Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Susan's Story - A Busy Mom's Challenges, Setbacks and Victories

For anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m Ivy’s sister-in-law in Chicago. I was skinny my entire life and never had to worry about dieting. When I was 31, I had my first baby. I gained an incredible amount of weight with the pregnancy. When that baby was 8 months old, I was pregnant with my second. In a period of 5 years, I had 4 babies and I never lost the weight in between pregnancies. Although I felt overjoyed with my children, I was extremely tired and had little time to take care of myself. I made buttered noodles, peanut butter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, etc. for my children and that is what I ate, too. Some days, I went without any fruits or vegetables and ate carbs for every meal. When my children wanted crackers or cookies, I ate them, too. 

Two years ago, I decided that I needed to start caring for myself better. I was sick of being overweight and feeling tired. All of my close friends and neighbors were thin. These girls all made time for themselves. Even if they had little children, they hired nannies or babysitters and made sure that they got their butts to the gym. I started putting my little ones in the babysitting service at the gym and made it a point every day to go to the gym at least for a half an hour. In my mind, I felt like I had to work so hard to even get to the gym, I better make my time there pay off. I started to eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat. Eventually, started eating vegan because I noticed the weight falling off and I was feeling energetic and really good about myself.

I still made meat dishes and pasta almost nightly for my family and had a pantry full of kid snacks like crackers, cookies, chips, etc., but I didn’t eat any of it. I always had fruit and vegetables on hand for myself and encouraged my little ones to eat these healthier foods, too. I loved the results of eating this way and taking care of myself. I got very thin, was thrilled to be buying a new wardrobe of cute clothes and received multiple comments daily from acquaintances and friends complimenting the way that I looked.

Last year, my Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In addition to caring for my four young children, I was caring for my Mom. I attended every radiation, chemo and doctor appointment that I could with her. Most times, my younger two children were in tow for these appointments. Other times, my sister or friends helped watch them. The support from my friends and family during this stressful time was tremendous. Everyone close to me told me to remember to take care of myself. I didn’t listen. I never had time to go to the gym. I started to eat whatever “crap” I felt like at the hospital cafeteria or at fast food restaurants. I basically felt sorry for myself and what I was going through, so I decided to soothe myself with cookies and French fries. Slowly, I gained back the 20+ pounds I had lost.

Thankfully, my Mom is doing extremely well. I feel so grateful that she is still with us and that she is gaining her energy back. Three of my four kids are in school all day now. My youngest will be starting preschool tomorrow – yea! I am using this cleanse as a kick off to being healthy again and to feeling good about myself. I can now go to the gym every day and there are no excuses.

My goal is to lose the weight that I gained and be thin again hopefully by Thanksgiving or the holidays. I cannot fit into any of the new clothes that I purchased a year and a half ago. I have been living in my stretchy workout pants and forgiving dresses. I want desperately to take care of myself and not have stress in the future cause me to gain my weight back again.

For those of you who are new to the cleanse, it may seem hard at first. There are so many things to still eat. I love “Mary’s Gone Crackers” and hummus or homemade guacamole. I make vegetable stir fry, baked potatoes and grilled vegetables for dinner. There are a lot of options. Tonight, when I make my family chicken fajitas, I will eat the vegetables and some brown rice while they eat the tortillas and the chicken, too. It’s not a big deal! I’m not hungry. The only thing that I consistently have a problem with is sweets. I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. We always have chocolate or cookies in my house. There is always a birthday or special occasion where there is cake or some other delicious dessert. That is my downfall! I needed something sweet yesterday, and I grabbed a handful of cranberries. That did seem to settle my craving.

Good luck to everyone! Enjoy the benefits that you will get from cleansing. One of the best is a good night’s sleep. I sleep so soundly when I cleanse. I don’t know why – Ivy will have to give us the scoop on that one. It’s probably due to not having sugar or gluten.


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