On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Getting in sync with your body is amazing

Getting in sync with your body is amazing. I am now able to predict my periods to the DAY. This may not seem like much (or maybe it's TMI for those sensitive souls out there) but that means I can also predict the other parts of my menstrual cycle.
 I can predict when I'm going to get PMS. (<-- a="" and="" b="" big="" c="" depressed="" food="" get="" i="" it="" on="" one="" out="" p="" s="" take="" that=""> I can predict when I'm going to start craving sugar more.
 I can predict when I'll have less energy, or more energy and then plan my work outs accordingly.

If I can track my menstrual cycle I can plan on what I can eat to stop me from cramping (so badly).
I can even plan what I'm going to wear.
I can predict a bigger number on the scale and I can tell myself to relax.
I can even predict how thirsty I might get.

Listening to my body is definitely key.
I wake up in the morning and I assess, "How do I feel today? Tired? Achy? Energetic? Heavy? Sluggish? Light? Does my hip hurt? Does my right foot feel great?" etc

When I eat I pay attention to how I feel afterwards (learning that after the lactose intolerant reveal)." Does this food make me feel good or horrible afterwards?" " Did my stomach hate that cookie?" "Oh wow I feel great after organic protein bar!"

It's a good practice to have. That way I can remember how I feel and either stay away from certain foods (like sugar and the office candy section) or try something good again (like stretching after swimming).

It may seem like common sense but I don't think I'm alone when I say I just don't do it most of the time. You're so busy, you're always looking for the quick fix or the "it tastes good right now" that we don't stop to pay attention to our bodies.

It's time to pay attention now.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Weigh In.. No, Measure In

I've decided that I would give the scale a break and focus on measurements. Yes, I've done this before with little success but I have a new mind set on it now so I'm going to try again. Every Monday I not only weigh in but I also measure my bust, waist, hips, thighs, calves, and arms. I have a nice history now and it's interesting where I lose inches first, middle and last.

It's no surprise that my waist has been having the toughest time to lose anything but that is the life of a PCOS woman--belly fat is the hardest to get rid of and the most important to lose.

So here it is:

Last Monday's measurements:

Arms: 14.25" (Left), 14.25 (Right)
Thighs: 26" (L), 25.5" (R)
Calves: 15.75" (L), 15.75" (R)

Bust: 45"
Waist: 41.75"
Hips: 47"

Today's measurements:

Arms: 14" (L), 14 (R)
Thighs: 25.75" (L), 25.25" (R)
Calves: 15.75" (L), 15.5" (R)

Bust: 45"
Waist: 41.5"
Big belly + skinny legs= not cool
Hips: 46.5"

I've lost 1/4 inch on my arms, thighs, right calf, and waist. I lost 1/2 inch on my hips. All of this is great news.
The only thing I'm concerned about is the fact that my right and left legs are different sizes. My right leg has been giving trouble forever (plantar fasciitis and hip pain) so I'm sure that has something to do with it. I do worry that I'm losing muscle on my calves. My legs are getting skinnier while my belly is struggling to keep up. I feel like I'm going to turn in to a balloon in the middle with two toothpicks for legs. NOT COOL.

But I'm still extremely happy that I'm seeing results. The pool, and going to the gym 4-5 times a week is really helping.


The fancy pool I swim in
After completing 50 lengths in the pool (which I later learned is 1.13 miles) I changed my tactic last week and started doing intervals in my laps. I spend less time in the pool, work on different strokes and hopefully keep my body guessing which then equals more calories burned. That's the hope anyway. It seems to be working.

I started calorie counting again. Honestly it's the only way to be mindful of what I put in my mouth. I have to be accountable for it and write it down. It makes you think twice when you have to cop out that yes, you did eat that second helping of honey roasted peanuts.

I decided to keep it simple and follow the first "protocol" in the Woman Code book: 'Managing Your Blood Sugar'. Here's a sneak peek of what it says:

They're practicle suggestions that I can easily do. I'm going to stick with that for now. 

Good luck everyone! And good luck with all those holiday parties. I survived my jobs party last night. Woo!


Monday, December 9, 2013

December Weigh In

Gone for a month. What have I been up to? Well a few things:

First of November weigh in: 202.2 lbs 
I finished my job as an Outdoor Educator.
I went on vacation.
I ate a lot of delicious food.
I learned to appreciate wine.
 I got my car impounded.
I got my car back.
Learn(ing) what it means to be lactose intolerant.
I cooked new recipes like my first roasted chicken and butterscotch.
I realized I'd been gaining weight.
 I joined a very fancy gym.
 I started swimming again (yay!)
I started my new job (same organization/ better job).
Had to use snow chains for my little sedan for the first time. Psshh snow...
I started reading again.
I am currently cooking my first butternut squash soup.

First of December weigh in: 203.8 lbs

Sigh.. Why can't I let myself stay in ONE-derland. It's very clear how much I sabotage myself the second I see something under 200 lbs. I am seriously considering getting rid of my scale and focusing on calories, exercise and measurements. I tried this before but wasn't actully diligent about taking care of my food in take. This time I am going to have to be very diligent and not think of a break from the scale is a break from staying on task.

Never give up! Never surrender!
Thinking up new weight loss regime while making soup!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Late Weigh In: How Badly Do I Want It?

Happy Tuesday,

Although I didn't update yesterday I did weigh and measure myself.

Current Weight: 202.2 lbs

Another gain. I'm upset not because I gained another two pounds but because I promised myself that I wouldn't get higher than 201 lbs (my 50 lbs loss mark). I have been flirting with binges and maintaining but now I've gone too far. To confirm my gain I recorded a gain in my legs and thighs. Fractions of inches really make a difference don't they?

Despite that set back I'm actually feeling pretty good compared to previous weeks. My stress has calmed down, I feel like I'm slowly gaining control of my eating and I started calorie counting again yesterday.

 Last week I drove 350 miles (700 miles total) to see one of the most important people in my life. I knew that seeing him would help me tremendously. And it did. Driving that distance was worth it. He helped me calm down, self reflect and remember one of the reasons WHY I want to lose weight and gain health. I guess really having that support group is crucial to any weight loss journey and mine has been lacking or losing it's effect. I guess I wish I had people to do this with me... near me so I don't lose track of my goals. It sometimes really sucks living in the middle of nowhere.

