Sunday, November 30, 2014

Slightly out of the whack!

Hey yall! Hope every survived Thanksgiving and enjoy some lovely time with your loved ones. I have been running around since last week and cramming as much fun as I could into the whole week!

I made it through Thanksgiving  day being extremely happy with my choices and I have no regrets food wise. Thursday was actually my most active day of the week  as well. I love the Jawbone up I got as an early Christmas gift. It was the running joke all day because I kept walking up and down the driveway or around the house anytime I was inactive for 30 mins ( you can set many alarms!). I measure out my food and skipped the pie. I walked 5 miles total that day which is something I have rarely done but even more so on thanksgiving. Last year,  the most steps I took that day was probably however many from the kitchen to the couch and back. So that's a huge victory in my book! I have also been weighing myself daily to keep myself on check.

Of course it wasn't all pink roses, shimmery glitter, cotton candy and unicorns all the time for me. I  Had the overeating instinct and want quite a few times but I didn't not give in. I talked and rationalized myself out of it many times. I overcame it. I went up and down the driveway again lol It helps that everyone was extremely supportive about my food choices, encouraging as well as helpful. We had our food early so that was great. I hate having a late or heavy dinner.

With the stores opening at 6pm we headed out shortly before so we could walk right in. We don't care for standing in line, there's nothing we want or need that much. We just always shop as a tradition. It was great, we power shopped for about 6 hours and headed home. We had such luck, we didn't even have to wait to get checked out. I think there was less people out? Anyway, I was too wound up and had a hard time going to sleep.

 I've been so bad with sleep! I have averaged maybe 4.5 hour tops since last Monday. I don't like it, I can feel my body getting mad at me! Sleep is important and being an early riser (4-5 am regardless of what time I'm in bed) I never sleep in. I wish I could, but my body clock is up and going early. I can never go back to sleep,

We had made plans for more shopping early the next morning, when we power shopped for another 6 hours! It was fun but I was exhausted by the time we made it home. I even took an hour nap in the afternoon! That never happens! 
So today I'm just relaxing and trying to catch up. I have been trying to fight off a cold or something most of week. It better go away today 😉. What's going on with  you?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


Just a quick one today. I hope y'all have a great day and enjoy quality with your loved ones! Make your plan , choose right and I'll "see" you at the weigh in tomorrow for the scale accountability club!


                         ^^^ lets make sure that is not us tomorrow! 😉

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 17: What are you thankful for?

     I made it to day 17! I'm am glad I followed through with my postings. It was pretty fun to set some time apart each day to be in tune with myself and write about my experiences or thoughts. This last topic is one that should be easy. However, depending on where we are in life, sometimes it is easier to focus on what we want and don't have than to be grateful for what we do.

     I have tried, over the last few years to reframe my way of thinking and shift from focusing on the negative to focusing on the positive. It easy sometimes. Other times it is not. Any one event or circumstance can be considered a blessing or a "curse" depending on how you spin it. Attitude can make such a huge difference in our perspective. Having a more positive attitude has made a big difference in mine,As thanksgiving is a day away, I always try to consider how many things I should be grateful for. Of course, this is something that you shouldn't do just once a year but that's a whole other story.

     So what am I thankful for??  I am thankful that I am here, breathing and in fairly good health. I am thankful to have two loving families: One that's 3,000 miles away physically but with me daily and one that lives around the corner and loves me like their own. I am thankful for my best friend, who is always there to take care of me, support and cheer me on. Thankful for friends near and far .Thankful for my furbabies that make my heart happy every day. Thankful for a home, food and the ability to cover all my needs. Thankful that I finally opened my eyes and brain to my food issues and that I am sticking to working on them. Thankful to have found a community that though different from me, has faced or faces similar struggles and/or food issues. Thankful to realize I am not the only one.
There are so many things to be thankful for, sometimes all you have to do is look around you and realize it. Happy Thanksgiving y'all!!
I leave you with some silly pics today:


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Day 16: What is on your mind today?


     What's on your mind today? Work, Weather, Travel Plans, Thanksgiving? I have a bit of it all floating around mine. I hope everyone is having a good week. It's only Tuesday but somehow this week is already feeling quite chaotic and I keep thinking it's closer to the end of the week. I seem to be coming down with something, I am a little achy and sneezy. Hoping it will go away...ain't nobody got time for that! 

     This week is a busy week for me, and out of my usual routine. I have a long to do list before Thursday that I need to accomplish. Lots of errands to squeeze in.I have not been good with getting my workout in but I'm kicking my walking up a notch or two to balance out. Heck, I've even been parking everywhere far away to walk some more. Instead of moving my car down to the next store, I've walked. I should have been doing this all along! I am sure that trying to swing my arms and power walk on our little strip mall looked funny, but hey you gotta do what you gotta do right?  Even through the weekend, which is a definite change. A good one.
 We also had big winds and rain which made most of the leaves come down, making a huge mess of our front and backyards. We will be having some help with the raking, but we will be getting out and raking some ourselves as well. That should burn a few's a big yard!

     Thursday is fast approaching and with it comes the turkey adventure. I wrote before that I'm in charge of cooking the turkey this year and while im excited, I am also hoping it turns out well. I have considered using the brining method ( to ensure its nice and moist) but adjusting it to not include sugar and somehow reducing the sodium. But I keep thinking, brining implies sodium...I don't think there's such a thing as low sodium brine...I must research. Thinking I'll do heavy on herbs and aromatics instead. Not sure yet. All I know us I want everyone to love it! Lol

     Last night, I got an early Christmas gift! It's a fitness tracker! Not the newest, most sophisticated. or the most expensive, it's actually an older version of  the Jawbone which is the only reason I accepted it as a gift. .It was a great deal and something I've been curious about. I love that I can connect it to MyFitnessPal and even to my Pact app. I think it will motivate me to move more. I have found that having a goal on an app makes me work hard to accomplish it. Once I do, I don't want to lose my streak. It's a win-win! I'll keep you usted on how I like it. 
I am sure hard core runners or so called experts could tell me ten reasons why these are no good, inaccurate or that a heart rate monitor is better.  For me it's a motivation tool. I'm super excited about it!

    So as I enjoy my cup of coffee and figure out my plan for the day. I leave you with this inspiring quote:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 15; How do you get better at saying No?

       Here is a scenario for you. After years of chronic food issues, out of control weight gain and yoyo dieting you finally get that moment of clarity where you know that this is it. You have had enough. You will make a change, no matter how long it takes, no matter how hard it can get, So you are in a good place, trying to make things work right and then it happens.

     You are at a gathering and someone says "Is that all you are having?" "You really need to try some of this!" " Surely, you are going to eat a little". And then you say " No, sorry I'm on a diet" or " Sorry, but I don't eat that". That's my go to, because that is easier for people to comprehend that saying you are working on changing your eating habits or breaking away from food addiction and binging. Truth is, I do not owe an explanation to them, I should not apologize for not partaking. But somehow a simple "No, Thank you" is so hard to get out.

