Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Embrace the Future


It's amazing how fast time flies these days. I remember being a kid and just thinking how the school year just dragged on FOR-E-VER. I craved down time and relax time. And now that I have kids of my own, it's like, damn it! Slow down!! You are growing way to fast and I don't want to miss anything.
But just like that, time waits for no one. You have to either keep up or get thrown to the side. 
After so many times feeling like I was pushed aside and forgotten, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. I decided it was time to get up and put myself first, get my health in order and decide what I really wanted in life.
The first thing I did was go to a Wellness meeting with a woman from one of my mom's groups. She kept posting about how she had lost 90+ lbs in 2 years, brought her body back to an alkaline state and gained so much energy and health. She lives 45 minutes from my house. I didn't know her, and I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I was desperate for a change. 
As I walked into her house, I saw her, and I almost walked out. She was the picture of healthy, trim and fit! There was no way she was the same person from the "before" picture. She had muscles!! And no sagging skin!!! What was going on?!? She held the meeting at her house, so there were pictures of her and her family all around. As I looked on, I saw the "before" and the "in between". Her pictures were a timeline of her journey, and that's when I realized, she could be the real deal!
The meeting consisted of showing us a video of why Diets don't work, a bit about clean eating and then she told us her story. And I almost wept. She was like me. She was just like me, and she did it. She is now in the place I wanted to be. No surgery, no pills, just nutritional and clean eating. I didn't even think about it, I knew I wanted what she had and signed up then and there. And thus my journey with her as my wellness coach started. 
I continued with this program for a month, but I only had about a 10lb loss, inches were reducing, but not at the rate I would have wanted. Thus, I enrolled in the additional program that her mentor had for 6 weeks. What I learned in that program was that I couldn't expect to be perfect, or to compare my results with that of others. I had to change my mental outlook first, then my food consumption and then my physical activity. I learned so much about myself and how much I could do and not do. But again in only 6 weeks I lost 5lbs. I enrolled for another 6 weeks and lost 10lbs. So 25lbs lost in a span of 4 months. Okay, not bad, not where I wanted to be, but miles away from where I was.
Financially, I had to suspend joining the programs for a while. But I continued with the nutritional and clean eating. But I was stuck. I plateaued for 4 months. I was okay, since I wasn't gaining, but I was getting disappointed that the scale wasn't going down. Speaking to my health coach, she was completely understanding and supportive, told me to keep going, and to toss out the scale and that she had started her own program that mimicked the one her mentor had. I signed up and continued on with the love and support of the "tribe". 
But then, by the start of this year, I began to experience heart palpitations, tunnel vision and other scary symptoms that I knew could not be ignored any longer. I made many doctors appointments and discovered that there was actually a medical reason why I wasn't loosing weight! Like an actual, real life reason why no matter what I did, my body was stubbornly holding on to fat.
My body stores everything I eat as fat. Lettuce, yeah, let's store that as fat. Apples, Oh look, that is stored as fat! Bunless burger, doesn't matter, that is still fat. Everything! My body was only burning carbs that were easy to digest and everything else, including complex carbs, were being stored as fat. GDMF! Well that suxs. 
But I was blessed to land in the very capable hands of the wonderful Dr. D. Malinowski. She told me not to worry, to continue with my nutritional and clean eating and there is medication that can help correct it. I began a very aggressive medication regimen, one that some days just knocks me out and I sleep, but I can already FEEL the difference, and definitely SEE it.  

Today, I am 37.4 lbs less from my starting weight in 2016. I haven't been in this weight range since 2014. 

I still have a LONG way to go, but for the first time in what seems like forever, I finally have hope that I can get there.

 I finally wake up happy. 

I no longer feel like I am just watching time go by and fearing the future. 

I am now looking forward to it!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

How many times can you get up?

By now you have watched me yo-yo through 4 years of different diet plans, techniques and mindset restarts. I have tried programs and books. I have tried procedures and medications. Some have worked, short term. Yes, I have lost 10, 20, 40, 80 lbs, but I have gained it all back and then some.

