Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eat Less CRAP...Eat more FOOD!

Bonjour Bloggettes and Bloggies!!

    Today is the continuation of my previous post...Correction..Nothing Tastes as Good as Healthy Feels(can be found on the home page). *Warning Label:This post is going to be long.  Please take regular breaks. Or your legs will fall asleep.  Or you will get dehydrated.  Or you might not notice your child getting into your makeup and then look up and almost die of fright because they look like a weird clown midgit.  Either way, you've been given due notice to possible side effects! :D

  The motivating phrase for today's post is Eat Less CRAP...Eat More FOOD.  Now I'm not a regular user of the word crap, so let me explain this one...
No abusing your body with..
C-Carbonated Drinks
R-Refined Sugars
A-Artificial Sweetners+Colours
P-Processed Foods

Instead indulge in..
F-Fruits & Veggies
O-Organic Lean Protein
O-Omega 3 Fatty Acids
D-Drink Water

This little thought goes along with the next part of my journey to find a healthy life.  So we are going back a few years to May 2010, where Brett,my husband, had just graduated college and there were slim pickings of job prospects in the area we were living in. So he started looking for a place to move that would land him a good workplace.  Conviently, his parents were moving to Florida, so we decided to hop on that bandwagon, and transplant; from one of the top snowfall areas in the USA, to the sunshine state!  With no job lined up right away, his family graciously invited us to live in their house.  This is where my weightloss/healthconcious attitude took a pause.  While Brett started taking on some odd jobs, I stayed at home with my girls and his mom and sister. And this is where an old habit kicked in...which I'm sure all of you can relate, its a little thing I like to call Boredom Munchies.  The meaning of this reminds me of a scene from Lord of the Rings where one guy is asking two others about eating and it goes something like this...."What about breakfast?"
"Youve already had it."
"We've had one, yes.  What about second breakfast?"
"I don't think he knows about second breafast."
"What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon Tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesnt he?"

