What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation

This is a true story about inflammation that I could literally see with my own two eyes.  It was quite interesting actually to see it up close.

My beautiful daughter who is a third-grade school teacher, was on medication to aid her with weight loss.  She had a terrible allergic reaction to the medication. Next, she broke out in hives/whelps all over her body. Just so you know, this kind of inflammation is brought on by histamine.

Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.  “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

She needed something to soothe her skin.  I volunteered to go to Walgreens to pick up some Aveeno lotion to help her get some relief.

Now, she hadn’t eaten dinner so she wanted something quick and easy so ramen noodles to the rescue… Or not.

I stayed with her while she ate and I kid you not, about 15 minutes after she ate those noodles, her hives turned bright red and doubled in size!

Inflammation at work

This my friend, is inflammation at work. The fact that she had hives was bad enough, but eating those glutinous noodles put her in an advanced state of misery.  The poor thing!

Now, sadly I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t tell her or advise her not to eat this particular food because she’s a grown woman. (And I’m still her mother and she’s not going to listen to me anyway.)

What’s the point of this story?
Sometimes it takes getting kicked while you’re down to understand how inflammatory foods affect you.

Gluten gets a bad rap.   However, there are quite a few other foods that cause and aggravate inflammation, illness, bone and joint conditions beyond arthritis and bring on headaches and migraines seemingly out of left field until you investigate the cause.

I know all too well how unhealthy eating habits can take their toll on a person’s quality of life. Long story short, I have lost as of today 176 lbs. Yes, I had weight loss surgery which was only the beginning of an entirely new way of life and journey to health and fitness.

Replace inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory foods

 

What everyone should know about inflammation - Embracing-Aging.com

Omega 3 found in fish help put out the flame in inflammation. Feel free to pin this image.

The sooner one can make the necessary food substitutions the sooner one can get on the path to feeling healthier, energetic and vibrant. I believe the most important part of eating better,  when replacing an inflammatory food with an anti-inflammatory is to make it easy. A perfect example adds olive oil to your cooking replacing vegetable oil.  Starting with small adjustments will motivate you to do more to feel better.  I wrote Superior Foods for Optimal Nutrition to inform myself and others about foods containing the most nutritional value.

8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation

When you have arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state. What you eat may not only increase inflammation, it can also set you up for other chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  From Arthritis.org, here are 8 typical food ingredients that may trigger more inflammation in your body.

Sugar

It may be hard to resist desserts, pastries, chocolate bars, sodas, even fruit juices. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Sugar goes by many names so look out for any word ending in “ose,” e.g. fructose or sucrose on ingredient labels.

 Trans Fats

In the 1990s, Harvard School of Public Health researchers helped sound the alarm about trans fat.   Trans fats,  trigger systemic inflammation. Trans fats are in fast foods and other fried products.  Such as processed snack foods, frozen breakfast products, cookies, donuts, crackers, and most stick kinds of margarine. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient labels.

Saturated Fats

Several studies have shown that saturated fats trigger adipose (fat tissue) inflammation.  This is an indicator of heart disease and also worsens arthritis inflammation. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fats in the average American diet, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other culprits include meat products (especially red meat), full-fat dairy products, pasta dishes, and grain-based desserts.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.  Fatty acids are in corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, soy oil, peanut oil, and vegetable oil; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

 Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products (bread, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes (instant mashed potatoes, or french fries) and many kinds of cereal are refined carbohydrates. According to Scientific American, processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conditions. These high-glycemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation.

 MSG

Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor-enhancing food additive most commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, but it can also be added to fast foods, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. This chemical can trigger two important pathways of chronic inflammation, and affect liver health.

 Gluten and Casein

People who have joint pain and are sensitive to gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye, or casein, found in dairy products, may find relief by avoiding them. And those diagnosed with celiac disease, in which gluten sets off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and sometimes causes joint pain may find relief when they adopt a gluten-free diet. There may be an overlap in which some people with arthritis also have a gluten sensitivity or also have celiac disease.

Aspartame

Trying to go sugar-free? I get it. For me, sugar is far more problematic than Aspartame.  This might not be true for you.  People with diabetes depend on sugar substitutes for blood sugar maintenance.

