Posts Tagged ‘Sheila Arkee’

By Sheila Arkee

Ok, so it’s been a while. A long while. And yes, I did let the indulgences of the holiday season get to me. Get to me meaning it was no holds barred for a good two weeks.

And boy did I pay the price.

Exhaustion, migraines, and generally not feeling well for the last few weeks led me to make a big change in my behavior a couple of weeks ago.

It’s so easy to put weight on, you know, but getting to the point where you’re really focusing on losing that physical burden is such a hard place to get to, but once you’re there … you know there is really no turning back. And that’s where I am right now.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been focused, I’ve been committed, I’ve been aware of my food-related behaviors and I’m DELIGHTED to tell you that my clothes are loose in a way they haven’t been in quite a long time.

I had a few wakeup calls recently, and that’s what brought me to my renewed focus in this fitness challenge:

1. Migraines. Oh, my GOD. I believe the women in my family are apt to migraines, but I have never felt them on this scale before. After experiencing my worst one yet last week, I knew it meant I had to get down to business here. No more excuses, because I don’t want to have to repeat that experience on a regular basis!

2. My blood pressure. Through the roof. A family member bought a machine and I tested myself for a few days with the results being that mine is sky high, and this is probably what’s contributing to my migraines. The solution? I need to take better care of myself.

Weird but true story – when I was in the beginning of my divorce 3 years ago, a Vietnamese co-worker read my Chinese horoscope. He told me I’m not going to have to worry about life in the long run, but I need to watch my health. I think this bad feeling I’m battling is exactly what he was referring to.

I HAVE to be healthy for my son, no questions about that, so the sooner I get on target, the better.

3. I’m not getting any younger. In the last week, 3 people in my social realm have passed away. One was 14, another my age, and the other 93.

Knowing that life is so unpredictable and that, really, any one of use could pass away at any given moment, it begs the realization that we all must enjoy our lives as much as we can. One thing I have to ask myself is this – am I enjoying life? Well, I don’t feel very well, so that takes a big chunk out of my enjoyment. I want to feel good, to look good, and although it’s a long process, I’m on board.

If there’s one thing about weight loss that I believe, it’s this – there’s no magic solution. It all boils down to eating well, and exercising. It’s going to take a while. But, I’m doing this, for the better, and I’m not looking back!


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By Sheila Arkee

From Crunchydomesticgoddess.com

I don’t know about you, but this time of year is the most calorically tempting of all. This sweet-loving gal can barely take the sights of candy, yummy food, and cozy, sugary drinks that are pretty much everywhere.

So, how are you all doing? Myself, I’m doing pretty well. I have had moments of weakness (read: a relative’s homemade fudge and See’s lollipops), but for the most part, I’m living a life of awareness and mindfulness. Carbs are at the minimal, and this is a huge deal for me.

To tell you the truth, battling my wants for indulging in sugary foods is hard. Very hard. When my son is a little bit difficult to deal with (read: having a major tantrum), all I want is chocolate after I’ve finished calming him down. I know it will not be good for me, but at the moment it just feels like something sweet will make everything better. Fortunately, I have not indulged in sweets at those pivotal moments in well over a week – yay me! He will most likely be tantruming for years to come, so the sooner I can get off the sweets habit, the better for my waistline!

You know what’s helping with the sugar urges? A cup of coffee with cream and Splenda. In the long run, I hope to wean myself off of artificial sweeteners because I’m not all too certain they are all that good for anyone, but for right now the fake sugar is helping me through my day.

When I feel the need to snack, I’m noshing on raw almonds, or on a garbanzo bean salad I prepare in advance. I throw a can of garbanzo beans in with a can of black sliced olives (don’t judge, I love all kinds of olives!), mix with olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt, and it is pretty much one of the most savory snacks I’ve ever eaten. Love it! It keeps me full and satisfied.

If you haven’t yet, please read my interview with Shannon Hammer over on Painted Ladies today – she is so very inspirational!!!

For those of you who are looking for low-carb resources, here are a few website that I visit often. They’re chock full of great info and delicious recipes. Do you have any other web sites to share?

Linda’s Low Carb Menus – I have so, so many of these recipes printed out and placed in a protective plastic sheet in a binder.

Mendosa.com – David Mendosa’s information about the glycemic index of many foods has been such a valuable resource to me throughout the years.

The Sugar Busters Recipe Book – LOVE this book and the recipes within, which reminds me I really need to make their artichoke soup one of these days. It is SO very good – a bit pricey because cans of ‘chokes ain’t cheap, but worth the occasional splurge!

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By Sheila Arkee

Early this morning I had a very intense “come to Jesus” meeting – with myself. Who the heck am I kidding with the food photos! If I don’t feel comfortable publishing them, I won’t. Seriously, I’d rather walk around Walmart in a bath towel than post pics of what I eat for the Universe to see. It might even get me on People of Walmart, which would be a hilarious thing to tell my grandkids.

