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LOSING MY MIND...

LOSING MY MIND...

MAY 2013

I don't have much memory of that day after it happened - only what I was told.  

I do remember the part before - I had knee surgery the day before.  I woke up that morning, took my pain pills and crutched my way into the kitchen.  

Had breakfast, watched my kids get ready and my husband get them out the door to school.  

My parents were in town to help out and shortly after everyone had left my Mom suggested we sit on the front porch to get some air.  

I was sitting on my porch swing, my parents were in the chairs across from me.  My Dad had asked me a question that I was googling on my phone for the answer.  I remember reading him the answer.  

My next memory is laying on my porch, men in navy blue shirts leaning over me, talking to me, so many questions.  

I wanted them to be quiet, I wanted them to stop talking.  I remember being carried down my front steps, I remember being loaded in, I remember being confused.  

I truly did not know what was happening, I didn't know how I had gotten where I was. I could hear my Mothers voice, I heard her ask why the lights were not on.  

I could hear the EMTs talking to each other.  He put an IV in my arm, I asked him what he was doing.  He said, "it's in case you have another seizure, I'll be able to stop it."  

Weird, I wondered who he was talking about? Not me, I had knee surgery, not a seizure, why was I here anyways?  

I said, "Do you see the man driving behind us?  He looks just like my husband."  

"Mam, that is your husband.  He is following us to the hospital.  You suffered a grand mal seizure and you are in an ambulance going to the hospital."   

It's hard to explain when part of your life, minutes, hours go missing.  You strain your brain to retrieve the memory.  You close your eyes and try your best to remember what happened the way people recall the event to you.  

But it's not there, it's just a blank space of nothing, your mind has tricked you into thinking you were in control of your brain all these years.  

The shock when you realize it's the other way around is sobering.  

That day at the hospital the Doctors concluded that my seizure was a direct result of my surgery, or the anti-nauseants or the anesthetic.  It was what they called induced, brought on by an outside factor.  

I was to see a neurologist but they all felt confident their diagnosis was correct.  I went home that day and slept, and slept and slept some more.  I saw the look on my husbands face, my parents face - I realized that it had been more traumatic for them than it had been for me.  

After all... I had no memory of it.  Over the next few days everyone just stared at me, watching and waiting to see if it would happen again.  

It didn't.

I went to see a Neurologist, the best in the city, the head of Neurology - I would have an answer for sure.  He agreed with the Doctors from the hospital that day but to be sure he would send me for an EEG and a CAT scan.

If those came back clear he wouldn't take away my license nor would he put me on a anti-seizure medicine.  I was just to stay clear of the anti-nausea medicines I had been given for my surgery.  

It came back clear, hallelujah I was fine!  Let's just move on with life please.....

FEBRUARY 2014

My entire house had been hit with the stomach bug except for me.  They were finally recovered and we were getting back to normal.  

I woke up to the phone ringing, it was the school district saying school was cancelled due to snow, yay - no getting up.  I closed my eyes again and immediately knew it, that nauseous feeling - for the love, I caught the stomach bug.  

I went into my bathroom and found a prescription I'd been given from my knee surgery for Phenergan (a popular prescription anti-nauseant) in case I had been nauseous after surgery.  I hadn't been nauseous after surgery so I'd never taken it, but I was now so was thankful to find it!  

It said to take 1-2 every 6 hours.  I was beyond nauseous at this point so I was taking two!  I went back to bed, told my husband I wasn't feeling well and what I had taken.  I fell back asleep and when I woke up a couple hours later I felt great, not sick at all.  It had worked, stomach bug successfully averted.  On with the day...

My husband was home that day, he was working in the barn down our driveway.  My daughters gymnastics class had not been cancelled so I had told him I would be taking her.  

I yelled to my daughter that we would be leaving in 10 minutes.  I walked into my closet, stood in front of the shelves I keep my jeans on and tried to decide which ones to wear.  

I heard my name being yelled, I felt someone shaking my shoulders.  I opened my eyes and saw my husband was staring down at me.  What on earth is he doing? Why is he calling my name and why am I laying on the floor of my closet?  

"What?" I said, as though it was perfectly normal for me to be sleeping in the closet.  

