Parenting and health: Uphill battles

There is no winning… I have been used to the dirty looks for a long time. As a breast feeding mom I had a lot of negativity thrown my way. People were uncomfortable that I publicly breastfed, I had people… family, even tell me that breastfeeding is not healthier than formula. No offense to any formula feeding parents, but that’s bull. Not to say there is anything wrong with formula, it’s fine… it’s just the second best nutrition for a child. I chose, because I was blessed with the ability to breastfeed, not all parents have the option, and it is a huge commitment. As if becoming a parent isn’t enough of a commitment, right? I even had my daughters pediatrician tell me she would have mental issues because she was not getting enough iron. (Upon research I found that the iron in breast milk is easier absorbed than formula, solid food, or iron supplements!) She was never underweight, she is bright as the sun, she was speaking sentences before she was a year old, I never once worried that she was not getting proper nutrition. My daughter just would not eat food. I’m not kidding, all she wanted was boob. I had a child who was potty trained when she was 14 months old, but would gag and throw up if she ate solid food. She did not start eating solids until she was 19 months old, which is when we weaned.

P!nk breastfeeding on the set of a music video
P!nk breastfeeding on the set of a music video

Having survived breastfeeding, I was relieved to think the ridicule regarding my daughters diet was over. Ha! Far from it! When you begin feeding your kids solid food it is a whole different ball game. All of a sudden there are parents who feed their kids gerber, organic, juice, soda, alcohol, hot cheetos (that was me…), you name it, and every other parent has an opinion. So personally I try to stick as close to organic and plant based as possible. After reading ingredients I can’t help but to feel guilt over the food I have given my kids, yes, hot cheetos (chemical crap), crap granola bars (just as unhealthy as candy bars, just not as tasty), top ramen (MSG, salt, chemicals)… I still do give her some of this stuff. Not daily, but occasionally, I try to have easy HEALTHY food available so I don’t offer crap. Sometimes I feel like they need to have some crap so they don’t get obsessed, deprived and start hoarding (living in recovery from an eating disorder and being treated with all kinds of food related disorders and growing up in a cult, I am very aware of the effects of forcing a belief.) I have another approach, I am trying to train their taste buds to love healthy food. I add salad into several meals a week, and even the boy doesn’t complain anymore!!! Snacks are usually carrots, cucumbers, apples, and occasionally crap. For now balance works for me, and I really hope just as they love their fruits and veggies, they will lose interest in the other things. Now that I have explained this and you all understand my thought process with feeding my kids, I have to endure the never ending judgments of parents. The parents who give me looks when I won’t allow my kids to drink soda, (no, not even diet,), or juice (which inevitably is not juice, but liquid sugar and chemicals that tastes like fruit) or milk (my kids do drink almond milk, but we keep dairy out of the house besides occasional organic treats). Or the questions I get when I do allow something obviously unhealthy. Here’s the deal. I am trying. I research food, I read labels, I sneak veggies in, I do a lot. I’ll let you in on a little secret, my 8 and 5 year old’s get hot lunch. Am I happy about it? No, I’m really not, I won’t even let them tell me what they eat at school, however, making lunches everyday is one more thing to add to this endless list I have going, and less food we have to buy. I hope I can get to the point where buying and preparing lunch for the kids is not a pain, for now it really is. Luckily, their schools have salad bars and avoid processed junk.

I am so sick of judgments! What do we know? So what you feed your kids hamburger helper, mac n cheese and T.V. dinners. That’s up to you. So what if I don’t give my kids milk… does that effect you? We all have different parenting styles, just like we all have different faiths. I’m not Christian, do I have faith? YES! Does it clash with your religion? No… well it shouldn’t, but inevitably someone is going to have a problem because they think I’m not going to heaven. OK, sure according to some standards, and my own knowledge of The Bible, no I’m not, but do I judge you for giving your kids liquid crack? (I’m sure the fact that my eminent afterlife in the fiery pits of hell is worse than the fact that you are willingly giving your kids diabetes.) We are all parents, humans for that matter… Let’s make an effort to support each other. I need support. Parenting is hard enough without all of this negativity.

drinking their Isagenix shakes!
drinking their Isagenix shakes!

Food = Fat… I mean FUEL.

