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Food Lifestyle Self Impovement

Struggling with eating…this could help you

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In our society I swear everyone is on a diet, in the pursuit of balance, trying out a new lifestyle such as whole 30, paleo, keto, sugar free – or something else! I do solemnly believe you have to find what is right for you – and it may take some “dating around” to find a lifestyle that works for you. and it has to be something that you can LIVE with for life. SURE you may have to clean up your eating for a bit and have some discipline…but long term…deprivation only leads to yo-yo dieting – and those ups and downs have ONE thing in common … emotional relationship with food.

Struggling with eating…this could help you.

Here is a bit of my story… maybe you can relate. maybe you can’t. But it’s time that I own my story.

When I got to college everyone said i would gain the freshman 15. I was determined to prove them all wrong. And although I ate relatively ok most of the time I eventually did get to a spot where I was so damn uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m so sad to say that. My clothes did not fit the way they used to and things jiggled going up and down the dorm stairs that hadn’t in the past.

My friends and I did go to the college wellness center, but I’m sure we did more socializing then working out. (hey! thats ok too!!!) The end of my freshman year though I had had enough. I hated the way I felt. I saw the number on the scale hit a number I NEVER thought it would and MORE than a number I hated that I had no energy. I hated that I wasn’t active and this was NOT the way my future nurse self wanted to live her life.

So I started running and became totally addicted. (at first in a good way!) My sister and her husband had become owners in a local running store! She was training for a 5k and invited me to join them for runs at the store and we ran in intervals of walking and running – eventually increasing the time running and decreasing the time walking. I was hooked because I loved the feeling of accomplishing something hard. And I loved being able to help others at the store and run along side them! I eventually even became a store employee and grew so much in my shoe, apparel and training knowledge – I helped with group runs and that is where it all began!

Unfortunately I was PLAGUED with injury after injury. Mostly in the form of stress fractures. I would start getting pain in my hip, my leg, my foot, etc – my hip got so bad I was limping ALL the time. Every time I would go in it was the same story:  “YOU NEED TO SIT OUT of running for six weeks. No pounding allowed on that foot/leg/hip etc ”

While I had been becoming more active and putting on more miles I had adapted what I thought were healthier eating habits too. I would have a salad most days for lunch – and cut down on portion sizes throughout the day in other meals and snacks. I have always had a sweet tooth – so if I wanted to have a cookie or if I knew we were going out that night and I was going to have some drinks I would skip dinner to compromise.

No WONDER I was being injured all the time….

During my sophomore year of college I began training for a full marathon. I was having some pain in my right calf during my long runs, but it would feel better if I would just stretch. At this point I was putting on significant long runs of 16 miles and had built up my endurance pretty good in order to prepare for the 26.2 mile run coming up.

But I COULDN’T take the calf tightness and pain anymore and after a TON of testing I found out I needed surgery to relieve the muscle swelling that was going on in my calf. It was either do the surgery or just “take it easy” the rest of my life…which I couldn’t imagine having those limitations at the age of 20.

The periods of being injured was so hard on me. Running had become my stress relief and nursing school is STRESSFUL. I felt like I couldn’t do the one thing that helped me feel like my slate was clean. I felt trapped. Down. Depressed. I do remember that I gave up caring what I eat. Eating cereal out of the box, 2 or three protein bars at a time, mountains of candy wrappers –

and then the guilt. Only this time…I couldn’t “run it off” –

I can’t help that I’m a perfectionist, but it is still something I’m working on every day. Better done than perfect is what I tell myself! I am learning I don’t NEED to eat perfectly “clean.” It’s ok to have treats. I dont’ want to ever live in that mindset of restriction any more. I don’t want to find myself eating bowl after bowl of cereal just for the fact of doing it to find some sort of peace. I am over feeling “guilty” about eating something because I want it.

It is RIDICULOUS.

But sometimes that is easier said than done!

So what has helped me? I got help. I went to a nutritionist. I picked up books about seeing food as fuel. I nerd out about the science behind it. I got a personal trainer to show me things I COULD do while I was injured. I learned how that if I took pride in what I was putting in my body AND adding specific supplements I could avoid injury and stress fractures in the future. I learned and still am learning the value of listening to your body. When you need to rest and when you need to move. Your workouts, body weight, clothing size does NOT define you. Your actions do. Being who you ARE. You don’t have to be the same person you were yesterday…and you can take months off of running..eat  cookies and not die.

Disclaimer – I do promote beachbody products and am a coach with their company. I LOVE that they truly work hard on providing TOP OF THE LINE products and workouts – but something has been missing… the mindset piece.

Yesterday they released something called 2B Mindset – and I think it is going to help a TON of people find peace with food- help them realize that they don’t HAVE to feel guilty about having some treats if they want to. It’s going to help people get out of the diet mentality and STILL lose weight without the workout aspect. Learning how to fuel your workouts is SO KEY TOO and I wish I would have had access to this when I was going through all that I was going through!

I truly don’t feel that their is a certain way of eating that works for everyone…but I do believe that you need to keep trying things if you are struggling with these anxieties or if you seriously don’t even know where to start! And educating yourself gives you a whole new type of strong.

If you would like to learn more about this and see if it is for you – simple fill out THIS FORM HERE.

I am not here to spam you – I simply don’t want you to go through what I have in the past .. and those tendencies STILL come back and haunt me.

What about you?
What is YOUR story?
Have you struggled with any of this in the past?
How did you overcome or is it something you are still working on?

