Monday, September 15, 2014

Mondays!


Mondays are typically harder days for me.  I’m usually tired because I stayed up really late the weekend before and I probably hadn’t been eating the way that I should I have been.  So when Monday comes rolling around it’s usually hard for me to get into the groove of things.  I, like so many others, usually dread Mondays.
This Monday, however, has proven to be very different.  For starters, I got my new schedule at work and my drive in this morning was 30 minutes less than what it usually is because I’m not driving in rush hour traffic to get to work!  This morning I got up around the time I normally leave for work and spent my morning puttering around the house.  I got so much more accomplished this morning than I normally do in a week!  I’m also getting a 15% (of my base pay) shift differential because I’m working two hours later than I was.  I can now schedule doctor appointments before I have to go into work instead of having to schedule time off to go.  Seriously, I’m so freaking excited right now I could spit.  I also got to have lunch with my honey today, and every day this week if I want, because he’s off work by the time I have to take my lunch. 
The only thing that’s come up, due to the schedule change, is the impact it’s going to have on Tim and I.  Currently he works from 5:45-2:15 every day.  I was working 8-5 so I could come home, we would make dinner together and take the dogs for a walk.  Now because I’m working 10-7 we aren’t going to have much time after work to do those things.  Luckily I have an amazing man in my life that is willing to have dinner ready for me when I get home so I can eat and we can go on our evening walk before he has to go to bed.  I’ll just be in charge of cleanup duty, which I’m not opposed to at all.  Thankfully, we only have to do this for a couple of weeks and then his schedule will change to match mine.  I just have to say, we’ve been extremely lucky where our schedules are concerned.  We both work for completely different companies and our schedules have pretty much been able to match up without too much difficulty or sacrifice.  We have been so fortunate in that regard. 
I will say that so far this month all of planning has paid off.  We have extra money because we budget and we’re able to see where our money is going every month.  We’ve also been able to eliminate some stupid debt in our lives due to the financial budget.  Seeing how little we have left over each month compared to what we could have has been a powerful motivator in getting rid of that needless expense.  Because of this change, we’ve also been able to budget in a gym membership-which we previously thought we weren’t going to be able to do.  We are both extremely excited to get back into the habit of going to the gym.  We need that environment.

The meal planning has been interesting as well.  It’s my hope that as we get more and more into the habit of making a weekly meal plan, and sticking to it, that I can start posting recipe’s for you guys to try.  I know that I’ve found some pretty amazing ones and some that weren’t all that great, whether it was just too difficult or time consuming to prepare or just because of taste.  Anyway, I’m writing some down and will be posting them soon.  Meal planning, at least to me, has pretty much been the same as a financial budget.  We’re able to see where we spend the majority of our eating (can we say dinner) as well as eliminate some of the snacking and thoughtless buying we’ve been struggling with.  It’s been a massive, gargantuan help in our household.  I would strongly recommend it to anyone that is looking for something to help.
So, as far as Monday’s go mine has been pretty spectacular thanks to all the positivity brought on by my schedule change.  I look forward to seeing how the rest of the week goes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's Been A While . . . SOO Here's A Long Post To Catch You Up!

Goodness gracious!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  So many things have changed around here that I don’t even know where to start explaining.   For starters I guess I should let you all know that my parents have left me!  In all fairness, they did have a better career opportunity presented to them so they took it and moved to Billings, MT.  I’m genuinely happy for them, but I miss them like crazy.  I’ve never been far away from my parents for more than a few months.  To have them permanently move away was kind of a big ordeal.  We’ll still visit and Skype but it’s not the same thing at all.  I can’t randomly call my mom and ask her to come meet me for a coffee or take my dad out to lunch whenever the whim strikes.  It’s certainly been an adjustment-for them as well, I think.    

Most of you know that I started my job in July working for a local utility company.  Let me just tell you-I go to work happy every day because I honestly enjoy what I’m doing.  It’s a call center job and I know most people, including myself, wouldn’t think having a call center job is ideal but this company is amazing.  They make sure their employees are comfortable, paid well, and taken care of in every way imaginable.  It’s by far the only company I’ve EVER worked for that is SO employee focused-and I love it.  I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that I’ve got a steady income and can actually start living as a productive member of society again or if it’s the job itself but I’m just so over the moon in love with my life right now.  I can tell you that getting back on my feet has been an interesting struggle/balancing act but Timothy and I are making it work and we’re starting to make headway.  There is FINALLY some light at the end of this tunnel!!
Shortly after starting the new job I really started to have car trouble.  I commute about 30-40 minutes away from where I live so having a reliable car is pretty important.  My focus, poor thing, was not doing so hot.  The back windows ceased to roll down, the heater wasn’t working at all-and hadn’t been all last winter, it was having engine trouble-lots of crazy noises and vibrating, my trunk wouldn’t shut right, it was dented all over (thanks mom) and the breaks needed replacing.  All of these things could have been replaced but the way the car was running I wasn’t sure I’d make it to work long enough to save up enough money for the repairs.  Anyway, I made the scary decision to buy a new car.  I found a local dealer referred to me by my bank and they gave me a sweet deal!  I got 2000.00 as a trade in for my focus (eveywhere else quoted me 800), they threw in a 3 year, 50,000 mile warranty for pretty much no cost, they let me set my payment amount, and they gave me term and paydates I wanted.  Plus they fixed a couple of cosmetic things on the car at no cost AFTER I had purchased it.  It was goodbye Goldie Shocks and hello gently used 2008 Dodge Caliber!  I’ve been in love with it ever since and it’s sooooo much better on gas mileage than the focus.  Plus it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to fill it up.
I also joined Weight Watchers at work.  My company is so amazing that they sponsor any employees that want to join weight watchers.  The company definitely promotes health and wellness and so when a group of women from weight watchers started meeting during their lunch hour the company jumped on board and offered to pay their membership fees and anyone else who wanted to join.  Now I don’t know much about weight watchers but I do know 2 things:  1. I want to be healthy and 2.  Weight Watchers has a HUGE network of support-and that’s what I need.  I need a bunch of women to give me encouragement and help me when I fail, which we all know is possible.  So I joined, simply to have that network of support and now I have a membership for an entire year.  I get to meet with women in my center weekly during our lunch breaks and we get to talk about our struggles, our motivations, and life in between.  I’m excited!

