10 Tips for Long Term Weight Loss

I have been on a weight loss journey for about 10 years now. After some medical issues, hypothyroidism and hormone imbalance, my weight became out of control. It didn’t seem to matter what I did or tried, there was no losing the weight. Once I entered my 50’s it seemed to make situations even worse; Menopause kicked in and all hope seemed to be lost. I had 60 lbs. to lose and a lifetime of experience on how to do it. I just needed to implement a plan into action. I was on a serious plateau and I needed to kick myself off.

Plateaus can happen to anyone no matter how active you are. Kicking yourself off the plateau can be a series of trial and error. If you are not sure what a plateau is or if you have reached one; let me elaborate. It is pretty basic, if you are working out, watching your calories and taking in less than you are expending but still have not seen any changes in a month, chances are you are at a plateau.

If you still have more weight to lose, like I do, it can be frustrating. Through using the tips below, I have now lost 40 lbs. of the 60 lbs., I still have 20 lbs. to go. I always use these techniques to lose, maintain and kick myself off of a plateau. Here are the tips I have used and found to work for me in maintaining long-term weight loss:

Workout Tip #1: When putting away clean clothes, take small stacks to increase your trips back and forth. Short on time and think you need to take fewer trips? Increase your pace, even with more trips you will get done faster and get your heart rate up.

REMEMBER: The more steps you take, the closer you will be to 10,000 steps a day.

Workout Tip #2: Use your arm weights while loading the dishes, dirty laundry, folding clothing or making/changing the beds. You choose your weight based on your physical level. The goal is to make it all the way through the activity with them on. If you can’t make it to the end go down in weight, likewise if you feel nothing pick it up the weight. I have found the Velcro arm weights in 1, 2, and 3 lbs. increments per arm.

Workout Tip #3: Are you sitting at a desk, driving, or otherwise not moving as much as you need to? There are things you can do to help offset your work day. Isometric exercises, the act of holding your muscles tight for 10 to 15 seconds and then releasing, can be done any time anywhere. While sitting at a desk or in a car just pull in your core (stomach and butt). You will know you are doing it right when it feels like your belly button is being pulled into your back. Just squeeze your buttocks together at the same time as your stomach. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and release. Start out with 3 sets of 10, you will feel the burn. Do the same thing while you’re driving, just keep your eyes and mind on the road, no getting lost in counting to 15…

If you are in a more private area, home or private office, you can also try doing some of your seated work on your feet marching in place. Use your arm weights while reading the computer screen or studying. Do overhead arm presses (arms out at sides, level with breasts, then pull them up over your head touching your palms. Simple curls; arms at sides and curl them up so that hands touch your shoulders. You should do them in sets of 10 and start out with 3 sets of each type. If you work in an office or any time take the stairs when it makes sense. Every extra step is one step closer to your 10,000 steps a day. 10,000 steps are the equivalent to about 5 miles.

Workout Tip #4: Folding clothes with arm weights is in itself extra but I have added a few extra lift moves to increase the results. I have lost 1″ doing this on my arms. All you need to do is to take the item you are folding with your arm weights on (2, 3 or 5 lbs. weights) and lift the item over your head, bring it down in front of you pull your item to the right keeping both your arms straight and then pull it too your left keeping both arms straight. Now fold the item and start again. You will feel the burn and this should tone up the skin under your arm. After you are comfortable with that routine add an overhead curl by raising your arms over your head and make sure your arms touch your ears and try to keep your wrist and elbows as close together as possible. Now bend your arm over your head towards your back. Do this movement 10 times and then start to fold again. Only do this movement 3 sets of 10 or a total of 30 movements. This should really start to tone up your arms.

Don’t forget to do isometric squeezes any place you can, hold for the count of 10 and then release. Car, desk, shopping… The more you pull in your core the better your posture, stronger your stomach muscles are and it will become habit to stand up tall and hold in your stomach.

Eating Tip #1: Never avoid a craving! If some food items seem like it would be more fun to have then a spa vacation with girlfriends then, by all means, don’t deny yourself that! If that double fudge chocolate cake is calling you have some but make it a celebration. Pull out a nice china plate, make your favorite cup of tea or coffee (or whatever you think sounds perfect with it). As you are getting ready to eat it enjoy the process of preparing. Turn on some nice music, favorite show, sit out in the garden (again, make it special do something that you enjoy). Then enjoy your 1/2 a slice of cake slowly, taking in the entire experience; never feel guilty for eating it, enjoying yourself and your craving. Keep in mind everything in moderation, don’t do this every day, try once or twice a month.

