Saturday, April 25, 2015

A little bit of everything

Hey everyone! I am back for what seems to be my weekly update post. 
When I first started this blog, I wanted to be able to use as an outlet whenever my emotions and frustrations would get in the way of what I knew I needed to do to better my health.

 Once I started writing and reading other blogs, I realized that not only was it a good outlet for that but also a way to build a sense of community and to realize there are others out there who are having or have had similar struggles as yours.

 I have not been as constant when it comes to posting and while some would think it’s a bad sign, it’s quite the opposite. I have been in a very good place for what seems several weeks and I am so glad that it has been that way. 

It is not by luck, it’s by hard work and consistency. I think that I have always known what the right thing to do is, I just never had the conviction or determination to do the best for me. Being a giver, I always have tried to go above and beyond for everyone. For family, friends and definitely when it comes to my work. Somehow in trying to take care of others, I ended up putting myself at the bottom of the list. That was one of my many mistakes. 

I remember reading or hearing how people have that wakeup call or that moment when they KNOW that is it. They will change their life of whatever issue or vice ails them. My vice is and has always been food. The difference is that I have taken away the power that I had always given it over me. It is not always easy. Some days I have to rationalize and talk myself out of something but I never quit pushing. I do not allow myself to beat myself up over a “bad moment when I lost control”. I own it and move on. I find that as I have started doing that, I don’t want to lose control. I can make the decision to deviate from my plan for a meal, but more than that is a no go for me. I don’t want to throw away my efforts for the sake of a fast food, dessert or beverage craving.

 We are all different and we constantly change ; this is the only way it will work for me. Last week, I went to a newly opened pizza place. It is one of those where you pick everything from your crust, sauce and toppings to build your own. Normally I would have gone nuts getting as much bang as I could for my buck. I avoid eating out because I know that it can trigger my binges. 

We were celebrating an accomplishment and the place was chosen by the person we were celebrating with. This time though, rather than stress or cancel, I enjoyed half of my personal pizza and had a side salad. It was over and done. Why make it a bigger deal than it was? I decided not to focus on it just go back to my usual plan after it.

 I had no crazy binges, no crazy cravings, no guilt or regret. I am not thinking about when will I have the ‘evil carbs’ again. I just went on to my usual high protein/fats low carb deal before and after it. Guess what? It didn’t kill me! I was proud of myself for being able to handle that. Handling it was not being careless enough to supersize and over eat. It was making the decision not to eat what I would have before or the quantities I would have before.

 We are all entitled to our own views and ideas but one of the things that I think we all need is flexibility. What kind of flexibility and how much of it is up to each individual. While it was fine this time, I am not one for making that a common occurrence. I still feel that for me the best thing is to avoid eating out as much as I can. It works so I continue to do it

 In other news I have now transitioned to a size 18!! It’s not loose on me yet but I ain’t looking like a sausage either! It feels great and continues to encourage me. If I didn’t carry most of my weight in my tummy area I probably could size down. It is great to consider how I have transitioned down several sizes now (biggest pair was a 24 that was tight on me at my highest).Slow and Steady but always moving. 

My garden is chugging along; the rain has really helped my sprouts start to grow. I have been working extra hours but will have a short vacation around June. I am looking forward to that! I have shared this quote before but it is such a good one its worth resharing. Until next time, keep loving yourself and stay strong!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Checking in

Hey yall! Hope everyone is doing well. April showers around here have continued to stay and be enough to make the roads a mess and floods in several places. My garden continues to grow am just a little worried about too much rain. We shall see!

I'm pretty tired today and working extra early tomorrow. I wanted to check in anyway because I hate not popping in every now and then. Yall may think I've fallen off the wagon or broken it ;)

Things are going pretty well for me. I am continuing to live what I callmy 'new normal'. I am trying to turn the changes I have madein the last few months into more of my usual routine. Moving on from a mindset of its all new to its what I have to do. So far so good. Just have to keep being consistent. I may be slow at it but I will be steady.
This Nike quote I leave you with pretty much sums up my current mindset. It's a good one I think! It continues to push me forward in journey. It doesn't allow me to make up excuses not to. Stay strong,Until next time!


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Garden Ramblings

April Showers are here and with a vengeance! It has been stormy all week and along with the storms we have had tons of lightning and thunder. I don’t mind stormy unless I have to drive in it. Then it feels like I’m Mr. Magoo on my way to work ;). Y'all remember him?

