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Gina's Healthy Embrace

What’s in your shake?

If you have followed along with my blog, you know I started off with a 90 day program with Heather Morgan and her Muffin Top Makeover.  I did two shakes a day with a sensible paleo meal once a day.  I stuck to those 90 days without wavering.  OK, there were wavers, and occasional encounters with a bite of bread or cheese, but I stuck out 90 days and saw great success.  The PaleoMeal used in the shakes I was making pretty much spoiled me.  It has been the best protein powder/meal replacement I had ever tried in all my years of searching for the right weight loss program.  I would occasionally purchase more of the powder, but eventually I was maintaining my weight loss with a paleo or anti-inflammatory diet.  Until…

I would say a little more than a year ago I started feeling safe eating bread and ice cream and burritos (lots of burritos).  I would be running late for work and decide it would be much easier to grab a latte in the drive thru with a muffin top or sweet delicious oatmeal.  Not in the mood for high priced coffee one day, I would stop at Broadway Market for a black coffee and a breakfast burrito or sandwich. (If you are ever in Sonoma, seriously check out Broadway Market’s sandwiches and breakfast burritos!!!).  Those occasional stops for a quick meal turned into an almost daily adventure.  I wasn’t seeing myself gain much weight, maybe a pound or two here and there. But nothing that I didn’t think I couldn’t control.

Then the couple pounds turned into five or six pounds.  I decided to try something I had seen people posting about on Facebook and Instagram.  Shakeology is a product through BeachBody and I had done some of their workouts in the past (LOVE SHAUN T) but had always avoided the Shakeology.  Then I saw someone who I admired for her commitment to health talking it up and I decided to check it out.  Lauren D, Zumba instructor extraordinaire got me all signed up with 21 Day Fix and Shakeology.  The shakes were freaking delicious.  The workouts were awesome!  I lost a couple pounds.  Things were good.  However, I didn’t participate in the group forum, and I never talked to anyone to reach out for help.  So, I started slipping back to old habits again.

JuicePlus was my next protein powder/meal replacement, and that tasted like chalk.  I know some people who really like it, but meh.  Chalk. Both Chocolate and Vanilla.  Bleh.  Not that the people who are totally into JuicePlus are wrong, it’s just not for me.

I joined a gym!  Went to the gym and I noticed I was gaining weight, not losing it.  Seems all my poor choices were starting to catch up with me, and I couldn’t outrun the weight gain.  A few weeks later I get another friendly message in my Facebook Messenger about another protein powder/meal replacement system.  It came from someone I know and love, who I had seen drinking some interesting shakes recently.  Hmmmm…

I did my homework.

I thought about it.

I was told I should blog about it.

Seems when I was blogging regularly I was more honest with myself about my choices.  I figured I would give it a shot.  So, I jumped in.  Isagenix is pretty damn tasty.  I feel like it is the next best protein powder to PaleoMeal.  However Isagenix is more than just a meal replacement/protein powder.  The 30 day program is pretty intense.  There are supplements, and drinks, and bars, and Snacks!  Today is day 8 of my program.  I had one rough day, but I am not feeling deprived at all.  In fact, I feel like I have some good energy. So, yay!

image1
Isagenix – So many things.  So very many…

Isagenix is similar to JuicePlus and Shakeology in their business set up.   I do not intend to sell you the product.  That’s not what I am here for.  I am just sharing my experience with you, open and honest. If you are interested in the program, I have a hook-up for you.  She’ll set you up.  I just want to drink the drinks and eat the things and lose the weight.

So today, Isagenix IsaLean Creamy French Vanilla is in my shake.  What’s in yours?

 

 

 

Let’s Begin…Again

F*^k me.

215.2 lbs! How the hell did I let that happen?  I promised myself to never go above 200 lbs again, yet here I am.  So many excuses cloud the reality of it all.  I just didn’t   stick to my plan and I wasn’t honest with myself about what I was doing.

Reality is I gave up.  I gave up on cooking, on exercise, and taking care of myself.  I ignored my better judgement when making food choices and chose the foods that would comfort me.  Over and over and over again. The results have been negative on my physical and mental health. My Fibromyalgia is out of control and the pain is near intolerable.  Brain fog is a freaking joke!  I actually went back on Wellbutrin, after a short stint with Prozac…ugh. Psoriasis is a great indicator to my family and friends when I have had some form of gluten as a treat.  They catch me scratching my hands and call me out. Lame.

