Friday, October 30, 2009

The reason I do what I do for a living.....

I received this email from my food client Michele. She has changed so drastically that I wanted her story so I could share it with others. Here it is in her words.......

My name is Michele and I am 36 years old. For as long as I can remember, I have had an eating disorder. When I was in high school, I developed anorexia. I had been mildly overweight and found that once I began starving myself by eating things like carrots and celery all day and occasionally a bowl of tomato soup, I dropped most of my weight. I liked being thinner and enjoyed all the comments made by others who noticed the weight I had dropped. I became consumed with controlling what I ate as a means for being thin. I discounted all the negative side effects like being constantly cold, having dry and brittle hair and nails, lacking energy and feeling fatigue. None of that mattered because I was thin. As I got older and had children, I continued off and on with this mentality of eating. If I ever overindulged, I would make up by starving myself. I yo-yo'd in terms of weight, sometimes as much as 20 pounds up or down, for many years. Finally, when I reached my late 20's, I realized I could not sustain never eating for long periods of time anymore. But instead of adopting a healthy eating pattern, I began to be a binge eater because eating made me feel guilty. I would make it, oh maybe, 3 weeks in a row with eating one meal a day, then I would feel starving and eat everything in sight for like 5 days in a row. In a day, I probably consumed as much as 5,000 calories on these binge days. Once I started to eat, I could not stop myself. I had the mentality that, well, I was eating, so I might as well just go all out. Never once did I consider that eating was normal or necessary. It was bad and I wasn't meant to do it. This may sound strange, because we need food to live, but I had developed a pattern over 20 years of my life that said I needed to feel hungry to feel thin and I needed to eat one meal a day consisting of 500-800 calories. Of course, a body cannot sustain itself over long periods of time eating this way, nor should a person even try. But, this is where I ended up: starving myself for as many days as I could handle it, then binge eating because my body actually WAS starving to death. I developed hypothyroidism as a result with all the symptoms: extremely low body temperature, severe fatigue, sluggish metabolism, hair loss, etc. Though you may think I was really thin, I actually wasn't. Because of the binge eating and because my body was in starvation mode, I actually stored everything I ate as fat. So, I had gained about 20 pounds of fat as a result of starving myself. How ironic!

During these awful years, I would become so full of despair over my eating habits (generally after I had gone through my binge eating spree), and I would journal my feelings. I would tell myself to stop doing this; that I needed to start eating healthy again, get control of my habits and change things. So, I would try to create a menu that seemed healthy and follow it for a time. However, I would slowly start to feel guilty for eating and because I was not feeling hungry all the time, I thought I was going to get fat. So, I would fall into the same habits again and be right back where I started.

About 5 weeks ago, I sat down on my bed and just started to cry. I was so tired of this! I didn't want to be consumed with food anymore. I just wanted to be normal and eat food, like everyone else. I wanted to have lunch with my sisters and mom when we went out instead of ordering a cup of coffee and taking an appetite suppressant. I wanted to break this horrific cycle, but I didn't know what to do. A friend of mine had been talking about the paleo/zone diet and when I was sitting on my bed, I decided to google it. I have many food allergies: can't have any grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol and I don't eat meat so this sounded like a great diet, but I didn't want to do it by myself. I googled "paleo/zone diets delivered, santa cruz, california" and Shari Keener's name came up for meal services. It turned out that she wasn't doing that meal delivery service anymore, but I found her phone number and decided to just give her a call. She answered the phone and I started to ask her questions only to find myself bursting into tears right there on the phone - in the first phone conversation I ever had with her! I was embarrassed, but felt like I couldn't stop myself. I needed help and somehow, for some reason, God put her in my life at that moment to help me. She was so kind and concerned about me and she didn't even know me. She asked to meet with me and she told me how I need to change my thinking about food. She wrote out a sample day of eating in the paleo/zone because of my food sensitivities. It was a 10 block day and it seemed impossible. I was terrified to eat, but on the other hand, there was something calming about having an exact science to what I was going to eat. I had to weigh my protein and measure my carbs and portion out my fat and she told me what time to eat and all the rules. So, I decided to trust her. I started on October 7 and took all my measurements at her request. I had been weighed at the doctor prior to meeting with her and so I had some numbers to refer back to later on. Today is October 29. I have not cheated on the diet once. Since that first day, I have lost 3.5 inches in my waist, 2 inches in my thighs, 3.5 inches in my chest and back and 2 inches in my butt and hips. I have also dropped 8 pounds. But, I am not starving myself! I am eating all day long. I must admit that I have had to call Shari numerous times during these last few weeks when all of a sudden I feel panicked because I don't feel hungry, so therefore, I must be gaining weight. But, she always reminds me that food is fuel. We need to eat! It's necessary to sustain life. It's not about being thin. We eat for health, not for weight. I had never thought this way before. It is very dysfunctional, the way I operated with food. And, it has only been about a month, so I know I have a long way to go. But, I know this for sure...I feel so much better! I am never hungry, I am never tired after a meal, I have energy all day long!, my hair is shiny and has stopped falling out, I do not retain water anymore, my stomach is always flat, my skin is absolutely clear and luminous and I GET TO EAT FOOD! This is freeing for me. And I have Shari to thank for all of this. She genuinely cares - for real! She always texts me and emails me and calls me to see how I am and offers helpful tips and offers encouragement and words of wisdom anytime I need it. I do not know how to thank her enough. She is a life saver and I want people to know, who struggle in the same ways that I do, that there is help and a better way to look at things. Shari rocks! I love her!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Start of a PERFECT Weekend!!