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When I was in treatment for my eating disorder it was hammered into my brain that it is healthy to eat 6 times a day. Try telling THAT to an anorexic! I thought these people had lost their minds!!! I had trouble eating at all, and here I am basically being force fed. If we did not eat we were threatened with hospitalization, and being tube fed. If you are hospitalized you cannot work off your food, and you are bored. Nobody wanted that… but at the expense of eating 6 times a day… It was scary. That might sound so silly to you, but for me this was one of the scariest things I would do. In my mind, food = fat. I had spent a very long time restricting and and brainwashing myself that if I did not eat I would be skinny, and finally love myself. I have been on a life long quest to love myself and for years I thought if I was skinny enough I would. It didn’t work. I had been hating myself for so long, no pant size could change that. I put conditions on myself that to this day make me cringe. I am scared that one day my daughter will feel the way I did (and sometimes do.) I’m watching her play right now and thinking that I never want her to be obsessed with body checks. In fact, I never want her to know what body checks are. (For those of you who do not know about body checking, it’s when you see how many fingers you can fit into the waist of your pants or measuring your wrists with your fingers, I used to start with my forefinger and thumb, then my middle finger, my ring finger and my pinkie, then work my way up my arm until my fingers could not touch anymore. I also body checked my legs, fitting my hands around my thighs, and looking in the mirror to make sure my thighs did not touch. I would touch my hips to make sure they stuck out at all times, and anytime I passed a mirror I would sneak a peak to make sure my tummy was flat. Body checking is a way to reinforce your illness. I still catch myself from time to time.)

I did eventually make some sort of “peace” with eating. Eventually I came to a healthy view of food. It is still hard for me to eat, but I look at food as fuel now. I understand that food = energy and, energy burns fat!!! Yes, I still don’t like fat, yes I still want to like the way I look in the mirror, but I have made healthy changes. First of all, I want to be healthy for my kids. That means eating responsibly. I know, it sounds silly, but for me, restricting IS addicting, and without proper fuel I cannot parent. I get cranky and impatient. It is simple to say, not an easy thing to do. If I am having a “fat day” (Fun fact the “f word” is not allowed in our house… not the f*ck word… lol although that is an adult word, that is not used frequently and has been replace with “frog” usually. You should hear me when I am upset “frogging frog!”) I do not want food. I immediately go back to my illness and I am afraid to eat. I have to reason with my eating disorder. It is not easy to reason with an eating disorder. My eating disorder is mean, she tells me how ugly and fat and useless I am. She points out my flaws, my stretch marks, my microscopic, yet sagging boobs, my enormous rib cage that just does not fit with my body, my teeth, my acne, my stomach, my thighs…. She reminds me, she waits until I am feeling just a hint of insecurity and floods my mind with all of my physical flaws, and then starts on my personality, I’m too honest, I lose friends, My temper is too quick, and explosive, I can’t even control it sometimes. I forgive people who have hurt me, even after they won’t admit what they have done… am I that lonely? I attack people verbally for disagreeing with me. I am impatient and insecure. Some days I wonder how to get out of bed with this list of negativity. There is ONE thing that is stronger than that entire list. My kiddos. They are MY reason. The reason I listen to my brain, the brain that tells me that food is fuel not fat, that I need fuel for them, and that beauty resonates from the inside out.

Do I eat 6 times a day? Nope. I do, however, eat. I chose food that is going to benefit me, and, as my fiance pointed out last night, “You don’t eat anything because you love it.” I don’t really, I am not a food person. I could happily live on pills that had the right calories given the opportunity. I try to eat things I like. What do I love? Moments. Time with my kids and my fiance. I can’t have those if I am not getting proper nutrition.

Work at home mama!

This is Jenna (8) and me at Disneyland
This is Jenna (8) and me at Disneyland

When I made the choice to be a Stay At Home Mom there was really only one reason: Jo. I knew that I wanted to raise my baby. I wanted to breast feed, bond, teach and connect with my little angel. As soon as Jo was born I had a very intense need to parent her. I wanted to nurture her in all of the ways I felt neglected. I chose to do everything in my power to help her to be confident, and loved in every way. In doing so, we officially became a one income family. It is not easy to survive on one income. Jo’s dad really wanted me to go back to work, and I could not bring myself to leave her. When she was 6 month old I started looking for part time jobs. I was so discouraged, all of my options were not worth the effort if I was going to pay a babysitter my entire check. This is when network marketing was introduced to me. I started a home business. It was awesome! I only left the house a few hours a week, and we had extra in come. I learned how to talk to people, how to build relationships, I found my strengths, and worked on my weaknesses. I learned so much and I increased my knowledge in so many subjects. I was really on the road to finding myself.

