Thursday, July 8, 2010

A little about life...

Hello again...if you are looking for a card or paper craft related thing you won't find one in this post (so if you are not interested in personal stuff you can skip this post and look for the new card post HERE.)

One of the most amazing things about technology is the ability to share information.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by how much information is available at the touch of the keyboard or click of the mouse.  When I started to blog 3 years ago I had a purpose--to share information, to share ideas, to become part of a community.  All of those things happened too!

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you are likely aware that I spent much of last fall and into winter very ill.  It greatly effected my ability to post frequently and even function in a normal way.  I had H1N1, adult croup, strep throat 3 times, colds, eye issues, migraines and more.  I'd say that the end 2009 and early 2010 were some of the worst health months in my life.  Many of you commented on how sick I was and how concerned you were.  Thank you for your concern, for your advice and for your support!  It made a real difference in my life.

I'm never one for doing something on the small scale.  I push myself and do everything to the best of my ability.  When we moved to a new house I had no idea what kind of work would be in store for me.  The landscaping was the largest project I have ever taken on.  In addition, my grandmother moved in, we got a puppy, I started homeschooling and of course continued working as a teacher and stamp designer.  I was so busy at times that I started to forget to eat and then when I had a moment would eat all the wrong things.  I was staying up way too late t(o get things finished) and then wake up early.  It was a vicious cycle.  Soon I found myself so tired and weak, 10lbs heavier and ridden with sickness.  Even my motivation to do things I loved was lost.

Several months ago I made a vow to change my lifestyle.  I decided I was going to loose the extra weight I gained since I moved here.  I decided to exercise more.  I just plain decided I wanted my life back.

I know some of you follow my daily antics on facebook and so you know I have been making changes.  Since I have been getting so many questions I thought I would share what I have been doing and answer those questions too.

Change #1
I started to buy more "green" cleaning products.  Did you know that many of our cleaning products are toxic to our health?  Have you ever really read the label before?  Some of the products I was using needed to sit on the counter or in the toilet for 10 minutes before using them.  I had NO idea!!  In addition, many of the cleaning products we use in our households are NOT acceptable to use in the workplace following health regulations.  It makes me wonder why they sell them in the first place.  I recommend you research fabric softener toxicity...very scary!  I am a little OCD about cleaning so I am sure I am full of toxic chemicals after all the years of cleaning.

Anyways, a friend of mine held a home party for cleaning products.  I had heard about Norwex before but had never seen them in action and had no idea where to buy the product.  I attended the party and was sold--I even hosted my own party.  I use water and special cloths to clean now.  I also use a paste for stubborn cleaning.  Did I mention ONE bag of laundry detergent will last me the year? In addition, I now have special dryer balls to help decrease my dryer time and keep my clothes from getting full of static.  My best purchase was the window cleaner cloth.  No streaks!!  Revolutionary in my mind and now I am also helping my children grow up in a less toxic environment and doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint.  Oh and I now use less paper towel and also I won't have to buy cleaning supplies for years to come. You can check the website to see if Norwex is available in your country.

Change # 2
As a busy mum I was forgetting meals and not eating as well as I should.  I always put my kids and family first and I always came last (even after the dog sometimes!!).  As a result I started to look at some options to ensure I was eating better: meal planning, organizing my cupboard/freezer, sitting down to eat more frequently and yet something was still amiss.  I was still eating quick meals and eating out here and there.  I was still choosing the wrong snacks. I was getting bored of meal planning and food in general and all the while I was packing on extra pounds.  All of this was causing me to slow down.  I was so sleepy and was lacking energy.  I longed for the days before I had kids when I had a lot of energy.  And I was quickly getting sick.

Well I did the impossible.  Or at least what I thought was impossible.  I started a 30 cleanse program through Isagenix.  I had heard both good and bad about the company but was willing to give it a try as some of my extended family members had given it a try and had much success.  And would you believe it did everything I needed it to do?  I am sleeping better than I ever have, I lost the extra weight I gained (10lbs and MANY INCHES), I have tons of energy, I exercise regularly, my hair has improved, my teeth are whiter, and even my skin has a glow about it.  The major changes included: no caffeine or alcohol (not like I consumed a lot anyways), drinking lots of water, drinking 2 shakes daily, eating healthy snacks and eating one healthy meal between 400-600 calories and of course there were cleanse days too.  I also do a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise daily even if it is just wii fit (some days I don't have the time for a run, walk or aerobic workout outside the home).  I have friends who are nutritionists who told me I could do a similar program on my own but the truth is, I needed it set up for me with rules and limitations.  I didn't want to do the planning anymore--I have enough to plan and look after with the family.  Now that I am nearing the end of the 30 day program (day 28) I am preparing the next step.  During this month I will be following a health and wellness program for maintenance.  I will be eating lunch rather than having a shake etc.

