NJAPP: I just saw your recent IG transformation post and I said to myself that I needed to get you to share your journey with my readers. I think we should jump right in. How about you share with my NJAPP readers a little bit about yourself?
Linsey Manchess: Hey Hey, I’m Lindsey recently married (June 2018) to my best friend and I know that sounds so cliché and corny but really he truly is my best friend, we have a Fur- baby which we rescued (Adopt don’t shop, trust me they give a different kind of love). We are the very spontaneous, let’s pack our bags, throw the dog in the car and head away for the weekend type of people and honestly I wouldn’t change that about us for the world, but in Fall 2017 my world shook, I was admitted to the hospital for unexplained Pancreatitis. As a medical professional being admitted to a hospital was probably the scariest thing I had ever been through; one because Pancreatitis is unbearably painful, and two because I knew that this was going to be a battle I would have to fight for the rest of my life.
NJAPP: Um I think you need to dish more about your battle with Pancreatitis.
LM: Let me start with my post discharge. I did my research and realized that my eating habits and my weight were the culprit and that if I did not want to end up in the hospital again I would have to buckle down and make some sustainable, lifestyle changes.
NJAPP: There was funny tone to the word, Sustainable. Let pause, and talk about what you mean.
LM: Funny, ok… Sustainable, there is no magic pill, and definitely not a diet of the month that is going to be sustainable for the rest of your life. Trust me, I have tried them, yeah sure, they will help you drop weight; but if you are like myself and some people the word “DIET” is more harmful then it is helpful. The day the diet is over or you meet your goal weight those Girl Scout Cookies look even more tempting, or the bag of chips that you have avoided are so much easier to grab because its ok the diet is over. Let me follow up by saying this is my experience not everyone’s but I am sure I am not alone.
NJAPP: Let us circle back to your post pancreatitis discharge.
LM: The first 6 months out of the hospital I started eating clean, had done some elimination diets, to see what aggravated my pancreas, I miss cheese so much that it pains me to smell it or even think about it, and hitting the gym 4-5 times a week. Walking into a gym, any gym can be scary and nerve racking to some, myself included. How do you lift properly? Do you do cardio before lifting or vice versa? Are people looking at how ridiculous I look? Do I look like an amateur? I should probably lose weight and look better before I try that! Yup, every time I walked into a gym those questions and thoughts were running through my head so I hung out on the Cardio machines till my “hour” was over then I’d head home regretting not pushing myself and talking all this negative self-talk even though I was doing better than I was doing the day prior.
NJAPP: Durning this time of growth, weight loss and new outlook on your health. Was there anything or anyone that motivated you to keep on going besides the possibility of being admitted into the hospital by another pancreatic attack?
LM: Yes, I truly experienced an eye awaking moment for me was when I got my hands on the “Girl wash Your Face” book written by Racheal Hollis, and chapter 2 titled I’ll start tomorrow. Well if you have not ever heard of this book or have not read it, I highly recommend it, if you don’t have time to read, the audio version is even better because it’s like hearing your best friend lay some hard truths about life on you. No, I am not being paid nor do I work for her, even though that would be amazing, but every woman needs to get her hands on this book.
So, after listening to the book while doing cardio, I found a gym that focused on smaller group sessions with trainers who help you learn the proper techniques and form for lifting weights and how to properly recover and fuel your body. I had found my new home away from home. Using the equipment or lifting weights at the gym was once my biggest fear and is now my absolute favorite thing to do, and guess what I am 7 months in and don’t look bulky or manly, I am getting stronger and leaner, more muscle equals more fat loss and its SUSTAINABLE fat loss. It is definitely a slower process, but anything worth wild takes time.
NJAPP: You are AMAZE! You gotta dish the deets on the positive changes that you have made and are still making to keep your body healthy. Do you even struggle with falling back into bad habits?
LM: I am currently learning to listen to my body on what it needs, whether it be more sleep, more water, less caffeine, or maybe an extra healthy snack. I focus on making healthy decisions, eating whole foods that I have prepared for my family and myself. The one thing that I am starting to learn in my journey is: I DO NOT deprive myself of a goodie here or there for special occasions, I have taught myself that 1 cookie satisfies me just as much at 5 cookies or let’s be honest or half a sleeve of Oreo cookies. I have noticed that with me having a list of “Bad Items” or “Don’t go there foods” it makes me focus on only those items all day long! I have gotten to the point where if I crave a cookie I eat the cookie but moderation is key and if I’m craving cookies every day I probably have something else going on. Keep in mind this is coming from the 3 Venti PSL a day with pumpkin bread on the side addict. (Glad I Kicked that expensive addiction, my wallet and my thighs are grateful haha)
NJAPP: WHAT?!?! You used to drink 3 Venti PSL a day?! I think you should treat yourself to the way NJAPP orders her PSL (CLICK HERE)
NJAPP: What can advice can you give to someone who is struggling with body/self/health insercurities?
LM: The biggest advice I can offer and I wish someone had told me years ago before my teenage “I hate my body”, “I hate these thighs”, “Ugh my hair is too frizzy”, is that comparison is the thief of joy and how you speak to yourself key. How you see yourself and your personal journey is how the world will begin to see you. I will never be a super model or a size zero but that is ok, I am not built for size zero jeans but I am also not built for those size 16’s that I have finally donated. The gym is no longer a punishment for me; it is a privilege that I have been blessed. My health is a privilege that I am working on daily to maintain and improve. When I changed my mindset from the gym is a punishment and my heath is given, to both being privileges that most do not have the opportunity to change, it gave me more motivation to push to be a better ME and to do it for ME and only ME. I know that sounds selfish but taking time to improve your health, your fitness, your emotional sanity, will benefit your family, friends, and everyone you meet.
NJAPP: Again, you are amazing and I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing your story and for your courage to be real.
NJAPP: What is your Go-To snack choice?
LM: My Go To Snack
½ Cup Low Fat 1% Munna Cottage Cheese
¼ Cup of your choice of Berries
NJAPP: What would be your Top 5 daily goals/routines that you can share with me?
LM: Here are my Top 5
Wake up an hour before I need to be up
Drink my body weight in ounces of H2O
Hydration is Key (I realized at times I was confusing hungry vs thirst)
15-20 minutes of Personal Development of some sort ( mainly Audio Books or Podcast)
Journal 5 Things that I am grateful for before I go to bed
NJAPP: Thank you for taking the time to open up and expose. Is there any thing else you would like to add?
LM: I just want to take the time and Thank you, (Giovanna) for all the amazing work you share with us on NJAPP, Not Just a Pretty Plate. Your dedication to your family and your fitness journey has been so inspirational and motivating. Thank you for allowing me to share a little bit of my journey on your amazing platform.