Let's Talk: Getting Healthy
Today I’m opening up about a few struggles of mine, and how Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic is helping me out…
Today's post is a little longer and probably a bit more personal than usual but bear with me. This year I've spoken a lot about how I had big goals in 2018 to take better care of myself. I feel like over the past few years I’ve been pretty open with my struggles with the whole ‘work life balance’ juggling act and heading into this year I felt a calmness and clarity that I hadn’t felt for a long time.
Years of working my ass off (pardon my french) had taken their toll and I was burned out. In the 4+ years I’ve had this blog, I hadn’t taken more than a few days off in a row and YEARS of not making my health a priority both mentally and physically had taken their toll big time.
Heading into 2018 I decided I was going to take the Christmas break off entirely and just relax and recover from the busiest season of the year (both personally and professionally) and that after two weeks of some much needed Diana time, that I would be ready to tackle 2018 with all of the excitement and energy that I wanted to! (HAH!)
As you might remember, at the end of January, I was still struggling… The truth was, I needed much more than two weeks to bounce back from the exhaustion I was suffering from. I made the month of February all about self care and realized that I needed to be kind to myself and allow my body and my mind the time it needed to recover from the shitty way I’d been treating myself for years.
As I mentioned in this post, as much as I wanted to wake up on January 1 being the "green smoothie making, 10,000 steps a day-ing, journalling, meditating, yoga-ing" 'best version of myself' immediately, I knew that wouldn’t be the case. The first step to achieving my wellness goals this year was to set boundaries for myself to take care of my mental health.
In 2018 I began taking weekends off (holy shit you guys, this has been a MAJOR achievement for me!). I also began forcing myself to shut off my laptop by 7-8pm at the latest on weeknights. This too, was a major struggle of mine over the years as I’d often be working late into the night. I became more guarded with my time, leaving a lot more space in my calendar for ME. It’s been great. And while I haven’t been perfect by any means, I am SO much better than I have been in years.
With my mental health goals more under way the next major area to tackle is my physical health. Truthfully, over the past few years I’ve been hesitant to open up about some of these struggles of my own. When it comes to talking about weight and size, it’s an issue I’ve tended to veer away from for a few reasons…
I try to be very body positive and after struggling with my own weight for years (being both underweight and overweight at different times in my life) the last thing I’d ever want to do is make somebody feel bad about themselves, or trigger negative feelings in someone else by speaking about my own experience. I’ve been hesitant to discuss my struggles out of embarrassment, fear of judgement and fear of being perceived as not being someone who encourages self love and acceptance no matter your shape or size. I also wanted to make sure that if I did share my struggles, that it would be clear that my goal is of course to lose weight but that the main focus is more about how I FEEL, not how I look. I'm a tall curvy girl and I (mostly) have always been so and I truly believe that size does not define beauty . That being said, what I haven't loved is how I've been feeling over the past year and that's what I want to change....
So, sharing what I’m about to share today doesn’t come easy to me but, I feel like I am ready to talk about the struggles of staying healthy when you live a busy life and struggle with balance.
Let’s rewind to a few weeks back…. I was connected with Lucere, a Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Clinic in Edmonton that came highly recommended to me. As 2018 is my year of self care, I was excited to go meet the team, get a tour, learn more about the services Lucere offers and connect about skincare treatments as a way of making time for myself.
In chatting with the team and discussing my goals for the year in terms of self care and my health, I learned about a weight loss program that they offered that sounded very appealing to me. After discussing the program with the team at Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic, then chatting with James, a few of my friends who are doctors and nurses and giving it some thought I decided I was very interested in beginning their program.
The truth is that for my entire adult life I have never had a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I have spent the majority of my adult life feeling negative about my body. What a waste of time and energy. My mom has always said to me ‘don’t waste your best years hating your body’ and it’s a struggle I’ve been trying to manage for 15+ years. Over the past 5 or so years in particular my weight has yo-yo’d tremendously. I’ve mentioned before I can be a very ‘all or nothing’ kind of person so when I put my mind to exercising and eating right I don’t half ass it but then I inevitably slip up because the regime I set out is too strict and I slide right back into not taking care of myself, thus gaining back the weight and the cycle carries on....
Over this past year and a bit I’ve definitely packed on the pounds and the older I get, the harder they are to lose. While my relationship with my body and my journey towards self love and acceptance has gotten better as I get older, it’s certainly not perfect. It can be very discouraging to eat well, exercise, drink lots of water and get 7+ hours of sleep but not see the hard work translate to the scale.
