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22 Mindblowing Tips to Make Water Taste Better

It is no surprise that your body must stay hydrated. Drinking water is something you know you need to do. It makes up most of your body weight and is involved in many vital functions, including flushing out waste from your body and regulating your body temperature. Plus, there are so many benefits that come from drinking water.

You know you need to drink more water, but what do you do when you can’t stand the taste of it, or you simply get bored with it. Here are 22 tips that will not only make your water taste better but will blow your mind when you wonder why you didn’t think of this before.

  • Add lemon or lime to it
  • Add cucumber to give it a fresh taste
  • Add fruit to give it a sweetness
  • Enhance water with fresh mint leaves, basil, ginger, rosemary, or cilantro
  • Drink sparkling water or seltzer if you prefer some fizz. It’s still calorie-free, but it’s thirst-quenching
  • Pour in a splash of unsweetened juice
  • Make ice cubes out of no-sugar-added juice and add to sparkling or still water.
  • Flavor with Crystal Lite
  • Add in artificial sweetener
  • Add in a few drops of rose water
  • Add in white or green tea
  • Add a dash of Acai juice blend
  • Keep it at your favorite temperature
  • Use a filter to help it taste better
  • Add ginger
  • Add a little plum wine to sweeten up your water
  • Sangria Water- Mix the following and let steep for four hours: 1-quart filtered water; 4 slices each of lemon, orange, and lime; 1 ripe peach, cut into quarters; 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • Add lavender buds
  • Red Zinger Hibiscus Tea is a delicious way to get your water in
  • Salt- Adding a little salt to water helps your body absorb the liquid more quickly
  • Parsley- Break apart the leaves to get the full flavor
  • Citrus Ice Cubes- Freeze the juice from a sweet and sour fruit like oranges or lemons in an ice cube tray to add a new flavor to your water.
Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

Finding new ways to enjoy water will help you lose weight, stay hydrated, and feel better. Try adding a few different combinations to your water, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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You Should Drink More Water: Here’s Why

Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body, as it needs hydration. Most people do not drink enough water, and they have no idea how crucial this is to their health.

You have probably heard that you need to drink eight glasses of water every day. Making sure to drink 64 ounces of water daily is something that many medical professionals have passed on over the last fifty years. Does this mean they are wrong? No, it simply means that new evidence and studies show people need more than that. If you only drink 64 ounces of water a day, there is a good chance your body is not adequately hydrated, and you are missing out on many benefits that water has. Around 60% of the body is made up of water. You get most of your water from drinking beverages, but food contributes a small amount to your daily water intake.

Now you may wonder why water is so crucial for the body, what benefits you get from water, and how much you should really be drinking every day. You are not alone, as many people are confused and wonder if water is worth all the hype. Yes, it is. 

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Fast facts on drinking water

  • Adult humans are 60 percent water, and our blood is 90 percent water.
  • There is no universally agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily.
  • Water is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions.
  • When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling.
  • Drinking water instead of soda can help with weight loss.

Why is water so crucial for my body?

Water makes up most of your body weight and is involved in many vital functions, including flushing out waste from your body and regulating your body temperature. You might also be surprised to know that it helps your brain function.

Water is also the main component of saliva. Saliva is needed to break down food and keep your mouth healthy. It also carries nutrients and oxygen to your entire body. Reaching your daily water intake will improve your circulation and positively impact your overall health.

Water also helps you absorb essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your food, which will increase your chances of staying healthy.

It also aids in cognitive functioning as proper hydration is key to staying in tip-top mental shape. Research indicates that not drinking enough water can negatively impact your focus, alertness, and short-term memory.

What benefits do I get from water?

Water offers so many benefits, from lubricating your joints to helping with constipation. Here is a list of beneficial benefits you get from drinking water.

  • Lubricates and cushions joints, spinal cord, and tissues
  • Lessen discomfort from arthritis
  • It helps fight off illness
  • Helps prevents constipation
  • It helps prevent kidney stones
  • It helps you absorb vitamins and minerals from your food
  • It helps prevent urinary tract infections
  • It helps prevent exercise induced asthma
  • Helps prevent hypertension
  • It affects your strength and endurance
  • Helps nutrient absorption
  • Help with weight loss
  • Boost your energy
  • Improves your mood
  • It keeps your skin bright
  • It helps maintain blood pressure
  • It helps keep your airway open
  • Reduces the chance of a hangover

How much water should I drink every day?

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, general water intake (from all beverages and foods) that meet most people’s needs are:

•           about 15.5 cups of water (125 ounces) each day for men

•           about 11.5 cups (91 ounces) daily for women

People get about 20 percent of their daily water intake from food. The rest is dependent on drinking water and water-based beverages. So, ideally, men would consume about 100 ounces (3.0 liters) of water from beverages, and women, about 73 ounces (2.12 liters) from beverages.

The number of ounces will increase if you exercise and during hotter months to avoid dehydration.

Make sure to carry a water bottle with you where you go and keep track of your daily intake. Be sure to finish your water an hour before bedtime to avoid nighttime interruptions.

The bottom line is that drinking enough water is very important to your body, mind, and overall health. If you struggle to find ways to drink more water, then find a fun way to get it in, buy a fun color water bottle or a water bottle that tracks your ounces for you. Join a water drinking challenge with a friend or fitness group. Try adding different flavors to make it taste different and determine what temperature you like your water. Do whatever you need to make sure you are drinking enough. Your body will thank you.

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/Certified in Advance Nutrition

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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Celebrating Thanksgiving as a Vegan/Vegetarian

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, look over our lives, remember how blessed we are to have the things we do, and be humble about what we don’t. The holidays are also a great time to give back to those who are less fortunate. Volunteering is always good, and to be honest, it makes you feel good knowing that you have helped. Before you go running off to the nearest homeless shelter or soup kitchen to volunteer, stop and think about the local businesses in your town that could use some help this time of year.  Look to churches, gyms, spas, and boutiques that could use extra services like cleaning the bathrooms and floors. Hand out fliers for their holiday sales. There are so many ways that you can give back, and the sky is the limit.

Kindness will get you everywhere and can change a person’s entire day. One of the biggest struggles that people find during the holidays is food and how much there is. If you are a person who struggles with your weight, this can be dreadful. Check out the article on how to stay healthy at Thanksgiving. One of the other problems with food at Thanksgiving is being a vegetarian or vegan. If you do not eat meat, this holiday can be dreadful with all the turkey around. Never fear; there are many ways to enjoy a holiday without meat. Below you will find five ways to celebrate and survive Thanksgiving as a vegan or vegetarian and some yummy recipes to try.

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Communication
Being open and communicating is the first thing you want to do with all your guests. If you are going to have a house full of gest for Thanksgiving, you want to make sure that they are aware of the menu and that there will not be a turkey served. It is also essential to let them know if you do not want any animal products in your home. Some people don’t care, but if you have strict no animal products in your home, be sure to share that with everyone to avoid a side dish being brought that you do not want. By doing this, you will help keep the peace between you and your loved ones.

Compromise
It is important to remember that the holidays are about the people you are with and being thankful. It is not about the food, so remember when someone suggests bringing an item you might not want on your table. If you attend someone else’s traditional Thanksgiving, it is a good idea to bring a side dish and a dessert that you will eat so you are guaranteed there will be food for you.

Halt the Judgement
Just like anything else, there is a time for expressing your personal views, and time there is not. The holidays are not the time to tell someone why they should or should not eat meat. Unless a person is raised as a vegetarian or a vegan, then it is safe to bet that they were a meat-eater at one point in their lives. It is crucial to think of how you felt when you were judged for your choices, and even if you disagree with someone’s point of view, this is the perfect time to hold your tongue.

Be Prepared
If you have meat eaters over for the holidays, it is essential to be prepared for the many questions that can come from people curious about why you made this lifestyle change. Generally, these questions aren’t spiteful: they’re questions the uninformed have about veganism, so it’s best to be ready to answer them as accurately and patiently as possible. Unfortunately, some people can be judgmental so consider who you invite to your holiday get-together. You might think it rude not to ask your Aunt Ruth to the holidays, but if Aunt Ruth has a habit of blurting things out and speaking before, she thinks it might be more admirable for your other guest not to have her there and less stressful for you. Remember it’s ok to let your aunt go to another relative’s house.

Enjoy Delicious Food
There are many fantastic thanksgiving recipes for vegans and vegetarians. Plan your meal ahead of time to ensure you get all the ingredients you need since most stores are closed on Thanksgiving, and you do not want to be running around last minute. Here is a list of some great recipes that will make your holidays magical.

Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Vegan Stuffing

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

Pomegranate Rice Salad

Apple Crumble

Green Beans and Mushrooms With Crispy Shallots

Vegan Turkey Roast

There are many great ways to enjoy Thanksgiving as a vegan or vegetarian. Still, it is essential to plan and think of the company you will be around if you will be attending a home where there will be turkey and other animal-based products, be sure to talk with the host about different food options that will be there.

If you are not a vegan or vegetarian and attend a dinner of someone who is, then it is vital to be open-minded and try new things; you might be surprised and what you like.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/Advanced Nutritionist

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10 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

The holidays are a great time, and most people look forward to them all year long. You can spend time with loved ones, eat delicious foods, and reflect on everything you have to be thankful for. One of the downsides to the holidays is all the delicious foods we eat, and there is a lot of it for Thanksgiving, which is surrounded by food no matter where you go. People sit down and talk about why they are thankful, eat a bunch of food, and take a nap.

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Thanksgiving sounds like a pretty good day unless you are one of the people out there that spend most of the year watching their weight and staying healthy. The holidays are one of the most prominent times that people fall off their diets and fitness routines and start gaining weight. Don’t worry; you can still enjoy the holidays and the food and not ruin your hard work. Here are ten tips for staying healthy at Thanksgiving.

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#1 Stay Active

Yes, this time of year might have you wanting to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and a good show to binge-watch, but your body is craving some activities. Remember to stay active and get in some workouts so you can burn off those extra calories you are taking in during the holidays.

#2 Portion Control

Watch your portions and use a smaller plate to avoid overeating. You can still enjoy all the delicious foods made, but you don’t need an entire portion of each item. Take a little bit of everything. Split your roll with someone, take a small piece of the pie, and avoid feeling stuffed.

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#3 Feel Satisfied not Stuffed

Feeling satisfied is very important when eating but super crucial during the holidays. The feeling This means that your stomach has too much food in it. Being stuffed or full is actually a bad thing. You should only eat until you feel satisfied. This means that your body is telling you it is comfortable and happy with the food it just had. During the holidays, lots of people make the mistake of eating until they are so stuffed that they fall asleep, which can lead to weight gain.

#4 Make Healthy Dishes

Healthy dishes are one of the best ways to avoid eating things you should not have. If you are hosting dinner, then you are in the perfect spot to make the food healthy. If you are attending someone else’s dinner, make sure to take a healthy side dish and healthy dessert, so you have options. People love different sides, which will give the appearance of generosity and help your diet. Here are four recipes for healthy dishes & desserts you can prepare.
Smashed Green Beans With Lemony Sumac Dressing
Blistered Green Beans With Fried Shallots
Pumpkin donuts with pecan frosting
Mini chocolate pumpkin seed candy peanut butter cups
You can also find many more recipes like this on my Pinterest boards. Follow me there!

#5 Eat Breakfast

Often, people will skip breakfast on Thanksgiving because they are busy cooking, and they know they will eat a ton of food later. Remember that a ton of food is never a good thing. Start your day off with a small breakfast that is full of protein and fiber. Doing this will help you discriminate later when the appetizers come out.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

#6 Avoid Seconds

Avoiding seconds can be hard at Thanksgiving when there is so much food around, and your nosy Aunt Ruth wants you to try some of her famous macaroni dish. Just remember it is ok to say no or that you are full. If you aim to please people, then, by all means, take a bite, not a helping. Try to say no to seconds and remember that there is probably more dessert than you will ever need. Remember that leftovers from Thanksgiving taste amazing the next day, so save your seconds for that. If you keep your portions small the first time around, you will be fine getting a second helping of small portions later in the day. You want to pace yourself and not eat a lot at one time, and this is the best way when there are a lot of dishes.

#7 Watch the Alcohol

No, this is not the surgeon’s general warning about what alcohol can do to you and how you should avoid it. This is simply a tip telling you to watch how much you take in. A lot of times on holidays, yummy mixed drinks and wine are pouring all around. These can be delicious and don’t feel like you can’t partake. Just remember that alcohol has a lot of hidden calories that can add to your daily limit, which can cause you to gain weight. Stick to a glass of wine or a spritzer. A low calories hard cider or beer would work as well. If you are attending someone else’s dinner, bring your own bottle to know precisely how much you are having.

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#8 Eat Slow

Eating slow can be extremely hard to do when there is so much good food around. However, if you take small bites and put your fork down between bites, you will find that you fill up faster and eat less. Even counting to 20 as you chew can be helpful, but this is not always the most fantastic idea when people try to have a conversation with you. Just remember to go slow, and the food isn’t going anywhere.

#9 Be Realistic

The holidays bring lots of wonderful times and delicious foods. It can also bring stress and pressure as you are entertaining and searching for the perfect gifts and clothes, not to mention the stress of paying for all of it. During this time, it would be best to focus on maintaining your weight versus weight loss. Don’t get upset with yourself if you overeat on Thanksgiving or forget to get a workout in. Just keep moving forward.