We also decided to get our furbabies fixed in August, and since we’ve recently adopted their mother, we did her too.  I’m a huge supporter of being a responsible pet owner and since we’re not breeding our dogs we needed to get them fixed.  Bert and Sadie were coming up on six months old and I really wanted to have them spayed/neutered before they fully matured.  We didn’t have money at the time, I hadn’t even got my first paycheck yet, so we went to an organization here locally called SNIP.  It’s an absolutely wonderful organization and we were able to get all three of our dogs fixed at no cost.  They work with local vets to do it and it’s at a very low cost or free depending on income.  I’m glad we did it when we did because Gabby (the mom) had an inguinal hernia and she had some complications going on.  The veterinary clinic we went to fixed that for us at no cost as well.  It was such a blessing to be able to have that done for them.  I didn’t know there was assistance out there for things like that but I was very happy when I found it.
Let’s Talk About Goals:

I used to set a lot of goals to be healthy but I almost never accomplished them all.  I think it’s because I would get so overwhelmed and wouldn’t have enough energy to spread myself out.  So I’ve only got one goal for September and that is:

To Plan

What does that mean, you ask?  Let me tell you.  I do much better when I can see where I’m going and when I have a plan for what I’m doing.  I’ve also decided that being healthy doesn’t just mean what I’m eating.  It’s really a balance.  I want to be financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy.  And I’m going to start by making plans. 
I started out with what was in the direst situation and that was money.  Not working for five months has seriously put a cramp in our lifestyle and now that we’re making money again we have to be extremely cautious and smart with how we’re spending it.  So I sat down with a good friend who has some experience with budgeting and set myself up a budget for 1 year for both Timothy and myself.  We both need to get current and out of debt as fast as possible.  Having a budget will allow us to do that-and I can see the long term effects of doing so.

The second thing I’m concentrating on is planning what I’m eating.  I make a plan for what days of the week we go shopping on and how much money we’re going to spend.  Then Tim and I sit down and we look up healthy/whole recipes that we want to make and we plan out a week at a time of meals.  I make a list of all the ingredients, then I check what I have already in the house off that list and then use that list as my grocery buying guide at the store.  I usually hang my meal plan on the fridge and every day I know what I’m eating for breakfast, taking for lunch, and eating for dinner.  That way if Tim gets home before I do he can get started on dinner and vice versa.  By planning out my weeks and meals this way it affords me several things:  I know exactly what I’m eating every day, I’m learning new ways to cook and I’m getting excited about trying new things, hopefully I’ll find some new favorites that we can cook again and again, and I’m not eating out because I don’t have a plan and don’t know what to cook.
I also make a list of things that I need to accomplish every day for a week at a time to help me be better organized and to better manage my time.  These things include:  walking the dogs, scrubbing the toilet and dusting, blogging (that was today =D), and any other tasks I need to remember.  That way I am mentally prepared for all the things I need to accomplish each night before I go to bed and at the end of each week.  I swear having my time accounted for like that makes things so much easier because I know exactly what I need to do.  Plus there's the added bonus of going back at the end of each week and seeing everything I've acomplished. 

So, to make an extremely long post short-I'm not focusing on losing weight.  I'm focusing on planning.  By doing so I figure the weight will come off and I'm not getting so stressed out because things are so caotic.  Having a plan in place helps alleviate some of the caos and anxiety I used to feel.  Right now, it's just one step at a time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Short Post . . .

I'm sorry that I haven't been around to post much lately. 

I keep meaning to but I really don't know what to say.  Recently a really good friend of mine passed away.  He was young and left behing four babies.  We are all just trying to come to grips with this sensless tragedy.  I just need time to process and grieve.

I'll be back soon.

Monday, July 21, 2014

On The Job Again!

Today was my first day at my brand new job.  After seven months of barely working, I'm thrilled to be a productive member of society once again!  The only down side, I have to wait three weeks until I get a pay check.  I'm not complaining though cause once I do get paid, it will be a full check. 

Here's some crazy fun facts for you.  Today is my father's birthday and he would have been 53 years old.  I get paid on August 8th which is the same day my father died 8 years ago.  I don't know if you believe in signs but that's a big fat one to me that he's watching out.  I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I keep this job and excel at it. 

