How’s that Journey to Health Going?

137 days-4 and a half months

Well, I’ve been on plan for 4.5 months now. The amount of joy and love I feel because of this incredible lifestyle is impossible to describe in words. My mood has completely been rebuilt. I was so full of depression and anxiety. I’m still struggling to balance, but I feel like I have some actual control, and have only had two panic attacks since getting 100% on plan compared to the minimum of one a week I had before. My family life has changed as well. My son, who I was worried about being too thin, has gained and looks so much healthier. My other half has lost weight as well, which is helping his self confidence, though he doesn’t like to admit that he ever needed to lose some weight.

This plan has brought me closer to God in my search for myself. I’ve learned to pray when I feel weak. I’ve learned to not put others before him, my other half, or my family. I am still struggling, but progress is being made every day.

My pain, which I certainly didn’t want to admit was from my weight, is so reduced that I can walk ten miles a day easily without feeling like I’m going to collapse. My stomach, which was torn apart in the worst way, now treats me well because this plan helped me figure out the foods I was sensitive to (corn being number one, and corn syrup being removed is a real blessing).

And… frankly, the results make me unable to stop smiling. I’m just humbled by the difference. I had to change my shorts before taking these pictures, because my size 18/20 shorts were falling off and not allowing these pictures to properly represent my difference. I started this plan at the beginning of March at a size 4x and 297lbs. Today I woke up at 244lbs, and my clothes are all too big so I’d say between a Large and 1x. It absolutely blows my mind. I used to never wear shorts, but I live in them now. I’m so much more comfortable in my body…

I’m so grateful for the people I have pushing me to become the best me I can be. I would like to share some links with you all including a link to a beachbody coach that has been helping me where it comes to exercise and my youtube and instagram link.

Ariel’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefitveganmom/
Ariel is a mom of five, a dedicated unschooler, and one of my biggest supporters on this journey to health I’ve embarked on.

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mommisami/
I don’t have a ton on there yet, but I will be posting more and more.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SamiJordynn
I have a little bit of everything posted here. Health stuff, music stuff, parenting stuff… Please subscribe!

YOU ARE LOVED!

 

I’ve Been on a Journey

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Well hello there my incredible followers. I’m always amazed when I come back from a stupidly long hiatus and find out that you’re still here. Thank you. Thank you for trusting me to return, and thank you for inspiring me to open up to you again and again.

Today I need to tell you what has kept me away, and more importantly what has happened in the last SIX months. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but the date stamp on my last post doesn’t lie. It’s been a roller coaster ride, and I say that in the most positive way I can muster. Health, family, death, life, school, work, emotions… well, here we go.

Around New Years I weighed myself for the first time in apparently far to long. I had managed to let myself go and gained so much weight that the scale painfully read: 295lbs. My heart sank, the tears poured from my eyes, and I laid back down onto the couch wondering what on Earth had led to such an unhealthy place. Yet, nothing changed. I continued to eat everything in sight, the cheapest of things, and feeling just awful. My back was in excruciating pain, my knees would click every step, I physically could not tie my shoes without losing my breath. Playing with Caleb was a huge no go because five minutes in I was too sore. I would play with him while sitting, but knew it wasn’t enough for him. My clothes were all too small or I’d wear things many sizes too big because finding a 4x was somehow impossible. Not to be too raunchy, but even sex was ruined because of all the weight I’d gained. I couldn’t do much besides lay there, and even then it was terrible, which poor Corey could surely feel. The littlest bit of pressure would suffocate me, the extra fat pushing onto my lungs and rib cage. I couldn’t be on top, because I didn’t have the stamina or strength to make it work.

Still feeling awful about myself, I decided to cut soda out and only drink water. I figured that one change would be a good start, and it was! I lost twenty pounds in the month of January, and though I felt great, once that weight was gone, my body was unwilling to lose anything else. Then I started baking. I baked these delicious treats every day, and suddenly those twenty pounds, along with another two, were back in no time at all. I had almost decided to just deal with it. I figured I wouldn’t be able to make the changes I need, so I should just used to it. I couldn’t exercise, I was in too much pain. I couldn’t eat vegan or any weird plan because I couldn’t afford it with Corey refusing it.

