by Carissa Jean
Follow my struggles and triumphs as I attempt to gain a healthy lifestyle.
Hello! My name is Carissa and I am third generation sweet tooth. The love of sugar runs very deep in my family, especially on my dads side. Consequently, diabetes also runs very high on that side of the family. Both of my grandparents had the disease as well as 4/6 of their kids. |
As a teenager I will never forget what it was like watching my grandma give herself a shot of insulin with a deep sigh right before she injected herself or the horror in my mothers voice as she tells me that my grandma is in the hospital because she passed out at a store; due to her blood sugar dropping too low. I also had an uncle pass away suddenly in his early 50's because of diabetes complications. He had a daughter, the same age as me, in college and a son still in high school at the time.
In February a doctor told me that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (referred to as PCOS) and pre-diabetes. This news is not surprising to me, but it still makes me tremble. I want to learn how to have a well balanced healthy lifestyle and still enjoy a sweet delicacy occasionally and have the hope of someday having a baby to call my own. Currently I am 28 years old, weighing a little over 300 LBS and I am using Dieting for Dummies as a workbook. Follow me on my journey for a newer healthier lifestyle.
|After blogging for a couple of months this blog is not what I was hoping for. I yearned it would be more of a discussion not a one ended conversation. I will continue to journal in private.
On different blogs I asked for you, the reader, to leave comments and suggestions to improve the blog. Only a couple of people actually left any comments and none of them gave suggestions for improvement, leaving the impression that no one cares about the blog. I do plan a return to public blogging, someday after I have reached my goal.
I do want to give a big thank you to Nada who always took the time to comment on my posts. I ate 3 egg whites cooked in olive oil this morning and it was all because of a comment she had left on one of my posts.
|Over the weekend I was faced with a new challenge I never would have expected. We are throwing a surprise party for my friend tomorrow evening and picking her up from the train station tonight. I wanted to be as prepared as possible for this party, so over the weekend we bought the ingredients to make adorable cupcakes with a beach theme. The cupcakes feature teddy grahams as well as candies that are being used to create a beach scene. I have been doing very well going to the store and not buying any junk food, but this time I had to buy the junk food to make the cupcakes. I was not thinking rationally and bought huge quantities of all the candies. I have spent the last few days very upset at myself and now it is time to move on.
I plan to move on by changing my focus a little bit. I have heard from many people that it is best to start off small and improve your lifestyle over time. I can see how this approach could be very beneficial, but I can not execute it very well. Picking small goals doesn't seem like a challenge to me or that I am not being challenged enough. My new goal and reward system should create a nice balance. I have two jars. One of the jars is labeled Goals and the other jar is labeled Goals Met. I have placed 120 decorative pebbles in the Goals jar and have made a list of things I would like to improve. Everyday I am recording what goals I have met and then transferring that amount of pebbles from the Goal jar into the Goals Met jar. Each pebble is worth $0.25 and once I have earned all of the pebbles I am going to buy a bookcase. After the bookcase is purchased I will use the earnings to buy books and start a collection. In 3 months I am going to review my progress and see if I am ready to progress to phase 2 with a little more challenging goals. I really think this will help me. I am able to work on several goals at once and not feel overwhelmed, but still feel challenged and that I am progressing.
|Being employed again is great. However, there is a certain degree of adjustment that needs to take place. Right now my schedule is crazy and until July 11th it will remain to be hectic. I am hoping that once my friend returns back to Illinois I can adopt to my new schedule and find a time to blog. One thing I like about my new job is that they know that success begins and ends with their employees. They go out of their way to show their employees that they are appreciated and also guide them to grow into better individuals. Yesterday we had a meeting about writing down dreams and achieving them. They called them dreams, but really they were saying goals.
I have always felt goals are important because without goals you have no focus and just aimlessly glide through life. A while back I posted a 2 part blog with my reasons I felt experts were wrong. I disagreed with the experts on how you should set the goals. Since that post my views have mildly changed. I used to believe that you should never use a time table, because that could become very stressful, especially if your goal is more difficult to achieve than you thought it would be when you made it. After going to my meeting yesterday I realized that is ok to put a time table on certain goals. If your goal is something that you can easily control, than it's ok to have a deadline. For example, wanting to pay off your credit cards by a certain date, as long as it's reasonable, is ok. I would not set a deadline with a weight loss goal and to be honest I would not even set a weight loss goal. Weight loss is a result, as in you have NO control of how quickly or slowly it comes off. Everyone has a different metabolism and lose weight at different speeds. I would suggest making goals that you can control like how many servings of fruit and veggies you consume in a day. You can control what you put in your mouth and if consistent enough, you will lose weight.
Tune in tomorrow when I will talk about a few instances that have happened to me in the last week and the adjustments I have made. I think I have started something that could be great!
|I remember being in high school and Selena and I would compare bellies. We were both overweight and it was nice to have a companion who shared your pain. One day I stated that I hated having big boobs and a big belly. She told me I was lucky that my stomach was more so wide and it was fairly flat. She then grabbed her own stomach fat and said," At least you don't have a spare tire." For the first time in my life I feel like I have a spare tire.