I haven't really been exercising too much lately but it's mostly because I've been really busy.  I helped my grandmother organize her kitchen, which took a couple days, and then I've been working on organizing my own house.  My mom is even consolidating her storage units, she currently has three for whatever reason, and so I'm helping her go through all the stuff she's accumulated over the years.  Tim's cousin is also moving out of our house so I boxed up her things for her and now we are just waiting for her to come and get them.  I've been doing a lot of cleaning around here as well.  I don't know what it is about this house but it gets SO dusty SO fast.  I could literally dust four times a day and you probably wouldn't even notice that I had dusted. 

I'm in the process of making out a menu plan, which is way harder than I thought it would be, for August so when the first comes around I'll know exactly how much I need to budget and exactly what I'm going to be making.  I'm actually pretty excited about this because I've designated August as my 30 days of clean eating.  I'm really going to push myself to reach this goal so I've been trying to find alternatives for those sugary sweets and pastries I crave.  Any ideas would be most welcome!

I'm hoping I'll have a copy of my menu plan up by the first either posted here on my social media.  Definitely feel free to follow me on Instagram-I'm just getting the hang of it.  You can also post your menu ideas for me too, that way I have some extra ideas for next month.

When making your menu plans do you plan a month in advance or a week at a time?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Done With Dieting!

I decided to stop doing HCG.  I did it for about fifteen days and successfully saw some weight loss.  I lost around a pound a day when I successfully stuck to the diet protocol.  I put a lot of thought into whether or not I wanted to continue with the diet before deciding it just wasn't for me.

I loved HCG when I first started last year and I saw some amazing results.  The problem that I have though is that when I wasn't on HCG anymore, I still didn't know how to eat.  I was afraid to move past the diet protocol for fear that I would gain weight.  Then I would have these episodes where I would do nothing but binge eat.  I had a lot of guilt because I kept wanting to cheat and then I felt like I had to hide it.  I was so stressed out about everything that I put into my mouth that eventually I just got sick of the whole process and went back to old habits.

My problem before is that I would put restrictions on all the food I would eat and then I would end up feeling deprived and all I would think about is the things I can't have.  Eventually I would give in and then I'd feel guilty.  No more.  What I was doing, with the help of HCG, was not working and it sure wasn't setting me up for success.  Starting HCG again this time made me feel the same way.  I started obsessing about what I was eating and if I didn't follow the diet protocol exactly to the T then I would feel guilt for days on end.  That is NOT how I want to live my life.  I want to have a healthy relationship with food.  And I don't want to have to limit myself on what I'm eating.  I should never feel guilty about what I eat or how I'm choosing to live my life.

That does NOT mean, however, that I plan on eating total crap.  My main goal is to be healthy and I still want to have 30 days of clean, unprocessed food.  My plan is stick between 1200-1500 calories.  Some days will be significantly less and some days will be more but my average for the week should be in between those numbers.  I am going to eat complex carbohydrates like grains, beans, and oats while staying away from simple carbs like breads and pasta. I still want most of my diet to consist of lots of natural veggies and fruits and hormone free meat.  This is going to be regular meal plan.  However, I am done feeling guilty about splurging.  If I want to have popcorn at the movies once in a while, then I'm going to do it and I'm going to keep track of the calories.  If my friends want to go out for a frozen yogurt because it's summer time, then I'm going to do it.  These are things that I won't eat on a day to day basis.  But they can and will be a once in a while situation.

Eventually my plan is have a weekly meal plan and to take pictures of all the things I eat.  I'll be logging it onto myfitnesspal daily as well.  I'm super excited about this next step-I just have to put it into action.  I start my new job on Monday and with the extra money there is NOTHING stopping me from eating healthy!  Right now I've been collecting cookbooks and putting together as many recipes as I can and the more I research, the more excited I get!  I'm also going to try and stick to serving sizes and only eat one serving in a sitting.  I think that's going to be my biggest problem.  I'm so used to eating such large portions.  Anyway, stick around and I'll be sure to post how it's all going.

Did you find that you had to try several different things before you finally found what worked for you?  What was the one thing that worked for you?


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gettin' On With The Gettin' On!

Oh man, I'm so sick of myself I can't stand it!  I'll be honest, I've been moping around my house pouting and whining about the situation I'm in.  I get frustrated when something new happens every day to remind me of just how poor I really am.  And I'm tired of it.

