Eating Healthy does NOT = Diet. <3

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Diet is a 4-Letter Word.

I love to talk with people.  I love seeing where they are at, getting different viewpoints on things.  When I listen well, I notice certain common themes.  Lately, I’ve been noticing a common theme among certain people when they talk about eating healthy.  The observations have been very interesting to me.

To hear some people discussing eating healthy, it doesn’t sound good.  Nope.  Not good at all.  They describe eating healthy overall like it’s a diet.  Now that’s a slippery slope right there.  Diet is a 4-letter word to most people.  When you hear the word “diet”, what do you instantly think of?  What do you think most people think of?  To hear them talk about diet, this is the gist of what I hear.

They think diet means temporary.  Diet means something you’re going to “try” for awhile and see “how it goes.”  Diet means, “uh-oh,” “something I’m not going to like, but it’s good for me”, and I just need to “buck myself up” and “force myself” to “get through it.”  I mean, I can go on, but why don’t we just start with these?

If I were describing a new product I had just found, and I described it like that above, how many of you would take me up on it?  Not many.  I don’t know if I would even try it.  It sounds hard, unappealing, and something to the possible equivalent of self torture or like you need to spank yourself.  I mean, WOW.  I mean, we all need to grow up sometimes, and do adult like things, like pay bills.  How much fun is paying bills really?  Or taking out the garbage.  Again, it’s just something you gotta do, not much fun, but necessary.  But to say that eating healthy is like that or possibly worse is just wrong.  Can you say, at the very least, you are setting yourself up to fail?  And in reality, it just couldn’t be further than the truth.  That’s the sad part for me.  It’s all a big lie in your mind to describe it like this.

Let me tell you what eating healthy is to me.  It’s fun.  I enjoy it.  I enjoy it better than any junk food, any fast food restaurant, any other glamorous restaurant I have ever been to.  Eating healthy is a lifestyle. It’s permanent.  I love it.  I REALLY, REALLY do.  I don’t count calories.  I don’t add up fat or carbs for the day.  I eat what I want, usually when I want it.  I have the most delicious things imaginable.  I eat fat.  Lots of it.  I have sugar.  I have butter and cheese and real salt, and potatoes and steak and desserts and especially chocolate, and all those other things you’re not “supposed” to have.  And I don’t eat anything I don’t want to.  I don’t eat any crappy diet foods.  When I have a craving, I answer it.  And I do all of this without having a weight issue.  I don’t get up the next morning and wonder what the scale is going to say.  I’m not worried about the scale at all.  And I’m not just saying that.  You can come to my house and see if you want.  Just make an appointment so I don’t get up and like call the cops because some weird person is stalking me in my front yard all because they didn’t let me know they were coming.  ;D

I just feel so sad to hear that people out there are referring to eating healthy like it is a hard diet to follow.  Or hear that they can’t make their spouses or their kids get on board.  When I hear those things, I just feel sad for them.  It’s just a lack of what eating healthy is.  And who could blame you when there is so much wrong information out there and lots of propaganda, (yes, that is a strong word, and that’s exactly what it is too,) teaching a message that is all lies?

This is all good news, people.  Eating healthy is not hard.  But I know it is made out to be.  And for that, even though it is not my fault, I apologize.

See, if eating healthy isn’t easier and better tasting than fast food, how are you going to change?  And why would you?  So many people would rather die a few years earlier and actually enjoy those years than live longer and it be miserable.  Maybe you have such amazing discipline that even if eating healthier wasn’t easier and better tasting, that you would stick with it anyway.  But what about your spouse?  Your kid?  Your best friend?  Maybe they don’t.

Everyone has different tastes.  My husby is a dessert person so he has a huge sweet tooth.  I, on the other hand, I am a salty and soda person.  So I went on a search according to our likes.  I can’t ask my husby to stop being a dessert person.  Let’s be realistic.  That’s not gonna happen.  And I’m not going to stop like salty things and sodas.  Why do I want to give that up?  I really don’t.  But none of these things are roadblocks to eating healthy.  In fact, I use these things to my advantage.

A diet would require, in most cases, for you to forget these parts of yourself, to deny them, and to forgo these parts of you.  But truly eating healthy utilizes these things about yourself.  That is what is SO awesome about truly eating healthy.  These parts of you don’t just stay, they start to shine like the wonderful things they are.  I don’t feel guilty for loving salty things and sodas.  And my husby doesn’t feel guilty when his sweet tooth peeks out for some sunshine.

The real thing that needs to change is how you THINK in your mind about what eating healthy really means.  Once you open yourself to the real possibilities of what eating healthy can be to you and your family, that’s when things start to change.  And they won’t change overnight, but I promise you the adventure will be MOST enjoyable.  <3

Conquering Roadblocks: A Recent Betrayal <3

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Some of you are probably wondering what was going on in my life after my little interruption a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to take some time to process it before I shared more and while I am still processing it to a degree, I think I have a lot of the major stuff out of the way and am here to share a bit.

