Saturday, March 30, 2013

Get out and ENJOY this spring!

Spring is here, even in the Northeast, I can feel it's warm little hands reaching out for us :D

So, on this 50 degree and sunny day, we loaded up the dog and headed out for a hike in the Catskills!

As the weather warms and it gets easier and easier to just step outside and revel in the sunshine and get some activity in, I feel ever more ALIVE and grateful.

Don't miss out on these days! Grab them all up and binge on LIFE, not food.

Sun and fresh air and my dog bounding up and down the trail and trees and rocks and movement was the perfect medicine for what ails me.

Seeing these pictures that Chris loaded up when we got home made me feel even better :) Because I feel beautiful and present and good when I look at them!

So that's my message for the weekend. Get out there and drink up the air and eat up life to the fullest. You'll never feel deprived if you do :D


Friday, March 29, 2013

Green burgers, sore muscles

I didn't post yesterday. I was in a little funk that was due to a bad night of sleep. So I didn't want to say anything I didn't mean!

I didn't walk the dog yesterday, even, but it was a more conscious choice. I knew Chris was going to take Koda after work to a local nature preserve and run him ragged. But I was glad to not get tugged around for an hour by my massive pup!!

However, I used the hour that I normally would have been walking him and worked *out*! I turned on Criminal Minds (ohhhh favorite guilty pleasure) and for every minute the show was on I rowed my heart out on my rowing machine. And when the commercials were on, I would stand up and do squats with arm presses or lunges with bicep curls.

And, now, I am sore. Wow, oh, wow. I forgot what the rowing machine does to a person who hasn't used it in weeks! Got to be more consistent about using that bad boy.

I so badly want killer arms on my wedding day :D

So, last night for dinner, I wanted to bulk out my chicken burgers. So I turned them green (which I don't know is super apparent in the picture, but trust me).

I threw cilantro, mushrooms, onions, baby spinach and green peppers into the food processors until it was finely chopped, mushed it all in with the ground chicken and voila! - I doubled the amount of burgers I made and turned them green :)

They were delicious, too!

Asparagus lightly sauteed in olive oil and cooked in lemon juice and garlic - also incredible!

It was a great dinner. I LOVE eating this type of dinner (and Chris and I have made some variation on the lean protein/green veggie/sweet potato dinner for two weeks straight).... I feel full, satisfied and content after. It is as if I can feel the nutrients being digested immediately. My stomach feels happy... as opposed to how it would feel if I filled it with fats, salts, and nothing green (which is very bloated and unhappy!).

Weighing in at 126 this morning, feels good to see something other than the 127 that I've seen for a while now - and I'm glad that "other" is lower! Gives me hope that my current behaviors will get me under 125 again :)

Okay - get out there and kill it today, friends!!!

Peace <3

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This food culture has GOT to go

I'm just adding my voice to this public forum. Stating something I wholeheartedly believe and practice:


It is a disgusting symptom of everything wrong with our food system here in the US of A and how we view food and understand food and approach food.

Chemicals are not treats.

I like treats. I am a fan of treats. I love yummy food, a lot. A lot, a lot.

But this country has been spiraling out of control and we are sooo freaking separated from our food, we don't even recognize food anymore when we see it.

REAL FOOD IS: eggs, chicken thighs, spinach, coconuts, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, raisins, apples, venison, macadamia nuts, avocados, wheat, the list goes freaking ON and ON and ON. So.... why are we eating the following:

Ingredients in a typical fast food breakfast sandwich:

Whole eggs, skim milk (water, nonfat dry milk) vegetable oil (soy and/or corn oil), salt, xanthan gum, natural egg flavor, natural butter flavor. USDA inspected pork sausage patties, may have caramel color added. Pork, salt, spices, dextrose, sugar, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed soy protein. Prepared in partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening. Bleached enriched flour (bleached flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mono-nitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean, cottonseed) with citric acid added to protect flavor, baking powder (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate), cultured lowfat buttermilk (nonfat milk, whey protein concentrate, whey, cream, dairy cultures), sugar, salt, sodium caseinate, corn syrup solids, egg whites, natural flavor, carrageenan, dextrose, nonfat milk. Pasteurized American cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes, annatto color), water, cream, enzyme modified cheese, (cultured milk, water, cream, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, salt, enzymes, sorbic acid [preservative], acetic acid, phosphoric acid, colored with paprika and annatto extracts), sodium citrate salt, sorbic acid (preservative), sodium phosphate, colored with paprika and annatto extracts or beta carotene and apo-carotenal, acetic acid, lecithin. 

Sooo, I think I will stick with MY delicious breakfast I consider a treat every morning. I will give you the ingredient list:

Whole eggs, egg whites, green peppers, white onions, crimini mushrooms, baby spinach, olive oil and ketchup (red ripe tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder, natural flavoring), coffee

I think we should enjoy the foods we put in our mouths. I just think they should be real foods. In fact, you can be slimmer eating MORE calories of real food than less calories of junk food. This is because your body can efficiently process real food and won't be inflamed and confused by chemicals and crap. When I eat super clean, I can eat 2000 calories a day and lose/maintain weight. When I start slipping down that slope of junky food... I can eat 1600 calories a day and BARELY maintain my weight. Food for thought?

We can have "treats", sure! Here's another comparison for you. My favorite chocolate bar has these ingredients:

Organic chocolate liquor, Organic raw cane sugar, organic hazelnuts, organic currants, organic cocoa butter, soy lecithin (emulsifier), organic vanilla extract organic whole milk powder

Soy lecithin is the only ingredient I don't know exactly what it is. It's in everything. I did a little googling, it's the oily substance in soybeans. Okay. I am willing to eat that.

Here's the ingredients for a popular candy bar:

Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, milk fat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), peanuts, corn syrup, sugar, milkfat, skim milk, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor

Let's stop eating PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS!!! Seriously. There is no reason for it. 

