Tag Archives: guest post

meet my girl, Kerry (a guest post)

8 Sep

Greetings! I am Kerry, the changingchick… I am lucky enough to have known Jen for almost two years now. We met when I started at my current job at a Chiropractic office. It was friendship at first adjustment! LOL!  Since we met, we have developed a friendship like no other I have.  We run, hike, walk together. We buy each other produce. We are friends but friends on a path to health!  Along this journey is when I discovered something about myself and became the ChangingChick.  Here’s how it all started… (picture the dream sequence noise here…)

One day my mom called me at work – which is saved for important issues only.  She was actually home for once and had seen Dr. Oz.  “Now you know I am not this type of person (she’s not) but I was watching Dr. Oz with Elizabeth Hasselbeck and I now know what’s been wrong with you.  When you get a chance, I want you to look up gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  They said the symptoms and I said That’s Kerry”!  So I did.  I looked it up.  And I said, “wow, that’s me”.  My symptoms were not only rushing to the bathroom between meals, but I think worse than that is the “rash” all over my body.  It has pretty much been on my hands my entire life.  Sometimes in other places. But it was getting WORSE on my hands and even more random places on my body.  My shoulder blade, my armpits, my shins, my calves, my hamstrings… ALL OVER.  I go through about a tube a cortizone a week, which is just disgusting.  I went to doctor after doctor and was told I had “contact dermatitis” (even though I was resorting to using only baby products on myself).  I had MRSA winter of 2010.  I almost died.  Honestly.  Towards the end of my sickness, before my doc said I was completely clean, he tried diagnosing me with fibromayalgia to ease my mind over my stomach pains.  I refused to accept it, knowing there was more to it than that.  So when my Mom called me I felt hope – for the first time in a long time.

That weekend, I went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to get gluten free grub.  And I cried in the aisles because I was so overwhelmed.  I bought a few items I now deem as disgusting.  I understood why everyone said gluten free food was wretched.  So I ate my food.  Every day.  For about 2 weeks.  And then went to Hooter’s and had wings and beer.  I kid you not.  I love me some beer and hot wings.

Once again, I was getting sick.  My hands were raw and cracked with the “rash”.  My eternal sinus problems had returned.  So once again, I did my research, made meal plans and went gluten free.  In the meantime, I went to an awful GI doctor for blood work and got ZERO answers.  Yes, I am self diagnosed.  Yes, I see a difference in my health when I eat gluten free.

So now… here’s some of my issues.. I lead a VERY busy life.  I eat out often.  I do my research on menus, talk to managers, talk to waitstaff and take all the necessary precautions.  And still get cross contaminated.  I feel like I keep making the same meals over and over.  I find all these amazing GF recipes with ingredients I’ve never heard of or are WAY expensive for my budget right now.

I love to cook. Love to bake. Love to experiment, but it’s just not in my budget to buy all the different flours and gums and pastes and yadda yadda.  I know to eats my veggies and proteins… but sometimes I want something fun. Something indulgent… So, please, don’t lecture me on my eating habits. I am truly looking for help… here’s my main problems:
1 – GF ingredients that don’t cost me an arm and leg.  I know that they will be more expensive than regular flour, but a recipe that maybe calls for one or two out of the ordinary ingredients as opposed to 5 different flours and more…
2 – Are there any GF conventions in NJ or Philly area where I can network with others in my situation?
3 – Bread – I love Udi’s toasted. Not straight up.  So my bread is fine.  But hamburger/hot dog rolls are disgusting.  I would love a sub roll.  I’m from NJ. We love subs. I love Italian subs soaking in red wine vinegar… Any suggestions for a sub roll/substitute?
4 – Am I the only one (other than my big brother who I diagnosed) that gets the rash I now know is called Dermatitis Herpetiformis?  It’s worse than the cramping and bodily functions gluten causes.  It’s uncomfortable, painful, itchy, just so awful I could cry.  Sometimes I just want to crawl out of my skin.  I am at my wits end.  (In regards to the Dermatitis Herpetiformis, I know it’s not a thyroid issue.  I already had that checked.)
So, this is my call for help.  Any advice, suggestions… anything would be appreciated.  I thank you all in advance!  Please send it tochangingchick@gmail.com or visit my blog.
A HUGE thanks to Jen for not only posting this, but being an awesome friend who is always there to support me, kick my ass when I need it and be the true definition of a friend, love ya girl!
xoxo
Kerry
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Emotional Weight: a Guest Post

9 Jun

 

 

 

It is with great pleasure and honor, I introduce you to my very good friend Tara!! For those of you who don’t know Tara, you should get to know her!! Tara is an amazeballs chick and I am so happy she agreed to guest post here today!!

 

Tara helped me understand the concept of emotional weight and now, she is going to share her wisdom with you!!

 

Without further ado…..

heeeeerrre’s Taaaara!

My name is Tara. I used to weight 270 pounds. In December of 2009, I made the life changing decision that being morbidly obese and depressed was no longer an option for me. I couldn’t stand to look in the mirror and see the black cloud that occupied my body, mind and spirit. I was more than unhealthy: I was unhappy, unmotivated and what I like to call “the walking dead”.

In the beginning of my life changing journey (LCJ) I thought it was all about the physical weight. Everyday I would spend a few hours sweating off the fat by walking or working out on the wii. Counting the calories I burned and counting the calories I put in my mouth. The weight came off slowly. Physically I felt better. I was sleeping better. I had more energy. But emotionally I was still seeing that black cloud in the mirror. I thought for sure that when the number on the scale went down, the black cloud would dissipate and what I would see would be a thing of beauty standing before me…

Yhea, not so much.