I ended up getting a surprise letter from my mother in the mail.  Basically, it was a “Dear John” letter of nature.  It was a letter ending our relationship.  It wasn’t long, but the main points about it consisted of telling me that working on a relationship between us was too hard for her, stating that she would not ever know me or my child, that I was to “Take care,” and when she signed it, instead of it being signed by “Mom,” it was signed by her first name.  So with all of that, it felt very final.

Now I’m not here to vent or rant about this whole story.  I’m not here to dish out all the details of what led up to this.  I have close friends where I can and do discuss this with.  I don’t feel a need to trash my mother in any type of forum.  What I would like to do is share stuff related to me, not her.  Things that I think would be relevant and helpful to others.

This letter surprised me, as my last formal communication to my mother was to reach out to her about what kind of relationship I would love to have with her and an open invitation to work on that together.  I laid out what I believed a healthy relationship to consist of, which, to me, is good communication, boundaries, getting to know each other better, accountability, lots of grace for each other, and working hard on our own selves at not taking offense easily.  I told her how I believed that miscommunication and misunderstandings are some of the top things that kill relationships.  I told her my heart towards her, which is totally for her 100%, and how great my desire was to get to know her better and for her to know me better.  I also asked to know her response to my email, and that if anything that I wrote was troubling to her in any way, that I hoped we could discuss why, hear each other out, and work together to find some way to work through it that would be acceptable and safe for both of us.

For a year, I heard no response back.  Then out of the blue, I get this response from her in the mail.  And for me, that was ouch. It felt like she had died.  It felt like I was being betrayed.  Hopefully this is not a trigger for anyone, but at the most, it felt like I was being aborted, but not sight unseen, but after she had a chance to get to know me for 30+ years, and then saying, um, no.  At the least, it felt like I was being dropped off at an orphanage.  It stung.  It hurt.  And I felt like she was willingly giving up on me and a relationship together for no substantial reason.

Now stopping right there – can you relate to that in some way?  We all are going to experience a betrayal in our lives.  It may not be your mother, but it doesn’t matter who sometimes.  Betrayal is betrayal.  Being given up on is abandonment.  Someone saying you’re not worth working things out for – it’s going to hurt, no matter who it is.

And when you experience that, what are you going to do?  How do you pick up the pieces?  Where do you go from there?  Or do you not go on from there and instead let that halt you forever?  What do you do?

I’m not here to judge anyone else in what they have gone through.  I’m not even here to judge my mother.  You know what I am concerned about?  Me.  And that might sound self-centered, if you just stopped listening right there, but I’m righteously concerned about me.

See, I can’t control what others do to me.  Boundaries can help somewhat, but unless I become controlling and manipulative or become a hermit, I can’t control 100% what people do to me.  If I am going to be in any relationships at all, if I open myself to the possibility of love, I am also opening up myself to the possibility of being hurt as well.  To me, it is useless to focus on trying to control others 100% since that is impossible.  It cannot be done.  What I CAN do, however, is control me.

Some responses I will have to something like this happening are automatic.  But some responses will not be.  Some of those responses, and especially my choices of how to react and respond, I get to decide how that part of the story goes.  So instead of wasting a lot of time about others, I take all my extra energy and focus and I look at me.

I can choose to become a victor or a victim at this point.  I can choose to forgive or be bitter.  I can choose to let my worth be affected permanently by this or to be affected permanently by something much more stable.  All in all, where I go from here is totally up to me.  And I take that responsibility very seriously.

As for me, I refuse to be a victim for the rest of my life.  That’s not what I want my identity to be about when people look at my days on this side of eternity.  This is not the only heartache I have experienced in my life.  People have given up on experiencing much less.  But I am wanting a certain story, if you will, with my life on this side of eternity.  And I want a good story.  And I don’t want my story to be that I gave up, that I compromised, that I stayed a victim, that I became bitter, that I let other people or circumstances be the excuse that stopped me from my overcoming, from my “Cinderella” story, if you will.

Now I can “say” this all I want.  Actually walking this out is a whole different story.  You know what I’m talking about.  People who “say” they are “fine” when they clearly are not.  I don’t want that either.  I am willing to do whatever I have to do in order to forgive, to let go, to heal, and yes, ultimately, to bless those people who, whether intentionally or unintentionally, end up cursing my life and who hurt and attack me.

Do you see how I am saying that I am making this about me in a righteous way?  This is not about what people have or have not done to me.  This is about me and which path I am going to choose to be on.  And you can say that I am making this too simple.  You can claim that this is just pretty writing and that I am not really living this out.  And for any who would say that, I’m sorry you feel that way.  This is not about you either.  This not about proving to anyone that I am doing well.  This is about my journey, whether others see it rightly or not.  There simply isn’t anything to prove to anyone.  If you don’t believe it, if you are offended, or fill in the blank with something else entirely, I am sorry you feel that way.  And I leave it at that.

