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It's DECEMBER tomorrow!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I can't believe New Year's Day 2015 is just a few weeks away! 2014 has passed so quickly, it's nearly a blur, especially the last 11 weeks. Unfortunately, part of the reason this year passed so quickly was that life seemed to be constantly enveloped in stress and uncertainty. On the bright side, because of that additional stress, I shifted my priorities, gained a new perspective on life, and a new appreciation for everything that really matters. So, even though life is still stressful, I'm grateful for each new day.


We decided we wanted to sell our house, but before we could list it, there were a few thing that needed to be done. Because of my husband's work and travel schedule, I was the one that had to complete everything on the to-do list. Painting a few rooms, baseboards, and cleaning out closets and the garage didn't seem like it would take very long or that it would be too much for me, but I was wrong. My days were long and physically exhausting. So, I had to let go of my September fitness goals, and I didn't bother setting any new goals in October. My only fitness minutes, consisted of walking with our dog, on his mandatory twice daily walks, (average daily total 5 miles). Normally I don't count walking our dog in my fitness minutes, but since it took all the energy I had left to walk him, I counted them. I tried to hold on to my nutrition goals as long as I could, but by mid September, because of all the clutter the painting had caused, I couldn't even find my kitchen. I was surprised how quickly I noticed negative changes in my health, from all the restaurant foods.

It was mid October before our house was ready to go on the market, and by that time my *precious* body was screaming for attention. The joint swelling and muscle pains I had been dealing with earlier in the year, had returned with a vengeance. I was a complete mess. Even my husband, who has never had any health issues, was complaining about how rundown he felt, since I stopped cooking for us. So, we decided to reboot our systems, with a new Whole30. Eating W30 clean, isn't that different from our "ideal" normal eating habits. The big differences are no alcohol at all, no sweeteners of any kind, and no dairy. The rest of the avoid list, we do our best to avoid anyway. Today is day 31!

What made this Whole30 special is that we survived Halloween, 19 days away from home, an early Thanksgiving celebration with my husband's family, my birthday, and Thanksgiving, while eating W30 clean and without ever feeling deprived! My husband and I both feel so much better. Weight loss is supposed to be the "added bonus" of completing a W30 and not the focus. So I haven't bothered to weigh myself today or take measurements. I honestly can't remember if I took measurements when I started. If I did, they're someplace "safe" out of the reach of realtors or potential home buyers. Actually, one of the best things to come out of us, listing our house, was that I had to put our scale away. Out of sight. Out of mind. My addiction to that thing has finally been broken. But, I did weigh myself on my birthday, since in the past, my birthday has always been a big goal date for me. That was 10 days ago. To my surprise, I had lost 12 pounds! I did a quick happy dance, and then shoved that thing in the closet where it belongs. I won't bring it out again until New Year's Day.

Unfortunately, I'm still dealing with some muscle and joint issues. I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow, and then a follow-up appointment with my orthopedist on the 10th, to discuss the results. He said if his suspicions are confirmed, I might need surgery on my right knee. A scary prospect, since my right knee has always been my "good" knee. I'm not going to think about it, until I have to think about it. But, I haven't had to scream once in the last two days, which is a BIG deal, since for the past 9 weeks, I couldn't go an hour without an exclamation. Maybe my W30 is still helping my body heal itself. Fingers crossed.

After 30 days on the market, a fluke contract issue with our realtor, allowed us to be granted an unconditional release from our contract. So we took our house off the market. That has alleviated a lot of stress, since our CA house hunting had not been going well. Our plan is to enjoy the holidays with our families, deal with my knee issues, and then decide if we want to list the house again in February. We'll see. To allow us to stay here, my husband would need to find a different job that eliminated all the traveling he's been doing these last two years. I'd rather live in a tiny CA apartment with him, then our beautiful house alone half of every month.

DECEMBER CHALLENGE: Stronger than Yesterday!
CANNIE50's Precious Body Challenge : www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

30 DAY NUTRITION CHALLENGE: Follow Wahl's Veggie Protocol, and eat Primal clean.

30 DAY FITNESS GOALS: Until, my orthopedist gives me permission to do more, my daily fitness will continue to only consist of walking our dog twice a day (min. of 5 miles daily) & Tracy's Mat Workout Arms and Abs 4 days a week.

PERSONAL REMINDER: There is no magical shortcut.