AND why does the second candy bar have corn syrup instead of normal sugar? Is it because of the government subsidized fucking corn farms that are taking over, making it hard to grow anything except corn in this country? Yeah, probably. 



My second point I want to make: 

I've seen comments on blogs or blog posts time after time that talk about certain weights being too low or impossible to maintain. Let's just be clear... the weights we maintain are the weights we CHOOSE by our behaviors! *WE* decide what we are willing to do to be at a certain weight.

135 pounds on an average heighted woman (the average female height in the USA is 5'4) is not too skinny. It is not un-maintainable. This is a fallacy propagated by people who don't like the reality of being that weight (eating healthy, eating clean, being active). You would have to be almost six feet tall for 135 pounds to be underweight by medical standards. At the average height, you'd have to be at around 105 pounds to start being considered underweight.

(I will make a disclaimer and say people like Norma who are at a higher weight than they would like because they are badass bitches in the gym with killer muscular bodies -- the above generalizations do not apply :D)\

Edited to add: I think there are a WIDE variety of weights that people of all heights look good at and are healthy at.... I just don't like the bullshitting that what are actually normal weights are "too skinny" or "emaciated" to justify staying at a higher weight. The term emaciated bothers me, too, because there really ARE emaciated people in this world... and no one in this weight loss world I've entered comes close. /end edit

I just want people to start taking some ownership.

These are OUR choices, OUR bodies, OUR lives.

Let's stop fooling ourselves.

We know what real food is. But in this world, most people are too used to being force fed crap by big corporations and started to think, somewhere along the line, that artificial sweeteners and weird oily chemical substances were food. Just because they taste good (because they are engineered to!) doesn't mean they belong in our bodies.

Take care out there, folks!!

Daily dog walks, Weigh In

I've been really, really loving my daily dog walks (which I am about to go on in about 10 minutes!). I start my day with fresh air, about three miles of walking, and bonding time with my new buddy :D

Six months ago to about three months ago, I considered getting rid of him all the time. But I knew those thoughts were a product of stress, grief, and depression. I am SO glad I didn't do it. I am so glad I am not the type of person to do things without trying to look at it logically. Even through the fog of my deep sadness and frustration, I knew I would regret giving him away.

I love Koda and he helps start my day off right!!

Seriously: Koda, my egg and veggie scramble, and a bout of yoga has improved my mood and my health TENFOLD. I keep doing it every day. It works.

So, weighing in. I was scared to weigh in since I had a rough couple of weeks as far as drinking, gave UP drinking for five days and drank again on Saturday. And drinking always comes with too much snacking.

But those 5 days of SUPER clean eating at about 1700 calories with absolutely no alcohol paid off.

Still weighing in at 127 :)

I wonder where I would be if I hadn't spent all that time drinking/eating... probably under 125 which is what I want!

I am going to get where I want to go and making another rule: NO DRINKING AT TV NIGHT! TV Night is Wednesday (so today!) and all our friends get together and have a ton of fun watching bad TV and joking and catching up on each others lives. We also drink a lot.

There is no reason for me to. I have JUST as much fun when I don't drink. And, though I do really like wine and beer and alcohol in general.... it just simply isn't doing me any favors. I HAVE to limit it somewhere and this is a good place to start: today :)

I have been trying. I have been having more on plan days than off. My off plan days aren't even terrible. I am staying healthy and my weigh in proves it. I am happy! 

I just want to be better, is all. Who doesn't?

Okay, off to my walk with my favorite dog in the world...

Namaste <3

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More About the Paleo Fantasy

Good morning friends!

Found a few more interesting articles for you on why the paleo diet isn't actually a PALEOLITHIC diet and why we don't need to be trying to eat like our hunter and gatherer ancestors.

As someone who bases her diet off of the "Paleo Diet" plan, I actually like the plan for a couple of reasons:

1) It teaches you NOT to eat ANY processed foods

2) Reducing your foods to simple meats, veggies, fruits and nuts for a little while shows you exactly how out of control the SAD diet is and how basic our diets COULD be and still keep us full and nourished

3) It showed me that I felt more full on protein than on carbs (25% protein a day and 50% carbs is my standard now, rather than 75% carbs!)

4) It also showed me that the best carbs are vegetables

5) It helped me realize that white bread, white potatoes, refined sugar and dairy made me feel like utter crap!

6) It is simple and clean and the "Paleo Diet" has everything in it your body needs to be strong and healthy - that's a plus!

I don't like the plan for any reason related to how our ancestors ate 10,000 years ago. I don't care about that. The science isn't sound. We aren't even 100% sure how our ancestors ate all the time. Our ancestors weren't free of diseases or nutritional troubles, either. And we evolve much quicker than the paleo diet assumes- adapting to different foods easily.

I don't like the plan for it's super strictness- no honey? no maple syrup? not even sweet potatoes when you are doing it strict?!

I think honey and maple syrup are perfectly reasonable in moderate amounts. Humans eat sugar. We have always eaten sugar. Not the way we do now, obviously. Not in the types and amounts. But honey and maple syrup are a-okay with me!

But, in the end, I am glad I did the diet and still use it as a general guide for how I eat. I really don't think my body needs white flour or dairy in it. I know for a fact my body doesn't need anything processed (by which I mean full of dirty, unpronounceable chemicals!) in it.

I still base my meals around protein and vegetables. Every meal. It's helped me stay slim and energetic and, I think, healthy.

So, yeah, just disseminating some more information. Those articles are really interesting, give them a read!

Love and light to you <3

Monday, March 25, 2013

Seder dinner, no wine, predicting another healthy week!

As I promised on my last few posts, I didn't have a drink on Sunday! I had my party on Saturday and normally that would spill over into Sunday. But not this weekend. I knew my body would recover better and feel better faster if I abstained yesterday, so I did.

And it was a challenge, since I went over to one of my friends house's for Seder dinner (I am not Jewish, but every year they have a friend Seder for everyone, even the non-Jewish of us, which is nice! I really like seeing the traditions I had never seen before).