Categories
Food Health Lifestyle Me

I Didn’t Start Eating Cheerios

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When I was 21 I was applying for a certain type of insurance…which required some lab tests – one of those including a lipid panel…ALSO known as testing your cholesterol. Heart disease and high cholesterol run in my family. My grandpa passed away due to heart disease complications, my dad has had open heart surgery, my sister and niece have both had procedures to correct a heart arrhythmia and I myself was born with a heart defect called a Ventricular Septal Defect. Both of my parents have been on cholesterol medication as long as I can recall. I shouldn’t have been surprised that when I got my blood test results that I had high cholesterol too.

But I was TWENTY ONE. I was training for a marathon, my diet consisted of plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and everything else that qualifies as a “heart healthy diet” as promoted by the American Heart Association. I wasn’t by any means overweight either. It just goes to show that family history has a LOT to do with it!

So what did my primary care doctor say when she saw the results? “We will keep our eye on it and recheck yearly. Please ensure you are eating a heart healthy diet and exercise also.” Hmm….well I THINK marathon training counts as exercise…and like I said my eating was in check too…

I Didn’t Start Eating Cheerios

As a nurse I know the dangers of having high cholesterol. Having excess cholesterol build up can lead to waxy deposits in your arteries – narrowing the vessels – and can eventually lead to a hardening of the vessels. The narrowing of the vessels makes it harder for blood to flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. Also – a piece of the plaque could dislodge and cause a clot in your brain (a stroke) or to your heart (heart attack) Your body NEEDS cholesterol to some extent and it is produced by your body on it’s own. Cholesterol gets around within your body with certain types of proteins: Low Density Lipoproteins (known as LDLs) and High Density Lipoproteins (known as HDLs) The Cleveland Clinic website has a good way to remember which one is good and which one is bad:

Think of HDLs as the “garbage trucks” that haul away excess cholesterol to the liver. The LDLs are the “delivery trucks” that pick up the cholesterol from the liver and bring it to the cells.

So why do we need it? Cholesterol helps your body produce hormones, vitamin D and helps you digest food too! (so really..it’s not completely evil!)

You might find this infographic helpful – resource found HERE

So what is recommended for lowering cholesterol?

1. Adding heart healthy foods to your diet:
​ex: healthy omega-3 fats, whole grains, avoid trans-fats, increasing fiber intake, lean meats
2. quit smoking
3. increase physical activity
4. be at a “healthy” weight
5. alcohol in moderation

hmmm…well I already do all these things and was doing them at age 21 also…so what has changed?

First lets look at my results! (C’mon Marti, get to the juicy stuff!)

So as you can see
my total cholesterol is 211 – borderline high –

HDL (the good cholesterol) is 103 – this is high but that is OK – this means it is COMPENSATING and picking up the extra junk (remember the garbage trucks)

Triglycerides are within normal range

LDL (the BAD cholesterol is also at a good level!
so you might be thinking..ok what is the big deal? Let’s compare to results in the past!

Here are the numbers over the past four years of being checked! I started at 242…This year I’m at 211! And holy cow..look at the improvement in the LDLs too! (142 vs 97??) If I total everything up from the panel I have made a dramatic change of 99 point difference in my overall panel – and MORE if you count the improvement in the HDLs too!
So what is different THEN vs. NOW?

1. I’m not training for a marathon – so maybe some decreased stress on my body? Yes I work out most days and I also have an active job as a nurse. I strive for a balance of workout types: strength training and weight lifting, running, MMA style workouts, HIIT style training and I utilize working out at home AND at the gym. Oh and I’m taking days off too! (usually about two days a week)

2. I use Shakeology every day. Most of the time at work just in a shaker cup with water and ice! Otherwise I blend up a delish smoothie for dessert OR make an awesome pancake in 10 minutes. Shakeology is not just a protein shake. Yes it has protein. BUT it’s focus is on SUPERFOODS (70 of them in fact) Phytonutrients like MORINGA, kale, spiniach, spirulina that prolong life and preserve the good cells. Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion and healing your gut. ANTIOXIDANTS like Goji berry, green tea, camu-camu, blueberries, aceola that FIGHT DISEASE AND INFLAMMATION. Adaptogens (aka STRESS FIGHTERS) as in ashwaganda, maca, reishi mushrooms, chaga mushrooms. Digestive enzymes to help us break down our nutrition properly so that it actually gets utilized. It also has VITAMINS, MINERALS and many of those that are difficult to get in with just eating clean foods. (Sadly so much of what we think we are eating…we actually aren’t)

3. I still eat a “heart healthy diet” – oh – and treats too of course!

4. I follow up yearly with my primary physician and also keep an eye on my vital signs – such as my blood pressure (which is always LOW)

5. I have maintained my weight (of course it does fluctuate..but that is just a fact of life I’m learning!)

So the advice I give you is this.

Focus on the risk factors you CAN control! Like your nutrition, exercise, blood pressure, stress levels and worry less about the things you can’t – like your race and family history. Make small changes EVERY day because they will add up to big ones in the long run!

And FIND OUT YOUR RISK. Ask your family about their levels, find out about any relatives with heart disease and get yourself checked out! Get your lipid panel drawn, get your blood pressure checked, get your blood glucose level checked too. Find out where you are at so that you can IMPROVE.

Invest in yourself. Paying $4 a day for Shakeology is much better than already having to pay for CHOLESTEROL MEDICATIONS FOR LIFE.

1. Does heart disease and high cholesterol run in your family?

2. Do you know your numbers?

3. What changes are you making to improve?

4. To join me in the fight against cholesterol and find out more about Shakeology – email me HERE subject title FIGHTER