Monday, July 30, 2012

The Quick Cleanse

This past weekend I did a quick 3-day Shakeology cleanse.  Going into it I was thrilled.  Three days of not having to plan my meals, three days of no cooking, and three days of (hopefully) watching the scale go down.  And I love Shakeology, so easy peasey!

The first day was the easiest.  I was still riding high on all the excitement and all the food I had eaten the day before.  I got up in the morning and all I had to do was follow the plan.
It was simple.  Make a cup of green tea and drink it.  Make a shake and drink it.  Then go about my day.  About 2 hours later I had an apple.  Yum!  Later, another shake and more tea.  Ok, you can see the plan right there.  I don't need to bore you with a play-by-play.  But I will add that I still had plenty of energy the first day, so I did part of my scheduled Turbo Fire workout.  I got through the rest of the day with no problems, I drank all my water, and I wasn't tired or hungry.  Great day!

I got on the scale the second day and was down 2 pounds!  What?  Awesomeness!!!!  I was thrilled.  However, my coach had warned me not to workout too much or I would go into "overtraining" mode.  This works pretty much like starvation for those of you who haven't heard the term before.  So on day 2 I did not workout.  I did do some normal household stuff.  I did not get really hungry or tired on this day either.  But I did get tired of having to pee every 15-30 minutes all day long. 

Ok, so my body has always liked to hold water.  When I got pregnant with both of my kids, the first thing my body did was add 10 lbs of water weight in the first 2 weeks after finding out.  And no, I did not start eating more, it was just water weight.  Even since then, I have noticed that my ankles will swell if I sit in a chair (like at dinner) for too long.  It is so annoying!  I think that maybe I was a sponge in a past life.
Anyway, lots of trips to the bathroom that day.  Apparently I had a lot of stored water that still needed to be flushed out.  I thought I got rid of most of it when I finally started to eat healthy all the time, but I was obviously mistaken.

So the third day was the hardest.  At this point I was tired of drinking shakes all day and wanted some real food.  I also got on the scale that morning and saw that I was only down 0.2 lbs.  I should have been ok with this because I had lost 2 lbs. the previous day.  But I was only kind of ok with it.  I think I was starting to get tired and crabby and run down.  However, I told myself that this was the last day and then it would be over.  So I followed the program. 
I did go out and mow my lawn, while my husband and kids helped with raking up sticks and sweeping the patio.  I just needed to do something and my backyard was starting to look like a jungle.  As a reward, we all went to the pool when we were done.  And this is when I started to really feel it.  I told my daughter I would go on the slides with her, and oh man was it hard to climb up all those steps to the top.  I work out, I've been building up my muscles, but by the time we got to the top, I thought my legs were going to collapse.  And since I have the best 6yr-old daughter in the world, she completely understood when I said I could only do that one more time...and after a little break!

By the time we got home, I was exhausted.  I felt useless and I wasn't even hungry.  So my family had dinner without me, my husband gave my kids a bath and got them tucked into bed, and I tried to choke down my last meal of the day.  I felt like a lump.  The only thing that kept me going was the fact that it was the end.  No wonder you shouldn't do this for more than 3 days.

Now that the cleanse is over, I can say that it was totally worth it.  I got on the scale this morning and found that I was down another 1.8lbs which makes a total of 4 lbs. for the weekend.  I fit into my next size down jeans.  And I can eat again!!! 
I also discovered that my natural hunger drive is back in working order (it was a little screwy before).  And my natural thirst is back...I haven't had that for years!  So I am really thankful to my coach for suggesting this, and to the wonderful friends that I went through this with.

If you'd like to do this too, I can help you through it.  And you know where to find me!    Press Here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Healthy Eating

Oh man is it hard to make the chageover to healthy eating.  And all the time!  This is still something I am working on.  The hardest part for me is not even cutting out the junk.  It's learning to like new foods and planning for meals in advance.  It's also hard to find the balance for when to eat, when to exercise and how to work that all into my day when I have other things to do.  Like I have nothing better to do than figure out what to eat and when, right?  So this is what I am focusing on right now.  Plus I'm actually having trouble getting in enough calories per day.  Who would have thought I'd ever say I was having trouble eating enough?  Not me!  But it is HARD to eat a lot when you are only eating truly healthy foods.

