Be Your Own Health Hero

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hero quoteI’m a little late posting this (darn strep throat!). I was contacted by the American Recall Center and asked to write about my health hero — that person in my life that inspires me to lose weight. That was a little tough for me, as I have lots of support from friends and family.

Two Top Contenders
At first, the honor went to my good friend Elizabeth, my biggest cheerleader for the last 2 years. She’s always let me bend her ear about major food failures and workout successes. Also, she’s undergoing her own fitness and health journey, so it was easy to share my goals and concerns with her. She’s also working overtime to get me to do a Disney half marathon with her (need to get that 5K under my belt first). And though she lives on the opposite coast, she’s always ready with much-needed sage advice via a constant stream of motivational texting.

Of course, my husband comes to mind, too. When I’d hit my really low point two years ago this month (March 23rd, to be exact), he gave me the strength to do what needed to be done – walk away from a nice salary and focus on my health and happiness. He loves the blog and serves as editor and technical fickser (heh). There are times he knows what I’m thinking before I voice it, like when he suggested I work with a trainer and take up body-building. Like Elizabeth, he offers sage advice and bucks me up when I hit those inevitable low points in my journey.

me before after newBut My Biggest Health Hero Is…
I think the real hero in my weight loss tale is…me.

All the support I get from family and friends is great, but at the end of the day I’m the one who has to make smart, healthy choices. No one can do that for me, and sometimes it seems like the whole world is conspiring to derail my progress. Bad food is cheap. Fast food is fast and cheap, and sometimes a girl wants milk and cookies and scary movies. By taking control and putting my health first, I’ve decided to be the low-carb hero of an inspiring documentary called “Dot to Trot”. No more sitting on the sidelines. My blog’s tagline says it all: The world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

I’ve dieted, on and off, for 25 years without success. Talk about horror stories! Two years ago I had a physical so awful it shook me to my core. There, in that little doctor’s room, sitting on a paper blanket thing a mere two years from diabetes and eventually heart disease, a fire was lit under my butt (and it hasn’t gone out). I didn’t realize it then, but I’d decided to rewrite my story: remastered with hilarious bloopers, years of extra footage, director commentary (the blog), and soon to be re-released in stunning 3D.

I took control and made my health and happiness my top priority. I made a lot of changes – some small (going to bed on time, starting a blog), some outright drastic (quitting my job, going low carb). I changed my life for me this time: for my health first and appearance second, but I’m loving how I look!

My biggest change: realizing a healthy lifestyle stops being a dream if I actually live healthily. Funny how that goes, huh?

By taking control, my goals are no longer something I hope to reach one day. They’re actually within my grasp.

What are my goals? Gosh, so much…and none of them come in a greasy bag with a side of fries.

5 thoughts on “Be Your Own Health Hero

  1. Cut back on carbs. All right. Fine. How deep do I cut? Do I get butter, cheese, meat and not too much broccoli in return? I’m gluten intolerant and gave up enough already; don’t take away my popcorn, rice crackers and potato chips, gluten-free pizza/Mac-n-Cheese, or what is left? I hate lettuce. Dairy triggers migraine, arthritis, fibromyalgia, WHAT IS LEFT???

    • I just did a post on how many carbs ( Depending on the range of carbs you eat per day, you could still eat the gluten-free foods you like. The hubby and I are not gluten intolerant but we are gluten-free with our low carb diet.

      A great book on this is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. It changed my life! But I’ll quickly summarize what happens when you eat the carb rich foods you love.

      Fat is stored in fat cells but your body will only burn them once they burn up the carbs first. That’s how the body keeps blood sugar levels in check after meals. The problem is, your preferred foods are carb rich (as most Western diets are) and your cells have a lot of carbs to burn before they get to the fat. This is where insulin comes into play. When insulin levels go up, we store fat. Only when insulin levels fall does our body then use the fat stored in cells as fuel. Your insulin level is determined by the carbs you eat. The quality and quantity of carbs you eat determine how much fat you store. Our western diet is so carb rich, it keeps the insulin level high, so our bodies can’t release fat. It just keeps storing it. In fact, the high carb diets of today make you insulin resistant, so your body is pumping out even more insulin to compensate. It’s one of the reasons diabetes is on the rise.

      So do you have to give up those foods? Well, depends on your goals. Do you want to lose weight? Then you might want to consider cutting back. For me, I weighed 325 and I needed to be more drastic and completely cut out the high carb foods I loved. Now I weigh 212 and I can honestly say, I don’t miss those foods.

      The biggest change is giving up processed foods. I no longer buy it if it comes in a box. I primarily shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store (meat, dairy, produce).

      About 90% of my carbs come from veggies. So what’s left: meat, veggies, tubers, berries, nuts, seeds, some dairy (grass-fed Greek yogurt, cheese, cream, butter, ghee), and avocados (technically a fruit, but it gets its own special category in my home!). Occasionally I’ll include healthy grains (gluten-free) or beans.

      The key is really eliminating processed foods and sugars and eating “real foods” instead. So instead of a bag of potato chips, try making your own using a sweet potato. When you cut back on carbs you’ll most likely add more fat and protein to your diet. By doing so, you eat less since fat and protein are more filling and offer satiety (keep you full long after you ate).

      Sorry for the long response, but I’m a wee bit passionate about this 🙂

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