Monday, September 29, 2014

The Gift of Presence

Many years ago, on a Thursday in mid-November, my family gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving. Platters of ham, turkey, cranberries, stuffing and yams were exchanged from dish to fork to plate while prayers, stories, songs, laughter and conversation filled the room. I was so happy, almost giddy seeing cousins, aunts, uncles, and family friends. But something didn’t feel right and caught my immediate attention. Like a newly discovered canvas of "solitude on display,"  I found myself drawn to a scene in another room. Alone, with her back to the table, staring blankly out the window, sat Lucille.

 Lucille lived on a fern filled lot four houses away from my grandparent’s house in a small rural town.  She was my grandmother’s best friend, and always attended our family events.  One day,  I remember my paternal grandmother telling me that she and my grandfather were handling Lucille’s affairs,  because her memory was so bad that she wasn’t able to balance her own checkbook.  I noticed that the once soft spoken and bright Lucille  was becoming withdrawn, tongue-tied and quiet. As the years went by, Lucille got worse, and eventually died. It was clear to see, both then and now that my grandparents not only saw to Lucille's affairs, but by always giving of themselves, showed Lucille that she was deeply loved. Lucille was the first person I ever knew who had dementia followed by my maternal grandmother, and most recently, my mother.

   Knowledge of my mother’s dementia, was not gradual to me, but sudden.  (I saw mom in March and she appeared to be fine, then in July there was no short -term memory.) Other than maybe a cold, or dental surgery, I have no recollection whatsoever in all of my 55 years of ever seeing my mother ill, tired, or bed-ridden.  So, seeing mom with fatigue, and cognitive impairment, along with two other serious, life-threatening illnesses was beyond shocking to me.  I literally felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under my feet.  I was heartbroken, and felt so sorry for her, and (as selfish as this may seem) I also felt sorry for me. Everything was changing, and it was clear that a part of our mother-daughter relationship (the intimate and supportive relationship we had always known), without warning was ending. However, little did I know, that a deeper, and more meaningful connection was about to emerge, and all I had to do was to listen without judgment to the leanings of my heart to know the love we always shared, although hidden among the confusion of physical limitations and forgetting, would always be there. 

Was she scared? Was she even aware of what was going on?  Did she want to talk about it?  What could I do to make this easier for her? How could I communicate my love for her when (in time), feelings would no longer be articulated into words?  These were all questions I had inside my head.  Seeing her every day, I might have noticed more.  But I lived miles away when she started to decline, and only saw her a few times a year.  What I wasn’t aware of, and will talk about later, is that there is a gift that our friends and loved ones with dementia give us every moment we interact with them. We just have to know how to recognize it, and embrace it. We don’t need to be afraid, or heart broken. We just need to be able to surrender to the moment and meet them halfway, somewhere between “what was,” and “what is.”  New and improved relationships can form with people that we have known for years by building bridges rather than walls.  By taking the path of inclusion, with a willingness to be led, rather than taking the path of exclusion, isolation, control, anger and regret.   

Building bridges rather than walls can be easier said than done, but anything is possible with a little education and effort.   Finding out that someone has a serious illness, or has lost a loved one can cause retreating behaviors rather than engagement opportunities. (Some folks would rather run for the hills, than to explore their own feelings of life and death that come up when they reach out to someone needing support.)  I understand.  It is hard to think of what to say to someone who is suffering.  But what is lost is an incredible opportunity of letting the experience guide you on your own spiritual healing journey. We are each other’s teachers. And helping other people, is an incredible way to learn about life’s mysteries and healing miracles that can and do happen, when we look at possibilities rather than limitations.

 It is important to be yourself and to connect just for the sake of connecting. Some of my mother’s closest friends and family members have stopped calling her.  They may think, “Why?”  “Will she even remember that I called?” However, what some people don’t realize, is that one way to help a person with dementia is to socially engage with them through conversation.  Mom loves socializing with people, and I make it a point to bring her out for social activities at least 3 times a week, or more.  Socializing is very healthy for the brain. So, if we can dispel our fears of reaching out, and just pick up the phone, or knock on the door we can do a lot to help our friends with dementia. Don’t mean to be too blunt here but I’ll say it anyway, “They are not dead, yet!!” “They are human beings having short term memory recall difficulties!” You can reach out, and know that you made a difference, because you HAVE! Let them know you love them and still care for them even if they forget what you said. Love them anyway!

