Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thriving in Health

I knew when the word Thrive came to me that a huge part of thriving this year would have to do with my health. This is something that I’ve really struggled with for most of my life…being overweight, having IBS, and dealing with the effects of PCOS. I needed to take back control! So Chris and I started our weight loss journey in May of last year. I shared the beginning of this whole thing back in July in a post. Looking back I’m still blown away by the before and after (really, “during”) pictures. Pretty powerful, especially on days when you don’t feel like you’re doing anything right.

We have been on the HCG program, where you take drops of HCG (a synthetic hormone which pulls fat from your stored fat cells to power your body, but leaves the important fat, like around your heart and organs) in combination with a very low calorie diet for 40 days. After that is a period of 21 days with no sugar or carbs, and then 6 weeks of maintenance before you can start the cycle all over again. Its very strict, and can be hard mentally more than physically, but the results are staggering, and if done correctly, lasting.

Here is where I was at the beginning. My very first “before” shot in May 2013. Notice my little baby puppy. So tiny!

ShainaBefore 

I was so thoroughly embarrassed by these pictures. I don’t look happy and they were a real wake-up call. We did 2 rounds of HCG last year and I lost 60lbs! I was feeling incredible, like my old self again and really strong. I started doing Crossfit workouts and pushing my body in ways I never had before and it kept up. October was the beginning of maintenance after this round and my weight was down to 182lbs from 245lbs.

And then life got a little crazy. I’ve shared a bit of the struggles with Chris’ parents moving in, but the worst way that we were effected is that this upheaval threw us out of our schedule and new habits and ways of eating. Chris’ mom finally had a kitchen again, and she started making all of Chris’ old favorite foods and we just ate it. We ate and ate some more and didn’t stand up for ourselves in our own house. Mentally, this has been a really hard hole to crawl back out of…again. I became surrounded by so much that was out of my control that I gave up control of this too.

I think I ate my body weight in Red Vines. No joke… I just couldn’t stop eating them!

And we had planned on starting another round of HCG in January, but our drops got held at the border (we order from Canada) and so we didn’t get them when we planned and things went from bad to worse. In the end, I put 20lbs back on.

But now I am taking back control and I thought that the best way to be accountable would be to share on my blog. It’s a very personal thing, especially sharing these very raw pictures of myself.  But I just think forward to my final “after” pictures and how amazing the contrast is going to be and I know I’ll be glad that I shared…

We started HCG protocol on Saturday January 25th and I wanted new “before” pictures for this round and this year.

ShainaBefore3rdRound

And I plan on sharing throughout the rest of this journey. I want to inspire others to take back control of their health and the things they feed their bodies. And I want to be a success story for HCG and whatever else is to come.

So here are my beginning again stats: after 2 days of loading at the beginning of the protocol I topped out at 210lbs. This morning I weighted in at 202.8lbs. We will be doing the drops and the very low calorie diet until March 5th and my goal is to average a pound a day.

We have found some amazing protocol friendly recipes that I’ll see if I can convince Chris to cook and let me take pictures of to share. Let me just say: cabbage steaks! You wouldn’t believe how delicious they are. And I’ve found some very helpful resources for those on the HCG protocol. Some great videos and tips.

I know that I’m the only one who can make the changes necessary to be true to who I know I am and be happy. I need to stop handing over control of things. I have learned so much already, but I know I have a big journey ahead of me. I hope that sharing and staying accountable on my blog will help me. And that I will really thrive in health this year.

GreyLine

Have you ever embarked on a health journey?
What were the most important lessons you learned?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

I just watched last Sunday’s Downton Abbey episode and I was struck by this quote from Carson, the Butler. I immediately shared it on Facebook and then thought created something pretty out of it to share too. Enjoy!

Quote1

GreyLine

What is one of your favorite quotes?
I’d love to add it to my collection.
Please share in the comments below.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Life with Gibson // Year One

It’s hard to believe that Gibson has been a part of our lives for a whole year. We brought him home on a Saturday afternoon last January 19th. My parents gave us some money (as an early anniversary present) to be able to get Gibson after we’d went to meet him earlier in the week. I knew that I’d wanted a Mini Schnauzer for a long time…my parents have one named Tucker, and he was a huge part of my teenage years. He still loves it when I come to visit because he gets to sleep on the bed with me. I love that these dogs don’t shed and I enjoy their playful spirits and personalities.

And our Gibson has been no exception. He’s been such a joy to have in our lives and he’s been a constant source of joy for me. There were some hard parts in the beginning (the usual training a puppy part) but it has been so worth it. I just love this little guy.

I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures of him from this last year. I might be a bit biased, but I think he’s just the cutest!

Here are some from the day we met him, when we brought him home and after his very first big-boy hair cut.

