Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Phew

I'm having such a hard time with this blog thing.  I'm not sure why.  It's just the LAST THING I think about doing each day and well most of the time...I just don't think about it.  Here's one thing I miss though, having some sort of documentation or journal of Leyton.  It's a great way for me to write stuff down and remember little things that he does.  I always think I'm going to make a book for myself one day with it...but then I wonder if I'm going to do that.

Then I think maybe I put too much out there as well with regards to Leyton.  What if he doesn't want to look back and know that anyone could have read this stuff.  He's getting older and I have to respect that.  I don't want to embarrass him.

I also feel like I fall heavy on Instagram right now.  It's a great way to document with pictures and a single line of text.  It's easier than writing paragraphs of stuff.  But I like writing.  And so the struggle begins.

So I have decided for a time to just keep it simple.  Post very simple, write more when I feel like it.  Share about Leyton but also be careful in what I am sharing.  He's a funny kid in a funny place right now and the stuff that makes me laugh I want to write down and cherish always.  I'm not going to worry about whether or not each post has a picture or will matter to someone.  I'm going to post more for me for a while and see where that takes me.

I leave you with this little funny.  Around Halloween we discovered that Leyton loved the song Ghostbusters.  I decided to show him the movie.  It's not the most age appropriate but not terrible either.  He loved it.  However, when he would watch it he would get bored and only make it about half way and yet would always want us to start at the beginning.

One day he finally made it to the end and was introduced to the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man.  And then they shot him with their lasers and he cried.  He was SO UPSET.  From that point on he would get upset each and every time it got to that scene in the movie.  He would cry every time.  We finally had to discuss that it was just a movie and that if he didn't like it we would need to stop watching it.

I love my sensitive marshmallow loving kid.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bring it on!

I like a challenge.  A challenge typically helps push me to a goal and keeps me from giving up.  Now, have I completed every challenge that I have set my mind to...nope.  However, what I have found is when I post online and tell the world I am doing something...it keeps me going.  There is this part of me that knows if I give up I am not only letting me down but I feel like I'm letting all of you down too.  That's what helped me through the 30 day Green Boheme Challenge and the 90 day Summer Challenge.  I knew you were rooting for me and reading about what I was doing and helping me stay on track and excited and motivated.

As you've read..life has been tough lately.  When life gets tough I put myself on the back burner and tend to use food as a support.  Food doesn't support though.  It makes me feel good at the first bite but with each unhealthy bite after that I feel ashamed and mad at myself.  So, right now I am way off track.  I don't know how much weight I have gained because it was easier to avoid the scale than face the music.  I see it in my face though, in the way I feel, in the tightness of my clothes.  I just don't like it and I'm ready to make a change.

It's a big one!  Are you ready?  I am!

Starting on November 1st I am going to go raw/vegan for 6 months.  Yep, you read that right...SIX MONTHS.  I felt soo good when I was eating this way so I want to do it again.  Only I know that 30 days is not going to cut it.  I've had way to many years of bad habit to break them in that short amount of a time.  With the help of The Green Boheme community and Chef Brooke I know I can do this.  I want to do it to get healthy.  I want to do it to see what happens to my body in 6 months of eating this way and then be armed with so much information that I will know exactly which path to take after that.

On October 31st I'm also going to go and have some detailed labs drawn.  It's easy on the outside for me to see how this diet affects me physically, but I want to see how it affects me MEDICALLY as well.  Of course I will share all of this with you because if there is one thing I am good at..it's over-sharing!

I'm nervous, I'm excited and I'm ready to see what the next 6 months has to offer!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Health Care

This post is going to be a bit different for me.  Typically things are a bit more personal but today I wanted to talk about something that has been in my head as of late.

Health care.  Yep, I'm about to go there.  Let me start by saying that I am NOT POLITICAL at all.  I don't follow a certain party, I am not for or against a person in office.  Why?  Well because I've always kind of thought you can't believe what you hear, so unless I know you..I'm not going to take your words for fact or truth.

Anyway, I do however work in health insurance and feel like I can speak from a place on the inside...not just the outside looking in.  I've been managing health insurance products for small groups for over 5 years now.  In those 5 years I have seen rates change DRAMATICALLY.  There was a year that every group I had saw a 25% or more increase in their premium...in ONE YEAR.  If you had asked me I would have told you that something needed to give, something needed to change.  So when Obama Care came about I was not for or against it.  I needed to see how it played out.  I did see some good in it though.  Did we need to get rid of pre-existing conditions?  Yes.  Why?  Well, because why have insurance at all if the sick can't even be covered?  Did we need to get rid of lifetime maximums?  Yes.  Why?  Well, very similar to the above.  There are people out there that were running out of health insurance for using it so much....but I'm pretty sure they were using it so much because THEY NEEDED IT!  Did we need to cover kids till 26 on their parents plans?  Nope, not really.  Get them on their own, get them to be more independent.  Sorry, I went off my parents plan at 18 and I TOTALLY survived.  Ultimately though I agreed that we needed to find a way for more people to be able to get health insurance and hopefully do so at an expense that wouldn't kill them.

Speaking from a business standpoint though I do not see how this is going to work out.  The way the rules are right now a small business of 50 or more people MUST provide health insurance and must pay for 50% of it.  Problem is, part timers count towards that number.  I have a business that now must provide health insurance because he has enough part timers to reach that 50 mark.  This is going to cost him over $66,000 a year!  For many companies, this is going to break their back and make them go under.  Or, it's going to cause small business to fire people so they stay under 50 and only hire young because they are cheaper to insure.  Also, for all of you out there with employers who are paying for your plan and complaining about how they do nothing for you and your medical insurance sucks...SHUT UP.  It is NOT your employers fault.  Truth of the matter is you probably have no idea how much insurance even costs in the first place and don't even know how your plan works.  I didn't.  Six years ago I was in your shoes complaining and I have learned that you shouldn't complain when you don't know the facts.  I hear people all the time who have to go on COBRA and bitch that it is so expensive.  Actually, it's just the full cost of your insurance.  You are now just paying your part AND what your employer paid.  Health Insurance is expensive and it's not getting any better.  For SOME prices will go down.  For those that are eligible for subsidy, well it will definitely go down.

I'm not one to say I want to mooch off the government, but damn the subsidy doesn't make sense either.  Let me give you an example.  If I go look on Covered California and plug in my family and what we make...we qualify for subsidy.  Thing is though, we can't get it.  Why?  Well, my husband's employer allows dependents to be on the health plan.  Only...they pay nothing for dependents.  That is typical.  There are very few employers out there (I know of none) that pay for dependents and good lord if your employer does then NEVER LEAVE.  So, what that says to me is the government or state thinks I don't make enough to pay for my health insurance but won't help me out for it because I'm eligible for something else...even though I have to pay for that 100% out of my own pocket.  It just doesn't quite make sense to me how this is going to help families that ARE working.

Needless to say, there are benefits and there are drawbacks.  I'm in it and I see it and I'm here to say...it's not all fair.  No matter who you support, this is not going to help everyone.  Did we need change?  Yes.  Do I think that this is the answer?  Nope.  I just don't honestly see how it's going to work out.  We live in a world of supporting small business and yet this is going to do the exact opposite.

That is my political rant for the day.  It probably will never happen again.  Oh, and if your employer offers health insurance...please go thank them and quit bashing them because chances are....it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with the cost of health insurance.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Adventures

Leyton and I take a lot of "adventures." Here's the thing though, anything can be an adventure.  Sometimes we just go to Target, sometimes to the park or sometimes we do something new and different.  No matter what, if Leyton and I are doing something by ourselves together I ALWAYS call it an adventure.

On Saturday as I was getting ready and Leyton was eating breakfast I asked him if he wanted to go on an adventure with me.  He was super excited and asked, "Where are we going?" I told him that it was going to be a surprise adventure.  He replied with, "Maybe we are going to go to the store!  Maybe we are going to go to the bakery!"

His Dad and I laughed our asses off.  The bakery?!  I have never taken him to a bakery nor did I think he even knew the word bakery.  Looks like I'm going to have to find us a bakery though so we can go there on our next adventure.