For the first time in years, I am eating ALL my meals, eating healthy snacks and drinking lots of water. I also don't crave sweets anymore (that is HUGE for me). I learned what my body needs and how to provide the proper nutrition.  I like the fact that the programs are packed with essential vitamins, fruit and veggies.  I also like that I have learned more about portion control and to drink water when I am feeling hungry.

Some of the questions people have asked me include:
  1. Why did you do the program? (you can read that above)  Btw, I don't like talking about weight because people assume that since I am smaller I don't have any "extra" but the truth was I did...I know I did.  The scale doesn't lie and I know how much I weighed last year versus this year.  Also, after having babies the extra weight finds places to hang!
  2. Were you hungry during the program?  Honestly, hardly ever.  As long as I followed the "rules" I was fine.  And when I did get hungry I ate one of the recommended snacks or drank water.  My hubby did the program with me (I am sure he will tell me off for sharing that) and he was a little hungrier than me but that was because he was more of a snacker during the day and of course he weighs more and requires a little more food--which he ate  btw, he lost 15lbs!)
  3. How do you buy it?  There are several way you can do this.  You can either purchase the product from a someone who sells it OR you can sign up to become an associate (it's way cheaper if you sign up).  I'd be happy to help you with this and you are welcome to contact me if you want more information about either of those options regardless of where you live around the world.  Right now I can personally sign up and support people from Canada, US and Puerto Rico in addition to New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  4. Are Isagenix products only for those who want to lose weight?  Isagenix products are about lifestyle.  They are great for people who want to increase their health, have more energy, and sleep really well!  In fact many athletes use Isagenix to stay in top shape!  
  5. How much is the 30 day cleanse program? $260 wholesale when you sign up as an Associate on autoship.  Otherwise you would pay $374 retail.  So this truly is a HUGE savings!!
    Isagenix is seems expensive.  Yes, so are my monthly groceries, eating out, the Starbucks coffees, buying vitamins, alcohol, snacks etc.  Did you know it equates to around $9 for two meals a day!! And remember now you are only buying 6 meals a week. Health is worth it to me--after all when I was at my lowest I realized how much I took my body for granted.  And you know the honest truth, we saved money this month!!  I went grocery shopping twice this month (food for our suppers, the kids and for grandma). You are the one who knows your budget. If money is still a concern, I can show you how to earn commission with Isagenix and start earning a portion, or even all of your products plus residual income!
  6. Was it hard to cook for the kids and your grandmother when you weren't eating with them?  Honestly that only really happened 4 times in the month (cleanse days) and because I followed the program I had no problems with it.  All the other nights we ate supper together.
  7. What do you do after the program?  Well that depends on your needs.  Some people who want to lose more weight do another cleanse.  Some people who are training for athletic events end up getting the athletic pack.  I wanted to maintain my wellness (knowing the convenience of the shakes) so I decided to continue with the health and wellness program.  Does that mean I will always need Isagenix?  No.  But the likelihood is I will always have shakes on hand for either breakfast or lunch.  They are so filling unlike peanut butter and toast or cereal!
  8. What made you so successful?  First off, my family!  They supported me the whole way especially my hubby and mum.  Second, I had a cleanse coach (the one I signed up with--she was so helpful and supportive).  Third, the results.  When I started seeing results it motivated me so much more. A support team certainly helps to increase your success!
I am sure there were more questions but those are the ones I remember for now.  Feel free to ask more if you want.  I am always willing to share answers.I highly recommend that you consult with a cleanse coach before starting this program in order to ensure that all your health and medical needs are met.  I belong to an awesome team and would be glad to help you!  Just send me an e-mail or visit my site.

Keep in mind results vary for all individuals but judging from those within my family and my circle of friends I'd say I am impressed.  As I said I haven't felt this good in years including my confidence levels.

Change #3
Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.  Even though I have been good with most of those I am sometimes tardy at reapplying sunscreen.  As a strawberry blond fair skinned woman that is a no-no.  There has been a lot of commotion in the news recently about the numbers on the bottle (is SPF 100 really better than SPF 50?)  In most cases no.  Did you know that one bottle of sunscreen should only last 4 outings?  Ya....umm I guess it's not a good thing that I usually only go through 2 over the course of the summer.