It took me a while to understand that no matter what my final weight loss number was, the emotional weight that I carried inside of me would keep me morbidly obese in my mind. It would keep me depressed and emotionally unhealthy.

Emotional weight = emotionally unhealthy.

When you get to be 270 pounds, depressed and the only comfort you find is when you’re lost in a video game for upwards of 8 hours per day, you tend to carry around a lot of emotional weight. I didn’t know what that meant until a few weeks into my LCJ when the voices in my head began to convince me that this attempt to lose weight and change the way I looked at life would be as unsuccessful as all the other attempts previous.

I would fail.

I couldn’t hide my emotions in a plate of food any longer. I needed this time to be different. I needed to lose the weight in order to save my life and be the person I was meant to be. I had to believe I deserved this change more than anything in my entire life. The problem was; I didn’t think I deserved much of anything let alone this much needed change. The emotional weight bogged me down. Choices became harder to make. Movements forward became steps back and the cloud occupying my every fiber dug deep into my soul.

It had to be different this time.

Instead of stuffing my face with food in hopes of stuffing my emotions back to a place where they could be ignored, I patiently allowed myself to feel. It was scary at first. Acknowledging both my feelings and that my feelings were important was new to me. Allowing myself to feel something other than “numb” left me exposed, weak and feeling down right stupid at times but something funny started to happen..

I was feeling!

Then something miraculous happened: those emotions that I had spent 40 years stuffing into my morbidly obese body because I was too afraid to feel? They vacated the premises. It wasn’t easy. It didn’t happen overnight and more often then not they come knocking on my door wanting to reminisce. I let them hang out for a bit but in the end when I start making choices that are not appropriate for this life changing journey I kindly show them the door.

Letting go = Emotionally Healthy

We think by showing our emotions and facing the past in order to get to the future we all deserve is going to bring too much fear into our lives. In fact, it has done just the opposite. Sharing my emotions, facing the issues of my past and taking care of business when they come knocking on my door has given me the tools to move on more quickly. Continually shedding my emotional weight helps me to refocus when I feel lost and more powerful when I know I’ve conquered something huge.

It’s your turn now.

Are you letting go? Or are you holding on to feelings and emotions that are too scary to face? The physical weight may be coming off but in the end it’s the emotional weight that will keep it off. Stop running away from the emotions. Turn around, face them head on and proclaim that you deserve this change.

Believe me.

You do.

what the heck is GCX?!?! (a guest post)

2 Jun
Jen In Real Life is proud to present Anda, from Leaving Fatville and the Great Clothing Exchange. I have been tweetingm facebooking and stalking Anda for a while now and I was super lucky to meet up with her at Fitbloggin. Anda is a great friend and has a great concept with her GCX and I roped her into telling us a story, but in true blogger fashion part one of this story can be found HERE – go read it and come back to read the ending.
So, without further ado, here’s Anda:
The Great Clothing Exchange was an idea born of necessity and the kindness of other weight loss bloggers. After lamenting that I would never be able to replenish my wardrobe at each size, a blogger named Emily sent me an email asking for my mailing address. She had a few things in my size that she could send me. A week later, a giant box was on my front porch. It was filled with pants in every single size you could be on your way down. Exercise pants, jeans… it had everything I’d need. I was stunned. I immediately emailed her to say thank you and ask what I could do to repay her kindness.
She only sent back one line: Pay it forward when it’s your time.
And with that, Great Clothing Exchange was born. It took almost 6 months to get it off the ground, but it’s finally made it’s way to the internet. Now, you can clean out your closet of those too big clothes and put them on the site for another person that may need that next size down. Random winners are chosen from the comments and the winner pays the shipping costs. Eventually, we’d like to move into no one having to pay anything to get their new size, or their closet cleaned out. 
I sent back another email to that blogger, Emily and put in the link to GCX. This was for you, I told her. This is how I’m paying it forward. 
During Fitbloggin, GCX got to pay it even further forward. It was a hastily planned event, completely at the last minute. I put a call out for attendees to bring their extra clothes to swap during the events on Friday. I called out, and boy, did people answer! So many clothes that we honestly couldn’t give them all away. 
Three large (very large) trashbags were filled with the leftover clothes. We had always planned to donate the clothes that were left, but this was way more than we had expected. I happened to grab a Marriott employee and ask if there was a charity that they were affiliated with, and we’d like to donate the clothes. We roughly outlined what was left over and he pulled us aside. Marriott didn’t have a specific charity, but he did on a personal level. They desperately needed women’s clothes of all sizes. It was a women’s shelter. They often got baby and children’s clothes, but never women’s clothes and certainly not any plus size clothing. We told him they could have all three bags. 
I think the man must’ve said thank you about 20 times before walking away to find the form for us to sign. We hadn’t planned to have an ending like this one. I was happy to help out more than a few bloggers with some new to them clothes, but this, this felt like it had to happen.
After signing the forms for him to take the clothes, I found a small corner and cried. I felt like GCX had done something really important. And while we wouldn’t see where the clothes would end up, we could see that it was going to make a big difference in some women’s lives that needed a fresh start. 
We couldn’t have asked for a better way to pay it forward.
Thank you Anda!!
I love the GCX!! I have received quite a few pieces of clothing from it so I may be biased but I still think its AWESOME!