Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How I Changed Our Health Story

One mom explains she changed her family's health story
Do you think about your health on a daily basis? I certainly didn't, I didn't really think about it all that much. I was 300 lbs, and I did nothing about it. This is the way everyone in my family was. If I had a bad day, my mother would say - "eat a piece of cake, it will make you feel better." This is the way I grew up. This is the way I learned to be. This is the way it was. I ate to make myself feel better. I ate when I was happy, I ate when I was sad, I ate when I was bored, I ate... And ate...  And ate. What I didn't realize was that I was eating myself to death. Me, not doing anything about it - I lied. I knew I didn't like the way I looked. I knew I didn't like the way I felt. But did I put any kind of effort into it? No, Not really. I counted a few points, lost a few pounds, decided that the $45 a month was too expensive - that I wasn't worth the money nor the time, stopped - and gained it all back plus 20 lbs. It was a vicious and deadly cycle. I was getting bigger and bigger.

In the meantime, while I was yo yoing, my uncle had a massive heart attack while at the casino (at a card table) - and nobody talked about it. Nobody said anything except - "well, at least, he died doing what he loved." Sigh. Another uncle - 48 years old, after having untreated diabetes for so long - lost his eyesight, went into kidney failure - and finally had a massive heart attack while the furnace man was in the house. Still, nobody said anything. Nothing. Totally oblivious to what was happening - or where they?

My dad's side of the family - riddled with diabetes. All the brothers had it (there were 8 and all but two are gone). I remember the day. My dad had it so bad, that the nurse wondered how he could still be alive. And still, nobody said anything. My dad finally had a massive heart attack while at home - after waiting 4 days with terrible chest pain to go to the hospital. He died while walking out of the house on his way to the hospital. And still, nobody said anything. Nothing.

"A HUGE setback can be changed into a HUGE victory with the right mindset."
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It's just something that happens. No... it's not something that just happens. WE MAKE IT HAPPEN. We are doing it to ourselves with bad choices. It was my uncle's fault. It was my dad's fault. It was my Mother's fault the way she ended and the pain she was in. And it was my fault that I was 300 lbs, diagnosed with high blood pressure, prediabetic and feeling terrible about myself. It was my fault that my hubby didn't want to touch me. It was my fault that I was on high blood pressure medication. It was my fault - all of it.

I didn't want my kids to go through the stuff I went through. I didn't want to live on medication for the rest of my life. I didn't want my family's story to be my story. I was tired of being miserable, I was tired of being tired, I was tired of not wanting to look in the mirror, and I was very tired (and still am) of being plus size. It had to change, and I am the one who needed to change it. I was already seeing the cycle replay in my oldest son's life. I had to say, "NO, this is enough and it stops here and now." So I changed. I got my goals in order.
  1. I want to get off the high blood pressure medication.
  2. I want to lose 130 lbs.
  3. I want to be able to look myself in the mirror
  4. I want to love myself and my body
  5. I want to be hot
  6. I want to look great in a swimsuit
  7. I want to live past the age of 75
  8. I want to be hot
  9. I want to be a hot homeschooling mama
  10. I want to be hot
Haha! Mostly what drove me, and what drives me is my blood pressure and my weight. But, I still dream of being hot. :)  

A mom explains how she changed her family's health story

I started exercising 30 minutes a day, I started portion controlled clean eating, I started drinking Shakeology - and I focused on loving the basics - homeschooling my four children, loving them, and loving myself.     And though those efforts - I lost 80 lbs, lowered my blood pressure significantly, and started loving myself. I was able to look in the mirror again and smile, and I am a much happier person. I got pregnant, exercised and ate clean throughout my entire pregnancy, and realized my dream of having a home waterbirth. I changed my story. My doctor was totally shocked.
  • A1C dropped to the normal range (from 5.7 to 5.3). I am no longer prediabetic. I have the same chance of getting diabetes as anyone in the community - which is remarkable for someone with a family history of diabetes (it's prevalent on both sides of the family).
  • My triglycerides dropped to 35.
  • My good cholesterol increased 18 points to 68. Nobody does that.
  • My bad cholesterol dropped to 50
  • Total cholesterol 118.
Not only did I change my story, I began to change the story of my family.

