Fighting Back

As a child, I experienced what psychologists call “adverse childhood experiences”, or ACE. ACE is defined as Abuse, Neglect, and Household Dysfunction. Further broken down into physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Physical or emotional neglect. Household dysfunction is mental illness, incarcerated parent, domestic violence, substance abuse and divorce.

From the outside looking in, my family was as Norman Rockwell as they come. Stay at home mom, no domestic violence between my parents who will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month. We were in church whenever the doors were open, involved in extra curricular activities. We were afforded the opportunity to travel with church and school groups. We did family vacations and family pictures. Had you asked me at 19, I would have said I had the perfect family.

As crazy as it may sound, until the age of 19, I didn’t know that all children weren’t molested. My perpetrators were not inside my immediate family.  Close friends, close family, coaches, counselors, maybe others I don’t remember, what I do remember is that I always felt like I was wearing some sort of “come get it” sign, as often as it happened. Like I was inviting it, and was therefore responsible for it. What I know now is that I was groomed, and that child molesters can see the signs from a mile away. I now know that “innocent attempts” showed them that I was a perfect victim. At the age of 19 I innocently ran into one of my molesters. Had he not reacted the way he did I may have been in the dark about it for another decade. But this man, saw me with my baby (I’ll get into that more later) and looked at me with such disgust, like I had cheated on him. How dare I allow anyone else to touch me like that. In the same instance I recognized his guilt. He figured I MUST know what he’d done to me.  I didn’t. Until that moment. That moment opened up a flood gate of memories. Memories of being naked when I shouldn’t have been. Memories of things I shouldn’t know at ages I shouldn’t have known them. Oral sex jokes and panty checks from men.  Does this count as only one Adverse Childhood Experience?

As I said earlier, my family was in church whenever the doors were open. Unfortunately, the church is just a building with people in it. I didn’t have the spiritual connection to it. What I did have was a lot of pressure from the people inside to remain “pure” for my yet unknown husband. There did not seem to be any exemption from the “purity” clause if you were not a willing participant.  What I carried with me throughout my childhood, was that I was not pure. What I knew of rape is that it’s always a masked man in a dark alley, and you have to say “no” or it means yes. I knew nothing of dissociating, nothing of surviving the moment. I knew I hadn’t followed the rules. I knew I was ruined before I even had a chance.

This leads me to “the baby”.  Good girls don’t have sex. So good girls don’t seek out protection from pregnancy or other side effects of sexual encounters. I of course was a “good girl” who became a parent at 18. This baby is now an amazing young woman, but no one deserves an 18 year old mom who doesn’t have her own shit figured out. Through no fault of her own, she is associated with the shame that I took upon myself for not living up to whatever the fuck it was I was supposed to.

Which brings me back to my own childhood. My mother married right out of high school. Had three kids in three years. Was this something she wanted, or just what happened? I do believe that she has suffered for years from depression. My parents argued a lot when us oldest three were young. I remember the three of us sitting in the bedroom I shared with my sister wondering where we would live if they got divorced. Dad maybe, but he couldn’t cook. I hoped he would take me. I would learn how to cook, and we could live in peace. My first memory of my mother is of her throwing me across the kitchen for playing with my milk. I was a toddler. I know exactly how many times she hugged me genuinely. Once. In sixth grade. I had cleaned my room. I learned early that the best way to avoid the wrath of my mother, was to avoid my mother. My brother got the brunt of it. When I look back at the pictures. We all look depressed. I can see its progression through my siblings. At a certain age, we just go blank. We had food on the table, and the best clothes, though I suspect that was more for the audience of the public than it was for our well being.

This is not a blame my mother post. I suspect she did the best she could. I have traced the sexual abuse throughout my father’s family, but my mother’s family remains a mystery. I see the patterns of abuse that drew my parents together. While I never knew my dad’s father, my dad’s mother is a very strong woman.  I suspect she was the dominant spouse. As is the case in my mother’s family. As is the case in my parents marriage. I see it playing out in my own generation. I’ve seen it since my early twenties. I have spent my life trying to reverse it in my own life. With mixed success.

Which brings me to today. I am 46. I am twice divorced. I have six kids, and I can tell you that while I was the best parent I could be, I may not have been the best parent. I didn’t have time to get my shit together, and I kept piling kid after kid onto my life. I have three adult children who are absolutely amazing and are doing well despite me.  My three minor children are with their father, he and I decided when we divorced that he was the best, most stable option. I am forever grateful for him for taking on the daily grind.