And at Seder, well... there is a lot of drinking! It is part of the ritual, you say some things, drink wine, dunk some herbs in salt water, drink wine, etc, etc.

I had water all night, and put a splash of grape juice in it to turn it red ;)

It's a big change for me from the past few months. I've drank a lot in the past few months, most likely as a coping mechanism. But I've broken through that and really enjoyed treating my body well yesterday. I can have fun with my friends and laugh and all that fun stuff without a glass of wine.

I got an amazing night of sleep last night (had to break down and take a sleep aid because the past four or five nights, I wake up in the early hours of the morning or super late at night and can't get back to sleep). I feel great today as a result!

Already got in the dog's walk and had a great egg scramble with ALL THE VEGGIES (spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes) and am about to do a little yoga routine before getting to work on my class lectures.

Hope this is another great start to another healthy week.

I am a firm believer in the idea that past behavior predict future behavior. So one healthy day indicates that I will have another healthy day... one healthy week behind me predicts the next week will be healthy. A month means another month. Soon, that will turn into a year or years that predict the rest of my life will be right on track :D

Namaste, friends!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wearing a corset makes it hard to overeat!

Pretty proud of myself for not overdoing it last night! It was the bachelorette party for my friend. I drank, for sure, but I didn't overdo it! In fact, at one of the bars we went to, I didn't drink anything except water, just to give my body a break. I also rode the mechanical bull at that bar (which was harder to do in the corset!).

We also had a tasting earlier in the evening at one of Albany's fanciest and most delicious restaurants, called Taste. A glass of wine came with each thing we tasted. I passed up two of the five glasses because I didn't like the wine, which was good because I didn't get sloppy at the restaurant :D

I wore my new corset, which I bought because I was eager for a sexy outfit for the evening. And it made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to overeat at Taste! I ate little bites slowly and couldn't get all wrapped up in the fun of the event and just start chowing down hard. That's usually what happens to me at restaurants, I eat excitedly in between talking, caught up in the fun. This time, I had to be caught up in the fun apart from the food, which was great.

More corset wearing in the future? ;D

So, I got buzzed, had an awesome time, danced and don't regret a thing!

The indulgence was great, but not going overboard with it was better.

I am tired this morning, mostly because I am just plain unused to staying awake till 2 or 3 in the morning. But I got to get moving because the dog is whimpering for a walk and I need to go get some veggies and almond milk at the co-op!

Ahhh... feeling good about my spirit and my body this weekend.

I just never thought I could be the girl in this picture (all made up and with freshly straightened hair for the party!).

Onward and upward!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

My first corset and that early 30s confidence

I have a confidence at this point in my life (age 31) that I've never felt before!

I got a huge thigh tattoo that I've wanted forever when I was 30. I'm stepping up in ways I never thought possible.

I'm starting to see myself as a beautiful, strong woman who can fulfill all her dreams!

I spent decades with negative thoughts:

"That activity is for fit people, not me."

"Those clothes are for sexy people, not me."

"Tattoos are for 'cool' people, not me."

Etc etc... Talking myself out of things I really wanted because I just wasn't THAT type of person. I had (sometimes still have) this vision of myself as a dorky, ugly little girl.

This year, as tough as it has been, has taught me that I am strong. I can do and be and dress and look and live anyway I want!

So, YAY, life experience! As sucky as it can be in the moment, it can craft something beautiful.

So here's pictures of my first corset (something I've wanted since I was that chubby, dorky teenager and never thought I'd have the body or the guts to wear):

A week of sobriety and clean eating

I met my goal - five days of super clean eating and not one single drop of alcohol.

It was awesome. So awesome, I don't plan to stop here :)

I just wanted to do the five days because eating/drinking was getting out of control and I needed to do something manageable and short-term to just remind myself that I LOVE this feeling!

At the train station last night, my friend had two drinks to celebrate getting wedding stuff done (her wedding is in less than a month)... and I just drank some honey green tea! I felt really proud. It would have been really easy to rationalize that I had been good for FOUR days, so what if I promised myself FIVE days, right? I'm glad I made the decision I did... it makes me feel strong today.

So tonight is part one of bachelorette festivities for my friend. I am going to go out to dinner and drinks with everyone (but am skipping the comedy show to save some money). I've been to the restaurant before and there are a lot of TERRIBLE food options, but also some really good ones. I'm driving, so I am limited to one drink. Tonight will not derail me.

Saturday is the real bachelorette party-party. I know I am going to have some drinks and stay up really late. I love these girls and am looking forward to it. Saturday, before the party, I will be eating tons of veggies and getting in a good workout to make sure I remember what is REALLY important to me. Then on Sunday, I will be getting up to walk the dog, do yoga and get right back on track with no drinking and clean eating!

This week felt great. I physically feel better than I have in months. Even though my weight is the same as last week, I love my body a little more - knowing it is full of good things and brimming with potential.

Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.- Hippocrates

Namaste <3

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New York City

I took the train into NYC today with a friend who was getting her last wedding dress fitting (she bought her dress and is using a seamstress in the city even though she lives in Albany by me).

It would have, in the past, been an eating disaster for me: pizza, bagels, fancy coffee drinks with tons of sugar... Leaving the house early, not getting back till evening, being on the train for hours and hours...

Today, it was a whole new world for me, I didn't use the day trip as an excuse to indulge or not prepare for the day. I didn't let the fun time with a friend leak over into my food. I just had a nice time, talking and laughing and doing wedding stuff!

My food:

Breakfast: egg scramble with veggies and turkey bacon

Lunch: cherry Lara bar and a 150 calorie bag of pistachios

Dinner (at the train station around 4): a grilled chicken salad with apple slices, bacon and a little bleu cheese

Snack (at home, since dinner was so early): gluten free toast with sunflower butter and cantaloupe

Nothing wrong with that. It felt great not to indulge just because I had to go into the city and my schedule was thrown all off.