I have a feeling this post may get a lot of responses.  We all have toxic people in our lives.  We all experience betrayal.  We all need to learn more about boundaries.  We all need to learn more about how to grow and develop our relationships.  We all need to learn more about what to do about people who seem to create drama in our lives or who try to control and manipulate us and upset our peace.  We all need to learn more about how to heal and to forgive, how to let go and honestly move forward.  We all need to learn more about how to vent and process our feelings in a righteous way and not attack others with those feelings while doing that.  These are desperately needed life skills that are seldom learned and seldom taught, and in the rare case they are taught, they usually are not taught relevantly and practically, and because of that, are not passed on from generation to generation.

What I have learned in this area has taken hard study and initiation and seeking out Wisdom from multiple areas and trying to put all the pieces together and then turning that into practical steps to walk out daily.  But I LOVE this.  I LOVE what going in this direction has been and continues to bring into my life.  I LOVE who I am, and who I am becoming.  I LOVE the direction I am going at in my life.  I LOVE that I am ensuring that I will not end up on my death bed with a pile of regrets.  I LOVE the peace and the joy that keeps increasing in my life through this.  It has been worth every hard step I have taken.  I am experiencing the reaping of benefits already.  I am sad that previous generations did not pave the way better or make this easier to walk, but that just makes me more eager to help pave the way for the next generation, so it will be easier for them.  I LOVE that in that sense, I am a pioneer for my generation and upcoming ones.  What I do and live out every day is simple, and yet, we have forgotten the simple, the foundational things, the basic steps of common sense and truth in a lot of areas. I am loving my story as it is being created.

So please, send me your responses.  Send me your questions.  Send me the topics you would like written about and shared about this and relating topics.  I do not claim to know everything.  But I am happy to help others in this area and to do what I can to bless you and speed up your journey in this.  Every time I post about toxic people, boundaries, etc., so many people chime in either through email, comments on the blog, or comments on my facebook page.  So I know there are others out there who are hungry to learn more about this and how to incorporate this more practically in their life.

If I can forgive and overcome a betrayal like this, and I am just a regular person, then I believe, if you want it, so can you.  It may not happen overnight, but it can surely happen.  I am not simply saying, “Get over it.”  That’s not practical, that doesn’t work.  It’s a process to heal, to forgive, to let go.  It’s not possible to just simply say, “Get over it.”  But it IS possible to start and go through a process, that is usually very individual, and to be able to overcome what you have experienced.  Many hugs to you all out there that have experienced betrayal, rejection, hurt, abuse, neglect, or just simply toxic people.  The good news is they don’t have to take control of and run the rest of your life.  You can take your life back and have the life you have always dreamed of.  It just depends on how bad you want it.  <3

Ghee: A wonder health food. And possible mood lifter?

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My daughter is 13 months and has always been very even tempered.  Although there has been two times in her short life when she was short tempered for no apparent reason.  Yesterday was that second time.

I tried everything I usually do:  Rescue Remedy, Frankincense EO, Homeopathic teething remedies, etc.  And nothing worked.  She wasn’t overtired either.

As I sat and thought about it, I realized that we did something different that morning.  We had to run out the door quickly, and she didn’t get a part of her usual breakfast.  One thing I do is we make homemade bone broth from scratch and I put ghee in it for her.  I realized yesterday that she did not get that and that the very last time we were in a rush and she did not get ghee, we had the same thing happen, where she got very short tempered for no reason.

So I promptly went over and got a spoonful of ghee and gave it to her.  Almost instantly she calmed down and became her normal usual self again.  It was quite amazing.

You may be saying, wow, what a nice story this is.  But what in the world is ghee?  Ghee is simply clarified butter.  It’s real butter that has been heated and they skim off the watery layer as well as all the milk solids that separate from it.  What is left is ghee.  What makes ghee nice is that because the milk solids are separated, even people who have lactose intolerance usually have no issues with ghee.

Ghee is extremely rich in antioxidants.  It doesn’t need refrigeration, which is nice.  It has an incredible flavor.  Ghee can usually be found in your health food store, sometimes from a farmer’s market, and you can always make your own.  It’s really easy.

Ghee is known for a lot of health benefits.  According to the Bhavaprakasha 6.18.1, an ancient 16th Century Ayurvedic text, “Ghee is sweet in taste and cooling in energy, rejuvenating, good for the eyes and vision, kindles digestion, bestows luster and beauty, enhances memory and stamina, increases intellect, promotes longevity, is an aphrodisiac and protects the body from various diseases.”

Ghee is known to reduce inflammation, benefit nerve tissue, the brain, memory function, eye issues, is touted to help in detoxing the body, lubricate the joints, and even help with weight loss.  The rich fat it offers makes it ideal to eat during pregnancy and as an early food for young children where the brain is still highly in development.

