Hello

I started this page with the intention of offering the much needed insight to a success story: what does it actually look like to be relentless, to never give up, to be patient, consistent and determined? What mindset shifts need to happen, and what mind-games does our subconscious play on us when we try to break away from toxic and sabotaging behaviors. I'm sure these same struggles occur with a myriad of other habit and health overhauls, including smoking, spending money, social media addictions, and more. 

Either way, we are all trying to do better, and this is my way of doing so. 

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My Story

Hi Ya'll. First, I want to thank you for visiting my website, I hope you can take away at least one thing and apply it to your weight loss and health journey; and second, thank you for taking an interest in my story. My story is uniue to me, but I am sure some of it can resonate with you. Here we go!

 

Okay... how to do this without going in circles, rambling? Is that even possible to NOT do that?

I have struggled with weight my entire life, and it sucks. I was born HEFTY, I'm talking 10lbs and 3oz to a teenage mother. My weight eventually tapered out to what I would consider normal through most of my younger years, but about 9 or so, I started to notice a difference between my weight and the other kids. I was big by no means, but growing up in the 90's, many kids were a lot slimmer than today, but I was still one of the softer, squishier kids if you will. Middle school is when I just knew that my weight was going to be a problem. I got teased for the first time when I weighed in at over 100lbs in 7th grade during Physical Education, in front of everyone to record health stats. That was hard, but it wasn't the last humiliating thing I'd go through. Funny thing, at an early age I think I developed thick skin.

 

If I say I am going to be authentic, I guess I can't leave out the fact that I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family. There was unfortunately, a lot of physical, mental and emotional abuse. I started to focus on success, money, and other means to make me feel powerful and happy, and also food. At a young age, I'd say 12 or so, my mindset switched from being a kid, to focusing on my strategy to get away from my crappy environment AS SOON AS ELIGIBLE, okay!? I remember around this time as well, I started to use the high I got from sugary foods to cope with emotional stress.

Middle school and high school went pretty smooth, thank goodness, and I had the best of times, at school. I had amazing friends, I got along with practically everyone, but I was not "popular" by any means. I started to block out the toxic messages and agendas from people who were supposed to be loving me, and was determined to do well in life. Although I made it through high school with a stronger mindset, I gained about 70lbs since starting middle school, graduating high school at 182 lbs. 

I now had to focus on what was ahead of me. I faced some pretty uncool circumstances that lead me to temporary homelessness, but my friends and their parents saved my butt. One of my close friends signed up to Join the Navy, and she got me a job at a fast food joint. I lived with her during this time and was inspired to get fit and also join the Navy. I signed up, but was put on a holding status while I slimmed down to meet the requirements. Within 6 months, I dropped 40lbs by applying concepts from the Atkins Diet, and was on my way to boot camp!

During my military career in the US Navy, I often struggled to maintain my weight. Whenever I would see my weight creep back up, I would drop the carbs and sugar, and get back on the low-carb bus. It worked every single time. I always knew something was "up" with my metabolism, because my closest of friends would mention that I never ate as much as them, but always was a bit heavier. I've noticed that my entire life, and I began to suffer mentally. Yearly we would have fitness tests, and although I could slip into a medium pair of pants, the number on the scale was too high for the US Navy, and I had to undergo embarrassing tape measure protocols for body fat calculations. I passed every single time. Small waist to the rescue!

This caused me to go down the rabbit hole in trying to figure out why not matter what, I am always heavier that I thought I deserved to be. I was SO in denial, and confused. What I didn't realize at the time was that the way I was eating, snacking all day, usually on sugary carb loaded junk foods, that I was spiking my insulin and storing fat like a professional. I managed to complete my years of active duty service, then joined the active reserves  when I became pregnant with my first beautiful son in 2009. Then in 2011, I found out I was expecting again!

With my first pregnancy, I went from 165 to 210. That was 45lbs! Then, I managed to get down to 192, when I found out I was pregnant with my second baby! With him, I gained 35 lbs, and left the hospital at 225, my heaviest. From there, my weight fluctuated from 230-215 for years. 

When my second born was 10 months old, I got the greatest news! I was accepted into nursing school! I had worked my butt off to begin my life post-military, and here it went! However from the stress of school, exams, worrying about money and my future, I used food to cope and found myself ballooning up to 240 by the time I got my first nursing job right out of nursing school. That job, while being a blessing initially and financially, was unfortunately one of the most toxic workplace environments I ever experienced I became so unhappy witnessing the racism within healthcare, and really suffered mentally. By the end of 2015, had my first panic attack since leaving the military, and when I went to the hospital, I weighed in at 250. O M G.

Immediately, I was on a mission to reverse that. I started to do the work that would later become the foundation for my journey today, incorporating lifestyle, and mindset changes that will sustain me no matter what was going on in my life. Although it has been a struggle, I never gave up, but fell in the trap of losing and gaining the same 40 lbs. This time, no more yo-yo dieting.

What has worked so far, was going back to what always worked for my body, which was eliminating sugars, processed carbohydrates, and following my hunger cues. I started to explore and experiment why this worked so well for me, and what I found out has changed my life forever. Explore my page, especially the menu tab of my Keto and Fasting Lifestyle to find out how these two strategies may be the key to ending the obesity and diabetes crisis we are seeing today. 

xoxo Denise

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