I Haven't Eaten Carbs, Gluten, Sugar, Caffeine Or Dairy In Two Weeks, And I Feel ~Fabulous~

I Haven't Eaten Carbs, Gluten, Sugar, Caffeine Or Dairy In Two Weeks, And I Feel ~Fabulous~

Before you health freaks panic, hear me out.

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I should first mention that I have been overweight practically my whole life. Well, probably my whole life, at times, more than others, but nonetheless, self-conscious about 98% of the time. And let me tell ya, hard stuff. It isn't easy never feeling confident in the way you look or truly feeling the D.U.F.F. stuff. Not fun, and nothing against anyone.

For the most part, except for a few bumps in the road medically, this has been my fault.

I'm not going to lie, it gets old, you know, feeling down a lot of the time. It interferes with a lot — the sports you play, the activities that you partake in, the trips you go on, the things you're thinking about all the time. It's not fun to be stuck in your head instead of enjoying the moment because you're worried you might look fat doing something. It's not fun looking through the group photo and while everyone else might be worried about their smile, you cannot see past your size.

It's something I have worked on, getting past my image, and it is something I have gotten so much better about, but just like anything, there are good days and bad days.

Recently, my mom started selling Arbonne. Bless her heart, she finally did something for herself. She is loving it, and I couldn't be more proud of how hard she is working on doing it her best. Well anyways, she did a 30-day challenge back in April, and she saw incredible results. She felt great, slept great, ate great, and looked even better.

The challenge consists of cutting everything toxic from your system and rebooting your metabolism by balancing out the acidic levels in your digestive system. This requires you to cut carbs, caffeine, sugar, dairy, and gluten. Now most people usually say at this point, "So what can you eat?" At which point I explain that I can have any berries, practically anything green, any lean meat, any veggies, and a few vinegars, oils, and nuts. I also get supplements from Arbonne, and am drinking boatloads of water. The program helps you set guidelines and planning tactics, and really helps you to understand that change is in your hands.

It sounds silly, but this has probably been the best thing to ever happen to me. It has been hard, and I have had to sacrifice a lot, but combined with working out regularly, prioritizing sleep, and getting in some me time outside of work, I have truly never felt better.

I haven't measured my progress yet, I am waiting until the end of the thirty days, but 13 days later, I feel more energized than I ever could've with my regular multi-cup-coffee energy. I feel rested, I feel like my skin is glowing, that my eyes aren't as heavy, and that I am much less lethargic.

Shoutout to mom for being my number one cheerleader through all of this, You're the best.

Also, I am not paid to be endorsing this product or service by any means, I'm just a believer in healthy choices (but high-key it's changing my life for the better)

Cover Image Credit:

Erika Glover

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Drinking 'Bulletproof' Butter Coffee And 9 Other Diet Myths That Need To Die

Low carb. Low fat. No fat. Bullshat.

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I want to start this article with total transparency. I don't partake in any crazy or restrictive diet, and yes, I consider myself healthy, in-shape, and happy all year round. That being said, if any of the diets or foods I list below make you happy and you are satisfied with how you look and feel, continue to do that. No matter what I write or post online, I always want people to know that happiness is based on the person and not a label.

However, there are some diet habits that I can scientifically disprove, as well as disprove from how I've seen others approach them.

1. Drinking celery juice is magical

People are hailing celery juice as the cure-all for every ailment, the superfood of the century. Celery juice is over 90% water (Google it), and the rest of it is essentially fiber and micronutrients. That's it. It's not bad for you. But it is not some miracle cure that is going to fix a horrible diet.

2. Eating too much fruit will make you fat

To quote my friend Jordan Syatt, "NOBODY EVER GOT FAT FROM EATING FRUIT." Seriously, quote how high fruit is on the Glycemic Index, talk about the carbs, but really use your common sense here. Do you REALLY think that eating fruit is going to make you fat? Have you ever seen a fit person get fat from having a banana? I'm going to go munch on some cantaloupe while you contemplate that.

3. The time of day you eat will determine how much weight you gain or lose

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A simple fact of fat loss is calories in versus calories out, and so many fake fitness "professionals" want to overcomplicate this (usually to sell some BS information). What it is you are eating, not the time of day you eat it, determines body composition. Two meals or six meals a day, if they both add up to 2,400 calories, it makes no difference.

4. You have to have protein within 30 minutes of lifting

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Ah, the anabolic window, something I believed in for years. The idea that you have to have protein for recovery within 30 minutes to an hour of your workout or you won't gain muscle. While consuming protein both before and after your workouts is ideal for optimum recovery, it's mostly about the amount of protein you consume each day that determines your ability to build muscle.

5. Carbs will make you fat

I won't go into the science too deeply here, but there is evidence showing that an insulin spike from consuming a lot of carbohydrates at once can inhibit lypolisis (the breakdown of fat). This is why people might avoid carbs if they are educated. However, as long as your body is in a lypoliptic (fat breaking down) state longer than a lypogenic (fat creating state), you will not gain fat. How does one ensure this? Calories in < calories for weight maintenance.

6. Butter coffee actually helps you lose weight

You can watch this amazing video above from Healthline, but here's the tl;dr: Butter coffee is professed as an amazing breakfast replacement because it's less than 500 calories. The problem? Those calories are almost all fat (hello, butter) and no other nutrients.

You're turning a five-calorie cup of coffee into something that is actually bad for you long term (LDL cholesterol and all of those horrible things large quantities of saturated fats do to us). From experience, it's better to consume 500 calories of real food. Keto diet aside, does the idea of consuming this much butter every day seem like it would make you lose weight? I'll sip my non-buttered coffee while you think on that.

7. Skinny teas actually work

I think everyone has seen someone from their high school who has posted on Facebook and Instagram about selling detox teas and promising results quickly. Detoxing? Yeah, that's what your liver and kidneys do for you (might I add for free!) every day. Again, fat loss is about calories in versus calories out, along with stress management and exercise.

8. Keto is the key for losing fat hella quickly

I have many, many strong opinions about keto but I choose to withhold them here because I know for some people, that is what makes them happy and I support them with that. What does keto do? It is a high-fat, low-to-no carb diet that forces your body to use ketones (stored body fat) as energy.

Yes, this will make you lose fat because you are literally starving your body. But it is not the "healthiest" way, the most sustainable way, or the only way to lose fat. The reason I don't like keto? Very few people can sustain it in the long term, and even binge on dieting after giving it up (effectively causing more fat gain).

9. You can eat what you want as long as you use a waist trimmer

This has to be the biggest joke I have ever seen before. People ACTUALLY buy these things and think it will magically compress fat out of their bodies because they eat like garbage. Other than liposuction, no physical device is going to magically transform your body.

I'm not mad at the people who want to lose weight but at the snake oil salespeople who outright deceive people. Yes, wraps will make your stomach look smaller for probably 20-30 minutes – it's called water displacement. That's it. Thank you, next.

10. Fats aren't good for you, so don't eat them

I mean, it makes sense right? Fat can make you fat? No. There are different kinds of fats, but the ones you are wanting to limit (you don't have to always avoid them) are saturated fats and trans fats, like those found in red meats and fried foods. Unsaturated fats, like in avocados, lean meat (like fish), and nuts actually help regulate your hormones, provide ample energy, and support many other bodily functions.

Hopefully, you've gained something from this article. So what is my approach to dieting? Common sense and making everything flexible. I am intentional and calculated about all of the foods that I eat, but I don't restrict myself. Doing so allows me to see the results that I want and stay happy. I hope on your journey to figuring out your dieting approach, you find the same happiness.

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