But I did do a couple of hikes last week. It had snowed the week before so the area looked gorgeous and white.
Saddlebag Lake: just outside the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park
 I definitely had a huge reminder of the beautiful place I live in when later that same day this amazing view met me.
Sunset in the Mono Basin. 

A part from pretty pictures, I've been paying attention to what my body is telling me. For a while now I've been dealing with indigestion, bloating, cramps, gas... you name it. I didn't know what exactly was causing it so I focused on relieving my symptoms. More fiber, teas, etc.. But I think I finally found out what the (at least one) reason for all the discomfort. I think I'm becoming lactose intolerant.

I'm not 100% sure of this but I went off dairy for a couple of days and felt fine. Then I tried something with cheese in it, or yogurt and started feeling gassy again. Oh man. This is going to be difficult. But maybe I'll finally get a chance to step away from my obsession with cheese.

As I was reading different blogs I saw a picture of a sign that said "How Bad Do You Want It?" The sign was for Bitch Cakes's marathon in NY but the second I saw it I burst in to tears.

I WANT it. I really do. I want to look in the mirror and see a body I'm proud of. I want to feel great and get results from a physical that says "You're in perfect health... No, you're better than perfect health!" I want to look at my reflection and look at a person that has worked hard to get to where she is but has made it.

I burst in to tears because I'm realizing that I've lost focus on what I want and what I've been striving for. It's time to get back on track

I want to focus on how my body feels. I want to listen to my body more. I was amazed to realize that once I sat down and noticed what my body was telling me I was able to understand what was wrong with my digestion. I also remember how light and great I felt when I did my 4 day cleanse earlier. Eating all those veggies and complex carbs made me feel amazing.

I want to pay attention to aches and pains and address them instead of simply trying to mask them with pills or ignoring them.

I want to focus on food. I want to try to cook and eat foods that can help me feel better, not worse in the long run. Instead of simple sugars that taste good when I eat them but make me feel horrible afterwards.

I want to pay attention to my body and what it craves in forms of exercise. Do I want to go for a hike? Do I want to stay inside? Do I just want to dance around in my room? What is it body? I want to make sure I vary my exercises and get the most from my exercises but still.

How do you pay attention to your body? How do you address it?

Have a great week and happy November!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Weigh In: Stress, Stress, Stress

Happy Monday everyone,

This morning I woke up with a sheet of white outside the window and continuing snow throughout the morning. Thankfully I knew that was going to happen and so I didn't fret too much. I weighed myself and sighed.

Current Weight: 200.6 lbs

I've been going back and forth between 198-200 lbs these last two months. Oh plateaus, why do you continue to plague me?

In reality I have been incredibly stressed out these last couple of months, first because I was nervous and self sabotaging once I hit under 200 lbs. Through October I suddenly realized I had one month left at my job and I wasn't sure where I was going to go next. Stress eating commenced.

Whaaa! Where to live??
Starting this weekend I finally got a job offer from my current employer to move to L.A and become a coordinator. I've always wanted to live in a metropolitan city. However working for a non-profit organization means I have an incredibly limited income. I've been stressing out to the point of tears looking at housing in L.A. and realizing that my only options are a tiny 200 ft "bachelor" apartment in the ghetto or sharing a room with a bunch of college students. I'd rather have the ghetto.
One of the other things that have just been eating at me is that I'm completely DONE with shared housing. I can not STAND living with other people that I don't choose to live with. I've learned my lesson. With this current job I became so anti-social, chagrined in having to share housing again, that now--months later and after calming down-- I'm lonely (my own fault. LOL).

Why can't you wash a dish after you use it??
I have to remind myself that with this new job, although they are limited I actually have CHOICES in my living situation. Something I'm realizing I've never really had. I've always worked in areas where housing is provided. Hence the whole point that I couldn't choose my roommates and therefore lost complete tolerance for living with others.

In my stressed and depressed/ lonely state I realize that I need a vacation. LOL


No calorie counting. I've been eating "little snacks" that I'm sure are adding up. No wonder I haven't been able to lose much.

Lost 3 lbs but only .25 inch? Is that right?
I started a new workout routine with walking/strength training intervals. I kept noticing this summer that although I was losing numbers on the scale my measurements were hardly moving. I managed to lose over 15 lbs this summer, yet I lost about an 1 inch total around my body. It just didn't seem right and so I did some research about how many inches you should be losing depending on how many pounds. If I had been losing FAT I should have lost at least 4 inches from my body.

I became scared that this whole time I had been losing muscle and water weight. So I'm hoping that this new interval work out can burn the RIGHT calories and actually shed some fat from my body.

I'm still trying to follow the Woman Code book protocol. Although my food choices have been horrible I've at least been paying attention to my body. The most amazing thing that happened this month of me paying attention to my body is that I'm now better able to understand WHY I feel tired, why I crave sugar when I do and I was able to predict when my menstrual cycle would start!
Don't judge but I added tabs all over the book. LOL

This may seem silly but my periods have always been unpredictable. Being able to plan for it and say "My period will start the 21st of October" and suddenly wake up that 21st and ta da! That's pretty amazing.


I need to follow the Woman Code protocol more strictly. The first thing it asks me to do is to stabilize my blood sugar. I think I'm going to focus on that this week. The book has simple suggestions on how I can do this. I'm going to re-read that section and try to focus on just that this week.

I need to stay away from the scale. Since August I've suddenly become a scale junkie. I find myself stepping on the scale multiple times a day! It needs to stop. It's no wonder I'm freaking out and losing optimism.

I need to drink more water. I've noticed I've been waking up feeling disoriented. Clear sign of dehydration since I live in high elevation.

I'm going to continue my interval work out. I downloaded a new app on my phone called Gymboss. It's pretty much a timer specific to interval work outs: so if I wanted to do 30 second intervals for 20 minutes I can set that up and let it run. Every 30 seconds it beeps loudly and starts the next 30 second interval. Simple and perfect for a person who
uses their phone to track workouts already. When I first used it I had Runkeeper, Gymboss, and Pandora running at the same time. LOL.

