Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tamara’s Story

Story Sunday, it is a long one but very much worth the read! 

This is my friend, Tamara’s, Story:

"A little about me………….I married young at 18 and immediately started to try to have a family, after several years, a few failed pregnancies so did my marriage. I remarried gained a bit more weight and after losing twins still born at 8 ½ months at the age of 25, I was 250 lbs. At the age of 27, on June 26, 1985, after nine long years I was finally blessed, with my beautiful 9 lbs. 13 oz. daughter, but I was a whopping 327 the day I delivered. I was on blood pressure, arthritis and cholesterol meds. My gall-bladder failed within the year after her birth and at the Dr.’s consultation I was first introduced to the idea of participating in a new surgery called “gastric bypass”. I jumped at the chance to lose 100 lbs. in a year. I had no information of any kind, no internet, no counseling, no support groups, just the promise of weight loss after they stapled my stomach in half….permanently. Mind you, whatever diet or pill that had been available in the 1980s I had tried it! My appointment was on a Monday, I had surgery the following Thursday June 27, 1986 the day after my daughter 1st birthday. I woke up with a tube down my throat and I stayed in bed like that for a week with a new scare from my breast bone to my belly button. I lost 11 lbs. the first week. I went home with my little one ounce cups and was told to eat 8-10 times a day, whatever I could stuff in the 2-3 of those cups and drink only water no carbonation. So I did that. I continued to eat the same foods that I ate which got my heavy in the first place. I drank water, but very little. I let Diet Pepsi or Diet Dr. Pepper go flat and I drank it all day long, it was diet after all.
I either threw-up what I ate most days and or had chronic diarrhea.
14 months later I was 118 lbs. I looked horrific. I dropped form a size 38 to a size 4.
Nearly two years later in May of 1987 I found out I was pregnant with my son Gregory. I gained 13 lbs. My body was so unhealthy; he was born premature at 4 lbs. 3 oz. I knew in my heart that his complications were a result of my poor nutrition. I had my tubes tied.
The light came on. I still drank soda but I breast fed my children and I knew that what I ingested would directly affect their health. I began to change out some of the crap I was eating for healthier choices. Mind you I am a food addict. I don’t have to be bored or depressed or mad to eat, I eat for all moods and occasions and I happen to be a ridiculously great cook with a huge family……….kind of hard to be good all the time. I was desperate to stay thin and my body did adjust to more and more foods. I supplied my diet with every “low cal.”, “zero cal.” “low Fat”, “No sugar”, “sugar-substitute” option there was. All those options made me “feel good” about my choices. Just about everything I ate was processed in some way because my ability to digest with half a stomach and no gall-bladder was drastically reduced. I stopped throwing up and my weight maintained for years at 148 lbs. I’m 5’9”. Not bad.
On a different note…. sadly, my marriage ended.
I remarried in 1993 and took on three wonderful bonus kids. I finally had my big family I had always wanted. I was able to change the diet I fed my children partly from necessity because money was so tight, but I did manage to raise healthy eaters for the most part. Six years after the birth of my son I went for a check-up because of anemia and found out I was pregnant with my youngest child. Yep, with my tubes tied. You can bet I had those tubes, cut, cauterized, tied and stapled that time around! Life is full of wonderful mysteries and surprises. Proof some people are just meant to be here! Unfortunately that marriage ended as well 13 months later.
I took on being a single mom, three natural children and three bonus children, all connected by the baby brother. We found early on that biology is the least of what makes a family. Crazy life wasn’t done with me yet. In 1995, when my youngest son was 18 months old, I was treated for cervix cancer. I have no history of it in my family. It was found at a regular physical. I survived. No one ever asked about my diet, no one checked my nutritional levels. I thrived for a while.
I married in 1999 to my stoic husband McKay. He took us all on. Yes, you guessed it, he had three children. I got three more bonus kids! 9 kids!!! Talk about crazy on the holidays! The good news is I didn’t drown any of my teenagers and I have 20 beautiful grandchildren.
In 2005 while doing a self-breast exam I found a couple small lumps. A lumpectomy was performed, Chemo as a precaution and my breast reconstructed. There is no history of breast cancer in my family. No one ever asked about my diet, no one checked my nutritional levels. I thrived for a while.
As you can imagine, I was always going a hundred miles an hour. I worked full-time, usually a part-time job as well and lived for my family. As time progressed I began to lose my strength. I was exhausted all the time. I slowly stopped doing all the things I loved, Horseback riding, bow-hunting, even simple crocheting. In 2009 I became a disqualified F-16 Sheet-metal Mechanic on Hill AFB because of my health issues. I had had shoulder surgery on both shoulders and was stuck at a desk job I was ill fit for. Part of my job required traveling. The good news is I got to go all over the US and Europe for several months to inventory shops. The bad news is while in Europe my eye-site digressed, my bladder failed intermittently, I slept 14-18 hours a day whenever I could. I began to have spasms in my face and legs, tremors in my hands and on occasion difficulty remembering words and finishing thoughts; it was described to me as blacking out for an instant and then refocusing during a conversation. Those that know me well will tell you I have never been at a loss for words and that scared me more than stumbling like a drunk! I was silently terrified. I was certain that the third time was a charm and I must have a cancerous brain tumor to cause all these neurological problems. As soon as I returned to the states I went for a physical. It was explained to me that my symptoms mirrored several diseases and they had to run tests to weed out all the possibilities. This went on for months.