What else I can tell you about my today, is that I am finally able to focus on getting my shit together. Finally able to deal with my own trauma and depression. My Adverse Childhood Experience score is 5. For reference, a 4 will 8x your chance of becoming an alcoholic. It will 6x your chance for depression. More than 90% of people with an ACE score of 4 or more will be on antidepressants. It will 5x your risk of perpetuating domestic violence. It will 6x your chance of being raped. It doubles your risk for teen pregnancy. Doubles your risk for serious financial problems. And more than doubles every risk based disease such as heart diseases, lung disease, liver disease.  I had a teen pregnancy. I have been raped. I have had serious financial problems. I am probably clinically depressed. I do not have a substance abuse problem. Though I am very diligent regarding even the most minor “pick me ups” because I know it is fertile ground in which these seeds are being planted.

The reason for this post is this. I can finally feel myself fighting back. I can finally pick apart the shame that was put upon me by my abusers. I did not invite, nor am I responsible for the abuse I suffered. You need not to have fought off your attacker to have been raped. I know I dissociate and I now know when I do it and how to fight back. I know that I am absolutely enough. I don’t need to validate my life with the opinions of others. (OK, I’m working on that one). For the first time in forever I am not standing in my way.

What Really Matters When Becoming Awesomer

I am often accused of being authentic, though I think my authenticity is often confused with saying things that most people know not to in social settings. Authentic is more about being real, despite the consequences. I trend towards skewing the story to my favor, like we all do.

I have been struggling for the past eleven years, four years, two years, and more directly the past two weeks. I have the honor and privilege to care for a mentally ill child. To fight for, advocate for, to be a mom to someone who doesn’t understand the weight of that word. Two weeks ago he tried to kill me during a break from reality. When reality returned, there I was signing him into a psychiatric facility. Watching him really want a mommy as they took him away.

Even though the doctor fears he is a threat to my safety, the insurance will not cover anything beyond an immediate threat. Meaning. He has to try to kill me, again. I’m guessing this is the way it will be until he succeeds.

This is not the first child I’ve dealt with who has had these issues. I can’t even count on one hand the number, this IS the first time I’ve been concerned for my own safety on an ongoing basis.

I have letter after letter stating that “we have exhausted our available resources” as it concerns my child. This afternoon I have to call the abuse hotline on my child. Knowing that it will be turned on me. That they will suggest another 12 weeks of parenting classes even though I have over 500 hours under my belt. That my “book” that now nears 60 pages of incident reports, psychologist recommendations, psychiatry recommendations, police reports, truancy records, and various such things will fall on deaf ears as we go down the list of services I have yet to employ.

At the end of the day, I know that I, and I alone, will be watching as my child, who really wants a mommy, who does not understand the weight of that word, IIIIII will be watching him, look at me and wonder where I am as they take him to a more secure facility.

And the next day, I will get up and fight for my own sanity. I will fight to keep my own health.  I will fight for strong and healthy minds and bodies. I will remind myself that these are the battles we are preparing to fight when we are Becoming Awesomer. We want the strength and the energy to live in this beautiful messy world, regardless of the size of our dress.

Until next time,

Be Awesome!

annie-headshot-lake

I am Annie. I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals. Join me over on Facebook for more awesomeness.

Unlearning Good and Bad Food

Where the notion of “good” and “bad” foods came from, I do not know. I suspect it is from a self righteous kale eater, who is a sad person because they know steak is awesome.

Even when we try to eat “good”, salad anyone? We end up sad and hungry, or we douse it with so much canola oil and corn syrup, I’m talking to you commercially available salad dressing. It is completely exhausting to try to figure out what is “good” and what is “bad” so we throw our hands up in defeat.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t we unlearn the concept of good and bad food. Let’s not even worry about the food. That’s right.

Do not put judgmental labels on your food.

Let’s think about what our goals are. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to be healthy? Are you wanting to be thin for the rest of your life, or are you just trying to look smokin hot for your class reunion?

While we are at it, let’s rethink how we talk about our bodies. How we treat our bodies.

If you look in the mirror and say words like “disgusting” are you going to hold your actions to a higher standard than your words. Change your thoughts, change your words, change your actions.

 

 

Now, with those things in mind, let’s start thinking about the food that we are putting in our pie holes.

My goal is that I want to be healthy and happy.

I achieve that goal by eating salad, and ice cream. Just not at the same time.

Sometimes eating salads for four days straight makes me happy. Sometimes I want a steak. Sometimes I want to chew on an Oreo, because they are delicious.

If our goal is to make it to the class reunion in a size two, we are going to approach it completely differently than if our goal is to be a size 10 for the rest of our lives.

Now, I could make a flow chart, but ain’t nobody got time for that. So, you’ll have to think a little harder.

If you give a girl a cookie….should she eat it?

Is it a good cookie or a bad cookie?

Whuh? It’s a fucking cookie.

Will this cookie help or hurt her long term goal?

Well, I want to be happy and healthy. The cookie will make me happy.

