My R3 Journey

My R3 journey started around 2017. I wanted to lose weight feel and better about myself.
You see, I wasn’t always overweight or obese, I was always fit in spite of my asthma. To keep my lungs healthy, I worked out several days a week lifting weights. I did aerobics two to three times a week. I swam. I biked with the bike club two “short” rides and one long ride every week. I also rode my bike to work 19 miles each way practically every day. I was active and had a great social life.

Then, I gained a little weight, not much at first. After a major asthma attack which landed me in the ICU for several weeks, I gained “prednisone weight” about 20 pounds. I still participated in the Dublin Marathon three weeks after getting out of hospital. I was so full of Prednisone weight, I walked the marathon. (It took five and a half hours.)

Shortoly afterward i participated in an asthma drug study. During that study, I gained 70 pounds.

I had become fat. Not only that friends treated me differently as though I lacked will power or I was lazy. I wasn’t, but…

Around this time my dad went into a nursing home, since my mother did not drive,I became a driver for her and patient advocate while working 60-hour work weeks and volunteering for local charities. Although I was busy and on my feet all day and water running three days a week, I remained heavy.

At my heaviest, I was 250 pounds and often the heaviest person in the room. I hated it.

At this point, my dad passed, I was now my mothers caregiver, and my doctor suggested  human growth hormone injections to see if I could lose weight. His program started out promising, and combined with early morning workouts with a personal trainer, I lost 13 pounds in the first two weeks, but nothing after that. After 3 months we were stopped.

That brings me to that first R3 Challenge around 2017. I took the before picture and submitted it. I didn’t do all that well, but I did lose maybe 10 pounds
When comparing  the after picture with my before picture you could tell my clothing definitely ldid not look or fit the same. The same clothing is in both photos. If you look closely you’ll see my left arm is in the pants. Most of my work colleagues and friends thought I lost a lot of weight but I hadn’t. I’d lost inches. A Non-Scale Victory (NSV).

I semi-participated in other challenges after that, but never really finished them. My schedule was terrible, I was taking care of everyone and everything but myself. But I finally was just under 200 pounds thanks to swimming and rowing three times a week. It was progress.

In 2021 my mother passed away and I decided I needed to make life changes.
I changed jobs and put my house on the market. I took a trip to South Carolina to check out the housing market.

2022 arrived. For me, 2022 will forever be “Year of the Shoulder”. The year began with a good purchase offer on my home on January 6.  That same day, while at work, I tripped over a case of wine, fell and broke my right  shoulder (my dominant hand). My house was closing on January 25. I had 20 days to pack, find a new home and move—all with a freshly broken shoulder. I ended up purchasing a brand new house sight-unseen in Florida with a closing date of January 26 — a day after my New Jersey closing. I was lucky as I was also able to find a good mover to match my timeline. It was a very painful move but i made the 16-hour drive with my dog.

Once arriving in Florida, it was time to regroup. I found I moved to a new development in a town I had never heard of, but it was now home.Rain was coming down in buckets. The pain prevented a lot of unpacking (I still haven’t found all of my silverware).

Being on Worker’s Comp, I needed to find an orthopedic doctor in Florida who would accept the Worker’s Comp insurance to care for the shoulder. I finally got an appointment for an orthopedist on April 28. I weighed in at his office at 213.

I wasn’t happy. I went on a girls’ trip vacation wearing a sling and was once again the fattest person in the room. I was sick and tired of being overweight, unhappy and in pain. I had to do something.

When I saw the Challenge beginning June 6 – the same day I started Physical therapy — I joined. I figured I couldn’t work and unpacking the garage was still a tedious, painful, one-armed process. I couldn’t even find my scale in the garage, I had to buy a new one! Nor did I have a mirror.

I started the challenge.Some days were good, some weren’t. My physical therapy lasted the entire length of the challenge. I was in constant pain. When the challenge ended, I was down 25 pounds! I was surprised I lost the weight, since I wasn’t the best at sticking to the plan 100 percent.

The best part, I continued to lose weight (another 15 pounds) after the challenge just by following the Real Life part of R3. 

In August, after an 18-month wait, I flew to Washington, DC and Arlington National Cemetery to bury my mother. The flight home was an adventure. After multiple delays and a layover, I arrived at my destination airport, and I woke up two days later in a hospital ICU. Apparently, stress and the pain medication caused a cascade effect resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). I also had never been a diabetic prior to this event, I have no memory of being in an ambulance, in an ER or let alone in an MRI, but I was. 

When I was released, to go home —my day trip to DC had turned into a week. I had gained 11 pounds (they said water weight from IVs). It took three weeks to lose the water weight following R3’s Real Life phase. The good news was the endocrinologist approved the R3 plan and liked the idea of my eating five to six times a day to keep my metabolism balanced. By September, my blood numbers were back to normal and I was taken off nearly all of the medications that came home with me from the hospital.