James (5) and Jojo (4)
James (5) and Jojo (4)

After a few years, several moves and a broken relationship, I took a step back from my business. With all of the changes, I could not focus on anything beyond my little one, and our next step. Once things settled down, and my new life began, I started considering working from home again. From everything I had learned, I knew that Network Marketing is what I wanted to do, and it really was my only option. I have 3 kids now, one is out of school at 12:30p another at 3:00p and my 3 year old is home all day. If I were to work it would have to be in the evenings, and I already have limited time with my fiance as it is, I have no interest in jeopardizing the healthiest, happiest relationship I have ever been in. I know myself, and I need consistent connection to keep a strong bond. So the question was, which home business? After years of doing parties I knew that I was over weekly parties, buying inventory, keeping samples and trying to convince people to let me in their homes! Don’t get me wrong, I did LOVE these parties, I had a great time, and learned so much, I just can’t see myself doing that now.

Me and Jojo (4)
Me and Jojo (4)

Over the years I have developed an interest in health, and it slowly but surely turned into an obsession. Having such deep convictions for treating animals humanely, and understanding the importance of organic food, and plant based life style, it was not hard to find my niche. I love that my job and parenting go hand in hand. I love that the more I learn a

My girls and I have the same shoes!
My girls and I have the same shoes!

bout health and fitness, the better I am at my job, and the better decisions I make for my family. I also know that my knowledge is making an impact on other people’s lives! I get feedback day in and day out about how amazing my clients and friends are feeling, I get updates on people who have made commitments to themselves, and are reaching their goals. It is so inspiring! The best part is that I get to spend most of my time with my kiddos.

 

Organizing and cleaning… not the same thing!

How annoying is it when you are in a hurry and nothing is where it belongs? Your keys are in the fridge, you have to search through a pile of clean clothes to find something to where, because, why on earth would you put your clothes away? Your left shoe has vanished completely, you step on an army man, you can’t open the bathroom door because there is a wet towel on the floor, There is a trail of cheerios leading to each room in the house, and you’re late!

My days are not like this, generally. Although, I suffered through years of them before discovering the beauty and sanity of organization. If you knew me 5 years ago, you would not recognize me. At least not by my personality. I did have clean clothes, but my clothes stayed in piles or in a laundry basket. I  almost never did dishes. Not until there was nothing left to eat off of. I had no concept of keeping up a house… I did not even own cleaning supplies. I ate once a day, and it was always fast food, and I never knew where anything was.

Today, laundry is always cleaned, folded and put away in the same day. I even separate whites! My closet is color coded. My shoes stay in the closet with the exception of sneaky flip flops, and they are usually neatly in order. Same with my fiance’s shoes. His are actually more organized than mine. I have drawers for under garments, and a huge drawer for socks. I love socks. I have a basket for my scarves, and stacking baskets for my purses(I have a lot of purses). Since we are limited on storage space in our apartment, we have to store things in the closet, so we have stacked plastic bins against the back wall, and I have boxes along the top shelf for Jame’s hats, and one for electronics (plugs, chargers, cell phones…). My kids closet is equally as organized. I love having two layers of hangers. I also added hanging organizers for theirs pants, and folding boxes on shelves for socks and undies. Shoes are in folding boxes, as well. It makes life easier when everything has a home. Especially with kids. Everyone knows where something belongs, so when you need it, it’s there, and it helps hold you, and them accountable.

I have already talked about organizing the kitchen, but I wanted to quickly touch on dishes. JUST WASH THEM. If you see a dish, pick up the sponge! Keeping your kitchen clean is so easy when you keep up on dishes. It’s so daunting to walk in and see a pile. I get overwhelmed, and I freeze. So we just keep the dishes clean. From there, you can sanitize counters and the stove, and you’re done! The fridge and pantry should have places for like foods. Tupperware is awesome for this, plus if you prepare food ahead of time, grabbing snacks and making meals is quicker.