With all this rain I have noticed that almost all my seeds have started to sprout. Some sprouts are tinier than others but they are coming along. 

In seeing them, I got to thinking how in our own personal journeys, we are those seeds that need to be tended in order to sprout, grow and eventually produce a good harvest.

 Sometimes we just have to hold our ground by believing in our own health plans regardless of what books,friends, family or even the internet tells us.It is through consistency and hard work that we “water” our health seeds in order to have a chance at growing. If we water them too much aka trying to push too hard or do too much at once, we have greater odds at not succeeding. But if we tend to ourselves daily and put in a little effort we start to sprout. 

Whether it is when we can walk up a couple of flights of stairs without passing out, when we see the scale move down or fit into an older pair of pants there is a little sprout. 

If we continue to take care of it, we will get to where we want. But just like with a garden, our health journey can’t just be forgotten. If we choose not work on it for a few days, you have to make sure you are ok with the consequences. Whether we feel bad, or we see it reflected on the scale.

 When you lose sight of your journey, you risk losing whatever progress you’ve made or you will have to work harder on it to restore it.
 So I invite you all to hold your ground, take care of your seeds if you’re just getting started, of your sprouts if you’re a little further along like me or of your plant if you are lucky enough to be in maintenance by now. Until next time !

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Weekend Aftermath

Hey y’all! I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter/Spring weekend if you had anything special going on. It was my first year cooking for our special family get together and it was a success!!

With a bit of fear, I decided to forego our usual casseroles. Keep in mind that my “second family” as I call them, are pretty much set on their traditional southern dishes and their special holiday menus. Don’t get me wrong, it is tasty and comforting but unfortunately loaded with both sodium and canned goods.

 I try my best to eat whole fresh foods. I used to be a daily processed and canned food eater and it’s been hard to retrain my mind to think in terms of health rather in term of cents I can save. So when planning my menu, I went back and forth between trying to healthify our traditional dishes or cooking something different that fit my food template better.

 Remember, that one of the main reasons I wanted to cook was for me to have control over the eating options. I decided that I would just make my life easier by making tons fresh veggies as side dishes, one hearty pan of scalloped potatoes for the carby cheese lovers and the only canned product would be the green bean casserole I didn’t touch.

 I made three big trays of roasted veggies: Brussels sprouts and onions, yellow squash and carrots, and zucchini. I figured if my family didn’t eat much of those, then hey I would be ahead on meal prep for the week…win win situation. The roasted veggies were met with certain skepticism but also an open mind. 

Out of three trays, only half of one was left. Someone requested to take those leftovers home.I was so happy to see people going for seconds! I placed a pink Himalayan salt grinder and I believe it made people so curious to try that they would eat veggies to do so haha. Half the potatoes and green bean stuff was leftover and I had most wanting to know how to cook the veggies. I was very proud of everyone! 

The lesson we learned as a family is that different/new is not always a bad thing. Another important discussion we had in regards to fresh veggies was that you cannot claim to not like something when you haven’t even tried it. 

My second mom says growing up; she ate canned beans, corn, peas and greens. So that’s what she bought for her kids specially because there was not a lot of money. Even now that she could buy fresh, she still goes for what she’s always known. 

I am encouraging her to reduce the processed and canned foods for their health; we want them around for many years to come! We will be going on a farmer’s market trip together as soon as they open! It should be fun! 

I declined the cakes that had been brought for dessert but did indulge by biting off the ears of a small dark chocolate bunny. It was good but not something I want to have again anytime soon. After not eating candy for a while, I realized it wasn’t something I love that much. I gave it away and enjoyed the rest of my day. 

The weather is so beautiful and I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can. I have a new camping hammock that I am enjoying being in it enjoying the view tremendously! Have a great week!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Think Positive But Be Proactive

I think by now you all know that I am a true believer of positivity. A positive attitude and mind can be powerful weapons when facing different situations in our lives, weight loss included. Being at peace with your choices, maintaining a positive attitude and doing self care are some of the things that are different for me this time. They are also what I believe has made this journey a slow but successful one so far. 

 I was trying to have that conversation with someone and I realized that even though she was listening, she didn't really get what I was saying. I'm sorry but I cannot take you seriously when you tell me you have a positive attitude towards your health as you munch on chicken wings and cheese fries. When you give me 10 excuses why (without me asking)you could not eat healthy that day.I used to eat plenty of those, but not while talking to someone about how I wanted to lose weight. 

Don't get me wrong, I do not feel better than that person. Actually I see myself reflected on them. So many times, I was dishonest with myself by pretending it was only the one bad meal, that I would really start a diet or eat less starting the next day, week, month, year....but then it never happened. The few times it did, it was a half assed attempt that was doomed from the very beginning. Time goes by so fast and before you know it, you are in a place you never thought you would ever be.

 I am not the best role model  or a role model at all when it comes to working out or eating. But I do know that you cannot out exercise a bad diet. I am not even talking about you needing an specific or restrictive food plan but just plain nutrition. 

Every day we are faced with choices from the moment we get up. What will you wear, what road you'll take to work, what will you eat for breakfast...every choice is an opportunity to better  and take care of yourself. So when faced with all these choices, why do we have such a struggle to make the right ones?

 Most of us obese/overweight /or formerly overweight/obese people, know what the right choices are but knowing does not equal doing. Just like thinking positive without being proactive will not help you change your nutrition and health around. 

 I think that thats the issue with many people. Many think that being positive about something equals to just thinking and not doing. I can think positively all I want but that will not change my weight or improve my health. You have to be positive, reframe the negative but you have to move your butt!! The weight is not going to come off thanks to positive thoughts or vibes, it is through hard work and change. 

 Expect struggles, hard times, stressful situations, cravings...always expect them because they will happen. When working on changing your lifestyle and pursuing good health we ALL have and will experience plenty of obstacles and challenges. We are all faced with hard choices and weak moments. 

Address them with the right mindframe and consider the potential behaviors and/or problems they may trigger. You may not always make the best choices. You will never be perfect but own each one of your choices. Good or bad. They may not be perfect, but something can always be done to change and a lesson will always be taught. 
 Change your I can'ts and I won'ts for I wills and I cans. Be patient, Be kind to yourself and Work Hard! Always work hard!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring has Sprung for real now!

Pollen here, pollen there....pollen everywhere!!!

Hey y'all! Hope you are having a great week so far. Spring weather is here and at times it almost feels like summer. I did not miss the heat at all but I love seeing all the greenery and beautiful flowers starting to pop up.

 Yesterday was my Sunday, so I decided that with such lovely weather I needed to hunker down and get the yard looking better. My roomie is out for spring break from work ( the joys of the education system) so we borrowed the truck and headed to the garden center. 

 With our pockets less full but the truck literally filled with dirt and mulch we headed back. I didn't think we would get it all done. We had 40 bags of mulch to work with along with 20 bags of dirt along with flower and other supplies .

 I was so amazed at my energy and stamina. We loaded those puppies in and out of the truck with no help. Then spread them out in the yard before actually starting out work for the day! Unfortunately it was not enough so we will have to finish up sometime next week. 

 We mulched the front yard and then started working on the vegetable garden. Last year I started from seeds and was shocked at how well everything did. This year aside from containers, we set up several raised garden beds. I am Hoping for similar results this year! Here's a pic of a couple of beds during our progress:

We are being mighty ambitious this year. We are hoping to have squash, zucchini, 3 kinds of tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapenos, cucumber, watermelon, lettuce,onions and spinach. I am also doing an herb garden.

After tending to the garden, I decided to spray paint my old flower pots because I didn't want to invest in new colorful ones. I have to say I was happy with the end result. Here's a sample of them: 

The purple one is cute but a bit too Eastery lol it will be  an Easter looking focal point for our function Sunday but I might have to repaint afterward. I planted a bunch of petunias and marigold. I'm not sure how we ended up with some many pots!

I didn't get to my herb garden because I was finally exhausted from squtting and bending over so much around 6 pm. We started at 10. Not a bad days work! 

I normally wouldn't have been able to do all that and function today haha My thighs are sore today but other than that my energy is the same, I've been up since 4 am , worked a full shift and I ain't no worse for wear! It is so rewarding to be able to see the difference in how much more you can do the healthier you get.

 I have a long way to go but these things sure keep me motivated!! I am looking forward to fresh veggies from the garden later this summer! Added bonus it was quite the workout! Yay for calories burnt! Until next time!!!