look….that’s stupid. That is a luxury for vain people with nothing substantial to concern themselves with. I am happy for those people. I wish them continued health.

READ ALSO: Finally, I don’t Hate my Body

People starving in third world countries don’t obsess over thigh gaps. They are happy to have food in their bellies. People concerned with diabetes and high blood pressure worry about their diet for health reasons, to achieve maximum health not so that their asses look great in a pair of Lululemon. I think to each their own.

None of us know what others are going through. I’ve not lived your life and you’ve not lived mine. We come from different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses and cultures and what is right for you might not be what is right for me.

I’d never tell you how to live your life, what to wear or not to wear or how to behave because I don’t know your perspective. Only you have lived your life, survived your circumstances or struggles. Your heartbreak, loss and what on the outside looks like negativity, not good enough or “wrong” could be so much better than the day before and could be the very best you have to offer at this time.

In the grand scheme of my life, worrying about being skinny or over weight is stupid unless it affects your health.

I try to consider this as I’ve spent time on both sides. The thing is I want to live my best life. Do my best and be my best me and that has nothing to do with you. Just as how you choose to live your best life has nothing to do with me. Still, I wish us all happiness and success, whatever that might look like to each and every one of us.

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fat, weight loss, change, women's health, on being fat, obesity

Being fat is not what I wanted to be. Admitting that I am fat is even harder. I hate saying those words. For me, it’s admitting defeat. As if somehow writing it down and posting it makes it real.

I have eyes. I can plainly see that I’m overweight. I have been for years and all the pulling and tugging at my clothes will not change that. Most days I feel like I’m wearing a suit of shame like my weight is some sort of punishment.

Being fat is hard.

It’s even harder being out of shape. I’ve decided to start working out again. These days working on my abs feels like working out while being 9-months pregnant because I am so out of shape and my stomach is so massive. When I sit down, my stomach literally touches my lap. It disgusts me. When did this happen?

I wish I were one of those women who didn’t care what size her clothes were, what her body looked like in clothes or what people thought of her looks. It’s weird because while I couldn’t care less what people think of my opinions or beliefs or me as a person, I have always been consumed by what people might think of what I look like, more specifically my body. Believe me, I’ve tried to change my way of thinking but still, I feel like being fat is my biggest and most embarrassing failure in life.

I’ve been binge watching TLC shows about being overweight; My 600 lb. life and My Big Fat Fabulous Life. I find myself baffled that people have let themselves get that overweight. Then afraid it could happen to me. Unfortunately, I cannot relate to finding fabulousness in being overweight at all but I am glad others can love their bodies at all sizes.

I used to restrict calories and work out to the extreme. I used to be good at it; too good at it. I was masterful at the art of willpower and self-control, where eating was concerned. The rest of the world could be spinning out of control but I held tight the reins on my food intake. My entire world could be off the hook but my stomach was always tight. When people told me that I looked “sick”, it made me happy because I felt like I was doing something right.

Food is an addiction, worse than any other because while if you are an alcoholic or a drug addict you can choose not to partake. You can quit drugs and you can quit alcohol. It’s f*cking hard but you can do it. You can’t quit food. Well, you can, but you will die. I know, I’ve tried and was pretty successful and unfortunately, being too thin because you are obsessed with your weight and food intake is just as terrible as being too fat because you are eating too much. Being too skinny is just as unhealthy as being too fat. I know because I’ve been both.

My food issues started around the time I turned 7, at least that’s when the photos show that I gained weight. I wasn’t overweight at all but I wasn’t rail thin anymore. I’d love to be able to tell you what triggered it but I can’t because, honestly, I can’t remember most of what happened the years of my life between the summer I turned 7 and sophomore year in high school. It’s all a blur. I just remember wanting to fade into the background.

My dad was an abusive alcoholic who was always angry and my mom shut down to survive. I felt abandoned and the only attention I got was unwanted so I wanted to be invisible and somewhere along the way, I did that because everyone knows the quickest way to not be seen is to become overweight so I hid there, unnoticed. People stare at beautiful things but no one wants to make eye contact with the ugly of the world.

Being fat was my way to disappear.

fat, weight loss, change, women's health, being fat, obesity

I’m realizing that somewhere in that haze is the answer to the question of why I have always battled my own self-image and why I have such a problem accepting the skin I live in. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been at war with my body, my health. Always beating it into submission or ignoring it all together. When I write it down, it looks like a metaphor for my childhood. Maybe that’s the entire issue.

But how do I stop? How do I learn to love my body, myself, unconditionally when I never felt that as a child? It always felt conditional. I feel like by having my own daughters and loving them so fiercely and unconditionally, I’m slowly learning that everyone deserves that kind of love and acceptance…even me.

Even if you haven’t experienced being fat, how do you learn to love something that you’ve spent your entire life wishing you could change?

02172015

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Kitchen appliances you need, 5 Kitchen Appliances You Need to Get Healthy, tips to live longer, tips to get healthy

Ever think you might want to live longer than the national average life expectancy? It’s 79 years old, by the way. That doesn’t work for me. I’m aiming for 103. Life goals people. I want to live longer, bolder and fiercer. I want every moment to be packed full of living.

There are very few things that can get me to change my entire life. My children are the reason I want to live longer but other than that, I’m a creature of habit and not all of those habits are good ones. I mean, I’m not smoking crack or anything but I’ve been known to say (on more than one occasion) that I’d rather work out for 3 hours than give up my carbs and I meant it, every single time.

