July 27, 2016

Sometimes Things Move Backwards

Friends it has been far too long.

Those of you who read this blog could've been or might not have been wondering where the heck I've been.  Honestly, I'm simply one of those people who doesn't force themselves to do things they just don't want to do.  And for the last six months, I just haven't felt like writing.  Could have been for a number of reasons... adjusting to my new city, lack of inspiration, weight gain and feeling like a fraud, or just plain laziness.  Really, it's probably a mixture of all of the above.  But now I'm here to answer any questions that might be floating around out there.

How is Michigan?
Most of you who read this know me, and know that I LOVE my new city.  There have been plenty of "oh my word, I can't believe I get to live here" moments.  There is so much to do and see and it's fantastic.  It's been an adjustment, and not always an easy one.  Making new friends, learning more about myself, and starting a new job have all contributed to an overall sense of busyness.

What's new?
The biggest change in the last month has been a new job.  I'm now working as a receptionist for a large electrical engineering company.   I've been there a little over a month and it's been really great so far.  I like my co-workers, the office environment is beautiful, and I'm staying busy!  I've also taken up boxing, which isn't super new but it's new since I last wrote.  That's been a great experience. Swimming and running have taken a backseat, because again I'm just not someone who forces myself to do things they don't want to do.  I haven't quit, just on hiatus for now.

How's the weight loss going?
It's not.  The combination of losing momentum last summer in preparation to move and then getting here and adjusting.... I fell into a rut.  A bad one.  Old habits resurfaced, motivation went missing, and too many opportunities to cheat presented themselves.  I haven't gotten on a scale in months because I haven't been able to face those numbers.  But I know just from the way I feel and the way my clothes (don't) fit that it's NOT good.

So, now what?
I have a plan in place.  Whole30 started Monday as a means to reset, kill the sugar/carb cravings, and generally get back to feeling better.  Now that the craziest week at work thus far is over, boxing 3-4 times a week will pick back up again.  I'm going to plan on keeping myself accountable by journaling, getting back into blogging, and TALKING about things with people who understand and know me.  I won't be getting on a scale because I honestly believe that's not where my worth lies and that's not where happiness lies.  This time around it's not about numbers, because numbers drive me crazy and have also become a bit of a trigger for binges and bad choices.

I'm confident about where I'm headed.  I am happy, I love where I live, and I've been able start putting a lot of the past behind me.  I'm not going to obsess over the mistakes that have been made or be cruel to myself for allowing the weight to creep back on and I'm not going to dwell on the sense that I feel like a fraud because it all.  Sh*t happens and it's about how you handle it.  So I'm handling it.

December 30, 2015

December 29, 2015

30 things I've learned in 30 years

Well it's here everyone!  I'm saying farewell to the twenty something years.  And though the feelings are mixed, I definitely feel as though I've come into a place where I'm truly sure of who I am and what I want.  That in and of itself makes the big 3-0 worth it.  So I'm here to share things that I've learned by my 30th year.  These are things worth pondering a huge part of the person I've become.

