Archive for June 14th, 2018

June 14, 2018

What Does My WEIGHT Have To Do With My HEART?

by healthybydesignblog
affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

So today, I got dressed and my pants are all baggy. Great right? I’ve recently lost 9 lbs in about a week, but don’t celebrate that. It’s because my heart is broken. I recently was cheated on by my husband, who I still happen to love very much. Yeah… so… right… How about I get all real and personal and raw right in the first paragraph? Now most of my life, aspects of stress and a broken heart have led to weight GAIN. This is the first time in my life a broken heart has been so devastating that it has resulted in weight LOSS.

You know, I didn’t sit down today and decide to write about this topic, but I’ve learned to write when inspiration hits and honestly, it seems to help me process my pain. I believe this is stuff the Lord wants me to share, so that while He’s setting me free, others can be set free as well. I am not going to delve into the pit of despair over my husband in THIS article. I’ve done that in another article,  and have a whole other blog devoted to the heart break of my marriage, which I may choose to share at a later date. It’s still too raw to put out there. So understand that I am not being flip about this, but this is a topic – how our heart fits into this diet thing – that I don’t think most of us who have struggled with our weight understand enough about. If we understand it at all.

Now, I do have a healthy weight loss story prior to this, but that’s not the main thing that I want to talk about. Please don’t get too distracted here. I just want you to see that I have struggled myself and might know a little bit about this topic of weight and of how our heart impacts it.

Tammy-ba-2018

So, as you can see from the first picture, I had a significant issue with my weight earlier. This has been something I struggled with most of my adult life, really noticeably starting with the “freshman 15” pounds that most college freshman gain from eating junk at college. I was heavier than I’d have liked in high school as well, but when I look at those pictures now, I think how I wish I had appreciated how thin and healthy I was then. I thought I was a total cow. If I could go back and tell my younger self a few things… well that’s part of why I’m writing this article.

Why Losing Weight Is More Than Counting Calories
& Exercising At The Gym

Jacqui McCoyFor a moment, I am going to depart from my own story, and share a friend’s story. The details of my own pain still need to be kept private for now. My friend’s story however, has already been made public, and I asked her permission to share it here. This friend was rather famous because she was featured on the tv show Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition. Her name is Jacqui McCoy. She lost over 200 lbs on the show. She was a young woman who desperately wanted to have a baby. However, she had been told that due to her PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my daughter also has this) which was supposedly caused by her obesity, she would not be able to conceive. The HOPE of being able to have a child is what fueled her determination to audition for the show. This was an incredible motivation for her to lose weight, but as she found out, it has to go even deeper than motivation to not only lose the weight. Once you lose the weight, motivation is not enough to KEEP IT OFF.

So back to the topic at hand. What had originally caused Jacqui to gain so much weight to begin with? If you see pictures of Jacqui growing up, she did not start out as an obese child. Her parents are not obese either. But around the age of 14 she began to gain a significant amount of weight. What changed? She had been at a friend’s party and had been raped! She never told anyone. The shame, the guilt, the trauma, the self-blame was more than she could bear. She could have turned to self harm and become a cutter. She could have just as easily become an alcoholic, a drug user, even a workaholic. She did what many people do who have experienced a trauma, she began to self-medicate. Her “drug of choice” was food. (So is mine. Especially chocolate and sugar.)

Thin = Happily Ever After?

Not quite. Losing the weight is one thing. KEEPING IT OFF is entirely another demon to wrestle. Why do we almost always gain the weight back? I have kept off the majority of my own weight loss for a period of about 6 years, except for when my father died and my marriage began to unravel. That was in 2016-2017. You can see my pics here. I was in tremendous pain, was experiencing heart break at so many different levels, was out of my routine, life had been turned upside down, and so… What did I do? I self-medicated with my favorite drug of choice. Food! Chocolate & Carbs. I got back on track and many of us do, but many of us fall off the wagon and simply give up.

So back to Jacqui’s story. Surely after being coached by the best personal trainers in the business and having such incredible support from the show, from family and friends…. surely she never, ever would fall back into unhealthy habits, right? Wrong.

Not long after the show was over, Jacqui gained back (if I’m not mistaken) about 80 of the 200 lbs she had lost, and it came back FAST! She knew how to count calories. She knew how to exercise. She had a tremendous reason to be motivated. But none of that kept the weight from coming back on. How many of us have experienced that absolute same thing? Here is a recent post from Jacqui’s facebook page:

Jacqui's post

Trauma & Heart Break: The Missing Piece

Do not wave this off as insignificant. Jacqui said something at a convention I attended. She was one of the featured speakers due to her recent “stardom” and weight loss story. She said you have to “love yourself thinner.” I attached a clip of her talk here, the first few minutes are a brief repeat of the show itself, and then she starts talking.  I was one of those applauding wildly for her, but the impact of that statement has sunk deeper and deeper in my understanding as life just kept throwing some hard stuff at me.