Ok, will it make you healthy?

No.

Which goal is more important right now. Happy or healthy?

I don’t know.

Ok, when is the last time you had a cookie?

Four weeks ago, last, I don’t remember.

Have the cookie.

If the answer is 4 minutes ago, don’t have the cookie.

It’s not whether the cookie is good or bad, it’s how sugar and flour and chocolate chips and M&M’s are going to fit into the whole picture. If they are part of the whole picture, go ahead and enjoy it. If they ARE the whole picture, maybe skip this one.

Remember, you are a grown ass woman, you get to decide what you eat. YOU.  Look at your goals. Look at your thoughts, your words, your behavior, the big picture. Be honest with what is important to you.

Until next time,

Be Awesome!!

annie-headshot-lake

My name is Annie.  I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals.  Please join us on Facebook.  If you would like to join our tribe of fabulously wonderful women, join our private group.  If you love chocolate, head over to Bulletproof, it’s on sale!

That Sugar Film Review

So, everyone has heard of Supersize Me, where Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days eating nothing but McDonald’s and it does not go well.

Now, there is a sugar version.

Damon Gameau quit sugar to impress a girl.  Three years later he decides to see what would happen if he ate like the average again.  For two months he ate the average sugar consumption of Australia, which in the movie stated it was 40 tsps a day.

That fact alone BLEW MY MIND.

40 tsps per day.

90 tsps is a pound. We on average are consuming a pound of sugar every other day. Not straight from the bag, mind you. It is hidden in everything. Why, because we took out the fat.

Damon under the guidance of a doctor, and nutritionist decided to eat only “heart approved healthy food” in the form of low fat yogurt, fruit juice, cereals, granola bars and the likes. The first day he nearly finished his 40 tsps at breakfast with 2.5 servings of cereal, which for the record was not a lot, a yogurt and a juice. A very typical breakfast.

Damon had been consistently eating 2300 calories of whole food, under this new “diet” he did not consume more than 2300 calories, and often times consumed less because he felt so crappy from his food choices.

In the two months he ate the AVERAGE amount of sugar, he gained 18 pounds. He had fatty liver disease and pre diabetes. From just two months.  How many of us are eating way more than average on a daily basis?

One Coke has 9 1/3 tsps of sugar. If you have three Cokes a day you are at 28 tsps of sugar.

Now, as I said, Damon only ate “heart approved healthy food” according to his nutritionist. How many of us are on a heart healthy diet?

Also note that there were days he did just pour sugar onto a cracker to prove his point, it was disgusting. His final meal was 40 tsps of sugar, in the form of a school kids lunch box. Yogurt, lunch meat, crackers, dried fruit, and juice. All “healthy” things we put into our kids lunches on a regular basis.

I encourage you to go and watch it for yourself.  I feel this will have the same effect on my diet as Supersize Me did on my going to McDonald’s. It’s just not worth it.

The good news is that when he stopped the damage reversed itself within a month and he was able to lose all the weight and get back to optimal blood levels.  Note that he did feel like crap for a week while he detoxed.

Quitting sugar is not going to be easy, we are trained to enjoy the sugar. To NEED the sugar. From personal experience, once you re-calibrate your tastebuds you lose your cravings for the sugar. It doesn’t take much to get it back, but the more time that passes the easier it gets.

I encourage you to go watch for yourself. Let me know what you think over on our Facebook page.

Until next time,

Be awesome!

annie-headshot-lake

My name is Annie. I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor.  I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals. If you are a woman looking for a different way of doing things, I invite you to join our private Facebook group.

 

Quitting – Unlearning Willpower

The thought that you can do anything, sustainably, with willpower has to be one of the biggest lies we have been told.

Eventually it will break. Some of us have more. Some of us have less. But all of what we have is finite.

If you tell yourself you are going to quit sodas, by drinking water, you can power through. Some of us for an hour. Some of us for a day, but at some point we give in to the temptation of the sweety goodness and we break. Oftentimes, when this happens, we declare to ourselves, “I suck at life.” and we go back to our old ways.  Because it is impossible.

In order to unlearn this bad habit of using willpower, we need to look at it a different way.

We will use soda as our example, because soda is my thing, but you can substitute anything you would like, candy, cigarettes, boys, whatever.

Chances are that your habit, is tied to your routine. So the first thing we have to do is deliberately disrupt your routine. With soda, this step was simple. I just stopped keeping it in the house. I had to go out to get it. Of course, eventually, I got to the point where I would build going out for soda into my routine, which is why it is just the first step. If you know there are snacks in the breakroom, go the other way. If you know you like to stop for something on the way home, take another route. If you know you buy Oreo’s if you shop while you are hungry, eat something before you go.

