Lifestyle Changes – A Mom’s Journey

About a month before my 35th birthday, something happened. I was sitting here writing, like I do most days, and it hit me. I was turning 35 soon. Not too many years later, I will be hitting 40. While getting older has never ever bothered me (the white hairs I randomly get on my head and in my eyebrows–what’s up with that–are definitely something I could do without), the idea of getting older and not making the necessary changes I need to make to lose all this excess weight, is something that has bothered me. Lifestyle changes were definitely needed in my life.

lifestyle changes

Here I am, five years ago, at my heaviest weight I’ve ever been…250 lbs. I hate even typing that number, but it’s true. I started my weight loss journey at 250 lbs. I knew I had to make some changes and make them quick. Not only was a severely overweight, but I had tested Type 2 Diabetic. I made some changes, lost some weight, and managed to no longer test in the diabetic range. However, my weight started creeping back up and I knew it was only a matter of time before I became Diabetic again. I was not about to let that happen.

Serious Lifestyle Changes Needed!

Fast forward to just about my 35th birthday…a friend of mine had been talking a lot about the Keto diet. I saw her transformation, but was really scared to take the plunge. You see, with the Keto diet, you eat high fat, moderate protein and very low carb. While I know that a very low carb diet works well for me, I was terrified to eat fat! I mean, it’s drilled into our heads over and over again, “low-fat, low-fat, low-fat”. However, I decided to jump in and give it a try. What I didn’t understand at the beginning was that with the Keto diet, you are essentially training your body to use fat as an energy source, instead of carbs. This is huge to understand. You see, since you are not constantly eating fat all day long, your body needs to have energy somehow, so it begins burning your fat stores. It truly is as great as it sounds!

I’ve been doing this diet since January 23rd of this year and I am currently 0.4 lbs away from losing 70 lbs. I look and feel amazing! A little bit of that weight loss is from before starting Keto. See the transformation for yourself…

lifestyle changes

Yes…I did just use a Snapchat selfie…no judging! It was just my most recent picture of myself and, well, what can I say…I just love the gold butterflies in my hair! Despite the fact that it is a Snapchat selfie, you can see how my face has transformed. I still have some weight to lose, but I’ll get there!

While making lifestyle changes has been the key to my success, there are a few areas of my body that, no matter how much I lose, they don’t change. Those areas would be my saddlebags. I absolutely hate that word, but it’s true. I have them and I hate them. I made a comment to my husband that the only way I would be able to get rid of them is with liposuction. As I was looking around online, I came across an ad for Light Rx Face & Body for Laser Liposuction. I was instantly intrigued! One of the biggest things I noticed was that it required absolutely zero recovery time! That was huge for me. With a husband that travels for work, having something that required recovery time was kind of out of the question.

About Laser Liposuction

This painless procedure utilizes low level lasers that target the fat in a particular area and breaks down the stored triglycerides in the fat cells into free fatty acids and glycerol. The fat content is then transported to various tissues, ready to be burned off during post-treatment exercise. Basically, the laser liposuction is a process that mimics the body’s natural process of releasing stored fat to be used as energy.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?!? I totally thought so! Currently I am partnering with LightRx Face & Body and I am in the process of completing ten complimentary Laser Liposuction treatments and eight Venus Legacy treatments. The Venus Legacy treatments help to get the fat content moving out of my lymphatic system faster, as well as, it helps to tighten the skin area being treated!

I am extremely excited about this phase in my life. Not only are my lifestyle changes working for me, but, with the help of LightRx Face & Body, I am able to work on those stubborn areas of my body, as well! I am only just starting my treatments with LightRx Face & Body, but I will be sure to update in a couple months about my treatments and how they went!

Keto Diet Plan – Taking Charge of My Health

On January 23, 2016, I decided that I was done being fat. I had gotten comfortable. I knew my husband loved me for me and didn’t care one bit about my size. While that is a great feeling to have and not have to worry about what the one person I care what they think, thinks about me, it led me to just give up and not care about my own health and well being. Maybe not intentionally, but that’s what happened. A friend of mine (shout-out to Summer at The Dirty Floor Diaries) had been talking about the Keto Diet Plan for quite some time…I finally decided to give it a try. Rather than do it by myself, I talked my husband into giving the diet a try with me. Strength in numbers and all. What has happened over the last 4+ months has been amazing.

