Saturday, January 15, 2011


Fast forward...Easter 2010. We don't have a scale in our home, so when we visit my in-laws I invariably hop on my mother-in-laws balance beam type scale. I weighed in, before dinner, of course.
I was appalled ...the large weight was already on 200, and the small weight was moved further and further until the beam centered. Totally disgusted with myself weighing in at 264 lbs.! I realized how close I was to 275, and that soon I would be a hundred pounds heavier than my husband if I did not stop the total disregard for my body. The thought of being a 300 lb. person was sobering.
I felt I hid it very well. Maybe I carried a lot of water weight - I had no idea I had gained that much. I had not weighed myself since the previous holiday. I had had to increase my pant size since having my newer 8 hours at a desk job, and put that off as long as possible.
Still, just a little commitment.
I committed to having a donut at max, once per week. Latte - Fridays only. I decided to eat more fresh produce. Consume smaller portions. Although I always have a large water bottle, I needed to make sure that I emptied my 32 oz. bottle at least once a day. I found large tubs of organic baby spinach at Costco and would split the tub with a friend, since my family are not huge fans of salads/greens.
Procrastination ensued.
Yes, little changes made. Slight deprivations. But that's alright, I told myself, "no sense in getting serious until after summer vacation in July." At left is a vacation photo of me with my Titanic ticket while at the COSI in Columbus, Ohio.
In 2010 two friends were diagnosed with cancer and it seemed I was getting at least one prayer request a month to pray for another newly diagnosed. Cancer was ticking me off. I wanted to take the tidbit I had been given about xenoestrogens and investigate further. I wanted to find out how hormone balance had a part in all of this, not just with cancer, but with depression, fibromyalgia, PMS, and a whole slew of things that can make life not so pleasant. I spent the summer reading much. A book was recommended to me...Dr. John Lee's book, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre-Menopause". I began to see how the world in which we currently live affects our health. The choices we make, whether it is cosmetics or skincare with harmful ingredients, to fumes, chemicals - the xenoestrogens that make our body estrogen dominant, a precursor for cancer.
Things were mentioned in this book that steered me into another of Lee's books, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer". I read this book while on our summer vacation road trip. I'll be frank, this book scared the he-- out of me. I do not want cancer. Period. Not that I am afraid of dying, indeed I look forward to that glorious day and being reunited with loved ones. But I have seen what cancer can do to the body. I lost one of my dearest friends to prostrate cancer, and I wanted to learn more about bio-identical hormones and how progesterone could be a life saver. I learned much about the importance of hormone balance for a healthy body. However, I may have learned more about nutrition - and how food is processed within us. The nutrition chapter explained so vividly, but in a manner I could understand, told how cells feed on what we take into our bodies whether it be through food, skin lotions, the air we breathe. Health is a balancing act - and it is up to us to be proactive for our own bodies sake.
The book explained what happens to cells when we eat table sugar, and how white flour products are recognized by the body as an equivalent to table sugar. It explained how messages are sent to the DNA and how cells react to what they receive. Guess what feeds cancer cells (which we all have in our bodies?) - SUGAR! All it really takes is the wrong chemical or diet to wake up those cells, among other wake up calls such as radiation, HRT, drugs, etc. Not only that, but fat cells are the "closets" for cancer, and it was clear the  more fat I had the greater the risk... I needed to shed "cancer storage units".
Greater commitment.
I saw evil in the white buns that accompany fast food restaurant sandwiches. It was easy to avoid the local frozen custard joint. I began to look at food with new knowledge. With my new found knowledge, I could envision how eating a certain type of food would send negative and potentially dangerous messages to my cells. I envisioned my inner workings communicating when tempted by frozen custard... visioning is a powerful tool in any weight loss journey.
I began to envision myself getting back into a favorite red dress of pre-childbirth years. Okay, I don't have that dress any longer, but I looked darn good in it. I could buy a new red dress someday if I chose. CJ Banks is one of my favorite clothing stores - quality clothes for larger women, awesome sales. I had journeyed into the sister store one day, Christopher and Banks, next door, and found non-plus size tops I would love to wear...and vowed I would be shopping in that store within a year.
Getting more serious. Time for research.