Hahaha!!!-I laugh no matter how many times I see this..
Maybe you've never watched the film, so I hope you get the humour, nonetheless!!  I find it hilarious because of how much it described me.  If you ever find yourself in a spot where you look at the clock and try to convince yourself its a meal/snack time just to pass the time,  you probably should just go out and take a walk. or swim. or bike ride. or just lay in the grass and watch the clouds pass...God made our bodies so brilliantly that they will let us know when we need to refuel!  So this is big, DO NOT(!!), let some written or unwritten codes of society dictate what time of day you should be eating your meals/snacks or how many times you should be eating.  Let me explain: every day, no matter how similar it may seem as the previous, IS DIFFERENT.  So one day your body may be hungry at 8,12,5 on the dot, and the next it may be 7,9,1,7, and the next even more different!! And even more importantly, everybody is different!!  Some people need just 3 meals while others need more, but let me repeat, take the time to understand and listen to your own body, so you will be able to distinguish the difference between the boredomunchies and actual hunger. I understand everyone has a daily routine where their jobs may have scheduled their lunchtimes for them (I will save my opinions on that for a different time ;)..It's all about small changes, and respecting the body and mind that you have.  Your health will determine your future!
    Alright, sidestory complete...lets dive back into southwest florida where thankfully I hadn't lost complete motivation in staying healthy.  So, while those boredom munchies had joined my everyday routine, luckily my learned habit of staying active helped and those pounds didn't start creeping back.  I took up walking, I'm talking 80-100 degrees, rain or shine I took out my big ole jogging stroller and gave it my best.  Also, I swam in the pool, had dance dance revolution competitions with the sister in law and snuck in crunches/jumping jacks/etc when I remembered.  My activity level was still low-moderate and so with my unhealthy food habits, my body had hit a plateau, very little muscle gain/fat loss. Here's where I met another greatly needed turn in the road, it was only a 2 months from the time we moved and Brett found/started a new job.  A couple weeks later we moved out of his parents house and into a condo that was closer to his work.
    Here's the tie-in to CRAP ;)...We had very little money to work with so unfortunately I thought the easiest/cheapest meals were the best.  My meals consisted of ramen noodles, hot dogs, overly processed pasta with the calorie laden jarred sauces, fa(s)t food, and...well you get the not so pretty picture.  Again, I wish I would have recognized sooner how much the artificial crap was tearing up my body and mind. I had enough personal motivation to stay slightly active by doing yoga, going to the pool or pulling my daughters in the wagon around our development for an hour or two.  I started seeing some fat loss, but my head had that bad food fog starting up so sometimes those activities were limited to once a week and I had myself convinced I was being active enough. :P  I avoided people because I was so uncomfortable with myself and my diet was giving my body a run for its money. Thank GOD my body fought back.  I had bloating(aka foodbabies), low energy, and I kept breaking out in rashes/hives.  Also me and my daughters fought really bad colds/croup/flu-like symptoms.  I wonder if my body was trying to tell me something?! :P  Because of all that, my motivation started dwindling, I was ready to just sit back on my self-pity chair, pout, and let life move on by me...
    However, I met another corner in the road, going home for Christmas/New Years for a staycation of about a month.  At that point, my weight loss was only a couple pounds from July-December 2010.  Going back north was like finally making it around that looong bend and being able to see straight for miles ahead!  I was back in my old stomping grounds and it was like a breath of fresh air..  My family/friends/surroundings were just the positive energy and love I needed, and it goes to show you with a positive mind your body is unstoppable.  Back at home, I was eating healthier (thanks moms all natural/organic pantry!) and had the energy to constantly be going.going.going.  From snow-shoeing, to snowmobiling, to helping haul wood and clean house, my activity level went from low to high.  The results were amazing, my mind and body were happy and it showed, by the time I returned back to FL I was 10lbs lighter.
   Around this time was when I convinced Brett to start up tennis with me..we had played before, but only a few times and to say that I was awful was an UNDERstatement! haha!  I have to say, for those of you who haven't tried it out, please do..and at least a few times, it grows on you!  It is a great whole body exercise, and so much fun!! We tried getting out there almost every day, it didn't really matter how bad I was, the point was being active and making myself better!  I also started incorporating more fruit/veggies in my diet.  I have to point out that my intake in the couple years previous was almost nonexistant, so even though it was more than I was used to, it was still a lower amount than my body needed. 
    My one downfall of that year was getting too comfortable with using alcohol to relax my body/mind.  This led to this bad habit of thinking I could drink everyday?...No, this wasn't an overnight thing, and I wasn't partying all the time, it was simply a small glass of wine with dinner on the weekend.  But after many months, I realized it had turned to a large glass of wine every night.  Basically, even though I was proud of my body and how I was changing, my mind was still struggling to overcome that wall I had built when I was pregnant at 17...that I was the fat bitch that nobody would be interested in being friends with.  I wouldn't say I was antisocial, but I avoided talking to my family/friends from back home and I still hadn't opened myself up for the chance to finding friends and creating a life for myself in a new environment.  I realized it was a problem one afternoon when my exact thought was how many hours until dinner and that large glass of wine, so I could lounge in front of the tv and escape the loneliness, and then go to sleep like a charm. (stop! keep that judgement from coming to your head and don't go there, I was not drinking to the point of passing out, I would get a slight buzz to mellow out.)  And no, I am not taking a stand against you everyday vinos, some people can drink daily in moderation and have no problems with it.  For me, personally, it was a negative thing because I was doing it for the wrong reasons!  My diet was still not where it needed to be for my body and mind to be at a healthy level, and by drinking wine every night I was about to push myself backwards.  Do I still drink? You bet your bottom dollar, definetly not part of my daily routine and definetly not for the wrong reasons. Someone I love dearly once told me drink because you are happy, not to make you happy.  Healthy minds make healthy choices!!
    Now I'm going to sort of skip over a chunk of time(wine was in that frame) because basically there is no long story, it is just short and simple.  From spring 2010-december 2010, my weight was at a plateau, but muscles/toning were starting to show because of the raise in activity level from low-moderate!  Another big positive was I started cooking/baking more often, which is a huge passion of mine!  I put on my apron and I'm transported into another world, a place where amidst the mess of flour dusted counters and piles of dirty measuring cups and cookie cutters, I feel at peace.  And, even though I was still not making the healthiest choices, by preparing mine and my families food, I was visually understanding and educating myself what I was putting into my body.  That is huge to any healthy lifestyle change...going in the positive direction, so while all my choices were not the best, I was changing for the better, learning by living one day at a time....
..To be stay tuned for more experiences and laughs!

Many thanks to you all for taking the time to read and give some wonderful feedback, <3love you for the support! Again, I am writing this first and foremost to move forward with a healthy life.  In order for that to happen, I needed to be honest and open with myself, and others.  I am still quite a private person, but this past chapter on my life is on its final closing words so I have no problems bringing up those old memories because I no longer have the pain that came with them.  For too long I struggled because I wouldn't address the demons that were holding me back and keeping me as the scared and lonely 17 year old who thought the world was going to swallow her up.  To be cliche', I needed to be lost for a little while in order to truly find myself.  I thank God everyday for his amazing love and the strength he gave me to send those demons straight back where they came from...
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint"

Have a blessed day!!
Lots of love!!
C'est Si Bon!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Correction: Nothing Tastes as good as HEALTHY feels!!