The second step is to build a new habit. This one worked a little better for me. I started keeping a bottle of water in my room and would drink that immediately upon waking. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as going out for a soda, but I couldn’t justify my trip with the excuse that I was thirsty. As I built up this new habit, my trips thru the drive thru in the morning became less frequent.

The third tip I have is to fill up on the good stuff early in the day. As I drank one bottle of water, then two, then three, I noticed that my soda run kept getting pushed further back in the day. It was barely even perceptible as I wasn’t dehydrated.

Finally, give yourself a hard window. You can make this window as wide as you would like. I tell myself if I am going to have a soda, it has to be under certain circumstances. I can have one at the movie if I must. I can only get them from the Whataburger near my house, and can only have them at lunch time. Do I ever break these rules? Absolutely. Do these rules have the deciding vote most days? Absolutely.

  1. Disrupt your routine.
  2. Built a new habit.
  3. Fill up on the good stuff.
  4. Build a window

If I can leave you with one thing, it would be this. You are a grown ass woman. You can do what you want, when you want. If you want a soda, drink it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t call it cheating. Don’t call it bad. Don’t say you are a horrible failure because you decided to have a soda. Know this. You DECIDED to have a soda and that is OK. Tomorrow you may decide not to have another. Do not blame PMS, or the kids, or Mercury. You are in charge of you. When you decide that being healthy is the most important thing in your life, you will choose soda less often.

Hope this helps.

Until next time,

Be awesome!!

annie-headshot-lake

I am Annie. I am a fitness and nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals. Be sure to like us on Facebook. If you are a woman looking to unlearn what isn’t working for you, I invite you to join my private group.

Quitting Sugar – Unlearning the Fear

Sugar.

As a little girl, I learned that as a girl, I was made of sugar and spice, and everything nice.  What I did not learn is that the dose makes the poison. A little sugar may be sweet, but a lot of sugar, well, that comes with it a whole lot of not so sweet.

Cavities, diabetes, heart disease, insulin resistance, and before any of that, weight. I could list a whole host of other ailments that are directly related to sugar, but if you are here reading about unlearning the fear of quitting sugar, you are probably dealing with some of them yourself.

As a former, very sweet girl, I know the fear of quitting sugar is very real. If I can’t have sugar, what CAN I have?

Well, there are artificial sweeteners, but those are a chemical shit storm. There is fat, but I’ve heard all my life that fat will kill me. There is salt, see also, things that will kill me. It is so frustrating! I guess I’ll chew on this twig and look at my fridge magnet that says “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” which is a frickin LIE. Have you never had cake?

Let’s look at artificial sweeteners. They are good for your blood sugar, turns out NOT TRUE. They are a chemical shit storm in most cases. They are derived from coal, petroleum products, contain chlorine, and the list goes on and on. There are new artificial sweeteners on the market made from corn and sugar beets, but that opens the discussion of genetically modified organisms, and whether we have enough research from reputable sources that we can trust. I am not convinced that GMOs are safe. We are just now entering the second generation of Americans being raised on GMO food, all the while, rat studies show there are significant birth defects associated with the offspring from the second generation.

I don’t even have to put on my conspiracy theorist hat to blame the sugar industry for demonizing fat. It makes sense if you can take out the competition of fat and salt, there is only one place to go. Yes, you may fear the fat, but one question, how is sugar consumption going for us?

Not well, but quitting sugar…. that’s a commitment. It is everywhere. What exactly do I have to quit to get sugar off my back? Sugar in its direct form. Corn sugars. Grains that convert to sugar in the body. Fruit.

Deep breath. You can do this.

“Alright, I’m going to be strong and power through this.”

Nope. We will not be utilizing ANY willpower. Willpower is finite. You can willpower your way through breakfast, maybe lunch, but come 2:00 if you are still on the willpower train, your chances of succeeding go down each second. ESPECIALLY if you have any stress in your life at all. Kids, job, spouses, traffic, running a house, you are going to want to reach for your energy boost at some point.

So, what do we do????

First, know that sugar is going to be a part of your life forever, You will have to dance with it for the rest of your life. You MAY be able to power through a day, or a week, or if you are some sort of alien goddess make it through the month, but this isn’t about this powering through, only to binge like a crazy person come November 1 – Halloween anyone? So get comfortable with that.  Sugar isn’t going anywhere.

Secondly, realize that the sugar cravings are your body’s way of asking for energy. Which can be derived from other sources. Fat is a great energy source, and your body has a regulatory system in place to assure that you don’t consume too much. It’s called “disaster pants”.

Third, let’s discuss the sugar cycle. When you start consuming sugar, your blood glucose goes up. If it goes over a certain point, your insulin kicks in to control it, which leads to less blood sugar, which leads to the energy dip, which leads to the sugar craving, which leads to the sugar consumption, which starts the whole process over. The best advice that I can give you here is that the longer you can hold off on sugar during the day, the less you will crave it.