Time to de-stress! I won't be moving to L.A. until December. I currently live too far from the city to visit and do most of the required research, so for now I'll save money for a move in, work on my credit score and look up fun things to do in the city.

Good luck everyone. I'll do my best. In the end my skin is looking better, my body is showing signs of healthier curves, and I just got a full time job doing something I love! Now if I could just reach that 60 lbs loss mark~


Monday, October 21, 2013

Update.... after I sleep

Happy Monday. I finished work about one hour ago and just finished lunch (frittata slice, bulgur, and peanut butter.. weird I know). Haven't gotten a chance to weigh or measure. Will have to do so tomorrow. I'm about to fall asleep.

So I leave you with a picture of fall colors I took this morning while doing a small hike with my boss.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weigh In: Celebrating with truffles??

Albondigas and cider. Yumm!
I had a celebratory dinner last night. That was definitely not part of the plan of eating light this weekend. I had a cup of albondigas (meatball) soup, a handful of chips and salsa, a little less than half a fish burrito, a quarter serving of rice and beans, the best hot cider I've tasted and for dessert I bought a truffle and dark chocolate walnuts. Apparently that, and my lunch of a kale and grilled chicken salad, a snack of peanut butter and a green apple, and a breakfast of yogurt, fruit and fiber bar were enough to make me gain 2 pounds over night.

Current Weight: 199.0

I weighed myself Sunday morning too and I weighed 197. Crazy how a day's worth of food can change your body. I know that some of it could be water weight etc but wow. Let's just say I wasn't thrilled this morning. HOWEVER, I measured myself and I lost half an inch on my hips, half an inch on my belly, and fractions of inches off my thighs and arms. Some of these inch fractions I'd gained and re-lost and some of them are new losses which is awesome. My over all body measurements currently are:

Bust: 44"
Underbust: 38"
Waist: 40"
Hips: 45.5"
The dreaded arm fat.

Thighs: 25"
Calves: 15.5"
Arms: 14"

The difference between my calves and my arms are that my calves are almost pure muscle and my arms are almost pure fat. Why is arm fat so hard to get rid of??

So it's a bittersweet morning. In the end I'm still losing fat which is great but the scale isn't showing it. I know that measurements are more important than the number on the scale but can't they once agree on something?

My goal to get to an Overweight BMI (around 185-188 lbs) by the end of the year is getting trickier the longer I'm stuck in the late 190's. I was stuck here before. I then gained 15 pounds and didn't lose it for two years.

I'm not going to let that happen again. I need to figure out a way to boost weight loss and get away from the late 190's.


I hardly worked out this week. The cleanse at the start of the week left me energy depleted and I became exhausted after hanging out with 22 ten year olds for a week. I went on a bike ride and a hike this weekend and that was awesome.
The view of Mono Lake from the trail.

I have been feeling the urge to go running. But I don't think my hip has healed yet and so I've been scared of trying. I've finally started doing hip bursitis physical therapy exercises I found online. I'm not sure if I have bursitis but having to online diagnose myself that's the closest to the symptoms I have. My hip has been feeling fine. It was a little sore after my 4 mile hike yesterday but nothing too bad.

I haven't been calorie counting. After the 4 day cleanse I confess I went crazy with carbs and sugar one afternoon. I calmed down a bit, but then again I ate a truffle last night. I had been stressing over the prospects of a new job and although I haven't gotten a definite YES yet I got hopeful news yesterday. I guess I haven't learned not to celebrate with food. :(


I need to drink more water. Now that I'm using a space heater every night it makes me dehydrated faster.
I need to start calorie counting and working out consistently this week. I need to get off this plateau!
I have 3 weeks to get to 191 lbs-- my 60 lbs loss mark. I need to get there by Halloween! In order to do that I need to lose 3 lbs a week. I don't know how realistic that is but I can definitely try my hardest!

Wish me luck everyone. And I hope this fall has been good to you. I'm just cold all the time.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Transforming myself trough my Skin Beauty Regimen

On Monday I started a 4 day cleanse that is supposed to help my liver and hormones, suggested by my Woman Code book. The cleanse was pretty much a combination of salads, whole grains and beans and fish. I would eat a fruit salad in the morning, quinoa with black beans and a fresh greens salad in the afternoon, and vegetable soup in the evening. I would eat extra salad or fruit for a snack in the middle of the day. The cleanse had different menus and a few options to what you could eat that week. Since I was in the middle of work (and I live with the group that week) I just pre-made everything Monday morning and brought it with me.
I haven't been able to put it down.

It was hard to keep up the cleanse not because the food wasn't fulfilling or didn't taste good but because the group had amazing meals prepared and the weater was freezing! I don't want to eat a cold bok choy and green apple salad when it's 30 degrees outside AND I'm eating it out in the field. Brrrr!

I did ok until the last night. I couldn't bring myself to finish the last of my tasteless veggie soup and instead had a hot dog,corn and salad. I know, I know, why did I cave right before I finished? I was getting tired of my food. I know that it isn't a good idea to eat the same thing every day. But since I didn't have the option to cook for myself through out the week it was eat the same thing or eat a hot dog. By the end of the week I chose hot dog.
HOWEVER! Although I didn't follow it to a T (which I never do) I did see some improvement. I hardly worked out this week but I woke up each morning feeling light and good. A skin rash I've been periodically getting for a year now had started up again last week. With this cleanse and with me changing my moisturizer to jojoba oil it's gone! That is soooo amazing!

My face a mess this summer.
One thing I've been working on is trying to find different things to help my skin. This summer I suddenly started getting huge, eczemic-like skin irritations all over my face. It scared me. I had been getting periodic rashes and mysterious irritations all over my body for over a year but never my face. And for years I've been struggling with Hidradenitis suppurativa which is the worse pain I've ever experienced. It's also the main catalyst for me to finally start losing weight. I'm reminded of this painful condition every day since my body is covered in it's scars.