Food for thought: If you make your craving a positive experience that takes time and thought to prepare you should not need to overindulge or hide your actions of eating it. Guilt and shame cause stress… Stress increases hormone levels that cause you to retain fat, mainly around the mid-section. If you lessen the guilt around eating, your body will be able to process your food better. Don’t forget all the extra movement and exercise you are doing will take care of one little piece of double fudge chocolate cake. Stressing over it will just make it worse.

Eating tip #2: Your goal with eating is to eat fewer calories than you burn. I know it sounds obvious but it really is that easy, who knew! Another challenge is to make the calories that you eat good ones that are easy to burn. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your food it just means that you don’t want to spend your whole day eating fast food, highly processed and packaged, 15% fat in any one meal and never in every meal, and high sugar content all day. Can you have some of these things? Absolutely, it is more about being aware of what you put into your mouth and why. That is what the 2-week journal is for. Once you are aware of what is going into your mouth/body you can start to balance that with movement and activities. Not to mention begin to moderate the amount you eat.

Food for thought: Every 500 calories less you eat a day vs. burn a day will equal a pound a week. Does that mean you eat 1000 fewer calories a day to get to 2 lbs. a week? Possibly, but most likely you would not stick with it. The best way to achieve a long-term lifestyle change is to make it as easy as you can; take off 500 calories a day (if you need to) and increase your activity level by 500 calories a day. The difference is 1000 calories and you really may not even notice it.

Eating Tip #3: We must all get in our daily water consumption. Warm water with lemon in it helps cleans you and keep you running smoothly, try it in the morning. A big glass of water before any meal helps you control your portions. If you are feeling particularly hungry drink a glass of water and wait 10 to 20 min and see if your hunger subsides (you may have just been thirsty). Even if you are still hungry and need to eat the water will help you from overeating. Everyone knows that we need our 8ish glasses of water a day. Try keeping a 64oz or more juice container full of water in your fridge. It helps to monitor what you are drinking. If you don’t like water try adding lemon, lime or tea.

Medical tip #1: Any new routine with eating and activity should be approved by a doctor, at the bare minimum you should have a physical before you start and mention to the doctor what you are planning on doing. Let them know you are going to start walking 3 days a week for 30 min (or whatever activity you have chosen). Mention that you are going to try to eat in a European fashion, no deprivation but moderation, more whole foods, and fewer chemicals/packaged foods when possible. I’m sure you will get approval but everyone has a different chemical make-up and any change in lifestyle should always be run by your Doctor/PA.

Side note: If you are being seen by a doctor for any chronic issue, thyroid, diabetes, depression, IBS, food allergies… You must have your blood checked and make sure you are at healthy levels of vitamins (especially B’s and D), hormones (Thyroid, T3 and T4, Cortisol (stress, age, and excess alcohol can raise those levels and affect fat storage especially around the midsection) and other metabolic chemistry that might affect the outcome of all your hard work. Even if your liver is not working right it can affect your ability to process food and see full effects of your new lifestyle. (Ask a doctor if you can take Milk Thistle, found in most health food or vitamin stores, for overall liver health and function. You must ask, some people should not take it due to medical reasons, ASK!!)

If you are already being seen regularly it should be easy enough to get these levels checked. Also, if you notice after one to two month of doing any routine faithfully and not cheating and there is no change at all, you may want to consult with your doctor to make sure that all your metabolic and endocrine levels are good. If your body is not functioning properly it will stop progress from ever happening.

Medical Tip #2: Stress is a big component of storing fat; not to mention bad for your body in general. Stress has been linked to contributing to a laundry list of illness and general breakdown of your body. Reducing stress in your life is better for you in too many ways to list. It is not realistic to think you can remove stress from your life (unless you are planning to join a monastery in Tibet) and a little stress is good for you, keeps you on your toes. The stress you want to avoid is the stress that makes you feel out of control, lost and helpless. This is harmful stress and needs to be removed or controlled depending on the situation.

Remember, stress produces Cortisol, a hormone that will cause you to retain fat over time. The right amount of Cortisol is good, too much has you retaining fat through your midsection and hip area. As we age this is harder to fight off. Obvious ways to reduce stress is avoidance. If you are feeling overstressed remove yourself from the situation, take a walk, sit under a tree or relax in a chair. Outside is best but any place you will not be disturbed for about 5 min or more. Take deep cleansing breaths, feel the air in your lungs and mentally move in through your body as you exhale. Let your body relax with each breath you take. If you can listen to music while you do this that is helpful too. When you feel back in control rejoin the situation and breath.