What has amazed me in walking the path of dementia with my mother, is that we are truly in sync with one another, living in the present moment together. I call this, “The Gift of Presence.” It is the ability to sit with someone, without judgment, expectation or anticipation, and to feel their heart on a spiritual level, surrounding them with sacred unconditional love. (Similar to what you feel in your heart when you hold a new-born baby.)  I can feel what mom is thinking before she says it and ironically, she does the same with me. Each day we sit on the deck under the trees in silence.  I wait until she makes an observation about nature (usually the trees), and then ask her questions about what she is noticing about the tree, etc.  Then, at times  (if she wants to sit and meditate) we stay present with one another in the silence.  It is very much, non-verbal communication with a focus not so much on what is being said, but on the exchange that happens between the lines by just connecting from a place of love.  Mom can speak now, but by using this method of communication, I believe that when the words are gone, the communication will continue, and does not have to end. Communication experts tell us that over 50% of all communication is non-verbal so by using the gift of presence, it is possible to keep the lines of communication open forever.

  I’m learning more and more about dementia every day, constantly reading books, talking to professionals, etc. My favorite book on dementia is called. “Contented Dementia.”  The reason I like this book so much is because it gives communication insights that honor the person experiencing dementia letting them know they are “being heard, ”even if what they are saying is illogical or unreasonable. This can avoid and disarm agitation, etc., which can lead to a peaceful existence, creating lasting memories, and a better quality of life.

Copyright 2014 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey    All Rights Reserved
The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Catching ZZZ's Caregivers Snoozing On The Job!

     Thirteen years ago I was tired, REALLY tired.  It was a Saturday, and driving the 15 miles down the expressway at 8AM to my office, was beyond difficult for me, and I didn’t know why.  It wasn’t until, “Hey, didn’t mean to disturb you doc, but you have 5 patients waiting in 5 different rooms, and a waiting room full of patient’s to see, too!"  My assistant left the room with a chuckle, but I wasn’t laughing. I had been in practice for over 5 years and although it was only a 5 minute unintentional snooze, I had NEVER fallen asleep on the job before!!! I thought, “What is going on with me?  I am tired all the time, can’t stop eating,  and had been extra cranky with my husband!” Well, a blood test confirmed the biggest surprise of my life, I was pregnant!!

     My case may have been unique, but in general, caregivers sleeping on the job are not unique. For the record,  there are many reasons (other than pregnancy)  why some caregivers are snoozing instead of working, and I’m not making excuses for this, because I am strongly opposed to this practice. However, I think it is important to understand, “why” some caregivers are sleeping on the job.I think the link between sleep deprivation and caregiver burnout  levels in time will be more and more transparent. And this is not a small problem because we are currently facing a caregiver shortage in America. If more caregivers were getting 8-10 hours of restful sleep at night, we could possibly find a way to curb one factor leading to the burnout levels that are currently being reported in health publications.

     Many of caregivers today, (myself included) have interrupted sleep.  If we are 24/7 caregivers, it is not unusual to be awakened several times during the night.  In fact, in some cases, people report, (whether they are caring for a baby, an aging parent with dementia, ALS, cancer, a returning veteran, or a terminally ill patient ), to not sleeping at all.  There are also emotional tolls that could keep us awake. Thoughts of empathy and compassion for our patients and clients that we take home with us, etc. And before we know it, the sun is up, and we are expected to rise and shine to start another day. However,  unless we are able to get enough sleep every night, each day is met with more and more fatigue.

   Sleep studies concur that adults need at least 8 hours of restful sleep for overall health, and if people are lacking in sleep they not only lose their productive capacity, but can become obese and depressed. How many caregivers have you observed who actually look fit, rested and vibrant? More likely than not, your observations would be the opposite. Lack of sleep increases the production of cortisol (the stress hormone), showing wear and tear on our bodies by creating visceral belly fat. The less sleep we get, the more belly fat we will most likely  produce.  And according to the Mayo Clinic, visceral belly fat not only increases our risk of  cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer, but  in normal weight individuals,  having increased visceral belly fat raises the risk  factors of  cardiovascular disease which  can lead to a premature death.  Lack of sleep affects our energy levels at work, making us less productive which could possibly affect our opportunities for advancement and promotion.  And let’s not forget the coffee-sugar ups and downs that occur when we are fatigued. It’s a roller coaster of drinking caffeine laden beverages, and craving carbs, all from being fatigued which can keep many of us in the plus sized categories as caregivers. (I should know, I've been there myself!)

