Surgery, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

The Surgery

I realized about a week prior to surgery that our kids, who are 10 and 12, had been hearing us talk about “the surgery” for months. They’d watched me food prep for weeks but I wasn’t even sure if they knew WHAT I was having done. We sat them down one evening and just asked, “Do you know what surgery I’m having done?” Our son Nolan thought long and hard about it and said, “Your wrist?” It made me chuckle a little because I hadn’t ever complained of wrist problems but made sense considering I’ve done nails for 26 years. Nail technicians are prone to wrist issues.
I gave it to them straight. Giving them all the details but in ways that they could comprehend and not scare them at the same time. I explained that when you carry excess weight for a lifetime and have big babies (Nolan was 10lbs 1oz and Violet was 9lbs 5oz) that the stomach muscles stretch out and don’t return, it’s very uncomfortable and the only way to fix it was surgery. I never wanted them to think it was their fault so I took most of the blame for mistreating my body for so many years. They remember me at my heaviest and have seen me shrink to half my size and their father lose over 100lbs too. I ensured them that it was a safe procedure and prepared them for the pain I would be in. They understood I would need help standing up at first but it would get easier with time and I’d be better in time for camping season!
My husband Darren had a total knee replacement 8 weeks prior so they were already familiar with the drill. They were so amazing during that time. They were so patient, helpful and understanding. We did a household bootcamp of sorts training them to do their own laundry, empty and load the dishwasher, clean the litter boxes etc… I know, I know, all things they should have been doing anyway. We are less than perfect parents.

 

 


Our kiddos have been great through the last 2 weeks and have been super helpful once again and they’ve let me rest. I think our pups have taken it harder actually since they can’t be in our bed until I’ve healed a bit more. “The surgery” has been a roller coaster so far, but so far it’s worth the pain and frustration. I look forward to feeling more comfortable in my own skin and certainly don’t miss the skin infections under my mommy flap!

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3 months in…

So a lot has happened in the last 3 months since trying out a new health program! Month 1 I lost over 10lbs, Month 2 I was at almost 20lbs shed and by month 3 I decided it was time to become a coach myself since so many people were noticing my incredible results and asking me what I was doing.  Here is my before and after for the first few months.

17880518_10154507627073097_735795765422978222_oIncredible right?!?! I had no idea how much my body had changed in that time since I look at myself every single day. This is why it’s so important to document with measurements and photos along your health journey!

My experience with the program and being a health coach has enlightened me in so many ways. I’m much more accountable and really want to be a good example for all my clients. I absolutely LOVE helping others achieve optimal health and feel incredible!

Are you ready to transform your body and mind? I can help! Email me at jillannclark@gmail.com and lets chat!

 

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Week 1 Results!

Just completed Week 1 of working with a health coach and here are my results! I’m thrilled!

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I stayed 99% on track (I snuck 2 bites of pineapple while cutting one up for the kids) and it was so easy. Eating 6 times a day has really made a huge difference.  I’m not starving at any given time.  Just when I’m starting to feel a little hungry it’s time to eat again!

I’ve loved finding out that a couple friends are doing the same plan, one is 4 weeks out (down 28lbs) and the other 6 (down 17lbs) which is super encouraging and helpful! This plan has an amazing community.

I’m really enjoying cooking hnew recipes (especially the “dupes” like this one) and can I just say that my energy level had kicked up about 26 notches?! On day 5 the fat burn kicked in and hasn’t quit since. I’ve slept better (as good as i can with a 3 month old puppy) and really have a lot more motivation to get things done.  I haven’t had this much energy since I had my kids over 10 years ago. That alone has been worth it!

Week 2, here I come!

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My Silence Ends Now!

I’ve been quiet. Too quiet. I can’t explain myself. I shouldn’t have to. I’m an adult. However, I do feel sort of a sense of responsibility to my friends, family and followers. I’ve struggled for the last year to get back on track. I became bored of Weight Watchers but loved the sense of community it brought me. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met sat next to me every Wednesday morning in that room.
 
