Category Archives: overcoming challenges

WEDNESDAY WISDOM

Happy Wednesday. Above is the photo of my before and after on my first part of my weight loss blog journey 2013-2017. For anyone new reading this I started my blog to lose weight and support a new charity with each ten pounds I lost in 2013.  I reached my lowest weight of 159 lbs in May 2017 and helped many charities in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In my life really got really crazy. My Mother became ill and died May 21st, 2017. Two weeks later we moved from LA to Houston TX, and in December 2017 we lost our beloved Siamese Rascal after months of trying to save him. It was a rough year to say the least.

In 2018 we had some major life challenges and my blog really came to a halt. I would start and quit, mostly because those changes left scars on me, just like the Elton John song lyrics from the Funeral for a friend song. Those lyrics really speak to me. Sometimes changes in the form of challenges result in scars. For me those scars took on the form of excuses, and I just didn’t put in the work like I did in the past. I ended up gaining half my weight back and I was truly unhappy for the first time in a long time.

Now it’s the end of 2019 and I’ve come to the conclusion there’s always going to be challenges. Scars fade eventually and you will get new challenges with new scars, that’s life. I’ve decided to go after all of my goals, beginning here with my wellness, fitness and weight loss. I’m at it every day because when the new scars fade I won’t have to feel bad for quitting. Quitting is not in my vocabulary anymore. I was strong through my move from LA to San Francisco in 2014 and I kept going, and that’s what I’m doing now. I’m taking inspiration from my former self, with new scars motivating me to overcome new challenges.

It’s my new week three and I feel wonderful. Transitioning to night workouts is a game changer for me. There’s a peace about the gym at that time. I’m up late because I work late and my energy is high, so I’m utilizing that fact to go after my fitness goals instead of using work as an excuse. Last night I noticed my planks are getting stronger, and my balance doing warrior 3 is really improving. These are the changes that start my progress. I’m very proud of getting to where I am in my mindset, and proud I’m no longer using life’s problems as excuses. I’m doing all this as an even prouder vegan, I transitioned to veganism in 2018. It’s who I am and that I got right. I’m living my most authentic life.

You can choose happiness or misery, and I choose happiness. I’m no longer an excuse maker. I’m a goal setter and getter. I’m on the road to becoming an after, taking it one mile at a time. There are no shortcuts, nor will I veer off the road and head in a different direction. This is my journey and my positive mindset gets to decide where I’m going.

Happy Wednesday to all. Love and light, Rose 

CONSISTENCY

Everyone has a starting point, it’s ok to begin again. Start where you are, no matter how many times you may have faltered in the past. I’m really good at wobbling and losing my focus and getting it back again. So much so that my dear friend Kristen and I call it being a weeble, like that 70’s toy Weebles. Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. I may wobble, but I refuse to fall down, and even if I do I will stand back up again. You can’t knock me down.

Today is my day three of really going after my goals. I’m really going to work on consistency and commitment. Monday through Friday I will do my #benderfitness scheduled workouts, cardio, and blog every day. I’m going to get my weight in the 160’s ( short term goal) and go volunteer at the Horse Sanctuary. I’m going to work hard at my job because I’m grateful for it, and I’m going to work around it to make my goals a reality.  Like I said in a previous post, control the things you can control when life seems to literally be out of your control. You can control what you eat, how you move your body and your mindset.

I took new before photos and dated them. It’s actually quite liberating to face where you are. I have done just that, faced where I am as I work on where I am going. Where are you going? Make sure you pack a positive outlook, it will take you farther then you ever imagined. Love and light.

Rose

 

 

MOBILE MEDITATION

Happy Tuesday. Today is day two of my workout challenge and my weight loss journey, I fell off the wagon again. My weight is 177 lbs, I will keep at it until I get it right.  My workout yesterday was so inspirational, it really made me wonder why I ever stopped in the first place. I started with my outdoor cardio for 40 minutes, did two rounds of my Benderfitness Monday/Wednesday/Friday workouts,(thanks to my bff Melissa) and ended with ten minutes on the rowing machine. My muscles felt the shaking that happens after a good workout. Day one sets the bar for day two. It was like coming home. It’s truly mobile meditation.