How many times do I need to start over?  I have the tools.  Time to use them.

mel

 

#tbt

I woke up this morning thinking about where I was just a few years ago and where I am now. I opened an old blog post from Novembdr 2012 and saw pictures of what my psoriasis on my hands and elbows looked like. I had been eating fairly clean for seven months, and my skin was still suffering dramatically from sugar and gluten slips.

   
 
I have been so free from this for years and I pray I don’t suffer from this in the future. I have the tools, I just need to remember to use them.

 

 

I Miss You.

I’ve missed you.

I’ve missed everything about you.  The strength you give me.  The feeling of hope that I can do this.  The accountability.  The things that kept me moving along the path to a healthy life.

So, why do I continue to stray?

Why do I find it so hard to write down my struggles and my successes?  I have thought about this over and over again.  For the last several months, maybe a year.  I ask myself why did I stop?  I think it’s because I wasn’t seeing the results I expected and I didn’t want to face that on a blog, where everyone can read about my failure.  And once I went down that ugly trail of defeat, I actually became defeated.  I have been self sabotaging for the better part of a year.  I do really well, I start to gain strength and lose weight and then I slip.  And when I slip, I fall hard.

I can’t keep coming back to this blog saying, “Here I am again!  Ready to do this!!” when I don’t know if I am ready.  I made a commitment to myself and a friend that I will write as much as I can each morning.  Like the Morning Papers in The Artist’s Way, except I will need to work my way up to three full pages each morning.  I am truly hoping this inspires me to get back to my blog.  The joy it brought me, and the encouragement I received to keep going is something I need back in my life.

Also, I fucking hate the way I am feeling.  So, maybe if I talk more about the feelings I am having, I will stop sabotaging myself when I am enjoying how I feel.

Cheers.  I will be around.  I really should blog about my hot yoga experiences.  And my Shakeology fun.  And how I have been avoiding exercise because it’s HARD AS FUCK to do something that makes your body hurt more than it already does. But those will be topics for another day.  Today I just wanted to say, I miss you.

Motivation – Kicking it in gear, for a minute

Insert all positive affirmations here.

I strayed too long.  I was avoiding what was happening.  In real life, I was spiraling backwards on my road to a happy, healthy destiny.  I was letting my addictive behavior rear it’s ugly head with food.

Food was my release.  I was throwing myself, both feet first, into my recovery from drugs and alcohol, but I wasn’t including food as a part of that recovery.  Now that I am actually doing my part and working the steps, my eyes are opening.  The same feeling of escape I received from drugs and alcohol were being achieved via food.  Some food addicts have specific trigger foods.  Sugar, pasta, baked goods.  My trigger is all food. Do you chew it and swallow it?  I will eat it.  And I will eat all of it until I snap out of my mindless food binge and realize how sick I am making myself.  Then the guilt and frustration cycles through and sends me on another sad pity party.

NO MORE!

Positive thoughts and affirmations coming my way.  Besides, my sponsor encourages me to journal.  I am bad at journaling.  I lose my journals and start new ones.  This will be the perfect spot to journal.  If it’s just too personal, I can make my entry private.  Although, for the most part, I am an open book.

Let’s see how this pans out.  Time to have a healthy embrace once more.  No Maureen, not that kind of embrace…

Storm Has Passed

The fog is lifted.  Things are moving in the right direction.  I don’t know where I have been, but it wasn’t very pretty.  But for the last 45 days or so I have reconnected with AA and am finally working my program.  I never took a drink, but I danced very seductively with the thought.  

I have truly embraced that the emotional and mental shit that leads me to binge eating is most certainly what led me to drinking and drugs, and any other thing I could possibly be addicted to.  Whatever shit is there, I am starting to face it.  I can’t wait for the final layer of fog to lift, but for now, the storm has passed.

10 Dislikes – 30DWC

Since yesterday was a bust, I am going to top my list of dislikes off with what kept me from posting here then.

Dislikes

Ouch. OOOOouuuuucccchhhh!!! Toothaches can really destroy a day and make you very whiny, and for that, I dislike them. I waited too long to have my dentist (who also happens to be my employer) look at my tooth that was causing me some discomfort. Found out I had a broken/chipped filling. Wham bam, the cavity is filled and ready to go, but I was achy. And it hurt to bite. So I am taking a butt ton of ibuprofen and acetaminophen to make it better. Last night was so unbearable I tried to sleep as soon as I could so I didn’t have to feel anything. Today was much better, but we are keeping our eye on it to make sure I don’t need a root canal. Yippee. I am really hoping tomorrow I am totally better.

