Monday, July 7, 2014

Thoughts on Choices...and Day Six

Yesterday evening was when it got "real" in my head.  I'm really pleased with how well I'm doing so I wanted to take a few moments to highlight what I'm happy about changing in the past week.

  1. Prior to starting this, I was taking meds for nasty headaches and other issues 5-6 days a week.  Since starting I've only done this twice, once caused by the "Day 2 Debacle" and the other this AM from a minor headache from the same med.  Mental note - probably avoiding that one down the road. 
  2. I see a huge difference in my ability to cope mentally.  I really didn't think I could handle this but figured I would try I am doing it! :) *someone toss me a party hat!*  This is the first full week that I haven't wondered if I needed to go back on prescription medication for depression and/or anxiety.  That's HUGE in my world.
  3. I am loving how much energy I have.  I feel better all day long.  I laugh more.  I play more.  I have FUN more.  That makes the "little sacrifices" worth it.
So....there ya go!  So far, so good.  Now, I won't lie and say this has all been easy.  It hasn't.  It also hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be.  So take that with a grain of salt.

1/4 of the way through!!!!!
Now to answer a few questions:

  1. Why did you choose this company? 
    • I chose this company because it was the best fit for me.  I'm not a fan of powdered food and I'm REALLY not a fan of soy since I'm very sensitive to it.  This company only has a teeny bit of soy lecithin in the Meal Replacement Shake which I take only 1x a day and has NO other soy.  That's a HUGE important thing for me for many reasons, not the least of which being I don't like being ill.
  2. Why didn't you choose the company *I* use?
    • 3 reasons.  1 - see above.  2 - This company is really secure in what they're doing.  I felt I would have the support from my distributor that I needed and I also felt that this was something I could do long term and maintain the losses I make.  This is something I can do for the rest of my life, even with the VERY crazy life that I lead.  That makes it worth it to me.  3 - Almost 100% of the people I know have done something like this through some kind of company.  Everyone has their own "pony" they've picked.  I can't ride every single one of your ponies.  I had to find the one that was right for me.
  3. Why won't you tell us what company you chose?
    • This is a very simple one to answer.  If I tell 1 person (even my Mom doesn't know!) then I know I will blow it and tell EVERYONE.  If I tell everyone then I have to listen to the 9,000 people who will rip on me for not choosing their "pony" OR for choosing a "pony" at all.  I have to hear all the negative talk about the company I did choose.  I don't need that in my head right now.  I need to focus on what *I* need to be doing.  I don't need to hear about how this won't work or I should have chosen that company because it works better, faster, etc.  This is MY journey to travel.

And that's why I've made the choices I have.

Regardless of the results, I will gladly share what I did at the end.  If it's a miserable failure, then I will say so and name the company.  If it's a fabulous win I will say so and name the company.  If it's somewhere in the middle I will do the same.

What I do know is right now I am seeing results.  Is it likely at least partially "water loss"?  Yes.  Is it likely at least partially my food choices and has NOTHING to do with the products of "Company N"? Yes.  Could I have done this without "Company N"s products?  Maybe.  Could I have done this without the support AND accountability of "Company N"s distributor?  No.

There it is in a nutshell. I NEED the accountability and support of someone who is vested in this journey with me.  Someone who has walked this road and will be there on the days when the going gets hard.  I need YOUR support too.  I need people who will hold my hand when I have questions that no one can really answer.  I've spent the past 12 years of my life, probably longer truth be told, helping to hold everyone else up.  I need some cheerleaders in MY corner now.  If that seems selfish, then I'm sorry.  I've thrown my health out the window in the name of "helping everyone else".  I need to help me now or I won't be able to do this much longer because I will be pushing up daisies.

So right now, I'm sticking by the choices I've made.  I'm 1/4 of the way through this journey, and pleased with how well it is going.  There are still many mountains to climb but for this moment and in this place, I'm good. 

