Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Finding A Better Me

With 2016 upon us, many people have made plans to attempt to be a better person.  Whether it’s by dieting, exercising, or going back to school.  Many of us swear that this year will be THE year.  I didn’t make any of those plans, for good reason.  I wasn’t sure where my life would be headed.  I was feeling very lost and unsure of myself. 

I haven’t always subscribed to the theory that everything happens for a reason.  I must say, it seems to be pretty accurate in this instance.  As you may know, I’ve struggled with my weight for my entire life.  I was believing all of the negative thoughts my brain badgers me with.  I know that my husband supports me in everything that I do.  Unfortunately, I didn’t believe in myself.

I’ve been on a medication called Seroquel for roughly 15 years.  It has the propensity to give you crazy cravings in the middle of the night.  I went through many years of getting up in the middle of the night to eat.  Seroquel also makes you extremely sleepy, so at times, I was sleep eating. 

I’ve gained an obscene amount of weight.  I’m constantly down on myself about my appearance.  Nothing ever seemed to work long-term…if it worked at all.  I’ve never been this overweight in my life, and in the last 10 years, I haven’t done myself any favors.  I’ve tried it all.  Diet pills, Slim Fast, Atkins, Weight Watchers, and Medical Weight Loss just to name a few. 

For me, those programs weren’t realistic.  I couldn’t afford to stay on most of them for very long.  The irony of my situation is that over the last few years, I haven’t been over-eating. 

When I made the step to ask my doctor about weight loss surgery, we realized that I wasn’t the ideal candidate.  I already ate next to nothing.  NOT eating was making me fatter.  My metabolism has been non-existent for so long, the fat just sits there.  Add to that the fact that my back has been injured since 2010, preventing me from being able to do much in the way of exercise.  I was on Oxycodone for nearly a year. 

So, one day I was on Twitter and I saw all of these tweets about how successful a certain exercise program was.  We had already purchased the DVD’s in 2014, but my back pain was so extensive, I couldn’t continue at that time.  Factor in that the program was created by a retired wrestler that I’ve been following since the 90’s, I knew I had to get on the ball. 

I reached out to him and told him my story.  He confided in me that would help guide me through the process as long as I was willing to do the work.  I was beyond grateful.  He started off by sending me a list of tasks to do to get me started.  Included in that list were several documentaries.  One, in particular, struck a chord with me.  It’s called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (on Netflix). Unfortunately, I could relate to that title.  I learned about a man from Australia that came to America to start a juicing program.  He traveled across America with a juicer in his car and only juiced all natural, 100% organic fruits and vegetable.  Along the way, he met many people that were interested in the program.  One man in particular weight around 420 pounds.  They documented both of their stories – success stories! I was inspired and I ordered a juicer the next day. 

I wasn’t only doing this for weight loss at that point.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I wanted to feel good for once.  Never mind that I really wasn’t enjoying eating to begin with.  Everything I ate seemed to have some strange side effect.  I then watched a documentary called Genetic Roulette. (Available on Amazon) It covers all of the ways that we are essentially being poisoned by the pesticides that are being used.  They spray the fruits, vegetables, and even cotton.  Not only were the workers that handled the crops getting seriously ill, but they then take the pesticide ridden products and feed them to the cows, pigs, and chickens.  We are getting bombarded at every turn. 

Right away, I knew going organic was the thing to do.  The hardest part about this process has been teaching myself to eat/drink 3 meals a day.  Even if it was just juice, it had all of the vitamins and nutrients I could possibly need.  After making it through a 10-day juice reboot, I am 100% sold on this plan.  I now juice for breakfast and lunch, then eat an extremely healthy and organic dinner. 

You may be asking what the hell any of this has to do with bipolar or depression.  It has everything to do with it.  As of now, I’ve lost 20 pounds.  I feel amazing.  My migraines have decreased and I have more energy.  My back pain does still exist, but it doesn’t hurt as often.  In an attempt to tackle my social anxiety, we’re getting out more and doing fun things like going to the park or to a movie.  My depression symptoms are much, much more manageable.  I still get depressed and I know that I always will.  I’m not so na├»ve to think that I can cure it.  However, not having a foggy brain and being able to think straight sure do help you manage your symptoms better. 

I know I have a long way to go.  However, for the first time in over 10 years, I feel like I can do this.  I know there will be setbacks along the way, but I’m so much better equipped to face those setbacks.  There will still be days when I feel like crap, but I’m confident in my choices.  I no longer eat meat, dairy, or gluten.  I take vitamins every day and I’m much more active. 

Before now, I had lost all hope.  Thanks to a good old fashioned kick in the ass by one of my heroes, I feel like I can move mountains.  I call him my mentor now, and we exchange emails several times a week.  He’s always there if I have questions or concerns.  I don’t think I can ever truly express my gratitude. 

I’m not at all trying to insinuate that it’s my way or the highway.  I’ve always said that what works for me may not work for you.  I don’t make any money from this post.  I’m not trying to sell you something.  I just figured that between my book and subsequent posts, you could use a little good news from me.  J If you do want to learn more about anything I’ve discussed here, please feel free to email me at

It’s been a long time since I had confidence.  Years since I truly felt good.  If I can help you achieve that as well, it would be amazing.  In 2013, when I set off on this adventure, I only wanted to help others.  I hope that I have, and I hope I will continue to do so. 

Learning to take care of yourself is never easy.  I’m not saying it will be simple.  I’m just telling you that it’s worth it.  You are worth it.  Thank you for indulging me. 

Until next time…

Check out for more information on juicing
Visit for information on an amazing yoga program

It’s Not Your Journey – Available on Amazon
Visit my author website –
Follow me on Twitter @bekalombardo

5 Ways Orange is the New Black Contributes to Stigma

One of the most binge-worthy shows of the last few summers is Orange is the New Black. It’s a show I’ve grown to enjoy, even though I...