Wednesday, December 9, 2009


We know there are real addictions that exist throughout the world. People can rally around the addiction to alcohol and recognize how it effects the addict and his/her family members. People openly say cigarettes and tobacco are addictive and hazardous to health. And the world recognizes that second hand smoke is unhealthy too, which means everyone in a breathing radius of a smoking person is being effected by the addiction. What about other addictions? Is there such a thing as a food addiction? I believe there is. I believe a person can become emotionally dependant on the comfort of food.

So the problem becomes, how to break the addiction in order to live a healthy life? A person addicted to alcohol needs to stop drinking alcoholic beverages. He/she still drinks water, milk, juice, etc. Just not alcohol.

A person addicted to tobacco needs to stop smoking or chewing tobacco. He/she may chew gum or wear a medicated patch to help replace the addiction. But the main concept holds true, he/she must stop doing the addictive behavior.

So what does a food addict stop? We must continue eating in order to live. Right? The answer, I'm told, is to find healthy substitutes. So really a person must give up junk food and only eat healthy food for the rest of his/her life. And just like other addictions, it is easier said than done.

Here is my issue, not only does the addict need to stop the cravings and bad habits, not only does he/she need to find the cause of the addiction and resolve what led to the addiction in the first place, the addict must also deal with other people and their opinions and behaviors towards the addiction.

Society and the people around us understand how a recovering alcoholic must stay away from alcoholic beverages and bend over backwards to help on that journey. A host who normally chooses to drink responsibly will go to the trouble of removing all alcohol from the premises prior to inviting a recovering alcoholic over to visit. Thank you! That is called being kind, courteous and compassionate.

Smoking has been recognized by the government as being so unhealthy it is banned from public places. Thank you! A recovering smoker can walk freely into public places without being terrorized by temptation.

Yet, when faced with a junk food addiction, what do people do? They criticize. They tempt. They offer no alternatives or understanding. Food is everywhere (churches, stores, restaurants, friends house, theater, sports events, etc.) Now if it were fruit and veggie platters, I wouldn't mind one bit. YAY! I love food. And if someone wants to provide Subway sandwiches without the dressings, etc. YAY! You have my blessing to do that. Unfortunately, most of the food placed before me is bad for me. And I'll add, it is bad for everyone else too.

Who says there must be a dessert table at every potluck? Who decides that all the food at the main table will be caked with grease and cheese? Why do people think if you put iceberg lettuce in a bowl and have a thick mayonnaise sauce next to it, you can call it a salad? And does that salad amount to all the health offered at the event? Ugh!

I submit to you that a junk food addict, and most of the people could fall into this category, needs to give up all junk food forever and be supported by those around him/her to not be tempted.

I recognize this is hard for a few reasons:
1. most people don't really know what health food is. So let me make it easy, if it is a raw fruit or vegetable with bright and vibrant color, you are safe. If you want added flavor, put the sauce on the side. Please do not add butter or cheese or salt, etc.

2. most people don't want to be confronted with the fact that they are unhealthy and could be considered a junk food addict too. Okay, I sympathize. And yet, wouldn't it be heavenly to be able to go to a church potluck and only have healthy foods on the table? Wheat pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce. Fresh homemade soup with real meat and fresh veggies. Sandwiches with no salt lean meat and fresh cut veggies topped with a light vinaigrette. Yum! Honestly, when people bring fresh fruits and veggies to a potluck, those items are the first to be eaten. It tastes good and it is a no-guilt food. Mothers will crowd around a veggie tray trying to find something their child will eat, because we know it is healthy. Why not make everything healthy?

3. most people enjoy junk food and want the freedom to eat as they please. Okay, I get it. No one wants to be told that what they choose is wrong. But please do not subject me to your justification. I don't want to be told that I am wrong to give up junk food, when we all know it is the right choice. I don't want to be told "oh, it won't hurt to have one piece of cake. it is a birthday party." Well, some people drink and smoke at parties, do we tell the other addicts to cheat too. If so, I am so sorry for them, cause it is wrong.