Now, I already knew all of that.  But it still does not explain why it benefits my daughter’s temperament so much.  But I can tell you one thing, she’ll be getting that ghee everyday from now on, no matter what.  I can see the pattern of the difference it makes when she takes it as well as when she doesn’t.  I did not know about the health benefits of ghee during my pregnancy, but you can be sure that next time, I’ll be making it a huge staple as soon as I get that positive test. <3

Want to see more?  Check out my facebook page<3

Toxic People: Don’t feel bad for letting them go.

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I put a lot of my own quotes and thoughts up on my facebook page for the Black Sheep Princess.  One of the topic areas that seem to be the most popular is when I put up statuses about toxic people.  I take that to mean we all have toxic people in our life.  What seems to be the most difficult to get a handle on is how to deal with these people in our lives.  And wow, that is a weighty topic indeed.

I think toxic people come in all shapes and sizes.  They can range from mild, medium, and extra severely toxic.  Thing is, we all know them.  Those people that just seem to create drama wherever they are.  Those that seem to have a negativity around them ALL the time.  Whatever shape or size your toxic person is, what is usually in common is that even though you may dearly love this person, you just don’t feel good when you’ve spent time in their presence.  And how sad is that?  And I’m not talking about you, but them.  I mean, you were only in their presence for a short time.  They have no escape.  At least, no escape they are interested in taking.

I’d like to get more in depth on this topic in the future, but I wanted to limit this post to this truth:  Don’t feel bad or guilty for getting away from toxic people.  And that goes for toxic people who are family too.

Everyone has crap that happens in their life.  We’ve all had to face some type of negative circumstances, abuse, neglect, and those things that life just throws our way.  Toxic people just have never decided to turn their lemons into lemonade.  And you know what?  That is totally their choice to make.  100% hands down their choice to make.  It’s their life and they can do what they want with it.  To tell your toxic person that they can’t make that choice is just you deciding to become manipulative and controlling yourself.  So don’t go there.  It’s their life.  Let them do what they choose to do with it.  It’s not any of our business.

But you know what IS your business?  What you do with YOUR life.  And you get the same freedom to make your own decisions and choices.  So may I humbly suggest that you utilize that freedom and get away from toxic people.  When people decide to take a toxic path, you don’t have to stand right next to them and witness every second of it.  You have every right to respect their choice and make your own choice and take your life on a different path.

It is totally okay for you to set boundaries for your life, to set limits on your influences, and for you to make choices about your values and to run after those things.  If people around you, yes, even family, are so toxic, that being around them is going to deter you from living your life, having your values, and going after your dreams, then by all means, set boundaries and limit your time around these people.

Well, it’s family, you say.  So what?  When does being family give someone a right to treat you in such a way?  I say because people are family, the standards should be set higher.  If you’re family, you should be getting better treatment than the general public.  At the very least, family should have enough respect to agree to disagree and recognize that every member of the family is entitled to the privilege and basic human right of choosing their own path in life.

All in all, you can’t control what other people do, and it’s not your job to fix other people or judge their choices.  But you have 100% say about you.  You have authority over you.  You answer for you.  So don’t worry about other people, even toxic people.  If, in order to reach your destination, you have to let go of those who are headed for a different destination, then so be it.  Let them go.  It’s OK.  You’re not bad or being mean.  Take lead of your life and sail where your heart tells you.  Reaching the destination that you are called to is something you surely won’t regret.  <3

Habits = Automatic. COOL.

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The hard must become habit.
The habit must become easy.
The easy must become beautiful.
~Doug Henning

I am all about making excellence a habit.  If we make it a habit, then we do not have to think about it anymore, it will become automatic.  We need excellence to be automatic and easy.

It takes only a little bit of work to make something a habit.  Only about a month’s worth of time, if that.  A little work of sowing something, and you reap a LIFETIME of benefits from it.  Once it becomes a habit, it is then automatic, and you don’t have to work hard at remembering anymore to do it, it has become a new normal.

My favorite habit is telling people throughout the day how I love and feel about them and what a difference they are making in my life.  I made that automatic so that I will never regret not telling people throughout their lives how I feel.  I will never have that day on their funeral and say to myself, I never told them such and such.  It will never haunt me because I made that a habit, I made it automatic, I made it normal.

What would you like to have automatic in your life?  Try making a list of one thing a month and at the end of the year, you will have twelve things that are now GOOD habits, that are EASY, that are AUTOMATIC, and you don’t need to have extra mental energy to make them happen.  Being a mother, a wife, and my own person, and all the different hats I juggle, anything being easier is awesome!!!  Habits are a gift to myself.

What is your favorite habit?  <3

Poll: What prizes would you most like to see for BSP giveaways?

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It’s Super Tuesday!  Time to place your vote.  Giveaways are in the process of being started for the BSP community.  What would you most like to receive?  Your votes will help shape these giveaways.  If you don’t like any of these answers, feel free to write in your own.  You can vote once per day.  <3

The HCG diet: My Personal Story – Part Two – When Counting Calories Fails

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So there I was in late 2006, having come from a size 0 to where now a size 18 wouldn’t even fit, I have fired all of my doctors because I have had it with them, for this is where they led me to, and I felt near death.  And that’s not an exaggeration.  I felt near death.