I used to love buying junky, bready items in NYC and eating them on the go... a pretzel from a vendor just because, for example. I said to myself today, however, that I made a promise to myself to eat clean and eat moderately this week. I didn't want to go back on that promise! I wanted to wake up feeling proud and loving my body tomorrow.

It was more important than momentary pleasure.

That's a big mental step, getting back to this place where pride and health and self-worth matter more than a yummy treat. I was there last year and lost my way a little.

Ahhhhhh. :)

Going to bed happy!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

300th post: food, followers, and feelings

It's my 300th post in 366 days. Apparently I like blogging. :)

I used to have a diary when I was younger, I loved writing in it, but I fell out of the habit. This totally fulfills that need and had the added bonus of finding a community of like minded people and some really awesome individuals!

Food was SPOT ON yesterday!

Breakfast: egg, egg white, mushrooms, peppers and tomato

Lunch: coffee with almond milk, gluten free toast (one slice) with sunflower butter

Dinner (early): turkey burger (no bun) with raw tomato slices on top, with brussels sprouts, mushrooms,  and half a serving of a butternut squash and carrot soup

Snack: frozen strawberries and blackberries with some almond milk yogurt on top, sprinkled with cinnamon

I was completely satisfied all day, never hungry and never full - which is what I like. My fitness app said I ate 50% carbs, 24% protein and 26% fat - also what I like to see.

Feeling great this morning as a result! This mornings veggie scramble is already eaten, yoga already done, dog walk as well.

However, I did see I lost a follower!!! I wonder why. I do love an audience, so it hurt a little to see someone clicked off following me. I am curious as to why - am I boring? annoying? preachy? Hm. Ah, well. I am a small blog with a small readership, and the fact that ANYONE bothers to read my words warms the cockles of my soul :D

So I am in a great mood. Food has SUCH an effect on my mood. Greasy, junky food? Foul mood. (Hey, that rhymed!) And the opposite is true as well. I wish I could remember this when I get depressed. I think I will next time - as I get older, I remember these hard learned lessons when it is important to remember them more and more. For example: learned a pretty hard lesson when my mom died about abusing my body to deal with grief. Did not repeat that process when my dad passed.

Tomorrow, I am going to NYC with a friend to do some stuff for her wedding with her. I am pretty excited for some girl time!! I cannot attend her wedding (its a destination wedding and I can't afford it) so I am glad to spend this time with her. I am going to make sure to prepare ahead of time so I don't eat my little heart out in NYC - I'll bring a lunch and snack.

Love and light to you all!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Am I where I wanted to be? 1 year blog anniversary

Is this where I pictured myself when I started this blog a year ago? (this is also my 299th post!)

Not quite.

This time last year, I was 30 years old, living with my boyfriend in an apartment in the student ghetto, weighed about 136-137 pounds, was a teaching assistant and was pretty damned confused about where life was headed.

Today, I am 31, call that boyfriend my fiance, live in my (way too big for me!) childhood home because my father died, am unemployed, and weigh 127.4 pounds and am no longer confused about where life is going (though it is still going to be a surprise about how it all turns out!).


Some awesome things happened, some not great at all things happened. And I suppose - that is life!

But as far as the things I can control, I am in a better place.

I am 10 full pounds lighter than I was a year ago!! That blows my mind, that that happened in my 30th year. I finally realized something about eating/nutrition/exercise/balance. It is so hard to put into words, and that's not quite what this post is about. This post is about the fact that in this past year - I've learned. I've gotten where I want to go. I spent most of this year under 130 pounds, in fact, once I got under 130 pounds in the early summer... I never again went over.

That is a huge win in my book. HUGE.

I had gotten down to 121 pounds in the fall - but that was because I was grieving and not eating. Not a good or sustainable way to get to a low weight. I know I want to be under 125 by my wedding. And I have not a doubt that I will get there.

Biggest lesson of the year: don't hurt your one and only body! take care of it!

In my 30 years, I have hurt my body by overeating and undereating and stupideating. That is over. It's been over for a year. I will keep it that way.

Am I where I pictured myself? No.

Am I where I want to be? .... Yes!

Things happened this year I couldn't control. But the other things - I believe I stepped up to the plate this year. I took control. I set priorities. I made it here.


I also had a goal this month that by today, my blog anniversary, I would be back on track with health and fitness. And I am :D There is no downward spiral. I'm on the way up!

Thank you, blog world, for reading and commenting - it helps so much. It keeps me accountable knowing there are others watching. This is stuff I don't always share with my friends, but I consider you my friends now. You have helped me this past year, helped me stay grounded, stay focused.

Here's to another year of progress.

Things will happen I cannot control. I will be sad and happy and down and up. It's life. But I will persevere.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Accountability pics!

So my last month or do of posts have seemed pretty up and down ... Highs and lows... Good behavior and bad.

But I just wanted you all to know that I have learned to never go into that dark hole again-- it is too hard to climb out off.

So I might not be the muscle bound paleo eater of last spring/summer... But the lessons learned have stuck and I'm still a better version of myself!

So here's some pictorial proof :)

This is a much better feeling!

Eating under 2000 calories of unprocessed meat, veggies and fruit makes for a VERY good day... I woke up today after a perfect eating day yesterday feeling rested, energized, and happy.

Makes it easy to do the same thing today - because I want this feeling to continue!

I got all mixed up for a while, thinking that eating junky food and drinking alcohol was that pleasurable feeling I was looking for. It wasn't. I want *this* feeling, I want to chase this feeling - the feeling of a healthy, strong body that knows it can take on the world.

I got sick of indulgence this past weekend. It just happened, something just snapped mentally. I need a detox from all the rich food and alcohol (which I literally felt this weekend like I was being poisoned by!).

Today started with an egg/egg white scramble with vegetables, a dog walk and yoga. Tomorrow will start the same way :) It is easier to behave throughout the day when I start the day in a healthy manner.

I like having this shorter goal, trying for five days of sobriety and clean/moderate eating. It feels completely do-able. It isn't so generalized or so long term as my other goals (being fit for my wedding in September or just creating this perfectly healthy lifestyle). I need something shorter right now, something to focus on.