keto diet plan

After having my kids, and over the next several years, I hit my highest weight ever. I also was diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic. It was a real game changer when my doctor told me I as diabetic. Shit was getting real, as they say. I had just turned 30 years old. I wish I could say that I handled the news well those first few weeks, but I didn’t. I cried. I cried about the thought of having to give up all the food I liked. I cried because I thought something was going to happen to my feet (Google told me so). I cried because I didn’t want to put in the work that I needed to with this new diagnosis. And then I woke up. I went to a nutritionist. I learned how to eat so that my sugar would stop spiking and my body would start producing and using the correct amount of insulin. In like 9 or 10 months, I lost 50 lbs. I felt amazing! The best part is, after losing that weight and eating like the nutritionist told me, I haven’t tested Type 2 Diabetic since. I had completely reversed things on my own. But then the weight started creeping back up. I started to eat poorly again. While I was still able to stay out of the diabetic range on all my blood tests, I was not eating healthy at all. For the most part, I was a carbaholic. I ate all the things I knew I shouldn’t eat. And then I became fat again. I stayed that way for years.

Shortly after this last Christmas, I saw a picture of myself. I was mortified. I thought I looked good…but I didn’t. I was one of those, “well…at least she has a pretty face”. You know, the phrase every fat girl hates to hear. I started messaging Summer on Facebook and asking more questions about the Keto Diet Plan and finally on January 23, 2016, I was ready to jump in and give it a try.

This is a picture of me at my heaviest weight. To be honest, looking at it is really difficult.

keto diet plan

What is the Keto Diet Plan?

Basically, it’s a diet where you eat high fat, moderate protein, and very low-carb. Your body stops using carbs to fuel it and switches to fat. In doing this, you start burning your fat stores. The weight starts melting off! I use My Fitness Pal to track everything. I pay for the premium service because I want my macros to be exact. A few sites I recommend checking out for more information and to figure out what your macros are…

So…I bet you are wondering how much weight I’ve lost…

As of today, I am down just over 57 lbs!! I look and feel amazing. I am down four pant sizes and five shirt sizes! Shopping is fun again! It’s so nice to be able to try anything and everything on at pretty much ANY store! The other day I was shopping for dresses for a wedding I have in July. You can see the progress I’ve made…

keto diet plan

Don’t mind the crazy tan lines! We had my daughters soccer tournament all weekend long! Never in a million years would I ever try a dress on like this OR even consider getting it. I felt comfortable in the dress and I think I look pretty good!

Is the Keto Diet Plan Right for You?

My advice…do your research. Know what you are getting yourself into. I will tell you, it’s not as hard as it seems. Give yourself a couple weeks to get used to it. When you get into Dietary Ketosis (do NOT confuse this with Ketoacidosis…they are not the same thing), you will go through something referred to as the “Keto Flu”. Power through. Once in Ketosis…stay in it. You can check whether you are in Ketosis by using these Ketone Test Stripsketo diet plan I picked up on Amazon.

If you have any questions about the Keto Diet Plan, please don’t hesitate to ask! I will gladly help you!

Citrus Essential Oils – Why You Need It

Making the decision to use Young Living Essential Oils daily was the best decision I ever made for myself and my family. If someone were to ask me what my favorite oil was, I’d have a hard time answering! I mean…I use so many of them for different things. The one only I always have with me is Stress Away. I have two tweens…need I say more?!? Besides stress away, I am also big on using the different citrus essential oils that Young Living has to offer. My favorites being Lemon Vitality, Jade Lemon Vitality, Grapefruit Vitality and Tangerine Vitality.

Young Living Citrus Essential Oils

Young Living, the ONLY brand of essential oils I will use (see their Seed to Seal policy to find out why), has a wide variety of citrus essential oils available. Besides the four I mentioned above, they also offer the following:

  • Lime Vitality
  • Orange Vitality
  • Citrus Fresh Vitality

citrus essential oils

Citrus Essential Oil Benefits

So what do I do with my citrus essential oils and why do you need them? I put a few drops in my glass water bottlecitrus essential oils and drink that all day long. I either use Jade Lemon or Lemon by itself, or I like to combine grapefruit essential oils with tangerine (that combo is so good…you must try it)!

**Please note that I will ONLY use Young Living Essential Oils in my water. Their oils are pure, therapeutic essential oils and the oils part of the vitality line are safe to consume. Consuming essential oils from any other brand may not be safe.