Instead this weekend's adventures were to Target, the park, the local fire station open house, the farmer's market and a drive to get our favorite drinks.  It was a great weekend with my boy!!

The park we went to has lots of things that spin.  Leyton is still a huge fan of spinning and getting dizzy.  Some of you may not have been around long enough to remember this:

This is Leyton at 8 months old in a doorway jumper.  He figured out how to spin in them and that was all he would do.  Needless to say, once he figured it out he wasn't allowed in the jumper anymore.

Fast forward to now.  Last time we came to this park he got sick from spinning so much so this time I kept it at a minimum.

That laugh kills me!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Once a writer, always a writer.

Just like that, I'm back.  I think after I wrote my last post I knew that I couldn't be gone forever.  That being gone forever was not the answer.  I just needed to figure out a way to do things differently.  At the moment of writing that post I hated social media and all the BS that comes along with it.  Ten minutes after posting I saw the good in it.  I realized all the friends that I have gotten back in touch with, all the ways these people have helped me.  I heard from people that I may not know well or in person who asked that I not be gone long, that they liked what I wrote and related and it helped them in some way.  The truth is, it helps me too.  I have to come to the understanding that it's not always going to be sunshine and rainbows over here and that's fine.  That when it isn't people will either read or not read and that is also fine.  It's fine because on many levels it helps me get through stuff.

It's been a rough year and has only gotten rougher.  It's been one of those where you think "it couldn't get worse"...and yet it does.  When my car died the other day I had no idea what I was going to do.  The thought of buying a car made me sick to my stomach.  I wasn't sure I'd qualify, I wasn't sure I'd have a deposit, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my old car.  Because of social media it took one day to get all that settled and I'm thankful for that.  Facebook and friends came through for the win!  Thanks again to an old friend (and we realized just how OLD we were yesterday) Brent who helped me through a tough time.

When I got home I was happy and in some part of me had a sense of relief.  Just a few moments later though I got a call that my Step Dad had passed away.  Bruce was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of March and at that time they thought that with treatment he would have a lot of time left.  It was cancer but there was no need for great worry.  Sadly, he didn't get better from treatment though.  He just kept getting worse.

Bruce and I did not have a good relationship, I was not his biggest fan.  A couple years ago I ended any relationship we did have and I know that was very hard for my Mom.  I hated causing her that stress but it was something I had to do and I do not regret the decision.  Here's the thing though, he has been in my life for roughly 30 years.  There have been instances through that time that I had awful thoughts about him.  Now, as an adult, knowing he was going through something awful was hard to deal with.  I felt guilty because ultimately I don't want any harm to come to anyone.  While I know none of this is my fault, there is a part of me that it was eating up inside.  Now he is gone and I am sad.  I am sad he had to go through what he went through.  I am sad that my Mom has to go through this.  I am sad that he never was the Dad for me that I'm sure he wanted to be.  Through whatever shortcomings he had, he had a huge heart and he cared for me.  He also cared for my Mom more than anything else in this world.

Today I will get on a flight to Florida to be with her and help her out.

I am not a person that lives a life of "poor me." I'm positive, I try to see the good in things.  I live my life feeling that things happen for a reason and at the time they are happening we might not understand, but when we look back we will know.  Right now though I'm having a hard time feeling that way.  I'm tired of all this bad shit happening.

Please pray if you pray, make a wish if you make a wish on a star, throw a penny in a fountain if you throw pennies or just think to yourself out loud that you hope it gets better for all of my family.  We are all very tired right now and need some positive mojo.

Monday, September 30, 2013

How do I, say goodbye?

The time has come to say goodbye.  I've been mulling this over for a while and today it just all became very clear that I have to step away from this blog and step away from the world of the online for a bit.  If you follow and have been following for a long time then thank you so much for coming around and I'm sorry this is goodbye.

Here's the deal.  Life is rough and I don't want to just sit on here and post about the rough shit.  I'm having a hard time with my son.  I thought parenting would be so easy, but it's not.  I'm the mom who yells and that weighs heavy on me.  I didn't get a laid back child.  I did however get a child that I love tremendously.  To come on here and just post the fun we have would not be real and so I think I'd rather just not write about it at all.  I don't want him coming on here in 10+ years and questioning what I wrote about him.  I love him too much for that.

In less than a year 3 family members have passed away.  I've lived much of my life without having to deal with that kind of thing and as it turns out...I'm not good at it.  I'm having a hard time with it.  On top of that my step father is dying of cancer.  Most of you don't know him, don't know any history of him and you don't need to.  My Mom does and I don't write about things on here so I don't hurt her feelings.  He has been in my life for 30 years and on many different levels this is hard to deal with.

Today my car overheated and I know this means that it's done.  It's at the shop, but the chance of it getting fixed are slim to none.  Sadly the chance of buying another car is just about the same.  I posted a pic and it was brought to my attention that some may take the picture the wrong way.  It is so silly, but that was the icing on my cake.  Why?  Well, the same people that might judge me for that picture are people that would hate for people to judge them without knowing all the facts.  No matter what our situation is, we all need to be careful about how much judging we do of people.

You see, that is what this whole online thing is anyway right?  It's a place to share and a place to sit back and judge other people.  We might do it quietly, we might do it "publicly" by making mean comments anonymously.  We find people we like online, people who we think are the same as us but sadly...we really don't even know each other.  I dare say that it has made things distant between the actual people that might know me.  It has given everyone a window into my life so why come knock on the door and say hello and see what I'm doing when you can just peek inside.  That is my own fault.

So, I need a break.  I need to clear my head.  Instead of to you, I'm going to create a journal and do some good old fashioned pen writing to myself like I used to.  I'll be taking a blog break and taking a Facebook break.  I will however still post on Instagram.  I like pictures, Instagram still makes me happy.

I'm sure some of us will find a way to keep in touch.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why you gotta be so far?

When I was younger I wanted nothing more than to live somewhere else.  At 20 years old I packed up and moved away to Boston and a year later came back.  I loved it there, but had reasons to come home and then met my husband.

Long long before that, my Grandmother retired and sold her home in Napa and traveled the US with my Grandfather.  They ended up settling in a small town in Texas, which is where my Grandma lives currently.

Ten years ago my Mom retired and she and my Step Dad moved to Florida.  I remember being really excited for her and at the same time saying, "you know this isn't going to be so fun when I have kids."

Guess what?  This shit isn't fun.  I don't have family here for the most part.  I don't have a support system to rely on like that.  I think it's worse knowing that there is support out there...it is just SO FAR OUT THERE.  Also, everyone is getting older.  My Grandma just had another stint in the hospital at the same time that my Step Dad had a stint in the hospital.  I couldn't just hop in the car and drive to help either of them out.

My Mom is stressed out.  I think a good portion of this has to do with the fact that my Mom is dealing with this alone.  If she were here, I could help her.  If my Grandma were here, she could support her.  Instead we are all spread out and spend our time getting updates on phones and laptops.

My mission, get them back here.  They both have reasons why they can't come back this instant, but when the opportunity is a little more viable there is nothing that will stop me from making them return.  As I have gotten older and had a child I have realized how important it is to have support from family.  I know that as Leyton grows older he may decide to move to various places and you know what?  I'm going to follow him.  I don't need to live with him but I don't ever want to be so far away either that he carries that burden on his shoulders should something go wrong.

I have a good Mommy, I have a good Grandma.  I miss them both.

Yesterday this song popped into my head.  I realized last night I was humming it ALL DAY.  I couldn't figure out where I would have picked it up.  I went online last night to listen to it so I could see if I was reminded.  Did I hear it in a commercial?  In a movie or a show?

After listening I realized it is none of the above.  I just spoke about music being powerful.  How a single song can speak to you and capture an emotion or event so perfectly you feel as if it was written just for you.  This song was written before I was born and yet right now I feel like it is the story of my life.  I think my subconscious pulled this song from the archives of my mind because it knew it was perfect.  I watched the video last night and cried.