     I realize that now that I have decided what I need and want to do for myself, I no longer feel like I am missing out or that I am being deprived. That is a key difference when you are not on a "diet". This is what my eating ways will be from now on, with tweaks along the way to improve my health. People though, have the notion that you are missing out and you are deprived. Heck, they push and pressure you to eat even though in some cases ( like mine) it is obvious I really do not need to have  any cake or fudge. So I have realized that I need to get better at my simple No, Thank you. And let people deal with their own perceptions or issues on what I should or should not do.
   I can't or I don't, prompt questions. They prompt people asking Why? Then you have to decide whether you will give them an explanation or not . If you do, then you might face a few blank stares or arguments to the contrary. Out of their own personal guilt or lack of experience with weight issues. Who wants to deal with all that? Not me! So, a "No, Thank You" is truly the easiest answer. Repeat after me, NO, THANK YOU!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Day 14: Black Friday Shopping

     Black Friday Shopping...Yay or Nay?? I am somewhere in the middle but leaning towards the yay. The first year I celebrated Thanksgiving, my friends decided that my experience would not be complete without tackling Black Friday Shopping. Boy, was it an experience!!! The crowds, the crazyness, the excitement, the deals...did I mention the crowds??  It was the start of a new tradition for me.

     Now, you will never find me lined up outside a store, fighting someone over some towels or even walking out of the stores lugging a cart full. I am not your typical Black Friday Shopper. I love a good deal and do pretty good at stretching my dollars. We love to shop and do it weekly, window shopping is one of my favorite things. Scoring a great deal is another one. Heck, this used to be my motto :

     I know better than considering it my only cardio  now, although you can rack up on steps if you really try. But since we love looking for deals and shopping, it did not take me long to realize that not all deals are deals and that sometimes you can get what you need quickly and for a better price before or after the famous Black Friday.

     Regardless, as a group we love hitting the stores and doing some shopping at those ungodly hours because you only get to do that once a year! We usually make it to the stores after the initial rush which means there's no lines, pushing or shoving. Being so short, crowds are not my friends

   . On Thanksgiving Day, after we have done the cleanup and we are watching some football, We take out the gigantic paper, go through the ads ( nothing beats paper ads, I don't care for online versions)  and map out our journey. We pick and choose based on  whether someone REALLY wants something or if that is not the case, we just pick stores we want to tackle. We usually finish up our excursion by grabbing some  early coffee and breakfast somewhere. It is a great girl's night/early morning! One we plan for every year!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Day 13: How is this year different than last?

     I have made it to my 13th consecutive day of posting! Looking back to last year, that is one of the things that is totally different. I had always liked writing but never really did anything with it. I had always loved reading blogs that covered plenty of topics, but somehow avoided anything related to weight loss. I guess my blinders were on when it came to one of the main things I needed to tackle. This has been a good year for me all things considered even though in some areas it has truly sucked! ha! But the area where the most changes I see is when it comes to my eating and health habits.

     I have mentioned before that I have yo-yo dieted most of my teenage and adult years. Never sticking to it for more than a few weeks at a time. This year, as we get into the Holiday Season I find myself motivated and inspired to continue on my lifestyle and weight loss journey. I am taking steps to continue to improve my health and consequently my quality of life. Last year, I was not really thinking about that.

       So, when I compare this year to last, I am happy with where I am. I am working on myself and I am excited to think of all that my effort and hard work has the potential to accomplish a year from now. So how has your year compared so far?


Friday, November 21, 2014

Day 12: If you could permanently get rid of one worry, What would it be?

     What kind of worrier are you? Are you the talk about it and show it on the inside type or are you  calm on the outside turmoil on the inside kind? I would say that most people probably thing I am a non worrier. This perception would be because I am the calm on the outside turmoil on the inside type. Unless I lose my cool ( Which takes A LOT to happen) you would think that I have  no worries no matter what is falling apart inside me.

     I was an only child and with it came many expectations. Everyone expected me to accomplish all they every wanted to and never did. I am wired to please so of course I worried about my ability to do so. Being successful and pleasing everyone was a big worry since I was a kid ( with an old soul, I'd say).Then as I grew up, I wanted to please to my friends, my family, my educators, my coworkers...and so on. One of my biggest worries has always always been risk of failure. This has made me a fairly low risk taker at times. I am more comfortable with calculated risks, if you will. I have taken some big huge risks a few times in my life, but in general, I am not a huge risk taker.

    Some of the biggest risks I have taken actually surprised me by working out. Others, didn't exactly pan out like I thought but looking back. NOW I know where necessary and taught me some very good lessons. I do not regret risks, I may regret the way I have handled failure before. Of course, being afraid to fail does not mean you will never do. Although I have accomplished a lot in my life, there are things I have failed at that have really burned me good and reshape my way of thinking.

    Let's face it, who can really say they're pretty good at dealing with failure? I don't think there is anyone out there that aims to fail, is there? To some extent, aren't we all afraid of failure? Tying it up with this blog and the journey I am on. I have to fight my inner self to stop worrying on the inside about not being successful. About not doing it "right", I have to constantly remind myself to worry less and do more.  So, if I could permanently get rid of one worry, it would be of my fear of failure. What would yours be?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 11: Lack and Abundance

      How do you deal with lack and abundance? I used to think of these terms only  in connection to material things. Lack or abundance of funds where what determined how much or how little I "had" in my life. It has  taken me many years and a few struggles, to begin to understand and recognize that these terms can be related to just about every aspect of your life. I think that the more I try to self analyze and work on my body and soul, the more I have to become in tune with this.

      It seems that the majority of us find it easier to focus on what we lack than on what we have in abundance. I know I have done this a lot.We complain about lack of money, lack of time, lack of love, lack of will and even lack of understanding. Yet we rarely stop and think that we consider lacking, someone else may consider abundance, it's always a matter of perspective isn't it?

      I will not make this a post about how our lack perception can affect those of us who have food issues. I wrote a bit on emotional eating HERE if you are interested. I want to make this a post about how our perspective and positivity can make a difference on how we see and deal with the lack or abundance in our life. Positivity breeds positivity and adjusting our perceptions while looking for the positive in most situations, we can create abundance for our spirit and a better attitude towards the not so positive points in our life.

       This feeling or perception of lack is one of the worst things we can do to ourselves. It is this feeling that breeds thoughts such as " I am not good enough", " I don't have enough" or " I'm not doing enough". This greatly limits us and what we can achieve.Everywhere. In our daily life, in our weight loss journey and even our social interactions.

      I don't have it all figured out. Not at all. But one thing that I know for sure, is that losing this mindset of lack and exchanging it for one of abundance can only bring good things along. Rather than focusing on what all you have to do in order to achieve x,y or z, focus on what you have already done and push forward. Work hard to achieve the rest. I know some would say that that is easier said than done but if we don't go ahead and start doing now, how will you know for sure? Try for an attitude makeover and you'll, be surprised about the beauty you'll discover.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day 10: Favorite Thanksgiving Memory

     My first Thanksgiving memory is my actual first Thanksgiving ever. Nope, I am not going back 35 years ha! My very first Thanksgiving was actually five years ago when I moved over here. Growing up Thanksgiving was not a Holiday in our country. I was schooled in an American School back home, so I was aware of it  plus we got the day off because most of the faculty hailed from here. So when the first November rolled around after moving, I was both curious and excited.

