Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[126] Inspire Yourself and Better Your Life

I write when I'm feeling inspired. Whether it's after an intense conversation, finding a new recipe, watching a documentary, trying on a new pair of clothes/shoes, stumbling upon cute more cute owls, playing with my niece and watching her smile and laugh, shopping for fresh veggies and fruits, or catching a reflection in the mirror.

Today I am inspired by my own willpower and persistence to better my health and self-esteem.

Let's take a step back to one life changing experience... In the fall of 2009 I went through a divorce. The fact that I was still living with my in-laws was so taxing on my emotions, overall attitude, and my physical well-being. I found myself wanting to sleep in all the time. I never wanted to eat at dinner time, but I'd often force myself to have a small serving of whatever my in-laws prepared. It was the simple fact that I had to sit in front of (or be in the same house as) my soon-to-be ex-father-in-law. On more than one occasion, I would leave the house a couple of hours after dinner to go grab Taco Bell, McDonald's, or Wendy's so I could feel full and escape the people I lived with. Even though I was eating fast food, I still kept to my simple and fairly light breakfast and lunch.

At the end of September 2009, I packed up all my belongings, drove halfway across the country and moved into my parents home. I noticed I had slimmed down quite a bit and was able to fit into some old clothes better than before. For as long as I can remember, I've always had a pooch belly. Sure, I've tried to workout and make it as minimal as possible, but for whatever reason that just hasn't been a result I've been able to achieve. So, I work around it. I dress myself to what I find flattering to my shape and figure.
October 2009
By December 2009, I had consumed more Whataburger than any human should ever consume. Towards the end of the month, I took a trip to see my best friend (whom I hadn't seen since I left Alaska in April 2008) and meet his soon-to-be wife for the first time. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin during the couple of days I visited them. And seeing the pictures afterwards just left me feeling so disappointed in myself for letting my weight get so out of hand.

Fast forward to March/April 2010. Shawno flew down to Texas to visit for my birthday. During his visit, we took a walk to the falls of Wichita River as well as driving to the top of Mt. Scott in the Wichita Mountains (which are more like hills, located in Oklahoma). The day we visited the falls, it was hot, humid, and we were all suffering as we tried to enjoy the beauty of the falls. My sister took photos of Shawno and I as we sat and posed on top of the rocks along the stairs. After looking at the photos, I said to my sister "This is how pregnancy rumors get started." I was disgusted with my entire mid-section. At the time, I would think to myself, this isn't so bad, I've seen worse days. Lying to myself, of course.

In July 2010, I made the decision to go vegetarian, starting August 1, 2010. I ate fairly healthy. Started bringing in more fresh veggies into my diet. I felt awesome. The problem? I was still overeating and still consuming way too much soda for my own good.

January 2011, I visited Texas to help throw a baby shower for my sister. It was on this trip that I truly decided I needed to make a change in my life. I was still fairly new to vegetarianism. I had just given up soda for the new year. I weighed more than my 6 month pregnant sister... and I just couldn't stand to look at my body any longer. I lived in hoodies and sweaters.

March 2011, I made a decision for myself. Drop 50 lbs. I was originally 210 in January, weighed in at 197 in March, and made a goal for 147 by March 2012. I bought a scale as a birthday gift to myself. That was the start of it all. Ate more fresh foods than ever before. Cooked meals at home as often as possible. I brought granola and yogurt to work for lunch. I'd grab a veggie delite at Subway if I didn't have time to pack a lunch.

It's now March 2012. I'm 4 days from the end of my year long goal. How am I doing? I've lost a total of 40 pounds since last January. I'm 10 pounds from achieving a 50 pound loss, and 23 pounds from reaching my goal weight. The reality of losing 10 or 23 pounds in four days is just not going to happen. It would be dangerous to lose that much in such a short amount of time! Haha! Am I punishing myself for not reaching that goal? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I've managed to drop 40 pounds! I went from a size 12 to an 8! I recently tried on size 6 jeans at American Eagle and THEY FIT! I didn't buy them because I want to lose some more from my mid-section before I buy new clothes.

I have never loved myself more than I do now. And I appreciate people who take notice of the difference I have made for myself.

In 2009, I didn't care what I put in my body, food wise.
In 2010, I made a choice to cut meat out of my daily diet.
In 2011, I made the choice to cut carbonated sodas out of my daily diet.
In 2012, I made the choice to continue being meat-free and soda-free... because it works for me.

Looking to better yourself? Pay attention to your own habits. Make a change for yourself. If diet programs work for you, go for it! If you need something more, do your own research!

The beauty of being a vegetarian is that I get to eat the foods I love.

Left: December 2009, Right: March 2012
"Where willpower is the muscle, self-discipline is the structured thought that controls that muscle."

Monday, March 5, 2012

[125] Veggies all wrapped up

Since moving back home, my mom has been real helpful in making sure the refrigerator is stocked with fresh veggies knowing I don't particularly like to eat frozen or microwaved foods as much as I used to. She has me tag along for trips to the grocery store so I can pick out what I like to eat.

Every base I've lived at/near has always had a great selection of produce. I'm not huge fruit person, so I opt for more veggies than anything else, but I do enjoy an apple or orange from time to time. On one of our last trips I picked up a lot of veggies that are easy to prepare for wraps, as well as a jar of apple sauce to enjoy on the side. Beats eating french fries (my weakness!) with every meal.

Picture below: spinach, sauteed zucchini, tomatoes, red onions, and avocados topped with shredded cheddar and sour cream on a tomato and basil tortilla. It was so good, I actually ate this two days in a row, mostly because I prepared way too many veggies for one sitting.

The beverage pictured below is V8 Fusion pomegranate blueberry. Currently my favorite morning and mid-day beverage, although a little on the sugary side. Pretty delicious when watered down.

That bowl contains about 1 serving of Mott's Natural Apple Sauce. It is prepared unsweetened and contains only half the sugar in a serving of their original apple sauce.


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