What do I eat?  Mostly...NO JUNK!  (Just kidding around here.)  But seriously,  I'm working on my proportions and my types of foods.  Every meal should have an equal amount of proteins to carbs, and the rest should be filled in with vegetables.  Really?  I'm good with the protein and carbs, but I really don't like veggies.  So I'm learning to like them.  It is not easy...because I REALLY don't like them.  But I am sticking with the few that I can deal with, and trying a couple new ones each week.  As my coach Rachel once said to me "You don't like vegetables?  Suck it up and eat them anyway!" So I am.  I also spend time looking for interesting recipes to make the veggies taste better.

As for other types of food...the proteins should be lean. (It's not that fat is bad, but animal fat is not really that great - high in LDL's.)  Unfortunately, there are not many proteins I like either.  Seafood is out, and unlike with the vegetables, this is not one I'm willing to learn to like (which is unfortunate for me because fish can be a great source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids).  So that leaves me with lean meats, chicken, turkey, eggs and dairy.  I look for a lot of these recipes too because the same thing gets boring after a while. I also eat protein bars and protein shakes when I need to fill in, but it is better to eat the real foods when you can.  (Although I still drink Shakeology everyday.)

And as for carbs...oh boy!  I am so happy that I'm learning how to eat the right kinds of carbs.  After spending so much time cutting them out (and missing them tremendously), I am thrilled so say that I eat them again.  But that doesn't mean I just eat any old bread or pasta.  It's important to get stuff that is whole grain.  And not just whole wheat, but whole grain.  This means stuff like brown rice, quinoa, whole grain breads, and whole grain pastas.  Yum!  But really, you can barely taste the difference, and it makes you feel so much better.  Why are whole grains better than regular stuff?  Well the whole grains have more natural fiber, which helps regulate your gastrointestinal system, and slows the digestion of carbohydrates which in turn helps your body maintain steadier blood sugar levels. (  Also, because the grain hasn't been broken down and separated by milling, it retains more of its natural nutrients. (

So this is how I am learning to eat.  I have spent the last 4 weeks on it, and have discovered that it is an ongoing learning process.  I have found more vegetables to enjoy, and I am still trying new ones all the time.  As I find more new recipes, I will be sure to put together a Recipe Page to share my favorites.  So keep checking in! 

If you have a healthy recipe that you like, please share.  And good luck on your own journey toward healthy eating!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Missed Another One?!?

So I missed a few workouts this week.  I ended up getting a cold (yes, in the middle of summer), but I'm not going to let it derail me.  In the past it always has.  I miss a few workouts, and I start to slide down that slippery slope into "No Workouts, Eat Crapville."  But not this time.  Sometimes it just happens that we end up missing workouts.  We are human, not perfect.  Whatever the reason for missing, the most important thing to do is not beat yourself up over it.  And to keep going.

I'm sick, so I have less energy right now for jumping all over the place and kicking my own ass.  But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop being healthy.  In the last three days that I've missed, I still had my Shakeology for breakfast every day, drank all my water, and ate healthy otherwise.  And it's not easy to eat healthy when all you want is ice cream for your sore throat, or any other comfort foods that you used to rely on when you feel crappy.  But it is possible.

So here's my unsolicited advice for how do deal with a missed workout, or even a few missed workouts.  "Get back on the horse!"  And as soon as you can, depending on what your reason for missing, schedule in that next workout.  And DO IT!

This may actually be harder than when you first started.  When you started, you were all gung ho and ready to take your life back.  Now you might be feeling kind of crappy because you missed some workouts, or you ate something that you shouldn't, or whatever.


Life is a challenge.  So challenge yourself to start over.  Plan that workout and get it done.  This one will be hard, but it will be worth it.  After that, the next one will be easier.  And then before you know it, it will be like you never missed. 
In the big picture, a few days of missed workouts is nothing.  So I've scheduled my workout for tomorrow, and I plan on doing it.  How about you?

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Insanity

Insanity is the hardest fitness program ever put on DVD.  This is no joke.  When you decide to do this program, you will work harder, be sweatier, and more sore than you have ever been your life.  But if you do it, you will be rewarded.