It’s so much easier when everything has a home, not only can I always find the remote because it lives in a basket next to the TV. Kids will still ask questions, of course, but it’s so much easier when they want their shoes and I say go check your basket. Or put your backpacks away (a hook near the door). Even our bathroom is easy. Toothpaste, floss, mouthwash is in a drawer. Toothbrushes are in the holder on the sink. James has a drawer. I have folding boxes for my beauty supplies. All of the rubber bands for pony tails are on rings in a tupperware box in a drawer. Combs and brushes are in a basket. There is a bucket for bath toys. IT’s so simple, and so easy to keep up.

One thing I have learned is that so many people lump organizing and cleaning together. That’s why it takes so long, and you keep procrastinating. If you organize once, and keep it up, cleaning is easier, you are not spending time finding homes for everything, ideally everything is where it belongs, or you can quickly pick things up and put them where they go, and then dust, sanitize, vacuum and mop.

When I am in a bad mood, I clean, reorganize and downsize. James always knows I have had a rough day if there is a bag of trash and a bag for goodwill waiting by the door. I feel so good when my house is clean! I can finally relax when everything is where it belongs. Granted, I don’t often relax. I know I am making this sound simple, and, yes, the idea is… it’s when you throw kids into the mix that everything takes longer. At least with my system, it’s easier.

The glamorous life of a stay at home mom

I may have too much on my plate. Over the past few months I made a lot of changes and commitments. I was already keeping extremely busy, but I was not managing my time well. When I am really busy, and have no time for myself, and there are just not enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks I set out to do, I start to act a little crazy. It’s tough with kids, anything that would normally take you 5 minutes somehow takes an hour now! I feel like all day I am standing at the sink because somehow there are always dishes, and I can never complete all of them. Even if there are only 3 dishes to begin with! As soon as my gloves (yes I wear rubber gloves when I clean. I can’t stand dry hands!) go on it’s like an invitation for each of my kids (and any of the other kiddos that may be at our house at any given point.) to need something! One minute everyone is playing happily, and suddenly someone is crying, someone else needs help in the bathroom, another one is “starving” and I end up rushing around putting someone in time out, icing a booboo, wiping a butt, and fixing a snack. How can I finish anything EVER? The same goes for the laundry, which is often left until James gets home, not because I meant to, I just couldn’t put it all away with all of the interruptions. Especially considering I can be forgetful. If I do not see the laundry basket… There is no laundry. Until I walk into the room that as the basket, then I probably have forgotten why I went into the room, thus interrupting myself to fold clothes. It is a never ending cycle. It takes me all day to get the house in order because it’s nearly impossible to implement a system when you have kids!

By the time James gets home I tend to be frazzled, annoyed, overwhelmed or exhausted. For the record, I think men have a hard time understanding this: just because I am annoyed about something, it doesn’t mean I am unhappy. In fact I am very happy. I just really show my emotions constantly because when I am lying I get uncomfortable and bitter. The only way to keep me healthy mentally is honesty. It’s tough on men to hear negative things all of the time. I know with James, he feels like it’s his job to fix it, and it isn’t. There will always be irritations, without them I would not appreciate the quiet moments after the kids go to bed. Working out and eating before I am starving REALLY help keep my mood swings to a minimum. About the time James comes home I am out the door to work out. It’s really the only time I can make it work, someone needs to watch the kids. After my workout, I shower and either start dinner if James hasn’t and then I sit down to write and work. At this point it is 7pm or later and it’s the first time I have sat down all day. It’s not relax time, either, it’s work.

I also have a few play dates a week. Those are days that cleaning does not happen as much, so I try to pack all the major cleaning into Monday’s and Friday’s. Weekends can be just as crazy. The kids do tend to go to grandparents on weekends, but regardless, I have to work weekends. I will spend the better part of one day at my aunts ranch filing papers, opening mail, organizing receipts, and doing taxes. Weekends also happen to be when my family and friends want to hang out, and to be completely honest, as much as I love them, I do not want to go anywhere or do anything. I cannot remember what it was like to be bored, to have nothing to do. There is always something to do! There is somewhere to go, something to clean, kids to spend time with, food to make, the episode of Weeds that I missed, a phone call I missed, 25 emails to respond to, and in the event that everything is taken care of, it’s hopefully time to actually hang out with my fiance. I used to read. I love books, and I managed to read 2 books in the passed 5 months. One was The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice. She is my favorite author, and I had been waiting so long. The other was because I was recovering from getting my tubes tied, and had time since I was so sore and could not do a whole lot of anything else.

