Friday, August 30, 2013

Salmon Burger and Bliss

Having Chris home is the BEST. Seriously. Everything is just so much easier and better with him here. Even eating dinner!

I've been eating pretty much the same thing every night for the summer - ground meat with veggies, sometimes with sweet potatoes, sometimes with eggs, you get the drift.

Chris came home, we went grocery shopping since I forgot to take anything out of the freezer and prep it - and we ended up with this lovely dinner:

Salmon burger with salsa on a bed of spinach greens, with zucchini and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil. It was INSANELY nutritious and really filling!

We had Hawaiian coconut pudding for dessert while watching the Dexter from this week.

Bliss :)

Today we are up early, taking the dog on a long walk, getting some life stuff taken care of, doing a little wedding prep and enjoying this rainy Saturday together!

Double bliss :)

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Have I posted this before? Oh well, if I have, it bears a repeat :D

We keep a jar of coconut oil right next to the olive oil. We try to use it as often as we can (sometimes a meal or certain flavors wouldn't work with the coconut flavor!). Chris will even just eat a spoonful of it sometimes.

Just a little life update since this is my blog! Weighed in at 119.8 this morning. Deeeelighted! I have to remember this week and how clean, paleo and right on track I was. Ate till satisfied, never more than I needed. Tons of water, no bloating here :D

I went to the salon and got my hair dyed by a professional for the first time - I loved it, even though it did take wayyyyy too long. I know they did all the right things to keep my hair healthy and make it pretty :) I might be hooked!! I just love the color, it looks more natural than it has in 15 years (started going gray when I was 16 - crazy I know, so I've been box dyeing my hair for a long time).

Chris said I look like Jillian Michaels here - a super huge compliment in my world!!

Things I'm looking forward to today: continuing to eat clean and paleo, my daily dog walk, a mani/pedi with a good friend, and Chris coming home and STAYING home for over a week!!!!

Namaste :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Body Image, Acceptance, Happiness

Ahhh, it is like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Lots of the to-do list is crossed off for the wedding (8 days to go!): seating chart, place cards, accommodations in the on-venue cabins for friends, vows, etc, etc. I actually have no SPECIFIC task I need to do today, and that feels.... strange and amazing :D

Weighed in at 120.0 today. Loving it. Feeling great. Been hanging around this lower weight for a couple of weeks now and feel happy here. I know 127-129 isn't a "bad" or unhealthy weight, but seeing myself here for the first time as an adult? I am proud of my body in a way I haven't truly been proud of it before.

I've always tried to love my body, to accept it. I read a lot of weight loss blogs - there is a mantra (a good one, I think!) that goes around that you should love the body you have, even if you are in the process of transformation. I tried, I really did, but I never fully loved my body in the past. It's so much easier said than done for people who have been obese for an extended period of time and lapsed into a habit of self-loathing.

I didn't want to feel any sort of bad about myself on my wedding day. That was the goal, more so than a specific weight. I want to be happy, that's all.

Isn't that the struggle? It's been my struggle for many years. Since I was still a child (and lost my mom). How to really, truly feel happiness? How to be content, with my life, my mind, my body?

It's still my struggle, that peace, that contentedness. A lifelong journey to find it. And I think the journey is the whole point, that is what makes life.

All I know, is that when I stand up in front of my family, friends, and whatever forces govern this world, and face my man I love with all my heart, that I won't be thinking about my body - I won't be squirming and fidgeting with my dress, I won't be worried about what people are thinking, I won't cringe with every click of a camera.

I will be happy :)

I know this to be true - I just need to embrace this more.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tough skin, girly hands

I was a field archaeologist for about five years - had tough hands, hands meant for menial work!

Today, I raked the yard clean of acorns (I have some mutant oak tree with 5 billion acorns above my front lawn), swept them into a pile, bagged them up - BLISTER. Wah. That used to never happen, my skin used to be so tough.

My metaphorical skin is still tough, though, no worries :D

I am just surprised by how quickly things go soft if you don't use them! Same with a lot of things, mental and physical. Got to keep on top of this stuff, you know?

I think I am going to fully indulge in being a girly bride for the next week and a half though - I am getting my hair professionally dyed tomorrow, a mani/pedi on Friday with my friend, tips added to my nails next Wednesday, ANOTHER pedicure the Friday before my wedding, and then pampering and hair/makeup the morning before my wedding.

I sort of like the soft romantic image of a traditional feminine bride ;) I've never been traditionally feminine or soft, always more of the tomboy. But I am going all out for this, and totally giving in to it, too!

But when it's over - back to the grind!! I want my tough hands back, got to get back to seriously weight training for that.

Eating has been going great: three meals and a snack every day of clean, whole, paleo food. And it's been 80% protein and vegetables (no more relying on fruit and chocolate for my calories haha). Lots of water.

Life goes on.

Namaste <3

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cravings -> Needs -> What to eat instead

Weighed in at 120.8 this morning. Not quite at goal, but close enough for government work ;) - I can say that because I was a state worker for a while, hehehe.

Had a weird day yesterday. It was raining here, but Koda and I got out for our walk anyway. My knee feels a little twisted up, got to be careful about that. I spent hours on a weird art project I dreamed up for my wedding (it's a surprise, so I'll show you in two weeks!). And just a lot of weird was floating around.