This is exactly what I looked like, except without the manicured nails and maybe I was more scowly.
This is exactly what I looked like, except without the manicured nails and maybe I was more scowly.

Procrastination is one of my biggest dislikes in the world. It’s also something I have mastered and practice daily. I am especially talented at procrastinating the beginning of a diet or work out. If I dislike it so much, why the heck do I keep doing it? Grrrrrr.

OK, so this dislike may be specific to me, but I can’t imagine I am totally alone here. You know when you are in the shower shaving your armpits and you see there are two extremely long hairs that keep getting missed by your razor. So you sweep past it again, and they disappear! Yay! And then the smart part of your brain puts some pieces together and it’s all “um, hey, you know how those two long pit hairs were abnormally long? Maybe you didn’t get them, maybe they are pressed close to your pit hiding, and growing longer.” And so you rub the skin and there those two fuckers are! Standing up straight and long and laughing at you. So you sweep your razor over them from every angle, and they are just weaving back and forth, and not letting go. So you super clean out your razor and you swipe once again, and ONE of the two is still there. So now, it’s just you and that one fucking abnormally long armpit hair, but by now your neck hurts and the kids are knocking on the bathroom door. So you give up. But you won’t forget. The next shower is just 24 hours away, and you will get it then…

Entitled little shits piss me off like nothing else. I struggle with this one because I really feel like it’s not their fault. Their parents, society, something is creating them. There is a large group of people, many young adults, but their age range any age really, who just think they are entitled to whatever they feel entitled too. Many expect big paydays right out of college. Or they don’t feel like they need to work because they can’t find a job that fits their dream. Or they just expect to win at everything. I have said to a few friends over the years that I think this may have started on soccer field. You remember those games where everyone wins? Ya, those games are where I think this trend started. Guess what kids! There are losers in this world. The object is, try hard so you don’t lose. They don’t hand out trophies to grown ups just for showing up.

This could be any young celebrity who doesn't take responsibility for their actions, but The Lohan will do.
This could be any young celebrity who doesn’t take responsibility for their actions, but The Lohan will do.

This one is another that is specific to me, but I really dislike when people rub their eyebrows the wrong way. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. The hairs get all askew and honestly, I can almost HEAR when my eyebrows are rubbed the wrong way. Really, there is nothing more to say about this. Just don’t do it.

Jell-o is one of the oddest foods in existence to me. It’s the consistency that really confuses me. I never quite know what to think of it. Sometimes it’s kind of watery, where other times it’s chunky and breaks apart as you bite it. Oh, and the Jell-o salad, or even worse, the Jell-o mold, should never be allowed at a party again. Period. I don’t care if you say it’s tradition. It’s out. Not at my party!

Someone, at some time, thought this was a good idea.
Someone, at some time, thought this was a good idea.

This dislike is yet another something I excel at, disorganization. I am the most disorganized person, yet I LOVE organization. My house overwhelms me. I have stacks of crap everywhere and looking at that crap just makes me want to hide under my sheets. I attempt to organize, and often succeed, but just a few weeks later everything is a mess again. I am desperate to tackle this in the coming year. I actually daydream about it, which ties in with procrastination I suppose. Oh, the cycle. I am in a constant cycle. Curse you disorganization!

I am so perplexed by the mess up there!
I am so perplexed by the mess up there!

So, when you are at the grocery store and your there paying and all of a sudden the person who is behind you in line is right next to you, well that is a big dislike. Dude, you have the length of your groceries on the conveyor belt to stand. Your stuff is still behind the scanner, so you don’t need to be right here, up in my business. Those people who are close line standers make me crazy. It’s not just at the grocery store, it could be in line at the snack stop at the local farmers market, or the line at a theme park. Anywhere people form lines, there is always one or two close line standers. And sometimes they go so far as to stand by your side in line. Where you going my friend? The line isn’t going to move any faster with you now standing next to me. All that’s going to happen now is me feeling crowded and unhappy and spitty. So back off. You aren’t welcome here!