What is Insanity?  It is a program where the creator Shaun T. has flipped interval training upside down.  A lot of workouts have you working at a decent pace and then have you go all out for a minute before returning to normal.  Insanity is the opposite.  You will be going all out for 5-10 minutes, and then get 1 minute to get yourself back together.  And then you know what?  You get to do the same 5-10 minutes again, but HARDER!  And every workout is 45-60 minutes.  But it's only for 60 days!  Who can't commit to trying it for 60 days?  And you know what?  It's AWESOME!  Crazy Awesome!  Insanely Awesome!

He is NOT kidding!

So how was Insanity for me?  Well if you've read my history, you know that this is the first Beachbody program I did.  I started the program at 216 lbs.  And since I'm short, when I put on weight, it is dense.  So I put in the first DVD and MOVED!  I kicked, I bounced, I jumped...and I almost passed out!  Well, not really, but it was really intense.  I made it through the first workout and thought, "Ok, that was REALLY hard, but I did it.  I can do this.  I can keep going."  So I did.

And then I did the first Plyo workout.  Oh MAN!  Seriously?  You want me to do WHAT?  Lots of crazy jumping and not just for one set.  Ok, I can do this, right?  Right.  So I did.  Yeah yeah, I keep saying that and this is getting boring, but you just wait.  When you do this workout, you will see that there is a whole lot of talking yourself into continuing.  But you do it!

Anyway, the soreness set in during the first week. I felt like I had lifted weights with my entire body.  But it felt good to know that I had worked so hard.  The second week it got better and I started to lose weight.  It was amazing!

After 2 weeks, things got a little sketchy for me.  I know this won't happen to you, but you can still learn from my experience.  At this point I was dealing with some major emotionally zapping issues.  I didn't want to give up on Insanity because I told myself I was going to give it my all.  And I did as far as the workouts were concerned.  Even when my knees hurt, I kept pushing.  However, I fell off the meal plan and started to eat whatever I wanted for the next 2-3 weeks.  I will say this though, because of Insanity and how intense the workouts are, I did not gain any weight while eating all that crap!  But I didn't lose any either.

So I went into the second month with a better focus on what I should eat, but to be honest I wasn't perfect.  I kind of figured that if I was working this "f"ing hard, I should be able to have a little treat here and there.  I was kind of right and kind of wrong.  I still lost weight, but would have probably lost a lot more if I had really stuck to the meal plan.  When you do Insanity, the meal plan is just as important as the workouts!
So where does that leave me.  In 60 days, I lost 8 pounds.  Would I have liked to lose more?  You bet!  I had friends on the Beachbody message boards who lost 20-30 lbs.  But that's not the whole story.  The rest of the story is that I gained a ton of muscle, gained a LOT of flexibility (this is no joke, Shaun's stretches are serious!), and I lost 20 inches off my body!  If you don't really know what that means, picture a 20 inch diameter ball, and remove it from your body.  That's huge!  In fact, 8lbs, 20 inches is a pretty average size for a human baby.  I lost a whole baby!  And I look like I did too!  LOL!

Here are my before and after pictures.  They kind of make me cringe, but since I know I'm still shrinking, I'm going to share them with you.

                                               BEFORE:                                                                   AFTER:

So, are you ready to try the toughest workout ever?  Are you ready to give it your all?  I know you can!  In fact I know you can do even better than I did!  And I can help you through it!  I'm even planning on doing again! (when I'm done with Turbo Fire)
                                            Click here when you are ready...INSANITY
Be ready though, because as Shaun T says, "That $#!T is bananas!"  And it really is!  (It's my favorite Shaun T quote, I had to include it!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Depression is NOT a 4-Letter Word

Mental health has as much to do with phyical health and fitness as a healthy diet and exercise regimen do.  Therefore, you get to read my thoughts on depression:
Ok, this is a serious issue for many people, so there will be no funny pictures or "making light of" in this post. (Well, who knows, I might try to lighten the mood halfway through, but probably not.)