I've been stressed, obviously, but Kelly remarked that she couldn't see the stress in all my pictures (we're facebook friends!) but saw a lot of joy. I think it's really important, even if I am stressed or sad or upset, to fully enjoy every moment I am alive - all the times with Chris, times with friends, times in beautiful places. I won't let the emotions I feel keep me from BEING in life.

I've been around too much death to take this life for granted. No way, no how!!!

I wanted to share with you this little chart one of my friends shared with me. Thought it was pretty cool:

Trust me, I know how INSANELY hard it would be, when you want chocolate, to go search out some seeds and veggies instead. It might be what we should do - but CHOCOLATE. (I'm a chocolate addict... it's amazing I can limit myself to the small nibbles of it that I do get, because my mouth waters just thinking about really good chocolate hahahaha).

But the chart is cool. Gives you something to think about. Your body sends you little cravings for a reason - it actually NEEDS something. In this modern world, all our sensors and receptors are screwed up by the Standard American Diet, so we no longer understand the cravings. We go for sugar instead of spinach or bread instead of proteins.

Food for thought! *pun intended*

I'm feeling sassy this morning. Off to babysit and then take care of some life stuff - going to put off the dog walk to see if my knee feels better later or not!

Peace and Light <3

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wedding Stuff - eating right to battle stress

All of you who have had to plan a large-ish wedding or are in the process of doing it kind of know what I'm feeling right now, right?? Less than two weeks to go, now.

Insanely excited, crazy confused, stressed, overwhelmed with weird details I never thought I'd have to think about, and just plain wanting the day to get here so that I can marry the love of my life!!!

The seating chart is giving me a bunch of headaches. I'm worried the music won't be fun. Or people will be bored. I'm worried I won't look my best, or people will think my dress is ugly. Or that Chris' mom is going to have a freak out. Etc, etc, etc, etc.

The wedding I went to this weekend was super lovely - great venue (outdoor wedding and it was gorgeous weather!), beautiful ceremony with a lot of great touches, and the bride had a KILLER dress - hoop skirt with tons of tulle made by her mother. The only thing that went wrong is that they ran out of food and had to order pizza (whoops!! the groom called the caterers SO MAD).

But our group of friends (the part that went to this wedding) aren't really the romantic sort and didn't really care about all the nice touches. And didn't like the music. And barely danced. It's just one faction of our friend group - others are very different, but seeing people NOT enjoying a wedding makes me so nervous that that is what is going to happen to me!


I know I worry too much about what other people think or how other people feel. Which isn't always a bad trait, but sometimes it is, when it becomes the focus. Close friends keep telling me that I should just do what I want to on my wedding day and not worry about other people -- but my nice times really are affected if my friends aren't having a nice time!

Well, anyway, I just kind of wanted to spew that stress out onto virtual paper - to let you all know how things are going for me. I am, on the whole, just excited to marry Chris. But there is this mid-level constant stress present in my body that is affecting me physically and emotionally.

I went to the local co-op yesterday and filled the fridge with great organic vegetables and meat. Lots of awesome easy, healthy, paleo, CLEAN foods already prepped for my week, like roasted sweet potatoes and homemade guacamole. No excuses for not eating great this week.

I know the right fuel will keep the stress manageable. This article sums up what I want to do perfectly: Eat Right To Fight Stress - Psychology Today (I pulled out some important paragraphs if you don't want to bother with the article):

"Most of us recognize that certain foods have brutal effects on the brain—for productivity, mood and mental energy. Too much chocolate can leave you dragging after the sugar and caffeine jolts fade away. An overdose of salty chips dehydrates the body and the brain, bringing on fatigue. High fat meals raise stress hormone levels and keep them high.

The problem is that these are precisely the foods we reach for at exactly the wrong times, as they exacerbate tension from work and daily life just when we seek relief."

"Participants reported that cutting down or avoiding "food stressors" like sugar (80%), caffeine (79%), alcohol (55%) and chocolate (53%) had the most impact on mental health. So did having more "food supporters" like water (80%), vegetables (78%), fruit (72%) and oil-rich fish (52%)."

"We already know that stress hormones like cortisol actually rob the body of vitamins, hijacking them to support such classic stress responses as the tensing of muscles and the rise of blood pressure, reactions fundamental to the fight-or-flight response.

Thus at times when we're experiencing the nervous-system workout of anxiety, we are in special need of B vitamins, which help maintain our nerves and brain cells. B vitamins also used up in converting food into energy for the body.

It's double whammy for the body if calories consumed during stressful times don't come from nutritious foods, as they'll then be depleted even more quickly. Even a slight vitamin B deficiency—say, from a few days of overloading on chips and soda—upsets the nervous system and compounds stress."

So, I'm here, living life, getting married, dealing with stress and determined to stay healthy through it all :D

It's tough, but I am not going to eat crap to soothe me, I will not even have one alcoholic drink between now and my wedding day, I will focus on strengthening my body and giving myself all the chance in the world to be healthy, fit and happy on my wedding day!!

Namaste, my friends <3

Me SUPER happy during the annual "parade" at Cabinfest a couple weeks ago!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I'm heading to a wedding today, got a new dress at PacSun yesterday for it and I'm rocking it :D

The close fit of the dress will remind me to not over eat at the wedding!! I'm at 119 today and want to stay that way!