   There are many products from prescribed sleeping pills, to herbal teas that people use on a nightly basis to support a restful sleep. Since we at “Caregivers Get Fit” prefer to go the natural route, we cannot comment on the prescribed sleeping pills, but have found some natural sleep support alternatives.The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience says that:" Melatonin treatment has been reported to be effective in the treatment of disorders such as jet lag and delayed sleep phase syndrome." Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the brain. It affects our sleep cycle rhythms and has an influence on body temperature.If we are exposed to computers late at night, are working the graveyard shift, or are in the 50 and older crowd, it is possible that our melatonin levels could be low. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:  "Melatonin has strong antioxidant effects. Preliminary evidence suggests that it may help strengthen the immune system."

     Some people take melatonin to help them to sleep. ( Since amounts of melatonin vary per individual, it may be best for one to get dosage advice, if taking melatonin in tablet form, from a health professional.) There is a natural sleep support system product that many people are using today, which is inexpensive and not in a tablet form but in a spray. The product that I have used myself for sleep support, is a spearmint flavored, proprietary sleep support blend containing tart cherry  juice, lemon balm, chamomile flower extract, valerian root extract and melatonin, ALL blended together in an oral spray.  It can be found at:  (Look for Sleep Support and Renewal, also a great link for my favorite Weight Loss Support Systems.)

      Another natural option for sleep support, that people rarely think about has a muscle, joint and bone, or musculoskeletal origin. Chemical, physical or emotional stress factors can lead to cranial sacral, (top and bottom of your back), craniomandibular, (TMJ)  or spinal misalignments ( your spine and neck),   leading to muscle spasms, and hormonal imbalances etc, which could affect your ability to have peaceful and restful sleep. Something that regular chiropractic care could easily address. See: AJ Chiropr Med. Sep 2010; 9(3): 121–126.

  The good news is that finding ways to get 8-10 hours of sleep a night can be a helpful first step in losing unwanted pounds, and in gaining vitality!  Here are a few suggestions for better sleeping habits that were found on the National Sleep Foundation's website:

Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
 If you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
Exercise daily.
 Even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
Evaluate your room.  Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep.
     Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive.
     Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms.
Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
     Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening
      .If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing.

Have a great weekend, and happy snoozing!!! Look for another post on: 9/23/14 To subscribe to this blog, go to:  (leave your email on "contact us.")

Copyright 2014 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey    All Rights Reserved
The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Curb Alert #3

   So, there I was in my car at a stoplight in front of Best Buy when, “Boom!”  My car was hit from behind, causing my car to hit the car in front of me. I remember screaming and then total darkness. When I came to everything had shadows and sounds were muffled,  like the following year which left me numb, unemployed and feeling hopeless.  News arrived shortly after the accident, informing me that a very close loved one had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was then, knowing that my beloved family member needed me, that my PNM, (AKA Personal Nugget of Motivation) became apparent. I was needed, and needed by someone who unfailingly and unconditionally had always been there for me.  I needed to make a change for the better to improve my health, and the change needed to happen fast!

    I went into meditation and was guided to go to the most unusual place. The dentist office. My teeth were a mess, and when the dental hygienist showed me some plaque retrieved from my molar on her gloved finger, I was totally shocked!  If plaque was on my teeth, it was also in my arteries!  I had to take drastic action to help myself! So, I started with my teeth, and then worked on weight loss.

    After having years of formal training in nutrition, and experience researching   hundreds of products, I made a list of my needs.   I was looking for a nutritional product that was non-GMO, all natural, gluten-free, and utilized high quality grass fed happy cow’s, ( un-denatured whey protein.)  I wanted to lose the weight, build toned muscles and return to long distance race-walking, tennis and martial arts. So, I was looking for life-time wellness, and not just a quick fix, fad diet.   I also needed to create a passive stream of income enabling me to work from the home, and not get burned out every day trying to work 9-5 as a doctor, while also being a mother, wife, family chef, dog walker, dish washer , bed maker, chauffer, window cleaner,  and care-giver to my family member who lived with me. I wanted to be able to pour my heart and my hands into fully being “in the moment” with my favorite person in the world who I was blessed to be the caregiver of without worrying about a 9-5 schedule. I am grateful to say that I am now working from my home, spending precious time with my entire family and creating the life of my dreams!!(If you, or anyone you know would like info. on the product I am using, you can e-mail me directly at:

    Living for many years with lowered levels of health, and then finding results in a matter of months was incredible to for me to see. I never ever thought I would be able to lose 60 pounds in 9 months! I thought, “How was that even possible?” But the “How” is everything.  The “how” of reaching a goal appears to be related to how specific a person asks questions of him/herself. I remember hearing a minister once stressing the importance of dreaming big, and being specific in prayer. He would say,  “In order to receive God’s blessings you must specifically share your needs with the Creator.”  The word, “specifically” really made an impression on me.  