      I am so blessed to have a great support system even here, 3000 thousand miles away from home. It makes family holidays be happy even though I do not have my immediate family around. I always called my mom's home "home: even though the South has become my home now. That very first Thanksgiving, I remember being taken into what I refer to as my second family's home and just being made part of every tradition and interaction as though I had always been there. As I was still trying to get used to living in a different country all on my own with no family close around, this made a huge difference in me being in a good place emotionally.

     As the day started, I was invited to participate in preparing all the fixings and learning recipes passed down by previous generations. Together we prepared a feast, watched some football ( that I did not get back then!) and prepared a shopping plan for Black Friday but more importantly, I felt loved and like I belonged.This is why, Thanksgiving has become my favorite Holiday and one that I will always be fond of even if I was ever to be in a different country again.

     This year, I have been appointed in charge of cooking the turkey! Oh my! I am sure that will make for a new memory....hopefully a good one instead of a dry, burnt or overcooked one lol So What is YOUR favorite Thanksgiving memory???

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 9: With all the running around...What's for Dinner?

     I think for many of us, dinner becomes an issue very often when you are running short of time but this is especially the case around the Holiday Times. I do not know whether people drive crazier, are out more or what but it seems it takes longer to get home. Sometimes by the time you do you feel like you're done for the day. Except, you have to figure out dinner and for those of us who are trying to eat better, eating out is not always an option.

     I admire all my fellow bloggers who at this point, have gotten good about navigating menus at restaurants. I know there are choices out there but for me, but I try to avoid eating out as much as I can. I feel like I have not reached a point where my old habits won't take over, and  overeating is something that I relate to eating out because it is one of my triggers. The savings from not eating out much is just an added bonus ha!

     Because I want to avoid the eating out dilemma, I try to always have something that is going in the trusty crockpot in the morning or something that will quick to cook. It takes just a bit of planning and a lot of determination. With the chilly nights, I love eating soups. I have been such a fan of my crockpot ever since I was introduced to it. Stews and Soups are my go to meals during the Holiday Time. Last year, inspired by Pinterest I did the whole freezer cooking and it worked out pretty well. This year, I have not been as good about having the pre packed bags. However, as long as you have cut up meats in the freezer (unless you're vegetarian), frozen vegetables and some sort of liquid , you are set!
 So here are some ideas for quick meals:

     1- Keep your meats portioned out in the freezer. I have packs of stew beef, chicken breasts, pork chops and even sausage bagged up. I can throw whichever one into the crockpot while I am eating breakfast, add a few servings of frozen veggies of my choice, some veggie or chicken stock (homemade when I have it), crank up it up and come home to a yummy smelling house and a nice hot meal for your tummy. Cut up some fruit for dessert and you've got it done!

     2- Be friends with George Foreman. I love mine, I got it for real cheap on clearance several years ago. The detachable plates make for easy clean up and is as close as I can get to grilling when its cold out. Whenever I buy chicken breasts, I bag them up in portions ( I cook for two) along with some quick marinade and dried herbs. That way the night before, I can put them in the fridge to thaw out. As they thaw up they marinate and then I  cook them right on the George . If I don't want to deal with George, I can either throw them into a pan or in our little convection oven to bake.

     3- Keep ready made sides in your fridge. I cut up squash and onions and bag them up. I also love onions, pepper and corn mixed together. I make baggies and throw them frozen in a pan. As it thaws out, the liquid helps it steam and cook. If you eat rice, you can also bag steamed rice in portioned out baggies that heat up in a jiffy. It sure beats those meals in a box! I have also frozen pre cooked pasta (a little undercooked) portions just fine and throw them in the pot with some yummy sauce to thaw out and be ready.

 These are just some of the things I do so that I can stay on track with my eating no matter what the rush is like. Sometimes it would be easier to just stop by and grab something quick but It would not be the best for me at this stage. So What is your quick go to  meal??

Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 8: Holiday Time and Emotional Eating


Emotional Eating, Do you do it? Many have defined Emotional Eating as eating in response to negative affect. Emotional Eating is, in my opinion, one of those things that are common behaviors and that is far more accept by others than say binge eating. We have all seen it on TV shows or movies, a character (typically female) will be shown having a bad day, bad breakup or some negative experience of some sort followed by them being shown eating ( or allegedly eating) a box of donuts, a pizza or eating spoonfuls of ice cream.

     I have had many friends before who joke about eating a crap load of food in response to x,y and z. The difference between them and me is that I actually acted on  it, it wasn't something I just said. One of the most important things about Emotional Eating is actually identifying the fact that you do it. I know for me, having a stressful time would always result in an episode of emotional eating that led to a major binge and sometimes ( not always) a purge. This is a vicious cycle and one that I have found very hard to break away from.

     In my own experience, I have found that Emotional Eating happens, at least to me,  in two different ways The first is a short term episode  that is usually a direct  result of  an emotion and the second being related to an specific event and the mixture of emotions it stirs up. 

     The first type of Emotional Eating that I have experienced is usually easier to deal with for me. It is more short term and eventually as the situation that brought it on either lets off or I blow some steam, I can pull through it. This is, for example, when you've had a huge argument or situation with someone and your first instinct is to reach for pieces of chocolate, a box of cookies or a quick stop at a fast food place. You are not eating because you are hungry, you are eating in response to the emotion. Sometimes that emotion is easy to identify : boredom, anger, sadness or loneliness to name a few.

     My second type of Emotional Eating comes during specific times of the year or as a result of major life events. Major life events that can trigger Emotional Eating can be losing your job, Health Problems and Relationship Issues. I find that February is usually hard for me. It is when I lost my dad after struggling with cancer for several years. I was having a hard time dealing with school, rotations and keeping my mom from having a breakdown. As an only child ( and Daddy's girl), I had to be the rock for my mom. Because of my training, I was expected to understand and rationalize. This left no room for me dealing with all my emotions which ranged from frustration, anger, tiredness, sadness and dread for what I knew would happen. Afterwards, any major Holiday, Father's Day or Birthday had me a conflicting mess of emotions and a void that I kept trying to fill up with food. 

     It was during this time that my Emotional Eating and binging got out of control. I knew better, but I did not do better. After time has gone by and I have let my heart heal, I can identify these emotions and the havoc they wreaked on my body and mind. I can also start learning and working on retaking control of them and of my resulting choices. I can't say it will never happen to me again or that I am past it. But what I can say is that I am in a much better place emotionally once I have been honest to myself and allowed myself to feel.