It's true what they say, your attitude is what you choose to make it.  I've chosen to be depressed and sad for the last couple of weeks.  Well no more!  I'm changing my attitude right now and I'm going to start being positive.  To kick start that I've decided to pick some things that I'm thankful for.  I encourage you to do the same if life is getting you down.
  1. I'm not in this alone.  First and foremost, I have an awesome God that has a plan for me and never lets me down.  I've also been extremely blessed with wonderful parents who have helped me more than words can say.  I have my best friend, who is my partner in crime, Timothy.  Without him I would surely be lost.  He's stuck by my side and taken care of me when I couldn't take care of myself.  Some days he is literally my sanity.  Lastly, I've got Timmy's family who have stepped up and helped as much as they can.  I love them all and am truly blessed to have them in my life.
  2. I have a job to look forward to.  I start my new job next Monday making more money than I've ever made before and I'm so excited for this opportunity!  It's going to be a huge weight off my shoulders!
  3. I have a home to live in.  Tim's parents have been kind enough to let us live in one of their properties rent free.  This alone is a HUGE weight off my shoulders because without them I'd probably be homeless.  We have a giant yard for our dogs and enough room for all of my crap stuff. 
  4. Speaking of doggies, I couldn't forget my Bert and Sadie.  It's literally impossible to be sad around those two.  They're six months old now and I swear they know my moods.  If I'm sad and bumming around the house, they follow me around and are constantly affectionate.  They bring a smile to my face with their antics-and also sometimes make me want to kill    murder   beat  discipline them. 
  5. I have a running car.  There is nothing worse than not having a car to get you around.  Luckily my car runs and has A/C!  Let me tell you, commuting to a job that is in another city 30 minutes away, in 100 degree weather, makes having a car with A/C super amazing.  
  6. I have food to eat.  I'm blessed to have things available to me like food stamps and food banks to supply me with enough food to eat until I have an income.  I'm ashamed to say that I used to look down on people who had food stamps.  I've seen too many people abuse them and I'm sad to say that because of that I judged everyone on food stamps to be in that category.  I am so thankful for the opportunity that's been given to me to qualify for food stamps and to go to food pantries.  I would starve to death without those things available to me.  I know that those things are available for a reason and there are people out there that desperately need them.  Thank God these services are there for me when I needed it.  
  7. I'm thankful for each and every time I fail.  This one took me a long time to appreciate.  I hate failing at anything.  Then I realized that I am who I am because I've failed.  I've failed a lot!  But I've also kept trying and I've gotten better.  I've learned from each experience and usually walk away from my failures as a better person.  At the very least I walk away knowing what NOT to do.
Every single person on this planet goes through a rough patch at some point in their lives.  No matter how big or small just remember that there are still things to be thankful for.  Know that the storm WILL pass and you'll be a stronger person having gone through it.  Know that you're never alone.

So tell me, what are you thankful for?


Monday, July 7, 2014

How Do We Recover From Failure?

"Failure is the only opportunity to begin more intelligently."

I saw this quote on an episode of Catfish, on a fortune cookie, and I've been thinking about it a lot ever since.  Heaven's knows that I've had my fare share of failure lately, and then some.  We all know that I've failed financially and physically.  At this point I'm starting all over again in both situations.  I'm so in debt I've got to start digging myself back out, but I'm working on it.  Physically I'm trying to eat healthier as well and make better choices that way. 

I wish I could say that starting over has made me make more intelligent decisions.  For the most part it has.  I'm better prepared this time around than I was the last time I did HCG.  I know what foods I can and can't eat and how much water I should be drinking to get the best results.  It's really helped me transition into this diet and make better meals.  Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that I've always made the best decisions.  Sometimes being in the moment makes me forget what the end goal is.  For instance, going to the movies because I've won free tickets and having some popcorn when I've set a goal to eat clean for 30 days.  It may seem like a minor thing but the reality is that it's a huge setback.  Here I am trying to get rid of all the crap in my body and then I just keep feeding it that same crap.  I know that it's a set back and for that moment I've failed again. 

What this quote is saying, at least for me, is that we all face failure at some point in our lives.  Sometimes we fail at the same thing over and over again until we finally get it right.  For a long time I've always been ashamed about my failures so I've hidden them away and never talked about them.  I really don't want to do that anymore.  Sure I've made bad decisions, some of them extremely embarrassing.  It's humbling for me to admit that once again I gave in to an urge to eat something unhealthy, and worse, talked someone else into doing it.  And even more worse, spent money I didn't have to buy it.

However, this failure has taught me several things.  1.  I cannot go to a movie theater and not want popcorn.  2.  I need to plan for that and bring something healthy to snack on.  3.  I need to leave my wallet in the car.  I can't go back and take back what I ate, as much as I want to.  I can only keep moving forward and try not to make the same mistake tomorrow.  I'm not going to hold my head down in shame either.  I'm going to learn from it instead.

Tomorrow is a brand new day and I get to begin it more intelligent than I did today. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Beef Chili Soup!

My excitement for this round of HCG is growing!  Even more than that, my excitement to keep eating healthy and get back to the gym is growing as well!  I've recently spent a some time pouring over cookbooks looking for ways to cook simple meals that are whole and unprocessed.  I still see adds on TV that showcase a lot of fast food and every once in a while I may give them some thought but I find myself getting more and more excited about healthy food.  I can't wait until this round is over so I can start eating butternut squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, and so many more things.  I've been poring over cookbooks and I'm stockpiling recipes for maintenance and the rest of my life.  I've even found some amazing recipes that had ingredients that I want to stay away from so I've been researching substitutes.  It's been a lot of fun planning things out and experimenting with new recipes.

The last time I tried HCG I remember how monotonous phase 2 could be.  For those of you that don't know, phase 2 is 500 calories a day.  You are very limited on the vegetables and fruits you can eat so you do a lot of repeating with the same veggies.   Last time I never mixed veggies and instead would just eat one veggie and one fruit with my protein.  Basically it got boring fast.  This time around I wanted to see what kinds of things I can come up with to keep this round interesting.  It just so happens that when I was going through some cookbooks today I found a recipe that is inline with the food that I can eat for this round.  I had to make some modifications from the original recipe, things like taking out olive oil and substituting beef for pork, but for the most part I didn't deviate too much.  For those of you that are interested, the original recipe is in the book One Pot and it's called Pork Chili Soup on page 30.  There are a lot of amazing recipes in this book and I can't wait to try them all out.

