Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Depression and Craving a Healthy Lifestyle

Life isn't always sunshine and roses.  I think we can all agree on that.  How we view ourselves and how we approach those obstacles in life can be the hardest things to overcome in making positive choices.  Depression is something that I have struggled with, and although it is considered a low grade depression, it's an ongoing depression that has in a lot of ways crippled me.

The one area it has crippled me the most is taking care of myself.  The self-loathing, self-doubt and lack of self-worth from that depression has kept me from achieving the healthy goals I have set for myself.  From diet to exercise, to managing my diabetes and other health issues, it's an tug of war with myself that completely drains me of any physical and emotional actions.

One thing that I haven't done however, is given up.  I have my good days, and my bad days, but I still try my hardest to "keep my eyes on the prize".  Things that trigger my depression can be dealing with upsetting family or financial issues, seeing my weight on the scale, not being able to button that pair of jeans I just bought a month ago or most recently, losing people I love, either through their passing or moving away.  I guess on the plus side, I recognize the triggers.  The downside, I've yet to figure out how to not let them consume me in sadness.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that having goals is definitely positive.  I can stumble and fall, but I can get back up and try each and every day to try to do something towards those goals.  I know my depression affects those around me, as they don't know how to react or talk to me about it.  It's easy to tell someone, "just do it"!  Problem is, when you have chronic depression, it's not always in your control.  That's not an excuse, that is a medical, physical and chemical fact.  All I can do is keep seeking resources and courses of action to combat it.

What I am thankful for, however, is that I have people in my community and friends that are always so positive and pumped when it comes to making healthy choices and incorporating exercise and fitness into their daily and weekly routine.  They are inspiring me and helping me more than they know.  I can't list all of them, but collaboratively, they are a huge influence on my life.  So for that, I thank them.

Hope y'all had a happy hump day!  Peace out :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Taking Care of Me for a Change

It's the scenario we hear all the time.  Moms taking care of everyone else and not herself.  I admit that I'm definitely one of those.  Not only my family, but others in my community.  Doing for others, and not for myself.  I recently backed off from a lot of the volunteer commitments I had made and have been trying to focus on myself for a change.  As you may or may not know, I'm a type 2 diabetic.  It's been a struggle for me since I was 24 years old when I first was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my oldest.  Health psychology and my inability to adhere to medical advice has been a definite struggle as well, and I'm trying my best to tackle them with a more positive outlook.

For instance, I was recently diagnosed with dysthymia.  It's a low grade chronic depression, and it's suspected I've had it since I was a teen.  I can definitely look back over the years and agree with that.  I've never been diagnosed or treated for depression, although I have suspected it.  Not only does it affect my mood, but it affects the way I care for myself.  This is something that I need to start being proactive about because it's affecting my attitude toward my diabetes.  I have to push the "don't give a crap" attitude and start taking care of myself and staying on top of my meds and exercise.

Secondly, there is the fact that while getting my body back on track, the Metformin messes with me, and I have almost all the side effects, minus the headaches:

  • Diarrhea -- occurring in up to 53.2 percent of people
  • Nausea or vomiting -- in up to 25.5 percent
  • Gas -- in up to 12.1 percent
  • Weakness -- in up to 9.2 percent
  • Indigestion -- in up to 7.1 percent
  • Abdominal discomfort (or stomach discomfort) -- in up to 6.4 percent
  • Headache -- in up to 5.7 percent.

This is not fun, and ironically, I had my Health Psychology class last semester, and it made me recognize one of the reasons I don't adhere to my medication is that my mind and body would rather deal with the long term unseen effects of diabetes than deal with the very real symptoms and side effects from my medication.  True that over time, these side effects will slowly fade away, but I just had the week from hell while my body adjusted, and I missed out on some good times with friends and family this weekend.  I need to start dealing with the immediate and get past my own self so that I can live a healthier lifestyle and prolong my life here on earth for my boys.  

I just reached 40 years in August, and I would love to have 40 more.  I won't be able to do that on the path I've been choosing.  There are so many people out there that inspire me.  Recently my friend Carrie, as I've seen her on her journey on a return to health and happiness, and I realized that no matter how much I may fail at my attempts to get back on my own track of those things, I need to keep getting back up and not let it keep me down.  