Thank you for sticking by me - even if I didn't choose "your way".  Even if I didn't go about this in a "way you would prefer".  Thanks for listening, for being there. Thank you for your prayers, this is ONLY possible through God.  And thanks for being the people I will always remember as holding me up during this time.  This 24 Days is something I've never attempted before.  I've never been selfish enough to put my health first for more than 2 days because something always came up.

Well, "something" came up in the past 24 hours here....and I'm still doing this.  I haven't thrown it out the window in the name of "helping someone else".  I've stuck to it.  And I'm not going to stop now.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Company T" and Day Five

1/5 of the way through!!!!!

Okay, down to business.  I promised honest, open reviews of the products I am using and here is the first test of that "loyalty".

Actually, my tracker is *not* above. 
This is just a sampling of some of the WIDE variety of Activity Trackers on the planet.
Photo Credit: Danlagendorf

I purchased my activity tracker from "Company T".  I received it in the mail and have been wearing it since it arrived.  While I do have to admit that it has been VERY useful in getting me up off my duff and moving, it's ability to "track" is....less than stellar.

What I need out of an activity tracker:

1. Can track fitness activity done in the water, particularly lap swimming, with accuracy.
2. Can be used with a heart rate monitor for precise calorie burns during aquatic exercise.
3. Can withstand the daily life of a mom.
4. Has a clock.  If I am going to wear it on my wrist, it had better be able to tell me what time it is.
5. Is not so large it looks like I stole my Dad's watch and I'm 5.
6. Syncs with something to help me balance eating and activity (entire purpose for use).

I *thought* I had found a winner.  This one has:

1. The ability to track fitness activity in the water....but not lap swimming.
2. Has a heart rate monitor....that doesn't work in the water.
3. Can withstand the daily life of a mom.
4. Has a clock.
5. Is not so large it looks like I stole my Dad's watch and I'm 5.
6. Syncs with something to help me balance eating and activity (entire purpose for use)

I know 4 out of 6 isn't bad, but the reason I NEED this is for 1 and 2!!  Unfortunately after researching more there is NOTHING - not one single product I can find - that can meet all these needs in 1 shot.

So for now, I will sojourn on with my "Company T" activity tracker.  I'm going to pick up a new monitor for my Polar and use that for in the water activity and track it over the top but unfortunately on the days that I swim then I lose the info the "Company T" tracker puts into the system automatically. 

While musing this morning about getting this to track my aquatic workouts better I thought about the fact that I *could* attempt switching it's location depending on the stroke I'll be using to maximize the chance of relatively accurate tracking.  Maybe the ankle for freestyle and backstroke, hand for butterfly and breaststroke, not sure which for sidestroke which I swim often while teaching J3.  On the upside, this might help.  On the downside I'm going to constantly look like I'm trying to swim and do the hokey pokey at the same time flipping it from limb to limb.... 

So someone out there in tech land, please consider those of us who are fat and still brave bathing suits anyway in the name of fitness?!???!!!  Make a tracker that does what we actually need it to do????

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Few Recipes...and Day Four

This AM I woke up fuzzy.  Yesterday had been the 4th and frankly I was on little sleep and less patience.  Minor headache, kind of "furry" for lack of a better word.  I would have much rather stayed in bed but as usual, life beckoned so I got up and got going.

I went and grabbed "Company N"s energy drink first thing in the AM.  About halfway through since I tend to nurse this drink like a beer (it's early AM and I'm tired....) I started to perk up.  By the time I'd finished it I was ready to go make some breakfast and get on with the day.  The "fuzzy" was gone along with the minor headache and I no longer feel like I've only gotten 6 hours of sleep.  YAY for the  energy drink!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today begins the "next part" of the "Cleanse Phase".  I started taking "Company N"s probiotic supplements this AM.  They were small, easy to swallow, and no funky side effects.  No more Fiber Drink until Day 8 although I haven't minded that in the slightest.  I still haven't mustered the courage to attempt the "cleansing tablets" again.  I don't know that I ever will.

Now, onto the requests.  Inevitably I post about food and guess what happens?  People want RECIPES.  LOL  So....without further ado, the recipe we used for our turkey last night (which can be done on any grill, charcoal, smoker, or propane - just adjust your cooking times and heat accordingly).