If you find a particular situation continually stressful see if you can try to avoid it as much as possible. If you are in a situation and you feel control slipping away try the breathing right where you are. Slowing your body’s reaction to bad stress and relaxing can go a long way in keeping yourself healthy and fit. Exercise is also another way to help reduce stress, just getting out of the element of stress and losing yourself in an activity is a good resource for stress reduction.

Turning a bad situation into something good will also help with stress. If you have to do a chore or project that is particularly stressful for you, break it into steps. Walk away and do something you enjoy and then come back for more. It may take you longer to finish but if the task is causing you bad stress that will hurt you, nothing is worth the damage. Take the extra time to protect your body and mind.

Final Tip: Remember, nothing is a miracle cure and anything worth doing is going to take time and effort. The goal is to make it as enjoyable as possible. It is my opinion, if you can create an environment that is supportive and pleasant, potentially by implementing some of the steps I have listed above, you will have an easier time achieving your weight and body image goals. Hide your workouts within your daily routine. Eat as close to clean and whole as you can, read labels and take out chemicals/preservatives and you will be surprised how your body will change without feeling overworked and deprived. Let yourself be human, no one is perfect, if you fall back, pick yourself up and keep on going forward. Any loss is a good loss and maintaining is still a success. Don’t psych yourself out, put yourself down or quit before you start! We can all do it; we just have to stick with it and never say, “I can’t”. It’s only, “I won’t”; and that is a choice, not a verdict.

I recommend subscribing to my channel so that you will always be updated on new posts and also be included in all that is going on at my YouTube Channel: Embellish Life on YouTube
Subscribe Here!
I have started a new Embellish Life Group on Facebook and it delivers important information about my Blog, YouTube Channel and also any kind of sale or exciting event going on. Check it out if you want up to the minute information. Just Click Here: Embellish Life Group on Facebook

Thanks so much for watching and supporting me here on Embellish Life, the lifestyle channel that covers everything from fashion, decor, beauty, hauls, DIY and so much more… You will never be bored hanging out here so please subscribe 🙂

Do you want to find me elsewhere?

Website: http://embellishblog.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidigrady-lifestyle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiEmbellish
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiEmbellish
Instagram: https://instagram.com/heidiembellish/
Polyvore https://www.pinterest.com/heidiembellish/
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PLACES I SHOP ONLINE:

Hautelook: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $20 thank you if you have never shopped Hautelook before. Only to be used at Hautelook. **

Joss & Main: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $15 thank you if you have never shopped at Joss & Main before. Only to be used at Joss & Main. **

Stitch Fix: I just started to use Stitch Fix and this is a Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $25 thank you if you have never shopped Stitch Fix before. Only to be used at Stitch Fix **

Fab Fit Fun: I love this subscription box. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend about the box.

MISSGUIDED: This is a recent find and the prices are exceptional with fashion forward looks. The quality is similar to Asos, Shein and Chicwish.

Bebe Online: Bebe is now online only. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

Last Call Neiman Marcus: This is also a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

BaubleBar: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only 150 points to say thank you if you have never shopped BaubleBar before. Only to be used at BaubleBar **

Younique: I am a Younique Presenter/Rep; to purchase Younique you must go through a Presenter it is not sold in stores. If you are interested in any of the products, you can follow my link and shop online. No parties necessary. It also helps me provide free content on Embellish Life. Thank you for your support!**

AFFILIATE & REFERRAL LINKS:

**Right now, I only have referral links that are available to anyone who tells a new friend about one of the companies above. It has nothing to do with being a YouTube creator. The $$ I receive are only able to be used with that company to do more shopping; which I will make videos on. Videos are fun for everyone!! If I did have affiliate links (I DO NOT), the $$ would be used to help support my website and the free content. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your help! Heidi

Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your healthcare professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying any of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

Dry Brushing Review with Minamul

I was asked to review the MA Minamul Dry Brush Kit. I purchased the kit at a 30% discount. I was in the process of doing the Whole 30 Challenge and started Clean Eating about a year ago and figured that the Dry Brushing Detox could be an interesting addition to my healthy, chemical free lifestyle. I have done videos and written posts on my Blog about all of these lifestyle changes I have made. Here are the links to those videos:

Dry Brush Review
How I Lost 20 LBS. without dieting
Whole 30 with my Husband/ Q&A
Whole 30 Start and Setup
Vacation Detox

I did some research independently and found that a doctor that I respected and used, Dr. Axe, for my IBS and other stomach/intestinal issues. He wrote a whole article on Dry Brushing and the positive attributes. Here are some of the excerpts from the article I thought would be useful. They are taken directly from his piece on Dry Brushing:

5 Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing

  1. Exfoliates Dead Skin

When in your teens and 20s, dry brushing isn’t necessary because the skin automatically renews itself. However, as you get older, it is helpful to exfoliate once or twice a week to help renew the skin and remove those dead skin cells so that you have a fresher appearance and healthier skin.