#10 Work it off

Get in a workout the morning of Thanksgiving and start your day off right. That will help with the balance of the extra calories you take in today. No time in the morning, then try to squeeze one in before bed. Anytime you can find to work out will help. This day can be challenging, so don’t focus on a long workout but go for a HIIT workout that you can do in 5 to 10 minutes. Check out my Etsy store for 5 minutes HIIT workout cards that will give you many different options.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

All and all remember to have a great day and remember what you are thankful for.

For more information on weight loss for women check out my coaching options.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/ Advance Nutritionist

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Maintaining your Diet this Halloween

Halloween is a fun time of year, full of fun costumes, parties, and snacks. Unfortunately, most of these snacks are candy that is high in sugar. Sugar will ruin any good diet as well as make you feel nasty and bloated. Sugar also leads to many health problems, like diabetes, obesity, and bad teeth.

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October is an excellent month in so many ways. The leaves are falling, the weather is changing, and there are pumpkins everywhere. This is also the month that starts the “fall of body destruction,” as we call it here at Mighty Great Fitness. The fall of body destruction means letting go of all of our fitness and health needs when fall hits.

Why do we let ourselves go at the end of the year? That is a great question, and it is not your fault. Well, not entirely your fault. October starts the month of Halloween, and everywhere you go, there are parties and decorations and events and, worst of all, candy. Candy is given out all month long, and not just to kids in costumes. You will find it everywhere; your kids bring it home, the stores are selling it in bulk, the bank has a jar sitting out, and one by one, you find yourself taking a piece or two. One or two pieces can be harmless, but if you do this, even 20 out of the 31 days of October, you have now eaten 40 pieces of candy and consumed roughly 3200 calories and 320 grams of sugar. To be honest, most people consume more than two pieces of candy in a sitting, and if you add in any Halloween parties where there are chips, baked goods, soda, and alcohol involved, you are consuming more than you realize.

The good news is there are ways to help you maintain a healthy diet at Halloween and while taking the kiddos trick or treating.

Hand out non-sugary foods

            If you are having a party or trick or treaters coming to your door, then the best idea would be to hand out toys and non-sugary foods like individual bags of cheese or check mix. That way, you are giving out a great treat and not having candy in your house.

Fill up before

            Even though you are not the one who is getting the candy, that does not mean you won’t be tempted to raid your kid’s candy stash on Halloween. Fill up on good foods before trick or treating or attending a party. Then you are guaranteed not to be hungry and eat the wrong foods.

Walk

            Make sure that you walk while trick or treating with the kids and not stay in the car. Yes, this way is warmer, but walking will guarantee some exercise, and your body will thank you.

Separate your sweets

            Buy snack-size bags and use them for the left-over candy. When you have a sweet tooth, take out one bag and enjoy. Then portion out all of it into the little bagshttps://amzn.to/3CdFz9L and store them away.

Workout

            Get a good workout in the morning of Halloween to help burn off those extra calories, and it would also be advised to exercise again the day after.

Water

            Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to ward off sweet cravings. Have a good-sized water bottle on you and fill it as needed.

Protein and Healthy Snacks

            Keep healthy snacks like turkey jerky bites and nuts on you to help keep you full and satisfied on Halloween.

Halloween is fun and a time to celebrate, so with all the tips to maintain a healthy diet and not fall into the Fall of Body destruction, remember to allow yourself to indulge a little. The key is to retain balance and that you don’t have to overindulge to feel satisfied.

Stay safe and healthy this Halloween.

Lots of Love
Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/Nutrition Coach

 “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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Finding time to exercise with a busy schedule!

Being busy is something that most people deal with most days of the week. Between work, kids, spouses, pets, and actually having some time to relax and be social, it is hard to find time to work out and get decent exercise. You know that something must give, but your workout routine should not be it.

Exercise is essential for your health, and you need to make sure that you are finding time at least three or four times a week to work out for at least 30 minutes. Below you will find tips on how to squeeze a workout into your busy schedule.

Join a 24-hour gym
Being a gym member can come with many perks, but it can also be a considerable expense so make sure it is feasible and affordable before you join one. Once you know that, you can be sure to find a gym that is open 24 hours, has the proper equipment and showers. Also, make sure it is either close to your home or your work so you can get there within minutes. Always make sure to have a gym bag with you or get a locker at the gym where you can keep the stuff you need. That will make it pleasant to get a workout in before work, during lunch, or after work. Do this before work, and you can wear your gym clothes there, do your exercise, shower, and get ready for work.

Jog your commute
Give yourself plenty of time and jog with your kids to school or jog to work. Where you live will depend on how easy this option can be, but if you are within five miles of school or work, you can jog there instead of driving. Make sure to have some cleansing wipes, deodorant, and body spray to use before you start working.

Desk workouts
If you have an office job and find yourself sitting more than you are standing, you can do a lot of exercises right at your desk, like using a body ball chair instead of a regular chair. Check out our article on desk workouts for more tips.

Schedule Workouts
Just like a critical meeting, add your workouts into your calendar. This way, you are reminded to do them.

Exercise when your kids do
When your kids are at an activity like karate or softball practice, use that time to go for a run. This way, you get your fitness on while they do.

Get up early
Waking up early before anyone else does is a great chance to get some alone time and do a workout at the same time. Set your clock for 45 min early a few days a week and get your workout in.

Make it a date night.
Yes, plan a date night with your partner and add in fitness. Go for a run together or spot each other at the gym. Follow it with a good dinner and conversation, and look, you did it all.

Don’t wait for anything.
People spend so much time just waiting for things like the subway, a taxi, the food in the oven. Don’t just wait around. That is the perfect time to jog in place or do counter pushups. Don’t waste any time just waiting for things when you can use those times to be mobile.

Finding time to exercise with a busy schedule can be difficult but not impossible. Remember that your health and fitness are essential, and you owe it to yourself to make time for it.

Stay Safe

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

 “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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Alcohol and Clean Eating

One of the first questions asked over here at Mighty Great Fitness when someone starts a clean eating diet is, what kind of alcohol can I have? This is an excellent question as most alcoholic drinks contain sugar and usually a large amount of it. However, this does not mean that you can’t drink an alcoholic beverage from time to time. It simply means that you must find the right kind of alcohol and keep it in moderation.

First off, alcohol is something you should have in moderation, no matter what your eating plan is. Most drinks are full of calories and additives, which are not suitable for you and lead to weight gain. Alcohol is also highly addictive and can be harmful to people losing weight. Why? That is because most people who are trying to lose weight suffer from an overeating addiction that is easily replaced with alcohol. You do not want to trade one addiction for another. When you start a new diet and exercise regimen, it is highly recommended to meet with a behavioral health specialist to help treat your mental health.

Now, if clean eating is the diet you are starting, you will have to make a lot of changes. At first, it will seem challenging and, at times, even impossible, but it is so worth it, and your body will thank you. First things first, you will want a good clean eating shopping list to keep with you at all times. Second, you will need to go shopping to get those proper foods, and third, you will want to read up on clean eating in restaurants, because this will be the biggest challenge. Once you are set up, you can think about the fun stuff like snacks and alcoholic beverages. Now the bad news is there is no such thing as clean alcohol. When alcohol is processed in your body, it turns into sugar. Rather than focusing on the type of alcohol, focus on the amount you consume. As for a healthier option, red wine is made from red grapes that contain resveratrol, an antioxidant, so having a five fluid ounce serving of red wine every so often may even be beneficial for your heart. Below you will find a list of alcohols you can have in moderation while on a clean eating diet.

Ok’d Alcohol on Clean Eating Diet

Wine made with organic grapes

Low Sugar Gluten Free Hard Cider

Gluten-Free Non-Flavored Vodka

Agave Tequila

Gin

Clear Rum

Mixers

Water

Club soda

Muddled herbs & fruits (i.e., ginger, mint, basil, berries, watermelon)

Coconut water

Kombucha

Splash of fresh-squeezed juice (i.e., grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange)

Remember to have everything in moderation and stay properly hydrated.

Stay Safe

Amanda Jordan
Author/ Weight Loss Coach

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Kids and Coffee Drinking

Yes, the controversial question of when is it ok for a child to drink coffee. You know how it is; you are sitting at the table enjoying your morning coffee when a little head pokes up and asks you if they can have some. Now either you smile and offer a small sip before going on about your day, or you decline politely and tell them when they are older, they can have some.

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Then the day comes when the question is, how old do I have to be to drink coffee? This is an excellent question with many answers. First off, you have to judge how comfortable you feel with giving your child coffee. Then you need to look over the facts and the potential health damages. There are so many different opinions on the matter that over here at Mighty Great Fitness, we wanted to give you some facts and tips about coffee drinking in general, so you can decide when you feel comfortable introducing coffee to your child.

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First things first, we all know that coffee contains caffeine unless you drink noncaffeinated coffee. Caffeine is used for a lot of things like trying to stay awake and helping us focus. This can’t be bad things, right? Yes, they can. When you have to put any supplement in your body to stay awake or focus, it usually means there is an underlying problem that your body lacks, like a vitamin deficiency. As a parent, you are great at watching out for your children and their everyday needs. As an adult, you probably don’t spend enough time ensuring that you get your daily needs, such as proper amounts of sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise.

Here are the upsides of coffee drinking:

Coffee boosts your physical performance.

  •  A cup of black coffee about an hour before a workout can boost your performance and improve it by 12%. Caffeine increases adrenaline levels in your blood, and Adrenaline is your body’s “fight or flight” hormone which helps you prepare for physical exertion.

 Coffee may help you lose weight.

  • Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce your craving for sugary treats and snacks.

Coffee helps you burn fat.

  • Caffeine helps fat cells break down body fat and use it as fuel for training.

Coffee helps you focus and stay alert.

  • Moderate caffeine intake, 1-6 cups a day, helps you focus and improves your mental alertness.

Coffee lowers the risk of death, cancers, strokes, and Parkinson’s disease.

  • Studies have shown that coffee drinkers’ overall risk of premature death is 25% lower than those who don’t drink coffee. This is also associated with the risk of a stroke.
  • Other studies have shown that coffee can decrease the risk of prostate cancer in men by 20%. It also shows that women are less likely to get endometrial cancer. It can also help with reducing the risk of skin cancer.
  • Studies show a 25% decrease in the risk of Parkinson’s disease have shown that coffee causes activity in the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.

Coffee protects your body.

  • Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants that help fight off illnesses.
  • Caffeine decreases your insulin sensitivity and impairs glucose tolerance which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • High caffeine levels in your blood reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease and dementia

Lastly, coffee helps to brighten your mood and fight depression which lowers the risk of suicide.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which elevate your mood. Two cups of coffee a day prevents the risk of suicide by 50 %.

Here are the downsides of drinking coffee:

Coffee can kill you.

  • Yes, if you drink 80-100 cups in a short session, it can kill you. This dose is lethal and will amount to 10-13 grams of caffeine within your body. This is also true if you drink that much water. The good side of this is that you will be sick, and your body will start to reject the coffee once it gets to a dangerous point.

Coffee can cause insomnia and restlessness.

  • Since coffee has caffeine, which causes you to be awake and focused, it can also stop you from sleeping. The recommended maximum amount of caffeine a person should have a day is 400 milligrams (about 4 cups).

Caffeine affects pregnant women differently.

  • Caffeine might be ok for you, but the caffeine will also reach the susceptible fetus when you drink it. The recommendation is to either cut out caffeine during pregnancy or limit it to one cup.

Here are the facts on kids drinking coffee: 

Coffee may increase bedwetting.

  • A survey reported that caffeine consumption of 5–7-year-old kids might increase bedwetting.

Caffeine can lead to health problems.

  • Too much caffeine can lead to insomnia, jitteriness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and increased heart rate. For children only need a small amount for this to happen.
  • Adding in creams and sugars can lead to childhood obesity and cavities.

Caffeine can affect growth.

  • Childhood is the most crucial time for bone strengthening, affecting them for the rest of their lives. Too much caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, which negatively affects proper growth.

Coffee is addictive.

  •  Any kind of caffeine is addicting, and the withdrawal symptoms are real.

All and all, there are pros and cons to drinking coffee, no matter what age you are. However, children do not reap the benefits that adults do, so the later you start, the better. This is the case with anything that has caffeine in it, such as soda and energy drinks. Our recommendation would be to begin towards the end of adolescence when growth and development are slowing down.

Stay safe and healthy


Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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Working out after having a baby

Having a baby is one of the best blessings in life. It also does tremendous things to your body. Your body spends nine months preparing for your baby. It goes through unimaginable changes, and in the end, you feel like it will never recover. The type of birth you had will depend on the recovery time and what your body will be able to do.

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If you had natural labor without any tearing or issues, you would find that you are feeling back to normal around the four-week mark. If you did have some complications, then you are looking at around six weeks. If your labor ended up in cesarean delivery, then the time is 6 to 8 weeks at least, and you have a much tougher recovery because you just went through major surgery, and your body needs time to heal.

Once you are ready to begin working out again, you must first decide if you want to work out with your baby or alone. If you’re going to do your workouts with your baby, read the previous article. If you’re going to get a break from baby and have some “me” time, then look no further. Below you will find eight great workouts to do post-baby that will help get you back on track.

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Before starting any exercise regimen, check with your doctor to make sure you are ready and cleared. Discuss what you can and can’t do.