Crazy Yummy BBQ Turkey

1 turkey OR 1-2 turkey breasts OR 1-2 turkey tenderloins (depending on the size of the crowd)
Granulated garlic or garlic powder
BBQ sauce of choice (optional!  Roasts nicely without!  Have chicken stock handy for basting.)

Grill/smoker of some kind.  I prefer doing the fire as indirectly as possible for a longer cook time.
Drip pan (if desired for gravy and/or to prevent flareups)
Fancy schmancy thermometer you stick in the turkey once and monitor from the outside (only mandatory for the high tech crowd)


1. Take out turkey of choice.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Set aside.

2. Send DH out to start the grill or put on your big girl underoos and do it yourself.  Place drip pan in grill if desired.

3. Take turkey out.  Place on grill.  If using BBQ sauce apply 1 layer around the turkey to allow it to "seal", especially important for tenderloin/breasts since there is very little fat!  Close grill.  (If cooking breasts/tenderloins flip @ 15 min.)

4. Now, this is the secret.  LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Keep an eye on the temperature in your grill and the temp of your turkey.  Otherwise, resist the urge to peek.  Greatness is in letting the grill do its job.  Baste w. sauce or stock every 30 min. until done.

5. When cooked to DONE (turkey - cook all the way - no sushi tonight!) take it out and here's the next secret.  LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!  It needs a good 20 minute REST before you cut it open.

6. Cut, serve, marvel at the fact that you didn't really have to do anything. ;)

Now you know the secrets.  While I'm at it, I thought I'd share my favorite Taco Salad.  I had it for dinner tonight while the rest of the family ate tacos.  I know for many it's a 4 letter word thanks to high calorie fried shells and all the other sins on a plate, but give this rendition a try.

Note: My SD card died - this salad looks just like mine.

Taco Salad

Lettuce - 2 c. shredded
Roma tomato - 1/2 tomato, chopped
Ground beef - brown, drain, rinse, mix w. taco seasoning - 4 oz.
Salsa - 2 tbsp

OPTIONAL (but in the calorie count because this is how *I* like it)
Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese - shredded - 1/8 cup
Light Sour Cream - 2 tbsp.

Toss in a bowl like a chopped salad and then eat. :)

Calories: 357
Carbohydrates: 12
Fat: 14
Protein: 35

Turkey is an EXCELLENT substitute for the ground beef if you don't have the wiggle room in your fat for the day.  That said, I *really* like to try and have red meat 1-2 times a week.  We use only high quality beef from a local butcher that purchases only locally raised cattle who are grass fed.

The Good Stuff...and Day Three

Here is a "Day Three Recap" since I was entirely too exhausted to post last night.

I will freely admit that I was scared to start this program because during this 24 days I had the 4th of July AND my oldest son's birthday.  We also go on a camping trip this time of year.  The bottom line is there will ALWAYS be something.  Had I waited until after the camping trip I would have run into "Not Back to School Day" (the biggest "party" of the year for our homeschooling world) and most likely Memorial Day.  Wait until after that and I'm running into Festival Days.  A little later, Halloween.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  New Year's. 

There is ALWAYS an excuse.  There is always another "something" right around the corner.  Making the conscious choice to change what you're doing will not work if you aren't willing to do 2 things:

1. Commit to something you can do for the rest of your life.
2. Make room in that something for "special days". 

If you can't do that, don't even attempt what I'm doing or anyone else's "fitness and health path".  It's a great way to just disappoint yourself and then end up in 15 lb. gain binge.

Yesterday was Independence Day and this is always a big one for the family.  We have a big BBQ and then we hang out with all the neighbors and set off fireworks.  It's a blast.  I thought ahead, planned, and guess what, it worked!

Does this look like "depriving diet food" to you???

