Monday, January 26, 2015

Want to Lose Weight? Let me Help You Tip The Scale In Your Favor in February 2015!

2015 is my year. 

I've started a journey to health and wellness and I'm committed to making this happen for me and my family! 

Here's my story!

I had a slim figure in high school but during college experienced my first eposide of weight gain.  In an attempt to combat my expanding waistline, for about a year I regularly attended my university's rec center, completing cardio and toning with weight machines although I never really knew what I was doing aside from going through the motions of what I thought was "working out".  I continued to justify my poor eating habits by the fact that I was going to the gym and not suprisingly, I never really saw any substantial weight loss.  Finally, after college I had my first weight loss success leading up to my wedding, when I lost around 20 pounds and felt great! 

I actually kept most of the weight off for a few years until my husband and I began experiencing issues with infertility and as the months wore on and I underwent treatments (and gave in to emotional eating), I noticed that the scale was no longer being kind to me.  Finally after over three years of trying to get pregnant, I got my first positive test!  I think I gained around 35 pounds with the pregnancy and was fortunate to lose the baby weight plus ten within a few months of the delivery.  Just about the time I was beginning to get comfortable in my body, I learned that we were unexpectedly expecting baby number two!  My body began to change again, this time I gained fewer than 30 pounds with the pregnancy, I think it was somewhere around 28. 

Even though I was doing well with my weight, my life felt like it was in a tail-spin... my husband and I had previously made an investment in a family business that was dissolving due to differences between the other partners, which led to my husband looking for a new job and us searching for a new home as we lived at the business and even bigger than that, we learned about halfway into my second pregnancy that this baby would be born with Down syndrome and that he also had a serious congenital heart defect.  The news of the concerns with the baby put us into super sonic speed trying to find a new home as we wanted to be settled before the baby arrived, especially since we wouldn't know the severity of his heart issues until he was born and breathing on his own.  He arrived three weeks early, on a snowy and icy morning and his health concerns overwhelmed every inch of my brain for the coming months.  His heart defect was deemed severe enough to require open heart surgery, but he was doing well considering everything until he contracted RSV at six weeks old, which earned him six days inpatient and then another few days inpatient at four months old for a heart cath.  The first year of his life, Luke experienced 88 medical appointments with 11 specialists and one hundred and thirty some hours of physical therapy and did I mention that my husband and I were working full time?  That year was a blur but so was the following year when Luke earned more inpatient stays for pneumonias and bronchiolitis and also had croup more than once in the cold winter months leading up to his open heart surgery (which we'd planned at the #1 Pedatric Cardiology Center in the US, Boston Children's Hospital - which was nearly 1400 miles from home roundtrip).  The surgery went well with the exception of a small complication and then problems with his sternum healing correctly which led to another invasive surgery three weeks post op from the heart surgery.  I lived on Starbucks, needing lots of liquid motivation to get me through the days.  I also found myself living on whatever else was easy... sugary snacks, fast food, processed boxed dinners (the kind where you only have to add one or at the most, maybe two ingredients) and comfort food.... casseroles and desserts loaded with sticks of butter (yes, there is an "s" there indicating more than one). 

My clothes no longer fit.  I was the same weight as when I delivered Luke although this time I wasn't pregnant.  I was out of control. 

Out of desperation, I engaged in a diet plan that severely limited my calories and although it was tough, I lost 27 pounds last summer.  The holidays came and went and I found myself up 16 pounds by New Year's Eve.  I resolved to take control of my weight (and my life) when a friend asked if I wanted to join her on a 28 day detox with Arbonne products in the month of January I was all in.  Three weeks into the one month program and I'm hooked.  This is not a "diet" per say, but rather, it's a lifestyle change.  The plan that we're following is gluten, dairy and soy free and also doesn't contain any sugars so we're basically eating lean meats, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats like almonds and cashews.  21 days in and I've lost 7.2 pounds and 8.5 inches!  What's bigger than that though is that in the last month, I've been able to attribute the significant inflammation in my lower back caused by degenerative disc disease, a bulging disc, annulus tissue tears and arthritis partially to the foods I was previously eating.  After I agreed to the detox, I started researching the benefits of eliminating gluten specifically and learned that it has been linked to significantly contributing to inflammation.  Who knew!?!  I've also been enjoying the foods that I've been eating, this morning I drank a chocolate and strawberry smoothie (they're literally so good that I find myself slurping though my straw to get every last drop at the bottom) and for lunch I had a mexican style vegetable and black bean soup with homeade guacamole and a gluten free tortilla on the side.  For dinner, I usually have some sort of meat protein and steamed or sauteed vegetables.  Throughout the day, I typically snack on items like almonds or cashews or an apple or other fruit. While the detox plan offers instructions for re-introducing gluten, soy and dairy at the end of the 28 day program, I feel so good that I've committed to continuing this journey in the coming months and I'm truly excited to see how healthy I can get this year! 

Are you ready to make 2015 your year?  Join me on the 28 Day Arbonne Detox in February!  It's going to be awesome!!

Living Healthy: Defined

Living healthy is really living. It’s about finding a sustainable lifestyle, not making radical changes that are unrealistic for you, your family, your schedule or your interests. The challenge is that most people don’t understand what the term “healthy living” really means. People know that they want it, but if you can’t define a goal, it can be challenging to achieve success. For some, the definition of healthy living includes things such as bean sprouts for breakfast, grueling pre-dawn jogs, and lettuce-leaf lunches.

Healthy living isn’t about eliminating all of the foods you love or pushing your body to unhealthy limits. It’s about finding a balance between the physical, emotional, nutritional, and motivational elements in your life.

Science has shown that simple choices such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats or vegetarian protein sources, along with plenty of water and a limited intake of alcohol and caffeine, form a great foundation for a balanced diet. Cutting down on things such as unhealthy fats, refined white sugars, and processed foods can also help contribute to healthy lifestyle changes.

Healthy living and positive lifestyle changes aren’t about nutrition alone. Activity plays a key role in feeling your best and living your best life, but that doesn’t have to mean running a marathon or spending hours each day in a gym. To start with, it can be as simple as moving more than the day before. Even a short walk can provide you with physical and physiological benefits. These are the types of simple, realistic, sustainable changes that can directly affect your weight, mood, attitude and general sense of well-being.


Nutrition: According to the National Weight Control Registry, successful weight loss and weight maintenance is based on establishing a healthy relationship with food based on balanced choices along with portion control and regular physical activity. With the proper nutrition, your body will function at its best, giving you more stamina and energy for the things you want to do.

Activity: Regular physical activity, even in small amounts, can give you more energy and help you feel more alert. Exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular function and reduce your risk of certain health conditions. It’s an important pillar to make time for, especially with a busy lifestyle.

Rest: A good night’s sleep can make all the difference in how good you feel. Try to go to sleep at a consistent time each day that will allow you to wake up naturally, without an alarm. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed. Your body will function at its best when you provide it with adequate time to rest and restore every day.

Attitude: Many people don’t realize it, but your emotional responses can affect your physiological function.  Try to minimize stress as much as possible and have a positive attitude in whatever you’re doing. These are  key points when it comes to creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle for the long term. Remind yourself that even small behavioral changes can produce big improvements in how you think and feel.

A healthy lifestyle is meant to give your mind and body the physical and mental assets to live your life to the fullest. Even if you don’t see overnight results from the changes that you are making, know that over time, the results will appear, but more importantly, you will feel better — both physically and emotionally — when you commit to healthy living.