Yoga
Yoga is one of the best and most relaxing workouts you can do. Yoga is a great way to get acquainted with your body. This workout is very beneficial for mom, as it gets you stretching and is a tremendous mental health workout. Don’t forget to bring an excellent thick yoga mat to use, so your knees and back don’t hurt

Tummy Breathing
This exercise is an easy one, and you can do it an hour after giving birth. It helps relax muscles, and it starts the process of strengthening and toning your abs. Sit upright and breathe deeply, drawing air from the diaphragm upward. Contract and hold your abs tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling. Gradually increase the amount of time you can contract and hold your abs.

Walking Lunges
Lunges are great for targeting legs and butt. Stand with your feet together. Take a large step forward, bending, so both knees are at 90 degrees. Push through the heel of the front leg and return to standing. Repeat on the opposite side.

Squats
Squats are great for targeting abs, legs, and butt. Lower into a squat position, hands touching the floor just in front of feet. Quickly step your legs back so that you are in a pushup position. Step your feet forward just in front of your hands and return to a standing position without pausing.

Hamstring Curls
Doing this exercise is suitable for Targeting your hamstrings and butt. Lie face-up on the ground with arms slightly out to sides, knees bent and calves resting on the center of a stability ball, feet flexed. Lift hips, squeeze abs tight, and bend knees to curl the ball in toward you. Slowly push legs back out, always keeping hips up.

Pushups
Start with hands and toes on the floor, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend at the elbows and lower chest about an inch from the ground. Straighten arms and push away from the floor, returning to start position. Do ten sets of these and move on as they become easy.

Walk
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to burn calories and start shedding those extra layers you might have put on during pregnancy month. It will also strengthen your calves and butt and help to shape them. Add some ankle weights to help burn more calories as you walk.

Kegels
Kegels will help strengthen and tighten the pelvic muscle, which can be great after having a baby and will benefit you throughout the rest of your life. You start by sitting on a bench with feet shoulder-width apart, hands-on-hips. Contract your pelvic muscles as if you’re trying to stop from going to the bathroom and standing. Hold Kegel and return to the bench, then release. Do 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps. Using Kegel balls can come in handy.

You can do many workouts that will help you lose weight and build muscle. Don’t forget to add in a few breathing and meditation exercises to help with mental health.

Be sure to follow Mighty Great Fitness on social media as well for more great articles and tips.

Stay safe…
Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

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Working out with your new baby

Having a baby is one of the best blessings in life. You spend nine months preparing for your baby and watching your body go through unimaginable changes. Finally, the baby is here, and you are ecstatic to have your little one. You are watching them grow and reach new milestones, and you don’t even care that your clothes are covered in spit-up, and you haven’t showered in a week. You take the time to heal, enjoy your new bundle of joy, and learn a new normal around the house. Then the day comes when you look in the mirror and realize that you have been so focused on the baby that you forgot about yourself and your self-care. Every mom is guilty of it, and that is ok. However, now is the time to start putting some of that care into yourself and the best way to get started is to figure out a workout plan. Since the baby is still so young and you don’t want to spend very much time away from them, here are seven workouts you can do with your new baby.

Go for a walk

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to burn calories and start shedding those extra layers you might have put on during pregnancy month. It will also strengthen your calves and butt and help to shape them. You can do this with the baby by using a stroller or a carrier. The carrier will add extra weight, which will help you burn more calories which is always a win-win situation.

Yoga

Baby yoga is one of the best and most fun workouts you can do with your baby. This workout is probably a little more beneficial for baby than mom, but it gets you stretching and is a tremendous mental health workout, which, let’s face it, as a mom, you need it. Here is a great video to follow along. Don’t forget to get an excellent thick yoga mat to use so your knees and back don’t hurt.

Baby Bench Press

The baby bench press is a fun one for you and your baby. Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent. Hold your baby securely on top of your chest. Press your arms straight up, pause and then lower your baby to the starting position. Contract your abs. Do ten reps, rest, and then do two more sets.

Dancing

Dancing provides a light cardiovascular workout that uses all of your major muscle groups and improves balance. It is also fun, and the baby will love it. To spice it up tries intervals of slow and moderately fast music to keep your heart rate elevated. You can do this while holding your baby placing the baby in a carrier. Use a carrier that keeps the baby close to your body and supports the head. Put on your favorite music and dance, keeping your abs drawn in. If your baby is in a carrier, be cautious when turning quickly and avoid bouncing.

Walking Lunges

Hold your baby in a snug position and stand tall. Look straight ahead, take a giant step forward with your right leg, and bend your knees 90 degrees. Keep your front knee over your ankle as your back knee approaches the floor, heel lifted. Push off the back leg and bring your feet together. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Baby Weight Squats
Stand straight and face forward. Hold your baby in a comfortable position. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and push your hips back and squat down. Your thighs should be as parallel to the floor as possible, and your knees should be over your ankles. Press back up to stand. Do ten reps, rest, and then do two more sets.

Peekaboo Pushups

Lay your baby on a cushioned pillow and get into a pushup position. Keep your elbows close to your body, lower yourself down so that you come face-to-face with your baby. Now is the perfect time to say boo or something else they find funny. Then push yourself back up. Do ten reps, rest, and then do two more sets.

You can do many workouts with your baby that will help you lose weight and build muscle, all while sending quality time with your little one. Make sure that your doctor clears you before starting any exercise regimen.

Stay safe…

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

Congratulations to my sole sister Natascha Pearson for the birth of her new baby, Malaki.

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Gluten-free on a budget

Groceries are one of the most significant monthly expenses in any household. Add in a gluten allergy, and your grocery bill just went through the roof. Trying to do it while eating right is even more challenging. Here are ten ways to save money when you are shopping for gluten-free products.

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1. Shop online at places like Thrive that specialize in gluten-free products. You will get coupons and tons of specials when you first sign up, and you can even use Ibotta to get cashback after you shop.

2. Sign up for a gluten-free meal subscription-like Green Chef, and have your food sent directly to your door.

3. Plan your meals a week in advance. Use a weekly menu to post on your fridge so you can shop ahead of time and save money. Doing this will allow you to use the same ingredient for multiple meals and cut back on the spending.

4. Have a shopping list to help keep you on budget. Without it, you will end up buying more than you need and an item you don’t want to bring home. Try to go shopping once a week so you can keep everything in order.

5. Shop at an ethnic market where you can find items like a gluten-free lentil, chickpea, rice, and buckwheat flour at a reasonable price. That also gives you the chance to explore new and exciting foods.

6. Shop at farmer’s markets and get great deals on produce that is grown locally. Shopping locally is great for your body and your community.

7. Cut down on your meat purchases. Meat is excellent and full of protein, but it is also one of the most expensive foods you can buy. Pick a day or two during the week and have no meat recipes, and this will give you more wiggle room in your budget.

8. Evaluate your monthly budget and see if you can reduce some of your extra expenses to add more funds to your food budget. Such as if you subscribe to five or more tv streaming platforms, maybe knock it down to three and add that money into your food budget. Even $20 or $40 more is a vast improvement.

9. Sign up for coupons is one of the best ways to save money. Doing this will help cut down on your food expenses and stretch your budget even further.

10. Buy in bulk whenever possible. Look for specials and buy in bulk when possible so you can stock up on items you use frequently. By doing this, you will shop less and have more money in the budget.

Shopping for gluten-free items does not have to cost you a bunch of money as long as you plan ahead.

Amanda Jordan
Author/ Weight Loss Coach

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5 items to comfort the body if you workout

Whether you are an athlete who works out all the time or someone just starting to work out, you may have noticed the problems that come with it. There are so many benefits to being athletic and doing regular workouts that your body needs, but there are a few things that most athletes forget about.

Once we start putting our bodies through multiple workouts and the inside starts to feel healthier and more robust, we tend to ignore the less sensitive needs of our bodies. You might be wondering what you’re missing with a successful workout, or if you are already super active, you might have notice dry skin or chafing already. Below you will find a list of five items that are essential to you when you work out.

  • Moisturizer
    Your face will dry out as you continue to work out and sweat, and having a good moisturizer is the key to keeping your skin fresh and feeling good. Serums and oil-free moisturizers do the trick without clogging pores. Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is a lightweight option for athletes enriched with Vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid to help bind moisture to the skin. If you are looking for a budget-friendly gel to use, then try Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly
  • Conditioning Body Wash
    After all the sweating you will do during your workout, your body will dry and peel. Finding a good condition body wash like Dermalogica Conditioning Body Wash or BOTANIC HEARTH Tea Tree Body Wash.
  • Healing Hand Cream
    Just like the rest of your body, you will find your hands start to dry and crack. You will also notice that they can blister and callous from weight bars, ropes, and other equipment. The best way to keep your hands in great shape will need healing hand cream. The best part is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a good one. Gold Bond has one of the best healing hand creams out there, but if you have extra dry skin, you should try Eucerin Advance.
  • Chafing Products
    Chafing can be a considerable problem when working out as it can hit multiple areas of the body. The thighs, underarms, and chest areas are the most significant problem areas, but they can happen all over. There are many products specifically for chafing, and they come in all forms, as powder or ointment. However, over at Mighty Great Fitness, we have found the best thing to help with chafing is A&D ointment. If you are looking for a powder, try Anti Monkey Butt Powder, suitable for men and women.
  • Athlete’s Foot Cream
    Athlete’s foot is something many people get, but they don’t call it athletes foot for nothing. Yes, you guess it right! Athletes get it most. This can cause your feet to itch, flake, peel, and burn, and once you get it, there is a good chance it will reoccur. The best idea is to start by preventing it from happening. Sprinkle antifungal powder on your feet and in your shoes daily. If you happen to break out with an infection, then try antifungal creams and sprays like Lotrimin. Continue treatment for one to two weeks after the infection has cleared to prevent it from recurring.

Remember to take care of your body inside and out.
Stay Safe…

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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15 ways to increase your daily steps

            Getting steps in has become the new craze over the last ten years, with everyone wearing steps trackers and trying to get more steps in. This is not a bad thing because most people are unaware of their daily steps and studies show that people tend to believe they are getting in more steps than they actually are.

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            The big question is, how many steps should you be getting in a day? Many factors go into this, such as how active you are and where your weight stands. Believe it or not, bringing in more steps can actually help you to lose weight. Shocking right?

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            The first thing you should do is track your steps for a few days to figure out your average. You can do this with a step tracker like an Apple Watch or Fitbit. or you can purchase an inexpensive pedometer. If all else fails, you can get an app on your phone and track them that way. This is not the most accurate unless you have your phone on you all day long, but it will do the trick. After you have figured out what your average daily steps are, you can see where you fall on the list.

A Sedentary Lifestyle is less than 5,000 steps per day

Low active is 5,000 to 7,499 steps per day

Somewhat active is 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day

Active is more than 10,000 steps per day

            Once you have figured out where you are on the list, you can determine if you need to increase your steps to be where you want to be. If you are looking to lose weight, the number of steps to take can vary depending on your current weight, food intake, and target weight. However, 10,000 steps are a good goal for most people.

A 2018 analysis Trusted Source of 363 people with obesity found that those who took 10,000 steps per day and spent at least 3,500 of those steps engaged in moderate-to-vigorous activity lasting for bouts of 10 minutes or longer experienced enhanced weight loss. (Medical News Today)

            Having a goal of 10,000 steps is a great one, but if you find that your average is 3000 steps a day, you will need to set smaller goals and work up to them to succeed.

            Once you have set your step goal, it is essential to push yourself to achieve it. There are many easy ways to get some extra steps in. Look at the list below to see 15 tips to help you achieve your goals.

15 ways to get in more steps

  1. Go for a walk while waiting to pick your child up from school, sports practice, piano lessons, etc.
  2. Walk-in place while brushing your teeth.
  3. Hide your remote, so you have to get up every time you want to change the channel.
  4. Keep your phone out of arms reach, so you have to get up to send a text or answer a call.
  5. March in place or pace around during a conference call or while chatting with a friend on the phone.
  6. Get a workout done in the morning when you are fresh and have energy.
  7. Go for a walk on your lunch break.
  8. Take the long way around to the bathroom.
  9. Walk-in place while doing the dishes.
  10. Park farther away from the grocery store to guarantee you get more steps.
  11. Instead of meeting a friend for coffee or a drink, meet them at the park for a walk and bring a refreshing green tea beverage.
  12. Join a fitness group that does step challenges and more.
  13. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  14. Take your dog for a walk around the block.
  15. Challenge your partner to see who can get the most steps in one day.

            There are many ways to guarantee more steps and help you live a healthier life. You can find some great step trackers out there without having to spend a ton of money.

Here are three great ones under $200.

Apple Watch 3

Fitbit Versa 2

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Here are three great ones under $100

Fitbit Inspire HR

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Fitbit Inspire 2

Here are three great ones under $50

Willful Fitness Tracker Watch

Amazefit Band 5

Choosice Smart Watch

Whatever you choose will be highly beneficial to your health and fitness.

Amanda Jordan
Author/ Weight Loss Coach

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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Outdoor Summer Workout

As summer continues and the weather is beautiful, everyone is anxious to get outside and play. This is also the time when people are more cautious about their bodies and wanting that beach look. Before you go kicking yourself for not keeping your New Year’s resolution of having the perfect beach body by summer, remember that it’s not about how you look, how you feel, and your health. Skinny doesn’t mean healthy. Maintaining a good eating pattern along with 4 to 5 workouts every week will get you where you need. The best part about summer is there are plenty of ways to work out and enjoy it. The one that people always forget about is yard work and gardening. Yes, these simple tasks not only give you great curb appeal, but they will also help you with your mental health as well as burning calories.