However, Aspartame is a non-nutritive, intense artificial sweetener found in more than 4,000 products worldwide. While it’s approved by the FDA, studies on its effects are mixed, and the impact on people with autoimmune disease are unknown. If you are sensitive to this chemical, your immune system may react to the “foreign substance” by attacking the chemical. This reaction will trigger an inflammatory response.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a burden to the liver. Excessive use weakens liver function and disrupts other multi-organ interactions. Furthermore, alcohol causes inflammation and should be eliminated or used in moderation.

Better food choices

Gluten is not the only offender. Especially if you’re fighting illness or dealing with arthritis or healing from an injury. Here is where the handy-dandy infographic comes in.

I see no need for reinventing the wheel, so I borrowed this infographic from Dr. Amy Neuzil, ND.  She is the author of What the Health. To read more you can go to her site dramyneuzil.com 

What everyone should know about inflammation - EmbracingAging.us

Infographic from What the Health

Keep track of your health and wellness

So the next time you aren’t feeling as good as you should, take a look at what you eat.  You can feel significantly better by switching out inflammatory foods for anti-inflammatory foods.

When I have a way to keep track of my food intake and exercise routines, I do so much better.  Using a habit tracker, food, and water tracker makes it clearer to me how I’m managing my health and wellness.

 You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track.  Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” What Everyone Should Know About Inflammation” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age.

 

 

 

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

According to the Mayo Clinic, Insulin Resistance & Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

You should know, this post contains affiliate links.  In other words,  if you click on or purchase one of the product links, I’ll receive some compensation. Which further allows me to support my coffee addiction.

Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a greater risk of serious disease. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, rises even higher.

Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, and up to one-third of U.S. adults have it. If you have metabolic syndrome or any of its components, aggressive lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems.

Symptoms

Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome don’t have obvious signs or symptoms. One sign that is visible is a large waist circumference. And if your blood sugar is high, you might notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes — such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.

When to see a doctor

If you know you have at least one component of metabolic syndrome, ask your doctor whether you need testing for other components of the syndrome.

Causes

Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and inactivity.

It’s also linked to a condition called insulin resistance. Normally, your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat into sugar. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps sugar enter your cells to be used as fuel.

In people with insulin resistance, cells don’t respond normally to insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. As a result, your blood sugar levels rise even as your body churns out more and more insulin to try to lower your blood sugar.

Risk factors

The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:

  • Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age.
  • Ethnicity. In the United States, Hispanics— especially Hispanic women — appear to be at the greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Obesity. Carrying too much weight, especially in your abdomen, increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Diabetes. You’re more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Other diseases. Your risk of metabolic syndrome is higher if you’ve ever had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea.

Complications

Having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing:

  • Type 2 diabetes. If you don’t make lifestyle changes to control your excess weight, you may develop insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Eventually, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Heart and blood vessel disease. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can contribute to the buildup of plaques in your arteries. These plaques can narrow and harden your arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Prevention

Mayo Clinic’s book Healthy Heart for Life is an excellent resource for help.

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life Book Cover -  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life

  See it on Amazon

A lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle may prevent the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome. A healthy lifestyle includes:

  • Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days
  • Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains
  • Limiting saturated fat and salt in your diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking

If you would like to contact a professional at the Mayo Clinic, here are a few resources that can help you.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - Embracing Aging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome

   Smart Carbs and Proteins

Healthy bread - Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Bread can be healthy when it’s whole grain and nutrient-dense.

7 of the Healthiest Breads you can choose

  • Sprouted whole grain
  • Sourdough
  • 100% whole wheat
  • Oat bread
  • Flax bread
  • 100% sprouted rye bread
  • Healthy gluten-free bread

Over at Healthline.com, you can find a detailed description of each one of these healthy bread options.

Also, homebaked bread using whole grains and whole mixed grains can be a healthy option over sugary store brands.  I enjoy homebaked loaves of bread with walnuts, cranberries, and dates. I like being able to control my ingredients from choosing gluten-free coconut flour and using a sugar substitute.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome- EmbracingAging.us

Healthy dried fruit and nuts in a whole grain loaf.

