Though I never was comfortable with being "chubby", I tried to make the best of things and live life to the fullest. Undisciplined and distracted by family and a busy life, the extra weight crept up on me a few pounds a year. Hardly noticeable except for the increasing clothing size. I was able to disguise my thickening waist for a while with cute loose linen tops, more make up and jewelry. At least I thought I was, until I saw photos of myself. Boy, would I get mad when I saw a picture of my fat little self! I'd say, "why did she put that picture of me on her blog"? "I know I'm big but I'm not that big!" But I was big. The image in my head had not been updated in years. the truth is, I had put on 1oo pounds since my wedding day. I became camera shy. Avoiding photos at all costs. Hiding on the back row which is hard when your short. Trying to hide is hard work. In January 2013, I decided I was sick and tired of being fat. Trust me! It wasn't the first time I've felt that way (I've started every diet known to man) but it will be the last. Yes, I know that's bold talk for someone with my track record but I know more than ever before it's true. You know why? Because I get to choose!
On January 8th, my 34th anniversary, my daughter Kimberly, called to wish us a good day and while talking she slipped into our conversation the suggestion that I watch a documentary that she just saw called, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Kimberly, like her sister, brother and dad know me well and never give up trying to help and inspire me. Their love, encouraging words and support has surrounded me for decades.
|Our kids! Kimberly Spradlin Wolfe, Clint Spradlin and Bethany Spradlin Saxton|
I am so grateful they didn't give up on me because as soon as we finished talking, I found the documentary on www.hulu.com and spent the next hour intently watching Joe Cross, a charming Australian man travel across America discussing health and nutrition, while on a 8 week juice fast. Before the documentary was over, I had decided I was already in! With just over 2 months left until Kimberly's beach wedding in San Lucas Cabo, I had just enough time to do a 60 day juice fast. The following day, I gathered up everything I needed. An expensive Bella Kitchen juicer (less than $50 at Target), and lot's of fresh vegetables and fruits. Bright and early on January 10th, my juice fast began. Using the FSND documentary as my guideline, I juiced 4 to 6 times a day. Drinking 16 to 22 ounces of juice. The ratio I used was 80 percent vegetables and 20 percent fruit. Totally new to juicing I Googled 'best juice recipes' and took notes on possible combinations. Which I used daily, in creating my own concoctions. Though it took me a few days to get into the swing of things, I quickly adjusted to my new adventure. Adding to the fun by photographing, sharing recipes and thoughts on my blog.
Initially, this was for my own benefit. A way to keep me focused. However, in the weeks to follow people began to ask questions and I was so glad I had a simple way to answer. At the same time I began juicing, I recruited a friend and joined an early morning boot camp.
I know all of this sounds very drastic but I had caught a vision of something I could possibly achieve in a short amount of time that would yield dramatic results and I was committed. The first few days there was a little adjustment in that I, for the first time in my life wasn't eating. But quickly I discovered something amazing! Something that would make weeks of juicing not only possible but enjoyable. Here it is plain and simple. Within minutes of drinking a glass of fresh juice (80 veggie/ 20 fruit) you will fill full and satisfied. It's like the inside of your body is singing the Hallelujah Chorus! Seriously. Never has my mind, body and spirit experienced such peace. It's a little hard to explain but if you are a foodie, that tends to live to eat, you might understand. The truth is that my entire juice fast was an extremely enjoyable experience. You may be surprised to hear that not once did I feel tired or weak. To the contrary I energy level was consistently high. That, coupled with a sense of well being made the journey a joy.
On the third day, I stepped on the scales and had a big surprise....I had lost 6 pounds! Two weeks later, I had lost 17. After six weeks, I lost 30 pounds!!! It was amazing to say the least. To be full, satisfied, energetic and optimistic, while losing a pound every other day was a new experience. I had a brighter outlook on life. Which effected me in everyway. From my personality to my art work. My sense of humor and playfulness returned,( much to my families delight) plus I felt mentally bright. You'd have to know me to appreciate this :) Occasionally, maybe every other day or so, I would chew up/eat some of my daily veggies/fruit. Mainly, to keep my digestive track busy. Eating a nice veggie/fruit salad with lemon squeezed on it made social gatherings a breeze. After all, the goal is to build health through better nutrition.
|Just Picked 5' x 3' Acrylic on canvas|
|Me. Thirty pounds gone forever!|
I get a bit emotional as I begin to express the gratitude that is brimming inside me. My cup runneth over and I'm sipping out of the saucer! Celebrating Kimberly's wedding, 30 pounds lighter (than I've been in 15 years) was a thrill! It's been a really long time since I felt pretty. After years of watching me struggle and battle bad habits and excess weight, my husband and children are so proud of me! I'm smiling a lot these days. I'm still getting use to my reflection in the mirror. Thirty pounds has made a big difference in me.
|I've always loved to cook! Click here to read my blog. When you get there click on this same picture and read my juice journey from the beginning...., "Bye, bye pie!"|
It's been almost 1 month since I finished the juice fast I began in January. I'm happy to report I have not gained any of the 30 pounds back but I still have 30 more pounds to lose. So, on Monday, March 1st, I will begin a second juice fast. The last few weeks I've enjoyed eating and making healthy choices but I'm really looking forward to the simplicity and freedom of juicing. This may sound odd but when you've made up you mind to do this, food no longer occupies your mind. You have a lot of time and energy to spend on other things.
|That's me last football season (30 pounds heavier) cheering on the team with my grand-girls!|
|On January 16th, six days into the juice fast, I had already lost 10 pounds. I could see the difference and was encouraged!|
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this experience. It really has been life changing. I've learned so much and can only imagine the new discoveries which lie ahead. As I began the second phase of this juice fast. It is my hope to lose 30 more pounds by my birthday in May. That would be 60 pounds. I can not think of a better gift! It's a big goal but I've never been more convinced that I can do it. Why? Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 Though I have failed time and time again. God's promises stand true for anyone at anytime. Like a treasure hidden in plain sight, His truths have never ceasing power in the lives of those who believe Him.
If you too, have found yourself a slave to food and have gained excess weight from unhealthy eating. You too, might want to watch, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and prayerfully consider juicing and eating more vegetables and fruits in the days ahead. I'm thanking God, in advance, for helping us all rediscover the delicious foods He designed to fuel, refresh and restore our bodies to health.