I can do five days.

And then I will work on the next five days :)

I will keep this blog updated honestly with my progress. I am excited to be successful with this five day plan, I like that feeling of pride of doing what I said I would do.

Namaste, have a beautiful day <3

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tasting/Grocery Shop/Day on Plan

Saturday we had the tasting for our wedding food... It was amazing! The food was fresh, beautiful and tasty. The entrees all come with great fresh grilled vegetables.. They were really well done!

We picked prosciutto stuffed chicken, salmon with polenta and filet mignon for the entrees (vegetarians have a great lasagna). Apps are similarly awesome.

The tasting was my only meal of the day .. I didn't want to eat THAT much food in one day!

Today was an awesome on plan food day! Fresh veggies, lean protein, and a little fruit.

I've made a pledge to stay sober and eat clean and paleo for five days. I am having a drink with some girls on Friday - but only if I abide by the sober/moderate eating plan for the week!

I will be driving on Friday as well, so I will only be having two drinks max, which makes it easy for me to plan my day.

We went to the co-op and got some great stuff to keep us on track: coconut milk yogurt, almond milk, brussels sprouts, dates, tomatoes, grass fed beef, and chocolate! Still enjoying my chocolate once in a while... Taking small steps to get back to where I was. Even at my fittest/leanest last year, I did enjoy a few squares of chocolate.

Getting there, slowly but surely :D

Okay - this is hard for me: Old Fat Pictures

I don't have many pictures of myself from age 15 - 22. I was fat, I ran away from the camera. I ran across ONE pictures on my computer of me when I was large... and awkward... and... uh... it doesn't look good.

But Chris said it would be good for me to put it out there.... after all, my blog focuses on health and weight loss. It's not a secret I was fat. But to PUT IT OUT THERE?? On the internets, forever?? Tough. Toughie toughie.

But here we go, so you can see where I was at and where I have come from...

Me at my college graduation (I had no idea how to take care of my curly hair):

I actually think I DON'T look like I was almost 200 pounds. But I was... I hid it as best as I could. And... that necklace? Slimming, it's not!! Wow. College was not a great time for me, haha.

But that is pretty much what I looked like when I made that decision one painful day that things needed to change (I was about 22).

Anyway, here I am about halfway through losing weight, the year after college. Got my hair a little under control, at least! Face slimmed down a lot. This was one of the first times I went out with people, I was very unsure of myself:


And here I am, almost exactly one year after I started trying to lose weight. I was at my best friend's wedding, as a bridesmaid. I had ordered a size 16 dress 9 months before the wedding... went down to a 12 a few months later (they had to reorder it), and then finally reordered a size 10 a month before her wedding and then they had to alter it smaller! 

Obviously, I was liking my new life. A cute guy had his arm around me and I felt LOVELY :)

So now, eight - nine years later, I am still keeping it going, with varying degrees of success. I got heavier for a time in late 2010-early 2011. That slip-up actually led to me starting this blog in 2012 as I was getting back on track, really into health and fitness to make sure there were no more slip-ups! So, I was about 145ish here (May 2011):

But, since early 2012... I have maintained 135 pounds or under! I actually even was SUPER light for a while (122ish). And since the summer, I have maintained under 130 pounds... right now, I am 129, so I am struggling. BUT STILL! I am better than I was. I am progressing :)

So, these are pictures of me from the past year that I am VERY proud of!!!

I am not quite as buff as that anymore, since I stopped my super intense work out regime when my dad passed away.

But, this is cathartic and good for me to post... to see where I came from, where I went. How CAPABLE I am :D

So... this was good for me to post. I hope it does some good for someone else out there.... If I could help just one young, awkward, overweight woman see that it is MORE than possible and SO freaking worth it, I would be happy.

Love and light, friends <3

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My brain broke for a minute there...

Feeling a little out of sorts today. I woke up at 4 AM, wide awake and in an existential crisis.... very strange.

My thoughts were like this:

"I have to go to the bathroom....

Okay, let's go back to sleep.

I am going to die someday.

Really, really die. Go into nothingness. My life will be over.

My dad's life is over. Just like that. So much left undone.

Does it even matter?

What am I doing here? What's the point?"

Great, right?

Well, needless to say, I didn't get back to sleep for a while. I went downstairs so I wouldn't bother Chris, watched some dumb TV show, hugged the dog and tried to logic myself out of my weird death-panic.

I did get over it eventually. Went back to sleep sometime after 5 AM... and then slept till 10 AM in a very uncharacteristic sleeping in episode.

I think my brain broke for a minute last night -_-

I am not sure why. I did drink red wine last night, at TV night with everyone. BUT I also had an amazing, fun night with everyone. People were in great, silly moods and I laughed and laughed the whole time. So it is very strange that I had a little panic attack in the middle of the night, coming off so much happiness.

In the light of day, talking to Chris and others... I am not in a panic over death anymore. It's not something I dwell on too much, despite having known a fair amount of death in my life. This is life. That's the point. There is no joy if this isn't a limited time experience. 

It was just a weird, unexpected moment.

A moment in which I realized that, even though my life is not technically stressful or hard right now, I am still pretty anxious and sad a lot of the time... and that takes its toll on my mental state.

I see that I am anxious and sad in my behaviors... I am drinking too much and still turning to food for comfort, no matter how clean I try to keep the food in my house, I find some way to turn to it for relaxation/pleasure.

I am back on this ride totally and completely... I didn't lie when I said I was back. I am HERE, I am in the here and now. But -- there is still a lot of work to be done. A lot of healing to do.

I am a work in progress.

And there's the key: progress.

I am progressing ... I am doing better than I was 10, 5, 3, even 1 year ago. I am doing better than I was five months ago. I am better.... but not done.

There is work to be done.

Keep at it, friends. This is life. That's the point.