It's a struggle, but I can't let it get the best of me.  I have to rise up and overcome.  I have to start focusing on me for a change.  I have to start saying "no" so that I can say "yes" to life and longevity. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Before Workout Goodies

The body needs to have energy to move and do things that is required of it.  Energy sources come from the three macronutrients - carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  Carbohydrates are the number one and most important and essential source of energy for the body.  Carbohydrates work in the body more effectively in sports, working out and exercise than protein and fat because it can be metabolized aerobically as well as anaerobically.  They give a more overall steady source, and should be 70% of a competitive and training regimen and diet.  Here are some great ideas to help kickstart your workouts (click picture to enlarge):

Fink, H., Burgoon, L., & Mikesky, A. (2009) Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition (2nd Edition). Sudbury, MA.  Jones and Barlett Publishers.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Happy 40th to Me!

In the years to come, when one son moves onto college, while the other finally enters kindergarten, I want to look back and see my 40th birthday as a major turning point in my life.  There have been so many things going on with me and my little family in the past few months that only a few handful of people know about, and the stress and the depression got to me.  My food addiction took over and I went up in weight and enough in size that things I just bought in spring no longer fit me.  It's a harsh reality, but it's also one that I need to quit complaining about and doing something about.  It's all about putting my knowledge, desire and passion into action for myself.  Helping others is awesome, but putting myself on the backburner while doing so isn't good for my health, my well-being, nor my family.

I started Les Mills Combat yesterday and I started tearing up during my workout because I could feel and hear fat slapping on fat.  Maybe that's a little TMI, but it was enough to trigger such disappointment and emotion in me to make me cry.  It can take a lot to make me cry, and when most see me cry, it's usually for joy, and not because I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Today I feel a renewed energy and have set goals for myself.  Workout goals, nutrition goals and making time for myself to better my health and stop worrying about everyone else.  I need to stop rewarding myself with food.  Being diabetic with other health issues, it's really not something that helps me.  I can be my own worst enemy, even with all my training and education, having a food addiction can screw all that up for me.

Here's to becoming a new me - one that's more focused, fit, and uses food for fuel and not feeding feelings!!  Look out 40!!!  I'm gonna kick some ass this year!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Meatless with the Mostest

Making meatless dishes isn't that difficult.  In fact a lot of dishes that I find are quick and simple and taste amazing!

I subscribe to Cooking Light, so not only do I get their magazines, but I get emailed links to some great recipes and this has to be one of the best compilations of meatless recipes that I have found in a long time.  No need to search the internet for them, when there are 100 Crazy-Good Vegetarian Recipes right here!!

You can just browse through and click on the recipe you'd like to try out for yourself or your family!!  It's easy!

Hope you have a fabulous Monday and an awesome week!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Cutting Haters Out

There seems to be a growing trend when it comes to people who start to achieve weight loss success.  Hateful, spiteful and sometimes just plain venomous words spewing onto people's posts, blogs, and photos of weight loss success, and some are even worse when it comes to woman that are gaining muscle while slimming down.  I know I see it all over social media.  Telling women they are too skinny, "eat a burger", making rude comments when they show off their new bodies in bikinis they never thought they could wear.

Keyboard cowboys that hide behind fake profiles, pictures and names are not my focus here.  I personally give no regard to people that I will never meet, nor will I allow them to have any impact whatsoever in my life, what I DO find appalling is that a lot of the comments are coming from friends and even family.

I have recently mentioned on some of my own posts on GetGlue, the show Extreme Makeover has really been getting under my skin the past few weeks.  Not only do some of the family members, but the mothers of the women trying to better themselves have been met with backlash, snide and snarky remarks, as well as just plain mean comments regarding the person's body, food consumption, how they work out and even telling them there's nothing wrong with them.  Nothing wrong?  Since when is being over 300 lbs right?  Since when is trying to sabotage someone's success, degrading and belittling them while they struggle on their journey to health and fitness right?  I have to say, it truly upset and disgusted me that these people were supposed to be the "support" system!

