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Nutrition + Groupon = A New Goal!

I decided I needed a new project to keep me out of trouble outside of work, so today I purchased a Groupon for an Online Nutritional Theraplogo_Health_Sciences_Academyist Certification Course from the Health Sciences Academy.  It pairs my struggling desire to lead a healthy lifestyle with online deals, it was a match made in heaven.  Armed with a coupon code for an additional 20% off the deal plus 6% cashback through Ebates, I saved 94% off the enrollment cost.  Being fully aware I am on a strict budget, I came to the conclusion that it was worth the money to educate myself on nutrient deficiencies and learn to build nutritional programs that can better my quality of life.  I’ve been tracking my own nutritional intake without any formal training and lots of Googling, MyFitnessPal, and common sense guessing for years.  I still have no idea what I am doing.

If this program can give me any sort of guidance and applicable information to better my vegetarian lifestyle without becoming an insane health nut (I want to be a sane health nut) and possibly help others on their journey towards wellness, than it will be worth every penny.  If not, I shall pen a strongly worded letter to the Academy.

I plan to update this blog with my experiences throughout the course.  I hope you will follow my progress with positive support, constructive feedback, and questions!

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Obese & Healthy

Last Friday was my yearly physical and today I got the blood test results.

According to every BMI chart out there, my 5’9″ 231 pound solid self falls on the obese side of the algorithm.

According to my primary doctor’s observational evaluation and “superb” blood test results with “good, if not better, numbers than my previous results,”  I am metabolically healthy.

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I am more than a number.  I am an ongoing work in progress. I’m not saying weight doesn’t have anything to do with your health, it clearly does.  But, it is not everything.

I stand by the belief that not every thin person is healthy, and not every obese person is unhealthy.  There are many factors that play into health, but numbers on a scale and coordinating charts do not define your lifestyle.  You define your lifestyle and the blood tests confirm it.  What you put into your body and how often you move your body is ultimately what makes you “healthy” or “unhealthy” as far as diet.  It’s a pretty simple formula.

There is a little debate about the term “metabolically healthy obese” but more and more people are starting to understand that it’s not all about weight.  “It’s much easier to get a fat person fit than it is to get a fat person thin,” states Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., an exercise and wellness professor at Arizona State University.   My experience focusing on weight alone has led to a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and depression, fueling my hatred for TV Shows like The Biggest Loser.  Since changing my mindset to focus on strength and fitness, I’ve never felt better in this “obese” body and I’ve tried to make it easier for others to accept their own natural healthy size.

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I dreaded these annual physicals in previous years due to my elevated weight, poor eating habits, and fear of needles.  2 years ago and 48 pounds heavier, I knew it was time to change & take control of my health no matter how difficult.  I wanted to feel better in my skin while improving my overall quality of life.  My primary doctor’s tactful bedside manner and compassion for my weight struggles had a large part of helping me get started in making the right food and exercise choices.    Being lambasted by primarily older doctors in the past about my weight would send me spiraling deeper into a depression and avoiding check ups on the regular in fear of “failing”.  With my current physician it’s a team effort and I never feel judged.  That’s the way it should be.

This is why I cannot express enough how finding a support system that you trust, and who builds you up instead of tearing you down, is very important in reaching your health goals.   I tried to do it on my own in the past, but I knew that I needed guidance from someone who I could be completely honest with this time around.  Not only did I find a wonderful Primary doctor, but I found an excellent therapist who I saw regularly over these past years.  I now only call her if I need her and I have not seen her in over 2 months.  It’s nice to know professional resources are there when I need a little extra support, ongoing or temporary, and that they will help guide me back into a positive and encouraging mindset.

I understand not everyone has access to these resources but sometimes we all just need to find that one person in your life (a partner, sibling, parent, child, co-worker, friend, blogger, etc.) who will be there to urge and support you as you transition your existence into something meaningful and long-lasting.  I want to let you all know that it’s OK to ask for help and you are not alone in your struggles to find that healthy balance in your life.

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Couponing Queen!

I’ve noticed a lot of my Facebook friends really tightening their belts in 2014 and I wanted to share my secret to saving!

Everyone likes to save a dollar and I am no different.  I started clipping coupons last spring to save and now some may say I am a bit obsessed with my alphabetically filed coupon binder and designated couponing tote bag.  Every day I check the top couponing blogs to see if there is anything worth a trip.  Two sites missing from the list that I refer to often are LivingRichwithCoupons and TheKrazyCouponLady.  All you have to do is choose the store you want to shop at and the sites gather the coupon links and sale data on your behalf.  All the grunt work is done for you, just click and print!

One things I found while clipping coupons is there are ways to find discounts on healthy foods.  There are certainly coupons for unhealthy items but if you search a little you can find coupons for healthier products as well both at Coupons.com and SmartSource.com.  Pair them with store sales and rebate websites like SavingStar and you can save so much money on your groceries that your electric may stay on this month.

Some months I coupon every week, others I coupon only once per month!  It all depends on my budget and how busy I am.  Cutting coupons while watching my evening TV shows makes me feel more productive than if I was stuffing my face with snacks, so I also see it as a good distraction for my poor eating habits when I’m bored.  Couponing also allows me that control over what I plan to eat over the month.  I avoid the coupons for crap cuisine and focus only on what I can afford that is somewhat healthy (like hummus, guacamole, pickles, soups, and rare vegetable and salad items).  In fact I just printed a high value coupon today for $3 off of any 16oz. Yucatan Guacamole from the product Facebook page!

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You can find a coupon for almost anything so even if it’s not listed on one of the coupon sites just do a search online for the product you want to buy and you may find a printable coupon! Just remember to check the expiration date.

I encourage everyone to try their hand at clipping coupons.  It may not be for everyone, but the pennies add up in the end and you can see a difference in your bank account!

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