On my birthday, I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 2. If you haven't seen it, especially if you loved the original, wait until you can watch it for free. It's not worth the rental fee. Although it still tried to shine a light on the health benefits of juicing, the message that really came across was that drastic unsustainable diet changes, don't work. Since filming the original, Phil Staples (truck driver guy) has gained back all his weight, and Joe Cross regained and struggles with 30/40 pounds. It was sad.

I've been seeing the word "set-point" popping up a lot lately, when referring to why it's so hard to lose weight, and so easy to put weight back on. It seemed like a meaningless buzz word, until I watched this short YouTube video, The Quest to Understand the Biology of Weight Loss,
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i_cmltmQ6A Researchers controlled the subjects weight loss, and tested all their hormone changes and metabolism changes as they lost weight. Conclusion... Whatever diet & or exercise plan you follow that allows you to lose excess weight, you need to be prepared to continue for the REST OF YOUR LIFE to keep the weight off, because the human body's natural survival response is to help restore the weight that was lost.

Success is not determined by reaching a goal weight or size. Success is having healthy diet and fitness habits become my default setting.

I'm ready to finish 2014 (and the rest of my life) strong. One day at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JITZUROE 12/2/2014 11:15AM

    Congratulations on getting through this entire season! You've been going nonstop for many months now.
I was amazed when you decided to start the Whole30 plan amidst the chaos, but knew you'd find a way. Dang it girl, you did it once again!!!!

Praying that the joints are on the mend, and you are reaping the huge benefits of the wholesome food. Gotta start from the inside, right? Right!

Be well my friend,

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POOKASLUAGH 12/1/2014 7:07AM

    I'm glad things have calmed down for you a bit! You've had a couple really crazy months.

Also: happy belated birthday!

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TIME4CARRI 11/30/2014 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon I love love love when you blog!! Yay!!
Wow, that is a lot of stress you've been dealing with indeed! You two are so smart to take a break and reassess what you want to do with the house. I hope you can both find what you need in a home and a job. Congratulations on 12 emoticon POUNDS!!!

To health and Happy Birthday!

Comment edited on: 11/30/2014 10:40:43 PM

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/30/2014 8:34PM

    Congrats on the weight loss amidst so much going on. Wow, I can't believe the updates from that documentary. Wow! Good luck with the MRI.

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KLONG8 11/30/2014 8:10PM

    Pretty darn amazing! Congrats on getting yourself back on track and the weight loss "on the side' is amazing. I know from personal experience that when you are eating healthy (lots of veggies/fruits etc) your body does say "thank you" pretty quickly. Have a great December.

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GINGKO711 11/30/2014 4:23PM

    Painting walls can be quite the workout, so maybe you did better on your fitness minutes than you're giving yourself credit for?


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September Update

Monday, September 08, 2014

As usual, our house was dark and quiet this morning as I walked into our workout room at 4:00 a.m., but as I switched on the light, something in the middle of the floor caught my eye. A baby snake! Southern Nevada, has bark scorpions, brown recluse spiders, and rattlesnakes! YIKES! Since baby rattlesnakes, don't have rattles it's harder to tell them apart from a "normal" snake, not that there's anything normal about finding a snake in our house. This was definitely a first. But as the snake tried to find cover, it was not moving like a normal snake, it was moving like a sidewinder rattlesnake. OMG!!! Long story short, I corned the snake and "blocked it in" using some of our weights, and ran to wake my husband. It took us a while, but we were able to get it out of our house and release it back in the dessert where it belonged. Maximum heart rate achieved. No morning cardio necessary.

Just for fun, I googled "spiritual meaning of snake encounter" and came up with this.. When the snake spirit animal appears in your life, it likely means that healing opportunities, change, important transitions, and increased energy are manifesting. I find that meaning VERY interesting.... All of the above apply in our life right now. My husband and I have been at a crossroads. It's been necessary for him to travel to California on business, more and more often and we've been trying to decide if it's time for us to move back to California full time and if we do, if we should rent or sell our house. (I'm now leaning move & sell!) I've also been dealing with health issues and working hard to find answers and to heal myself with proper nutrition and exercise.

I've been here before. It's September and there are only 16 weeks left until New Year's Day, 2015! The problem is that these next 16 weeks are always the HARDEST and most STRESSFUL weeks of the year. Normally I plateau, gain weight, or worse... feel like I want to GIVE UP. But THIS year IS and will be different because of my health issues. This journey is no longer about weight loss, looking good in a swimsuit, or fitting into a goal dress. It's about healing my body. No matter how bad I may feel on any given day, giving up isn't an option.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE: Stronger than Yesterday!

