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Mona’s quick tips to surviving a holiday weekend…

4 Jul

Remember your goals this weekend! In my own experience and in my type of work, I see people forgetting their goals and totally blowing it because of a holiday. This leads to guilt, shame and can set set you back if you are not careful. If you don’t absolutely love something, don’t eat it! Alot of times we will load our plate with food because that is tradition or it is something  we have always done. Ask yourself this question, how has that worked for me in the past? When going to a BBQ, don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings by not eating their food, after all you have to live with yourself. Offer to bring greens, that way you know you can at least have a burger salad. If you are having a gathering at your house, send temping foods home with family and friends. Make sure you are getting in all veggies and use your fruit as a dessert (here is a recipe for fruit dip, perfect with strawberry’s and apples) fruit dip. Most important,  drink your water!!! Try and not let food run your life, you are in control.

Hope you have an amazing weekend!

Mona.

the new well Fruit Dip

Ingredients

  • 6oz non-fat light greek yogurt
  • 2 T light cream cheese
  • 1 packet stevia
  • Vanilla extract to taste

Instructions

  • Set cream cheese out to reach room temperature
  • Mix all ingredients till creamy.

 

If at first you don’t succeed…

27 Dec

As you know, my son Isaac had surgery two days before Christmas, we left on Sunday night (the 21st) and came home Christmas eve, just in time to enjoy my family. While I was gone, it was easy for me to say no to temptation because I was so determined not to let stress get the best of me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed a few bites of fudge and a sip of Isaac’s hot chocolate but I left feeling accomplished. It was a totally different story when I got home, I made Christmas breakfast (French Toast), I usually make myself an omelet or oatmeal, but this time I ate what everyone else ate. For dinner I made a ham with all the usual sides, I did watch my portion size but had tons of starches. Later I ate a piece of Cinnamon roll, but with all the sugar and starches I had already consumed, I knew it was time to throw in sugar and carb towel.

The next day I woke up with the biggest headache and I felt super tired, my goal for the new year is to cut back on sugar and bread. Those two items make me feel yuck and I just don’t want to do that to myself anymore. During the detox I felt amazing and I am not sure why I let them back in my life, but I did and now I face the consequences. I decided to write this blog because I know that if I woke up to a sugar overdose, someone else did too. I know from past experience that as women we are so critical of ourselves, I know that we show other people grace but forget to show it to ourselves. The words to Aaliyah’s song, “Try again” popped in my head, I hope I can encourage every person who reads this, “if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again”.

The good news is, tomorrow is a new day. The holiday’s might have bitten you in the butt, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw all your hard work away. Don’t let the guilt of eating off plan one day (two, three or four) cause you fall deeper in the hole. This is not a game to just quit, this journey has a restart button. Brush yourself off and move forward, why? Because your life is worth saving.

This is not a game!

My husband and I at his company Christmas Party
Mona

But first, let me take a selfie…

30 Nov

I have a feeling that my friends might be getting annoyed with all my Facebook and Instagram selfies, but before you hid my post let me explain (I say this because of recent comments made to me). For as long as I can remember, I have never liked taking pictures and have felt insecure about my body and looks. One might mistake my confidence now with conceit, but that is not the case. When I look in the mirror, I don’t always see what everyone else sees, it has gotten better over time but insecurity likes to creep its ugly head back in my life. I am human and often mistakes, I am super hard on myself, but I always strive to be better than the person I was the day before. My selfies remind me daily how far I have come, and I look at the only picture I do have of my previous self as reminders of where I do not want to be.

This journey is a struggle, even in maintenance I have had binging episodes, I understand that I will always have a food addiction and I have truly accepted it. What helps me is that I show myself grace daily, dust myself off and start over with the next meal. To be honest, being a wellness consultant I often feel like a hypocrite because I still struggle, but when I think about it, it makes me more relatable. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I had gained 10-13 pounds depending on the day, I let negative self talk keep me from staying where I wanted to be. I am still learning to continue to use my struggles as a learning lesson not as an excuse to stay defeated. I am putting good thing in my body and have completely changed my lifestyle. So even though I have the fear of gaining, I have total trust in myself and the process that I will not let it hold me back from life.

My encouragement to you is to always tell yourself good things. Believe in yourself enough that you never give up, and take lots of selfies!!!

After dropping 4 pant sizes.

After dropping 4 pant sizes.

When I fist started walking.

When I first started walking.

