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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Encouragement for those who need to lose more than 100 pounds

Now that I've lost over 200 pounds people ask me to share some tips on how I got started and stayed motivated.  So I thought I would blog about it and hopefully it will help someone.
  • Set small goals & reward yourself
    • Every time I thought about having to lose 200+ pounds I got discouraged and would think there is no way I would be able to do it.  When you focus on the large number it makes it seem impossible.  It's like thinking about having to climb a mountain.  Yes it is going to be hard but take it one step at a time and before you know it, you'll reach the top!  I started with 5 pound weight loss goal.  This is one of the best things Weight Watchers did for me.  You got a sticker for every 5 pounds you lost.  I started collecting those stickers and before you know it, they add up.  I wrote out a list of rewards that I would give myself at certain intervals.  At first, the rewards were at smaller increments like 10 pounds and 20 pounds then I started spacing them out more.  Some examples of my rewards were: music, books, new shoes, new clothes, jewelry, nails painted, massage.  Some that are still on my list:  horseback riding, ride a roller coaster, go on a zip line tour, get another ear piercing, and a tattoo. 

  • Positive Affirmations
    • Your mind is very powerful.  What you think and what you say eventually comes to fruition.  Write down some positive affirmations and say them every day (whether you believe it or not).  Before long you will memorize them and can say them to yourself when you start to get discouraged.  Some of the ones I used are:
      • I accept and love myself just the way I am.
      • I am worth loving myself.
      • I am grateful for this amazing gift God gave me and my body's ability to heal itself.
      • The choices I make every day will improve my health.
      • I am in control of my thoughts and actions.
      • I take good care of my body, I eat right, I look good, I feel good, and I weigh what God wants me to weigh.
      • As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he; therefore, all of my thoughts are positive.
  • Stop the excuses
    • "I'll start on Monday." "I'm too stressed."  "I can't afford to eat healthy."  "I have no support."  Every one can come up with an excuse.  You will always have an excuse, but you will always also have a choice!  Decide to find a way no matter what!  Decide that you are worth more than the excuses.
  • Start a success journal or wall
    • I sectioned off part of the wall in my office where I hung cork-board.  I have quotes and pictures on there that motivate me.  I also have a success journal.  I record all of my monthly measurements in there but I also journal about other milestones.  For example, when I noticed that I could buckle my seat belt again.  Or when I was finally off all of my medications.  I made a list of all of the ailments I suffered from and as I no longer had to deal with them, I checked them off my list.  
  • Track your progress monthly
    • I tell this to people all the time and wish I would've done it when I first started.  It's so important to take pictures and body measurements from the beginning.  I know we avoid the camera at all cost when we are overweight, but believe me, you will wish you had them later.  I would suggest taking your weight, body measurements, and pictures at the beginning of every month.  
    • Make sure when you take the pictures that it is on the same background (like in front of a blank wall).  Be sure to take a picture from the front and the side.  Use a photo editor to add the date and current weight.  There were many times that I would pull up my old pictures and compare them side by side.  It helps keep you going when you see how far you have come.  Sometimes we can get stuck in the old mind thinking we are still as fat as we were when we started.  Seeing the pictures helps you realize that your mind can lie to you!   Take notice of and appreciate the things you do like about your body.  Don't always focus on what still needs to improve.  There will always be something that needs changing.  Instead of standing in the mirror and thinking your saggy skin looks gross.  Focus on the things you find beauty in, like the contours of your face, neck and shoulders.  Feel the strength of your muscles or celebrate the fact you can feel muscles or bone at all! 
    • Learn to appreciate the small changes.  When you hit that plateau (every one will!), you need to learn to celebrate the small things.  Even if you have to take it hour by hour and celebrate the fact that you didn't eat the pan of chocolate chip brownies that your husband made and screams your name every time you walk by them!
  • Find support
    • If you live alone or don't have family and friends around you that support you living a healthy lifestyle, get online.  There are lots of support groups on Facebook.  The one I like the best is Protective Diet Living.  
  • Before you put it in your mouth ask yourself if it will harm you or heal you?
    • When you can focus on only consuming foods that will not harm you then you can shift your mindset from one of deprivation (I can't eat chocolate, chips, etc.) to one of offering.  I offer myself the ability to eat healthy foods that will help me reach my ideal weight and live life to the fullest.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The real me

It's 5 am and I have been awake for 4 hours now.  I seem to have my greatest epiphanies in the early morning hours.  A lot of times I can't get back to sleep because my mind is in a constant loop, sometimes a strange loop, I'll admit.  So I decided to get up and write some of this down.

Tonight I am embracing the real me.  It's been 3 years since I started down my road of transformation.  It originally started with just wanting to lose weight but has transformed into so much more than that.

Even my husband says that I am a completely different person than what he met.  I do admit that I have changed a lot but I believe that I am finally growing into the real me.

I'm learning to embrace everything about me, exactly where I am at, in this moment.  Yes, I have made mistakes in the past.  I have been on top of the mountain and in some pretty low valleys, but I believe ALL of those moments have made me who I am today.