Holding you again could only do me good.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chutes and Ladders

I know I've said it before, but being healthy for me is sometimes like being on a giant slide....or better yet a game of Chutes and Ladders.  I climb up, I slide down, I climb up, I slide down.  I have been playing this damn game for YEARS and I'm not over yet.

Lately I've been "taking a break." Well, that's what I would tell myself.  I just don't want to worry about it, think about it, etc. etc.  The thing is I can't really do that, not yet.  I have too many issues with food to just take a little break.  Issues being food addictions.  I don't know how to just have a little of this or a little of that.  I have it and I want more and I'm going to keep having more.

Thankfully what I have learned is to not keep that up for very long.  I've been feeling pretty awful lately, but not taking care of myself to make myself feel better.  I mean, come on, it's just a little break AND I'm still working out like a fiend right?  Nope.  I was sick last week and then hurt something in my back and my activity level came to a screeching hault.  Plus, relying on the activity is not going to get me anywhere.  I will just be fit and fat.  Diet is everything...EVERYTHING.  If I'm not eating right I'm not going to feel better, look better, etc no matter how many squats I do in the gym.  Just means I'm squatting more weight.

Today I left for lunch and was headed to a Mexican place that I love.  I was daydreaming about chips and salsa and enchiladas.  As I was driving though I made a choice.  I chose to turn towards The Green Boheme instead and have a healthy alive lunch...not a dead sad one.

It was all I needed.  Thank you The Green Boheme for reminding me what GOOD food tastes like and getting me back on the ladder!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Check that off the bucket list.....

To say that I love music would be an understatement.  It's a part of my life.  It has been a part of my life since I was a child.  Let me give you some facts about me.

1.  I started singing songs before I could talk.
2.  I wanted to name my first dog Barry Manilow (settled on the name Muffy since she was a she).
3.  I had a record collection by the time I reached 5 years old and my records were EVERYTHING.
4.  I once traded a favorite toy for an Air Supply album, pre 5 years old.
5.  I thought I would marry Eddie Rabbit.
6.  I was pretty certain at one point I was Annie.
7.  When driving in a car I would sing along with the radio out the back window thinking that if someone was listening to the same station and saw me they would think I was singing the song.
8.  I know the song lyrics to pretty much every song I've ever heard in my life...even the dumb ones I wish I could forget.

Seriously, this list could go on and on and on.  I have a broad style of music that I love, but I love nothing more than someone that writes their own songs and can play an instrument.  Although, I'm sorry Taylor Swift...I won't ever like you...never ever ever ever ever.

The first artist that I completely became enthralled with was Tori Amos.  I thought her music was beautiful, her piano playing haunting and powerful and her lyrics painful and comforting at the same time.  I saw her many times and will always be a fan of those early albums and B sides.  It took a LONG TIME for another artist to grab me like she did and then suddenly there he was...Ray LaMontagne.  I had never heard a voice like his or lyrics that could grab my heart like his could.  When I saw him live for the first time he didn't speak and barely opened his eyes but for me it was love at first site/sound.  Around this same time I also discovered Damien Rice.  Together those two men were like peanut butter and jelly for me.  In fact they once recorded a song together and I just about died.

Then it went quiet.  I would hear songs I'd like, but listen to an album and be disappointed.  There was music out there, there was stuff I loved but there was no one that could move me with their words.  The sound of a musician is important but I have learned that for me it has more to do with what they are writing on the page.  I can get lost in the beauty of lyrics.

Finally, the silence was broken.  I was sent a song from my niece, who is my insider to new artists, and the minute I heard that song I knew I was listening to magic.  I immediately went and listened to the whole album and by the end I was enthralled.  The Lone Bellow was everything that was missing musically for me.  Their sound was captivating, their harmonies were inviting and listening to the lyrics was like finding a religion.  They spoke to me and had meaning on so many levels.  I knew I wanted to know more about them and knew that I had to see them live.  Lucky for me they were playing at Stagecoach Festival, which I already had tickets for.  I was not disappointed, seeing them live was even more spectacular than I could imagine.

I found myself really latching onto a couple lyrics and started throwing around the idea of getting a tattoo.  There were two that I really liked, but one just didn't feel right.  It was something I felt like I wouldn't want to explain later why it meant so much to me.  The other was perfect, but I couldn't figure out how to do it right.  Then I found an image of a tree and it all came together like a puzzle.  The lyric is from a song called "Tree to Grow" and it says "a tree I grow to let you know, my love is older than my soul."  When I heard that lyric and that song all I could think of was my husband Bill.  We have been together 15 years this month and for me I feel like I have always been with him.  I feel like I have loved him my whole life and beyond that.  I decided to celebrate our 15 year anniversary with something permanent to solidify how much I cherish him.  The end result was more than I could have ever hoped for.

After having this done I shared it with the band online and received a message back.  I was so excited that they had seen it and that they perhaps knew how important what they are doing is.  Yes, they just make music but for me music is so very powerful.

Last night I was lucky enough to see The Lone Bellow again.

They are on tour and came to Sacramento.  I was able to show the band members the tattoo and I hope in some way was able to show them how much their songs mean to me.  Although I must admit, when I'm standing there talking to them I feel like a fool and for someone that likes words I sure do get tongue tied!!

They were a couple songs into their set and about to start their next song when Zach, the lead singer, announced that there was someone special in the audience who used some song lyrics to celebrate her 15 year anniversary and here was my song.  I cried.  I stood there singing along and crying in the middle of a crowded dance floor.  This is the second time in my life that an artist that I love has sung something and dedicated it to me.  To say that this is marking off a bucket list item doesn't even seem to do it justice.  I captured a little video during the end of the song, you'll have to forgive my voice at the end, but they wanted us to sing along and I was going to do JUST THAT.


Thank you The Lone Bellow for putting such beauty out there in the world and letting people hear it and be moved by it.  I can't wait to hear and see you again.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Sore loser.

Wow, it's been a while since my last post and oh what a post this is going to be.  I've thought for two days if I was going to write this, what I was going to say and blah blah blah.  Thing is, this blog is my journal.  It's a way for me to vent, to get stuff out, to air out my feelings so I can go back to feeling normal again.

With that, I give you an update on the Summer Challenge.  When I signed up for the challenge the rules were clear: submit pictures with a newspaper for date validation, submit after photos by August 18th, juicing should be part of your lifestyle and in the end there would be 5 male finalists and 5 female finalists and the community would pick a male winner and a female winner.

Somewhere along the line the rules started changing.

On Wed, August 21st we received an email from Fitlife saying that they were giving everyone additional time to submit their after photos and you now had till the end of the day to get them in.  I found this odd.  The deadline rule had been there from the beginning, why suddenly give more time and why take so long to announce it?  It also said there would be 3-5 finalists announced by the end of the week and the community would vote for the winner.  I just figured that they didn't get that many entries and were trying to get a couple more in, no biggie.  Later during the week I would learn that of 3000 entries, only 40 people submitted after photos.  The end of the week came and went though, and no finalists.  I started getting a weird feeling that I had been made a fool and the whole thing had been a false contest.

Now, that said, I did not pay to enter this contest.  It was free.  I also DID win a refurbished juicer, which was wonderful.  However, I work enough with corporations through the Non Profit I work with to know that nothing is ever really free.  As part of this challenge we were getting lots of information of programs and products we could buy and I'm sure I'm not the only one that bought.  While it is free, the Fitlife team is getting money somehow.

Onto this week.  Monday came and went, Tuesday came and went and still no finalists.  Suddenly on Wednesday there it was...the Summer Challenge announcement.  A winner had been selected, a man named Trevor.  Wait, what?  Where were the finalists?  Where was the female winner?  When was the community going to get to vote?  When that picture came through I was pissed.  I felt like I had been lied to and been part of something that wasn't legitimate.  I wasn't the only one.

On Thursday the winner's picture was posted again and a woman spoke up asking the questions I asked above.  I backed her and stated that I didn't think this was right either.  It was so hard to write anything on that wall.  Being in social media I knew two things would happen, there would be a backlash from the page's followers and I would be looked at like a sore loser.  I decided though, that didn't matter and what had happened needed to be brought to light.

