Aj’s health update day 150- knocked down, but not OUT!

I'm STILL in this fight!

I’m STILL in this fight!


Yes, I’m still here- I’ve just had a little set back.

Let me explain.

In 2009 I was officially diagnosed with what is called Pseudo tumor Cerebri. Sounds scary, trust me, I know. Basically what this is – is intracranial pressure. Our bodies have been designed to create spinal fluid and distribute as needed; then discard what is NOT needed.

My body however does NOT have the discarding function. SO the fluid builds up causing cranial pressure. In layman’s terms this means I get INSANE headaches, swollen optic nerves, causing blurry vision and sometimes vision loss.

The first week in May I was starting to suffer these symptoms and I knew all too well the road I was about to take. My headaches were getting worse, as was my vision. I was suffering severe vertigo as well.  Eventually I was taken by ambulance to the ER and admitted for the next four days. They did and emergency spinal tap (something I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND going through… YUCK!) where they proceeded to drain 12 ml’s of spinal fluid off of my spine.

Normally one is supposed to lay completely still for four hours following this procedure. I however got VIOLENTLY sick right afterwards that caused me NOT to be still at ALL!

So- finally settled down thanks to a constant i.v. mixture of phenergan, morphine and dilaudid.

Feel free to google those meds. If you would like the short version- basically I stayed stoned via an i.v. for four days non stop. This was to keep the wicked headaches away. (Yes, I still had them even after the spinal tap.)

After I was released from the hospital my symptoms didn’t clear up right away. (It can take up to a month or more.) I couldn’t work out because of the nausea and vertigo. I could hardly drive for the same reasons. I wasn’t able to cook. This opened the door to a lot of take out and deliveries. SO my health was yucky. I wasn’t exercising. I wasn’t eating healthy at all…. The meds they kept me on, even at home kept me loopy and tired. What else would you expect but for depression to come knocking on my door.

To make the deal even sweeter- I was called into my managers office and was told my assignment had ended. (I work for a temp agency.) I have no doubt my illness and inability to work much in the last few weeks aided this decision. I can not blame them- nor do I.

I’m sad but I know God is still watching out for me and my family.

I’m not going to lie. I’m still on the mend upwards. I’m still battling a HORRIBLE bout of depression. I’m still not making ALL the smartest choices with my food. (Though I am trying.)

I’ve started MAKING myself learn how to run.  I began using an app, last week, called Ease into 5K. It’s not easy but I want to do this. I will do this.

We have cancelled our personal training for now, until the budget gets better. (I.e.- I find more work.)

I may have been knocked down. I may be proverbially bloody and bruised… but I am still in this fight!!!

Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck


Aj’s Health Update day 109 MONDAY

Here's to the 3 day juice detox!!

Here’s to the 3 day juice detox!!

Good morning!

I realized I need to update how the juice detox fast went…

(yes, went- as in I am done with it.)

I did manage to complete my three days. Day 2 was the  toughest. By the end of day three I started feeling much better, inside and out.

I will admit that my workouts were TOUGH. During the 3 days I had ZERO protein. I now realize that protein is essential when trying to do the cross fit workouts. Nonetheless, I still completed the workouts with mild modification.

Saturday my husband I celebrated our 11 year wedding anniversary. We threw caution to the wind and ate whatever we wanted (the entire weekend.)

I will tell you- my body was more than ticked.

I had LITERALLY just spent three days cleaning up the mess, then I went in all Tasmanian devil like and reeked havoc on it again.

What’s done is done- we move forward from here.

This morning we are both having a yummy spinach smoothie for breakfast.

During the weekend we decided to buy new workout shoes for our anniversary gift to each other.

He is officially down 35 pounds and I am 30. We have a lot more to go, but we both feel we need to buckle down harder for the next 30 pounds- workout and eating wise.

So- there you have it.

Yes. I did survive my juice fast. Yes, I will do it again (maybe in another 30 days.) I can definitely tell there is MUCH benefit to it.

Tonight, we are supposed to workout, (and break in our new shoes) may our trainers have mercy on us! :)


Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck<3

Aj’s Health Watch day 105- day 2 detox Soup’s ON!

Soup's on!

Soup’s on!

Today is day two of my juice fast/ detox.

Not gonna lie. It’s not even 7p.m. and I am exhausted. I struggled today with focus and really just wanted to crawl back into bed.( According to Joe Cross he felt the same way during this time as well…Guess I am right on track.)

