Folks, I recieved some really cool and amazing stories of journeys and transformations. It was really hard to choose a winner and honestly I wanted to have 10 winners but I decided I couldt afford that quite yet :). But thank you so much for participating in this challenge. Your stories have inspired me and have given me a renewed sense of energy and passion for my own life path. I thank you, the greenhouse thanks you and all of the animals thank you, cause I'm a little lighter on my feet now!
Drum role please!
First off two things I have to say before y'all read this 1) its over 500 words... but.... I was so moved and inspired I felt every word was nessesary and welcomed. 2) Lori, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your story with us, you are truly an inspiration and a teacher. Thank you! I'll be sending you more info about the V-day dinner soon. Congratulations!
I know I am probably going break the rules and go over the 500 words (so sorry), and go beyond the 30 day limit, but I guess I just need to get this off my heart and out of my head... maybe I won't even send it, but it's out there... Maybe because I haven't really shared the gory details, they have just rolled around in my head for a while. Maybe because of embarrassment or shame? I don't know, but I'll explain... A little over 18 months ago I was seriously OUT OF CONTROL. I was VERY unhappy, extremely depressed. One evening after eating 20 hot wings and a large bowl of ice cream (seriously) I got violently sick, went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack at 40 and ended up having emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder. I weighed in at a horrific 315 pounds. Wow! How in the hell was that possible?!?! Being a rancher's daughter, I thought only livestock weighed in that heavy. Crap @#$%&^*!!! , I was REALLY humiliated, but still didn't "get it". Soon afterwards, my husband went for his yearly physical. The Dr. sent us straight to the heart hospital in Tulsa. His blood pressure and cholesterol were bad. Really bad especially for a guy who had a family history of heart disease and early (30's) death. As he went back for testing, I sat in the waiting room and sobbed. Really??? He "looked" healthy. What the hell had happened to us? How did I/we get to this point? How did I not see it when I looked in the mirror? I definitely felt it though. My life changed drastically right then and there. I've heard people talk about hitting rock bottom, but truly understood what it meant at that moment. I really, really loved this guy. We'd been together almost 25 years and raised two great boys. I couldn't imagine life without him. And what had I done to myself? Eight medications each day. Ankle, hip and knee pain. Embarrassment to go anywhere. Full of excuses. What else did I need to wake me up? But fortunately, I honestly changed that day. Not everything overnight. It was a big learning process. I had to save this man I loved. And save myself. We started eating healthy. Thinking about whole foods - foods that grew out of the ground or had a mother. The way food was meant to be. No more soda or big macs for us. I started learning to cook instead of doing the "drive through". We began exercising - something I had never done before. I was scared to death of the gym and wouldn't even look anyone in the eye when I first went... just go ride the stationary bike like a crazy woman, get beet red, manage not to die or have my eyeballs pop out off my head because my heart was pounding so hard, go to the car with a headache and cry. But somehow I stuck with it. Amazingly I love it now because I discovered this "crazy” stuff really works. We're proof and honestly sometimes I still can't believe it. I don't take any more medications. Not one. My husband's blood pressure and cholesterol are great. No more meds for him either. (Yeah us!) In fact, in less than eight weeks, I will take my certification test to become a personal trainer and health and nutrition coach. A long story short, I have lost a total of 153 pounds. I carry a picture of myself at my heaviest as the screen saver on my phone so that I don't forget. No surgery. No gimmicks. Just good wholesome, real food. And exercise. It is seriously possible. Really, I did it and so can anyone else. And, this is what I hope to do. Help people get their lives back. People who were where I was a year and a half ago.
So, fast forward to the end of this summer. I heard about CSA's. What a cool concept. I googled to see if there were any in our area. Up pops Living Kitchen and hey, they are local. WOW! How freakin' cool is that! We met you and Linda (and just love you guys!) and are soon CSA members (yeah! I made sure I was sitting at the computer right at 7:00 the morning of winter registration with big hopes that we would get in:0)). Then, along comes the 30 day challenge. Sign us up! Sounds like fun. A chance for us to refocus and learn new things. During this time, we discover the Clean Food Tulsa Market thanks to picking up our CSA, and we have gotten very good at planning our weekly menus so that we can order as many of our groceries there as possible. Along with that, the CSA items and the venison we received from a friend, we are eating very local. We even eat a few meals a week with proteins other than meat, like beans and the numerous eggs I order from you :0) - love them poached and served over green chile and corn tamales with crumbled goat cheese. Yum! In summary, we have learned to really appreciate what it is that we are eating and where it came from. I guess that is called eating with a conscience. Clean eating at its best. Cooking and planning our meals has gone from a chore to a real passion that my husband and I do together. We pick up our CSA and Clean Food Tulsa order then supplement with what else we need at Whole Foods focusing on local and seasonal items. Then, off to our weekly date and the one time we eat out during the week. Come Sunday, we cook together for the week and share plenty of laughs, especially since we tend to sample the great beers my husband is known for making :0). It has become a passion for us instead of a chore. Something that the challenge has sparked for us and definitely something we will continue to do. And, in addition, we started cooking extra and freezing it with the wonderful suck and seal machine we bought. Now we have meals already prepared and in the freezer - talk about fast food!
Thank you for issuing the challenge, for helping me refocus. I was hoping to reach my final weight goal during the challenge. Unfortunately, I didn't (got closer though), but found a lot more really cool intangibles and laughs in the process. Still have a long ways to go. I don't know that "perfection" will ever be reached, but we are definitely getting better.