New Chapter

I recently posted about my weight loss journey . I am very proud of the accomplishments I have made thus far, but still am not contented with my body, or how I feel inside. Yes, I know this is what ALL women AND men say. We all are insecure, and have flaws we wish to change. It would be a lovely reality to love who you are, in the skin you are in, in the here and now.

I have always told myself if I do not like something to change it . After all, how enjoyable is it to live a miserable existence? Get up. CHANGE  WHAT YOU DO NOT LIKE! I know, easier said than done, but the first step to change is wanting it, having that desire in the pit of your core being. That fire will ignite, and NOTHING and NO ONE will stop you!

I decided to start a core yoga program. Yoga you ask? Ahh, so relaxing, breath in , breath out, center your being, become one with the universe…… Mmm.Yeah. For me it is more like ‘ Grunt, breath, more grunting, curse curse curse, fall over’. LOL! Ok, ok, it isn’t all grunts and curses, I feel myself becoming more flexible, breathing more fully, and really feeling peaceful. 

There are many different styles of yoga depending on your goal; my goal is to get RIPPED. I know, a lofty goal, but usually when I put my mind to a future-scoping end result, I run like hell to get there. I have chosen weight loss yoga, and somehow decided upon an hour long video : 

Biggest Loser – The Workout: Weight Loss Yoga with Bob. 

Easy peasy I thought.Yoga, then yoga/Pilates for abs, then legs and arms…NO PROBLEM! OW. That was the first word out of my mouth the next morning when every part of my body hurt. Even my toes. Oof. WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?! I silently cried myself to sleep that first night, wondering why I do these thinks to myself. Could I do this? Could I achieve the end goal? I sighed, and truly wondered if I was up to the challenge.

That night I had a dream that I never told anyone. I sat in a white room in a black chair. My family : Mom, dad,brother, and my husband stood before me wearing white robes. My cats were there as well(ha). In unison they repeated ‘ go, go ,go,go,go,go,go,,,,,’ Over and over until I awoke. I rolled out of bed, equally as sore, wondering what the dream meant. I made it through my third day, grunting, huffing, crying. As I sat, panting during my second workout in the afternoon( I enjoy torture apparently) I realized the dream meant support. Support from those that love me. They have always believed in me, why shouldn’t I believe in myself?

So I am in the second week, working out 5 days a week, and when I can twice a day. I hurt, I am tired, and I often cry afterwards. It is SO HARD. Imagine 20 people trying to push you  at running speed as you push back, using all of your strength, fortitude, and willpower to knock them over. That is how hard it is, and sometimes even harder, but I will not give up. I may cry, grunt, sweat and curse many more times, but I can see the new me waving merrily from the future, encouraging me. She is telling me she believes in me, and that is what keeps me going.

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*Yes yoga gives your butt superpowers*

A journey of discovery

I have struggled with my weight since my late teens, when my metabolism started slowing down. At my heaviest 6 years ago, I was 208 and felt miserable. Despite my feeling like an utter failure, I have an extremely supportive husband who compliments me until he is blue in the face, and constantly tells me he loves me just the way I am.

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While the sentiment felt great, and I had family and friends telling me I was beautiful, I did not FEEL beautiful. I felt ugly and miserable, my self confidence was shattered. It was time for a change.

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Diet and exercise are 2 words nobody ever wants to hear, or god forbid do. It can be tough to see it as fun or exhilarating if you do not want to change. But I was determined. Determined to change for happiness inside. 

How does one choose the diet to go on, you ask? Well, that was a struggle for me. I wanted to choose the right diet. But I decided to do something a little different, since I felt utterly overwhelmed at the possibilities. I asked myself : ‘What are the 2 foods you feel you cannot live without? That you are addicted too? ‘Bread  and sugar I told myself’. Bagels, cream cheese, chocolate and treats; these were staples in my everyday life that I felt I could not live without.

I felt sad and scared . I wondered if I could do it. I also realized I would need to add exercise to my routine. My first week off of bread and sugar were excruciating. I cried when I could not eat it, I had headaches from cutting sugar out; it was terrible. I counted calories, I portioned out my food, I did not put seconds on my plate. I started working out ot ‘Jillian Micheal’s 30 day shred’.

Fast forward 4.5 year later. I would tell you all the in between, however it would become a book! With hard work I have lost 80 pounds to date, shed inches and lost 6 pant sizes, starting at an 18 and now I am a 11/12. This is not to say it was a breeze. There were days I did not work out, there were times i was” lazy” about my diet. However, the biggest change I have made is no longer calling what I am doing a “diet”. I now call this a ‘lifestyle change’. Other changes I have made and integrated into my lifestyle: I juice, I drink kale shakes, and I cut out dairy 4 months ago. 15 years ago I cut out beef and pork from my diet for personal reasons.So, I am a vegan except for chicken and fish, ha! An ‘Aqua-chick-tarian’ :) I just started a very difficult yoga routine to tone up more, and am loving it. It is never to late to integrate the change you want to see in yourself. You can do it!

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Here I am in angel wings from a play I starred in,  in 2009*I was at my heaviest here*

*Me 3 years later on my wedding day. I made my own dress!*

Weekly DIY-Trop-sicles

It has been super warm in my home-town of Portland ,OR. Don’t get my wrong, I don’t mind heat, but it has reached the high 90’s AND we have had thunderstorms ! Thant makes for a muggy, sticky, hot day.

My husband, step-kids, and myself have been enjoying making different concoctions of stevia sweetened lemonade to keep cool. We have made cooling rosewater lemonade, extra tart lemon-limeade, and recently ‘Tropical lemonade’ with lemon, lime, frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple chunks, stevia to sweeten it, and of course water. A big hit!

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We decided it was time to be even MORE creative and make some homemade Trop-sicles! This is fun speak for tropical Popsicle. Not only was it super easy to make, but the kids have so much fun choosing what yummy fruit gets to be frozen in the middle. Ours was on the simpler side, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go hog wild and fruit it up! Be creative, and best of all these are super healthy!

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Sugar free Trop-sicles

For this project you will need the following ingredients and supplies :

Large measuring cup

Popsicle molds(we used a mold that made 4)

Truvia or stevia packets

True lime packets (or lime juice is fine)

Water

Orange juice

Choice of frozen fruit

With your 16 ounce measuring cup, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and 5 true lime packets. True lime is crystallized lime. If you do not have this, that is fine!  Add 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1/4 cup of orange juice.Put 4-5 packets of Stevia or Truvia, add more or less depending on how sweet or sour you like your pops.  Fill the measuring cup with water, stir and adjust as needed. Tasting is the fun part! Set aside measuring cup. Grab your molds and add several chunks of pineapple. Add other fruit to make it to your liking(we only added pineapple), but remember to cut the chunks small , and do not over fill.

Pour in your liquid,secure your Popsicle sticks in and pop in freezer for 4-6 hours.

Save the rest of your liquid and drink it as yummy lemonade. ENJOY!

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