When the time for the "big bbq prep" came I simply made a few small additions to the menu that fit in with what I was doing.  In addition to the pork roast we traditionally smoke, we also smoked a turkey breast.  It didn't add anything to prep time and worked perfectly.  In terms of sides, instead of  corn, mac and cheese, and baked beans I opted to take out the mac and cheese and substitute roasted garlic potatoes and add green beans to the menu.

Wow... that took an extra....-10 minutes of time because I didn't have to boil the noodles, bake the pasta, make the cheese sauce from scratch, etc etc etc.

And everyone lived!

This would be the perfect time to mention that "Company N" does NOT expect 100% perfect compliance with their eating plan.  They know we're human.  They recommend 90% so I *could* have just "gone with the normal" and called it as part of my 10%.  I chose to make the adjustments instead because they were an easy fix....and I was only 3 days in.  I might genuinely NEED that 10% grace down the road so I made the choice to leave myself the extra wiggle room and toss some turkey and potatoes on the smoker.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day Two

7:00 - Woke up with a blinding headache,  Went back to bed.

9:45 - Woke up.  Headache still there.  Taking their energy drink to see if it's caffeine withdrawal.

11:00 - Gave up and laid down for 30 min. Still feel like dirt.  Trying not to throw up.  Thinking trying to increase the amino acid supplement might not have been the best idea.  Going to try and eat 2 crackers and see if I can keep that down before I try to take anything more.

(never ate the crackers due to another wave of nausea)

2:00 - Just finished lunch.  I finally felt well enough around 1:30 to have my fiber drink.  I feel right as rain again now and all is well. :)  My special thanks to those who prayed when I posted online.  I know it really helped.  My extra special thanks to my family who helped out this AM with a myriad of different things trying to help me feel better.  This really shows me that you care about my health too. 

It looks like increasing the amino acid supplement probably caused the nausea and the herbal cleanse tablets I took last night *might* be the culprit for the horrid migraine.  I'm going to skip them tonight and see if all is better in the AM and then try taking 1 instead of the 3 suggested and see what happens. :)

As a disclaimer - this is *not* saying their products are garbage.  I am SO sensitive to medications that I can't even take more than 1 NyQuil liquigel at one time without getting sick.  Since I don't take many pills, etc it doesn't take much for it to have an effect.  If anything, it's more than likely a testimony to the product and a general reminder to anyone else like me that you *might* need to take it easy on yourself and keep an eye out for things like this, especially with a new supplement you aren't used to taking.

For those following the food I just ate a chicken and cucumber sandwich on Wheat Montana's Montana Multigrain w. extra cucumber slices on the side.  I'm sure some of you are jumping on the "no wheat products" bandwagon but if I may offer a piece of advice, if you want to reintegrate and/or clean up your eating, look for products such as those from Wheat Montana which are made with 100% non-GMO wheat.  I noticed a HUGE difference in how I feel when I ditched GMO wheat.  :) 

7:00 - Still doing far better. Stuffed from trying to get over 1200 calories using only healthy food and less than half a day to eat it all in! LOL

Heading out for a walk in a few minutes.  It's been too hot to go before now - of course "too hot" to me here is "normal" for most of you. :) Still a bit tired but much better than earlier. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 1

AM: (9:30ish)

Took my weight on the new scale and new measurements this AM.  That was depressing.  *sigh*  Due to it being a natural time of the month when I tend to add a few (and possibly the brownies I ate 2 days ago?) my weight spiked an extra 5 lbs.  Either that or my old scale was 5 lbs off 3 days ago.  Could be a mix as well.  On the upside, it will make the ending numbers all that more impressive, right?

I am curled up right now with "Company N"s "energy drink".  Please don't think I'm pouring a ton of unhealthy garbage into my system.  :)  I promise, it's a healthy, B vitamin 8 oz pile of what turned out to be actual yumminess. :)  They *claim* along with the energy that it will help with mental clarity and a few other things.

I consider that in 1 of 2 directions.  Either it's a very good thing and it works which means they must be rather confident in the product.  It's the first thing they recommend you take.  If it provides mental clarity and this stuff stinks there's no way a sane person would continue.  The alternative is that it's a bunch of bunk.  We shall know in the 30ish minutes it takes for it to kick in at which time I have to start my "cleanse phase".  Nervous about the cleanse thing but..... we'll go for it.  If it tastes half as yummy as this "energy drink" I think I can do this!