It was a hard decision to cancel my WW membership. I hated making that phone call. I am however excited to have a new plan that I’m trying and will be journaling here about my experience and results.  I’ve maintained my weight loss for the most part, I’m still around 90lbs lost which is a feat in itself. I knew that I needed to shake things up a bit to get past the “Set point” in which my body has been in for most of my life.
Today is day 1 of my new plan and so far so good (I’ve been awake for 2 hours ha ha!). I’ve distracted myself with shoveling the 1 inch of snow we got from the driveway and walkways (some might consider that unnecessary, I consider it a mere distraction from the evil that lurks in my kitchen (left over pizza from last night).
I want to take a moment to thank all my friends and family who have supported me for the last 4 years through this journey and have reached out to me to say that I have inspired them in some shape or form. Or those that have met up with me to exercise at one point or another. It’s such a neat experience to have “followers” who have been inspired by my success but the pressure to keep it up can also be tough.
My original goal was to be at my goal weight by my 40th birthday. It’s in August. I now have 6 months to lose approximately 80lbs. While that may be a stretch, I plan to be as close as safely possible and really get down to business. Enough is ENOUGH!
Here is to a new journey, one that will bring fabulous to my 40th!
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screeeeeeeeech!

How do I spell that sound that screeching tires make? You know the one… That’s the sound I hear every morning when I wake up and realize I can’t exercise. According to my doctors I can, if I feel up to it I can do anything. I have a torn artery in my neck and they think it’s OK to workout?! I’m sorry but I think that’s a really bad idea. I’ve read other carotid dissection sufferers stories about how it took over a year to heal because they continued to exercise. I’m not interested in that at all. My healing comes first.

Isn’t it ironic? After 38 years of absolutely despising exercise I finally start to make the time to do it on a regular basis and 2 months later I have an injury that puts all of that on a back burner. Screeching tires. I never LOVED to exercise but after trying 6 different gyms/trainers/programs etc. I found a good groove of cardio and strength training that was tolerable and almost (do I dare say) fun?!? It’s cruel that it was all taken away from me with a single diagnosis.

My plan is to walk for now. No running. No cardio. No heavy lifting. Anything that increases my heart rate and/or blood pressure can’t help the healing process so it’s on hold for now.

Screeching tires again… I also have had to stop eating all my favorite vegetables because of the blood thinner I’m on. Vitamin K interferes with the effectiveness of Coumadin and therefore should be avoided. Because I am so resistant to Coumadin in the first place (I’m taking 3 times what a normal person takes), I can’t take any chances so I avoid anything containing Vitamin K. That includes all of my newly found favorites, like Brusselsprouts (have you had them sauteed in bacon fat?!), kale and spinach. Even seemingly harmless foods like blueberries, kiwi and chickpeas contain Vitamin K.

What a cruel joke this has wound up to be. I’ve lost 100lbs and am the healthiest I’ve been in my entire life and now I have to avoid everything that has gotten me there. Shhhhh, don’t tell my doctor that I snuck a single brusselsprout on Thanksgiving.

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So Many Snubbies!

We get asked a lot why we named our new Boston Terrier puppy Snubby, I mean it is kind of a unique name. My dad’s side of the family has a long history of male Boston Terriers and they were all named Snubby. The first Snubby was born in the 1930’s and named after a Boston Terrier (though some say that he was a pitbull) named Sergeant Stubby who has been named the biggest war hero of his time. Stubby participated in 17 engagements and four major campaigns including those at Aisne-Marne, Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.

John Robert Conroy with Stubby, Ecommoy France 1919 (National Archives)
John Robert Conroy with Stubby, Ecommoy France 1919 (National Archives)

His story is so inspirational and can be found here with many more photos and watch a video here:

In 1933 hen my grandmother got the first snubby, she altered the name a bit when she got Snubby1 in 1930 and aparantly one year he jumped on the Thanksgiving table and ate an entire pound of butter which was quite the luxury during that time!