 The citrus essential oils are extracted from the peels of the citrus fruits. This is very important to understand. You see, because they are made in this way, they are very high in limonene (D-Limonene) and that is VERY good for our bodies. With me following the Ketogenic diet, it is even MORE important that I drink water with citrus essential oils in it because it helps to balance my body’s pH level. I know that seems crazy, but despite the fact that citrus is acidic, when you consume the citrus oils, it is alkaline forming in the body. The benefits of d-limonene that I like are the fact that it aids in digestion, helps to detoxify the liver and d-limonene also helps to boost your mood. No one wants mama in a bad mood!

citrus essential oils

Using a glass water bottle with your pure essential oils is needed. Putting the citrus essential oils in plastic will cause the plastic to break down. You don’t want that in your water! Plus, I don’t know about you, but ice cold water tastes WAY better in a glass bottle than in plastic! It doesn’t matter which citrus essential oils you choose, the benefits are all the same and one that you will want to take advantage of! Just an FYI, Citrus Fresh Essential Oil also contains spearmint. I just wanted to point that out so you are as surprised as I was the first time I tried it. I was NOT expecting a minty flavor!

If you would like to learn more about essential oils, please use the Contact Me form at the top of this page. I would be more than happy to speak with you and go over additional benefits and how you can sign up and take advantage of an amazing 24% discount on your oils!!

Here’s the only water bottle I use (at a good price too!!):

Essential Oils Perfect for Spring

It looks like Spring is finally upon us here in Michigan! We had a huge snow storm last week and it was 70 degrees this week! Craziness! However, it looks like these milder temperatures are here to stay. Which is so great! While we didn’t get hit nearly as bad this winter as we have in the past, I am more than ready for lots of sunshine and warmer weather! Since I have Spring on my mind, I also want to make sure I have the essential oils I need for Spring.

essential oils spring

Making the decision to start using essential oils was an easy one for me. In my mind I figured, “what do I have to lose?“. And honestly, over the past few years, I haven’t lost anything. In fact, more times than not, I forget to order an extra bottle of my favorite oil because we use them that much! With Spring quickly approaching, there are a few oils you will want to stock up on…like now. If you wait, they will go out of stock!

Essential Oils Perfect for Spring

I can honestly say that I have used every single one of the products pictured above. Each and everyone of them are a favorite of mine and one that I make sure I have at home, even when it’s not Springtime! A little about each product:

  • Thieves Household Cleaner – this product is amazing! You can deep clean your home without all the harmful chemicals! I use this product on every surface in my home (you will want to test it on woods, plastics, granite and fabric first…just in case, but I haven’t had an issue).
  • Peppermint Oil – this oil is great to help awaken your senses! Feeling sluggish at the end of the day…put a drop on the back of your neck and you are good to go! I also like to make a “spider spray” with peppermint oil and spray the inside perimeter of my house. Spiders and ants do not like peppermint oil!
  • Citronella Oil – mosquitoes don’t like citronella oil. Rather than walk around holding a candle at your next BBQ, put a drop or two on you! You can also diffuse this oil indoors to help refresh the air!
  • Citrus Fresh Oil – mix a few drops of this oil with distilled water and use it as a nice and light room spray! Or…put a couple drops on a cotton ball and place the cotton ball anywhere prone to stale odors!
  • Carrot Seed Oil – I’m not going to lie…this oil does not smell the best, BUT don’t let that deter you. Carrot seed oil is great for the skin and a new oil that I use in my coconut oil face wash (along with lavender).
  • Lemon Oil – great oil to clean with! Who doesn’t like the smell of lemons, especially in the kitchen?!? Also great to add to your nightly face lotion routine as lemon essential oil helps reduce the appearance of blemishes or you can add it to your hair while you condition it and it will help smooth and shine your hair!
  • Lavender Oil – this popular oil is one you shouldn’t be without. I keep a bottle in the kitchen, as well as in my essential oil bag that I take with me to my kids sporting events. You can also add a few drops to distilled water and spritz your pillows before bed for a relaxing slumber! I also like to rub a drop across my forehead in the Spring and Summer…my head does not like all the budding trees!
  • Purification Oil – hands done, one of my favorite oils! We love bacon in our house, but I hate the smell that lingers after cooking bacon. No worries! All you need to do is diffuse this oil during or after making the bacon and the smell disappears! Great to put on a cotton ball to place in the vents in your car! Goodbye smelly odors!
  • Allerzyme – this is a vegetarian enzyme that helps aid in digestion.
  • Lavaderm Spray – First…BUY THIS! I’m serious. This is an amazing product that you will want around all Spring and Summer! This spray contains lavender oil and aloe to help soothe and rejuvenate overexposed skin!