SO, because I know exactly how horrible and serious skin conditions can be I pay attention and freak out if anything happens to my skin that isn't normal. When I started learning more about PCOS I found out that skin sensitivity is one of the symptoms. Now reading Woman Code I'm finding out WHY and HOW my skin is affected by my hormone imbalances. With this new knowledge I've been adding and substituting to my already extensive skin regimen.

Let me give you a taste of my regimen collection. LOL. Each of these are things I currently use to help my very sensitive skin.

1. Coconut oil: I poured coconut oil to this glass jar and use it periodically to moisturize my hair and my hands now that the weather is getting colder.

2. Natural face scrub: This scrub is a product of Lush cosmetics. It's called "Angels on Bare Skin" and it has relaxing ingredients like rose, lavender, and almond. It's very soothing and leaves my face feeling soft. I changed to this from the apricot scrub I had because the harsh alcohol chemicals in the St. Ives scrub were irritating my skin.

3. Water: Hydrating is key to making sure my body and especially my skin stays healthy. Yes I sound like an advertisement but I've noticed it really works!

4. Vitamin E gel tablets: This is very new for me. I have started taking them as a pill but also open the gel tablet and spread the liquid on affected skin areas. I go straight to the affected area instead of wait for my body to absorb the vitamin and eventually reach the problem spot.

5. Salt scrub: I JUST made this scrub last night. Epsom salts, olive oil, a few drops of lavender essential oil and a couple of drops of tea tree oil to help with rough skin like my elbows and heels of my feet. I use it in the shower and not only does it exfoliate but moisturizes my skin, all without me using extra chemicals I can't pronounce. 

6. Jojoba oil: This is my far my new favorite addition. I bought this jojoba oil over a week ago and added a few drops of lavender essential oil. I lather my entire body with it after I shower and it's made my skin feel so amazing, my rashes have disappeared and doesn't leave my skin feeling oily or shiny! For the Win!

7. Eucerin lotion and sun block: This is the original moisturizer and sunblock I bought when I first found out I (probably) have eczema. Since sun and wind triggers it -- and I work outside in sunny and windy weather -- this mild moisturizing sunblock is a godsend. It makes my skin look white but it's helped. 

8. Hibiclens cleanser: Hibiclens is an antiseptic cleanser doctors use before surgery. Because of my skin's incredible ability to get infected I use this cleanser in areas where I still have acne. The areas are small compared to the war zones I had during high school and college but the cleanser is very effective without torturing my skin in the process. This one is doctor prescribed.

9. Cetaphil cleanser: This was another face cleanser I changed to this summer when I learned I have eczema. It's mild and I massage it over my face to clean it in the morning and night. I use this one interchangeably with the Lush face scrub (#2). 

10. Face lotion: Another Lush cosmetics product called "Skin Drink". I bought this one when my face was still a red, irritated and flaky mess this July. Although I'm transitioning in to minimal ingredient products like jojoba oil I still use this moisturizer for my face. It has minimal chemicals and soothing ingredients like chamomile. It's also a heavier lotion that keeps my skin hydrated longer. It's transformed my face back to it's former glory and I'll use it until it's gone! I love it.

11. Scented candle: No, I don't put the wax on my skin. I'm learning that stress makes my skin break out in  to a crazy mess. Since I'm currently in the middle of finding out if I'm going to get my dream job or if I'm going to be unemployed in a month's time stress is definitely at full force right now. I use this wonderfully smelling candle to calm me down and force myself to slow down. My skin is grateful for it, plus I love the smell of these hand made candles from Idyllwild, CA. 

Some of these moisturizers aren't cheap. Lush is a great company but a bit pricey. The jojoba oil I'm falling in love with costs at least $15 for 8 oz (and that's cheap). The rest of it though isn't bad. I bought a giant container of coconut oil at Costco and use it to cook with. The Cetaphil and Eucerin products are found anywhere and don't cost more than $15. The vitamin E comes in a variety of amounts and prices. The salt scrub I made is incredibly cheap. Essential oils are pricey but they last a long time since you only need a few drops at a time. You can buy a scented candle at a dollar store. 
I'm becoming obsessed with the idea of Do-it-yourself products. I had a lot of fun mixing the jojoba oil and making my salt scrub. I want to try learning how to make my own face masks and maybe lotions. I like knowing what chemicals go in to my skin. I like the idea of minimizing processed products for my skin as well as for food. 
I felt great during my cleanse. I want to try it again. 

Enjoying the Idyllwild sun last weekend. :)
I wish everyone a great weekend. And please take care of your skin! 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quick Check In

I'm in the middle of a crazy busy week and haven't been able to post my weigh in. However I did weigh myself yesterday and the scale said I gained three pounds, while the measuring tape said I lost an inch on my waist. One of those instances when the scale isn't everything.

I'm in the middle of trying out a 4 day cleanse. I already messed up and ate an Oreo but other than that I think it's going well. The food I have to eat is all whole grains and vegetables. I'll report later on how that works.

Have a great week everyone! I'm trying to stay enthusiastic. The storm is coming in to the Eastern Sierra mountains and it looks like it's going to snow... It proves what a native southern Californian I am when I say I do not like snow and I'm not digging this cold wind.

But a las, I will make due.

Good Luck!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Struggling with Positive Body Image

More than a weight loss blog, I've been using this blog to try and become a healthier person. Healthy means physically as well as psychologically and emotionally. Although the scale has not moved as far as I would have hoped these last almost 4 years many things have gotten better.

My self esteem has improved quite a bit (I still have a lot to go so certain friends remind me).
My self worth has blossomed immensely. (YES, I do deserve better pay. Yes, I should be taken seriously. Yes, I am a professional and a good person.)
I can look at myself in the mirror naked... and be comfortable with what I see. (Look, it almost looks like I have a waist now!)
I am less self conscious when meeting others and don't always automatically wonder if my weight will affect their first impression of me. (I sometimes wonder if I have something in my teeth, or if I should stand or sit when I shake their hand.)

I have come a long way these last few years. I have a lot more to go. I still wonder if my weight is making a bad impression. I am still looking for that career that will pay my bills and I don't have to worry if I can afford this coffee at Starbucks. And I am still no where near ready to be a nude model, and there is only one person allowed to see me in my birthday suit and that's the person I share my bed with.

