Archive for April, 2010

The Miracle Weight Loss Secret….REVEALED!!

 Peaked your interest?  Of course I did!  Just like the millions of billboards, television ads, email spam does every day.  Each time I open my email, I am accosted with advertisements of how I can “lose weight now…AND FAST!!” 

It always starts the same.  “Tired of those extra pounds?  Clothes not fitting like they used to?  People starring at your unattractive midsection? Well, have I got a solution for you.  It’s quick.  It’s easy.  You won’t even know you are on a diet.”  

How many times have you heard that same monologue?  Countless, I’m sure.   Better yet, how many times have you fallen for what they are offering at a low, low price?? 

I know I have.  I am an infomercial junkie.   Many times, my husband will walk into the room and see the glazed over, drooling expression that is on my face while I am watching the latest and greatest invention / pill / diet.  I am so engrossed in how this new creation will “change my life in ways I can’t imagine”.  Oh, and so help me if they have “real” people (who are NOT actors!) that will verify the brilliance of the said invention.  They aren’t paid to stretch the truth, right?  It obviously helped them.  Look at how this average Joe whom they pulled right out of the mall has six pack abs just from this very easy to use, light weight machine!!  He is NOT a paid actor, right?  I mean, they are showing his “before” picture, so it has to be true? 

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, yet I fall for this every time.  The hosts of the infomercials always bring so much excitement to what they are selling.  That excitement is contagious.  I want that excitement!  I need that excitement!  I reach for the phone and my credit card so I can get thin with magic and get some of that excitement to go with it!!  WOO HOO!! 

I have bought gadgets and pills and plans.  I have bought into the commercialism of a very serious problem. 

And yet, here I am at 300+ pounds.

Let me save you some trouble.  It doesn’t work.  It just doesn’t.  There is no magical secret to weight loss.  I’m sorry.  I wish there was, but there just isn’t.  Believe me, I have tried it all. 

Don’t worry though.  There is hope.  You aren’t destined to be overweight forever.  I have a plan that I am willing to share with you that will not require a credit card.  I am not a paid actor, nor am I doctor or personal trainer.  I am an average Joe that has learned the true secret to weight loss.  Are you ready?  Here is it…healthy food choices and exercise!!  That’s right!!  You too can lose weight if you eat right and stay active every day!!  And, at no additional charge you can commit to this new healthy lifestyle!!  A properly balanced diet, exercise and commitment are essential to obtaining that physique that you always wanted!!  But wait, there is more!!  You will also receive more self confidence, better choices for clothing and positive feedback from others at no additional charge!! 

As a matter of fact, if you start this new program in the next thirty minutes, you could DOUBLE the remaining years of your life!  You have to start now though.  You won’t last forever and the clock is always ticking.  Start now for the best results!!

(This information was provided by Jennifer Woods.  Jennifer is not a paid actor and is not an actual advisor or doctor.  She is simply a chubby girl that has had to learn valuable lessons the hard way.  She shared her experience only as a means of support, not for profit.  Excitement is included in this offer because Jennifer has mistakenly purchased too much of it! No restrictions apply since Jennifer is not a lawyer and did not contact one prior to or after the release of this information.)

Thankful For Boundaries

 It’s been a tough week to say the least.  A week that has made me re-evaluate a lot of my life and my choices. 

It started with a ten hour car ride to Michigan for my brother’s wedding.  Ten hours in the car gave me a lot of time to think.  I thought about this challenge and my constant frustration with PCOS.  I thought about creating a magic pill that instantly made me the size I want to be.  I thought about how nice it will be when I don’t have to worry about my weight anymore. 

I started thinking about my priorities in life.  It made me realize that I have this problem of putting everyone else’s needs before my own.  I have never made myself a priority.  There is always someone else that needs me more than I need me.  My thinking led me to the realization that my life is in need of serious boundaries.

I need boundaries.  I tend to get caught up in helping people and end up being the one that pays the price for it.  I just can’t do that anymore.  I need to put myself and my family first.  I need to make sure that our physical and emotional needs are met before I try to help anyone else.