Namaste <3

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Walking the dog, thinking about heart health

Got the dog all walked already, did it as soon as I woke up. It always feels great to be out and about in the morning, getting stuff done. Sometimes I forget that when I am in a warm and cozy bed. But I am always grateful to myself when I get out of the comfy bed and hit the day full on.

Still a little cold here in Albany, but spring is coming, for sure. Temps will be in the upper 30s and low 40s for the next few days.... can't wait till the temps are in the upper 40s and 50s!! I can't wait for flip flops, tshirts, etc. Makes jumping out of bed to get the dog walked so much easier :)

On the dog walk today, I listened to a Jillian Michaels' podcast from last month. She was talking about heart health, describing a news article she had read of a 35 year old woman who was pregnant who had a heart attack... with no symptoms or idea that she had heart disease.

Jillian had on a guest doctor and they talked about how women sometimes present symptoms of a heart attack differently that men AND they are not forceful enough with doctors to let them know they think something is wrong (whereas a doctor might write their symptoms off as anxiety or indigestion when they are really signs of impending heart troubles). Because of social and cultural norms, women are less likely to be heard or to try to make themselves heard. They will even write off their own worries as silly anxiety....

Scary stuff!

It's our health and our bodies and women need to feel like they have the right to be in control of it.

So while I am talking about heart health, I thought I would link to some information to keep YOUR hearts healthy out there!

FIve medication-free ways to keep your heart healthy (this one reminded me that even though coconut oils are healthy fats... I still have to consume them in moderation, it IS a saturated fat)

The CDC's list of risks and preventions

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

As I get older, hear about women in my age-bracket who are suffering from heart disease or having a heart attack... I think about this more and more.

I do my best to mitigate the risks. And as I heard on Jillian's podcast, heart disease is a MAJOR killer of women and ALSO one of the most preventable. So eat healthy, limit trans fats in your diet, keep moving, don't smoke and don't drink excessively!

Namaste <3

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Keeping up the pace - great hike!

As I said, yesterday I went hiking - the High Peaks, for the first time since my dad passed away.

I was finally jealous of Chris going hiking all this winter. He had come home on Saturday with GLORIOUS pictures of a long, blue sky, winter hike with a friend of ours (and Koda!). I felt like a loser for not going. I felt like I was missing out on life.

So I said, that's the sign! You're ready! I have been more physical and active this month than any of the past five months. And the past two weeks, with slightly warmer weather, I have been itching to go outside.

Monday was a great day in the Adirondacks for March! It was in the upper 40s and I hiked in a very thin base layer and t-shirt. Amazing :D 

I chose Cascade mountain, which is only about a 5 mile hike round trip (didn't want to overdo it on my first day out in snowshoes in a while) but half the hike is straight up! I was so proud of myself, we did the whole hike in FOUR hours (and that's including all of our chilling out, taking photos, etc). That's my old hiking pace!!!!!

I still got it :D

I was seriously so happy. I felt alive and exhilarated.

Remember when I said I was back??

I so am!

I am a little sore today, used some muscles that haven't been used in a while. But the happiness bled over into today. I feel great!

It was SUPER windy at the summit... see how his fur is all messed up?

Couldn't get a good picture of me because of the wind!!

My guys!!
Had to slide down some of the steeper parts :D

And that was my day yesterday :D

Feeling ready to take on the world today!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lessons learned, mountains to climb

Pretty excited. Tomorrow, I am heading back to the mountains!

Since my dad's passing, I've kind of shied away from the activities that have brought me so much joy, like hiking and skiing. I haven't had the heart or the energy to engage in those super physical, super engaged activities!

But, Chris went out on a GORGEOUS hike this past weekend with a friend of ours (and Koda, too!) and I found myself super, super jealous.

I wanted to be on the top of a mountain, under blue skies with thick white clouds. I wanted to be red cheeked from the cold and exertion. I wanted the fresh air. I wished my blood was rushing with the thrill of summating!

So I am heading out tomorrow, which is supposed to be a warm and beautiful day in the Adirondacks, and hitting the mountains. :D

Which is why I am posting this now, because I will be too busy to post tomorrow! So excited :) :)

Like I said: I feel like I am fully back into this now.

I regained my life and my happiness. And though it is still tough and still very sad at times, I made it through. I made it through without gaining a ton of weight. I made it through whole. I didn't have to suffer like I suffered when my mom passed. I just mourned. I was sad. I withdrew a little. But it didn't turn into a situation like before - where I spent a decade overweight, isolated, and depressed.

I had to mourn for him. I still am. I always will.

But I didn't have to lose myself in the process. It's a lesson HARD learned from my mother's passing.

Life is happening. It is here and now. And I hope to be joyful, standing on the top of the world tomorrow :)


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Yoga, a crazy fiancé and a cat

I printed three yoga sequences (one done by a very adorable little bunny, haha) and posted them in my bedroom to help me be inspired to do 15 minutes of yoga every morning. It's a good way to get the blood flowing and your body warmed up and flexible for the day!

I have very tight hamstrings (to the point I cannot bend over and touch my toes!... I used to think I couldn't touch my toes because I was fat and the fat got in the way, turns out no matter how thin I am, I still need to work on flexibility) and want them loosened up. Daily stretching is really the only way!

Anyway, in other news: my fiance is crazy. CRAZY!

He left last night at midnight to go hiking. In the snow. On a mountain. At night. With the dog. CRAZY :D

But, I love him and I totally understand. He wants to see the sunrise on a mountaintop. It's lovely :) We attempted it last summer, but we were completely clouded in, so he's trying again.

Personally. TOO COLD AND DARK!!! Not for me. He is going with a friend of ours, though, for which I am grateful. I don't like worrying about him out there on a mountain all by himself at night, even if he is a more than capable outdoorsman.

So, yes, he's totally nutso. But I love it. He loves being active! Really, truly loves it. It matters to his spirit. A love like that is going to keep us active well into our elder years :)

And, I leave you with a picture of my cat by my bedroom window (with his precious plastic frog). I love his cat silhouette!