That’s when I was invited out to dinner with some dear family I hadn’t seen in a while. My sister-in-law and her awesome mom had lost a ton of weight, and I couldn’t stop staring! These were not small women getting super fit, but instead women like me who struggled with weight and it was like they’d just melted! I didn’t dare ask how though, because I was so sure I couldn’t do it myself. Once dinner came my sister-in-law, unable to contain her excitement, filled me in anyway. It was this “new” lifestyle (not diet) plan that they’d been on called Trim Healthy Mama. She explained that it was separating fuels and that her mom showed her it. Her mom then told me that every week they had dinners for it and that I could come. This was the middle of February, I wasn’t so sure, but figured it would be nice spending time with them anyway and free food can never hurt.

What incredible food that night was filled with! Cheese cake, lasagna… CHEESE CAKE. There was no way that it could be diet food. No way. Not possible… I went home and researched. Hours upon hours, reading everything I possibly could. I printed out pages and pages of tips, recipes, information, charts, motivation, and bible verses. This was food Corey would eat, food to keep Caleb healthy, food that I could afford, and best yet, according to my own family it worked! Corey thoughtfully purchased the official book and cookbook for the plan, and we did our first big shopping trip… He loved everything I made and this “lifestyle” plan was a go.

A friend of mine approached me, seeing that I was on this journey to fitness and health, and invited me to these week long exercise challenges. I accepted her offer, and got my butt totally handed to me. The first week was squats. The next was clean eating (already happening) and mixed exercises. I kept doing these challenges, but not really giving them my all if I was being honest. Then she started a core challenge. I had herniated a disk the week before, and was just barely rid of the swelling, but I told myself I HAD to go for this challenge. I knew my core was weak, and a lot of my pain came from that. I did that work out every single day for that week, and it hasn’t stopped. My back pain is nearly gone, and my whole body feels stronger in the best way. Might I add I also won two contests for that group that week, and that felt pretty darn awesome.

I started this journey at the beginning of March weight 297lbs and a 4x in clothing. Currently I weight 250lbs and I’m an XL in clothing. Those are incredible facts, but the non-scale victories outshine them every time. I can now run around with Caleb for a good hour. Walks that used to take me an hour and leave me miserable now take half the time and are done almost daily just because I enjoy them. I no longer suffer from chronic pain, but it is instead manageable with turmeric supplements. I’m a better mother and fiance. Sex, yes sex, has never been better. I’m so much more flexible, agile, and we can finally enjoy that time together again. This path has been, surprisingly, easy! Well, relatively. It’s hard, every step is hard. Making the choice to eat the salad over pizza, making the choice to prepare food every day instead of ordering something, choosing to do the dishes ten times a day because you use so many mason jars… yeah it’s hard. Getting up an hour earlier to go for a walk and do a Jillian Michael’s workout DVD… that’s hard! You know what’s harder? Being constantly tired, in pain, and knowing that you aren’t the mom you want to be. Nothing kills me more than knowing that my kid had to suffer because I wasn’t willing to make these choices till March. Now I just continue because not only is it the best for him,  but for myself as well.

My life is so full and blessed. I can’t afford to stop fighting to improve me. I can’t stop, because this life is a gift that can not be wasted. Below is the difference that three months of this journey made for me. Originally I was going to fill you lovely readers in on the last six months completely in this one post, but I think I’ve made you read enough already. I’ll be back to fill you in tomorrow though!

You are loved!

94 days-three months

Turkey, Broccoli, Egg Muffins!

Okay, I have a REAL winner for you all today! My son has a new obsession with eggs, and I’ve made scrambled, fried, and omelets already this last week. I on the other hand have been on a muffin making binge, and also made a whole turkey yesterday. When Caleb asked for eggs today, I decided to put these delicious egg muffins together.

Ingredients:

cooked turkey (enough to fill the bottom of the cup, you can use deli meat)

broccoli (three pieces per muffin)

6 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp minced garlic

1 1/2 slice cheese of choice (I used American)

Preheat oven at 350 degrees and prepare your muffin tin. I love, love, love these silicone muffin liners. They are reusable, and anything cooked in them just pops right out.

Next, microwave your broccoli. 30 seconds from fresh/thawed, or 60 seconds for frozen. Put the turkey and broccoli in each cup (like in picture three.

Now whisk together the eggs, milk, and seasonings until you have a consistent mixture. This is the same egg recipe I would use for scrambled eggs. Caleb loves them, and they have just enough seasoning without overpowering the eggs. I recommend whisking this in a measuring cup, or anything with a pouring spout really. It’ll make it much easier to poor over the turkey and broccoli, which is exactly what you need to do next.

Lastly, place a quarter slice of cheese on top of each muffin cup. If you don’t press it in, it should float, and will be the perfect topped layer. Put the muffin tin into the oven and let it bake for 25-30 minutes. Just like a regular muffin, stick a toothpick or knife into the finished muffin to test if it’s done.