I'm looking forward to the nice times tonight- there's going to be a zydeco band and a focus on dancing :) I wore flats so I could enjoy!

Namaste <3

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thanks, Weight, How JillIian Michaels Stays Fit

Three things on the agenda today:

1) Thanking Kelly for your concern, and it wasn't taken as criticism at all! I am fully honest here on my blog because I have to be or else it's not therapeutic for me. Your concern is warranted, too - as I've said, this is one of the most stressful times in my life, which means I am in the highest danger of falling back into disordered eating and body image behaviors. I talk about them here to try and get a grip on myself in real life, to make sure I am still making good and healthy choices!

2) I must have lost a bunch of weight this past weekend with all my running around (at least 7-10 miles a day), dancing and light eating. But I must have been bloated beyond belief because what I *did* eat was salty and I had drinks. My week of moderation and focus on activity/water drinking has caused me to lose 6 pounds (which obviously must have been water weight since I only had a calorie deficit of way LESS than 3500 calories). I weighed in at 118.6 this morning.

I am - stunned. And so excited to see, for the first time in my life, a number like that. I am at goal. I don't want to lose any more weight. That's a weird thought. That's a thought I've never had before. I just want to stay here! I am going to be careful with my food choices for a while to try and stay here, let my body settle here, because obviously this has been a very strange week for me weight-wise!

3) So, how Jillian Michaels stays fit? I listened to her podcast from this week and someone called in and asked how a mom of two with a super busy career life stays fit like Jillian does? Jillian said, very simply, that her diet is TIGHT. It's clean, it's moderate, it's healthy. She eats right. She says she gets in FOUR workouts a week, not usually more than 30-45 minutes at a time. Those workouts are intense, but we're talking around 2 hours a week.

SO MANAGEABLE. Get your diet in control and it's not a struggle to maintain. It's not necessary to kill yourself every day in workouts if you are not actively trying to lose weight.

(side note - Jillian weighs 117! I never thought I'd weigh about what my idol weighs!)

But my fiance, Chris, brought up the fact that he's been talking to a friend of ours who recently became an avid hiker. But she's struggling with her weight. But she's also going out to big burger and fries and beer type dinners after every hike. People seem to think that somehow exercise makes up for bad diet choices. If you hike ten miles (burning around 1000 calories) and eat a dinner that is well OVER 1000 calories? You won't lose weight.

Chris and I made that mistake for YEARS. We would hike and hike and hike, but somehow gain weight? We were eating a ton on the hike (lots of bars and nuts and sandwiches and chocolate) and then we would go out to dinner afterwards.

We realize now that we can eat very normally on a hike and feel great (feel better, actually, because we don't feel all heavy and weighed down from eating too much) and carry that strong, fit, light feeling into our life by going home and eating a normal dinner.

Chris also talked to this friend about running - someone suggested to her that she not focus on hiking but start running a lot (because then you can "eat whatever you want!!!!"). I almost choked at this terrible advice! I applaud people who run because they love it - but people who run so they can eat more? Insane. Running does a number on your joints and feet - it's a HIGH impact sport in that sense.

If you stop shoving your body full of more calories than it needs, you don't need to force yourself out for an hour long run to offset it.

My advice to her: run if you like it, but don't run so you can eat more. Do the exercise you love (in this case it is hiking) and stop thinking that a successful long hike is an excuse to go crazy with the eating!

As Jillian Michaels told her caller: if you get your diet tightened up (and you just want to maintain, not lose), you don't have to go crazy trying to fit in exercise. Get a few intense 30 minute workouts in per week - the kind where you are really sweating and tired afterwards - and use the rest of your time to LIVE LIFE!

I'm on board with her advice here, I like it.

So those are my thoughts for the day :D Thanks for sticking around and reading!

Namaste <3

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Well, that's weird!

This will be a quick one because I almost don't know what to say about it.

Got on the scale today (still indulging in that daily weighing!) and it said 120.2.


I was kind of shocked!

I went from 124ish to 123ish right to 120ish??

I was SUPER good the past three days. Really strict paleo, reduced my calories by about 2 - 300 less than usual, and drank a ton of water. Lots of walking and yoga.

Still kind of don't believe it and a little nervous to believe it! I've never seen 120.anything in my life. New lowest adult weight! I am right near my goal. I've been coming to terms the past couple days with believing I will be beautiful even if I don't hit my goal, in fact, I've been trying to let the goal go.

Weight just affects my self-image so much. I know it shouldn't, but I'm not there yet. I know that if I go into my wedding weighing 119/120, I will have a lot of confidence walking down that aisle and getting my picture taken. And I just want that so much! I don't want to look back at pictures or videos and see a self-conscious bride who wants to shrink away.

Back to the routine!

Today, I will add back in some of the calories I reduced by, but will stay strict paleo and continue to drink my water. I am about to leave the house for the dog walk.

I will leave you with what I got done last night: the table names I am making for the tables at my wedding - they are all named after mountains that Chris and I climbed to become Adirondack 46ers :) The will eventually have photos of Chris and I at the summits in the blank spaces:

Super Proud of my Craft Skill!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Choices and Banned Foods

Hello, my fellow health and fitness minded friends!