     So here’s Curb Alert #3: Keep a journal and write in it every day. Not all writing is equal, either.  The best way to write is to time yourself with an egg timer, or digital oven timer and be SPECIFIC.  Write for 5 minutes without letting your pen leave the paper, or your hands leave the keyboard. Do not be critical of yourself. Misspell a few words, it is okay! The only rule is to just write, and to write without stopping. Write anything that comes to your mind. This is a fabulous exercise to help you to get closer in discovering your PNM. Then ask yourself this one question: “What do I need to do on a personal level to uncover my PNM to change my health and my life for the better?”   Charting a game plan not only for physical health, but for financial, spiritual and personal well-being.  People who decide to  do this for 7-10 days,  are usually  AMAZED by what they discover!!! 

Look for another entry on 9/15/14 To subscribe to this blog, go to:  (leave your email on "contact us.")

   Copyright 2014 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey

The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bearded Circus Ladies, Brain Fog and PNMs

     2012 was a year of health challenges, all with the common denominator of adipose tissue. Was it a metabolic disorder related to menopause?  Or was it just an addiction to coffee and sugar?  Who knows?  Mood swings, food cravings, impatience with mundane activities, and I was growing out of my clothes expanding to the level of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day inflatable!  Far beyond the weight margins that the bearded sword swallowing circus ladies, touting pink sequined, high wired tutus would possess,  I had become the token “fat lady, ” headlining the “Greatest Show On Earth,” my life! 

      It was interesting to see at 220 pounds, (with only myself to blame) how some people would respond to me. They say, "love is blind," and in my case, "weight gain was blind."  I never saw the extra pounds when I looked in the mirror, and truth be told, I think I still saw myself as 100 pounds lighter than I actually was!Well, I was just about to receive a taste of pastrami flavored reality!!

   One day, without an invitation I volunteered myself to give free advice to two men at a deli counter on muscle building activities, and their reaction to me was one of SHOCK!   Didn’t they know I was a college athlete, nutrition, fitness guru and doctor? Didn’t they understand that I had knowledge on many health subjects, and could contribute to their conversation, giving them insightful and helpful guidance?  Instead, they walked away (rather quickly I might add), with disgusted looks on their faces,( almost as if I had caused them to step, new shoes and all,  into an aromatic pile of freshly dropped cow dung) as if to say, “What would SHE know about exercise?  She’s a BLIMP!”  And the sad truth is, that I was, but hadn’t realized it myself.  You see, the heavier I became, the skinnier I thought I looked. (Also at that point in time, I was in denial, and couldn’t bring myself to step on a scale or to explore ownership of a full-length mirror, desperately needed for my own self- reflective discovery.)

  The truth is, I had been so busy helping others as a mother, wife, doctor, etc., that I had neglected my own health.  (Curb Alert: What the sandwich seeking guidance from the deli taught me that day was this: All of the care giving knowledge, experience and advanced degrees in the world mean nothing , if we aren’t actively practicing what we preach.  And just like the reaction I received from the lunch counter in the example above, “How are we going to deliver messages that will inspire others to get well, if we ourselves, as caregivers are obese,or over-medicated, undernourished or overweight? And speaking of being fashionable, where does the practice of wellness neglect, workaholic robotic ridden coffee addiction fit, in a “thin is in,” “stout is out” society???” Yes, this may sound shallow, judgmental and ignorant, but society can sometimes be shallow, judgmental and ignorant!! Some people will not connect with us at all as caregivers if we ourselves look sick. And some people, especially the wheat grass drinkers out there would rather eat a hamburger,  than to trust a GMO potato chip crunching, chain smoking caregiver with their own health.( Yes, this is harsh, and believe me, it struck a chord with me to watch these men walk away from me right in the middle of a conversation, but  I read a study recently that found that close to 35 % of caregivers are not healthy themselves!!! That Stat is astounding!!) The bad news is that stress is killing us, (or at least degrading our health by causing unhealthy habits.)  The good news is that we can band together as caregivers to empower each other to make lasting (maybe even life-saving) changes (which is what this blog is about), that will contribute to the over all health and well-being of our communities.  The bottom line is that people GREATLY depend on caregivers. And we as caregivers cannot possibly be present physically, mentally and emotionally giving our best to others, if we ourselves are drained, burned out, or chronically ill ourselves!