Some days, I would take a breath and say thanks to God.  Then take another painful breath and say thanks again.  And that was my great accomplishment for the day.  Breathing and being grateful for each one I was able to take, even in the midst of suffering.  You can say, oh wow, that’s pretty awesome to be able to do that.  Actually, it was a survival mechanism.  I felt I could either choose to be grateful and lean on God, OR, I could give in to the massive depression and just spiral downward, possibly never to return.  As hard as it all was, I just could not let this set of circumstances become my permanent story.  I could not finish this side of eternity and be okay with giving up and settling for this place.  I just couldn’t.

On the days breathing wasn’t such a chore, and I could at least sit up in a recliner, I would pull out my laptop and just started researching my symptoms and all I could find about weight loss.  I was in a unique situation where I had a weight issue that wasn’t caused by wrong portion control, lack of proper exercise, or years of wrongful eating.  In addition, I felt ashamed to have all that weight on.  That shame was the least of my current problems, but it was there.  I just felt like I wasn’t me anymore, that I was in a disguise, and completely unable to be who I really was.  It surprised me to realize how physically expressive I was as a person, and not being able to do things, like dance, was just heartbreaking.  Not to mention that I had difficulty doing much simpler things and was house-bound for the most part.

So I started at the beginning.  I changed my diet.  I got better nutrition.  I tried all different types of portion sizes.  I counted calories.  I tried the “Atkins diet” where it is no carbs and high fat.  I tried low fat.  I tried no fat.  I tried being a vegetarian.  I tried juicing.  I tried eating styles of different kinds from all over the world.  I tried eating a very limited diet.  I tried eating a varied diet.  I tried the “Rice diet.”  I switched to all organic foods.  I eliminated all processed foods.  I eliminated all sugar and all artificial sugar substitutes.  I eliminated all kinds of sodas, both regular and diet.

I tried exercising out the WAZOO.  I tried multiple kinds of exercise. I tried walking.  I tried jogging/running.  I tried weights.  I tried joining different gyms.  I tried home gyms.  I tried traditional calisthenics.  I tried yoga.  I tried Pilates.  I tried what little dance I could do.  I tried “Zumba.”  I tried swimming.  I tried water aerobics.  I tried breathing exercises.  I tried workout DVD’s of all kinds.  I tried every exercise/weight loss infomercial I could find.  Whatever I could find, I tried.

I even did extreme types of fasting, detoxing, and cleanses.  I did colon cleanses.  I did candida cleanses.  I did the “Master Cleanse.”  I tried juice fasting.  I tried the “Daniel fast.”  I did several kinds of detoxing shakes.  I checked and fixed my body’s pH level and brought it out of a very acidic state.  I even did pure water fasting for several weeks in a row.  (Yes, really.  I have witnesses.)

I tried all the special diet teas, like “Wu-long.”  Tried all the diet pills.  Tried all the diet herbs.  Even some kind of diet weight loss patch.  I restored my adrenals and thyroid.  I tried healing my hormones.  I tried increasing my metabolism.  I tried dealing with cortisol issues.  I started on flower remedies.  I dd counseling.  I went through programs to heal my emotions.  I did forgiveness and healing of past issues.  I gave a ton of stuff away.  I let go of everything I could think of, went down every known avenue possible.  I was healing myself in every way I could think of:  physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

You want to know where all this got me?  NOWHERE.  Here I was, thinking that I could discipline myself out of this, that if I was just persistent enough, strict enough, dedicated enough, that, although it might take some serious discipline and time, that I could just “buck up” and slowly, but albeit SURELY, get this weight down.

While that works in some situations, as you can see if you watch shows like the “Biggest Loser,” I honestly learned the hard way that it was possible to, not only be in a situation where the weight problem was not caused by you, but also that it was entirely possible that you could have a weight problem that could NOT be corrected through diet, exercise, detoxing, fixing the hormones, body pH, and mere dedication and discipline alone.

Let me say this:  Most cases of overweight issues ARE caused by bad diet, poor exercise, high rate of toxicity, hormones and body pH that are off, and can be fixed by adjusting these things.  But that was not to be my story.

At this point, I was devastated.  Again, I was faced with the choice to accept my fate and to give up.  You have no idea how many people told me at this point how I didn’t look bad, that I didn’t need to lose weight, that this was just a part of getting older, that I should stop fighting and accept it, and that it really wasn’t that bad of a situation, and even saying how great I did look, and that I should be happy with this current reality.  Now, I know a lot of them meant good.  I know a lot of those who said that honestly cared about me.  I also know that there was no worse thing they could have said to me.

