If you are just starting to follow along on my weight loss journey, I recommend starting with these posts first – Coming Clean Post Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 7 Week 8 Also, make sure you are following along on Instagram.
Recap of Weeks 9 – 12
Starting Date: 8/12/15
Starting Weight: 274 lbs
Current Weight: 250 lbs
Pounds Lost: 24
Pounds to Goal: 76
Goal Weight: 174
Goal Date: 8/27/16
Height: 5′ 9″
It has been an insanely BUSY few weeks, but I am still here! I’m getting questions asking where I’ve been and if I have failed because I have not updated my blog in 3 weeks. The answers?? I’m here and no I have not. I’ve just been really, really busy. Running two businesses, trying to get my health in check, traveling and trying to also fit my family in is a lot. Blogging my journey every day and taking photos of everything is a huge undertaking. If one thing in my life has to give from the above list to make all the pieces of the puzzle work, blogging this journey will take a back seat. While I want nothing more than to share my life with all of you and to inspire as many people as possible, if I’m not doing all the right things to get healthy, then I wouldn’t have anything to share in the first place.
I’m staying active in The Peace Love and Low Carb Friends Group in the meantime and I am loving the sense of community, the sharing and all the amazing testimonials and pictures in there. I just knew that if we all banded together, we could all do this!! WE CAN DO IT! If you aren’t a part of that group, you should definitely join. Such an amazing support group. I also post quite a bit on Instagram. Feel free to follow me there to stay up to date as well. Stay tuned for new photos, weigh ins and updates on the blog Wednesday after next for the start of Week 14.
What have you been doing to keep motivated and inspired…. What inspires you?
I believe that true motivation and inspiration has to come from within and be somewhat selfish. It isn’t enough to say “I want to get healthy for my kids” and expect that it will keep you inspired and motivated. It also isn’t enough to simply rely on the motivation and inspiration of others. It has to come from inside YOU!
I challenge each of you to really dig deep and find that intrinsic motivation. What is intrinsic motivation?
“Intrinsic motivation is defined as performing an action or behavior because you enjoy the activity itself. Whereas acting on extrinsic motivation is done for the sake of some external outcome, the inspiration for acting on intrinsic motivation can be found in the action itself.”
“Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding. This contrasts with extrinsic motivation, which involves engaging in a behavior in order to earn external rewards or avoid punishments.”
My food over the last few weeks has been completely on plan… except for when I planned for it not to be. We just make sure to plan ahead when eating outside of the house. The taco bowl in the photo above was at a friends house. We all got together to watch football and they had a nacho bar. I just made my own taco bowl instead. Easy peasy. Fun time with friends and I stayed on plan. Win/Win! My workouts have been sparse. I have been so busy that I have not been prioritizing my workouts. For me, that is not okay. Working out makes me feel amazing and is an integral part of my mental health and wellness. For me, the saying “You are only one workout away from a good mood” always rings true. I need to reign it back in before I get out of the habit of working out altogether. That being said, if I slacked in one area – food or fitness – I would choose fitness. You can’t out train a bad diet. Weight loss starts and ends in the kitchen.
It is a good thing I am surrounded by motivation and inspiration when I am in our gym. This chalkboard wall is pretty much the greatest thing I have ever done. I can’t wait to see it fill up and look back on all the milestones that were being made as each little tidbit of inspiration was added to the wall.
Are you celebrating yourself along the way? I know many of us, myself included are far too hard on ourselves. It is so easy to be your own worst critic instead of your own cheerleader. Why do we do this? How can we change it? We can start by celebrating the small victories and recognizing them. Tell me one thing you have done recently as part of your journey that made you proud? Big or small, let’s hear it.
I believe in celebrating the small victories along the way. I am also fond of building in non-food related rewards. Don’t reward yourself with food. You are not a dog! As many of you probably read in Week 8 , I was excited about getting some new clothes for my new, changing body. Working from home and gaining back a lot of weight has had me living in yoga pants for the last year or so. It’s time to wear something else besides yoga pants and maxi dresses (the yoga pants of the dress world.) Time to feel confident and time to have someone pick out clothes that fit my body type. So, I decided to give Stitch Fix a try. The good news is that everything fit – for the most part. The great news is that even though they say their max size is 14, I took a chance and got started anyway. (I am easily still an 18)
Here is how they work – You fill out a detailed questionnaire about your body type, your style, things you like and things you don’t like. It is very extensive. It even has you rate several sets of outfits to get a feel for what you like. You determine the price range you are willing to spend. You pick exactly what kind of pieces you want to receive. All tops? Perfect, they will do that. All casual wear? Perfect. They will do that as well. Then you pick how often you would like to receive a box. You are assigned a personal stylist and they hand pick items for you based on your choices. Starting a Pinterest board with styles you like really helps them pick things out for you. You can find my style board here. They send you out a box and you pick the pieces you would like to keep and you return the rest. They charge you a $20 styling fee, but that fee is subtracted off anything you keep. You are only charged for the pieces you decide to keep and they send a pre-paid shipping label for the things you want to return. Loving it so far. You can look into it more here
The pictures above are the pieces that they picked for me. I only ended up keeping the one on the top left. The funny part about that is that it is the only one that didn’t quite fit. It is too tight across the girls but I liked it enough to keep it anyway as soon that will not be an issue. When I posted these pictures in the group, I got a lot of complements on the piece on the top right. The problem with that is that it is not a shirt, it is supposed to be a dress. A no-go for this 5’9″ girl. I gave my feedback on each piece, stating what I did or did not like and how it fit. They will also use this information to help them style my next box. It should be here by the end of the week. I can’t wait to see what they choose this next time.