October came and I was down a total of 53 pounds. I decided not to do the Fall R3 challenge. I had a surgical date for a total reverse shoulder replacement on November 16—
I didn’t want hospital food ruining my challenge! Knowing I would be incapacitated for six weeks, I cooked R3-friendly meals—enough for 42 days and froze them tor my recovery meals. By the time of my surgery, I had lost an additional 14 pounds. This time, at the orthopedic office, I weighed in at 146 pounds! Fully Dressed. With shoes. 

Of course, after surgery, I swelled up and gained 30 pounds! I left the hospital weighing 176 pounds, It took a month to shed those 30 pounds of water weight. Again I did it by following my R3 Real Life phase

On December 31, I was 145 pounds.

I’m happy about the weight loss, especially since I wasn’t allowed any workouts other than walking my chihuahua. I admit I feel better about myself now that i’m closer to my ideal weight. My shoulder needs to finish healing, before I can go back to swimming, water running and rowing, to stay fit, but I’ll get there with R3. I want to lose the last 15-20 pounds for my ideal weight.

Today Im ready to start the January 2023 challenge on January 16. Who is ready to join me?

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Do you have Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of five risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercise, and dietary changes can help prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome.

The five risk factors are: increased blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg); high blood sugar levels (insulin resistance); excess fat around the waist; high triglyceride levels and/or low levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

Having one of these risk factors does not mean that you have metabolic syndrome. However, having one will increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Having three or more of these factors will result in a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and it will increase your risk of health complications.

The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that 23 percent of adults currently have metabolic syndrome.

Did you know that there really are NO discernible symptoms for metabolic syndrome? Aside from a large waist circumference of greater than 40 inches in men, and greater than 35 inches in women, most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms.

To find out if you have (or are prone to) metabolic syndrome, your doctor will perform several different tests in addition to checking your waist circumference.

Your fasting blood triglycerides will be tested— is your level 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater?

You will be asked about your cholesterol levels. Is your HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dL (men) or less than 50 mg/dL (women)?

You will have your fasting glucose level checked. Is it 100 mg/dL or greater?

How is your blood pressure? Is your Systolic blood pressure (top number) 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater, or diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 85 mm Hg or greater?

If your answers are yes to any of three or more of tests, you may have metabolic syndrome.

So, if you’re having trouble losing weight, metabolic syndrome could be the reason why! When your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to convert glucose to energy for your cells, it gets stored as excess fat. Even though you may be eating LESS than your skinny friends!

If you think you may be one of the 25% of adults affected by this disorder, there are a few things you can do to reverse the symptoms if you have it and if you don’t have it you can prevent it from happening to you.

The first is increase your exercise. Find something you like doing and start slowly. It can be something as simple as taking your dog for a walk more often and gradually increasing distance, or parking further away from you destination’s entrance to increase the number of steps you take each day.

This next tip is always harder than it sounds: lose weight if you’re overweight. It will be easier to lose weight if you do increase your exercise.

Make certain to eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low fat dairy. Go easy on the saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, and salt—it will make a difference.

You can also add supplements to your diet. I personally added Peak Performance Metabolic Health Bundle to help provide metabolic support. This supplement pack works to slow my body’s absorption of sugar, inhibits the release of sugar in the bloodstream, and supports thermogenesis as well efficient calorie burning for healthy weight management. It seems to work for me—the weight loss and toning is quite noticeable!

Quit smoking if you smoke. Seriously, does any smoke anymore? It is just so bad for you!

Lastly, Schedule regular checkups with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Download The American Heart Association’s printable Answers by Heart sheet: What is Metabolic Syndrome? (PDF)

#themoreyouknow
#knowbetterdobetter
#sciencebasedweightloss

Blueberry Cobbler, anyone?

FiberWise® Blueberry Cobbler Bar, that is

For me, a great-tasting bar is an easy, quick and favorite way to get my fiber. Made with full FiberWise goodness, FiberWise Bars are simply scrumptious. Each bar gives me 10 grams of fiber and is bursting with tasty whole grains, real fruit, and only natural flavors, colors and sweeteners.

Blueberry Cobbler FiberWise contains a unique blend of natural fiber sources along with vitamins, antioxidants, soothing herbs, and probiotics that give me a broad spectrum of full-body benefits, and it makes me feel fuller. I never realized that fiber has no calories, so filling up on high-fiber foods crowds out less-healthy foods. When I feel full it’s easier to say no to extra snacks, bigger portions and second helpings.

I find FiberWise Bars are enjoyable at breakfast or any time I want a healthy tasty snack. They are portable so they can go anywhere I go, and leave me feeling satisfied. There are four  varieties from which to choose, but since it’s blueberry month, I’m sticking with blueberry cobbler. blueberry cobbler.

Eating celery for 14 days can change your health

Celery is by far one of the most nutritious vegetables available. It is a great source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and K. It is also rich in phytonutrients, which act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents, boosting the immune system and overall health.

