NatraCure FlexiKold Gel Cold Pack Review

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The great folks at NatraCure sent me the FlexiKold Gel Cold Pack to review and I’ve been in love with this cold pack since the day it hit my mailbox. Their website is wonderful, you can search by condition or the area of the body you are wanting to treat, and it gives you the options best suited to your ailment. I was given the standard size and it’s the biggest cold pack I’ve used, measuring in at 10.5″x 14.5.” They have an even bigger size for areas such as your back, but the standard size also does an excellent job for your back. They even sell a pack designed just for your neck area, I think that one will be on my Christmas list.

The NatraCure Flexikold Neck  Cold pack. Cost: $21.10

     The NatraCure Flexikold Neck Cold pack.                                     Cost: $21.10

As someone with a chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia, having a nice sturdy, flexible cold pack around is a blessing. It even was helpful during one of my migraines. I was able to cover my whole head with the cold pack and it helped bring some much needed relief.

The cold pack is designed to be washable, reusable, and it is double sealed to prevent leaking. There is nothing worse than a leaking gel pack, trust me, I’ve been there. The FlexiKold also remained cold for quite awhile thanks to a proprietary gel inside the pack that stays colder for longer versus the competing products that use inferior bentonite formulations. Unlike some gel pack the gel remains flexible even when frozen.

If you are someone who suffers from chronic pain or have an injury to treat such as muscle pain, bruises, inflammation, or swelling, then this should be your cold pack of choice. A standard size is $19.99 and well worth the price. They even offer 60 day money back guarantee, so what do you have to lose to try this awesome product? I think if you purchase one it will be a staple in your pain management routine. I can see this cold pack lasting for many, many years. I’m so happy to have come across this product and have been icing all week.

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      The standard size FlexiKold gel pack by                            NatraCure. Cost $19.99.

Anything Is Achievable

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After last year’s health scare and the regaining of 70 pounds, I felt like a failure and ready to give up. I had worked so hard over 4 years to lose 138 pounds and in the span of 6 or so months I had regained half of it back. Severe depression, steroid medication, binge eating disorder, and fibromyalgia were over taking my life and I was feeling like I would never return to a normal life. This past year I was so unhappy with my regain that I knew I needed to do something. Thanks to a binge eating disorder treatment program and an endocrinologist I am down 36 pounds since April and down 104 pounds from my heaviest. My next goal is losing 34 more pounds and then I will be back to my weight that I was before my 2 week hospitalization last year. It actually seems achievable and it goes to show you that you should never give up. For those of you who might be struggling, keep going. Anything is achievable, I know you can do it.

An Update and A New Focus For My Writing

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I’ve been doing my PiYo workout from Beachbody for almost five weeks now. I’m really enjoying it even though some moves are hard for me but I can do moves now that I couldn’t do in the beginning. You’ll remember from my blog post that I last posted from over a month that my endocrinologist wanted me to be down 18 more pounds by the end of July. I’m happy to report that as of today I only have 6 pounds left with a little over a week to go. I hope I can get there! My total pounds lost now since April is 28! 4 more pounds and will have lost half of what I gained back last year do to the year from hell, almost dying, 5 months of steroids to reverse the kidney failure from the Topamax reaction, and a brief relapse into depression.

This year has been so much better, probably one of the better ones in my adult life and there aren’t much of those sadly. I conquered my binge eating disorder which I had been suffering from for 12 years. I received a diagnosis and underwent effective intensive outpaitent therapy. I have not binge ate since February right before I began my 6 week treatment. I am back in remission with my depression.

I feel bad that I don’t update my blog more often. After 4 years of writing it is hard to think of much to write other than an update about me, I’m mentally still stuck in the bariatric mindset for this blog sometimes even though I have long since parted ways with that community, I plan to change that. I am going to try to open up more about my life especially the late teens/young adult years. Those were the worst years of my life and I have so much to get out. I’ve rarely talked about them other than my rape by a teenage boyfriend. But even then I don’t feel like I’ve gotten all those emotions out. It’s been 14 years since that occurred, I’ve long since forgiven him in my mind. But it’s impossible to forget. I’ve get into that more. This blog is meant to be about my life and maybe my life experiences will help a struggling person. I may only be 32 years old but I’ve been though a lot, more than some people experience in whole life.