 Now, back to the story.  I would get body work done ( massage, acupuncture, chiropractic ), would eat brown rice and veggies on a daily basis, would pray like crazy, joined Curves (of course), and thought I was watching my weight but just wasn’t able to shake the pounds.  In fact, I would be so focused on my work, that I would go for several hours (unknowingly) without eating enough calories to sustain my health, and would then have a ravenous appetite, ready and willing to consume the entire contents of my kitchen in one sitting! (I’m exaggerating quite a bit to prove a point. I have never been a binge eater, but will confess to eating Italian leftovers!) However, the intense  hunger pangs I would quench after starving myself by not taking the time to eat, all day long, would happen around 2 AM.  Horrible habits indeed from someone who knew better, and my physique was bearing witness to these bad eating and sleeping habits. I resembled the woman in the TV ad who leaves the subway train with a giant cinnamon roll glued to her butt! (A strong and visual illustration indeed, of a lifestyle choice harvesting an exaggerated bodily response, but nonetheless,  bearing the truth on many levels-(butt included), because the choices we make on a daily basis IE: eating homemade gnocchi at 2AM,  can and do create our present reality!)

    My larger than life appearance led people to believe I was eating all day long but instead, I wasn’t eating the right amount of foods at proper intervals throughout the day, and this habit of not eating enough nutrient dense foods on a regular basis (overfed and undernourished), was throwing off my equilibrium. My dietary schedule was continually sending my body into the express line at the starvation and fat storage discount depot, and when body chemistry is thrown off due to a lack of nutrients and empty calories, it not only leads to obesity, but can also lead to deadly consequences like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. So, as you can see, I was creating challenges for myself, which if left undone, could have led to my demise, all because of poorly planned and executed life-style choices.

      Now, here comes the important part of what I am sharing with you today: As caregivers, many of us whether we are health professionals, teachers, parents, therapists, ministers, etc. All of us are educated people and know WHAT to do to be successful on a wellness program. And what works for your neighbor,   may work for you, because science works!!!  HOWEVER, (and here is the ZINGER), THE KEY TO ANY SUCCESSFUL TRANSFORMATIVE PROGRAM IS PERSONAL MOTIVATION! This is true, it is personal motivation, and  PM is the missing link that is the key to finding success in EVERY program out there. People always know what to do, they just have to know how (not WHAT, but HOW) to make it relevant to THEMSELVES! Finding relevance in their own personal situation. The carrot before the horse.

   Those of us struggling with our weight are “shoulded” to death with the “whats.”  People are shoulding all over us putting guilt trips on us throwing the WHAT TO DO’s or SHOULDS in our faces! And who wants to step in a pile of “should” other than the guys at the deli eating pastrami sandwiches???? LOL!!   (IE: We SHOULD eat right, we SHOULD get enough sleep, we SHOULD drink plenty of water, we SHOULD, we SHOULD we SHOULD. . . . . etc. “And this is WHAT you SHOULD do!” How many times have overweight people heard THAT one?)

   However, (and here is part two of the most important part of what I would like to share with you today), only a few of us have ever found our ” personal nugget of motivation.” PNM’s are what creates the relevance needed to create our daily action steps that will catapult us into successful results beyond our wildest dreams!! Once I found my nugget of motivation and created my plan using highly researched nutritional tools, and knowledge based physiology there was NO STOPPING ME. And it is far from over for me.  I am still very much a work in progress.  I have lost 60, but have 30 more to lose, while having fun getting healthy without brain fog, without high cholesterol, without high blood sugar and without cravings and 2AM garlic laden meatball feedings!!  And, my sincere motivation for sharing this information, is to save lives because caregivers save lives every day, but caregivers are also becoming obese, burned out and the victims of poverty and disease!! This is true. Many caregivers are underpaid, or not paid at all. Or others, like myself have had a history of not taking care of their own health as well as they have taken care of others! So caregivers need to stick together to help each other out, because the world needs us to be healthy. And more importantly, the people who depend on us, need us to be healthy!!   I am writing this blog to help you to find your own “personal nugget of motivation,” because once found, you can accomplish anything. (We will get into the details of how to do this in a later blog.) I truly believe that if I can turn my health around, SO CAN YOU!!!!!!  (OH. . . . Wait a minute!  This isn’t the end, yet!)