It’s important to do this gently so that you do not tear the skin. You don’t want to break down the skin’s protective layer or cause irritation to sensitive skin, which could get infected. Exfoliating too much can also dehydrate the skin, which is that last thing you want to do. (3)

  1. Stimulates the Lymphatic System

Because your skin helps to detoxify the body, it’s important to keep it healthy so that it can do its job. However, if your skin has too many toxins or dead skin cells, it may not be able to eliminate waste from your body as efficiently as needed.

Dry brushing your skin can help your lymphatic system, which has the job of removing toxins from the body and ultimately helps prevent you from getting sick. When inflammation builds up in the body, it can cause the body to struggle to fight off that inflammation. If the skin is healthy, it can help release those toxins so that the body is not having to work so hard to rid itself of them.

  1. Reduces Cellulite

Everyone hates cellulite, and it seems to be so hard to lose. Cellulite is the appearance of cottage cheese skin predominantly seen on the legs, butt, stomach, and back of the arms. It’s often caused by fluid retention, lack of circulation, weak collagen structure and increased body fat in addition to hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, genetics, poor diet, and toxicity.

Cellulite is most common in adolescent and adult women, but men can have it, too. While there are many claims to treatments, dry brushing may help stimulate the cells and break down toxins from beneath the skin, which may act as a natural remedy for cellulite.

  1. Unclogs Pores

Dr. Cynthia Thaik, MD, a Harvard-trained cardiologist and author of Your Vibrant Heart tells us that over time, your pores can get clogged with dead skin cells, pollutants, and cosmetics. This causes the liver and kidneys to work really hard to get rid of impurities. Dry skin brushing unclogs your skin’s pores and helps your skin absorb more nutrients, which promotes healthy skin and allows those toxins to release a bit easier. (4)

  1. Offers Stress Relief

Another benefit of dry brushing is that it’s similar to massage in decreasing stress, which is great for your health by eliminating anxiety. A study reported that whole body massage was effective in reducing anxiety and stabilizing vital signs of patients with acute coronary disorders. Dry brushing is similar to massage in helping you to relax, yet is far cheaper since you can do it yourself.

Much like a hand massage, dry brushing can provide much needed natural stress relief. When you are less stressed, your body heals much faster from any disease-causing inflammation that it may have.

Did you know that 75 to 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are related to conditions caused by stress? When you are stressed, it causes changes in the hormones that can increase inflammation and trigger various other problems. If you experience stress over a long period of time, it can be dangerous and is capable of increasing the risk for heart disease, diabetes, weight gain or obesity, mental disorders, autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders and even cancer.

Therefore, finding ways to help eliminate stress is crucial. Dry brushing is an easy way that you can do this for yourself!

How to Dry Brush

There are a few steps that are needed to dry brush correctly. With a little practice, you can enjoy this wonderful benefit and your skin will thank you. Not only will you feel better, but your skin will be to regain that youthful appearance.

  1. Purchase a natural bristle brush with a long handle so that you can reach all areas of your body. Avoid the synthetic brushes. (This is where I bought mine set on Amazon. If you contact me at heidigrady5064@gmail.com I can give you a 20% code until I run out of codes) Link to brush: Amazon- Minamul Dry Brush set
  2. Remove any clothing and stand in a bathtub or shower to catch the falling dry skin.
  3. Do not wet the skin. Dry brush your skin while it is dry.
  4. Starting at the bottom your feet, move in long sweeping motion toward your heart. Stroking away from your heart can put extra pressure on the valves within the veins and lymph vessels, causing ruptured vessels and varicose veins.
  5. Brush each area several times and overlapping as you go to ensure that you do not miss a spot. Be careful over the more sensitive areas, such as the breasts. You may want to avoid the nipple area. It may feel more sensitive the first few times, but your skin will become less sensitive with consistent dry brushing.
  6. Once you’ve brushed your entire body, step into the shower and bathe as you normally would.
  7. After you have showered, pat your skin dry and apply a natural oil like rose hip, olive or coconut oil to your entire body. Try this all-over homemade body butter or check out the DIY recipe I have here!