Inserts in magazines multiply when you are not looking. You sit down to read your latest people magazine after you pulled them all out and you open it up, and out falls another. And then, when you are done and you want to just to read the article about the kid who was saved by his elderly dog the magazine just pops over to the glued in advertisement acting as a permanent bookmark for information all about erectile dysfunction. I don’t like those.

Finally we come to a dislike irks that crap out of me and causes me random tics, the throat bubble. You know that sound that someone gets in their throat that distorts their voice slightly? It’s often caused by dairy or phlegm. It creates a bubble over the vocal chord (totally not scientific stuff here, so don’t go quoting me) that makes them sound like they are disgusting monsters. All they need to do is clear their throat slightly and all would be well. However, many people ignore it and just keep talking, I think they hope that we won’t notice. Sadly, it’s all I notice. I will even clear my throat in an attempt for them to catch a hint. It frustrates me, and then I start twitching and they don’t catch on and then it finally goes away on it’s own. But by then, I have already crawled out of my skin and it will take time for me to recover. So please, if you notice a bubble, just a quick clear of your throat could keep the calm of those around you without drawing much attention to the voice distortion.

There you have it, my 10 dislikes. Please, take no offense if you are a close line stander or guilty of any other dislikes I listed here. I know I am probably guilty of some other peoples dislikes. We all just have to learn to live with each other. As long as you don’t stand close in line to me or talk with a weird throat bubble while rubbing your eyebrow backward. 🙂

10 Likes – 30DWC

This day’s post was supposed to have 10 likes and 10 dislikes.  I opted to split it into two.  My dislikes are so goofy, I figured I would dedicate an entire post to them.  Plus, my likes took a little more time than I had expected to throw together.  When you start talking about things you are passionate about, you can get a little distracted in the details.

LIKES

office supplies
My $0.75 purchase earlier tonight.

Office supplies are one of my absolute favorite things to buy.  There is something so satisfying about purchasing that new notepad and fancy mechanical pencil.  The ideas for their use are boundless. The crisp new pages bring new hope to the myriad of tasks that are about to be listed.  Tasks that had been overlooked and procrastinated on in the past.  The fancy new folders with their sleek and modern designs, the pencil tray for my desk.  All to help organize and prepare me for life.  I get excited thinking about it, but that’s not wrong, is it?

CrossFit is something I had heard a few things about in passing conversations, and it always looked like something I wouldn’t be able to do, until I met EA from EA’s Crossfit. I learned so much about my body and saw how strong I truly was.  I miss it desperately, and can’t wait to get back to the box.  For those of you unfamiliar with CrossFit, it “is a strength and conditioning program designed to help people gain a broad and general fitness. CrossFit programming concentrates on constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity to achieve overall physical fitness, so people are prepared for any physical challenge.” (Taken from Wikipedia) My favorite part about it is that you compete against yourself and for you to reach your personal best.

Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.  I love her.  She is both beautiful and frightening at the same time.   She will not be left off a party invitation, and she will let you know in the most extreme of ways. By the way, I am hoping for the best with Angelina Jolie being cast as her in the Maleficent movie.  In some ways, I am bummed they are making a movie, but it does show what a beloved character she is.

Maleficent
Maleficent

Reality TV is almost a guilty confession, but I find more and more that I am a fan of high brow reality television and not that junk everyone else watches.  Forgive me if you watch the junk.  I have friends and family who watch it too.  Not that Big Brother or any of the numerous true crime shows I watch are really any better, I just like to pretend from time to time that I am not totally wasting those hours of my day.

Speaking of True Crime, that’s another one of my likes.  I was raised by my grandparents, and my grandfather was a corrections officer at San Quentin. He shared stories of his experiences, and I would listen so intently when he would told them to me.  I originally intended on pursuing a career in criminal justice, and found myself reading and watching anything and everything about unsolved murders and other crimes.  This picture of my grandpa reading to me as an infant is one of my all time favorites.  It really helps answer the many questions people have about my interests once they get to know me. I can be a bit macabre.

