Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chemical Free

In the process of becoming healthier, I have found chemicals around the house extremely harmful and a completely unnecessary expense. I am not one to turn my kitchen into a potion making scene, with mixing, stirring, and bubbling pots. My recipes are simple, and require a straight forward measure and mix together. I will share the recipe dry mix laundry soap and make a recommendation for a cheaper alternative to bleach cleaners below.

Just bleach alone is a danger to our homes and our earth. When we inhale the corrosive chemical, we cough and it burns. Exposure can lead to Reactive Airways Disfunction Syndrome (RADS). RADS is a chemically induced form of asthma that can last two to twelve years. That weird slippery feeling when it touches your skin? Unnatural! The lye is reacting with oils on our skin. And yet we soak our clothes, bed sheets, toilets, bathrooms and kitchens in it. Food we consume touches countertops we think are not clean and disinfected unless scrubbed with bleach.

Ever thought of cleaning a bathroom mirror with glass cleaner and using a cleaner with bleach on countertops? Ammonia and bleach were used in chemical warfare to poison people in World War I and by the Nazi's in World War II. The combination makes chlorine gas. When inhaled, the gas tears into your nasal passage, trachea, and lungs causing massive cellular damage. It can cause permanent lung damage and painful death. Bleach in the toilet is equally as harmful. Chlorine gas is made when the bleach mixes with ammonia in our urine. We are poisoning the air we breathe in our homes. Thus poisoning ourselves and our children, and paying out the nose to do it.

I have rid my home of all chemicals. I found once I educated myself and looked outside of what is considered the norm, I felt that spraying chemicals in the air (air freshener), sprinkling them on our carpets, washing our dishes (heating and cooling them in the microwave and dishwasher), and washing our laundry and sheets, and windows with them should not be normal.

One box of Borax, a bottle of vinegar, and baking soda have replaced everything in our home and we are breathing better for it. I have made the swap to Borax for cleaning. It is $3.50, and one box lasts me up to 4 months. I just sprinkle Borax around my sink and toilet and gently rub in with a wet sponge (toilet brush), let sit for 15 minutes and rinse! No scrubbing necessary. Borax is a mineral. It is listed as a health hazard 1 on the MSDS (material safety data sheet), but on the same level as salt and baking soda.

My clothes are softer and smell way better than ever. My laundry detergent recipe is as follows: 

One cup Borax
One cup Washing Soda
One ounce grated Castille soap. I like mine scented with lavender. 

Just use two tablespoons per load. I have found our detergent now costs $.50 per month. 

If you have any homemade recipes you wish to share, please do so!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Where it all began

I had a kid at 18 and decided I wasn't doing that again. Now, I love my daughter. But being a single teen mom was a challenge. I didn't need to make it twice as hard. So, I got on depo provera, the fool (which I was) proof birth control. It is a once every three month shot, and it worked great.

I was a happy teen mom, but life was difficult. Making $4.25 an hour and trying to have school, work, and being a mom all fit into a 24 hour day. Add in one verbal and emotionally abusive baby daddy, and I began to gain weight. The first few pounds didn't bother me, and then it slid slowly out of control. I was a body builder in high school and know how to rock it out at the gym. I reluctantly joined, even though I really couldn't afford the extra $15.00 a month.

After several months of going at it -- I'm just going to be honest, maybe half at it and half a slice of cake. Hey-compromise ;) -- I couldn't get any of the weight off, and I had gained 70 debilitating pounds.

Trying to muster up the energy to go to the gym when that overweight is a killer. Tediously staring at a blank wall, sweating, lifting, and climbing to no immediately obvious goal. I went alone and what made it worse was the gym atmosphere. I take the back row (like in school) only to watch healthy people's non-jiggly butts. Amazing women with thighs that don't touch, in front of me. They seamlessly run, each step seems so light and fun for them. I was always looking around for other people my size. I would have given anything for one person, sweating to the oldies with me.

The gym is exhausting mentally and physically to me. Every time I go, I get on the treadmill and stare at nothing, going nowhere (I hate treadmills, can you tell?). This horrible method of "weight loss" gave me nothing to do but think, analyze my life. Every time the thoughts turned to how I had let myself go. I became hyper conscious on the stair master, watching and feeling every slow step I took in my oversized shoe. My sweatpants tearing in the center from the friction of thigh rubbing. Gah. Just gah.