Friday, March 8, 2013

My plan, progress, I AM BACK!

Looks like I am going to be slogging through some snow on my dog walk today! I am totally committed to these walks - for Koda's health AND mine! It is an excellent way to get in my miles and is usually enjoyable. But, wow, I sure can't wait for spring to come. I am day-dreaming about being able to ditch all the layers, just slip on some flip-flops, and head out the door with my pup!

So, update on how my plan to get back on track is going:

Pretty well!!

Vitamins have been taken everyday.

Dog walked every day (like I said, it's an hour long, almost 3 mile walk every time, not just an "around the block so you can pee" walk!).

Stretching/yoga done everyday.

Physical Therapy exercises for my shoulder done everyday.

..... Paleo eating? Only about 80%. I'd like that to be more like 95% in order for me to lose a little bit of weight and be totally on track!

But I think the biggest difference in this quest in the past month to get back on track..... I am totally back in the mindset of finding health and fitness. It is not to the levels I was at last year (super hardcore gym goer and 100% paleo eater).... but I am back, whole-heartedly.

The depression seems to have lessened. These days are easier for me now. I am still sad. Sometimes I lay awake at night, struggling to sleep, because I think about my dad and how much this situation sucks. I definitely will not be getting over finding him anytime soon.... I still get that super sick in my stomach when my brain even lightly remembers that moment. But the remembering is slowing down... it's not every hour, or even every day!

That's a huge change for me.... to realize a day went by and I didn't remember that bad moment about my dad. I don't want to remember him that way. I have awesome pictures up on my fireplace's mantel of my dad and mom's wedding day and of my dad with his first German Shepherd. Good things.

I am on my way, I know it.

5 months later and I can see the end of this struggle. I had felt like my whole life was ripped out from under me... and I am getting it back.

There is a lot of purposeful work involved to get back to where I was. I am glad I felt strong enough to do it.

Back on the priority list: my health/fitness, my happiness, living this life as fully as possible.

I lost all that. I didn't see the point anymore. It was too dark. But everyone was right... time was the answer. Give it time! Those months were long and painful, but here I am, alive and coming out the other side into something better.

So, agenda for today: yoga before shoveling, walking the dog, and keep on keepin' on!

Namaste :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Exercising to reduce menstrual cramps

A little too TMI? Well, too bad. Important stuff here :)

I'm bringing it up because I woke up to my monthly round of intense cramps. I was ready to turn on some bad TV and painfully wait it out, but I know the truth from experimentation. If I get out there and MOVE, the cramps will ease.

So I looked up some basic information to share, so it's not all just my idiot opinion all over the internet :)

Exercise: SOS for Menstrual Cramps

Most of the information out there indicates that aerobic exercise (walking, biking, swimming, etc) is the best way to reduce the pain. Which would make sense, because if you are in aerobic exercise, your blood is pumping all over your body (including to your uterus).

This study (as well as this study) states that many other studies have shown that exercises reduces painful cramping, but that there are methodological flaws with them. However, the theory is that "exercise works by improving blood flow at the pelvic level as well as stimulating the release of endorphins, which act as non-specific analgesics."

The link to the first study also has a myriad of other ways to reduce painful cramps, if you are really suffering from them. Mine only last a part of a day, so I turn to some basic pain relievers and exercise!

Anyway, researchers can't 100% say that exercise will cure the pain of cramps, but I know it HELPS mine (I still will hurt for a part of the day, but less intensely than if I laid around in bed). 

So off I go to walk the dog, get the blood moving, maybe do some yoga when I get back.

Have a light day, friends!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My early 30s...

Are off to a great start!

I indulged a little, had a silly and fun night with Chris, but didn't go overboard. It was a quiet night alone with Chris, too, which is what I wanted.

I had two sushi rolls and two drinks out at dinner with Chris. Then we each got 1/4 bar of chocolate to eat in bed while we watched Kitchen Nightmares. PERFECT. :D

I always prefer chocolate to cake, and eating 100-200 calories of chocolate is WAY easier than eating a big ol' piece of cake and then having the rest of the cake in the house all week.

Sushi = not paleo, obviously. But I ADORE sushi. It is going to be a part of my diet for the rest of my life, especially when we go to Japan in October, haha. It's not the worst food if you order it right (meaning eat the raw fish, not the tempura, don't get something drenched in wasabi mayo, etc). And I did just that. My normal portion is probably more like one, one and a half rolls... but I ate both the rolls I ordered.

Tonight is going to be where I put my foot down. It's TV night with friends, and I want to go, but I am going to eat a delicious meal at home with Chris (bunless burgers, roasted sweet potatoes and sauteed brussels sprouts) right before we go and I am NOT going to eat any treats provided by my friends (unless by some weird twilight zone world someone puts out cut up melon or carrot sticks).

I have been holding steady with average attention to food and exercise this past month. I want to see how March shapes up when I put ALL of myself into it :D

Year 31.... GO!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

31, 128

I am 31 years old today. Officially in my early 30s. Whoa.

Weighed in at 128 today... not what I wanted, but I told you all yesterday how the weekend kind of dissolved into a wheat fest? Yeah. So, completely expected, anyway!

I feel kind of worse about turning 31 than about turning 30 for some reason. But I just have to look at where I am now versus a year ago in a positive light.


- I am officially 8-9 pounds lighter than I was on my birthday last year. Even though I wanted more (if I weighed 124 like I wanted, that number would have been 12-13!), that's still pretty awesome.

- I am engaged

- I live in a paid-off house

- I have an awesome dog

- I have learned a LOT about life, death, priorities, friendship and love

- I found a way to eat that totally works for me FINALLY after 30 years.... now I just have to stick to it :)

So.. yeah. Now, there are a lot of other differences, but they are negative, and what is the use of that thinking? Not today. Not on my birthday!