     Emotional Eating, can sometimes happen more during the Holidays. Depending on your particular situation, stress from family gatherings, financial issues on your mind, loneliness and even just needing comfort may have reaching for food. Emotional Eating needs to stop for me, for you, for everyone, It does not have one positive thing, on the contrary it can have negative effects on us and our health. Being on a weight and Lifestyle Change journey, Emotional Eating can be a big challenge and one that may be difficult to navigate. Here are a few things that are currently working for me:

1- Be Honest.
I have been good at deceiving my own self for many years when it comes to food. Being honest and identifying that there is a problem is the first step towards healing. If you eat as a result of an emotion but don't work on the emotion itself. It will happen again. It will lead to a never ending cycle.

2- Talk it out!
Whether it is on the phone, face to face or even writing, talk your feelings out. If we keep it all inside you will get to a point where you feel like you will explode. Lean on family and friends.

3- Distract yourself.
Find an activity and blow off some steam. Whether it is through exercise, music, meditation or any other way, try to reframe and refocus. 

4- Seek Professional Help.
If you have continuously tried to cope with Emotional Eating and feel you are getting worse or just plain overwhelmed, consider seeking therapy with a mental health provider. I know that there is still some who have a hard time accepting this kind of help. Therapy can help you discover and understand the reasons for your Emotional Eating and well as teach you ways to cope with it.

Remember that things can always get better and if you are dealing with this, eventually we can all regain control and get back on track with our life and/or our journeys. Until next time!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Day 7: Centering the Holidays on something other than food

     Well color me impressed! I am on a seven day streak of daily blogging! It has been so much more fun and enjoyable than I ever thought. Writing is great way to let off steam, to distract ourselves and a much more economic alternative to therapy.But that's enough about that, Lets get to day 7 : Centering Holidays around something other than food.

      When I was a little girl holidays for me used to revolve around no school, yummy foods and possible gifts. I know that some would say that we  must always remember the reason for the season but as a child, that was the reason for my season. I was excited about having a break from school, buying fireworks all through December and opening gifts on Christmas Eve.
     As I got older, this changed a little. For me, the prospect of no school was always great even though I loved school and have always been a bit of a nerd. Of course, the food was something I always front and center and something I looked forward to. But once you hit the teenage years, getting into a little bit of trouble and a lot of adventure with you friends seemed to also be the highlight of the Holiday.
     During College and beyond, because of my training, the Holidays, if it was my lucky year it meant a chance for regular sleeping hours, a few days off and hot home cooked meals. Notice the pattern? the only thing that was always a thing for me, regardless of my age, was the food. I know that sounds like I didn't care about spending time with friends and family. I did and do. But somehow, one of the things that I have always centered my Holidays is around the food we eat. Am I alone here?
     Whether it is Ham and Deviled eggs for Easter, Thick juicy Steaks for Independence Day, A Boston Butt for Labor Day, Turkey and Dressing on Thanksgiving, Ham on Christmas and Hopping Johns on New Year, I need to break away from centering every Holiday around food. You give me a holiday, I name you a food. I need to not do this anymore. I need to take away some of the power that food has always had over me.

     So how does one go about this? I am not entirely sure.One of the things I know I HAVE to do, is avoid those trigger foods that send me on a downward spiral. But instead of focusing of what I will or can;t do, I will share what I am going to try in order to make a change.

      I will plan out more outings and/or activities that relate to being active or doing something other than eating. Going for walks or even a drive to admire Christmas Lights rather than hitting an eating place should be something I look forward to.Catching more movies for the movie itself not the popcorn and drinks. Putting up Christmas without needing to bake a million cookies shouldn't be that big of a deal. I just have to adjust my way of thinking. Even this blog and writing will help in focusing on all the great things that are around us and should have a higher rank when it comes not only to the Holidays but to every day life! We will see, I am going to give it my best shot.

I had to add this to the bottom of my post. Gwen, over at the Sunny Coconut shared this great post yesterday. If you haven't yet please take a moment and read it here. In her post, she shares a very good article on food addiction and defense mechanisms. Her explanation of it is something that brought me back to this post I had written earlier in the week. Food addiction, is probably part of what has made ( for me) the Holidays always have to be centered around food. Something I have to learn and discover about. I know it might not be the case for everyone but I encourage you to read her very good post. Until next time!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 6: Why should Working out should be on your to do list during the Holidays?

     There is no doubt that working out is an important part of my journey at all times. It stands to reason that this does not change during the Holidays. Unfortunately, it is the one thing I struggle the most with because of my natural tendency to avoid it. I wrote about it here. I can always come up with a reason not to work out even though once I do it, I love the way I feel. Therefore one of my own challenges to myself during the Holiday is to continue to get 3-4 workouts in every week.

     There is no doubt, a myriad of reasons why working out should be on all of our to do lists. But lets just name a few:
  • Good For your Health
  • Instant Mood Lifter
  • Increased Energy
  • Helps drop off the pounds
  • If you are on WW, you get some extra points to your day ( correct me if I am wrong)
  • Anger Management ( if you are upset or frustrated, you will feel better if you work it out)
     Because of these and the many more benefits of exercise, this is definitely one things we must put and keep on our to do list. Slacking off on exercise can reduce our progress or slow it down. Whereas many people put exercise on their to do list come New Year, I am keeping it on mine no matter what.

    Nowadays, there is always a way to get a workout in. Whether you have exercise equipment at home, a 24/7 gym membership, a DVD or even an internet to access a workout there really is no excuse. If you are traveling, go take a walk. If you cannot walk outside, walk around the mall a few laps while doing your shopping. The important thing is to move move move so that we can keep that scale moving. I know I will be having to remind myself of this and this post whenever I want to make my own excuses of why I can't work out during the Holidays. Until next time!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Day 5: Its Pot Luck Season, What are you bringing?

     I don't know about where y'all live, but around these areas Pot Lucks are a THING. Whether it is at work, Saturdays during College Football games, at church or at home, pot luck meals are always happening, They seem to happen even more often during the Holiday Season.

     The whole Pot Luck concept was unknown to me before I moved here and I think it is great. You take a bunch of people who want to share a meal, they all make their favorite or requested recipes and everyone gets to share without breaking the bank. How can this be a bad thing? Well, I guess calling them a "bad" thing is not  necessarily right. My personal observation is, that when you are on a restricted diet, whether you are restricting calories or groups of foods, navigating these pot luck meals can be a little tricky.

     Why tricky you ask? Well, in my experience, there is TONS of food. These foods rarely ( never really) include low carb or low calorie options. Most often what we have is lots of cheesy melty goodness, pasta heavy, creamy canned processed food followed by truckloads of dessert that my old self loved to partake in. Everyone wants you to try their dish and encourage having seconds or thirds.You see the food, but often times you have no clue how it was prepared and how much of what was put in it. Not to mention sometimes they are loaded with Sodium which can really mess up the scale. You want to know how badly? Go check up my update for the Scale Accountability Club here.Of course, this never bothered me until now. 