"What happened? What are you doing? You were completely unconscious!" he said.  

Weird.  I came in for pants and woke up on the floor - I don't know how much time passed between the two.  My 11 year old son found me, he thought I was sleeping, or dead, he wasn't sure.  He ran to find his Dad.  

My husband put me in my bed, I heard him on the phone with my Mom.  

He said to me, "your Mom thinks you had a seizure".

Impossible,  I was just looking for pants.  In my life I don't ever remember being so tired.  I slept all day, he kept waking me up and asking me questions, I'd answer correctly and he'd let me go back to sleep.  

He wanted me to drink water, I couldn't - I was too tired.  I probably slept for a solid 18 hours.  

I woke up to my phone ringing, it was pitch black out.  It was the next morning.  It was the school again, calling at 5am to say school was cancelled again.  I lay there some more, my husband was not beside me - I could hear him in the kitchen.  

I got up and felt like I'd been hit by a truck, every muscle in my body ached.  My contacts were still in my eyes. I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.  My face was bruised on one side, I had clearly met the island in my closet on my way down to the floor. 

I walked into the kitchen, it was still dark outside. There he was, he hadn't been able to sleep.  He doesn't do well with situations he can't control or make better.  

He looked at me and said, "How are you feeling?"

"Fine." I said.  

"Look at your face", he said. "What happened yesterday?"  

I said I didn't remember anything other than looking for pants.  I remembered nothing, nothing.  

I started to talk more and I remember the expression on his face changing, he started walking towards me and I heard him say, "are you alright?"  

"Mrs. Reid, you've had a seizure, we're taking you to the hospital."  

Again with the men in blue shirts.  I couldn't have had a seizure, I was just talking to my husband in the kitchen.  I remember crying. I felt weak, I felt sore, I felt out of control.  I felt like I was losing my mind, literally.  

Why was it betraying me like this?  

My heart went out to my husband.  He said that yes my memory of what happened was correct.  He said I was talking and then started slurring my words and suddenly got a glazed look in my eyes.  

He had asked me if I was okay and my head just flung backwards and there we were on the kitchen floor, for better or worse, me having a seizure and him scared out of his mind.  

He had to call 911.  He had to yell for our oldest, he had to tell him he was in charge.  He had to call for our youngest and take her with him to the hospital.  He had to fend off Hugo who thought his Mother was being attacked.  

It was not how he had seen his day going... 

The feeling I had after these two seizures was different than before.  Maybe it's because there were two and not just one.  When I was at the hospital that day they did a CT scan of my brain which came back clear but again told me it was likely an allergic reaction to the medicine.  

Back to the neurologist I should go and no driving until then.  The next few days I have little memory of.  I remember feeling paranoid, scared, I never wanted to be alone.  

My husband took time off work and if he had to go anywhere I would go with him.  I was scared of the world, I was scared of my brain. I didn't trust it anymore.  I could tell he felt sorry for me, I could see it in his eyes.  I had always been strong and now I felt weak.  

A couple days later we went to Starbucks and stood in a long line.  

I looked around at the packed coffee shop and whispered to my husband, "I think I know everyone in here."

"I'm pretty sure you don't, are you alright?" he said.

I looked up from his neck and back around and he was right, I didn't know anyone - I wanted to cry.  

What was happening to my mind and how would I handle life right now if he left me standing alone in Starbucks?  

 

I went back to the Neurologist and had more tests done, he said again that they were all clear and it was a "provoked" seizure.  

He would not take my license away, he would not put me on anti-seizure medicine but I was to never have Phenegran again.  He said it was a severe allergic reaction that had also played havoc on my brain.  

I went home and got back to my life, day by day I started to forget what had happened and started to trust myself again, trust that I would be ok as long as I didn't take any other medicines.  

MAY 2014

My husband was out of town, he was in Atlanta with our youngest son.  

I woke up and left with my daughter , we went to Target, we went to the gym.  I checked her into the daycare and walked into class.  I stood near the front of the room, ready for my cardio kickboxing class to begin.  

20 minutes into class I lost my balance, I thought it was my new shoes so I walked to the back of the class and took them off.  I walked back to my spot, I felt dizzy - must be the heat, I felt like I was going to fall - must be the exercise.  