I have poured my heart out and told my story.  I have recounted my emotional tale to get trim and fit. I started this blog to record my journey, so I could look back and see my train of thought and what worked and what didn't. What worked and what didn't... that is the key in that sentence.

See, during all this time, a black little cloud kept circling around my head. It kept saying that I wouldn't succeed. It was there, it was always there. It was my skepticism that whatever I was doing at the time wouldn't work, or would only work for a bit.

I guess time had made me a little jaded. I kept failing and falling in each and every plan, diet, etc that I had tried or attempted.

The thing I realize now is that no matter what I was doing, I was doing it alone. I never seeked guidance. I thought I knew it all. I didn't follow the plans 100%. I read all the books and joined groups. I may have asked questions. I may have organized and prepared. But I never had cheerleaders in my corner.

When most of your food insecurities come from your upbringing, depending on family is not really an option. Sure, they cheered me on, at the same time they were handing me some tacos or tamales or other delicious goodies. And I don't blame them. They never forced me to eat anything. But it was the indirect sabotage that they may not have been aware of that inevitably caused my downfall.

My husband, my wonderful husband has always supported me in anything that I have wanted to do. He has always made me know that he would love me whether I was 150lbs. or 300lbs. I have never loved anyone as much as I love him. He gets me. He sees me for who I am, and has always remained at my side, just as I have for him. With that said, we are one in the same. Our food likes, and cravings. Our similarities are uncanny. So, cheat days became common. I don't think he was sabotaging me on purpose. I don't even think he knew that it was sabotage. I think he was trying to bring me happiness with the foods I liked to temporary break my bad mood from my restrictive diet. I never brought him into the fold with me.

And so, in essence, I've been alone. When doing these diets or regimens, I have never felt a connection to them. I've seen the before and after pictures of participants, but they were always of people who needed to loose 10, 20 pounds. None of them ever resonated with me. The only program that always had worked for me was Weight Watchers, and honestly the stories and pictures were always motivating because some were of people like me that need to loose 50-100+. But the thing is, that although the group help was there, (and I believe was a huge factor in my 80lbs WL) There was no personalized help. You went to the meetings and that was it. You listened. The help you got depended on the leader that day or that week. During my stint at WW, I had many different leaders. Some had only lost 10lbs, because that is what they needed to loose to become a healthy weight. Some had lost 40lbs. But I never had a leader that had lost as much as I needed to loose. That was one problem. The second problem was the aproachability or accessibility to these leaders. These meetings had sometimes 30-40 people and everyone wanted a chance to talk to the leaders. I would mostly give up and go on the message boards to have my questions answered. This led to me quitting the meetings all together and just doing it online. Well, that started the downfall. I no longer had the accountability of the face to face meetings. And that was another KEY. Only I knew my weight. Only I saw my food diary. And honestly, I didn't trust myself anymore. I would cheat and not record it. Alone. I would inevitability revert to doing it alone and by myself. And so, I would eventually quit when it became too much.

And there it is.
My three main issues:

1- Accountability
2- Support
3- Relatability

I can honestly say that none of the things I have tried in the past had all three.


And that is why I failed in the past.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

No comfort for me


Today I want to analyze my past eating habits and influences. 

I grew up in a Mexican Family.
 Food is central and sometimes the main attraction to most events, parties, gatherings and everyday life. Planning out breakfast, lunch and dinner usually takes place right after the previous meal is consumed.

Now, being in a Mexican Family does not imply that the only thing we ate was Mexican food. Far from it. Living in the border, there was a lot of variety of food. Pizza being a Saturday night favorite, Burger King, McDonalds; all those were family favorites. 