     I avoid eating out as much as I can, because I feel like if I don't prepare what I eat, I can't trust that it will have the calories it says. I know that it may sound a bit crazy, but I have to be THAT crazy so that I do not go crazy;). For me, overeating and binging are separated by a very  thin blurred line. Eating more than usual will easily end up with a binge, if I don't practice self control. With no reason, not because I was angry or sad, just because.

     So as Holiday Season is upon  us, I have been browsing the trusty Pinterest in search on options that will be a crowd pleaser yet fit with my plan. I have found many options that wouldn't be terrible, but the more and more I saw, I realized that in this case my best shot at navigating through this successfully is the KISS principle ( Keep it simple, stupid).

     I decided that instead of trying to make a recipe for a healthier version of a "popular" food, Whenever I had to participate in one of these events, I would instead bring something that is usually non existent in our reunions : Fresh vegetables and fruits. I know that I will most likely be able to find a protein to eat and I can choose how little or much of anything else I want to consume. But what I will not have, is veggies to munch on without piling calories and a non dessert sweet. A fruit and veggie platter with some cheese thrown in solves that problem. If I am feeling inspired I will attempt to make the ones below :

You can find the tree recipe here

     So am I being boring and playing it super safe? Perhaps, but I am also making it easier on myself.  I am not one of those people who will just have one little bite or just a little bit of something. If it is a trigger food especially. I wish I could eat just one bite or half a serving of certain things. But I am not there yet. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do for yourself. So, What are you bringing?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 4: 5 Ways to Stay on Track during your Journey


      I had quite the chuckle when I realized that within the first four prompts of my writing challenge, staying on track was a theme for two of them. I guess this is something that is on my mind and that I am concerned about. So here we go:

1-Make a plan

       For me, it is hard enough to stay on track and make the right choices on a day to day basis with all the "temptations" around  me, Therefore, the thought of the abundance and change in  routines adds an extra layer of difficulty, I am stronger but not strong enough. I make mistakes and have lots to learn. So I am making a plan. This plan can be whether you have decided to call Thanksgiving a "cheat day", to increase your exercise to have a bigger calorie intake, to not do anything different than you are doing now or to just adjust your menu. Just make a plan. That will be beneficial not only to your weight loss but also to your emotional health. I know I am not the only one out there, who can beat themselves up and judge myself very harshly when I disappoint myself.

     You know how they say you cannot go to battle unprepared? Well, for me this is my battle. I am at war with my own self. Because just like I know I am on this journey and I need to be. Sometimes, my brain and my emotions can try to sabotage my body.So I have to make a plan that will allow me to fight myself to make myself better....that doesn't sound complicated at all now , does it? ha!

2- Compromise

     While I have it a bit easier than those who have to host family gatherings or have children and/or a husband to feed. I still have to compromise so that my journey does not reshape or "mess up" the way my friends and/or family are used to doing things. Just because you are on the "spinach all day every day" diet program, should not mean you will be serving spinach ten ways to your guests and nothing more. And if you are not the host, you cannot expect your hostess to cook you that spinach ten know what I mean? That's when you compromise and add that to your plan.
     I always bring green bean casserole to our Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year gatherings. It is one of those things that  EVERYONE loves and gets only on those occasions. I am talking about your good old canned french cut green beans, cream of mushroom, french fried onions recipe. One year, I decided to make it with fresh green beans instead....first time we had leftovers lol plus a request to make it "normal" next time.

     This year, I do not want to eat all of that but I shouldn't deny it from those who love it made that particular way. So my way to compromise is that I will make it but I will also make some roasted green beans and squash. I am hoping that others will partake on the fresh veggies, but if no one does, I know that I will have a good option for myself without taking away from anyone. If no one but me eats them, then I will have a bonus with ready made veggies for a couple of days...That's a win-win in my book!
3- Have a drink or two

     Yes! Have a drink or two but not of the kind you are thinking ;)/ I have found that if I have water or tea with me, I am more likely to keep drinking. If I drink enough, I am less likely to need to nibble on something. Sometimes when I think I need a snack, I  make a deal with myself: I will drink something first and if after a 5-10 minutes I still want to eat something, I will. Sometimes, I forget. Sometimes I don't.

     Having a drink with you, may help in not wanting to try everything and anything during social gatherings. I do not know about y'all but we tend to gravitate towards the kitchen. In the kitchen there is always something you can nibble or take a bite off. Having a drink ( a water bottle can be your friend) may help reduce your instinct to do that.

4- Weigh Yourself

     I know this is a controversial one. There are some that say you should and some that say you shouldn't/ All that I know is that I avoided the scale for so many years and it aided in me deluding myself that things were not too bad and I was not THAT big. Well, turns out I was! One of the things that this journey has taught me is that I have to be honest with myself and weighing in is one of the ways I do that.
     The scale can be a very tricky thing. One day you are up, one day you may be down. Sodium, Health, Weather and even what you are wearing can make a difference on your number. Regardless of that, I NEED to see that number. If it starts going the wrong way, seeing it allows me to stop and think about why it is doing that. If I know, I wasn't as good with measuring portions, did not get my exercise in or had a fall off the wagon I have to do something about it. If I know there was nothing that I did to make the number go up, I have to let it go and try again within the next day or two.

I think that If I didn't do that, I would be more likely to make a bad choice then another one and another one because I wouldn't be seeing what its doing on the scale. Before I would know it, I would have gained 10 pounds. Seeing it, makes a big difference for me. Of course, we are all wired differently for every thing. Some may have a bad response to seeing the number fluctuate. You just have to figure out what works for you.

5- Take a deep breath and Enjoy

     This one should be a no brainer. I find it funny that I am usually good about telling myself what I can't or shouldn't do, that it seems that I forget to remind myself of the things I should. Like relaxing, enjoying quiet time, having fun and enjoying all the little things. The holidays are a perfect time to do that. Don't let your journey be the reason you don't/

      One of the things that can trigger my binges is stress. Holidays can be a stressful time as it is. Don't add to it. Don't over worry yourself by creating a plan or an expectation on yourself that is impossible to accomplish. You will beat yourself up and may end up making it worse on you.  I am not going to plan and  expect myself to work out 5 hours a day from today until January 1st. But I will plan to get 3-4 workouts a week. That is doable. I will continue to avoid my portion distortion by measuring/weighing my food and logging on MFP. I have been doing that, so I will continue to do that.

One last thought: If for some reason you do get off track, let yourself wallow for five minutes but after that pick up where you left off. Talk to someone or write about it if you need to "cleanse" yourself of it.Do not let one bad choice sabotage all your hard work. Don't be too hard on yourself. Learn from it if there is anything to learn, brush yourself off and get back on track. Remember that there is always bumps on the road, sometimes it just gets easier to avoid them when you been through them before! Until next time, I leave you with my 6th way to stay on track ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 3: Traditions Near and Dear to your Heart... Do you have any?

     Traditions are a complex subject for me. I don't mean that in a bad way. I did not grow up in the U.S so back home, we are all about tradition and most everything revolves around it. A lot of it revolving around food. Traditions and superstitions somehow become one and all you know is you do things some days or some ways because that is what your family always did.