I realize I've been all over the place with my blogs, moods, weight and everything in between. I apologize, but you are seeing someone struggling not to melt down AS IT HAPPENS. Exciting, isn't it??

For those of you just tuning in, I am getting married in less than three weeks, pretty close to the one year anniversary of when I found my dad dead in his house, leading to a pretty horrifyingly depressing and stressful time where I adopted his untrained (including NOT potty trained) 2 year old German Shepherd and moved into his house (having to become fully a grown up FAST and learn to take care of a house and finances - things I was blissfully ignorant of before). I also could no longer stay at my job as required travel (and my fiance already travels for work, and we couldn't leave the dog alone), so I've been unemployed. Add to that the fact my mom died when I was 10 and I really, really can't come to terms with the idea I have no parents anymore for help, advice or memories.

Haha, but I will be fine. I've made the choice to be fine. To do what needs to be done for my health and sanity first.

I'm sitting here at the oil change place, drinking coffee and ignoring the Boston creme donuts!

I am also down to 123.4- lost some of that water weight and feel less bloated.

I wanted to share this link:

American foods that are banned in other countries

America has a bad trend of choosing to make money first, ask why people are getting sick later. Compared to other Westernized countries, we will put any old crap into our food in order to make it cheaper. We've got to learn to value health FIRST, and then try to find a way to make it affordable. I wouldn't be raising such a stink, but other countries have figured it out, so why are we still routinely putting dangerous things into our mouths?

Be smart out there, folks, it's your life you are protecting.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Weight, recuperation, acceptance

Still trying to get in the swing of things after a crazy, mind-bending, roller coaster of an amazing weekend. Slipping back into normal life is hard. I did read all of your blogs, but could only comment on a few, as my mind is a little wonky-exhausted.

I got a lot done for my life, yesterday. Lots of errands, lots of wedding stuff.

However, I barely drank any water yesterday. Gah.

I also had a weird eating day - banana with sunflower butter when I woke up (at noon, good gracious), a lara bar for a snack, and a sushi roll for dinner. Coffee in there, too.

I weigh 124.4 today.

I am POSITIVE I am holding on to water weight since I didn't drink enough water yesterday (or all weekend). But the alcohol and veering off paleo I did on Saturday surely doesn't help. I'm also breaking out like crazy on my face because I ate/drank a bunch of wheat-based things. Not exactly the look I am going for.

My little calorie counter/fitness/etc app on my phone tells me I can only eat 1050 calories a day if I want to hit my goal at my wedding.



Okay. That's obviously not going to happen.

The plan is to eat more like 1600 calories a day, drink tons of water, and do some serious cardio every day.

I'm still kind of fuzzy and confused, trying to catch up on sleep and whatnot. But I am going to attempt to be as healthy as possible and as accepting of my body as possible.

Bear with my, friends. I feel a little bonkers. Will be further back on track tomorrow :D


Monday, August 19, 2013

My weekend, helping friends

Hello to you all after a long silence since Thursday!

I had a very good reason for that silence: I was at a very lovely and rustic wilderness retreat in the Adirondacks and there is no cell phone reception or internet. I had a lot of perfectly gorgeous mornings in a small cabin with Chris and Koda, lots of hikes to a lake for Koda to go swimming, and am so at peace with the great time we had. On Friday, Cabinfest began, and 50+ people joined us (in OTHER cabins, hahaha, or camping) and we listened to great music and had lots and lots of silly times together.

I will post pictures and details later (I woke up at noon today because I got very little sleep on Friday and Saturday nights - we stayed up late and Koda wanted to get up early for hikes!!).

So while my spirit and body feel great right now, my heart hurts a little because while we were gone, our friends had a house fire. The upstairs is burned and the rest of the house is water/smoke damaged. Their cat passed away, as well :( These people were SO loving and helpful to me when my life got turned upside down by my dad's death last year, and I want to make sure they can get back on their feet. Us and other friends/family are giving them money/clothes/etc directly, but we've started a "kickstarter" of sorts to make sure that months from now, when everyone else is getting on with their lives, these people still have all the help they need.

Take a look, and help if you can:

Thanks so much, I will catch up on your blogs when I can!!

<3 Namaste

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Health and Love

Chris came home from traveling so we could have some special time together. We went out to a dinner with ten friends last night at a local place that only does dinner once a week to showcase local, organic farms and foods.

It was amazing!! It wasn't paleo (but not super far off- I only ate once piece of bread and the dessert was gluten free!). It was a predetermined menu and the portions were reasonable (even a little small). We left feeling nourished and NOT over-full.

Today we got our marriage license (it was super sweet and the clerk put on a little ceremony and made us recite promises to each other- we cried a bit!):

We then went and got Chris remeasured for his tux- he's back in the game with me this summer! He's down 2 inches in his waist, from a large to a medium vest, and three sizes in his jacket!!! We are on this train :)

And now we are packing and heading north to a cabin in the woods, where tomorrow about 40 of our friends will join us for Cabinfest, a weekend of music and dancing and laughing.

Here is the happiness I was looking for :) I weighed in today (122) for the sake of it- the dinner did no damage and I plan to come home the same from the weekend!