Journey To A Healthier Me

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Last week I decided to up the intensity on my weight loss efforts. For the last 7 weeks I have been working on losing the weight I gained last year, the year from hell. At my recent doctor’s appointment I was down 16 lbs in 6 weeks, my doctor would like to see me lose another 18 lbs by the end of July. So I decided to turn to a friend who I went to high school with who is a Beachbody coach and spoke to her about the different workout programs they offer. I told her I was looking for something that I would be capable of doing living with chronic pain. She suggested PiYo which she explained was a mix of yoga, pilates & very low to no impact cardio. I order it from her and received it today! To learn more and order PiYo and other Beachbody progams click here. Make sure to use Coach ID 560542 when you place your order.

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I’m hoping to getting back into blogging more often now that I have committed to a workout plan. I need this exercise more than ever because exercise is a big part of managing fibromyalgia, even though fibromyalgia can make it harder, who wants to work out when you’re in pain? But you’ve got to, even if it’s just a little each day. I have committed to a 6 day a week, 25-45 minute a day workout. I will try to keep up with that the best I can but I do know that there will be days that are a little harder than others, there are even days where I can barely get out of bed. But I must fight through to lose some weight, I’m so eager to lose the Prednisone weight I gained which was 65 lbs, I down 20 lbs now on my home scale so we’re slowly but surely getting there.

Free Kitten Training Class in Corvallis, OR

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Originally posted on Maueyes:

Hello all! I will be leading a free kitten training class in Corvallis, OR this August. Please see the below flyer for details. Contact me if you have any questions or if are interested in enrolling the the class. It will be a lot of fun for humans and kittens alike!

OSUKittenTrainingFlyer

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Why I Left

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Some of you who have been following me for a long time have noticed that after three years I did away with the name Bariatric Beginnings. I also left behind the topic of weight loss surgery that had graced the posts of the blog for over 600 posts. I left behind hundreds of views and thousands of Facebook followers. I left it all behind me as I no longer felt that I was part of the bariatric surgery community. Frankly I never felt I belonged. I had such an atypical experience with weight loss surgery, many looked down upon me as a failure, I only went from very fat to fat. Most go to fat to slender. Not me, never will be me. I wanted my blog to focus on all aspects of myself not just weight loss surgery which was something I never quite succeeded at. I had so many bumps in my road, severe depression, thoughts of suicide, and a life changing medical trauma. I had succeeded at losing 150 lbs but overnight my life changed and steroids were the only way to save my kidneys. After all that I developed fibromyalgia and my binge eating returned. 70 lbs returned. I was once again was looked down upon by the very community I was working so hard to help. In all my years in that community I noticed that if at any point you had trouble or regain you were looked upon as weak and incapable. I kept my blog going as a bariatric blog because I didn’t want to be like that to others. I wanted to be that place where people could come and feel safe from judgement, something that I lacked most of my time in the community. I stayed away from support groups, they were full of complaining and bring others down, not very supportive to me. I also left because I knew it was vital to my binge eating treatment problem.

Since moving on and living my life differently I have lost 16 lbs on my own. I have been binge free since the end of February and most importantly I feel at peace because I left.

My Experience With The Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Program

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I’ve had several requests to share about the binge eating disorder treatment program I completed, so I will share some of the things I learned there and what the experience was like. The center that ran the treatment program is called The Emily Program in Beachwood, Ohio. It is the only program of it’s kind in the country according to the program director. I am very fortune to only live about a half an hour away from it and have it accessible to me. The program was 3 days a week for 3 hours. It ran for 6 weeks. It was intensive outpatient therapy (IOP.) I have attended IOPs in the past but always for depression and anxiety and coping with the everyday. This particular program focused solely on binge eating and other issues surrounding it.

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Each treatment session included cognitive behavior therapy and reviewing our food logs and goals. For the food logs we would write when we had our food and what we ate, any emotions or circumstances surrounding the meal, urges to binge, and our hunger/fullness cues before and after our meal. It the beginning it was hard to judge ones level of hunger and fullness but by 3 weeks in I had developed proper hunger/fullness cues.

Twice a week we would have an exposure with our meal. An exposure was a food that we normally binged on and caused us anxiety when we eat it or overeat it. We learned no food was off limits to eat in our daily life. Years of dieting and restricting certain foods leads to disordered behavior. I personally feel like weight loss surgery made my binge eating worse. We made a hierarchy of the foods we binged on. So if you binged on cupcakes you would bring in cupcakes for one week of exposures and maybe cake another week. You would plate it with your meal and have it sit there while you are eating the dinner that you brought. Your anxiety is typically high at the beginning of dinner time but by the time you dig into your exposure food your anxiety decreases and you realize that can have a cupcake anytime you like in your life. It evenually is no longer is a scary food you. Eventually I lost interest in all the foods I binged on in the past and don’t eat them very often anymore. We also covered various topics of nutrition and body image through the sessions.