The chili turned out way better than I anticipated and it was really filling.  It makes four servings and each serving comes to 212 calories.  I took a picture but it wasn't the best quality-I was WAY to hungry to take my time, haha.  Anyway, the recipe is below and I hope you enjoy.  =D





Beef Chili Soup

Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes-no sugar/salt added (you can substitute for fresh tomatoes)
2 bouillon cubes (makes 2 cups of beef broth)
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp mild chili powder, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
1.  Brown beef in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. 
2.  Add the tomatoes and beef broth.  Add the coriander, cumin, oregano, and chili powder.  Stir the ingredients to combine well.
3.  Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more chili powder if you like it hotter.
4.  Ladle the chili into warmed bowls and serve.  You can add chopped, fresh cilantro as garnish before serving. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day!

This year has been one of the toughest years I've faced in my 26 years.  I feel like I've genuinely hit rock bottom and I'm kinda stuck there.  I literally don't even have .50 cents to my name and I'm days away from the power getting shut off cause I can't pay it.  I had to ask my mother today to buy me toilet paper and deodorant.  It's not like I haven't been looking for a job for the past few months either.  I have, desperately.  In fact, the stress from it all is actually making my hair fall out.  I did get a job, though, but I have to wait until the 21st of this month to start it which means I'll have to ask for gas money to get there.  I've always been an independent person and to have to ask my family to borrow money to survive makes me feel absolutely worthless.  Right now it seems like there's no end in sight.

I also decided to go ahead and do HCG again.  I had such great results the last time I tried it and I felt wonderful by the time I was done.  Plus, I'm on a limited budget and eating 500 calories a day will really save me some money in the long run.  I just know I need to do something to get myself back on track and this seemed like the best option.  The only problem:  I'm just not into it.  It's only day one of clean eating and I've already had some major cravings and wanted to give up.  I know why people who have to start over have such a hard time-it's because they know how much work it's actually going to take!  I mean, where the heck did my willpower go?! 

There's nothing like a major life-style change to make you re-evaluate your life and what you've been doing.  I can honestly tell you that I don't like where I'm at and I'm terrified of where I'm going.  I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I got here-to this weight, to this financial ruin, and to this life.  I don't really like the answer I got because it all comes down to me and the decisions I've made.

I get major anxiety when I think about all of the things I have to change.  Basically it's everything I've done for the last 26 years and when I think about the end goal it seems impossible to accomplish.  It's enough to make me want to quit before I even get started.  I see all these other fellow bloggers and people on TV that have had great success in losing weight.  They are always talking about meal planning, shopping for groceries, cooking whole and healthy, and all these other things I really have no idea how to begin doing.  I want to do them, believe me when I say that, but I'm just not sure how or where to start.  Seriously it's enough to make me crazy and then all I want to do is go to McDonalds and get a McChicken meal with a large french fry and a Dr. Pepper.

Honestly, right now I'm at the lowest point I've ever been and I'm just struggling to pull myself up and out of the mud.  All I can do is try, right?  I'm determined to see this round, which is my last, of HCG through.  I'm sorry if you don't agree but I'm not doing it for you, I'm doing it for myself.  I have to start making better decisions whether they are hard or not.  For myself and any future I plan on having.    

I actually wrote this post last night and I decided to publish it anyway.  This morning I woke up with a completely different attitude and I was more determined than ever to claim my independence from food!  Then I got on the scale and saw I had lost three pounds.  It just reinforces the reason behind what I'm doing.    Anyway, Happy Independence Day everyone!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Where I Stand!

This post is so hard for me to write.  It's hard admitting that I have gained weight but to actually post pictures showing the damage is something else completely.  It truly causes me great pain to see how far I've actually digressed, especially since I swore I never would.  I've made the decision to hold myself accountable, however, so I'm posting these pictures for all to see.  

If you have negative comments, please keep them to yourself.  I'm fully aware of the situation and I'm making every effort to recover from it.

This is where I'm at as of July 1st:

Weight:  318.2




This is how I compare to where I started last year:

Then:  326.8
Now:  318.2 


Looking at these pictures shows me that it's not as bad as I was thinking it would be.  However, I'm not that far off and I definitely have my work cut out for me.  I'm ready to get started and get back on the wagon, so to speak.  I don't want to set too many crazy goals for this month and then stress about meeting them or not.  I'm simply going to be logging what I eat and I'm going to try to eat as cleanly as possible.  That means no sauces, gravies, dressings, sugar, pop/juices, or anything of that nature.  My plan is to try to stay as whole and unprocessed as I can with the budget that I have.  I'm going to make July a great month!

Weekend Follow Up

I know it's a way past the weekend but my weekend went a little longer than anticipated.  Saturday was Boise Music Festival which was an absolute blast!  I've never been to a concert before, I know-shocker, but this was an absolute blast.  I went with my bestie and we walked around the fair grounds for nine hours watching all the bands.  I think there are four or five stages and they all have bands playing live.  We got to watch sir-mix-a-lot, sky blue, and Train!  It was so much fun!  I got some great sun and won a ton of free stuff including, water bottles, free dinner, free haircuts, and movie tickets.  The weather was absolutely beautiful-a perfect 79 degrees outside.  It wasn't overbearingly hot but it wasn't cold either.  It was a beautiful day and one well spent.

My cousin also came into town Saturday from Utah.  I haven't seen him a while and we're pretty close so I was super excited to visit with him.  I met up with him after we left the festival Saturday night and then spent the rest of the weekend with him and his awesome girlfriend until they left on Monday evening.  Originally we had plans to go fishing but that didn't work out so instead we just spent time catching up.  It wasn't a super busy weekend but it was so nice to be able to spend some time with him and his girlfriend.  I was bummed to see them go.