When I was young, under 8, I was allowed to eat anything and everything I wanted. I wanted ice cream, “sure thing!” I wanted flour tortillas with butter (OMG), “how many?” Things like quantity and quality didn’t really factor into what I was eating. And honestly, it was the best time ever. Now, I believe at this time is when I started to get plump. Bear in mind, that I had my go at any food that I wanted to eat. I think to this day, I long for those days. 

I digress. 

The kicker was the way it changed, overnight almost.

I began to be told “no.” There was less on my plate. I was denied the foods that brought me comfort. No more gansitos (Mexican snack cake), twinkies, and other snacks. Chips were only when we had a party or during the Super Bowl (I think this is when I developed my love for football) I could only have one soft drink and then water. (Now, why I would have soft drink at 8, well, that’s marketing for you. My kids don’t even touch that stuff) My food consumption had drastically changed. 

And then my sister started eating solids. Now, I love my sister with all my heart, and there is nothing she can do that is wrong in my eyes. I defended her with my life, growing up. She was my baby and I would be dammed if someone or something hurt her. That said, she was a very picky eater. So much so, that there were things she wouldn’t eat. And so, my parents would buy the things she would. Like mini pizzas, cheese, flour tortillas, chicken nuggets, apple juice, the thin ham (sliced to almost tissue paper thickness) etc. I was told these foods were for my sister, to not eat them. If I wanted juice, I had to drink the orange/grapefruit because it burned the fat. (I WAS FREAKING 9 yrs. old!!) The apple juice was reserved for my sister since that’s the only juice she liked.  Anyway, all those foods that were bought, were for my sister since she didn’t eat anything else. I didn’t get mad at her, though, it wasn’t really her fault. I was upset that all of a sudden, I had my go at food and then it was taken away. I was mad at my parents. How was it fair to deprive me of food that EVERYONE ELSE was eating?

So of course, I did what any kid/teenager/adolescent would do, I started sneaking food. This began around that time. I would get food from other places; grandparent’s house, aunt’s house, friend’s houses. I would hide my candy from parties and if they gave out chips, I would hoard them and hide them. I would wake up in the middle of the night and go to the kitchen and make myself a sandwich (one of the small pleasures in life) and eat it in the dark corner so no one would hear me. When the boy scouts would sell chocolate at school, I would use my allowance to buy 5-8 of those things. Wouldn’t tell a soul and eat them in my room and hide the wrappers. During lunch (we couldn’t buy our lunch ourselves, parents had to pay for the school lunches at my catholic school) I would sometimes throw away my lunch before going into the cafeteria and the teachers would feel bad for me and get me a hot lunch. This was usually when there was pizza, lasagna or chicken nuggets. 

* I learned all the tricks to get the foods that I wanted.
* I learned how to sneak eat.
* I learned that all diet food was gross. 
* I learned that I was too fat to eat all the good food (looking at my pictures from back then, I was certainly not fat, not even close.)
* I learned that what I wanted was not important.
* I learned that the foods for others in the refrigerator is not for me (hence why I still have a hard time eating food from my refrigerator if I bought it for the kids or my husband)
* I learned that I would eat just to spite my parents
* I learned that I would eat to feel good about myself.

Food brought me comfort. Food has ALWAYS made me feel better. The association of food with celebration was ingrained in me early, and it has never subsided. 

It is these factors that I learned that has prevented me from realizing that food is just an energy source. I have heard the term “EAT TO LIVE, NOT LIVE TO EAT” many times, and I really, really want to make this my motto. 

But inevitably, I fall back to emotional eating.
 If I feel sad, I eat.
If I am happy, I eat. 
Depressed, eat. 
Bored, eat. 

I know that I have to work on this. It’s one of my major, if not the biggest obstacles I have in obtaining my goal.