Today the company I have previously applied too called and asked if I would be able to come into the office for a meeting with one of the mentors. She told me it wasn't a second interview, but it totally was. The second interview went just as well as the first one and by the end of the interview they had hired me as a caregiver. My husband and I had agreed that once I got a new job we would celebrate. Wanting to turn a new leaf I decided I did not want to celebrate with food, but wanted to go shopping for a special outfit instead. Before we left for the mall I could tell my husband was not impressed with my idea of celebrating. I knew he was expecting to go out to eat and now I had a tough decision to make. I did not know what to do. I could celebrate by eating out or I could go shopping and have a nice outfit to remember my celebration by. I ended up combining both ideas. We went shopping and I made out like a bandit, 3 special tops, 3 pairs of shorts, and a dress. What can I say I like to shop! Then I was going to go to the grocery store and get a cookie or cupcakes. We ended up going to the store and getting a cookie and then ordering pizza. Knowing I was disappointing my husband took away some of my happiness and to make matter worse I almost had to go up a size in clothing because I feel as though my boobs have had a growth spurt and do not wish to fit in tops correctly. I also feel I am bloated, my belly never goes past my boobs and right now I look like a pregnant lady without a sweet bundle of joy. I can not wait for the day when these issues are things of the past.
I am also thinking too much right now. I can't help but question my abilities to get healthy. Do I have the strength to break these habits so I can live a good long life?
|New changes are quickly approaching this blog. Yesterday I changed the cover photo to a picture of my husband and I at my parents 45th wedding anniversary party. This photo was taken in February 2017, before I had started my blog and the outfit I am wearing has officially became my fat pants suit. I know you might look for my blog based on the photo of the candle and hope you were able to easily find me. Let me tell you about my thoughts for the future!
First, I want to change the name of the blog. Currently it is Fighting For A Life Worth Living and I would like to change it to: Fight! For A Life Worth Living. My goal is to form a community where we can get to know each other and give suggestions on how to live a more healthy lifestyle. I am hoping there will be a variety of readers. People who are struggling like me as well as people who already have figured out how to be healthy and would like to offer words of encouragement.
Every Monday I want to give a challenge for the rest of the week, but I want it to be personalized as well. Every person will be at a different point in their journey so why should the challenges be one fits all? I will still blog throughout the week, but on Fridays I want to have reflection on how the week went. What went well and what didn't go as planned. In what ways did you improve and where do you still need to improve. Before my blog was about me. Now, I want it to be about we! Together we can do this.
P.S I will give the first 5 people who comment to today's blog 100 gift points. Comment with your thoughts about a blog like this. If you don't like it please tell me why and what suggestions you have to make it better. If you love the idea please tell me. All suggestions are welcome :)
|The last couple of weeks I have been struggling to keep my head above water. I know I have reverted back to a few old habits. We have been eating out a lot more than I would care to admit and for the first time in weeks I have feared going to the grocery store.
We went to the grocery store despite my current fear and it was tough, but I survived! I saw my favorite sugar cookies and my husband was able to talk me out of them. I have read that nestle was selling a few of their bars and they might not be on the market anymore or the recipe might change and they wouldn't taste the same, so I debated getting some butterfingers, but didn't buy them. We were able to leave the store without me buying any junk food. You would think that leaving the store without junk food would make me very proud of myself, instead I was wondering if I could talk my husband into buying donuts on the way home. I didn't even try. Today I am thankful that I walked out of both situations unharmed. My confidence in myself would have been shattered if I had given into either of those temptations.
P.S for breakfast I had a three egg omelet, I believe 1 egg = 1 serving. Does that mean I had 3 servings of protein for breakfast or just 1?
|It has been a while since I last wrote and a lot has happened since then. Life has been crazy and my diet has been as well. Sunday was Father's Day and we spent it with both of our fathers. It had been suggested on Saturday that we have a cookout at a park, but with such short notice I couldn't reserve a shelter house and had to pray we could find one. The good news is that we did. We all had a great time at the picnic, but I did something I am not proud of.
I believe I have mentioned my sister-in-law in my blogs before, but if I haven't, she too is trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Right now she is trying to cut sugar out of her life. This last week has been very tough on her and she has went through strong sugar withdrawals. At the party my mom made my dad's favorite dessert. It's called cherry delight and it is delish. I tried to get my sister-in-law to eat some and I feel awful about it. As a person who is trying to get healthier myself, I know how tough it can be to say no to a food without anyone pressuring you. I tried telling her it had cherries so she would be ok. In the future I will have to be more alert and make sure I never do that again. We depend on each other for support and I let her down. I do want to applaud her, she didn't take one bite of that dessert!
|The french fry craving has been laid to rest. After my Goldilocks and the three french fry encounters, I am happy to report that my craving finally went away; leaving me with the conclusion that if you are craving something it is better to go ahead and allow yourself to have it. With that being said, it is also very important to limit the amount you eat. Cravings can be very difficult to control.
I believe my downstairs microwave is walking towards the light, and will soon be going where all microwaves eventually go; microwave heaven. I will be sad to see it go, however mama likes her popcorn and if you are not popping it properly, then we have a problem. This leaves me with a bigger situation than I had before.
