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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Life's curve balls

Been awhile since I updated this it seems like. Things have honestly been so busy I haven't had time. My weight loss was somewhat on pause (didn't go either direction really with it for a bit but didn't have time to focus on actively losing either) Sept held my birthday which I spent at the hospital but this was a good thing. It wasn't for health reasons but instead was for the birth of my second grandchild. I really enjoyed my time spent there with my oldest. We were both exhausted but enjoyed each others company. It was sadly the last time I saw my dr because she was moved to another clinic. (not her choice) She's made such a difference for me. Shortly before all this I'd had an MRI because my medication wasn't working to alleviate a head tremor that had developed and I had some worsening symptoms and they wanted to rule out other things to determine if it were Parkinson's. Well it didn't quite work that way. As it turns out they found I have Empty Sella Syndrome which shows up as though the space where the pituitary gland is is empty but it is actually just flattened and the space is filled with cerebral spinal fluid. This is generally not symptomatic enough to be a problem but can mess with your hormone levels which seems to be the case with me. They also found cerebellar tonsillar ectopia aka Chiari malformation which means there is extra brain/skull is too small to accomodate or that that section of brain is out of place. Some of the brain can be pushing out through the base of the skull this puts pressure on the cerebellar tonsils which can cut off flow of cerebral fluid causing problems. There are many related problems that they have to test for that goes with it such as syringamella (sp?) basically a space in the spinal cord. Hydrocephalous,  POTS, etc. I am currently waiting on a referall to see a neurologist to find out more. there are a lot of suggested restrictions on activity with a person with this condition. It is not rare (the empty sella one is but chiari is not) it is still being learned about and in some people with a very pronounced chiari there can be less symptoms than someone with a less pronounced one. they will likely need to run another MRI to check CSF flow and possibly my spine. There is a lot I'm still learning about this I actually found out on my birthday. They had started to prescribe medication for parkinson's to see if it worked for the tremor but called as soon as they looked further into the results of my MRI and told me DO NOT take it. that they believe this may very likely be the cause of the tremor (as well as other problems) My symptoms have been worsening though I don't think a lot of people even close to me realize how bad.  My vision has been affected which is frustrating for me. I had to have prisms put in my glasses on one side but I've lost depth perception. I have always been affected by flourescent lighting but that has increased. I get super dizzy in bigger stores that use it more. I can't crouch down to look at something on a bottom shelf and stand back up without holding on to something or I'll black out and collapse. I can't turn too quickly etc. All likely related. There is a condition that is common with it that basically due to the compression etc that your body's systems that normally for people run automatically, heart rate, body temperature, digestion etc...does not work properly. This seems to be the case with me and actually explains some mysteries the drs couldn't figure out. Like my reaction to showers. the allergist said it acted like an allergic reaction but couldn't figure out why or exactly to what. A lot of people with my condition apparently have trouble with the temperature changes when getting out of the shower etc. Blood pressure drops (I've experienced those where it would bottom out for no reason) They also have problems with digestion in that they don't absorb nutrients as they should. (problem I've had forever) and it is suggested that they avoid gluten /etc. Which I was all ready doing. Actually I've found a lot of the life style changes I've adopted over time because of the symptoms I was having are exactly what was suggested for people with Chiari with these conditions. I stopped driving mostly because I was having dizzy spells etc. They suggest people with those symptoms not drive because something about sitting in the drivers position for a long time (the way you hold your head/neck) can cause that. It also appears that the stroke symptoms I had may not have been actual strokes but were instead instances of cut off CSF flow. Which mimicks a stroke and can be just as dangerous. Instead of blood flow your cerebral fluid is cut off from the brain. Also all this is occuring right around the Vegas nerve which controls pretty much everything so this is actually a very complicated and intricate thing to have. I'm glad to not have Parkinson's but this is something that will still affect my life. There is no cure. They mostly have to treat symptoms as they come and there is the option of a decompression surgery if it comes to that. They open the back of the skull and remove parts of bone to allow the brain more room and/or the membrane the holds the brain as well and adds something that essentially acts as a sling. This is no cure either and it is iffy as to whether it relieves some symptoms or not. I'm still learning but as I said I'm still trying to get in to a neurologist to find out in my particular case what comes next for me. It has just as many questions as answers. Then like my mom I think is in denial though this is something you can physically SEE on MRI and such. I don't know why but she is almost angry about it. I guess because it is such a complicated issue. I don't know though. Anyway it was quite a lot for me to take in. I all ready have other health issues and such. Though the ADD /anxiety are being dealt with some. Which has helped some. I am still considered high functioning autistic as well. Nothing to really do about that. Affects my past more than my future as I've learned over time to deal. I still find it affects me but it is the least of my problems. I think my biggest problem is I am the type of person to push myself past my own limits and I have to work on NOT doing exactly that. That is likely why my health issues have gotten so much worse. I have to allow myself to rest and I have to admit I can't do it all. I do still search for work arounds though. I am not an idle person. My body just isn't able to keep up with my mind I guess. I am starting to pick up on walking and such again to continue to try and lose weight. Walking is one of the things that is safe for me so I still have that. Also as I mentioned I got to be there to welcome my 2nd grandbaby into the world so that had me on a happy high. Then this month my second oldest welcomed my third grand baby into the world (her and her hubby's first baby) and I got to spend an evening recently at her house for dinner with her and her hubby and my oldest and her youngest. Best night ever. I was so happy. Our car broke down and that wasn't even enough to bring me down. I'm so happy for them all. Our car still isn't running quite right i hope to get that fixed soon. There is a lot more going on in my life those are just the biggest things. I've been struggling right now with headaches and other health issues but otherwise still doing ok. I've been picking up my crochet and art some. Staying busy. There have been a lot of appts besides my own lately. My mom had a cancer scare recently but wound up being okay. The lump they were looking at mysteriously disappeared. Hoping it stays gone she's been through enough. My uncle passed recently which means my parents are the last remaining out of all their siblings. This is kinda hard for me to think about. I will try to update again soon but as for me life is always busy sometimes more than other times. I've also made drastic changes to who I give my time to. If you've not heard of the spoon theory take the time to look it up it will help you understand those with chronic illness of any kind a bit more. I didn't have the spoons to keep giving to those who were only pretending. I should add there are those who were probably deserving of those spoons but life kept sucking me in so I just haven't been able to spare much of my time to anyone really. Just trying to keep my own head above water. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