If you are like me, my main sugar came in the form of Coke, which I had for breakfast, every day.  It put me on the sugar roller coaster, needing to refeed every two hours. And despite what you’ve heard, you will not die if you don’t eat 7 times a day.

I utilize intermittent fasting now, but that may be months or years off for most people.  The habit of eating is huge, paired with the BS that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. (misleading marketing) So, I will take you back to the beginning of how I ate to quit the sugar.

Breakfast should consist of fat and protein. Eggs, bacon, sausage, from the highest quality source you can afford. Pastured, grass fed, is best. But do not beat yourself up if you want to start with factory farmed. We are not zealots here, we are establishing the habit. Do what you can do to get it done. No bread, no fruit, NO JUICE. Drink water or coffee. If you have to have 80 lbs of sugar in your coffee, you may want to skip it until you can alter your taste for sugar. If you need that jolt of energy, I have had really good luck with nicotine gum. Yes. I never smoked, but this is a great hack for when you need to be alert and focused.

Lunch should also be mostly fat and protein. You can add in some veggies. Which are technically carbs, but the lower your net carb intake the better. Again, the highest quality you can source, local organic is best, but if the only vegetable you can find is a can of green beans, I will jump up and down and be happy for that. Quality will improve with habit. Now, here is the important part of consuming vegetables. Cover them in butter. Lots of butter. They will taste amazing. Kerrygold butter is the only brand nationally available that is grass fed. Again, drink lots of water.

Skip the afternoon snack. You can do it. If you find yourself needing a snack, go ahead and have one, but up your fat intake for breakfast and lunch the following day.

Dinner, you can carb it up at dinner. With vegetables. Try to stay away from pasta and bread, at least for the short term.  Lots of butter on everything. Even the meat.

The more fat you consume, the longer you will feel full.  I know it is scary, but give me a month to convince you. Let’s say I’m wrong here, which I don’t believe that I am. Can it make you feel any worse than sugar is making you feel at the moment? If you don’t like the way you feel at the end of the month, you can always go back.  I consume roughly a stick a day.  My good cholesterol is up from 45 to 52 this year. My non- HDL cholesterol went from 139 down to 86.  My triglycerides have gone from 71 down to 56. I will be redoing my blood test at the end of the year and expect all of those numbers to continue in the right direction.

To recap, sugar is here to stay. How we dance with it is about to change. Get more fat into your diet. It will help with the sugar cravings. Even if you don’t enjoy the higher fat diet, it will change your sugar cravings and you can phase out the fat once your NEED for sugar passes.

Drink lots of water.

Breakfast should not contain any carbs, no fruit, no breads, not oatmeal, no juice.

Lunch should be high fat, moderate protein, low carb.

Dinner should be high fat, moderate protein, moderate carb. If you go overboard and get too much sugar, you can go to bed when your sugar roller coaster crashes down. Use the sugar crash to your advantage.

Skip desserts and snacks for now, but if you feel that you can’t, don’t think you’ve failed.

There are no “cheat” days in life.  We are grown ass women who can eat what we like, when we like. You know you want to eat better, so evaluate whether you “need” something or not. If you decide that you do, in fact, need a Coke, enjoy the hell out of it.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Until next time,

Be awesome!!

annie-headshot-lake

My name is Annie, I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals.

If you haven’t done so already, I would love if you joined us on Facebook.  If you would like to join our private group of amazing women to share this journey, you can request to join here. I currently do have openings in my one on one coaching if you would like to get on the phone with me to discuss whether coaching is something you could benefit from, you can make an appointment here.

Your Weight Is Not Your Problem, Your Weight Is A Symptom of Your Problem






Can we be real for a minute? I am going to help you UNlearn your way of thinking when it comes to your weight.

Five years ago, one question changed my life. Four little words.

Is that fear real?

I was working with a coach, and we were discussing limiting beliefs. He asked, “What are you afraid of?” He then instructed me to write down the two things that I feared most, in relation to becoming a health coach.

There was no hesitation in my answer. I am afraid that I do not know enough to be a health coach. Come on, I picked the industry known for failing its clients, 90% of the time. We are sicker and fatter than any generation in our history. There are quite literally, millions of health coaches in this country, and the best of the best have a 90% fail rate, more exposure, more resources.  90%. I’m freaking out.

I do not recall my second fear.

My coach then asked if my fear was even real. Well of course it is, I’m afraid, therefore, real.

Then he started to break it down. Did I know enough to help someone? Well, yeah. Had I helped someone. Of course.

“Sounds like you’re a health coach.”

DAMNIT!!!