     So, as the story goes. . . . . . back in 2012, after finding my PNM,   I bit the bullet by getting a physical, and my vital signs were just shameful. My blood pressure was high, my total cholesterol was high, glucose levels were high, liver enzymes were off, hormones were on another planet somewhere  taking  roller coaster rides in La La land, and I had Gout, making my toe feel like it was in labor having twins! But wait, we can’t forget the brain fog.  I would go into one room, forgetting what I went in the room to get in the first place, losing my keys, glasses,  shoes , cellphone  and even my bra a few times, only to experience  the same repetitive adventure of losing EVERYTHING again, on the next day, and the next, etc.  This lack of concentration was so bad at one point in time, that I considered an early retirement, and almost got my nose pierced (a sign that I had really lost it.)  Then it happened, all hell broke loose in a matter of minutes, right before my eyes right out there on the highway at the stoplight in front of Best Buy!!
(To be continued on 9/12/2014)

Copyright 2014 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey

The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A New Beginning

 It wasn't long ago, twelve months to be exact when I had 60 pounds to shed. And although the weight gain had accumulated for 13 years, my realization of my obesity came rather quickly, in about 15 minutes!!  I was taking advantage of a health club personal training promo, and had to have my BMI assessed. My 5'4" frame had expanded from that of a 120 pound woman, to a 220 pound obese health professional!!!! I couldn't believe it, and had to look twice actually turning my head in shock when the personal trainer said, "This puts you in the obese category!"  I didn't know whether to cry, faint or run out the door. "Was he talking about, ME?" "Not a chance!" Yeah, I had become an obese health professional, the numbers proved it, and all I had to do was to look in the mirror!!

  The road to obesity was gradual, a little cheating here and there.  A little burning the candle at both ends, here and there, and a little losing sleep, working extra hours drowning in paperwork, here and there, on and on and on and on!!  Life style habits take about 2-3 weeks to develop, and I had developed all of the wrong ones. Taking my patent's problems home with me, worrying about insurance audits, financial pressures of running my own business, and not listening to my body. Cravings to push ahead draining my adrenals with too much coffee, too much sugar, and not enough TLC. Easy to care for others, while ignoring my own health needs until I was 80 pounds overweight, and OBESE!!!!!

 I'm starting this blog to share my journey back to health and to create a personal, care giving "Curb Alert Motivational Roadmap."  (A "Curb Alert" happens on Craigslist when someone is throwing out something they no longer need, so they are putting it out on the curb for the garbage collector, or for others to claim. By definition, to "curb" something, is to keep it in check. As caregivers being alert to the needs of others by keeping our attitudes and health  in check is of utmost importance.   In the example above though, no one else will want to claim what is holding us back from being the best that we can be other than the garbage collector herself. Because in truth, that is where limiting beliefs belong, in garbage cans with the slimy egg shells, the blackened banana peels, and the used up coffee grounds!  )   I am creating this "Curb Alert" to assure the reader that they can lose whatever it is that is holding them back from creating a healthy, happy and prosperous life. Anything is possible with a little faith, a plan, the ability to move one's feet and the desire to make a change for the better.  So, feel free to join me in exploring why caregivers such as myself can lose their health but can also gain it back.  The reason why I know this is possible,  is because in one year I have lost over 60 pounds, regained the energy of a 10 year old, and have achieved more goals than I ever thought was possible and if I can do it, so can you!!!!!!  Let's get fired up, and embrace great nutrition and  fitness now!!!  Not only physically, but mentally, socially and in spirit, so that we can truly be present for our patients, our families, friends, care-partners and our communities. I will be sharing ideas, recipes, fitness and nutrition information with you on this blog along with woes, wonders, challenges etc.

  In conclusion: Our first curb alert for caregivers has to do with the knowledge that curb alerts exist, and that we can let go of what is not serving us, ESPECIALLY if our individual curb alert has caused us to create unhealthy habits. Just like a real Craigslist Curb Alert, we can look forward to a new investment. But rather than a new couch, or a new appliance that we see on Craigslist, we can look forward to a new investment in ourselves by creating new goals on our renewed pathway to success. And although, like anything else out there, (myself included), people will always be faced with challenges. My desire in writing this blog is to create" win- win" situations that will help you to reach your health and wellness goals, so that you can become an even better caregiver ( parent, teacher, nurse, doctor, therapist, minister) or care-partner,etc. Creating healthy lifestyle habits, no doubt can insure opportunities for you to live a happy, healthy and prosperous life.
   So, let's create new beginnings, now.  Stop by again on 9/9/2014!!!  Thank you so much for letting me share my thoughts with you!!
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Copyright 2014 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama Nicey
 The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.

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