Health and love abounds right now- I plan to do all I can to keep it going!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Optimism, Disordered use of the scale

Asking for the universe to take some care with me right now! I am hopeful. A friend heard about a job with the city where she works that would be perfect for me, and sent along my information. She did this out of the blue and just because she knows I am in need right now. It makes me dangerously optimistic! But I keep getting optimistic and nothing comes of it (seriously - museums won't even respond to my desire to VOLUNTEER, much less to work there!).

My adviser did hook me up with a teaching job in the spring, and though it's just one class, it's great - as a resume builder AND to stop this cycle of unemployment.

Things just feel so overwhelming and impossible much of the time. I am putting my trust in karmic balance that at SOME point, good things will start to happen just like all the bad things.

I want so much to just BE. But I do feel as if I am struggling (and flailing about wildly) lately.

Soooo, I was thinking today as I did my daily weigh in (121.8, which was great!)-

I know that I have some leftover bad habits from when I was fully immersed in my disordered eating - I weigh myself every day (I used to weigh myself up to a dozen times a day!). I rarely use body measurements (which are a better indicator of success and fitness than the scale, which is so easily affected by menstrual cycles or if I didn't drink enough water or whatever.

I took my measurements today, standard bust-waist-hip at 33-26-35. I remember the last time I took my waist measurements were over a year ago, before I went paleo and I was hovering between 29 and 30 inches. That's a great 3 inches of fat off my abdomen since embarking on this journey of eating paleo, eating clean, and focusing on exercise (not just the weekend hikes I used to do, but purposeful exercise daily even if it is just yoga).

It would be better if I just used weekly measurements to make sure I was still where I wanted to be!

Gwen urged me to not weigh in every day, especially in these days leading up to my wedding. But, as I said, I feel as if I am striving and struggling here, and for some reason, I just can't give it up. I sometimes will skip a day. And sometimes (like this coming weekend) I will be camping and not near a scale for four days. I am not so addicted to the scale that this fact bothers me (it's actually kind of a relief!).

Like I said, the use of the scale is not as intense as when I was in the height of my disordered eating, but it's is a leftover symptom of a way to feel some control. This is not the month I am ready to deal with that problem, ha.

Here I am, unfailingly human, continuously learning, never perfect, trying.

Eat clean, treat your body well, move it around, and do something for your spirit today. Namaste <3

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sugar, continued

I got some comments on my last post. Mostly people in the process of getting sugar out of their lives or people urging me to get sugar out of my life (not just the big, bad processed sugars!).

Well, I am pretty much in that camp of people who have ALMOST gotten sugar out of their lives. My daily diet looks insanely different from almost everyone I know in real life. I truly do follow the paleo template in my day to day eating (excluding things like bridal shower cake!): meat, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds. Even though I technically say it's okay for me to eat honey and maple sugar, I rarely do - but those ARE the sugars I turn to when I do have sugar.

We will never get sugar COMPLETELY out of our lives, because of things like fruit that do have natural sugars. I will never not eat fruit, haha :D

But I do eat chocolate bars. They are always very heady (our way of saying the ingredients are whole, clean, organic, natural) but do have added sugars, obviously.

Right now, I have absolutely zero desire to cut chocolate out of my life.

I do have a desire to limit it, though, because the calories used on chocolate are a little bit wasted - I could have eaten a huge salad and eggs with the calories instead. I get that. Just not there yet!

Not ashamed of that, either. My diet is extraordinarily clean in all ways except for that. I'm the healthiest and lightest I've ever been. Everyone's got their own path!

I saw a HUGE difference in my life when I got grains/dairy/legumes out of my diet. That's something I won't compromise on. But that chocolate is hanging around :D I DO get it, but it's also a choice I make. It's weird - we all know how we could eat perfectly, but so few of us do.

Just a photo check in to show you all that I am not over-doing it on the sugar front!!

Rainy day here in the capital district - going to babysit, take care of some things, bring my dad's car (which we are STILL stuck with because we STILL haven't gotten the title in our names because the estate is in a holding pattern) in for some servicing, eat my normal paleo foods, and hope the rain slacks up before I take the dog on a walk!

Namaste <3

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sugar Dangers!

Things are going as well as can be expected in this neck of the woods! Life is good, the weather is beautiful - but there is a lot of unavoidable stress with life: Chris travels a LOT, and we are SO busy on the weekends trying to catch up with house maintenance and life errands and social obligations that we don't really get a lot of great quality time together. It's tough and it's wearing on me. But I know it won't be like this forever. So just like I've been learning through all the other hard times, all I have to do is bear down and wait it out. It will get better!

Weight is the same, 122.5ish. Not much changing there!

So I was reading an article about sugar in National Geographic. I definitely know that processed sugar is bad for my body (by trial and error!) and that we, as a nation, eat wayyyyy too much sugar because it is in EVERYTHING that is processed (especially bread!).

I found it to be an interesting article thought. I learned why fructose is so bad for us. It says that fructose is "found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables" and that "fructose in excess is a health hazard. The glucose in sugar is metabolized throughout the body. But fructose is processed mainly in the liver into fats, which can build up there and also enter the blood. The resulting risks: obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes."


And fructose is in all types of sugars - all those creepy sugars in processed foods with weird, long, science-y names. And it is destroying our bodies!

