Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Me

Me, with the Family

Every year for the past 16 years my New Year's Resolution has been the same: lose weight. And pretty much every year I end up fatter at the end of the year than the beginning. I have never been stick skinny but I never struggled with being overweight until I was pregnant with my oldest. I just gained weight like crazy during the pregnancy. I managed to lose most, but not all of it, on maternity leave, and then when I went back to work the lack of sleep and stress put it all back on and then some. Since I started my pregnancy as a size 4 it took a long time before I could get doctors to pay attention at all when I said I was gaining weight uncontrollably. They'd say things like, "Well, eat less." Um, DUH. If dieting helped I would not have a problem. I have ample will power. Over the years I've averaged one new doctor and several new diets a year. I've had my thyroid tested ad nauseum. The only thing any test ever found was a huge vitamin D deficiency. Last year I was able to use Young Living's Slique essential oil to lose about 12 pounds in 2 months, but then I started the P90X 30 minute exercise program with my husband and gained it all back, and then some. You may remember the terrible family photo in which I looked like a dancing hippo despite all the working out and dieting. So, I just gave up.

Unfortunately, That hasn't worked for me either. I've gained even more weight and for the past couple months have had a lot of GI upset. I've also been really bloated and itchy. I was lamenting my moon-pie round face in the photo above and my sister pointed out she notices my face gets really puffy and swollen some days. She said she noticed my face was much rounder that day than it had been just the day before. Thinking back, I remembered I had an itchy rash all over my arms that day too. I believe it probably signifies a food intolerance or allergy. So, I joined a Facebook group called Healthy and Fit 2016. This is a combination support group, weight loss group, and healthy eating and exercise group. The coach is a Beach Body coach as well as a Young Living executive. She provides meal planners, hydration charts, shopping lists, exercise tips, and Young Living product tips. There are free giveaways as well. To join the group you purchase a customizable "starter kit" of products shown below:

You can purchase these products from me on my Young Living web site. Obviously, signing up as a YL member by purchasing a kit will save you money, as you would get the YL products wholesale and also have the opportunity to join the Essential Rewards program to earn product credit toward future oils. Please feel free to follow my Naturally Amanda Facebook page free of charge, regardless of whether you join the group. I provide lots of recipes and tips on that page and you can contact me to keep in touch. Please note, the web address of my Facebook page has changed to: so you may not be able to use the link from past posts and should use that address instead.

Ortho Sport

The Healthy starter kit lists Ortho Ease as a required product with good reason. I don't have that one, but I do have the Ortho Sport and I have to tell you, it's amazing. Every New Year's Eve for the past 8 years my family and my sister's family have held a video game tournament. It started as a Wii tournament but evolved almost immediately into a dance-off using the Just Dance games. This year the new Just Dance wasn't available for the Wii so I scraped together nearly every cent I possess to buy an Xbox with Kinect and we had the dance off using that. Let me tell you what! It is much more challenging when you have to do more than just move your arm with the Wii-mote. It's more accurate, too. I actually won! I even beat my 11 year old dancing queen! However, this morning I could barely lift my arms. Last night my sister and I walked 2.5 miles and then danced for 3.5 hours. I soaked in a tub with Epsom salts and PanAway oil and then applied the Ortho Sport across my shoulders and I feel SO much better. In the past I made a DIY version of the Ortho massage oils, but I have to admit, the real thing is better! It gets cold and just numbs everything.

I have a set of oils I find really helpful in addition to those shown on the Healthy and Fit flier. Cel-Lite Magic is great for tightening saggy skin. I add Tangerine oil and Citrus Fresh for extra oomph. The OOLA Fitness oil is helpful in the diffuser. It gives me a rash if I apply it straight, though, so I recommend diluting it if you want to wear it. When I really do a good job drinking Slique oil (4 drops in 8 oz water) before each meal and pay attention to my body I truly do eat less. Lemon, Lime, Ocotea, and Citrus Fresh all make drinking adequate amounts of water easier because they taste great. Ocotea can help with healthy blood sugar balance and Lemon and Lime both help with digestion. Grapefruit is another great help with detox and digestion and makes water taste really good and fresh.

My recommended products

Besides the oils and the Healthy and Fit plan, I am going to try limiting grain and totally eliminating wheat again. I did Dr. Atkins' yeast overgrowth allergy elimination diet two years ago. You cut out pretty much all foods except meat and green vegetables for one month and then add foods back in slowly to see which ones make your allergies worse. I definitely saw improvement when I didn't eat wheat. I switched to only sprouted wheat, which isn't as inflammatory, but regular wheat has really been sneaking back in lately and I think it's the source of the swelling and itchiness as well as the GI issues I've been having lately. I am going to try to just focus on following the health and fit plan and NOT fixating on my weight. I'm trying to not even weigh myself to start. I just want to be healthy and happy with myself, and to have the energy to get through everything I need to accomplish each day.

When I really look back over the past year I can see how much oils have helped me, even if I am still not as thin as I would like. I started the year on January 1st, 2015 with a migraine so bad I couldn't see and which caused vomiting. I had gotten to the point that I would get a migraine during menstruation every month, and would have several others as well. That day everyone was asking how much I drank during the NYE celebration the night before. Well, not much, due to the aforementioned dance off. I had I think one glass of red wine with supper and then two glasses of champagne at midnight. It was definitely hormonal. I had ordered my Young Living starter kit in November but hadn't really used it much at that time. At the suggestion of a Facebook oils forum I ordered Progessence Plus and Dragon Time and started using those. I use PP every day and Dragon Time during my cycle and for about a week afterward. I have only had two more migraines all year during 2015! I am so much less crazy and I'm no longer losing two weeks of every month because of headaches and illness caused by my cycle.

I also got completely off chemical allergy medicines during 2015. I now apply the "Allergy Trio" of lemon, peppermint, and lavender oils diluted in grapeseed oil twice a day and use a homeopathic allergy medicine as needed. Please note, the oil trio is helpful but didn't "cure" my allergies. I still have to monitor my diet closely to see what's making things worse and avoid my known allergens, like dust. I have no carpet on the ground floor of the house, use a foam pillow, have leather or wood, not upholstered, furniture, and have no curtains or blinds except in bedrooms. There's no magic bullet for allergies, but I have personally found the oils extremely helpful. Over the year I also put my son on a wonderful, all-natural acne regimen which has been more effective than any commercial product, including that one heavily advertised on infomercials. My son has beautiful, clear skin and I am proud to have helped him achieve that without scary chemicals. I also helped my husband reduce his incidence of snoring to almost nil using oils. If you read back over this blog for the past year you will find all kinds of recipes that have been a wonderful help to us. As always, this blog should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. I do highly recommend finding a doctor who is open to helping you find essential oil solutions to problems.

Whether you join the Healthy and Fit challenge group or become a Young Living member or not, I really hope you have a happy and healthy 2016 as well.

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