1. Surround yourself with people who make you better.
These are the people who make you laugh regularly, challenge you, and encourage you.
2. Things worth having are rarely easy.
Don't let that stop you. Ever.
3. Be who you really are.  
Putting on the facade is never worth it and if you hide things about yourself, they eventually come out anyway.  Anyone who doesn't accept you as you are 100% isn't worth your effort.
4. Never apologize for who you are.
There's only one you and that's pretty great.
5. Do things that scare you.
You grow and usually find things you'd never guess you'd love or enjoy.
6. Take time to learn something new: a language, a skill, a sport, or whatever!
Because why not?!
7. Be the kind of friend you'd want to have.
If you don't take the time to know, serve, love, encourage, and treasure your friendships, how can you expect to receive that love in return?  Friendships are precious and should be treated as such.
8. Take care of yourself.  
Health is one of the few things we have the most control over.  Health issues happen, but most can be prevented by nourishing and moving your body and getting enough sleep.
9. Learn how to hang curtain rods, change a tire, and put together furniture yourself.
It's empowering and saves you from having to hire handymen or hunt down friends to help you.
10. Boundaries are healthy
This goes for relationships with people, food, or money.
11. Eat more from the earth and less from a package.
Your body will thank you.
12. Don't waste time doing things you don't enjoy just because you think you should.
If you hate running on the treadmill, don't do it. Find something else!
13. Aim to be the kind of person you'd want to look up to as a kid.
Little ones, teenagers, and peers are always watching.
14. Learn how to be present. 
Get off the damn phone and socialize without social media.
15. Only keep the clothes you absolutely love. 
The ones that make you feel fabulous.
16. Take time for yourself.
If you're constantly on the go, schedule time to be alone and do something you really love.
17. Don't be afraid to say "no".
Over scheduling yourself leads to burnout.
18. Let grudges go.
Bitterness only hurts the one who harbors it.
19. Own your choices.
Take responsibility for your actions instead of placing blame elsewhere.
20. Donate time. 
Find a cause you really care about and commit some time to contribute regularly.
21. Look for the positives in every situation.
It helps lessen the blow of a rough patch.
22. Simplify.
Get rid of things, clothes, and books your don't need.  Donate them or bless someone you know.
23. Learn to be alone.
If you have the opportunity to live alone for any amount of time, take it.  Learning to be self sufficient and make the most of my time is a strength I'm incredibly grateful for.
24. You can't make everyone happy.
You're not pizza. Ha! But in all seriousness it's the truth.  There will always be people who disagree with you and it helps to avoid dwelling on that.
25. Take time to see live music.
Orchestral, folk, rock.  Doesn't really matter.  But find a way to see true musical talent live.  No lip syncing, no air banding, true talent is a beautiful thing to witness in person.
26. Drink water.
This may either seem really silly or really obvious but trust me.  The majority of the liquids you consume should be water.  You'll be amazed at how much better you feel when you drink water throughout the day.
27. Don't settle.
In my years of seeing friends of mine marry I've learned that this is very important.  People accept the love they think they deserve.  So believe that you deserve nothing short of wonderful.
28. Feel.
Accept emotion.  No amount of food, alcohol, shopping, or self abuse will drown it out.  Allow yourself to feel your emotions and and often times that helps you to let them go easier.
29. Don't quit.
As Michael Jordan once said "If you quit once it becomes a habit. Never quit."  If you hit a road bump or fail, try again.  If it's something you really want, never give up.
30. Numbers do not define you.
Your age, pant size, pay check, etc.  None of them define you!  So embrace them.

December 17, 2015

Holy Moly Another Recipe!

I know! Two recipes in two days!  This one was purely an experiment because I've been craving Chinese food!


1 C brown rice
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 3/4 C water
1 tsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil over medium high heat.
2. Add brown rice and combine.  Stir occasionally and toast the rice for about 5 minutes.
3. Add curry powder, salt, and garlic powder and stir. Toast for another 2 minutes.
4. Add water and stir.  Bring to a boil.  Cover the pot, and bring down to a simmer.
5. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the water.

Ingredients: (all measurements on seasonings are approximate)
1 lb chicken breast cubed
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
chopped cilantro
diced green onion
2 small zucchini sliced
2 large carrots shredded
1-2 tbsp coconut oil

1. Start by adding your chicken, tamari, chili flakes, garlic powder, curry powder, paprika, and sugar to a large zip lock bag.  Then use a meat tenderizer (I used a large ladle) to beat your meat!  It makes the meat more tender and absorb the flavors.
2. Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.  I test the pan by adding a piece of the chopped green onion to make sure it's hot.  Add the chicken, spread evenly in the pan, and leave it for about 5-7 minutes.  Don't stir!  It creates a tasty caramelized yumminess!
3. Once you notice the edges of the chicken are cooked and the chicken has browned, flip the pieces over with tongs. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and put the chicken in a bowl.
4. Add your zucchini, carrots, half of the green onion and cilantro.  Saute the veggies in pan for about until tender 
5.  Add the chicken back to the pan and combine.
6. Serve over the rice.  