Almost to my goal weight

Almost to my goal weight

Just because:)

Just because:)

Feeling beautiful with my little girl:)

Feeling beautiful with my little girl:)

the new well detox day 8 & 9

18 Nov

I am towards the end of my detox, really today is the last day to take supplements and tomorrow I will be add more variety of foods back into my diet. This is the first detox I have ever done, I have always been afraid because its usually a liquid diet, ain’t nobody got time for that (lol). The way it works is, you have a set food plan for each day, you gradually take away foods on the list, then add them back in towards the end of the week. You drink a shake that gets rid of the metals and environmental toxins and a supplement that adds nutrients back in your body. You are never hungry because you can have unlimited servings of the items set food plan.

For the first in my life I made Salmon and actually enjoyed it, I even convinced my 4 year old that it was chicken and she loved it. I wish I was able to get her  to drink the green smoothie (kale, spinach, apple, pear, ice and water, blended) I made because it was so yummy and good for you, the boys enjoyed it and I plan on making it often. I have not really been on a workout routine since I started working in June. I have the energy and I am making workout a priority! Being a wellness consultant I have to set a good example, not only for my family, but for my clients and friends. This detox has definitely put me in a better spot mentally. After all, anything you ever do in life has nothing to do with your physically ability but how mentally strong you are.

So my question is, what are you waiting for? Not just with this detox, what is holding you back from reaching your weight loss goal? Why wait for tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes, Monday never comes, next week or next month NEVER COME!!!! You just got to wake up an make the choice for today:)

FYI I am on day 9  I am feeling great, after I log off here I am headed to the gym and am planning for a busy day. Please comment below if you have any questions about the detox or need help starting your journey:)

http://weightlossgrantspass.com/is-your-body-in-need-of-detoxification/

Mona

Just like him…

20 Sep

Addictions are a beast!!!

I was watching a video about military men returning home, the surprised look on their loved ones face as they seen their soldier for the first time gave me memories of when my dad would return home. Although as children we were told our dad was in the “military” or “on vacation”, in reality he was in a half way house, rehab or prison. As I struggle with addiction myself, and mess up on daily basis, I think of my dad. I am not sure if it was because his birthday recently passed or because sometimes I just feel completely alone as my extended family is a bit of a mess.

I think about how much he might have wanted to be there for me, or keep his promises about doing good this time because he found Jesus. I think about that one last high or drink of his that kept him from me. I am not bitter towards him, I just really wish he knew that I completely forgave him and I wish he could see the woman I have become. There was a family prophecy that all Larry’s kids would end up in gangs, in prison or dead. Even though I had a rough start in life, I have completely changed the way I think and how I feel about my purpose. One of the things he always told me was, “mija, you need to lose weight because I don’t want you to get the diabetes” (adding the in front of diabetes always made me laugh). Just like him, I didn’t know how to beat my addiction, just like him, no matter how many times I tried I always let myself down, just like him, I let the guilt and shame of my past control my future and control who I was meant to be.

If you are reading this and struggle with a food addiction, you are not alone. It is so important for me to tell you that if you feel you have tried for the last time, try again. Know that your life is precious, and no matter what people say to you, your life is worth saving. I say this all the time and it is so true, this journey is tough, the first step is the hardest, but the end result is definitely worth it! I had to let this out, sometimes things are heavy on my mind and I have to write or I feel like I have missed an opportunity to help someone. Never stop trying, always strive to be better than you were the day before and keep on keepin on:)

Mona

*if you ever have any question, please don’t hesitate to write me a note

My the new well Story…

6 Sep

My name is Mona Pinon, I have been married to the love of my life for 12 years, and we have 5 beautiful children. My weight loss journey began in February of 2012 after the sudden death of my oldest brother David. I have struggled with weight my entire life, but it wasn’t until David passed away that I knew I needed to make changes, not only for myself but for the health of my husband and children. Tipping the scale at 309 pounds I sought the help of family and friends and turned my weight loss into a fundraiser for the Blue Slide Project, a wheelchair accessible playground in Grants Pass, Oregon. I knew others and the future of the playground were depending on me to succeed and I did not want to let anyone down. Most important, I was tired of gaining and losing weight, I wanted to set a goal for myself and actually follow through. A friend of mine told a doctor at The Women’s Health Center (TWHC) about what I was doing. To hold me accountable, Melanie Turner a Family Nurse Practitioner at TWHC agreed to weigh me for 6 months. I would go every Tuesday and her staff would weigh me and help me through any obstacles I was facing. After my 6 months was up, Melanie wanted to finish the race with me and agreed to weigh me for an additional 6 months.

