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Monday, October 22, 2012

Eating Healthy

Hey guys, how's it going? We're living life with an insane impact here at Team Kratos! We've got testimonials coming in from everywhere, I'm being asked to speak all over DFW and even at some out-of-state locations as well as having people ask for weight loss and healthy lifestyle consultations! How awesome is that? And the best part is: malnourished kids are getting fed as a direct result of our efforts. That's what it's all about, right?

So today, I'll keep it short and sweet and focus on eating healthy. I know a few years ago I was a medical assistant with tons of health information crossing my desk every day but I was 30 lbs overweight after my first child and SO CONFUSED about what healthy eating really meant. (Maybe 30 lbs doesn't sound like much to you, but I'm only 5'1" I looked and felt pretty hefty).

One study said low carbohydrate diets were the only way to lose significant amounts of weight.

Another study said that low carbohydrate dieters lost significant weight at first, but almost always gained it back within 1 year.

Another studies said a high carbohydrate, low fat lifestyle was the only way to go.

Another study said high carbohydrate, low fat lifestyles led to increased health risks later in life.

One study said Paleo-style diets were the authority on healthy living.

Another study said Paleo-style diets caused kidney failure and other health complications.

So you can see my dilemma. Here I was, just had my first child, the doctor told me I was breastfeeding too much and making my baby fat, my OB/GYN was telling me he was concerned because he thought I should've dropped like 20 lbs by now post-baby, I hadn't slept in 3 months because my little girl had colic and everything I was reading contradicted everything else I was reading.

So what did I do? What any unhealthy, red-blooded American woman would do--I lived on Diet Coke, popcorn and chocolate with the occasional iceberg lettuce salad...covered in Ranch dressing...

As my weight continued to stubbornly stay put almost no matter what I did, my life stress levels were increasing due to lack of sleep (my daughter had colic for her first 9 months of life and no one slept!) and increased work load. I eventually developed stress related chest pain that culminated in a panic attack. It was kind of funny actually, I had no idea what was happening and thought I was dying or something. Fortunately my husband had experience with anxiety which had never plagued me before, and was able to figure out what was going on.

Anyhow, after that period in my life I did several significant things.

#1. I jumped OFF of the bandwagon. I decided that media on dieting was too varied: the master cleanse and the 17 day diet went in and out of popularity faster than I could blink--and I'm sure they'll do it again in a few years. I just thought about what the facts were, what every body was seeing in a general blanket and that I would stick with those, namely increasing vegetables and decreasing processed foods and simple carbohydrates like white flour and white sugar.

#2. I made vegetables my best friend. Don't get me wrong--I love meat and I'm not a vegetarian. But instead of eating a giant steak with a few pieces of broccoli, I switched it around to a palm-sized portion of meat with 1 cup of broccoli. And for snacks, I avoided anything packaged and ate celery, chopped zucchini and summer squash with humus or some other kind of naturally occurring, non-packaged veggie. If I was cooking a larger portion for guests or something, I chose a meal with a basis of vegetables, such as a stir fry. That way, I could continue to eat healthy by having vegetables as the basis of the meal instead of a starch (our stir fry's are usually chicken or shrimp tossed in with frozen stir fry vegetables or cabbage and broccoli instead of rice--just as delicious and twice as healthy).

#3. I combined protein and complex carbs with every small meal, and increased my meals to 4-6 small meals daily. At first, I felt like I was just slightly hungry all the time. Eventually--probably after 2 or 3 days--my body began to adjust to the smaller, more frequent meals and it became natural to crave food every few hours and to feel satisfied with smaller meals more frequently. An example of protein and complex carbs would be: Lettuce (complex carb) and Chicken breast (protein), Apple (complex carb) and Peanut Butter (protein), raw Broccoli (complex carb) and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (protein). Or, another one of my favorites: 1/2 a banana (complex carbs) with a scoop of Osolean (protein) and some spinach (MORE complex carbs, yum!). Pretty easy stuff, right?

#4. I began to exercise. Like, really exercise, not consider walking around Wal-Mart for 20 minutes exercise. I lifted weights--dinky little 3 lb weights at first--for 10 minutes three times per week and went on 2 mile power walks on my lunch break (took me about 40 minutes at first). Eventually, I worked my way up to what I now LOVE to do: about an hour of running 5-6 times per week and weights 3-5 days per week. Mind you, I feel incredible when I work out so it's not something I'm doing to be vain or self-righteous--working out is now something I adore. I also park further away from the store to get in more of a walk, walk around a shopping center instead of going to one store, then my car, then driving to the next store haha, I take the stairs when possible, I limit my television and computer time, I walk while I read and in general do everything I can to keep my body moving. A study was just released that for every hour of television you watch, you take 22 minutes off of your life--THAT'S DOUBLE THE TIME FROM SMOKING A CIGARETTE! Not that I condone smoking--I absolutely don't, but how shocking is it that our TV habits are worse than smoking???

So, there you have it. A generalized condensed plan of how I changed my thinking patterns, my eating habits and began exercising to lose 35 pounds and keep it off for 4 years.

Have you lost weight? What worked for you? Comment below!

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