Even though they meant well, all they were saying to me was to compromise.  And if you know me, there is no worse thing than unrighteous compromise.  I felt near death.  That was NOT okay.  I could not accept this new reality as permanent.  I could not say that person in the mirror was me.  I was literally a prisoner in my body.  A slave to whatever it was that had happened.  There was NO WAY I was going to stay a prisoner or a slave.  I absolutely was resolved that I was not coming into agreement and making peace with these circumstances.  This is when I changed from being sad about what had happened to being angry.  Today, I thank these people who suggested compromise, cause it fired a new passion within me that I would never settle for this being my reality for the rest of my days.

So what do you do when the mainsteam paths do not work?  What do you do when counting calories fails?  Conventional wisdom said that if I did these things, if I worked hard enough, was disciplined enough, that the weight would come off.  Um, it didn’t.  ……….  awkward pause  ……….  Where to now?  ……….  ??!!??!!??

All I knew at the time was that something strange was going on.  There was apparently a lot I did not know.  This was a deep mystery, and I needed to find out what it was all about.  The only thing I DID know was that I absolutely, positively, was NOT going to compromise OR give up.  <3

♥ Check out my facebook page:  www.facebook.com/BlackSheepPrincess  <3

The HCG diet: My Personal Story – Part One – From size 0 to size 18+

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I’m a weird mix of being extremely social and extremely private.  I definitely need both and I absolutely love to be very open and real to those I have a chance to get to know and can see in person.  I have some marvel at how very honest and real I can be under those circumstances – where really no question or topic is too personal for me.  On the internet, facebook, or any area/circumstance where I have less control over who sees what and when, I am much more highly selective about what I share and fight the tendency to be anxious over what goes public.  All this to say that telling even part of my personal story here is a big deal for me.  I know the more I open up and make myself vulnerable in a righteous way, the easier it will get.  And that is a much bigger part of my personality, a habit I have created of facing my fears.  <3

My HCG story begins about 9 years before I ever took a drop of the HCG itself.  I became disabled in late 2001, just days after the towers fell.  I went from being a young agile dancer to a situation where I suddenly couldn’t stand, couldn’t walk, could no longer work, I couldn’t take care of myself, my entire life just flipped upside down at the mere age of 23 years old.  Not knowing any better, I went the conventional medical route of things.  I trusted the doctors and the traditional medical community that they knew what they were doing.  Several years later, I ended up with a literal suitcase of medications that I took daily, and a whole bunch more physical conditions than when I started.  I was also severely underweight due to the side effects of some of the meds I was on.  To give you a picture of that, I was 5’7″, only 93 pounds, and size 0 was a bit big.  I looked like a cancer patient.  You could see my ribs.  I had so little fat on me that I had to bring a pillow with me to sit on everywhere I went because of the pain sitting down in most places with no natural cushioning.

In 2006, I went to the emergency room and was given a large dose of IV steroids.  The amount that I had consented to was not followed, as I personally felt cautious about large doses of steroids.  They assured me it was only going to be a certain amount.  I found out later it was hundreds of times above that.

In the next four to six weeks that followed, I went from a size 0 to not being able to fit in a size 18.  I got stretch marks.  The weight was not even over my whole body.  My abdomen was one size, my hips another, my thighs another, and not even close together in sizes.  My face ballooned up too.  I had no idea what was going on.  It felt like it literally happened overnight.  I suddenly could not go anywhere much.  For one thing, I could not find any clothes that fit besides guy sweatpants.  You can’t go too many places in male sweatpants.  Size 18 would not fit at all and if I went up to the plus sizes, they would literally fall off to the ground.  In addition, I am very tiny boned and also have fibromyalgia.  The extra weight appearing all of a sudden was excruciating.  Everything hurt.  I would climb stairs like an old person, not sure if I could get all the way up, you know, like FIVE of them.  I had to use wheelchairs and those motorized carts if I dared to venture out of the house.  It was a nightmare.

I had never had a weight issue before.  I didn’t know what to do. But it was at this point in my life that I fired my medical doctors, every last one of them.  It was more than just a bad situation.  The pain, being home-bound, the depression, and feeling powerless to change any of it – it was one of the darkest times of my life.  I seriously for first time saw how bad extra weight could be.

Not knowing what it was like to be overweight, I had always assumed that the hardest part was looking in the mirror and self-image.  Boy, was I wrong.  Not that the self-image part isn’t hard, it IS.  But now when I see someone overweight, I see the physical pain they are in. It was greater than I could have ever imagined.  In fact, if I hadn’t gone through it myself, I would have thought people were greatly over-exaggerating, using it as an excuse to be lazy, and just out to get sympathy.

Most people get overweight gradually, over a period of time, usually years.  Since mine happened virtually overnight, I got to see the comparison in a whole new way.  I got to see how debilitating and painful it was.  How much of my daily life and movement I lost.  How even tiny things like sitting/laying down, bathing, brushing your teeth, even taking a breath, how all of that was so much more difficult and PAINFUL.  I had no idea at this point that being able to see this was going to be a gift.