July-Aug 2016

So time again for an update I suppose. I've not stopped with my weight loss journey and I'm so happy right now with it. No stopping now! These first two pics were taken outside my mom's house. The first in Feb. 2016 the 2nd was March 2016. (I have a current photo under this first set)  I was uncomfortable, miserable, didn't feel like my body reflected at all who I felt I was inside. I had tried and failed several times to lose the weight because I was focusing on exercise more than diet. (though I thought I was eating healthy at that point I've learned a lot since then) I would get frustrated because I'd do really well only to have some health issue that prevented me walking or doing my exercises. What I'm doing now doesn't depend on it though it does help. I cut out pop, any added sugar and salt, am eating about 80/20 whole clean foods. I've mainly cut out gluten which causes health issues for me though I'm bad about eating a fried chicken wing when we get it while out. that is the one thing I really give in to which is bad and I feel it later. I've been making my own to take away that craving and so I can still eat it on occasion. (gluten free) I walk a lot. I've increased my steps from 2 or 3000 up to 5000 and then up to around 10000 a day.. sometimes 12,000. (I do play Pokemon Go LOL just something to do while I walk anyway plus fun)  Me currently end of July 2016 So much happier and feeling more like ME again. I haven't felt that way in such a long time. I'm only just beginning too. I want to tone my arms and stomach. My legs are toning some just from the walking. I hit a plateau at one point and got frustrated of course but seeing other people hit those and then move on helped keep me going and this last month I'm losing a lb a week at least and sometimes more. 

 I do fitbit challenges and belong to a couple of groups on FB but mostly I do it myself now. It is good to have guidance in the beginning and always good to have people around who are going through it as well to keep support and moral up. 
I do still have health issues of course. Some are lessening. Some we are trying to figure out. I have a head tremor that the dr is concerned about. The medication she put me on isn't working so I have to have an MRI and trial of Parkinson's meds. My mom has Parkinson's and I'm worried about this. Hoping it is something less complicated. I was evaluated for Aspergers (high functioning autism) and it is believed at this point that I have it though they weren't sure if they could really diagnose it officially due to early onset PTSD which has the same symptoms. though there is enough there that my dr strongly believes I have it. The only thing this means is that as I grew up I learned to deal with it. It actually means for me it is actually more amazing I survived everything I went through and I shouldn't discredit myself as much as I do. (I still do sometimes though I tend to put myself down) I look back and realized not only did I go through so much I did a lot of dealing with it by myself. Not anything I'd wish on anyone and I still tend to deal with things myself. I may vent on here but that is about the extent of it. I guess where that comes in is I can look at something and go Okay you survived this that shouldn't be that hard. (doesn't always work but sometimes helps me get through) I also have ADD. I was recently put on medication for that. In fact just started it today so we'll see if it helps me keep focus enough to do what I need to do. I'm hoping. I'm also having vision problems at the moment but I see the eye dr next week and hopefully that will be dealt with. I just don't like letting anything go so that it can grow into a larger problem and sometimes I don't have a choice about it and it bothers me. One of my cats this last week. A cat that I consider sort of my therapy cat a little manx named Nimbus had a stroke. I rely on Nimbus and Houdini as far as comfort when I'm down and going through hard times. I thought I was going to lose her. I was so upset. I started giving her water in the corner of her mouth through a straw and putting a little food in the same way and after a few days not only is she eating and drinking on her own she has become mobile enough to go to another room. She ventured into the living room for the first time today. I think she's going to be okay. I'm so very grateful to still have her around. I <3 font="" fuzzy.="" my="" nbsp="">
School will be starting soon for my youngest. She's getting bored so it's about time. My son is out til Sept. My oldest daughter is getting closer to her due date and I think she's more than ready for it to get here. I have a family reunion coming up. (my 2nd time to see my long lost sister that I only learned of this last year :D ) I get to see my favorite cousin too I think plus other people I've not seen in forever. My 2nd oldest is due in October she's getting so excited. (this is her first) I have to travel to another town out of my comfort range for the delivery for her but it will be so worth it. 
I am currently working on some projects ;) Can't post pics of those yet. Have a lot to do. If the add meds help my focus and I get my vision taken care of I want to work on just getting projects done nd starting to sell. That plan has been in the works for some time now. 
also hoping for cooler weather. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Health journey update

