Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicago Polar Vortex 2014


I really can not believe how cold it is. Sure, I live in Chicago and have been here all my life; but never have I experienced this degree of freezing. We've had a few days of negative weather this month, I'm talking -40, -20, SUPER COLD. Not only the cold but the Flu and the "common" cold that just seems to run rampant have been making this month very challenging. My whole family has had their bouts of the Flu with lots of nasty symptoms to go with them. We've had MANY sleepless nights. We've been dealing with crazy stuffy noses, runny noses, coughing, sneezing, fevers, chills, you name it. I have felt like crap probably for half of this WHOLE month and while I can certainly take it, my poor son can't.

I have been trying my best to keep us busy and going to activities but with the cold weather closing down businesses, the snow and ice keeping us stuck at home, the sickness keeping us stuck inside and away from people; it's been a challenge. I'm trying my best to keep hands washed, coats bundles, dust cleaned, Vick's on our bodies, and using natural remedies to keep all this sickness at bay. Of course it doesn't help when we DO feel good enough to leave and play with other kids that those other kids pass on their germs and the cycle just repeats itself over and over again. Today it's -16 and we had to run our to the gym and to get diapers and we could barely stand it. So, bad at home we are. The Chicago Public School system is also shut down, AGAIN, which means it's just way too cold to even leave and we should all stay indoors.

So while my little Johnny boy still had a stuffy/runny nose and a cough due to all of that, we are trying to make the best of everything and hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Guilt Free Cookie Dough

While on our quest for a healthier lifestyle, both body and mind, I have been scrambling trying to find ways to get more protein in the day and here is what I've discovered. 

1 container of PLAIN Fage Greek Yogurt(6oz)
1 TBSP peanut butter (I use marantha)
6 drops of liquid stevia 
1/8 tbsp of vanilla
1 sprinkle of sea salt
Topped with a dark Hershey Kiss

You're welcome! Let me know you're thoughts 😘

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Messy Side of Fitness

Since May of 2013, I have been trying to lose the 5 pounds that I just lost in 2 weeks. Okay, 5 pounds in two weeks sounds like a little bit of weight and a long amount of time. Maybe to some. To me, I couldn’t believe my eyes. How could someone who studied health, fitness, nutrition, and kinesiology for many years be having trouble? But more importantly, why couldn’t I do this on my own? Yes, I hired a trainer. See, in my early years of researching fitness, I would search for hours upon hours on how to do a certain exercise, what to eat, when to eat it, how much to eat, how much cardio I should do, how many reps I should do; yadda yadda yadda. I can go on and on about my time spent behind a computer screen but I won't bore you any longer. But now, my time is much more limited as a mother and wife as well as fitting in time for myself, so I solely focus on reading scientific literature. 

So, let’s get something straight. There is no cap on learning. That is, if you really want to learn, you will forever be a student. I don’t care who you are or who you think you are, you will forever be a student if you want to continue to grow and learn. And while we are here, I have to let you know that there is no one size fits all nutrition or training program. Sorry, there just is not. I have been on the Paleo kick, the vegan kick, the vegetarian kick, the no carbs kick, the cardio til my eye balls pop out of my head kick, the “shake” kick, the no eating after 7pm kick, no carbs at night kick, the clean eating kick, the gluten free kick, the cigarette and coffee kick; you name it, I’ve done it at one point in my life. Or, tried to at least. Now with all of that being said, I feel like I need to explain something, so I will. I am not knocking any of these ideas, especially if they happen to work for you and help you achieve what you want to achieve. For example, I know plenty of people who have had tremendous success with “clean” eating, as well as Paleo (I really enjoy some Paleo recipes but textbook Paleo isn’t for me). Gluten-free I’ve mentioned on social media, and scientific research shows that consuming a gluten free diet is mostly only beneficial to those with certain diseases such as Celiac Disease and Chrons (many others I’m sure). 

I believe, and there has been some strong scientific evidence that suggests many of these “diets” actually cause or assist with eating disorders and/or disordered eating. And to be honest, I have suffered with bingeing for a very long time. When I think back to when I was a young girl, I would stuff my face with whatever I could get my hands on, almost like someone was going to come and take my food away from me and it was my very last meal. And I would eat a lot of food. I would eat in secret because I just couldn’t bare that anyone knew I was eating a Twinkie, and God forbid someone had something to say about my eating habits. I would eat my feelings (sad, happy, mad, depressed, whatever), and I would eat anyones left overs (extra feelings). It’s actually kind of sad to think that I lived my life like that as a teenager when most girls develop self-esteem, or lack thereof. 

You see, food is used for everything. Going to a party, food. Your boyfriend broke up with you, have 3 pints of Ben and Jerry’s. You graduated from College, great! Let’s all go out and celebrate with food and drinks! Now, alcohol is also a huge factor to this whole equation here. I’m not a Saint, okay? I indulge in a nice big glass of red wine every once in a while, but when I was younger I would do shots upon shots and more and more and then of course, the late night Mexican food joint would be my last stop before hitting the sack at 4am. I get it, we all like to have fun and at times we over do it; I certainly am not and never was a part of the Cleaver family. But there really comes a point in life where if you really want to change your life, you have to make decisions. And that’s what I have done, I have decided that I am worth it.