There are also some friends on social media where I have seen nasty comments that have been deleted.  When someone loses weight and wants to show it off, who are we to judge?  There are people like myself that find it inspirational and motivating.  Those that claim to be annoyed by it, I say... there is an unfollow, unfriend or even hide buttons if you don't wish to share in the joy and excitement someone has in regards to their weight loss, or even in maintaining that loss.  Those pictures taken during or after workouts, or in their smaller outfits to show muscle tone are their own motivation.  It's a visual confirmation to them of their own personal success.  It may even be there way of showing themselves accountability in what they want, what they've achieved and the next level they wish to take it to.

Certain people seemed to be threatened by others' successes, and if their nasty self shows through, we have to be strong enough to keep them at a distance, even if that means family and former friends.  I may be difficult, but keeping yourself surrounded by those that share in the joy of your success and are a positive influence on your new lifestyle can be the key to continued success.

You deserve a full and healthy life and anyone that isn't on-board needs to eventually drift away.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Downsides to the Quick Fix

There are many of us that have heard of the professor that did the "Twinkie Diet" and others like the controversial HCG Diet.  The thing that gets me so upset about both of these diets, and many like them, is they are both based on the well known fact of burning more calories than consumed will help you lose weight.  "Calories In, Calories Out".   In the Twinkie Diet, he ate 1800 calories of junk food, where as a man his size should be consuming 2200-2300 calories a day, so there is a deficit in calories.  Just like the HCG Diet starts its followers with only a 500 calorie a day diet.  That's right... 500 calories.  Let it be known that anything under 1200 calories in a day is considered starvation, but people seem to want to follow anything if it advertises quick weight loss.  It's simple math.  They are eating less calories than it takes for the body to function normally on a day to day basis, so they lose weight.

I guess what really upsets me is that there are people who are educated and within the health and nutrition field of study are the ones that are putting this ridiculousness out there.  The long term effects of these diets are, in my opinion, not worth the quick results.  Most will gain the weight back, some gain even more than they lost, and some will go to drastic measures to maintain what they have lost because they did not learn proper diet and exercise requirements for their body.  The risks to these types of crazy diets can include:
  • Deficiency in vital vitamins and minerals
  • Improper function of digestive and endocrine systems
  • Deterioration of muscle and bone mass
  • Extremely low and/or high blood glucose levels
So basically, on top of losing weight with no exercise, these people are starving their muscles, starving their body of proper nutrition, while their body goes to crap, along with their skin, hair, nails, teeth and bones.  Sounds awesome doesn't it?  

I have always said there ARE NO QUICK FIXES!  You have to work at it with proper diet and exercise.  Anything that tells you to eat less than 1200 calores - NO!  Anything that says to eat whatever you want and you don't have to exercise - NO!  Anything that makes claims of fat blockage - NO!   Fat is and should be a part of your diet, as fat, carbohydrates and protein are the basis of caloric values and nutrients.  If your nutritionist or doctor suggests any of these types of weight loss gimmicks, I personally would really question who or what is paying them to suggest it, because there is nothing "healthy" about them.

Anyway, rant for the day done.  Slow, Steady & Strong.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Doing It Together

Today marks year 3 in saying "I do" to the man I now call my husband.  It's been a wild ride with ups and downs as my life has taken a complete 180 since the day I moved to Idaho to start my new life with him.  I found out I was pregnant within a month of moving here.  At the time, my oldest son was staying with his father and I went from working full time for 20 years to being a stay at home wife, mother and student.  Now my oldest lives with us, and turned 15 this year, while my little "Bug" is going on 2 1/2 years.  I'm also quickly approaching my own 40th birthday on August 8th, so with all the things that are going on in my life, there is a part of me that feels the need to reflect, react and reaffirm the changes I want to make in my life.

My husband has started going to the gym the past few weeks after he was medically released after his jaw surgery, and he's been making some progress.  We both have our faults when it comes to eating right and exercising, so we're making changes little by little.  There are a lot of information out there that show that having a support system can increase your chances of success, and it will be great to get him on board with all of it.  I know we have different ways of working out, but hopefully we can find some common ground with walking or crossfit training.

He and my lil "Bug" are visiting family and will return late Saturday, so hopefully we can start a new routine and get on track together, and start getting the whole family on track with eating right and moving!!