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Doing things like gardening and yard work are a great way to burn calories. You’ll work out all your major muscles by raking, digging, and planting. Do this for an hour, and you got yourself a good workout. You will also stretch and strengthen muscles while promoting cardiovascular health and maintaining bone mass. This is a win-win.

If you are trying to lose weight, add 30 minutes of gardening to your daily or weekly routine to help shed some extra pounds. A half-hour of raking can burns 162 calories, and weeding 182 calories. The sky is the limit, and your yard will look amazing to boot.

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This is also great for mental health and it gives you time to breathe and be alone with your thoughts. Remember to stay safe by using sunscreen and protection when out in the sun, and always drink lots of water.

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

Stay safe
Amanda Jordan
Author/ Weight Loss Coach

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Summer Swimming

Along with all the other great summer activities, swimming is the best when it comes to workouts. This is one of the top workouts you can do that will benefit your body. The best part about swimming is how fun it can be. Think back to when you were a kid, and you couldn’t wait to go to the beach or the local water park. You could swim all day and didn’t think twice about it. The good news is that you can still do this no matter what age you are or your fitness ability. There are many benefits to swimming besides it being fun.

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Benefits of swimming:

  • Keeps your heart rate up while taking some impact stress off your body
  • Builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintains healthy heart and lungs
  • Tones muscles
  • Builds strength
  • Provides an all-over body workout

Bonus benefits:

  • Swimming is a relaxing form of exercise
  • Decreases stress
  • Improves coordination
  • Improves balance
  • Improves posture
  • Improves flexibility
  • Helps with some injuries

Swimming has so many benefits and can help you lose weight and get a fun workout. This can be done in a pool, at the beach, or at a lake. Be sure to follow safety protocol when swimming and always have someone around in case you need help.

Stay Safe
Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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Summer Workouts Indoors

As much as we love to get outside and camp and hike in the summertime. It is not always an option. Summer is full of heat and water play, but many hazards occur in the summer, such as fires and excessively high temperatures. When this happens, you need to head indoors and stay there.

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That is ok because there are still many workouts you can do indoors to keep you healthy. Below you will find 3 great indoor workouts to do in the summer that you don’t need any equipment for.

Reach Under Planks

Planks are a great exercise that gives full-body benefits. This is great for core targeting.

  1. Assume a high plank position on your hands. Ensure your core is braced and your lower back doesn’t sag. Your neck and spine should be neutral.
  2. Lift your right hand off the ground and back toward your left thigh, tapping it with your fingers. Return to a plank.
  3. Repeat with your left hand, tapping your right thigh and returning to a plank.

Mountain Climbers

This is one of the best workouts you can do as you are supporting your own body weight.

  1. Assume a high plank position with your arms extended.
  2. Engaging your core and keeping your spine and neck neutral, drive your right knee up toward your chest. Extend it and immediately drive your left knee up toward your chest.
  3. Repeat for 30 seconds, going as fast as you can.

Side Hops

This is a side-to-side movement. This is great cardio as well as leg and ankle strengthening.

  1. Start with your feet together and your arms bent at a 90-degree angle at your sides. Your knees should be soft.
  2. Keeping your feet together, jump to the right, taking off and landing on the balls of your feet.
  3. As soon as you reach the ground, jump back to the left.

Remember to stay safe in the summer and wear lots of sunscreens and drink plenty of water. Also, be sure to check your air quality before heading out to make sure you are not putting yourself in harm’s way. If the air is bad, stay inside and find stuff to do.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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Summer Workouts

Still looking for some fun summer workouts? There are so many to choose from, but people often forget how easy it is to get a workout in. Building muscle, burning calories, and losing weight don’t have to happen in a gym. It can happen anywhere and anytime. If the heat from the summer is making it hard to find outdoor workouts, then a gym is your best friend. They keep the temperature cool, and you don’t have to worry about heat complications like heat stroke and sunburns. If this is not an issue, then outside, you go for some great summer fun.

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If you are not a fan of the water and kayaking is not for you, then head to the hills for a great hike. Hiking is a great outdoor workout that has many benefits. It is not only good for your body, but it is also good for your mind.

Here are just a few benefits you get from hiking:

  • Lower risk of heart disease.
  • Improves blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Boost bone density since walking is a weight-bearing exercise.
  • Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.
  • Strengthen your core.
  • Improve balance.
  • Burns calories.
  • Helps you lose weight.
  • Improves mental health.
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Now that you know all the benefits of hiking, you need to know about safety. Hiking is great, but it does come with risks as you are outdoors and the weather is not always your friend. You also have to consider how rough the trail is and how your body can handle it. You need to make sure you take the proper precautions when doing any outdoor activity. Make sure to have a good hiking checklist with you to make sure you have covered all your bases.

You also want to make sure you have the right equipment when hiking, such as a pack and walking sticks. You can find some great ones on Amazon for a good price. Check out these deals below.

Hiking is one of the best outdoor sports you could do and, it is super beneficial for your body. Check out local hiking trails and even uses apps like All Trails to get all the information you need on trails around you. As always, stay safe and have fun.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

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Outdoor Summer Workouts

When summertime hits, it can be a magical time. Winter is finally gone, along with the cold weather and snow, depending on where you live. Summer can be such a fun time full of camping, hiking, gardening, farmer’s markets, and so much more.

However, people tend to forget that they don’t want to work out when the weather gets hot. Who can blame them? This year alone, the weather has hit record highs into the high 115 degrees, even in areas like Seattle. This makes life miserable, and the last thing you want to do is work out.

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Never fear; there are still many ways to get a good workout during the summer, so you don’t lose the muscle you have been building or start gaining weight you have worked so hard to lose. Follow this site during the month of July to see all the different ways to stay active in the summer.

One of the best and most fun ways to get a workout during the summer is to take up kayaking or canoeing. The best time to purchase these is in the wintertime when they are on sale, and you don’t mind waiting for slow shipping, but you can still get an inflatable kayak for under $200 on Amazon. However, if you have never kayaked before, renting one for the day would be the best option as you can usually find one for around $35 for the entire day. Paddling is a great workout for your arms and helps you to burn a bunch of calories.

The photo was taken in Moses Lake, WA.

If you are looking for a great summer workout, Kayaking is the way to go. It gets you out on the water for some summer fun and a great workout as well. Be sure to use sunblock and take lots of water with you.

Stay tuned for more fun summer workouts…

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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5 Ways to start Clean Eating Today!

Clean eating has many benefits to your health and can be one of the best choices you can make. Most people run into the problem of going from their regular eating habits to clean eating without making it another fad diet. Fad diets seem like the way to go, but the biggest problem happens after you stop said diet. You not only gain the weight back but normally an extra 10 pounds or more.

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Clean eating is not a diet but a way of life. It has many benefits beyond weight loss, such as lower cholesterol and blood pressure. If you are looking to start a clean eating lifestyle, here are five tips to get you going.

  1. Stock your fridge and pantry with clean food
    Make sure to have plenty of fruits and veggies on hand, as well as stock your pantry with healthy, clean foods like beans, legumes, whole wheat products, and nuts. Fresh vegetables and fruits are ideal for clean eating, as most can be consumed raw immediately after picking and washing. Try to stick with organic whenever possible.
  2. Throw out and donate processed foods
    If you want to go 100% clean, you will need to avoid processed foods. If you are just starting out, you may want to hold on to some of them but limit how much you eat. The best way to do this is to get them out of your house. Throw away what is open and donate the rest to a local food bank. Nothing kills a clean eating diet more than a bag of cookies or potato chips sitting in your cupboard.
  3. Stay away from added sugars.
    Added sugars lead to so many problems like diabetes and heart disease. Not to mention the increased amount of calories you are adding. Sugar is highly processed and linked to several health problems. If you’re trying to eat clean, use small amounts of natural sweeteners occasionally or avoid sugar altogether.
  4. Find substitutions
    There are so many ways to eat clean and enjoy your meals without feeling like you miss out on stuff. Look for substitution to you such as vegetables. Cauliflower has come a long way, and you can now use it as rice, potato, or even pizza crust. Spaghetti squash is also a good substitute for noodles.
  5. Drink water and lots of it
    Water should become your number one source of fluid. Water can keep you hydrated and may also help you achieve a healthy weight. You can added fruits and veggies to the water to give it a natural sweetener as well. Water is the cleanest drink you will find. Having unsweetened tea and coffee is also good.

Clean eating does not have to be hard, but it is an adjustment and will take time; but you will quickly notice how much your body appreciates the clean food and how good you will feel.

Amanda Jordan
Author/ Weight Loss Coach

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Clean Eating Tips

Clean eating is one of the best things you can do for your body. You will feel better, look better, and lose weight. However, staying on a clean eating diet has its challenges, especially while eating out at restaurants, but it always best to put clean and nutritious food in our body. Just like your car, when you put in cheap gas and oil, it doesn’t run as well as it does when you put in premium.

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A clean eating diet focuses on consuming whole foods that are minimally processed and as close to their natural form as possible. By eating this way, you can find a safe and effective way to lose weight, feel more energized, and be healthier. Here are some tips that can help you along the way.

Stay away from Added Sugar

Consuming too much added sugar can lead to many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Instead of sugar, use natural flavoring to give your food and drinks some sweetness.

Stop Eating Diet Foods

Lots of people turn to diet foods when they are trying to lose weight. They go for diet soda and low-fat yogurts. These foods sound good for you, but really they are not. Low-fat yogurt has tons of sugar in it. When clean eating, you want to stick with whole foods with no added sugars like peanut butter and full-fat yogurts.

Eat your Greens

Just like Mom used to say, “eat your veggies.” This is still the same today, but there are better and more flavorful ways to make them. Leafy greens can be a great side to most any meals, and they are full of antioxidants which make your body happy.

Meal Prep

Planning ahead is the best way to stay clean. Prepping meals for the week ahead of schedule will guarantee that you eat clean.

Don’t Drink your Calories

Many drinks are full of sugar, and adding those into your diet without adding in the extra calories and sugar can lead to weight gain. One can (12oz) of soda contains 150 calories and 39g of sugar. This is not good for your health or your waistline.

Don’t Focus on Calories

The key to clean eating is to focus on ingredients and not on calories. Nuts and Avocados are high in calories but super good for you as they are packed with nutrients to keep you healthy, like fiber. Stop looking at calories and start looking at nutrients and ingredients.

Get that Protein

Protein is amazing for the body as it helps it heal and keeps you energized. It is also great for muscle building. Many food items are clean sources of protein like eggs, fish, nuts, beans, dairy, and poultry. These can be added to almost any meal.

Keep well Stocked

Ensure that your refrigerator and pantry are stocked with clean, healthy foods that will help you stay on task for a clean eating diet.

Don’t bring Junk Home

Indulging in something sweet or savory every now and then is ok but keeping things in the house as a box of cookies or a bag of potato chips only guarantees one thing. You Will Eat Them! The best way to avoid fattening treats is to make sure that you do not bring them into your home.

Drink Clean Coffee

Coffee drinks get a bad rap often, which is sad because coffee is a healthy drink by itself. The problem comes when you start adding in sweetened syrups and artificial sweeteners with whip cream on top. Hello hundreds of calories, yes hundreds! To keep your coffee healthy while still giving it flavor would be to go with unsweetened items like honey or agave nectar and some milk.

Remember that clean eating is not a diet but a healthy way to live. By following these tips, you can lose wieght and become healthier. Try incorporating these tips into your daily eating habits and see how much better you feel.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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Eating clean at restaurants

Eating clean is a personal choice and can be super hard depending on where you live and what kind of budget you have. However, the benefits that come from clean eating living far outway the bad. A clean eating diet can lead to better health, lower weight, and feeling better overall.

One of the biggest challenges to clean eating is figuring out how to stay clean when eating at restaurants or fast-food restaurants. Here is a list of things you can order when eating out to follow the clean eating guidelines you are following.

Fast food places make it hard to find clean food as the quicker food is made, the more nutrients they lose. However, most places have some protein bowl or salad you can get. Stay away from anything deep-fried or covered in sauce. Taco places are a good one to go to as they have salads that you can add steak or chicken to. If you can’t find a place that offers something clean to eat them stop at a grocery store and hit their deli section where they will have fresh salads and sandwiches to choose from.

If you find yourself stuck at a place like Burger King with no other option, then go for a burger with no bun and skip the condiments, and add a salad instead if getting fries. It’s best to avoid place like this so you are not tempted to eat something you shouldn’t.

Restaurant eating is more accessible than fast food, but unless you live in a place like California where there are healthy food options everywhere, you will still struggle to keep the food clean. Look over the menu and opt for a protein like a steak, chicken, or fish with a side of steamed vegetables and a baked potato. Many restaurants now have a variety of salads that are full of delicious nutrients. Skip the bread or tortilla chips that come complimentary unless it’s whole grain wheat.

Never be afraid to ask your server what is in the food or how it is prepared. You are spending your hard-earned money to eat at these places, so it is ok to ask for a special request that keeps you healthy and clean.

Here is a list you can add to your phone to help you stay clean when shopping and eating out.

Amanda Jordan

Author / Weight Loss Coach

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Workouts you can do at your desk.

Having a desk job can make it hard to get in a workout and stay in shape. Here are some effective ways you can burn calories at your desk or office.

Steps

Get up and walk. At least once an hour, get up and walk around the office. Take extra steps to the bathroom and break room. Always use the stairs and, if needed, stand at your desk while walking in place.

