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Ups & Downs of Weight

For many years, I've held the story that I stopped tap dancing when my costumes no longer looked good on me. My mother enrolled me into tap dancing lessons when I was three or four and I danced until age 12 or 13. I call it a story because I recently was back home with my mother and relived memories from movies dad always took. I came upon one I do not recall seeing and my guess is it was my final dance recital as it had to be after 7th grade as my friend Kim was in attendance. Looking at that video now, I do not see a young girl who is overweight; and actually thought I looked pretty good. So my story is changing ...

Strange how we do that - something happens and then we have our story about what happened. Typically they are not the same and over time, our story changes. A lesson I learned while attending Landmark Education .

Back to the issue of my weight, or should I say my perception of my weight. When I look back at high school years, I have to be honest and say that I was not overweight, just had a very low self-image and limited self-confidence. Never popular and always striving to be. When life was not going the way I thought it should at age 29, I packed up my belongings, left the "ass hole" as my father referred to him, and started life anew in Phoenix, AZ (originally from Farmington, a suburb of Detroit). At that time, I was heavier than I wanted to be, but we're not talking obese - probably a size 12. I started to be more mindful of the foods I was eating, like the frozen Lean Cuisine and such. I was successful in losing some weight, had a job that I liked and my confidence was good. Which was just in time as a new man entered my life. I was crazy about him, we had a lot in common (both from Michigan, had cats, loved to golf] and definitely were attracted to one another. Life was great - good friends, fun times, etc.

After marriage, I changed careers as I was traveling three weeks every month, got a "desk job" and the weight started to come back and I did get to the point that I was obese. It was gradual, and I eventually reached 185 pounds. At this point in life, as I said, I was working in an office behind a desk - all day long. I have another story, one that I inherited from my mother it seems ... I hate to sweat and therefore, do not like to exercise. A few attempts were made to belong to a gym, but did not last too long. Then I came upon a woman at a sandwich shop in Phoenix [Pugzie's] who I watched week after week losing weight and finally asked her what she was doing. Modified Protein-Starving Fast - or as she liked to call it, the "Cleveland Clinic Diet", though I'm not sure that is true. This was back in the 1990's before HCG became so popular, but it was very similar, and there was an Rx that I had to take with it. And it worked! I lost 50 pounds and at that time, did not recall ever feeling so great. Though remember that story about sweat? I am sure you've already guessed what happened. Yup - gained some weight back.

Since that diet, I have tried all sorts of weight loss programs including a few rounds of HCG and half of them were with the help of the medical community - naturopath, chiropractor, etc. Do you know what a body goes through when it loses a lot of weight, gains some back, loses some more only to gain some back? Neither do I; but it cannot be good.

In 2013, while attending Landmark Education's Self Expression and Leadership Program, I discovered my passion for coaching. In the program, participants create a community project and are assigned a coach to help them on their quest. I found myself coaching my coach and knew I needed to take the 12-week program again, this time as a coach. Well even coaches have a coach, and mine encouraged me to explore taking classes to find out if I really wanted to do what I said - coach our active military as they transition back to civilian life. Because of this desire, I searched local schools to teach me how to make a living as a coach. This lead me to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (a.k.a. SWIHA).

Let the Transformation begin ... not only did I sign up for their coaching program, I decided to go a step further and registered for the AOS Mind-Body Transformational Psychology program (Associates degree) specializing in Life Coaching, Nutrition, Hypnotherapy and Aromatherapy. I figured the nutrition classes would be beneficial to me and the hypnotherapy would help me in my coaching practice. What I did not figure into was the impact the classes and the school would have on my life.

My two-year program started with a few of the nutrition classes, and a coaching class. As this blog is about weight loss, I will save all the details about my experience at SWIHA for another time and get back to the nutrition classes. All I can say is I was amazed at what I learned, and am still learning, and I knew that I could not keep this information to myself. My friends, family and the general public need to know what I now know.

For instance, here is one little tid-bit - Natural Flavors - do you know what that is? It is listed on quite a variety of food packages and companies do not need to tell you what exactly it is in their product. Well it could be beaver anal glands - yep, an FDA-approved food additive. It's real name is Castoreum, which originates from female and male castor sacs. It’s one of the most common “natural ingredient” in raspberry flavored goodies. Foods that contain it include: Raspberry flavored candy, strawberry / vanilla / raspberry ice-cream. It’s also used in alcoholic beverages, baked goods, gelatin, pudding, soft candy, frozen dairy, hard candy and chewing gum.

Needless to say, after learning about what is hidden in our foods, the animal cruelty that takes place, and how obesity is at an all-time high, I have become a Vegetarian and am leaning toward Vegan. I also strive to consume at least 50% of my diet as raw food. When I first decided to go Raw, I figured I would easily lose the last 15 pounds I wanted to - wrong! My body is very stubborn and does not want to let it go. This meant I needed to look at why, after all I was eating a very "clean" diet and if I splurged, it was a healthy splurge.

Recently I felt very strongly about detoxing but did not know how to go about it. I asked my Naturopath, whom I love, and she gave me a plan to follow, but I did not feel I was detoxing. Not having done one before, I expected to feel terrible and I was not. I also looked at other ways of cleaning my body and have done colonic hydrotherapy to clear out my colon. Elizabeth Anne of attended nutrition classes with me and is a hydrotherapist. More recently, my husband and I are detoxing with an ionic foot spa at Wylde Fawkes MetaSine that pulls the toxins out of your body through your feet.

Not only am I cleaning my colon, I am on a 90-day program to detox my liver. Did you know that the liver is the #1 fat burning organ, is responsible for breaking down, eliminating, and neutralizing toxins and breaking down fats in the body? AND, it can be a fat producing organ... Since mid-June, I have lost 14 pounds and am definitely feeling I am detoxing. My liver is functioning better and my body is feeling better.

All of this to say ~ even when you think you are doing EVERYTHING right, you are exercising (or as I like to call it, Movement), you are eating a clean diet (no processed foods), you are reducing your stress (which causes inflammation in the body) and you are getting the "proper" amount of sleep, and STILL not losing weight - it could be medical, emotional or all of the above.

Losing weight is not just about what you eat, when you eat, how much sleep and/or movement you receive. Going on a "diet" is not the answer - it is a lifestyle change! And one that I am finally making, and I feel awesome!

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