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie... I love you!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Rest of My Academic Year

Well, here's the rest of my year planned out for me at Kaplan.  Now you understand why I have to get on the ball with myself and my own lifestyle.  On one side I don't want to be the one with all the info that a patient or client sits in front of and thinks "this sure doesn't seem like a person I should be taking advice from".  On the other side, I do want them to know where I've been and where I come from so that they can find something in me they can relate too.  Food addiction.  Diabetic.  Heart/Artery Disease.  Neuropathy.  Mother.  Whatever they can link themselves to and relate to will help me in helping them. 

We all love people that inspire us, but normally what inspires us is those we can relate to.  Those people that we see a bit of ourselves in, and in turn it makes us believe that it is possible to meet those health and wellness goals that we set for ourselves.

Was there someone that inspired you?  Someone that you looked at and saw their journey and thought to yourself... if they can, I CAN!!   Who was that person?  Do they still inspire you?  How do you inspire others?  Comment below!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Starting Meatless Mondays

One of the great things about starting to eat healthier is to find whole food recipes that the family will enjoy.  I know my oldest son is always accusing me of trying to "turn him vegan", but I know that's just his cheeseburger/pizza molded teenage mind that sees vegetables as "icky".  I've tried to implement "Meatless Mondays" and there have been things that the boys love, and others they straight out tell me not to make again.  I've yet to find a recipe that I didn't enjoy, but I sometimes thing that it's my diabetic palate that makes anything taste good since I usually eat so plain.

Sometimes, all it takes is to find a classic and find a way to make it into a vegetarian dish.  This is an lacto-ovo veggie dish that is sure to please!  Click the name to see the full recipe!  Hope you have a great Monday!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Benefits of Quinoa

There are a lot of people that are hesitant on trying new foods.  One whole food that I personally have found a liking to is quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah").  This is great food for those trying to transition to a more vegan lifestyle or menu for them and their family.  The great thing I've found about quinoa is that it is very versatile because it doesn't have much of it's own taste, kind of a cross between brown rice and couscous, so it can be a great replacement in numerous recipes.  There are recipes for stuffed peppers, salads, and even websites dedicated to cooking quinoa.

Quinoa is also a great balanced food containing the three major caloric nutrients for energy!  A serving size of quinoa is a great source for your daily carbohydrates, fat and protein.

Be sure to check your grocery aisle and add it to your meal plan!  Quinoa is sure to be a staple food in your pantry, and something that you and your family will enjoy!

Hope you had a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Self Sabotage and Accountability

There has been a lot going on in my life in the last few months that have mentally and emotionally taken me out of the game when it comes to my health and wellness.  Sure I could sit here and list excuse after excuse, but what good does that do?

I need to get back to focusing on me and not worry about what others may think of me and my time for ME!!  There are those that I have seen snub their nose at those that get sitters, or leave the little ones at home so they can go work out with comments like "I live for my kids, they are my top priority".  Well, sorry darling, you aren't "living" for your kids if you put your own health and wellness last.  Shortening the years of your time on earth by sitting around, being immobile, eating whatever you want isn't "living" anyway.  It's "dying".

I have always struggled with having an overabundance of knowledge in the health and wellness, and as I'm currently going for my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science and going for my Masters in Health Education, it's all about executing what I know, and what I have learned.  It's difficult and I am human.  I'm flawed, I have insecurities, I have distractions, but at the end of the day, I'm also accountable for what I choose to do and not to do.

No one ever says that getting fit and healthy and staying fit and healthy is easy, but it gets easier as it becomes a lifestyle and not just a "diet".  I need to start making some small goals and achieving them and start back on my path to wellness.  I need to get my A1C in check and my cholesterol lowered, and start to focus on meditation and relaxation techniques as well to help me get through school, mommy-ing and all my other obligations and responsibilities.

There is a friend that has started her own blog recently and I look forward to watching her journey.  Check Ashley out over at Getting Fit & Staying Healthy!!

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Power of the Mind

It's been quite the busy year for me so far.  I realize that I haven't posted to this blog in months, and I have to say that I haven't been in the best of mindset, nor health these past few months.  I haven't worked out, I haven't gone to any exercise class, and my diet has been less than desirable.  Like many of you, I struggle with my weight and as I approach 40 this summer, I have noticed a pattern in my ups and downs when it comes to my weight, nutrition and other healthier aspects in my life.  It's mindset.