AND.. we had a client bring in a HUGE platter of home made chocolate chip cookies and brownies today. Don’t worry, I passed. But SERIOUSLY!

Then another co worker gave me a large bar of imported dark chocolate.

Sometimes I feel like the enemy of my soul is taunting me. Still, I remained focused and stayed on plan. NO CHEATING.

I hit a wall this afternoon, standing in the kitchen starring at the mason jar filled with green juice. I just couldn’t do it.

I left, went home and made me some SOUP. The picture above is what I mixed together.

Five fresh campari tomatoes, one fresh clove of garlic, one fresh leaf of cilantro, one fresh leaf of basil, one stalk of celery, one red pepper and one yellow pepper, then some oregano mixed with distilled water.

I pressed the “soup” setting on the blendtech and watched it pulverize the ingredients into a steamy hot yummy batch of comforting goodness.

It was the best “tomato” soup I’ve had in my life. I doubt I will ever eat canned tomato soup again. Truth.

It helped.

This morning’s blend was:

spinach, kale, carrots, pineapple, green apple, banana, fresh lemon slices with the peel, ice and water. I have to say it was pretty yummy. The lemon helped A LOT. IT made it very fresh tasting. (zippy too.) I will try this mix again.

Okay..so there you have it.

Being honest… heading to bed…. RIGHT. NOW.

Nighty Night!


Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck<3

Aj’s Health Update day 104- CHEERS to day 1 detox!

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

Hello from the land of liquid veggies and fruits!

As the  first day of this fast/ detox comes to an end, I am happy to report I have survived and stayed on plan..- ALL DAY.

I am not going to lie.. I had my moments when I wanted to toss “the juice” across my office and run for the giant bowl of tiny candy bars in the lobby.

I DIDN’T do it…but I WANTED TO.

This morning my breakfast consisted of: Baby spinach, carrots, celery, cucumbers, pineapple, banana, green apples mixed with a healthy dose of ice and filtered water. I drank the entire 24 ounces. Needless to say I had a full tummy.

Throughout the day I continued to fill my juice glass with water about 7 times.

I got hungry again around 11a.m. I had made an additional 16 ounces of my breakfast blend and put it in a cleaned out peanut butter glass jar. I went in to the kitchen and took a good 2-3 sips then put it back. That did the trick until close to 1p.m.

Thankfully, I work very close to home. During my lunch hour I ran home and made another batch of juice. ( I finished up my peanut butter jar of breakfast blend while juicing batch #2.)- “Oprah calls that multi- tasking” (Any idea what movie THAT line is from??)


My afternoon batch consisted of: Spinach, butter lettuce, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, green apple, pineapple and banana and strawberries. I added a bunch of ice and water as well.

I bottled it up in a 32 ounce mason jar and filled my peanut butter jar back up as well.

Back to work I went. I continued with my water and drank another 18 ounces of juice.

I have to admit, the SMELL of the peppers was a HUGE turn off- but I couldn’t actually TASTE them.

There was a lot of MIND OVER MATTER. I also had to keep in mind the main reason behind this FAST and detox.

My hubby has been wonderful and very encouraging. He sent me texts off and on all day long. THE COOLEST part of the day was when I got to work this morning, I looked down at my phone and had gotten a text from a friend with this scripture:

“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ” 2 Corinthians

Now that is a good motivational scripture to keep ones focus in check. :)

Hubby and I went and worked out tonight. Overall, I did pretty good but had to modify a few things due to being a little light headed (because of the lacking on the protein.) It’s all part of the process.

Have I mentioned, that I have seriously cool work out mates and trainers.

LOVE them!

(I also got some seriously cool messages from a new friend encouraging me and offering me some great advice on the juicing journey.) I am diggin’ all the people God is putting in my hubby and I’s path during this time. It’s mind staggering and humbling! :)

I am finishing up my last 12 ounces of the green juice for the night. (Spinach, grapes and banana) then I am headed to the shower and bed.

Oh and YES, I am still taking ALL of my MNS C Advocare vitamins… just not the Spark. :(

Until tomorrow,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck <3

Aj’s Health Watch day 93 “The trickle down effect of just one bite!”

Have a Coke and...denial

Have a Coke and…denial

During my last post I touched on the topic of my food addictions.