Today is the first day in a brand new month and there's lots of exciting things going on.  My sister and her family are coming into town and I get to meet her newest baby boy and spend some quality time with my other nephews and my niece.  It's been way to long since I've seen them.  I also start my new job later this month and I am so ready to start making money again.  I am so done with being broke!  It's also the month that I'm going to be taking back my health.  I've been toying with the idea of doing HCG again but I haven't decided for sure.  I know there's a LOT of controversy over it but it was something that really worked for me in the past.  It gave me the motivation and the kick start I needed and that's something that's been lacking in my life lately.  I haven't decided one way or the other what I'm going to do but I am going to eat clean and watch my calories, regardless.  We'll see how it goes from there I suppose. 

What plans do you have for July?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Emotionally Crazy Day

When I woke up this morning I had no idea that today would turn out the way it did.  I mentioned a couple blog posts ago that my former step-parent has shown back up in our lives and is trying to get in touch with my mother.  Today it just so happens I was running errands with my mother when she got a call from a former co-worker telling her that this person had attempted to find her at her former job.  At this point she made the decision to contact him to see what he wanted so he would leave her alone.  I objected, loudly, and was overruled.  She ended up using Tim's phone to call and she put it on speaker phone so I could hear part of the conversation. 

To make a long story short, he claims he's having a lot of life problems and he's feeling remorse for the way he treated us all.  He's seen the error of his ways and wanted to call and make amends.  My mother spoke to him for a while and then they disconnected and she went home.  I'm not sure how she feels about the whole situation or if she got the closure she needed.  I doubt that she did but she claims she doesn't want to communicate with him further.  I support whatever decision she makes in that regard.

Anyway, he ended up calling back looking for my mother and I answered the phone.  Surprisingly he guessed who I was right away.  We talked for about forty minutes and in that time, without going into the whole conversation, I was able to ask him why.  Why did he treat my family the way he did?  He gave me an answer and while it wasn't at all what I was expecting.  He didn't give me excuses or claim it never happened.  Instead he broke down and took full responsibility for his actions. 

I can't say for certain if he was genuinely sincere or not or if there's some other motive behind his wanting to contact us all after so many years.  I hope he is genuine but regardless I feel like I can finally move on.  I guess I understand why my mom wanted to reach out to him after all.  I finally have the closure I need to put this all to rest and move on with my life.  The man no longer has power over me or my life.  He's not this monster I fear anymore but just a man whose life is crumbling around him.  I can't say that I forgive this him for everything at this point.  But I can say that I'm finally going to be able to work on it.  I know that genuine or not, I feel like I got the weight off my shoulders that's been holding me back for so long and now I can move forward.  This chapter if FINALLY closed.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Second Time Around

I know my post earlier today was a tad gloomy and I'm just not the kind of person that stews in that kind of stuff.  While I'm still upset at the situation I cannot continue to let that affect my life or my health.  I choose instead to make healthier decisions and continue on the path I've chosen for myself.

Therefore, I decided to go on a walk today around my neighborhood with my best friend and our dogs.  We successfully walked 2 miles both up and downhill.  Some pretty steep hills in fact and I can already feel it in my legs and buns.  It's been a long time since I've felt that burn and I must say that it felt fantastic.  I even played some Frisbee in the park for a while during our walk, which was both exhausting and exhilarating.  I feel much better and way more clear headed than I felt this morning. 

I also want to mention that I love my mother and I know she's only trying to do the best she can.  I imagine in her situation I would probably want answers as well.  She is a strong woman and I know that her road hasn't been easy.  She's made the best decisions she can with the hand she was dealt and I respect her for that.  I know that she suffered 10x more than I ever did and I'll love her to the ends of the earth and back.  I'll thank her till the day I die for getting both my sister and I out of that situation and away from that man.

Hope you all have a wonderful evening!

I'm So Angry And I Don't Know How To Deal

I'm so angry that it's hard for me to write this post without using a lot of expletives.  I'm so pissed that I literally want to scream!  Recently my mom's former ex-husband reached out to her through Facebook in the form of a friend request.  Sounds innocent enough however this man is one of the biggest reasons I struggle with my weight and why I have trust issues with men.  This man, in fact, ruined my family and my childhood. 

This is how I feel right now
My parents got divorced when I was four and shortly after my mother married her second husband-the man I've mentioned above.  He convinced her to move away from my father, her own family, and everything she's ever known to come to Idaho.  Then he became physically abusive.  They were married for three years and it was absolute hell.  For three years he abused my mother, my older sister, and I.  I may have been young, but I remember.  I remember being absolutely terrified of being left alone with him whenever my mother had to leave to go to work.  I remember getting beat every night because I couldn't eat my dinner fast enough and then going to my mother's work and having to pretend that it was all okay.  I remember getting beat because I slipped on ice and busted up my knee pretty badly while walking home with my mother.  I remember my six year old sister having to make me dinner, give me a bath, and put me to bed because my mother worked nights at her second job while this sadistic bastard sat on his butt.  I remember him making our lives hell even after he and my mother got divorced.

I could keep going because everyday was it's own personal hell while we lived with this person.  But that's not what this post is about.  This post
is about moving on-which I thought I had.  I was finally putting these ghosts behind me and making myself healthier and stronger.  Then he shows up again out of the blue and sends my mother this friend request.  Then I find out that he lives in the same TOWN I do.  I could literally run into him at any point. 

