What I learned about chronic illness in 2020

  • My Fatigue Got Better with More Protein
    Early last year, I figured out that the amount of daily recommended protein may be a little low for those who have fatigue…at least it was for me and some others I asked. I’m not sure if it’s the fatigue that responded to the additional protein was from Fibro or the fatigue I experience as a result of shaking involuntarily from Essential Tremors all day. Either way, I felt noticeably better having more protein in my diet and so did some others I discussed it with who also have chronic illness.
  • Excess Weight has a Great Deal of Affect on Fatigue
    As I started to lose my menopause weight last year, I found that I had more energy. It started when I realized that I hadn’t needed a nap in a while. Then, I graduated to running up the stairs without realizing I was even doing it. Later on, I found that not only didn’t I need a chair in the bathroom or to rest my elbows on the bathroom counter to blow dry my hair, but I didn’t need to rest after taking a shower. By the time I had lost 39lbs, I found that I was doing housework and cooking without much of a problem and that I could spend the weekend running up and down the basement stairs and the third level of our house all weekend without needing a week or two to recuperate.
  • I thought I Knew What Good Nutrition was, but I was Wrong
    I didn’t have issues with stress eating or portion control and I didn’t really eat junk food or with binge eating carbs. I was eating what I thought was a healthy menu, but not losing even one ounce. What I found out is that there is more to healthy eating than just not eating junk food and picking healthier food choices…a LOT more!
  • Some Symptoms of Chronic Illness Actually Improve with Better Nutrition and Weight Loss
    My fatigue wasn’t the only thing that improved with better nutrition and weight loss! I’ve been an insomniac for decades. It started off with me getting about 2hrs of sleep a night and with pharmaceutical help, I was able to get about 5 hours of broken sleep getting up a few times a night and staying up sometimes for 3 or 4 hours before I could get back to sleep for anywhere from a few minutes to a couple hours. After losing 39 pounds, I am now sleeping about 6-7hrs a night. I get up once or twice, but usually get right back to sleep! BIG WIN!
  • Some Symptoms of Chronic Illness Do Not Improve with Better Nutrition or Weight Loss
    While some things do indeed get better with good nutrition and weight loss, some things do not. (Contrary to what others have told us about just needing to think positively or pray more.) Sleep and energy can and do get better with better nutrition and without carrying around extra weight, but they may not totally be resolved. Also pain is much better with less weight on your joints and such, but Fibro isn’t completely resolved through these things. I still have times I get tired or have pain and I still get up a few times a night, BUT they are all much better than they used to be so it’s a win. Just not a complete fix.
  • Everyone can feel at least somewhat better without excess weight
    I was skeptical at first about how much energy I’d get back if any. After a year on my weight loss journey, I can tell you that it has been a HUGE win for me. What I learned is that it’s a big win for MANY fibro sufferers and for others with chronic illness as well. I think everyone can benefit from being at a healthy weight and I’d love to show you how you can join me in feeling better!
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What I learned Last year…

What I learned last year is just how much nutrition and weight can affect those of us with chronic illness. I never thought it was a good thing to be 5′ nuthin’ and almost 50 pounds overweight, but I didn’t think it had as much of an affect as it did. BUT…it wasn’t just the weight! No!

It was also what I didn’t realize about nutrition. I thought I was making good choices. I wasn’t eating large portions. I wasn’t eating a lot of junk food. I was eating mostly low carb, low fat, very little prepackaged foods with high sodium and, and was eating very few calories. In fact, my doctor never even suggested that I lose weight…and she was TRAINED IN NUTRITION!

What I learned last year is just how scientific the process of weight loss needs to be in order to get into and stay in fat burn. That’s why I never lost my peri menopause weight and that’s why I kept piling on the pounds after my hysterectomy! It’s not just what you eat, but how, and when. AND it needs to be tweaked at times as you go because everyone’s body is different and it changes as you go through the process.

But what I was most surprised about was how much good nutrition plays a part in exercise. I knew that you needed good, solid nutrition to be at your best and that would include exercise, but I had no idea I was not getting what I needed until I went through this process.

Now I know that my body needs a little more protein that most. I feel much better with more protein. I think it’s because my arms and legs and head shakes from the Essential Tremors that I use more energy during the day than most just to exist. BUT what I learned is how to get that extra protein without adding a ton of calories or other things my body doesn’t need.

This is a different process for each person. The kind of program you need may be different than it is for someone else…say your husband. It was for me and mine! The program and process is a bit different based on your health, your health goals and your individual needs and lifestyle. And that is exactly why you need a coach. I would never have gotten to this point if it had not been for my coach and that is exactly why I am so passionate about coaching!

If you’re tired of being tired, contact me! I would love to partner with you so you can reach YOUR health goals!

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Facebook Lives

I’ve done a few Facebook Lives this year about how my body and energy has changed since I started my weight loss/health journey. I thought I’d share them here in case you missed them. They are in chronological order.

This first one I did talked about what my couch and my stairs had in common with my weight loss/health journey:

This next video I did talked about my Aha Moment when I realized I needed to lose weight: 

And this final video talked about how much excess weight and being unhealthy had to do with my fibro fatigue: 

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March is Natl Nutrition Month!

I’m doing a whole series of tips on my Facebook page in my stories and posts for National Nutrition Month. If you’re on Facebook, look me up!

I’ll have tips and ideas and probably some things you’ve not considered over there.

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One Year Health Anniversary

Today marks ONE YEAR since I started my health journey! Down 38 lbs which is the EXACT weight of this 28 pack of 20 oz bottles of water! (I’m trying to smile, but…it’s HEAVY!) 😂

I’m 5’ nuthin’ and basically the size of the average 12 y/o. I wear size 3 children’s shoes, children’s gloves, and can fit in toddler size hats! So, carrying around 38 extra lbs created a LOT of energy and health consequences!