Still no weight loss. On the contrary, continued weight gain. Now tipping the scale at 210 pounds, a total of a 90 pound gain. I hired a personal trainer. The devil himself. I worked out five times a week on Satan's "10-10-10" plan. 10 reps - 10 second break - repeat 10 times. BRUTAL I tell you. He thought wrapping cardio in light weight training was the way to go to have me shed pounds and tone up. He was worried with typical weight lifting that I would gain muscle and bulk up. I agreed to his sinister workout plan.

Around month three he was starting to notice my weight loss was less than satisfactory. We decided to ramp up the plan. Sometimes I couldn't lift my arms to brush my hair because my muscles were torn so severely. But I loved it because he cheered me on because I was working so hard.

Five months went by. I lost a total of five depressing pounds.

My trainer thought I was a closet cake and McDonald's eater, and actually shouted at me for lying to him about what I was eating. He was spending all this time helping me, but outside of the gym I couldn't help myself?

Working out this hard and only losing five pounds? What gives? After I told him that although I didn't have the best eating habits, I wasn't scarfing behind his back, he sent me to a nutrition specialist. They both really tore into my life, which was embarrassing. As a fat girl, my self esteem was already down the tubes. Now two skinny people were inspecting me with a microscope, which made me notice every workout, every calorie, every bite, every decision, every minute of every day. And still no weight loss.

Although they meant well, and were there to help, the combination of me being hyper aware, having them quiz me, and working so hard I was sore every day (and throw in a crappy ex who called me fat) sent me into depression.

My hired team could not figure out why I couldn't loose weight, so they advised I go to a doctor for a slew of tests. Thyroid was the obvious potential issue. The tests all came back fine. I was sobbing in my doctor's office, at the end of this humiliating experience. He says, "Aren't you on the birth control shot?" I say, "Yes?" and finally the truth comes out.

Doc advises me that the main side effect of depo provera is weight gain. The drug is effective in preventing pregnancy because it makes the human body think it is pregnant, and stops a woman's period altogether. Which means the body starts reserving fat for the non-existent baby.

Digest this. What a unbelievably unnatural way to mess with a woman's body. And the worst news? The drug stays active in my system for a year to year and a half after discontinued use.

Meaning- I was destined to a life stuck in this fat suit for an entire year, regardless of what I did.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I'm baaaack (spooky voice inserted here)

Well, it's been awhile. Let's face it: working full time, training dogs part time, being a mom to three teenage daughters, and one hubby with chronic pain, can sometimes make a girl feel like throwing herself off a cliff. But alas, I have not enough time to find the mountain to climb to achieve such a feat. I haven't had the time to write, but have been encouraged to continue the laughs, so here I am.

I have done many radical things in the past few years. In the next few weeks I will touch on each topic, in hopes I will reach out to one person that needs the help and possibly save them the countless hours and endless amounts of research I have done. And hey, if I am lucky, maybe someone will post a comment or teach me something new.

I will open up about: battling severe anxiety, depression, cutting, restless leg syndrome (RLS), and chronic pain (not all from first person accounts, but as a supporting role which can be more daunting a task). I will write about my children turning: vegan (and my subsequent panic), vegetarian, pescetarian, gluten free, raw, and organic, and my harsh learning lessons on eating properly in each category. As a bonus (because me talking/writing more is a bonus?) maybe I'll throw in my secret on how to heal quickly from surgery.

(Before. Damn, is that really me? That's a big girl.)

But most of all I will write on my battle to keep my weight off. I have learned to loose weight easily--any ole diet pill, diet, and calorie counting trick/program works short term but isn't meant to keep you skinny. The company selling you these items stays profitable, and in business, by keeping you in or on their program. What is this I speak of?! Yes folks, they are meant to make you fail. I was a plus size girl at 210 pounds and a size 23. My first time I gruelingly lost 70 massive pounds. Only to gain most of it back. I realized at 190 I was almost pushing 200 pounds again, and ran (literally) scared. I hunkered down and lost the 40. Ballooned up, lost 30. Started to gain and checked myself in time to have to only loose 25.  This last time around, I like to believe I finally learned my lesson and lost 15. I have kept it off, but it is a struggle I face every day.

 (During, because when is it really "after?" The battle really never ends.)

I will write that the best way to diet, isn't to diet at all. There is no magic pill and calorie counting nonsense. It is simply a change to your lifestyle. And I will make it easy and just give you the recipe. It took me 10 years to discover the right combination, and hope it works for someone else. I wish I had future me to ask, 15 years ago when my self hating battle began.

But for tonight, I shall sign off. If there is something you wish for me to write or address first. Please comment! (Really, I'll just be excited to know I'm not talking to myself) :D