Most of all, I am still unhappy with my body and I struggle to accept it. I want to feel happy being in my own skin and owning my curves and my curly hair, but every time I read an article on how big women (and men) should be happy the way they are I instinctively disagree.

I agree that negative comments, self hatred, unhealthy diets or comparing yourself to others is wrong. However I can't agree with just accepting my body as is. The whole point of my journey is that my body is unhealthy. My weight has given me a disorder that has made my life hell. My bad habits affect me mentally and physically and having these extra pounds are taking years from my life. I AM NOT OK WITH THAT. I cannot accept that.

I can work on accepting that I am not ugly (something else I'm still working on.) or completely unattractive. I can understand that having confidence in oneself is necessary. I can "love" myself. But loving my love handles? No. Loving that my measurements are 44"x 41" x 46", aka a box and therefore no womanly curves? No.  Loving that my arms are still not strong enough to lift me or that my belly fat is guaranteeing future heart problems and diabetes? NO.

And if I didn't have these dissatisfactions I wouldn't work to get better. I would let myself live with PCOS, a pile of skin problems and diabetes. NO!

So although I want to accept myself as I am... Although I want to be happy being me... Although I keep looking for articles to better myself and my body image, self esteem, self worth etc I just can't be satisfied with my body as is. I am not saying that I want to morph my body in to a Barbie form, or that I compare myself to others. But despite no longer cringing away from the naked girl in the mirror, I want more. What I see is potential. Potential to be better. I'm not there yet.

So the question I keep having is how can I get to be that 'happy in my own skin' person while I continue to work at improving my body and my health? How can I do both? I don't know.


Weigh In: Success and a book review

Happy Monday everyone! Although I am currently lying down due to a chocolate overdose and time of the month discomfort I was happily surprised this morning when I weighed in.

Current Weight: 196.8 (-3.6 lbs!)

Last week I was disappointed because I had been gaining weight and re-entered the 200's at 200.4 lbs. I made sure to re-start counting calories and did some form of exercise daily. Who knew that would work? I lost 3.6 lbs and, until this moment, have been feeling pretty good. LOL


Calorie counting really does keep me more honest and help me not over indulge. I made a plan to stay under 1500 calories... that didn't work but keeping under 2000 calories was still successful.


Mon: 1504
Tues: 1816
Wed: 1767
Thurs: 1770
Fri: 1630
Sat: 1674
Sun: 1871

Last Monday's walk consisted of hanging out in Yosemite Valley.
Not bad at all. I definitely indulged in chocolate a couple of times this weekend so I was happy to see that I was able to not go over my calorie in take because of it.

Now workouts:

Mon: 2.5 hours of random walking adventures in Yosemite National Park
Tues: 4 mile walk
Wed: toning workout
Thurs: toning and a mile hike
Fri: 2 mile bike ride, toning and pilates
Sat: zilch
Sun: 4 mile hike/walk

Little by little I'm learning that doing a few minutes of cardio is better than nothing and that spending 15-30 minutes of a toning work out, dancing around, or ANYTHING in my room is better than being too lazy or tired to do it.

One thing that has been motivating me is Alisa Vitti's book Woman Code 

The moment I received this book in the mail I have not put it down. It's exceeded my expectations. I've been dying for someone or something to explain to me what exactly is wrong with my body. I've wanted someone to tell me what it mean when they say that PCOS gives you a variety of symptoms and how I can fix it myself.
 Alisa Vitti gets it and has a GREAT way of explaining how my body works, what has gone wrong, and most importantly of all what I have to do to FIX it. I like that this book is specific to a woman's needs and has a lot of information for more than just PCOS but skin conditions, menstrual problems even constipation. I still haven't started really implementing a lot of what she suggests you do but I've started small. I drink a glass of water after waking and it has helped bowel movement. I have eaten lighter dinners, heavier lunches and protein filled breakfasts and I feel like I have more energy throughout the day. I'm excited to try out more things. 

I definitely recommend Alisa Vitti's book, or just joining her page on facebook if you have problems with your period, have unexplained skin conditions or want to learn about our bodies and why we need to detox them and a way to do it that doesn't involve laxatives. 

I can't wait to read more and I'm hopeful this will help me feel better if not lose weight too.


I want to start Alisa Vitti's 4 day cleanse. It's a specific food intake menu for four days to help my body cleanse toxins. From there I would start integrating certain veggies, grains and protein at different times of the day to balance my food intake. I still get to choose what I want to eat though. No hard boiled egg for me, thanks.

I need to drink more water.

I really wish I could live somewhere where I can take a yoga class. Everywhere I read (and I read A LOT of articles on health) everyone recommends yoga. Since I can't run I want to try something different. In the mean time I'm going to stick with toning, strength training and alternate means of cardio.

I'm getting interested in learning ways of making my own skin moisturizer and cleansers. This whole talk about too many chemicals going in to my body through lotions and the fact that my skin is the most sensitive organ in existence I really want to learn more about natural skin care. Has anyone tried using jojoba or coconut oil as a moisturizer, or aloe vera? How do you feel? Any thoughts on making your own facial scrubs using epsom salts? Let me know!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Strutting my stuff

Yesterday I went down to Mammoth Lakes and worked on a few things online. I had wanted to bring my bike down and cycle through some of Mammoth's awesome trails and bike lanes but in my hurry to head out I forgot to get my bike! How silly of me. So instead I decided that I would power walk one of the lanes to get some good cardio in.

I started at the start of a trail called the Lake Basin Park trail. I had wanted to reach the lake at the end of the trail and then saw that it was 2 miles long uphill. My motivation deflated and my worry over my hip increased. But I told myself to keep going and see how I felt.

As I walked I started feeling better. It was a chilly evening. I didn't start my walk until around 4:30pm. The wind was picking up and the sun was already starting to hide behind the mountains.

This is what power walking in Mammoth looks like:

After a mile and a quarter in I was happily surprised at how well my pace was going.

The view of the mountains were gorgeous in the evening light.

At the 1.75 mile marker I was completely chilled by the wind but elated over the sight of fall colors and the fact that I was almost at the lake; my destination.