Things to Consider When Dry Brushing

Sensitive Skin: At first, test a small area to makes sure you are not oversensitive to the activity. Then dry brush the entire body once a week. Once you feel comfortable with the process and confirm that you do not have any irritation from it, you can dry brush your entire body a couple of times a week. More than that can cause dehydration. And, by removing the outer layer, you are removing the much-needed protection that your skin provides, so it is best not to dry brush too frequently.

Be Gentle: It is important to be gentle as you dry brush. You do not want to break the skin and cause more inflammation. Also, make sure your brush has soft bristles. It should feel good.

Brush Towards the Heart: Brush towards the heart to so that you avoid putting pressure on the valves within the veins and lymph vessels.
Relax: Part of the importance is to reduce stress. Relax, don’t be in a hurry and enjoy this time for yourself.

Clean Your Brush: Clean your brush with soap and water at least once a week and let it air dry to avoid any mildew accumulation on your brush.

If you would like to read the article in its entirety please check it out here: Start Dry Brushing to Reduce Cellulite + Toxins
I would highly recommend Dr. Axe if you have stomach issues. He is a Gastrointestinal Doctor but has turned to a food base, more holistic treatment of many GI based illnesses and conditions. Here is his website if you are interested: Dr Axe: Food is Medicine

If you are interested in purchasing the kit that I did I do have some 20% off codes that are unique to each person that asks for one; so please only ask for a code if you know you are going to use it. I was only given a limited number of codes. Here is the link to their Amazon storefront: : Minamul Dry Brush set If you would like the 20% off code please email me at: heidigrady5064@gmail.com

I recommend subscribing to my channel so that you will always be updated on new posts and also be included in all that is going on at my YouTube Channel: Embellish Life on YouTube
Subscribe Here!
I have started a new Embellish Life Group on Facebook and it delivers important information about my Blog, YouTube Channel and also any kind of sale or exciting event going on. Check it out if you want up to the minute information. Just Click Here: Embellish Life Group on Facebook

Thanks so much for watching and supporting me here on Embellish Life, the lifestyle channel that covers everything from fashion, decor, beauty, hauls, DIY and so much more… You will never be bored hanging out here so please subscribe 🙂

Do you want to find my elsewhere?

Website: http://embellishblog.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidigrady-lifestyle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiEmbellish
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiEmbellish
Instagram: https://instagram.com/heidiembellish/
Polyvore https://www.pinterest.com/heidiembellish/
Snapchat: @HeidiEmbellish

PLACES I SHOP ONLINE:

Hautelook: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $20 thank you if you have never shopped Hautelook before. Only to be used at Hautelook. **

Joss & Main: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $15 thank you if you have never shopped at Joss & Main before. Only to be used at Joss & Main. **

Stitch Fix: I just started to use Stitch Fix and this is a Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $25 thank you if you have never shopped Stitch Fix before. Only to be used at Stitch Fix **

BaubleBar: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only 150 points to say thank you if you have never shopped BaubleBar before. Only to be used at BaubleBar **

Younique: I am a Younique Presenter/Rep; to purchase Younique you must go through a Presenter it is not sold in stores. If you are interested in any of the products, you can follow my link and shop online. No parties necessary. It also helps me provide free content on Embellish Life. Thank you for your support!**

AFFILIATE & REFERRAL LINKS:

**Right now, I only have referral links that are available to anyone who tells a new friend about one of the companies above. It has nothing to do with being a YouTube creator. The $$ I receive are only able to be used with that company to do more shopping; which I will make videos on. Videos are fun for everyone!! If I did have affiliate links (I DO NOT), the $$ would be used to help support my website and the free content. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your help! Heidi

Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your healthcare professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying any of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

Vacation Detox/Hawaii Trip

Summer is the time for many of us to go on vacations and when we get back we need to get back to normal. I just returned from having a fantastic time with my family in Hawaii and now that we are back I am paying the price. I have created a 5-step detox to help get me back on track. I have listed the steps below. I also shared some of my family’s photos from Hawaii.

Here are the 5 easy steps to Detox after a busy and fun vacation. This is just what I do and is in no way medical or professionally created. You should always check with a healthcare professional before you start anything new.

  1. Remove added sugar from your diet (the un-natural process kind)
  2. Increase your water consumption.
  3. Dry Brushing (video on Dry Brushing to follow)
  4. Drink Detox teas. (These are the teas I use Roasted Dandelion Spice Detox by Yogi Teas & Triple Leaf Super Slimming tea.)
  5. Pick up your workout routine or add more movement into your daily régime.