I was thin most of my life until peri menopause hit and I’ve spent 21 yrs looking for a way to get my health back! Last year I found it! And this is why I’m so excited about being a health coach! If it worked for me (with all my health issues), it can work for ANYBODY and I’d love to help you reach your health goals!

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2021 Update on my weight loss/chronic illness journey

When I started my weight loss process, I was 152 lbs. For my 5′ nuthin’ frame and child sized appendages, that’s a LOT! I tried every diet known to mankind with zero results and I couldn’t do too much exercise being so tired I had to rest after taking a shower!

My mom said she plateaued before she was able to lose all her menopause weight and I found I had plateaued at 148 or so. That’s where I was for some time when (as you may remember) I had asked my doctor, who is trained in nutrition, what I should do. She suggested I limit myself to 1200 calories/day and was already at 900-1000 just eating what I usually ate. So, THAT didn’t help.

That’s when I got a health coach. She helped me tweak my eating and taught me how and what to eat for optimal weight loss (tailored to my own weird body along the way) and I was finally able to lose the weight.

My original goal was to reach my pre menopause weight of 115, but when I got there, I decided to see if I could try to get down a bit more. I’m currently maintaining a weight of about 112! I literally NEVER thought I’d see that number again on a scale I was standing on! But here I am!

I went from a size 8 to a size 2! My blood pressure went back down to my normal reading of just a tiny bit below the normal reading from being almost too high for my doctor’s comfort!

I went from taking three naps a day to NONE! And from having to rest after taking a shower and having to sit on a chair to blow dry my hair to not have a problem at all with this kind of task!

Turns out that not carrying around an extra 34 lbs makes a HUGE difference in my energy level! I had NO IDEA it would make that much of a difference. NONE! But it did!

Some other little odd victories:
1. I fit back into my daughter’s size 10/12 children’s t-shirt!

2. My engagement ring on my right ring finger spins around and the diamond is pointing to my palm most of the time. Something I had forgotten happened all the time in the winter. It’s sized correctly. It’s just that my knuckles are much thicker than the space under it for the ring. So it swings.

3. My wedding ring, which was always just a tad too big in the winter, again flies off at times.

One of the most difficult things about being this thin again is that it’s almost impossible to find size two pants in extra short! But what a lovely problem to have!

Overall, I’d have to say that I’m so excited to enter 2021 with less of me than I entered 2020 with! It not only makes me feel good to see myself in the mirror, but it makes me feel GOOD because I’m so much less fatigued!

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Christmas Makeover!

We had a special kind of fun this Christmas! Check this out!

So, after I lost a good portion of my menopause weight, my husband decided to give it a try.

He’s been overweight just about all his life. He’s tried a lot of things over the years, but nothing really worked long enough to make much difference and, as he got older, he had some trouble doing a lot of the exercises that had at least helped him when he was young.

I helped him to lose 56 pounds! Doesn’t he look fabulous?! I’ve known him for 39 years (since college) and this is the first time I’ve EVER seen him this thin!!!

So, we decided to have some fun on Christmas Day and recreated a picture of him from many years ago! (Last picture) 🥰

We gave ourselves the gift of health and fitness this Christmas. 🎄Our blood pressure is down and we have more energy. (Yes, even chronic illness me!)

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A Pandemic Weight Loss Story

As is fitting for the end of 2020, I’m going out of this crazy year in true Life Beyond Surviving/JoJoisms style. So, here’s a funny story to help you ring in the new year:

Covid19 has added several terms we’d probably prefer never to hear again. However, as I read through some posts the other day, I realized that several of them could be related to weight loss and it would make for a funny story. 😂

Since I lost 33 lbs during this pandemic, I thought I’d found a creative way to tell my story, but Facebook only showed it to like 12 people. So, I’m sharing it elsewhere including here on my blog. Have a giggle on me!

A Pandemic Weight Loss Story

It was March of 2020. I’d been sheltering in place for several years at that point due to an outbreak of chronic illness. I had experienced an epidemic of weight gain since the underlying condition of menopause and it had spread to just about every part of me. The transmission rate was alarming and I was very antibody!

I remember sheltering in place during the incubation period when I happened to look in the mirror and just about needed a ventilator! It was then that I made a decision that it was essential, even while safe at home, to flatten the curve!

“We’re all in this together!” I declared to my community spread! For several months, I was in close contact with my health coach as I quarantined my unhealthy weight until my thighs began social distancing.

My symptoms have steadily decreased, my energy has improved and I’ve lived happily thin ever after!

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I’m a size 2!

I never thought I would EVER say this again, but I’m a size 2! Two! I haven’t been able to fit my hind quarters into a size 2 since before I was pregnant with my son – 21 years ago!!!

I only have one pair of pants that fit well enough for me to be seen in public and they are the size 4s I was wearing in my after picture that I posted a a few blog posts ago.

My dh decided to buy me a new pair of jeans and asked what size I am now. I said 4, but then I remembered that I had to take the waist in quite a bit after having lost 33 lbs. So, I tried on a few of the size 4s that I had cut into long shorts several yrs ago and they were too BIG!

I had been wearing them just before it got cooler earlier this year and they fit then! But I’m now 114 pounds and they are too big!

I’ve been telling everyone that I went from a size 8 to a size 4. But I’m actually a size 2! Do you know how hard it is to find a size 2 petite? It’s wonderfully difficult!!! 💜💜💜💜🥰

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