I will say again and again and again: stay the hell away from high fructose corn syrup. Check ALL your labels. It is in bread and ketchup and bologna and cereal and all sorts of things. It should never pass your lips! Give it up.

Natural sugars are fine - fruits, honey, maple syrup. And delicious! Stick with those, protect your bodies.

It's an interesting article that goes into exactly how much more sugar we are eating now than 50 years ago, and what types of sugar, and where the sugars are found, etc, etc. Read it if you get a chance!

Have a great day, loves, namaste <3

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekend: Bridal Shower, Tattoo, Normalcy

My bridal shower went well - it was a gorgeous day and my family and friends were very sweet and got along really well! I basically ate one meal that day (it was from 11:30 - 3:30ish so I ate right in the middle of the day) with a few snacks surrounding it.

Had a yogurt to start the day, then ate my shower brunch (two small pieces of quiche, fruit salad, and about 1/4 cup of this AMAZING french toast bake my cousin made - also some mimosas and the cake they bought for me!), then I had some sweet potatoes at night.

Back to normal today - had a great breakfast with Chris to start the day on new, colorful plates:


Eating food on colorful plates makes meal time really enjoyable for me. I like colorful food, and this just brings it to a new level! So an egg scramble with veggies and a piece of bacon to start my day. I have LOVED having a whole day to spend with Chris. We went grocery shopping and prepped a bunch of healthy, paleo food for our week. We also went for a walk in the city park:

Told you it was a gorgeous weekend!!!

We also set up our tattoo appointments for our wedding tattoos - we are doing them a few months after the wedding so that we can go on our honeymoon to Japan without having to worry about taking care of new tattoos. So in November, I am getting my first tattoo above the waist: a red-tailed hawk on my rib cage!

I am feeling all sorts of glee, stress, excitement, joy, grief, and everything in between these days.

Onwards and upwards, my friends :)


Friday, August 9, 2013

Dress Pick Up Day

My sister-in-law is coming into town for the weekend. One, so she can come to this dress fitting/pick-up so she can learn how to do the bustle! Two, because I have my second bridal shower tomorrow with my local family. I'm pretty excited to see her, she's an awesome person - feeling lucky to be gaining a sister in this marriage!

So...  I weigh 122.8 this morning. About one pound less than I weighed exactly a month ago when I had my first dress fitting.

Not that I am EXCITED about that fact, but (as I tell other weight loss bloggers who are struggling with losing, but are still losing) - I am DOWN from last month. That's important to remember. I struggled this month for sure, hit a low of 121, so I am up 1.8 from that.

Those are NOT big numbers or differences. Nothing to worry about.

But, as the face of someone recovering from being overweight/obese, recovering from binge eating disorders, AND recovering from bulimia-like disorders - not feeling in control of my weight makes all the crazy things happen in my brain.

But, I'm here - putting it on paper. Saying that this weight and those weight differences just are not a big deal. I am fine.

I am going to go put on my wedding dress. Spend an evening with my family and friends (it is my very good friend's birthday party tonight - at a pizza place where I will NOT eat pizza). I will savor life and savor the smiles and remember I am worthy of being happy.

You are worthy too.

Namaste <3

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The small things: salt

Thanks to everyone for the support yesterday! This month is going to be a toughie, so many emotions, so much crazy. And the thing I CAN control is my weight - and when that goes wrong, I get a little down. But I am glad I stay accountable and have people to talk sense into me so I don't become a hugely disordered mess!

So I saw this little informational meme today that I wanted to share with you about the dangers of salt. I think we all know by now the dangers of having too much salt in our diets - but do we often stop to think about where we are getting our salt from (which foods have the most) and what KIND of salt we are eating (lots of salt in this country is highly processed).

Chris and I rarely ever add salt to our foods (pre or post cooking!) and, when we do, we have pink Himalayan rock salt that we use. We have trained our palates to not need a ton of salt - I think the one time we do use it is when we have grass fed beef burgers and we put a pinch of salt and pepper on them (PERFECTION - mmm, favorite way to eat beef).

What I thought was interesting was that bread has SO much salt and it's highly processed (and dangerous!). I am pretty glad I just don't eat bread or bread products anymore. It messed with my weight and health way too much.

I still am not perfect with my clean eating (hello wine) but getting better every day, with everything I learn. Learning to eat cleaner and then implementing that information is the key -- I want to protect this body of mine as best I can. I want to be around for a long time and I want Chris to be around for a long time :)

I wrote my vows yesterday so I am feeling extra mushy about him, hehe.

Stay safe, take care of your mind, heart and body today!!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Extreme Weight Loss: emotional eating and bulimia

First I will say I still weight the same today: 123.5

Ever so slightly disappointed in myself. I got off my schedule and routine since Saturday - and while I didn't go crazy with eating and gain weight, I wasn't careful.

Now I am going to go into my final wedding dress fitting (on Friday) kind of NOT where I wanted to be. And I wonder if I lose weight between the final fitting and the wedding if the dress will still fit right? If I manage to lose four pounds will four pounds make a difference in the fit???

Bleh, I won't dwell on it too much. It doesn't do me any good.

So last night I watched Extreme Weight Loss - I like that show, despite some obvious problems with the UN-reality of the situation, I think Chris Powell is an actually good guy, even though any famous weight loss guru has to worry about the show just as much as the person they are training, I think he does a good job of being compassionate and genuinely caring.