All of the oils you see above are listed with their wholesale price. Signing up for a wholesale membership is quick and easy! Simply visit the link below, sign up and you are good to go. During the sign up process, you have your choice of starter kits to choose from. I would go with the Premium Starter Kit for one simple reason…the diffuser! Not only that, but you get several of the oils I mentioned above, so it is a nice way to try them out so you can reorder them (and you will!) next month!

Sign Up Here!

As a thank you for signing up, I will be sending you a free gift!! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!!

Nature Made Vitamins: Maintaining a Healthier Lifestyle

*This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central*

Every year I make the goal to get healthy. Of course, part of getting healthy is losing weight (isn’t it always?!?), but more than just shedding some pounds, I want my body to be healthy. This year my husband and not only started eating better, but we also have incorporated Nature Made Vitamins into our daily routine. No matter how great I eat, I am still notoriously low in B vitamins. Since I don’t want a repeat of 2014 when I had to visit my doctor a couple times a month for a B12 shot, I decided that part of my health goals for 2016 would include eating right, exercising and taking supplements that my doctor has recommended for me.

nature made vitamins

I’m a bargain shopper. As a stay at home mom, I feel it is my job to save my family the most money possible. The nice thing about getting your Nature Made Vitamins at Walmart is that you don’t have to wait for a sale…the prices are great on their vitamins, minerals and supplements! There were a couple vitamins I was already taking, but I knew I needed a few others like Fish Oil (the burp-less kind…you don’t want to have fishy burps all day), Vitamin C and a Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo. Here’s what I picked up at Walmart:

nature made vitamins

About Nature Made Vitamins

Did you know…

  • The #1 supplement brand (in 9 categories) that Pharmacists recommend is Nature Made Vitamins?*
  • Looking to fill nutritional gaps? Well you’re in luck with Nature Made Vitamins! They are the #1 best-selling brand for quality vitamins, minerals and supplements!**

You know that saying that goes something like, “nothing tastes as good as thin feels”? I used to think it was rather silly. While I would not consider myself thing YET, I will say that getting healthier and taking my daily supplements does feel so much better than how I felt a month or two ago. One of my biggest inspirations that keeps me following my lifestyle plan is me. For the first time ever I feel different, I am looking different and I can picture how I want to look once I meet all of my goals. For me that is huge! In the past, when I’ve dieted, I had this unrealistic image in my head of what I wanted to look like. I think I failed every diet or lifestyle plan I set out on because I was not realistic with my expectations. Furthermore, I didn’t amend my goals and expectations as I lost weight. I stuck to the unrealistic image in my head and then I failed. However, as I see how my body is changing, that image in my head changes. Do I think I will end up with a super models body? No, of course not…I’ve had two kids…they’ve totally killed that dream, but what I know I will end up with, if I stick to my plan, is a healthy body and a strong body.

With my supplements, I like to spend one day a week (usually Sunday) filling my pill container. I get everything set that I need to take in the morning and everything I need to take in the evening and I leave that on the counter to remind me to take my pills. Some people like to take all of their supplements at the same time, however I did a little research on the particular vitamins I am taking and broke them up to take in the morning and the evening. I highly recommend doing that!

What have YOU changed in your life this year? Did you make any health related goals for 2016? If you haven’t (or even if you have), check out Nature Made Vitamins and sign up for their Daily Boost program! By signing up, you will the boost you need with fresh inspiration from Nature Made every other week! Check it out!

nature made vitamins

Nature Made Wellness 2

I-C will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

 

 

*Based on US News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey, Nature Made is the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand in Nine Categories – Letter Vitamins, Omega-3/Fish Oil, Coenzyme Q10, Flax Seed Oil, Herbal Supplements, Cholesterol Management-Natural, Garlic, Diabetic Multivitamins and Mood Health Supplements.

**Based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its Scantrack Service for the Vitamins Category for 52-week period ending 9/26/2015, for the xAOC, FDM, and FM Markets. Copyright © 2015 Nielsen.