Plans for the day will look like this: hour long dog walk, egg n veggie breakfast, work on my class lecture, watch Criminal Minds and do yoga stretches/physical therapy, eat a light lunch, work a little more, go out to sushi with Chris :)

It's a quiet day. Much unlike the past few birthdays I've had, but it's what I want. I want a quiet day where I focus on the things that are important to me: my fiance, my dog, my health, and my work.

Namaste, my loves!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Needing some social pressure...

I had to make the decision to make a public declaration (on social media) to tell the people who see me regularly that I am going back to eating paleo/primal.

It felt strange to do, because I kind of trend towards keeping talk about my health/fitness choices a little on the quiet side offline unless someone asks me about it. There are only a few people on the health/fitness bandwagon in my social life, so I don't like to sound preachy or anything.

But, keeping my attempts to get back to paleo to myself is backfiring! When I socialize, there is a lot of temptation and only a small voice in the back of my head cautioning me not to indulge in the beer or the bread or the chips (yesterday being an example, ayiyi). It's hard to listen to that voice. I am trying to be strong, but I need a little help. I have to be honest about my goals and my plans... if I know everyone around me knows I am eating paleo/primal, I will probably not reach for the chips so I don't look like a massive hypocrite.

Public judgement might not be the HEALTHIEST reason to abide by a dietary choice.... but these social events are my danger zone and I know it. I don't eat poorly at home. And I don't want to stop socializing. So I need to feel a little social pressure to keep on track.

I know none of my friends would think less of me for going off plan when I ate at their houses... but they would know I WAS eating off plan, and that's enough for me to stick to it. I need the support. Also, if they know this is important to me, they might help and keep the temptations to a minimum (they did in the past, and I was SO grateful!).

If I can clean up my outside-of-the-house eating, I will stop undoing all the hard work I do at home!

This time, getting back to a paleo way of eating for me is not going to be as strict as the Whole30 rules I was adhering to last summer. It wasn't a sustainable way to eat for me, but it was close! So the only differences from strict paleo that I will have (if I stick to plan) will be:

- my one loaf of clean, gluten-free bread a week (shared with Chris)
- brown rice once or twice a month when eating out at a restaurant (rice doesn't affect me as much as wheat and isn't a trigger food for me, but I would still like to limit it in favor of proteins and veg)
- 2-3 glasses of wine a week

Food shouldn't be entertainment, and I need to stop acting like it is in order to relieve my anxieties. But I will be realistic and honest and admit to you all that I AM very anxious still, and those glasses of wine will be very much enjoyed. But there is no need to overdo it!

Last week was actually a great success with eating and exercise, weighing in still at 125 (ideal!), but this weekend was tough as it was full of celebrations. My birthday is tomorrow and I will celebrate with a healthy meal with the man I love :)

Moving forward from here on out. My birthday is tomorrow. My March 19th goal of being in a better place is approaching. Looking ahead, making good choices THIS day and all the coming days :)

Namaste <3

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Great party, no overeating!

The party was an absolute hit! I actually can't sleep this morning because I am still running on excitement and happiness :D

AND it appears that the way to get me to not pig out at a party is to make me responsible for feeding everyone else! I was so concerned with making food and getting it set out that I barely thought about eating it. I also had this weird host feeling that I shouldn't eat too much because I wanted my guests to have more!

So no cheese or brownies or chips or cookies or any of the worse-for-you munchies. I had a few sweet potato-sausage skewers and bruschetta and veggies and a late night square of the pizza. Definitely didn't go over my normal dinner calorie allowance! And I ran around happily hostessing all night :)

One surprise: the veggie tray was one of the big hits of the night!! I had enough mushrooms, grape tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and snap peas for two huge trays and it all got eaten! Yay for healthy friends haha

A lot of the food was actually lighter fare than I tend to see at parties but everyone enjoyed it! It filled me with such joy to know everything was made with my two hands from whole ingredients and with the exception of brownies-- I kept health in mind. I don't want to fill my friends with poison!!

We had about 35ish people throughout the night and it seemed like everyone had a nice time. Koda was super behaved (he made two lunges at the food in 7 hours so I count that as a win!) and let everyone pet and kiss him. He totally hammed it up and made a bunch of new friends, so awesome :)

So to sum up: successful party where I was super happy, fed the people I live good food and I didn't overeat, not by a long shot!

Total win.

Namaste <3

Friday, March 1, 2013

Party Menu Planning

I am about to drop the dog off at daycare so I can get the house clean and go grocery shopping/food prepping for my Housewarming/Birthday party tomorrow!

I have a wide range of people coming over, with a wide range of eating behaviors. There are going to Paleo-eaters there (someone besides me, yay!), vegetarians, gluten free eaters, and regular meat-n-potatoes types.

So I tried to make a menu of appetizers so that everyone would have at least two or three items that fit their dietary worlds (usually our friends with special dietary needs also bring a dish to share that they can also eat, so that's nice!).

For the paleo eaters: (nitrate free) bacon wrapped dates, veggie platter, guacamole and salsa, bruschetta, olive plate, skewers of sausage and sweet potatoes, melon and prosciutto skewers

For the gluten free eaters: mac n cheese made with rice pasta, tomato and mozzarella skewers AND everything from the paleo list above!

For the veggie-only peeps: the veggie tray, the mac n cheese, olives, the dips (and I will provide some corn tortilla chips), tomato-mozz. skewers, bruschetta, etc.

For the meat n potato lovers: well, they can eat everything I've already listed PLUS I am making a mexican flatbread pizza with taco toppings and some mini sandwiches.

I put together a list of things that are easy for me to throw together or things that I can do the night before. This party is ALSO a big huge thank you party to all our friends who helped us get into our house and made it a home. So many people helped us move, rip out carpet, put up curtains, etc, etc, etc.... AND they have just been overall supportive.

So I wanted to have nice food for everybody :) I actually have a gift card to our local supermarket that I got from Chris' parents, so money isn't an issue. I want to buy nice ingredients and serve up some lovely food. I am going to stick to the paleo menu at my own party, though :D

Lots of Love and Light!