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

One of the most dangerous places to have fat is around your chest and belly.

Harvard Medical School’s Publication Harvard Health had this bit of important documentation about the dangers of visceral fat around your internal organs:  Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.

  Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome - EmbracingAging.us

Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome risk increase with abdominal fat

 

The fat you can pinch is subcutaneous fat. The fat inside your belly (the visceral fat) can be seen and measured, but not pinched.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting helps you lose belly fat

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.

Getting control over Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome can be jump-started by losing 25 pounds.

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You are your own best resource. What the heck does that even mean?  Well, it means that if you don’t take care of yourself, who’s going to take care of the important things that you do?  The kids, the job, the dishes, walk the dog. Whatever it is you’re doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them regularly. I created a guidebook to help those who would like to lose 25 pounds.  You Cabe 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook. 

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster.  Rather there are ways to use positivity to motivate us to take care of ourselves better.  I’d like to use weight loss as an example of how we can take care of ourselves as a resource.   Let me rephrase “THE” resource.  You are the only you,  you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track., Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus ways to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook - EmbracingAging.us

You can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

Physical Stamina and Vitality

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality. However, I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

An ounce of prevention is supposedly worth a pound of cure so maintaining wellness visits to the doctor are recommended with a place to include your notes and ideas for best results.

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post ” Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome” helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age.

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

 

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook.  This is not your typical diet plan.  This guidebook helps you discover your strengths and weaknesses concerning weight loss and aging gracefully.

This is me, at 380lbs. I was putting on a happy face but I was in trouble. I had to have help in and out of the car, up and downstairs, and I could only take showers because I couldn’t fit in the bathtub.

Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.

The hardest part of being this heavy for me was the fact that I felt like I was much much older than I was. I’m 42 years old in the picture below. But I felt like 92. Everything hurt. my joints, knees, and feet as well as my mental health.

Since the best policy is honesty, I did have weight loss surgery in 2007. However, I had been successful in the past at losing 53 pounds in the year 2000 because it was the beginning of a new era. Needing to make a fresh start, I thought it was now or never. I was doing it and I was so proud of myself. I felt better, and my mobility was better.  Never will I forget the feeling of this accomplishment. Then I hurt my right knee and my walking habit slowed down significantly. Then, I started to gain the weight back, I didn’t take care of the knee as well I should have (too many rollerskating accidents) and I lost my willpower and my momentum.

I don’t have to do this but…

Fast forward to 2016, I was keeping off about 125 lbs after weight loss surgery. But my Daughter was needing some support with her efforts to lose weight. So I followed her to the gym every morning at 5:00. Lord, I thought, I don’t have to do this, but I’ll do anything for my kids. I was going home afterward and taking a nap, lol.

 

Even though I had lost 125lbs I was terribly out of shape.  Seeing the importance of exercise and good nutrition, I increased my intake of lean protein and vegetables, many from our backyard garden.   Because my Daughter was an out of town school teacher with a very long day she started going to the gym in the little town she taught 3rd grade. I had more weight I could lose so I carried on at our local gym and was able to establish some good habits and build strength. I was doing cardio, strength training, and sometimes swimming and water weights.

You Are Your Own Best Resource

You are your own best resource. What the heck does that even mean?  Well, it means that if you don’t take care of yourself, who’s going to take care of the important things that you do?  The kids, the job, the dishes, walk the dog. Whatever it is your doing there are folks or fur babies that count on you to be there for them regularly. I created a guidebook to help those who would like to lose 25 pounds.  You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook. 

It doesn’t mean that you put your head down and put your nose to the grindstone.  I’ll work harder, longer, faster.  Rather there are ways to use positivity to motivate us to take care of ourselves better.  I’d like to use weight loss as an example of how we can take care of ourselves as a resource.   Let me rephrase “THE” resource.  You are the only you.  You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of the things and the people you love.

Here, I’m in my Daughter’s classroom helping her get ready for another school year. To date,  I have now lost a total of about 190lbs.

The printable you Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook, is full of questions for you to contemplate and tips to help you find your way back on track.  Most people know what they need to do. However, getting started can be half the battle.