Depression is an illness. It is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is usually a lack of enough seratonin, or lack of enough seratonin receptors. (source:

Why am I writing about this?  Well, for a long time I thought there was something wrong with "me."  Why can't I just be happy?  Why do I let everything get to me?  Why am I so mad, sad, upset, etc. all the time? And then I would be fine for  months.  Sometimes I thought I was going crazy (and I had a friend who used to say that about me when I was younger.)  Well, he was kind of right, I was a little crazy, but I didn't know it.  And, it took me a long time to figure out that it wasn't my fault.

All my life I have had mood swings.  And sometimes the downswings lasted for a while.  I didn't know what they were because as far as I can remember, they started when I was 11 yrs old.  Most of the time I was a regular kid, teenager, and then young adult.  I was happy.  I had a bunch of friends.  I had a loving family.  I went out and did fun things.  But every once in a while, something would set off "the mood."  Sometimes I didn't even know it was coming on.  In high school I remember that there were quite a few times when one of my friends would look at me and ask me what was wrong.  I would say nothing, and I meant it.  They would tell me I just looked sad.  So I would shrug my shoulders and move on with my day.  However, usually by the end of the day, 3 or 4 other friends would have asked the same thing, and then of course I was sad. Who wants a bunch of people telling them that they look sad when they think they are in a good mood all day?

There were many times that I would hit these low points.  And it's hard to explain unless you've been there.  But you feel kind of blah, kind of stuck, and you feel like no one really understands you. So you tend to pull away, and then you feel isolated.  I remember that there were a few of these times that it just seemed easier to end things.  I never really decided to do that, and I'm really glad that I never did.  But this is one of those things that comes along with the downswings, so I thought it important to mention.

Anyway, I didn't get officially diagnosed until I was 31 yrs old.  I had my first child the year before.  It was rough.  I had a rough C-section recovery.  My baby did not like to sleep, and he definitely did not like to nap.  But this is some normal new parent stuff.  You get used to it and you move on.  Well, at around 9 months old he stopped nursing.  Well, I was not ready for that.  And it wasn't gradual.  He just stopped in the middle of the day.  WHAT!?!  I didn't know what to do...well, he pretty much stopped eating anything else the next day.  Long story short, he ended up being fine.  He was diagnosed with Silent Reflux and treated, but that is a whole other story.
I spent the next 2-3 months pumping all the time and watching the amount go down, down, down.  I tried everything I could think of to get him to nurse again, but it didn't happen.  This is when the BIG DEPRESSION set in.  I kind of think it was like I had post-partum depression 9 months later, but who knows.
I basically spent the next 6 months going deeper and deeper into this depression.  I was sad all the time.  I was apathetic.  I would cry for no reason.  I would just sit and stare at nothing.  Basically I felt like I was in this deep hole with no way out.  I asked a friend of mine if she thought I was depressed.  She said she'd been telling me for months to go talk to the doctor about it.  You see, I didn't even remember her telling me that.  So that was it.  I went to my doc and was diagnosed right away.  I came home with medicine and noticed a huge difference by the end of the week.

The story doesn't really end here though, but I'll go through the rest more quickly.
- I got pregnant with baby #2 a month later and stopped my meds.
- I had baby #2 8.5 months later.
- I was nursing baby #2 for 3 months when I realized I was starting to lose it again.
- I got a lot of conflicting info about nursing mothers and anti-depressants
- I decided to suck it up so I could finish nursing without possibly hurting my baby. 
But this time I was more aware of what I was facing.  And I went to talk therapy so I could get out all the crap with an unbiased outside person.  So I made it through, but it wasn't pretty.  Good thing my husband is a saint!

Basically after all that, I had a number of months that were good, but eventually I realized that all the talk therapy in the world wasn't going to fix the depression.  So I went back to the doctor and went back on medication.  I have been on "meds" for 6+ years now.  And I have been able to work on finding better coping mechanisms, be more aware of my moods and what may be causing them, and work with my doctor to modify my dose to what works for me.  I've even had to switch medicines a few times. 

Anyway, the biggest reason for posting this here on my blog was to explain that depression is NOT a four letter word.  But I get it.  You've read my story now and you know what I've been through.  You probably now know a lot more about me than most of my friends did for years.  Because I also thought of depression as something I should have been able to control.  I was embarrassed that I had to go on medication to be able to be happy.  I mean, why can't I just be happy?  Because my brain just doesn't work that way.  And no matter how hard I try, or what I do, I CAN NOT make my brain create more seratonin just because I want it to.

