Posted in Uncategorized

Body dysmorphia

I had a recent conversation with a friend who had visited family that same day. The friend mentioned how family members were proud of the weight loss and has kept it off. But my friend made an interesting statement:

I don’t see myself as smaller like they do. I see myself as the size I started at.

Now, I have older pictures with this friend and I KNOW the person has lost weight so I was initially confused at this statement. The person went on to say that a mutual friend is the same way – the second person will always see a larger version. Another surprising statement to me. But then I got to thinking …

While I have lost the weight and kept it off and have had to BUY clothes that are much smaller than where I started, I don’t see myself as a size 8. I don’t see myself at the point where I started; I think I see myself around a size 14. Hard to believe when I have given away all my size 14 clothes. I’m including a picture comparison below from not my highest weight (maybe 30 pounds less) and a picture from last month which is about 95 pounds less.

Again, I don’t see myself as the left picture but when I look at the right picture, I see a size 14 rather than a size 8. The mental aspect of being consciously aware of the present takes time. And I’m working on that, being present in the here and now which includes recognizing where I am now. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only person even in my friend circle who deals with this. But I am also determined to learn how to deal with body dysmorphia.

Has anyone else learned how to overcome body dysmorphia? It rather reminds me of overcoming imposter syndrome. Can the same strategies be applied? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Let me know what you think!

Posted in Uncategorized

Healthy with Friends

As I’ve mentioned, I really started focusing on new ways to get healthier in August 2018. But before that, I had tried so many times to lose weight and would get to a certain weight and get stuck! In the in-between times, I would just think – screw this – and eat or do whatever I wanted, even if it wasn’t healthy.

What I have learned in this health journey is that having others who are moving in the same direction as me is key. That being said – a memory popped up on FB today from 7 years ago with a good friend. In the “then” picture, she had lost 15 pounds and I had not even tried again.

And then there’s our now pictures. We took very different paths to achieve better health but look how far we’ve come! My friend is a workout queen, working her way down to a size 6. I am more the lighter workout (think yoga, walking, bike riding) person and am at a size 8. And we both changed our eating habits, though I am much more strict since I’m following the AIP.

And I have other friends who are working on their health too! Be that person who motivates others to make a change to become healthier 🤗. I recently read a quote that where you will be in 5 years will depend on the people you hang around. Get some friends traveling in the same direction as you. It makes a difference!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Then and Now

About a month into my journey to feel better, I started taking pictures to chronicle my progress as the scale doesn’t always correlate to progress. And I still do it because the body dysmorphia is real! I may not see myself as the size that I started, but I also don’t see my current size the same way others do.

So …the left hand picture is from September 2018. I remember buying that shirt; I loved it! It was a size XXL from JCPenney. The picture on the right is from last week. I am going to a funeral and, as usual, most of my clothes are too big *sigh*. I live by a Gap factory store that has AMAZING prices so I headed there to find something appropriate. The sweater is a small 😱 I haven’t worn a small since 8th grade while running track! The skirt is a size 8, both by banana republic 😱 I don’t ever remember wearing anything below a size 9. I’m always amazed when I see these comparisons.

How it started. How it’s going

And as you can see, I still have a knee sleeve on as my right knee continues to be a challenge. That day, I had gotten steroid shots in both knees so I’m still researching ways to improve joint health and minimize inflammation and arthritis. I plan to start the autoimmune protocol (AIP) in January to continue to reduce inflammation and figure out what triggers I may have.

I’m also focusing on gut health and started a new probiotic that is supposed to be great. With all the research available about the gut and the need for bacterial diversity to support health, I’m hoping that the probiotic, along with continued modifications, will help. And on most days, I aim for 5-6 servings of veggies and 1-2 servings of fruit along with protein; I eat a good deal of fish. All of this is a change from then to now.

Let me know what changes you’ve made and seen in your health. And any tips to reduce inflammation are great appreciated! To your good health…

Posted in Uncategorized

Anniversary Sunday!

Three years ago, in the latter half of August 2018, I decided to make a real effort with getting healthier. I was tired of being sick and tired all of the time. Nothing was working and it seemed that something new was wrong all of the time. And I knew that I needed to do something in a different way this time.