And eating out, ugh! I would welcome going to a fast food restaurant and seeing truly healthy items on the menu. I would welcome Subway to have a drive through line or a family playground inside. If McD's can have a playground, why not Subway? I would love if the food offered at Panera Bread was more family friendly and more accessible.

If only our churches, families and friends could realize how much food is an addiction and make efforts to help us all. Our country is struggling with issues that we caused ourselves. Now we, as a people, must fix the problems and help each other through the consequences.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Journey Twists and Turns

Well, I haven't posted in a while, sorry to say. My journey has taken another turn in the road. My family has decided to switch to a gluten free lifestyle. I had no idea how many food products contain gluten.

If you are not aware of what gluten is: it is a part of most grains. Wheat, Oats, some Barley, etc. Therefore it is in flour. Most every kind of flour. So any product containing flour has gluten. Or it is made with a gluten free flour like rice flour or corn flour and it just doesn't taste quite the same.

A loaf of white bread in my local grocery store is $1.19. A Loaf of gluten free white bread which is half the size of the regular loaf costs $6.00. So at the same time as going gluten free we are also switching to low carb.

Plus, as I struggle with all the dieting options I have realized there are certain things all diets agree with:
  • drink lots of water
  • eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • raw produce is better than canned or frozen
  • monitor how many carbs and how many proteins are consumed each day
  • have a food log/journal
  • eat a variety of colors of produce (i.e. green lettuce, orange carrots, red tomatoes, etc.)
  • get some form of exercise
  • get regular and restful sleep
  • be cautious of portion size
  • don't eat lots of oils, salts, and sugars
  • etc.

Therefore, while switching to a gluten free lifestyle, I am also focusing on following these other rules, too.

How is your journey going?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reflections from watching Biggest Loser Season 8 week 2

