My nerves are a mess as I sit here staring at the screen; the cursor flashing at me begging me to type something on this blank white canvas. My teeth are grasping the right side of my upper lip as I become aware of the speed at which I am picking at my nails. Why would writing a blog post come with so many emotions? I take a deep breath, ask the Lord for help, and begin to type. Where do I begin, what do I tell, am I ready to be vulnerable, am I ready for the accountability of writing a blog about my weight loss, again? What if I fail?
I read the last few blog posts and can feel every emotion, again. Frustration, moments of determination, fear, lots of fear, shame, condemnation. . . . I reached for any hope and would slide back down the depression wall without it. It is so hard to relive those emotions, but here goes anyway. . . . .
As I wrote in one of my last blog posts, I went through something traumatic about 2 ½ years ago now. In light of this event, I decided I needed to do something to help provide, financially, in a greater way for myself. So, I began the cake business. I knew I was not supposed to do it, to the core of my being I knew it, but decided to anyway. I remember my mom asking me if I was going to be able to have self-control around all the sweets. I told her that I was not that person anymore and I would be fine around it. Orders began rolling in and I began working around the clock to fill them. I was working a job during the day, as well as taking care of my family, so I did not start on the cakes until after the kids were in bed. With the late nights, I began drinking regular caffeinated sodas to help keep me awake, then I would begin to crash around 2 AM and that is when the “extra” pieces of cake, frosting, etc, made their way into my mouth. I was trying to find any way to keep my body “up” through the night. Then, during the day, I would need to find ways to keep myself going and sugar seemed to be the only thing that would do that. The weight began to pack on. By May of 2014, I was standing at my front door looking at my mailbox trying to figure out how to get to it, to check it for mail. That is when I knew something was seriously wrong. I had a city length driveway that was uphill, but nothing dramatic. It was not a steep driveway by any means and the mailbox was right there at the bottom.
My mom suggested I call her doctor. I reluctantly did and it was the best decision I ever made. My first appointment with her was in June 2014. She ran tests and told me my vitamin D levels were so low I might need injections if I cannot get them up through supplements. My thyroid numbers were off, I was anemic, and I had adrenal fatigue. Ha! So, that is why I am so exhausted! I had no idea my depression, my sluggishness, my lack of endurance, my intolerance to the cold, was all health related. I had always been able to abuse my body through lack of sleep and poor eating habits and I did fine. I thought I was just being a weak person and could “make” myself do all I was doing before and all I wanted to do.
The Dr. put me on a thyroid medication, high doses of vitamin D, iron, and some adrenal support. We talked about what I could let go of in my life. I knew the cake business had to go. All of the supplements were great but I had to focus on getting good, full nights of sleep. I continued to see her for the next year and to work on healing my body. She did not want me to focus on weight loss. She felt like that would put too much of a strain on what we were trying to heal.
As I reflected, I realized I had been feeling this way since September 2012. I remember hitting a wall and trying to figure out why I was so tired. All of the bonking I was experiencing during my workouts was because of all the things that were off in my body. It felt so good to have answers. I felt so guilty too, because I did this to myself, the extreme calorie depleting, for weight loss purposes, as well as hours and hours of exercise. I began this journey to take care of my health and all I did was damage it. Self-hatred was going to get me nowhere though and the doctor really helped me with being kind to myself. She would help me see my accomplishments, even if very small, as huge victories. We were working my way back to health. I slowly started feeling better. I was not feeling that deep exhaustion anymore, but I was not bouncing with energy either. I was getting full nights of sleep and if I felt like I could not get up with the alarm clock, I would let myself sleep until I could get up. It was so important for my healing. Thank the Lord for the job I have! It is flexible so I was able to sleep in if I needed to.
In April of 2015, the doctor looked at me and said, “Okay, it’s time to start focusing on weight loss.” She felt like I was doing really well. My numbers were within healthy ranges. She told me after walking this out with me over the past year and observing how I operate in life, she believed I would do better with a program. I laughed because I have always been a rule follower. She did not want it to be anything super strict, but I needed to have parameters. She gave me several options but nothing sounded right for me. I left that day praying God would show me what to do this time. I did not want to do damage to myself again, but need to get the weight back off. It is important to me to eat organic food and to have a balance of foods in my life so I was not going to go Vegan or Paleo. I began praying about what the Lord would want me to do.
