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So recently I’ve had a lot of questions about what I’m doing differently since it appears that I have lost a grip of weight! I’m going to share with you my journey and weight loss efforts with the hope that you may be inspired and motivated yourself!  I’ve struggled with morbid obesity for most of my life. It all started when I was around 9 or so and a kid at school called me fat. Looking back at photos from around that age I can see plainly that I wasn’t fat but subconsciously the insult stuck with me and somehow became a truth.  I remember eating whole packages of hot dogs in one sitting by myself because… well… I was fat anyway. I gained weight and carried it from childhood into adult hood.  Being fat had become apart of my identity and I had a very difficult time imagining myself any other way.

Fast forward past all of the insensitive comments, wise cracks and jokes, beyond the feelings of being inadequate and the least attractive of my friends to a present day more confident Bella. An affirmative nickname I chose for myself as a daily reminder that I am beautiful.  Maybe slightly egotistical to make everyone else say it as well! LOL In the past I’ve tried everything from magic pills like Hydroxycut, MetaboLife, and OxyELITE Pro, drinks like the Lemonade Diet, foods like Cabbage Soup Diet, WeightWatchers and various other unhealthy fad diets. The bottom line is that they promise BIG but fall short of long term results, and in some cases the health risks are too great.  I will say that I’ve heard WeightWatchers success stories, it’s just that processed foods are not up my health ally.

In August of 2011 I began working with an amazing personal trainer by the name of Thomas Smith – Owner of Ground Base Training here in Denver. I met him at a networking event and we agreed to trade services. I saw great results, overall toning and way less cellulite. I still wasn’t losing a substantial amount of weight even though I had lowered my portion sizes, I didn’t eat over 1000 calories most days, and I had completely cut out fast food outside of the monthly double cheeseburger treat from McDonalds. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t seeing more progress. Thomas was an AWESOME trainer, I went to him for about two years before I stopped going and fell back into old habits. It would take nearly a year but eventually I found out what the problem was…. Digestion & elimination.

Cover artIn July 2013 I stumbled across the Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type book. As I read over the issues various blood types suffer from I knew that this was the right direction for my lifestyle change. My Mother, also an A+ blood type has dealt with various digestion issues over the years even landing her in the hospital. I personally suffer from poor digestion, gas, constipation and sometimes my tummy just hurts seemingly for no reason at all. Then I started comparing my diet to the RED do not eat list and found that the majority of my diet was based off of those foods.  Imagine my surprise to find that the foods and drinks I had grown up on were not even remotely healthy for me to eat; I mean seriously orange juice, mango, banana, any type of pepper, most meat especially red meat, dairy, various breads, tomato’s -an American staple, it’s in every damn thing!  I wanted to test the theories in the book so I took two weeks and only ate what was on the GREEN list of approved foods for an A+ blood type. Guess what happened? For those two weeks I dropped a few dress sizes, BMs were more consistent and NO STOMACH PAIN OR GAS!!!! I was sold! The proof is in the pudding. Since then I’ve had a few relapses and each time my stomach will hurt for several days after and I’ll be constipated. A+ blood types have a low stomach acid content, so it doesn’t take much to upset our stomachs. Even when I would control my portions before weight loss still seemed out of reach, why? Because of WHAT I was eating -Even “Healthy” stuff can be bad for YOU! I encourage you to research and learn more about how your own individual body functions to get the best results.

In addition to this  blood type diet change I also sought outside medical assistance at the Cherry Creek Medical Weight Loss center. Despite having students in and out I would have to say that it was a pleasant experience. Anyone who has dealt with morbid obesity knows that the first week or two is a BEAST! It’s so hard to get around the psychological cravings! I was prescribed a drug called Phentermine to help take the edge off and boy did it work! Maybe a little too well! Anyone who knows me will tell you that I can not stand Dr.s or medicine, however I can say that taking phentermine in conjunction with my new lifestyle really had a great impact on my progress. After taking the phentermine I wasn’t hungry at all. I had to make myself eat ever few hours to build up my metabolism. Since I wasn’t hungry and there were no cravings it made it easier for me to select foods that were on my green list in portion sizes that were appropriate. The drug has some withdrawal downfalls including psychological dependence or addiction, depression, anxiety, and tiredness. I got around these by tapering off of the drug on my own. During month two of being on the drug I began skipping pills here and there until I noticed that I hadn’t taken one for a week or so. From there I just didn’t take anymore, I had already begun to eat foods that give you a lot of energy to off set the tiredness. Have you ever ate a small carton of blueberries for lunch? I’ve gotta tell you 5hour ENERGY® has NOTHING on it! I would go to the gym and still be bouncing off the walls after an intense workout!

Meal planning is KEY to success! I know you have heard this before but it’s especially true when your starting out on your life changing journey towards a healthier you. If not you’ll grab something familiar and more than likely it will be something you have no business eating. Here is the thing, if you go the route I went with the Phentermine you MUST drink damn near a gallon of water a day! Otherwise that medicine will wreck your internal organs. If you do it cold turkey you still need to drink damn near a gallon of water each day. Dehydration can cause constipation, many obese people mistake ‘thirst’ for ‘hunger’. Stuffing their face until the craving goes away. If water drinking is a problem for you now, believe me when I say that if you start drinking copious amounts of it you will begin to crave it. Your stomach will appear to slim down considerably because water reduces bloating. Your skin will clear and soften, there are just too may benefits to drinking water to list! I’m going to leave you with a small gallery to show you then and now 🙂 I’m still no not at my goal but I’m confident that I will pretty much be there by summer time. In the mean time enjoy the pix!

Need some help with your weight loss goals? Here are some FREE resources to get you started!

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Remember it is not necessary to take medication or get shots to lose weight. It takes a genuine desire and hard work! Remember to be patient with yourself. You didn’t get that way overnight and you won’t loose it over night. Also remember YOU ARE NOT FAT, fat is something you have, it does not define you and you can loose it if you choose it!

Muah! xoxoxox

You’ve got this! I believe in YOU!

From the Left: Jessica, Manushkka, ME, Rosalee, Najla



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