If you live in a mild climate or the weather is nice where you are I highly recommend doing some of your workout outdoors. There is nothing like being one with nature, wildlife and all the other walkers and runners getting their miles in. As I began walking, my eyes caught a woman walking a dog with three legs. My heart felt like it would just burst as I flashed her a big smile and a hand to my heart gesture as she smiled back at me. Through the course of my cardio I saw a young man with Down’s syndrome enjoying his jogging, a runner stop his pace to assist a family out of a swan boat, wildlife basking in the beauty of a Texas autumn day. You do not get the same experience from a treadmill. 

Finally I was finished, and I sat for a moment on a park bench and met the three legged dog Frisker. His fur parents are rescuers and I was able to snap a few shots of my muse for my day.

Frisker keeps going, he doesn’t let bad days or the fact he’s running on three legs stop him. If he can do it, so can I and so can you. Today is National make a dogs day but yesterday Frisker made my day. We are all connected. You definitely don’t get that type of rush indoors. I plan to get outside daily for some or all of my daily workouts. It’s definitely the kind of natural high five that keeps you motivated to do it again on day two.

What I got out of my  Monday was the beauty of life and living, nature and the kindness of people and animals, and best friends who come to your rescue even from afar. I also learned you may have challenges but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show up. There’s power in consistency. There’s power in trying despite how hard it may be.

Keep on keeping on and pay attention, there is inspiration everywhere. 

Love and Light Rose

 

 

 

 

Focus on Fitness

I’m always starting over, but that’s ok. I will continue to start over until I get it right. There is no failure, everything is a learning lesson. For me losing weight is not linear, it’s a zig zag line of ups and downs. Part of the problem is I’ve been focusing on the numbers and not so much on fitness. The scale isn’t the problem, it’s me. So how do I correct my past mistakes and get on the road to weight loss and fitness success like I was when I started this blog in 2013?  Let’s start with health and wellness, and less emphasis on numbers.

I weighed in today at 175 lbs. That is 5 lbs up from what I was a few weeks ago, but here’s the deal. I did crazy things the day before weigh in to help me weigh less. I do not recommend doing anything that’s unhealthy to get a better number on weigh in day. You are not a number, repeat that firmly and loudly. You are not a number. 170 lbs probably was not my true weight anyway, since I fasted and cut water on Sundays. I have a hard time admitting I did such unhealthy steps just to get a better number on Monday when I stepped on the scale. Repeat this too, health is your number one priority. I weighed 170 lbs and I ended up with a kidney infection probably due to dehydration. It’s just not worth hurting yourself over. I had eating disorders when I was younger, and it’s quite obvious those old ghosts still haunt me. It’s ok, I’m haunting them back. Here’s a big boo to my ghosts of eating disorders past, and how I’m going to get it right finally. 

I will weigh in once a week, it’s important to know where you are but not obsess with the number on the scale. It’s sounds contradictory, but for me I need to know where I stand. No more doing unhealthy steps the day before weigh in, Sunday’s with be healthy vegan food. No fasting, no water cutting, it’s business as usual. I will post in the following weeks my food plan, always vegan but always needing to portion control and stay accountable. What I put in my temple should be fuel not trash, of course within balance. I’ve discovered when my balance is off I tend to binge eat. 

I asked Melissa from Melissa Bender Fitness to help me with personal workouts to get me started, and my workouts will be Monday-Friday and cardio daily. I’m going to focus on moving more and obsessing less. I’m going to find the joy I once had in exercising and quit procrastinating. It’s not that hard. My thanks to Melissa Bender Fitness for helping me on my new journey.

That’s it for now. Today I begin again in gratitude because I’m healthy enough to be able to begin again. Remember this, it’s really all you need to get started. My new emphasis will be wellness, fitness, strength, agility, flexibility and my mind and body connection. Weight loss will be the bonus. A quick mention for the volunteering I promised for Henry’s Home and Horse Sanctuary, I’m still planning to go. My husband James is doing a lot of traveling and as soon as that settles we will be volunteering together. He asked me to wait for him, so I’m giving him time to follow through with his appointments first. 

Love and Light to you. Take care of your temple, nurture your body and soul. If something does not serve you do not do it. You are beautiful, but beauty on the inside is so much more sustainable. Let’s get healthy and well so we can tackle our goals and take on the world. That’s a beautiful thing.

Rose

 

 

44 Day Challenge

Did you know it’s 44 days until Halloween arrives? This really begins the Autumn/Holiday season for many. My hubby James and I always have our little tradition. We eat burgers ( now vegan)  and carve pumpkins and drink cider, all watching scary movies. It’s a tradition we honored since our Pittsburgh days. This year we will not let that tradition slide by.