Most people gain weight over such a long period of time, they are unaware of what they have lost.  They look in the mirror each day and don’t really notice the change they are undergoing.  The pain and interference of what they can do in their daily lives is so gradual and minute, it slowly becomes accepted and slips by nearly unnoticed.  To sum it up, it becomes a new normal for them.  Because my weight came on so quickly, I was able to see exactly what I had lost.  My life became a plethora of darkness and immense suffering.  I did not recognize this person in the mirror before me.  My physical body was groaning and sizzling with pain in every pore and every joint from the sheer extra weight.  My emotional self was in absolute shock and frozen in trauma.  I felt like I was suffocating in every conceivable way possible.  Every breath, every step, every second was a strained effort, birthed in agony, and swaddled in a heavy blanket of despair.

At this point, I had no idea what had happened, I did not know what I needed to do to fix it, and I was so overwhelmed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, that I honestly did not know how I was going to make it through each day.  All I knew was that I had two choices.  One, I could accept this and give up.  Or two, I could FIGHT.

I didn’t know where I was going to get the strength to fight, especially when I did not have the strength to even cry.  Very simply, there was absolutely no way that I was accepting this new image in the mirror.  I was never EVER going to make my peace with this new level of pain, with this new lack of physical ability, no way I was ever going to say that stranger in the mirror was me.  All I knew was that somehow, some way, if it took years or decades, I was going to get this figured out, God help me.  <3

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The HCG diet: What is it?

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What is the HCG Diet?

This is the first post in a series about the HCG diet.  I get a lot of questions about what the HCG diet is, as it has been a wonderful companion to me on my journey of health and weight loss.  The HCG diet is definitely controversial, but then, so are things like breastfeeding and eating healthy.  Being controversial doesn’t really mean anything these days.   :)

First of all, I am not a doctor, this is not health advice, I am not advising anyone that this is the right thing for them.  This is about me and what my journey has been like.  Period.  Always get informed, make your own decisions.  It’s your life, own it.

The HCG diet is a unique way to lose weight.  It was originally developed by Dr. A. T. W. Simeons over 50 years ago and was actually discovered completely by accident.  In other words, he wasn’t trying to find a way to lose weight to then make money off of it. That makes me feel better, lol.

HCG is actually a hormone that is created by the placenta during pregnancy.  What Dr. Simeons discovered is that the HCG hormone has a special ability to take stored and reserved fat in the body and turn it into usable calories to fuel the body, all the while at the same time protecting lean muscle in the body.  In order to trigger this process into happening, one must eat a specific and low calorie diet.

One of the common misconceptions about the HCG diet is that what is really making you lose weight is just the low calorie diet.  When people say this, I honestly laugh.  Have you ever tried to do that before?  Cause I have.  I have done extended fasting.  If you do low calorie diets alone, without the HCG, you don’t lose weight very fast at all.  The body enters into “starvation mode” and tries to hold onto all the fat it can, since it does not know how long the low calorie diet will be.  (The body is super smart.)  During low calorie diets alone, you also tend to lose lean muscle quickly, you get tired, cranky, your cravings for food go up, you’re extremely hungry, and all in all, you’re just not doing too well.  Any weight you lose, it is definitely NOT coming from your reserve fat stores, and you’re probably going to put back on real fast.  Low calorie diets alone are just not effective for losing mass amounts of weight, much less the right kind of weight loss, where it comes from reserved stores of fat on your body.

On the other hand, when you add HCG to a specific low calorie diet, your lean muscle is protected, you’re not hungry, you’re not cranky, you’re not tired, you lose weight, and you’re not starving yourself.  How can this be?  Because the HCG is there to trigger your body into releasing a flood of calories from your reserved fat cells, so you’re actually getting a lot more calories than what you are eating.  I’ve read statistics that show that your body can pull up around 2000 calories out of your fat daily while on the HCG diet and release them to you for fuel.  So say you’re eating a low calorie diet of 500 calories a day on the HCG diet.  With the fat being released, to your body, depending on what actually does end up getting released, it’s more like you’re eating 2500 calories instead.  Once you get past the first couple of days and the body really has flipped the switch into getting calories from your fat, it personally was pretty easy for me from there.  In fact, many days, I was so not hungry, that I would have to force myself to eat what my low calorie diet was.  Yes, really.  Not joking there.

So how fast can you expect to lose weight?  Well, everyone is different.  But the average is around a pound a day.  Yes, really.  I just said a pound a day.  You’re going to have to reprogram your mind to look at this differently than any other way you may have lost weight before.  I know the old programming says that if you lose weight too fast, that’s bad, and you won’t keep it off.  In some ways, that is true and some ways that isn’t.

