Monthly Archives: December 2015

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LEVELS OF LOW

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Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.

Thomas Moore

 

I used to think I was too lucky to be so happy-go-lucky.  I would wake up happy for no reason. Nothing would get me down. I was just happy to wake up, grateful for my morning breath as well as my morning cup of steaming coffee. I could say I am an optimist, but let’s be honest here. I am a part-time optimist when things are going in my favor. It is easy to be breezy when life is going well with no complications. Part of my happiness has been haunted by this little apparition standing behind me taunting me with what if’s. It is one of the reasons I avoid trips to the doctor. What if the rug is pulled out under my feet? What if this natural state of euphoria I live in is a hoax or a false reality? What if something happens to test how optimistic I really am? What if I am just a walking, talking fraud? What if?

I have been in a crisis for quite some time now. My crisis came to a crescendo when I stopped working on my goals. I just stopped in November. I stopped working out, I stopped running, I stopped eating healthy and I stopped hoping.  The stress was manageable until I stopped being me and working on everything I had been so proud of for the last few years. Stress and his sidekick anxiety grabbed me by the lapel, shook me until I was left humbled and left me with bigger problems to face. Weight gain, depression, anxiety. It is easy to indulge your inner pessimist and wallow in your woes when you surrender way too easily. The hard part is fighting back.  The biggest challenge is to kick depression and anxiety to the curb, escape their dark clutches and find your way back into the sunlight. That is where it is warm, that is where you can reboot and find the answers you seek. Hope is seen in the refection of the sunlight dancing off the pavement. Go there and try to hear the music.

I stayed home tonight to deal with some pressing personal issues, and I realized even though I am not yet doing what I love full-time, doing a job that is a means to an end is a gift and definitely not a given. I am blessed to work in a place that is lively, where the people are kind and sincere and genuinely care about each other. Staying away does not help my cause, it just hinders it. I need to face that music I spoke of, fight back my demons and be grateful for every light filled opportunity I have to better our lives. We all have a little meek in us, as well as a little mighty.  Here I am, a new published author and a waitress, both are equally important to me.

We are human, and we all face certain hardships from time to time. There is dirt below our toes that keeps us literally down to earth. I realized this as I was watching the news, and seeing people in crises far worse than my own and I felt shamed. Young and old battling diseases and health problems, tornadoes, tragic accidents. It is an old cliché’ but it could be worse. There are levels of lows, and barometers of strength.

I have been up and down, and with a new dawn and a new year approaching I am going to find my way back up to the top of the cliff. That is where I can feel closest to the sun. If you need me in 2016 I will be basking in the promise of tomorrow with my brand new sun-kissed outlook. Back to my working out and all of the goals that I chose to chase when I began this blog. I look forward to getting high on endorphins and on life.

I am a work in progress but the sun will rise tomorrow, and it gives each and every one of us another chance to start over. I will rise up with the sun and take each and every new beginning that comes my way. I may not be perfect, but I am breathing; there is coffee brewing and all is well with the world.

With love and light

Rose

 

 

oldman

STARTING OVER

“The splendid thing
about falling apart
silently…
is that
you can start over
as many times
as you like.”
Sanober Khan

It’s been over two years since I have embarked on my quest to make a better life through weight loss, fitness and philanthropy. I lost a significant amount of weight during that time, but I gained so much more by being healthy, challenging my body and mind, and giving back to others and meeting new and wonderful friends. What happens when you take the E out of Ego? You are left with the word go. Go for it, go after your dreams, go help others. A body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest. This is newtons law, or to me the definition of Go.
This post is not about the benefits of my weight loss journey, but about the last six months of my life. It doesn’t take long for a unexpectant twist to turn your life upside down. I held it together when we had to leave my beloved city of angels for the city by the bay in October 2014, but a personal earthquake shook the foundation that built my blog and goals last July. San Francisco is an amazing place to be, and I am grateful. It is also a difficult place to go through a crisis, as it it can be cold and unforgiving.

Stress from a crisis can create havoc and chaos in your life, and can make following your routine and goals a challenge. Before you know it your strength starts to dwindle and you feel like you have no joy. For me my crisis turned into a cheat day that lasted two months. That led to not feeling well enough to workout. This led to feeling ill and slow. In just two months I felt like all of my hard work was in vain. I was left with depression about the crisis, and my body had followed my mood. With two weeks until the new year my husband suggested I let go of any food related guilt, enjoy the holidays and start fresh once the clock turned midnight at the brink of 2016. He knows me, he also knows you cannot keep me down for long. To be kind to myself and begin anew when the next year begins. I can personally say this from experience, if your crisis has not left you a bit depressed, undoing all of your hard work and gaining weight will result in depression. My advice if you are in a crisis, just don’t let it stop you. Not even for a weekend. Have a cheat meal, but please make it only one. How I feel now is going to make my 2016 goals all the more challenging, because now I have to correct the mistakes I made in the last few months and begin anew. I backtracked.

 

 

“Sometimes life takes unexpected turns. Sometimes we hide the very core of our existence because we fear the judgment of others. Sometimes the universe shifts and we are provided with a brief moment to begin anew. These moments allow us to become fearless and let our perfectly created souls shine.”
Cori Garrison, New Beginnings

So here I am, and I decided to write about what happens when you leave your healthy lifestyle to the wayside, and succumb to stress and the modern American way of living. I’m considering using these last two months as an experiment if you will. Sometimes you have to veer off course for a while to find where you ultimately belong.