It has been a little bit since I posted so I thought I'd do a quick update. I've been clean eating since Feb of this year (2016) I've of course had some slip ups as anyone likely would. I lost a good 10-11 lbs in that first month. I stalled out for a month in there and now almost end of June I am down 19 lbs. :) I am feeling better and am seeing some difference in my face and such 

From Feb. I was puffy, you could tell I didn't feel good, pale, was not happy at all.

June feeling healthier, not nearly so puffy. I feel like I look healthier here too. (excuse the weird facial expression) I was at the zoo here for my youngest daughter's birthday. I feel like I can start to see that glow I've seen in so many other people's faces that are doing this right now. I belong to 3 FB groups where I've found alot of support plus I still do the Instagram thing some. I do my own recipes now. I don't drink pop I drink water with sometimes tea added and maybe honey for sweetness, coffee (minimal), water sometimes with fruit, and as a treat aloe or coconut water. :) 
From Feb. I was unhappy, very over weight, and ready for a change. these were out of some of my before pictures. It is a continuous journey. I had yoyo-ed before and been so frustrated that every time I'd make progress I'd get ill and couldn't do the exercise and would fall back to this. I'd never been heavy til my mid-twenties and didn't know how to deal. I had other health issues and such that are now being dealt with. (a good dr is so important! I have one now I didn't before) 

I felt like my body was not reflecting the person inside at all. I made a decision to make the change to clean eating and it has made all the difference. I know I sound like an advertisement or something but this is what has worked for me in so many ways and while I am only a few months in I am happier as well as much healthier.

Me at the zoo random photo my husband took. Excuse the fanny pack LOL I had been walking and walking and I used that to carry my camera and stuff so I'd be traveling light and it was so loose that it slipped down over my hips. (need to tighten it though I don't use it often) It was soooooo hot. heat indexes in the 100's. I've started walking more when I can. Right now the weather is not very cooperative. It is too hot do the track during the day so I've been walking in the evenings. Trying to keep my steps up and stay active. I feel better, more energy, my feet are no longer hurting as they were. (I had planar fascitis and messed up tendons and they would become painful and swollen which made walking hard) I also have a condition called Teitse. This means the connective tissue in my ribcage becomes irritated and swells and restricts my ribs from contracting and expanding as they should. I also have a smaller than normal ribcage so this had been something to really work around. I'm getting it though. I am working on my art more. i have a 3rd portrait painting I am fixing to start for a friend. I also have one I will be doing for the county fair. For now I am working on my self and I am a work in progress. ;) :D <3 font="">
Our local lake 

Giraffe feeding. unfortunately mine didn't get to feed the giraffe the giraffe got done and walked away before she got that far in line.

The very photogenic bear.