December 16, 2015

Oat Flour Banana Bread

Hey folks!  I had a craving for banana bread today so I thought I'd try coming up with a healthier take on it.  And it WAS a success.

2 C oat flour (ground whole oats)
2 eggs
4 over ripe bananas (I freeze mine in the peel and thaw so they are VERY mushy)
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C dark brown sugar
1/4 C coconut sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla


1.  Combine oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl and wisk together.
2.  Wisk together eggs, sugars, vanilla, applesauce, and bananas in a large bowl.
3.  Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and wisk until combined.
4.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.  (I grease mine with coconut oil)
5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


November 22, 2015

Thoughts on Weight Gain, Self Love, and Perseverance

Heyyyyyyy Everybody!

Hope all you readers are doing well and getting excited for the holidays!  I've been away from the blog lately for a few reasons, the main one being that I didn't have much to write about.  Things are beautiful in Michigan.  I'm loving my surroundings, slowly making new friends, and taking daily steps to get out of my comfort zone.  I've really enjoyed exploring my new city and have already made lists of things to do with visitors!

So it came to me today as I was driving to my new church.  The first day I had to wear a winter coat that was much looser last winter.  It had me incredibly frustrated.  Perhaps that's why I've avoided the blog.

I've gained an unknown amount of weight since the summer.  How it started isn't all that important, but a series of life events, changes, and obstacles led me to where I am now.  For a while it had me very upset, self conscious, and even gave me the sense that people would see me as weak or a fraud.

Over time I came to accept that the events of the past six months do not undo what I accomplished last year and earlier this year.  At least not completely.  Sure some of my clothes don't fit and my Insanity workouts are harder after slacking on them for so long.  The truth is though that I'm not starting from square one.  I accomplished a lot this year.  My first half-marathon, meaningful conversations with people, exploration of new areas of fitness and health, to name a few.  All incredibly important.  And now I'm here, in my new home, settled, and back in a fitness routine after a hiatus due to the stress of uprooting and starting over. Working out again five days a week and keeping my home a safe food zone.  I still have my challenges and have come to terms that disordered eating is something I will deal with for a very long time.

So where do you go from here when you find yourself in a place of roadblocks and set backs?  The first step for me was accepting myself as I am.  Accepting my strength, faults, beauty, and missteps along the way because they all make up my story.  From here the plan is simply to persevere.  I take one day at a time.  I remember what I'm capable of.  I continue to pursue new things and new concepts of health and fitness.  I do my best to leave excuses behind me and use all that I know to better my health.

As a side note, I decided this week that coaching through Beachbody just wasn't for me.  I had beeing thinking about it since the move and just decided that the self marketing, social media stuff, and product plugging just doesn't fit my lifestyle and my personality.  I continue to use my Insanity workouts and still recommend some of those other programs. But for me, my fitness and health journey is one I prefer to just do for me.

So anyway, I hope that in the new year and a new decade in my life (30 eeeeeeek!) I will find my healthiest and happiest self.  So many good things lay ahead in this next year.

October 9, 2015

End of Year Goals

Hey friends!
I know it's been a while!

But this whole uprooting thing has kind of taken over my life the past several weeks.  Five days and counting before this whole process is over and I can finally relax and get back into a routine that doesn't involve working ALL the time and having no energy to do much else.  I'll be settling into my new city, in my new state, and meeting so many new people.  So I got to thinking tonight that I should probably start to set some goals for the next couple of months, and since I owe you all a blog post big time, here we go.

1. Keep the apartment a safe zone.  I will be working from home full time at least through Christmas and won't be actively pursuing other things after the new year.  So I will get to be in a food-safe zone where I won't be tempted with food days, vending machines, and easy access to fast food.  I'm excited to stock my fridge and pantry with healthy food and have time to prepare meals.

