Today is the day

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I have started, stopped, started, and stopped trying to live a healthy lifestyle for years, but it has been particularly bad the last year.

After a successful Whole30 and inches lost, I have not been able to keep up the momentum.

Until, now. Today is the day. There is nothing about this day except that I woke up the confidence that I could do it. It is a lowly Thursday in the middle of October, but for some reason, I feel motivated and confident. I feel empowered.

I have the motivation. My brother in law gets married in May, and I am a bridesmaid. I am also about 50 + pounds heavier than I would like to be. I want to feel happy and confident on their big day.

Instead of focusing on depreviation, the things I can’t have, I am going to focus on the things that I want. I want to feel better. I want to look better. I want to be able to easily walk a mile. I want to feel confident. I want to love myself again.

So today is the day. As a writer, blogging about my journey seems to be the best forum. I will post recipes, daily (or weekly) checkins, and other things that help me on my journey.

❤

Want to be happier?

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bod.

My friend, Krislyn, told me about Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast. She assured me that it was because she thought I would like it, not because I was unhappy. Her intention truly was to introduce me to something that I would love, but deep down I know that I am not always a happy person. Fighting OCD (my brain) and general anxiety is taxing on my happy meter.

On the surface, I know that I should be happy, and I have no reason to be unhappy. I have a lot of great people and things in my life. I am a hard worker who has accomplished a lot of awesome things. Trust me when you open your heart to people about feeling stressed, depressed, and unhappy, they are quick to remind you of all the good things you have in your life (even though that is not the point or the problem).

Anyway, it is easy to get caught up in daily life and forget to take care of ourselves. It is easy to feel like you aren’t doing enough, saying enough, being there for someone enough. It is easy to get down on ourselves because we aren’t this, or too much of this, or not enough that.

I was watching my new obsession, Lipstick Jungle, on Netflix, and one of the characters said this when comforting her friend.

“He should love you for those qualities, not in spite of those qualities.” This really spoke to me. I often feel that way about myself. I try to love myself in spite of some qualities not because of them. Gretchen’s podcast encourages self love which is important to overall happiness.

The podcast begins with a tip for leading a happier life (something easy like setting your alarm clock for bed times), then continues with a little self understanding (are you a marathoner or a sprinter?), the moves to small things that bring happiness, and concludes with the happiness demerit and gold start of the week.

Gretchen and her sister, Elizabeth, are open and honest about their struggles (and successes) which is very refreshing (and comforting). They stress the importance of knowing oneself in order to achieve happiness. I learned that since I am an abstainer, I am all or nothing in resisting temptation. So, I can’t eat a bite without devouring the entire cake. I have to have nothing…or I can’t resist. My husband, however, is a moderator. He can have a bite of cake and stop. Knowing that is very useful (and it makes me resent Cory a little less 🙂

I love this podcast so much that I caught up the current episode. Thanks, Krislyn!

Check the podcast out at http://gretchenrubin.com/podcast/.

6 years with my main man!

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buds.

Yesterday was my 6-year wedding anniversary. Time flies when you are having fun…or..ya, know, working hard!

I woke up to a Kate Spade bag on my pillow, which is a great way to wake up, btw. Cory surprised me with the initial necklace I have asked for for literally forever (or maybe, just a year). Surprisingly, they are consistently sold out of the letter, H. Cory got me a “D,” which was very fitting for our anniversary…and it has a little sparkle.

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Next, we had a delicious brunch at Local Taco. We had to drive up there to get my cat, Willow, monthly heartworm guard…and since we were so close, we just had to. I absolutely love the simplicity of a taco with scrambled eggs and country gravy. Yum!

After that, we took in Pitch Perfect 2. The movie was great overall — very funny. The beginning was a little slow and forced, but the end was fantastic. Definitely a movie about women and their power to run the world! Luckily, my husband is mostly okay with that notion.

After the movie, we had just enough time to freshen up and get to the restaurant at our reservation time. We decided to eat at a beautiful restaurant in Downtown Franklin called Red Pony. We have been meaning to go for months, but as always, too much going on.