The reason we were given was that of the 40 people that entered, Trevor was the only one that submitted his after photos with a newspaper so they decided that since he had made a great transformation he was the winner.  Wait, what?  I'm sure those of you that read this or know me know I had a picture with a newspaper.  I submitted it to them, I posted it on Instagram and Facebook.  I also got a couple comments from members of the Fitlife Team so they KNEW I had a photo with a newspaper.  Of course, since the rules are posted on a website that is ever changing and the submissions happen through a website there is no way to show that I did that.  I just have to know that I did and know that they are not being truthful.

As the comments went on many claims of mistakes came from Drew and I'm going to be honest here, I don't buy all of it.  The other woman that spoke up said she also submitted pictures with a newspaper and low and behold...they had made a mistake and had hers.  The solution, they would now open it up for voting between she and Trevor.  How this is right I have no idea. If I was Trevor I would be pissed, I mean if Trevor is out there...this guy already thinks he's the winner right?  I have my own thoughts of how this is all going to play out in the end but I will just wait and see.

Here's the deal, I didn't win.  I'm not a finalist and I don't really give a shit.  What I do care about though is that if someone's main claim is "we are all in this together" and they start changing rules and making the game unfair it becomes really clear that the motto is not being lived up to.  I got a ton out of the challenge.  It pushed me to better myself and gave me motivation and I am truly thankful for that.  I just think if you set rules, you keep those rules.  There are so many other ways this could have been handled if it were legitimate.  My Non Profit runs contests, and we follow the guidelines and rules that we set. While ours may not be in the magnitude of a $10,000 cash/prizes, I think that would only make Fitlife more careful that they follow their own guidelines.  I find it hard to believe that 39 people didn't submit an after photo with a newspaper, especially since a picture of some "finalists" showed up after the red flag was raised and some of them had a newspaper.  If that were indeed the case, instead of sending out an email on Wednesday to everyone stating that there was now extra time to submit photos, wouldn't you throw something out there that many came in without newspapers and everyone might want to resubmit?  So instead when I got that email I did nothing because I had already submitted my pictures WITH A NEWSPAPER.

I'm starting a new challenge on Monday with some friends and I can't wait.  It has nothing to do with Fitlife or Juicing Vegetables.  While I feel they have some good intentions I can't turn a blind eye to what happened and jump on the "they are doing good" bandwagon.  Here's to better results next time around!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Challenge Complete!!!

I can't believe that the Fitlife.tv Summer Challenge is over!  How has 90 days past already??  So, let's recap shall we?  When I started the Summer Challenge I looked like this:

I weighed 226lbs and swam twice a week and that was it.  I hadn't put that bikini on in almost 10 years.  If you had asked me to post a half naked picture of myself online for the world to see I would have told you that you were crazy.  Signing up for that challenge and posting that picture changed me.  I looked at that picture and thought that while there were tons of things I would still like to fix it wasn't so bad.  I knew it could be better, but it was the first step in truly liking myself and appreciating what I had.

Today I look like this:

I weigh 209lbs and I work out at least 6 days a week.  I lift weights, I swim, I bike, I paddle...I do any and every bit of activity that I can.  I'm absolutely addicted to the fatigue feeling I get in my body after working out and the slightly sore feeling that is always present.  I sleep well at night, I have a ton of energy and just an overall positive outlook on myself and where my life is headed.

Since changing my lifestyle back in October of 2012 I have lost a total of 51 lbs.  I'm down 5 pants sizes and three shirt sizes.  I have not had soda in almost a year!  I juice, I eat clean and I take care of myself.

Do I think I'm perfect?  Nope.  Do I give over 100%?  Yep.  To me that is perfection right now.  Just continuing to give my all and becoming someone that I am proud of.  I'm proud to be setting these examples for my son.  He doesn't see a mommy that is tired and taking naps and overeating a bunch of crap anymore.  He sees a mommy that comes homes stinky and sweaty from the gym.  A mommy that bikes him to daycare most days when the weather is nice.  A mommy that juices in the mornings and gives him drinks of her yummy smoothies.

This weekend we went camping and had such a crazy physical adventure!  90 days ago this camping trip would have been MUCH different.  Even though I had already lost weight at that point I was not in the physical shape that I am now.  I made a video for my challenge that talks about this and you can watch that here:
I posted that video and my pictures yesterday on  Facebook and Instagram and the outpouring was amazing.  It still blows my mind when I get messages where I am told I am an inspiration.  The thing is, I get inspiration from all these people and their positivity and to think that I might be giving back to them is truly heart warming.  If I can help one person with their struggles to health and wellness then I feel like I have made such a good mark in this world and that means a ton to me.  The thing is, we all hold the key to our health and our success.  We all have ALWAYS had it.  Sometimes we just need to find the right people in our life that will help us discover and use our key.

I still have a long road ahead of me, but my key is out and I'm ready to open all the doors!!  I hope you choose to come through them with me!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Floating

We decided on this Donner Lake vacation to do something a little different that we hadn't tried before and take a float down the Truckee River.  The section where we would be going is really calm and I figure Leyton would have a great time.  While he doesn't love the water, he does love being on a boat and the paddle board so I figured a raft would be right up his alley.

He was so happy on that raft.  He was hanging his leg off the side, walking around, feeding the ducks, just having an absolute great time.  In fact, he was almost clueless to the fact that he was surrounded by water.

At one point he decided he wanted to get in the raft with my niece and nephew and just went clamoring in.  Of course, moments later we went through a tiny section of rapids and out he fell!  He was sitting on the edge and when the raft bumped a rock it was just enough to knock him out of the boat.  My sister in law was quick and grabbed him by the leg so he wasn't in the water long and never got his face wet.

He immediately said that we needed to go home and he didn't like rafting.  It took him some time to calm down and he definitely was a bit more clingy with me on the rest of the trip, but overall rafting was a blast!  I want to try and take him now down the American River before it gets to chilly.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Swim!

Every single time I have been to Donner Lake I have always wanted to swim either the length or the width.  When I first started open water swimming many years ago I had it in my mind that I would do the Donner Lake swim.  In all the times I've gone though, I've never swam more than about 50 yards.  It always seemed choppy late in the day and I was always too chicken to swim in that cold water in the cold morning.

This trip I decided to not be a chicken!  I asked my nephew Hayden if he wanted to head out with me early in the morning and paddle along side me while I swam the width of the lake and back, which works out to be roughly 1.2 miles.  He was done and so we went for it.

When I stepped into that water it was CHILLY so I just dove it and started to swim.  I figured by the time we got to the other side and had to turn around I would be tired and wouldn't really want to swim back.  I was not!  In fact, when I was done, I could have gone again!!  It felt so good to get out there in that lake and challenge myself.  I've definitely developed a whole new attitude where I love pushing myself to my limits.

Now I'm really excited for the two other open water swims I have coming up this summer!

Monday, August 5, 2013

His first paddle!!!

My son does not love the water.  He did not inherit his mom's fish in the water genes.  I'm hoping it comes later, but for now I cling to every water moment I can get.  When I wanted to get a paddle board I was worried because it seemed like a very selfish hobby for the cost of a board.  I kept hoping that somehow, someway Leyton would enjoy it as much as I do and actually go on the board with me.

We arrived yesterday at Donner Lake and I asked him if he wanted to paddle with Mommy and was super excited when he replied YES!

The water was very choppy at the time we went so I spent the paddle on my knees or butt the whole time.  I didn't want to risk standing and having him fall off.

HE LOVED IT!  I was soo soo happy.  We go camping in a couple weeks and I can't wait to take the board and take Leyton on more paddles, hopefully in some calmer water!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Take me out to the ball game!

As a parent I have learned to not have high expectations.  That sounds so cynical, but I can't tell you how many times I plan something, have it all figured out in my head how it's going to go and it ends up going the complete opposite.  This happened enough that I just stopped having expectations of how something may go and just decided that we would roll with the punches once we got there.

Last night was a Getty Owl fundraiser at the Sacramento River Cats.  We decided to go as a family and met up with some friends there.  I was ready to go, stay for about an hour and leave.  I just couldn't imagine Leyton staying in a seat very long.