What was I afraid of, if not that? What was the use of carrying around a false fear?

Here’s what I discovered. If I was afraid that I didn’t know enough, I could go to more classes, read more books, attend more seminars, get certified in another specialty. All good things, but it gave me an excuse not to do anything.

Shut! UP!!!

From that point on, I’ve held a different point of view in dealing with clients. Number one thing people ask me about, before the butter phase, has been, “How do I lose weight?” Well, that my friends is easy. Diet and exercise. Thank you, pay the lady at the front.

But your weight isn’t your problem. If it were, 60% of us wouldn’t be overweight or obese. We would lose the weight and be done with it.

Better questions to ask would be:

  • What is the underlying cause of my weight?
  • Do I have a health condition that is causing my weight?
  • Do I have a habit that contributes to my weight?
  • What payoff do I get from keeping my weight?

All of these are valid questions.  I have hypothyroidism, but not really, my hypothyroidism is a symptom of my Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disorder affecting the thyroid. I was treated for the symptom for 12 years before anyone even told me what my condition was. I am currently working on hacking that and it seems to be having some positive results. I’ll know more in a few months.  Now the symptom of having low thyroid hormone, has caused the symptom of being tired, which attributes at times to my weight. If all I’m treating are the symptoms of the underlying cause, Hashimoto’s, I will be on this hamster wheel forever. Whether or not I will ever fully recover from leaving my underlying condition untreated for over a decade, remains to be seen.  Maybe you have arthritis, or other diseases that cause pain. Depression, anxiety, the list goes on and on.

Another thing that attributes to any extra weight I carry, are my habits. Hello, my name is Annie, I like Cokes. When I resolved the Cokes issue, weight dropped off like crazy. The habit of not working out. The habit of watching tv five plus hours a day. All these habits can be changed.

Now, here is a hard one. What payoff do I get?

I’ve had clients who had always been the fat girl. What is Pitch Perfect without Fat Amy? You might want to brace yourself for this one moms. Do you blame your kids for being fat? “I take care of kids all day, I don’t have time for myself.” That one will always garner sympathy from other fat moms. The truth is you are neglecting yourself, and it will come back on you. I know. I did it for twenty years, and completely forgot who I was.

My whole point here is not to shame anyone, rather, I want you to approach this attempt at weight loss differently. Don’t focus on the weight, when you are healthy, the weight will take care of itself. As someone in the fitness and nutrition industry, I cannot promise anything other than results may vary.

I want you to take a moment and not focus on losing weight. Rather, what is it really that is causing you to be overweight. Is there a habit you can change? Do you need to consult a doctor regarding a health issue. Do you need to prioritize your own health? Take the focus off the macros your eating and look for something deeper.

Until next time,

Be awesome!!!

Annie

annie-headshot-lake

My name is Annie, I am a Fitness and Nutrition UNstructor. I help women unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals.

I would love it if you would join me over on Facebook. If you are a woman who is looking to change her approach to health and wellness you are invited to join our private group.  Becoming Awesomer Beta Girls get to try out all my hacks before I release them to the public.  Finally, if you are seeking one on one advice, I do set aside time each week to speak with those who are interested. Please pick a time, and we can get together by phone to discuss which plan would benefit you the most.

The Week I Stopped Wearing Deodorant






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So, this arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago. It’s bacteria in a spray bottle from MotherDirt. I’ll link you up at the end of this post. I’m proud to be an affiliate for them, I would recommend this without compensation; should you follow my link and make a purchase, I will receive a portion of the sale.  They created this wonder modern marvel to reintroduce bacteria to our skin. Reinvigorate our biome. They can explain it waaaay better than I can, but what you are really interested in is HOW DOES IT WORK?

Day 1

In addition to the spray that you use post shower, I also ordered the body wash, and shampoo. So, post shower I was primed for bacteria.

I sprayed under my arms, and under my breasts (hey keeping it real, it’s summer in Texas and sweat happens). The first thing you notice when you aren’t using an antiperspirant is that kind of sticky feeling. I was prepared for this as I’ve been removing my deodorant before bed for years. No need to poison my largest organ any longer than necessary.

It only took about an hour for me to feel stinky. As I said, it’s Texas and it’s summer.

Immediately texted the wasband (was my husband) and son to thank them for making me stink, er um, recommending this product to me. They both informed me that it takes awhile for the colonies to form but that in the end, I would LOVE it.

So, I sponged off, because stinky and sticky, reapplied the spray, and told those little bastards to take over the world.

Repeat. Several times.

Day 2

I stink. Great.

As part of my awesomerness, I lead a walking group every morning. 3-5 miles. Did I mention Texas, I’m sure I must have.

No deodorant.

Ladies, please forgive me. It is for the sake of science that I must sweat freely.