I work with people a lot on their “self talk” when they come to me wanting help losing weight. Most people, especially women, talk to themselves in such a manner they’d NEVER tolerate someone else doing to their best friend or to their children. But they do it to themselves. This is usually an indicator of much deeper issues.

You don’t have to have been cheated on or raped to have “heart issues” that impact your weight and overall health. Maybe you just felt unwanted as a child, that’s a pretty awful thing to have happened to you. Maybe your parents got divorced. Maybe one of your parents was an alcoholic. Maybe your father abandoned your family. See where I’m going with this? Maybe one of them was a great person, but was a workaholic. Maybe you were raised by a single mom, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around. Or on a lighter note, maybe you’ve just put everyone you love and their well-being ahead of your own for so long, that you don’t remember how to take care of yourself.

Learning How to Love Yourself
& Healing Your Heart/Trauma Is The Missing Piece!!!

Why do alcoholics keep drinking when their organs are shutting down and they KNOW they are drinking themselves to death? Why do heroine addicts keep putting that needle in their veins? Why does chocolate and sugar call my name – especially Nutella – if it’s in my house? Why can’t I leave it alone? You may think I’m crazy, but it’s the same reason I’ve stayed in a toxic relationship far too long. I not only did not value myself enough, and the TRAUMA in our hearts, whatever caused us to undervalue ourselves originally, is operating in our sub-conscious and DRIVING THE ADDICTION, in my case, and maybe yours, to food.

***** To over-simplify this, imagine that your jugular vein has been cut in your neck, but only a band-aid was placed to hide the cut while no surgery was done to heal the vein underneath.*****

We are all in various stages of understanding where we are now and why, and where we have come from. Most of us feel that we have no control over where we are going, and spend our lives reacting to whatever life throws at us. Many of us will give up trying to lose weight all together with reasons that sound sensible like, “Obesity runs in my family. There must be a ‘fat gene’,” or “It’s just too hard to go to the gym every single day!” or “I don’t drink, gamble or fool around. I’m gonna eat what I want!” or my all-time favorite and I think DUMBEST excuse ever, “It costs too much to eat healthy!” Face it. You’re either gonna pay now or later. I’d rather pay a little more to be healthier now and invest in long term health results, than to pay DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS LATER! I’d rather learn and do some hard things now, than sacrifice time in a waiting room of some doctor or hospital later when I could have been playing with grandbabies or something lots more fun!

Okay to wrap this up, there are many, many ways to go about losing weight. Please do so in a HEALTHY MANNER. If you go to some of the links I’ve shared with you, I will tell you more about my own story and what Jacqui McCoy and I both chose to lose and maintain our weight, and literally heal from the inside out. You don’t HAVE to go to the gym and exercise like crazy, I didn’t. BUT, I will tell you that going to the gym will make you feel better (releases those fabulous endorphins) and is a great stress reliever, which I think is a couple of reasons that I think facilitate weight loss at least as much as the physical activity. That’s my opinion. BUT WHATEVER WAY you choose, remember what Jacqui said, “You have to love yourself thinner.”

For some of us, that will be simply deciding that we will devote 30 minutes a day to go for a walk, maybe spending more time with good friends, maybe even changing jobs, but somehow making ourselves a priority regardless of what else in on our plate. Sometimes it makes a great difference just to watch that self talk. Encouraging ourselves the same way we would for any friend in how we talk to ourselves is HUGE!!!

For others of us, who have been dealt some really gnarly blows in life, some professional counseling or prayer ministry may be in order. But one thing’s for sure, ignoring the ROOT of the overeating does not work. Looking at this as a discipline doesn’t work unless you are already really healthy emotionally. Counting calories won’t work except short term, unless you get a handle on your emotional issues. Potions and pills that “make” you lose weight CAN ALSO HURT OR KILL YOU.

Addressing your trauma and emotional wounds will have ramifications much farther than your pants size my dear. I have really found this to be true recently with my latest heart break. Learn this concept now, and teach it to your children and your grandchildren. These unresolved traumas keep causing us to make poor choices, and not just in boyfriends and husbands, but in our diets.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is from “The Help” where the maid tells the little girl she takes care of, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” She knew the little girl’s mama was telling her she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc and etc. Do what you gotta do to heal your heart, and everything – including weight loss – will be much more attainable and sustainable.

(If this article was helpful to you somehow, I’d love it if you’d friend me on Facebook, or check out my my YouTube channel. I’m just starting to upload videos on YouTube.com, so stay tuned or a lot more.)