School started for Jenna and L.J. today. Now I get to adjust to the new schedule, and make it work. So far it seems easier, I was able to very quickly pick up the house and there are no dishes in the sink! Whoever said being a Stay At Home Mom was easy??? It does seem like a lot, and in reality it is a lot. When I just had one baby I never got anything done because I could quickly clean up during her nap, or at bedtime. And then there were 3, and nothing was quick. I have been told that I am an overachiever when it comes to the kids, the healthy lifestyle, the house, the job… But I feel like even though I do so much, there is still so much I have yet to do. There are always changes to make, lately more so with parenting. So, yes, I TRY to “over achieve”, I want to be the best for these kids, and for myself. Isn’t that life? You learn, change and grow? Well I’m ever learning, ever changing and ever growing.

Workout HELL

Can we just talk about P90X??? For those of you who have survived I want you to know, I am in awe, and have a very deep respect for you. Really, you’re rock stars! I had heard many things about this program, and I figured it would be tough, but I was a little cocky and thought I could handle it, I run 3 miles a day. Pshhhh. 3 miles is nice and everything, but it’s like a P90X warm up. No joke. Yesterday, a few minutes into the video, I had already broken a sweat, and Tony (the instructor) says, “Now that we’re all warmed up, let’s work out.” Or something along those lines. I was floored, I thought I WAS working!!! I managed to finish the video although I did not finish every single set, I tried! I was already sore after my shower last night, so you can imagine how sore I was this morning! I did not want to move. I very slowly and carefully crawled out of bed, and gently planted my sore feet on the floor, I felt the burn travel through my shins, my thighs, my inner thighs, and (OMG OUCH) my butt.

At this point I realized that all this time, I thought I was working out doing 30 minutes of pilates and 3 mile runs, and what I was actually doing was maintaining. Why was my body not changing? I was not pushing enough. For the record, I am not challenging you to try P90X or anything, and I still stick by my “Baby Steps” rule. I think this is something you might add after you have worked your way toward a healthier lifestyle, already have a workout routine that does challenge you, and are eating well. I’m also not saying you shouldn’t do it, if you want to, go right ahead. Either way, keep focusing on your baby steps, and for an added challenge, and by that I mean, if you want to torture yourself daily… there is P90X.

So, I made the commitment to my soon to be sister in law that I would do this with her for 90 days. I already wanted a break at day 2. After the park, I went over to her house and we did plyometrics. What the heck is that? Hell. It’s leg and butt hell. Squats and jumps. A lot of them. I’m not kidding, at one point I thought I was going to throw up. I was sweating bullets, drenched from head to toe. My legs felt like jello when I walked down the stairs afterward. This is where you might think I’m crazy, at the time I definitely considered that I might be a lunatic. I had made plans with my friend to go running tonight. So, not even a half hour after this ridiculous workout, I’m jogging down the street with jello legs. We only ran 2 miles, I don’t think I could have gone any further. Even now, as I sit here and write, every time I shift my weight, or cross my legs I can feel it in my stomach, my back, my butt and my legs.

Tomorrow is abs and arms. I may not be able to blog tomorrow… If I don’t you know why.

Consistency

Boys. Boys are like martians to me. I have a three year old little girl named Jo, I got used to how gentle and sensitive little girls are. I have always been the primary care giver for her, and she was an only child up until a couple months ago. So, admittedly, I am new to parenting. I’m new to parenting a 3 1/2 year old, considering I have never had a child. I am VERY new to parenting a 5 (boy, L.J.) and 8 (girl, Jenna) year old since I have only been living with them for a few months. Jenna is very well behaved. She is sweet and inquisitive, and it can be extremely exhausting. L.J…. has his moments. He can be sweet, loving, happy, helpful, silly, playful and fun! He can also be difficult, defiant, rude, mean and unmanageable. A few months ago when I came along, he would not listen to anyone. I took him to the park one day and he refused to come back. He threw a fit and I practically dragged him home. After that I refused to take him anywhere without his dad. I would get anxiety when we were out because he would run out into the street, and had no respect for anyone that told him no. I watched as he got his way over and over again because he would throw a fit, or misbehave to the point where  he got his way because everyone was so irritated they just did not want to deal with him, or in his dad’s case, I think he felt guilty that he can’t be around more because he has to work, and has always had to work.