Snubby1 was born in 1930
Snubby1 was born in 1930

Snubby 2 came along in 1955 and was my dad and aunt’s childhood pet. My aunt Jocelyn remembers getting to stay home from school to pick him up. She went up to their school to show him off in a handsome red collar to her school mates. Snubby2 was very potective, he would go after my grandparents viciously if they tried to spank my dad and aunt. My aunt also said that Snubby2 also did not like her parents kissing. He would circle around them in an agitated state until they stopped… sometimes they did it just to get a rise out of him. Ha! Snubby2 also would circle the table when my grandmother would make anise cookies at Christmas. The cookies had to rise over night on the dining room table and the smell drove him wild. He never ate dog food, only table scraps and lived to the old age of 16.

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Snubby 2 as a pup, he actually looks quite a bit like Snubby6!
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Snubby2 with my dad and aunt as kids!
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An older Snubby2 with my dad who was about 20 here. Not really sure why he’s wearing heart pajamas…

Snubby3 was crazy. He was truly viscous and hated everyone. It was said that he even attacked a group of nuns and bit them! My grandmother tried everything possible to help him be normal, took him to many trainers to help but he wound up with a very early demise. My grandmother was heartbroken but then my brother and I were born, she and my grandfather moved to California and she got over it quickly. We unfortunately don’t have any photos of Snubby3 that we know of. 😦

Check back for photos and stories about Snubby4 and 5 soon!

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Meet the newest addition to our family!

We have a new family member! He’s an 8 week old Boston Terrier named Snubby. He’s the 6th Snubby in a long line of Snubbies in my family and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be carrying the torch on. How could you not love this face?!?

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Meet Snubby6!

I grew up with a dog, but really didn’t have a desire to have one as an adult. I’m a cat person through and through and couldn’t have one growing up because my dad didn’t like cats which is why I got two while I was away at college. The last couple of years I’ve had so much pressure from my hubby and kids to get a dog. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy or cheap and well, like most people I want cheap and easy when at all possible.

When I made the mistake of telling our daughter Violet that if she rode her bike without training wheels on memorial day this year and she did it within about 5 minutes I knew I was in trouble. If I agreed to the dog I wanted it to be one that I wanted. I always loved my Aunt Jocelyn’s 2 Snubbies and knew that a Boston would be the perfect fit for our family. Not too big or small, good with kids, super fun energy, doesn’t shed too badly and uber adorable. And now I had the job of hunting one down thanks to Violet’s awesome bicycling skills.

I searched for a Boston for a long time, well over a year (much of that time was in secret). I searched Pet Finder, all kind of rescues and nothing fit our needs. Either they had an illness that I knew we couldn’t take on or they weren’t compatible with cats or kids or both. When I found a local breeder with pet quality Bostons on Craigslist I was thrilled! She had 8 pups ready for adoption around the time we got home from our trip to the Upper Penninsula! A couple days after contacting her we drove the hour to meet the pups and picked one out. We were so in love immediately, he was the runt. Wasn’t he so tiny at 4 weeks?

Snubby6 at 4 weeks, he was so tiny!
Snubby6 at 4 weeks, he was so tiny!

We are so thrilled to have this newest addition to our family and really look forward to watching him grow up over the new year with our kids. The kids are over the moon with excitement as is the hubby. Stay tuned for the entire history of the all the family Snubbies including who the original Snubby1 was named after with lots of pictures!

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We are Bahamas Bound!

This week has been amazing, it started with my birthday (yes, I AM 29. Thank you for asking!) and spending the weekend with my BFF Rachael in her hometown White Hall/Montegue/Muskegon (what a gorgeous area!). We got hit with that HUGE nasty storm that knocked out the power and water at the campground but I got my lovely new wedding ring that was necessary because my 100 pound weight loss had shrunk my fingers by 3 1/2 sizes and they couldn’t size the old one down anymore without risking the diamonds falling out. Oh darn, right?!? Isn’t it amazing??? I’m totally in love with it!