       Whether it is going to cemetery every year on day of the dead and partaking of a picnic "with" your departed loved ones (yes, that's a thing), eating twelve grapes at midnight on New Year's, having a blessing before a holiday meal in which everyone participates or waking up at 5 am Christmas Day to beat the crowds to the beach (yes, that's a thing as well) honoring your old family traditions is harder when you move to a new country and find that some of your old holidays don't exist here and you learn that there's a couple you didn't know about!

       Although I respect people who move to this country and continue to live as though they are still in their country of origin, I have chosen to embrace and absorb the American culture while still honoring the values and traditions I grew up with. I will not get political because this is not the place or time for that but you are in America, therefore you speak English and you adjust yourself to this country not the other way around.  Imagine a vinagrette, if you will, I choose to keep it emulsified rather than separated ;) that's how I find my middle ground.

      I am very close to an amazing Southern family, my second family and I have been taken into their wings ever since I moved here. I have been part of their traditions for several years now and have learned from their own traditions.  Here they get together and bake Christmas cookies in a similar manner that families make tamales for the Holiday back home. There are so many similarities and differences at the same time. This has allowed me to find a compromise between old and new and adjust my own traditions to who and where I am.

      So, while I have learned to appreciate putting up Christmas after Thanksgiving instead of first Sunday in December  ( like we used to do) or Ham for New Year's  dinner instead of turkey and  tamales, I still eat my 12 grapes for "good luck" and have gotten others partaking in it ! Of course my all time favorite family tradition that is nearest and dearest to my heart was staying up until midnight on Christmas and New Year's Eve  so that everyone could give each other a hug each other once the clock struck twelve. It was so fun and sweet how everyone ( adults and children) would scramble around to make sure you didn't miss anyone. Those hugs are something really special and the greatest tradition of all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 2: How are you Planning on Staying on track during the Holidays?

     This will be the first year ever, in my 35 year existence that I will be on a "diet" (for lack of a better word) during the Holidays. In my adventures with yoyo dieting, I many times attempted to crash diet right before the Holidays so that I could "eat to my hearts desire". My so called logic with this was that I could lose a few pounds then just eat and not worry because I had lost intending to gain. Now not only was this unhealthy but the 2-3 pounds I could have lost did in no way make any difference because : a) I was +100 pounds overweight anyway so what was this 2-3 pound loss going to do for me? and b) Losing 2-3 pounds but gaining 8 -10 during the holidays did in no way balance out. Dumb Dumb "logic".

     My first strategy to stay on track this Holiday Season is to start with a positive attitude.Simple enough, right? A positive mind will do wonders for you. You have to tell yourself that You Got this! You can do what you are setting out to do! Your attitude sets the tone for so many things in your life. Choose it wisely!

     You know, I have seen people write about how if you truly just indulged on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's the damage would not be that bad. The problem is that people who have food issues, like me, not only overindulge during those days but also the days/weeks/months leading to them and past them. There are some of us who can be the "just one bite" kind of person but there are some of us that just can't. This leads me to my second strategy: Recognizing your triggers.
When so much around the Holidays ( at least for me) has revolved around the foods we prepare and share, if one had practiced self control it wouldn't be an issue. Not everyone gains weight during the Holidays. But when you are addicted to food, the Holidays seem to give you "carte blanche" to overeat without as much guilt than during other times of the year. At least, it felt that way to me.

     This year, I plan to enjoy Thanksgiving and some of the foods that I have loved but also use self control in avoiding those that will trigger my issues and most likely derail me. These types of foods are different for everyone. For me, I find that sweets make me crave more sweets. When I have more sweets, then I need some savory. After the savory, I crave some sweets again..Do you see the pattern here? It is a vicious cycle that triggers my overeating and eventually my binges. I am not going to allow it to get the best of me. Not anymore. Recognizing it, is one of the ways I can stay on track this Holiday Season.

     Another way to stay on track is to continue to follow your routine or at least maintain parts of it. I never knew how much I depended on routine to stay on track. Heck, I used to say routine was the devil (Is anyone keeping tabs on how many times I have eaten my words so far?? )but I have learned now that routine can be my friend. Routine can be a Health Weapon.So even if my day is not the usual day, some parts of my routine I have to make non negotiable. I am ok with that.Things that at first seemed like such a hassle ( like logging my food or measuring out my portions) are now just a thing I do without second thought. Therefore, whether it is a weekday, weekend, holiday or whatever that part of  my routine will stay the same. Portion control is something that is so key to my journey because of my portion distortion. I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed to take off my plate, leave half off or ask for a measuring cup depending on the location. I do not care how many people shake their heads because its incongruent that a big person is eating a "small" portion ( I am sure they're thinking if she really ate this way, she would not be this big lol).You have to do what you have to do.
Along with portion control and healthy eating, exercise is also another way to stay on track. You may be on Holiday from work, school or whatever else you do but you shall not be on Holiday from exercising. It is something that you have to squeeze in, Move Move Move. Whether you have to power walk at the mall, take a class at the Y or just get on the darn elliptical. You must continue to move. Exercise and Diet changes, have to work together. I do not think that you can have one but not the other, in order to truly accomplish balance and improve your quality of life,
Last but not least, I am planning on staying on track during the Holidays by continuing to blog. I have mentioned the Scale Accountability Club many times, this is one of the things that will help keep me on track. Another one that is also blog world related is seeing my writing challenge through. By committing to writing daily, I will always be reminded of the importance of my journey. Anything that holds you accountable is a good thing in my book. Holding myself accountable makes me Happy. Staying and Being Happy is my final strategy.
I think that by following these strategies, I create a Happy Cycle rather than a vicious cycle. This Happy Cycle can help me not only only through the Holiday but year round. Maybe after Thanksgiving, I will come up with another writing challenge to take me through Christmas Stay tuned, until next time!!
How are YOU planning on staying on track during the Holidays??

Monday, November 10, 2014

Two Post in One day and a Thanksgiving writing Challenge

Not bad for my first one of these, Right?