Spring 2008

Spring 2013

 Bonjour Bloggies and Bloggettes!!

"Nothing tastes good as skinny feels"-spoken by supermodel Kate Moss... Maybe she is a model to some people, I however have a beef with that. (pun intended)  Now grab a cup of organic tea and a snack, heck maybe a whole bowl of popcorn because this is going to be longg post.  You've been warned!  Feel free to take breaks to do squats/jumping jacks/down-dogs because I myself can't sit for this long!  Dont feel obligated to read the whole thing, I think this post is as much for me as it is to motivate myself and other people to start living a healthier lifestyle in mind, spirit, and body! 
       Let's go back to my childhood where thankfully I grew up with a mom who was extremely health conscious, and even though we didn't have the financials to have everything as natural and organic as possible, we had the absolute best that my parents could afford.  Back then however, I thought it was something to be embarrassed of, I was one of the only kids at lunch who had whole wheat bread with my homemade lunch while everyone else was eating wonderbread and soda.  We were given vitamins and other natural remedies/supplements and frequented holistic health doctors, chiroproacters, etc. when my peers were on antibiotics and used tylenol, pepto bismol, and tums on the daily.  I, being your regular teenager, was fueled by the mindset of wanting to fit in and that meant eating/drinking/etc what all my friends got to indulge in! By my high school years I was a fast food frequenter, my post-sports meal was a chicken sandwich  and fries at Mcdonalds and if i was feeling spontaneous an infamous blizzard from Dairy Queen.  Taco Bell was a late night snack and breakfast was a meal for old people and babies.  I used the excuse that I was young and had my whole life ahead of me to start caring about my health.  Sidenote: while in high school I had bronchitis/pnemonia twice, colds were a frequent visitor, and although some may have considered my weight "normal", now looking back you can see those processed foods and unhealthy habits written all over my body. 
    Well fastforward to getting pregnant, which luckily my metabolism was through the roof and I was waitressing until I was 6months along, so I was able to stay in shape.  However, once I quit that is where the motivation to stay active went down and my weight crept up...I was pregnant at 17, depressed, and my life consisted of television and internet. All day.  Yes, I had myself convinced that walking downstairs to do laundry, and light housework ONCE a week was enough exercise to counteract my sitting on my ass downing chips/frozen dinners/takeout/you name a processed food it was going in my body. So while all my friends were enjoying their senior year of high school I shut myself into our two bedroom apartment where I completed my school while snacking to counteract my own self-pity. To give you numbers...first 6 months of my pregnancy I gained 5lbs max(I had lost some weight in the beginning so it averaged out..)...months 7,8,9 a whopping 15lbs.  That may not sound like a lot for some, but truth is probably 5-10lbs of that gain had nothing to do with pregnancy and exclusively to my lifestyle. 
   November 2007, my beautiful Callie came into the world, and postpregnancy I immediately was feeling good.  I had a babyhigh, and was positive because everyone told me breastfeeding was going to melt the weight away, and I was down 5lbs after the first week.  Unfortunately, birth control pills overtook my hormones and depression set in once again and the same pattern of sitting alll day in front of the tv feeding myself and my baby, I even had pushed some of the laundry/cleaning duties onto my poor husband.  My activity level was nonexistant.  I could drag out this part but hey you get the idea, I was unhealthy, unhappy, and the scale showed it because 3 months postbaby, february/march 2008, I had gained 20lbs.  My brain was full of this horrid fogginess, an aftereffect of the drugs and garbage that shouldn't even be considered food.  I had my mom, giving subtle weight loss hints, and I thought all hope was lost, my biggest supporter calling me FAT.(Today I love my mom for doing this because she always is/was my biggest supporter and I know she was trying to put positive motivation in my life.  Unfortunately when you are in the dark for so long, sometimes, the slightest lightbeams can be harsh, and hurt, because your eyes haven't had the time to adjust.)
   By July 2008, add another 10lbs, and this is where I give total credit to my family/very few friends who put up with the fat, mean bitch that I was.  I'm sorry, I was miserable with myself and took it out on a lot of people.  Plus my relationship with Christ was put on the back of the back burner, and without feeling that love in my life I turned bitter and shut myself off to the world.  My disposition reflected the food I ate, it looked good on the outside, but if you dared to get close enough you could see the artificial coating, and the inside was just plain ugly.  Now that you have some background of the rocky bottom I had hit...lets get to some of the good stuff!!! 
