It wasn’t easy

Work It OutMany have been asking me just what I did to lose so much weight in such a short amount of time. I thought maybe if I broke everything down to the small changes I made that helped me lose the weight, it may help others either lose weight or even just have the strength to start.

It wasn’t easy. I gained 63 lbs from my pregnancy with Madie and It took me 3 years just to lose 30 lbs. It was very discouraging that it took me that long and I was just tired of…

  1. Always being in pain
  2. Being over weight
  3. Never having energy; especially with an active 3 year old!

My doctor told me that my health was not good and that if I didn’t take care of my body now, I would have massive complications and I wouldn’t be able to walk on my own after age 40; I was a mess! That is when I took charge.

Thanks to certain church friends, they recommended a chiropractor in Boise. Usually you wouldn’t think Chiropractor when you want to lose weight but since my body was so out of whack, i thought it wouldn’t hurt to check him out and maybe help with the pain so i can try and exercise and then lose weight. Apparently this Chiropractor wasn’t just a doctor for the spine; he was also a nutritionist. He explained to me that what you are is what you eat. Everything you put in your body is what will make your body either have energy or lose it. He slowly worked with my mom and I and we listened to just the few little things that we knew we could change and see what happens. It made a big difference!

Here is the break down on what we did that helped me lose an additional 50 lbs.

  1. We stopped using any oils except Grape-seed and Coconut for cooking. Olive Oil is good for baking and salads only!
  2. We cut off dairy because Milk (no matter if its Whole or Non-Fat) has a lot of sugar and sugar turns into fat. We now drink either Coconut or Almond Milk.
  3. No more Quickie Dinners! Everything we make is fresh. Nothing from a Box. Process is not allowed.
  4. Breads? Not so much! But Dave’s Killer Bread is the best you can have with better ingredients.
  5. Eggs? Straight from the chicken. I mean It lays it and I pick it up and eat it. No hormones. No Grain fed.
  6. Grass fed beef only! Whatever the cow eats we eat and so we must eat anything that eats green!
  7. Garlic, Ginger Root and Avocado will be your best friend. You can get these at the produce section and eating it rare can help with sickness, inflammation and has better vitamins and protein than the normal speculation.
  8. Stick to Green Fruits! I know we love Yellow Bananas and Red Apples but they carry way more sugar (even if its natural) and again, sugar turns to fat. Eat Green Bananas and Apples.
  9. Red potatoes instead of Russet. SORRY IDAHO!
  10. Lay off the berries because too much sugar turns… well you get the picture. Just don’t eat too much of it!
  11. Soda addict? I switched to Zevia. Ginger Root Beer and Dr. Zevia are my faves. It has Stevia sugar and natural ingredients. Over time, your body will get use to Zevia instead of normal sodas and a 6 pack can last you a whole month or longer cause you are not craving it. NEVER HAVE DIET!
  12. Supplements and Essential Oils over anything over the counter! I take Raw D-3 (5,000 UI) and Wobenzym (natural anti-inflammatory) which has helped me get off 3 medications. I use Spark Natural oils to help with colds, flues, headaches, anxiety, allergies and more. Taking something non-synthetic will help your body in the long run because your body isn’t being ruined by ingredients that are in over the counter (or Pharmacy) medicine.
  13. WATER! WATER! WATER! People do not understand just how important water is. It not only re-hydrates your body but it also breaks down the fat. This is why I lost so much during the summer; I was drinking 12 glasses a day and working and so the fat just faded away! 8-12 Glasses (4-6 bottles) a day is the least you should drink. Plus it flushes away the toxins when you are sick and when you get adjusted!

I could keep going on and on but this pretty much is the basis of the the changes we made. We are still making more changes everyday but because of these changes, I lost more weight in less time and my body is not as bad as it was. I can walk without hurting. I can exercise without fearing of falling or hurting. I can keep up with Madie and work a full time shift with no problem. Am I perfect? No, but I have made changes to help live my life for the better.

I have officially been seeing the Chiropractor once a week for 2 years now and my spine is so much more straighter than it has ever been. I have lost a total of 81 lbs and haven’t had a migraine in almost a year. I want to lose at most, 19 more lbs. It’s gonna be a challenge still but after seeing these results, I can’t wait to see what else I can do. I joined a gym to help build muscle tone and I plan on doing the Dirty Dash this year! I can’t wait!

So friends, this is it. THIS is how I did it. Everyone is different and I feel everyone needs to tweak certain things to help their body to have the same result as I did but I can tell you, its well worth it! I do still sneak  a “cheat” food here and there but not everyday; barely once a week! (but I still stay away from Fast Food!) You can’t shock your body into taking away everyone at once because you will not see the progress you want and you will be willing to quit sooner than you would like. Slowly take things away, make the transition easy. It will take time but its oh so worth it!