I’m still going to journal, but I won’t regularly post my food photos because I don’t feel entirely comfortable doing so, and plus I don’t eat the most exciting food in the world. There would be a lot of cut, paste, repeat going on!

 I have to say, however, that in just the past couple days I’ve gotten a major grip of what exactly I’m throwing down into my stomach. It’s pretty shocking for me, and this is a good thing. Awareness is the first step towards progress, I’ve learned, and I HAVE to progress in this journey.

So, how’d I do today? Pretty darned good if I do say so myself. I was mindful of my intake, kept away from white flour, and only had a little bit of sugar when I had less than a teaspoon of caramel sauce. I had plenty of fruits of veggies, but took a little step backwards in progress when one of my sisters made this incredible pizza with roasted veggies, cheese, and a white flour crust. I ate 5 square shaped pieces. Damn. Portion control, I will conquer you at some point!

On the plus side, I did get some good walking in when I took my son to the park and did laps around the playground as he ran around. I really should do that more often instead of parking it on a bench and zoning out with my smart phone!

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By Sheila Arkee

I have to confess that while I was in the middle of posting yesterday, I was fearful. Am I making a huge mistake? Food is such a personal thing, this airing out of my intake feels like I’m walking around naked! Really, it’s scary.

I’m still on the edge about the food photo, but I have felt a big change within myself since I’ve been photographing my meals. With my tendency to misjudge portion sizes, I’m never sure of what I’m actually consuming. The reality is scary!

A few updates:

1. I weighed myself and not sure how accurate the scale is, but I came in at 240 lbs. I was a little surprised because I don’t feel that big – at my largest I was about 250 and wore a size 22, and now I’m a solid 18. Perhaps because at my highest weight I did not work out whatsoever and had no muscle mass? These days I do work out pretty consistently (but still not enough), and I have a 35 pound kid that I haul around on a daily basis so I’m thinking that helps at little bit.

2. For the first time in a long time I felt HUNGER today. First, when I woke up, and then throughout the day. I was being mindful of what I was going to eat, so I didn’t run out and get fast food when the mood struck, but waited until I was able to get some halfway decent food.

3. My dad is so excited about Get Fit! He really is. He’s loved reading everyone’s stories and has been going between teasing me about my love for food, and giving me some advice on how to proceed.  One thing he shared with me has to do with “veggie-tables”, as he says. According to a recent study, eating a fresh vegetable salad with no dressing before and after meals helps with weight loss.

I can’t skip dressing, so instead of the creamy blends I’ve been using in the past, I’m mixing up my all-time favorite dressing again – olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. I eyeball the proportions over my salad and it is seriously the best dressing of all time. You really cannot go wrong here!

4. As mindful as I was with  my food today, there was a bit of slip-up. Whoops. We all have them. Best to power on and not let it happen that frequently!

Whey protein shake

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By Sheila Arkee

Today gives you an example of Comfort Eating 101. My son had a tantrum that was a 10 on the Richter scale. About what, I really don’t know, but they happen and it can take up to an hour to calm him down.

To his face, I am completely calm at all times, I don’t show emotion, but inside I am feeling completely overwhelmed. It’s not easy or fun to see your child work themselves into a frenzy, tear out your hair and scratch at your face.  After the tantrums are over, I usually take a 5 minute me break, and, as you’ll see, comfort myself with a little sugar, because it does help the medicine go down, right?

While I don’t have PCOS, one of my sisters does, and I’ve learned through the the years that saying sayonara to sugar is the best thing for me. I feel a zillion times better without it! Cutting it out will be a challenge because I live with sugar lovers. It’s gonna take a whole lot of will power this time around.

Coffee with half and half and splenda.

Yogurt with 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil (helps metabolism).

Times two. I have portion control issues.

Tantrum time.

Pure comfort.

This kinda makes it better, right?

Oh, so ugly.

Times two.

Turkey kabobs, 2 wedges whole wheat pita with butter, salad.

I LOVE Gala apples.

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By Sheila Arkee

I’ve been faithfully photographing my food intake for the past couple of days with my handy little smart phone, and I already feel an improvement coming on. While the photos aren’t as fancy as I like, they’re exactly what I need to whip myself into gear – public accountabilty, yo! Nothing like it!

When I got into my best shape ever five years ago, I was able to visit a nutrionist who told me to journal for one week without really changing anything about my food intake. With that in mind, the next few days will be far from perfect. They’ll be pretty ugly, but I know at some point I’ll look back at these pics and be glad for how much better I’ll be eating at that point.

Although I cannot guarantee that I will post here every day, I’ll make an effort to post at least 3 days of eating per week, to keep myself on track. Here we go!

FYI, I do drink plenty of water throughout the day! One thing I learned from Dr. Howard Murad is that you don’t necessarily need to drink 8 cups of water per day, as has been drilled into our heads for ages. We can get that water from veggies and fruits, so eat up!

Oatmeal with a pat of butter.

Coffee with half and half and splenda.

Whole wheat bread with cream cheese.


You are totally free to judge me on this one.


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