Everyone puts on weight for different reasons.  For me, my issue was not a portion control issue, eating the wrong foods issue, nor was it an exercise issue.  In fact, my weight issue was not my fault.  Yes, really.  I’m one of the few who can actually say that.  (I’ll get more into my story on a later post, but it was caused by a doctor/hospital error.)  But of those people that I have interviewed, they said this really corrected not only their weight problem, but also helped them cure their problems with portion control, choosing/craving the wrong foods, as well as not wanting to exercise like they should.  When the HCG diet helps to correct the root problem of why you’ve had weight issues, then it doesn’t matter if you lose a pound a day.  By correcting the root issue of your weight problem, you’ve highly increased your chances of the weight staying off and not coming back.  If you think that you can do the HCG diet and not really correct the issue that is causing your weight problems, if you think you can lose the weight and go back to eating whatever junk you want while you spend all your time in front of the computer, then you’re wrong.  It will all come back.  On the other hand, in order to keep it off, you don’t have to keep taking the HCG for the rest of your life, you don’t have to eat perfectly or low calorie afterwards, and you don’t have to exercise all day like a hamster on a wheel.  You just have to be reasonable and have some balance.  :)

This is just a quick overview of what the HCG diet is and a little bit on how it works.  Please stay tuned for more posts, as we get a more in-depth look at this diet and answer more of your questions.  If you have a specific question about the HCG diet, please email that to me:  BlackSheepPrincess@gmail.com.  Or you can post it to my facebook wall.  You may just see the answer to your question in an upcoming post!  Likewise, if you have had success in this diet and would like to be interviewed and share your story, contact me and you may be featured in an upcoming post.  If there are other topics you want to hear about, please let me know that as well.  I want to write about stuff that is relevant to you and your journey.  I can do that better if you send me some feedback and let me know what you want to see here on the BSP.  <3

Conquering Roadblocks: I’ve always wanted to try alternative or natural health remedies. How do I get started? There’s so much to choose from!

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Alternative/Natural Remedies <3

I hear a lot of people say they don’t know where to start when it comes to alternative health remedies.  There’s homeopathics, essential oils, herbs, tinctures, teas, bath salts, health shakes, energy bars, and supplements galore!  They see people around them using them, but again, the problem is where do I start? There’s so much to choose from!  How do I know if it’s right for me?  And finally, I feel overwhelmed!

This is something that is going to be a personal journey unique to you.  You don’t have to learn everything there is to know about it.  And you don’t have to learn it all overnight.  But I’d like to help in this area too by giving you a good starting point to help you get your journey off to a great start.

What is something that you or someone in your family is suffering from?  I’m talking about a condition or symptoms.  Maybe you get headaches that makes you reach for ibuprofen or acetaminophen (tylenol) a lot.  Maybe you  have allergies and are dependent on pharmaceutical medication that sort of helps, sort of doesn’t.  Maybe you just want to know what you can take for the next cough, cold, or fever that doesn’t come from the drugstore.  Maybe you want to know what alternatively you can do for that ear or toothache, or for menstrual cramping and heavy bleeding.  Maybe you suffer from something a little bit more serious like nerve pain or asthma.  Maybe you have a more chronic type condition like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or even cancer.  Whatever it is, usually everybody or someone in their family has something or has a condition or symptoms that come up frequently, whether it is big or small, that they are passionate about solving naturally/alternatively.

Knowing this is the key to where to start for you on your journey.

Once you find something you want to solve for, start researching.  I do a lot of my research online.  You can ask for help at the health food store.  You can consult a naturopath, a nutritionist, your chiropractor, or a friend who has conquered that successfully in their family.  Go with your gut instincts.  If you feel led to go in a direction of research, even though you don’t know why, go there.  If you feel a check about something in your gut, listen to it.  There is no better expert on you and your family than you.  A long list of letters behind your name doesn’t make them a better expert than you.  I still consult experts and listen to what they have to say, but I make the final conclusion and decision.  I don’t hand over control of my health to someone else.

EarthClinic.com is a great place online to look up and research natural and alternative remedies. Bookmark them. I sure do. <3

I started my own journey with the symptoms that were bothering me the most.  I researched it online, I asked for help at the health food store, I interviewed those who had conquered it successfully.  For me, I didn’t just want to know the remedy I needed, I went further, understanding why it helped.  If I tried something that didn’t work, I found out why it did not work.  You may not feel led to go that deep, but there may be some who want to take real charge of their health, and that is the key to starting, is finding out why and why not.

This again may seem too simple, but you have to start somewhere.  Finding out how to treat that headache today, maybe a year from now, you’re totally comfortable with a small handful of homeopathic remedies and essential oils and you’ve been able to toss that pharmaceutical headache medicine in the trash.  GREAT!  You don’t know all the homeopathic remedies or have a ton of essential oils, but you know some.  And the ones you do have, are making a huge difference for you and your family.

It all starts somewhere.  Don’t be overwhelmed.  Don’t feel like you have to learn it all overnight.  Become an expert for what your family is going through.  Just start with something you’re curious about and want to fix TODAY.  If you get stuck, need some direction/advice, this community is always here to help.  Feel free to email me:  BlackSheepPrincess@gmail.com, you can post a comment here, or post to my facebook wall.  This is all about your journey.  Don’t be afraid to own it.  <3

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