– J

Where does it lead?

© JESSI RENEE PHOTOGRAPHYWhen a new year begins, everyone always says “To a new and better year!” and we optimistically think “This year will be great!” — but what if it is way worse than the year before?

I can’t say that 2013 was horrible; I have endured crazy things in my life that make me realize that 2013 wasn’t so bad, but 2013 made me grow in a way that I don’t think would have ever happened if certain things didn’t happen. The one thing that happened in 2013 didn’t even happen to me but to a family I know and I had the chance to bless them with a gift during this difficult time.

The year 2013 marked a year of a child (that I knew, that I cared for at church) passing away. She was only 3 and even though she suffered so much in this world with the ailments she had, it is never easy knowing a child has left us and never gets to experience life. I’m not even the mother of this child and yet it hit me hard; probably because I did know her and she was only a year and half younger than my daughter. As a way to help the family, they asked me to take pictures during her funeral. Now, there are a lot of photographers in Idaho and in our church and I felt — honored? humbled? scared? — I had a mixed amount of emotions when they asked because I knew how hard it was going to be and I didn’t want to let them down. A piece of me just wanted to say “No thanks” and walk away because it was such an important job and I didn’t feel worthy of the task. Pity Party, right? I had a good talk with my mom and she told me that there was a reason they asked me and that I need to take it — not for myself, but for them; to help any way I could since they were going through so much. I had to almost put myself in their shoes for a moment and just think as closely as I could on how they felt. I knew what I was thinking was nowhere near it, but it gave me a good idea on how to approach everything and how to handle it. It wasn’t just an ordinary job and I wasn’t going to treat it that way — I needed to approach it as personal moments being captured during a time in your life that you can never imagine.

As I took photos through out the day, I pretty much put a wall up so I could focus at the task at hand and not let my emotions get in the way. I took moments you probably would only see in movies and moments that to them were gifts. I can’t speak for the family, but I can only assume it was a way of processing everything and knowing God had bigger plans for not only them but for the child they just lost. It was still moments of glances they didn’t realize they had done or hugs and kisses that faded from their memory — it was a day of grief, celebration and over all praise to God. I realized though after I had finished, I felt empty. I don’t think I processed what just happened or what I had just witnessed, but I was in a catatonic state of just denial and confusion. It wasn’t until just hours later, the father contacted me and asked to do her burial which was only reserved for family. Again, I felt scared but honored for them to ask and I, of course, said yes. Little did I know though that this was going to be the defying moment for me; This was going to change my life to a point of no return.

I arrived to see just a handful of people and a pastor from our church. Burial was short and sweet; even released balloons in her honor. It was a beautiful blue sky day and clearly God was shining through. At the end, I tucked my camera away and sneaked passed the family and approached the little girls casket, which just happened to be open, and I looked at her. I mean I really looked at her. It wasn’t until now that I realized this was the little girl who I played with at church; the little girl who sat on my lap as we listened to story-time; the little girl who had a personality larger than life — and she was gone. I touched her hair and broke down right there. I couldn’t imagine that she was never going to wake up and I just didn’t understand anything at that point. I remember even thinking “Why Lord?” as I cried. Than at that moment I felt a hand on my shoulder and I looked and it was her mother and she hugged me. We talked a bit on how she was at church and we laughed and cried together. It was a moment I don’t believe I will ever forget and realize just maybe why things happen.

God doesn’t do this to punish us. In fact, it’s really not him at all. Our world is so corrupted and free will is in such control, God doesn’t have a choice. God does however gives us lessons. Things happen in our lives not to bring us down but to teach us and to teach others; even to help others. We can’t do anything alone, especially in this world, and we must stand together and worship God on who he is and what he stands for — Love. As much as it hurts us here on earth, we must smile and rejoice that Little Girl is up in heaven, dancing, singing, running, and pain-free. I can’t ask for a better gift than that. Days are hard, we are human and can be sad, especially for the family; but knowing her short life was meant for a bigger purpose in God’s plan, how can we be sad about that?

When the year was near ending, I had more personal issues come about that I became depressed and angry and had no hope that things will get better. I just think about that day at the burial when I got to share in such a personal and life changing moment for a family and I realize that my problems are fixable and/or can be replaced. It’s not an ending for me; everything is a beginning for something. We may not know what God’s plan is for us, our ideas may never be on the same page as him but he always knows best, no matter how much it hurts. He has our best interest at heart and he will never fail.

So where does this lead? It all leads to HIM. How lucky I am to be loved by such an amazing God? That after a lot of trials and tribulations, he has never let me down. My life isn’t perfect and it may never be, but as long as I have faith in his wisdom and his plan than I can’t fail because I have him by my side and I must have patience that his plan will happen and will succeed.

Take that resolution! 😉

– J