Don't stop, push through, you don't know anyone in here, you are not a quitter.  

Ever have a deja vu?  That feeling that you've been in the same place with the same people in the same situation before?  

Well take that feeling and mulitply it by 1000, but not it a good way - like you want to escape, you want out of that feeling more than anything in the world.  

Add a feeling of nausea and dizziness.  I could see my arm punching in front of me but felt like it wasn't mine - it was a total mind / body disconnect, they call it an aura.

This was my last memory. 

"Mrs. Reid, I'm a medic with Williamson County, you suffered a seizure, you're in a ambulance and you're being taken to the hospital."

"No, no I didn't."

"Mam you did.  There was a nurse in your class and she told us what happened, you had a grand mal seizure 40 minutes into class."

I cried, I didn't want to be there. I wanted them to let me out. I wanted to go home.  What had I taken? What had happened before that brought this on?  Surely something? Anything?  Nothing.  

"Mam your friend Amy has your daughter."  

Holy **** did I seriously just forget my daughter was still at the gym? Yes, I had forgotten.  And who is Amy?  I don't know anyone named Amy? What is happening? Where is my child?

Her pre-school teacher from the year before (Amy) had been there that day.  We had spoken in the lobby before class, like a gift from God he had placed her in class that day.  

I remember staring at the walls of the ambulance, my mind was not mine and in case I had forgotten here was my reminder.  

"They are trying to get a hold of your husband."  Awesome, here we go again.

They wheeled me into the ER and I had to tell the story again, I was so tired,  I was tired of telling the story.  I hadn't taken anything, hadn't had any surgeries.  They asked me if I was taking diet pills? Pain pills? Any pills?  

I wanted to be able to say yes, I wanted there to be a reason WHY, but there wasn't, it had just happened.  

The Doctor in the ER spoke to my Neurologist.  She said she was discharging me but was starting me on a anti-seizure medicine and I was not to drive until I saw my Neurologist again.  

I was in a daze, it was all a blur.  Had I really just had a seizure in a room full of strangers?  I was so private and all of these people had just witnessed this happen to me? I was horrified.  

My husband drove back from Atlanta with our son, they had to miss the event they had gone to see.  He was stressed, he felt helpless.  

I decided I wanted a new Neurologist.  I didn't know exactly why, it was just a feeling.  My current one was close to retirement, I could feel his desire to be on a golf course instead of a medical office and I needed to be fixed.  

I went to see someone new, someone younger.  His youth didn't scare me. I could tell he loved what he did and was eager to get me figured out.  

He said I needed to stay on the anti-seizure medicine, twice a day.  How long?  That was something he couldn't tell me.  He said to stay away from pools if I was alone and not to have a bath by myself.  Like a child.

He said I had never had a MRI, he was sending me for one, particularly of my frontal lobe, to see what was causing the seizures.  

Then he looked at me like he wanted to be anywhere else other than that room and said, "I hate this part but I have to tell you that you cannot drive for the next 6 months.  If you have another seizure before that time the 6 months starts again.  It's the law, I'm sorry."  

My husband and I walked out of his office and I said I didn't want to talk about it.  We got in the car and he started to drive, I began to cry to the point I thought I would never stop.  

I was certain I was dying of a brain tumor, who was going to take care of my family? Who was going to pack their lunches and take care of them when they were sick?

And no driving?  We had moved out of the city, their was no public transportation. Uber hadn't come to our town and I had 4 kids going to 3 different schools.  

My husband said, "we'll figure it out, we'll get help, you will be fine."  

My new Neurologist sent me for another round of EEG's, ones where they change your environment.  When they put the bars up on the bed you start to realize they are anticipating you are likely going to have a seizure.  

I passed all their tests, ha - no seizure, nice try.  

I went for the MRI.  When I left after an hour and said goodbye to the tech who had run the test he said, "bye, good luck."  

Ummmmm what?  I kept walking, I got to my car and wanted to go back and ask him what he had meant by that?  I thought about it the whole way home, who says that???  

I planned to go back the next day and demand he tell me what he meant by that.. like "good luck with the rest of your day?" or "good luck with what I just saw on the screen."  

I didn't go back.  I waited, waited for the phone call to come with my results.  