What drives them forward? Why does destruction seem to taste so “yummy”? I know I haven’t really talked about specific food choices in awhile- today, that changes. Here’s just one of MANY moments I have decided to share..and the lesson within it:

One of my less than finer moments came a few weeks back, when I finally caved into the constant hammering in my emotions ” I need a COKE!”

First, I ignored it. Then the craving got stronger- I ignored it. I ignored it and prayed. I drank my water and Advocare Spark instead.

Whew!- I escaped two times- the third time was the worst. I caved in- I JUSTIFIED WHY I NEEDED to drink that coke! I mean, after all, it wasn’t diet. It’s not THAT bad, right? I mean, it’s not like ONE COKE is going to kill me.

I drank it. I swallowed my guilt right along with the carbonated promise of satisfaction. Yes, it tasted good. NO I wasn’t happy with myself at all…

Here’s why:

I know where “JUST ONE COKE” leads me. It leads me further into lethargy and depression, lack of motivation and self control. It invites a false sense of security and lack of self discipline.  It leads to a meal that isn’t a good choice and then another and another. The guilt begins to lessen and I become numb to the knowledge of the consequences. Then my snacks become those full of sugar, chemicals and salt. This leads me away from the desire to work out. Then I fall into the trap of eating to soothe my guilt.  The bad food, processed food choices lead to migraines and bloat. Then the bloat leads to inflammation and pain. This leads me back to the doctors office and then the pharmacy- treating more illnesses verses taking the steps to prevent them.


A deadly vicious cycle that I know better than to indulge in.

Am I really any different than EVE? I mean, wasn’t she offered a false sense of satisfaction as well by the very enemy of our soul, the serpent?

“Just one bite won’t hurt you, you won’t surely die!”

It was a lie then and it’s a lie now.

Father God may you continue to strengthen me in my times of weakness so that I may grow stronger with each passing moment. My desire to be healthy inside and out. I can not do this alone, it has to be with your help and Yours alone.


Until next time,


See  ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck

Aj’s Health Update day 74- Pieces finally starting to fall into place

One day at a time, one movement at a time, one decision at a time= the journey

One day at a time, one movement at a time, one decision at a time= the journey

Wow. Here I am again, checking in. It seems like forever since my last update.

I apologize.

Time seems to be getting past me so fast these days.

As far as an update- things are getting better. Hubby and I began working out a few additional times, (and feeling it.) and somehow we are still managing to survive. :)

I still gripe and complain but deep down, I love the fact that we are STILL in this!

My eating has been o v e r a l l pretty decent with some lame choices sprinkled throughout. It has helped to be back on the Advocare vitamins and Spark. A LOT.

When I make the poor choices in food, I feel them instantly. I suppose I could spin it as “learning from the mistakes.” – Right???

Something kind of cool happened during this past week. Two actually.

One- Last week, we went and worked out with a group of other clients with our trainers. At first I was terrified. It was their (the new clients) first workout. After it was done our trainers told us to walk a ways to cool off. Can I be honest…. after the workout I was hardly breaking a sweat. In fact, I felt like I hadn’t really worked out at all. I OPTED to jog the cool down distance instead of walking. (And I ENJOYED THE RUN!) I was shocked at myself, and a little bit proud too. It was after that workout I realized just how much I really was changing. I thought back to our first workout; how the warm up just about killed me…and now- wow. Don’t read too much into it though. The following night’s workout- JUST. ABOUT. KILLED. ME. (but I STILL finished it too.) Progress, no matter how slow, is STILL progress. :)

Yesterday I was getting ready for the day. I have a basket of clothes that I keep to sell on ebay. (ones I find at yard sales or thrift stores with good resale value.) Anyway, there was a pair of pants that I fell in love with about 6 monts ago. I bought them- HOPING. When I got home I tried them on. I couldn’t even squeeze one thigh into them. I was sad- and tossed them in the basket to sell. Inside I didn’t have the heart to list them. I wanted to hold onto them, in hopes that one day I would actually fit into them. (For that to happen I would have to drop 3 pants sizes.) THAT WAS 6 months ago.

Yesterday, I felt courageous. I grabbed them, pulled them RIGHT up, fastened them and they were  l o o s e  and sooo comfy!! I WAS ELATED!! I wore them all day, smiling the whole time. I knew how far I had come. I actually felt the progress, and it felt good.