By this time I knew that I would make it to the lake. My pace was quick and sure. I kept motivating myself by repeating this mantra:

"Keep it walking. Keep it going. I'M COLD! Keep it walking. Keep it going!" It worked.
I knew I was almost there when this roaring waterfall came to view.

I made it to Twin Lakes! The view was amazing and I was so happy that I didn't give up half way. I was also surprised at how lazy I was becoming. 2 miles used to be nothing. I couldn't believe I almost didn't make it up here.Yes it was up hill the whole time, but still. The beautiful views a long the way definitely helped.

The wind was really strong by this time and my face and hands were icicles. I took this picture and headed immediately back down the trail.

I was exhausted and hungry as I walked the 2 miles back to my car. I kept making dinner menus in my head as I walked. The second I got home it took me less than 5 minutes to start boiling water for my ultimate dinner masterpiece:

Sauteed asparagus with lemon marinated chicken and rosemary, over boiled barley and mixed vegetables. Delicious!

I ended up over eating barley. Who knew that a cup of barley would be a giant amount of food... or that it would taste so good? This was my first time cooking barley by the way. 

I'm so happy I didn't chicken out on this walk. It felt great! And my hip did ok. I experimented with different gaits to see if one step felt better than another. I need to figure this out.

Have a great week!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Weigh In: Grim to Great!

I almost didn't make my Monday Weigh In. But I'm here! And here we go.

Sept: Ice cream craving month!
The month of September marks the month I fell a part. I stopped calorie counting. My workouts were inconsistent. Zero energy. Sugar binges. It wasn't great. My weight shows it.

Current weight: 200.4 lbs (+1 lb from last week and up 3 lbs from the beginning of the month)

I'm un-doing my hard work! I finally woke up today realizing that I was in a funk and I finally forced enough energy to do something about it. Today was a really good change. I feel better already.

Giant funnel cake last weekend.
I attempted to re-start calorie counting. I only did three days, all of them ended up being over 2,000 calories. Isn't it amazing how easily you can just over eat. Three dates here, one latte there and suddenly you're 700 calories over. Hell.

As for work outs. I have been working out. Mainly short walks, stretches and bike rides. Most of them added up to 150-300 calories per day. Not a lot. It starting to get clear how I gained so much weight huh?



The main reason I started indulging so much is because this month I had visitors! The first two weeks of September I had one guest and I showed him to all the eateries. This third week of September I visited my family, AND I had a visitor waiting for me when I returned to the mountain. A lot of fun as well as a lot of calories.

I went to the LA county fair when I visited home. I've always loved visiting that fair. It's held in my home town so it's easy. There are so many eateries there and over priced carnival rides that I don't even look twice at. I'm there for the exhibits! My favorite this year is the animation exhibit. Called something like "From pencil to digital: Animation through the years." It was amazing! From the first Disney cartoons to Pixar, to Anime, to Stop motion animation. It was great. I got to hang out with Kung Fu Panda. They also had interactive sections for the new "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" movie.

One thing that I consumed a lot more than I usually do this month is... BEER.

I am NOT a big beer drinker. I never liked it. I live near Mammoth Lakes and their microbrewery has been the only brew I actually like. So I've been consuming it more. When my friend visited this weekend we actually experimented with different beers. And lo and behold I liked ALL of them. Good for my beer taste buds, bad for my calorie count.

 Like I mentioned, today was a good day. Light at the end of the sugar coma induced tunnel so far.

 The first snowfall of the season happened Saturday night! I had my day off today so I zoomed up to Yosemite National Park (remember I live at the entrance to the park this season) and witnessed the left overs of the snow before it melts. It was gorgeous. I didn't take a lot of pictures of it. I wanted to just enjoy it. But I did take this one. This is in Tuolumne meadows this morning. Enough snow still on the ground. It was beautiful. This picture of me isn't. LOL

One last thing I found last night was Alisa Vitti's website floliving.com  and decided to order her book Womancode. The point of Vitti's program is to help women with PCOS and other hormonal/ menstrual problems heal themselves using food and etc. This is very specific toward my problems. I've been dying to get some sort of guide for my disorder since I can't see an endocrinologist right now. This seemed like the next best thing. I don't trust "3 month programs" especially if they lay out a specific pre-made plan to help you lose weight-- you know what kind of diet programs I'm talking about-- because they're expensive and I never follow them. I HATE people telling me exactly what to eat. I rebel instantly. That's why I like taking suggestions and learning the science behind things before trying it out. I'm not just going to eat a glass of orange juice and one hard boiled egg for breakfast because it's in your plan. Sorry.  But I liked the background Vitti detailed when I saw her on TED talks so I thought I'd give her a chance and get her book.

Check it out. It's pretty interesting. If you can appreciate (or tolerate) her "self loving" humor what she says is pretty interesting and it makes sense to me. *shrugs* We'll see.

I need to re-lose the 3 pounds I gained! I'm going to attempt to lose the 3 lbs in two weeks. Short notice I know but if I can get back on the wagon and work on it I'm SURE I can lose 1.5 lbs a week. That's not too much to ask.
Re-start calorie counting and stick around 1200-1400 calories
Consistent work outs. Making excuses about my hip hurting is not going to cut it anymore. There are plenty of activities I could be doing that won't affect it; like cycling and strength training and pilates.
Drink more water!
Read Vitti's book and do my best to find more information on my condition. The more I learn about PCOS the more I can do to help myself!

Have a great week! I'm so glad I've regained my drive to continue on my weight loss journey! Good luck!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A story: I Finished my Food LAST!

Yesterday, my boss took me and my co-worker out to lunch.

It was a way to say goodbye to my co-worker since she's moving on to another position and a way to have a constructive feedback meeting on how the season has gone for all three of us. All over lunch. Not bad.

He drove us to a fancy mountain resort (there are a lot of these around here) that I hadn't been to before. The place was nearly empty and very beautiful. We sat next to a window looking at an outside patio that was meant for weddings and other such events. I wouldn't mind getting married there let me tell you. LOL

Looking at the menu the first thing I noticed was that they had a Reuben sandwich. Ever since a Nebraskan introduced me to the wonders of sauerkraut I have loved reuben sandwiches. I tried to look at the rest of the menu but my mind was set.