They told me the seizure medicine would take a few weeks to adjust to, a few months would have been a more accurate statement.  

It was awful, I felt terrible all the time.  I was so tired, I felt like a walking zombie.  My mood went up and down like a yo-yo and as my family member you never knew who you were going to get when you walked in the door.  

I couldn't remember anything, I didn't know what I had done that morning.  I repeated myself all the time.  

"You just told me that", my husband would say. Then he stopped saying it and I could just tell by the look on his face he had heard it before.  

I started to think about what I was about to say, trying to remember if I had already said it during the conversation.

This medicine that was supposed to be stabilizing my brain made me once again feel like I was losing my mind. 

In the midst of my emotionally unstable medicine adjusting phase while waiting on my results (I was a total joy to be around) we were scheduled to go on a trip to the beach, we were leaving in a few days. 

The night before we left (a Friday night) I had left my phone in another room.  When I came back to check it (around 6pm) I had a missed call from a number I didn't recognize and no voicemail.  

I immediately called it back and it was my Neurologists office, they were closed.  I said it was an emergency and got the answering service who did not know why anyone had called me and they wouldn't be back in the office until Monday.  

I hung up and stared at the phone.  Why had they called me after hours on a Friday night?  Why hadn't they left a message?  In less than 10 minutes I had it all figured out.  

I assumed he was calling with my results.  At the end of the day after he'd been done with his patients so he'd have quiet.  He had gotten my voicemail but wouldn't ever leave bad news on a message so had decided to hang up instead.  That was it, I was dying, I just knew it.  

Why do we always go to the worst possible scenario? Why do we assume the news will always be bad?  

I cried and cried and cried until I thought I would pass out.  

My husband said I was jumping to conclusions.

We drove to the beach and I waited until Monday for them to return my call.  

It was the nurse, "we were calling Friday with your appointment reminder.  Your scans came back clear, the Doctor didn't find anything wrong."

"I'm not dying?  I thought he was calling with bad news." I said.

"No mam, your tests are fine, he will speak to you more next week at your appointment."  

What a relief right?  I mean it was like a new lease on life wasn't it?  Shouldn't it be?

Part of me didn't believe her.  Part of me thought they were missing something.  Part of me still didn't feel normal.  

Even though it was supposed to be good news I still wanted an answer.  I still didn't understand why this was happening.  

Maybe because if I didn't know why they had occurred how would I know how to prevent them in the future?

I went back to see my Dr. when I returned.  He was so happy to report that my scans were clear.  He wondered why I was not sharing in his happiness.  

I stared at him and said, "then why am I having seizures?",  "why didn't anything show up on the scans?"

And then my young and jovial Neurologist switched to his serious Doctor face, looked at me and said, "I know you want an answer and I'm sorry but sometimes we just don't know WHY.  Sometimes we just have to accept that things just happen and we do what we can to make sure they don't happen again.  Trust me when I tell you that when you start having seizures at your age (easy with the age reference young gun) and I send you for brain scans you DO NOT want me to find anything because what I am looking for is a brain tumor.  This is good news."

"So how long on the medicine?"

"There's no test I can run to tell you you won't have seizures anymore, you would be playing russian roulette if you stopped taking it."

So that was that.

The next 6 months were the hardest months of my life.  I felt physically terrible from the medicine but eventually adjusted.  As someone who never liked to ask for help I was left with no choice BUT to ask for help.  

I needed to ask for a ride everywhere I went.  I relied on friends, I relied on my Mom and Mother-In-Law who came down to help, I relied on my husband and I probably wasn't deserving of any of the help that I got.  I felt sorry for myself, I felt out of control, I felt weak.

In the midst of my storm there was a ray of light thrown in from the people I met during that time and it produced the most beautiful rainbow.  Friends I made who made those months more bearable, who drove my backside around, took me to lunch and most importantly... asked me how I was.

During those 6 months I realized how lucky my family was to have parents who were willing to drop everything and fly to another country to help us. 

And wow, what can I say about this amazing husband of mine?  What he had to put up, what he had to sacrifice to stay home and be with me I will never be able to thank him enough for.

He is somewhat over the trauma of it all and now I find it endearing that when we see fireworks he tells me to look away, when I'm out by the pool he bangs on the window for me not to be alone, when I take a bath he checks on me every few minutes, he is being 100% serious but I can't help but chuckle.  