On the final session of the week we would have a mindful snack. We brought whatever we liked for the snack and went through a process of smelling the food, touching the food, tasting the food, and eventually eating it. Some of realized that some foods aren’t as good when eaten mindfully such as Cheese-its or Doritos.

I was extremely pleased with the program and feel that it has changed my life, I only wish that it had existed years ago, then things in my life may have been very different.

Update Time

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Sorry that it’s been awhile since I’ve posted an update. I finished up my binge eating disorder treatment two weeks ago. The treatment was the best thing I’ve done in my life. Its helped me so much. I have not binged in 2 months and counting. My endocrinologist put me on a medication a month ago to help me get some of the weight I gained from steroid medication for my kidney failure last year and from the binge eating. It will be a short term medication. The medication is called Contrave and is fairly new. I just started on the maintenance dose last week, so far I have lost 7 lbs on it.

I’m finally seeing a new rheumatologist this Wednesday, I am hoping she will be able to help me manage my fibromyalgia. My former rheumatologist decided she rather criticize my weight than to help me with the condition she diagnosed me. At my last appointment I told her the medication she had me on wasn’t helping me. She answers you said it was helping you last visit. I said it stopped working and her answer to me was there is nothing else I can try, which is complete and utter bullshit. I’m not that stupid. I told her off at my last appointment and never returned. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in with the new doctor until the end of April but that day is almost here. To be in less pain would really make a difference in my life.

My Life Has Surely Changed

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Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve been so busy with working and then going to treatment on my nights off. I’m halfway through my binge eating disorder intensive outpatient program, my last day will be April 7. I have learned so much from it and feel confident about my future. I was amazed to learn that this program was just started last April and is one of four in the US. I’m do fortune to live only 30 minutes away. I wish this had existed 5 years ago, my life would probably be far different right now. But hindsight is always 20/20 so all I can do is move forward. Since changing my blog to a blog about my life and not solely based upon weight loss surgery I have felt a huge weight lifted of my shoulders. I  don’t follow any wls blogs, pages, or Instagram pages anymore. It’s not a good idea during treatment or for me in general. I  have always felt I didn’t belong in that community. I left my Facebook page of over 2,000 + followers because I couldn’t continue to leave under the name Bariatric Beginnings. Sure my beginnings were bariatric but it’s not my whole life, my whole life is a journey. Through binge eating disorder treatment I have learned how I need to live my life, a life that doesn’t revolve about one’s weight and food. I haven’t been this happy in a long time despite now living with  fibromyalgia. I have a part time job that I love working with children, a good marriage, two wonderful loving cats, the most supportive parents and siblings ever, and my own house. I might not have gotten far weight wise in the last 5 years but my life has surely changed.

The Start Of My Treatment

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I started my treatment for binge eating disorder last Thursday, so far I have had two intensive outpatient sessions, I have another one this evening. The program runs for a minimum of six weeks and is three days a week, three hours a day. Already I can tell that going through this program is going to change my life tremendously, we practice mindful eating, learn to develop fullness and hunger ques, and talk about body image, exercise, and nutrition. On Tuesdays and Thursday, we have dinner during the program, we bring our dinner and you also have to bring in one of your trigger foods, one that you binge on. In the program you learn that there are no such things as good and bad foods. The mindset that there are good and bad foods is what gets many people with binge eating disorders (BED) in trouble in the first place. We tend to overindulge/binge with the bad food because we think that we can never have it again since it’s a bad food and get in as much as we can/have of it. Then comes the guilt and shame that you had that food and so much of it. Treatment teaches you to not think of those bad foods as bad and that it is okay to have that “bad food.” You learn to appreciate it and are satisfied with just one. Eating normalizes and you have a healthy eating pattern. On Saturdays we have a mindful snack and learn to appreciate food bite for bite.

As I have begun treatment for BED I am realizing that bariatric surgery made my binge eating worse. There are what everyone considered good and bad in bariatric surgery. For someone like me with untreated binge eating disorder that can be detrimental to my success. If I could go back and change the past I would have tried to seek treatment before having surgery, however binge eating treatment wasn’t available then, it just became a diagnosis-able disorder in the DSM V this year, the program I am in is one of a few in the US. Do I regret my surgeries, no, but this is why I have shifted my blog in a new direction. This is about being the best I can be and sharing about my life in general. Those who have had WLS may think I’m crazy and possibly a failure, but WLS has not helped me as much as a normal person as my disordered eating still continued. I take full responsibility for not losing as much weight as others but it is hard with your mind was never truly fixed. But after this treatment I feel like this will possibly the first time that I am completely happy with myself and that I am actually fixing the problem instead of covering it up.