Archive for the Weight Loss Category

Free the Emotional Body & I Become Free of the Obese Body

Posted in Emotional Challenges w/Weight Loss, Health & Nutrition, Weight Loss, Weight Loss - A Must for Longevity & A Quality Life!!! on November 22, 2010 by karasjourneytohealth

Around 400 Lbs.

I can’t believe it has been almost three months since I’ve written a post for this blog.  I promised myself when I began this journey I would be brutally honest and that’s not always as easy as one may think.  This is probably why I’ve procrastinated on writing a new post because on some level I felt it was time for the brutal honesty. 

I went into a two month plateau and I was busting my butt at the gym.  At the end of the two months of not shedding even one pound I said the proverbial “screw this” and began that downward spiral of self-sabotage.  As I began to indulge in extra butter and mayonnaise on select foods.  I told myself these few items wouldn’t make a difference.  Besides I would continue to work out at the gym.  Thank God I didn’t give that up completely.  Then came the sugar free ice cream sweetened with Maltitol and Sorbitol.  Mind you a half a cup only  has 4 to 5 grams of sugar versus the 20 plus grams per a half a cup of other brands but it doesn’t really count if you’re eating a huge bowl that ends up adding to a full two to three cups.

My freefall, I am grateful to say, only lasted about six weeks yet it added 12 pounds back onto my already tired body.  About the time I decided this insanity could not continue and I needed to get back on track to eating healthy I had my blood pressure taken at the doctors.  A whopping 211/141.  Needless to say this scared the living heck out of me and I made the decision to really kick things into gear.  I’m off of dairy, sugar and wheat, not even fruit for the time being.  Pretty much chicken, fish, turkey, very little beef and lots of salads, raw and steamed or grilled vegetables.  I have dropped 22 pounds in 21 days and 20.75 inches during this time.

Now to the emotional part of weight loss and I believe there are emotional components involved with morbid obesity.  I actually had the opportunity to attend an experiential workshop June 2009 called the, Braddock Body Process developed by a phenomenal woman Carolyn Braddock.  Carolyn through her 42 years of working with people has witnessed that when a person has been through abuse or trauma they develop patterns within the physical body that keep them from moving forward in life.  Not using the breath, holding one’s breath, certain walking patterns, rigidity in the joints, etc.  Obesity seems to be just one more thing that gets heaped on that pile.

I personally began to do serious work about 15 years ago around being molested as a small child by my paternal grandfather.  It wasn’t until I attended Carolyn’s workshop June last summer and then again in November of 2009 that I’ve finally been able to begin to love myself enough to take care of my body so I can let go of the excess baggage physically.  I’d come a long way over the years on the path to heal emotionally and spiritually yet I hadn’t been able to deal with and release the weight.  At 59 years old I’m finally on my way home to myself.  The self I lost at the innocent young age of three.

I’ve thought long and hard about being this honest regarding my past yet if it helps one other person or gives them the encouragement to continue on then it’s worth it.  This isn’t the kind of thing you tell most people let alone place it in a blog for who knows how many people to read yet I think this is also part of my healing process.  I just attended Carolyn’s workshop for a tune up so to speak November 4-6th of this year and was able to celebrate my 59th birthday while there.  Being with the small group of beautiful souls who I had the privelage to get to know absolutely inspired me to keep on loving myself and wanting to make a positive change so I may be part of the solution to all the grief and pain that exists in our society today and not part of the problem.  I thank them all and honor the courage they have to walk that dark path to reach the light of healing on all levels.

Most of all, thank you Carolyn, you are an awesome woman and you have changed my life.  I am eternally grateful.  The work you do is so needed on this planet.

At the age of 44 when the vivid memories surfaced of my grandfather molesting me I wrote my first poem and I would like to share it now.