I knew I could not lose weight through sheer will power and meal changes. Mornings were hectic - I had no time to scramble eggs, cook bacon (not really that bad for you), and eat sprouted toast. What the heck is sprouted toast anyhow?! I needed convenience, but not cold cereal and not a cinnamon roll from the Kwik Trip.
Protein shakes. What is truth? Research. Just because my new business offered protein shakes did not mean I would just consume without looking into it. I heard too many negatives about soy based, as well as whey. I understood the proteins used in the AB shake mix are rice protein, cranberry and pea protein...but what else is in there and is it good for me?
I had subscribed to newsletters by neurologists, nutritionists...I devoured information (but it didn't make me more skinny). (LOL) I read about supplements and ingredients that are beneficial, and began comparing the AB ingredient list, and decided the scientists and nutritionists behind the formulation really knew what they were doing. I was skeptical of the word fructose in the ingredient list, even though natural - articles warned protein shakes are often packed with fructose to make them taste good. I e-mailed the company, and found out fructose quantity was equivalent to the juice from one green apple. I questioned the ingredient "soy lecithin" (oh no, not soy!) and learned it is NOT a soy protein. Soy lecithin, it turns out, is a binder and emulsifier. Lecithin is great for the brain, and is a supplement many people find useful for balance. Satisfied, I ordered the AB Go Easy! Protein Shake powder in vanilla and fiber booster, along with the colon cleanse supplement. Choosing the vanilla powder formula, I knew it would be easy to add fruit and other foods to help change up the flavor so I would not get bored.
It was August. Commitment time. In hindsight, as I type this, I regret not having an updated start weight and before photo picture taken. If you ensure on a weight loss journey - take a BEFORE picture. You don't have to show it to anyone, but you will regret it later on when you are successful. I looked back through every single photo folder from 2010. I enjoy photography - so there are lots of pictures! Any photo with me in it has me strategically positioned behind something. A full length photo of my person could not be found - I have been very careful to avoid being in a photo these past few years. A friend found a picture of me on their pontoon boat from August, at left.
In summary, my morning breakfast was an AB protein shake, usually blended with blueberries, 3 strawberries, and pro biotic plain organic yogurt as suggested by Dr. John Lee in one of his books. With the fiber powder added my breakfast shake is so filling that I often had to remind myself to eat in the afternoon. Lunch is a spinach salad with chicken breast strips, and my own balsamic/EVOO dressing - of which the recipe is found in my archives. Snacks include some nuts (not peanuts, unsalted - I love almonds), and apple or citrus. Did I swear off all sweets and chocolate? No. If I was really good for an entire week I would reward myself on Friday with a bit of dark chocolate, or maybe a bakery with my Friday morning mocha latte. Deprivation can make one resent a diet, in my opinion. However, I hesitate to use the word diet, because in reality I made lifestyle changes... perhaps "healthstyle" is a better word. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day was  always healthy and took about 2 min total to make and take, with the aid of a Ninja blender I bought after researching and reading reviews.
Dinner is whatever my husband made, and although he tries to be mindful of my new food choices, time, food on hand and children come into play. If pasta (wheat only) was made I would eat a small portion, which was not difficult as I would often eat my lunch salad at 1:30 or 2 p.m. Regarding lunch, my salads were generous. I now easily consumed a 1 lb. tub (454 grams) of fresh spinach a week - basically 1/5 lb. of spinach in each salad.
In September I had a meeting in my in-laws town and stopped by to use their scale. On September 15 I weighed in at 246 lbs.  I was thrilled. I don't know my exact weight when I became serious in August, but I do know that I had transposed two numbers from my April weigh in and was down 18 lbs.
The clothes had become more and more loose. Having to move the weight on the balance beam further and further left was a great thrill! I was empowered and more determined than ever to continue, perhaps even become a little more strict and not succumb to my family's desire for Sunday morning donuts after worship. My vision was beginning to become a reality.
Next installment...current photos!


  1. congrats Rita!! losing a lot of weight is for sure a commitment to a new life style - I've lost 35 lbs and have 15 more to go for sure if not more - I also make protein shakes and love adding spinach to mine to help get in some more greens :)

  2. Good for you! All of us at Balanced Hormones and Health really enjoyed reading your post and it sounds like you have turned your life around. Good luck and we can't wait to ready about how you are doing in your next post!