The weight loss journey has evolved into an exploration of who God wants me to be and how He wants to use me.  It amazes me to think how He knew every stupid mistake I would make before I was even born.  I can barely comprehend that He knew every good and every bad thing that has ever happened to me or will ever happen to me before I was born.

I am still here, still alive (more "alive" then ever actually), still desiring more, still embracing change, because He has not failed me yet!  I have never been one big on trust because of my life journey so far, but I believe God is using those experiences to teach me to trust in Him because He takes all of it and turns it into something good for His glory!

I have to admit that I have been reluctant to think about New Year's resolutions in 2014.  Mostly, because I never really seem to stick with them.  This year I think what is on my heart is to focus on what God thinks of me instead of everyone else and to appreciate that I am making progress.

It may sound cheesy to some when I say I want a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father, one where I can truly relate to Him as Abba, Father, but I am announcing that I resolve to not care what man thinks and not let that stop me from seeking His presence in my life, everyday.

I have to say that this is probably the first time I can remember that I'm excited to see what changes He will bring me.  I encourage all of you to embrace change, even if it is hard, the rewards on the other side will be worth it!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'm officially half the person I used to be!

The upper left corner was in 2009 when I got my workout buddy, the lower right corner is Nov., 2013


As of today I have lost 201 pounds!  I'm excited but sometimes it's hard for me to believe.  I think the one thing that I am so thankful for Weight Watchers teaching me, is to take it 5 pounds at a time.  When I first started WW January, 2011 I never thought I would be able to lose the weight.  My heaviest weight was 421 pounds.  When I started with WW I had lost some on my own and was down to 393.  I needed WW at the time for the support and like I said to focus on small goals instead of the big picture.

Since WW, I've gone on quite a journey of transformation.  By the end of 2011 I decided to go vegetarian.  I was never really 100% on it though.  I never really had a hard time giving up meat because I always had severe allergic reactions to meat.  So that was kind of a no brainer.

The following year I decided to take it a step further and go vegan.  OMG that was hard!  Cheese was the hardest to give up.  I put cheese on everything, including salads and veggies.

Then sometime in 2012 I discovered Dr. Fuhrman and the nutritarian lifestyle.  I tried it for awhile but never really could commit 100% for more than 2 weeks.  I always felt deprived.

In the summer of 2013 I found Julie Marie and www.protectivediet.com and never looked back.  I'm not going to lie and say that detoxing from sugar, oil, nuts, etc was easy because it was not.  But by this time I had decided to commit to myself to stick with it for 30 days and see what happens.  I felt so proud of myself after the 30 days and having lost 16 pounds that month that I decided to keep going.  It's only been about 4-5 months (can't remember exact day I started) since I've been 100% completely free of meat, dairy, sugar, oil, and nuts.  I know I'll be able to continue this for the rest of my life.

I feel so much better now since I have more energy and less headaches.  I don't take any medications at all.  I have been able to reverse GERD, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Migraines, and painful PMS.  I'm still working on arthritis but I have no doubt it will resolve itself in time.

I am so looking forward to turning 40 next year because I will be the healthiest and slimmest I've ever been.  I want to encourage all of you reading this to jump on board with www.protectivediet.com.  You won't regret it and I guarantee you will be able to maintain this lifestyle with ease.  And best of all, without taking diet supplements!

Best of health to you all!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6 months on Protective Diet:)

I have been on Protective Diet for 6 months Nov 8th and I thought I should say something about that:) I have not blogged in a while because life gets in the way! I will try to be better at it!

I am so amazed by PD everyday! The food is amazing and for once in my life my weight is not Yo-Yoing! If you have ever tried to loose weight you understand! Not only have I become heart attack proof I am loosing weight! I just got my blood work back a few days ago and all my tests were better than ever.  So I know everything I am putting into my body is healthy that is such a awesome feeling:)  Another thing I really contribute to PD is my confidence has increased so much.  Knowing I could do something and stick with it just amazes me.  Usually diets always made me feel like a failure because I could never stick with them but not PD! It has given me the confidence to do even more things in my life.  I don't know if that is weird to some people but when you are told you are stupid and can't do anything you tend to believe it.  You live that way because you begin to believe it.  When I say PD has changed my life I am meaning it and not just in my eating.  Julie is doing amazing things and trying to help so many people.  I am so blessed to be able to call her a friend!  I also appreciate my bff Denise because she has been such a great support! I don't know if I could of done it without her! She was supportive before she even started PD:) So glad we are doing PD together now:)

Julie started doing Live video lessons! Last night was a great class with lots of information to help me even go further in this journey! I am so glad she has started this now:) There is a small fee but worth it! I don't want to think about how much money I have spent on books and diet plans! Never again:) I found my lifestyle for the rest of my life:) I feel like if I can do it anybody can do it! So when I say PD has changed my life now you know how:)