The gorilla

momma and baby elephant.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fitgirl update

Today is the start of the 3rd fitgirl challenge I've joined. As I posted last time this falls in cycles. a 28 day challenge followed by an optional 7 day detox challenge before the next 28 day challenge begins. each 28 day challenge is out of a series of ebooks. You choose your level of difficulty. You can choose to repeat the 28 day challenge (1st book) or move on to the next book Fitkini challenge (also a 28 day challenge just different recipes and exercise levels) etc. you can move between the books some too if you want and there is a cook book that offers some different recipes. I've lost about 14 lbs since the very beginning. I am very happy with that. I got stuck last challenge and lost nothing but didn't gain either so I count that as a plus. I did lose inches though even if not losing lbs. I lost the 3 lbs after the detox challenge that I did. (my first detox challenge I didn't do it last round) I am feeling more confidence in myself. Each challenge has a theme. This one's theme is "Be your own fitgirl" For me this means being able to love myself and accept myself as I am and for who I am. It means to be able to forgive myself when I make mistakes and to pick myself and keep going. To not give up when things seem stuck as they did last month. 
Here are some pics that show my progress from the beginning til now:

These were from the very first challenge

I have been working on our before and after pic things to try and get the same poses and distance and such since this.

before and after first challenge

before and after 2nd challenge
before for 3rd challenge. We'll see how this goes. I finally felt brave enough to show my tummy. I know I still have a ways to go and this part is the hardest for me. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

28 day jumpstart update (and maybe other lil stuff)

*there will be photos I'll add those in at the end of this * I figured an update was in order in case there was anyone wondering (and also I am excited to share so...) and in case anyone else might be considering the Fitgirls Guide ...any of them. The 28 day jump start, the fitkini challenge, the cook book, the detox, the boot camp... DO IT. I would say it is 110 percent worth it! It is NOT a diet. It is a lifestyle change. Fit Girls Guide If you are a guy and thinking it isn't for you because it has girls in the title... Good News... you can be a Fit Guy. They have alternative calorie counts etc for it. There are husbands, boyfriends, and guy friends doing it too. These are ebooks (though some girls print them off to have hard copies) you don't have to have them all at once. 28 day jumpstart is a good start and you can repeat the challenge in it as many times as you like. the others allow you to add in more recipes and like the detox is for the week in between challenges (I'll explain more in a bit) and fitkini is a step up from the jump start. As for me I lost 11 lbs during the first challenge. that is dietary changes ONLY. I didn't do the exercises that round because I wanted to focus on the dietary changes first. Now if you know me I'd been struggling for awhile with some success here and there but I am a stress eater. I would get depressed and break down and give in or I wouldn't see changes of any kind and would give up. I even requested help from the dr. the first one said they didn't deal in that. The 2nd tried to get me in with a dietitian and I wasn't able to get in. Then I found this. I don't feel stuck anymore. I don't feel hopeless. (Egads I sound like a damned ad and I swore I'd never sound like that about anything but I can't say enough good things about this. I've never been so happy and honestly so impressed with anything as I am this.) Basically you know that there are serving sizes, that you should eat more veggies, that salt isn't the greatest thing, pop isn't either. I know that but even though I tried it still couldn't seem to hit that quite right. They walk you through it and change your mindset in a way. They are extremely versatile in that if you don't like something in a recipe they offer alternatives and for the most part extremely interchangeable. They have vegetarian and gluten free versions. (Which helped me as I have to have gluten free and that combined with just figuring out the calories and serving sizes was a bit overwhelming I think on my own) you do cut out pop which was hard as I was the biggest pop addict ever but you do eventually start to get used to not drinking it. You can have coffee though and tea. There are ways to make water taste better too. (don't let this part cause you to tune out it almost did me and I'm glad I didn't) you still get chocolate daily (dark chocolate) there are also desserts and snacks that can be sweet just healthier and I will also add that the recipes are very good. (you'll feel like a chef with some of them though at the same time they are very easy) you do meal prepping that I know for me helped with that need to have things handy. I get pretty busy a lot and having things at hand and ready really kept me from grabbing whatever. Like there are a lot of breakfast options but I got hooked on their fridge oats recipes because I barely function in the morning anyway and I can grab it and eat that. I don't miss take out either shockingly. The meals are also a decent size and filling as well as just yummy. You don't use salt often at all but you learn to use other spices (the mixtures they had were surprising and very good) Things that will have you trying new things. New combos of veggies too. (some of these surprised me in a good way) anyway enough about the food though seriously it is awesome. Also something important if you'd like to see more on them they are on Instagram which is a big part of it too. Fit girls are very supportive of each other and support is another big factor in keeping you going. We hold each other accountable and pep talk when needed and just share the experience as a whole together. It is also about self love. Teaching you to feel good about yourself and forgive yourself when you slip up and don't have a good meal day etc and to keep right on going with the program. (they actually have an anything you want meal that is allowed on occasion to get your cravings out of your system and special drink days explained in the ebooks) The exercises work their way up in level. If you are physically disabled ...another issue I have some what as I also was diagnosed this year with Tietze which is a rare disorder in which the tendons and all in my rib cage swell and become inflamed making it hard to breathe etc as well as I have Lupus and RA and several other health issues...anyway.  There are plenty of modifications or they even suggest walking if you can and even if not that then the dietary changes alone are enough to warrant doing it. I feel like now that I've lost some it will be easier for me to attempt the exercises (and also that I've gotten into the dietary pattern enough to feel comfortable with it) so I hope to tone up and lose more. Anyway they have the 28 day challenges. (our next one starts tomorrow March 8 and lasts til April 11) in between that they have a week off or use it for the detox program. There are exercise challenges during that week too. During the 28 day challenges there are photo challenges that they release a calendar for about 2 days prior for you to enter as often as you can. (is fun and keeps people engaged) as well as a phrase that you put in your before photos for that challenge. You can then enter that with your after photos at the end of the challenge for entry to a contest type thing. Some of the girls also have mini challenges amongst themselves. 
The first one is before the 2nd is after. I will say too that I took note of things I needed to change for my before and after pics. such as distance etc. I chose a shirt for the first challenge and this one that showed as much detail as I could without doing a pic showing my tummy. I am using the same shirt this challenge too though next challenge I plan to change it up and prolly give in and do a half shirt or something. Now while the changes may be small (or they appeared to be to me ...though I got a LOT of questions by people of what I was doing and comments and compliments from people who were noticing... I don't expect anything over night but this was enough of a difference to convince me. Plus besides the 11 lbs I am down from the challenge I lost another lb during my week off.  (I continued eating as if I were in the challenge) 