Have you tried it? Did you like it? What did you think of the clothes that they sent you? Keepers?
Take a chance and do something daring. You just may love it. Give Stitch Fix a try – HERE
I’ve recently started going to a chiropractor for the first time in my life. I have been going twice a week for the last few weeks. As you can see by my x-ray, I’ve got a curvature going on that we are working to fix. Sitting in a non-ergonomic environment, hunched over my computer every day certainly is not helping. It was actually the documenting of this journey that made me realize just how bad of an postural imbalance I actually have. It is so obvious in my weekly weigh in photos. My shoulders almost look like they are at a slant. We have been working to correct this and I am excited to see the difference in my posture when I take my next set of progress photos on Wednesday.
I want to talk about passion. I truly believe that a lack of passion in your life can lead to overall poor health and even weight gain. So much of the time we spend our lives on auto-pilot and just going through the motions. Where is the fun in that? Life is short and is meant to be enjoyed.
Weight loss goals… and Passion… (The two are more linked that you probably think)
What makes you tick? What do you feel truly passionate about in life?
It is no big secret that I am passionate about food, cooking and helping others get healthy. It is also no secret that one of my huge passions in this life is essential oils. I get to live my passion personally and professionally every day.
I LOVE my job. Not many people get the opportunity in their lives to actually say that. I get to fill my days with helping others, teaching about natural health and wellness through essential oils, creating healthy new recipes for my site, writing books, working out, being with my husband, seeing friends, traveling the world etc. I literally get to do whatever I want and be my own boss.
Seriously, what more could I ask for? I spent 15+ years working in restaurants. I worked my way up from various crew level positions into management and HR positions. I was very good at my job and was always promoted or offered promotions anywhere I worked. But it was never enough. It was never my calling. So, as a result, I would always go back to school for one thing or another. I took two years of sign language so that I could learn to speak to the pool of deaf patrons that frequented one of the restaurants I worked in. I took various computer courses and learned how to build a computer from the ground up. I took different fitness courses and certifications. I was always looking for something better. Something that gave my life purpose and meaning. Something that actually helped people. Serving plates of food to hangry guests in my restaurants was not that calling. It sucked the life and joy right out of me. I felt trapped for so long. My financial obligations dictated my life and everything in it. I was living to work and not working to live. There was no passion behind anything that I did. No real sense of accomplishment at the end of the day… Hooray… My restaurant ran smoothly, the books balanced, no guests complained, the staff was on point, my boss was happy with me. Wash, rinse, repeat. It was a grind. Grinding away like most people do at their jobs, but also slowly grinding away at my soul.
Over those years, if I was not in school, I was always working two jobs. It wasn’t always that I needed the extra money. It was that I always had one foot out the door. I was always looking for something better. I worked tech support jobs. I did IT sales. I worked as a legal administrative assistant at a law firm. They wanted me to become a paralegal and even offered to pay my way all the way through law school. I bet you never knew that about me huh? So many little part time jobs on top of a full-time job, in a quest to find purpose.
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a racing brain full of ideas. Some of those ideas are even good ones. 🙂 It wasn’t until 2011 when things started to turn around. I started my blog. It was a complete hobby blog. The pictures were taken with my iPhone, the layout was horrible and I had no idea what I was doing. But, I found a creative outlet that made my day job sting a little less. Something that was completely on my own terms. The kind of thing where the outcome was a direct result of the work put in. Working through my daily to-do list at my job never gave me that. As my blog began to grow and people started to take notice, I began to wonder if that could ever be my job. Could I create delicious recipes, tell people my story and actually get paid for it?