30 DAY NUTRITON GOALS: Continue to eat Whole30 Clean, with Wahl's Paleo Plus twist.

In July, my SparkFriend CCVINE, blogged about the book, The Wahl's Protocol. I can't thank her enough. I have been feeling SO MUCH better, since adding the Wahl's veggie protocol (9 cups of veggies a day: 3 leafy greens, 3 color, & 3 sulfur rich). For the Bahama Mama team's Stronger than Yesterday Challenge, we're required to replace one meal a day with a healthy green smoothie, which has made getting in all those veggies so much easier. (So far, I'm down 6 pounds and 1 inch everywhere.) This month I'm adding the Wahl's Paleo Plus lower carb twist. My new carb goal is 50-100 g per day.

30 DAY FITNESS GOALS: Practice Chaturanga Pushups daily: Tracy Anderson Method 6 days a week

While looking over my page, I found an old note I had to write to myself for one of the DONE Girls challenges. I'm posting it again as a reminder that the most important promises are the promise I make to myself.

I haven't forgotten the day I promised myself that THIS would be the "last time" I "tried" to lose weight. The day I declared I was done hating my body; done putting my life on hold until I reached a certain weight. The day I decided that I was DONE Being the Fat Girl! Today, it feels like that day was so long ago and yet it also seems like it was just yesterday. These last few years have passed so much faster than I ever imagined. So much has changed. Everyday I'm amazed by my commitment to this process, the strength I've found inside myself, and my determination to reach my goals. I've finally realized that every new day is a gift. A brand new chance to love, laugh, and live life to its fullest.

There have been many days that have felt hard, and self-doubt has tried to creep back in, but I continuously remind myself that this journey is not about perfection. It's about discipline, endurance, adaptability, and discovery. I've learned to take this journey, one day at a time and one choice at a time. Each new day, I'm building momentum and getting closer to my goals. Today I feel energized and optimistic. I absolutely love feeling this way. I'm so proud of myself. I hope these feelings grow stronger with each day and that next year, when I go back and read this, I'll be proud that I kept that promise I made so long ago, to make THIS the "last time" and that I've kept every promise that I've made to myself since.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 11/24/2014 9:04AM

    Hope all's well with you.

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JANETRIS 10/4/2014 8:27PM

    Hey...I hope all is going well with you, and most of all no SNAKES around! I hope life is settling down for you and that you are able to decorate for Halloween again as in years past! Stay strong emoticon

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PAMTHER 9/23/2014 8:09PM


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KIYOSHI04 9/15/2014 5:42AM

    Glad you're doing well.
That is interesting about snakes. Our house is basically a snake haven. Snakes everywhere. Husband just pulled a snake nest out of dryer vent where a 6 foot black snake I named jake has been living for the past year.

Sounds like a lot is going on in your world as usual. 4 am, lady, I'm impressed!!
As usual, you're rocking it.

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CANNIE50 9/10/2014 4:08PM

    Yowza, snakes don't bother me (let's not even talk about rodents, though....UGH) but even I would have done an impressive leap if I switched on a light and saw one. I came to thank you for your lovely comments on my blog and found yours! Yay. I love when you blog (and am resubscribing ONE MORE TIME, sheesh - keep getting unsubscribed from blogs). And, by the way, my dear girl, you express yourself beautifully. I do think we need to consider letting go of the "this is it!" mentality. I think it makes us feel like failures, rather than like humans with struggles. We make our way, falling and stumbling a bit, BUT, the thing about us is, we don't just lie there in a big weepy heap. We get up, dust off, and set out again. Exciting news that you may be moving! Keep us posted, doll.

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SHELLE13 9/10/2014 2:39AM

    Wow! You have so much going on! I applaud you for the Chatarunga push ups daily! Every time I attempt those, I do a face plant! I have learned to try to catch myself before that happens, but it still happens! Thank you for posting the Paleo chart! Very helpful. I understand the health issue complications too! I have been having more trouble than I have had in years...doctors appt on 9/30 for me. Glad the snake wasn't too much trouble! Keep me posted if you come to Cali! I am on the border of LA and OC. =) Keep up the great work, girly! You are my inspiration!