WHAT GRANDFATHER TAUGHT ME

Who’s the frightened young girl in the woman I see

How can I teach her to set her soul free

Out of the darkness he always came to me

I need you, I love you, Grandfather would say

Come hold my hand and we will play

Grandfather taught me to keep secrets, play hide and seek                                 

He taught me not to reveal things that might hurt those I loved

You must not tell your parents for they’d never understand

They wouldn’t want you or love you yet I think you’re simply grand

I was his favorite he’d say stealing a kiss

Nicknamed Greta Garbo for my youthful looks and blonde hair

How could you Grandfather, I was only three

Did you ever realize how much you stole from me

I was a babe in the woods and relished for my purity

A petty thief would have had more care or concern for my sanity

Yet you taught me to take the blame and accept the responsibility

You taught me to negate myself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually

Damn you Grandfather, you attempted to imprison me

And I promise you this I will set my soul free

My grandfather built the walls to the prison I lived in for so many decades but I’m the one who made sure they didn’t crumble or fall for fear of seeing this ugly and horrible person that I’d come to believe I was.  I now know this was a lie that I believed for way too long.  It’s mainly the beautiful strong women in my life who have supported me in my healing process.  My mother, sisters, daughter, neices and friends over the years have been my lifeline.  If you read this and are needing someone to talk to please do so.  Find a friend and it doesn’t have to be another woman as there are many wonderful kind and caring men out there who can lend a listening ear, a hand to hold, or a shoulder to cry on.  The important thing is to talk to someone.

I wish everyone a wonderful Journey to Health, Happiness, Peace, Love, Prosperity, Joy, Laughter and a Connection to the Divine.

Namaste – Kara Myers

HOW DO WE HELP OUR KIDS DEAL WITH SHEDDING THOSE EXTRA POUNDS?

Posted in Emotional Challenges w/Weight Loss, Health & Nutrition, Weight Loss, Weight Loss - A Must for Longevity & A Quality Life!!! on August 1, 2010 by karasjourneytohealth

I know there must be many blocks to weight loss and they are probably as varied as there are overweight people but I can only speak for myself.

I keep wondering why I feel so frustrated as I’m making good progress and doing well on my Journey to Health.  Living in a society of instant gratification and little patience I want to be thin yesterday.  Yet my main goal is not to be thin as much as it is to be healthy.  So why the frustration and inner emotional turmoil. 

I think in part it goes back to my younger years when I started my first starvation diet to please a boy I liked.  Back in those days the last thing I thought of was my health and I only wanted to be thin as a rail.  If I didn’t hate throwing up so much I know at some point I would have developed the pattern of binging and purging.

Thanksgiving-09

Although I’m committed to seeing this through because I feel better as a result of eating healthy and exercising I continue to have the recurring dread and doubt that my official goal is to create a certain type of looking body.  I also realize that this is unrealistic at my age and I am thankful that I have a little bit of wisdom and decades of life experience to keep me from getting completely off track.

I know from past experience what doesn’t work and the price I’ve paid in poor health by only focusing on being thin.  What worries me is, if I, with my life experience am struggling with the emotional dilemma of being thin when I know it is totally unrealistic then what on earth must our young men and women be going through.

April 2010

Our media still bombards us with gorgeous, fashionable, young, sexy and thin models, movie stars, etc.  It’s as though there is this underlying statement or code that states, “If you don’t look this way you will not have what these people have.  You will simply lead a dull boring life.”

When I was in my teen’s and twentie’s with not even one extra pound on my body I never felt as though I looked good enough.  I had a friend who got furious with me when I was 33 because I would only wear long baggy shorts in the summer and I was a size eight.

You will never convince me that it’s okay thing for anyone to be obese simply because it will destroy their health.  Yet there is a flaw in our society that a person feels less than whole if they were not gifted with the DNA of a super model.  This is simply wrong.

They say for the first time in recorded history our kids will not live as long as their parents due to the foods we eat.  Yet we continue to manufacture plastic food and expect our children to grow and thrive on it.  Virtually no one can stay both healthy and thin eating processed foods.  Therefore those of us who are challenged in the fat department logically say, “okay, if the foods I eat make me fat then I just won’t eat. 

What do we say to our kids to let them know what’s inside is the most important thing when at their age fitting in is everything?  Education is the key and there is very little of it out there.  Our kids need to know that there is an answer and that eating the right foods will make them feel better, look better and have more energy.  And wer’re not talking processed cardboard tasting foods.  We need to educate our kids on what raw whole foods are.

