Today is all about A Gutsy Girl with Crohn’s.
You will heal. I will help.
January, 2012 is when I decided I seriously needed to lose some weight. There have been years before this point that I have eaten healthy, worked out and tried various weight loss products. Not until 2012 did I truly understand that to lose weight I had to feed myself nutrient-rich foods and stay away from sugar and other processed “junk.”
I didn’t have the energy I once had. I didn’t feel confident showing up in my body. I was sick of telling myself that I would always be size 12, and that I should just “accept” it. So in January of 2012, I completely changed what I put in my mouth and also started working out and doing bootcamp up to four times a week.
Eating clean for me meant eating little to no dairy, cutting out milk and caffeine completely and eating mostly vegetables and fruit everyday. Also, I started a 14 day workout challenge that helped me get to my appropriate body weight. By no means was this easy…in fact there were times I felt I was “cheating” by eating a prune or two. I simply knew I deserved to feel better and wasn’t about to give up. By August of 2012 I was down 30 pounds and 6 inches in my waist.
I’m a gutsy girl because I know it takes true motivation, self discipline and hard work to eat clean and stay healthy. You will not be the popular one when all your colleagues indulge in a cupcake or bagel with cream cheese and your reply is, “I don’t eat food that is processed.” When you turn down a drink because you don’t want the empty calories, your friends may not exactly give you a high five.
I now have my energy back. I don’t need the quick fix of a soda. I find myself actually craving healthy snacks. You may have set backs, tough days or just times where you want a cheeseburger and beer. I’ve realized that is OK as long as I’m back to my clean eating the very next meal. My weight loss journey is not over, I still have goals I’d like to reach. I’ve just realized I want to feed myself food that will support my growth, not that will hurt my gut or set me back. I look forward to my future and am excited about what is to come!
Losing my gut…I’m a gutsy girl!
SKH Note: Molly also just participated in my last 21-Day New Year-New You Group. She did an awesome job, and sent me this message: “I think what I am most excited about today (after making the Turkey muffins) is that you are introducing herbs and spices to my life! I have always done a pretty good job cooking healthy but many times I was “bored” of the food because it was so bland. Thanks to this program I am being introduced to ways of cooking that add so much flavor but are also good for digestion! How fantastic is that??!!” I’m certain she is on her way to even more greatness!
We are just 18 days out until the start of the next (and last) 21-day group program. Are you joining us?
Love your guts,
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The “Why I am a Gutsy Girl” feature aims to highlight gutsy girls of all kinds, shapes, sizes and from various backgrounds with different stories. Today I’m featuring someone who is caring for Crohn’s Disease.
I am proud to introduce you to Lisa Polley today, who is my gutsiest UC girl yet. Hope you enjoy her story!
I have always been bold – always been outspoken. People have always told me I was tough, had ‘balls’ and for such a small girl, wasn’t intimidated by anything that came my way. Little in my life has ever taken the wind from my sails.
For the most part, I face things head on, process them and move on with what needs to be done. I’ve always been that way. Little did I know that two little letters would become my biggest battle, and define the idea of being a gutsy girl.
UC -> Ulcerative Colitis.
My UC got bad, fast. Only a few short months from being diagnosed with a few minor symptoms, I was hospitalized and needed 4 units of blood. The days leading up to that I could barely stand up. I was blacking out. I couldn’t eat. I was losing blood about 20 times a day. The pain was indescribable. I thought I was dying. Truly. Oddly enough, I was still pushing myself and working full time. Looking back, I’m not sure how, but I did it. I was a single mom and had to take care of my daughter.
I pushed it until my body gave out on me. I went to the ER. I couldn’t stand up long enough to sign in. In triage, they only took my blood pressure before urgently running me to a bed where they double IV’ed my arms for fluids. I don’t remember the BP number, but it was so low they said I was in shock. I was days away from dying if I hadn’t come in. That stay was the beginning of the battle. It tested me physically, emotionally, and mentally. Tears were shed. The decision to fight and win was made. No disease was going to beat me. I was going to win. That was January 2010.
Surgery was suggested and I said no- I was going to find a way without it. Another hospitalization later, many failed medications, months of Prednisone and Remicade infusions; I gave up trying to live with my rotting colon. I owed it nothing. I owed myself EVERYTHING. There was no fear in that decision.
Many people are afraid of being opened up, of having a major body part removed. I welcomed it. It couldn’t have been soon enough. I wasn’t going to continue at the mercy of my colon. I couldn’t keep subjecting my family to this shadow of myself. I couldn’t bear telling my daughter ‘no,’ one more time. I couldn’t bear just being alive. I wanted to really live – for my kids and my husband.
Why am I gutsy? I never let the ‘what if’s’ daunt me. I never settled for being sick as my reality. I’m gutsy because I controlled my life, not my colon. I fought for myself – for the best me. I wanted more. I never settled for a treatment that ‘sort of’ worked.
My scars are the story I love telling.
Love your guts,
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