If you would like to see the video and the photos of my Hawaiian vacation please visit my Embellish Life YouTube Channel and check out the video here: Vacation Detox/Hawaii Trip

I recommend subscribing to my channel so that you will always be updated on new posts and also be included in all that is going on at my YouTube Channel: Embellish Life on YouTube
Subscribe Here!
I have started a new Embellish Life Group on Facebook and it delivers important information about my Blog, YouTube Channel and also any kind of sale or exciting event going on. Check it out if you want up to the minute information. Just Click Here: Embellish Life Group on Facebook

Thanks so much for watching and supporting me here on Embellish Life, the lifestyle channel that covers everything from fashion, decor, beauty, hauls, DIY and so much more… You will never be bored hanging out here so please subscribe 🙂

Do you want to find me elsewhere?

Website: http://embellishblog.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidigrady-lifestyle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiEmbellish
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiEmbellish
Instagram: https://instagram.com/heidiembellish/
Polyvore https://www.pinterest.com/heidiembellish/
Snapchat: @HeidiEmbellish

PLACES I SHOP ONLINE:

Hautelook: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $20 thank you if you have never shopped Hautelook before. Only to be used at Hautelook. **

Joss & Main: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $15 thank you if you have never shopped at Joss & Main before. Only to be used at Joss & Main. **

Stitch Fix: I just started to use Stitch Fix and this is a Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $25 thank you if you have never shopped Stitch Fix before. Only to be used at Stitch Fix **

Fab Fit Fun: I love this subscription box. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend about the box.

MISSGUIDED: This is a recent find and the prices are exceptional with fashion forward looks. The quality is similar to Asos, Shein and Chicwish.

Bebe Online: Bebe is now online only. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

Last Call Neiman Marcus: This is also a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

BaubleBar: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only 150 points to say thank you if you have never shopped BaubleBar before. Only to be used at BaubleBar **

AFFILIATE & REFERRAL LINKS:

**Right now, I only have referral links that are available to anyone who tells a new friend about one of the companies above. It has nothing to do with being a YouTube creator. The $$ I receive are only able to be used with that company to do more shopping; which I will make videos on. Videos are fun for everyone!! If I did have affiliate links (I DO NOT), the $$ would be used to help support my website and the free content. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your help! Heidi

Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your healthcare professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying any of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

My Weightloss Saga

flowerIn 2012 I posted about my Challenge to myself to get back to my “fighting weight”.  My goal was to feel like myself again and bottom line to be more healthy, i.e. blood pressure down, cholesterol lower and weight down to take off pressure on my bad knees…  This is my weight loss saga, how I got there and now how I am slowing getting back to where I want to be.

So, what helped me and what did I do?  Well yes, eating right and I did find out that I had IBS and needed to go gluten-free, didn’t lose weight just felt better. Watching my calories did take off a few pounds, I am personally good at 1500 a day.  I love the apps on your phone that help you tract your calories and your activities.  I like My Fitness Pal.  I found that really helped.  I also have had some notable success with the Green Coffee Been Extract that Doctor Oz talked about on his TV show.  Here is the link to that segment and all the information on the amount of extract you should have in the supplement you take, Dr Oz, Green Coffee Bean.  Dr. Oz does not recommend any one brand but does recommend doses and lists those on his official site.  He also warns not to believe any site that says he is recommending their product because he doesn’t endorse any product.  I found a Green Coffee Bean Extract supplement at my local compounding pharmacy that also has 5-HTP and Glucomannan two supplements that I was already taking that are good for energy, joints and mood.  I choose that brand because it had the doses that Dr. Oz recommended and it also had the additional products I was already taking so that allowed me to take 2 less pills.

The results I gained from taking the supplement was a loss of about 5 pounds initially.  I have subsequently loss 20 pounds but it has not been only due to the green coffee bean so I don’t want anyone to have false hope that you could lose 20 pounds from it.  I don’t know maybe you could, if you combined exercise and a smart diet with it.  I suffer from Migraines and my neurologist switched my medicine to Topamax which is one of the components in the new weight loss drugs, Qsymia, that the FDA just approved that should be available in early 2013.  It is my guess that since weight loss is a side effect of Topamax that when I switch my migraine medication to Topamax and I saw my weight loss jump start to the fast tract, it was the Topamax that facilitated that.  That is not to take away from the first 5 pounds I lost with the Green Coffee Bean Extract, before I made the medication switch, I just want to be accurate on when and how I lost my weight.