  • Stress doesn't help anything
  • It is all about calories in and calories out
  • Find your "sweet spot" where you are burning calories before you hit the gymn and then burning calories at the gymn
  • Plan ahead
  • 1200 calories per day
  • Use make ahead meals with Ziploc bags
  • Journal out food and calories
  • Write the calories on the make ahead meals so it is easy
  • Wear a monitor of calories burned
  • Accountability helps
  • It also has to be a personal choice to make it happen
  • Protein after a workout
  • Build the muscle up right after you work out cause the work out breaks them down
  • When you cannot exercise for various reasons, keep a close check on nutrition
  • Use whey protein powder (Biggest loser brand is 40 calories per scoop per 8 oz and supposedly tastes goods.)
  • Huge challenge towards teamwork the combined group must lose 150 lbs and all stay another week at the ranch, but if they don't make 150 lbs then two people go home
  • Food tips from Chef Curtis Stone
    • Portion size
    • Weigh your portion size
    • Fats and oils
    • Minimize oils and fats by how you cook and using spices to improve taste rather than salt or butter, etc.
    • Ways of cooking
      • Baked chicken breast
      • Poached shrimp
      • Steam salmon
      • Grill on non-stick grill
      • Broil pork loin
    • Fast food salads are caked with fat – not really healthy at all
    • No loading it with dressing, croutons or loads of cheese
    • Replace 50% of pasta with a vegetable like zucchini
    • Give up soda pop it is WAY too much sugar
    • Protein: build muscles, maintains fullness and helps blood sugar levels
    • Healthy snacks
    • Have a couple of snacks a day so you are eating fairly often
    • Three meals and two snacks = five opportunities to eat right
  • Biggest Loser Quiz (worth 15 lbs advantage at weigh in)
    • Serving size of meat: how much is the right amount for a family of four? (answer: the amount for a family of four fit on a saucer)
    • Cooking without oil: Curtis named 5 now your name 3 of them? (answer: baked, broiled, steamed)
    • Fast Food and eating out salads: guess how many calories are in this popular chain restaurant's popular chicken Caesar salad with Caesar dressing? (answer: 1010)
    • Starch (substitute zucchini for pasta) how many fewer calories are there in one serving? (answer: 248)
    • Soda: How many calories would you consume if you had one 16 oz glass of soda with 3 refills? (answer: 747)
    • Which of these desserts is less than 150 calories? (answer: 1 cup fresh raspberries with ½ oz of dark chocolate dipping sauce, not the parfait with plain yogurt, blueberries and sliced almonds or the 1 cup plain vanilla ice cream)
    • Snacking: Curtis mentioned three specific reasons why it is important to add a protein to any/every snack, I need you to tell me two of them? (answer: makes you feel fuller and gives your muscles more to work on)
    • Curtis Stone approved dessert: Pineapple grilled kabobs, served with natural yogurt (low fat, low calorie), tasty dessert that is fairly good for you
  • Biggest Loser Challenge
    • Four rafts in a lake with balance beams between them. The group must get the whole group past all the balance beams to the end.
    • Everyone must move as a group, so everyone must make it to one raft before they can move on to the next. Meaning everyone must be on the balance beam at once before they continue on to the next platform.
    • If someone falls in the water, this challenge is over for every single one of the group
    • Each balance beam is smaller than the one before
    • Prizes at each stage of the challenge
      • 1st raft = 5 lb advantage
      • 2nd raft = 5 lbs
      • 3rd raft = phone calls from home
      • 4th raft = satisfaction of teamwork and 10 more lbs
      • So the entire challenge is worth 20 lbs and phone calls home
    • The last beam is 6 inches wide.
    • On each beam one person's movements had the ability to shake the whole beam.
    • For an obese person to trust a piece of metal like that is really hard. Let alone put 15 obese people on the same piece of metal at once.
    • It was HARD but they made it, especially by working as a team!
    • They received their phone calls home.
    • They were reminded of why they came to the ranch and started this journey.
    • They miss family but they have chosen that being away from them for this season is the best thing for their families in the long run.
    • Danny's daughter once said, "daddy, I want to grow a big belly, just like you" so now when he is at the gymn he has motivation to shrink that belly
  • Bob and Jillian's reaction to finding out the team now must lose 115 lbs instead of 150 lbs
    • Jillian is glad but not relieved or confident
    • Bob reminds them this is week two, they have seen people gain weight on week two and be working just as hard as week one.
    • Jillian is glad it is not 150 but don't be over confident and ride high
    • Don't feel comfortable at 115 lbs it is still a huge amount to lose
    • Jillian said, "We could hit it hard and take a hit on week three or . . . "
    • Jillian said, "When your body drops a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time, it puts the body into survival mode."
    • "It puts your metabolism on hold."
    • "If we push it in week two, we will pay in week three"
    • Jillian asked Bob, "Who ya gonna go for?" and Bob answered almost immediately, "Julio". Jillian was thrilled. She is sure Julio is not doing the work. Every time the trainer turns her/his back, Julio stops moving. Jillian told Bob to "Kill him" which really means, work him hard.
