What We Feel, What We Eat

October 1, 2010 at 3:58 PM (LiveFit, Nutrition)

First, let me preface this with an apology. For some reason the site is having issues with approving comments. I tried to make them auto approve, but it needs a previously approved comment, and every time I go to approve them it says it cannot update comment status. Hoping it’s a minor glitch that will be fixed soon, else I’ll send a note off to support.

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My father died, alone in his home, at the beginning of August. He was found there on August 12. I flew out there the following Monday and I was gone for three weeks. During this time, I helped my Aunt and Uncle (He was executor and had power of attorney), we cleaned the house out with the help of some dear friends of my fathers who lived across the street. This was the home I spent my late teenage years in, the mobile home on five acres of land in beautiful California countryside. I wanted to be there to help with the cleanup, as well as have my final goodbyes, to both my father, and the home we shared.

Grief is a powerful thing. When I was grieving over the death of my father, I didn’t care what I ate. I didn’t care about blood sugar, blood pressure, painful knees, bad back. Food was comfort and I needed comfort. The way I felt when I got home, however, made me realize that the moments of comfort I felt were not enough to outweigh the terrible bloating, physical aching that I felt after I got home. I regretted those moments of sugary, decadent treats, and fast food. That’s when I made the choice not to let grief push me into self-destructive choices. That’s when I started going back to the gym, and looking for ways to improve my health.

That’s when I found LiveFit. And this is where I’m going to sound like an infomercial, but the truth is, it changed my life.  LiveFit Revolution is one of those places that at first, sounds way too good to be true. Free of charge, a program that eliminates the obstacles that most people face. Everything one needs for the nutrition plan is available at the local grocer. No special foods/shakes/supplements, and the only piece of workout equipment is a kettlebell. Perhaps a pair of fingerless gloves too, to avoid calluses.  How can I go wrong when this is laid out in front of me like a shiny, sparkly Christmas present?  So I signed up. At first the nutrition plan looked daunting. Restrictive!  But then I started reading recipes and tips and suggestions, and thought, I can live with this.  I’m almost done with week three, and I’ve lost a total of 9 pounds. First week was just under 5, second week I gained a couple pounds (REALLY poor choices made one weekend when I couldn’t sleep), and this week I was back down 4 pounds.  The workouts are hard, the nutrition plan is restrictive for the first six weeks, but is it worth it? Yes. Is it hard? Totally. Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy in my experience.

The bad part is, I have a knee issue, and it’s flared up with some of the exercises. The sunny side of that is, Alysia Gadson, our trainer, is VERY good at offering suggestions for alternate exercises that give as much calorie burn with no stress on the knee. So while the daily workout may call for squats, I can do deadlifts instead. If a set requires squat/Deadlift/swing, then I change the squat to something else. A clean or extra lifts or extra swings, or even rows. It’s not hard, the soreness doesn’t last long, and determination is a sure sign of potential for success.

Now, originally I was going to talk about food, but I had to preface with a bit of info about LiveFit. One of the members who is in the gym this season posted a video that was a total eye opener. Ever hear the phrase “You Are What You Eat”?  Take a look at this:

Do you know how many times I’ve gone to McDonalds for two cheeseburgers (add mayo!) and a supersize fry? Too many to count. No wonder I weigh 300 pounds (296 as of this past Monday! WHEE) .. this food just doesn’t break down as real food should. Makes me think twice about hitting the drive-thru. Please don’t ever ask me to try this with food from Jack in the Box. I’m in love with the tacos there. Heh.

Truly though, food has become an exploration of creativity with me since starting this new plan. I am totally enjoying coming up with new recipes and trying recipes that folks share on the LiveFit site.

Now to figure out what to make for supper. I probably should post my recipe for Coconut-Lime Tilapia, but that can wait for another post.

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It Begins

October 1, 2010 at 3:22 AM (History)

A first post to a new blog, leaves a world of possibilities. What topics to address, what should a person talk about, should it be uber personal, somewhat political, in the form of stories, so many choices.