Alcatraz '46 is always a good bed time story
Alcatraz ’46 is always a good bed time story

Dancing.  It’s exercise AND it’s like meditation to me.  I lose myself when I am on a dance floor.  It’s just me and the music.  I feel the rhythm and move with it.  I become the music.  I know that sounds really cheesy.  I wrote it and then deleted it, and then I was like, how the hell else am I going to convey that thought?  There is no other way.  So, as cheesy as “I become the music” sounds, it stays.

and when you get the chance...
and when you get the chance…

Juicing has become one of my favorite ways to get fruits and veggies into my daily diet. I have heard some people poo poo juicing, and those people are entitled to their opinions.  If done right, and not over done, it can be a great addition of vitamins every day.  No need to argue that juicing takes out the fiber and other goodness found in your veggies, I know.  I dump that all in the trash and don’t even think twice about it.  You know why?  I have a cup full of delicious vitamins that I wouldn’t have put into my body had I not just juiced the crap out of them.  So there.  Juicing is fun, and at times meditative.  Sitting there, pushing the fruits and veggies into the machine and watching the pulp come out is so satisfying.

juicer
I  My juicer at home. We have a super nifty fancy one at work, too.

I like to play video games.  I like them on Xbox, Wii, Play Station, pc, my phone, and even my Nook.  I will play a video game for days and days and lose hours of my life to them.  Hell, I lost three years to a little game called World of Warcraft.  That game was so deep it spawned my alter egos ZK, a little gnome who enjoys humping calves when you aren’t looking.  Like reality tv, I feel like I should be ashamed of being a video game junkie, but hey, at least I am still a present mother and take care of my kids unlike these parents.  I still have my priorities straight.

When killing the Fel Reaver was the biggest thing in WOW
When killing the Fel Reaver was the biggest thing in WOW

Las Vegas comes to mind when I am trying to come up with my last two likes.  I have been there far too many times than I’d like to admit since my first time there at 24.  I have yet to take my children, and I have only been three times with my husband, but I have been to Vegas so many times I am happy they are putting new hotels on the strip for me to stay at!  Ha, no, I haven’t been that many times, but it practically seems like it.  I have even stayed at a pretty shady motel that was one of those live-in motels and possibly had hourly rates.  And quite possibly it had a large blood stain on the carpet.  What I like so much about Vegas is people watching and everyone’s dream of being a winner.  It’s so entertaining and exciting!

I can’t believe I almost missed this one.  My final “Like” is an easy one. One of my first introductions to blogging was this lovely ladies blog and a story she wrote about an explosive swim diaper (which I am so upset I can’t find, but it makes an appearance in her book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened).  I related to her crazy ramblings and as she says “found my tribe”. I could go on an on about how great she is, but check out her blog to find out for yourself.  The Bloggess makes me laugh until I snot on my computer screen, and sometimes she can touch me to much that I get teared up.  She empowers others who suffer from depression and helps us laugh during our dark moments.  Oh, and I met her once!

Me and Jenny Lawson.  I am trying desperately to contain my fangirl.
Me and Jenny Lawson. I am trying desperately to contain my fangirl.

Warm & Fuzzy – 30DWC

I am supposed to share with you “some little things that make [me] warm and fuzzy”.  I pretend like I am not a snugly person, but deep down, I like fuzzy, warm things.  However, many of my fuzzy warm things tend to be broken.  So what I really mean to say is that I like, broke down, forgotten, left behind, fuzzy and warm things.

My entire life I have always been drawn to the rejected animals.  The forgotten dogs and cats at the shelters. Many people head to the shelter and pick the cutest, youngest, sweetest looking animal to take home and love.  Left behind are the forgotten ones.

He just wants to love you
He just wants to love you

Those animals have hearts and love to give.

Awww, meow kitty.
Awww, meow kitty.

They watched all the other cute and adorable animals get taken home by the little girls in princess dresses, and were left in the cold of the shelter.

Someone just needs a hug.
Someone just needs a hug.

But sadly, like every other shelter animal, they have some issues too.

I will free him of the shackle of the shelter.
I will free him of the shackle of the shelter.

Babies under one year and old people also make me warm and fuzzy, but there is nothing that touches my heart more than the unwanted shelter animal missing an eye.  I am sure there is something to that.  Like, somehow I relate to the unwanted animals.  Not sure where that stems from?  Could it be the time some asshole in middle school told me I looked  like I had down syndrome?  Was it because kids had nothing better to do with their time aside from taunting me for being a little different in high school?  Or is it far deeper?  Is it because I was raised by my grandparents and somehow felt unwanted by my parents?  I don’t know. To be honest, I know I am still holding onto all of those feelings, otherwise, why they hell would they surface when I start looking within?  But those are to be dealt with on their own terms.  Right now, I just accept that I like the weirdest of the weird animals, who may or may not feast on my body while I sleep.  They make me feel warm and fuzzy.

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