My Health, Wellness, and Fitness Journey

My journey to better health, wellness and fitness began with a multitude of health issues and concerns.  I’ve had a number of diagnoses through the years:

1990 – Fibrocystic Breast Disease

2005 – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

2005 – Lactose Intolerance

2007 – Thyroid Disease

2009 – Adenomyosis / Fibroid Tumors

2013 – Meningioma in Right Front Section of Brain

2014 – Elevated Blood Pressure

2015 – Gastritis

2015 – Esophagitis

2015 – Mild Fatty Liver

2015 – Gluten Sensitivity and Carb Sensitivity

That’s enough, right?  Because of family history, I have to be careful of high blood pressure and diabetes.  However, some of the situations above were caused by my own negligence of my body by not eating mostly good foods and getting plenty of exercise – both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. 

Throughout this journey, I tried many different diet plans.  My weight went up and down.  Most of the time I was successful in losing weight, however, I wasn’t successful in keeping it off.  I tried to figure out why that was.  Part of it was going back to old bad habits.  But, that wasn’t the complete reason why my weight would return.  I believe that diets are temporary fixes to our weight gain problem and that a lifestyle change needs to be implemented in order to solve the problem. 

As I went on and off diets, I decided that maybe it wasn’t meant for me to lose weight, not live with internal pain, not have fatigue, and feel better. But, after a while, the light bulb turned back on and I decided that living with pain was not living at all.  I had too many diagnoses to let the pain continue and not try at least one more time to get better.  Enough was enough!  What was I doing wrong and how could I fix myself?  I could do better with my eating and getting more exercise but something else was missing. I needed a permanent change in my lifestyle.

Well, I started strategizing to solve this weight gain and pain problem.  It started with my mind and my spirit.  I needed to change how I thought about food.  The way I did that was to start a regular prayer routine (day and night) with God so he could fix me and give me the strength to change my ways.  I began reading a book called The Maker’s Diet by Jordin S. Rubin.  This book is has a spiritual component to everyday diet and lifestyle as it pertains to food.  As I started praying, I realized that was what was missing from my weight loss journey of the past.  By regularly communicating with God, he miraculously changed me! 

Then, I researched gluten sensitivity and mild fatty liver. I found out what the trigger foods were that were making me sick like regular pasta, certain types of bread, and anything containing gluten.  I eliminated those foods from my diet.  My new mantra: “I eat to live and do not live to eat.”  Thanks to my sister-in-law, Dionne, I began to do the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by J.J. Smith.   The Green Smoothie Cleanse (GSC) has been critical to healing my stomach pain and giving my intestinal tract a rest from the harsh digestive process that breaking down regular foods can cause.  What a relief GSC has been for me!  As a part of the GSC program, I drank detox tea. Also, I drink ginger tea.  Most of the time when I drank tea in the past, it included some type of sweetener.  I haven’t had any tea with sweetener since January 2015. That’s a miracle in itself!

In addition, I learned about a free nutrition program at my university for employees called “LIFTUP!” (Lifestyle Intervention for Total Health), which helps the participants to understand body type and the role food and exercise play in calorie consumption and burning.  They help participants set reasonable goals to be successful in weight loss over a period of time.  I have learned about proper portion size in preparing my food, foods with the best nutritional value for me, how much exercise to do, how to consume enough calories per day and balance that against regular exercise and it goes on and on.  My nutritionist set me up on a plan that allowed me to eat up to 1600 calories a day and that goes along with my six-day a week exercise plan.

Another tool that I use to help me in this journey is a Fitbit.  It is a device that attaches under your clothing to help keep track of calorie intake, activity, and water consumption to help keep track of your habits on a daily basis.  Information is available on online about this device.

What I have come to realize is praying, doing exercise, implementing proper eating habits, drinking green smoothies, participating in LIFTUP!, keeping track of my activity for calorie burn and food consumption with my Fitbit was very necessary to get to this point. I am extremely grateful because I now know that although I tried some of these things in the past (i.e. exercise and changing my diet), the real key to all of this working is my relationship with God and having regular communication with him so that he could guide me through it all.

My lifestyle has changed because of God’s influence in my life and having a great team of doctors that helped to reveal some of the problems that I was dealing with.  To date, I have lost over 35 pounds and the problem areas in my body have dissipated.  In addition to my weight loss, my body fat percentage has dropped, my visceral fat percentage has dropped, my muscle content has increased and my metabolic age has improved substantially.  The cool thing about this is that I didn’t start the journey to lose weight for purposes of vanity. I wanted to lose weight so that I could feel better inside because I was too heavy for my height according to all of the scientific calculations and not feeling well.

Since getting on track, I don’t look at food the same way nor do I have the same cravings for the wrong types of food that I had prior to making these changes. I feel amazing!  My mind is clear, my skin is clear, my body looks and feels better than it has in years, my spirit/soul are in tune with God helping me understand my earthly purpose more clearly. I hope that my blog will bless you immensely and will be helpful in you forging a path for great health and wellness in your journey.  More to come…

God Bless you with good health and wellness,

Antoinette

For general inquiries,

please contact Antoinette Johnson

writingsbyasj@gmail.com

P.O. Box 7272, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

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