My story and my journey to a healthier self…again. This may be long, but many have asked, and the only way I think it will make sense is to know my why’s, then my how’s and then my results…is just to write it all out.
Somewhere between 3 kids, 3 businesses and heading into the world of over 30 year olds, I lost myself. I lost my slightly curvy (booty mostly) athletic build and I lost my strong, clear, patient and driven self. I miss her so much. The whirlwind of my life took a toll on me. A big one. One that finally caught up to me to the point that I was sure I had something major wrong with me and practically begged the doctor to give me negative results so I could get a fix it pill. I was getting desperate and just wanted to feel and look better…inside and out.
Somehow I had packed on nearly 40lbs between three large babies, seditary jobs, and way too much fast food and carry out during our busy 14-18 hour days. I looked older, I felt older and sick. It caught up to me fast despite my ignorant rants of “I will never EVER let myself get like that”. Did I look terrible? No. Fourty pounds is not a terrible amount and for most of it, I carried it rather well and hid it the best that I could. But I knew…and I hated myself 40 times over for it. I felt way worse than I looked…and that in all honesty, that is what started to freak me out.
My body from the inside out was failing me. I had a laundry list of ailments that were stacking up at rates I couldn’t keep up with. I spent countless hours on Google and WebMD self diagnosing what was wrong and trying to take care of it through suppliments and various diet fads. To give you an idea of what I was up against – severe mood swings, anxiety, weight gain, no weight loss even when I trained for races, severe fatigue, loss of motivation, sensitivity to cold, constipation, gas (TMI), redness to face, dry skin, weakness, severe water retention, forgetfullness…just to name a few. I was pretty sure I was vitamin deficient and had Hypothyroidsim (literally have every symptom on the list). One day I finally had enough and went to the doctor looking for the ok to get that fix it pill. I left confident that in a few days I would get a call and would finally know what was wrong. I was so tired of feeling the way I did and pretty much hated myself.
That call came…and it was not the news I was hoping for. I was fine. My calcium was a little low but my thyroid was perfect and the rest of me checked out great. I cried and confused my husband completely. He said I was the first person to be so upset with getting “great news” from the doctor. But I still felt like I was slowly slipping away and I just wanted answers and a way to fix it. I spent the rest of the day in and out of crying and staring blankly at my computer while I worked and tried to come up with a plan. At this point I had tried pretty much EVERYTHING out there…
Juicing, The 4 Hour Body, Atkins, South Beach, Slimfast, Special K, Cleansings, Suppliments, Hydroxycut and many variations of that, and endless attempts at just being better. A couple of years ago I trained for a year for the Ragnar race…running nearly 20-30 miles a week and couldn’t shed anything. So it was not without trying and many many many failures at trying. This was the next level of my frustration…what was left for me to try…when everything has failed so far…when I had failed everything so far. If I wasn’t sick…then why did I feel so bad, what was wrong with me?
So I made a plan. A short plan. I didn’t want to do anything I knew I couldn’t keep up with, so I planned to take it just a couple days at a time and see how it goes. I took stock of what I did put in my body, and it wasn’t good. Two vente sized coffees a day, sugar, creme, fast food here, and there, no water, 4-6 hours sleep at its best for the last 6 years, sodas, and little exercise (lately). Umm…I was a walking preservative. My guts were pissed and my body was crying for help. My only plan was to clean my system out and start from scratch and see what I can do with healthier habits and getting rid of every single toxin possible. I had tried other cleanses in the past…you know that super delicious lemon and pepper one? YUCKY!! I have even tried pill ones…no good. So I Googled detoxing and stumbled on the Green Smoothies.
GREEN SMOOTHIES?? ummm…they look kinda gross…ok they actually look a bit nuclear and not appetizing at all. But Dr Oz swears by them, so does Drew Berrymore and Gweneth Paltrow…so why the heck not? Even little kids supposedly liked them. I told myself I would try to get through the weekend and just clean out my system, then go from there. Armed with spinach, apples, celery, kale, pears and ginger I made my first one, closed my eyes and prepared myself for it tasting nasty and my impending failure at yet another fad.
IT WAS GOOD! Phew…3 days was not going to be as hard as I thought. So I drank them. That was it. Just smoothies for a few days. By day three I already felt better. I quit caffeine, sugar, dairy, meat, and wheats/grains cold turkey. Amazingly enough I only had a few smaller headaches with the caffeine detox (unlike my last painful attempt). I think the nutrient flush I was getting balanced it out better this time. I started to run on my treadmill as well. Just some walk run at first to get back up to speed. During my treadmill walks I found this movie on Netflix which motivated me to take this little 3 day detox to the next level…just on my own terms. “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. It just made so much sense. I personally chose smoothies, I needed more substance and I wanted as much nutrients as I could get (the skin holds so much).
So what is my plan? Honestly there isn’t one. This is not some strict diet, I am following what my body wants and trying to repair it from the inside out. I drink green smoothies 2-3 times most days. Then I started to mix in raw soups pureed in the blender (to make them process through my system quicker). For about 2-3 weeks I stayed very strict and didn’t have much “food” and dropped about 10 lbs. I have had food here and there, but I always tend to feel super guilty and gross and crave a smoothie again. And by food, I mean, pizza, sandwiches, chips and things. Veggies and fruits and nuts are ok’d in my book :). You can find most of the recipes I have tried aside from the ones that I have made up on my own on my Pinterest. The only other thing I did differently was add 1-2 more hours of sleep a day. I realized that 4-6 hours just wasn’t enough to keep my going, happy and positive.
The results (so far)?
Week 4 now and I am down 15 lbs and feel amazing. I have way more energy and I look and feel YEARS younger. My running has improved, my skin, mood, patience, no anxiety (even less during that oh so lovely woman time), I even stopped biting my nails (plagued with that since I was a child). Seriously…I can’t believe the difference in just 1 month. The plan is to continue running or at least do major household chores if I don’t run, drink smoothies as much as possible, but enjoy meals here and there with my family. When I snack I snack on fruit, veggies, and whole wheat grain organic flax seed chips (we all need a chip every once in a while). Nothing feels better than having a cheat day, getting on the scale the next morning terrified and guilt ridden to see the scale down another pound. My metabolism has not seen this gear in many many years.
What I do may not work for everyone. I get that. So far it is working for me, and I will evolve it as I go and as my body needs. I cannot thank myself enough for finally making “me” my number one job. At almost 37 years old I feel and look way younger (at least that is what I am told) and look forward to feeling even better as I claim my body back.
This image I took this morning right after my shower, with my iphone and it has not been edited at all. I only have Burts Bees chapstick and mascara on. I haven’t been able to go without concealer, powder, bronzer, blush, shadow, liner and mascara for years without feeling like the walking dead. I feel fresh and awake…FINALLY.
I have also been asked about my blender. I just have a Kitchen Aid from Target. I didn’t want to invest in something major if I was going to fail again (see how much faith I had in myself?). I may upgrade if this one goes down, but honestly…she is doing a great job for me right now and I will use her until she quits on me.