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, 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!