Thursday, November 10, 2011

A {year} of Clean Eating

It's been year since I embarked on this life changing mission for overall health via {clean eating}.  I must admit at first it was overwhelming and almost like studying for a test. What kept me sane was not thinking too far out into the future and focusing on the day or week ahead of me. I spent a lot of time reading labels at grocery stores. A lot of time.

The first couple of months involved dumping many of the chemically charged foods I used DAILY! Making sure the foods I stocked my new {clean} shelves with weren't full of artificial colors, artificial flavors, sugars, trans fats, and chemicals. As the weeks turned into months it started to become second nature. I started to care about every single thing that went into my mouth! Making sure it was quality food with a purpose.

If you personally knew me before this journey you probably still find it hard to believe I have given up Diet Coke(all soda for that matter). I still even find it hard to believe at times. 15 months and going strong. It just doesn't taste the same. Period. 

In my past when dealing with my health and weight loss, I counted calories, worked out to many dvds, clocked miles on my eliptical and even drank diet shakes at one point! (Let's be honest, I even prayed to get fit and slim) The truth of all of that was that none of it really lasted because it wasn't truly a lifestyle change. I would get bored and stop.  Life sucks when you count calories. Period.

This mission was to get healthy first, lose weight and inches second. Over this past year I have worked out on average 2 times a week (a hour each time) doing Zumba. I wish I could say it was more, but it is what it is. I am very grateful to God that Nichol Altman came into my life to be my Zumba instructor. Find that person that motivates you and gets results and you will go far. Through the help of Nichol, Zumba, and {clean eating} my body has never looked better!

After almost a year of clean eating I have lost 16lbs and have dropped 1-2 sizes in clothing. I feel SO much better.  Some days I feel like I should stand in the processed food aisle and shout my happy news, but I hold back(most days) and decide blogging is a more appropriate and acceptable means of communication.

I have met some amazing {clean eating} friends on this journey and learned more about the health benefits of food than I ever thought I would in my lifetime. Many of these things I have learned first hand through this journey.  I started this journey after finding out I needed to lower my cholesterol. I did not take this news lightly. I was determined to make a change.

Disappointingly, after a year my cholesterol numbers haven't dropped and stayed in the normal range. But on a positive note, my good cholesterol is finally improving! They aren't crazy high but enough that my doctor is suggesting medications. I am not mentally ready to throw in the towel so to speak and take medications. I am committed to giving my body another 6 months to lose my final 10 lbs to get me to my optimal 22 BMI and adding Omega 3-6-9 oils(flax and fish) & daily vitamins (which i wasn't that great of taking this past year, shame on me) to see if I can make one more last ditch effort to control my numbers without medications.  I will also be even MORE strict on my dietary foods focusing on heart health and cholesterol. Stay tuned and continue to follow my journey to control those numbers!

Thanks so much for those of you that have supported me in this year of transformation. It has been a rewarding year despite the news of my cholesterol. Eat clean, be happy.


                November 2011                                   November 2012

NOVEMBER 2012 Update: 
Life is good! I have continued to lose the extra pounds without even trying! It's true, I just stick to the rules and it happened. I have another year of clean eating under my {tightened} belt.  I have lost nearly 25 lbs, putting me at (or close to) the BMI of 22 I wanted to achieve!  YAY normal range! I rarely weigh myself these days but I know it's around there. I've heard before that your body will plateau when it's reached it's "happy place". I feel pretty darn happy (and haven't been this small in over a decade) so I think it's safe to say....I have arrived.  

As for cholesterol, I am sadly coming to the realization that it just may be hereditary for me. I am still not taking any medication to lower it, but continue to get it checked. It remains the same or lowers a tiny bit. I still eat a heart healthy diet, exercise, and will continue to remain in my healthy weight range.  

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