These are really great, because you can prep them the night before, and stick them into the oven in the morning if you want. You can also freeze them for later. Microwave them 45-60 seconds from frozen, or 30 seconds from thawed. These are easy to transport, and totally dip-able.

Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

New Years is known as a time to make resolutions, but I think other than the obvious (get healthy, do better, be a better parent, make money) things, New Year’s Day is a time for looking back on life. The one thing I’m sure of today, is I have no regrets.

For those of you following my life, you know there has been a whole lot wrong with it. Things that you’d probably change if you had the chance. Today I want to paint a picture of how my life would be today if I could change everything.

In sixth grade my parents started doing drugs, and my grades started slipping. I became the adult, and they were still my parents, but weren’t taking care of me the way I’d desire. Instead, lets imagine that they never needed the medication that got them hooked in the first place. Imagine I had asked them not to take it, and they didn’t. They went to physical therapy, acupuncture, and smoked pot to make themselves well.

Now if that happened, they wouldn’t have died. I would have lived a normal childhood, kept my perfect grades up, and gone to Gordon college (which I had a full scholarship to in real life, and chose not to  go to). That sounds great and all, but I would never have met Corey. He was a senior, a few days away from graduating, when I moved in with my aunt and uncle and changed schools. I met him by chance on my first day at the new school.

So, if I never met Corey, I wouldn’t have run away with him to Virginia, I wouldn’t have Caleb, and I probably wouldn’t be on the same educational path. Before we met I was planning to be a youth pastor, hence going to the Christian college, Gordon. I made that choice to run away, and I can’t regret that either. I don’t know how I would be without making it. I was so miserable, and it was my release.

Today, I’m so happy. I have a beautiful family, know that within the next three years (once I finish school) I’ll be married, and I’m happy with what I’ve gotten to give back to my community. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been perfect in the typical sense, but it’s been perfect for me.

Every little tragedy, every problem, every stumble, every sacrifice… has led to today. It has led to love. It has led to following my true passion. It has led to true, honest happiness. I have grown, I have been shown my destiny… and for that? I don’t regret anything.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Evil!

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Super dramatic title to drag you in…
Of course it isn’t really evil (or is it?) but I can tell you right now that it is a serious addiction. It’s in so many foods and drinks that we consume as a nation in a daily bases.
For my first month of “New Year Resolutions” I decided to cut out all soda and Arizona tea. After a few weeks of doing so I have started feeling less bloated, I am more awake, and my clothes are fitting again even though I’ve only lost half a pound. Great results from something so simple right? Now here’s the real kicker… For the first three weeks I craved it constantly. A few days ago I took a sip of my others half to take some Tylenol with… And it was disgusting! I was absolutely repulsed! So, the next day I went and tried an Arizona Tea… Same thing! I took one sip and gave it to the other half. The common denominator between the two? Corn Syrup! I started looking at other products around my home and anything with Corn Syrup in it was either nasty or just thrown straight out because it wasn’t worth keeping it in my home.
That’s right, we are a corn syrup free, raw cane sugar living household and I am so glad. Such a simple change that will help you loose inches and feel better right away.
For more information on why Corn Syrup is evil, check out this pretty awesome website.
Link

Sanctimommy… Is It Really a Bad Thing?

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Lately I’ve seen the line, “Mother knows best.” I’ve also seen, “We all parent differently, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” Sometimes that’s true. Whether you breastfeed or not, you’re still feeding your child. That’s great. Whether you bed share or not, as long as you’re there for your child, awesome. Some things just aren’t debatable. Some things are truly damaging to your child. When I, or anyone else for that matter, try to kindly mention such things, someone always pops up calling us a Sanctimommy. My knee jerk reaction is to backpedal. I don’t want to offend anyone or be too pushy but some subjects parents just aren’t educated about and the fact of the matter is often times I am. I do this research because of how important not only my child’s well being but others well being is to me. I do it because no one is perfect, I’ll be first to admit this, but the more you know the better you can do. So, next time you see someone doing something dangerous, speak up. Be proud to at least try to help a child. You don’t have to do it in a snarky way, you don’t even have to say much more than, hey have you heard about… Just say something because you never know what affect you’ll have on someone.
Here is a list of common topics that seem to be argued about but have all the scientific proof to back just one side:
Car Seats Do Not Belong on Top of Grocery Carts
Babies Should Not Start Food Till at the Least Four Months (look into open gut)
Cereal Does NOT Belong in Bottles
Rear Facing in the Car Seat till a Minimum of Two Years Really Can Save Lives
You Can Drink Alcohol and Nurse (Sober Enough to Drive=Sober Enough to Nurse -No Need to Pump and Dump!)

