Thanksgiving 2006

When I look at this pictures few things come to mind
1. Wow I look young! I would look tired now if I was as tired as I knew I was in this picture
2. Why won’t let she me dress her in lobster sweaters with matching hats now that’s 12? Wait it’s because she is 12!
3. I wonder how much sugar, coffee and Diet Coke I had that day to survive?

I was pounding sugar, coffee and Diet Coke all day, every day to get through the day, without a jet lagged toddler. Yet, all I wanted to do was sleep.

My daughter had just turned one and I had flown her out to California from New York for the Holiday to see my family. My Husband would meet up with us later on in the week.

The flight had been awful, as a fellow passenger didn’t appreciate my daughter voicing her displeasure with flying the friendly skies, when all she simply wanted was “Uppy”. Then again, she did say it from JFK to 1/2 way to LAX because she wanted out of her car seat and to roam around the plane.

Did I mention I was exhausted when I got to to the airport? I had been tired for a year? We had to get up at 4:30 to make the 8 o clock?

Given the three hour time difference and my oldest being an early riser on a good day, she was up at 2:30 local time the first couple days of this trip. Which might explain why her eyes are half lit.

I had lost my baby weight quickly, but the constant fatigue and what I know now was my dangerous dependence on sugar and artificial sweetener, I slowly kept gaining weight and was always sick. Why does this happen?

At the time, I was dumbfounded. I was working out, barely eating during the day at least, and yet I weighed around 15 lbs more than I do today. I shouldn’t have been sick all the time right?

So what was going on?

Simply put, our body is not meant to go without sleep

* Hunger and appetite increases occur after just one night of reduced sleep.
* The act of sleeping decreases inflammation in the body. Remember, most disease starts from inflammation.
* Back in 2006, no one was talking about GI tracts, well only the women in my Mommy group. Now we know, the Gut is a big influencer on our sleep patterns. The Microbiome (trillions of bacteria living inside our bodies) regulates our immune system, supports our metabolism, balances our moods and creates a good environment for us to get our beauty sleep.

My Diet of Gummi Bears, Teddy Grahams, Diet Coke and Coffee with skim milk wasn’t helping my immune system at all, in fact it was harming it.

• Basically, our body depends on sleep for good health and our gut depends on being looked after properly so that sleep can happen as it should. I wasn’t doing any of this and sure I was working out, and could tell you all about how many calories are in an apple, but I didn’t understand the bigger picture.

When I have a new client, they usually assume they need to start working out right away. I tell them ONLY if they are getting enough sleep. Enough defined as 7-9 the majority of the time.

The new client will look at me as if I have 3 heads as I am an exercise teacher and let’s face it we have all been told forever that it’s Diet AND exercise that helps ups drop excess weight.

I tell my new clients this is their list of priorities for the first 30 days: to get their food on point, sleep, then stress management ie feelings, exercise. It might be a while and that is ok. I am not encouraging them to morph into their couch, I am starting to get them to look at sleep in the proper way.

If I knew now what I knew then, I would have not let myself get so run down in the first place, I would still have flown her to California that November, I would have been eating properly though. I would have gone to sleep when she did and not lowered my immune system with processed food and artificial sweeteners.

I would have kept her in the lobster outfit as it is a classic!

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