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BITE ME!
Change Your Life One Bite at a Time

An Inspirational Journey of Reinvention to a Sustainable, Healthy Lifestyle

INTRODUCTION

In earlier years, I would lay in bed attempting to drift into a hopefully deep slumber. My body felt like it would take ten years of sleep to recover from my full day. I had reoccurring dreams that I am running; running through the streets in slow motion, struggling to round the curb. No matter how much effort I exerted, I would gain only a few inches. I could never catch up. I would never make progress. After years of these reoccurring dreams, with unsettled and slightly tortured feelings, a slow realization came into focus, like a low resolution, grainy and highly pixilated photograph, once indiscernible, now pixel by pixel creating a crisp picture I can now recognize. I would never truly feel well; never be able to figuratively run unencumbered if I didn’t make some lifestyle changes, and now.

This gradual confrontation of the truth is that we, as a collective of individuals are solely responsible what I call the “American de-condition”. It is a well-documented fact that nearly 70% of all Americans are either overweight or obese, one of the leading contributors to a proliferation of medical issues. A very small percent of our population, perhaps 10%, can actually be considered “fit”. The rest of have allowed ourselves to become out of shape, nutritionally deprived and prone to disease, weight issues, hormonal imbalances, and injury. We become tired, depressed, and depleted, and in some cases become a burden on our families and a proverbial weight on the back of an already dysfunctional health care system, yet most of us haven’t taken the action necessary to resolve the problem.

America’s de-conditioned state is compounded by our procrastination and general lack of motivation. We all know the statistics, we hear them frequently; they don’t necessarily move us to take the initiative for change. Are we expecting someone to fix the problem or waiting for some in-your-face, life-altering experience which threatens our very existence before taking action? We want an instant fix; fruit and vegetables in a pill, a miracle drink or foods mailed to our doorsteps. Perhaps the FDA can provide increased regulation for the proliferation of deceptive food labeling cases. Must we wait until we have diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease? The bottom line is we all have the opportunity to be healthy, in addition to the freedom to let ourselves go. Only we are accountable for ourselves. Our personal passivity and demand for convenience are our own worst enemies.

Inexcusably, we have passed down our sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits to our children. We allow our children to eat the most convenient and lowest quality foods possible. They grow up thinking a tomato slice on their fast food burger is a “serving of vegetables” and nothing tastes good if it’s not dripping with sugar and fat. High cholesterol, obesity, early onset diabetes and hip and joint issues, once considered diseases of our older populations are unfortunately now bestowed upon our children at alarming rates. Further confirming our lackadaisical attitude toward our health, over half our dogs and cats are overweight or obese. Certainly our furry friends are not raiding the treat jar late at night by themselves.

Many of us have the desire to learn how to shift thinking toward better health only to be confronted by external influences providing confusing, and often conflicting, information. Everywhere I turn I am bombarded with confusing messages: From pharmaceutical companies, to food manufacturers and marketers, weight loss companies, and fast food providers; from friends offering well-meaning advice to our respected physicians who take stewardship of our collective health to the best of their ability.

I love humankind, I love my family, my neighbors and my friends, and I love the friends I have not yet met. With this in the forefront of my mind, I carry a deep sadness and disappointment as I am confronted by “misinformation” as well as an intense anger in situations when I know we are being intentionally misled.

My belief is that prevention is the answer and that lies only within our self. We must change our eating habits, as well as our lifestyle, in a way that makes our newly-learned, healthy behaviors SUSTAINABLE. Become role models and our children will do as we do.

We have an unprecedented opportunity here to change our lives, our family’s lives, the lives within our community, and beyond. We need education, accountability, and most of all, hope. We must educate ourselves to make the best choices in support of our wellbeing. We must be accountable to ourselves and to the one body we are given on this Earth, as well as those in our inner circle -- the people we affect for better or worse -- depending upon our level of wellness. Let’s have hope so that we may become empowered and not allow our minds and bodies to degrade to the point of ultimate defeat.

It is never too late to start to help yourself and those around you. We can accomplish this empowerment ourselves and ultimately change one life at a time. I am walking proof of that. I’ve been through most everything life can throw at me, and at over 50 dealing with the added complexities of aging as well.

“I am on a personal and professional mission to defend the right of people to eat well and to motivate them to shift their thinking toward better health.”

This passion to help others was born out of the loss of my best friend to Pancreatic Cancer, as well as my own serious medical issues just a few short years ago. I quite literally can say “I stake my life” on the assertion that lifestyle changes WORK, because I am a living example. My personal story is bared to all in its vulnerability, from misfortune to fulfillment and everything in between, in hopes that you may find inspiration and motivation to help shift your thinking toward a healthier lifestyle.

My goal is to inspire you to raise your personal nutrition bar, so I will be sharing what I’ve learned as a full-time working mom of four, who has endeavored on a journey to a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, as well as changed careers to a Lifestyle and Certified Nutrition Coach, Figure Competitor and NASM Certified Personal Trainer.

You may have noticed I do not have a forward written by a physician to lend credibility to my words, as you may see frequently in other self-help, diet or fitness books. I did not have a staff of researchers, writers, editors, photographers and designers, nor did I have professional chefs or a test kitchen at my disposal. I am not married to a publisher or have unlimited resources. This book is boot-strapped from my heart in all authenticity, so that in your dreams, you will not have to run in slow motion around those curbs feeling frustration at not making progress toward your well being. I hope to help you to sprint around them feeling light and strong, knowing you are giving your best to make a difference—not only in your life but helping others learn to take impeccable care as well. Feeling good is contagious and looking good is pure inspiration.

May you find the tools and motivation you need to change your life one bite at a time!