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

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

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?