Food is not my comfort, I’ll have to remember that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Perspective

I have dieted and I have failed.
I have been bulimic and I have failed.
I have tried weight watchers, alli, meridia, the gastric band, HcG, Almased, Master Cleanse and I have failed.
Today, I will sit here and analyze why I have failed with these.
Bulimia: I was young and I was tired of throwing up all my food
Weight Watchers: Now this one, this one worked for a while. The combo of counting points and counting exercise. That one was a good one. Every time I have tried WW, I have succeeded in losing 30 -50 lbs. Depending on my age and how determined I was. The problem with this was that as soon as I stopped going to the meetings, I started gaining it ALL back. And more. I don’t think the problem was the program. The problem was me.
Alli & Meridia: These are grouped because I used them together. Now these worked great combined. They took away the hunger (Meridia) and when I did eat, it took away the fat (Alli). Thing is, I believe wholeheartedly that I got my high blood pressure so young because of these. Not to mention the disgusting side effects. Yeah, those side effects. No more.
Gastric Band: Holy shitstorm of bad luck, Batman. Now, when it was on for the first year, I did lose 80 lbs. I loved it. It became my limit bearer. I felt full faster, and I knew what to eat and when. I couldn’t just shove a ton of spaghetti because it would come right back up. I seriously loved the Gastric Band, and if I could do it again, I would in a heartbeat, but alas it was not meant to be. The 1st band was eating into my stomach so it had to be taken out and replaced. When the 2nd one was put in, my body rejected it. After 1 week in the hospital (4 of those in CICU) I was told that it would no longer be possible since I had created an immune response to it and would continue to do so.
HcG: Now this one was next. This happened the year after I had the Gastric Band taken out. Now in theory, this one should have worked as well. They inject you with the hormone HcG and your appetite and cravings go down. There is a 500 calories a day diet that goes along with it. Now, with 500 calories a day, OF COURSE you are going to lose weight.
And I did.
But, it was too expensive to maintain, I was losing weight very slowly and
it never really took my hunger away.
If it doesn’t take my hunger away, I don’t really want to continue on it.
Almased & Master Cleanse: I grouped these together because they are very similar in application. Basically, you go on a liquid fast for a couple of days and then you reset or cleanse your body and start new. Now, for both of them, I have been able to keep them up for up to 10 days (Almased) 15 days (Master Cleanse) I have learned that after that, my weight loss stabilizes and I’m just starving myself for nothing. The problem is the rebound. My body loses excess amount of weight during that time, so when I start eating solids again, it stores it all away and I gain the weight back, which freaks me out and I just say fuck it and start eating again. Completely wrong.
And so, I have come to the conclusion that all of these have at some point or another worked for me in the short term.
But in the long term, they have not. Why?
All me
My mind and my heart are not fully in.
When I lost 80lbs, I had all the motivation in the world. I was single and had energy. I didn’t have too many responsibilities. I wanted to lose the weight. But maybe for the wrong reasons.
I wanted to be thin. I thought that by being thin, I would get a better job, get a boyfriend, find friends, be popular, and be pretty. All superficial reasons, but powerful reasons in my mind. Those were the impetus I needed to succeed in my endeavor to lose weight.
Fast forward to me getting my Gastric Band off.  I almost lost my life. I almost died. My oldest son (only 18 months at the time) would have grown up without a mom, all because I wanted to be thin. And so, on that weight loss of 56lbs, I was driven to be healthy, and do it on my own. To be known as the one that could lose that weight because I was strong willed.
And then my world came crashing down. As I write this, my heart burns with sorrow, it is hard. My husband hit some a major bump in our marriage. My self-esteem went out the window. I was no longer happy. I had lost ALL this weight and looked better than I had in years, even better than when we were dating!
Towel thrown in.
I don’t think I have recuperated totally from this. I totally gave up. I just said fuck it. It doesn’t matter what I do. I’m still not good enough. I don’t have the will power anymore to continue on the journey, and well, I stopped caring.
And worst thing, this actually made me closer to my husband. See our relationship was and is partly based on foods we love. Our dates consisted on restaurants or movies that had a food integrated in them. OR, we would just pick up food (mostly wings and pizza) and go back to the apartment to play video games and eat. We would see commercials and decide what to eat based on what restaurant had new stuff. To give perspective, when the McRib would come out, it was cause for a celebration! We would plan our day on the day it came back. At night we would open up a new cheese dip and try it out. Food was the basis of our relationship. Heck, one of the first things I made for my husband was a cheesecake, his favorite. This led to our first real date.
Now, I’m not blaming my husband. Not in the least bit. We are both a sort of foodies. We love food. It’s comforting. It’s happy in a bite. And if I had the metabolism of my father’s family, we would not be having this conversation at all.
But alas, we come to the next problem on the list. My metabolism. My digestive system.
What is wrong with it?
At this point, I don’t know. I’ve been told I have food allergies, yeast allergy, gluten intolerance and celiac disease. I know that I have malabsorption issues and others that are underlying. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which also causes my sugars to go bezek. I have pre-diabetic tendencies and I have high-blood pressure.
I can’t drink or eat anything with high fructose corn syrup or I get migraines from hell. I need all my vitamins in liquid or gel form so I can digest and absorb better.
At this point, I believe my body has been through so much, that it just said the hell with you, I’m storing everything you eat and will sort it out later.
Thanks body; I love you, too.
So what now? Am I doomed? Am I to live my life as a 300lbs woman?
No. I refuse to believe so.
But I also believe that I have to deal with my issues before I can truly change. I have to address my concerns and my limitations. I have to slowly change my perspective and decide what I really want.
It will be hard, almost impossible. But I have done impossible before. I have the will power in me. I have to believe that there is no one or anything else that can help me to lose the weight.
I just have to believe in me.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dear Diary. Week 1.