I have a little situation I am not sure how to handle. Since I have been unemployed (I have an interview Monday-fingers crossed it will go well) I have been trying to have supper ready to eat by 5:30. The problem is that we find ourselves hungry again around 9 or 10. I have been trying to snack on popcorn, that is how we came to the conclusion our microwave is dying. Some days popcorn is not enough and I am still very hungry. It is those days we are likely to get a midnight snack from Mc Donalds. My husband thinks we should eat later, but I don't like that idea. When I had a job, and supper wasn't ready until 7 I wouldn't be able to control my snacking. Even trying to eat healthy foods I would still go crazy. Eating before I get to that point really helps for the whole night. I suggest we have a smaller meal or snack at 8. I'm not wanting a lot, but more than popcorn can offer. A snack wrap might be ideal.
P.S. I am starting to cook with the idea of changing my blog a little bite. I want it to be more interactive. There are a lot of people wanting to lose weight and become healthier and I would like to make this blog more of a community feel. A place where you can feel good knowing that people love and support you on this most difficult journey. Please leave suggestions on what would help you the most in the comments below. We can do this TOGETHER!
|For the past two days I have been craving french fries for some odd reason. Normally I don't like french fries and could care less if I have them but for whatever reason they have sounded very yummy and just thinking about them makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. If you are a faithful reader to my blog you know that I was able to crush my craving on Day 45 by adding a little snack that focused on calcium. Yesterday I was shocked when the same exact craving struck again! I made the decision to give into my craving hoping that would be the end of it.
I had to go to three different places for a good french fry. We had been asked to let out our aunt's dog while she was away. Her dog is much smaller than ours and we were afraid it would potty in her house. As soon as my husband came home from work we made the trip to her house to spend a little time with her dog. We stayed with him for about an hour and wanted to grab something to eat afterwards. The first place we went to was a BBQ place that is very well known in Des Moines. This will be the 2nd time we have eaten there and we were not impressed either time. If you travel to Des Moines and want some amazing BBQ, go to Smokey D's, TRUST ME! Anyways back to the other place that I was talking about. I saw on their menu they offer sweet potato fries and got really excited, but when they got to me they were warm and limp. I don't eat fries often, but when I do I want them hot and crisp.
Later my husband got a little hungry and wanted to grab something quick at McDonalds. Hey here's another opportunity to get my french fries :) My husband loves french fries so it's best if you give him his own. He ordered a small fry for me and then he got a meal for himself. They only gave us one fry, but that's ok because I tried one and they were too salty. I just noticed that this blog has a Goldie Locks And The Three Bears feel. Can you guess who Goldie Locks is?
Suddenly, I realized who's fries I had been craving. It is a place called B-Bops. They are quick and served a great chargrilled burger and they're fries are amazing! They are always hot, have great flavor, and are not overly salty. So there you have it, I finally found baby bears french fries and they were perfect! As far as trying to get healthy I am not sure where I stand with cravings. One day I was able to overcome my craving just to have it return the next day. The next day I gave into my craving, only once-I didn't eat more than 1 fry of the ones I didn't like. The real test will be tonight and that will determine what I feel is the best thing to do when a craving strikes.
|One of the most difficult parts of changing your lifestyle is making the choice to begin as well as continuing your self-improvement. Making the decision to begin such a task may seem simple, but actually committing to your change and seeing it through takes effort and determination to finish what you started. I am proud of myself for the accomplishments I have made in such a short time. I never believed I was capable of leaving a grocery store without my former staples: candy, cookies, chips, or pop. I have learned that I am very capable of doing this as well as not feeling an emptiness from lack of buying these types of food. I contribute my success to attempting to have a positive attitude at all times. Sadly, I realized one of my greatest fears today.
Today was a great day. I fixed salmon for supper and kept my complaining to a minimum. I strived to pair foods I really liked with the salmon and ended up with a great palate of colors, textures, and tastes that helped me to consume the salmon. I find that if I alternate a bite of fish with a bite of another food I like, such as corn, it makes eating the salmon more tolerable. As the evening wore on I began to crave french fries. I'm not usually a fan of french fries, but tonight I kept randomly thinking about them. I knew I had to do something and I remembered seeing a post on pinterest that had a list of typical cravings, what they meant, and healthy foods to satisfy your craving. As it turns out, craving food with a high fat content is your body telling you to consume calcium. I drank a little milk, ate a serving of string cheese, and tossed a handful of almonds in my mouth. Magically my craving disappeared and new thoughts became a whirlwind in my mind.
Am I going to have cravings the rest of my life?
I did well today, but what will happen if I can't control my craving the next time?
What if I have a craving and it tastes so good that I want to give up on my new healthy life altogether?
Luckily, the craving was not very strong and I was able to diminish it before it got out of hand. In the beginning of my journey I felt like I had nothing to lose if I had a bad day. I have recently changed my outlook. I have worked too hard the last several weeks and I do not want to see that ruined because of a craving, bad weekend, or emotional day. I know I shouldn't be worrying about this, but what can I say I'm a worry wart, especially when it is something as important to me as my health. Patience and trust in my own abilities is something I must learn!
"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind."