Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Marking 1 Year of a New Way of Life!!!

This is me. Hi! This was Christmas 2010. This is the fattest picture of me that I could find. I don't really even recognize this girl. She is smiling but . . . I know that she is dying to go home and take off that dress and peel off the Spanx that she is wearing underneath it that have surely left deep, painful, red grooves all over her lumpy, chunky body that she hates. Her hair is frizzy and her skin is blotchy. The smile is hiding A LOT! I went away to college in August of 1994 weighing 130 pounds and wearing a size 6 pants. I came home that Thanksgiving break wearing a size 12 pants! NOT GOOD! So, I made a commitment to exercise and I went vegetarian and I lost weight. This was the beginning of the Yo-Yo dieting that would be the next 19 years of my life. I tried everything. Weight Watchers Points, Deal A Meal, Fit For Life, Tae Bo, Walk Away the Pounds, the 6 Week Body Makeover, Visalus . . . And guess what? They all worked . . . as long as I stuck to it. But who can stick to some of those things all the time. And so the weight would come back and then some.  Also, during that time I had a baby, got married, moved to a new state, bought a house, had a second baby, lived on no income for 9 months, had a third baby, started homeschooling, started working at a school, became the administrator of the school, buried my grandmother, bought a new house while still owning the old one, finally sold the old one after 8 months of 2 mortgages . . . LIFE . . . you get the idea. During all this time, I cooked and baked from scratch, I joined a produce co-op. If it was healthy, I did it. Yet here I am at the end of 2010 . . . fat and unhappy and very unhealthy.

SO . . . It is after midnight, which officially makes it July 29, 2014. 1 year ago this very day, my husband and I decided to make a life altering change. In early July of last year, Michael told me that he thought he was having a heart attack and asked me to take him to the ER. He had just turned 38 years old. When we arrived at the ER, they took him back right away and did an EKG. Good news! His heart was perfect! Bad news . . . he was still in pain and they made us wait in chairs for 3 hours before putting us in a room. UGH! Well, when we finally saw the doctor and had blood work and a chest x-ray, we were told he had severe GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) or Acid Reflux. They gave him a GI Cocktail to numb his esophagus and neutralize the acid in his stomach. He began to feel better. Great! The doctor sat there and basically told us that there was nothing that could be done. Michael would have to take Prilosec for the rest of his life. He told us that losing weight might help and it was a good idea because he was overweight but, there was no guarantee that the acid reflux would get better. I knew that could not be right so . . . after returning home at 3 AM and sleeping in, I started scouring the web for answers from wherever I could find them. In the middle of all of this mess, a friend of my mom's had started changing her eating habits after reading a book called Trim Healthy Mama. My mom had bought the book also and was going to start making some changes and she suggested to me that it might help Michael and me to lose weight and be healthier. So, I ordered the e-book and I read the book in 2 days. I am a freakishly fast reader. I noticed that a lot of what I read in the book lined up with what I had read about healing the GI track and reversing GERD. Interesting! I am also a perfectionist so it was all or nothing for us. So, we jumped in on July 29, 2013 and have not looked back. I started doing this to help my husband and in the process found that it was something that would work for me as well. I lost 7 pounds the first week! Michael was also losing weight and after an initial 2 week course of Prilosec to get it under control, he has not had to take it again.  This is a picture of our family from the end of May 2013, right before we started our new way of life.  Aren't we cute?  Aren't dimpled elbows, kankels and Michelin Man rolls attractive on grown adults?  No?  Only babies?  Yeah, I know . . .

  Here is another picture . . . just for kicks and giggles. This was July 2012. We were SOOOOOO excited to drive all the way to Columbus, Ohio to see Michael's family and have portraits done with the whole family. We had lost 30 pounds each doing Visalus!!! Look how heavy we still were!!!  We can't even get close to each other because our bellies are too big!

Back to the story . . . we changed our lifestyle and weight melted off even over the holidays! I threw myself into figuring out how to make everything we liked "on plan". We had a ton of success with the scale but, we also had a LOT of NSV (non scale victories). Our middle son, who was a little chunky lost 8 pounds. I was not making the kids eat totally on plan but, it was a happy by-product. Our oldest son was able to come off his ADHD meds after 12 years! Our youngest became less hyper. We had more energy. My husband stopped snoring. I could wake up easier in the morning. I didn't need a nap in the afternoon anymore. I had to buy a WHOLE new wardrobe (including underwear). I had to get rid of some shoes which were mysteriously TOO BIG. I had to have a sales associate bring me a small to the dressing room because the mediums I had grabbed were too big! I can stand in one leg of my old shorts. My husband needed a whole new wardrobe. I have actually reversed tooth decay. My dentist was so happy. I tried on my sweet 16 dress from October 1993 and it fit! I go to the gym and lift weights I never thought I would be able to lift. There are so many more things but, I just can't list everything! All this to say . . . we have changed our lives . . . we are never going back. We have learned a lot about ourselves. We have customized THM to fit our lives and our bodies. For example. I found out pretty quickly that E meals did not cut it for me. I tried. I would make this great meal and make sure it was E. I WAS STARVING AN HOUR LATER! AND . . . I would be 2 pounds heavier the next day. So, like Pearl and Serene say in the book, you have to listen to your body. Along the way we learned what foods triggered acid reflux attacks and cut them out. I stuck to S and FP and had great success. My husband however, does better with an E breakfast and an S dinner so that is what he does. We are completely sugar free. We don't eat rice, potatoes, corn, or grains (except oatmeal for Michael). That is what has worked for us. We are happy. We are NEVER hungry. We never feel like we are on a diet. We are more fun now. So here I am again . . . I have lost 64 pounds and 50+ inches. I have gone from a tight 16 to a 4 in pants and skirts. I have gone from XL shirts to Smalls and Mediums. The dress I am wearing in the picture is an 8. BUT . . . the girl in this picture is not wearing Spanx under it!

See the difference in the hair and skin and lack of chins? LOL! That is naturally curly and now healthy hair and healthy, radiant skin because I am healthy on the inside.

So, HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY, Honey!  Michael has lost 50+ pounds and has gone down in his clothes as well.  I am so proud of him.  He does not like change so this was not easy for him.  However, he likes pain even less than change so . . .  Here is a picture of Michael and our boys.  That t-shirt was tight on him when he got it.  You can really tell a difference.  You might have to click on the picture to see it better.

We are still a work in progress. Neither one of us is were we need to be yet but, we are miles away from where we were a year ago. I hope that our story encourages someone. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. We all need to help each other.

Stay tuned! I plan on posting some of our favorite recipes and fun stuff like that.