I began on New Years Day.
I seriously didn't want to see how much I weighed but I did it.
Janurary 1st, 2015 9a.m.
Yeah, that's not good.
I had already made up my mind to change my eating habits.
Like I have mentioned. I tend to do this in cycles. I loose, a lot, and get scared. SO I revert back to eating and eating and eating.
It's not only what I eat, but amounts.
I have been on the Weight Watchers program, and that has worked for me before. But now, I have so many dietary restrictions by being a Celiac and Allergic to almost everything that tastes good.
Kidding. Not Kidding.
Just to name a few of the things I'm allergic to or cannot eat.
Whole Wheat Flour
 Wheat Graham Flour
  Lupin Flour
  Farina Flour
Wheat Germ
  Wheat Bran
  Yeast -Both Brewer's Yeast and Baker's Yeast
Autolized Yeast
Modified Food Starch
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Red, Orange & Yellow Dyes

Sigh, If they take away my beloved Potato I will just want to curl up and not go anywhere.
This is everything.
Is there hope?
My doctors are perplexed as to why I still have the "wheat" belly.
I do have to admit, that although I haven't eaten any of the stuff that is bad for me, I have been eating stuff that is not healthy. A lot of GF Bread. A lot of Mexican Coke. A lot of tortillas. A lot of Cheeses. A lot of Meat covered in Oil. A lot of GF chips and Dips.
I haven't been exactly the poster child for healthy eating.
And so, I have done a complete overhaul of my eating.
This keeps getting harder and harder to start, or to keep it going.
The more responsibilities I take on, the harder it is to watch what I eat.
But it can be done. I have done it.
I cannot make any more excuses. I have to do.
I have to be fit and strong for my boys.
I want to see them grow up.
I want to be able to run around and play with them.
And so, this morning
January 5th, 2015 at 9:30am
I weighed myself after a complete do over on my eating. I have been eating healthy for 4 days.
3.6 pounds lost in 4 days with only eating healthy and cutting out the excess.
Not bad. Good Start.
Got to keep going and maintain it.
I hope to loose at least 2lbs per week.
This is the recommended healthy weightloss.
I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Old Cliche

And so we start the new year.
2014 went by so fast. It really didn't stop from the start. Between my boys and their special needs classes, therapies and tutors, my business, my household, my marriage and school responsibilities, it hardly left any time for me. To take care of me. To focus on me and my health.
The question of, "How did I get this big?" is not really mine. I know exactly what happened. I stopped caring. I gave in to my cravings.
And for as long as I can remember, that has been the case.
I believe I'm afraid.
I get to a certain point and then, I freak out.
50 lbs lost, 80 lbs lost, 60 lbs lost.
There is a cycle. I loose it and then I freak out about the changes in my body and I start eating. I'm not sure if it's an evolutionary thing or if it is a metal thing. But it happens to me.
I have been on diets since I was a teen.
I have had the gastric lap-band and almost died.
I have been diagnosed a Celiac and have multiple food allergies.
Still, I gain ALL the weight back, with interest.
I can't say I'm not going to do fall this year, but I have to keep trying.
I don't want another diagnosis.
I don't want Diabetes
I don't want Hypertension
I don't want Arthritis
I don't want a Hypothyroid
I don't want Depression
I have to be judged by the number of times I get up.
I will find time for me. I will find time to get healthy and loose all this excess weight.
I will.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Time to Begin, Again.

Life happens.
Lots of life happens.
Good things. Bad things. They all happen. Sometimes at once, sometimes one at a time. Time doesn't stop for anyone. Life continues.
I let Many things interfere with my weight loss, with my journey.
I let go.
I stopped caring.
Too many things to do. My Small Business. The Kids' activities and Therapies. Household chores; The endless dishes that piled up and act like Gremlins, you add water to them and they multiply.
It became easy to just drive thru the closest fast food joint.
Forget the fact that I'm a Celiac.
Forget the fact that I'm overweight.
Forget the fact that I'm Pre-diabetic and Hypertensive.
Forget the fact that I had lost 50lbs with hard work, dedication, sweat and Many, Many tears.
It slowly crept back up.
Until one day, I just couldn't look at myself in the mirror.
Nothing fit.
Nothing felt right.
I would wake up and couldn't even move my arms, they felt so weak.
I had difficulty breathing.
I had blinding headaches.

I hadn't stepped on a scale in Months.
It was time. I needed to.

I did it. I stepped on the scale and what looked back at me almost made me Cry.
My first shock.

This is what looked back at me.
I. Me.
I have NEVER been this heavy.
I have never weighed 285.8lbs IN MY LIFE.

How did this happen, how did I let it go so far.
How did I become so complacent and decide I didn't care.

I almost died 6 years ago.
Did I not take my second chance seriously?
Why did I give up?

All these questions, just running through my head.
Why Did I decide It wasn't worth it to take care of myself?
Why even bother?
Why even believe I had any self worth?
Where had my self esteem gone?

Am I truly that dysfunctional?
After loosing 50lbs, How did I gain it all back plus 20 more?
Why did it not matter, the loss? To have so easily and so quickly forgotten my goals.

My goals.
They were clouded by those pesky things called obstacles.
And I so easily allowed them to.

It is time.
It is time to go back to work.
It is time to stop procrastinating and do something for me.

I can't guarantee I will not fail.
But that is okay.
I am not judged by the number of times I succeed, but by the number of times I fail and start again.

After 11 months of unabashed eating, shameless binges, and no concern for my health, I'm ready.

I'm ready for something to change.
I'm ready to feel free of the constrains of food.
I'm ready to start feeling alive again.

After much consideration, A cleanse was imposed on me, and I agree.
My bloodwork was out of this world and I got in trouble.
I got a second shock.

I will Now chronicle this journey.
This starting again.

I have never said I was perfect.
My journey is mine, and mine alone.
It has it's highs and lows.

I have tried fad diets.
And I have tried procedures.
I have tried diet regiments
And I have tried diet supplements.

Something has to give.
Something has to work.
I have to change from within
To change my outside.

But this time it will be different.
This time I will chronicle, truly, my journey.
This time I will not be ashamed of how low I fell.
This time I will confess my good AND my bad.
This time I will lay it all out for you to see.

It's time to begin.