 These are actually in reverse order. My phone switched them. The first one with the paper is actually my after pic in this one. This was my first 28 day challenge before/after pics.  
 excuse the no makeup. This is my before pic for this 2nd challenge that starts tomorrow. (was taken after the week off thing too) 
 These are actually in order. before and after 28 day challenge
(yeah I plan on fixing the distance issue this round) 
 one week later and my before pic this round. 

 oddly this one is the one I could tell the most difference in. The funny thing is I didn't color my hair either and it looks redder LOL (just a pointless fact but hey) 
I hope to see more of a significant difference by mid to end of summer and I really don't doubt that I will. For now I am truly happy. This is a change I intend to keep. I may update further at the end of this challenge even. :D I can't quit raving about it.  For my cardio days I want to use my belly dancing when I can. I am hoping for a good summer. I have two more grandbabies on the way which is super exciting. (Both my older daughters are expecting) another wedding (my oldest) While we may be having some financial difficulties right now for the most part things look bright. I plan on working my schedule around to fit my crafts/art in more and I have some portraits lined up to do as well as some experimental stuff I've not tried before that one of my daughters requested an I am excited to do for them. Maybe I can branch out from this. Anyway I was excited to share my beginnings in a new journey and the progress I've made thus far. Check out their website if interested or look them up on Instagram. :D 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Positive changes (backstory and a bit of a review of Fit girls guide which I am a fan of now)