This was one of those moments that I was blown away and so happy with how the night went.  He hung out, he made us laugh, he ate snacks and was just all around adorable.

By the 6th inning I told him that if he made it the whole time there would be fireworks.  Up until this point the only fireworks he knows are the ones you do in front of your house.  Even as the words came out of my mouth I realized that 3 more full innings could take forever.

Thing is, he made it!  He hung out the whole time and in the end was AMAZED at the fireworks.

Now when he sees the ballpark he says, "Mommy, that's where the baseball is.  We should really go again."


Friday, August 2, 2013

I can't.

I realized something HUGE this week.  I was lying in bed and started thinking about where I am right now and how I got here.  How did I go from being the girl that ate fast food multiple times a day, drank a half gallon of diet soda and swam a couple days a week just so she wouldn't feel fat and lazy to the girl that is going to the gym 6 days a week, eats healthy and is constantly challenging herself to do something new.  I thought the answer would be complicated.  The truth of the matter is, it is so so simple.

I stopped telling myself I can't.

I didn't always tell myself that though.  There was a time that I went for it and in some aspects of my life I still did.  With regards to fitness and health, it all came to a screeching halt when I had my first surgery.  I had never had pain like that.  I had never had something that I had to challenge myself to overcome physically.  I started down a path of destruction and while I would sometimes get going in the right direction I kept falling back into old habits.

Then I had another surgery.  When I injured my knee I figured it was over.  There were points that I truly thought I would never walk again.  When I took my first steps I cried.  In that moment I should have realized all the things I was capable of.  Instead, I kept reminding myself of all the things I couldn't do.  I can't walk up stairs, I can't run, I can't do a squat, I can't bend my knee all the way, I can't crawl on my knees...blah blah blah.  It goes on and on.  All of those can'ts piled up until it started seeping into other aspects of my life.  I can't became my personal motto and the ability I gave two words to beat me down began.

How do I go forward now?  How do I eat raw for 30 days?  How do I do juice cleanses?  How do I eat clean?  How do I give up Diet Soda?  How do I not drink?  How do I work out as many days as possible?

Because I CAN.

You know what?  You can too!  I'm sure you have told yourself all the things I did.  I hate the gym.  I'm tired.  I'm too busy. I work.  I have an injury.  I'm too fat to do that.  I'm uncomfortable.  The thing is...you will continue being all of those things if you don't do something about it!  I was tired ALL the time.  I woke up hungover EVERY morning and I didn't even drink!  I got winded going up stairs.  I absolutely HATED the gym and used the excuse "well, I'm just a swimmer."

All of those things were just ways that I told myself I can't.  Now that I know that I can, I sleep good at night, I feel good, I have a ton of energy, I love going up the stairs, I think about doing lunges every time I walk down a hallway, or squats while I'm standing in the bathroom, I LOVE THE GYM and can't wait for the next time I go just so I can have someone kick my ass.  I get literally PISSED at myself when my body won't lift something I want it to lift or do another rep of something I want it to do and instead of giving up I say FUCK IT because I know eventually I will do it!

How do I do all the stuff I do now, because I wake up every morning and tell myself I can.  Maybe you should try it too!

Today marks my 2nd day of juicing for my Weak Bod to Greek God Challenge.  I woke up this morning and was more tired then usual and a bit headachy.  When my alarm went off for the gym I figured there was no way I was going.  I knew if I tried I would likely faint.  Instead of staying in bed I got up and went for a long walk.  I listened to awesome music, drank a ton of water and got myself a green juice.  I felt so alive and so happy and proud of myself for getting out of bed.

When I got home I knew I had to take my before pictures for the challenge.  Typically all of my pictures I take by myself when no one is home..which is slightly ironic since I post them online for the world to see.  Today I asked my husband to take them for me.  I stood there confident and ready and now I can't wait to see what happens in 90 days.



It's hard to believe that not that long ago I wouldn't let my husband come in the room of my prenatal visits until after they weighed me.  I sure have come a long way and don't miss that at all.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Holding Strong

I've had a couple people ask lately how the eating is going and realized I probably need to update on here.  For the month of July I have kept my weight exactly the same.  Well, I go up and down about 2-3lbs but never outside of that range.  I increased my activity quite a bit this month and found that I was hungry.  When I was hungry, I would eat.  I didn't look at how many calories or worry about it too much and so my body has just maintained my weight.  I'm happy with that.  I do still want to lose weight but I also want to know how to keep it the same and not stress about it either.  I want this process to take time so I have time to make it stick.

My diet consists of a juice every morning and then a smoothie or raw lunch.  I eat cooked at dinner.  For the most part that dinner is vegetarian but I have had some meat here and there.  Most of the time when I do try it I don't love it enough to eat much.  Last night I cooked some fish and couldn't eat it at all so just ate the sides.

Tomorrow things will switch up quite a bit.  I'm doing a 90 challenge with Fitlife.tv called Weak Bod to Greek God(dess).  This will consist of an eating plan and a workout routine.  It will start with a juicing protocol.  Starting tomorrow, for the next three days I will juice only and then will start adding some simple foods back in each day.  By day 7 I will be eating normal again, but a very clean and plant rich diet.  Sounds simple enough...I mean I ate raw for 30 days so what is 7 right?

Well, here's the kicker.  On August 4th I leave on vacation for a week to a cabin in Donner Lake.  Typically this would mean all the food and booze I want and days filled with lounging around.  I'm taking a much different path this time and will be watching my diet and continuing my work out plan.  I'm both nervous and very excited.  It would be amazing to come back from a vacation in better shape than how I went into it!!

I have 18 days until the end of the Summer Challenge and I plan on using each one to it's maximum potential!  Wish me luck!!  I'll be posting my final after picture on August 18th...stay tuned!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hump Day

Yesterday blew, quite literally!  I was driving down the freeway and heard a noise.  At first I thought a log that was in the bed of our truck had rolled and hit the tailgate.  As I kept driving though I got a sinking feeling that it was the rear tire and this was confirmed when a mini van honked and flagged me down.

I pulled off to the side of the freeway and found that yes, my rear tire had blown out.

This is not the first time this has happened to me.  You see, I have had THREE OTHER blow outs on the freeway!  Not slow leaks, not on a residential street.  Always the freeway.  Thankfully no accidents caused my them.

The beauty of this incident is we now live in a world of cell phones!  My last experience had me playing frogger across the freeway so I could run to an emergency roadside telephone.  Thankfully I was able to pull over to the slow lane and stop in a wide open space so I could call Geico to send roadside assistance.

We've had Geico for about 4 years now and so far I love them.  They cover a lot of extras without an additional cost, roadside assistance being one of them.  They contract with various companies so you get someone different depending on what service it is you need.  When I called they said it would be a half hour till someone was there.  Immediately after hanging up my phone rang and it was the roadside assistance agent.  The man told me that since I was in a truck the spare was located under the truck bed and I would need to find the tool that would allow us to drop the tire.  My first thought was, "don't you carry one?" but I sucked it up and like the smart woman that I am...pulled out the manual hoping it would tell me where this tool was located so I wouldn't have to go on a witch hunt.  I easily found the tool, put it together and put it in the truck bed so it would be accessible when my "help" arrived.

After waiting about 50 minutes the CHP at the truck scales where I was pulled off asked that I try to move my truck to behind their building.  While I was in a space with room I was also still right on the freeway and there were cars hauling ass on one side of me, and trucks getting back on the freeway from the scales on the other.  He was worried that someone wasn't coming and I assured him that I had called assistance who was just running late.  When I moved the truck I decided to call the assistance again to let them know I was in a different spot.  I found out that he was still at least 20 minutes.  After two more phone calls for directions he finally arrived.  At this point I was pretty pissed and knew this guy was an idiot.  He got out of his car and told me to wait because he had to go to the bathroom.  Oh go right ahead!  I've only been waiting an hour and 15 minutes at this point anyway!