Above: The left two photos are from about 2 years ago. I felt happy, confident, healthy and LOVED how I felt! I had great energy and was overall so much healthier. On the right this is me now. These are actually some of the few images I've shared for a while where I'm looking right at the camera and truthfully, I'm not loving what I see. I made a joke a few weeks ago on Instagram about not looking at the camera and if I'm being honest it's because I don't feel as confident as I used to. I'm looking forward to gaining that confidence back again!
So, as of last week, I began Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic’s doctor supervised weight loss program with a goal to get back to a healthy weight. For me, that means a loss of about 25-30 pounds. Holy. Shit.
*Note: After an unhealthy relationship with the scale in my younger years, I actually didn’t purchase a scale again until last year. I usually gauge my health in regards to my weight with my measurements, how my clothes fit and how I feel so this goal is flexible as I gauge my results.
So, what’s the program look like? Well, it’s pretty strict but it yields incredible results. The Lucere weight loss program is a two stage, doctor supervised program that involves a reduced calorie diet paired with injections that help to curb cravings, keep you energized and actually reprogram the hypothalamus so that you’re burning fat and not muscle (which can be a concern with strict diet programs). There’s a lot of science to this program that’s been around since the 50’s but I’ll try to explain it in simple terms…
The first part of the program is the weight loss. (d’uh!) haha This involves daily injections, weekly visits with your nurse and a reduced calorie intake. You eat whole, healthy foods with a focus on lean proteins (think chicken, fish, and beef and shrimp too), green vegetables and fruit. The injections cause your body to release stored calories in your fat cells so your body burns those as fuel and therefore, you don’t feel too hungry on the reduced calorie diet. A daily walk, a ton of water and cutting sugars and carbs all assist in a weight loss of about 0.5 - 1lbs per day as your body enters into a state of ketosis. When your body enters ketosis it is because your blood sugars are low and therefore, your body begins burning fat rather than the easily accessed sugars in your bloodstream and that’s how you’re able to lose fat more quickly than when you diet traditionally.
The second part of the program is where you reset your hypothalamus and kind of reframe your relationship with food and what will be your new normal. For 6 weeks after the program you have two 3 week phases where you begin re-introducing other foods into your diet and you learn how to live an 80/20 lifestyle.
In learning about this program, speaking with others who have had success with it and chatting with a few friends of mine in the medical profession about it, I decided this was a great option for me for a few reasons….
I am not good with balance (as mentioned above haha) so for me to have success, I need a fairly regimented program to follow. Because this program is quite scientific, if I were to ‘cheat’, it would set me back by 2-4 days as it would bump me out of ketosis. If that’s not motivation to keep on track, I don’t know what is!
I need to reframe my relationship with food. One of the biggest selling features of this program to me was the idea of being able to reframe my very unhealthy relationship with food. I eat very mindlessly, almost all of my social gatherings and activities revolve around food and I use food emotionally. Through this program, I have the opportunity to develop new habits (21 days makes a habit and this program is longer than that!) and take a step back from obsessing over food.
I felt so confident and comfortable with the team at Lucere. Norrie-Shan (my nurse and the supervisor of my program) has been so supportive and encouraging and the judgement free zone Lucere has created is one I love and appreciate.
I’m really ready and motivated to make a change. The truth is that while of course I want to lose weight my main motivation is to FEEL better. Running a busy growing business, I can’t afford to feel lethargic and crappy all day because I’m not healthy. My main motivation for this program is to gain more energy and feel better about myself and only a short time into the program, I’m already seeing big shifts.
So, as I write this now I’ve been on the program for just over one week. The first few days were admittedly a bit tough but that’s something I was prepared for heading in. The first two days of the program are actually loading days where you want to eat as much as you can so that your body has enough fat moving through it’s system that when you begin to detox, the transition is a bit easier. Eating a ton of food was actually harder than I thought! Haha The next few days were the detox phase. I was warned that the detox from the carbs and sugars I’m used to would have a few side effects and truthfully, I’m used to that since I’ve done a few cleanses and detox programs before. That being said, after those few days, I started to notice a big difference in how I feel. I noticed the biggest shift at about day 7, I noticed I was barely hungry, had a ton of energy (without needing to drink 5 cups of coffee da day!) and I felt clear headed and energized.
On average, I’ve been losing about 0.75lbs per day. It feels pretty great to step on the scale every morning and see a difference, not to mention to go through the day without feeling bloated or tired. I’ll be sharing another blog post that details a bit more how I’ve been feeling and what the process has been like but today I just wanted to open up a bit and share my excitement!
I want to share a huge thank you to my friends at Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic for helping me through this journey. I’ll definitely be sharing more updates throughout the process and sharing a bit more info but for now, let me know if you have any questions in the comments below or as always, you know how to reach me by email or DM!