Well this may come off as an advertisement of sorts and it isn't meant to be ....yet it kinda is LOL. I will start with some background. Growing up I was always thin as a rail. Under weight. Often accused of being anorexic or teased by people who thought I didn't eat. I know usually when you think of people being made fun of it is due to being overweight. Trust me if you are underweight you get it too. When I was 18 or so and became pregnant with my first daughter I weighed prolly about 98lbs soaking wet. There was of course a big push from drs to gain weight. She was a preemie and weighed 6 lbs 7 oz at birth. Later when I had my 2nd daughter I put on a lot of weight with her and I felt overweight even though I weighed prolly a decent weight after. Not far from my ideal weight actually. I was in an abusive relationship though and was constantly put down for this or that.Made to feel less than all the time. (I'd been belittled by others my whole life so this wasn't anything new but it made me constantly doubting myself) So I beat myself up over it.  I went through 6 pregnancies total.  (not many people know about the first which was a miscarriage then my fifth I lost to trisomy 18) anyway so my body just by those terms has been through a lot. I also have autoimmune issues and an undiagnosed digestive issue that kept me sick a lot as a kid.  Drs didn't know why. They would just say gastrointeritis and send me on my way. (It seems to be gluten/wheat related which wasn't often tested for back then) I've also been through starvation.  I will pass on the details but will say it was not by choice and yes I nearly died. I was there to the point my body was nothing but bruises because I was bleeding out I hadn't eaten in 3 weeks straight. (I mean literally NOTHING other than maybe a slice of bread my friend brought me over that entire time)  and had dropped a lot of weight and was very ill. It was a very dark time for me. I can honestly say I know what true starvation feels like and I would wish it on no one. Anyway so looking at my history I haven't had an easy time with it all. I have spent a lot of time staying in survival mode. I am at this time at a weight that I am very uncomfortable with. It is way above my ideal weight. I am not at a healthy weight at all. I am also short statured which makes it even worse. It is taking a toll on me physically and mentally. I have wanted so bad to lose it down to a healthy weight. I feel like the body I have now does not represent at all the person I am inside. I have tried exercise in the past and my health would always get worse stopping me from doing what I needed to do. Calorie counting helped some but only to a degree. I was doing it alone for the most part. No one else in my family was wanting to take part in it as much. I think for them they don't like change and anything too extreme was off limits. I went off wheat for awhile and felt better but then felt I was making it harder on the rest of the family and while it may sound silly that bothers me. So I stopped and got sick again. (I had been teased some and I had people saying it would be fine if I ate just a little or that maybe it was something else making me sick.) I finally sucked it up and went off again. I am again feeling better. It messes my stomach up so horribly bad. I am also somewhat allergic not a bad allergy but enough to compound it. I feel better off it and I can no longer deny it as I have found through trial and error that it truly does make me sick. It isn't like I said hey this harder to follow diet looks fun lets do that. I changed a lil more eating a lil less processed food and fixing my lunches separate. I was desperate. I needed SOMETHING. Some kind of help to put me on the right track. I hate feeling the way I do. I asked the dr about a dietitian. She tried but it would require going to the city all the time. We don't have the gas or time to do it. I knew I needed something more than just the most basic modifications. I started seeing advertisements for fitgirl. Sounded at the time like just another gimmick or diet fad. I'd seen so many of those. The wraps, the drinks, I won't do pills. I wanted something real. Not a diet not just exercise. I finally decided to check it out further. What I found surprised me. It was not a diet at all. It was a lifestyle change. It was a community (mostly instagram but they are also on facebook and such) So you don't have to feel like you are alone. They don't promise anything crazy like most do. You can see from the before and after photos that girls post that the results in the beginning are not dramatic but they look happier, some weight loss is noticable, etc. As they progress over time as most have decided to stick with it the weight loss and toning become more noticable but it isn't at some unrealistic pace and they even tell you up front that they won't repost pics if it looks like you've done something crazy and unhealthy to get there. They have a series of books that to me would have appeared a bit costly but now after being a part of this (I'm only about 2 weeks and about to start week 3) they are more than worth it. I read mine daily and I want the one I don't have yet. They are beyond worth it. I did get mine cheaper than what they have on the site (there was a sale etc) The diet isn't a diet at all. It is more like guiding you on balancing everything.  They have recipes which count the calories for you 3 meals with a snack and a piece of dark chocolate by the end of the day. (sometimes you can add a dessert) The meals don't leave you feeling starving. I was surprised at the amount you get per meal. The trick is balancing the grains, protein, and veggies which sounds like something simple or basic but they give you a true feel for it and they have modifications for people who are gluten free like me and vegetarians etc. The meals are also adapatable and easily altered if you don't like something. Another trick up their sleeve is preparing meals ahead of time. For a lot of people if you are just hungry if it isn't something quick fix or something you are more likely to mess up and grab something else that isn't as healthy. They way they do it is either quick fix or pre- prepared so it is easy to just grab and go. (especially for lunches and breakfasts) They introduce you to eating without adding salt (you can have a dash here or there) and sugar. You basically wind up resetting your tastebuds to not need it. You don't eat processed foods. The hardest thing for me is cutting out pop but you are allowed coffee and unsweet tea which helps. With in the first week I lost weight and I've been getting compliments. I am doing it right now with out the added exercise. That part is adaptable too. If you don't work out etc to start with you start by walking more etc. Building up to it. You can redo the 28 day jumpstart as much as needed and then you move on to the middle book. The middle book is like the next level up and has several levels in it as well and there is also a cook book. As  you learn your portions etc you can branch out to trying new things. Also for me I was leery at first of the recipes as they were so different for me but I was very pleasantly surprised. I think a lot of other girls were too. They are amazing and my son has become interested in trying some too. The community on instagram has daily photo challenges. This keeps it fun and interesting. I have been posting pics of the new recipes and they will make you wanna be more creative in the kitchen. I've started really enjoying that part of it too. There are so many aspects to it that I just can't cover all of it here but it is as they say a lifestyle change. I do cook separately from my family right now but I think I can integrate it later. I've definitely learned new tips and tricks all ready. I am still excited about it even 2 weeks in. I look forward to making it all the way through and then starting again with exercises added. That or start my belly dancing which I am thinking of doing sooner than that anyway. Every Thurs they have a 5k (3.1 mile) walk which there is a theme for. I hope to start partaking in that. It may not be on Thursdays but I would like to get to where I do that regularly. Recently I got my 10,000 steps badge (about 5 miles or a lil more I think it said) I can easily see this as something I want to stay with and continue. It has been a positive lifestyle change thus far and what I was looking so hard for. I know some of this sounds like basic common sense changes and they are but it helps when you have such a crazy life to have some help with the layout and not to feel like you are by yourself when you are doing it. <3 community.="" fitgirl="" font="" nbsp="" the="" to="">

