Monday, November 11, 2013

"Before" and "Now" Pictures

This is me at my starting weight, 274 pounds, in 2011.  When I first started this blog I didn't add my weight, but that's kind of silly and I and going to share everything!

Here are my pictures documenting my start of Isagenix.  I was 248 pounds when I started my 30 Cleansing and Fat Burning System.  Two months later, I am 224 and continuing to lose steadily. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Mama Make Over Continues...

It's been a while, but the Mama make-over has been moving right along.  Not exactly (or in anyway) as I thought it would, but obviously in a way that is meant to be.  The journey is not easy or without pain, but it feels right.  Although, it's kind of like being shaped and molded with a  hammer and chisel!

My weight loss stalled when my mom died.  Then, between raw grief and trying to figure out how to live life without my mom, business partner and right arm, I drugged myself with food.  I gained back most of the 35 pounds I'd lost and felt like I had gained 50.  The pounds definitely do not go back on the same way they came off!  My blood pressure continued to rise, making it necessary to increase my medication, and I developed reactive hypoglycemia.  I figured at least I didn't have diabetes and then I realized that reactive hypoglycemia is pre-diabetes!   By June of this year I was 270 pounds, disgusted, scared about my health and still stuffing down every fear and negative feeling with food. 

My weight wasn't my only problem.  My daycare is not the same since my mom passed away.  Between homeschooling Chloe, her health issues and medical appointments, it is impossible to work full-time.  My husband's business was also struggling.  He cut back on existing clients to pursue a new opportunity which didn't work out.  I can't even tell you how many times I've been on my knees asking for help and guidance as my life continued to spin out of control.

I read inspirational books, borrowed motivational CDs from the library, cried and prayed.  I felt hopeless.  I have always been a "glass half-full" kind of gal, but it felt like I was being pushed to my limit.  I told myself that I was doing everything I could to make a positive change in my life.  But, I knew in my heart and soul that this wasn't the truth.

One day I was listening to a Caroline Myss CD in the car.  She said if you ask yourself a question and listen for the immediate answer (without taking time to alter it and make it more comfortable!) you will get an answer you need.  She said you know what you need to do in life.  So, I asked myself what I needed to do.  LOSE WEIGHT.  Okay, well that was a no brainer.  Then I started thinking about it.  Losing weight and taking care of my body is something I can control.  And, losing weight would make me feel better physically and definitely mentally.  My life could only get better if I started taking care of my body and health.  It would also be stepping out in faith and doing everything in my power to improve my life and believing that the rest would be revealed in time.  I kept thinking of that line from Field of Dreams, "If you build it, he will come", except I heard, "if you lose it, it will come" .  So, on July 15, 2013, I started my very last diet!

Today, I have lost 46 pounds, I'm exercising regularly, and I feel like a new person.  It didn't happen overnight, but I held on to my faith and refused to give up.  I've made a commitment to myself and I am going to honor it!   There's a beautiful bright light and so much possibility shining at the end of my once very dark tunnel!    

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011: A Year of Unexpected losses...

My Beautiful Mom
Susan Carr
This is my first blog post since July 26, 2011.  I wrote my last post that morning, excited about losing 30 pounds, making positive changes in my life and starting to explore life “outside of my box”.   I read my blog entry to my mom and she was so proud of me.  She told me I was a “poet” (ya gotta love a mom’s praise!).  Less than three hours later, my mom had a massive stroke.  

My mom was at my house when she had the stroke and I found her within minutes.  She was rushed to an incredible hospital and certified stroke center and within four days she was in a state of the art rehabilitation facility.  Her recovery was going very well, after two weeks she was known as the "Super Star" patient.  She worked so hard on her recovery.  I honestly didn't know that my mom was capable of such incredible mental and physical strength.  My sister and I were with her every day, helping her, encouraging her and sometimes just holding her hand.  She couldn't speak but I knew she knew how completely she was loved by her family.  We didn't know it at the time, but those two weeks would be one of the most precious gifts we would ever receive.  Two weeks after my Mom's first stroke she had another, even more devastating, bleed in her brain.  She was not able to survive the second stroke and never regained consciousness.  For two days, we held her hand, told her how much we loved her and whispered messages for loved ones that had gone to heaven before her.  My Mom, Susan Carr,  passed away on August 11, 2011 surrounded by her family.