    • Bob and Jillian take the challenge as their own and say, "There is 115 lbs, we have got to get off. The pressure is on."
  • Last Chance Workout
    • Julio must have tunnel vision. Nobody else is here just Julio and Bob. Even though Jillian is busy working out all the rest.
    • Jillian has them doing squats with heavy weights, down along the body and then rip it up.
    • "Ten more, last chance. Ten more, what are you gonna do with it?"
    • "What are you gonna do with your last chance?"
    • Answer: I'm gonna take advantage of it!!
    • "Afterwards I'll love you, but right now I wanna kill you." Julio's statement to Bob.
    • Bob's response, "Good. I'm glad. I like that."
    • Jillian was pushing hard.
    • "I don't care what you lost last week. You are nowhere. I'm gonna push you as hard as I can."
    • Tug of war: Jillian weighing 115 lbs and Rudy weighing over 400 lbs
    • "We are doing last chance workout together. It is Bob and Jillian against all of you people."
    • All Bob could think about was "Jillian, I'm coming over there."
    • Now it is Rudy against Bob and Jillian playing tug of war
    • The team is cheering Rudy on and Bob and Jillian are reminding him of why he is there
    • "Last chance workout let's go"
    • Last chance means, this is your last chance before the weigh in, push it until you really cannot push anymore, "anymore."
    • "Do not quit, finish it" "Keep going"
    • Jillian said, "The gymn is like a truth serum. The trainers beat on them, beat on them, beat on them, until all their defenses are down. Then everything they have been stuffing down comes flooding up."
    • What are you gonna get out of this? Shay wants to be happy. Bob asked, "how long have you been unhappy?" And Shay's response is 30 years. With her mom being a heroin addict for 29 years and it taking her life. Shay must let go of the burden.
    • Shay said, "A lot of these pounds are wounds."
    • "Times that people have said things or done things or not done things. Broken promises."
    • Bob said, "this is your life what are you gonna do with it?"
    • The people are faced with reality and it is okay to break down and cry. Bob is not scolding Shay for crying, he is comforting her. She needs to heal and that is okay.
    • 24 hour fitness and the Biggest Loser – is it the best gymn or just the gymn that won the contract?
  • Preparing for the Weigh In
    • The trainers actually want these people to succeed. Even Jillian even though she is tough and "mean" she cares.
    • Julio feels a person was sacrificed for him to be able to stay and he feels the rift that has remained because he stayed, now he wants them to be glad they made the choice and had him stay.
    • Bob has seen people work hard, really hard and still gain 3 lbs on week two. 115lbs is really a lot, especially for week 2.
    • People are scared. Partly because they don't want to let the team down.
    • They all want to stay longer, because they know the ranch is the best place for them to be right now.
    • The people are trying so hard for something and they keep getting low weight loss results so it feels like they are not getting what they are trying/working for.
    • Tracey has been walking, swimming and eating right, she felt like she wasn't participating. Yet, she lost 10 lbs and they may be crucial in reaching the challenge.
    • "No predictability" "The whole time I'm thinking, I hope I did enough." – Abby
    • "Watching your diet, counting your calories, moving, it works!" – Abby 26 lbs in two weeks
    • Bob said "I was shocked. Jillian and I pulled out all the stops. We knew we had to make this happen and we were making it happen."
    • In previous seasons, so many people have such little results, these numbers are phenomenal
    • Rudy has lost 42 lbs in two weeks and as happy as he is, he is also thinking what would another few minutes of workout achieved?
    • People are shocked at Julio's results. They were convinced he was not working and at least this week, he lost 19 lbs. WOW!
    • Bob was glad they reached the 115 lbs challenge, but then he wanted them to reach the 150 lbs goal.
    • So, just like a trainer, Bob wants to train like you can't reach the goal, make it and then set the next goal above and beyond.
    • As a group they lost 155 lbs in week two. WOW!
    • "Week two is a myth, we conquered it and blew it away." – one of the contestants
    • WOW! What an episode.
  • What have I been thinking?
    • I have been doing wimpy workouts, barely sweating or hurting
    • I thought I was trying and giving my all, but was I really? REALLY?
    • Sure, I lose my breath, but eventually it comes back
    • I should be working out more.
    • Plus, 1200 calories for an entire day, wow. I could eat that in one meal right now.
    • How am I gonna get down to 1200 calories?
    • Well, I need to log my eating and log my burning
    • I need to follow all of this advice
    • Eat veggies and fish,
    • stock up on protein,
    • eat whole grains
    • be willing to be uncomfortable
    • eat with no oils or fats other than spray and maybe olive oil
    • Stock up on spices and learn which spices taste best on certain things
    • When I eat, eat right
    • When I burn, burn hard
    • When I sleep, rest good
    • Somehow I need to make this work, because I am dying right now and I want to live.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Strength Training