No one ever asked about my diet, no one checked my nutritional levels.
That is until my neurologist asked me about my gastric bypass and ordered a complete nutritional workup. I was finally diagnosed in 2012 with MS. My Dr. informed me that I had the nutritional levels of a third-world country citizen, and a poor one at that. My PH was 2.2, good is 7. Cancer and auto-immune diseases do not thrive well in a high alkaline environment. I was a breeding ground for auto-immune diseases and I did it to myself. First my obesity, then my lack of nutrition; due in part to my gastric bypass and lastly, my ignorance regarding my own nutritional needs caused my adult onset RRMS(Remitting-Relapsing). I knew better. I made excuses, I was busy, I had a big family, I didn’t have time to research……I did nothing to change my diet…..until that day, I was told I could continue to do a cocktail of steroids and pain meds or start by boosting my nutrition with highly-soluble, all-natural supplements, he suggested powder or liquid “greens”. The doc didn’t care what kind, just told me it was urgent if I wanted my life back. I had no idea what he was talking about and didn’t want him to think I was stupid so I left that day to start my own research.
In the Fall of 2012 was finally diagnosed with MS. Everything I loved had slowly been taken away from me because of my health. Caring for my grandchildren, my horses, I even had to trade in my big beautiful Dodge Diesel for a vehicle I could climb into myself just to not lose my independence completely. My marriage was suffering, I was barely making it through my four ten hour shifts at work and home to fix dinner and sleep. I was never rested, always hurting and severely depressed. I was nearly 170 lbs. which terrified me as I had always been a gastric bypass “success” story. I tried a bunch of different products with no real results. My daughter’s best friend made a comment on Facebook one night about a wrap party she had been to. She mentioned “Greens”. I called her up and asked her about the products. She told me she knew they were GMO free which was a trigger word for me. I called the distributor she referred me to and arranged to attend a party near my home just a few days later. I was in such bad shape that Saturday I nearly didn’t go. I shudder to think where I would be now.
At the party I tried the wrap to be polite and because I was skeptical but curious. But it was truly the least of reasons I was there. The party was small so I got a whole serving of Greens. Within the hour I could feel the energy and mind you I was usually in bed by this time. I learned about the quality and freshness of the products and a bit of the history of the company. I had ZERO sales experience and had only sampled the products at a spa party……... but I saw the potential in this business and the same night at the party I thought, “What the heck!” and jumped right in. What was I thinking? I was 55, I should have been thinking about retirement, collecting Social Security. I had to bite the bullet, trust my instincts and change the pattern of my life. I had seven friends. I could earn enough to pay for everything I wanted to use and not have to listen to my husband grumble. $300 a month……maybe help him get a little healthier too. That was March 10, 2013.
I urgently began to incorporate the It Works! products into my daily routine. Vital Core Nutrition Pack, Greens 2-3 times daily, Thermofit, FatFighters and Regular (multiple gastric issues, being regular is NOT over-rated) and Confianza were first. The stress on my body from a large family, a job I loathed, MS and our dirty winter air in Utah was a trigger for ongoing poor health. Those extra pounds melted off and I began to have less cravings and only needed FatFighters once in a while. It was ridiculously wonderful how quickly I felt better, more energy, less neurological symptoms…now if I could deal with the pain and muscle aches. Relief and New You were added to the routine. I had never been a Breakfast eater and the dietician convinced me that I would do well to eat breakfast daily. Profit with my Greens, Almond milk and fresh or frozen fruit are a daily staple. Sometimes ProFit smoothies are my dinner too! I love that I can create healthy treats for my entire family with Profit. If I want a healthy quick snack I always have an Essential bar at hand. They are my go to sweet treat. Greens Chews are my afternoon “need some candy” fix. Once a food addict, always a food addict. But now I have the nutritional tools I need to help me stay in control the healthy way.
I decided that if I was going to do everything in my power to get healthy internally, I should do everything to get healthy externally too. I use the entire skin care line and my skin has done a 180! I am not going to lie, my vain bone loves the wraps and Defining Gel! Hiding my saggy skin all these years is a thing of the past. Most recently I took my hair extensions out after wearing them for the better part of 18 years. My hair came back, thin, and terribly unhealthy after chemo twice and years of poor nutrition, suffering from the natural aging process. Hair Skin and Nails has transformed my hair in 60 short days. I am a walking talking product of It Works! Reasonable eating, enough water, 7-8 hours of sleep and moderate exercise.
I worked four tens at my “pretend” job and I worked my business a few hours at night from my home computer. 111 days into the company, June, 2013 I made the rank of Diamond, plus my GOOD bonus and was earning nearly as much as 40 hours a week on the base. By July 31, 2013 my husband earned his Diamond and GOOD bonus and my daughter her Emerald. I didn’t have to sell, I shared my story, we walk the walk. On September 26, 2014 I completed my last day at Hill AFB to live It Works full-time.
On my birthday, February 28, 2014 my beautiful daughter Chelsey Westbroek became Diamond, and on April 30, 2015, Double Diamond. On March 25, 2014 I went Double Diamond. May 31, 2014, with the help of my awesome TEAM, I hit Triple Diamond! Just 14 months! 60K in bonuses to top it off!
The relationships I have become a part of are a priceless bonus. Talk about a humbling experience.
I changed my life and I get paid generously to touch other lives in so many impactful ways."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