Friday, January 15, 2016

Year in review 2016 2nd 6 months

The 2nd six months held a lot as well.  

 soap holder I made. My mom didn't understand that you were supposed to keep the soap in it while bathing and it acts as a wash cloth LOL She thought it was ONLY for holding the soap in between :P

 magic show at the library

 The roses on this bush are always so bright

 zuchinni I think

 my youngest at 6 yrs old on her birthday with her "robot dog" (you press the buttons to make it walk) She has grown a lot just since this.

 Had a party at McDonalds for her. I actually pull muscles when I do this. Her sister is strong :) 

 looked much darker than this. Taken at the local grocery store.

 blanket I made for a friend that was expecting a lil one. :) She has been a precious addition to my life. Such a wonderful friend. <3 font="" nbsp="">

 butterflies on my catnip

 trumpet vine

 my son

 Trying out selfies LOL

 did a painting class. I still have a T-shirt with this hand print on it. It was fun.

My painting. I get called out on these pretty quick. They are always like you are an actual artist aren't you?! Like I am not allowed to do painting classes if I am LOL I just enjoy doing them and sometimes you can learn new things to add to what you all ready do. I've noticed there are a couple other artists too that like to go to these though :D 

 Gladiolas I love the variations in color of these

 my son took this one.

 My son's cat. She got lost one day she stays at his grandma's and she got out and it was a devastating day for us til we found her. We searched the neighborhood all day long and part of the night. Glad he has her back though. 

 bag that my son made at a class he gave it to my 2nd oldest :) 

 4th of July celebration in Shawnee. (they hold it early every year so that is why this fell on June)

 I may do more photos this year but I took mostly video. 

July: Unfortunately this is the month that my MIL was unable to live at home anymore. She is still nearby enough to visit which is good. ( I want to go see her more) but I miss our time over there. I really enjoyed just being able to go and kick back and visit. I always felt so relaxed over there and we get along great. Love my MIL. This became a rush rush thing of taking care of things that we got swept in. Still have things to take care of honestly. She is a bright spot in our lives. 
 pepper from my garden

 my youngest with her new glasses. She is supposed to wear them all the time but it is hard to make that happen. She does wear them at school though.

 My son with his. I haven't seen them on him in awhile. o.O I asked him where they were and he says in his room...(that doesn't say much)

My cannas

 Houdini. My furbaby

this was a bunch of temporary tattoos my youngest was putting them on us. I really actually want that octopus just in a different location like my hand by the thumb or something.

 Naked ladies that bloom in front of my mom's every year


 My stargazers that I love :) 

 The first movie I went and saw since 8 Legged Freaks (if that says anything for how long it had been) was Jurassic World. This year was full of first in a long time things for me. I went with my son because we didn't think my youngest would sit through it and my husband took her to an indoor play yard thing. He plans on taking her to a movie sometime or for us to try and do the dollar shows with all of us. Anyway this was the clouds when we came out.

  My stargazers

 my first and only time having Houdini on his harness. He does not like the outdoors and went promptly for the poison ivy. We may try again this year. He doesn't like it when I go out either. He will stand at the door and watch for me with his paws on it. 

I took a regular chair and removed the cushion. Then I used laundry line to crochet the center and connected it to the hoop as I went. I think in the future it needs smaller mesh type holes in it as it was stretchier than I wanted.

August: School started back up and we got into a routine with that. My son and I both started allergy shots and we have to go once a week for those. At the same time everything else was going on we also took a hard financial hit.
 my youngest with  a small toad she caught.

 Tecumseh lake

mushrooms holding water

 display at firelake

 This flower to me said a lot without saying anything. I see "signs" all the time in little things like this. Or maybe messages is a better word to choose.  It says strength, endurance, determination and an ability to pull through even hard circumstances. I saw it at a time when I needed it. 

 This is something I got prior to my birthday. I will 100 percent be doing this one again it is by far my fave and the one I think that most fits me in general. Not just appearance but personality wise too. We'll see how the purple/blue goes but this is my fave. I wanted to do it again but couldn't. 

 my son and I

 toad that my youngest found

 purple thistle

 our last time fishing for awhile probably but was enjoyable. 

  summer isn't summer without these guys

 blooming mint plants.

