Sunday, January 12, 2014

Charming Changes

A Strong Start

So I asked all of ya'll on The Charming Cheshire Facebook page whether or not there would be any interest in a diary post for becoming a healthier me and I seemed to receive a great positive response! I am currently on a weight loss journey, that has really become more of a lifestyle change and truth be told I've actually been on it for a couple of months now. A few of my closest friends suggested that start blogging about it and it occurred to me that beauty IS so much more than makeup, it's SO beautiful to be HEALTHY. Health and beauty go hand in hand! So here we are and I hope you love it...

A Little About Me: 


Younger Cookie

So I've not always been overweight. I've been a ballet dancer since I was little, and a ballet instructor since I was 15. I was in fantastic shape and weighed around 173 lbs, which was on the slightly skinnier healthy side for a 6' tall girl with a small-medium frame. After graduation I went away to college for a dance degree and shortly after I danced with a company for a short season. However, I stopped dancing professionally when I got two herniated discs which in fact made it difficult to walk, sit, stand, etc. and I spent a few months just in bed. Haha, nono, don't be sad! I'm quite alright now, in fact, my discs are healed (no surgery, I had the BEST chiropractor in the world!) and I have no back problems AT ALL. However, it took a few years to heal and within that time since I went from dancing almost 6 days a week for many hours a day to NOTHING, barely moving at all. Before my discs herniated I met my then boyfriend, now Hubby, and of course we went out to eat a lot while first dating and I gained probably around 10lbs or so. After the herniated discs my weight jumped from 185 to 220 lbs. I fluctuated quite a bit, especially when I tried to exercise, but then had to stop because my back was hurting. I've always been good on dieting and watching what I eat, although I was a bad snacker. I didn't drink cokes or sodas when I was in high-school and I wouldn't go overboard on sweets, except chocolate. (I LOVE my chocolate). I did try Weight Watchers, Adkins, Perricone, South Beach, Slim Fast, as well as eating Healthy Choice meals and other similar brands. I didn't mind the diets but I really was never set on anything. 

Getting Sick

When I reached 230lbs I decided that I needed to seek some medical help as I was having SUCH a hard time losing weight. They gave me pills to take to suppress my appetite and give me energy and I really just hated them. They did suppress my appetite but they also made me jittery and wired. Definitely not a natural feeling, which I hated, I'm not a big fan of medication, in fact I always prefer supplements or home remedies that are better for the body. When I got engaged I went through a very stressful time planning my wedding and on top of that I was having a very difficult time at work. My poor Hubby was going overseas often for work as well so I was left on my own for a lot of the planning. With the combination of work stress, wedding stress, and health stress it eventually flared up a disease which I didn't know I had called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It is an auto-immune disease affecting the thyroid. Previous to this I didn't know I had the disease, but the doctors informed me that the major stress I was under caused it to flare up to extent to where it became noticeable and quite serious. Hashimoto's also causes hypothyroidism, which is where your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This can cause massive weight gain depending on how severe it is. There was a long period of time in which I didn't know I had the disease, I just wasn't feeling well, wasn't myself and gained about 25lbs putting me up to around 255 or so. After about a year and half I found a great doctor that helped me discover I had Hashimotos, then I began a long journey to getting better. I refused to take the typical medication for it and instead went a natural route with supplements, vitamins and natural hormones to balance my thyroid levels. I am super exited and happy to say that my disease has been in remission for about 3 years now and I barely take any supplements for it anymore, except when under stress as that's when it can flare up! I went through a lot of changes to heal. I left the job where I was unhappy and having a rough time and now I work at the most amazing, fantastic studio there ever was and is. Married to the best guy in the world who takes wonderful care of me and I have a fantastic support system with my awesome friends! I learned that it's just not worth it to stress. Stress is one of the biggest things that can seriously effect your health. Everyone dismisses it as something that is just part of every day life, and it is, but de-stressing is SUCH an important thing to learn how to do. If you can cut out certain stresses from your life, do it! Your body will thank you. You will be a better you, and you'll heal so much faster in every aspect.