Real Progres

Furthermore, being honest with ourselves is sometimes tricky when it comes to being accountable for what we eat and how much we exercise. Real progress comes when we are being really honest with ourselves. Using the tools included in this guidebook will serve you well if you use them every day.

Included are:

  • Items you may need list
  • Goal setting guides
  • Food, Water, Exercise and Habit Trackers
  • Weight and inches lost tracker
  • Resources to connect you to more valuable & helpful content

Also, there’s help for you to use positive thinking and visualization. Plus tools to help you stay focused are also included. The printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook is what helps you find your way back to vitality and regaining physical stamina.

I reclaimed my physical stamina and vitality but I did it all on my own and it took me years and years to accomplish what I know today. It’s my most heartfelt wish to save you the time and impart to you the tools and information I’ve acquired to help you on your journey.

You Can be 25 Pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

This Guidebook helps you discover your strengths and weaknesses concerning aging gracefully.

Maintaining wellness visits to the doctor is recommended with a place to include your notes and ideas for the best results.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Creating value for you is my ultimate goal. It is my policy to over-deliver in quality and content.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, but if you are, I will give you a full refund because that’s how I roll. $19.99 includes everything in the printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook.

Connect with a friend

Here’s a tip, take this journey with a friend, discuss your progress, and help each other along.

Connecting with a friend can go a long way toward meeting your goals. Make time to take a walk together and possibly make it a regular part of a weekly routine to get together every Tuesday and Thursday to walk and get a coffee. Take a minute to listen to one another to discuss what’s working and share your progress notes.

I’ve learned how important quality of life is, improve your quality of life with the printable You Can be 25 pounds Younger a Write-in Guidebook

I wish you love and good health

That’s all for today friends.  Finally, I hoped this post helped you.  I would be so appreciative if you would take a moment to share this post with your favorite social media outlet.  Please feel free to leave your comments and share your healthy aging tips.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging,

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

Marriage is like a Roller Coaster Ride

Marriage is like a Roller Coaster ride EmbracingAging.us

Remember you’re in this for the long haul.

Marriage is like a Roller Coaster Ride

Marriage is like a Roller Coaster Ride. Well, here’s how my husband and I have stayed on this Roller Coaster Ride of marriage for nearly 27 years.  In the early years, there were children, 3 total. His mine and ours. 13 years later we had one more, a delightful boy, an unexpected looptyloop in the rollercoaster ride. Crazy but fun.

We made the decision that I would be a stay at home mom and he would work to support us. That was not the picnic we thought it would be. The long uphill climb on our Roller Coaster Ride.  It was a lot like being a single parent. He had to work two jobs most of the time to keep bills paid.

Couples need Date Nights

We were fortunate that we had grandparents in town to help give us a break once in a while so we could have an evening out together. That turned out to be really important because I look back and I see how date night refreshed us.  I highly recommend all married couples/partners, by all means, plan date nights. You deserve that special time alone together.

How I created more income

Later I decided that we could have more income if I opened our home and cared for more children. My poor exhausted husband could come home at 5:00 p.m. instead of rushing off to a second job. Starting the daycare helped but it wasn’t perfect.

Marriage is like a Roller Coaster ride EmbracingAging.us

I added a few more riders when I opened a home daycare.

The family home was now a business and the kids had to help with cleaning.  Helping also included playing the occasional game with daycare kids. My daughter was in middle school at the time and begged me to give up the daycare.  She wanted me to herself and she wanted our home back to a more peaceful state. It was official I had added more riders to our already crazy Roller Coaster Ride.

There were a few problems

We had 2 small indoor dogs and my husband was a smoker. These situations made my job as a childcare provider an uphill battle. My daughter begged me to give up the daycare.  My two older high school-aged boys really didn’t care because they were busy doing other after-school activities away from the house.

We had to give and take a lot.

I thought I had the right to expect my husband to quit smoking. Well, he never asked me to open our home as a daycare, it was after all my idea. He was a smoker when we met and when we married. He’s a smoker to this day. I’m not thrilled about it, I thought he’d outgrow it.  But it’s his journey and he has to decide for himself.