2. Get back to the gym.  My monthly rent comes with a free gym membership.  I plan on checking out that gym the week I arrive.  If it doesn't have the equipment or classes I'm hoping for, I'll be on a gym hunt.  The goal is to start weight training and get my muscles back!

3. Forget about the numbers.  Towards the middle of this year, I started to really psych myself out with pounds and pant sizes.  I've come to the conclusion that I've entered a new phase of this life transformation.  For me, it has to be about getting to a healthy place with food and exercise, not obsessing, and just plain living my life. 

There's so much ahead and I can't wait to share it here!   The goodbyes have started and I'm wavering back and forth between anxiety and excitement.  Wish me luck homies!

August 19, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen...

I have an apartment.

It's official.  I am moving to Michigan.  The months of planning, saving, and praying are finally coming together.  On October 14th, I will be leaving the town I've called home for 11 years and will be moving into my new place in Comstock Park, MI.

I found a two bedroom apartment just north of the city and I could not be more excited.  This is really happening.  Like really, really.  And of course the second bedroom means plenty of space for ya'll to come visit me and see just how glorious west Michigan really is.  For those of you in the Bloomington-Normal area I'll definitely be throwing some kind of last hurrah like an open house or a bonfire out at Comlara Park. 

But until then I'll continue to save, save, save, enjoy friends, cross things of my So Long Bloomington Bucket List, and pray that this next phase of my life is as great as I anticipate it to be.

August 5, 2015

Updates on the Mitten

Happy Wednesday all!

Thought I'd take some time today to provide some updates for those curious about my impending move. 

This past weekend, I spent three heavenly days in west Michigan looking for apartments, spending time with dear friends before they headed back to Alaska for the school year, and getting doused in colored powder and glitter after and awesome 5K run! 

I've been looking for a place to live for a couple months now.  Narrowing down my search through the use of social media.  I've been all over the internet: Reddit, apartmentratings.com, and facebook trying to pick out the areas to stay away from and pin point where I would see myself living.

Well after Friday, I was more confused than ever.  Despite driving around most of the day and seeing different areas of town, I had no idea how to figure out where I ACTUALLY wanted to live.

So Saturday I enjoyed my color run, spent a glorious day at the beach, and then watched Ronda Rousey kick ass in the wee hours of the morning.  #worthit 

Sunday my friends took me to their church.  It's located on the north end of East Beltline in Grand Rapids; which is basically a long stretch running down the east side of the city.  They had lived in this area during their first year of marriage.  They pointed out how nice the area was and some of the great stores and assets to the neighborhood like orchards, a fantastic Meijer, and lots of growth in general.  As we drove through, I found that this was definitely sticking out compared to other neighborhoods I'd been in.

The church experience was great.  The style of worship, preaching, and prayer were so close to what I was used to and I had a very strong sense that I am doing the right thing moving away.  I met the pastors afterwards.  They were very kind and one even offered to connect me with people that might be able to find me a job!

So since I've been back, I've found an apartment complex off East Beltline and am now just waiting for my application to come in the mail ( Thanks again Dan for picking it up for me!).  I've also connected with that pastor and as of today he has passed along my resume to people in the church.

I do not have an exact move date yet, obviously since I don't have an apartment nailed down yet.  But October is the magic month.  So the plan is to simply save, save, work, save as much as I can and tie up loose ends.  But it's coming together!  It REALLY is!  As Ineke and I were driving through the city on Friday, all I kept thinking (and sometimes saying out loud) was "I can't believe I'm going to live here."  It's such a fantastically scary and wonderful idea.  A completely fresh start in a beautiful city.  What more could a girl ask for?

July 21, 2015

New Shirts

News flash!!

New Shirts up in the shop!

Head on over and check out designs that will have those grumps at the gym smiling!

This one is my personal favorite.

For all my cat ladies out there!