Once he was finished he came back and told me to go ahead and drop the spare tire.  Now listen, I'm no princess that expects everyone to do everything for me but I'm here in work clothes waiting for ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE and instead I get put to work as his assistant.  I bit my lip though and dropped the spare, then lifted it back up once he was finished.  When he got the spare tire on I noticed that it was flat and asked that he put air in it.  He told me I could get off the freeway at the next exit and put air in the tire at a station.  At this point I pretty much wanted to beat him with the tire iron but instead got in the car and left.  When I got to the station I had exactly $1 to use for the air machine.  My tire had 10psi....it should have 40!!!  My dollar got me to 30psi and I hit the road to the tire store.  Not before I firmly grabbed the wheel with both hands and screamed at the top of my lungs.

While this is not Geico's fault, it sure did leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I also learned that I need to start speaking up for myself a bit.  I am much like my Mom in this way and just take things as they come with ease and rarely raise my voice.  The worst part though is I internalize this and typically blow my top down the road over something ridiculous and it is NOT PRETTY.  When I blow my top I am 100% my father.  Friends who have seen this happen will tell you to stay far away if it does ever happen!  Probably something I should work on so I don't end up in jail for beating a roadside assistance man down with a tire iron.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My little Minnie

Leyton went to a birthday party on Sunday that was a Minnie Mouse theme!  His good friend Presley was turning 3 and her Mom had all sorts of cute stuff for the kiddos.  When Leyton got there he was given a pair of Mickey ears which he wanted NOTHING to do with.  To be honest though, at the beginning he wanted nothing to do with the party.  He loves going to things like that but once he gets there he gets very quiet.  Sometimes this passes quickly and other times he will spend the whole time just observing.  I used to struggle with this because I was such an outgoing kid, but now I just roll with it and let him figure out what he wants to do.

About an hour in he warmed up and started playing with the other kids.  It was about this time that he spotted the table of ears again and decided he wanted a pair, only he wanted to wear the Minnie ears.  As soon as he put those things on my heart melted.  He was just so dang adorable, especially when he jumped on the pink scooter that Presley got for her birthday.

Later I even got him to be comfortable in the pool!  He had all his clothes on and spent his time lounging in a raft, but I was so happy that he even went in the water and was having fun!  Plus, this picture totally melted my heart again.
On Monday it was time for Leyton to go to daycare.  One of his favorite things to do is find something to take to daycare with him.  Sometimes it's a snack, sometimes it's a book, sometimes it's a toy.  When he has something new though it is always what he goes for first.  On Monday it was his Minnie ears.  He was SO EXCITED to put them on and wear them to daycare and show his friends.  When we got inside though his two friends laughed at him.  As a Mom it was absolutely heart breaking.  I know that kids will be kids but this was my first encounter of Leyton being laughed at.  He took his Minnie ears off and walked over to me and hugged my leg.  I let him know that it was OK to wear the Minnie ears and didn't matter if his friends didn't like them.  Minnie ears were cute and they were fun and if wanted to, he should put them on.  I was so proud when he did and even told one of the boys not to talk to him because he wasn't being nice.  I know this won't be the first time that someone laughs at Leyton, but I hope he always able to stand up for himself and take it like a champ and continue being the cute little individual that he is!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A raw adventure!!!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a jet setter and cruise down to Southern California for a night.  It was such a quick trip, but I made the best of every moment that I had.  A friend of ours was driving down so I joined him on the ride and stayed on his boat in Marina Del Ray.

I convinced Eric to join me when we got into town on Saturday night at a raw restaurant that I have heard a TON about and follow in Instagram.  It's located in Santa Monica and is called M.A.K.E.  Oh my lord, this place was off the hook!  I figured since I was there I would take full advantage and participated in a 7 course tasting.  It was fantastic!  Such a wonderful way to sample a variety of menu items.  One of my favorites was by far the potstickers.  They were absolutely to die for and if I went back I would order these again hands down!

The final dish that rocked my socks off was the dessert.  

A churro ice cream with chocolate ganache.  Ugh, I am drooling right now just thinking about it!  So many times I think people hear that I like to eat raw and think that I must really be deprived but when you are eating food like this it is the exact opposite!  I hope to one day have a dehydrator so I can expand the raw food I can make at home!

The following morning I woke up and took Eric's bike for a ride.  I found a local juice shop, got a fresh juice and then headed to the beach.  I sat in this very spot for at least an hour!  It was so nice to just relax, listen to the waves come in and out and not have a care in the world.

Since I have never been to this area of SoCal I took my time going down the Venice boardwalk and taking in all the sites.  Boy are there some freaky sites on that boardwalk!

Overall, it was such a nice quick trip.  Good company, good food and good relaxtion!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reap the rewards!!!

When I signed up for the Summer Challenge I was motivated to get myself in better shape, hopefully lose some weight and to keep me pushing myself.  I wanted to try some new things and see what I could do in about 90 days.  I didn't realize all that I was going to end up with though, and I still have a month to go.

If it weren't for the Summer Challenge I would have NEVER posted a picture of myself anywhere in a swimsuit.  It felt so crazy when I did it, but what I ended up with was an acceptance and love for my body at that very moment.  If I made it look and feel better then that would be a bonus.  I finally looked at myself from a different perspective and realized that I wasn't so bad.  I became so much happier in that moment and realized that even if I stayed the same I would be OK.  Now, I could care less about posting a picture of myself and how many people see it.  Don't get me wrong, I'll be keeping some level of clothing on, but as a swimmer being in a swimsuit was no big deal until I started hating myself.  I'm happy to not be hating myself anymore, and if someone can look at a picture and be motivated by it then that helps push me along too.

I posted the pictures on my blog and then started posting things on the Juicing Vegetables Facebook page so I could share with others that were on the journey or thinking of starting it.  When I did that, I was contacted by the Fitlife Team because, are you ready for this, they wanted to GIVE ME a juicer!!!  When I got their email I cried.  I was being rewarded for doing something good for myself!  I was being recognized and it felt so good and I will be forever grateful to them.

My health station at home is rocking now and so much goodness comes out of this area!!

Yesterday I went to Kohls to look at bathing suits and found a dress on a clearance rack.  It was $15 and a size large.  The color was a little funny for me but I thought I would give it a try anyway.  That damn dress fit like a glove.  I loved it, it was comfortable and I bought it and took it home.  I posted a picture online of myself in that dress and today I did another comparison with a photo I have never shown anyone.

Back in October of 2012 when I started getting healthy and juicing I took a picture of myself.  I was in a bra and underwear because there was no way that girl would have put on a bikini in a million years.

That is me, 51lbs heavier.  Most everything about me is bigger except for one thing, my confidence.  I'm happy to be the confident woman on the left now and plan to rock the shit out of that dress.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now we're cooking with gas!

Last week I increased my activity even higher and noticed that I just felt hungry and slightly lethargic.  I decided it was time to add some cooked food and see what happened.  I've added really simple items, brown rice, roasted veggies, quinoa, tortillas.  I have to say, I love it.  I'm happy to be eating some cooked foods again and I feel like they do well for me for both my post work out meals and my overall digestion.  I was still having some digestive issues eating 100% raw and I'm not sure if it was still detox or just all the fiber, but my insides feel a bit more normal now.

I would say at this point I am eating about 90% of my food raw.  I still juice every morning and have a shake either at lunch time or at dinner depending on what is going on in my day.  When I do have my main meal most of the time it is also almost all raw.

Last night's dinner for example.

I baked a blue corn tortilla until it was crispy, spread some organic pinto beans on top and then piled on the fresh veggies and homemade salsas.  It was SO delicious, so messy and so filling!  The perfect post workout fuel.

Oh man, let me tell you about another post workout fuel!  During my workouts I typically drink about 32oz of water with some chia seeds in it.  The chia gives me some fuel to keep going but doesn't make me feel like I have food in my belly.  Recently, during paddle boarding, Scott was talking about Chocolate Coconut water.  I'm not a fan of coconut water at all but figured I would try the chocolate version.