I also want to add, I have not ever tried Qsymia, I am taking migraine medication that has one of the components of Qsymia (Topamax) and it has weight loss as a side effect. I am sure this is one of the reasons that they are using Topamax in Qsymia.  I also want to mention that it does work really well for about 15 to 20% of your body weight loss and for me that was about 20 pounds.  Now I have slowed down in my rapid weight loss with no exercise and little diet.  If I want to continue to lose weight I am going to have to do what everyone else has to do; I will have to eat a well-balanced diet and keep active.  The one nice thing about both the Green Coffee Extract and what I have experienced with Topamax, and can then assume the same will hold true with Qsymia, is that for those of us that seem to be struggling with stubborn weight loss this kick starts that and really motivates you to keep going.  Well, the Green Coffee Been seems to help lessen the effort needed to see results. It also really helps with appetite suppression. I also get an even bigger result from my healthy eating and increased activity now that I am taking Topamax; so again, I would imagine that if you are a candidate to take Qsymia you would also find it helpful.

I don’t think any diet medication or supplement is a “magic cure” for weight loss.  I think that the only true fix for being overweight is lifestyle change.  I think finding an eating/exercise and size that works for you is probably one of if not the most personal plan anyone can ever have.  What keeps your body at its ideal weight, your mind at its happy place, your organs at their health state, and your physique at its best shape is different for every person.  It always dumbfounds me why doctors just don’t seem to get that and always want to lump us into averages and groups like little sheep.  I get there has to be a “general norm” for a starting point; but if you are not working and you still fall into the “norm” then it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that is clearly not your “norm” and something is wrong!  But more times than not, it seems to me, doctors are clearly far below the genius level, because they don’t get it, and they pat you on the head, send you on your way, and tell you that you are just find…   Then 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 hours later you are rushed to the ER with a catastrophic issue stemming from that same concern you had and they come in with a big dumb look on their face and an apologetic “Ooops”.

OK, I digress, you can tell I have issues with doctors that run a lot deeper than them passing my rapid 60 pound weight gain as an unfortunate side effect of my medical issues that they couldn’t seem to reverse and since I “looked OK” in their minds they didn’t care to figure it out.  Even after high blood pressure, serious knee issues, starting of heart disease (family history), and all my other medical issues that brought on the weight gain, none of them thought to focus on helping me loose except to say eat less and exercise.  I was eating 900 calories a day and working out 6 days a week for 2 to 3 hours a day and still not losing and they still didn’t think anything was wrong???  I was 42 when it started and 47 when it started to change back.  The entire time I told every last doctor I had I thought it was chemical, my hormones.  They said I was nowhere near Menopause that I was too regular and I guess structurally very fertile but if you ask me, I still, to this day, think I was out of whack metabolically.  All my life I had been very slender, around 120 pounds and just under 5’ 8” tall; my entire family is slender.  In a very short period of time, about 6 months, with no lifestyle change, I gained 60 pounds.  Even after they put me on thyroid medication I never lost a pound.  Then as suddenly as it came on, about midway into my 47th year I started to lose, with the help of the Green Coffee Bean Extract and Topamax, I also started to feel like myself again.  Can’t really explain it other than; I was back, more alert, more energy, more alive, if that makes sense?

I still have 20 to 30 pounds to lose.  I am really going more by the way I feel and how I fit in my clothes more than my weight because that seems to have redistributed now that I am older.  I weigh more but I still fit into the size I want to and look the way I want to so I really am not going to get hung up on “how much I weigh” and focus more on how I feel and how I look.  If my muscle mass is good, blood pressure is low and I am fit I really don’t care if I weigh 140 pounds instead of my normal 123 pounds of the first 42 years of my life.  It’s just a number, right!  Just like your age it is all about how you feel and how you act.  If I look awesome at 48 and weigh 140 pounds then I will celebrate that and be happy that I am healthy and doing all the right things to keep myself that way.  So, that is my story; not the worst weight loss story in the world but it sure was a long one and it is mine.

Workout Challenge 2012

 

Any time you are setting out to change or add a behavior I find it helpful to establish the goal(s) of the behavior and the motivation for the change.  With that in mind, I am going to start off the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge by stating my goals and motivation for wanting to make the change and add the behavior of working out regularly.