Since their mom is not around, the kids have been essentially raised by their grandparents… A HUGE pet peeve of mine. I know sometimes there is no other option, in this case, there was none, as with my situation growing up. I spent weeks at a time at my grandmothers house because my dad worked the graveyard shift. My dad had to work to provide, and my mom was gone, so my southern, spirited, man-hating grandmother (and by man-hating, I mean she has had 5 husbands, and refers to each one by either their first initial, or the city they live in… I’m not kidding.) raised my sister and I until my dad was able to get regular hours. My grandmother especially disliked my mom (because she left) and my grandpa (for being an abusive and unfaithful husband), and she has no verbal filter (which I may have inherited.), so I heard all sorts of negative things about two of the most important people in my life. Don’t get me wrong, my grandmother is an amazing woman, she potty trained me, taught me manners, took me to museums and musicals, and gave me my fiery… sometimes explosive character. However, I still feel a loss from not being able to be raised by my parents.

So, long story short, the kids were raised by their grandparents, and I come along and take over because I have stepped into the “mommy” roll, and the grandparents do not like it. Parenting is different than grandparenting. So here I am trying to train L.J. to follow directions, and it’s not fun, and the grandparents are pissed. The only punishments I have are time outs, and taking privileges. Some days it’s like constant time outs, and I feel like he is never going to be allowed to do anything fun for the rest of is life. Grandparents think I am too hard on him, but I am confident that consistency is key. I have learned from my daughter who used to throw fits that make The Exorcist look tame. How did we nip this one in the bud? Time outs, every time, no matter what. To this day, if she even starts, I remind her that if she would like to throw a fit, she can sit in time out until she is done. Sometimes she walks her little butt straight to the time out area and throws a fit.  More often then not, she sucks it up, and uses her words instead. Does she still have an attitude? Yup. Is it obnoxious? Yup. Is it phasing out? Yup. With a 5 year old, time out does not always do the trick, so sadly, we have been making deals with him, if he behaves throughout the week he can go to football with his cousins, and on Friday he can go to one of his grandparents house for a sleepover. Today he got football taken away (for hitting his sister in a fit of rage after I had asked him several times to turn off the T.V. and he ignored me, so I finally asked her to do it). It’s only Tuesday!!! I’m dreading tomorrow.

The importance of cleansing

When people come to me for coaching and or advice, it’s usually because they want to lose weight. I am always really excited when someone makes the commitment to be healthy. It may not always begin that way, over the years, how many diets have you started??? I have watched loved ones yoyo diet, over and over, they may find an intense calorie restricting diet and stick it out for 30-60 days, and eventually they stop and the weight comes back. If you think you can just lose all that weight one time and be skinny and live happily ever after, you have another thing coming! (I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it happens for the people who keep it up.) In my opinion, the problem is not the diet so much as it’s the mindset.

You’re goal might need to change. Instead of, “I want to lose 10, 20, 30… 90 pounds.” Maybe your goal should be, “I will be healthy, I will live longer, I will love myself, I will have the body I was meant to have, I will set a great example for my children.” Committing to changing your life means no more yoyo dieting, no more gaining back the weight you lost, no more excuses. It takes an incredible amount of strength to change your eating habits, workout 3-5 days a week, and stick to it. I’m not going to lie, for some people this is harsh, it’s boot camp, it’s emotional. Some of you have been eating for therapy, some of you have been restricting for therapy. It might be time to take a look at yourself and figure out what you need. Have you been internalizing your feelings only to binge at night? There are healthy coping skills, trust me. My mood and my apatite are so closely linked, it’s ridiculous. When I am upset, forget it, I’m not eating. When I am nervous, none food. When I am excited… nope. You may be thinking, “OK, so when do you eat?” I have to trick myself into it sometimes. I have to listen to my body, and respond almost immediately. My catch 22 is when I am too busy to eat, and then I get cranky because I am hungry, and now I can’t eat because I’m irritated. Exhausting, right?

