The Road to Health

January 1, 2013 was my changing point.  The week before I had looked in the mirror and was not happy with the person I saw.  I was as heavy as I was when I moved to Colorado in 2005, was making bad food choices and, although I was working out from time to time, I didn’t have a set plan.  With many bad health conditions running in my family, from heart disease to diabetes and so much more, I decided that I wanted to control as much of my health as possible.  I decided to take control of my health and do what I could.

So January 1st, 2013, I took a picture of myself so I could track my progress.  I recommend doing this if you are going to start a weight loss journey, it’s very motivating.  My goal was to work out five times a week and have a certain caloric intake everyday.  I think I drove my parents crazy counting calories.  I also cut out alcohol for the first month, retraining my body.  I kept to my goals and did a workout five times a week, stayed within my calories.

The weight started coming off, slowly, which is the way I prefer it. Every month for the first year, I took a picture and could see the difference which was so very encouraging.  Last year I didn’t take as many pictures, once to show what a difference a year made and that was about it.  I had a few more pounds to lose and did that by doing an Arbonne Detox Bootcamp with which I had huge success.

This morning, for some reason, I decided to take another picture and did a comparison from two year ago.  Totally crazy…I am actually sharing it because I’m pretty proud of where I came from.

The story here is don’t quit.  It’s easy to give in and go back.  It’s easy to say “I’m at a plateau and can’t keep going”  It’s hard to stay the course and keep moving even though it’s tough.  So keep going, move through the tough parts to the parts that will be the huge reward!

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Getting rid of the bad

Tomorrow I start a detox. Yup, with the new year, it’s time to get back into line. I had been doing pretty well until the two weeks before Christmas and then it was all bets off. It’s so easy to get into bad habits of eating things that aren’t good for you or having a few more beers a week than you used to. All of a sudden you’ve gone from pretty in shape to having a tire around your middle that wasn’t there just a few short weeks ago.

I know that the New Year typically means that people hit the gym more, make resolutions to eat right or start a diet and just to be healthy overall but why does it take the New Year to push us in that direction? And how many of us stick to our “diets”?

I started with Arbonne almost a year ago. For those that don’t know, Arbonne is a health and wellness company and, through the consultants, we do a 28 Day Detox Bootcamp as I call it. Others call it a Clean Eating Program, it’s all the same.

I did my first one in May of 2014. I sell the products, I should know how they work, right? Boy, was I in for a treat. It’s an amazing program where you eliminate foods that are known allergens (dairy, gluten, soy) as well as other items that are acidic to your body like coffee, alcohol, soda and the like. I’m already gluten free so that part was easy for me. The hard part, I thought, would be giving up soda and coffee since I knew I was addicted to both. What I learned about myself and what I put into my body was amazing!

For one, our bodies store the acidic items in our fat cells and is why we gain weight. Think about a water balloon as a fat cell. As you add acidic items (water) to the cell (balloon), it gets bigger. As you remove acidic items (water) from your diet, the cell (balloon) shrinks. Another thing I learned was that our bodies will go through a withdrawal process when eliminating items but my biggest one wasn’t caffeine, it was sugar. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. It’s crazy. Third, I learned what was important to my body and when to listen. For the first few days I felt like I was in a fog and couldn’t think right. I figured out that I was missing healthy fats and when I incorporated almonds and avacados into my diet almost every day, I was a wiz!

Most people lose weight on this detox but they lose inches and that’s what I was most impressed with. I also felt better and my dad, an almost 40 year diabetic, was able to reduce his insulin to the lowest he’s ever seen.

I’m not trying to sell this product, I’m saying that I’m ready to get back to healthy. I’m ready to get back to feeling good and getting rid of my spare tire I’m developing. It’s not a New Years resolution, it’s a lifestyle change. I’m not saying, after my 28 days, that I won’t have a drink here or there, eat some nachos, or have a cupcake but for the most part I’m going back to healthy and getting rid of the bad that’s lurking out there.

By the way, if you haven’t read the book “Wheat Belly”, I highly recommend it. I am in the midst of reading it and you will be amazed at how food production has changed and will make you rethink what you put in your body!

Starting anew

While most people were spending New Year’s Eve with family and friends, I opted to stay at home.  It’s been a weird week and then when I got home from work, my cat was sick and thought it was better to cuddle with her and make sure she was ok.  When your fur baby is over 18, you never know…

I had time to think while watching a marathon of “Wings”.  I had read a blog by Ashley Castle, a world-class traveler and Arbonne consultant, earlier in the day and it got me thinking:  What are my goals and dreams?  What do I need to change to reach them?

I actually met Ashley this summer.  She was working on the Mutual of Omaha Aha! Tour.  When I came in for my interview, she spotted my Arbonne necklace and made a connection.  Once an Arbonne sister, always an Arbonne sister.  Since then I’ve followed her on Facebook and via her blog.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty jealous of her lifestyle as she is always traveling somewhere, it seems.  But she is by no means a trust fund baby, she has worked hard to make it all happen and she is a travel writer so makes a living by the sights she sees.  The point is that that was her dream and two years ago it HAPPENED.  Now, someone didn’t just give it to her…again, she worked for it, it was a GOAL.

