As was looking over my previous posts about getting healthy, I felt my self getting a little frustrated, but then I reminded myself that all journeys sometimes have detours. It also gives me a little insight into changes I need to make so that when life throws a curve ball, this healthy way of being is not temporary, not a diet, but a way of life and isn't something life can derail. ( This is literally the ONLY current picture I have... Ill take some!)

Stilettos In  The Mud
Don't ask me what I am holding lol! That was the Theater Mascot?
This isn't my first rodeo. I was a skinny kid who was active, ate well, and never had to worry about food. I found all that changed after I had my babies! I have been struggling with being a healthy weight, on and off, for 20 years! I have had many successes! I have tried it all!!! Slim fast, Low Carb, Low Fat, HCG, etc etc etc etc. Through it all the missing component was a.) exercise and b) a lifestyle change and commitment. We eat very healthy! I am an organic food nut who loves a candy bar and Dr. P on occasion!  Talk about a walking contradiction!  Food is the way I nurture others, and I have found, in times of stress, it is the way I nurture myself, but nurturing can become healthy when the pounds add on! 
My heaviest (three years ago). I remember seeing this picture, after it was taken... it spurred me to get healthy!
I was working toward getting healthier here...I am always singing!
Three years ago, I was sick and tired of being fat and tired and in pain. I lost 80 pounds. I loved it. I felt healthy and wonderful.  Over the last few years I put a little back on each year, but still felt as if my weight was in control. I still felt strong and healthy, and actually added exercise in on a regular basis.  After Seth's accident this summer, things spiraled out of control. I quit taking care of myself, quit exercising  and just concentrated on getting through each and every day! I figure if I want to encourage others I have to be open and frank. I have gained 30 pounds since his accident. I made a deal with myself after losing weight last time, that I would not go up above a certain pants size. There I found myself... squeezing into the highest size I will allow myself to go and I had to make a decision. Go shopping for the next size up and break my promise to myself or.... get my behind to work!
After dropping 80 pounds! I felt beautiful!
Those who follow this blog KNOW, this blog is about my WHOLE life. So, I want you to challenge yourself... and walk this path with me. Let us commit to each other to come her and be encouraged... and be accountable! I'll be adding new features each week! A newsletter, guest bloggers who walk the talk, you tube videos, recipes, and anything else we can to encourage and help you along! I have plans to have a section with a password so we can share our thoughts without sharing with the whole world! This will change and expand to be tailored to work for you! 
Halloween Fun! I was able to smile and have pics taken!
I will share my first success with you RIGHT NOW!  I have been losing a pound a day for the last week! So, how am I doing this? For health reasons, we chose to make our lifestyle change fit what we believe about food. We believe in buying organic, growing our own food, shopping local is healthiest for us and the environment. We believe we save in the long run spending extra on good foods and less on medications and doctors for the health issues which come from toxins in our foods, soils, and bodies! It is a commitment we have made and just want you to know you  have to decide what works best for you. 
After much research into the symptoms the cowboy was experiencing from the accident and both of our subsequent weight gains, we decided to be a little radical!  For our Anniversary, we bought a juicer. We decided to eliminate toxins in our systems as well as put as many nutrients back in our bodies as possible for a few months. Now I cannot go with solely juicing, and I know there are lots of people who have and can. We plan to make juicing a life long habit! 
I decided I needed more protein, and since I have eliminated meat, with the exception of occasional fish, my good friend in Montana told me about a healthy shake she has added to her life! I have joined the Body by Vi 90 day challenge. If you wish to find out more about this and join the challenge with me, let me know! They will offer you the same thing they offered me! Those who sign up through my profile allow me to get a month free with every three people who sign up! So, if you decide to go this route please link into my Vi Page HERE! I don't get paid to endorse this and certainly encourage you to find what works for you!
My idea of a healthy dinner! It doesn't need to be boring! This soup was amazing!! Don't let it fool you! I packed a lot in there!
Vegetable Bisque with Basil with toasted Ezekiel Bread
Ingredients: Almond milk, Fresh tomatoes (blanched, peeled, and blended), carrots (blended)  , red and yellow peppers (blended), cayenne, fresh basil, and sea salt. 