Two posts in one day!? What?! I know, I know!! Sometimes I even shock myself!
 I was reading up on many blogs I read on a multitude of topics across the interwebs and noticed that some have been using #nablopomo. Being the curious being that I am, I had to see what this was about. NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month which apparently happens every November. It is basically one blog post for every day in November. There is no particular theme but there are many writing prompt lists floating around that bloggers can use as guides. While perusing through them, I could not really find one that I wanted to follow and if we take into account that 10 days have already gone by, I knew that this was a challenge I couldn't participate in without making it my own modified writing challenge.
Therefore, I decided to write down  throughout the day different prompts that had to do with the Holidays but also with this journey I am in. I was feeling so inspired I even attempted a graphic! It will be a sort of countdown to Thanksgiving if you will. I also hope that having this challenge, will also keep me focused on my path. I don't promise a long dragged out post or even a clever one daily but I am looking forward to making it happen. I have posted the prompts in case anyone would like to follow any or all of the prompts. If not, you can always use it to see if I ended up accomplishing the challenge myself and give me a hard time if I do not follow through! ;)
As today has to be Day 1, in order to not fail the Challenge before it begins,  lets get started! The topic for the day is Are you Ready for the Holidays? Which is your favorite one?
Whew, that is not an easy question to answer. I love the Holidays and the Holiday spirit because more often than not in brings out the best in people/ I love the excitement that surrounds it, especially if you are around children. But Holidays can also be a bit of a sad time for me.
My dad was big on Holidays, Christmas was always the best time for him. He was more into it than me or my mom. He just was a big overgrown kid when it came to Christmas.After we lost him, Holidays were never the same for me but as years have passed, I have learned to appreciate the good holiday memories we created and have learned to create and appreciate my own new ones. Holidays are no longer something I dread, like I did right after he passed. Time does heal all wounds I guess...
 So to answer the question, YES! I am ready for the holiday season excitement and even a little bit of the rush. This year, because of this journey, I plan to make my Holiday Season a different one and I am excited for that. I want to continue my weight loss journey and have food take more of a background role instead of center stage.
 As far as what my favorite Holiday is, I would have to say Thanksgiving!Christmas is always near and dear to me because of my dad  but Thanksgiving is like a Holiday that was gifted to me that I can make new happy memories with.  I grew up in a country where this is not a Holiday, so after moving here, I embraced it! I think it centers about family and gratitude and that reminds me of Holidays with family back home. I also have matured enough to understand how many blessings I have in my life and how grateful I am to live in a country that while not perfect, allows me the freedom to feel safe, voice my opinions, be secure and hopeful for the future. I also enjoy the cold weather and autumn things that were foreign to me growing up. Of course, there is also a side of the holidays that is very emotional especially is you away from family (according to Google, about 3000 miles away) or if you no longer have someone you love in your life ( like my dad) but Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on who you are, where you come from and where you are going.
So what is YOUR favorite Holiday?

Monday Madness

I don't know what it is about Monday's. It's not that old cliche about hating Monday's, because in some ways I like Monday.  Yes, that's right. I don't dread Mondays! I reframe my thoughts so that instead of looking at Mondays  as the end of my weekends I focus on how it's the start of a new week and therefore it means time to do things and get things accomplished during the week is at its max. 
However, Monday mornings always feel hectic. It can be from the change in routine from the weekend. Feeling hectic sometimes throws me off in an odd way. So, I have started trying to get up earlier on Mondays and just allowing extra time for peace, quiet and some meditation. I always thought meditation and affirmations were nuts. I couldn't get it into my thick head how they be beneficial to anything or to anyone. As has been the case many of times, I ate my words lol it's a good thing they are calorie free! 
Bottom line is, the more positive you become about your body, your weightloss and  yourself the more positive your journey can be.  That can only be a good thing! So with that said because most do dread Mondays, I'II leave you with this, until next time!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's been 3 months!!

After a few moments of meditation and doing some daily affirmations this morning, I  was browsing my blog. I realized my first post was on August 8th so it's been 3 months!! That's amazing to me. I have mentioned before that I have a hard time sticking to something. I start up all excited only to stop a short while after. This has been the case for weight loss attempts before. I am glad that after 3 months I am still writing and still along the path of my journey. It feel good. I feel good. So imagine this pic is actual paper and get whatever one you needed to hear today, Remember every day is a fresh new start and a chance to make better choices. Until bed time, please take one!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Insert witty title ;)

I hit a complete blank when naming this post. There are already  4 posts on my reading list with the words mishmash in it. I did not want to be the 5th! I will spare you the long post and will focus on just a few updates.
1- I am hive free since Monday! It is great. Hives were driving me crazy even with them only lasting a few minutes. I have not had any kale, spinach or Swiss chard all week. It could just be the roids in my system... We shall see. As much as I would hate for greens to be it ( and I'd have to eat my words) my mom reminded me how we use to have reaction to spinach consumption years ago which made her quit buying it when I was growing up. I guess it's possible the sensitivity was still there, and the big quantities I was eating could have thrown me out of whack. Jury Is still out on this one but I'm happy not to itch! lets keep our fingers crossed that I don't develop an allergy to celery and radishes lol
2- As I metioned Here, On Wednesday I had a 3 pound gain. It sucked, but considering the fact that I was just starting that time of the month and had had the steroids it was to be expected. Thank yall for trying to cheer me up about it. I decided to not obsess over it and see what would happen this morning. Which brings me to my next point...
3-Today is weigh in day for the Scale Accountability Club. Make sure to jump over to Gwen's over at The Sunny Coconut to see how everyone did. I was just shocked this morning after my shower when I found that not only had I lost my 3 pound gain from Wednesday but lost an extra pound. My total loss for the week since last Friday being 1 pound. I know a lot if it has to do with water retention and that who knows what the scale will do next week but I'll take it and be happy with it.
That is all I have for today, have a great weekend. Until next time!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the word temptation? I would guess that if you have a sweet tooth you would probably picture some good chocolate or even some special dessert. If you lean more towards the savory side, maybe some chips and dip or even a burger might be it. For me, I am at a point where I can't decide if anything or everything is a temptation. Does that make sense? I assume not, I am trying to figure it out myself.
Let's back it up first. Temptation , as defined by a trusty dictionary, is  the desire or craving for something, especially something considered wrong. Therefore depending on what you consider "wrong" temptation can be many things. Because this is a lifestyle change and weight loss blog, obviously my biggest temptation would be food.
You could have two approaches to this. Either you are in the one camp where you are so strong in your path that you have taught yourself to not give food any power therefore you no longer consider food a temptation and shake your head at those of us who still struggle. Or you may be more like me, struggling but pushing through. The struggle is real.
I cannot tell you for sure why some days or some things make you struggle more or less. If I had to guess, I would say that it is a combination of many variables such as mood, energy, health,sleep, weather and whatever is going on in our mind. I think some days, especially for me, I am stronger or weaker than others. I wish I could say, I am strong every day and that I have it all figured out bItut I am not there yet. 
You know what though? It is ok. I sometimes feel like I have to keep reminding myself of that. I follow so many blogs and a large chunk of them have authors who have either reached their goal or are within pounds of achieving it. While they inspire me, sometimes I feel downright bad, I am comparing my beginning to their near end. I feel like I have said this before. But I am sure I am not the only one who has ever felt that way. I think I am extra vulnerable this week, what with having a gain resulting from my treatment and just feeling a bit overwhelmed with the monthly hormones.I need to get a grip soon!
But going back to temptation. Being raised Catholic back home, temptation and guilt where two concepts that were immensely hammered in my brain growing up. Will power would be tacked on especially during lent when we had to "give up" something we enjoyed and pray for the will power to not give in to temptation. 
That reminds me of a funny story, one year I decided that since I didn't care for beans that much anyway  (big part of our diet), I would just give them up for lent. I felt so darn clever for this, I wouldn't have to eat those stupid beans and I wouldn't have to give up something I liked. BEST IDEA EVER! Except when my mom asked what I was giving up and I told her. I was promptly told that you do not give up something that is not a temptation. Hey, I tried! I think I ended up giving up cheese puffs or candy instead.
I am not shy to say that losing weight and having the will power to stay within a healthy path and break my food issues is an ongoing learning process. I try to celebrate the small victories because they are all helping me get to where I want to be. Today, I had a small personal victory. Heres a little bit of back story.
Every year after Halloween, My friend and I would hit up the clearance candy sale for two main purposes. In her case, she always gets enough to make candy treat bags for the faculty and staff where she works as a little token to help them out during the hardest acting up time ( right past thanksgiving but not quite Christmas break period of time). The teachers and appreciate it so much. Some will always request chocolate when they are about to have a breakdown. It makes their day. I am not going to get on a white horse and talk about giving candy as treats. This is not a post about that. The bottomed out price, allows my friend to do this for them every year. It makes a difference of those teacher's day and consequently on the kids if the kids are feeling a tad sweeter ;)/ We make around 150 treat bags. The second purpose of our trip, was to stock up on cheap candy as a treat to ourselves. Because I OBVIOUSLY needed treats? lol Sometimes I have to shake my head at my own past logic lol.
Anyway, this year she couldn't make it and the prices have hit rock bottom. So I offered to go by myself. You have to understand that I was doing it for her but in some way I was doing it for myself. As I walked the aisles looking for the best deals I felt absolutely no desire to get any treats for myself. I was not tempted. Not at all. THAT IS HUGE!! I felt victorious. Other years, I would have gotten a bag and opened it in the car, to have a taste of one of my treats. I walked out with all she had requested for in  those bags and not one thing extra. It is all still in that bag and will remain there until they go into their treat bags.Candy :0    Alati:1 ! Until next time!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This and That

