Saturday, February 9, 2013

WARNING: Fad Diets, Workout DVDs Aren’t Everyone’s Shtick

5534458_sLike many people, I have struggled with my weight. When I returned home from Iraq in 2006, I was severely depressed and didn’t realize I had PTSD. I would go days without eating, not because I was trying to lose weight, but because I just wasn’t hungry or I didn’t want to go grocery shopping and be surrounded by people. Then I would binge eat and I quickly gained weight. When I didn’t eat, naturally my body went into “OMG! We’re starving! Quick! Preserve the fat” mode. And when I would binge eat my body was in “Ah, no worries, we can’t burn this fat because who knows when we’re going to need it again, since this crazy chick is trying to kill us” mode.

Since then, I really doubled in size. I went from a size 8 to a size 16 and for a very long time, I was incredibly ashamed of my body, ashamed of myself, period. Many people really don’t see the weight on me. They only see boobs and booty, but all that boobage conceals the fat around my heart and I’m deathly afraid of having a heart attack.

I’ve tried many things over the years to try to lose weight and, they work momentarily, but the “I feel fantastic” feeling never really came. It was always “I feel okay, for now.” My recent attempt was to join my friend, Lindsey, in the Brazil Butt Lift Challenge. We were supposed to be each other’s partners in motivation. But after a week, I was tired of doing the same things, listening to the same voice and I felt as if I had let my friend down because I just didn’t want to do it. I should note, before starting BBL, I had began walking and worked my way up to jogging and I liked that. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I ran a full half-mile non-stop for the first time. I felt great! I was Rocky, triumphantly running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Then I realized—while I need routine in most aspects of my life, boring workout DVDs wasn’t the routine that I needed. With everything I’ve tried, there were elements that worked. So, instead of sticking to one, boring thing that I dread, I’m combining a few things that I greatly enjoy and don’t feel like a mundane routine, but  just part of my day.

0206131133aMy mother bought this amazing juicer. We researched the best ones on the market and it came down to the Magic Bullet Extractor and the Cuisinart Extractor. What sold us on the Cuisinart was the fact that is is 1000 watts and ultra quiet. Turns out, we made a fantastic choice! Juicing is so fun and the Cuisinart is really quiet for an extractor. It comes with a little booklet of recipes to get you started on on juicing. The booklet also gives vital information on the vitamins and minerals you get from specific fruits and vegetables as well as the caloric intake of each recipe. Oh, and less foam!

To be clear, I’m not juicing to lose weight; I’m juicing because it freakin’ tastes good and it helps me wake up in the morning. I’m doing my best to cut out as much artificial products from my diet as possible to get healthier. Corn is in everything we eat under different names and, contrary to popular belief, corn is not a vegetable, it’s a grain. And it’s a cheap grain to produce and use as a filler. If you have Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu or however you watch/access movies, please watch Food Inc. It’s such an eye-opener about what’s in our food and why, even though we try to eat healthier, we keep packing on the pounds.
*If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can stream movies for free.*

BSN Atro-Phex Energy + Weight Mgt Caps 98 ctAtro-phex is a fat-burner and weight loss supplement. A former co-worker, body builder, personal trainer I worked with at the gym at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, told about Atro-phex. He had recently discovered it, started using it and saw amazing results. He showed me before and after pictures and I said to myself “Yes! This is for me!” I’m not a weight-lifter or body builder, so my results weren’t as drastic as his, but I did notice results. The only problem I had, as I do with most pills, is that they are huge pills. I hate taking huge pills. I have this fear of pills getting lodged in my throat when no one’s around. Yes, I’m a weirdo, but I’ve always been that way. But Atro-phex and plenty of water worked for me and I’ve begun taking them again. Already, in combination with everything else, I believe, it’s really working for me. And I feel great about what I’m doing.

My baby brother and athletic training major in college says that long distance running is one of the best ways to burn calories and lose weight. Of course, running on its own doesn’t contribute to overall health. However, it is great for part of a healthy lifestyle. I feel such a sense of accomplishment at the end of my run. One thing that really helped motivate me was having a kick-ass playlist on my iPod. The only problem with my workout playlist is that I have to keep myself from jamming too hard! **Look to the left in my side-bar to see my workout

13620950_sAnyway, I have several goals with long-distance running:
1. To be able to completely run one-mile
2. Then two miles
3. Then two miles in fifteen minutes or less
4. Become a marathon runner
My non-blood sister, Quinby, is a marathon runner. She started running for her life, literally. Running to get healthy and she loves it. She enjoys it. I had tried it a few times, but I didn’t really know what I was doing so I gave up. Listening to her and reading “Four Healthy Tips to Destroy Your 2-Mile Time” by Nathan Pennington on really helped and inspired me.

Fitness Ball
16306388_sMy friend, Nae introduced me to this. We Skype daily and we were discussing fitness. Nae recently gave birth to an adorable little girl. She shared a story with me about how she was complimented on her size. A woman assumed she never had kids. Nae shared with me that, while we’re skyping and in between feeding the baby and taking care of home, she’s on the fitness ball. She inspired me to try it and try I did. It’s fun playing around on that ball, well, until you slip off of it and crash (don’t ask questions!)

Playing With My Fur-babies

I make it a habit to play outside with my pups every day. They enjoy it, I need the company and I get a good workout chasing them and letting them chase me. While outside, I usually jump rope, primarily to harass and freak the pups out. They really do not understand the concept and try to get close and then back up whimper because they don’t know what’s going on and they can’t get to me inside the magical moving thingy around me.

I used to be afraid of bikes because I had a horrible habit of not being able to stay on them. Now, when the weather is fine out, I thoroughly enjoy just riding through the neighborhood, enjoying the fresh air and listening to the not-so-faint hysterical barking of the pups from a mile away because they cannot follow me.

All in all…
17284412_sWhat works best for me is simply enjoying life and doing my best to live a healthier life by being more active naturally. Problem is, if you’re not working on improving your whole self—your mind and spirit as well as your body, you will have a tendency to relapse and just stop. That’s what I did, at almost every turn. I wanted to lose the weight out of insecurity. With my pending divorce (I’m still praying that he comes out of his cloud of darkness and realizes divorce is a huge mistake and that we can learn to communicate better, learn to be partners with a little help) I’ve had the opportunity to think about some things and work on improving myself mentally, physically and spiritually. The physically part was my biggest challenge because I had no idea what was best for my body and my lifestyle. My nutritionist helped with explaining different foods and their properties to me. But as far as the workouts, they just didn’t do it for me for long. I’m the type of person that has to make things a part of my lifestyle naturally. Workout DVDs every once in a while are cool for me, but doing it every day had become so tedious to me.

14955274_sSo what makes this different than all the other times I’ve tried losing weight? Having made my weight-loss more about a complete mental, physical and spiritual transformation, I feel so much better about myself, my future, my health.

OH! And guess what? Five pounds down in one week without starving myself or trying to work myself into a heart attack! That works for me.
Tell me: what are you doing that works best for you?
Oh, and don’t forget to add some mental fun to your routine. A quick read will help with that, so why not pick up my short story, “Blood of Zee: Unfinished Business” available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook Open-mouthed smile 

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