Change #4
No is the new yes!  Yup, I am one of those people.  I am learning to say no and realistically look at my life to see if there is balance.  I can't do everything and be everywhere no matter how hard I try.  The perfectionist in me struggles with that but my health and wellness tells me otherwise.

If you made it this far I just want to thank you for letting me share the changes in my life. Baby steps are important and it has to be something you are willing to commit to but once you get going there is no stopping!  I am grateful for all that I learned this year and again for your support and concern along the way.



Ted said...

Alli, thanks for letting us take a baby step into your life. :) May God continue to bless you and your family as you seek to make your body (His temple) much more purified. :) *hugs*

Marcie Sharp said...

I also switched to cleaning with clothes and water- using Enjo products- I find it much healthier for my family and the fact that I can involve my kids in the cleaning process instead of worrying about them being near cleaning products is a bonus!

Dana said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and about your journey to wellness Alli.
I too, have not used "scary" cleaning products in my home since college when I did a research report on environmental toxin buildup in women (and how they pass it on through breast milk to their children). All natural is just plain better. Been making my own laundry detergent for years! (soap nuts)
As for sunscreen, you are better off wearing long sleeves and pants and a hat, then the toxic chemicals IN the sunscreen!
Good on you for the cleanse and healthy eating too.
I hope you keep us updated!

Holly Saveur said...

Hi Alli

Very good you have done all these things and feel so much better I am so happy for you .
Your health is THE most important thing.

All the very best wishes Holly.

Merry said...

What a brilliant read...thanks Alli. I think I done each of those changes too but then tend to drift back into old habits. Especially the food. I know how wonderful I feel when eating healthy but with life sometime I tend to take the easy way. Glad to hear that you are feeling well though after all that illness.

Charmaine (CharmWarm) said...

Good for YOU! That is awesome, Alli! There is nothing like feeling like you have your life back after feeling like you're just spinning your wheels. . .I SO understand. Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn King said...

I have had a lot of the same issues over the past year (and totally struggle with the perfectionist who has to to all WELL!) Good for you for taking the time for YOU!!! Glad you are feeling better! Hugs!

Angy said...

I love Norwex and use it to. Want to add a few more of their products to my cleaning arsenal. I would love info on the Cleansing program you use. Please email me at angyhughes at gmail dot com. I live in Italy but have a US address (we are associated with a military base here). So USPS shipping is perfect. Very interested in trying the program.

Steph Zerbe said...

Alli, you are so wonderful for sharing your journey with us. What a magnificent change you have made. I'm so happy for you. You sure did/do put a lot on yourself. Good for you for recognizing that you can say no and it's ok.
I am so inspired to get it together. I am off and on with eating right. This has motivated me to try harder. Back on the treadmill I go!
Best wishes!!!

cedargirl said...

WOW. Those are some great changes that not only have an effect on you but will spill over into your family (i.e. less toxic home, healthier Wife & Mama...). Good for you for taking steps to change. I totally understand the 'me last' meal plan and it can run you down fast. It was encouraging to read your post and gives me a lift to keep on working toward better meal planning and home logistics. Every little change we can make away from toxins is a GOOD one. Great reminder of that. Thank you.

Crestajune said...

Thank you for sharing. I am going through many of those same struggles now. You have inspired me. Thank you, Alli!

Ginny Larsen said...

wow, you've been changing so many things for the better! that's awesome Alli... thanks for putting yourself 'out there' and sharing, it means a lot. i'm sure there's nothing better than knowing that all these changes are POSITIVE and will make a lasting impact.

keep it up!

Vicki B. said...

How inspiring! Sometimes health issues are so scary and it's hard to realize just why it's happening. I'm very happy for you on all the changes you have made and I am sure your health will continue to improve. I have used some of these changes in my life as well and I honestly do feel better. Keep up the good work.

Tigriswillreign said...

Wow! This all sounds so incredible! I remember when I went through a change like this after my 2nd child: I went (nearly) vegan. It wasn't too difficult, I took baby steps, but I was motivated. I lost weight and felt terrific! When I got pregnant with my third, I took myself off and haven't gone back. I keep thinking about doing something similar again because my baby fat's been more persistent... Thank you for motivating!!

Susan said...

Thank you for sharing this! I know that I need to make a big change in my life for many of the same reasons you listed. I actually wanted to do some sort of cleanse. I may have to look into Isagenix some more. Thank you for the inspiration and all of the information you shared!