I had asked for change in 2011, but I never expected this.
For many years, I’ve referred to my mom as my right arm; I truly couldn’t “do” my life, as it was, without her.  She was my partner in my daycare and my biggest support system in managing my life.  My nine year old daughter, Chloe, has Down syndrome and in addition to doctor and therapy appointments, I homeschool her and take her to meet with her special education teacher twice a week.  My 14 year old daughter, Caitlyn, is a typical teenager, involved in local theater, school activities and is just plain busy!  My mom was like a second “me”.  She would take care of the daycare allowing me to take care of business outside of the home and she would take care of my girls when I needed a little break.  She was also my best friend!  My mom lived in our backyard in a little doll house built especially for her.  Every weekend my girls would wake up and head straight to grandma’s house for waffles and cuddles.  On the weekdays, I would watch from my kitchen window as she and her little dog headed over for a cup of coffee.  We would have a quiet moment to catch up before our daycare day began.  We’ve lost a big chunk of our lives, of our every day, of our hearts.   Caitlyn misses her “Old Lady Friend”, Chloe misses her “BFF”, Damond misses “Grandma Susan” and I miss my Mom!  Oh, how I miss my Mom!
After my mom passed away my daycare all but closed.  My daycare van had “died” the previous May and I replaced it with a little Toyota - environmentally friendly, but not exactly daycare child friendly.  School drop-offs, pick-ups and appointments became next to impossible without help.  Part of my “Making Over Mama” plan had been to eventually close the daycare; after eleven years I have been feeling burned out and ready for a new career path.  I just didn’t expect it to happen so suddenly.  Now, I work two days a week in the daycare and I am meditating, praying, searching, and agonizing over what I am supposed to be doing with my life.   I am busier than I have ever been, I love being a part-time-stay-at-home-mom; unfortunately, our bills didn’t decrease with our income.  Trying not to be consumed by stress and fear has been very challenging.  Having said that, I will tell you that I am completely convinced that I am exactly where I am meant to be. 
Two days after my mom’s first stroke,  a book arrived in the mail for her, Around the Year with Emmet Fox, A Book of Daily Readings.  This book is filled with daily meditations and messages to encourage faith and positive thinking.  My mom ordered this book for herself, but I know it was meant for me.  I can’t begin to tell you how many days the message has been exactly what I needed to hear.   After my mom’s death I found even more evidence of her pursuit of a more love and spiritually based life.  She had notes listing her goals and things she wanted to improve in her life.  The Sunday before her first stroke she’s purchased the book, The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success, by Deepak Chopra, at a garage sale.   When I opened the book after her death, it was bookmarked at Law Number Four:  The Law of Lease Effort.  Law number four says that least effort is expended when your actions are motivated by love, because nature is held together by the energy of love.  I cried when I read this, remembering how effortless it had felt to take care of my mom in the hospital.  Our motivation was pure love.  It felt like a sign.  My mom’s spiritual journey on this earth was over, but she had left me tools to begin my own.  So, my Mama Makeover continues…

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who Knew Being a Loser Could Feel So GOOD!

I have lost 30 pounds. The thirty pounds of fat was not only covering my hips and thighs, it clouded and narrowed my view of my world…and myself. I had become so focused on the negativity of the weight, that I lost sight of the whole world around me. I knew I had been living my life in a contained little box. What I didn't realize was just how small my metaphorical box was! Losing weight has lifted the lid and let the light and beauty of all of life's possibilities shine in. I still have a long path ahead of me on this weight loss journey, but I am filled with excitement about the person and the life that I'm finding under the fat!