Afterwards, I shower, scrub down with the MotherDirt body wash. That stuff works miracles. I am stink free. The shampoo is great, but I will leave that for another day. I will have to do the whole head tossing running my fingers through my hair thing. Cliff notes: The shampoo is amazing!

I spent the day sponging off and reapplying.  Though considerably less often.

Day 3

I don’t think I stink. Let me check. Ohhhhh, I still stink, but you really have to get your face in there to notice. Luckily, not too many people spend their day in my armpit.

Related. The boys are starting to notice.

Day 4

I don’t stink. I really don’t stink. Well, I stink when I run, because yeah, it has not helped there yet, but showering, and going about my normal daily activities. Completely stink free.

Side note: I consider myself attractive. I consider myself friendly. Men generally don’t speak to me in the grocery store. So, that is new.

Day 5

OK, I am convinced. Normal day to day, non running in 90 degree weather, this stuff is amazing.

I wanted to believe it, but I’ve tried other things that worked less amazingly than I’d hoped.

Day 6

A woman asked me what perfume I was wearing. I’m not. I stopped wearing deodorant last week and started spraying myself with bacteria. Well, that’s gross, but you smell amazing.

When is the last time someone commented on how amazing you smell? Your perfume, maybe, but you? Never.

It took less than a week for the bacteria to colonize to the point that I don’t worry about walking around without deodorant. Deodorant has been a part of my life FOREVER. From the second we watched our first tv show, the commercials have been reminding us of the horrible embarrassment and public shame that would befall us if we didn’t slather our pits with chemicals and fragrance. Shame and humiliation that was reiterated in junior high school. Which, looking back, was just junior high school in general.

Would I take a meeting, outside, in Texas, in summer? I’m not there yet, but I seriously love the way I smell, and apparently so do others. As I write this, it has been 10 hours since I applied the spray to my underarms. I don’t stink, I smell pretty good, it is a little musky, but not bad.

I cannot recommend this more highly. If you want to learn more about this, head on over the [eafl id=593 name=”Mother Dirt” text=”Mother Dirt”]  (affiliate link) and they can explain all of it in greater detail.  While it took me less than a week, it may take longer for you, everybody is different. They have a great return policy and after reading the replies to their negative comments, I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t work so I could say, hey I’m a human guinea pig, please test your reformulations on me. But no. It works great. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who have a less than ideal experience, they encourage negative feedback and your helpful participation in researching the why. They will refund your money without you having to send it back and bug them for weeks. In addition to it being a great product, their customer service has been on point, which was one of the reasons I chose to be an affiliate for them. If you follow the [eafl id=593 name=”Mother Dirt” text=”MotherDirt “]link and make a purchase, I will receive a portion of the sale. If you would like to receive 25% off of your purchase between now and October 31, 2016, use the code NEWPRODUCT25.

Until next time,

Be awesome!!

Annie

annie-headshot-lake
I am a Fitness and Nutrition Unstructor, I help women UNlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals. I take the diet and exercise out of health and wellness, we don’t diet, we eat. We don’t exercise, we move. We don’t “work”out, we play.

I would love it if you would do one of the following, share this with your friends, join us over on our Facebook page. If you are a woman who is seeking a different approach to your health, I invite you to join our private group of fun and supportive women. If you are interested in learning more about coaching, I do have a few openings in my coaching schedule at this time. You can pick a time to get on the phone with me and see if one of my coaching packages would be a good fit for you.

It’s Not Sugar That You’re Craving

sugar-1092668_640No, I’m pretty sure it is, Annie.

Let me explain.

It’s two o’clock.. You are craving your afternoon chocolate bar and Diet Coke.  You wander over the the break room and, hey, somebody left some donuts in there. You really want a donut.  So, you have a donut. A chocolate bar (which isn’t really chocolate, but PGPR) and your Diet Coke. You can make it til quitting time, when you’ll swing back through to make sure the donuts have been taken care of.

Sound familiar?

Yeah, I can see how you would think that you were craving sugar.

Now, here is what is really happening. Your body is craving energy. The reason it needs energy is because the low fat diets we’ve been on since 1970 have put us onto this blood sugar/insulin roller coaster and we can’t get off.  You consume sugar, you ride the wave up, you crash, you crave, you consume, you ride the wave up, you crash, you crave, you consume. It’s the song that never ends.

In 1970, you would eat a breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, and orange juice. Then Ancel Keys decided that bacon and eggs were BAD. So you skipped the animal products and got your servings of grains and fruit. Which your body turned into sugar. Without the protein buffer, your insulin spiked, and then you crashed. By ten o’clock you needed an apple. More sugar. Lunch was pasta, more sugar, candy bar in the afternoon, more sugar, and wine, #sugar for dinner, and you crashed into bed exhausted from your day.