The boss ordered a beef burrito and my co-worker a tuna melt. I ordered my reuben. We started our little meeting and then the food arrived. The burrito was huge with a red sauce poured over it. The tuna sandwich was fully loaded with tuna and a giant side of thin fries. My reuben was the thinnest of the bunch but no less filling and my side of fries rivaled my co-workers.

I started eating and from the start I noticed that the sandwich was delicious but that my co-worker and boss were devouring their food. I actually felt like I had to hurry to catch up to them. This was an odd feeling because I'm the fastest eater I know and now I felt like I was too slow. The boss man took some fries from both our plates (which I was happy to give up) and I was still eating slower than both of them. Before I knew it the server had taken the other two, completely empty plates and I still had a quarter of a sandwich left and a small handful of fries.

I felt like I was taking too long but I didn't want to rush it. I KNEW that I was eating at an ok pace and I was happily surprised that I have slowed down my eating even if it was a little bit. I wanted to enjoy my food.  I didn't really want the fries anymore. I realized fries don't really taste good without ketchup and that was another revealing fact. I shouldn't eat fries if they don't taste good by themselves.

I purposely took my time eating the last bit of my sandwich and left some of the fries behind. The second I finished the boss paid for our meals (thank you boss) and we left.

As we were leaving I felt elated. As if I had somehow reached a new threshold. I was no longer a speedy eater. I now can eat at a pace where I can enjoy my food. I was able to say no to fries. I can definitely work on eating slower and leaving more food behind when I'm full. I kind of forced myself to eat the last bit of reuben even though I would have been fine without it. But one step at a time.

I didn't care that my co-workers were in a rush to get out of there. Why? It was such a beautiful place with the wooden cabin feel and good food. They both knew the server so why not chit chat with him in the few minutes it would take me to finish my meal? We were there to have a meeting so why not continue it? Let me eat. Thank you.

I felt great. I finished my food last. I need to work on this. This is good. Have a good week everyone!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Weigh In: It's official--I can't run anymore

Happy Monday everyone,

With meals like these...
Yes, I've been gone for a few weeks. I admit I hadn't been counting calories and I've been doing random workouts but not tracking them as seriously as I usually do. It kind of shows in my weigh in this morning.

Current Weight: 199.4 lbs

Eeek. It's not that bad really. I've been going back and forth between 199-197 lbs. My measurements are pretty much the same. So I'm not as worried as I have been before. But I don't like that I'm so close to 200 lbs. I need to make sure to stay in ONE-derland. I'm hoping I can get close to 195 by the end of the month.


Again, I haven't calorie counted and I haven't been tracking my work outs. One thing that I tried to do last week is go for a very short run.

I ran for 0.9 mile in a little under 12 minutes. Short distance and a steady pace. What happened afterwards, and all the day later? My right hip was in complete pain. I couldn't walk without pain. I,
sadly can't go to a doctor right now. Thank god for Ibuprofen and anti-inflammatorys. I took a few and I feel much better now. However, the second I try to run again it'll come back. This sucks. It also happens if I do a long hike but not as badly as a half mile run.

I need to figure out the best way to continue working out without agitating my right leg. That poor leg is the plantar fasciitis foot, the one with a horrible hip and a sensitive knee. Talk about needed to get that checked huh. Sigh


I need to start calorie counting again
I've been skimping on my water drinking.  I need to make sure I drink a ton.
My main goal right now is to get to 195 lbs by the end of the month.
I need to find a cardio work out that won't affect my legs as much. I need them for work and for life. I want to make sure I have them in working order for as long as possible.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I've been a little AWOL but I'm still here

Two weeks with a visitor pretty much my calorie counting out the window. This week has been no different. I have been weighing myself and my lack of discipline is starting to show. I'll make a proper weigh in on Monday but just know I'm here. Struggling a little bit but here.

I did have amazing adventure after adventure last week and was able to play tourist to this gorgeous area I currently live in. I have tons of pictures to share and I'll start by sharing one now:

This is me at Rainbow Falls, this beautiful water fall just outside of Mammoth Lakes. The mist actually did make multiple rainbows. What a beautiful day that was.

Anyway. Real update later. For now I'll do my best to regain my self respect and walk away from un-needed "snacks". *Shakes head*

Also... I've been contemplating graduate school a lot lately. I'm still reluctant to return to school but the idea keeps popping up. Who knows, I might end up becoming a student again. Eeek!

Until later,


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quicky Update: Yosemite Smoke

Having a good week and I've been mindful of my food in take although I have a guest right now and I always think of all the eateries I can take people to. I'm turning in to my grandmother; going on vacation? Where's the best food? *Shakes head*

But I did a mid week weigh in and I'm still in ONE-derland and going down. Yay!

We've been doing a lot of little hikes and walks and staying active.
This picture is one of the little walks we took just a quarter mile away from the east Yosemite entrance. You can see smoke covering the view of Mt. Dana in the background. Call us horrible people but we both thought the area smelled great, like a campfire.

Going to keep my promise to myself and lose that one pound to stay in ONE-derland. No one can stop me but me.

Have a great rest of the week/weekend!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Weigh In: Surviving Binge Week and reaching ONE-derland!

Happy Monday everyone! I woke this morning feeling more normal than I had most of last week. Reason being that last week was a VERY heaving eating week. I was overindulging left and right and it didn't help that the group I was working with were these awesome men with big appetites for meat and sugar.. just like me. Eeek! BUT I tried my best to at least stay active and here are the results:

Current Weight: 198.4 lbs (-1.6 lbs)

I DID IT! Despite my heavy eating I reached ONE-derland! I was so worried that I had ruined everything this week and yet I still managed to lose weight! I honestly think that all the work I did the week before just cascaded over to this week but I don't mind! This is awesome. My measurements showed that my thigh flab is still going down slightly although I did gain a bit on my waist. It really shows you what was going on. I don't mind though because my hips went down a fraction of an inch! Woop!