So I'm not embarrassed any more.  But it took a long time to realize that it was nothing to be embarrassed about.  Diabetics need insulin, should they be embarrassed?  No, and depression is the same.

I've included a list of symptoms and some quotes from other sites.  I hope you found this helpful, and if you think you or someone you know is dealing with this, please consult a physician about it.
And remember, DEPRESSION is NOT a 4-letter word.

"The signs and symptoms of depression include
loss of interest in activities that were once interesting or enjoyable, including sex;
loss of appetite, with weight loss, or overeating, with weight gain;
loss of emotional expression (flat affect);
a persistently sad, anxious, or empty mood;
feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness;
social withdrawal;
unusual fatigue, low energy level, a feeling of being slowed down;
sleep disturbance and insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping;
trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions;
unusual restlessness or irritability;
persistent physical problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain that do not respond to treatment,
and thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts."

"Mental illness is frequently seen as a moral issue or an issue of weakness," Arias explained. "It is a condition no different from cancer or other chronic diseases. People need to accept the difficulties they are having and avail themselves of the resources that are available."

"Clinical depression is not a temporary case of the "blues." People with depression may experience recurrent episodes of depression that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few months."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Unexpected Visitors

Ok, so I'm not perfect.  Nor do I ever expect to be.  (That was something I learned after having kids.)  So the last 3 days have been hectic.  I'm following a specific workout program (Turbo Fire).  I'm working on eating all the right foods at all the right times.  I'm trying to figure out my time management issues.  I'm working on building up my new coach business.  And people want me to make plans with them.  Like I don't have enough to do with taking care of my family and myself?  Kidding here, it would be a pretty boring life if I didn't make time to see friends and have plans outside of the all the health stuff.  But it did throw me off this week.  I am a creature of habit and I tend to get thrown off when the usual schedule changes.

So what does this mean?  It means, I didn't work out for 2 days and almost skipped yesterday too.  I was definitely bummed about that.  And while I tried to stay focused on the fact that it's ok to miss a few days, and that I'd been eating really heathy for those days, it still affected my mood all of yesterday.  When I was finally ready to get back in it yesterday, my kids needed me.  One wanted to cuddle and the other needed help fixing his Legos...and he was ready to cry about it.  So I'm just supposed to say, "Sorry honey, get over it.  Mommy has to work out now."  Yeah, like that was going to happen.  Nope!  I spent the next 45 minutes helping him, while cuddling the other one.  Then I looked at the clock and realized how late it was getting.  I went outside to take a few deep breaths and decided, "Screw it!  I can not do everything!"  So, this is when I decided to do something that probably wasn't the best idea.  I came back in, turned to my husband and said, "Would you mind running out for something?"

So this is what I sent him to get.  My "friends"  Ben & Jerry came for a visit.  And boy did I have fun with them.  See that pint up there?  Yep, the whole thing is gone now.  Ate the whole thing.  Hello 800 calories.  Hello sugar, I have missed you (and you are so much sweeter than I remembered!)  However, I will say that I was glad that I had him get the Fro-Yo version because at least there is a little more protein in it.  (Like it really matters with all that sugar, but at least I tried to make it better.)

So I did manage to get in a quick Core workout.  And I could actually tell that I had missed my other workouts.  But I did it.  And from now until a time far, far into the future, these guys

                                      are banned from my house.  I love them, but they will no longer be welcome here.  And if I need somthing sweet to eat I will make something myself that has all the right kinds of healthy ingredients in it.  Or I'll just freeze some chocolate Shakeology and eat that!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Time Management is not my Friend

Ok, so this blog is all about balance.  Well, I'm still working on it.  After missing my workout for 2 days in a row, enough is enough.  I mean, I'm a'd think I have all the time in the world to get crap done.  Nope.  I lost my ability to manage time when my first baby came into the world.  So now that my kids are getting bigger (8 and 6), I should finally be able to get my life in order.  So far that is not happening.