Feel free to ask me for more information on any of those things. I will give you information to back it up. Should I add anything to the list?

Happy New Years!

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I know, I know… Where the heck have you been Sami? Why haven’t you put out a post in forever!?
I’m sorry! I honestly don’t have a very good excuse. I wish I did… My little man turned one in October and my life has been consumed with him, babysitting, and crocheting! I swear, every free moment I have I have been crocheting. Then every weekend up until Christmas I was doing craft fairs. Now that 2014 is gone and 2015 has come crashing in, I finally have some time to just sit down and write.
The first thing I want to talk about is of course, my New Year’s Resolution. I don’t have one! I have a very short term healthy goal though. This year I plan to cut one or two things out of my diet each month. January it’s Soda and Sweet Tea because frankly, I just drink way to much of it and that isn’t very good for me. So this month I am only drinking water and coffee. I need my caffeine still. Sugarless coffee though, which works because my aunt bought me Pumpkin Coffee for Christmas which is fabulous! On top of this, my lovely fiancé purchased me an elliptical for Christmas as well and that shall be my daily half hour work out.
Why is this necessary? My whole life (from about 14-18 at least) I was 180lbs. That was big obviously but it was comfortable. I was healthy. Currently, at only 20 years old, I am 270lbs. I feel terrible. I wheeze walking down the street. I can barely bend over. My clothes don’t fit anymore. I’m willing to admit all these things because I’m not ashamed but things do need to change. I just drink too any sugary drinks, eat too much pasta, and my portion sizes need to change. I feel like I walk a good amount and get a decent amount of exercise but I need to step it up. My life, my child’s enjoyment, depends on it. So, wish me luck guys.
Next thing, my son is one! 15 months is more accurate but… He is walking, talking, and just too smart for my own good. He amazes me every single day. He is also still breastfeeding and sleeping with us but we have moved his mattresses next to our bed to give us all some extra room.
I’ve also begun taking a class called PLTI which stands for Parent Leader Training Institute. It’s essentially an ethics class that focuses on local government and how to make your community better for children. It’s a wonderful class and the people in it are truly wonderful. They just want to do what’s best for the kids and that’s a refreshing thing to see. Another big part of this is that the Three hours each week I am in the class, my son gets to go to daycare! It’s right in the building next to our class and I can go get him any time, but he is actually doing really well with it. You all know I am not a fan of daycares, I just don’t trust them, but he is with a bunch of older kids and seems genuinely happy to be there so for now we are sticking with it.
Another new thing unfortunately is that out laptop has broken which means any blog posts I put up will be from my phone. Because of that, please bare with me.
I think that’s a pretty decent update for now. I promise to try to post much more often from now on.
Thanks for sticking with me and Happy New Year!

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The Dirty Truth About Menstruation after Childbirth

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EDIT: This is just one case. No, not everyone has a period like this once they give birth. This was written because many women have this experience and it can be scary. Everyone is different. Do not take this as, YOU WILL HAVE THIS.

Oh my goodness. They don’t warn you about this. No one talks about it. No one wants to talk about it but gosh do I wish I had known what would or even could happen once I finally got my period back. Let me just tell you, this is not the kind of post you want to read if you have a sensitive stomach or you are squeamish but it is something you should read if you are or soon will be pregnant.

Thanks to breastfeeding I got a wonderful extra seven months of no period. It was wonderful. When I finally did get it though I had no idea what was going on and found myself in the ER. I was convinced I had internal bleeding or even that I had been pregnant some how and was miscarrying. Thankfully neither were true, which we found out after four hours, and it was just a period.

Here’s what you can expect:

-VERY heavy bleeding; don’t be surprised if you soak a pad within two hours

-An insane amount of clotting; it’s like you’ve just given birth and the clots are still coming out

-Watery gushes of blood

-Extreme cramping

It might be scary, and I can guarantee it will be gross and a pain in the neck, but it’s normal and will eventually get better. Sadly tampons tend not to work anymore (they either soak too fast or they fall out) and pads have to be the super kind. The worst thing for me is sleep. I have to get up every few hours just to go to the bathroom, gush blood into the toilet because my body doesn’t let it all out while I sleep, and change my pad.