I also had time to think about what I am grateful for.  I have been blessed.  Truly.  I spent time thinking about the ways in which God has blessed my life.  I thought about the wonderful husband He brought to me that loves me more than I think I will ever understand.  I am thankful for my dogs that have taught me the physical meaning of unconditional love.  I am thankful that I am surrounded by incredible friends that provide words of advice or encouragement whenever I need it. 

It was the Grace of God that brought me to this challenge and I am so thankful.  This challenge has provided me with an amazing trainer who has already taught me so much.  I have also met other competitors that are now considered friends.  I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to be a better me. 

As I work to get in better shape, I realized that I am thankful for who I am regardless of the size of clothes I wear.  I am glad that I know how to care about the feelings of those that I love.  I am grateful for the ability to say I am sorry when an apology is needed.  I am thankful that the people that I love know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love them. 

This challenge has been more than a weight loss journey.  It’s has been more of a self discovery.   Every chance I have to get on a treadmill and tune out the world, also gives me a chance to tune into myself.  I have learned a lot about myself.  I have learned that I am a lot stronger physically and mentally than I give myself credit for. 

Most importantly, I have learned that I really like who I am.

I Have PCOS

I have PCOS.

PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. 

Basically, I have a bunch of fluid filled sacs that have positioned themselves on my ovaries.  This has caused me to be insulin resistant, or more commonly known as Type II Diabetic.   

To summarize, PCOS stinks! 

PCOS mainly affects women of childbearing age.  It causes obesity, irregular periods, acne, facial hair, depression, and infertility.  There has been research that suggests that PCOS may be hereditary but doctors have not been able to isolate the gene that causes it.  

About 10 years ago, before I was diagnoses, I lost 106 pounds by dieting and exercising every day.  I put very little effort into losing and the weight just melted off of me.  About six years after that, it seemed like I woke up one day and my body was out of control.  I had gained back all the weight, plus some.  It seemed as though it was almost overnight.  My doctor at the time suggested that I might have PCOS and asked if I had ever heard anything about that.  She explained it to me and handed me a pamphlet with a website so that I could do the research on it.  I didn’t do the research.  I didn’t care.  I wanted a pill that would fix it so that I could forget about it. 

It wasn’t until I was married that PCOS really reared its ugly head.  My husband and I were talking about trying to have children.  I went to the doctor to make sure that everything was in working order.  I found out then that I had endometrial hyperplasia.  The lining of my uterus was beginning to create cancer cells.  My doctor put me on medication that was designed to help stop the cancer cell growth.  After four surgeries, the hyperplasia was gone.  However, the medicine had some side effects.  The most distinct side effect?  Weight gain. 

I share all of this because I would like the world to understand that all of us that are overweight are not lying around eating junk food.  Some of us have medically diagnosed conditions which make weight loss difficult, if not at times, impossible. 

The PCOS has caused my hormones to be out of control.  I have too much of one which causes another to become dormant and other to go into over drive.  It’s like a constant chain reaction or for visual effect; it is like dominoes falling over. 

I have continued to work very closely with my gynecologist and with my primary care physician.  Both doctors have encouraged me to be patient, yet consistent, with my weight loss process.  It is harder for me to lose weight.  My body doesn’t react the way a normal person’s body does.  My body takes every change as a shock and then shuts down until the shock is over. 

PCOS requires lifestyle changes.  I am very aware of how many carbohydrates and sugars I am putting into my body.  When given the choice between sugar and sweetener, I opt for sweetener.  I have actually learned to enjoy unsweet ice tea!!  The advice of “eat more fruits and vegetables” isn’t even good advice for me.  Fruit is full of carbs and natural sugars.  I love fruit, but I have to be careful of how much of that I eat as well. 

Another change is that I have to be constantly aware of what my blood sugar is prior to any exercise I do.  I have this fear of my blood sugar dropping at the gym and me passing out.  My workout schedule takes a little extra effort.  I have to know exactly what time I will be going to the gym.  I need to test my blood sugar thirty minutes before I get there.  I also have to eat something with protein in it one hour before I get there.  Everything has to align, or I could cause myself to get seriously ill. 