It has been almost 3 years since I've had a seizure, it has been the same amount of time since I've been on anti-seizure medicine.

And because my Neurologist could tell that I was not going to stop asking until he could give me some sort of explanation for what was causing my seizures he finally came up with this explanation that he was quick to say was not proven, it was only his thoughts.  

Maybe you are going through something similar that you can't get any answers on, maybe this will be helpful to you as well.  I know it has put my mind at ease.

He said that everyone has a "seizure threshold", that he could provoke anyone into having a seizure through medication that would push their brain activity over that threshold line.

He said the majority of people lived well below that threshold line, people with Epilepsy lived above it.

He thought that I had probably spent my life living just under it, tapping the ceiling dangerously but never being pushed over the line.

The medication or the mixtures of them I had taken for my surgery and then when I had the flu had lowered my threshold (or increased my brain activity) which caused the seizure.

Because I had always lived so close to that ceiling my brain now knew how to go there, it was familiar.  

My threshold may have been lowered by those medicines just enough that my brain wasn't able to keep it's activity from crossing it, even without being provoked by an outside source.  

So there it is, I feel like I just wrote a novel.

Thank you for listening to my story.  It is one I have been asked about so many times.  Why couldn't you drive?  Are you really ok now?  Do they know what caused it?  I have tried to piece it all together the best I can. 

I am beyond thankful for my health, I am beyond thankful for my family and friends.

But do I still panic if I feel a twinge in my head? Absolutely.  I probably always will.

Will I stay on the medicine forever?  I hope not.

As long as I have to drive a car I will.

As long as I have to care for my children I will.

Maybe one day when we move to the beach and I can walk everywhere I will try.  Who knows, I need to work on getting that beach house first...... 

XoXo

- All photos by MINGO photography -

 

 

 

 

 

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The Acai Effect... is it for real or just another health fad?

The Acai Effect... is it for real or just another health fad?

You see them popping up everywhere - people are talking about them and they're on all the healthy menus these days,  but....  do you really know what's in a Acai bowl? (FYI -it's pronounced "ah-sigh-ee"- just so you sound like a pro when ordering).

Well first, Acai berries are a anti-oxidant fruit usually found in the rain forest of the Amazon. They are hailed as being an immune stimulating, energy boosting, weight loss promoting, protein filled, anti-aging superfood. The acai berry is 90% seed, the remaining 10% is the only edible part and when ground with water it becomes a thick purple puree, like a sorbet.  

Great.  So now I know that the base of my acai bowl is nutritious with a ton of health benefits but what about the other stuff that gets mixed in?  How do I know which toppings to add? Which to omit?  Not gonna lie, I often ask how much sugar is in something when ordering and when the response is, "well, its natural sugar", it makes me nervous because that means it's probably high.  Fruit in general has a high sugar count, yes it's better than junk food but the sweeter it is the higher the grams of sugar - natural or not.  Acai bowls are no exception, the majority range from having 50 - 100 grams of sugar (depending on size and toppings), that is a TON of sugar, natural or not.    Choose your toppings wisely!  Granola and honey and bananas have a very high amount of natural sugar, too much of any will not be your waistlines friend! 

Let's take for example this acai bowl that I probably get at least once a week from a local Juice shop. The list of ingredients are as follows:

BASE:

Acai Frozen Berries (frozen are my favorite because it tastes like sorbet!)

Frozen Banana

Apple Juice 

* the above are pureed together and then you get to pick your toppings!

TOPPINGS:

Granola 

Fresh Banana

Bee Pollen (ummm yes, that's what the yellow seed looking things on top are)

Goji Berries

Raw Honey

While everything in here is 1 million % delicious, the bananas, apple juice, granola and honey all have high sugar counts.  So if I were to eat this on a more regular basis I would be omitting the granola and banana on top and maybe halfing the honey amount. Is it as filling as a meal? Absolutely - it is so packed with stuff it's actually heavy!  

YOU'RE PUTTING WHAAAAT ON TOP OF MY FOOD?