Strength training is such an important step to health. I am told that by improving a person's muscle mass and toning, a person can achieve a higher metabolism, better health into old age, and avoid the body flab sagging that can occur while losing weight. Personally that sounds wonderful.

So I went through that bag I have of all the fitness stuff I have bought over the years and rarely ever used. I found a set of two lbs and a set of three lbs dumbbell weights. I found four stretch resistance bands. And I had recently purchased 2 sets of wrap around ankle/wrist weights.

I held up each weight individually and thought, "Oh yeah, like that is really gonna help me lose weight." Then I held up the whole bag with all the weights inside, "wow" that was about 14 lbs. So I started my workout with the wrap around weights around my ankles and the 2 lbs dumbbell weights in my hands. It wasn't too long and I felt a serious burn throughout my arms and legs.

Of course, only time and effort will tell what effect regular strength training will produce. It is recommended by the professionals. So I am guessing the effect will be positive. YAY!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reflections from watching Biggest Loser Season 8 week 1

As I watch these 16 people receive a wonderful chance to lose weight a lot goes through my mind.
  • They are all seriously overweight like me.
  • They are choosing to leave their families for a season in order to return changed and start fresh.
  • They are bonding with these other obese people.
  • Is the bond good? For weight loss and success, yes. For future relationships with their spouses, maybe not so good. This environment is a huge bonding experience and could lead to marital affairs. I am blessed to be able to stay home and make changes with my spouse and kids right along with me.
  • These people are given wonderful resources: medical, trainers, dietary advisers, equipment, etc.
  • Can I do the same thing without all the resources? I am sure going to try.
  • These people are truly ill. So am I.
  • One person collapsed on a 1 mile run/walk, she is not much older then me and probably smaller than me in size. Ouch! That could have been me.
  • What are they learning?
  1. Drink water
  2. Eat healthy
  3. Little choices have big results
  4. Current discomfort is worth it
  5. The taste of the food was not worth the weight it created
  6. Be willing to push beyond your comfort level
  7. Truly: no pain no gain
  8. The trainers yell, swear, get mad and insult, but they actually are trying to help
  9. No excuses: this is not easy, don’t be victims, don’t let fear stop you, don’t blame your story for your life
  10. Now is your chance to change your life, don’t waste it or you waste your life
  11. Endurance: a word professional athletes use daily
  12. Work for it, earn it
  13. A Last Chance workout is every important for the game and for life.
  14. One person said he spent 4 hours in the gymn each day
  15. Investing in your health means Investing in your future
  • How am I going to get the same results without leaving my family, having an unlimited budget, having all the time to invest, etc.?
  • How am I going to stay motivated?
  • Do I realize that I make life and death choices each day, just like these people?
  • I need to make important changes in my life to improve my health while still living my life.
  • These people are able to get away from their old routines to make changes, they will eventually return to their homes and families and need to apply these lessons.
  • I need to apply these lessons now, with my family and my "old" routines.
  • I need to stay here and fight for my life and for my future.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I think we can all admit that exercise is important for every healthy person. The struggle is finding the right form of exercise that works for you.

It must:
  • be something I can do often
  • be something I consider fairly fun
  • be something that considers my family's needs (expense, child care, time invested, etc.)
  • fit my personality (social or loner, talker or music lover, etc.)
  • be an effective physical challenge
Possible forms of exercise include:
  • Fitness club class (Spinning, Zumba, Weightlifting, etc.)
  • Team Sport (Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, Softball, etc.)
  • Fitness Video (Aerobic, Pilates, Yoga, Dancing, Muscle Toning, etc.)
  • At Home Fitness Equipment (Treadmill, Weight machine, NordicTrack, etc)
  • Neighborhood Sidewalks (Bicycling, Walking, Running, etc.)
Personally, I have tried many of these forms of exercise. I have ceased most of them for various reasons. Most recently, my chosen form of exercise is using fitness videos at my home with a friend coming over to exercise with me. We are able to meet regularly, keep each other accountable, supervise the kids, workout and have friend time too. YAY!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


One of the healthiest times in my life was when I was in college living with an apartment full of girls. It is true that this environment can have its downfalls. But in my case, there was one girl named Sara who wanted to be healthy along with me. She and I would get up every morning and exercise together. We encouraged each other. And for me, knowing I had someone else counting on me, made a huge impact in my willingness to follow through with my plan.