30 Things Before I Turn 30

It is happening, the year I turn the BIG three-o. Yes, 30. So, I made a list of things to do before I turn 30. Does anyone that makes these lists actually do anything on them? I plan on trying. 30 things before 30 is a lot, since the 30 turning will be happening in June.

Here is the list: 
1. Go to a concert
2. Run a 5k
3. Make a Stumpf Fiddle
4. Gain 30 people to It Works
5. Lose 15 pounds
6. Invest money
7. Get a tattoo
8. Overcome a fear
9. Join a club (or start one)
10. Eat at Blue Bayou in Disneyland
11. Pay it forward
12. See a musical
13. Go to Burney Falls
14. Read at least 3 books
15. Take a dance class/lessons
16. Be more active on social media
17. Have friends over
18. Go hiking
19. Make a time capsule
20. Watch some top movies on IMDB
21. Continue to learn Sign Language
22. De-clutter
23. Go on a vacation
24. Make a meal for some friends
25. Save more money
26. Go to a paint night event
27. Sign up for a class
28. Sign up for a half marathon
29. Take a girls trip
30. Throw an amazing 30th birthday party

There it is, my list. I've done some of these things before, but I want to try to do them more often. Here's to making goals and trying to accomplish them! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Year, New Me... Goodbye 2015

Does anyone else dislike that saying? New Year, new me... What does that even mean? Yes, it is a new year (as I would say in a preschool setting, we said goodbye 2015 and hello 2016). A brand new year. However, I'm still me. I'm not new. 2015 has changed me. I have grown, I have stepped outside of my comfort zone in many ways, but I am not "new". Maybe I can change the saying to fit better, New Year, New Me A Changed Me. I like it.

The above verse has been my life verse for the entire year. At the start of 2015, I knew that I needed to make some changes. I was stressed all the time to the point of physical and mental pain. I cared way more about what others thought about me. I never made time for friends and really never stepped out of my comfort zone. I realized that even though I wasn't really that happy and I was in almost constant pain, I was comfortable there. I was content in the constant state of discomfort. Sounds crazy, right? It truly was. 2015 came and I decided, something has got to give. I can not and will not do this anymore. I stepped out. 

I signed up to be an Independent Distributor for It Works Global! Click here to learn more. 
I changed my job(which was a heartbreaking decision to make, but it was time). I no longer work full time and now have more time at home in the mornings with the hubby, which also means I will be able to go back to school to take a few classes! 
I have been doing more social things and inviting others into my home more. 
I stepped away from some people and grew closer to others. 
2015 was hard, but it was life changing. 

My goals for 2016 are much of the same as 2015. I want to expand on what I have already accomplished. I want to grow even more. I want better things for the hubs and I. I want to see my friends more and make even better memories this year than I have in the past. 

A random tree picture for me to leave you with. Until next time friends. 
Photo Cred: The hubby 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stephen Amell

Hello my people!