Today I’m starting a 44 day challenge. I’m going to try to show up here daily and share what I’m doing. I’m going to take it Day by day because I may change things up, but my plan is to focus on nutrition, fitness and goals. To show up daily despite my work schedule. I’ve lost 23 lbs but in my opinion I’ve been not working as hard as I can. I watched a video with Tao-Porchon Lynch and she really inspired me. So today begins my challenge. It’s 44 days until Halloween. Let’s do this!! 

No cheat days until Halloween. No pasta. Only whole grain foods in moderation. A little dark chocolate is ok. I’m really going to try to not eat my goodies at our bake sale, just the vegan healthy cookies but in moderation. No refined junk of any kind. I’m going to eat clean vegan. 

Daily Yoga Sun Salutations, and some other workouts. I’m using Melissa Bender Fitness, and my cardio will be walking, running etc. I plan to move 60 minutes a day plus ten sun salutations daily. Legs up a wall before bed. I don’t care if my workout before or after work, if I have time to sit and watch tv I have time to without. 1 hour plus ten sun salutations. Like that Pizza Guy on YouTube says, that’s the rules. Everybody knows the rules, everybody being me. 

The other things I will be adding will be addressed in future posts. What I’m reading, writing, who I’m watching for inspiration. Fun classes I may take, plus tools for self development. Products I use to help me heal and make me feel well again. I’m not sick but my body can be my temple again. Lots of personal goals I’m going to tackle. No procrastination. Today is the day. As I type this we found out an old friend in Pittsburgh PA lost his battle with Lung Cancer. He was only 38. Life is short. Do what you dream of doing today. RIP Chris Pierce. Thank you for your kindness.

RIP Chris

 

WEIGH IN WEIGHT GAIN

I was reading Mantra Wellness Magazine, (photo from the pages of the magazine). I opened the magazine and this was the first page. It totally spoke to me. I messed up, again. I gained 3 of the 13 lbs I lost. Here I am, facing the music and starting over.

Weight loss is a series of ups and downs. You begin all gun go until a holiday or other food related event comes along. All of a sudden you stop tracking and you promise yourself just one bad day. Then there’s leftovers, so one cheat day becomes two. Soon you have lost your momentum. I’ve been there when I was successful in my weight loss the first time around, and I’m there now at the beginning of my second weight loss journey. The key is to catch it, to own your slip up and get back on that weight loss wagon. Get on the scale, face it and get moving. I gained three pounds. My weight is currently 174 lbs. I’m still down ten, and I’m catching this now before I gain the whole ten back. I’m making like a GPS,  I’m yelling recalculating. Here’s how I’m going to get back at it and stop the gain cycle and continue on my wellness/weight loss/fitness journey part two.

The first thing is to access the damage, weigh yourself. You need to know where you are.It’s easy to be in denial. Better to cry over a few pounds now. I weighed myself and tracked my weight. 

My next step is to track all my food, and as a ww member I’m going to try to be in blue dots. That means stay within my healthy range of points, period. I noticed my weight went up when I didn’t track.  When I did track I went over my points. My day begins with 24 oz of water with lemon, and a banana and an apple or whatever fruit I have. I let my body digest it before my daily one cup of coffee. Then my breakfast. Lately I’m eating a garden of life plant based protein bar with my coffee. Hey, I’m on the run and it’s only 5 pts. I’m going to make oat and peanut butter protein balls too. If you are vegan I would love to know some fast and healthy breakfasts that are your favorites. 

Being accountable here helps, so I plan to try to blog daily and try to get better sleep. I have two Siamese cats, and the minute our heads touch the pillow they decide it’s time to party. We have to get better sleep, that’s number one. 

Move daily. Non negotiable. That’s my only fitness rule right now. I’ve been spotty with my fitness so I’m making this one goal to start. Move my body vigorously for 45 minutes to 1 hour daily. I will be more specific later, but that’s my rule. It could be running, walking fast, Melissa Bender Fitness workouts etc. I just have to move it for 45 minutes to 1 hour. I started this on Labor Day. Plus I’m going to also add sun salutations, stretching and legs up a wall pose for circulation. 