HOLY AMAZING!  After I tough workout I love chugging one of these down and feel instantly better afterwards!  I highly recommend you try it out!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Working Out

Let's talk about working out a bit.  I've been a swimmer my whole life.  Granted, I have taken breaks here and there but swimming for me is like taking a walk.  It just comes as second nature.  I can hop in a pool and swim and swim and swim and swim.  Swimming is great for me too.  It works on my cardio and slims me down.  However swimming does not tone me up.  I wanted to make sure that I got some muscle work this time.

I started with some cardio lift classes and really enjoyed incorporating some weights into the mix.  I knew though that I wanted to step it up even more.  So, I introduced a personal trainer to the mix.

I'm now three weeks in.  I just see Mike once a week for 30 minutes, but at times it feels like HOURS.  The first time I worked out with him I thought I was going to pass out after.  I realized that at the time, eating 100% raw, I would have to find a way to give my body something before and after the workout so I would not crash.  Water with some chia seeds was the perfect solution!  I don't like working out with food in my stomach so I wanted to save eating for after the workout.  The second time I worked out with him I felt good.  I felt strong and just kept pushing myself.

Last night was the complete opposite.  I felt like I couldn't do it.  There were moments my body would just stop doing whatever it was I was trying to do.  Something as simple as laying on a bench and holding my legs up became so difficult.  I would mind over matter it as hard as I could but there were many times my legs would just fall or my plank wouldn't hold.  I can't even begin to explain how frustrated I was.  I wasn't pissed at Mike for making me do these things...I was pissed at myself that I couldn't do them.  I think that's good though.  It's really giving me the drive that I need and pushing me to want to do more next time.  I'm also realizing how much I love working out with a trainer.  I could go in by myself but wouldn't push myself like he does.  When someone is watching over you and motivating you it really does kick you into overdrive.

I signed up for 8 sessions, and know that when the 5 I have left are over I will sign up for more.  I also cannot wait to see what a difference it makes at the end of the 5.  That is about when I have to take my official after picture for the Summer Challenge I am participating in.  I highly suggest that if you are considering a trainer workout, go for it!  I know I love it and it is exactly what I need.

Putting on shorts this morning and seeing these legs reminded me why I am doing this.  I can't wait to see them transform even more!  It's crazy to think that I haven't worn shorts in over ten years.  TEN YEARS!!!! I think my legs are happy to finally see the light of day!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The flood gates!

Wow, it's been a week since I last wrote but oh what a week it has been!  This weekend was a BUSY one. We had the 4th of July of course and also a Life Celebration party for my Mother and Father In Law on Saturday.  All of our family came to town for the celebration and there is nothing I love more than hanging out with all my family.  My youngest niece and nephew came to stay with us during the trip and of course, Leyton had a BLAST with them.

The week/weekend started out good.  On Wednesday I went paddle boarding for a couple hours, came home and worked out with the trainer and then swam.  It was a chock full day of fitness and fun and I loved every minute of it.  4th of July we had some family over for dinner and I did awesome, eating raw and staying clean and healthy.  I was so proud of myself for sticking with it and didn't feel uncomfortable eating slightly different than everyone else.  I was also super pumped because my weight had dropped into the single digit range, a place I have not been in a long time!

Then Friday came.  I'm not sure what happened on Friday but I started to feel like the odd person out.  I felt like a loner eating the way I was.  I felt isolated and not part of the group.  I decided at that moment that I didn't want to feel that way and so I just ate dinner with everyone.  I was careful and selective about what I had and felt good about my decision.

Then Saturday came and much like a small snowball rolling down the hill picks up speed and size...so did my eating.  I basically threw in the towel and just went for it.  Saturday night I had a very stressful moment at the beginning of the party and eased my stress with food and drink.  This continued into Sunday.  Last night when I went to bed I felt like hell.  I had a head ache.  My stomach was pushed out and very uncomfortable.  It was in that moment as I was lying there in bed that I came too and thought "what the hell just happened?!" I felt like I had been on drugs and just woke up in a very different place.  Only my drug was food.

Today, I'm right back on track.  Got the day started with my kombucha and juice and know that what happened happened and I can move on.  The thing is IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  I'm sure I will do it again sometime.  The key is realizing what is going on and stopping it before it gets out of control.  For me, that can happen very easily.  I'm not sure why, but I have a terrible relationship with food and so once I open those flood gates I have to find a way to get them closed soon before everything is flooded.  I don't think it's possible for me to keep them closed all the time.  That is life.

Here's the thing though, it does come at a price.  I don't want to make it all about weight and do plan on stepping off the scale more once I get under 200lbs.  I started eating badly on Friday night.  Today I am 6lbs heavier than I was when I weighed myself on Thursday.  That's 6lbs in TWO AND A HALF DAYS!!!  I'm not in the single digits anymore.  My digestion is out of whack and I'm sure my body is holding onto a bunch of crap.  Today I have cravings that I have to deal with again.  Thing is though, I'm not going to listen to them and I'm going to just consider this all water under the bridge.  A lesson learned.  I refuse to beat myself up for just living life.  Shit is going to happen and it's good knowing that I have come a long way from the person I was just over 6 months ago!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Raw Challenge Complete!!!

I did it!  I made it 30 days and did not cheat once!!!  I went away for the weekend, I went to parties, I went to a wedding and I held strong.  I really cannot believe that the month is over.  There were times it was hard, there were times I wanted other things, there were times I was detoxing (which still happens) but I jumped over each hurdle and made it to the other side.

I feel great!  My body loves the nutrients it is getting.  Yesterday, I had a brunch a The Green Boheme and got so busy in the morning that I forgot to juice.  Oh man, I felt off all day.  All I wanted to do was go home and juice.  I was seriously CRAVING that juice. I had my juice later in the day and felt rocking and rolling again.  That juice is such powerful stuff and I really can't imagine a day passing where I won't have my juice.

Those that have been here since the beginning know that I am also participating in a Summer Challenge with Fitlife.tv.  That challenge does not official end until mid August, but the bikini picture that you saw a month ago was because of that challenge.  Today I figured it was only appropriate to get that bikini back on my body and take some pictures to see what has changed.

Bam!  There you have it.  That's what one month of progress looks like eating raw and working out.  That is a 15.4 pound difference and a much healthier body.  I am currently sitting at 211.4lbs.  Yep, only one pound away from being in the single digits....and seriously ELEVEN POUNDS from being under 200!!!  That is INSANE!  When I weighed 260lbs that seemed a life time away and now it is just right there, waving it's hand at me and calling me to come on over.

When I posted the before picture I did it knowing that I might not have an after picture.  Maybe that would be it and I came to terms with that and became comfortable in the body that I had at that moment.  I started to praise it and thank it for all it had done for me and now...that body is rewarding me by getting more and more powerful.  I can't begin to express how important it is to stop being ourselves up.  I don't care if you are big or small....LOVE what you have!  Sure you may want to change it, but if you talk down to it everyday you are going to get NO WHERE.  Trust me, I did.

So here I stand, I challenge you all....take out a swimsuit, your bra/underwear, naked, whatever....and take a picture of yourself.  You don't have to share it with the world either, just look at it yourself.  It is SCARY as hell but when you are done you can sit back and look at it and find all the things that are wonderful and powerful about the body you currently live in.  Trust me, your body will be so happy for you when you just let all that negativity go.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cleanse Day 28

It's day 28, I'm actually going to just go ahead and write this in current day since it is going to be a little bit of looking back and a little bit of looking forward.  I seriously can't believe it's 28 days and that the month is almost over.  Of course, that comes with some decisions to make and I have been getting a lot of questions.

What am I going to do when the month is over?

I have thought a TON about this.  When I went into the raw challenge I didn't go into it with a solid goal of staying raw my whole life.  I went into it as a challenge I was going to do for 30 days to improve my heath and to generally challenge myself to do something different.  I have been asked a lot during the challenge what I was going to do after.  My thoughts were always stay raw at least 80% of the time.  I will never give up my morning juicing...I absolutely love it and know my body feeds off of that juice in a very positive way.  I also love having a big green smoothie as one of my meals.  From there I just figured I would eat a couple raw meals a week and a couple cooked meals a week.  However, I would stay completely clean and for the time being completely vegan.