For some reason, I am able to make a plan and set expectations for myself and then not do them. An excuse always comes up, or I postpone/procrastinate to the point that I loose momentum and give up. I love when someone is expecting me to show up. If for some reason I am unable to attend the appointment, I love if they ask what happened.

This does not mean, I like receiving advice. In the journey to shed unhealthiness and become healthy, advice is totally different than accountability.

Accountability is the choice to be responsible to fulfill an agreed upon goal and willingness to account/explain the situation to another person. And in matters of health, I love having a friend to encourage, support, and keep me accountable.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


My biggest temptation is Fun Food at the end of a long day. Each day I care for my three kids, my husband, my home and anything else that needs attention. At the end of the day I look forward to my time. I like to watch a show and eat fun food.

As I am on this journey toward healthy, I find that I can make wise choices in the morning and even into the afternoon. But when the sky is dark, my kids are in bed, and I'm ready to relax . . . that is when the cravings and desires kick into high gear.

Where is the chocolate? Where are the chips? I need my cold soda pop, salty snack and sweet dessert. I sit in front of my DVD player with my show and food . . . I'm ready for "ME" time.

Old habits, Die hard. I like my routine. It feels good. It tastes good.

Now, the wise decisions. The old routine led to an unhealthy body. And if I keep doing what I have been doing, I will keep living as I have lived and continue being as unhealthy as I am.

So, my plan of action includes limiting the Fun Foods in my home. No more chips. No more chocolate. Very little soda pop. More tea and water. More fresh fruit and vegetables. More willingness to change my routine in order to change my life!

Monday, September 21, 2009


There are many different options for weight loss and trying to become healthy. Each option has positives and negatives. Each option has people voting for it and people voting against it. How is a person supposed to decide between the options?

Various Weight Loss Options
  • Jenny Craig
  • Weight Watchers
  • South Beach Diet
  • Slim Fast shakes
  • Herbal Life
  • Hollywood Diet plans
  • Hollywood Stars tips to success
  • Biggest Loser books, DVDs, etc.
  • Weight loss cook books
  • Weight Loss shakes or "candy"bars
  • etc.
Then there are options for non-diet health
  • Apple Cider Vinegar drink
  • Colon Cleansing
  • Parasite Cleansing
  • Fasting regularly
  • Raw Food plans
  • Low Carbohydrate Menu
  • High Protein Menu
  • Low sugar
  • No artificial
  • No gluten
  • No animal products
  • Vegetarian
  • etc.
How does a person sort out what it good versus what is fad/wacky?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Photo at the Begining

My Journey Begins . . .

I am 31 years old and I have been unhealthy for over 20 years. I have spent years trying to lose weight, exercise more, make myself "Beautiful" and all the rest. I have tried so many different methods attempting to reach the goal of "pretty." I have tried to meet the standards set by my parents, my grandparents, my friends, society and even my imagination. Well, nothing has worked long term. As the years have gone on and time continued to pass without true life change, I have come to realize I am dying.

Yep, you read it right, I am dying. Through years of being over weight, making poor food choices, making poor exercise choices, and letting past hurts feed my habits . . . well, my lifestyle is taking its toll on my body. I do not have cancer. I do not have diabetes, yet. I do not have any disease that I know of that can be diagnosed and treated medically. Nope, I have obesity and it is killing me.

So, I have decided my goal is no longer to be "pretty." Though in all honesty, if it is a bi-product, then "Yippee." Rather, the goal is Healthy! I am going to become healthy and this blog is dedicated to that topic and that pursuit.

You are welcome to join me on my journey, but ultimately each person must make the journey their own. We can encourage each other and help each other through the obstacles, but we must each take the next step on our own. That being said, "Let the Journey Begin"