I have a tendency to ignore what is a problem, and focus on something I would prefer to do.  I mean who wouldn't rather go for a walk with their dogs instead of doing laundry or cleaning the toilet.  But you know what, if you don't get those things done you end up naked with a dirty toilet! 

I've been focusing a lot of this summer on what to eat, and when to work out and then how to fit all the other things I need to do into the mix.  And I've been trying to keep it all in my head.  No more!  It's time I give in and go get some kind of day planner.  You know, the ones that have room for you to schedule every hour of the day.  And I'm going to spend some time this weekend filling it in for the next week or so.  I will SCHEDULE my workouts, I will SCHEDULE my meals, I will SCHEDULE the stupid laundry and house cleaning, and I will SCHEDULE when to plant the flowers that have been sitting in my backyard for weeks waiting to be planted.

So if you are having trouble getting in all the things you want to do with your day, follow my lead and we'll figure it out together!  And feel free to let me know how it's going or even offer suggestions for me!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Little History

Where do I even start?  Here goes...Growing up I was always healthy-bodied, but by high school I had to workout to stay that way.  Although I also pretty much ate whatever I wanted.  However, as most people know, high school can be a rocky place.  I had my own ups and downs there, and discovered for the first time, that not eating when I was depressed made me thinner.  Now, I knew this wasn't good, we'd had the assemblies about anorexia and how unhealthy it was, but I didn't really think that was what I was doing.  And as I came out of my "funk" I went back to eating normally again.  Of course, I was young and still working out, so it didn't have too bad of an impact on me then.

Enter college!  A whole new place with no family, very few "old friends," and a whole bunch of new people!  And in case I forgot to mention, I was very shy, but I hid it well.  So I met new people, joined a sorority, and made a bunch of new friends.  And of course, what did we all worry about?  Our weight!  Oh no...we didn't want to be the ones to gain the "Freshman 15!"  And thus started my crazy adventure with my weight through college.  I worked out every day, and tried to eat low-fat, but still pretty much ate what I wanted.  This ended up keeping me within a 15lb fluctuation limit, which was pretty good considering this was college and I was drinking all the time too!

Then Senior year came.  Here is where I think I started the craziness that has become my struggle to control my weight issues.  My long-time boyfriend broke up with me.  I was heartbroken and pissed off!  So I set off to get those 10-15 pounds off and look awesome for my last year in college.  I did it by going all protein and veggies for 2 weeks and working out 2 times a day.  Once I lost the excess, I realized that I coould still eat what I wanted if I worked out MORE!  So again, I wasn't really anorexic at this point, but I was crazy about making sure I worked out...usually 3 times a day!  I was measuring all my food, and making sure I counted my drinking calories too.

Exit college...HUGE depression set in.  All my friends were moving on, and moving out to the city, and I was stuck at home, with 2 more years of school to look forward to before I could even start to think about working or moving out.  Here is where the WEIGHT GAINS started.

To cut out some of the long boring stuff, basically I had messed with my metabolism so much for so long, that my body didn't know what to do any more.  So I started fluctuating in greater numbers.  Up 20, down 15, up 20 down 25, up 30, down 25...and so on.  Nothing MAJOR yet, but it is obvious that it was beginning to become a struggle.

Let's advance a little.  Finally I met the man of my dreams (after a lot of nightmares!)  And I wanted to lose those last 20 pounds before the wedding.  I was doing great!  I exercised in a healthy way every day.  I changed it up, so my body wouldn't get too used to any one thing (walking, stepping, kick-boxing) and I was eating healthy.  Good ratios of protein, carbs and fats, and fruits and veggies.
And then 5 days before my wedding I was (finally) diagnosed with appendicitis.  So off to surgerey!  (Don't worry, I made it to the wedding.)  But after that, I wasn't allowed to have protein or fiber for weeks.  And I couldn't exercise for even longer!  So here's where all the health really went out the window.  It was really hard to get going again...

So basically the next few years were up and down for me, mostly healthy eating and working out for a while, and then not so healthy eating and not working out for a while.  Now the gains were more like 40-50lbs, and the drops were not always keeping up.