Eat clean 80/20. The majority of my vegan diet must be Whole Foods plant based with processed vegan food only occasionally. Tracking every bite. I stopped this and I gained three pounds. It’s ok, I’m painfully human. I may try to not eat past 8 pm, but this may be difficult with my work schedule. I’m going to try. Time to revisit vegan meal prepping. 

So this is my restart of my restart. We are still planning to go to Henry’s Home and Horse Sanctuary soon, definitely this month. Ive been asked by my husband James to go when he can go. I do plan to visit and volunteer regularly after our first visit. There’s a lot going on in our life but this is something I can’t wait to do. I’m also helping a friend with a bake sale for her dog that needs surgery. I will post more about that later. I’m baking vegan goodies!! I believe we are here to be of service to others. Sometimes stress gets in the way, I’m working on ways to destress naturally.

I’m off to get my daily exercise in. I want you to know the road to goal does have potholes, and an occasional thunderstorm or two that can throw you off track. The sun will shine again, just begin traveling your path as many times as need be. The destination will always be there. Love and Light. Rose

 

LOSING WEIGHT IS A PROCESS

Losing weight is a process, in the beginning it’s easy but sticking it out takes extra willpower. Life gets sticky, and it gets in the way. It’s easy to fall of the wagon and stop the healthy patterns you’ve developed in the beginning of your weight loss journey. You will know when this happens, and when you realize it nip it in the bud. 

This week was challenging to say the least. Nothing worth mentioning just adulting and all that comes with it. I didn’t track for days. I almost went for vegan whoppers at Burger King on nights when work was slow and stressful. Waitressing has bad days and bad weeks, it’s normal but when you go into work and stand around it makes you question things. In the end it’s is the way of working in a restaurant, good days and bad days. It always seems like bad days come when you are stressed. Time to reboot and recalculate, like a gps. 

So today I recalculate, I’m trying to check my mood and mindset. I’m back to tracking. I’m planning for Monday and a better and more productive week. Writing my weekly goals on Sunday night. I’m going to try to stress less and be happy in the moments, even the mundane moments that drive me mad. No reason to slip up on my weight loss goals because of a bad week. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, this road to weight loss goals. 

Love and Light

Rose

Weight Watchers Online

Sometimes you need help and guidance. I recently started working out with my personal trainer Bethany, my best friend Melissa Benderfitness has amazing fitness and yoga videos I follow, but I was struggling with food. I finally caved in after realizing I can’t do it alone and I joined Weight Watchers Online and downloaded the app. They now call themselves WW and their latest program is called freestyle. It focuses on good nutrition but no food is outlawed.

I’m vegan but occasionally I like vegan fun foods, I can lose weight, have my vegan cake and eat it too. Portion control will help me feel in control, and I will learn to focus again on clean nutrition but not freak out if I have a little vegan treat once in a while. For me WW gives me power over food, anyone who suffers eating disorders understands the power food can have over you. I can’t live like that any longer. Today is my day two and I feel great. This program is livable and sustainable.

My  journey includes fitness. I am doing cardio five to six days a week. I’m working out with my trainer once a week, but soon as I learn what she’s teaching me I will do the workouts 2-3 times a week plus Melissa Benderfitness videos and yoga. I’m on this. I try to do my cardio outdoors when I can, there’s nothing like mobile meditation with nature as your backdrop. Below is me in May 2017 right before my Mom passed away and our move from LA to Houston.  I was in great shape, I did it once, I’m going to do it again. 

Well I’m off for now. I picked a charity for my next ten pound weight loss. I will post soon, I want to use the laptop for that so I can include all of their links. Monday I weighed in at 184.4. It’s ok, I got this. Love and Light to all. We are on this journey together, we can lift each other up as we each go about trying to reach our destinations. The journey is the reward. 

 

 

 

GOALS

Happy Friday to all. As I start anew I’m starting to set goals again. Im fighting some fatigue this second time around, I work late and usually I don’t get to bed late. I may do a lot of my workouts at 11 or 12 midnight since I’m so wired after work. My fatigue only hits me in the morning when I wake up, so prepping meals and giving myself time to wake up and have a morning routine before work is easier for me and my schedule. 

I am so blessed to have Bethany as my trainer, and to have Melissa Bender Fitness videos and guidance. I may join WW online to help me with my food monitoring. It’s a great program and it takes the fear away of food being good vs bad, it’s all food. As a vegan I’m trying to make sure I get everything I need, but WW will help with little splurges within reason. It helps keep me from binges. I’m signing up Monday. Today I weighed in at 183 lbs. 