Sitting Yoga

Desk yoga is a great way to stretch your muscles and help boost you through the day. If you can’t do this while working, then do it before leaving for lunch or after lunch.

Desk Push Ups

Desk push-ups are a great way to build arm muscles and can be done quickly and effectively. Challenge yourself to do 100 of throughout the workday.

Desk Squats

Desk Squats are a great way to build leg muscles as well as tighten your calves and booty. You can even hold on to your desk for support.

Body Ball Workout

Using a body ball instead of a chair at your desk will help you get in some cardio while working. It is also great for your posture. If you need the balance of the body ball but the support of the chair, then splurge for the two in one combo.

Get creative with your office and desk and figure out what workouts you can do. Your body will thank you.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/Trainer

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Living a Clean Eating Life

Clean eating means a lot of different things to many different people. Everyone has their own version of what should and shouldn’t be considered “clean” when it comes to food. At Mighty Great Fitness, we believe that clean eating is essential to maintain a healthy body and lose weight.

What clean eating means to you may be slightly different from what you’ll find in the tips and shopping list you see below. Take what works best for you and leave the rest. Always listen to your body and what it tells you. Your body knows best.

What is clean eating? Clean eating implores us only to eat foods that, by definition, are fresh, whole, and as close to nature as possible. Clean eating encourages us to eat food that is unprocessed, minimally refined, and able to distribute the best in nutrition.

Clean eating is all about eating a little more of this and less of that. It’s about making a conscious effort to pay attention to what you are putting in your body.

There are many benefits to clean eating besides losing weight and feeling better. Clean eating increases the number of plant compounds in our bodies which play a significant role in fighting symptoms associated with conditions like inflammation, menopause, arthritis, and even asthma. Studies show that it can also reduce certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

The best way to start a clean eating plan is to clean your kitchen and cupboards out of junk and processed foods. If you are not comfortable throwing them away, you can donate them to a local food bank. Below you will find a shopping list to help you on your way of clean eating.

Clean Eating Food List:

Whole Grains

  • 100% whole wheat flour (must way whole wheat not just wheat)
  • 100% whole wheat or whole-grain bread, tortillas, hot and hamburger buns, etc.
  • Ezekiel bread
  • 100% whole wheat pasta
  • Bob’s Red Mill™ offers very clean flour varieties, including almond flour, coconut flour, soy flour and many others
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Steel cut oats (no added sugar)
  • 100% whole grain cereals, like Kashi™ 7 Whole Grain Flakes, Grape Nuts and others (check ingredients)

Fats

  • Grass fed butter
  • Avocados
  • Walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Nut oils
  • Grapeseed oil
  • For desserts choose whole whipping cream versus manufactured stuff like cool whip

Produce

  • All fresh vegetables
  • All fresh fruits

Meats and Poultry

Grass fed, pasture raised, or organic meat is always best as it is devoid of antibiotics and growth hormones fed to traditionally farmed animals

  • Fresh red meat (steaks, hamburger, ribs and roasts)
  • Fresh pork (steaks and roasts)
  • Fresh chicken
  • Bison or venison
  • Fresh turkey

Fish and Seafood

  • All fresh fish and seafood, preferably wild caught versus farm raised

Dairy

  • Eggs (pasture raised/grass fed or organic)
  • Organic milk or milk from grass fed cows
  • Nut milks (without added sugar)
  • Soy milks (without added sugar)
  • Organic Greek yogurt
  • Organic soy yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Block cheeses (shredded adds a chemical to keep the cheese separated)

Beans & Legumes

Dry beans are best, canned is okay as long as there is no added sugar or salt

  • Adzuki beans
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Split peas
  • White beans

Canned Items

Look for cans that are BPA free

Should have the “Non-GMO Project Verified” Seal

  • Vegetables packed in water without sugar and low sodium
  • Canned beans with no added sugar and little to no added sodium
  • Pure coconut milk
  • Marinara sauce with no added sugar and little to no added sodium
  • Olives
  • Tomato sauce or paste (no added sugar)
  • Tuna (packed in water)
  • Chicken (packed in water)
  • Fruit packed only in water (no added sugar)
  • Stocks and broths without sugar, dextrose and low sodium
  • Pickles (in moderation due to salt)

Sweeteners

  • Stevia
  • Raw honey (in moderation)
  • Sucanat (in moderation)
  • Organic maple syrup (in moderation)

Condiments and Spices

  • Vinegar
  • Mustard with no added sugar
  • Sugar free ketchup
  • All fresh and dried herbs and spices
  • Tahini
  • Hummus
  • Relish (must not have added sugar)
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Fresh salsa
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Low sodium soy sauce

Packaged and Snack Foods

Should have the “Non-GMO Project Verified” Seal

There are many healthy snack choices that are made with whole food, check labels

  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • KIND™ Snacks
  • RX™ Bars
  • LARA™ Bars
  • These snack bars list their very simple whole ingredients right on front of the package in big bold print
  • Organic 100% Pure Nut Butters – peanut, almond and others are available in brands where the ingredients list is the nut and nothing else
  • Air popped popcorn (check ingredients for anything else added)
  • Raisins, prunes and all dried fruit (as long as nothing else is added, especially sugar, dried fruit is also very high in fruit sugars and should be eaten in moderation, fresh is better)
  • All nuts (plain, raw and unflavored)
  • All seeds (plain, raw and unflavored)
  • 60% + Cacao dark chocolate
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Vegetable chips – a new trend in healthy snacking, you can find green bean, kale, beet and carrot chips, the best ones will have two ingredients, the vegetable and oil. You may want to avoid canola oil due to the oxidative stress it can cause in your body and brain. You can also make your own if you have the inclination and the time.

Beverages

  • Water
  • Milk and nut kinds of milk
  • Naturally sweetened coffee & tea
  • Freshly squeezed juices (fruit and vegetable)
  • Seltzers/Club Soda (without added sugar)
  • 100% pure coconut milk (high in calories, use in moderation)

Listen to your body and dont put anything inside that is bad for you to ingest.

Don’t Buy List:

  • Refined grains
  • White flour and foods made with them
  • White starches, like pasta, rice, or bread
  • Refined sugars
  • Table sugar
  • Sweets, like cakes, cookies, ice cream, soda, etc.
  • Items that come in a bag, box, bottle, or package with more than 5 ingredients, preferably less than 4, and none of those should be sugar or trans fats.
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Fast food
  • Junk food
  • Canola oil (due to it causing oxidative stress in the body and brain because of the molecules changing in a molecular structure during processing)

Make sure to listen to your body because you only get one. Treat it right.

Disclaimer: This publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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Signs of Binge Eating

Binge eating is an eating disorder that most people don’t realize they have. Just like an overeating addiction, it can be done subconsciously. Binge eating disorder is characterized by regular episodes of extreme overeating and feelings of loss of control about eating. It is believed to be one of the most common eating disorders in the United States.

Binge Eating Disorder - Dr Albert Toubia

Binge eating typically starts during your childhood but can reach early adulthood. Sometimes it will develop later in life, but this is not as common and usually follows a tragedy.

Symptoms of this disorder are similar to bulimia and overeating. For instance, you may typically eat very large amounts of food in a short amount of time. You may notice the overwhelming feeling that you can not control your urge to binge eat.

Common symptoms of binge eating disorder
Eating large amounts of food rapidly
The uncontrollable need to eat
Continuing to eat until uncomfortably full
Eating when not hungry
Eating large amounts of food
Eating when depressed, ashamed, or sad
Eating when you feel guilty
Being overweight or obese

If you struggle with a binge eating disorder, the risk of medical complications can increase. Binge eating can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type two diabetes. If you answered yes to some of the following symptoms, please see your doctor go over this or contact the National Eating Disorder Organization.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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Do you overeat?

Overeating is something that a lot of people do. It is also something that they are not aware that they might do. Overeating can cause many health issues for you, such as obesity, high cholesterol, type two diabetes, and many more.

Photo by Klaus Nielsen on Pexels.com

First, you have to figure out if you are overeating and the signs that this is a problem.

If you answered yes to any of those, you might have an eating disorder. That is ok, a lot of people do. Food is one of the easiest things to become addicted to because you have to eat to survive. You can’t just stop eating. If you realize that you are overeating, you can do lots of things to help break the pattern. First, it is important to figure out why you are overeating. Are you afraid to waste food? Do you eat for comfort? Look over the list below by precision nutrition to see why you might be overeating.

The biggest thing to remember if you realize that you are an overeater is to not panic. You are not alone, as a lot of people struggle with this. The key is to be aware, so you can work on it and progress over time. Remember, this will not stop overnight.

Cheat day design has an awesome list of dos and don’ts that you can print out and keep on your fridge to help you stop overeating.

One of the best ways to help avoid overeating is to portion out your food. Getting portion control containers can help a ton. Try small containers when you are on the go. Amazon sells some great portion control containers and plates.

If you find yourself struggling so much that you need help, look for a local eating disorder group or contact me for some personal coaching. I now do remote coaching as well. Remember, you are not alone.

Amanda Jordan
Author/ Weight Loss Coach

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Fitness & Edibles

There is so much hype and stereotypical vibes when it comes to cannabis and the pros and cons of it. Especially when it comes to fitness and health. Many people wonder if they can partake and stay healthy. The answer to this is yes.

Cannabis can be found in many different forms, but we are going to talk about edibles for the sake of this article. Edibles are a form of food or drink containing CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). When eating edibles, you absorb THC in your bloodstream. This will give your body a relaxing feeling that can help you sleep and destress. Sounds great, right? It can be, but the question is, is this healthy, and what the pros and cons of eating or drinking edibles are?

CONS

The biggest con of edibles is that a person can consume too much if they are not careful. Just like food, the THC absorbs in your intestines, so the more food in your system, the longer it can take for you to notice the effect it has on your body. Sometimes it can take hours to notice the edible effect, and if you are not careful, you can overdose. The overdose effect is not the same or as harsh as it is with a serious drug, but it can make you physically sick if you ingest too much. Another problem is you won’t know that you have had too much until you are sick and your body is trying to rid itself of the cannabis. These feelings can be scary intense and cause you to panic. Don’t worry; there are many ways to avoid this. First off, make sure that your edible is coming from a trusted place and that you know what is in it. Such as how much THC is in a serving. If you want to keep it healthy, make sure there are no artificial flavors or sweeteners in it. Start by eating a small amount the first night and see how you feel hours later. If there was not much of an effect, you could try a little more the next time. Remember to consider how much food is already in your system, as that will cause the effect to take longer to notice. Also, make sure to have someone around who can keep an eye on you if you need help.


PROS

There are many pros to edibles. The first one is there is no smoke damage to your lungs, like when you smoke marijuana. You can find edibles in everything now, like granola bites, chocolate, protein powder, and butter. This makes it a healthy way to eat or drink it. As always, start with a small amount until you know what your body can handle. This is great to have at night, especially if you suffer from insomnia. Follow this with a short meditation and goodnight’s rest. Rest is essential for the brain and body to function as well as your weight loss. If you are a cannabis user and want to keep it inside your health and fitness routine, this is a great way to do it.

As always be safe and listen to your body. It really does know what it needs.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

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Create a Home Gym

Having a Home Gym can be wonderful. There are many benefits to creating a gym inside your home. The biggest benefit is the money you will save by not shelling out money to a gym every month. You won’t be paying for gas to commute back and forth to the gym, and you won’t be spending extra money on travel/gym products.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Another benefit to having your own home gym is the luxury of working out when you want to and not when the gym is open. You have no travel time and everything you need is right there, such as your shower, clothes, and makeup. No more grunting from the person next to you at the gym, and best of all no comparing yourself to the other people at the gym.

The best part of creating a gym at home is you don’t need overpriced gym equipment to get a good workout in. You just need a designated spot in your house/garage/attic to create your space.

Here is a list of items you can purchase to get in a really great workout.

Resistance Bands are versatile strength training tools. They’re lightweight and portable and help with strength training and you can get them for under $20.

A set of Dumbells are great for some muscle building. Pick the weight that is challenging for you but not impossible.

Jump Ropes are a great workout that can be done inside or out. Jumping rope is a full-body workout, so it burns many calories in a short time. For an average-sized person, jumping rope might even burn more than 10 calories a minute.

Floor mats are great for your gym floor so you have stability and don’t hurt your knees on the hard floor. You can get one pack that will create a perfect gym space for under $30.

Total Gym, if you are looking for one piece of equipment that takes care of everything then the Total Gym is the way to go and it cost under $500 which is cheaper than a yearly gym membership. Cardio can be done anywhere with no equipment but strength training is harder. You can find a great one on Amazon or even check your local thrift stores or a gently used one.

Having a gym at home has many luxuries but remember you will need to be motivated and have the self-discipline to workout at home and not binge-watch Netflix which can be more fun but definitely not as rewarding.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

 “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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Safety Tips for Outdoor Fitness

Exercise is extremely important when maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Most people feel that diet is all they need to achieve the health and body they desire but this is not true. You have to include exercise in your weekly routine. Now, before you start thinking that you don’t like working out remember that there are many ways to get a workout in. If you haven’t found the one you like, you need to keep looking. Exercise can be fun and something you enjoy once you find the right one.

Outside exercise is something you can do all year long no matter where you live. From surfing to snowboarding, to soccer and swimming there are tons of different activities to choose from. However, before you venture out with your new workout, read these safety tips below.