During this time it was extremely difficult, trying to get rid of the diet mentality, learning to trust myself and learning how to deal with my past hurts and move forward. I had gained the majority of my weight while my son Isaac was in cancer treatments and dealing with the after affects. Isaac was paralyzed at just 4 months old, shortly after his first dose of chemo. Binge eating seemed to be my way of dealing with life’s worries and a habit that was formed at age 8, shortly after my dad abandoned my siblings and I for what seemed like the 100th time. Years later, while on my weight loss journey the pain resurfaced, instead of my usual eat until I didn’t feel the pain, for the first time I was dealing with the feelings and reliving the most tragic times of my life. My journey was an emotional one, I had to deal with my pain, forgive and move on, otherwise I was a prisoner in my own body and mind.

Here is where the new well comes in, Janet Holtman, one of the Wellness Center Managers asked if I would be a team captain for their annual Biggest Winner competition. In exchange for my time, she said I could try the program so I had a clear understanding of the meal plan and really what the Wellness Center has to offer. I was just 10 pounds shy of reaching my goal to be at 150 pounds. The first week I dropped 6 pounds on healthy fresh start, the first 3 days you are detoxing your body. Because I was using slim fast bars as a meal replacement I didn’t realize how much sugar I was consuming. I pushed myself harder than I had before, not only was I consuming more food, I was dropping the weight and learning to keep it off.
Once I reached my goal I was terrified, I always knew how to gain weight successfully and lose it, but never knew how to keep it off. The one on one counseling at the new well empowered me to believe in myself. I now hold the keys to success, I realize that this journey is 100% mental and I HAVE the choice to have a healthy relationship with food. I learned that it was never about the number on the scale and all about my health and wellness. The only thing in life I have control of is what I choose to eat. No one can make this choice for me, I cannot blame anyone if I eat something not so great for me nor can anyone take credit for all my hard work. For the first time in my life, I am starting and finishing, not wishing I was where I wanted to be.

Shortly before the competition was completed I was offered a job at the new well, I was scared because this was the first daytime job I have had since Isaac was diagnosed. It was such a great opportunity, I decided to just jump in and not let fear hold me back. I never imagined my life the way it is now, I never thought I could accomplish so many things with the setbacks I have had. Thanks to the support of so many people, I have successfully lost 162 pounds and have kept it off for 5 months. This is my new well story, what is stopping you from writing your own story?

Mona Pinon
Certified Wellness Consultant

My brother David and I

My brother David and I 2009

After

                                   After

To whom it may concern…

27 Jul

I usually try not to let the things people say bother me because I know everyone is fighting a hard battle. I usually try and turn the other cheek because I spent too many years having an eye for an eye attitude. I am writing this not to expose the hurtfulness of the human race, but to give encouragement to those facing the same struggles.

When I was morbidity obese, people would  make fun of or stare because I do not fit their ideal of how a woman was supposed to look. I struggled with who I was as a person because I constantly felt the glares of those wondering how I got to the state I was in, or so I thought. I have struggled with insecurity my entire life and since losing 162 pounds I have gained so much confidence. It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized no matter what my size people will always find something wrong about me, as long as they are looking. Not knowing my story they will spew venous words as though it were the norm.

Losing weight is no easy task, it was a constant struggle and it took everything in me to reach my goal. Only those closest to me fully understood just how hard it was.  Being overweight for so long left me with loose skin all over my entire body. Some days I look at myself and I am upset at what I did. How could I do this to my body and why did I let it go on for so long? Other days I see my loose skin as battle wounds, something to be proud of and I hold my head high with pride. Making my journey public I have the opportunity to help others while helping myself. I receive messages all the time from those who have followed my story and it encourages me to keep sharing.

So why should I let the words of one person skew the way I feel about such a life changing event? The answer is, I’m not.  I am proud of who I am and how much I have overcome in my life. If I am held by the things I have done in my past, then so is the whole world. I was reminded that I have nothing to do with why someone chooses to be harsh. I was reminded that for every mean word spoken that 100 nice words will follow.

So today I will expose my insecurities and hopefully bring light to the struggles we face just by existing. It’s never really about you,  some people have a hard time with moving on from the things that have hurt them in the past. Take pride in knowing you are strong and are taking control of your life. Know that no matter how hard you try to please everyone, someone will always feel left out. Sometimes your best isn’t good enough, you just got to keep being you. Mother Teresa was such a wise woman and although I will never be her I can surely strive. She wrote,
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway”

With that being said, here is a picture of my arms. The rest of my body I can cover, but my arms I have a hard time unless I wear long sleeves. Clothes don’t fit properly and I sometimes have to buy bigger just so things fit. I constantly catch people staring at them and really I don’t blame them. But I have never heard anyone openly make fun of or say something about them until recently. There is a first time for everything, right? This is to all my hard work, for every pound that I worked off, every burger I did not eat, and every good choice I made.

I am proud of me!

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