There was a program on television a few months ago where a classroom of 3rd graders was shown fresh vegetables such as, tomatoes, celery, carrots, potatoes, etc. and they were not able to name one of them.

I know it has helped me immensely to learn about and experience Low-Glycemic Index/Impact Eating through the Transitions Lifestyle Program.  My life and health would have been so different had I known this decades ago.  The good thing is my life already is and will continue to be healthier and happier from this point on.

I urge everyone, no matter what your age to learn about the foods you eat and what those foods do to your body.  We’ve all heard the statistics regarding the obesity and health epidemic in our culture and there’s nothing more to do other than educate ourselves and make a lifestyle change. 

Yours in Health & Wellness

Kara A. Myers

HORMONES & WEIGHT GAIN/LOSS

Posted in Emotional Challenges w/Weight Loss, Health & Nutrition, Weight Loss, Weight Loss - A Must for Longevity & A Quality Life!!! on July 1, 2010 by karasjourneytohealth

Prior to Low Glycemic-Impact Eating & Exercise

I have recently heard many overweight people discuss concerns that their weight gain or difficulty with weight loss is probably due to hormonal imbalances.  Many are throwing themselves into using cremes, etc. to try and balance various hormones in their bodies.  They often do this without seeing a Dr. or being tested. 

I am not a doctor or a specialist yet I am a morbidly obese post menopausal woman and have definitely been down the road of, “If I could just get my hormones in balance then maybe I could easily discard the excess pounds.”  I think it’s a human flaw that we often want to find the easy way out and I’m plagued with it myself.  I’ve seen many doctors over the last 6 years, have had lots of blood work done to check many hormones and I have read many books.  It’s not all been in vain and I’ve learned enough to know there’s no easy way to Health, Wellness and Shedding those Excess Pounds.  I’ve also learned enough to realize that I had to suck it up, make lifestyle changes and do it the old fashioned way.  EAT HEALTHY & EXERCISE.

The following will give you an extremely brief explanation of some of the hormones in the body that affect our weight.  If you want more detailed information there are too many books to count on the subject.  Also, the internet is packed with information.  Some of the details listed below are from Wikepedia on the internet.

I would love to suggest an easy solution to the hormone saga and how it ties in with weight gain and weight loss but that would be misleading.  There are many factors and quite a few hormones that can affect our weight.

We have the basic male and female sex hormones; Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. There are a few more that I’m not mentioning at this time.  As men and women age these hormone levels drop and it can lead to a slower metabolism and weight gain.

The thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), are tyrosine-based hormones produced by the thyroid gland primarily responsible for regulation of metabolism.  If these hormones are unbalanced then a person may gain excess weight or have difficulty shedding excess pounds.

The adrenals, small glands located above each kidney, produce a number of important hormones. The adrenals’ inner medulla produces epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline).  Adrenals also contain an outer cortex, which produces hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, DHEA, DHEAS, androstenedione and estrogens. Cortisol and aldosterone are two of the most important hormones the body makes. Excesses or deficiencies of these hormones results in important clinical problems. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid, is the stress hormone and is involved in weight control.   When you are under stress Cortisol levels increase and this can lead to weight gain especially belly fat.

HCG is a hormone that occurs most notably in the bodies of pregnant women.  HCG stands for human chronic gonadotropin.  There are many promises of what HCG injections can do to accelerate weight loss.  One clinic states lose X amount a day and keep it off with a personalized diet plan.  Did you catch that last part about a personalized diet plan?  Once again, you can’t escape the healthy eating part.

I did bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and although it did improve my memory due to low Testosterone levels and my energy levels were elevated I did not shed a pound.  Other women who worked in the clinic took off between 5 to 15 pounds but it did not throw their metabolism into accelerated and continuous fat burning mode.  I plan to get bio-identical hormone therapy in the future as I feel that it will be a good adjunct and support for my body now that I am on the Low Glycemic-Index Impact Program and exercising on a regular basis.  I would like to mention at this time that the Low Glycemic-Index Impact Program is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change and one that you can easily follow for the rest of your life.  Saying this, it is a good time to mention the fact that ingesting refined sugar throws your hormones out of whack.  I believe that if your hormones are off, even a small amount then it may be enough to make it more difficult for the body to deal with weight loss yet I do not feel that it will replace or take the place of eating healthy and exercising.