Life has been busy, fun, changing, growing, challenging, hard, sweet, and much much more. I decided I really need a place where I can post thoughts. Hopefully I can be real on here and if people read it they will know my intent is not to hurt but to heal. We all need healing at some point in our lives and writing here has always been a form of healing for me.
Anyway, this post is not going to be about me but about my new favorite.
For the past few months I've been following actor Stephen Amell on social media. He is wonderful to his fans, a great athlete, a family man, giving, and super funny. However, I hadn't watched anything he was in. Mainly, his CW hit Arrow! Recently, I started watching the show and love it. It is strange and a new experience for me to find a love for an actor before I see him act. Anyway, he is great, Arrow is great and you need to watch it. Do it. Also, follow him on Facebook and whatnot. You won't be sorry!
That's it for me today folks.

Friday, April 10, 2015

It Works

Hi friends!

New things are on the horizon and I can't wait to share more in the future.

One thing that I can share right now is I have joined It Works Global.  (Have you heard of that crazy wrap thing?) A wrap that helps tighten, tone, and firm. This company isn't just wraps though! The skin care line is something I'm very excited and passionate about!

Please check out my site for more details.

Also, vendor events are coming up. I need to get busy for those! Exciting stuff Is coming!

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Happenings!

Ah! It has been so very long! We have been down a computer and I just don't have energy to post on here from my phone. Well, the hubby amd I decided we would get a tablet and I found a case that comes with a little keyboard. It isn't exactly like typing on a computer, but it will do for now.

So, I'm back!

Preschool work has been crazy,busy, and a blessing. My bestest friend now works with me! It has been great.

The hubby stopped working at the golf course and got a job as a custodian for the school district. It has been such a fantatic job for him!

Yesterday we took Christmas pictures. Here are a few:

The hubby looks so cute.

The Robyn!

More to come soon...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Over a year...

Oh my goodness, has it seriously been over a year since I last wrote in this empty space! No, it hasn't. It has been over a year since I wrote anything for all to see. There were many time I would come here and fill up this space with information on my life, my thoughts, just to erase them all. Nothing ever seemed good enough to share.

The truth is, this year has been... Hard. Tragic. Fun. Eventful. Dull.

Last year in August, my hubby and I came back from an amazing vacation in Michigan visiting my parents and family there. It was so fun, however I came back with a heavy heart. Not knowing why, but knowing nothing in my life would ever be the same.

A couple days later, Jeremy's grandpa passed away. That was hard. I wasn't as close to his grandpa as everyone else was, so it was a weird time for me. Not knowing what to do or what to say. Difficult is an understatement.

A few days after that Jeremy got into a car accident in my car. He was fine, praise God! My car, however, was not. That was the end of Delilah. That was a hard time. A time of relying on others and a lot of faith.

A few days after that, my Dad called me and told me that he would need surgery. That cancer was found in his jaw. That they think they caught it in time, that he would be fine, that I shouldn't worry. One of the most heart crushing moments in my entire life.

A few days later Dad had his very loooong surgery. I have never been so thankful that my parents lived in Michigan than I was that day. My Dad was having surgery from incredible doctors and had a whole staff of people on his case. If you ever need scary surgery, go to Michigan, they know what they are doing.
My hubby, Jeremy, and me with my lovely parents at Grandma's for Christmas 2012! 
Let's fast forward to today, a year after my Dad had his surgery and he is ok! No traces of cancer in his body! Best news ever!

I look back at the past year and I am just thankful. I am a teacher, so I remember years by school years, August being the start. Last year was a hard, full of emotion, way to start my year. It made the rest of the year difficult, but every moment with my family and friends meant that much more. It  made everyday even more of a blessing.

Jeremy and I tried to venture out more, my parents came to visit more, we went to visit them again, we did more things with people, we started exercising more, eating better, and much more. Life just became more important to us. I like that a lot.

Life continues to change. Everyday God is bringing new opportunities and possibilities. Jeremy and I have this saying, "Don't let any opportunity pass us by." We are the type of people that get very comfy, unfortunately comfy isn't always best. We are striving to get uncomfy and not let good things pass by or fall away. Jeremy is looking for a full time job. We are moving next week into a house that we will be renting for at least the next year! More things are happening around me, and I can't wait to share them soon! The change, the newness, the beginnings freak me out but I have never been so excited (and terrified) for anything more!   

 (Photo credit: The Hubs, isn't he great?!)

Don't let any opportunity pass you by! 

"If I am in a position to punish, chances are very good that I am also in a position to teach. Today I reduce the odds that punishment may be necessary by taking the opportunity to teach." ~Anonymous~

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