Last Friday I flew down to San Diego to take part in a invitation only weekend seminar led by Dr. Romonov - creator of the POSE Method. BMack and Carl sent me there because they say Im a great runner and want to see what Romonov has to say about my technique - amongst other reasons. So I took a late Friday evening flight headed to my hotel and crashed hard - after ordering a delicious steak, bacon and side salad dinner. Marc, a trainer for Xfit E picked me up around 8:15 and drove us t the San Diego University campus weight room - never met the man before Saturday, but it was although we've hung out before. Super cool man and I can't wait to coach a XFit E Cert with him in the future. Anyway - I have been very excited to meet Dr. Romonov and felt honored that I was chosen to attend. I already knew everything he was covering regarding the POSE method and have taught it to many clients and caches already - what I was waiting for was the video analysis! There were about 30 people attending and he sent us out to do a short maybe 200 meter run while we were videod. Then he showed us some drills, again already knew them, and we brke for lunch. Somewhere in that time frame Coach Glassman showed up and its always a great surprise to see him - he is such a great man and super loving. We chatted and all went t eat a great Paleo lunch of chicken salad - of course - and headed back to the university. I was getting excited to be critiqued! So what we look for is how many frames does it take for you to get into the "4 or POSE " position mid run, versus how many frames are yu on the ground? Everybody's numbers were 10-5 or in the higher numbers maybe a 4 was the lowest I heard. Then he got to me. First off let me say that I have been running since forever and learned the POSE Method from BMac and Carl almost 2 years ago . I coach with CrossFit Endurance, train high level athletes and serious runners....I lead 6 week courses on running technique. I pretty much run 4 times a week in POSE. I am not new at this by any means. Dr. Romonov watched my video and afterwards said, and I quote, " You are a very good runner. There is vertually nothing for me to fix here. Who did you learn from?" I just about jumped out of my skin!!! I answered, Brain MacKenzie and Carl Borg. He said " They are great are a better student." I was a 1 frame and a .7 frame......SO HAPPY!!! Coach Glassman overheard this and pulled me aside to talk. Lets just say it was one of the best days Ive had athletically in a were my two mentors that have impacted my life both athletically and professionally and they were telling me how good I am. My head could barely wrap around it!! I had to bail out of there Saturday late afternoon because my weekend was just about to go off the charts! I was flying to Vegas to hook up with Eva and our gorgeous Swedish men for the weekend to have some fun!! Erik got me at the airport Saturday night and I ran to him when I saw him. I swear he is a complete angel. We had THE most amazing weekend I think Ive ever had romantically with a man since forever-----Eva and I flew out Monday for Santa Cruz - Erik and Chris drove back to SC to meet us late Monday evening and they stayed with us until Friday at 2am when they had to return to Sweden. Life just isn't fair sometimes is it?? I have been single for quite sometime and everybody that I was interested in turned out to either not have the same feelings towards me or some other reason. I just reached a spot of contentment and I was not looking for anything.....I was just happy being alone. But all that changed pretty damn quick. Now I dont know what the future holds - nobody does- but I do know that I am embracing whatever it is and I know I am a better woman now than I was a few weeks ago because I opened up and let a special person into my heart.

And there is always Skype!!! ;) Mads and Jenny have been trying to get me to Sweden for a long time - I think they figured out a way to ensure I get there.....Mads sent me a present in the form of my dream man. Sneaky guy!!! Seriously...I had a list. This list had every thing I want in a relationship and a man on it......Erik has every quality on that piece of paper. Man am I lucky :)