This has been a very different week for me so far. It feels off. I feel off. I finally had to cave and get steroids when my hives got a bit out of control, my lips looked like Lisa Rinna ( is that her name?) and I couldn't deal anymore. On the bright side, that seems to have done the trick so far as I have been hive free for two days. I am continuing to do what I can based on my suspicions and will start excluding certain foods from my diet to see if that makes any difference once the drug effect has run off. We shall see!
Between the roids and my time of the month starting, today I had a 3 pound gain. I can rationalize why, but I was also sad and disappointed. First gain in a while, it stings. But I am not going to beat myself up, I am moving on (or doing my best to) and hope that by the end of week I will see a difference.
Food wise, things have been on point. I have added way more veggies and protein to my diet and I have found that it makes me feel fuller and somehow better. My skin is also still clearing up, I am amazed at how a diet change, increased water and some vitamin C serum has made a difference that I couldn't accomplish with medium range to expensive skincare . You hear that beauty industry? your creams do not do all the magic you claim lol.
Exercise has been better this week as well, I am two for two so far and planning on getting on the elliptical again this evening. I guess its not as bad of a week as I keep thinking its being. I have to remember that I have to think positive. Positive mind, Positive vibes right?
I hope everyone is having a great week after all the Halloween hoopla. I am not happy about all the Christmas music on the radio! November is my favorite month of the year and my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving ,I feel like we take away from it by rushing Christmas. What are you looking forward to this Month? Sorry about this all over the place post! Until next time!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Do you listen to your body?

Well, do you? Do you really recognize when your body is trying to say something? I have to admit that I have not been the best at this. Considering my profession, it is even crazier that I don't. I was trained to listen to bodies and try to "fix" them yet I never did listen to my own.
I have been a fairly healthy person ( aside from the fact that I'm obese ha!), other than allergies and allergy triggered asthma I have never really suffered from a chronic condition. My hope is that with a lifestyle change and losing my weight, my journey will allow me better chances and not having one later on.
With all of that said, I must say that I think that my body is trying to tell me something. I have mentioned many times that I have been under a lot of stress lately. This has caused me a lot of anxiety and it is in my nature to try to "deal" with it internally. Hence, why eating and binging is what I did. I could comfort myself this way, without anyone knowing. Funny to think that people couldn't see me eating, that was important. I never considered that even though they may not have seen me consuming the food, they saw my ever growing body. Crazy, how we do not stop and consider those details lol.
I would not say that I am the most stressed I have ever been, far from it. But I do think that this is the longest period of time where I have had the same source of stress and a lot of unknown. I have always been a planner and want to be in control, so having much unknown that I cannot control drives me nuts. But I know it should be coming to a close soon just how soon I am not sure. So that's a good thing.
 Because I am committed  this journey and seeing it through, I have tried to deal with my stress without my usual companion (food). I thought I was doing pretty good but about two weeks ago I started having random bouts of hives. The very first time it happened, I was at Walmart picking out lettuces. I figured that I must have touched something and I must have reacted to it. My wrist and hand got the hives and they went away after taking some benadryl. I didn't think anything of it but about two days later, I had the same thing happen. I was reading when all of a sudden, I started feeling itchy on my side and within seconds i had 3-4 welts that itched tremendously. Within minutes they went away even without any pills.
From them on, I will get them in random places ( face, scalp, tummy, arm, legs,feet) often enough (though not daily) to make me want to "fix" it. I have never had them all over my body and not lasting more than 5 minutes. Although I believe that a part of it is anxiety related and it could just be idiopathic chronic urticaria. I am thinking that food may also be related.
The only "pattern" I can find has to do with sugar and carbs. The days that I have had them have been heavier in carbs  than others. Those days have been within my calorie intake and all that but according to MFP heavy on the carb ratio. I keep thinking about it, and I am not concerned about it enough to see the doctor just yet ( trust me, I would know if that was the case ;) ). I have hyperinsulinemia but my glucose  and such are fine (for now), I think this is my body's warning sign.I am  thinking that my body is screaming at me to make a change before it does break.
So in order to see if I notice a change, I am going to do a few things:
1- I will make sure I am drinking LOTS of water, I am cutting my coke zero ( or diet soda) intake completely.TODAY.
2= I will avoid artificial sweetener as much as possible, limiting myself to one stevia pack for my morning coffee ( I am giving myself a 1 cup limit)
3- I am slashing my carb intake goal by half and my goal would be to eventually do it by 90%
4- I will be mindful of fruits and starchy veggies. I am eating them, but will not over eat them.
5- I will keep a log of the days it happens and try to find a food/activity pattern.

Will this be key? who knows, but I am hoping it will help. I am sure it will. I feel good but the hives can drive a person crazy even when its for a couple of minutes. These changes can only help,It can't hurt right? Right!
So I started today by filling up the top shelf of my fridge with prepared veggie snacks. I have 50 grams each of baby carrots, radishes and celery in each. I have grown fond of plain rice cakes as a snack ( hey only 40cals right?). This will stop. I can crunch away on veggies if I need to. If they are ready I can grab and go. No excuses.So I am going to try this for now and see if there is any improvement at all. I will keep you guys updated. For now, I am leaving you with a nice pic of my snack shelf in my fridge lol Until next time!