The focus of last night's show was a girl who gained weight after her moms death when she was young. It rang a bell for me, obviously, though she ended up over 200 pounds overweight while I ended up 70-80 pounds overweight. I felt for her. I know what that loss does to a young girl.

I still struggle with it as my wedding approaches. Sometimes, I just want my mom.

It was also a reminder how tragedy/loss/emotional pain/sadness is often a trigger for weight gain - food is comfort, food helps you forget briefly.

And it made me feel really proud of how far I've come from that little girl that ate to protect herself from her pain. I lost my dad last year in a way more traumatic way than I lost my mom - and here I sit, about 2 pounds from my lowest adult weight. I've done a good job, and no matter if I weigh 123 or 119 on my wedding day, I know I should be proud of myself... my dad would be proud. He would think I was beautiful.

The show also followed the girl as she struggled with bulimia as a method to keep eating for comfort but still lose weight. That was a big part of my life in my early 20s as I could not let go of the comfort eating, and eventually the CONTROL of purging became just as reassuring.

I am proud that, despite many obsessive thoughts that binging and purging would make me feel better, I haven't gone back. Despite all the turmoil this year, I have dealt with emotions rather than eating or binging/purging to forget about them.

Yesterday was tough for me - many social/family/life problems popped up and I freaked out. For the first time in months, I thought that I could go to a fast food place, get burgers and fries, and go to a bakery and get a bunch of cupcakes and just binge and purge to my heart's content and I could just FREAKING FEEL BETTER FOR ONCE.

I didn't do that.

I waited through it. Felt all the bad feelings, the sadness and the frustration. And I came out on the other side.

No matter what I weigh now - I don't use food in ANY way to fix my problems.

And that's huge for me.

Love and Light to you. <3

Monday, August 5, 2013

Crazy day; think before you eat!

Well I had a crazy night and day - ended up driving an hour and a half home this morning to babysit. Pretty tired!!

Good news though: I have a teaching job this spring!!

Got to be a quick one today- I didn't have time to have a proper breakfast or weigh in. Hoping for a nap and a workout later!

I'll leave you with this, ay!


Last weekend of indulgence for a while!

So, as you all know, this weekend was my bachelorette party. I knew I would drink and I knew I wouldn't eat paleo. I didn't and I didn't even try. I just relaxed and had fun with my friends.

It was a GREAT time - we went to a winery in the afternoon and then hung out at a friend's house where we played a zombie murder mystery game and sang karaoke (don't judge me with my weird bachelorette party - I never claimed to be a normal girl who likes going wild at a bar!). Here's a picture of the girls that made it to the winery (a few people could not do the afternoon party but showed up later at night):

Not behaving

Weighing in at 123.5 this morning, so a pound and a half up from my early weigh in on Saturday. Not the worst. I know it is caused by bloating and inflammation from eating/drinking things that do not heal or protect or fuel my body - they were designed and imbibed for pleasure only, and that's the result!

I'm okay with it, because that was the last weekend I was really going to indulge (until my wedding, obviously - where I will have champagne and eat red velvet cake and filet mignon, muahaha).

This coming weekend is my bridal shower, but it is with my family that I'm comfortable with and I can get away with eating paleo and just having a glass of wine and leaving it at that. No reason to get crazy!

The weekend after is Cabinfest, the little music festival (about 100 people as opposed to the 20,000 people that were at Camp Bisco!) my friends put on - but once again, I can have a drink or two but not get DRUNK and I can choose to eat paleo since I am in charge of bringing my food and feeding myself.

So there we go - excuses over. I will still try to weigh 119 on my wedding day - I also will not be at all hurt if I don't. Four pounds isn't going to drastically change my body shape. And though I am not loving my body this morning because I feel bloated and gross from the alcohol, I can logically see I am in a good place physically :)

No. More. Poison.

The only things that will pass my lips this week are foods that protect and fuel and help my body. No alcohol. No grains. No refined sugars or flours. No chemicals.

Life - it sure does get in the way, doesn't it? ;) But, in reality, I've done a good job this summer - I am closer to 120 than 130 (first time in my life). No shame here, my friends. Just hope :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My month - eating up the joy!

August is so full of good things (and very few of them centered around food or drink!), I want to record it. I really feel so excited, but I know this time is fleeting - soon I will be married and the honeymoon will be over and life will return to normal (as normal as it gets around here anyway).

But this blog, as my kind of diary, is my best way to bottle these feelings so I can relive them later :)

So this month:

- Bachelorette party (today, yay!)

-Traveling to see Chris where he travels for work - the local coffee shop is throwing his crew a party for being such great patrons while they've been there

- Wedding dress pick up (finally my dress will fit ME and not look like it was meant for some random other person!) with sister in law

- My really, really good friend whom I love's birthday party

- Family bridal shower

- Friend's wedding in the Catskills

- Consultation for wedding tattoos (as of now, I am getting a hawk which is Chris' spirit animal and he is getting a wolf for me - since I am looking so good right now, I might make the leap to get it on my side)

- AND the day I am most looking forward to: Chris is taking off work the day before our favorite (small, friend-run) music festival called Cabinfest and we are going to get our marriage license (!!!), have a special lunch, and then head to the mountains to stay in a cabin a night early - just to be able to leisurely enjoy the day and that awesome weekend

So there are a few parties in there where there will be food, but the focus for me this month is on JOY. I want to eat up all the laughter and the smiles and the conversations and the memories.