I once weighed 205lbs and no it wasn’t my highest pregnancy weight, surprisingly. I weighed 205lbs when I was 18 years old. I was a high school and Club athlete all four years of my career. I walked in weighing 149lbs, and left weighing 185lbs. And just a few short months after my first Collegiate volleyball season, I was 205lbs. Sure, I was heavy. But what was even worse is the crushing and unbearable heaviness of my “baggage.” My emptiness, loneliness, my depression, my anxiety, my anger, my zero self worth, destructive relationships across the board, binge eating, binge drinking, smoking almost 2 packs of cigarettes a day; that kind of heavy. The heavy stuff, the messy stuff, is where my message comes from. That stuff is where my life began. 10 years ago, I started to live my life. In that time, I put myself through my Personal Training and Nutrition certificate training, and college. I went to orientations alone, through the loan application processes alone, I reached out to advisors for help, I did it all on my own with some financial assistance from my Dad which I am forever grateful. I started eating “smarter” which means I was upping my protein intake, counting calories, doing some exercising, and not eating as much. For the first time, I wasn’t falling asleep on the Orange Line on the way to work with my face full of last nights makeup. For the first time, I was actually not calling into work to take another day off. I was walking my happy ass to the bus stop to get to and from school/work. I went to work for a full day and school at night when I needed to. I was slowly taking sugar out of my coffee and actually walking everywhere in the city. Oh, and I introduced myself to this little thing called water. Life for the first time was becoming manageable. And I happened to lose a lot of weight in the process.

Okay, so what is the point? The point is that now, 10 years after my beginning, I am finally learning the “secret.” And the secret is this, you need to love yourself. If you don’t love who you are, it doesn’t matter if you weigh 200lbs or if you weigh 115lbs. Because, either way, you won’t be happy with that number. Unless you can look yourself in the mirror and say that you deserve to be happy, that you can do it, that you deserve to change; then nothing else will matter. Everything else you try to do will simply add to the commotion of life. And the second part of that is that I promise you, there is no quick fix. I have used and distributed  supplements with an MLM company and at the time I thought it was life changing. And for some who sell it, it is life changing. It can triple your income! But, will it “fix” you? No. Plain and simple, no. Will it add to your bingeing? Possibly. But, it is not a long term fix to changing your habits, which ultimately start with believing that you are worth it. You can spend all the money in the world on Organic products, supplements, diet pills; and sure those things might work in the short term (like I said, I did it all), but those things will not solve your problems. 

What I have learned within the past month of hiring my coach is that it’s not that difficult. It comes down to moderation, accountability, and hard work. I also learned that even “professionals” need professionals. I believe in myself and I love myself, but I was still hoping to find that one special secret. But what it really comes down to is how I lost weight in the first place, watching how much I eat, and keeping track of my calories; for now. However, because I have grown and have learned quite a bit since then, I also track my Macros (protein, fat, and carb). Most call it IIFYM (if it fits your macros). I’ve also learned to let go of this idea of perfection. I am by no means close to perfect, whatever that is. So, how can I possibly live up to such an asinine expectation? I can’t. And I can’t keep chasing something I can never have because that just leads to the same cycle repeating over and over again, failure. So that means if I have to miss a workout, thats okay. If I want some pizza, I have it! If I give in and go over on my calories and/or macros for the day, my life is not over and tomorrow is another day! I have also endured some of the hardest workouts since hiring my coach and that’s where the hard work comes in. Finishing what I started has been the theme for this year for me and I am not going to stop. 

Lastly, before I got a CLUE, I always wanted to be one of the best. Like, the “go-to” chick. But then I realized that most of the people and groups I used to idolize have their clients on cookie cutter diets that only include tilapia, cold chicken from a baggie, broccoli, and an abundance of egg whites mixed with plain oats, wearing squeems all day and night, zero “cheats”, and are all on the same workout routine that mostly include 2-a-days and hours of steady state cardio. Let me tell you something, I don’t care who you are or what you say, that is all the biggest crock of BS I have ever heard in my life and if you can’t figure that out, I do not feel sorry for you. I firmly believe all of those “coaches” should be slapped with law suits and banned from the industry. So, I don’t care if I am ever a house hold name. I don’t care to be someones “idol.” I don’t want have clients that lose 40lbs in 12 weeks if that’s the way they lose it. I want to be a voice. I want to help make my mess my message. I want to forever be a student. That’s all. I have made so many mistakes in my life. But I am here to say that if you love yourself and trust the process, it will get better. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I love you

Those 3 little words that form the most beautiful meaning. Well, today, those words came out of my 24 month old sons mouth. Literally, 1 minute ago. 

While unwinding in the living room after putting my sweet baby down, this is how it went:

Johnny: {cough cough} "bwess you"
Me: bless you, Johnny. 
J: tank you mommy
M: you're welcome, baby. 
J: night mommy. Wuv you. 
M: |while my heart almost pounded out of my chest| I love you too my angel. 
J: {fake snoring sounds}

This coupled with him dancing with me and asking to rewind Selena's "bidi bidi Bom Bom" had made for a most heart warming, amazing day. 

good night.