Yes, I am still climbing a very uphill battle- I understand that. For now, it’s the small victories that keep me moving not only forward, but upward as well!!

Until next time,

See ya on the “way up to the top!”


Aj Luck

Aj’s Health Update-Day 67 Winging it does not pay off

This is kinda how I feel today....

This is kinda how I feel today….

I’m gonna start this update out by saying, if you are my trainer and you are by chance reading this…NOW would be the time to go ahead and close this post out. Continue reading at your own risk…cause things are about to get ugly..up. in. here.

So, Here I sit on a Sunday evening, not having a good day.

My hubby always says, “People change for two reasons- either pain or knowledge.”

A lot has happened in the last week and some hard lessons have been learned. I had mentioned before that I had decided to continue with the Advocare products- (MNS vitamins, meal replacement shakes and Spark.) I was doing pretty good, then life happened a bit.

The budget got a little tight and some decisions had to be made. One of them being, I decided to go back to work, after being a stay at home wife and mommy for two years. I started back this past Wednesday. It has been a blessing in that it is close to home and work and a decent weekly salary. :)

During the tightness of the budget we made a hard decision not to re order the Advocare items. (until regular paychecks from both of us starting coming in.) I thought I would be just fine. I ASSUMED (and you know what they say about making assumptions.) that I could just “wing it.”


My first mistake was not having my Spark. I fell back into trying to find alternate ways to stay energized during the work day. Coffee. Soda. NOPE. Made me sluggish after the sugar crash. I allowed stress to take over and I gave in to it. I failed to prepare ahead of time. I fell prey to the fast food places. Then was the downward spiral. Then my sons birthday party this weekend. SUGAR. PIZZA. etc. I ate horrible. I drank soda a lot- tonight.. I feel sick.


I am tired, depressed, discouraged and angry at myself. My jeans are a little snug, again and I have no one to blame but me.

The food- if I am being honest, all the processed food, didn’t taste like it “used” to. All I tasted was SALT. :( YUCK!

I’ve missed two workouts and I feel it. My hubby and I talked. We don’t want to go back to this sluggish, poorly orchestrated, highly disfunctional way of life. We both fell off the wagon. We are both desperately climbing our way back up. We are not proud of ourselves. We are ashamed. We fell.

Yet, we ARE getting back up.

I learned a lot of lessons this week.

One, I MUST stay on the Advocare products. My body simply responds better on them. I don’t stress as much. I stay more focused as well as energized.

Also, I have GOT to plan my meals and snacks ahead of time. I can’t give myself permission to “wing it.” It’s simply not smart.

Like I have said a million times,

It’s a journey. It’s baby steps- every moment of every day.

I have to believe there are lessons to be learned, even in the moments that we fall.

Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck



Aj’s Health update- day 61- The results are in.

It's time to reveal the official tape measurement results!

It’s time to reveal the official tape measurement results!

Good morning.

Sitting here this morning listening to Nine Lashes, (highly recommend by the way)

and thought I would post the official weight loss results this morning.


Okay- Here are mine:

January 9th, 2013

First day- Official weigh in: 231

Shoulders- 47″

Chest- 50″

Abs/Waist- 46″

Hips- 53″

Thigh- 25″

Arm- 14″

Calf- 17″

RESULTS AS OF 3-3-13 (53 days later)

Weight 221 (lost 10 pounds)- FAT. NOT WATER.

Shoulders- 45″ (-2)

Chest-47″ (-3)

Abs/ Waist- 43″ (-3)

Hips- 50″ (-3)

Thigh- 24.5″ (-.5)

Arm- 13.5″ (.5)

Calf- 16″ (-1)

Total pounds lost: 10 pounds

Total inches lost 13″

During this time I am learning how to eat “clean”- building muscle and toning up.

Sure, I would like the numbers to be higher- but a loss is a loss. I’ll take it.

I have been slacking a bit on recording my daily updates so I will get back on the “wagon” starting tomorrow. Yes, I am still drinking my Advocare Spark and taking my vitamins everyday.

I’m not perfect. I never will be. This is a journey and a process. It is LITERALLY one step at a time.

At least I am stepping forward.

Won’t you join me?

p.s. hubby has lost a total of 20 pounds and 14.5 inches. HE is a rockstar and I am super proud of him!

Until next time,

See ya on the lighter side!

Aj Luck