Bee Pollen (refrain from gagging, it tastes ok when masked in with all this other good stuff).  It's rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids and fatty acids, enzymes, carotenoids and bioflavonoids. It has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that strengthen the capillaries, reduce inflammation, stimulate the immune system and lower cholesterol levels naturally.  Wow!  That seems like a lot of pros!

Are there any cons?  Some argue that it can cause an allergic reaction if you already have pollen allergies.  Others believe that taking a spoonful on a daily basis BEFORE allergy season begins actually helps build up an immunity to it and thus keeps you allergy free!  Living in the allergy capitol of the world, I know quite a few people who swear it works!

 

 WHAT ON EARTH IS A GOJI BERRY & WHY SHOULD WE EAT THEM?

This superfood provides high levels of antioxidants and nutrients.  Also called the wolf berry, it comes from a shrub that's native to China.  They have been eating them in Asia for years in the hopes of living longer.  They claim to improve your immune system and fight cancer. They promote healthy skin, protect eye health, help stabilize blood sugar and detoxify your liver.  On top of the health benefits,  they also taste great and take a while to chew.  If you are trying to watch your weight, studies show that eating foods that take longer to chew will help you feel fuller faster.  Your mind is tricked into thinking it'e eating more than it actually is - bonus!

 

So now you know WHAT you're ordering the next time you order an Acai bowl - or maybe this will give you the push you need to choose one of these OVER a fast food option the next time you're out to breakfast or lunch!  

Packed full of superfoods and so filling, it's a super choice whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or just trying to do something great for your body!

Like anything else, moderation is key.  The same way the ingredients and toppings at Starbucks can turn your regular coffee into the equivilent of a Big Mac (fact), the wrong toppings or too many toppings can jack up the sugar and fat count of your Acai bowl so just be aware!  And yes, I know that an Acai bowl is a much healthier choice than coffee!

Find one at your local juice bar (or get crazy and make your own) and feel good about what you're putting into your body!

xoxo

 

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I'M JUST GONNA SWEAT IT OFF...

I'M JUST GONNA SWEAT IT OFF...

I'm already sweating writing this.  Why? because I know this is a sensitive subject for many -  for me it is!  I hear the same story all the time, "I never had to worry about my weight until I got married, had kids, hit 30, hit menopause", hit life!  Right?  Isn't it really lifes obstacles that detoured your weight off course? Your fitness routine?  You stopped having time?  You started putting your kids, your job, your husband at the front of the line while your place just kept getting moved to the back?  Maybe you hear those women who say, "I never had to worry about my weight until...." and you secretly want to punch their lights out because you struggled with your weight your entire life.  What do they know about what it's like to struggle with weight? with body image?  They don't, you do - you've dealt with it for as long as you can remember.  Maybe you TRULY do not care about your weight or wether you exercise or not, this post is not for you.  Feel free to read on but don't leave me mean comments - there is nothing negative about what I have to say, it's all in love - ALL. IN. LOVE.  I get it, both sides. I have been on both ends of the spectrum (wait what???? - another post, maybe one day, maybe not).  I have struggled on both ends and believe me it's hard to find a happy medium when you have.  Somewhere, somehow I have found it - MY happy medium.  It will not be the same as yours, it doesn't need to be.

When my 2nd son was born my 1st was only 15 months old.  I had no family around to help and we didn't have the money for a babysitter.  We had one car that my husband took to work everyday.  This was not an ideal situation by any means!  I hadn't even lost all the weight from my 1st son and now I had a second one to lose!  My Mom bought us a double running stroller (I'm pretty sure out of pity) and guess what I did?  I put those babies in the stroller and I walked and walked and then I ran and then I joined the community rec center and I ran with those babies in the double jogger TO the rec center and put them in the FREE day care.  You got one hour of child care, when I tell you I stretched it to 60 minutes I mean somedays it was 65. Maybe I started working out through default, for a break, not just physically - mentally. The release I would have achieved by the time we got home was like no other.  I was a better Mother to them, I had patience, I felt in control.  I was theirs for the rest of the day. After my 3rd and 4th child I was the exact same, it wasn't as easy but I did it!  After my daughter was born I tried to take her to the YMCA daycare and she screamed the entire time, every day.  It was miserable, for both of us.  So I quit.  The gym, not myself.  I bought a DVD workout program and did it 6 days a week at home while she napped. It was possible because I had already proven to myself that a) I could and b) I should! The stress relief and endorphins you can release through exercise can make even the most challenging of days seem conquerable.     