  1. Set achievable goals for yourself. Realize that the heat and cold weather can have various effects on your body.
  2. Workout at the right time of day. During the summer choose the cooler mornings and evenings to avoid heatstroke and dehydration. In the winter choose daylight and above freezing temperatures to avoid frostbite and hazardous areas.
  3. Always have plenty of water with you, and drink it.
  4. Listen to your body and when you feel that it needs a break, then take a break.
  5. Consider working out with a buddy to help monitor each other and ward off the dangers of being alone.
  6. Wear the proper attire when working out. If you are running, make sure you have the right shoes and lightweight clothes. If you are snowboarding, make sure you have the right insulations and boots.
  7. Remember that the sun gives you a great amount of vitamin D but it is not always our friend. Remember to wear sunblock and proper eyewear.
  8. Always have a snack with you. This will help you avoid dips in your blood sugar and it’s always best to have a huge protein snack with you as well.
  9. Make sure to have a cell phone with you in case of an emergency. Even if you don’t have a cell phone plan you can always dial 911 from any charged cell phone.
  10. If you venture out alone be sure to let someone know where you are going and the route you plan to take. This is best in case something happened they would know where to look for you.

These are just a few tips to help you get going when you are exercising outdoors. The Mayo Clinic offers some great advice on winter safety when exercising outdoors. Check out this article for more information.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

Three Things No One Will Tell You About Weight Loss

Losing weight can be one of the best things in life, especially if you are overweight and unhealthy like I was. Buying new clothes and taking new pictures and overall feeling better are the many benefits that come from losing weight, but no one ever tells the bad stuff. I don’t know; maybe saying bad stuff is the wrong way to put it, but I know that there are things I was unaware would happen once the weight came off.

If you are joining me for the first time, I am Amanda Jordan, and I have personally lost 100 pounds, and I am now not only an author but a fitness coach as well. Click here to read more about my journey and how I keep the weight off and stay healthy.  

Losing weight has literally saved my life, and throughout the entire process of learning how to be healthy, no one ever told me that there were some adverse side effects to losing weight.

1. Hello Wrinkles
Yes, wrinkles suddenly start to appear as you get smaller. If you are obese like I was, you have probably noticed that you don’t have a lot of wrinkles as you age. One of the best parts of being curvy and plump is that your face is also round and plump. Up until the last few years, I was always told how young I still looked. I loved running into people I went to school with because they always looked so much older than I did. Well, as the weight comes off, it comes off all over, including your face, and guess what? Those aging wrinkles have been hiding under your smooth, plump face, just waiting to come out. Can we say, “Hello, face cream!” 

Never fear this is all part of getting older and getting healthier. One of the greatest tips I have found to help my face is water. Yes, water is the key to a bright look because your skin needs hydrations just like your body. Check out my article on the many benefits of drinking water and if you are someone who does not like the taste of their water, then here are 22 ways to make it taste better.

2. Loose Skin
Loose skin is one of the worst side effects of losing weight. It makes sense as we get bigger, our skin stretches to cover all the excess fat we have taken on, which means once we lose that fat, the skin has no place to go but down. Skin can be hard to manage, especially as you get older. When we are young, our skin can bounce back pretty well, but as we get older, it is not so easy, and the more weight you have to lose, the more skin will progress.

Making sure that you are doing strength training exercises while losing weight will help you build muscle, and the loose skin won’t be so bad. If you end up with a lot of excess skin that you notice to become a problem or even painful, then I recommend that you consider a body lift to remove excess skin. This procedure can be costly and is rarely covered by insurance, but it might be an option to consider.

3. You said WHAT?
After weight loss, one of the hardest things you will deal with is the over-dramatic comments that people will say to you. Yes, we all love compliments, and hearing someone say, “Wow, you look fabulous,” is a fantastic feeling. We love that people notice our hard work, and it can be motivating to keep working hard when someone compliments us. No one tells you that sometimes people can be over the top, and words can hurt. You will start to hear comments like, “Whoa, you lost a Ton of weight.” I don’t know about you, but being compared to a ton does not make me feel good. That also goes hand in hand with people who suddenly start coming around again once you lose weight because they were embarrassed to be seen with a fat person, but more on that later.

The plus side of this is that, for the most part, people are trying to compliment you, but they are struggling to find the right words, and in the end, they just keep telling you how fat you used to be. I have found that just nodding and smiling usually helps, but if a person goes too far, I remind them that I am aware of how big I was, they change their tone.

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

These are just a few things to be prepared for as you continue your journey to a healthy life. Always remember that this road may be challenging, but it is so worth it. I wish I had been warned about this ahead of time, as it would have saved me a lot of grief.

Lots of love
Amanda Jordan

Never Going Back… Part 6

Thank you for joining me for the final piece of my journey. If you are just now checking out my blog, please make sure to check out the first five parts of my journey on my blog site.

June 2021

The sad truth is that there is an underlying problem when a person is overweight. Being overweight is one of the most challenging obstacles to face in life and not something I would wish on anyone. At least it was for me, and I didn’t think I had a problem. I knew I was overweight and unhealthy, but I guess my mind’s eye still believed I was just a curvy “real woman” and not a morbidly obese one. I still hate that term, and I have never been a fan of the traditional BMI chart that goes by how tall you are and how much you weigh. Which is not very realistic, and it does not tell you how healthy you are.

When I found out I was approved for bariatric surgery, I was relieved as I thought it would fix everything. I have never been more wrong in my life. My doctor informed me that I would need to continue losing weight while waiting for my surgery day, attend a seminar about the surgery, and meet a new dietician. I was sad to leave mine behind, but he informed me that this person specialized in bariatric procedures and would help me succeed.

After getting back home, I was motivated to stick with the program and lose weight. However, I did not anticipate gaining any, which I did precisely. Remember, in my last post, My New Life, I mentioned that I did a no-carb diet the previous week to be sure to get the weight off. Well, as soon as I went back to eating normal, I gained it back. A week later, and six pounds added back on, I started to question if I should have surgery because I felt like I had not learned enough. I do not recommend a no-carb diet for many reasons that I will discuss in a different post.

I went through the seminar and learned everything about the different types of bariatric surgeries, the risk, and what would be best for me. I had decided to go with the sleeve like the surgeon recommended. I was packing up when the surgeon speaking that day explained a few things that everyone needed to know before having weight loss surgery. I remember this list like it was yesterday.

Weight loss surgery does not:

  • Take away your cravings for sweets
  • Stop you from overeating
  • Change your mental health
  • Make you love yourself
  • Guarantee you won’t gain the weight back
    Guarantee that you will lose a lot of weight
  • Stop you from finding a new addiction
  • Mean you never have to work out again

They told me that sleeve surgery typically loses about 25% of their body fat. I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized I could gain it back. Why go through something this major if I could gain it back? Next, I headed to see the dietician, a woman named Kathrine, who I loved right away. She was blunt and funny, and she told me she could help me be very successful, but I would have to want it, and I did. I wanted so badly to be healthy and to look on the outside the way I felt on the inside. She explained that most people stop losing weight about 18 to 24 months after the surgery, and then their bodies go back to normal as far as metabolism. They booked my surgery, and I left, realizing I still needed to think it over. My amazing and supportive husband reassured me that I could change my mind if I wanted to, so I should think about it.

I was still trying to decide if I wanted the surgery when my mom told me she was going in for open-heart surgery because her main valve was deteriorating. I was shocked and scared that I would lose her. I was also afraid because I knew I had diabetes and high cholesterol, but I wasn’t thinking much about heart disease. I started to think over my family tree, and it hit me like, a truck. My dad had open-heart surgery a couple of years before, and his mom had open-heart surgery. On my mom’s side, her dad and one of her brothers died of heart disease, and one of her sisters had already had multiple heart attacks. I realized just how serious it was for me to become healthy.

Me and Mom May 2016

I continued with the program, and it was the day before my surgery. I had created a small group of friends and family to support me through this. I didn’t tell many people because I was afraid I would be judged or accused of taking the easy way out. If you have ever had or known someone who had weight loss surgery, you know how hard they worked to get there. However, many ignorant people in the world don’t take the time to learn, and they are the ones who will judge you the most. I knew that would not be good for my mental health, so I only told ten people.

I finished the program and did the horrible two-week pre-op diet of shakes and broth, and it was the day of my surgery. This program ended up taking me an entire year to do, but I had lost a total of 31 pounds and 48 inches in my body. I was feeling good. To be fair, I lost 15 of those pounds in the two-week pre-op liquid diet, but I was feeling good. I was nervous but so excited to see the changes that would happen. I was ready for my new life, and I would not look back. I would love to say that is where it ended and that I lost a bunch of weight and was very successful with the surgery. Sadly, that was not the case for me.

Ready for surgery

I started to lose weight right after the surgery; most of it was muscle. I could begin to see a change in my body, and I was happy. I was slowly learning to introduce myself back into my body, and I felt like I was going to the doctor every couple of days. By my two-week post-op appointment, I was down another 12 pounds. I was ecstatic, and I felt like I was going to lose so much. By week eight, I was down another 7 pounds. I took it easy and healed, and by month three, I was back to normal. I went in for my appointment feeling like I must have lost a bunch and was ready to see the scale under 200 pounds. You can imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale and found I had only lost 3 pounds. Even my dietician was surprised, and we started going over my diet and exercise to try and understand what had happened. She ran a large blood panel to see what it showed. It showed good things like my A1c being lower and my cholesterol going down. However, my thyroid was more out of wack than ever. She immediately set me up to see an endocrinologist to see what could be done.

I met with the new doctor who changed my medication and told me not to get discouraged as many people have had a thyroid condition and weight loss surgery with no problem. She also warned me that just because I had surgery didn’t mean it would fix my hypothyroidism, and I could still struggle to lose weight. Talk about your fine print. I went home and reassessed everything, and I was feeling good. I figured I would be happy to get down to 199 pounds and a size 14 pair of jeans. I still had at least 18 more months before my body would go back to normal, and I was confident I would get there.

I kept up with the program and even joined a bariatric support group, but it turned out hearing everyone talk about how much weight they were losing was not doing my mental health any good. By six-month post-op, I was only down 3 more pounds, and I could not believe how slow it was going. That was it; after that, I stopped losing weight altogether, and by my first post-op anniversary, I was starting to gain the weight back. I was devastated. To this day, I am not sure why this surgery was not as successful for me as it is for others. I don’t know why I didn’t keep losing after that. I knew with my preexisting condition that it could be more challenging, but I had no idea it would be like this for me. After that, I sunk into a depression, and by January of 2020, I was back up to 215 pounds. I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands, so I sat down with my husband, who was starting to put weight back on, and we both agreed we had worked so hard and had already come so far to go backward. Even though the surgery only resulted in a 23-pound loss, most of which I gained back, I knew I had learned so much from the program. I also know that bariatric surgery can be very successful for some people and don’t consider my experience the same as someone else’s.

1-year post-op

It was then that I realized my biggest mistake was telling myself I would never look back. I had to look back at my life, or I was never going to know how far I had come. I set my new year’s goals and decided my word for 2020 would be to Grow as I would grow as a person and live a healthy life. We decided to quit the gym because of the distance and time it took to drive there, and we ordered a treadmill and a home gym because, honestly, you only need the basics to be successful with workouts. I was ready to start again, and then the world fell apart.

As you know, 2020 was horrible all around as we were hit with the coronavirus all around the world. The pandemic hit, and everything shut down. I was glad we had already quit the gym by then. I was finding it hard to stay motivated in such a dark time, and with it being winter and cold, I did not want to get up early and work out. To top it off, my business came to a screeching halt because of the pandemic. I was writing books about traveling on a budget during this time, and I was a part-time substitute teacher. Overnight I went to having no income at all, and that was scary.

I decided to create a fitness group on Facebook for my husband and me and invited a few friends to join who were looking for some tips on weight loss and being healthy. I figured this would be the perfect motivation to keep up my health regimen, and I could help a few friends along the way. That ended up changing my life entirely as I learned and took a class on nutrition and health. My fitness group started to grow with more people looking for tips and help, realizing my true passion for helping people. I have always loved helping people, but this was different, and the amazing thing was as I was helping others, I didn’t realize I was helping myself. I started finding fun workouts and challenges to do. The weight and the inches started coming off, and the great thing was I didn’t even notice. By July of 2020, I was down to 199 pounds, so I decided to get certified as a weight loss coach, open Mighty Great Fitness, and really help others.

Today, I am 100 pounds down and a size 10 in jeans and loving life to its fullest. My cholesterol is good, my diabetes and sleep apnea are gone, and my thyroid levels are normal with medication. I feel great and love teaching others about health and nutrition, and I recently became certified in advanced nutrition. My journey has been a long one that has been hard and scary. I have often wanted to quit and almost did, but I realized that my past is an essential part of me that I can’t ever forget. I will never again go back to that unhealthy and unhappy lifestyle, but I will always look back and remember where I started.

Amanda Jordan

Author/ Weight Loss Coach

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My New Life… Part 5

Let me start by telling you that this path has not been easy or smooth. There are many times I have fallen and stumbled and, most of all felt like giving up. I thank God I didn’t because my life has never been the same.

As I stated in my last post, The New Me, I have an addiction. I am addicted to food, and I can’t get away from mine, unlike other substances that most people are addicted to. I need food to live and be healthy. Which meant I would need to learn how to break this addiction. Let me start by saying that I don’t really believe we are ever truly healed of our addictions, but I do think we can learn to say no and figure out why we became addicted in the first place. For me, this started in therapy which was the last place I expected to get any help. I was lucky enough to have a therapist to help me realize I had an addiction and understand how it started.

