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!

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,