My trainer Bethany and Melissa Bender Fitness are the experts,  but as a former dancer and this being my second go at fitness, I do have a lot of knowledge about proper form and the body. I’m beginning my studying for the American Council of Exercise group exercise certification, and I hope to take the exam in the fall. After being in the Richard Simmons Video, and taking two classes with him weekly I was so inspired. I thought, this is what I love, I can do this to. So my plan is to pass the exam and teach upbeat, inspirational dance aerobics classes like he did. I’m a dancer and this is in my heart and soul, it’s the one thing missing from my life. Once a dancer, always a dancer. I will leave the heavy exercise to the professionals, and do that only as a student and not a teacher. My plan is to learn to teach all the areas I excel in, stretching, dance, etc. I’m really excited about this new chapter and I have quite a lot of work to do to get there. 

I have chosen a new charity to get involved with once I lose ten pounds. I’m going to first lose 3 more pounds since I went up 3 lbs since Easter. So when I reach 170 lbs I will be volunteering alongside my trainer Bethany at a local non-profit near and dear to my heart. I will announce this Monday, the day I join WW online and do another weigh in. We also plan to register for a 5k locally and take a yoga class. I’m dying to study ballroom but unfortunately that’s not on my budget at the moment. More goals to come but I think this is a good head start.

It’s Mothers Day weekend and I wish everyone who is a Mother a Happy Mothers Day. That includes all the wonderful women who take care and love their companion animals. It’s your Mothers Day too. Happy Unconditional Love Day. Mothers Day and May 21st are not easy days for me, since I lost my Mom May 21st 2017. I send love and hugs to my sisters who feel exactly like I do, and all of you who also lost a beloved Mother. My Mother would expect me to keep going and never give up on my goals. She would always say to keep trying, all they can say is no. 

Love and Light 

Rose

 

NEVER GIVE UP

It’s been thunder-storming for days here in Houston, and today is no exception. I have battled the idea of staying with this blog or starting a new blog for my new weight loss journey. After thoughtful consideration and lots of feedback, I have decided to stay here and bloom where my blog was planted. This means I plan on being much more transparent about the ups and downs this time around.

This second phase is not easy, and I will not sugar coat it. I have obstacles that I did not have in 2013. Things to overcome and hurdles to jump. I’m not being a defeatist, I will find a way. I’m just saying this time is definitely more of a challenge. 

As I begin again, there are many things I’ve procrastinated about, things I’ve put off that need attention. Yesterday was the dentist, and I found out I need my wisdom teeth out and a deep cleaning. My insurance doesn’t cover it all, so I need to really focus on saving to get it done. It will be easier for me to lose weight when I don’t just brush my problems under the rug. I’m still waitressing, so my night hours are a challenge, but I will find a way to overcome what holds me back this time around, even if it takes time. My husband and I are really planning change after a rough two years.

Change takes positivity, time, patience and perseverance. Change doesn’t happen when you procrastinate. I’m learning a lot about myself since we moved to Houston from LA. I went from being a go getter to a procrastinator. It hasn’t been all bad, I still submit my writing and I’ve been published quite a few times since we arrived here, and for that I’m so proud. I’m speaking of my fitness and weight loss. Yo Yo dieting is a form of procrastination. I own that. 

Today I took a me day, I woke up with an uneasy feeling and woke up to a dreaded bad news text. Now I’m waiting and praying it’s not that serious. A family member is in the hospital and it’s exactly two years ago my Mom was in the hospital before we lost her. Being far from family during these moments is emotionally draining. Sitting by the phone and waiting. I hope you join in with me and send healing thoughts, energy and prayers to my loved one. 

Life, it’s a series of ups and downs. I’ve kind of been in the crossroads lately, as the ups and downs of my life swings back and forth like a pendulum. I’m positive my loved one will recover and the pendulum with swing in the direction of positivity and new beginnings. Join me as I embrace my new reality and the second phase of my health journey. I believe I can do it again, so with hard work I will achieve. I’m humbled and human, but like the Phoenix I will rise even if I still stumble from time to time. I will always get back up and try again.

Life ain’t gonna live itself. I’m a lover of life no matter what comes my way. 

Love and Light to all 

Rose