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THIN133 9/9/2014 7:06PM

    The snake was an adventure ! A great story to share & it was neat you researched the meaning of meeting the snake :) all the best to you & your hubby about deciding about moving to CA. It's very hard when work takes hubbies away so much. I hope you can find a good balance & solution for you both.Congratulations to you for your amazing determination & persistence & taking care of you! You're inspiring ! Hope your health issues get better for you & that you feel like a million bucks soon !

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/8/2014 5:25PM

    I'm so glad you looked up the meaning of that snake. The next time I dream of one, I will see it as a positive thing.

You are emoticon !

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EMMACORY 9/8/2014 4:06PM

    I like looking at the snake patterns when they are behind glass. The meaning of a snake encounter was very interesting. Blessings on your journey and the decisions you and DH will be making for your future. emoticon

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SDLEE514 9/8/2014 3:53PM

    First off, I want to thank you for not posting a picture of the snake (lol I believe even pictures should carry a warning for those incredibly squeamish such as myself, also note to self, do not move to your part of the US). Secondly, what a great inspirational rest of your blog! I follow modified Paleo, hadn't heard of Wahl's, will definitely be checking that out. Thanks for sharing!

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DSJB9999 9/8/2014 3:26PM

    hope the snake really does mean healing energy for you! I would have screamed! So glad we dont' have snakes or anything like that here!

Hope September is a great month for you

love and emoticon Donna x

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ARUNNINGKAT 9/8/2014 3:01PM

    Oh my word! I probably would have screamed.....making the waking up hubby part unnecessary! emoticon

Great goals you have for yourself! It really puts things into perspective when you start counting the weeks until 2015. Wow!

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/8/2014 2:42PM

    Whew, that baby snake - yikes! I also try to release living things instead of causing their demise. I don't know how long ago you lived in CA, or what part you're moving back to, but I think you might see a lot that has changed drastically. I am constantly researching where to go, but so unsure. Nice blog.

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KLONG8 9/8/2014 2:27PM

    This is so UPLIFTING! Thank you! I appreciate you reminding yourself and us that it's all up to us. We can make our lives what we want them to be if we stay mindful. If you just let the world have its way with you...without goals, without focus, the world will bang you up big time and you'll end up no where near those dreams that you chose not to turn into goals!

We're rooting for you. End the year STRONG!

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ABAKER34 9/8/2014 1:56PM

    I can totally empathize with you about your baby snake situation! I think it must be snake hatching time, because at my house we found four baby copperheads in our yard last weekend. Better in our yard though instead of our basement, my problem is that we have lizards that are somehow getting into our house, so if they can fit into our house somewhere I now those baby copperheads can too! I'm scared to let my kids play outside...eesh.

It sounds like you are doing an awesome job, keep up all of your hard work, all of your dedication is paying off! emoticon

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TPETRIE 9/8/2014 1:56PM

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JLAMING263 9/8/2014 1:45PM

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Monday, July 07, 2014

An accountability confession:

UGLY: I haven't been Sparking much, since March. I've been struggling with my scale, and feeling frustrated and ashamed. I long for the old days, when a bad week meant my scale hadn't budged, or I had only lost 1 pound. These past few months, If I got on the scale at the end of the week, and I hadn't gained, I was actually doing a happy dance. The frustrating part... It wasn't because I had "fallen off" that mythical wagon. In fact, I was doing everything I could to hang on tight. Doing EVERYTHING that used to work, eating Whole30 or Paleo clean and working out like it was my job; but it just wasn't working anymore. By the end of May, I felt like jumping off that stupid wagon, and letting it run over me.

BAD: Over that same period of time, I started struggling with other issues too... indigestion after most meals, insomnia, or waking up at 3 a.m. and not being able to fall back to sleep, fatigue, mental fog, forgetfulness, muscle stiffness, and visible muscle swelling around my knees, ankles, forearms and wrists. Needing Spanks to fit into my sweats was frustrating, but needing help to get off the floor after a workout was frightening; so in June, I finally went to the doctor.

GOOD: I've been assigned to my primary care provider for over five years, but had never even met her, because before these issues, the only doctor I've needed to see was my OB/GYN. So, when I asked for help, I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, as it turned out, my PCP is fabulous! She spent a lot of time with me. She made me feel heard, not judged, and she was extremely empathetic. Maybe because she's in her early 50's and struggles with weight too. Anyway... She ordered a zillion blood tests, and was able to rule out a lot of scary things, like lupus, arthritis, and Cushing's etc. In addition many of the normal health markers doctors usually check were great, including my blood pressure, and resting heart rate, but my lipid panel was freaking FABULOUS! --- Take that paleo critics! It IS sugar and grains NOT fats or red meat that cause high LDL and triglycerides.