See I had been to an expert in PCOS while living in Baltimore. And I was told to just take birth control pills until I died, unless I planned on having kids and we could look at other meds then. WTH! 🤯🤦🏽‍♀️ ummm, no I’ll pass. I had been following different docs for awhile and kept hearing about keto and thought – hey why not? Nothing else had worked.

Left – before an interview, Aug 2021. Right – before work, Aug 2018

So I started on keto and did that for 3 months until I literally had no appetite and couldn’t sleep. While I lost weight, keto was much too harsh for me physically. Some do well on it; I just couldn’t continue. I then migrated over to paleo. The weight released slower but it was a much more sustainable way for me, especially due to a heavy travel schedule for work.

And after doing the work, here I am, 3 years later. It’s not all about the number on the scale. Yes I’ve lost 100 pounds which is AMAZING and I’ve kept it off. But I also can sleep more than 4 hours per night. I don’t feel sluggish and sick all the time. Brain fog is gone. My outlook on everything is more optimistic. PCOS is much improved. Are there still challenges? Absolutely, but as I continue to research, read, learn and grow, I hope to find ways to smash those challenges too.

Left – Aug 2021 brunch bday celebration. Right – Apr 2018 work gala (I had very few full length pics that year 😲)

Change is hard. Growth is hard. I get that. But I had to learn that to get where I wanted to go, I had to change and grow. And you know what? You can too! I’m not so special that being healthier is exclusive to me. Just start, today. And that decision to start in August 2018 has led me to where I am today. Until next time, to your health! 💥

Posted in Uncategorized

Apple cider vinegar – Wellness Wednesdays

I found out about Apple cider vinegar (acv) around 2009, 2010. I was having a good deal of gut/digestion issues, among other things, and was seeking any resource that might help! I came across the website, earthclinic which became a wonderful resource for natural solutions.

Allow me to remind everyone that I am not giving medical advice, but just sharing my journey that has allowed me to move toward better health.

According to earthclinic.com, I started using acv for – “antifungal2 and antibacterial effects. Studies have even found that apple cider vinegar has immunostimulant properties.3 It promotes good digestion and skin health.” And it has really been a huge help with my digestion.

I generally make an acv tonic that is a mix of apple cider vinegar, a bit of honey and a couple of shakes of cinnamon with room temperature water. I drink it most mornings when I first get up, before eating. On occasion, when I can find it, there’s a premixed apple cider vinegar drink that is available in several flavors that I buy. Oh, I get the acv with the the “mother” in it. If you look at the bottle, there is a darker cloudier bit which is the mother and is dissolved into acv as you shake it up.

And there are so many other benefits of acv. Below are 9 benefits listed on earthclinic.com:

  • Alleviate acid reflux
  • Aid weight loss and calorie reduction
  • Clear sinus infection and congestion (yes it works for this too!)
  • Treat pink eye
  • Alleviate ear ache pain
  • Improve skin health
  • Balance hair sebum and ph
  • Stop food poisoning
  • Reduce high blood pressure

Have you tried apple cider vinegar? What has your experience been? Share 👇🏽. See you next week!

Posted in Uncategorized

Cooking at Home – Wellness Wednesday

Cooking and meal prepping have been HUGE game changers for me. I did quite a bit of health testing to see what works or does not work well for me. This helped tremendously and thankfully I have no food allergies, but it does limit some of my food choice options. And when I eat out, I don’t know the exact details of what is going in the food.

Allow me to remind everyone that I am not giving medical advice, but just sharing my journey that has allowed me to move toward better health.

I found that many nightshades bother me. These include potatoes, paprika and all peppers. Paprika is probably the worst offender but is used in so many recipes! So to better monitor the ingredients and the quality of products, I started cooking more. And unless restaurants become more slanted toward AIP or paleo, then choosing to cook at home is a must.

At first, I made the same recipes all of the time, but my nutritionist pointed out that I had appropriate cookbooks and why not actually try those recipes lol. My fear is always – what if the recipe is gross? 😧 the horror! So I decided to try only one new recipe at a time for any given meal (as I eat basically the same thing throughout weekdays). That way, I could try different options without feeling like I’m constantly throwing money away on meals that I don’t like.