Insulin is a hormone that is central to regulating the energy and glucose metabolism in the body.  Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle.

Insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source.  When insulin is absent, glucose is not taken up by body cells and the body begins to use fat as an energy source.

The human body maintains blood glucose levels within relatively narrow parameters.  These parameters are 80-100 and when you go above or below these parameters you can eat broccoli and your body will turn it into fat.

I personally found this particular piece of information daunting as I’ve spent more than four decades training my body to go long periods without food via diet pills and crash dieting.  Now I discover that those long bouts without food have attributed greatly to my morbid obesity.

Also, when I was tested my thyroid was somewhat low and I did begin a RX but made the choice to discontinue it after 6 months because it made me feel so crappy.  This was against the advice of my doctor but it is my body.  I was also dealing with pretty severe adrenal exhaustion and made lifestyle changes to counteract that.  Working on stress is a big one, paying attention to the exhaustion I was feeling and allowing myself to rest when needed.  Now that I’m going to the gym on a regular basis I’ve rediscovered that it’s a wonderful way to relieve stress and raising those endorphins is a natural and healthy way to battle depression.

April 2010 - Began Low Glygemic-Impact Eating Feb. 2010 & started exercise regimen Feb. 5, 2010 - Weight Loss of 71 Lbs. as of June 23, 2010

Bottom line, you won’t and can’t escape the tried and true method of a healthy eating plan and exercise.  There is no magic bullet, pill, injection, etc.  There are supplements, hormone replacement therapies, etc. that will give your body the needed support to magnify and speed up your success rate but they cannot be used as an alternative to a healthy lifestyle.  If you feel that you have a hormonal imbalance that is keeping you from weight loss or causing you to put on extra pounds then I suggest you see your physician and have blood work done.  This will give you the most accurate picture of what your body needs.

7-Day Detox Diet

Posted in Health & Nutrition, Weight Loss, Weight Loss - A Must for Longevity & A Quality Life!!! with tags on April 29, 2010 by karasjourneytohealth

This is a great idea to do a 7-Day Cleanse and Detox prior to beginning your weight loss program or if you have reached a plateau.

I am currently on Day 7 and it was much easier than I had anticipated. I am feeling energized and definitely much lighter. I have not gotten on the scales and will do that first thing upon waking tomorrow. My sister decided to do the program at the same time and she has dropped 7 pounds already.  Although I get discouraged it helps for me to look at the above picture of myself which is my 375 pound body prior to Transitions Lifestyle Program for weight loss.

As I stated in an earlier post, at the age of 58 this is the first time in my life that I am shedding pounds and inches the healthy way. And with 225 pounds to shed and some major health issures I really want to get it right this time.  I so wish that this kind of information would have been available to me when I was younger.

The 7-Day Detox is a wonderful tool of the Transitions Lifestyle System. The benefits of the Detox is to purify the body, relieve the body’s dependence on sugary foods and enhance your body’s response to carbohydrates. It can accelerate your weight-management goals and also jump start your weight-management efforts if you hit a plateau.

Below is a list of the benefits of the 7-Day Detox System as they are listed in the Daily Journal for the Transitions Lifestyle System.

*** Helps maintain digestive health.
*** Cleanses the colon
*** Promotes healthy growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon.
***Helps to cleanse and detoxify the liver.
*** Provides fuel for cells lining the small intestine.
*** Supports overall health by helping to maintin normal cholesterol levels and blood-glucose levels.
*** Promotes immune health.
*** Supports healthy nutrient absorption.

I have taken this past week off from working out at the gym to allow my body to adjust and rest during the porcess. I am looking forward to seeing my trainer and working out again feeling renewed and refreshed.

Yours in Health & Wellness – Kara Myers