The bad results... My thyroid panel was abnormal. My FSH, Estradiol, & LH levels all indicated menopause, which instantly made me feel OLD! And, despite the fact that I'd been taking a daily calcium supplement, which contains 1000 iu's of Vitamin D. I was vitamin D deficient! According to my doctor, vitamin D is extremely important and a deficiency can cause A LOT of different issues, including thyroid disfunction, muscle pain, insulin resistance, fatigue, depression, and infertility, just to list a few. And apparently, it's more difficult than you might think to make vitamin D, naturally. Who knew?

PRESENT: My doctor currently has me taking 10,000 iu's of vitamin D a day, and I'm feeling A LOT better. Unfortunately, it hasn't alleviated all of my muscle issues. So the next step is an appointment with a Rheumatologist. In the meantime, at my doctor's suggestion, I've implemented major changes to my "healthy" eating. I've had to eliminate some of my favorite veggies including sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower (which have been staples, since going Paleo) because they contain goitrogens and thiocyanates that can disrupt normal thyroid function. Due to the insulin resistance, caused by my lower estrogen levels and vitamin D issues, I've been told to restrict my sugar intake, which includes high sugar fruits. I know that most of us believe that a healthy lifestyle SHOULD include sweet treats, because we don't want to EVER feel deprived. (Maybe that's because research has shown that sugar is as addictive as heroin.) But, the truth is dealing with this health scare has dramatically changed my perspective. Right now I feel like I DESERVE to be healthy, to feel good, and to be pain free. So, my current mantra -- nothing tastes as good, as healthy feels. Lately, I've also been watching YouTube videos to help me not want to eat sugar. My favorite slightly technical one ... FAT CHANCE: Fructose 2.0 www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceFyF9px20Y A less technical one, if you're not into the science is THE SECRETS OF SUGAR www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDaYa0AB8TQ

So whether like it or not, my body has changed, and I have to accept that from this point forward, to reach my goals, I will need to work much harder than before to see any results; but that's ok. Everything changes, and this is just a new phase in my life and in my journey, a new opportunity to practice Self-love. Including Self-love Step #6: Forgive yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.

It's been a struggle, and has taken a lot longer than I thought, but now, with these new changes to my program, I'm finally moving forward again. Three pounds down, but unfortunately, I now have 25 to go.

JULY CHALLENGE: Stop the madness and take care of myself. No excuses. No exceptions.

30 DAY NUTRITION GOAL: Complete another Whole30. Eating Whole30 clean will give me more energy, help boost my immune system, and the structure of the program, will help eliminate the residual sugar cravings. Today is day 7.

30 DAY FITNESS GOAL: With my muscular issues, exercise is even more important than ever. My doctor said, "Move it or lose it." You don't have to tell me twice. I love fitness. I've re-started Tracy's Metamorphosis program, which includes muscle restructuring and dance/rebounder cardio. I know, Tracy doesn't like you starting over, but one battle at a time. Today is day 1 of Level 2. I'm doing the ab and arm workout from Tracy's Mat Workout DVD, just to get in some extra arm work. Oh, and I've also started the Rip 60 program, which is an 8 week program similar to TRX. Today is week 2 day 1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCqAlbdu6Yk I also walk at least 45 minute twice a day with my dog. My Sunday active rest day, includes, walks, swimming, hoop practice, and Yin yoga.

To all my SP friends, thank you for being a constant source of inspiration & support, and for helping to hold me accountable. Without having to answer to you, I probably would have given up this time.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELIBUG 8/25/2014 3:32PM

    Glad to hear you made the decision to seek help in taking care of yourself! You are worth it! emoticon

I've been struggling with my knee again too and realized the only way to address it is get back on the program.

emoticon Melissa

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JSPIN74 8/21/2014 4:14PM

    Hi, I came across your page & this blog by chance & am adding you as a friend if you don't mind. I'm starting to feel the way you were feeling....hoping the fact that you haven't ignored it & are being proactive is helping you!

My desire & plan is to stop making excuses & be more proactive in caring & looking into my health more deeply too...

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 7/17/2014 1:24AM

    Sending big Hugs I'm glad you have an answer.