I considered, after receiving comments on Facebook concerning recipes, food pictures etc that I’ve posted, making this into a food blog. Then I thought about health and fitness. Then I thought about my Christian journey. There are so many struggles in life, it seems each day is filled with them. Choosing the theme of this blog is the most recent struggle for me.

Perhaps I should tell you, the reader.. or should I say, potential reader… as there’s nobody yet who even knows this page exists.. a little bit about myself.

I grew up in California. I’ve traveled all over the United States, though so seldom out of the country. I’ve seen much of this beautiful America that we have been blessed with. I’ve seen the not so beautiful sides of it, as well. I am 42 years old, I am married. I have no children. I have been overweight my entire adult life and most of my youth, with a constant struggle to find a way to be a healthier human being. I have struggled to find my way in my Christian faith. I have struggled finding my way through a painful divorce. I’ve struggled to learn to live with infertility, diabetes, weight-related physical issues, and most recently, the death of my dear father.

I lost my mother when I was just six years old. Cancer was her losing battle. I lost my step-mother to the same curse, a mere four years later. At which time, I lost my father within himself. He grieved terribly, and for a long time. I felt abandoned a great deal of my pre-adolescent days. When I became a teenager, I rebelled. He was a hard man. Me, being the only female of four children, and the youngest, I saw such drastic differences in my father’s temperament, from being terribly spoiled and showered with love and affection, to being scolded, spanked, or even beaten with a belt for the most minor of childhood crimes. My weight gain started when I was very young. My mother was so ill, she couldn’t teach me how to be healthy. Friends and family fed me. Food was always a comfort.  What could friends, neighbours and relatives do for my dying mother, and my grieving father, but look after his kids, especially his five year old daughter. Taking care of a child during a tragic time often results in food.

I had some happy years with my step-mother, except for when I committed some major or minor transgression. My step-mother would not hesitate to use a willow tree switch to administer what she deemed proper discipline. By this time, I learned the comfort of food. I was on my way to becoming an adult, and I had no ability to control my appetite, or my diet. Did I want to lose weight? Certainly. I was ridiculed in junior high, in high school, until I found a group of friends who accepted me for who I was, and not what I looked like. I remained overweight, but not grossly so. I was active as a teenager. I walked a lot. My friends and I took the bus everywhere, walked where the bus wouldn’t take us, and went out to the teen night club every weekend for hours upon hours of dancing. From which we usually walked home. We were invincible.

When I moved away from the life I grew up in, to be with my dad in a small town, I lost a lot. I lost that active lifestyle. I lost those friends who I did everything with. I made this choice, I could have stayed, but I think it would have been a terribly difficult choice to live with. I had very little work ethic, and without money, one can’t very well survive, especially in a growing city that got more crowded and more expensive to live in. Sadly, when Pop and I moved into the mobile home he and my step mother bought together, me with no drivers license, him with no patience to teach me to drive… that took away even more activity. There was so little to do in those days. That was before the Internet, before cell phones, before computers were a household item. I had television, books, nature.  And food.

The 175 I weighed when I left San Jose, grew into bigger numbers, until reality set in. In 2004, at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I weighed 311 pounds at that time. How I got to be that heavy, with those health issues, it was a shock to me. It shouldn’t have been. I spent so much time living on fast food, junk food, and stuff with so little nutritional value, it should not have been a surprise that I weighed THAT much.  Alison Sweeney said it best on The Biggest Loser. Obesity is an epidemic and we have to fight it.

That has been my struggle for the last six years. A struggle which has taken me through a series of health issues, many changes in medications, and finally I am here, at this point in my life where I need to make a choice to live a better life. There is no magic trick that will make it better. There is no quick fix. Diabetes IS reversible. Obesity IS curable. You just have to make the choice to work for it.

That is where this blog will begin. I choose to change my life, and it starts now. My 4o year struggle doesn’t end here, but it changes.

You will find many things in this blog. I am exploring my Christian faith. I am exploring a new exercise program. I am learning the proper ways to nourish my body and make myself healthy. There will be more struggles, more attempts to do new things, and hopefully others will learn from my life of struggle, and my decision to take control of my life.

Thank you for reading.

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