Some things I’ve found that helps:

-Take Ibuprofen every few hours to slow down the bleeding and help cramps

-Take a short walk

-Relax; take a nap when your little one naps

-Eat foods that are less gassy; avoid dairy and some vegetables

If anything seems off to you, don’t be afraid to go into the doctors though. Just know that it is NORMAL to bleed so much and to pass so many clots. Also, it can last MUCH longer. My second period lasted almost three weeks and was terrible. My first only lasted two weeks and this third one I’m hoping for a much shorter time till the bleeding stops but thankfully Ibuprofen makes it much more bearable.

Thanks For Reading Everyone! Hope This Helps!

How to Not Raise a Princess (or in my case, Prince)

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^^ My Friend’s ADORABLE 13 month Princess ^^

Children do not spoil, food does. That doesn’t mean you can’t accidentally entitle children causing them to believe the world revolves around them and that they will always get exactly what they want. Here are three easy steps to avoiding this.

1) Don’t make your child share and don’t let them expect other children to share with them. I went on a play date recently and Caleb’s friend, who is two and a half, was playing with a doll. Caleb wanted it and went to grab it from her. Her mother jumped to tell her to share and I said no. Don’t worry about it. It’s her’s. I don’t want Caleb to think that just because he wants something, he will get it. That isn’t how life works. You don’t get a car that belongs to someone else just because you want it. There were plenty of other toys so I just redirected him and he was fine. She was a happy little girl because her toy, that belongs to her, wasn’t taken away from her. She was already sharing all of her other toys and that is going above and beyond to be gracious in my mind. I wouldn’t want my one special thing taken away either.

2) Don’t be afraid to say no. I know, shocking after my introducing the idea of no post. It’s true though. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down. Times for that are like when you’re in a store. If your child is screaming for a cookie, and they’ve already had enough sugar, tell them no. Don’t reward screaming and disrespect. Instead, because we all know that the screaming doesn’t stop just because you say no, redirect. I talk about it again and again. Offer something healthy if you can afford it. Oh look at this super awesome apple. Honey you can pick out something yourself if you want but it can’t be a cookie and you can’t eat it right now. This way, their want is understood but you are leading to a better decision.

3) Money is not the only thing that makes a child happy and more over it shouldn’t be the main source of their happiness. Sadly, so many parents use money to stop crying and to make up for lost time. That’s the best way to make a child spoiled because they will forever need more to fill a much more important spot in their life. Kids don’t naturally want stuff. They just want you! The more QUALITY you time they have the less material items will mean. This means that even if you work, the time you have with them matters. Cuddling, talking, asking questions, can make your child feel loved and wanted and that need for things doesn’t even come up.

 Thank You for Reading and Good Luck My Lovely Readers

Music is an Amazing Tool

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A woman named Sharon Novak, who is a children’s song writer and performer, post a great article on her website that inspired me. Her article was about the value of group music classes for toddlers. I will link to her post at the end but I’m writing today because I’ve been inspired. Music has a great teaching value on Toddlers, but also has an amazing affect on milestones for babies.

The picture above is a great example of this. Corey sat on one side of the bongo, Caleb on the other, and Corey would hit his side. After watching his daddy made the sounds, Corey would copy him. He was still so little then and it helped him learn how to use his hands. It was a real cause and effect and a great bonding moment for them as well.

Even from birth music helps with the littlest, most important things. There was this amazing study done on premature babies. When given a pacifier it would activate lullabies to be played. They would calm considerably. These babies that were played the music had an even more amazing result though. They began to gain weight much quicker than their NICU counterparts.

Playing music has been shown to improve math skills. The best time to try getting a person into learning something new is when they are a baby and their interests are just now being developed. This can be as simple as a toy guitar or drum. It’s something to make them interested in learning the real thing in the future.

Another bonus is speech development. Lullabies are great because they often show simple rhyming patterns and have a lot of repetition. Like with anything, repetition is the way to learn how to speak. When a child hears the word moon over and over they start trying to say this interesting and wonderfully sung word. I personally learned how to sign through songs. I would pick a song, learn the signs to it, and later I’d remember the signs because of the song. It’s like learning a dance. It’s always easier with the music.

The real point is, bring music into your baby’s life. It can be a great way to bond and soothe your child. Caleb HATES being on changing tables. Sometimes in public we have to use them. The only way I can keep him calm is by singing Let it Go. He will smile up at me and I can get the job done.

Thank You for Reading!

http://www.musicforkidswithsharonnovak.com/news-from-sharon/the-value-of-group-classes-for-toddlers/