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THIN133 7/8/2014 8:22PM

    So nice to hear from you Marki! So sorry you have been having such challenges ! I can only imagine how frustrating it has to be for you ! It's good the dr.is running tests & is so engaged & helping you so you can feel better ! The thyroid can mess with alot of things ! So can deficiencies that our body needs ! It sounds like you are grabbing the bull by the horns & you are getting back on track ! You can do this ! You are strong and determined ! I know you can conquer & overcome & lose that weight & feel good again ! Take care ! emoticon emoticon

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IYA_EKUNDAYO 7/8/2014 6:51PM

    You are wonderful! The Best!
I am in the same "menopausal" boat
as you at the moment.

You and Your blog was a true inspiration
for me to be kind to myself and never give up!


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KLONG8 7/8/2014 3:37PM

    WOW! No wonder you were struggling. So glad you had a check up with results that you can build from and boy, do you have a plan! I'm rooting for you (and trying to get myself to reboot!)

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ARUNNINGKAT 7/8/2014 12:57PM

    I am so glad that you are starting to get some answers. There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing what is causing very real health issues. It sounds like you are well on your way to losing those 25 pesky pounds!

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JCARDINAL 7/8/2014 12:35PM

    I am so glad that you went to the Doctor and are sorting this whole thing out. I just know you will figure this out and get back on track. I can sympathize with you on the joint issues and you inspire me to keep moving. I hope you know you have always kept me going when I wanted to give up and I thank you for that. You rock Marki!! emoticon emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 7/8/2014 8:00AM

    I really hope you guys found the source of the problem and things can come back from there. So many of the symptoms you mention are things I've suffered from as well. Especially that form of insomnia (which has pretty much disappeared since I started taking powdered magnesium citrate back in mid-May, thank goodness!). Lack of sleep can be debilitating. The low-carb thing makes me sad for you though. :( Hopefully you can stabilize and add things back in.

I'm actually considering trying Whole30 again - WITHOUT coconut - now that I've got a good idea of what was causing the health problems I had during Whole30. Not until after we move cross-country, though. I'm thinking September.

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SHELLE13 7/7/2014 11:20PM

    Girly! I'm so glad you went to the doc...medical issues stink and I'm sorry you have had such a tough time.

What I do want you to know...You have been a consistent inspiration to me! I just bought the Whole30 book and am reading it now. I keep trying and I think you may have given me the one missing tool I so desperately needed! So, thank you! Thank you for being supportive, thank you for being honest and thank you for standing back up again! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to try just ONE more time! I know you can do it and have every confidence in you!

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/7/2014 9:51PM

    Glad to see you again and you are not alone; it's been a very tough year. In many ways.

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BUTTONPOPPER1 7/7/2014 8:58PM

    Thank you for this excellent blog full of useful information. I'm experiencing a lot of the pain and stiffness issues described here, and you've provided some ideas that I've never considered before, such as the importance of vitamin D, which I'll certainly look into. And you've reminded me to exercise, which I've avoided doing for too long because of joint problems. I'm inspired by your determination, and I hope to follow your lead! Good luck with those last 25 pounds. From what you've said here, I have no doubt you can do it!

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GEORGE815 7/7/2014 8:54PM

    Keep up the good work!

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February Focus

Monday, February 03, 2014

emoticon January Jumpstart Challenge emoticon
RESULTS:    I'm happy to report that January was a complete success!  I completed my nutrition goal, a Whole30; and despite a daily mental struggle I completed my fitness goal, Jillian's 30 Day Shred.  I also completed all my Tracy Anderson workouts (which I LOVE)   In the process, I lost 8 pounds and a total of 8 1/2 inches.

New for February....   Bahama Mamas Team
emoticon   emoticon Fall In Love February Challenge   emoticon

MAIN CHALLENGE:   Loving ourselves isn’t a one-time event. It’s an endless, moment by moment ongoing process.  Commit to doing your best to do something loving for yourself, however big or small, for the next 28 days.

Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love. (From Psychology Today)

I've chosen to work on the following three steps.

2.       Act on what you need rather than what you want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.

3.       Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.

6.       Forgive yourself.  Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.

BONUS CHALLENGE:   Self Improvement.   It isn't hard to feel good about yourself when you accomplish something.  Trying something new, learning a new skill, or even overcoming a bad habit makes us feel better about ourselves.   Set aside some time this month for a Self Improvement project.

I've decided to work on my flexibilty by adding Yin Yoga practice.

NUTRITION GOAL:    Eat Primal/Paleo clean at least 5 days/week.