The thing is sometimes those things are taken out of your hands and your only option is to give up the proverbial carbs, or in my case, the literal carbs. That’s what happened to me. Can you say morbidly obese, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetic and anemic? Yeah, that will make you change your, “I’d rather workout for 3 hours than give up my carbs” mantra really quick. I thought I was special.

It reminded me that time is fleeting and I want to live longer… a lot longer.

Well, not really special but I thought, it can wait. Like you, I’ve always been the kind of mom who puts my kids first sometimes to my own detriment. It’s just I want them to fondly remember me as the best.mom.ever.

I don’t pretend that we are friends. They hate my guts sometimes because I am “so mean” because I make them do things like eat vegetables and get their homework done. There will be plenty of time for bonding like friends when they are grown. Right now, my mission is to love them, keep them safe and raise good human beings so sometimes I have to be unpopular. Eye rolls be damned. Besides, I know they love me because they hug me while they are rolling their eyes.

Anyways, back to me, because I am embracing this new “selfish mom” era of motherhood. I had an incident recently, that I truly thought was a heart attack. Went to the doctor with 187/107 blood pressure. Was literally freaking out. Suddenly, no carbs in exchange for my not-quite midlife sounded pretty damn good. I was beyond bargaining and was begging the universe to let me have another chance.

Are you there God, it’s me Deborah and I’m going to need to live longer!

Well, after lots of tests, I found out that I did not have a heart attack. Thank Goodness. But everything else I’d feared was right there in my chart confirming my suspicions, I had been ignoring my own health for way too long.

Eating cold food on the run or late at night after everyone else is taken care of is not good for you. Never taking the time to work out to lose the baby weight (for 11 years) because you are too busy rushing kids to their sports, definitely not good for you. Never looking at labels because you know what’s good for you, surprisingly not good for you. Eating out…so terrible for you. But I live in the real world and I want to keep doing so. So, I’m changing all of my bad habits with the hope of being able to live longer.

Here’s how I am making little changes that will help me live longer and be healthier.

Shaking my bootie

I’ve started at the bare bones. I’m moving. No, not across the country to a weight loss commune. I’m moving my body, morbidly obese as it may be. I, like you, don’t have a lot of extra time in my day so I am designating 30-45 minutes a day where I dance all over my house with the music blaring. I know I dance like Sam Rockwell but I don’t care I am moving. It makes me happy and it feels good.

A couple other things, I’ve gotten myself a Lotus desk stand so that I will no longer be sitting all day. In fact, I’ll probably be dancing at my desk. I’m probably dancing right now.  The Lotus™ Sit-Stand Workstation features Smooth Lift Technology™ to keep your workstation stable and make changing positions from sitting to standing effortless. Lotus is an easy to use, adjustable and worry free setup engineered with the durability to transition working positions throughout the day. Numerous studies have confirmed that sitting for prolonged periods of time is harmful to your health.

Another thing, I’m walking. Why sit or stand when you can walk. Park further away, take the stairs, just do it.

Writing stuff down

Also, like I told my mother (who was not amused at all) thanks to my past history with eating disorders, I am a dynamite list maker and a pretty damn restrictor. I’ve channeled that into something good, I am logging all of my food into my phone and then I am keeping an actual list of all the calories, carbs, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber that I am getting. Sounds daunting right? You know what’s even more daunting, being dead. Missing my girls grow up, so lists it is!

Making better choices

I am making informed decisions about what I put into my body. I have my guidelines and I am following them. I do believe everything in moderation so if I can fit what I am craving within the parameters of what I am allowed to have on that day, then I have it. I’m eating cleaner with lots more fresh fruits and veggies, no red meat, lots of lean meat and being very aware of the dairy I put into my body and only eating whole grains. Yes, it is an adjustment. My family is ready to murder me in my sleep for all the sneaky veggies that I’ve been feeding them. My daughter was not amused when she found out that her popcorn chicken was actually baked cauliflower with honey garlic sauce. She thought it was amazing until her sister ratted me out.

Letting it Go

Last but not least, I am letting stuff go. I am a long-time, Type-A perfectionist. I have doctor verified control issues but I am like a dog with a bone when it comes to issues that bother me. I can’t let anything go. I’m a fighter but with that comes stress and worry, which are two pointless emotions. They serve no purpose other than to make your situation worse so I’m stepping back, counting to 10 and recognizing my limits. If kids don’t get their homework done, I can’t stay up until 3 a.m. finishing. If the house can’t be perfect, so be it. I can’t make everyone happy. If you are someone who stresses me out, I’m probably not going to be answering the phone or interacting anytime soon.

I want to surround myself with positivity. That’s it. I want to live and I want to be healthy so I have to make it happen. I have to be selfish so that I can be around to be a good wife and mother. My dreams will never come true if I’m dead so I am embracing my new lifestyle.

It’s only been 11 days but I’ve lost 11 pounds and I feel better than I have in ages. This change is not only good for my mind and body, it’s good for my soul. I can see things more clearly when my mind is still and I can focus. So this is me becoming the best version of myself.

Since beginning this journey, I have found a lot of great family-friendly healthy recipes and discovered new and exciting ways to be active at home, with your family or by yourself and I will be sharing them all here along the way. It’s not as hard as I thought, with the right motivation.

What are you doing to live longer so that you can see your little ones grow up and you can grow old with your special someone?

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