Gibson1

We bought Cesar’s “How to raise the perfect dog” book and I think we learned a lot from it. We got a good schedule down for walks and bedtime and spent a lot of time with our puppy. He loves riding in the car. We took him for a couple long Russian service days and he loves to go with me when I  get coffee or rent a movie. He rides either on my lap or with his head on my shoulder so he can see out the front window. Everyone knows him, says hi and gives him cookies.

Gibson also went through this stage where he would sit right on our shoulders. We called him our Parrot Dog. He’s too big now, but I still crack up when I think back on it. I love him when his hair is long and shaggy cuz he looks like more of a puppy…but after he’s groomed he looks like an old man. Still those soulful eyes though. I just love this pup.

Gibson2

And now at a year old Gibson is 15lbs. He recently had the dreaded surgery, but he did really good. He didn’t have to have the “cone of shame” and didn’t lick his stitches much at all. I was pretty proud of him. While he was there the vet also removed what was left of his baby teeth…which was surprisingly most of them. The vet said he’d never seen a puppy with two sets of back molars in at the same time. We used to call him the land shark because he had two sets of teeth.

My favorite thing is when I’m working in my office and he just comes to sit with me. And how happy he gets when I come home. He likes to tell me all about his day. He loves popcorn and tomatoes and any paper products he can get his hands on. He really enjoys having Chris’ parents and their dog Razy living with us. He has a constant play mate and someone always giving him attention. Chris’ mom made him that adorable winter coat. Gibson got his first full Schnauzer hair cut at the groomers in December. Now that the hair has grown out quite a bit I think it looks like he’s wearing a fuzzy sweater backwards. Time to go back I guess. He gets his hair done as much as I do.

Gibson3

I call him “Little One” and “Buppy” (short for baby puppy) and “Booger.” He’s become a really big part of my life and he brings me a lot of smiles and comfort and companionship. I think getting Gibson was one of the best choices we made. He’s been the perfect addition to our little family.

Gibson4

Happy Puppy Anniversary to us!!

GreyLine

Does your family have a pet?
What joys does your pet bring you?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

To Thrive in 2014

For the fourth year in a row I’ve chosen a word to help guide and define my year. I think it’s a much more powerful way to approach a new year then to just make resolutions, because a word can become so many different things. It can bring things into your life that you might not expect, or dare you to do something new or guide you through a difficult time. It can become so much.

My word for 2014 chose me this time, late in the summer of last year. I saw a picture on Pinterest and I just stopped… there was an ache in my chest for this concept, even then. And now as I step into 2014 with more things happening to me than I’d expected, I need this word more than ever.

This is the picture I saw on Pinterest. And “thrive” is my One Little Word for 2014.

Thrive1

Definition: verb; 1. to prosper; be fortunate or successful 2. to grow or develop vigorously; flourish. (Ironically, my word from 2012 was Flourish…things always seem to connect.) 3. to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

Thesaurus: bloom, flourish, succeed, advance, radiate, bear fruit, make a go, arrive, burgeon, expand, shine, progress

I chose this word because: Lately it feels like life is spinning out of control…going faster and faster and I’m just barely hanging on; barely surviving. We have Chris’ parents living with us right now, and so, my sanctuary, my home, which should feel like a safe haven and a resting place feels like anything but. I feel like a guest in my own home. It feels like things keep happening to me…like I have no say. It’s a hard place to be, and a very negative head space to sit in. I don’t like it…and this isn’t me. So for right now, in this moment, my word “thrive” will help me to make conscious decisions to do just that…to go beyond surviving. I want to thrive in self, and thrive in truth (like my picture says) and thrive in health and thrive in trust and thrive in my relationships. I want my blog to thrive and my marriage to thrive and my work to thrive. I want to feel like myself again. That’s why I chose this word…or why it chose me, I guess.

With this word I invite: Strong, active decision making, contentment, health, control, success from my own standpoint and others’, activity, chances, changes, adventure and life.

Quotations:

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“Build a foundation of faith now, and when the storms of life hit, you will not only survive – you will thrive.” –GanelLyn Condie

“You can’t thrive tentatively.” –Unknown

“Your greatest responsibility is to live a life that nourishes your highest truth.” ― Mollie Marti

I know that there are others in the blogging and OLW communities that have chosen “thrive” as their word for 2014 as well. Particularly, Ali Edwards who teaches the OLW class. But I don’t think having the same word as someone else is a bad thing. I think her perspectives can be inspiring to me throughout the year. It might help me think of my word in lots of different ways; ways that I might not have expected. But I know that my experience with my word this year will be my own…it will be personal and I’m hoping very motivational and curing.

Thrive3

I’m looking forward to thriving in 2014.

GreyLine

Did you pick a OLW for 2014?
I’d love to hear what it is and why you picked it.
Feel free to share in the comments below.