Please do not read this next part as an advertisement. It is not! I just want to share why I am doing what I am doing. I heard the word Advocare during my prayer time one day. I had heard that word before but did not know anything about the company or program. I Googled Advocare and found out I needed to connect with a representative. I have friends who sell it in AZ, but wanted someone closer. I was scrolling through Facebook one day and saw someone mention it to a friend of mine, in my feed. I clicked on her name and Facebook stalked her. As I scrolled down, I realized she knows A LOT of the same people I know. Then I saw a post about going to see my sister for hair needs. (My sister is a hairdresser.) I called my sister and said, “Who is this?” She told me, “She’s great! Give her a call.” I met with her and then spent a few months really praying about it. I ordered a few of the products but still was not sure. I knew I needed to be “really” ready to start something and wanted to make sure it was not going to injure me.
I learned more about the company and the 24-day challenge. I learned their focus is to restore gut health to insure maximum nutrition absorption. Of course, I liked the sound of that. They encourage healthy eating and give you an outline of how to eat, but there are not any calorie restrictions, etc. I liked the sounds of that. They do not provide you with food so you still have to learn to eat right, do your own shopping, and I could still buy organic food. My sister decided to do the challenge in September and I quickly said I would do it with her. It is so much more fun to do it with someone!
I did their 24 day Trim Challenge. It includes an Herbal Cleanse for the first 10 days and then you enter the Max Phase for the next 14 days. Within the 24 days, I celebrated my 40th birthday and my husband’s job took him away for the next 7 months. It was difficult for me to concentrate on the food. I was very focused during the cleanse phase, and then I struggled eating well during the Max Phase. I took all the supplements as directed and could not believe that after 7 days into the Max Phase I decided to go out and clean up the garage so I could start doing circuit training in there. I remember stopping, in the garage, and thinking, “Are you really cleaning the garage so you can work out?” Then the next morning my alarm went off at 5:30 AM. I sat up and got myself ready to work out. Again, another SHOCKER! If you know me, even a little, you know I am not one to get up early in the morning! Especially to work out!! By myself!! I worked out hard that morning, for an hour. Then the next morning I got up and worked out again. What is happening?!?!? Am I starting to feel like my old self again? I not only was getting up and working out without anyone helping me, AKA my husband, LOL; I was keeping up with my day. I work full time, my oldest two daughters are doing an online school at home, and my husband is gone for work so I am a solo parent right now. I am volunteering in my youngest daughter’s classroom, I am menu planning, I am grocery shopping, I am paying bills, I am cleaning house, I am keeping up on laundry, I am changing light bulbs, I am doing yard work, I am chauffeuring the kids, I am leading worship at church, I am keeping up family and friend relationships. . . . . and I’m doing it. I am doing it! It has been such a long road riddled with so many disappointments, embarrassments, struggles, victories, and learning moments.
So, yes, you will hear about Advocare. That is the nutrition company I have chosen to help me with my weight loss. Yes, I am happy to tell you all about it and even sell you the products. Mostly I am just so happy to have ME back again. If you have not ever been through anything like this before you cannot relate, but if you have, you know how monumental having energy back, truly is. If you want to do circuits with me in my garage please know you are welcome! It is always so much easier to work out together. I am also keeping regular visits with my doctor. I will always preach that to anyone going through a weight loss program. It is so important to have a health professional monitoring you to make sure you do not harm yourself the way I did myself!!
I joke about the name I chose 5 years ago, for this blog. I had no idea how much of a journey this thing called health and weight loss really is! I will do my best to blog regularly, as I continue my journey. I will do my best to stay vulnerable even during hard times. I will do my best to show you that giving up is NEVER an option! You are worth the effort!! Settling is not the answer!
SANDY, VERY INSPIRING!!!!! SO GLAD THAT YOU ARE HAPPY & HEALTHY!!!!!!! I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR YOU OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS AS i WAS AWARE OF YOUR DIET AND WEIGHT LOSS!!!! WITH THIS UPDATE i WILL ALSO PRAY FOR YOUR SUCCESS WITH THE ADVOCARE PRODUCT AND THE OPPORTSUNITY IT IS GIVING YOU TO HELP OTHERS!!!! GOD BLESS AND MUCH CONTINUED SUCCESS & HAPPINESS!
STEVE L. ANDERSON
Thank you Steve!! I appreciate any and all prayers. This is not an easy road and I know the prayers help pull me up and keep my fighting.
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