It was beautiful, and we had a great view of Main Street. Food was top notch (totally not Whole30 compliant, though) and beautifully presented. It was definitely worth it. We used a gift card that Cory’s coworkers gave him for passing the PE exam, and then, the restaurant comped our dessert. They also had a fabulous specialty red wine, Villa Antinori Toscana, that is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah…Delicious!

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Then, we went home and binged on Bloodline (Netflix Original Series) with our drinks of choice. I am fairly certain we were both asleep before 10:30 pm.

Overall, it was a great, chill anniversary, and I got to spend it with this guy (which is the best part) 🙂

husband, Cory<a

Gray hair: Yay or nay?

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beauty.

So at the age of 28, a large portion of the hair along my scalp is turning a bright, silver-white.

I used to think that I would totally be okay with it, but now that that time is here, I am not so sure. My friends and family tell me that they can’t see it, but I think they are just being nice 🙂 Either way, it is very noticeable to me.

Celebrities are dying their hair gray, so why am I so terrified. I am at that cross-roads where I have to decide whether to gracefully gray as nature intended or keep up a color habit for the rest of my life. If I decide to color, I will have to go through a terribly awkward point in the future while it grows out.

How does everyone feel about graying? Is it better to take it with grace or hide it until I am ready?

Whole 30, round 2: Bring it!

Paleo breakfast casserole
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bod.

After a few starts and stops for various reasons, a group of girls from work and I have officially started Whole30 again. Bring it, round 2!

This first round was an overwhelming (and I mean, overwhelming) success for me. Overall, I lost a total of 8.5 pounds and 27 inches! (I even won a contest at work)— and that wasn’t even the best part. I learned to appreciate food. I learned to love new veggies that I didn’t think I liked (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower). And, I learned to love me again.

The last few years have been discouraging on the body front. I hated my body, and no matter what I did…I never lost weight. I felt hopeless and helpless.This food plan showed me how to eat, what to eat, and gave me a complete restart.

This round is less about a diet restart (because I am still doing pretty well cutting out those nasty, processed foods) and more about food focus. I got a little lax with the wine and sugar (French Silk pie!), so it is time to refocus. I need to focus on my intent — which is to become healthier (and by extension, thinner). This round is about putting major focus on exercise.

I am currently on Day 12, and I feel pretty great! I have not been perfect, but this time, I vowed to have more fun with the program! This round is about learning my limits and maintaining moderation (which I am not great with).

Also, I am sharing this journey with some awesome ladies!

In honor of Whole30 week 2 round 2, I will share with you my saving grace during the program – this delicious breakfast casserole!

Find the recipe here. My husband and I cut the casserole into 10 sections and each have a nice portion for the full week!

My passion jumped out of my chest

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Wednesday was an interesting day for me. I wasn’t feeling well (allergies were kicking in), and I met a beautiful two-legged cat on Instagram. Unfortunately, she needed surgery, and her human was taking up money for her procedure. After watching a couple of videos of Tilly, I felt an overwhelming need to help, so I donated.

Later that night, I found out via Instagram that Tilly didn’t make it. I collapsed in the floor and cried on my husband’s shoulder for a long time. I had never met the cat, and I didn’t know the family. Heck, I had only known about her for less than 6 hours, and my heart was broken. It was overwhelming pain.

As I sat on the couch explaining all of this to my husband, I realized that my passion was staring me in the face. I love animals. I always have. I have also known that I wanted to help people and animals without a voice.

Now, I am mind-mapping a plan so that I can live my passion. It may just be donating to a local human chapters, but I am going to commit to doing my part.

I wanted to share this because I wanted to share the story of Tilly because I feel so connected to her and her human right now. I also wanted to share with you that you don’t have to be seeking a passion for it to find you.

Glow with a little Mitchell and Peach face oil

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beauty.

My February Ipsy bag had a little hidden gem – Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil.

The England-based Mitchell family started a successful fruit market five generations ago. The current generation decided to branch out and create a bath and body line, called Mitchell and Peach, using the essence of the garden as their inspiration.

The oil smells delicious – floral and clean and spreads smoothly onto skin. I apply the oil nightly to my face and neck, and the next morning, my skin is glowing!

This little jewel is a little pricey ($44), but it is great little treat for your skin.

Check out their other products online.