When I was only three years old, my parents got divorced, and my mom was not in a good place, so it was agreed that I would live with my dad until she could find a stable place to live. My mom was not always the most stable-minded person, and she struggled with many insecurities and control issues. My dad also has a controlling personality, and I will never understand how these two people got together, let alone fall in love. I am glad they did because that is how I was created. After they divorced, my mom took off and bounced around from place to place and man to man, at least that’s how it seemed. There was a time I went a year without seeing my mom, and I waited for her to get her life together so I could be with her. My dad did everything he could to make up for being a single parent, but it was hard for him, and he relied on help from my grandma and our neighbor to help watch after me.

My dad and me

My grandma was like most grandmas, constantly buying me goodies and baking snacks, and there was always an endless supply of candy and chips at her house. My dad often had to work late, and sometimes he could not be home until six or seven at night. We lived on top of a mountain that is still very remote today, and so my dad taught me how to cook food for myself when I got home from school. By the time I was six years old, I would get off the bus and walk the mile to our house, then go in and lock the doors. I would make myself a can of chicken noodle soup, have it with some Doritos and Cheese Wiz, and wash it down with a soda. That became an after-school snack for me. Nobody told me that it was a meal and an unhealthy one at that. My dad always felt terrible that my mom had left, so he wanted to give me things that made me happy, and food made me happy. He always ensured I had easy and convenient food around and lots of snacks. Later on, my friends would love to come to my house because it was always stocked with chips, soda, and candy. I ate as much as I wanted, when I wanted, and no one ever told me that I should eat healthier.

Always had food around.

As a child, I had a fast metabolism and enjoyed running and playing outside, so I never gained any weight until I was an adult and all of that changed. Going through therapy helped me realize that I used food to comfort and reward myself. When my mom left, they bought junk food to make me feel better. When I did good, they took me out for ice cream. I was able to piece together that when I am sad and abandoned, I eat to feel better, and when I am happy, I eat to celebrate. There was never a time that food was not involved. Which meant I had to change my entire way of thinking. Luckily, I had a therapist who was able to help me work through the process, and she even gave me tips to say no to food. I only needed to see her twice for the program, but I ended up seeing her for a couple of months until I knew I could go at it alone.

My husband and I continued the program, and I worked so hard, but the weight was hardly moving. I was starting to feel better as I approached the five-month mark of the program; my doctor was concerned that I had only lost 10 pounds. He knew how hard I had been working alongside my husband, but for some reason, the weight was not moving the way he thought it would. He recommended that I talk to a surgeon about having a Sleeve Gastrectomy where they would remove part of my stomach. I didn’t like the idea, but I didn’t know what to do because my weight was now driving a wedge in my marriage. My husband was down forty pounds, and everywhere we went, people gushed over his weight loss and how good he looked. I was so proud of him, and I made sure to celebrate his achievements, but he could tell how jealous I was. I tried to hide it, but I was starting to sink into a depression. I was terrified that he would keep losing weight and that I wouldn’t. I fear he would eventually leave me for someone who wasn’t fat. He tried to reassure me all the time that this would not happen, and he thought I was beautiful and sexy. I sure didn’t feel it, so he started hiding his weight loss from me, and if someone complimented him, he would change the subject. I hated seeing him do this. He had every right to be proud and boast about it, and he was working so hard. I decided to meet with the surgeon to see if surgery would help me.

Five months into the program

When I sat down with the surgeon, I was sure he would tell me that I was not a good candidate for surgery. He looked over my charts and told me that my health issues were probably why the weight was coming off so slowly. I was working hard, and I had learned so much, but my body was fighting against me. He figured the surgery could help me out with that. He said he would get everything going, but the only way I could have the surgery was to lose another 8 pounds, and I had a month to do it. I felt devastated and defeated. How could I lose 8 pounds in one month when it took me five months to lose 10? He explained that it was a percentage based on my starting weight, which was already set when I started the program. I never figured I would be having surgery, so I ignored its details. I decided to push everything into overdrive and worked hard. Five days before the completion date, I was still 3 pounds over, so I decided to go against everything I had learned, and for the next five days, I ate no carbs at all. When I weighed in on the final day, I had not only lost the 3 pounds I needed, but I lost two more on top of it. I had met all the requirements and lost weight, and was approved for surgery. I was relieved because the surgery would fix everything, and I would finally be skinny and feel good, right? I would soon learn I was wrong, and I still had so much to learn.

Stay tuned for the final post of this series… Never going back.

Amanda Jordan

The New Me… Part 4

My journey to being healthy has been long, and it has not been easy. In my last post about learning to love myself, I discussed how I weighed almost 280 pounds and had multiple health problems. Luckily, I had a good doctor who was able to help me get started on the right path.

Amanda 2020

After getting set up with the proper medication, I was set up with 12 appointments with a dietician. On my first visit, I was excited but, to be honest, a little frustrated. I didn’t understand what this lady would tell me that was any different from any book or magazine article I had already read. I knew what I was supposed to do, and I knew the problem was that I was not following a healthy diet or lifestyle. I went in and sat down and waited for this lady to tell me all the things I already knew. Janelle was the lady’s name, and she was sweet and soft-spoken. She reminded me of that caring woman who goes to church and takes care of everyone’s kids. I felt like we would clash as I sat in the chair in her office covered in tattoos. She smiled at my husband and me and explained who she was, how she became a nutritionist, and how her program worked. She explained that she would start by evaluating our eating habits and slowly make changes over the next 12 visits until we were where we needed to be. I use this practice in my own business today. 

She then asked me to run her through my typical day of food. Easy enough, I mentioned what I had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the day before. She then asked me about snacks, which I told her I don’t snack or eat that much. The sad thing is that I believed this. She smiled and handed us each a notebook. She told us that we were to jot down everything we ate and when we ate it for the first week. That seemed simple enough, and we were on our way.  I left still feeling frustrated as I was hoping for a diet plan to start following, but I did what she said. Over the next week, my husband and I wrote down everything we ate. I slowly started noticing how much I was writing things down. My meals were not a problem, but I was snacking throughout the day and all the way to bedtime. I had no idea how many calories I was taking in, so I started using MyFitnessPal to track my food. My goal was set at 2200 calories a day, and I took in almost 3000 daily. I was shocked as I felt like I didn’t eat that much.

At my next appointment, I showed her my food journal. She looked it over, and to my surprise, she was not judgmental. She asked me what I noticed from writing everything down. I told her that I realized I was eating more than I realized I was. She nodded and continued to look over my journal. She looked confused and asked me, “What is a Hawk Box?” I explained that this was McDonald’s newest promotion and that for $15, you could get two Big Macs, two fries, and two 10-piece chicken nuggets for $15.

She just stared at me for a minute in silence. I didn’t know what to say, so I told her that my husband and I would get it and split it with each other. She looked back at my food journal and said, “I see you are also getting a large soda with it.” I didn’t understand where she was going with this, so I told her it was because the box didn’t come with a drink. She smiled sweetly and said, “Ok, for this next week, I want you to get rid of any soda you have in the house, and if you want a soda to go to the store and buy one soda. Do not buy any to keep in your house.” I was annoyed because I liked soda and didn’t know what else to drink, but I knew I needed to listen to her, so we went home, and since we only had a few sodas left, we decided to finish them up. For the first couple of days, I could feel my body going through withdrawals; I would get headaches and was very cranky. I would eventually cave and drive to the store and buy one 20oz soda. I did this for a couple of weeks until I realized I didn’t want to go to town every time I wanted a soda. I started buying vitamin waters and having those in the fridge. I was so proud of myself. We also stopped buying the Hawk Box even though I didn’t know the problem since we were sharing.

It was time for our one-month appointment, so we booked all three in one day. The first stop was to our regular doctor for a weigh-in. I stepped on the scale, and yippy, I was down to 274 pounds. I had lost 6 pounds in one month, and I was so happy. Jeremiah weighed, and he was down to 265 pounds. He had lost 28 pounds in one month. I should have been happy for him, but suddenly, the 6 pounds that I had been so proud of just moments ago felt like nothing. I tried so hard to be happy for him, but to be honest, I was pissed. Not only did he now weigh less than I did, I knew I was working harder than he was. I had started eating more greens and portion sizing my plates, I only drank soda once a week, and I was working out at the gym. He had cut down on soda and was working out, and he lost a ton of weight. I didn’t understand how this could be possible, and I definitely didn’t feel fair. My doctor tried to reassure me that everyone loses at a different pace, and men typically lose weight faster than women. We headed to the dietician, who informed me of the same thing, but it was not helping. Everyone around me was so proud of the weight I had already taken off, including my husband, but I was discouraged.

The next appointment was with the behavioral health specialist to find out why I was overweight. My doctor explained that I would need to do at least two visits, and I felt like this was nonsense. I didn’t need a therapist, and the reason I was overweight was because of my thyroid condition, but I knew it was part of the program, so we made an appointment. We went in, and Jeremiah went to see his therapist, and I went to see mine. I had met this woman a year ago when my son needed counseling, and I almost didn’t recognize her as she had lost so much weight. I instantly felt better as this woman had been more overweight than me and looked great. Maybe she could be helpful. We sat down, and she told me that she had lost 80 pounds over the last year, and she gave me some tips on snacking.

I felt better already and made mental notes of things to change at home. She started asking me why I thought I was overweight, and I told her about my health issues. She sighed and bluntly said, “your health issues will make it harder for you to lose weight, but they are not the reason you gained it.” I was shocked as I had never been told that before. She started asking me about my personal life and what brought me to the program. I filled her in on my aunt’s death and how I felt about my own life. She was patient and listened to me, and after a while, I realized I had told her everything. She nodded as she took notes, and then she stopped and asked me what I was thinking about at that very moment. I thought this was odd, but I was honest with her, and I told her I was wondering what I would have for lunch when I left. She wanted to know how often I thought about food. That was the weirdest question I had ever been asked, and like a smart ass, I answered, “I think about food when I am hungry.” She laughed and said, “I highly doubt that.” I didn’t know what to say, and I thought she was rude. She must have sensed this because she said, “I don’t mean to sound rude, but I am wondering how often you add food into your daily equations?” She continued by asking me a series of questions like, when you are going to a party, do you wonder if there will be food there? I thought about these questions, and I answered yes to most of them. She put down her pen and looked at me for what felt like an eternity. Finally, she said, “I believe what you have is an overeating addiction, and that is why you are overweight.” I was stunned as I could not believe what I was hearing. How could I have an overeating addiction when I didn’t eat that much? She told me that we were out of time and would pick this up at the next visit, but she wanted me to look up some overeating sites and think about what she said. I agreed and left to have lunch with my husband.  

At lunch, I filled him in on what she told me and how I felt like that could not be possible. He agreed with me, but he also thought it would be good for me to look it up to know more about it and at least tell her what I had learned at the next visit. After I got home, I started researching overeating addictions and found multiple articles on signs of overeating, and I marked yes to eight out of eight questions. I continued to read more and more on the subject, and I realized she was right. I did have an addiction and a dangerous one at that. Unlike drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, food is something I need to nourish my body and live. I couldn’t quit it cold turkey, which meant that I needed help. I found this great book on stopping binge eating and more that is helpful, but I finally knew that I needed counseling to get to the bottom of this problem. I called and booked two additional sessions with the counselor. After all, this was the start of my new life, and I was going to do it right.

Never Binge Again(tm): How Thousands of People Have Stopped Overeating and Binge Eating - and Stuck to the Diet of Their Choice! (By Reprogramming Themselves to Think Differently About Food.) by [Glenn  Livingston Ph.D]

Stay tuned for part 5 of my journey, My New Life!

Amanda Jordan

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Learning to Love Myself Part 3

Deciding to change my life was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Hi, I am Amanda Jordan, and if you are joining me for the first time, please be sure to read my first two blog posts about my journey to weight loss and being healthy. Thank you for returning if you have been here before, and I am glad you are here.

I will never forget sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office with my husband by my side and realizing today would be the day I would change my life. I anxiously waited for my name to be called as I flipped through a magazine. My heart raced, and I was excited as the nurse came out and called me. We walked back and headed to the scale. I stepped on and froze, 280 pounds the numbers read, and I could not believe it. How had I gotten here, and if I could get to this point and not realize it, how would I ever fix it, and was it too late? I held back tears as we walked back to the examination room. I sat quietly on the table while my vitals were taken, and my mind was racing. I was no longer excited but scared out of my mind. When the nurse left and I had a moment alone with my husband, I expressed my fears to him. He just looked at me and said it would be ok. I could not tell what he was thinking, and before I could ask, the doctor walked in.

Amanda Before and Afters

First I have to tell you about my doctor. He is a funny little man who always smiles and makes you feel amazing no matter why you are there. He listens openly to your opinions and thoughts and never talks down to you. He is exactly what I needed at this point in my life. He sat on his stool and asked me what had brought me in. I blurted out, “I am killing myself, and I need help.” He couldn’t help but laugh and say, “Ok, let’s back up for a minute.” I explained everything, from my aunt passing away to feeling scared and lost. He listened and nodded his head, and when I was done, he recommended a bariatric program that I could do. It was surprising that I could be so far gone that my doctor thought I needed bariatric surgery. He told me that he didn’t feel that I needed it, but the program was so in-depth and detailed that it could teach me a lot. He also told me that losing weight would be more challenging for me with my thyroid condition. He said he wanted to start running a blood panel on me to see what other health issues I had, but I should start immediately with this program. The program would last six months, and there would be monthly doctor visits, weekly weigh-ins, twelve nutritionist meetings, and two behavioral health meetings. He explained that this program would help me learn how to eat correctly; it would also help me understand why I was overweight and get to the heart of the problem. My husband, who had been quiet through all of this, suddenly popped up very excited and asked if he could do the program with me. My doctor loved this idea and called the nurse in right away. He made my husband an appt right after mine, and before I knew it, they had hurried him out to be weighed.