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June 14, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight, Part 1

by healthybydesignblog

180 pics TammyFirst of all, there is more to losing weight than exercise and counting calories! There are three major components to healthy and effective weight loss, in my opinion and in my own personal experience:

  1. Learning about REAL nutrition, not just counting calories,
    and putting REAL nutrition IN your diet
  2. Learning about FAKE food, and keeping as much
    FAKE food OUT of your diet as possible
  3. Stress, Emotional Triggers, and Dealing With Trauma

I talk about this a lot. Sometimes I think I’ve told this story too much, only to find out that others are still struggling so much, and still could benefit from it. So I decided doing this post was a good way to try to organize my story here. Please note in the pictures above, that the first row is a transformation that occurred in only 2.5 months! And, this transformation did NOT include regular visits to the gym! It was entirely about changing my diet (keeping junk OUT) and properly supplementing my diet (putting more good, pure nutrition IN).

My Weight Loss Actually Started With My Daughter’s Diagnosis

The pictures above only tell half the story. It all started with my daughter being diagnosed with PCOS. That’s the subject of another blog post, which I’ll write soon… But the short version is that in my efforts to help HER get healthier and lose weight, I ended up getting healthier and losing weight, too! I also reversed Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been pain free since 2011. It’s June of 2018 right now. That’s PAIN FREE FOR SEVEN YEARS so far. Not only that, I got rid of “brain fog” and was sharper than I had been since college. AND, I kept looking younger! Bonus!!! You can see for yourself in the pictures below. I think I actually look younger in 2018 than I did in 2011. I certainly look BETTER and healthier.

I also think it is important to point out, what I wasn’t willing to do for MYSELF, which was changing my eating habits and getting healthier I WAS WILLING TO DO FOR MY CHILD. Isn’t that typical? I was not motivated to take care of myself at all at that time. I had been through some tough stuff. Again, a topic for another blog article at another time. However, at the time that the Aug 2011 pic was taken, I had been through a house fire and a miserable, toxic 11-year marriage that ended in divorce. I was self-employed, working 80+ hrs a week, and was homeschooling my little girl. Simply put, taking care of myself came dead last on my priority list. I was in survival mode, pure and simple. You ever been there?

Love fueled the changes in my diet. Not love for myself, love for my daughter. Then I got to feeling SO MUCH BETTER, and looking so much better, that I decided I had to keep this new lifestyle up, just to be able to keep up with life!

However, as you can see in 2016-2017, I gained a lot of weight back, due to heart break. Although I was newly married in February of 2016 and very happy initially, my father was declining rapidly with Parkinson’s and I lost him in August of 2016. My marriage also started to unravel around that time. Also, my only daughter decided in July of that year, that she’d rather live with her father than with me and my new husband. Ugh!!! I was not just sad, I was DEVASTATED. I was also stressed, exhausted, depressed, broken-hearted, disappointed, grieving, etc and etc. You name it, I was feeling it. I talk about trauma and heart break and what that has to do with weight more here. Perhaps you can relate. I don’t think people understand how important this is to a healthy weight and a healthy mental state. I honestly believe that all the knowledge of healthy eating and other good habits can be undone, in an INSTANT, either by a new trauma, or by an event, or a trigger in your current situation that triggers an old heart break.

So, that being said, I leave it to you to do some investigating about how to heal past trauma. If you google that topic, I suspect you will find tons of information on that. Both in Christian and secular circles, they are all saying the same thing. Heal the trauma, heal your life. Heal the trauma, deal with the rejection, the abandonment, the disappointment or whatever it is from your childhood, and replace that, I believe, with the TRUTH of God’s word, the TRUTH of God’s love for you, with the FORGIVENESS of others and yourself, and the pieces begin to fall into place. Then attaining a healthier LIFE in general, and a happier, more peaceful life starts to emerge from the ashes. You simply have to LOVE YOURSELF HEALTHIER, or thinner, or more successful.

I have only recently begun to learn this myself. I maintained my weight with just the first two items I spoke about at the beginning of this article for a about five years: Putting good stuff IN, and keeping bad stuff OUT. Then a recent heart break hit me out of left field and for the first time in my life, my heart was so broken I began to LOSE weight. That has been a first. The anxiety attacks that rocked me after this recent heart break is what DROVE me to find relief, to find healing, and that’s how I began to learn more about this whole heart issue and how it’s tied to EVERYTHING.

Guess what? If you’re overweight, it has a lot to do with what you’re eating, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart. You may just be self-medicating.

If you’re broke, you need to learn a few basic financial principles, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart.

Keep making bad choices in boyfriends and husbands? It has a lot to do with the state of your heart and what you believe about yourself and your worth.

I call this a “broken spiritual GPS”. You keep doing what you think is the right things, you’re following the map you’ve got, but there’s something wrong with that map and although you are making all the turns that appear to be correct, you’re still ending up at the painful destination. Overweight, broken hearted, and / or possibly addicted or broke. Remember, you can be addicted to sugar as easily as cocaine or heroine. You can be addicted to the praise of man!

So, I really planned for this article to be more about nutrition. I guess I will start another post about that. It IS a very important subject. So let’s go there next!