Ginger Lime Aide
Fresh lime
Slices of Fresh Ginger
A little bit of Stevia
and Water!
So here are the healthy changes I have made so far! 
Vitamins! (Why? Have you done the research about our depleted soils? We just don't get what we need!)
Exercise: Mainly yoga (if for religious reasons you cannot do yoga, just know the stretches are wonderful and you do not have to add the meditation or spiritual side to it! )stretches, treadmill, and one of those sitting bike things! My joints just cannot take all the trauma other exercises cause! I now work out of the home and this is a major challenge! My goal is exercise daily! I haven' reached it yet! I'll let you know when I do!
Juicing: We juice every day and I even take it to work to sip throughout the day! I start off my morning with healthy juice made from organic fruits and veggies! You can see out post about it HERE
Body By Vi Shakes : (Breakfast and lunch with my juicing!) It gives me this little extra I need to get through my day! I add things to the shake! My favorite is a spoon of sugar and salt free peanut butter (you can use almond butter) and 1/2 banana! 
Healthy Dinner: Fresh filling foods. I have eliminated most dairy, wheat, and meat. This works for me. You must decide what works for you! I do eat yogurt, goat cheese, feta, and eggs on occasion  I also add one slice of Ezekiel Bread a couple of times a week as a treat!
Weighing and Measuring: I weigh every day but it is recommended that you weigh once a week. I recommend measuring once a month too! This way you can really gauge where things are happening for you!
Journaling: I love to write, and I do the majority of it here... hate to keep a journal? Share your thoughts with us here! Just check in and let me know how you are doing! 
Positive Thinking: This is a must. NO down talk.. No negative Self talk. I want you to look in that mirror EVERY MORNING and say "Good Morning Beautiful/Handsome! I am so proud of you!" Yeah... you will so feel dorky at first! hahaha but the idea is to really embrace who you are right now and love you! 
No Cheating: I am not allowing myself refined sugars or treats right now. I have no will power as a little bit turns into a whole lot. You have to decide for yourself what cheating is and stick to it! I can tell you the buttery popcorn my daughter just made has me drooling!! I just keep reminding myself to stay focused on my goal! Once I have reached it I can see how I do with treats on occasion. 

You know Im starting to get that old adage of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Yeah...Id prefer to have focused on those ounces than these pounds! I think I'm turning into a crazy person...I see a 20 something with a soda and a big ol' cheese burger and I want to run over and say "Don't do it! Your body wont keep that size 5 with babies, and stress, and age, and hamburgers....start taking care of it now!!!"  I haven't crossed the line to FULL BLOWN CRAZY because I haven't followed through on my urges... yet!

I'm still working on my healthy goals for my body. Yes, I am slowly and successfully taking weight off and getting stronger. Why don't we listen to older people when we are strong and young? Why don't we work to keep our bodies firm and strong? I'm telling you running stairs and lifting weights makes me want to cry, so I've changed up my plan a little. I decided why torture myself?! There are plenty of active activities which I find fun and meet my goals.  So no more of the things I hate. More yoga...more walks...more swimming... more dancing until I'm giddy and out of breath. 

I hope you will find time to live life to the fullest and quit worrying so much about that scale and more on creating beauty and health in your life. Embrace and draw into your presence people who support you and not sabotage you. Walk with friends... tell them of your successes and your struggles. Be with people who make you laugh! Eat delicious beautiful healthy food. Drink lovely spring water which comes clean from the earth.  Above all make sure you are having fun and living life to the fullest. Go ahead... make your life delicious!

I've just completed my first two weeks of working out...almost everyday. There are a few things I have learned so far, and it has  been quite the adventure. 

10. Even under all the softness time brings with lack of dedicated and focused exercise, there are indeed muscles under there you never knew existed.

9.Howls of pain from being sore will provide teenagers hours of endless joy and pleasure...who knew they were such comedians ....just not so sure about it being at my expense ;)

8. I've learned being sore is a good thing. It means I've worked hard and I have evidence (see previous point about howls of pain)

7. You know what road they say is paved with good intentions?  I have not managed 100% gluten free but I have reduced my intake of wheat drastically and feel good. I've learned my lesson about declarations and too high of goals...I hope!

6. It's all about balance. I've discovered I've lost mine somewhere along the way. Balance in regards to diet, exercise, and physical strength is healthy. There is even a balance to be found in enjoying a brownie every now and again. 

5. It's all about breathing. I've discovered I hold my breath...a lot. In applying this to other aspects in life it has to be noted with a house full of kids, I spend a lot of time worrying and "holding my breath" to see what we will encounter each day. It's a lot easier to face life if we are conscious of our breath. We can use it as a tool to calm and center ourselves. When exercising...breathe. When dealing with teens...breathe. When wanting to "put the smack down" on rude obnoxious people in the grocery store...breathe. When sitting, standing, laughing, living...breath. 

4. It is fun to shop for exercise clothes. I'm not a shopper. I don't enjoy shopping...it makes me cranky. Don't get me wrong...I love the outcome...having cute things to wear...and oh how I adore shoes. I just do not care for the process of shopping. I had my first enjoyable buy yesterday, when I rewarded myself with a new workout outfit (and at 50% off which always makes this gal smile). Apparently I'm into hot pink and black right now...but there are so many options out there above and beyond icky sweatpants! Having the right gear and feeling cute is just one thing which motivates me to move everyday!