Vanilla Isagenix shake with blueberries!
Vanilla Isagenix shake with blueberries!

This will be a breath of fresh air. You just have to get through it, and learn to love it. You have an opportunity to train yourself. You don’t like veggies? Ok, we can work with that. I’m an expert at hiding veggies in my kids food… I bet I can hide it in yours. You can’t afford the gym? No problem, go outside! I don’t have a gym membership! I go running on the sidewalk 5 days a week. For the record, I started out walking. Before you know it, you will be loving your workouts, maybe not in the moment, but you will love the results! I know it’s daunting to make huge changes, be patient, start with small goals. Here, I have a goal for you for this week: “I will add a veggie to at least one meal every day this week, and I will take a (minimum) 15 minute walk 3 days this week.” It’s not a huge goal, it’s doable… let me know how it goes??? Maybe next week we can cut out fast food?

I have been meaning to discuss cleansing because when my clients and friends ask me how to start on their road to health, besides discussing baby steps and making some goals together, I *strongly* encourage cleansing. Especially if you are making a lifestyle change, and of course if you want faster results.

Cleansing is an awesome way to begin your lifestyle transformation. The idea of an herbal organ cleanse (not to be confused with a colon cleanse, YUCK!) is to flush out your system. It is a blood cleanse. You have toxins in your organs, fat sticks to toxins, when you cleanse the toxins, fat falls off. As a result, you will sleep better, have more energy, have more mental clarity, clearer complexion, and lose weight. Think of it as a clean slate. Now you are ready to clean up your diet. It’s the perfect time to add more organics, and avoid processed crap.

Watch this video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ghAls_KdMnQ

Green shakes for me and the kiddos
Green shakes for me and the kiddos

Healthy is the new skinny

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When I was a teenager, I battled a body image disorder and an eating disorder. Today, I still battle with my body image, and I have disordered eating. I am proud to say I do not have an eating disorder anymore, but that does not mean it is not a daily struggle.

I grew up in a home where I was taught about addiction. I knew all about drugs and alcohol, my dad is 27 years sober and has worked in drug and alcohol treatment centers since before I was born.He actually met my mother while they were both in recovery. My mom did not stay clean, and left when I was young. My young mind saw this, and understood in the simplest way, drugs and alcohol are bad. I never saw any type of alcohol in my house. In fact, if I ever saw anyone drinking a beer at a BBQ or when we were out to dinner, I thought, “OMG! An alcoholic!” (Being raised Christian, I also thought, “Oh no, they are going to Hell.”) I remember seeing an open bottle of wine on my best friend’s parents dinner table, and I thought, “Oh no! They are gonna be in so much trouble if the church finds out!” To be clear, the church had no problem with people drinking, since I was saturated in AA meetings, Big Book lingo, and my dad and step mom did not drink, I thought it was bad for anyone.

No one ever talked about addictions beyond substance abuse. My dad, also is a talented chef, so I grew up loving flavors, eating spicy food, enjoying healthy food, and not realizing it. At 2 years old I would order salads at restaurants. MY 3 year old does this now. When I was 7, a little girl told me that my thighs were chunky, and she had never realized before because I always wore pants. Those words affected me years later. In fact, From 8th grade until I turned 23 I did not wear shorts. I would always cover myself if I was in a bathing suit. I hated my legs. It’s funny now because I almost always wear shorts, and I actually like my legs!! In fact, that’s the number one compliment I get! Nevertheless, for about 10 years I was too insecure to wear shorts.

I remember discovering anorexia. I was 15 or 16, I had been sick for 5 days, my throat was swollen and I couldn’t swallow. I don’t know how many pounds I lost, but I dropped from a size 5 to a size 1. I looked in the mirror after a shower and liked what I saw. A very rare reaction for me. I knew I had lost weight because I had not eaten anything, so I decided to continue not eating. For months I restricted. I got paranoid, so I started to only eat if someone was there, to prove that I was eating, and then I would purge. At night I would inspect my body, feel my bones, make sure they were sticking out more than yesterday. A part of me knew it was wrong, but I felt so strong and successful. I became obsessed with thin models and actresses. I would make collages of all of these “perfect” women. I loved collar bones, hip bones and wrists. It was not so much that I thought they were so hot, I just wanted to look like that.

