I hit my max weight in 2015 at 299 pounds. I was not active in any shape or form. I am a sugar addict (really), I love SUGAR! I drank an average of 52 ounces of Dr. Pepper daily. I was a purest claiming that the sugar was less harmful for me then the artificial sweetener (ha, ha). I had a drawer full of M&Ms, licorice and a bag of kettle potatoes chips by my computer. I worked late and I ate until I went to bed. I constantly felt like crap...my stomach hurt, I felt bloated, my ankles swelled and I had head aches. When I cooked, my meals were typically all one color...very seldom did you see anything "green" on the plate. And bread was almost always part of the meal.
My sweet daughter, who has always been very health minded often expressed her concern for my declining health. She tried to offer help in her sweet, humble way with no changes in me. I didn't consider myself unhappy or miserable and certainly didn't believe my weight had any affect on me (but in hindsight I have changed my honesty about that topic). I have never been a dieter and figured why try when so many of my friends have lost and gained it all back over and over! But I had been watching a friend change her lifestyle so much that she had lost over 100 pounds and without surgery. I was intrigued and always watching her. I knew she might be the help I had always needed!
First and foremost, not any one weight loss program works for EVERY ONE. You have to figure out what rings true to you! When I learned about Candida /yeast overgrowth (click tab above to learn more) and how it affects our bodies, I knew in my GUT (no pun intended) that I was suffering from this and needed to treat my body accordingly. So when I was advised to start a 28-day Candida cleanse and start my journey of "No Wheat, No Sugar, No Dairy" I jumped and haven't looked back.
My Healthy Routine:
- 8 Hours of Sleep (toughest for me, but makes a huge difference)
- Every morning I have a cup of Hot Lemon Water + Cayenne Pepper (hated this at first but crave it now)
- Breakfast - Green Smoothie + Multi-Vitamin & Probiotic
- Lunch - Greens (I love eating out so I try to stick to salads)
- Walk - I enjoy walking the most and try to do 2.5-4 miles (takes me less then an hour & I try to go 3-5 times a week, but life happens and I don't always get outside)
- Dinner - Protein (chicken, turkey, salmon) + Lots of Veggies
Other Helpful Tips:
- Activity Tracker - Huge help for me to be held accountable for my activity. I will purposely park far away, run up and down the stairs to get my steps in.
- Water - I drink half my body weight in ounces every day! So get a water bottle or two that you love because you will take it everywhere. I have it with me in my purse everywhere I go and love filling it up with take out ice and water wherever I end up.
- Weight Watchers - I needed someone else to hold me accountable for my weight loss (or gain) and my WW family does that for me. I learn great things as well from the classes and attendees as well. I have tried holding myself accountable, but honestly that just got me to where I was, fat! I also think if you can find a group that supports learning healthy ways of living, it can only benefit you. I started my journey with a "Wellness Class" taught by my friend Annette Wasden.
- Be Flexible - Although I started this journey focused on "No Wheat, No Sugar, No Dairy," let's be honest, it's hard to go 100% off those things. I find excluding small servings of cheese or ranch dressing is unrealistic for ME. A breaded fried pickle or crouton on your salad will not kill you. But sugar is something that I try my hardest to avoid because I know I'm an addict and I'm sure if I start eating it again, I won't stop!
- It's Okay to Experiment - I love taking cooking classes to learn new ways to cook. These have been a lifesaver for me. I also love to experiment...we have tried four different "healthy" brownie recipes and only one worked out to be edible. Don't get discouraged, keep trying! Flour substitutes are still a mystery to me and I am still learning what works for me!
- Journal - Write somewhere about your feelings, your GOALS and your challenges. This has been a huge help for me!
- Incorporate the Atonement - I should have put this at the top of the list, but I would not have made it this far or continue to find success and healthy living without my Savior. Without applying his Atonement to everything I do from how I eat to how I feel about myself I would not be here today writing this. You do NOT have to do this ALONE! Make sure you are turning to a higher power as you start to make changes. I noticed when I made Him a priority over everything else, it all seemed to work better. When I started my days in prayer and scripture study, I found the time I needed to do the other things and I felt more order and less chaos in my life. Seriously I could not express enough how much this has helped me.