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The week progressed with a girls night out Wednesday night, date night with the hubs on Saturday with dinner and a movie. A kid free night thanks to friends taking both the kids! Total win there! But it ended with the biggest surprise EVER. A 4 day cruise to the Bahamas!

You may or may not know that I am a distributor for Makeup Eraser which is a super soft, reusable, natural and machine washable cloth that removes 100% of your makeup with JUST WATER. Yup, even your waterproof and/or smudge proof mascara and eyeliner. Yes, even your theater makeup and the makeover (or under) that your kid just gave you. It even removes sharpie from your face and cleans your makeup brushes. With. Just. Water. No more wipes that have harsh chemicals in them that are clogging up the sewers and landfills, no more raccoon eyes, no more tears, no more rubbing our skin until it wrinkles. Yup, it’s pretty much awesome.

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I have really enjoyed introducing people to it since November when I became a distributor, not only because the extra cash is nice (we paid for Christmas last year using just my commissions from MUE!) but because it has changed the way we care for our faces! I used to be one of those people who would sleep in their makeup and now I at least use the Makeup Eraser and my skin is so much clearer and softer now plus my lashes are thanking me. I no longer have to scrub and scrub to get that stuff off! My makeup brushes have never been so clean either. It used to be such a daunting task to clean them so I would put it off as long possible. Want to know the best part? When you wash it, it comes 100% clean and looks and feels brand new. Up to 1,000 washes. Yippee! OK, enough about the MUE, if you don’t have one, just get one! You’re welcome!

So last month MUE had a contest for distributors and the top 100 producers could win a cruise to the Bahamas in October. When the top 100 list was released on the I didn’t even bother really looking at it because I didn’t think there was ANY way that I would be on there. When I got the email the next day congratulating me on my earning a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas I thought for sure it was spam. I was super busy with camping trips, birthdays and work that I really didn’t have it in me to work real hard at trying to win. Well, just doing my normal check ins with my retailers and selling a few to friends qualified me! There I was, #60 out of 100!

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We never got a honeymoon since our son was 3 months old at the time of our wedding in 2006 and I was breastfeeding (totally not sexy) and we always said we’d take a honeymoon “someday”. Well that “someday” is now this October when we set sail to the Bahamas! Can’t wait to finally get away without our kids and really celebrate our marriage (even though it’s 9 years later ha!). Yay!

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My husband is a WINNER!

So Fresh Thyme Farmers Market moved into Troy a couple weeks ago and they had a HUGE grand opening event and it continued through the first week. We have shopped there several times a week since and have really enjoyed their fresh produce with many organic options, the handmade sausages in a bazillion flavors and the extensive selection of health foods, supplements and of course the craft beers. OK, I don’t like beer but the hubby does which brings me back to the point of this post. When he stopped in during the grand opening week he entered a drawing for a slew of prizes on a table and went on his merry way. Well the next week he got a phone call that he had won the grand prize of the new Nutri Ninja Mega Kitchen System1500! Here he is all proud of his winnings and such. IMG_0532 Now, we already had a Ninja that I received for Christmas two years ago so I wasn’t over the moon (I secretly wished it was a Vitamix ha!) but had hoped that this newer Professonal 1500 watts/2HP model would create a smoother smoothie and was really excited about the addition of the food processor part that I didn’t have with my old one. It also came with a dough blade which I plan to try with my favorite Chocolate Zucchini Muffins from Paleo Grubs. Anything that will make mixing all that almond butter easier is awesome in my book! The first thing I did was make a smoothie which was an improvement from my older model, the consistency is definitely smoother (not exactly as smooth as the vitamix) but it was better for sure. The motor is much louder because of the extra power but it quickly whipped up a frozen treat for the kiddos. I snuck in a scoop of my newest obsession, Amazing Grass Super Food in Watermelon (also from Fresh Thyme) and told the kids that I added watermelon in it. They said it was scrumptious, muhahahaha! They still got brain freeze with the newer model and were mad at me for making it so delicious. So sorry.