As if that isn't bad enough, my mother is actually considering contacting this man so she can get closure.  WHAT?  Are you serious?  This man stole our childhood and our innocence.  He stole my mother's self-esteem, her independence, and even her self-worth.  He ripped my family apart and then moved me so far away from my father that I only got to see him once a year!  He broke us, hell he shattered us, and we haven't been the same since.  I can't even begin to describe the devastation he's wrecked on our family.

I'm trying to understand where she's coming from.  It has been 19 years since he's been in our lives and she's since moved on and I have a wonderful step-father.  I know she's still affected by what happened, just as I am, but as much as I try to understand it I just can't.  I'm just so furious at the idea of her even considering communicating with this man.  I've tried to forgive him and I've tried to let go of the hate that I have for him but I just can't fathom actually speaking to this person.  Why would she even give him an ounce of her time?  She says she wants to know why.  Why he did what he did.  But I don't think she'll ever get an answer.  He's a coward and I'm sure if he was ever faced with that question he would lie.  He would never admit to abusing a four year old and a six year old.  What kind of person does that?!

The more I think about it or the more time we discuss him just infuriates me further.  It makes me so mad that he's a part of our lives for even for a second, if only by discussing him.  I seem to be the only person in my family that feels this way.  My step-dad seems to be okay with her reaching out to him and my sister seems to have no care one way or the other.  I, however, am still just reeling from the idea.  I've been boiling over it for days and I just don't know what to do.  I don't know how to get over feeling the way I do or how to let go of the mad that is gripping me. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I absolutely love summer!  I will admit the heat gets to me but being able to go outside and enjoy the sunshine beats the heat every time.  In the winter I swear I go into hibernation mode because I hate leaving the house unless it's absolutely necessary.  But in the summer is when you can do all the fun things you miss out on in the winter-like staying out until 10:00 without it getting dark, swimming, fishing, and my favorite-walking/jogging outside!  I haven't done any jogging this year but I have taken advantage of the walking.  I usually go walking around my neighborhood or the greenbelts they have here.  If I'm having a rough day though and want to avoid people or if I'm just looking for a quite spot to go then I usually go to the cemetery.  I know that might sound a bit morbid but it's really quite beautiful and very peaceful.  Plus it has a killer view and some really great walking paths.  The mosquitoes are terrible however.  I usually like to go in the evenings when the sun is setting but before it gets dark!

It overlooks the valley on one side

There are gorgeous trees everywhere!

Yesterday I took a much needed mini vacation and headed up to Lucky Peak Reservoir for some beer, boating, and swimming with some friends, only one of which let me take pictures.  I've been so stressed lately that it was nice to just get away and relax for a while.  We spent most of the day on the water and I even got to drive the boat-which was a little scary.  I was having such a good time that I forgot to take pictures but I did get a few though:

Haha, my favorite picture of the day!

I'm on a boat!

Making waves!

The bridge we drove accross

Usie!  (Instead of selfie)

It was so beautiful there!

The water was pretty cold at first but felt so good

We got to swim with ducklings!

I think I got some sun!


Today was kind of a cloudy day compared to yesterday so I spent most of the day indoors cleaning the house.  I finished what I didn't do monday and then did some spring cleaning I didn't get to in the spring due to my illnesses.  It feels good to throw stuff away and organize what's left over.  Believe it or not, it's really satisfying!  Mostly I'm just happy to have some energy to do stuff.

I didn't get my walk in again tonight but I'm so pooped after all the cleaning I did today that I think it's worth giving it a pass.  I'll make sure to get my walk in tomorrow though.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mondays . . .

Today is Monday and for most that means going back to work, whether you like it or not.  For me,
temporarily, that means irrigating and house cleaning, YAY!

Okay, okay so I don't really enjoy irrigating.  It's usually an all day event, which Timothy usually does most of.  I however have the pleasure of helping him move and set up giant pipes that run all the way from the pump house to our lawn-which is quite some distance.  Then we have to run hose to the backyard to irrigate the back as well.  It's quite a process and it involves constantly moving the hoses and pipes to make sure the entire yard gets irrigated.

The entire setup is interesting really.  The entire subdivision we live in, which is very old, irrigates.  Most of the houses in the neighborhood have their own pump house but we have to share with our neighbor.  That means we have to run our pipes from the pump house, that sits on his lawn, to our house.  Each house on the block is assigned a specific day and time that they can irrigate.  We share our day and time with our neighbor.  Usually we get the water around noon on Mondays and our neighbor comes and grabs it whenever he gets home from work.  Then when he's done we get it back until about nine at night.  It's pretty crazy but it's more like a juggling act.

Moving all those pipes and all the running around we do is a pretty good workout though.  It's a lot of bending down and lifting.  Plus in this heat it can be pretty sweaty work.  I've also kind of dedicated Monday's as my big cleaning days.  Don't get me wrong, there's little things we do during the week like pick up the bathroom, dishes, sweeping, light dusting, vacuuming, and etc.  But Mondays is when we do the big stuff.  Scrubbing the tubs, washing windows/blinds, moving furniture, cleaning baseboards, washing walls, and all that other fun stuff.  I can't say that I love to clean but I hate having a dirty house even more.  Lately it seems like the cleaning has really gotten away from me with all the stuff I've been going through.  It's literally taken me a couple weeks to get all the dust and gunk out of this house and to finally start feeling like it's actually clean again.