AM: (10:00ish)

Finished the "energy drink".  Will drink faster next time - as it got warm because the ice melted the taste kind of tanked for me. Before it getting warm, it was actually REALLY good so the proof is in the pudding.  If you're coming back to find tips, definitely keep it in a Blender Bottle OR have a spoon handy.  It does start to settle with time so you need to keep swishing.

AM: (11:30)

Survived what is "rumored" to be the "worst" part of this experience.  The "fiber drink".  Actually it tasted really yummy and I was somewhat sad to have to "chug" it down because it quickly solidifies into a pudding-like substance.

I was supposed to eat a real breakfast this AM after taking the 2 supplements listed above (along with an amino acid supplement I forgot to tell you about...sorry).  I am SO full from all the liquid (2 drinks and 3 glasses of water) that I had 0 appetite so I opted to have a meal replacement shake instead.  I chose the chocolate (favorite flavor) and I have to say, it was pretty gosh darn tasty.  For the rest of the day my Blender Bottle will take a nap while I focus on eating actual food.  Once I get John down for a nap I'm going to go take a nice walk and reflect on how easy this has been.

It's been one of those 24 hour periods where you truly see God shining upon you and you know you are doing the right things.  What a beautiful day!

PM: (8:00)

I had to run to town today.  Spent some time at the pool helping my oldest learn to swim and walked around Walmart - minor eating crisis at McDonald's but survived with a Bacon Ranch Salad w. grilled chicken without the bacon.  The entire meal came in just under 200 calories and was perfect.  Snacks for the daytime were 1 pear and 1 apple.  Easy and quick when driving to/from town.

Came home and made the boys pizza for dinner.  I had turkey w. broccoli and cauliflower and a side of brown rice w. quinoa.  Rather yummy if I do say so myself. :)  Dessert was some grapes and I'm calling it for the day.

120 oz. of water consumed (that is a LOT of water in case you're doing the math).  One VERY interesting side note is that when I put my heart rate monitor on today some interesting research took place.  Without my beloved diet soda my heart rate was not just normal, but on the LOW end of normal at 72!!!!!  Apparently this will be a permanent change, at least in that aspect.  I can't be stressing my heart out that way!!!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

All Present and Accounted For!

I have good news, bad news, and

The good news is everything from "Company N" and "Company T" arrived today.   

"Company N"s box arrived.  This evening I took the time to set out everything I need for the first 3 days in 1 small kitchen drawer and put the rest on top of the fridge so I don't forget where I put it later.  Yes, I know myself this well. ;)  Since the supplements change on Day 4 I didn't want to make the mistake of putting more than Days 1-3 in the drawer so I don't accidentally take the wrong thing.

I've been running around with "Company T"s product since Fed Ex dropped it off this afternoon.  I wore it to town where I was planning to take it swimming but instead took it for several short walks.  Since 5 PM I've walked 3,143 steps which is far more than an "average" day here at home but I will take it. :D  While I was at dinner I noticed something somewhat unusual.

Apparently my heart rate has REALLY gotten to being in VERY bad shape since the last time I monitored it on a regular basis prior to my last pregnancy.  I'm borderline tachycardia numbers!!!!  My resting heart rate was between 97 and 103.  I was STUNNED at this news and it shows me just how much my health is beginning to suffer since a high resting heart rate is a precursor and signal to many other problems.  I promise each and every one of you that if these numbers do not improve by the end of the initial challenge I will go find a new primary care doc and get this sorted out.  Mine moved away last fall and since we're rarely sick or need a doctor finding a new one just hasn't been a priority.

One more reason I need to get up, get moving, and get my health in order.  I am looking forward to starting tomorrow but will also freely admit I'm more than just a little nervous.

Pray with me, and for me, and as always, I will be praying for all of you. 

~ Mission Mama