3. You can exercise in your own home and get a good workout without a lot of expensive and space taking equipment. I've had the best workouts I have ever had with hand weights, yoga ball, yoga mat, resistance bands, my steps and the wall. Don't let what you don't have prevent you from getting healthy. Use the tools on hand :)

2. Life gets in the way sometimes, particularly when you are a mom. I missed one workout this week to deal with a crisis. It couldn't be ignored or put off until a later date. I was frustrated. After I spent some time thinking about my feelings, I realized all parents sacrifice parts of themselves in order to make sure their kids have everything. My frustration wasn't directed at the children, or my role as a mom, but really at all the times I have used being a mom as an excuse not to make time for myself. It is important to schedule time for yourself. 

1. When it comes to exercise, even when you don't feel like it...push through and do it anyway. There are days when Ms T, my personal trainer, shows up and I'm just not feeling it. Even after the workout I'm still not glad I persevered...I'm tired, cranky and just plain not in the mood. She reminded me it's like child birth...you get to that place where you just don't think you can do it...but you have to...and in the end the results are beautiful.  
So , here I sit, waiting patiently and a little trepidatiously (is that even a word?)  for my first exercise encounter with a personal trainer. I am kind of hopeful it will be like the first time I had a child...I had imagined something so horrible and horrendous (after hearing many women's horror birthing stories) when I had my first it wasn't as awful as I had imagined. The problem with it was the children which came after her;  I had true knowledge and still had fear but it was a little healthier. 

My PT is a wonderful gal...has checked in with me several times this week to see how things are going with eating healthy (NOT calling it a diet), and has been very encouraging concerning my successes. It isn't so much I fear her; I realize it is more I fear my body not being as strong as I want it to be but I'm am doing the healthy self talk of "Be patient, it will come with time." Yeah, I think my husband is correct when he says I over think everything

I've donned my "little" hot pink sports bra (cuz it's pretty and keeps things where they used to be/ well almost) and exercise gear . I'm ready to "feel the burn" ( I can hear my children in my head saying "Mom, don't ever say that again)! So wish me luck..or say a prayer...or just imagine me in down ward facing dog and giggle a little. 

Holy Wow. I have spent the morning researching information on the internet in regards to going gluten free! I feel like I have landed in Oz and am leaving the yellow brick road! I have so many questions and a need to understand what I am embarking on. "Oz"  (getting healthy) is hard enough to comprehend without adding to it all of the information out there on glutens. 

I understand the familiarity of a basic diet which includes wheat. However, after many years of inflammatory health issues, I have been encouraged to take a look at what I am consuming. The information out there varies to such a degree it has me stumped! One website has your basic information on gluten free and avoiding wheat, oat and other problem causing grains. Another website claims even the proteins found in corn, rice, and other usually acceptable grains is problematic not to mention any animal which is grain fed (this eliminates any animal who is not grass fed and effects dairy consumption as well). Makes one wonder what one would eat. 

I think I make things too difficult for myself. There is wisdom in simplicity but why is it hard to find it? I am going to try the basic gluten free diet. If I do not get the results I am looking for I will then try eliminating other possible suspects. 

Have you gone gluten free? If so, share your comments, ideas, favorite recipes,  websites, books and any other information you have found helpful in the comment box below! 

I've been working very hard on my own for the last several years toward my goal of getting healthy. I'm not going to lie and say weight loss was not a part of it, however I wanted my focus to be health. On my own I lost a small person's worth of weight. I have had many struggles and successes!  I'm very proud of what I have accomplished. Part of being successful at any goal is knowing when you have to go outside yourself for help. I have arrived at such a place in my health goals. 

With all of the changes in the last year, I have fallen back on some unhealthy habits.  Recognizing it and wanting to make sure I do not lose anymore ground, I asked my husband for a personal trainer for Christmas.I was quite surprised when he agreed but he said I made a good argument for stretching the budget for this and I am going to purchase less music for my Ipod each month, which is my me purchase. 

We have very few fitness classes in our area so that wasn't a viable option. We have two gym type places but lets face it...I know I am the type of person who needs a little accountability and nudge every now and again :) Also, I am self admitting to being a people pleaser and in this instance I am hoping it will work in my favor. I am hoping by having someone who helps me set healthy goals and is interested in my successes as well as won't let me get a way with second best...Ill be able to step it up to the next level. 

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with my personal trainer...cracks me up every time I say or write it. "I have a personal trainer"  Definitely not something I would have ever thought I'd ask for as a Christmas present. She is cute as a button but I have a feeling she is going to take me to task as she promised! I want to be healthy and strong and it's good to have a partner to work with. I just hope I don't lay their sobbing like those people Biggest Loser. I only watched that show once and I wanted to cry for them as I'm not motivated by humiliation and people yelling particularly on national TV! SO hopefully she will go easy on me there. 

I will be blogging and maybe sometimes bit**ing about my successes and failures. I want to hear from others who are on a path to becoming healthy! Here's to year of getting healthy and fabulous which will not only help when I purchase a dress for when we renew our vows next fall but will hopefully make some life long changes for this gal!