Then it was baby time!  I got pregnant with my first and I was already up 45 lbs.  I couldn't lose it, but I could try not to gain too much more right?  WRONG!  I was hungry all the time.  I was still working, and later in my pregnancy there were problems.  So the stress did not help at all!  I ended up at 220lbs. by the time baby #1 was born.  And he had to be a C-section, so guess what?  No exercising for a while...again!  At this point, I tried to do a low/no carb diet to get the weight off.  HUGE mistake!  I was nursing, so this was BAD for making milk.  After 5 days, I realized my baby was starving!!!!  Now I was eating eveything I could to get my milk production back up.  Which it did, but now I was afraid of dieting at all.

I did lose some weight after the nursing was over, but then got pregnant with baby #2.  I thought it would be different this time.  I got pregnant at a lower weight than last time, so if I was careful, I wouldn't get as big.  WRONG AGAIN.  Being pregnant and having a 1yr. old is stressful too!  At the end of this pregnancy I was 230lbs.  Another C-section, another few weeks of no working out allowed...  I finally went to one of those meal-replacement places where they check you every week.  I did lose a lot of weight this way, but I didn't have to work out because I was still nursing.  When the nursing was over with baby #2, I wanted the weight GONE!

So now we move closer to the present.  Since baby #2, I have spent the last 5 years roller-coastering up and down by doing the low/no-carb thing, and then eating everything I missed.  The first year I lost 65 lbs and got down to 147lbs.  I looked great, felt great, and then slowly started putting it back on as I slacked off on my exercise and started eating more junk again.  This is pretty much the pattern of the last 5 years, although I never lost that much again, and every time I gained, it was MORE!  I finally maxed out at 232lbs.  I was upset, embarrassed, and miserable.  I was HUGE!  And there was no baby inside to use as an excuse!  I didn't want to go out with friends or meet anyone new because I didn't want anyone to see me like that.  I didn't want to go out with my husband because I didn't want other people to wonder what he was doing with some ugly fat chick.  So...I did it again.  Low/no-carb diet and exercise.  I did lose 57 lbs., but then the cravings kicked in, and I started to gain weight again.  I caught myself, but realized that low/no-carb just wasn't going to work for me anymore.  I also realized that I was basically being anorexic again when I did this diet...I would live on protein shakes for a week at a time.  I just couldn't sustain a diet like that.  So I went back to the meal-replacement place and tried to work with them.  I couldn't stick to it.  I was still unhappy in general, and I was sick of their food.  So I started eating junk again...  

Let me throw in that during this time I also went for a check-up, and my doctor told me that my cholesterol was getting up there, but that she was mostly worried because my LDL's were really high!  I was getting really close to being at risk for a heart attack.  What!  Me?  No way...I have a family to take care of, I have young children, I'm only 38!  So this is what happens when you bounce around from one diet to the next and then spend the time in between eating crap.  So on with the story...

Then one night I was watching TV and saw the infomercial for Insanity.  Ha ha!  I know lots of people have seen that one, but I listened to what they were saying, and I looked at all those before and after pictures, and I wanted that to be me!  So I ordered it!  And I DID it!  It was the hardest exercise program I have ever done in my life!  And I was trying to do it at over 200lbs!   I was so ready to quit by the third week.  It was too hard, I was depressed, and things at home were rough.  But I went to the Beachbody website instead, just to see what people were saying about the program.  And you know what?  There were a TON of people trying to get through it just like me!  There were a TON of people who were overweight and trying to get healthy just like me!  And there were a TON of people who wanted to give up, but didn't, just like me!  I have to say at that point in time, the Beachbody website, and the message boards were what saved me and made me keep going.  I met a few people who I have even stayed friends with, and I found an AMAZING coach to answer ALL my questions (I tend to have a LOT!)  Her story is what inspired me to move on from Insanity and try another Beachbody program.  So I am now doing Turbo Fire and loving it.  My coach and my workout friends from Beachbody are there for me EVERY DAY!   They help to keep me going with the exercise, and they are helping me relearn how to eat healthy too.  I'm so grateful that I have these amazing people to depend on, that I realized I wanted to be able to help people who were feeling like I did, and who were going through the same struggles.  So I became a coach too!

Because this is such a struggle for me, and because I know this is a struggle for many people, I am going to continue to blog about my journey to find the balance.  I may still be near the beginning of my journey, but that just means we can go through it together!