Fresh celery benefits nutrition thanks to all the tremendous vitamins and minerals it contains. One cup of chopped raw celery (about 101 grams) contains approximately:

  • 16.2 calories
  • 3.5 grams carbohydrates
  • 0.7 gram protein
  • 0.2 gram fat
  • 1.6 grams fiber
  • 29.6 micrograms vitamin K (37 percent DV)
  • 453 international units (9 percent DV)
  • 36.5 micrograms folate (9 percent DV)
  • 263 milligrams potassium (8 percent DV)
  • 3.1 milligrams vitamin C (5 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram manganese (5 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
  • 40.4 milligrams calcium (4 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram riboflavin (3 percent DV)
  • 11.1 milligrams magnesium (3 percent DV)

All with some sugars, celery also contains some vitamin E, niacin, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.

According to Healthy Food House, researchers have confirmed the numerous health benefits of celery:

  • Celery can help prevents chronic inflammation
  • It helps regulate the pH balance of the body
  • it assist in weight loss since it is low in calories but high in fiber
  • Celery helps digestion and treats stomach issues and constipation
  • It can help treat urinary tract infections as it has potent diuretic properties
  • It soothes the nervous system and may help you fall asleep
  • Celery has been found to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, since it contains phthalide
  • It is low in acids and relieves heartburn and acid reflux
  • Celery is abundant in vitamin A, so it improves vision, treats dry eyes, and protects the cornea
  • It can clean your teeth like a natural dental floss since it is breaking into fibrous strands while chewing

You can appreciate the countless benefits of celery in many ways. It goes great in soups, stir-fries, stews, and salads. It can also be dipped in peanut butter, hummus, or other sauces.

If you found this information helpful or just have a love for celery, please remember to SHARE this article with your family and friends on Facebook!

April 4 is Vitamin C Day

So why do we “celebrate” Vitamin C day on April 4th? Well, according to the American Institute of Nutrition, it goes all the way back to 1932, when Vitamin C was isolated and identified.

The all-important vitamin helps heal wounds, acts as an antioxidant, can help delay or prevent developing  diseases like cancer or cardiovascular disease, and is good for your immune system (to name a few perks).  Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and potatoes are a high source of Vitamin C, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Click here to see other Vitamin C-rich foods.

The NIH suggests that people at different ages or phases of life need different amounts of Vitamin C.  Click here to see the full chart

Welcome to my happy place

If you know me you know I love coffee and will normally drink it black, why would I want to hide that rich aroma and coffee flavor? Lately, there have been lots of studies touting the health benefits of coffee and how it is almost a cuure-all for all that ails you.

Personally, I drink an organic brand of coffee, Mountain Cabin Premium Coffee, it’s made from100% Arabica beans which I’m told are hand-selected and small-batch roasted with masterful precision to maximize the flavor, body, and aroma of every bean. All I know is that I love the rich flavor.

Mountain Cabin coffee makers only buy their beans from farmers that meet their strict requirements for quality and fairness. Farm workers must be fairly compensated for their labor and expertise. Farm practices must be environmentally sustainable. They believe that their relationship with the coffee growers is one of the most valuable investments a manufacturer can make. Each coffee batch is packaged within minutes of roasting to maintain freshness and it shows.

BENEFITS OF COFFEE

Mountain House Premium Coffee
  • Naturally occurring antioxidants 
  • Makes you more alert and attentive 
  • May improve energy levels 
  • Can help boost your body’s metabolic rate 
  • Boost physical performance 
  • Awakens your senses & lifts your spirits 
  • Contains essential micronutrients 

My current go-to morning brew is the Kona blend and it is available in single-serve Keurig® 2.0 pods that make it so much easier when you’re in a rush in the morning!

What is your favorite brand?.

Healthy choices.

If you’ve ever been on a diet and failed, you will love how simple this is.
You are not required to weigh food, measure, count calories or keep a journal.

I love that it’s not a diet. Most of all I love my results and how I feel!
So glad I took a chance, I’ll never go back. Its all about healthy choices.

Getting on the wellness bandwagon

Even Weight Watchers has accepted wellness is key.

We just read that Weight Watchers renamed itself to ‘WW’ as consumers want to be well, not to diet .

Weight Watchers rebranded as “WW” to broaden its focus to health. The company, which has helped people watch their weight through assigning points to food and organizing meetings, is renaming itself “WW” to reflect to overall health.

WW’s new tagline is “Wellness that Works.” WW plans to launch a new app and a partnership with Headspace, a company that teaches meditation through an app.

I always believed that lifestyle, not diet, is the way to manage health and weight—after all, when you think about it, the first three letters of DIET are DIE and that’s what if feels like you’re going to do when you are starving yourself on a diet.

Over the past year, I’ve been using the R3 Plan and I’ve seen remarkable results losing a total of 25 inches in the past six months. I’ll share more about that in coming weeks!

Welcome to the wellness plan WW!

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