FITNESS GOAL:  Complete Tracy Anderson's Meta program.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAYDEE16 2/24/2014 10:24AM

    WOW. As always, you amaze me, and congrats on your 8 lbs/8.5 inches! That is HUGE! In one month!?! Do you attribute that more to the work outs or the Whole 30? I guess they go hand in hand though . . .

I don't have 30-day shred, I have some other similar Jillian thing - "Ripped in 30" I think it's called? I can barely manage to do the "Week 1" workout without instant DEATH. And from your descriptions it sounds like Tracy Anderson is even harder (at least burning-muscle-wise, not sure about cardio). Nevertheless I can't read your blogs or visit your page without thinking "note to self: find Tracy DVDs on Amazon!"

You inspire me to try harder every time I work out (seriously, it's a thought that I have in my head when I'm at the gym - is that creepy?) :)

P.S. Thanks for the sparkgoodie! Coincidentally I was actually drinking green tea when I saw it. :) Enjoy that warm weather for those of us who don't have it!

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KRISTINE99 2/17/2014 8:57PM

    emoticon You are Superwoman reborn! Keep up the great work :)

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IYA_EKUNDAYO 2/11/2014 7:39PM

    Fantastic Job!
I am so proud of you.
I fell off the wagon and it ran me over.... lol
Here is to a fresh start.

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LUVS2BIKE101 2/6/2014 7:33PM

    emoticon on January's success! Your focus and determination will help you succeed in February as well!

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JUMPINJULIE 2/6/2014 6:16PM

    Sounds like a great challenge.

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THIN133 2/6/2014 4:19PM

    Congratulations on a great January & Losing the pounds & inches ! Your Self love steps are great .I'm sure you will do very well at them. Have a wonderful February!

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KIYOSHI04 2/5/2014 7:37PM

    Nothing's gonna stop you!! Awesome job!!!

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DJPERAZA 2/4/2014 4:15PM

    Congrats on the awesome results!!! You'll rock it in February!!! Keep it up!

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JCARDINAL 2/4/2014 3:39PM

    Congrats on your January success!! Great goals for February! emoticon

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SAPHRAEL 2/4/2014 1:06PM

    Wow, you made great strides in January! Way to go!

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MELIBUG 2/4/2014 12:10PM

    You were JAMMIN' in January! emoticon
Happy for you! I'm sure February will be FANTASTIC as well. I need to regain control and join you in celebration. This is the month!
Hugs ~ Melissa

Comment edited on: 2/4/2014 12:21:56 PM

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JITZUROE 2/4/2014 11:55AM

    Woohoo for you!!
THRILLED that you lost eight pounds all while stone foods you love. How neat is that?!?
Love your goal to stick to your nutrition goals for 5 days per week, and still nourishing your body allll days of the week.

You are doing awesome!

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SUEAZZI 2/4/2014 10:22AM

    Congrats on your January results! emoticon
February's plan is a great idea and attainable on so many levels.
Thanks for always keeping me focused!

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EELS4PEELS 2/4/2014 8:01AM

    These are fantastic goals! No doubt you will be very successful this month as well! Way To Go Girl!

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POSITIVE41 2/4/2014 6:14AM

    Wow! That took a lot of hard work and dedication. Good for you!

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TIME4CARRI 2/4/2014 12:24AM

    Marki, You freakin rock! You are the hardest working work-out gal I know so you sooo deserved these results of yours. emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for the self love info we all need more of that!

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SLIMMERJESSE 2/3/2014 7:43PM

    Wow, all those inches gone! Congrats!

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KLONG8 2/3/2014 6:28PM

    What wonderful results from your January efforts. Congratulations! And February's plan sounds awesome. I'm going to take a little from you as my focus for February. Especially keeping focused on your needs rather than your wants....I think that's a HUGE issue for me. Thanks for sharing.

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Jumpstarting January

Monday, January 06, 2014

with a new challenge, for extra accountability. The Bahama Mama team is doing a 30 Day January Jumpstart Challenge, Jan 2nd - 31st.

MAIN CHALLENGE: Set a 30 Day Nutrition Goal. I've decided to do a Whole30, whole30.com/ . I completed a Whole90 last year, and it was the BEST thing I've ever done for myself. Eliminating sugar, is what I anticipate being the most difficult aspect for me, since I am a sugar addict, but it's also what I'm most excited about and it's what I NEED.