She makes goals in four or five areas of her life every year.  She WRITES them down.  I’ve had my Arbonne consultants ask why they should write their monthly goals down.  Here is the reason:  you are 70% more likely to reach a goal if it is written down.  If you don’t write it down, the likelihood of reaching that goal drops to 7%.  (Thanks, Ashley!).  In reading that, it made me think this:  “If I don’t write a goal down, I really have no intention of doing it.  I have no DESIRE to reach that goal.  It’s just a “if I do it, then it’s cool.” kind of goal.

I will be following Ashley’s method of creating goals in my life from professional to different aspects of my personal life.  I also will be focusing on the positive.  This includes cleaning out the negative friends, acquaintances, books and so much more from my life.  I will be limiting some relationships because they are “poisonous” which may mean cleaning out my Facebook friends…the horror!  I will be downsizing because we all have too many “things” in our lives.  Things do NOT equal happiness.  I will cross one or two items off of my bucket list.  I will run more races, will take the time to FEEL better about myself which will translate into looking better, if that can happen.  Haha!  Just kidding.  I will take time for ME.  We don’t do that either.  Taking time for yourself isn’t a bad thing, being selfish with “me” time is a GOOD thing.  If we don’t take time for ourselves, we are no good for anyone.  As a social butterfly, this will be a hard one for me.  I hate missing out on things!  I will try new things because if you don’t try it, you don’t know if you like it!

This is a start to my new year.  This will be a new year, a new me and a great new time in my life.  This is the year I turn 40 and I won’t go into it kicking and screaming.  I will welcome it because it means greater things are ahead.

I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and that you have an amazing start to 2015.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and also follow my friend Ashley there!

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Bringing it back to normal

I ask myself a lot “what is normal”? Normal seems to be a word that we use a lot but doesn’t have a “real” definition since what is normal for me, isn’t normal for you…for the most part.

Well, a few months ago I did a detox bootcamp: 28 days of eating right and bringing my pH balance back to normal. Yes, there is a normal pH balance.

What most people don’t know is that our bodies, because of what we eat and drink, become acidic and results in weight gain and, as we are finding out, may play a part in diseases like cancer. Our bodies NEED to be closer to a normal pH balance or they freak out.

This bootcamp was super scary to me. We had to eliminate gluten (done!), dairy, soy, whey, caffeine, alcohol and many other things. Well, I love cheese, was a caffeine junky (we are talking three cups of coffee, sodas at lunch and an energy drink in the afternoon…every day) and love my beer and whiskey. It was going to be a rough 28 days.

But I learned a lot. A lot about food, a lot about how the body processes food and a lot about myself and who I WANT to be. You see, when your body is acidic (toxic), your fat cells store the toxic stuff because, well, what else does it do with it? So you gain weight and you aren’t able to lose weight on diets because you are still eating toxic/acidic stuff. Make sense? So you can go on that Weight Watchers diet with the WW cookies, etc but if you are still eating crap, your body still stores the crap. Just an example and nothing against WW.

Anyway, I did it as a test and I had great results. I didn’t need to lose weight but lost 10 pounds…lost 8 inches too. It taught me that what we eat is so much more important that we realize. It made me realize that taking the time to shop and MAKE food is way more important that I ever gave it credit. And it made me realize that I want a healthier, happier, pH balanced me. I also realized how I want to help my friends and have been able to and have been able to share in their happiness as they discover health and life.

28 days is nothing if you have a longer life. I encourage you to find a program like this, or ask me about the program I did. Get healthy, get happy!

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Silly-Yak/464640480313294

Just take a moment

Life has been super hectic lately.  Between working 40 hours a week, starting a part time business with Arbonne, writing for the GJ Free Press, Gluten Free Grand Valley, Lions Club and spending time with family and friends along with other activities I’m sure I’ve forgotten…life has been crazy.  That’s why, when my friend Shawna asked if I would take a day trip to Ouray with her, I said yes.

I have a tendency to, even if there is nothing to do at home, find something to do.  I’m always connected via some form of technology and do have an issue with putting the phone down because what might happen on Facebook if I don’t check it every five minutes?  So, getting out of the house, out of town, was perfect.

It’s not that we had some sort of  “National Lampoons” type of trip (ok, there were men in speedos, queso for breakfast and yaks) but it was a great, relaxing day with one of my best friends, relaxation in the hot springs and laughter.  It was just what I needed.

Today, as I sat at work, I was reminded that we need to take those moments, break away from everything that is beckoning to us, all that says “I need to be done” and just throw caution to the wind.  All that needs to be done will still be there when we return…and if we don’t, it won’t matter anyway!