September: My birth month and the one with the biggest news for me by far. It was on my 40th birthday that I found out that I have another sister on my dad's side. We haven't gotten to visit much yet though we did get to meet. I hope that during the summer (when my agoraphobia seems to have a bit less of a hold due to the fact I'm in slightly less pain) maybe we can meet more. I also got to reconnect with at least one of my cousins. 
 tree frog my kids found outside hancock fabrics

 my grandbaby and my oldest

 painting I did for county fair I won 2nd this year

 on the wall at the county fair

 smokey's seen better days. 

 petting a guinea pig


 getting ready to head home after shots

 mushrooms cropping up

 paintings at downtown Tecumseh for Frontier days I spent most of my time at this hanging with my cousin. She is awesome. 


 wild bill 

 sat up to watch the eclipse 

 red spider lily that we planted the year before.

 maple leaf I made

one of my favorite gluten free meals. ;) Chicken breast with tomatoes and green onions. (I will eat tomatoes and green onions with pretty much anything)
October: Halloween! 
 another leaf I made 

 snowflake I plan on making some of these and putting them together as a blanket or something.

 spider web 

 if you look you can see some day of the dead ear rings with a necklace. I'd love to have gotten them but couldn't at the time.

 skull we made out of a mold  

 we make a stepping stone for my youngest son who passed of trisomy 18 every year this was his.

 these guys were all of the yard. They would spin webs long distances between the trees so that it was seeming they were just floating in the yard. Great for when you are out mowing. You don't want to run into them they are large spiders.

 spider I made this went to my MIL as a Christmas spider. I'd have liked to have added some green to him but didn't get to. 

 My youngest's artwork

 I am always fascinated by these as they are like colorful versions of Rosarch tests.

 My grandbaby

 Male black widow (non venomous apparently which I did not know)

 skirt I made and added feathers to.

 hat I made for my son. He is a brony (and proud of it) and he actually got a lot of compliments. His friends that he hangs with likes it too.

 My thrown together costume :) 


 my husband's costume

  pumpkin patch
 my youngest's alternative costume that she wore to school. This  was the top that was to go with the peacock tutu but she thought it was too scratchy and people liked the other shirt better in the end with it anyway :) 

There was also an airshow that month (I never finished uploading videos for that either) 
Where my husband got stuck for a lot of the airshow sadly. We went looking for him but he told us to go on. My youngest just can't seem to sit through things like that and we couldn't get her occupied with something closer so that he could watch more of it. I'd like to fix that next time.

 my son. This is what his goal is. He wants to get into aeronautics. He is strongly engineering minded and wants to get into building and working on the planes as well as getting a pilots license to fly.

 candy my youngest got

 painting I did for my 2nd oldest. I was so nervous about it. I had to improvise some. I had her pick out a picture she really liked of her and her fiance (I believe this was actually their engagement photo) and that was months before. I finished it before the wedding and that was their wedding present. They are a wonderful couple and I think she really picked a great guy. They are good together and take care of each other. :) Very happy for them. My oldest is now engaged to get married as well around the same time of the year. She found a great guy as well. :) 

 I didn't take a lot of photos as I video taped most of it.

 Happy Couple

 after a wind storm it blew this pine tree over onto the pole. Took forever but they came down and it is now on the ground.

This is a weaver nest that had been up in the cotton wood for a long time  that finally blew down

 they used plastic bags and such which made it very stretchy and sturdy.

Me.... losing the red before I went burghandy.
 my dad

 me and my grandbaby and my husband in the background

my cousin, me, my dad, my sister, and one of her grandkids.

 we missed seeing some family members as we showed up kinda later but we are to have a larger meeting this summer. This was in Maud first time going there in many years. Thankfully a short drive. I was having full on anxiety attacks before hand but I wouldn't have missed it for anything. I had gone back on wheat for a bit too. I was not doing well health wise and was telling the effects for sure. I get bloaty (look preggo ) my face swells, stomach issues, dizzy, headaches, swollen glands , etc. Just so sick. Partly due to malabsorbtion of vitamins as well. I was found to be anemic after this too. Have gone off it and am all ready doing somewhat better. 

large wolf spider my husband and youngest found outside the dollar store

 just loved the brilliant colors of this


 just to show how tall my 6 year old is to me. I am short at 5'4 (or 5'3 depending on where I get measured) and she is all ready up to there on me. 

 little bit of ice

 definitely preferred the red. ;) 

Me Christmas eve. up late and tired but had a great day next day.

In reflection there were a lot of things that happened this year that were big things for me. Big steps for someone with PTSD and agoraphobia/anxiety issues. I like to be able to look back on those when I am having a rough time and have gone backwards with it to remind myself that there are good days in there and I can hope for more of those.  Was a year full of surprises and firsts for me. A year of doing things I never though I'd do again. It may be some time before I do them again even but was a much more fruitful year than I'd realized. Here is hoping for a year full of good things.