Now don’t get me wrong, he was considerate and smoked outside during business hours. But it was after all his house too and he smoked during evenings and weekends at his desk. But there was a lingering odor.   Long story short I realized the daycare business wasn’t the best fit for my family.

Everyone is ultimately on their own path

Marriage is like a Roller Coaster ride. EmbracingAging.us

Ultimately we are all on our own path. But we can help each other along the way.

Everyone married or not is on their own path.  All of us have our own journey to travel.  But as married couples and partners, it is important that we understand that some things on our journey have to be done by one’s own self. Like the decision to quit smoking or lose weight.  Yes we can support one another and yes we should negotiate, but when it came right down to it, we all had to compromise so that I could make an income to support our family. This is the craziest part of the Roller Coaster Ride where we just had to hold on and don’t let go.

There came a time when I was able to let the daycare go. I had made friends with families and their children. We made some great memories as well.  But we as a family were able to rearrange our boundaries for the time that I needed to help bring in extra income. We were closer and stronger as a family and we came through it just fine.

That’s been the nature of our marriage after all these years.  We’ve become good at the give and take in the circumstances of our lives that needed reordering.

The secret of staying married

For us, the secret of staying married longer has been the willingness to be flexible.  The willingness to let one have more than the other for a time. We weren’t willing to quit during difficult times, but we were willing to work together. Sometimes we had to put our hands in the air and ride it out. We made it to the other side.

Marriage is like a Roller Coaster ride. EmbracingAging.us

Like a knot in your shoelace, you can work it out

We come upon life situations that are like untieing a bad knot in shoelaces and you just have to sit there and work through it. Once you get things sorted out you come out on the other side relieved and grateful that you didn’t give up.

So I challenge you to stick it out. Not through an abusive relationship that’s something altogether unacceptable. We as couples and families can ride out the tough times together. So hold on to one another and don’t quit. You can do this.

That’s all for today friends.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion. Please share your thoughts and, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to Embrace Your Age

 

 

 

Graph image from EmbracingAging.us

Fairy-tale World Weight Loss vs. Real World Weight Loss

Fairy-tale world weight loss vs. Real-world weight loss

In fairy-tale world weight loss, we would all like to get on the scale every morning and see it go down even if it’s only by a tenth of a pound. Before I continue, you should know that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee. Everyone is setting their new years’ goals, figuring out hopes dreams and ambitions. Usually at the top of the list is weight loss.  However, in the real world, you most definitely will have your ups and downs.

Yo-yo diet? No. Not at all.  It’s a naturally occurring process of weight loss that is not a steady decline, but rather an ebb and flow of your body’s work to lose fat, manage fluids, retain muscle tone and balance hormones. There’s an awful lot going on in our bodies. Remembering this solid truth will keep you from losing your everloving mind? as you go through the process of losing weight.

 

Graph image of Fairy-tale world weight loss from EmbracingAging.us

Fairy-tale world weight loss vs. Real-world weight loss

Fluctuating weight doesn’t have to drive you crazy

Fluctuating weight becomes more erratic as we age. Our metabolism slows down and the motivation for exercise wanes.  Moving our becomes challenging due to arthritis, excess weight and other concerns. Naturally, this wreaks havoc on our effort and motivation to stick to a weight loss plan.

Positive self-talk

When you step on the scale, are you holding your breath thinking to yourself, “If I haven’t lost at least 3 lbs. I’m gonna be so frustrated.” Or do you look in the mirror and think if I just walked further, or ran longer.

Well hold up just a minute here and let me ask you this: Would you talk to your best friend or your loved ones the way you are talking to yourself?

I seriously doubt it. You would probably try to say something more encouraging like, “It’s alright, today is a new day.” Or “Don’t give up, your hard work will pay off soon.”

This is HUGE!

One of the most powerful tools you have is how you perceive your personal progress. This is huge so pay close attention. We all have a hormone called cortisol. It’s our stress hormone that slows weight loss when it’s too high. Think belly fat.  When we use negative self-talk and when we are excessively critical of ourselves what do you think that does to our cortisol levels? If you guessed raised them, then you scored bonus points. So it’s important to say to yourself,  “Yesterday’s walk was good, I’m looking forward to today’s walk.” instead of, ” I only walked ten minutes  yesterday.”