Here's where I have to fess up how much I ate last week. Meat, tortillas, ice cream, cheese and bread. It all added up.
How can you say no to a catered baby shower like this one?

Mon: 1575
Tues: 1597
Wed: 1514
Thurs: 2129
Fri: 2184
Sat: 2050
Sun: 1659

You can easily see the days that I ate with the group. I did it myself and I was noticing my self sabotaging behavior. I don't even feel bad about it anymore. I almost expect it to happen; every time I get close to reaching a new threshold I suddenly can't control my cravings. I know my behavior. I noticed what I was doing. I told myself, "Fine, if you're going to overindulge because you're scared than do it right and eat things you love and not things just because they're there." I'm not proud of this behavior and I am not planning on going on binge fests for fun but I knew what I was doing and I had to own up to it. If I restrained myself too much I knew that I would throw in the towel and that's not allowed right now. I'm too close to my goals!

Kayaking here. A gorgeous place to work out.
Now work outs.

Mon: Strength training
Tues: 3.8 mile Bike ride
Wed: zilch
Thurs: 2 mile walk
Fri: strength training/ 1 mile hike/ 2 mile walk
Sat: Kayaking/ 2 mile hike
Sun: 3.9 mile bike ride

I definitely varied my work outs this week. I went kayaking this weekend! The last time I went kayaking I tried it in the ocean and I was very frustrated because the guy didn't take the time to teach me how to steer the damn thing so I kept going in the wrong direction. This time, since I had been teaching kids how to paddle canoes forever I knew what to do. It was a great feeling. :)


Can I just say it again: I MADE IT TO ONE-derland! I did it! Which means that from now on the main goal is... to STAY in ONE-derland.
I need to drink more water.
It's time to go back to my calorie in take of 1200-1400 calories.
I need to vary my workouts more and continue to strength train more often and longer reps.
I have a guest these next couple of weeks and I have a tendency of over eating and eating out a lot when I'm hosting so I need to watch that this week too.
Now the main goal is to reach the 60 lbs loss mark. I have 7.4 lbs to lose in order to get there. It can be done!! I'm hoping to reach the 60 lbs mark by October.
My more immediate goal is to reach 197 lbs by next Monday.

I hope everyone's weekend was awesome and I hope everyone has a great last week of August! Good Luck!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Weigh In: Too much scale and a birthday weekend

End of the bday night's bonfire
Yesterday I spent the day in "civilization". It takes me three hours to get to the nearest city and I was craving it like mad. All I wanted the morning after my birthday was to go to a Barnes n Nobles, read a book while I sipped a mocha frapuccino from Starbucks and people watch a little. I could have done that in the town that's only 30 minutes away. They even have a Starbucks. But that's not what I wanted. I wanted to get away. So I did. I drove those 3 hours and I had Starbucks coffee and food inside a BnN. I people watched. I ate a sandwich from Subway. I grocery shopped. And I didn't work out at all. I was so paranoid about gaining weight when I finally returned home around 10pm, that although I was exhausted from a long day, although I had been paying super close attention to my food in take I brought out the scale to see how I did and I couldn't sleep knowing that I didn't work out at all.

I realized that for the last week I had been weighing myself multiples times a day. A day! I need to take a step back from the scale. But this morning I woke up and weighed myself one last time, nervous and sure that venti frap had made me gain 5 pounds. Here are the results.

Current Weight: 200.0 lbs (-2 lbs from last Monday)

I was able to maintain my birthday weight! After two nights of decadent food I made it! I lost 2 pounds since last week. I made it to 50 lbs lost. I am one pound away from ONE-derland! All in perfect timing for my 27th birthday! Last week was a BIG week for me. So is it surprising that I was super paranoid about my weight and my measurements? Does it make sense now why I was watching the scale, my calories and my activity like a hawk? I wanted to get to my birthday goal. I was DETERMINED to make it. And I did.

Now I'm incredibly tired of the scale. But I'm not done yet.

Made myself a birthday salad. Yum!

Before I go on about my next goals let's see how my vigilance looks like. Calories first.

Mon: 1378
Tue: 1474
Wed: 1500
Thurs: 1407
Fri: 1370
Sat: 2565 (Birthday)
Sun: 1395

Most of the week I was able to stay within my 1200-1400 scale. I obviously went over on my birthday and I realized it was all mainly alcohol. Who knew that one glass of wine, one bottle of beer and a thin slice of birthday cheese cake would add up to so much? It was worth it though. And I danced like crazy afterwards to make up for it. LOL
Starting my birthday hike :)

Now work outs.

Mon: 4 mile hike
Tues: 15 minute bike ride
Wed: 15 minute bike ride and toning work out
Thurs: 5 mile walk
Fri: 20 minute bike ride, toning and pilates work out
Sat: 3.5 steep hike and dancing :)
Sun: zilch

Steep hike view
As you can see I've been changing my workouts a little bit and adding mileage to my walks, using the bike a lot more and I'm seriously trying to do more strength training and toning work outs.

Gaylor lake view
Gaylor lake
On Saturday I decided to celebrate my birthday by going up to Yosemite National park and do a short but steep hike I'd heard about. It definitely was steep but no less gorgeous. I never tire of uphill hikes that end by a lake. I've done many now around here and each one is breathtaking every time.

Continuing the hike

Even though I need a break from the scale I can't slow down just yet. I have one week to lose at least one pound and finally reach ONE-derland. I then have to continue to lose some weight in order to STAY in ONE-derland. Next Monday is my deadline. I need to get away from the 200's by then.
Awesome morning to turn 27!

I am going to continue to vary my workouts and do a lot more toning and strength exercises. My measurements this morning showed a significant lose to fat in my arms, my waist and my thighs-- the three biggest problem areas I have. I need to keep going.

I need more fiber in my diet. Why? Why does anyone need more fiber in their diet? Thought of it? Know you know why. LOL

Party house has multiple green houses
I went to Trader Joes and bought a couple of new things that might help me stay on track on the specific diet I need to be eating: whole grain foods, more fish and veggies. I plan to cook a lot today and store things so I don't have to stray from the food I should be eating.

Finally the main goal right now is to get to ONE-derland by next Monday. It can and will be done!
Great night!