Hey friends. It has been a while since I found myself consistently blogging on here. There are many reasons for this. The biggest, in my opinion, came in the form of the challenge groups that we run. Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining. We feel totally blessed. Helping the people in our two week and 30 day sessions has become the new norm in the fourfitsisters world. It pretty much became a full time job as well. Blogging had to step aside for a bit, or else I would have felt like the worst MOTHER on the planet.
Like I said, I'm not really sad about it. We are able to reach SO many people in our groups. Whether their focus is food or fitness, we are assisting them to get their life back on track and live in the healthiest ways for them. That is totally worth it in the end. But, I have missed it here.
I am back, now, to say that I am making a comeback! We want to be a bit more consistent over here and refreshing you with more information, which has been our goal overall since day 1!!!!
First I want you to know what has been going on with me, personally. Life has gotten pretty comfortable here. Our kids are enjoying sports and school. We make it home to visit family often. I just recently got to help Adie move into her new house here in town with me!!! We are also gearing up for a busy summer. Having her live close to me will be magical. She has already helped in setting up our mommy boot camp that we run here in the summer!!!
Over the past year, however, as far as my fitness and health goes, I found myself struggling. I was helping so many people turn their lives around and find the routine that was working for them. I also felt like a bit of a hypocrite. I had put on about 10 pounds about a year back and I could NOT get rid of them FOR THE LIFE OF ME. I mean, I preach this information to my clients daily. Planning meals, setting a schedule, eating the right things, and working out. That is the key to weight loss right?
For me, it wasn't that easy. I was already doing all of those things, and yet the weight approached slowly, but surely.
Now, I realize that my measly 10 pound weight gain is very small in comparison to the struggles that many of our readers face. I am not trying to sound petty or be a "perfectionist" about my body. That was never the issue. I was more about not having control over your own body when you felt like you were doing the right things. I knew at 5'7" and 152 lbs I wasn't obese. Some probably wouldn't have even considered me overweight at all. But, for me I was carrying weight that had NEVER been there before, and I when I did what I was supposed to do (with diet and exercise) nothing changed. It was an endless cycle, and borderline obsession that got me into a bit of a funk. I knew something had to change and I was on a mission to find out exactly what the culprit was.
The culprit, for me, was inflammation. I went to see my favorite doctor. She is amazing and talked with me at length about what has been going in my body and where I feel I was going wrong. We talked everything from cravings, to hormones, to what I had been eating. She also ordered EXTENSIVE blood work. When I left her office she and I were both leaning toward something hormonal going cray cray in the body. When I got my results we weren't far off at all!
My blood work came back reading PRE-DIABETIC numbers. Say what?????? This was REALLY hard for me to grasp. I, the person preaching others and eating better than probably 90% of Americans, had numbers in the diabetic range. How was that possible? I was totally thrown for a loop. I was certain that my hormones were what was causing this weight loss struggle. I was just leaning toward ESTROGEN as the problem...not insulin.
So what I learned through this information was very eye opening. Insulin is the hormone that allows your body to use sugar and carbohydrates effectively. When you become insulin resistant (which is what I was in the beginning stages of) your body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When people have insulin resistance, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells. This is bad news people. Glucose (sugar) is TOXIC in your blood. Your body tries to get rid of it as quickly as possible. For me, that meant storing it as fat. The quickest way to get it out of the blood is to shoot it out as a fat cell. So my body's own defense mechanism was the reason for the weight gain that I couldn't shake. Because it was trying to save itself from the sugar in the blood, it stored fat at a rate in which I could not burn it quick enough.
Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!! Answers at last. But, here is the biggest thing...I didn't really think I was consuming that much sugar or carbs. I was eating the "natural" sugars through fruit, but not many added sugars besides the few treats here and there at birthday parties and such. However, here's the deal...we are not all created equal. I can eat the same amount of sugar as you and my body doesn't use it well. And it's not fair, but it's the truth. I had to make some serious changes. The first step was a sugar detox.
I was banned from ALL forms of sugar for 30 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was tough. But, it was mind blowing at the same time. The person who thought she wasn't consumed by sugar was now realizing how many apples and other fruits she used as treats. :) I also avoided alcohol for 30 days as well. I was SUPER strict...meaning no lactose (the sugar found in dairy), no fructose (the natural sugars found in fruits) and no grains. Metabolically, below the neck our body uses grains and sugar in the exact same way. This is why during our challenges we ask our clients to cut as many grains as possible (especially gluten). This is also why diabetics have to try and maintain a very low carb diet, which most do not. They rely on medicine to keep their numbers in check. I refuse to end up there. It will not happen if I have a say in it.
Now, this picture below should have opened my eyes up to what I needed to do to lose weight. I did Maggie's "Heal Your Gut" challenge almost a year ago and these were the results that I had. We focused on three main inflammatory foods; dairy, grains & sugar. This is what happened to my body in just TWO weeks. I lost 4lbs during the two weeks, but SEEING is believing in this picture. Look at how puffy and inflamed I was? It truly blows my mind.
As far as results go since my doctor's report...I am down 10lbs!!! YAY. The 10lbs that have haunted me for almost two years are long gone. I was actually down 12lbs at one point. But, since my hard core 30 days is over I have re-introduced some fruits here and there and I'm feeling good. I know that I have to limit them, but sometimes its hard to let those little suckers go as the kids chomp on them. :)
What's next is challenging some of you to a food detox!!! Do you feel like inflammation and puffiness is weighing you down????? If so you should join the next food detox which begins for my group on July 1st. We are going to do a lot of planning and prep before then. This will be a hard core 21 days before summer is over. It will be tough. It will maintain some SERIOUS changes in your household and flexibility of your family. It was tough for my husband at first. I have excellent willpower. Some others do not. So while the kids had an extra side of wild rice on their plate at night I abstained. It was not hard for me. But, others may cave if they have the bad stuff in the home. I have a ton of meal plan ideas to get you started. I pretty much have a rotation of meals that we use regularly. You get to choose which ones are your favorites. Many kid friendly ones as well.
Email me at Haley.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!!!!!! I would love to share this mind blowing experience with you!