Today, just two days away from the big finale...my thoughts have changed.  The fact of the matter is, right now, I just don't miss cooked food that much.  Sure I had a hurdle earlier in the week and a little detox to get through but since doing that I haven't thought about it at all.  I'm not tired of the raw food, I'm not bored with the raw food and the raw food tastes delicious.  I just don't feel ready to go back to cooked food.  You know what else raw has done for me?  I just don't think about food all the time.  I don't worry where my next meal will come from, I don't wonder and think about what it might be.  When I'm hungry I eat and then it's over and I move on.  No way of eating has done that for me in my entire life.  So, for now I stay raw.

Since I've had all this extra energy going raw I knew I had to funnel it into an activity.  Of course that meant getting back into the pool.  Right now I am swimming two days a week on Tuesday and Thursday morning.  Swimming wasn't going to be enough though.  I wanted to challenge myself to do something different because I always just fall back on swimming.  I hate swimming in the cold of the winter, so find myself getting stagnant because I don't do anything else.  I don't want that to happen the next winter season.  I started trying out a couple classes and found a cardio lift class that I really like each Friday morning, so I added that to the mix.  This week I decided to up the game even more and throw in a workout with a personal trainer one day a week.  I've never done this and after one session with Mike I can say it is worth every penny and kicked my ass! So my standard routine is swimming Tuesday, trainer Wednesday, swimming Thursday and the cardio lift class on Friday.  I also bike Leyton to school Monday through Friday.  It's not far but it's something.  It's likely I'll throw something in on the weekends, but that will be something outdoors like paddle boarding or swimming.

Overall I just have to say that I feel awesome.  I feel better than I have felt in a very very long time.  I know I have talked on this a million times but I didn't get here alone.  I've tried MANY diets and at times I have lost weight.  The thing is I never felt good, it never stuck and I ended up worse than when I started.  I also always did it alone.  However, this time I have not been alone.  There are so many of you on my team, cheering me on and pushing me along and it is empowering and keeps me motivated.  I do have a couple people though that I would like to thank directly so bare with me here while I give a little Oscars speech.

To Scott:  You are the trail leader to all of this.  Without you I would still be counting points, eating from boxes and getting no where.  You gave me guidance when I needed it and check in whenever you notice the path is rocky.  You did it all just because you care and I could never repay you for the life you have given me and the potential you have made me notice in myself.

To Brooke: I walked into your restaurant thinking I just wanted to try the place out and now I pretty much need a bed set up in the back because I am there so often.  You have opened my eyes to a world of food that is so delicious and doesn't have to be a life of "just salad please." Your positive light and energy is radiating and I feel more alive and more energized after each meeting.  Thank you for offering this program to the world.  You are doing good things.

To Bill:  Ugh, the hardest one to begin.  You have stood by me every step of the way through thick and through thin in every literal sense.  I was a young and fit girl when you first said you loved me and physically became something far different.  The thing is though, you still loved me.  You loved me when I didn't love myself at all.  If it weren't for that love you gave, I don't know where I would be.  You knew that no matter what I was externally I was the same old pillworm inside.  There are not a lot of men that would do the same.  I have started and finished and restarted every diet known to man.  I became the "boy who cried wolf" in the diet game and you never beat me up for that.  I'm happy to say that after spinning my wheels for over 10 years I finally got it babe.  I love you.

Thanks everyone!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Raw Challenge Day 24

Yesterday was an odd day!  It started off great, I was rocking and rolling and going about my normal routine.  When I got off work at 4pm I noticed that I was starting to feel sluggish, almost a bit light headed.  I ate a nectarine in the car figuring it was just because I was hungry.  I got home and still felt in a complete fog so I had another snack.  It didn't go away and so I ate and early dinner.  By 7pm I realized that whatever it was that was going on food was not going to fix it.

How did I feel?  I felt like I was drunk or stoned (not that I ever have been stoned Mom!)  I felt in a fog, I felt sluggish, I felt light headed like I as spinning and I felt heavy in my own body.  My solution.  I listened and I got in bed.  It was about 7pm and thankfully Bill took care of Leyton for the rest of the evening.  I was asleep by about 8pm and slept until 7:30am.  This morning...I felt fantastic!

I think last night was just another example of detox.  I've been eating raw for 24 full days, haven't cheated, haven't strayed and yet every once in a while I still will have a detox symptom come up.  One of the women in the challenge with me says sometimes she will actually taste foods that she hasn't had in a long time.  Our bodies hold onto so much and it really takes a long time for our bodies to release all of those toxins.

This morning I was on fire and motivated!  I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle the world.  I actually felt better than I had previously and am happy to be over that hurdle.  When I was going through it last night all my mind kept telling me was to eat and it wasn't telling me to eat raw.  It was coming up with a multitude of cooked foods that I should go eat.  I didn't listen.  It's interesting to me that this happened a day after I just addressed that I was having all these cravings.  I kind of think that was part of the detox.  I think not only do you detox the body but you also have to detox the mind.  Today my cravings are completely gone and I'm jazzed and fired up to finish this challenge strong.

I also took a picture today after trying on a BUNCH of pants that didn't fit anymore.  I put on a new pair that I got at the thrift that I hadn't been ready to wear yet because they were still a bit snug.  Today, they felt great.

The before picture was taken on September 22, 2012.  This was just about a week before I did my first cleanse.  That dress was a size 20.  I now wear a 16.  My pants at that time were a size 22, I now wear a size 16.  I'm not sure what size I'm headed for but where I am now sure feels good!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Raw Challenge Day 19-23

Oh my goodness I only have a week left!  I can't believe how fast this has gone.  Here is something interesting that has happened in the past couple days.  My cravings have gone through the roof!  I've had a pretty easy time as far as cravings were concerned but right now everything looks good.  I want rice, I want pasta, I want a bean burrito, I want pizza, I want sushi.  The list could go on and on. I spent some time trying to figure out what was going on.  Was it a late detox symptom?  The more I thought the more I realized, it's that annoying person in my head.  The one that knows the challenge is almost over and is reminding me of all the things I can start eating.  The thing is though, I really don't want all those things and my intent when this challenge is over is to not go gang busters on a bunch of cooked foods.  That little voice in my head is a self sabotager and I know I have to pay attention to it but at the same time tell it to shut up.  Many times I have taken this little voice for my own voice and done myself in.  I refuse to let that happen this time around!!

I've been much more adventurous in the food department at home the past week!  I've made myself some delicious meals.  Most of the time they are rolls of some sort using lettuce leaves as my wrapper but I did buy some tortillas from The Green Boheme so I could have some more variety.  Since I don't have a dehydrator I can't make these myself yet.  On Saturday I made a raw peanut sauce with tahini and used it on some spring rolls and oh my goodness it was heaven!  So I used it again Sunday night with some zucchini pasta topped with red bell pepper and cilantro.

This was seriously sooo yummy.  I could eat this again and again!  Thankfully it made a large portion of sauce so I can use it for many other meals this week.

In other news, this weekend I participated in an open water swim.  This is the first time I have done one in 12 years.  It was 1.2 miles and I was SO NERVOUS going into it.  I could feel my stomach spinning, but I knew that no matter what I would do it and give it my all.  It was on my list of goals for this summer and I wasn't going to let a little nervousness stop me.

In the end I did great!  I finished 5th for my age group which felt really good.  I'm already on the hunt for a couple others and hope to do one a month through the summer.  One of which is Donner Lake which is 2.7 miles from shore to shore.  I may have lost my mind with that one but I'm certain I will do it anyway.  I'm also excited because I signed up to work out with a personal trainer once a week and I start on Wednesday.

I have one week left, but I still have so much time to keep myself on track and keep kicking my own ass.  It feels good, in fact I feel better than I have in a very very long time.  If anyone reading this is thinking to themselves that they are tired of being tired all the time.  Tired of feeling hungover when they haven't even been drinking.  Tired of walking around in a fog and relying on caffeine to get you through the day.  Just know, there are other options.  The choices I now make have me feeling like a kid again and I wouldn't trade that for any indulgent food on the menu!