I battle PCOS every day.  It’s physically taken its toll on me and mentally has frustrated and exhausted me.  My husband and I have agreed to give up trying to have children at least for now, perhaps forever.  I am a great candidate for infertility or even a miscarriage and I am not emotionally ready for that battle yet. 

I have made some great progress in my battle though.  I once had a blood pressure of 260/ 180.  The nurse that took my blood pressure actually asked me how I wasn’t having a stroke.  That scared me to death.  I was on blood pressure medication for about a year.  I am now free from that burden.  My blood pressure has remained at a healthy 128/84 for the last two years. 

My fasting glucose level was once around 2.5, is now at a healthy 5.5 (6 is considered the point where medication is no longer needed.)  I currently take a shot twice a day, as well as a pill 4 times a day.  I am anxious to be rid of all of it!!

I heard a phrase about PCOS once that I have tried to remember when I get frustrated.  “I have PCOS, but PCOS doesn’t have me”.  PCOS is incurable, but controllable.  As far as I am concerned, I am winning the battle for control, one step at a time!!

The Queen of Advice

You know who gives great advice?

Me.

I’m not usually one to toot my own horn, but toot toot!!

The other day, a friend was struggling with how to convince someone else to eat better.  My words of wisdom were “food was created for survival, but has been commercialized into a means of pleasure.  Use food for survival and not for pleasure.” 

Pretty sound advice, right?   There was only one small problem.  I don’t take my own advice.  I use food for everything but survival.  I use it when I am happy, sad, or just to celebrate Tuesday.  My birthday includes dinner out and cake.  My anniversary is the same story.  Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day…all revolve around food.    I have bought into the commercialization of food.  That somehow food and pleasure go hand in hand.

In reality, food has brought me to 309 pounds.  And there is nothing pleasurable about that.

(Side note: I totally hope this is the week that my trainer doesn’t read my blog…if she is though, HI LISA!!  Feel free to skip this next paragraph…thanks!!)

My other great advice was that losing weight is not hard.  All that one needs to do is eat right, exercise daily, get eight hours of sleep and drink plenty of water.  Isn’t that awesome advice??  I KNOW!!  This is a total “do as I say and not as I do” situation.  I do get eight hours of sleep.  And I eat pretty well. I drink A LOT of water, but truth be told, I have not been as faithful to my workouts as I need to be.  I know I should be and I want to be, but (fill in random excuse here).

The weirdest part is that I love working out.  I love being at the gym.  I love the atmosphere.  I love the feeling of my body getting leaner and stronger.  I love turning on the treadmill or the stepper and tuning out the world.  For that 45 minutes (I mean SIXTY minutes if Lisa is still reading this), I don’t have to answer questions or phone calls.   It is just the treadmill, an episode of COPS and me.  It’s so peaceful and relaxing. 

Why won’t I take my own advice?  If it’s so easy, then why don’t I do it?  I am going to guess that it is because I am my own worst enemy at times.  I set myself up to fail.  It’s a personality flaw that I have spent a lot of time trying to overcome.  I can hear the wise works of Dr. Phil, “we create what we fear”.  I am terrified of failing in this competition.  I am scared of getting on the scale and seeing a gain instead of a loss.  I am just scared.  My fear just encourages my bad behavior, because I comfort my fear with food.  Not salad type food, no.  It’s usually ice cream type food. 

I am working very hard at squashing this fear.  I face it daily.  Every choice I make is going to encourage the life I want, or feed the lifestyle I have.  My food choices, my bed time, my workout schedule all encourage the outcome of this competition and of my life. 

Still, beneath the overpowering fear, I can hear the faint whisper of my lovely trainer “take one day at a time”.  I am trying to take this challenge one day at a time.  Every day I get up and tell myself that the only choices that matter are the ones that I am making today.  Today, I have to make the choice to eat right.  Today, I have to make the choice to go to the gym and get in a workout that challenges me.  Today, I have to make sure I am drinking plenty of water.  Today, I have to go to bed at a reasonable hour.   All I can control is what I do today. 

Taking one day at a time is really great advice.  She must have learned that from me.