While he was gone, I talked to my doctor more about the program and what should be my first move. Before he could answer, my husband walked in looking like he had seen a ghost. The nurse handed his chart to the doctor and left. The doctor looked over it and then back at my husband with a compassionate smile. “Did you realize you weighed 293 pounds?” he asked my husband. I was shocked and heartbroken. I had been so focused on my weight that I had not realized he was just as bad off as I was. My husband explained that he knew he had put on weight, but like me, he hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten. The doctor ordered blood panels for both of us, set us up for a sleep study, and made our first appointment with a Nutritionist. We didn’t know it yet, but this was the first day of our new lives.

Amanda and Jeremiah Before

We both felt very overwhelmed and a little lost, but we knew we wanted to make the right changes. When we got home, we sat down and talked about the obvious problems, like overeating junk food and drinking too much soda. We were not stupid, so we knew we needed to eat better and work out more, but we didn’t know exactly what to do. We decided the best thing to do was be patient and wait until we met with the nutritionist before making significant food changes, but we decided to join a gym right away. Doing this was not easy as we lived in a small town and the closest gym was 25 miles away. We decided that Anytime Fitness would be good for us because we could go anytime. We were super excited and signed up the next day and went out and bought new gym clothes and gym bags. When we got home, there was a message waiting from our doctor, saying we needed to call him right away.

I called him back, but he had already left for the day. The receptionist made us an appointment for first thing the following day, and there was nothing left to do but wait. We both agreed that there was no reason to worry or get upset until we knew something, but my head instantly went to the worst. I started thinking of all kinds of horrible things that could be wrong, like cancer and heart disease. I didn’t want to upset my husband, so I excused myself to take a bath and cry. I stood in the bathroom, looking at myself naked in the mirror. I hated what I saw and how I felt, and I was so disappointed in myself for allowing this to happen. I took a bath and cried my eyes out while looking up fitness and health articles. I stumbled across an old People magazine article on Ricki Lake and her weight loss success story. I always loved her as I was a big fan of the movie Hairspray when I was a kid, so I just had to read it. Now, I could not tell you how she lost the weight or what was so different about her weight loss regime than others, but what I remember the most about this article was how she talked about learning to love herself no matter what size she was. I realized that was my problem. I grew to hate who I had become because of how I looked, which was not ok.  I needed to change my mindset, maybe even more than my body.

I got out of the bathtub and dried off. I then did one of the hardest things I have ever done. I dropped my towel and looked at my naked body in the mirror. I then forced myself to find three things I loved about my mind, body, and life. I stood proud, and I smiled back at myself, and I said out loud, “I love my family, my creativity, and my kick-ass calves.” I decided to do this every day for a week to see how I would feel. You know what, I felt terrific, and I realized how beautiful and sexy I was, no matter what size I was.

Loving myself in the bathroom mirror

The following day we went to the doctor to find out what was going on. He came in with our charts, and for the first time since I had known him, he was not smiling. He sighed and started to list all the things that had shown up on our blood work. My husband has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and acid reflux. The doctor was surprised that the list was short considering his weight, but he was optimistic that he could do very well with some lifestyle changes. Then he looked at me and sighed some more. My blood work showed high cholesterol, vitamin d deficiency, high creatinine (kidney failure), low calcium levels, uncontrolled thyroid, high glucose levels. I was officially a type two diabetic. I later found out that I also had sleep apnea from being morbidly obese. Yes, that is what they called me. My doctor put me on different medications to help with the cholesterol and diabetes, and then he told me that it was good I came in when I did because I was headed down a dangerous road. I left the clinic, and on the drive home, I realized that I was too young to be this unhealthy, and I loved myself too much to die this way.

Stay tuned for more on my journey and how I lost 100 pounds and continue to keep it off…

Amanda Jordan

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Scared and Lost Part 2

I will never forget the conversation that changed my life. Hi, I am Amanda Jordan, an author, certified weight loss coach, and advanced nutritionist. I wasn’t always these things; in fact, if you met me five years ago, you wouldn’t believe this is where I would end up. I was significantly overweight with multiple health problems and no idea how to get help. If you are just joining me for the first time, be sure to read my post, Slowly killing myself to see how my journey started. If you have been here before, thanks for coming back. I am glad you are here. Let’s continue…

After I realized that I was in real trouble and headed down a terrifying path, I sunk into a very real depression. I tried to pull myself out of it and stay positive, but it was so hard. I started meditating, which helped with the depression a little bit, but I felt lost every time I looked in the mirror. I didn’t recognize the woman looking back at me, and I would get depressed all over again. I so badly wanted to change, but I didn’t know how or what to do.

My husband could see that I was struggling, and he wanted to help, but he was just as lost as I was. He tried to be supportive and understanding, and he offered me advice on exercises, and diets, which we would start and do successfully for a couple of weeks and then back to our old ways. I quickly realized that we couldn’t help each other if we kept sabotaging each other. We knew that if one of us wanted to slip and fall off the diet wagon, it would be easy to drag the other one with us, and that is precisely what we did over and over again. We loved each other so much, but we were both clueless about how to help each other.

Hubby and I in 2016

After my aunt died, I started thinking of changes that needed to be made in my life. As we drove to Oregon for her celebration of life with my oldest son and his pregnant girlfriend in the back, I started to think again about how much I had to live for. I had this amazing husband who loved me unconditionally, and together we had seven growing boys and a grandchild on the way. I had so much to live for. I told myself that I would dedicate my time to changing my life for the better.

We arrived at my aunt’s house and were greeted by my parents and cousins. I saw her walker and a dozen pill bottles as I looked around her house. I saw how she had stuff set up around her chair, so she didn’t have to get up to get it. I started thinking back to the last year of her life and how diabetes had taken over. Her feet were always puffy and swollen, making it hard to walk. She was in and out of the hospital all the time, and she was in constant pain. I started to think about how her life was no life at all. I didn’t want to end up like that, and I was terrified. After the memorial, we headed home and stopped by Multnomah Falls in Oregon to sightsee and take pictures. When we drove away, I looked at the pictures and realized how bad I looked. Not just the fact that I had put more weight on, but my skin and hair were dull, and I looked much older than I was. I looked at the picture of me standing next to my amazing husband in front of this beautiful waterfall, and all I wanted to do was cry and delete the photo. I realized how badly I wanted to change as I started to tear up.  

I woke up the next day feeling incredible. I sat down at my desk and started writing a goal list for 2017. I chose the word shining as my word for the year because I was determined to make changes and shine. I made a pretty sign to hang up to see it every day, and I messaged my best friend for advice on the next step. She gave me some great advice about taking steps to reach my goals and figure out when I wanted them completed. I was ready to get started, and then it hit me. I had no idea what steps to take. I began to feel defeated before I was even got going. I sat there in disbelief and feeling completely lost when my husband walked in. Knowing something was wrong, he sat next to me and listened as I spilled out all my thoughts and fears. I started to cry and shook my head. We sat in silence for a few minutes. I looked at my husband and said, “I am not living my best life or making the best choices, and if I don’t get the help, I will die.” He sat back and said, “You are not dying, babe.” I could hear the annoyance in his voice, and I started to get mad, and then I realized he didn’t understand what I meant. I took a deep breath, and I said, “an unhealthy life ends in an unhealthy death, and I don’t want to die in misery and pain because I made bad life choices.”

Understanding that I had just lost my aunt for the same reasons, he asked me what advice I would give her if I had known what was coming. I thought about this and her life, and I could see that this happened gradually over time. She didn’t wake up one day overweight with health problems. They happened by choices she made over her entire life. In the last couple of years of her life, I had noticed that she stopped doing things she always had. She didn’t go out and garden anymore or bake her homemade cinnamon rolls that we all loved. She barely got up or walked; in fact, she asked everyone else to get things for her, and each day she got worse and worse. I realized how many similarities we had and how I was headed down the same road she did. I told my husband all of this and waited for his response. He stared at me for what felt like an eternity, and then he said to me that I needed to make an appointment with my doctor and find out what needed to be done. He told me he would go with me and do whatever it took to help me get healthy. I knew then just how lucky I was. I called the doctor right then and made an appointment for the next day. I was ready to start my new life, a healthy life.

Stay tuned for more on my journey and how I lost 100 pounds and have kept it off…

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/Advanced Nutritionist

Slowly Killing Myself Part 1

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When I was younger, I was that kid who could eat anything and not gain a pound. I was so active and always running around playing that I burned off calories like no tomorrow. As I grew, this continued, and I never thought I would gain a bunch of weight or be unhealthy. Even though I was one of those teenagers who thought I was fat. Yes, that was me. Trying all these crazy diets as a teen and had no idea what I was doing.

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Yes, that is me at 17, the girl who thought she was fat. Little did I know that I would not always look like this. After high school, I got married right away and had my first son by the time I was 19. I felt pretty good as I had not gained a bunch of weight during my pregnancy. I lost 19 pounds just having my son, and I figured if I could get the last ten pounds off, I would be back to my pre-pregnancy weight and be just fine. Something funny happened, and I realized I was no longer active and was not moving a lot. I figured this was because I was tired from being a new mom. However, this didn’t pass, and by the time my son was nine months old, I could barely get off the couch and was gaining weight. I went to see my doctor, and he ran some blood work and turned out I had developed a condition called hypothyroidism which in short means I have an underactive thyroid, and my thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone for my body. Hypothyroidism causes all kinds of side effects that can be highly unpleasant like:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry hair and hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Fatigue
  • Greater sensitivity to cold
  • Hoarse voice
  • Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
  • Problems with memory
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Puffy face
  • Slow heart rate
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight

Being diagnosed with this was not fun, and the doctor put me on medication for it. Once I was feeling better, I started moving more, but the weight just kept coming. By the time my son was a year old, I had gained 40 pounds. I went back to my doctor, who told me that my birth control could be part of my weight gain, and we went with a new one. I did stop gaining weight, luckily, but I was not losing it either. The problem was that I didn’t know anything about being healthy. I didn’t have parents who knew about nutrition or fitness and taught me what to do, so I was lost. Now, this was way before smartphones, so I couldn’t just look up fitness and health information like you can today, so I had to read books and magazine articles to find out information.

The sad truth is that this lasted for years. I would start a diet, fall off, lose a little weight, and gain more back. I was frustrated and overweight, and I didn’t feel terrific, so I did what most women did when this happened; I denied it. I convinced myself that my weight was not that bad and that I didn’t look as big as my weight because of my muscle. There was a little truth to this, as my skeletal muscle has always been strong. By the time my son was five, I was up to 230 pounds. I went to my doctor, who recommended I try a 12-week program called Body for Life. He explained this would be a brutal and extreme program, but if I could do it, then I would lose weight. I bought the book and got started. To be honest, I only did it for nine weeks because I lost 21 inches and ten pounds, and I felt like I had learned what I needed and I could do it on my own. I was wrong. I did learn a lot and even still use some of that today, but slowly and surely, I started to go back to old eating habits, non-workouts, and the weight started to gain.

Let’s jump ahead to 2015 to my wedding. After 14 years of being married to my first husband, we divorced. I met an amazing man who also struggled with his weight, and we fell in love instantly. In 2015 we got married, and both had gained quite a bit of weight. I was up to 260 pounds and, at that point, the heaviest I had ever been. I found a beautiful dress, and we got married. Around this time, my doctor told me that I had Type Two Diabetes and needed to be on medication and a diet change. I didn’t feel very well, and over the next two years, I continued to gain weight, and my health started to go downhill fast. By 2017 I had sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and I weighed 280 pounds. To be honest, I am sure I gained more, but that was the last time I got on the scale because I didn’t want to know. I was living in denial.

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2017 (280 LBS)

I felt horrible, and I didn’t look great either, but I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. Then I got an awful phone call that my aunt was in the hospital, and it looked like her kidneys and liver were failing. They didn’t know if she would make it. I had been very close to her and could talk to her about my health issues because she also had Type Two Diabetes, high cholesterol, several other problems, and being overweight. She helped me know about different medications and what foods not to eat. She died a couple of days later at the age of 65. I still miss her terribly and wish things had been different.

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Miss you Aunt Sandy

Losing her was a massive eye-opener for me as I realized this woman whom I loved dearly was only 30 years older than myself, and I was walking down the same path. I looked at my life and my family and took a hard look. I had four sons, and my oldest son had just announced that he was going to be dad, which meant, yep, that’s right, it makes me a grandma or Mimi as they call me. Hey, I am still young here. I realized how much I wanted to be around to raise my kids and watch my grandchildren grow. More importantly, I wanted to play with them without losing my breath and be able to get up off the floor without help. I wanted to be healthy, and I needed help. I didn’t need some new fad diet or to kill myself at the gym; what I needed was a program to get my health under control once and for all. First, stop an appointment with my doctor.

Stay tuned for more on my journey and how I lost 100 pounds and continue to keep it off…

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/Advanced Nutritionist

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Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach