Tuesday, September 30, 2014

There's one thing I know for sure. Gratitude is necessary and universally positive. It not only effects the people or things you show gratitude towards. It effects you on a such a monumental scale that to not have it is to be surely unhappy. And I find for my own life once I find gratitude in the simplest things like a sunny day, waking up, or a cup of coffee it shifted my entire life.

If someone said what is something I can change right now that will change my entire life for the better? I would say find your gratitude. Be thankful. 

And I'm very good at gratitude. But only because I've been working on it. I don't think it's engrained in most people to wake up and think "WOW I'm so happy I'm alive for another day, just think of all the things I can do!" It's a muscle and it has to be trained. Just like going to the gym.

But I did that. Being thankful for little things is only the beginning though. Then there's having gratitude for things that people do for you. Strangers, friends, co-workers. You just can't believe that someone paid for your toll bridge fare.

There's one HUGE area of gratitude I skipped. 
It's for my own mom. See I'm very good at finding what drives me up the wall about her. Or what she should be doing differently. But I'm not so good at having gratitude for how hard she worked to raise me, feed me, send me to school and have a roof over my head. Because I don't think about those times anymore. Hell, I don't even remember those times.

But it doesn't mean they didn't happen. It doesn't mean she wasn't up all night with me not sleeping and then going to work her three jobs. It doesn't mean she didn't have a homemade breakfast, dinner and lunch on the table for us everyday. It doesn't mean that she didn't bend over backwards to send me to a montessori school in San Francisco. It doesn't mean that just because we were dirt poor we didn't still wear fancy clothes even if everything was from Goodwill. But how easy I forget?

When I went up to my moms recently I was overwhelmed with guilt. Because here I am building my life with my own family and not even seriously thinking about if she needs anything from me. Only seeing my mom two times a year because I thought, well she never comes down to see us. But really...she's my mother and she has sacrificed enough. Couldn't I find it in my time to make that trip once a month?

And couldn't I help her out and pay a utility bill? Or hire a maid to come once a month so she doesn't have to clean? Maybe bring her groceries everytime we come up to see her? Just the smallest things to do, to let her know that I not only appreciate everything she did but that I love her dearly.

So after talking to her about what we can do to help. She decided that she would love my help on redecorating her house. Because she works 14 hours days six days a week and she doesn't have time. And it's right up my alley so I'm excited.

Have you thought about being grateful lately? Have you acted on it?


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This week has been exciting! Towards the end I felt better about doing exercises so I joined a gym and have been able to use it the last few days of the week. My sister asked me why pay for one when we have a small gym in our apartment. For me it's about leaving, going to a space where tons of people have the same goal and being surrounded by that.

I've been really successful in the past with losing over 20 lbs so I wanted to share my consistent work out plan then, that I have started doing again now, with you.

Cardio - HIIT 10 min
Abs - Situps on ball, oblique crunches, leg lifts, plank (3 sets of all)
Arms - 5 lb weight lifting (3 sets of all)
Legs - Squats, lunges (2 sets of all)
Cardio - HIIT 10 min

And rather than write out a detailed diary of every item I ate, I'm going to include a sample day to keep it shorter.

Bfast: Eggs w/ broccoli and feta, 3 strips turkey bacon, whole grain toast with pb/j and mango
Lunch: 1/2 turkey sandwich dry on whole wheat with honeydew
Snack: Other 1/2 turkey sandwich with corn on the cob
Dinner: Roast chicken, asian veggies and roasted carrots and broccoli, cup of 100% green tea
Workout: 15 minutes treadmill 11 incline 4.0 speed and 3 sets of various strength training like above

My meals have been consistently heavy on the meat. The last two days, I have started to transition to pescetarian again and cutting out most gluten. This is what works best for my body. I know this because it's tried and true. Personally though, I do feel that as a culture we eat an insane amount of meat and it's bad for you. Watch "Fork Over Knives" or "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" for more information on that.

And let me tell you. I made the pescetarian low gluten switch two days ago...HUGE difference. Like my weight kept jumping up and down all week. When I made the switch, consistently went down...even after I ate ice cream. So I'm proud of myself for slowly but consistently losing weight.

Tip of the Week:
Go pescetarian for one week, see how you feel.

 1 lb down from last week! 

My breakfasts earlier in the week. 

My famous roasted chicken over veggies. Oh how I'll miss you!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

I can't even begin to believe how fast time has slipped by with our baby girl. People always told me cherish it, it goes by so fast. And I really took that to heart and spent hours playing with her and taking her everywhere to see the world. I wanted Penelope to know that there was a world outside of this little space we call our home. To see what ducks looked like close up, the way a sprinkler felt on a lawn, how leaves crinkled in her fingers or how beautiful all the different flowers were.

So we did everything and more. But still I'm left with the feeling that I haven't done enough. Didn't cherish enough. And maybe that feeling is inevitable for every parent because you know those precious moments are ones you will never get back. And thats really what keeps me sane in the moments of insanity. Where she refuses to sleep, or won't let me have five seconds of alone time. I breathe and I tell myself that this moment will be one I'll never get back. I don't want to regret the way I reacted to that moment. It keeps me level and it keeps me grateful.

10 months is so momentous because it is so close to that epic FIRST year. Already I'm thinking of periods, and attitude, and high school, boys, and the big scary world ahead. How will I protect you? How will I prepare you? Can I prepare you? It's a dichotmy of emotions. On one hand how proud am I that your already running! Your eating everything under the sun! You have started to throw your own diapers away! But how sad am I that you aren't sitting comfortably, snuggling in my arms anymore. Soon you won't even need diapers and that makes me crumble.

Penelope in three words at 10 months? Joyful, resilient and intelligent

She is the only girl in our library cuddle club who leaves me to go wander alone and introduce herself to other babies. By ways of friendly kisses obviously. She finds joy in EVERYTHING. This girl is happy literally 24/7. When she falls she likes to get herself back up and she will keep doing the same the over and over and over again until she finally gets it. She loves to brush her teeth herself and sits patiently while I brush her hair. She thinks it's fascinating to watch me clip her nails and everything in our home is open for Penelope digestion. She runs to the door when Daddy's home and loves to eat eggs with feta every morning with Momma. Start playing some music, she instantly smiles and starts bouncing, swaying her head. When she's at a park her favorite things to do is to walk up to random people and start playing with them. She's babbling non stop and actually listens when we tell her no. Penelope the angel, my little peanut burglar.

Just writing this makes me emotional. It's easy for me with all of her new skills to get so caught up in the day to day that I don't take a step back and realize how wondrous this little human being really is. 

What a blessing in the form of a buddha bellied, curly fro'd, chubby toe'd, missing tooth smiles, chunky little muffin.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

This week I only lost a little bit, but at least I lost! I'm three lbs away from 140's which I haven't been since almost two years ago. Even though I've been eating pretty well I've noticed that no activity at all really puts a damper on my weight loss. The last three days I started working light activity in and I feel fine so I'm going to stick with it!

As for diet I have been sticking to my "Eat like a Queen for breakfast, Princess for lunch and Servant for dinner" mindset. Obviously throughout making sure I'm making healthy choices but not going super health nut just yet. Eating a low carb dinner like salad or fish and veggies at 5-6pm and no food after. 

There is tons of conflicting opinions and information regarding the not eating after dinner idea. After doing research essentially it's a very mild version of a fast. I eat the lightest meal for dinner because all I'm doing after dinner is going to sleep. That will help my digestive system do it's work a lot easier and not go into overdrive. Right now it's working for me because I am so inactive that it makes sense for me to help my system out as much as possible. 

I found after starting no eating after dinner, my appetite as a whole went down pretty quickly. Also, my portions are smaller and still make me full. And I'm not using that as a substitution to eat crap during the day. I'm still very mindful of what I'm eating all day long. But my downfall I've noticed are weekends. When we are out I want to drink and eat amazing, horribly fat food...etc. But overall I'm happy I'm still losing weight. Slower then doing it with full blown exercise, but I gotta work with what I got!

Oh and yesterday we went on a little shopping spree for moi. It was a little celebration for making it through the past three months of one bad thing after another. And an ode to losing weight and wanting to wear something besides work out pants again. I'm so confident I'll get into the 140's by the time this 4th week is over, I even bought a crop top. Seriously, the midget shirts I thought only 12 year olds could wear. There is light at the end of the tunnel :)

My liver/chive/tofu stir fry.

Bfast: 2 Eggs w/ kale and bell pepper and whole wheat toast w/ pb
Lunch: Whole wheat sandwich w/ salami, turkey, lettuce
Snack: Special K cereal
Dinner: Honey CK salad
Drink: Green tea all night
Workout: Light strength training

Bfast: Thai green curry ck w/ eggplant, green beans and basil w/ rice
Snack: Banana/nut medley & coffee
Lunch: Thai green curry ck w/ eggplant, green beans and basil w/ rice
Snack: Carrot and celery sticks with 5 slices of salami and one slide of cheddar
Dinner: Honey CK salad

Bfast: Thai green curry ck w/ eggplant, green beans and basil w/ rice
Snack: Honeydew melon w/ salami and 1 slice of whole wheat toast w/ pb
Lunch: Liver, chive, tofu stir fry w/ rice
Snack: Carrot and celery sticks with 5 slices of salami and one slide of cheddar, cup of almond milk
Dinner: Honey turkey salad
Workout: Walk .7 miles.

Bfast: Oatmeal w/ brown sugar
Lunch: Liver, chive, tofu stir fry w/ rice
Snack: Honeydew and pb toast
Dinner: Honey salad w/ tilapia

Lunch: Burger King Grilled Ck salad w/ homemade dressing
Snack: Chicken wings
Dinner: Sushi and tofu

Lunch: Chicken wings, orzo salad and fruit salad
Snack: Chips and salsa
Dinner: Grilled chicken and salad
Excessive amounts of VODKA! :)

Lunch: Claim Jumper brunch buffett - Steak, mac and cheese, sausages, veggies
Snack: Honeydew melon
Dinner: Honey salad with tilapia

This weeks tip
Keep the longterm goal in mind and say no to short term vices.