Losing weight is making me feel so much better physically. I can move better, work better and even sleep better! I've gone to the beach a couple of time in the past month and focused on moving and walking and enjoying family and friends, not worrying about how I look in a swimsuit or shorts. I don't want to hide from life anymore, I want to experience it! The next thing that is SO cool is buying some new clothes…in a smaller size! And feeling better about the way I look. But, even better than that, is how good I feel mentally! I feel in control for the first time in many years. Taking control of my diet and body has made it easier to get control in other areas of my life. Eating out of control and gaining weight made me feel depressed and so very hopeless. I can honestly say that the word hopeless has not entered my thoughts in a long time. I am now feeling hopeful and excited as I continue my Mama Makeover!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It’s Like Watching Paint Dry…

Could this weight loss thing be any slower???? I now remember why I always quit at about week four…the feeling of hopelessness sets in. The scale is moving down so slowly. I feel good about my eating. I've been eating right, logging my food and calories and keeping pretty active.   But, the weight is coming off so slowly!  This is a weight range that I've been at for quite a while and I think I've hit a plateau already!  I do have to admit that I still have not been exercising regularly.  I have logged in a few exercise sessions, but the exercise component of this "make-over" is still lacking.  If I figure out my weight loss so far in percentages I'm only about 8% of the way into my weight loss plan and I've lost 11% of my weight.  I guess this is the part loss that takes faith and patience.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Diet In My Head

The diet in my head is the one that I contemplate while I'm overeating and feeling really bad about myself. The diet in my head is very effective. You lose weight rapidly, especially when you have a special occasion or outfit to fit into. The diet in my head is so easy. I've spent years convinced that the diet in my head was the answer to all of my weighty woes. The only problem I've found with the diet in my head is that it is ONLY in my head!

I am now in week three of my "Real Life Diet". I have been following my food plan, dramatically changing my eating habits, recording my meals and fighting the good weight loss fight. Frustratingly, the real life diet is not quiet as miraculous as the diet-in-my-head.  I've lost those same 10 pounds that come off so easily at the beginning of all of my diets.  You know, those same 10 pounds that come back equally as easy!  Now I'm in the walking-in-faith-because-I-truely-believe-I-can-lose-weight phase.  This is the challenging phase!  In the past, overwhelmed and discouraged by the enormity of the weight that I had to lose and the slow rate of weight loss, I would give up and go back to my old eating habits.  But, this time, I'm finding new motivations. I am motivated each day by how great it feels to feel good. I am in control of my eating. I am not feeling stuffed and guilty and lethargic from overeating. My clothes don't feel like a too tight second skin that I'm trying to shed by unbuttoning or unzipping. I am feeling really good. I keep reminding myself that the scale is not the only measurement of success. I am experiencing other positive changes. I'm not saying this weight loss journey is easy. I'm taking it one meal, one craving, one day at a time. But, I am out of my head and back into real life. And it feels great!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears…Oh My!

When I first started this post a couple of days ago, I intended to tell of my exciting and exhausting days as stage mother of two girls performing in a local production of The Wizard of Oz. Well, things have changed and I should change the blog post title to Lions and Tigers and Bears…AND ME!!! I am so exhausted! And I am very cranky! I have been going non-stop for days; leaving the house for dress rehearsals at 4:45pm and returning home at 11:00pm; getting up again at 5:45am and starting my daycare/homeschooling mommy/wife/mother duties and then leaving for rehearsal again at 4:45. Today is Thursday, the one rehearsal free day and evening before the play opens, and I've had a day filled with a visit to the radiologist for me, RSP, speech and an eye and hearing exam for Chloe and St Patrick's Day festivities for my daycare kids. I am pooped!!!

So, how does all of this complaining relate to weight loss and lifestyle change? Well, throughout this very difficult week I have stayed on my diet. It has taken planning and early dinners and going to bed pretty hungry rather than eat too late, but I feel very proud of myself. In the past I would have used this as an excuse to buy a little fast food, or maybe some licorice to chew on during those long evenings, but I didn't. I keep reminding myself that this is how I fall off the wagon every time. I justify why I should be able to eat something that is not very healthy. I tell myself that I'm in a situation that makes it impossible to stay on diet. I start with one thing and then, like falling dominos, I am sliding off the wagon and under the wheel! I want to lose weight; I want to feel differently about my body; I want to feel better about myself; I want all of this more than I want licorice or fast food. I have to remind myself of these goals daily. Sometimes I have to remind myself every hour or many times in an hour. I want different results than I've had in the past and I know that requires different behaviors.

This week has been difficult and wonderful all at the same time. I feel tired physically, but very strong emotionally…and in control!