And what is even more important to me is that I control the quality of what I’m eating. So I control sodium content which is crucial when trying to be healthier. Have you actually looked at the sodium levels at some places?? There’s one restaurant which I won’t name in which none of the meals has a sodium level less than 1000 mg with some ranging up to 3000 mg. That’s INSANE! Managing carbs is high priority for me so I can better monitor this as well by cooking at home.

I highly recommend taking the time to meal prep and cook more at home. It’s better for everyone in the long run. See you next week!

Posted in Uncategorized

Transformation Tuesday!

I NEVER thought I’d get to this point. It’s definitely not something that I planned for as my goal was to lose 75 pounds. But I guess my body has other plans!

Please join me in celebrating the release of 100 pounds on this current journey!! 🤩🎉🎊🥳

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer series – Wellness Wednesdays

I am so excited to update everyone on this new venture that I plan to work on this summer. I’m going to publish a blog post every Wednesday, beginning in May through the end of August. Each week, I will feature a topic that has helped me throughout this wellness journey. I do not intend this to be medical advice for anyone. I am not a medical professional. I’m just someone who hopes to shed light on options that have worked for me. I even have friends and family who have asked for assistance with health challenges. And guess what? The solutions work!

I’ll also update you on my health journey throughout as well, including challenges for transparency. If this is your first time reading this blog, thank you. And thank you to those who continue to follow. I reached over 100 followers! Wow! That’s amazing as I never thought anyone might be interested.

For those who don’t know, I was diagnosed with PCOS in my mid-30s after YEARS of trying to find solutions to all of the issues that I was having. There are several types of PCOS and you can have more than one. Some days, I feel like I deal with them all at once! My biggest concern is chronic low grade inflammation; this (only my belief) led to the osteoarthritis that I deal with as well. I started working with a nutritionist in 2018 as I was having so many health issues and through the work, I’ve had major improvements including losing 95 pounds to date! With the arthritis, however, I am looking at possible knee replacement and physical therapy for cervical arthritis. It can be a lot and overwhelming sometimes, so yoga, meditation and prayer are key for me.

Down 95 pounds, starting mid-August 2018

So join me on this summer’s adventure. And feel free to comment with solutions that have worked for you. Let’s build a community. 🥂 to your good health.

Posted in Uncategorized

Non Scale Victory

I live about 20 minutes from a Gap factory outlet and let me say, this store has the BEST deals. Each week or so, there are a few highlighted items there. And the store includes all Gap brands including Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta.

A friend went yesterday and sent a text that some of the items were down to $1.99! So of course I went after work 😄 Because my sizing continues to drop, I try to find deals on clothing. And yes, I found some amazing deals.

But…the best discovery was when I picked up the size medium leggings and THEY FIT! 🤩 why is this such a big deal? I remember buying a pair of leggings a few years ago size XXL from the same designer, Old Navy. The bonus was that the leggings only cost $1.99!!

For those who need encouragement, let this be it for you: you can drop weight the healthy way. It may take time and it may not happen the way you expect, but as someone who had to buy “husky” clothing when I was in elementary school, this is a great win! (On another note, WHYYYYY was clothing labeled husky? That’s another post for another day)

Share with someone who needs encouragement or share your NSVs below. 🥂 to your good health!

Posted in Uncategorized

A Late Post

OMG- I was sitting here thinking “when is the one year anniversary for reaching the goal that I set for myself in the weight category?”. So I looked through some of my old posts and realized that it was in NOVEMBER last year!! Clearly I did nothing to celebrate because I didn’t know that it had been one year.

To recap, my goal was to get down to 175 pounds. And yayyyyy, I met that goal. And I’ve blown right past it as well. My last weigh in was 154 for a total loss of about 91 pounds. The only thing I’ve tried to do is be more consistent, get good quality sleep and incorporate some type of exercise on most days. Cooking at home more has helped a good deal; that’s been easier since I no longer travel up and down the coast.

But why do I mention all of this? To continue to stress that better health is possible. Have I hit all of my health goals? No. There are other indicators that I would like to improve but I believe that I will get there as I continue to work on them.

I’ve included a comparison picture from yesterday that I took before meeting a friend for lunch (one of the few times I’ve eaten out in some time) and from December 2018 after losing about 27 pounds. Share with someone who may need motivation to keep moving forward. If this chick can manage PCOS and osteoarthritis and still lose weight, you can too!

🥂 to your good health!