BONUS CHALLENGE: 30 Day Fitness Goal or Streak.
Fitness has always been the easiest part of this lifestyle change for me. I LOVE so many things, that it's hard to find time to do everything I want to do. It won't be a challenge unless I get out of my comfort zone, so I've decided to do Jillian's 30 Day Shred. (I started it on Dec. 9th made it to day 16 and stopped. This time I WILL finish it.)

I can't give up, my normal fitness program, because I LOVE it. So, I'll still be doing Tracy's Meta Muscle Restructuring & her Mini Trampoline workout. I'm also doing the arm portion of her Mat Workout, at least 4 times a week. No matter how often I do it, it still makes me feel like I'm going to die, but in a good way. If want to improve the shape of your arms, you should check it out….
Free Arms: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWrLU1vt_ds&

Arms with Weights: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjUrQhDOe9M&

Today is day 5, of the challenge. My Whole30 is going great! On the Fitness front, I'm definitely counting down the days, until I don't "have to" do the Shred. It's fast and a great workout, but I don't love it.

“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”
- Arnold Bennett

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

May each new day of 2014 be your best day!
Happy New Year! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 2/6/2014 6:14PM

    You can do it.

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TECH1960PS 1/29/2014 11:45AM

    Sounds like you have all your bases covered, emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUEAZZI 1/8/2014 2:19PM

    Thank you for the incentives! My goal is to be down a few pounds and conditioned to start running again in March/April. emoticon

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DEZZIEJAMES 1/7/2014 11:07AM

    You're going to rock this! I hate to sit it out, but I am going to for now!

Keep the updates on how you are doing rolling!!!!


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KIYOSHI04 1/7/2014 8:27AM

    awesome, you!!
thanks for the links.
new internet so i hopefully can now check it out!

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THIN133 1/6/2014 9:05PM

    Your goals sounds achievable ! You can do this ! Here 's to a great 2014 !! You can do it !

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EELS4PEELS 1/6/2014 4:43PM

    YAY for someone else doing Whole30 and you're on the same day as me! That makes me happy. I'm trying to get away from so much sugar as well. It's like I can't live without my sweets. It's going pretty well for me too. Just finding new things to eat and resisting those doughnuts in the break room at work!

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DSJB9999 1/6/2014 3:07PM

    emoticon Go Marki emoticon emoticon

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JCARDINAL 1/6/2014 1:48PM

    Bahama Mamas are the best!! emoticon

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JITZUROE 1/6/2014 11:54AM

    Sounds like you're CHARGING at 2014 with style (and arm toning exercises!).
Great plan for food, cutting cravings and carving muscles like a champ!

In rooting for you!

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IYA_EKUNDAYO 1/6/2014 11:24AM

    Awesome blog Markie.
I am walking the "Human Hamster Wheel" emoticon
and have lost 1.9 pounds since the 1st. I, too, have
a problem keeping my sugar cravings at bay. Whole 30 is working great for me too, the first time around was easier for some reason. I still am craving sugar but fighting the cravings off with whole Dates.
I am going to keep doing 30 minutes of the treadmill
and then start to add in "teene' tiny Tracy"...(again) emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/6/2014 11:27:26 AM

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---CEEG--- 1/6/2014 11:07AM

    Let's Go Bahama Mamas! emoticon

Great plan and Awesome that you are sticking to it!

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RACEWELLWON 1/6/2014 11:00AM

    Looks good - I agree that Sugar is one key to do without - Good for you on the fitness !

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KLONG8 1/6/2014 10:47AM

    Smart to use the fresh, clear canvas of january to accomplish something so powerful!

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MAGGIEBODHRAN 1/6/2014 10:33AM

    GREAT! I might have to join this.

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AEROBISAURUS 1/6/2014 10:18AM


Exercising is the easiest part for me too. I've started juicing breakfast and lunch. I'm trying to eat almonds for snack before dinner and trying to stay away from processed or fast foods. I'm really at my wits ends with my shape and I'm just hoping to be able to construct some kind of physical change. Today will be 3 of 90 on Tracy and I'm determined to stick it through till the end. Nothing like feeling the burn of using smaller muscles! emoticon Ouch! emoticon


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POOKASLUAGH 1/6/2014 9:57AM

    One of these days, I'm going to make it through the Shred too. I've started it twice in the last two years and I get bored by Day 10...I don't even know what the other levels look like because I get tired of doing the same workout day in day out...

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WHITNEYLD 1/6/2014 9:56AM

    Sounds great! Can't wait to hear more. I hope you take before/after pictures and post them!

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