Awesome Weight Loss, Miserable Dieting

After I began healing I tried several medical diets that were made to help support my immune system and help my thyroid to fuction better. A lot of the things I cut out were sugar, dairy, gluten, salt, processed food, carbs and felt like pretty much everything! Haha! My diet consisted of lean proteins, greens, nuts (except peanuts), water and oils. Yeah, it was pretty miserable. There was NO cheating on this diet, not even a small bite of anything or else you had to start from square one. Now, don't get me wrong, it WORKED. I dropped about 30 lbs fairly easily within a few months WITHOUT working out. In fact, they didn't want me to work out just yet because the diet did you make you feel a little weak for a while. Before I started the diet I had to go through a cleansing detox with fluids for about 5 days or so that was just AWFUL. Ewewew. It did NOT taste good at all. I'm a stickler though, I'm a little OCD about doing the diet perfectly so I trudged through it. After time, though, it became impossible to continue. You had to prep every single meal, you had to stick to it and not take a single bite of anything or else it threw off your system and it just made me feel tired and still hungry at times. My thyroid was healing, I did multiple blood tests to check my levels but I was miserable while losing weight.  

Figuring Out What to Do

That's when I started going through different diets again to try other things that would be better for me. I tried Quick Weight Loss, I tried diets that I had tried before. The hardest part was finding stuff that both my Hubby and I could do together (I'm sure you can relate, ladies!) since it's just RIDICULOUSLY hard to eat your salad while Hubby has pizza next to you. GRRRRR! ::grin:: Quick Weight Loss was just awful, I try to be a nice person, I'm usually very patient and try to never complain but the costumer service was terrible. It was SUPER expensive, as well, to do the program! So I quit, I was out quite a bit of money, but it was just not worth it. At one point their dieting advice nearly sent me to the hospital! I spoke with a doctor friend of mine and he told me I should leave them, they had no clue what they were doing. So I went through a faze of ....well....pretty much no direction. I HATED the thought of dieting, I HATED prepping the food and I HATED even thinking about it. I ate whatever I wanted, and just went along my merry way. I jumped from 240 or so to 270lbs and that's when I knew I was in trouble. I had gained nearly 100lbs from when I graduated high-school. I can't even exercise because I've gained all this weight so fast that my body just can't handle dancing that well. I can still teach, and really it's not as bad as all that, haha, this is NOT a sob story my darlings! It's just not healthy for me to exercise like I used to since my body is USED to be much skinnier. It's like if you were to strap a bunch of weights on you and you tried to exercise exactly the same as could strain something, you become tired, exhausted and worn out much too fast. 

The Start of Something Great

The most amazing chiropractor I have who fixed my back sent me to the most fabulous place I've ever been to. It's called My Fit Foods and I WISH I could tell you they have it everywhere, but they're only located in California, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Illinois. This is what they're all about.....

My Fit Foods

"My Fit Foods was founded in 2006 in the apartment kitchen of a personal trainer who was dedicated to ensuring his client’s achieved the results he promised.

Out of the spirit of service, founder Mario Mendias, started cooking meals for his clients who were too busy to shop and prepare healthy meals with a time crunched schedule. The client’s fitness results spoke for themselves! Soon Mario was not only cooking for his clients, but all the clients in the gym.

 In 2007, Mario outgrew his apartment kitchen and created My Fit Foods to expand the mission to provide fresh, healthy foods to go that taste great at an affordable price. The menu expanded with additional meals and snacks all focused on
Lean Protein, Low Glycemic Carbohydrates and Heart Healthy Fats.
Over 90% of our meals are gluten free. My Fit Foods was founded in the spirit of service, and we continue that spirit today through our kitchens, stores, schools and communities. Whether you are in need of a quick meal or snack on the go or want take advantage of the convenience and results of our 21 Day Challenge, we are here to make Healthy Living a Reality." - from

I ADORE this place. It is downright amazing. The meals are fresh, they only last a few days, you can either go in and pick them up or you can do a 3 or 21 day program with a nutritionist that plans the meals for you and schedules pick-ups to take them home. SUCH an amazing selection, I really highly recommend them if you live near their locations! 

Here We are Now

So truth be told I've actually BEEN on this diet for about 3 months now, and I've already lost 27lbs. I'm down to 243 and I'm feeling AMAZING. You know your diet is awesome when you'd RATHER eat the diet food than whatever your Hubby is eating (pizza, burger, steak, haha!). I have a morning cocktail that has cranberry juice concentrate, vitamin B liquid, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice that is great for cleansing out your system and detoxing. Yes, it really tastes terrible but it's only about 6 oz or so, so I chug that baby down! Then for the day I have planned out breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. The meals you just pop in the microwave for a couple of minutes and VOILA! Ready to eat! They have different sizes (Small, Medium, Large) that the nutritionist will choose for you depending on what you need. I used to have a Medium Breakfast and Lunch, then Small dinner, but now all of my meals are Smalls and I'm always feeling satisfied. LOVE IT. post has gotten LONG. Haha, I did NOT intend for that to happen, I hope you're still with me here! This is probably the only post that will be like this, as this is an introductory post into a little of my story, as I know we all have one with our weight problems. 