I am a chronic researcher. I always have been and I always will be. It has suited me well. I researched and researched some more until I learned all the ways I could build a brand that people would want to follow, while always staying true to my mission, vision and values. I did exactly that. It did not happen over night and it took a lot of work, but it was my work. I was finally doing work fueled by passion. It was time to take a leap of faith…
Summer of 2012 was the last time that I worked for someone else. I never looked back. I left a management position at a job I worked at for nearly 5 years to be a full-time blogger. People thought I was crazy. As I said my goodbyes, I could see the “I’m sure we will see you back here soon” look in their eyes and the half smiles on their faces. That only fueled my fire even more. Tell me I can’t do something, and watch me do it bigger and better than I initially set out to.
Nearly two years later in 2014 another big change happened in my life. Work was booming and life was good, but with that came some unexpected anxiety, panic and worry. Having taken a huge leap of faith without a safety net, I was in a constant state of “fight or flight”. Something needed to give or I was going to crack. The doctors only answer was to get on an antidepressant. I didn’t accept that as my only option and set out to research other things that could help me. I knew two things for sure… I could not live the way I was and that I refused to take an anti-depressant. Around the same time, I got the worst cold I have ever had in my life. 104 fever, hallucinations, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t breathe etc. It lasted nearly a month. The doctor put me through 2 courses of antibiotics that ravaged my gut, gave me codeine cough syrup and then hydrocodone cough syrup, an albuterol inhaler and then a course of prednisone steroids. When I saw the 2 page list of possible side effects from the prednisone, I immediately threw the bottle in the trash. These two experiences were the catalyst to change where my health was concerned. I was determined to take my health into my own hands just as I had done with my career.
Again with the research… I was looking into dietary changes, herbs, essential oils, switching to chemical free options etc. So much research. I swear every google search brought up an article about essential oils. It seemed as though all signs pointed me in that direction. It was almost as if someone had hijacked my browser and was skewing my search results. Google search: Gluten free bread recipes” 1st page of results… Gluten free bread with essential oils. Okay, not really, but it was starting to feel that way.
Having been raised with western medicine principles and an iron clad sense of cynicism, I wasn’t convinced. I am not the type of person that takes things at face value. I want to know how things work. I want to know why they work. I want to run my own tests to see if they work and quite honestly to try and disprove things I find hard to believe. (This is where the cynicism comes in)
I figured it certainly couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I ordered my starter kit with Young Living and the rest is history. In the last year and a half, my life has been a whirlwind of changes in every facet of my life. I went from being a complete and utter skeptic to an enlightened, empowered and mentally strong believer. There isn’t a single area of my life that has not been transformed.
I am happier, healthier, stronger, more financially secure just to name a few. I am my own boss and living a lifestyle of wellness, purpose, and abundance. Most importantly, I am living a life of FREEDOM. Free to run my own businesses. Free to be the ultimate girl boss. Free to chase all of my entrepreneurial whims without fear or limitation. Free to be ME!
All because I took a chance on myself and took that first leap of faith…
As I sit here looking back over that last year and a half, I feel blessed beyond measure that this is my life.
Meeting with others to teach them all about the ways they can enhance their health and wellness and remove toxic chemicals from their home, cooking delicious recipes for my family that I can share with the world on my blog, moving my body and treating it well.
This is my job?? No. This is my life. My completely awesome, unpredictable, at times a little crazy, on my own terms life. I am loving every minute of it. I am so excited to announce that Jon and I achieved the Leadership rank of Platinum with Young Living. We could not be more excited for this time in our lives. It is an incredible blessing to be able to earn a living by giving selflessly and helping others. “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglag
This achievement has been long time in the making. We decided to take the day off, celebrate each other and get away for a spontaneous overnight getaway. I can’t remember the last time I left my computer behind for that long. That is a little sad huh? When you love what you do, sometimes you have to force yourself to stop working and have fun living.
We started our day with a celebratory lunch at our FAVORITE sushi restaurant. It isn’t fast food that every rules my thought, it is always sushi. I could eat it for every meal, every day!
We stayed overnight at the new McMenamins property. Or adult Disneyland as we like to call it. We ended the night with a swim in the giant salt water pool. It was a great little getaway.
We came home to find these beautiful flowers on our front door step from our sweet friend Serina. I am a sucker for fresh flowers. Getting surprise flowers makes me incredibly happy.
Food, Food, Food! Who ever said this way of eating is hard to stick to was obviously not doing it right. I never get bored of low carb and gluten free options. It is important to get creative and research. I love looking at different recipes and food magazines. The food choices are endless.
I found a new low carb snack over the last couple of weeks. They are called ProTings. They are protein chips. Just 4 net carbs per bag, no funky ingredients and no bad after taste. I was really impressed. They are low carb, gluten free, kosher, vegan, and non-gmo. For lunch one day, I mixed some tuna with caesar dressing and ate it with the chips. Yum!! Grab some – Here
I shall end my recap with a picture of my two sweet boys. There is no love in this world like that from a pup.