You see, when I lost all my weight before, I was in the mindset to do so.  I logged my food, worked out a minimum of 4 days a week, checked my glucose levels, and I was spot on with having weight loss every week.  Whether it was 1-3 lbs, it didn't matter, I knew I was making progress and my body and the way my clothes fit showed it.  As it stands now, I am not, nor have I been in the right mindset to do so.

Problem is, I've allowed myself to become a victim of circumstance.  Circumstances, by the way, in which I can control, yet for whatever reason, choose not to do so.  True, I have a busy schedule, but in the end, I know that depression and lack of love for myself has deterred me from making the right decisions and putting my health as a priority in my life.  When I was eating right, working out, I was filling this blog up like nobody's business.  All the great things I would find, the workouts, the education.  Maybe because now it's become more work for school (last few years of my BS in Nutrition Science), instead of the fun of sharing the information.  Who knows.

It's a talk I have with myself daily.  Should I really be eating this or that?  Should I make a point to make it to that class tonight?  My son is down napping, should I pop in one of my exercise dvds?  The problem I have isn't that I'm not motivated to lose weight and get fit, the problem is I'm allowing the bad outweigh the good in my mind, and the bad is simply the excuses.  What are they?  Here are a few that I've caught myself thinking...

- I'll go next time
- The boys won't like it if I make that for dinner
- I don't have the energy to do it
- I have school work
- There's a meeting tonight
- I don't want to drag the little guy to the gym
- There's no one to workout with

I could go on and on, as while my mind justifies all these reasons, they are nothing more than excuses.  Plain and simple.  I just need to get the right mindset, or at least help myself by surrounding myself with positive people that encourage me, instead of feeding into my excuses with me.  At the end of the day, I'm not happy.  I'm not happy with myself, I'm not happy with the lack of progress I've made, and I'm definitely not happy with my size and the health issues that come along with it.

Think it's about time to get back to making myself, my goals, and my LIFE a priority again.  Stop letting my overworked mind think there's no time or energy to do it, and be like Nike and "Just Do It!".  What are some of your excuses?  I know I'm not the only one that has yo-yo'ed and felt this way.  Where there any tips or tricks you did to keep yourself motivated, feeling good about yourself?  Sometimes I think I use all my energy helping others feel good about themselves, at the end of the day there's nothing left for ME!

Well, thanks for reading.  Time to talk these thoughts to bed.  Good Night.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Reminder - Health is a Journey

Click to see larger image
I found this picture on Dr. DeValt's blog Morning By Morning Pathway to Health.  To me it serves as a reminder that it's should just be about "losing weight".  It should  be a life long journey of learning what our bodies need, how it metabolizes, what nutrients and calories are for and what they do, and making changes.  Permanent changes.

Is this easy?  For a lot of people, most likely not, but buying into the latest quick fix is not going to teach you proper nutrition, nor will it motivate you to move your body.  I have to stress that ANY COMMERCIALIZED WEIGHT LOSS PLAN THAT CLAIMS YOU CAN DO IT "WITHOUT EXERCISE" IS A SCAM!! 

What good will it do you to try to eat proper, but not move your body?  You will lose muscle mass, your tendons and joints will ache, and it will all be for not.  And for starters, what diet and weight loss plan, or even exercise plan for that matter, doesn't warn you to "not start any new program without consulting your physician or doctor first"?   Did you?  Has your spouse, friend or relative?  People go on all these supplemental diets, and dish out money left and right for things that they can get from a proper diet.  Excessive vitamins, minerals and supplements are flushed from your body!  If your body doesn't need them, you are throwing your money away on products that you literally are putting right into the toilet!

I highly encourage people to get labs done on themselves, and learn your numbers.  Learn what you are deficient in.  Learn what foods contain to help you with those deficiencies.  If you do not like or cannot tolerate those foods, then choose a natural supplement for that particular deficiency for pennies on the dollar compared to these overindulgent mega powders that are made in a lab.  While there are some synthetic supplements that can be just as effective, overall, natural is best according to independent testing by Consumer Labs.  Education and knowing what you need are keys to success beyond the weight loss.

Here's to your health and happiness!  Hope you're all keeping on the steady path of your own individual journey!  Have a great week!

- Cheryl