I went into treatment a few weeks into junior year. I learned that I had an addiction. I was addicted to the high I felt when I was hungry, the high I felt after purging, the high I felt knowing no one could force me. I controlled myself. It really was about control for me. My life was so dictated and protected. More so by the church, the church that controlled my family, and in turn, me. I learned coping skills, nutrition and began the long journey to self love.

About a year after treatment, I relapsed. It was unintentional, I had stopped working my recovery program, and I was so busy. (I had gained weight because I threw my nutrition out the window… I sort of went the opposite direction,and looked in the mirror, was disgusted, and turned my mirror around. Within months I was weighing in a 95 pounds, I remember wearing two pairs of jeans at once so no one would know how small I was.) At this point I worked in a gym, I woke up at 3:30am, got ready and walked to the gym, I opened it at 5:30am and was the receptionist, at noon I ran the child care center, at about 1:00pm I walked up the street, and was a nanny until 5:00pm. On weekends I was a lifeguard in Malibu. I really did not have time to eat anyway. I yoyoed for the next few years.

Having my daughter put health into perspective for me. I realized that I did not want my baby girl to grow up feeling the way I do about myself, so I needed t learn to love myself. Which meant taking care of myself. It was a slow process, it still is. I am understanding that bodies need nourishment from nutrients, and from self acceptance. I will always see flaws in myself, you will always see flaws in yourself. The trick is to work with what you’ve got. Today I look around and can see beauty in every body… and everybody.

www.facebook.com/isahealthymama

PMS

First of all, I want to celebrate 1019 views on my blog!!! It’s been about 3 weeks. Thank you so much for your support!!

I admit that I have massive mood swings. I have mentioned before that they tend to be related to my hunger. If I missed a feeding, I can’t even help myself. I will snap at anyone for almost anything. I end up in this catch 22. I am irritated, and when I am irritated, I can’t eat.
The past few days I have been in a funk. I am having trouble eating. I know I need to. I can feel it when I am out with the kids, or doing chores, I get light headed, but the thought of food just turns my stomach inside out. I have had to force feed myself. Sometimes, once I start I’m OK. Just getting through that first bite… Other times, every bite is forced. That was me all day. I tried to auto pilot myself through breakfast and just felt sick. I did not even think of lunch until around 2pm because I was busy, and nothing looked good. I choked down a salad.
When I was running, a little while into my third mile I saw stars. This is getting ridiculous. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my fiance. I just want to cry. On top of everything, I am breaking out!! I am sure it’s PMS, however, I don’t get periods. In November I started using birth control to help with my cysts… and I also decided that I was ready to get my tubes tied. (Sometimes I wonder if the cysts would have been better than my mood swings! But nothing would be as bad as getting pregnant again!!!) It took a few months to finally get everything in place for me to get the Essure procedure (http://www.essure.com/what-is-essure/how-essure-works). In order for my doctor to perform the procedure on me, she said I had to be on birth control for 3 months prior to, and 3 months after I got Essure. I opted to get the depo for the last 3 months after getting pregnant and miscarrying very early even though I was on the mini pill.
If you are wondering why I did not choose an IUD, first of all, my body does not react well to hormones, so after trying the pill, the patch, the ring, and the depo, and having symptoms ranging from migraines, to acne, to weight gain, and general psychosis, I almost chose to get the copper IUD. Right around this time, one of my friend’s IUD dislodged and cut her cervix. Another friend got pregnant with the IUD in!! I decided I did not want to risk either outcome. Essure and a few months of torture was my option. I am now on the tail end of the depo shot, and this month I will get my xray and hopefully my tubes are tied.
My favorite part of all of this is in order to get my xray, I have to bring proof that I’m not pregnant because if I am the pregnancy could be compromised… Clearly I am concerned about that…NOT. They also want me to come in 7 to 10 days after my period (no sex) so they can see in my tubes. Funny story: I don’t get a period thanks to the birth control that I was required to get in order to get my tubes tied. Also, the whole point is for them to not be abl to see in my tubes! Irritating much???
So here I am periodless, just wishing I would effing bleed! Like it would be some sort of release!