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GIANT thanks to Fresh Thyme of Troy for the giveaway, we love our new Nutri Ninja and we love shopping at Fresh Thyme! Also, would like to thank my hubby Darren for being such a lucky duck!

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Bees, Bicycles and Blueberries

We had quite the parenting breakthrough this past Memorial Day Weekend that we really gave each other a pat on the back for. All 3 of our kids had issues that we resolved in under a minute and darn it, we’re proud!

We were camping as usual and with the outdoors comes all kinds of exposure to insects, including everyone’s favorite… BEES. Our middle kid Nolan has always been deathly afraid of bees, wasps, hornets etc. and he usually avoids going outside at all because of them.

There were a few buzzing around our campsite and as usual Nolan was running into the camper for cover. My hubby Darren decided to have a once and for all talk with him in hopes it would solve the phobia Nolan had with the buzzing creatures. He explained that, “Bees are more scared of you than you are of them. They don’t want to sting you, because when they do, they die.” It was pretty amazing how that little 1 minute pep talk worked! He spotted one later that day and said, “You don’t want to sting me bee. I know you don’t!” My hubby is a freaking genius for thinking of a way to really put his mind at ease!

Now, our oldest son Colin is the pickiest eater I know (besides my BFF Rachael) and won’t eat any kind of berries. When I served lunch on Monday I served fresh blueberries which were perfectly ripe (I’m not a huge blueberry fan, and even I liked them!) and he was refusing to eat them as I suspected he would. I asked him if he was allergic or if they made him throw up knowing the answer would be no to both questions. He said that he just didn’t care for them and he didn’t like how when he bites down on them they pop and squish out in his mouth.

I shared with him something that I’ve learned in the last 2 years of my own health journey, sometimes you eat things even if they aren’t your favorite. You eat them because they are good for your body. Wouldn’t we all skip vegetables and eat ice cream because it tastes better? Of course we would! I don’t like vegetables all that much but I eat them because my body needs all of the health benefits they have to offer. I explained the health benefits of blueberries, that they are high in antioxidants and fiber and that if he tried eating more than one blueberry at a time that the squish factor would become a non-factor. Would you believe he ate all the blueberries on his plate?!? He said I was right, that they weren’t so bad and the squish factor was gone with several in his mouth at one time. Boom! Problem solved! We now have a blueberry eater, gotta work on strawberries next!

So the final challenge for the weekend was working on Violet to get her training wheels off. We’ve taken them off several times before only to have a complete meltdown and have to put them back on. We’ve bribed her with everything under the sun and always failed. The last time we had tried was when my mom here visiting from California and she basically had it but got scared and shut down. I knew she was close and that we just had to work on her confidence. So Monday I made a promise that I knew would get her moving that I just may regret saying. I told her we’d get a dog if she got it that day. I know, I know. I was asking for it. The whole family has been on me about getting a dog and I am NOT a dog person. I am a cat person and now I’m outnumbered. I knew the day would come and I’d have no choice so I used the dog as a bribe. Shame on me.

We got her training wheels off and her helmet on and one push and she was gone. No time to get a video or anything. She was driven by the puppy bribe and that was that. I was a goner. The rest of the afternoon the kids begged to go get a puppy that day. Oh boy. Conversations about finding the exact right pet and at the right time ensued. Off to petfinder.com I went on my phone. Ugh. She also earned a new helmet, cute eh?

So I guess the moral of this story is, be careful what you wish for! Now if only Darren would stop being afraid of bees… Guess I need to have the same 1 minute pep talk with him!