A mom explains how she changed her family's health story

Changes in my Family!
  • My son started noticing my changes and started to make healthier eating choices. The disease is hard, but at 11, he's working out at least once a day with me, and mostly twice. He is making better eating choices.
  • My husband has joined a gym and is trying to bulk up himself. Haha. How the world goes around, right?
  • My daughter reminds me to make better eating choices.
  • My baby is getting better whole-foods from the beginning.
It's the small steps that make the HUGE differences. Through my clean eating, daily exercise and care with my choices - they see the results of that - and they want those results themselves.
  • My kids are now drinking green smoothies instead of eating Oreo cookies.
  • The kids are exercising with me - sometimes twice a day!
  • Everyone is trying more foods as I try them. They might not like it, but they try - and that's what's important. They have found they LOVE the cauliflower clean fried rice, so I make it for them.
  • My son asks for salads. <BIG EYES>
  • My son's weight gain has stalled. While he is still overweight, he's not gaining and he's not losing. He's just growing taller - and transforming into a beautiful young man - right before my eyes. That was the plan. No weight loss, no weight gain - just grow up.
  • While my hubby hasn't been able to "bulk up" like he wants (thanks to those "thin spindly genes", he does still go to the gym, has stopped/severely decreased his alcoholic consumption (every once in a while, he will have a glass of wine or one beer), and is a much nicer more compassionate person.
    So, I have begun to change my story. For me, every day is a struggle with the eating, but I have worked on myself and my broken brain - and have found ways around my brain dysfunction. I didn't tell you this, but when I started my weight loss journey after my pregnancy, I learned the hard truth that some women don't lose weight while nursing. Well, guess who is lucky? Not a pound. So, having been on a frustrating plateau for almost a year of clean eating and exercising twice a day, I have learned a few things.

Tips for Success

A mom explains how she changed her family's health story

  • Realize that food is not the problem, it's the symptom of the problem. The problem was my head, and how it is programmed. Realizing that, working on that, helped me to be successful, keep the weight off during pregnancy and postpartum so I am not setting myself back, but always moving forward.
  • Realize how my body works. Usually, I gain 30-40 lbs postpartum. I thought it was because I ate too many oreo cookies, but in fact, it is due to the nursing. Nursing makes me gain weight - for whatever reason. It's been shown that this is FACT. The fact that I lost 15 lbs. is HUGE. In fact, I lost 55 if I normally gain 40. It's all in the way you look at things. You can turn a HUGE negative into a HUGE positive. A HUGE setback can be changed into a HUGE victory with the right mindset.
  • Realize that exercise is not a curse. It's a gift. I feel better, I look better, and I have more energy.
  • Realize that eating clean is not a curse, it's a gift. I am gifting myself and my body a better life. I am gifting myself a better outcome. I am gifting myself a better story.
  • Realize that it never stops. Even when I get to my goal weight, it never stops. It keeps going. Realizing that I will ALWAYS have to pay attention to my food and that I will ALWAYS have to exercise has helped me. This is a lifestyle, and such - I will never be able to take a break. This attitude has kept the weight off during the holidays, during birthdays and times when I just didn't feel like it. Now, I never have to worry. It's not coming back. I am always moving forward.

Lisa The Squishable babyAbout Me
I'm Lisa. I am a homeschooling mother of 4 (ages 11, 7, 3, and 10 months). I blog at The Squishable Baby, where I talk about both my health and homeschooling journeys and how improving my health has made me a better mother, wife and homeschooling tutor. Join me on my Facebook Page and follow my journey to a better, healthier more fulfilled life.


Wow! Wow! and Wow!  Is all I have to say about this post!  Lisa is our first guest post here at and we are so glad she chose to share her amazing story with us.  It is not easy to shift your own thinking, but look at the impact her shift has made for her family.  Lisa, we wish you the absolute best as you change your family's story and journey to health! Oh, and be HOT!

You might find this post at any of these parties!

Does your family's health story need to be re-written?
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  1. All the choices I make are changing my family history simply because of my West African background...we ate completely differently growing up, marrying someone from a dif culture has given me more insight into the better for me choices that I can make

    1. You are right Nancy. Cultural diet choices can be a major component to the health of a family. Thanks Nancy!

  2. I think you are absolutely right about having to understand how your body works and realize that exercise is not a curse. I had gotten down to my pe-pregnancy weight and stopped there. I did nothing to maintain and didn't think I had to. My back pain came back and I couldn't understand why until I realized or took the time to understand what my body needs and how it works. I'm up 15 pounds from where I want to be but have goals set up to lose the weight and keep it off! Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. So glad you were able to make that discovery for yourself Nayrha! I wish you the best in year journey.

  3. Wow! This is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!! Good for you. I agree, when we do things as a family, it makes it so much easier. Thanks for sharing your motivational story.