 

 

I have never been an over eater, but eating processed and unrefined foods for more than a few days is all it takes for my body to regress. My body and mind feel much better when I’m eating clean whole natural foods. I have noticed some side effects from my sabbatical from my healthy lifestyle. Here are the five things that occurred after my two months off.
1. My heart races when I eat processed carbohydrates. My energy is lacking and I seem to crave more sleep.
2. My confidence starter to take a nose dive. I felt bloated and I could feel the ten pounds I put on. My clothes were slightly tighter and bra was a little tighter.
3. My joints started to ache more. Could it be because of the processed carbs and excess gluten I was consuming? I have headaches and stomach aches more frequently.
4. After just ten pounds I felt like I was a little winded quicker when I exercise.
5.my skin started to look a little duller and I looked paler than usual and my hair is a bit drier.  This was probably due to the lack of protein In my carb laden diet. I also think my new bad habit of reaching for diet soda has me consuming a lot less water than usual, so I am probably dehydrated.
To sum up, I could never eat like this forever and I’m really looking forward to the New Year and getting back on track, I actually plan on getting a head start for the new year and having my Christmas Dinner be my last splurge.  I miss my healthy meals,  my kale drinks, my ten portions of fruits and vegetables with lean protein and minimal grains. I miss the way I feel when I treat my body as a temple and not as a garbage can. I’m actually grateful for these last two months because it opened my eyes to how I do not wish to live my life and why I work so hard to be the best me ever. Yes it feels good to look good and value your appearance but at the end of the day it just feels great to be healthy and feel ageless. I always say to people, and now I am saying it to myself. It is just food, and those treats will be there tomorrow. Food can be healing, or it can make you feel sick. At the end of the day how do you wish to live your life? Feeling vibrant and alive or slow and stuck. I choose to be alive, and fuel my body with the food that is healing and nourishing to my body.
I am not a failure, I am a work in progress. I slipped and I fell, but I stand again and again until I get it right. It has been raining here for days, and the clouds finally parted and the sun came out to play. I think I may head out and join the sun on a run. Nothing like fresh air and moving your body to remind yourself you still walk among the living
.
Get busy living, or get busy dying
The Shawshank Redemptionoldman
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I hit rock bottom. Here’s what happened.

 

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I hit rock bottom, landed on the scale and gained nine pounds in November.  My rock bottom came to a crescendo last Sunday night. After a month of stress and too many cheat days ( plus Thanksgiving)  I dove head first into a dead lasagna that was sitting in the window at work.  If you have been reading my blog for two years I wait tables for extra money, and lately I am working a lot more than usual. The stress of things in life finally got to me, and all of a sudden I was craving the kind of foods I only eat once or twice a year. Pasta is a no-no for me, and frankly I do not even want it and everyone is always marveled by my willpower of steel. I knew I was in trouble when I started wanting pasta  more and more in November. This is not a good thing when you work in an Italian Restaurant and have to serve it every day. One little cheat turned into another and all of a sudden I am grabbing for a lasagna that was past its prime. I was mindless eating, no joy, not a special occasion cheat that I earned and savored; but just eating because it was there and I needed to ease the pain of my temporary worries and stresses.   I came crashing down from a month of nonsensical eating like an addict after a high. For me it was my first real low point in two years after my 60 pound weight loss and all of my fitness accomplishments. I hit rock bottom, got on the scale the very next day and immediately gained my composure and will power. Being human is a tough gig.

Cue December 1, 2015 and a reality check, I  gained  9 lbs. My first weight gain since I began my project and blog. I had maintained my weight loss for two years and was working on my fitness goals and eventually my weight loss goal of 135 lbs. In November I lost control. It happened so quickly I hardly knew what hit me. I do know this, the minute I got on the scale and saw where my month of excess of unhealthy food led me, I snapped back into gear. Mind you, I have never been a overeater and I never considered myself an emotional eater. I have rarely been a binger, but for me choosing high calorie, fattening, carb ridden foods over healthy foods was all it took for me to put on some weight. My first clue is when my bra was a little tighter. Then I knew, and I knew it was time to face the music. The music sang loud and clear, you  gained 9 lbs. The scale is a cruel wake up call but a necessary bitter pill you must swallow before 9 lbs turns into 60 lbs. I caught myself before it is too late. The honesty of the scale diminished any cravings I had. I was back.

Today I begin anew. I am doing a Melissa Bender Fitness 30 day challenge and I am back to eating clean and watching my portion control. I am going to run again as well. I have not been on a run since since my 5K in October. I am also doing one charity per month now, until my scale moves in my favor. In November I collected donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank and volunteered with my friend Stan and his hiking/running/meetup group at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose. Stan is such an inspiration to me, and he has run over 20 marathons. For me this blog began blending my weight loss and fitness goals with  giving back to charity, and now I continue that by doing one charity a month and get back to what works for me. I am far from over.

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In life I do not ask for advice, I am always going to do what I feel anyway. I look for inspiration. Inspiration is all around us, and learning from others never gets old. Sometimes inspiration comes from unlikely sources, but you must listen and have an open heart. I am happy to say I am surrounded by inspiration always, from family, from friends, from strangers I meet on my travels. Here’s to better days ahead and the inspirational people who accompany me on my journey. Love and light to all. 

There would be no cloud-nine days without rock-bottom moments left below.     — Richelle E. Goodrich

Namaste’

Rose