Find what you love:

I am a firm believer that diet and fitness go hand in hand.  When you workout in the morning you are more likely to eat better for the rest of the day - you start your mindset off on the right note.  When you workout at night you are more likely to watch what you're eating through the day, who wants to workout after eating a hamburger and fries?  Knowing you still have to workout puts you in the right mindset through the day.  Find an exercise program that you love!  I cannot stress this enough!  If it doesn't excite you you will get bored and you will quit. Are you someone who would rather exercise alone?  Put in your earphones and tune out the rest of the world? Or are you someone who needs to be held accountable? To a trainer? A class where people know you and expect you to show up?  Learn this about yourself.  Again, there is no right answer, it's what works for you.  Regardless of your fitness level there is more than likely something that can work for you.  High impact, low impact, spinning, yoga, boxing, water aerobics, barre, paddle boarding, biking, walking!  The list is truly endless.  My Mom is 70 and just had her second hip replacement.  She still does pilates every week, with 2 fake hips!  My point is, you can always find something, ALWAYS.  

Find something that makes you sweat and makes your muscles sore, don't waste your time - take the time you are exercising to give it all that you've got! The first form of fitness I fell in love with was running.  People would ask me, "how far do you run"?  I never knew, it didn't matter.  I never ran to set records, I ran until I "felt it", until I had nothing left - that's when my run was over.  I ran for years but after my second knee surgery my Dr. told me if I didn't stop I would be having a knee replacement within the next year.  * and yes of course I tried to prove him wrong and ran anyways and after could not walk for about a week, my running career was officially over.  I tried EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT after that - I think I'll save my opinion on those for another time because that would be its own post!  It doesn't mean I'm right, it doesn't mean it will work for everyone.  I found my current fitness relationship just over 2 years ago, Taebo™. After the first class I almost cried happy tears because it had been almost that long since I had felt the same rush as I had when I used to run.  If you are around my age or older you will remember the Taebo™ DVD's - remember Billy Blanks?

Well yes, that's the one.  A cardio kickboxing workout that's done on a gymnastics floor which is great for my knee!  I kind of hit the jackpot that his daughter Shellie moved here and opened up her own Taebo™ gym - lucky me!  Again, I'll save the ins and outs of this workout for later because it also is a post in itself!

You can do it - I PROMISE!

You can always find a reason why you are too busy to exercise, but 3 months in you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.  It isn't about being "skinny" or a dress size or a number on the scale - it's about feeling strong and confident - only you will know what that looks and feels like.  It's not selfish to take an hour for yourself, when you are happy with yourself it shows, it radiates onto everyone around you.  Yes I am aware that the above doesn't hold true for everyone because sometimes injuries and health conditions and LIFE get in the way and throw you a curve ball that make it impossible to achieve what you want no matter how hard you try!  So kudos to those who have those challenges and are STILL trying!  

My guidelines I try to stick to most of the time!  

1) cardio (and if I'm not sweating I am not calling it cardio, I'll call it toning) 5 x a week

2) weights 2 to 3 times x week

3) limited carbs for dinner 

4) NO eating past 8pm

5) protein, protein, protein (egg whites, lean meats, veggies, protein shakes) 

6) do NOT eat in front of the TV 

7) always read the labels on your food - don't just look at the calories - look at the grams of fat AND the sugar

8) sugar = devil

9) sugar drinks  / most fancy coffee drinks = the devil  (read your labels!)

10) always keep one thing you love (in moderation) heyyyy red wine 

These are just my GOALS - I do love to indulge and I will never deny myself something if I REALLY want it!

Are you interested in hearing my thoughts and experiences with all the different exercise methods out there?  My opinion of what you should do if you're trying to achieve a, b or c?  Do you want to see my workout routine?  Do you want to talk about what to eat and what not to?  Like I said in my welcome video - this is not just a place for me to talk TO you, I want us to talk TOGETHER so let me know what you want to talk about!  Maybe I can even find us an expert or two to help out!

xoxo 

 

 

 

 

 

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