Now I know what you are saying I can't do that! My family won't eat that.  Guess what my family does not do it either.  I had to plan ahead and make my meals for the week on Sundays.  As long as I do that I am good.  Even now I know how long certain foods take to cook so I may wait and cook something during the week.   I still cook for my family:) Last night I made meatloaf, potatoes, corn and mac and cheese.  I didn't touch any of it.  Also so many of the meals are cheap! You can make a huge crock pot of different kinds of beans and freeze them.  You can also do that with rice and other cheap things you can buy in bulk.  Most of the the stuff that is pricey you don't use a whole lot of anyway.  So it does not seem like you have this huge grocery bill.  I think the first time I went to the store probably was the only time I spent quite a bit.  I was trying to buy everything and a lot of it..lol  I am just saying it is very doable.  I committed to 30 days and it was a challenge.  There is so much food I said no to.  However when that 30 days was up it was not so bad so I continued.  60 days later I was like this is easy how am I still doing it.  Now we are at 6 months still in awe about it and wonder if its to good to be true.  However I have the labs, I am loosing weight and I have never felt better:) So no its not to good to be true, its just true:)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cold Ranch Veggie Pasta Salad

Cold Ranch Veggie Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 pound of Pasta of choice (Rice elbow pasta pictured)
1 english cucumber (finely chopped)
1 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
1 orange bell pepper (finely chopped)
1 yellow bell pepper (finely chopped)
1 purple onion (finely chopped)
1 carton grape tomatoes (cut in half)
1 cup carrots (finely chopped)
4 celery stalks (finely chopped)
4 green onions (finely chopped)
2 Tbs fresh parsley (freeze dried will work)
2 Tbs fresh chives (freeze dried will work)

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions and rinse well in cold water, let drain.

Chop up all the veggies and mix in a bowl.  Add the pasta and mix.  Pour the dressing over and stir until well combined.  It might seem like a lot of dressing but it thickens up as it chills.  Refrigerate and serve cold.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Veggie Foil Packs and Cucumber Salad

I was so in love with the veggie packs I made when I went camping a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to create it at home in the oven.  I never really got that great smoky flavor you get when it's over a fire and have tried twice now.  Don't get me wrong, it's still good and I don't mind eating my mistakes! lol  I still have a huge bowl of veggies to make more packs and will keep playing with temperatures and update this when I have perfected it.  But here is what I have so far:


You can use any veggies you like but I used:

  • sliced zucchini
  • sliced yellow squash
  • fine green beans
  • asparagus
  • onions
  • garlic
  • carrots
  • celery
  • mushrooms
  • potatoes
  • few sprinkles of liquid smoke (to taste)
I found the zucchini and squash already sliced and on sale at Meijer.  I cut everything up and put it in a big bowl.  I add the potatoes and mushrooms to the foil packet on the day I'm going to cook it so it doesn't spoil.  Once everything is on the foil (use non-stick) add your seasonings.  I used black pepper and Original Herbamare but you can use whatever you like.  

Fold the foil packet up into a pouch and place directly onto the oven rack which has been preheated to 350 degrees.  Mine took about an hour and then I let it broil on high for 20 minutes.  You will need to check yours and possibly flip the packet over at 30 minutes, the times will vary depending on how thick you cut your veggies.



I've always loved German Cucumber Salad but when I stopped eating dairy and meat products I had to stop making it because I used Hellman's mayo.  Well thanks to Protective Diet I am able to make the cucumber salad again using Julie's recipe for House mayo.  Here is how I made mine:

2 english cucumbers (thinly sliced with a mandolin)
3 TBS of House mayo
1/2 tsp mustard
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 TBS Bragg's amino acids (or Tamari)
Fresh or dried dill weed to taste (I like a lot)

It's always a good idea to slice the cucumber and sprinkle with salt and let it sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.  This helps pull out the water so you can drain it off before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Mix everything up and adjust to your taste and eat!  This was better the second day after all the flavors blended together.




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Don't you miss it?

One of the things I hear a lot from people that I tell I no longer eat meat, dairy, sugar & oil is...don't you miss it?  Don't you miss steak?  Don't you miss cheese?  Don't you miss cheesecake?  They say, "I don't know how you do it and I could NEVER give that up!"

Believe me when I say, I said the exact same thing when it was proposed to me!  So I understand.  But I can honestly say I do not miss it!

How can I say that you might ask?  What I don't miss is the burning lava that would come up in my throat and take my breath away (despite the numerous meds I was taking to prevent it).  I don't miss waking up at 3 am with hives and horrible cramping and diarrhea.  I don't miss the constant diarrhea and fear that I wouldn't make it to the bathroom in time!  I don't miss the debilitating migraines that seriously had me contemplating suicide at one point because the pain was so unbearable!

NO I don't miss eating a Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).  You don't realize how bad you feel until you begin to feel good.  The realization for me one day was that I didn't feel anything and it kind of surprised me.  One day I thought, wow I don't hurt and it felt wonderful!  I felt so light and clear headed and full of energy.  Now that I would miss!

I don't feel like I have sacrificed anything when I have gained so much.  The cool thing is...You can do it to!  I don't care what physical problems you have, I guarantee you that if you stop eating S.A.D. and start eating a whole foods plant-based diet, your problems will improve with time!