It's really amazing, that at a time in my life when I am so sad and stressed and anxious, I am also the happiest I've ever been. I think feeling the loss of my dad has made me feel the joys in life even more, because I finally realize how precious they are.

Namaste, my friends, have a gorgeous weekend!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Explanation - what maintenance is for me.

Well, everyone might think I went a little loopy after my post yesterday. But I swear, I am fully hinged :)

It's just that I feel these issues are at the CORE of getting healthy and fit.

Most of us get obese because of emotional pain and the inability to deal with that pain. We eat to soothe something, because we don't know what else to do.

Trauma (losing my mother to cancer at a young age) and the inability to emotionally deal with that caused me to gain weight through my teens till I ended up obese all through college. I refuse to let the newest trauma and emotional pain in my life to cause me to end up the same way. It does a disservice to me, my body, my spirit and the people whose passing caused the pain.

So, yes, I will talk about fitness and nutrition and all of that. But I am also here to talk about your spirit and heart.

I have been going a little extra spiritual lately, but that's because the pain is rising inside of me. I have to experience the pain and think about it and deal with it in order to not become sick because of it.

This is maintenance. This is growing. This is learning not to repeat patterns. This is change.

Weighing in at 122.2 this morning. Good number for me (especially since that time of the month is near). And also proof, that despite sleepless nights and stress and grief crashing over me - I am in control. I am in pain, yes, but that is life and THAT is a hard lesson to learn.

Life is also really beautiful :)

Took the dog for a walk first thing this morning, ate a coconut milk yogurt, and am right where I am supposed to be.

I'll leave you with a little healthy food meme I saw:


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Buddhism and living mindfully (eating mindfully?)

This year has been a year of awakening for me. With health/fitness, yes - it's become the WAY I live, with no other option, I have very little fear that I will ever go back to the old ways. But also with something else - my spirit, the way I see and approach the world, how I love.

Losing my dad last year (suddenly, unexpectedly) was a wake up call. It traumatized me in a bunch of ways. I went over there, looking to walk his dog (now my dog) and get some advice as I had just had a huge argument with Chris. Instead, I found only his body - he was gone and had been for a while (I had been traveling that week and not spoken to him for a few days). He had so much left to do on this earth - peace to make, family to love, future grandchildren to meet, daughters to dance with at their wedding. And it was all gone in the blink of an eye.

It made me want to be and go and spread good in this world. To live as fully as possible every day. To regret NOTHING.

I used to read books/passages/quotes about how to live a good life, how to be truly happy, how to be a light in this world. I liked it all. But it never really sunk in.

I would like to think I'm a good person, and at the very least, a neutral person. I don't like to hurt people. I regret hurting people. I like to protect this earth and its creatures. But I have been full of jealousy and anger and all sorts of damaging things.

This year - it sank in.

I have to CHOOSE to implement good things every day. I have to stop myself from reacting to things impulsively. I have to choose love. I have to choose peace. I have to choose happiness.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and writer/speaker who seems to be the embodiment of the way I want to live. The world has been pushing his name on me all week. The last thing - someone mentioned they are spending a day at a retreat with him in September and I could go...

So I am going to this event, hosted at a monastery about 1.5 hours away from us. On the Sunday that starts our wedding week. I can't think of a more beautiful way to start our lives together than to spend a day focusing on mindfulness (so we can be better to ourselves, to each other and to the world around us):

There will be meditation and practice of mindfulness - I was surprised there would be mindful eating. Hadn't heard of that in the Buddhist sense. From their website:

Before eating, the bell will be invited for three sounds and we can enjoy breathing in and out while practicing the five contemplations.

This food is a gift of the whole universe,the earth, the sky and much hard work.
May we eat in mindfulness so as to be worthy to receive it.
May we transform our unskillful states of mind and learn to eat in moderation.
May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness.
May we accept this food to realize the path of understanding and love.

We should take our time as we eat, chewing each mouthful at least 30 times, until the food becomes liquefied. This aids the digestive process. Let us enjoy every morsel of our food and the presence of the Dharma brothers and sisters around us. Let us establish ourselves in the present moment, eating in such a way that solidity, joy and peace be possible during the time of eating.
Eating in silence, the food becomes real with our mindfulness and we are fully aware of its nourishment. In order to deepen our practice of mindful eating and support the peaceful atmosphere, we remain seated during this silent period. After twenty minutes of silent eating, two sounds of the bell will be invited. We may then start a mindful conversation with our friend or begin to get up from the table.

Upon finishing our meal, we take a few moments to notice that we have finished, our bowl is now empty and our hunger is satisfied. Gratitude fills us as we realize how fortunate we are to have had this nourishing food to eat, supporting us on the path of love and understanding.

I think this will be a good practice for me - a jarring and very different experience with food to help my struggles with food. I don't want to be battling food my entire life. I am interested to see what knowledge and insight this experience will give me.

I want to spend a day with people who choose love above all else. Healing my spirit and these injuries it has (sorrow, grief, anxiety, fear) will only help me in this life...