Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Do I Know?

This past week, as I have traveled throughout my community, neighborhood and even via my cell phone and social media, I have been getting such positive feedback from my blog and Facebook page. It seems my intentions to share health and wellness with my friends has been embraced in the way I intended and this makes my heart smile.  I know many of you have actually ventured out and bought new juicers and some have dusted off the old ones that were hanging out in either your closet or  that of someone else. Thank you for this vote of confidence and I really hope you stick with it and with me. Juicing has changed my attitude and my health, thereby changing my life.

I agree this sounds like an extraordinary claim but in order to understand my experience I should tell you a bit about my background. I am a wife and a mom of 3 kids. We have had our journeys with cancer and heart diseases as have many other families. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes and was found to have an abnormal EKG reading that showed what I will just refer to as a cardiac event. I admit, to a certain extent I lived in denial of these facts. I took the medication prescribed but really didn't go beyond that to make any changes.

At some point in time I realized I was quickly approaching the age my Dad was at when he was diagnosed with a fatal illness and fear struck me. If any of you have lost a parent at a relatively young age then you surely know this feeling. That number was looming over me and getting closer and closer. I was 47 years old and he had been 49 the last time he left his home to go into the hospital. I could not tolerate the idea that I would be taken from my children and my husband when they still needed me and I knew I needed to make changes in my life to assure that would not happen.

At the same time these thoughts were taking hold,  I was blessed with a dear friend who did not give up on me. We would go to our Zumba classes and workout with different methods. She even somehow convinced me to start P90X! I was starting to feel better and lose a little weight but I still had so far to go and wasn't getting the results I had hoped for.  I knew I was missing something and it was probably on the nutrition side of things.

I tried protein shakes, limiting my calories, measuring and weighing portions  and drinking teas of all kinds. You name it and I probably tried it or at least considered it! The entire time my friend kept mentioning these delicious green juices she would drink each morning and how great she felt. Finally, out of sheer exasperation, I tried one. WHAT?! It was not at all what I expected! It was light, refreshing and actually tasted good!

So my next step was to borrow a friend's juicer and see if this was going to have any place in my life. I addressed that in a previous blog posting, and as I said, I fell in love with it. I was a hardcore coffee drinker from the age of 16 and thanks to 20 years of evening and night shifts I was up to at least a pot of the hard stuff a day. When I first started with the borrowed juicer I realized I had so much energy and felt so good that I didn't need the coffee. As a matter of fact, I was 2 days in to a juice cleanse before I even realized I hadn't had coffee since I started!

I am not using this blog to administer any medical advice or to prescribe any life change. I am a Registered Nurse so I do have a basis of Health and Wellness in my training but what I am speaking of is my own personal experience and that is all.

I was moved by the combination of Diana's (hope she doesn't mind I threw her name out there) example of healthy living and fitness and by a movie that had been recommended to me more times than I can count. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead is the story of a regular guy who needed to make changes in his life to change his health. Sound familiar? I recommend it as highly as it was recommended to me.

I started juicing regularly and worked it in with a diet of meats, chicken, fish, veggies, fruits and nuts and NO WHEAT and was amazed at how great I felt. On top of that was the added bonus of how much weight I was losing! Was it easy? Hell no! Was it the the hardest thing I ever did? Not even close. There were moments, of course, that I faltered. It is then that I would pull out my reserves and remind myself, but I am a woman. I have given birth, had miscarriages, buried a husband, watched my daughter battle cancer twice while holding the family together and keeping a job and have held dying babies for their parents when they couldn't do it themselves. Could I change my eating habits and work out a bit?! I think so.

I am sharing this with you to let you know, or maybe remind you, that we have all had struggles and we have found a way to overcome them. So when you get that new juicer out of the box and are waiting for pounds to fall off your hips or you are fighting the urge to rip those damn Thin Mints out of the freezer and inhale a sleeve or you feel you would sell your soul for a slice of italian bread remember the feeling of frustration is temporary and you have conquered so much more than missing a few calories. Others have been where you are now. I have been where you are now.

If I can get healthier so can anyone else. I am breaking down and including an older picture as a "Before" shot. It was not easy to find one where I wasn't hiding behind something or someone, so this was the best I could do. The other picture is one my daughter took as I was headed out last night for a run. I still have a way to go but I truly feel like I have reclaimed my life and I know my Dad is proud that in this one instance I will not follow in his footsteps.

You can do this, but if you WANT to change then you HAVE to change!


Breville ikon 5-Speed Juicer (Google Affiliate Ad)

Omega Juicer (Google Affiliate Ad)

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