I'm kind of bummed I didn't get a chance to take the pups on a walk tonight like we usually do.  However I'd say I got my workout in and they kept us company running and playing in all the water while we moved pipes.  All in all, I'd we're all ready for bed.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beware: Picture Overload!

So I kind of mentioned yesterday that I got some puppies.  I thought I'd go into a little more detail because I'm absolutely obsessed with them! 

Around three and a half Weeks Here
To be honest I had no intentions of getting a dog.  I really wasn't in a place in my life to have one.  I was a few weeks away from moving and finances were kind of strapped.  Anyway, Tim's mother had a dog that had just had puppies in February.  Even though Tim and I had broken up we've remained good friends and there for a while I was spending a lot of time with him at his mother's house.  So I got to play with these puppies on a pretty regular basis.  She had two females and one male-who was a little fat ball of cuteness. They are miniature pincher, Chihuahua, and pug mixed.  A pretty crazy breed right?

I fell in love with this little man and every time I would go to Timmy's house I would go get him right away and we'd play and cuddle.  It got to the point that as soon as he heard my voice his whole little body would start wagging.  I even came up with a silly name and I started calling him that.  There was this extremely stupid song playing on the radio but the main line is "Don't drop that dun dun dun."  I had just gotten done listening to this song on the radio, don't judge me, and Tim said I should call the puppy Bert.  I laughed and said we should instead call him Bert-da-dur to go along with the music from this stupid song.  It stuck and I started calling this puppy Bert-da-dur so much that he started coming to it when I called!  I think Tim's mother, Cheryl, knew that my resistance was wearing down because she kept reminding me that she'd be posting him for sale online pretty soon. 


When Bert, yes I shortened it, was about six/seven weeks Cheryl let me start taking him on car rides-so I could decide if I really wanted him or not. Of course at this point there is no way that this little man is going ANYWHERE but home with me.  I was already completely in love with this little guy and he already would come running whenever he saw me.  Cheryl agreed to let me make payments, she was asking 250 for him, until I got him completely paid off.  Luckily I was able to give it to her all at once so I could finally take him home.  Let me just tell you, the first night did not go well at all!  He was used to be in a kennel so I bought him a rather large kennel with a puppy bed and lots of toys.  I planned on him sleeping in his kennel at night as he was not yet potty trained and I worried about him peeing on my bed at night.  Needless to say, Bert wasn't having it.  He cried the whole night until I finally relented and let him sleep next to me.  I just made sure to set an alarm to take him outside so he didn't potty on accident. 

She would cry in the car unless she got held
Around this time I was still working at HP with Tim and we were car pooling together.  On the days we worked I would go to pick up Tim and drop Bert off with Cheryl so she could puppy sit.  She only had one female puppy left by then.  I guess they were both pretty lonely without each other.  For some reason Cheryl was having a harder time selling her last little female.  She was about seven, almost eight, weeks old around this time.  Whenever I would drop Bert off both puppies would get so excited to see each other that they'd whine and bark.  Whenever I would take Bert to go home the

Sadie Girl

little girl would try to come with.  You could tell they had a great deal of love for each other.  Tim finally talked me into taking the little female, whom I named Sadie, to keep Bert company.  In reality I just fell in love with her too and couldn't bear for her to go to someone else.  And I've never regretted it since!  (I just wish I had pictures of her when she was itty-bitty.)

Sadie about eight/nine weeks

Bert eight/nine weeks

They are the craziest dogs.  So smart but sooo stubborn.  Bert is the adventurous one while Sadie can be more cautious.  She lets him forge ahead before she decides if she's going to do it or not.  They were both kennel trained at seven weeks old and they do really well together.  While working I didn't like keeping them in their kennel so long so I would baby gate them into the kitchen and have their grandma come over to let them out to play once a day.  (Don't worry they had plenty of food, water, and potty pads!)  Unfortunately I soon discovered that they could climb baby gates and their kennel to escape from the kitchen.  So I had to double baby gate the entry way to keep them in.  Then I discovered they like to eat kitchen tables!


They both love to cuddle and you'll usually find them in my lap or sitting next to me whenever I'm stationary.  Sadie is more petite and delicate and will gingerly walk accross my lap to lay down.  Not Bert.  He's a monster and usually launches himself at a dead run onto my lap and then flops himself down.  The only exception to that was when I had mono.  They were absolutely wonderful and seemed to instinctivly know when I was sore or had a fever-which was every day.  They're also sock thieves!  I can't do laundry without them grabbing my socks and running around the house while I chase them.  One of my roommates actually likes to leave clothes scattered around on her floor and whenever I open her door to put her mail in her room the puppies dart in for socks.  I'm constantly finding random socks everywhere or I can never find the matches. 

My sweet fur-babies are now five months, soon to be six months, old.  And they are huge!  We've had to upgrade their harnesses because the old ones don't fit anymore.  They are each getting more and more independent of one another, and me.  =(  It makes me sad that they are getting so big.  Sadie is still the smaller of the two and Bert just continues to surprise me with how big he's getting.  I try to take them on daily walks, both for their health and mine.  They certainly keep me going and it's such a joy whenever I get to come home to them.  I may be crazy obsessed with my furbabies.  I take tons and tons of pictures of them daily, haha.


They love each other!


Bert Loves his sleep!

Sadie Girl
Sadie, haha

Bert after our evening walk



Once again for your viewing pleasure, Then and Now:


Sadie Then!
Sadie Now.



Baby Bert

Monster Bert!