    August 2008-I was still in my birthcontrol daze and thank goodness, the one clear thought I had, was, when we decided to try for another baby!  So the evil pills went in the garbage..  It took a few months for the drugs to move out of my system and the fogginess started to lift.  I started becoming more aware of the chaos that I had created in and for myself.  Then in February of 2009, I sincerely believe God threw me my lifeline in the form of another beautiful baby growing inside of me.  From that, it is my view and motto, that a healthy body starts with a healthy mind.  It is my belief that you need to, first and foremost, have faith, and in my personal life battles, without faith and the neverending love of my savior, Jesus Christ, I would not have been able to clear my head in order to start healing my mind, soul, and body.
    Luckily, pregnancy yet again jump-started my metabolism, where I lost about 15-20lbs in the beginning. And as that weight went out the door, slowly but surely did my bad habits.  I brushed off the dirt from the rocky mess I was in, looked up, started climbing towards a better me.  I started watching what I ate..Now UNDERSTAND ME, in my world watching what I ate/eat does NOT mean starving myself/depriving myself or anything else people try/have tried calling it. (just because you see me once a month does not mean you instantly know my eating habits)  Personally, for me, watching what I eat/ate meant/means, choosing better food options by researching nutrition and actually being knowledgable about what I was putting in my body and also by slowing down to enjoy the food I was intaking to refuel my body. By that process, the portions of my meals/snacks went down with the quality of food going up. 
    Next in this transformation was physical activity. Even though pregnancy was draining my energy, there was that voice in my head telling me, "You are better than this, this is your opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning to a new chapter, and don't let life run over you again."  So my inner fighter surfaced, and I started being more active by trying many different types of personal favorite being yoga, which I did as often as I could, sometimes it was daily, sometimes once a week.  Now this was not an overnight success, I still had trouble kicking the fast food/junk food habits/television/internet obsessive habits. So, during commercial breaks I would run up and down the stairs, do lunges, sun salutations and other exercises and then between shows I would take walks.  Was I making all the right choices? NO! But the percentage of wrong choices was going DOWN and that was key!  By the summer of 2008 I felt more alive than I had for the past two years, and I knew I was heading in the right direction.  When my next little beauty,miss Charlotte, arrived in November I had gained 0lbs from prepregnancy weight, BUT i gained 10lbs of the original first trimester loss.  (I have to take a short detour to point out that Callie weighed 9lbs 3oz and Charlotte came in at 8lbs 4oz, so for my body I didnt need to gain a lot to produce a healthy baby!)
   Now, I dont mean to toot my horn but I came home from the hospital feeling so amazing!!  I lost weight before leaving the hospital(hello 8lb baby?!) and I had crazy amounts of energy where I didn't feel like I just had a baby!  However, I knew I had only reached a milestone in my journey and there was definetly rough terrain ahead.  Thanksgiving was just days away and Christmas right around the corner, and all my thoughts were about the holiday goodies from pies, cookies, to schwans peppermint stick ice cream.  Yet this is where I knew progress of of my healthy lifestyle goal had officially been made.   My self discipline kicked in and YES I did eat all of the above and more....BUT in moderation.  So, by the time I had to bare all in a bikini for spring break 2010, I had to do some shopping because I was down 30lbs pre-Charlotte-pregnancy weight!  I cannot express how good it made me feel to hear someone say, "Wow  Melanie, you look really good.".  It had been so long since I had felt any positivity towards myself, and that was the tall, refreshing glass of water I needed to continue my climb.
   Enter late spring of 2010 and my husband's graduation from college rerouted us on a huge move from Michigan, my childhood home, all the way to Florida....and that's where it ends...JUST KIDDING!! haha This is where I take a get a break...and I will post part two of this series very soon! So stay tuned to find out if the move knocked me off track, and other interesting little bits including personal health and nutrition products/ideas/etc that lead me to where I am today! 
This is not a tell-all, and I'm not looking to reveal all my lifes comings and goings. However I have felt guilty for a while because I am the one who shut out and hurt people during those couple of dark years, and I want to again apologize to any and all I may have harmed with words or deeds.  These posts are to shed light on my struggles, as personal motivation, and to offer motivation to anyone else who is/has been in a similar place of doubting their self-worth, or any other struggles with mind and body issues.

Thank you Jesus for loving the world, one can only hope to reflect that sort of love everyday...and for giving me the courage to open up more about the darker years of my life.  I want to dedicate this little series to my family and friends who stuck by me through thick(literally.) and thin.  Their continuous love, understanding, and support is what drives me to be a better person everyday. 

Have a blessed day!!
Lots of Love!