I have been dared - no, double dog dared - to put up before and after pics. Ha! If I still looked like the blueberry gal from Willy Wonka, I'd be able to show an impressive "after" photo. But I look way better than that, so... Pics coming soon, so keep your eye on this space.
Some folks I know have asked what I am doing to get my skin and body back into shape. You do know that gaining and then losing a lot of weight puts your skin through its paces, right? You know now.
As I've done since I've been dressing myself, I've been using any and every moisturizer I can afford. I am in love with the Gene's Creme I told you about before and I still use it on my feet at bedtime. Now I am into coconut oil (organic, un-refined) because it's so versatile. I use it top to bottom - literally. I use it under any makeup and then to take off the makeup. It goes on my hair, my face, body and feet. It doesn't leave a greasy feel so I can use it without staining my clothes. (Ladies, it can even be used in the bedroom, and I'm not talking about getting dressed.) I even have been substituting it at times for butter on my hot cereals. I really don't want you to lose your mind when I tell you I have been adding a touch of it to my morning coffee. I got started with it because of this chick here. After using it for a couple of weeks, I noticed that it works. Now, after about a month, I walk around soft as a baby's hind parts and smelling like something sweet and tropical.
Of course, I am still NOT smoking! (Yay, me.) I am keeping up with the gym visits. I don't go and stay for hours, but I get in there and do my circuit of 15 minutes on treadmill, elliptical and/or bike and the damn ab machines. I'm starting to hate this one ab machine, but she's the piece of metal trickery that's going to help me get into my skinny jeans! My big goal is to do last 30 minutes on an elliptical. There's one lady at the gym who looks to be about 70 years old. She does nothing but the elliptical the whole time I'm there. I was dripping a river of sweat after 5 minutes and she was watching the news while doing a couple minutes forward, a couple backwards. Switching it up like a boxer skipping rope. True story.
In addition to the outer body care, I've been paying attention to my insides. I'm giving the Activia thing a try. It's only been about 4 days, so I will report back later if I remember to. I'm drinking tons of water. I think the biggest positive (meaning fun and healthy) new thing I'm doing is using yogurt in more of my cooking. And trying new things in the kitchen. With food, people. Get my mind out of your gutter!
BzzAgent sent me coupons to try Fage yogurt for free. I did. I love it. I'm not crazy about plain yogurt, but I wanted to skip the fruit-flavored for something I could incorporate into actual meals. I have tried substituting the Fage for sour cream on food (yum-yum) and I added it to a cake I made. The cake was amazingly moist - and I'm sorry for sounding like a bad commercial, but it's the truth. After I tasted my "sample" cake, I decided to add some Fage to the store-bought chocolate frosting. Oh, good mercy! That was the best idea ever. I hate how sickly-sweet canned frosting sometimes are. The yogurt added a really creamy texture and such a nice tang to the frosting. The best of all: I doubled my frosting. I've refrigerated it and have been dipping fruit and cookies into it. I have to pat myself on the back for that idea! The Activia is fine for my snack, but I don't think I will be using any other yogurt from now on for my kitchen other than Fage.
Now, the best advice I can give for anyone going through the whole it's-a-life-change-not-a-diet thing is to put a really good friend to full use. In my case, it's a guy I bonded with online right after I first got sick. P.D. lives about as far away from me as you can get, but he's become a sort of long-distance platonic lover. I adore him because he is so freaking honest. Brutal, at times. He's lucky he lives on another continent, else I'd get to him and kill him in his sleep two or three times a month. My point, though, is: get someone like P.D. in your life. P.D. encourages me to do a little better every day. He calls to see if I made it to the gym or if I am eating right. That kind of a friend would be known as a nag if it weren't for the fact that he's so happy for the most minor positive thing I manage to do. Having a guy-friend is better when you are dieting; they aren't competing with you like your gal-friends.
Yeah, so, get a P.D. in your life or at least get a mindset of "I can do this,"and you will be on your way. Be your own cheerleader and coach. Right now, I have a pair of my pre-sick favorite jeans hanging on the wall next to my closet. About every other week, I can get those bitches pulled up a little farther. I can't wait for the day I can get them on without removing a rib.
I hope that you manage to find your motivation.
Meantime, here are a couple of sites I like for the information:
Welp! I am off to the gym.