  4. You are precious...and such an inspiration! I wish you much success!

  5. Congrats on the awesome progress. love working out - weight lifting is my thing. My husband and I are trying to eat cleaner. It was hard at first but now it comes naturally.

    Jay of

  6. Congratulations on making the choice to take control of your health! Thank you for the wonderful tips on being consistent.

  7. Congratulations on your journey! Your story is so inspiring and I love that you took your health into your own hands. I am a huge Shakeology fan. It's the healthiest meal of the day and I love it.

    All the Best,
    Allison |

  8. Wow, I am truly impressed by the strides you have made. I need to take the steps to do this for myself. Right now I am struggling to get through the day and have no energy after work and kids homework.

    1. Thanks for reading Lisa's post. I know how busy can be. Start by eking out as little as half an hour for yourself and do a little something for yourself. Walk, dance. Any type of movement to get you started. Wish you the best.

  9. Congratulations on your super, amazing success! What a journey! Love your goal to want to be hot!!!

  10. Get it girl, that is amazing. You should be proud for sure. I recently started to work on my heart health and I'm looking forward to my pay off.

  11. Good for you! You're doing AMAZINGLY!!!!! <3

  12. Great goals! I want to be hot too lol. You are doing great! Keep it up!

  13. Congratulations and what an incredible story! What a great way to pass on a new legacy to your kiddos to. It's also a reminder to me that I need to begin attending to my own physical health again.

  14. So happy for you! I'm big on heart health and started my better lifestyle journey a couple years ago after a health scare. Love this post. -

  15. I am so inspired by this post! What a great story of turning your life around, breaking the bad habits. I've also struggled with trying to lose weight and keep it off. Lisa is right about changing your thinking in order to change your lifestyle. I've just begun regular exercise again and I'm taking steps to make better food choices. I'm your neighbor at #FamilyFrindshipandFaith Linkup!

  16. You are so right, mindset is HUGE! I am learning that this is really where weight loss (and any change) starts, in the mind. Congratulations on your success!

  17. What an amazing story, Gina! Parts of this are all too familiar to me and my journey. It's very motivating to see you and all the progress you've made! You're awesome! I'm sharing this with my readers on social networks. You rock! Oh, and you ARE totally hot! Have a great weekend!

  18. From fat to fit- what an amazing journey! It's important how you talk about your family's attitude about their medical factors and what it took for you to start paying attention.

    I've had coaching clients who were pre-diabetic and STILL didn't think they were worth the cost of a customized health program. Believing that your choices matter and have ripple effects on your family is key!

    Thank you for sharing.

  19. Jennifer, you are so right, and I'm not sure what to do about it. It's totally about knowing your self worth. As a mother, it was a hard lesson to learn that I am important too.

    I matter.

    The way I feel matters. The way I look matters and the way I see my self matters - a lot. It's not until I was into this journey that I realized that.

  20. YAY for inspiring your family to be healthier!

  21. I don't know you from Adam but you are ah-may-zing! You took the initiative and you did it - that is phenomenal. And look what an amazing role model you are to those around you. Way to go, way to rock it, way to take charge! xo Amanda

  22. I'm blown away by her testimony! It takes so much courge to change family habits. Look at how far you have come. I would re-read this every week so you can remind YOURSELF why you are doing all the hard work. And it is hard work. You go girl! Stay on track, keep up the motivation and remember, you and you alone are the role models for your children. Break the bad habits. Get healthy! Most inspiring story I've read all week. Thank you, thank you for bringing this to Party at My Place. This is what I'm talking about!!!!

    1. Thanks Michelle. Lisa has taken on monumental task and is doing an amazing job.

  23. This was such a great transformation and the best part is that it's not over. I'm so proud of you! Not only did you improve your own health but your example had an amazing impact on your family. Way to go!!!

  24. Congratulations on your health victory! A few months ago, I was watching a Soul Food documentary on Netflix. A woman was describing what life is like in the black community as it pertains to food choices, "You get your diabetes, your high blood pressure, and then you die." Sad, but true. So glad you and your family are breaking the cycle! <3

  25. 😫. That's another huge aspect of this that I don't talk about. Sheena. Sigh.

    There are cultural things going on. We need to make better choices and it has to start somewhere. But to approach those issues can be tricky.

  26. Good for you! Such an inspiring story! Our health is so important, and taking care of ourselves. Well done on the victory! Keep on!

  27. hi friends, i constantly take care of my health and it is very useful for me. Thanks to you, I learned about quick way to lose weight and It helped me. I've read a lot of your blogs and it's great.