Good morning, my friends!
If you remember, I posted a while back about how my husband and I finally decided to make a lifestyle change for our health. Then, I posted about how we fought the Fat Monster — and WON (boy, it felt good to write that post)! Then, I expressed my concerns over whether or not we could keep this going, for ourselves – and for our family. Let’s face it, I have struggled with this before. There is a reason why I have a range of four sizes in my closet.

I wanted to post another follow up…partially because I know some of you are curious — cheering us on, even. And partially because it keeps me accountable on a much larger scale (no weight-related pun intended). I also know, in my heart of hearts, that there are fundamental reasons why this “program” worked so well, when others hadn’t. I want to share those reasons with you, because they may motivate you to think about the things you are doing that either are not working, do not last, or are not fundamentally sound for good health and longevity.

First, let’s start with a picture of my handsome husband. My husband – who I love with every fiber of my being. My husband — who I vowed to stay with in sickness and in health. I am just so thrilled we will be sticking with the “in health” part a while longer. My husband – who I hope to be holding hands with, long after our hands are arthritic, covered in liver spots, and shriveled beyond recognition. My husband – the man that could not be cajoled, threatened, humored into, bartered with, bribed, or tearfully convinced into improving his health until he heard about this program. My husband – who, if I may be so bold, has the cutest, tightest little ass right now. 🙂

soccer coach

I am so incredibly proud of him! He made a decision to improve the quality of his life, and he did it. He finally opened his mind to the fact that the food values/mentality that his parents instilled in him, and the eating habits that they brought him up on, were not good ones. And, those habits were going to be the very things that deteriorated the quality of his life much sooner than expected. He was decisive, he was determined, and he made no excuses. I applaud him. I really, truly do! It is not easy to change your tune after 40 years.

Then, there is me. I honestly think I would have done this even if my husband didn’t join me on the journey. I had to divorce myself from his unhealthy habits. I was unhappy and I knew that we were perpetuating the same exact problems with our own children. We needed to do something drastic. We needed to take quick and decisive action.  I would have done this anyways, but it is unequivocally easier to make a massive lifestyle change when you have support and buy-in from your partner. I was ready to take massive action — and I did. And, I still am. I am proud of me, too. I went into this whole sha-bing an overweight, puffy faced, baggy clothed caterpillar. I am emerging a fitter, slimmer, and much, much healthier butterfly. Yay me!

Jenn Pipe

So, the love-fest is over. I love him, he loves me, we are healthier, blah, blah, blah. Now, to tell you about a few things I heave learned along the way:

  • Americans eat like shit. We do. We eat way too much sugar, way too much artificial crap, way too much packaged foods, and we have no idea what a healthy portion size looks like. I say “we” as a generalization. There are healthy people out there, but as a rule — we are killing ourselves. Don’t believe me? Turn on the Dr. Oz Show or open up a magazine. Hop on the scale. Have your body mass tested. Come see me for a biophotonic scan (the ultimate nutritional lie-detector test). Or, look at the statistics on diabetes and heart disease in this country (which are largely preventable diseases, by the way) — the numbers don’t lie. As an aside, just because you are fit, does not mean you are healthy. Bob and I were determined to not be statistics. I continue to re-educate myself on food. I am home-schooling myself and my doctor says I am getting an “A” so far this semester.
  • There is a reason why the majority of the members at Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem gain back the weight and have to keep re-upping their memberships. Think about it for a second; these are for-profit companies that spend gajillions on advertising and high-profile spokesmodels. They need your $$. They get your hard earned $$ because the systems have flaws that are brilliantly woven into the meal plans. The flaws keep the revenue coming in for those companies, and keep people like you on the yo-yo dieting hamster wheel. Look at poor Kirstie Alley — even she couldn’t do it. It is because you cannot live on astronaut food forever — it is not feasible. So, once you go off your astronaut-food-weight-loss-program, you fail in the real world. Then, you gain weight and you go back. You can’t be given a points system that condones things like daily pizza, artificial sweeteners up the wazoo, alcohol, and sodium. Because what happens is you inevitably cram as much of the  bad into  your points values for the day and then you starve yourself for the rest of the day/week on their special cabbage soup to make up for the indiscretions. That is not learning how to eat healthfully — that is learning how to be sneaky and hopefully not get caught at your next weigh in. Six weeks after we finished our no-name program; which taught us valuable things like portion control, how to eat healthfully from the grocery store, the value of exercise, the role water plays (no, sugary water does not count), and the benefits of proper supplementation — we are still going strong. We are not yo-yoing. We are still on a downward trend, without even trying, because we got sustainable education (that is doable in the real world) — not gimmicks.
  • I learned that I had an unhealthy relationship with food. I used it as a stress reliever, a boredom cruncher, and a vice to mask some painful things that happened in my life. What I should have been using food for was energy — not an inanimate “friend” when I was in need.
  • I learned that eating healthier saves lots of money. Lots and lots of money.
  • I learned that cooking healthy meals for your family can be a complete pain in the tuckus. But, it is so very, very worth it!! I am spending more time in the kitchen than I used to, and the trade-off is a messier house, dishes that are sometimes hard to keep up with, and more frequent trips to the grocery store. But the *payoff* for the time in the kitchen is daughters that want to help me cook (and inadvertently learn about healthy meal prep), lots more family dinners where we catch up and laugh and spend time together, a healthier family, yummy leftovers, increased energy for all, and the reward of a closet full of smaller clothes. You give me some thighs like this and I will gladly deal with a messier house and a little less time for television:
  • Excuses are for people who need them
  • I learned that I can help people on their journeys, too. No, I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian. But, I am passionate and I can motivate. I know how to point you in the right direction to get the info you need. I can set you up on the same program I did and teach you all the things I learned and be a friend and a confidante and a motivator. I can help you, if the desire is there, to change your body, and your life, for the better. So far, I helped my mom lose 24 pounds and raise her anti-oxidant score 10,000 points. I am helping someone who has tried *everything* and wants a success. I am helping someone who exercises until the cows come home, but is still gaining weight because of poor dietary choices. I am helping someone who wants to avoid gastric bypass surgery. I am helping people who don’t need to lose weight, but know they are not as healthy as they could be, and want to take some great vitamins to fill in the gap where their nutrition is lacking. Who knows, maybe I could help you, too. The key is lifestyle change — if you are ready for that, this might be something to consider. I am not like Jenny Craig in that, once we kick your fat to the curb, I don’t ever want to see you again. I would love to help you shed your abnormally stored fat, celebrate your success, give you tools to succeed, and then never see you hit rock bottom ever again.

This was the peg that finally fit for us. It feels good. It is uncomplicated and sustainable. No more square pegs in the round holes of weight loss/good health attempts!!

Now, I will be reaching out with another accountability check once we get closer to Halloween and Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next Healthy Cooking to hit newsstands everywhere, and working out in the yard with my medicine ball and my weighted ropes. Giddy up!

To your health and with much, much love —