Most of us have grown up in an era where FAT IS BAD. FAT WILL MAKE YOU FAT. Take a look at this study on obesity. Obesity rates start to rise after 1970. So, if we aren’t eating fat, what is making us so?

Sugar.

As I was saying earlier, you body needs energy. It’s got to run that big ol’ brain of yours. The majority of your energy is used by your brain. Due to the fact that “Fat is bad and will kill us” marketing we’ve heard for the past 46 years, we haven’t trained our bodies to burn fat. So while our predecessors were needing energy their brain weighed the pros and cons of the energy needed and the fuel that would fit best, our modern brains know only of sugar. The brain simply and efficiently skips the debate, as there is only one option that it has been trained to call for.

Who here has ever eaten a rice cake? Fat free, sugar free, there is no point in living blandness. Sure, if i were starving it might be great, but blech. Man cannot live on rice cakes alone.

We need flavor, turns out, flavor comes in sugar, and fat. How convenient.

I know what you are saying, you’ve tried cutting back on sugar, it’s impossible. I would never purpose you just eliminate sugar, UNLESS you add fat back into the mix.

Last December, I went to the doctor, I weighed the most I had ever weighed, and my blood tests showed I wasn’t all that healthy either. I had taken a break from being awesomer for the sake of the almighty “keeping the lights on needing money thing”. That was my rock bottom moment. I knew, once and for all, my Coke habit had to go. I was drinking three 44 oz drinks a day. Sure, most of them were only half consumed, but still, that’s a LOT of sugar. Being the trained professional that I am, I knew fat would cut my cravings. I figured it would be a stop gap while I detoxed from the sugar, and I could follow a more reasonable diet after a few months.

That’s when I dove into the ketogenic diet. 80% of my calories from fat. Until I really broke it down, it seemed that I’d be mainlining butter, avocados, and coconut oil all damn day. Then I did break it down and realized that 80/20 rule was a tablespoon of butter on a serving of vegetables. #mindblown This time, quitting soda wasn’t hard at all.  I still enjoy them on occasion, but my craving for them is gone.  Here are the stats for my soda consumption since January

soda-year

Not quite 80/20 but as a result of not consuming soda 74% of the time, I’ve lost 23 pounds despite the fact that I consume almost 900 calories of butter every day.

Following everything we’ve been taught for the past 46 years, this shouldn’t be possible. I’m telling you it is.

Are you interested in trying this theory out for yourself?

Here’s what you should know.

Your body is used to burning sugar. When you go 80% fat, you’ll feel great the first day, then for the next four days you’re going to be convinced I’m trying to kill you.  I promise I’m not.  When your body changes over from burning glucose to burning fat, or more precisely ketones, it will rebel a little. THIS IS NORMAL. It’s called the keto flu. Think of your body as a high performance sports car.  The owners manual says only use unicorn blood for oil, but one night, in the middle of nowhere, your oil light comes on, the only thing open is a Walmart and they don’t carry unicorn blood. So you get off the shelf oil. It’s better for your car to run on something, even though it prefers the other. Your body will run on sugar, but it prefers fat, and we’ve been depriving our bodies of fat for decades.

One thing that can help this process is exogenous ketones. You can take supplements that are precursors to the ketones, and will help you ease into ketosis a little easier. The brand I use every day is [eafl id=578 name=”Bulletproof Supplements” text=”Bulletproof Brain Octane”]. ([eafl id=582 name=”affliliate disclaimer” text=”(affiliate link)”]) It is coconut oil on steroids. It is derived from coconut oil, but it is only one of the strains of the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil.  There is a wealth of information on the Bulletproof site about the process and the benefits if you are interested. This is the one supplement I take with me everywhere. Literally.

I hope this has been useful. If you haven’t already done so, please head over to Facebook, or request to join The Becoming Awesomer Private Facebook Group for women who want to unlearn the bad habits, bad science, and misleading marketing that is keeping them from reaching their health goals.

Until next time,

Be Awesome!!!

 

Annieannie-headshot-lake

I am a Fitness and Nutrition Unstructor. I take the diet and exercise out of health and wellness.  We don’t diet, we eat. We don’t exercise, we move. We don’t “work”out, we play.  Check out what others are saying and see some amazing before and after pictures.

 

 

What Are You Doing For the Next 12 Weeks?

It’s September, Christmas is coming quickly. It’s almost time for the family Christmas cards. Again.

You cherish this tradition because you enjoy looking back through the years to see how your family has grown.

Except, you hate it, because you don’t like the way you look. You promised yourself this year would be different, and yet, here we are again.

I know this feeling.

It’s not too late to do something about it.  Continue reading “What Are You Doing For the Next 12 Weeks?”