What I want Charming Changes to be about is not just a diary, but a post in which to share, with ALL of you and for you to feel welcome to share back. I know what it's like to have health problems, and what it's like to have injuries. I got my herniated discs when I was only 21 so I know what it's like to be young and dealing with body problems when you barely understand your body yourself. I know what it's like to be fit and healthy and what it's like to be severely overweight. People say you have to go through lifestyle changes to make a difference and so here I am....doing it! And I want you to come along. Everyone has resolutions for 2014 and I know the biggest one for most people is GET HEALTHY. So let's do together. Share with me, join me and follow along. Let me know how you're doing, let me know WHAT you're doing 'cause heaven knows everyone loves having support. 

I'm going to be writing posts just for check-ins, to let you know what's going on with my healthy lifestyle change, to bring up goals and hopefully get to them! You let me know what you want to see and what makes you happy! These posts are going to be that frequent (unless ya'll really want them to be!) and they're not going to be scheduled (again, unless ya'll REALLY want them to be LOL). Let me know if you love this post, let me know if you HATE it! I want to hear what you think! So here's the first goal!

GOAL #1 - 230lbs by Valentine's Day 2014

Starting Weight: 270lbs

Current Weight: 243lbs

Lbs Away From Goal: 13lbs



Happy Healthy YOU!



  1. Good luck! weight is easy to gain and hard to lose and it is such a pain in the butt. I mean, I just want to live without thinking omg I can't eat that, should I eat that? I am good at reading labels and trying to cut down but I do like to snack as well. I want to lose about 10-15 lbs. For me it is traveling that really made me put on the extra weight, all those cruises and buffets and the all inclusive resorts and Paris with their wonderful French food ..ugh! But when I hit the gym for a few weeks the pounds usually just I guess I have to get back into the gym...ugh


    1. Exactly, I feel the same way, it's so hard going from day to day thinking "Can I eat that? How many calories is that? Does it have too much fat?". That's one of the reasons I love these pre-made meals because it takes that worry out of the dieting. Girl, you travel SO much! Haha, I know I'd be wanting to try all those exotic, delicious looking dishes! I've never really traveled outside of the US, except on a 1 week cruise, so I'd go crazy! LOL

  2. I enjoy healthy living posts, and am on my own quest to get healthy and fit. You should join me on my Accountability Sunday posts!

    1. OOOoooo, I haven't read those yet! I must go and see! Thanks!

  3. Losing weight is hard but it sounds like you have your health as your primary concern and you are setting realistic goals for yourself. Those are two key ingredients to successful weight loss. Best of luck to you. It sounds like you are off to a great start!

    1. Thank you very much! I used to be very worried about numbers on a scale, but I realized it's about health, not numbers. I used to tear my hair out getting fixated on making that number go down, now I just enjoy eating good, healthy food and feeling better physically! The numbers just go down by themselves :-D

  4. I'm so glad to read a healthy lifestyle post by someone who is actually the same height as me. Usually, the gals that write about this say that their goal weight is 120 or something, so I find your posts easier to relate to. :) I wish we had My Fit Foods available in Ohio. It would be so convenient to pop by and pick up something...The times I am most likely to resort to eating fast food or junk food is when I get off work and feel really tired and don't want to take the time to prepare a healthy meal. I just go for what is easy, which never ends up being the best option.
    My heaviest weight in my life was what I weighed this past spring/summer. I managed to lose 10 pounds and keep them off, but I would like to lose more so that I can fit into my old clothes again.
    Congrats on your weight loss so far. I can't wait to see updates. :)

    1. Haha, I hear you! I totally hear you! When I tell people that I know just from online that I USED to be 173lb they feel like that IS very heavy and it takes a bit of explaining to help them understand that if I was under 160-165 then I'd be considered on the anorexic side! Being 6' and having a small to medium frame, I'm supposed to be between 165-185lbs. :-) Where do you live in Ohio? I have a friends that live in Cleveland that go to some fab health food places that are similar! I understand about not having the time or being too tired to prep healthy meals, that's ALWAYS been my problem, especially since I work so late most nights, till near 10pm, so I just can't always eat well! Thanks for the wonderful compliments! We'll lose that pesky weight together ;-)

  5. I just have to say that you are stunningly beautiful. Good luck on your being healthy journey, I am on one myself!

    1. Thank you so very much, you're too kind! We're going to make it through our journeys! :-D