Weight loss is as much a mental discipline as it is physical.  You can make things better by changing your mind’s way of perceiving your efforts.  Any effort you make is progress, any step you take forward on your journey is an accomplishment. When your mind realizes how important positivity is your stress level lowers and weight loss doesn’t have to be a hard as some would have you believe.  If you are saying, “I have been on this plateau for weeks and I might not ever get off this plateau”. Your body here’s this conversation and believes this is true.

This brings us to progress reports

If you’re weighing every day because you can’t help yourself, then you will need to be extra patient.

Furthermore, go ahead and create a record/chart so you can see the natural ups and downs of your progress. Staying out of a fairytale weight loss world is important when trying to reach those goals.

Charting your progress will keep you in tune with what is working and what is holding you back. Remember to jot a note to yourself nudging you forward with gentle encouragement. “You got this.”

Baby steps lead to feet and feet lead to yards and yards lead to miles. So,  just keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward. Celebrate every single time you make a move forward toward your goals.

 

If you enjoyed this discussion and have ideas you’d like to share, feel free to leave your comments and share this post with friends.

I’m Karen with Embracing Aging

Reminding you to embrace your age

 

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It’s Not a Destination, It’s a Journey

Have you ever said to yourself, “When I get ______ (insert condition ), I’ll be…

  • Happier
  • Healthier
  • Smarter
  • Kinder
  • Fit

You should know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on or purchase one of the product links I’ll receive some compensation that will support my addiction to all things coffee.

We are all on a journey striving to reach contentment. It’s not unusual to fall into the mindset that,” I’ll be happy when I achieve _____” (billionaire status lol.)  Let me be the one to really hammer this home. It’s a journey.

Karen's before weight loss surgery picture. Embracing Aging

This is me at about 380 lbs just about one month before I had weight loss surgery.

Karen and her husband and daughter on the day of her daughter's graduation.

My husband, daughter and I on the day of my daughter’s high school graduation. I was miserable.

Flashback 10 years ago, I weighed 380 pounds. I was well on my way to a myriad of health problems.  Health problems that will kill a person. Thus the name Morbid Obesity. I tried all kinds of diets and wasn’t able to get a grip on my eating habits or manage a regular exercise regime.

Throwing up my white flag, weight loss surgery was my best option. After careful consideration, I decided the roux en y gastric by-pass was the way to go. The surgeon creates a new stomach pouch. About the size of an egg. The pouch connected to the middle part of the small intestine bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine.

Taking Back My Life

Spending most of my thirties being Morbidly Obese, I needed to add back the quality of life for my remaining years. I wasn’t growing older gracefully and certainly wasn’t embracing my age.  Since I made the decision to have this surgery in 2007, I’m not over 400 pounds nor am I 6ft. buried underground.  5 years after wls (weight loss surgery) I stopped losing weight primarily because I didn’t want my skin to get any looser.

Do Whatever It Takes To Stay Motivated On Your Journey

Realizing that I had become complacent, my daughter gave me an opportunity to do better.  In 2016 my beautiful adult daughter was working out at the YMCA.  I understood the road she was traveling. We went to the gym and I supported her effort to lose weight and get fit.

Ugh.  It was awful.   But I kept going. What I hated, was the 5 a.m. schedule she had to adhere to because she’s a 3rd-grade teacher and had to commute one hour one way to her job. I was tired! (Imagine how she felt)  So I’d go back home and I’d nap while my amazing daughter would go to school and teach, she set the bar high for me.

Soon, I found out that I was wickedly out of shape in spite of losing just over 150 1bs. Over the course of the year, I learned more about nutrition (I had learned a lot through wls), the different kinds of protein, delayed onset muscle soreness aka the D.O.M.S., optimal times to do strength training, and cardio. I was getting quite an education. My daughter may be the teacher, but I was getting schooled!

This journey is an experience of a lifetime

Helping my daughter in her classroom

Embrace Each And Every Success No Matter How Small  

Today I’m just 3 weeks shy of my 10 year anniversary of weight loss surgery.  I’m Continue reading