In my early 40’s my health started to decrease and unfortunately for me, my weight started to increase.  Much of my increase was due to my health issues but even after I got better my weight seemed hell-bent on hanging on.  It didn’t seem to matter what I did, how much I worked out, or didn’t eat the weight just sat there un-yielding to my efforts.  For a bit of perspective; before my weight gain I was about 120 lbs. and just under 5’ 8” and after my weight gain and presently I weigh 180 lbs. and at my heaviest I weighed 185 just before my gall bladder surgery and my sickest.

That is how I got to this point, and this is what I plan to do about it; and I hope some of you will join me on this mission.  I personally feel that anything worth doing takes some work (OK, we all know that) but is so much more rewarding if you can take others along for the ride.  My goals and motivations for the 2012 Challenge are to become a healthy weight (I now realize that my past weight, although natural, was very thin for my stature), I would like to be 135 to 140 lbs.  I would also like to gain some more muscle tone and continue on my road to better health by lowering my blood pressure that has become troublesome, mainly due to my increased weight.  Also, I have some knee issues from past injuries when I was young and I know the excess weight is not helping them either…  So, I have a lot of sound medical reasons for the need to lose weight but I think the biggest motivators for me is that all of my life I have had an image of who I was and what I looked like before my 60 pound gain and a part of me feels very lost.  I know that may seem very vein and many may say you don’t look that bad, stop whining, but it is not a matter of how other people perceive me, it is how I perceive myself.  I am not losing weight to be more acceptable to others, to have others think I look good, or impress anyone.  I am losing weight, for my health, but also to regain that girl/woman that I have known for 95% of my life.  Some other motivations are my 30th high school reunion in August and a few formal events that I need to fit into a dress that I own but have not been able to wear. 

So, it is all fine and good to have goals and motivations to meet those goals but how are we going to achieve our goals?  Note how I have assumed that others are going to join me on this challenge.  I know that having support and a team will make success much more likely and a lot more fun.  This is my plan, feel free to follow it or find one that works best for you and your goals.  I have had success with journaling my food intake and exercise, I like using My Fitness Pal.  I have also had many friends that have lost a lot of weight using this app.  I don’t think it is the app; it is the recording that helps keep you on track and the app makes it easier.   I have also told by my endocrinologist that since I was very athletic before my illness (part of which is a hypothyroid) and now that I am in my 40’s that I might need to increase my cardio to actually see a loss.  I have tested this theory and do find that, unfortunately, I need to move more than the average person to actually see a weight change.  I am also taking some supplements that help with weight loss, fat burning and energy (L-carnitine, 5-HTP, B-12 and Omega-3).  They are all natural but before anyone takes any vitamins and/or supplements you should check with your doctor to make sure it is OK to take.  Also, if you are planning to start a new workout routine always check with your doctor before doing anything new.  I also believe that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another, so switching routines up or adapting plans to your lifestyle is key to making life long changes.  Make a routine, diet or exercise plan work for you, don’t force yourself into something that is not natural; chances are if you do it will not stick long term.  I don’t have the time, energy or desire to work out on a planned program every day; therefore I am creating my own plan that is a mixture of many of my favorite activities, as well as some of the things I “have to do”; which will keep me moving and motivated.  I am not creating a program that once I lose weight I will stop and then gain it all back.  I have to be able to make a lifestyle change not a diet or exercise routine that is so extreme that I will not be able to do it long term.

 I am going to strive to keep my calories to about 1500, which means calories in vs. calories out.  If I exercise more I can then eat a bit more.  This is why My Fitness Pal is great; it figures the math out for me and allows me to be much more accurate.  I will be able to stick with record keeping if it is easy and this app makes it really easy.  Since I have many food restrictions already I am not formally following any diet routine; my diet is pretty restrictive already.  I am gluten- free, for the most part and eat more vegetables than meat and do not eat beef at all.  If I could reduce anything it would be watching my sugar intake and may need to check my wine intake, not sure if that is going to happen 😉  I am also going to make sure I do some type of activity every day, which could be anything from a brisk walk, garden work, house work, shopping, or exercise DVD.

Please join me!  Let’s help each other reach our goals.  We can daily post our highs and lows, share ideas and tips, encourage each other, help keep us all honest and on track, and best yet celebrate when we reach our goal.  If you want to join and feel comfortable let us know your motivations and goals for the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge.  I have done Beach Body fitness exercise and one of the tools is to post before and after shots and keep journal of your starting weight and measurements.  You do not have to post this but do keep record of it, it is a wonderful motivation.  I will post mine, might as well put my money where my mouth is 😉  Here we go, we can do it…

My Starting Point 4/2/12