I DID IT!!!! Yes, all the caps and all the exclamations because I’m proud of myself! I had to fight to finish this challenge. I struggled with self doubt, poor food choices, exhaustion, angry kids, asthma issues due to the fires as well as a bunch of LIFE. I was originally thinking this would be easy compared to the Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred and I was right however as this was longer it presented different challenges. I regret nothing and would encourage everyone to try it as long as your doctor says it is okay.
It took me 1 hour 11 minutes and 8 seconds (1:11:08) to complete this 5k but I did it. It was past 9pm but I finished. I was shaking and crying but I finished. I was having breathing problems but I finished. My knees hurt but I finished. Now my feet are swollen (need different shoes), my hair smells, my kids are crying and the dog feels ignored but I finished. I am currently writing this right after finishing and as tired as I am I feel amazing.
I’m thinking about my next fitness challenge as they seem to keep me motivated and active while inside. I have a vague idea but I know whatever it is, I’ll complete it. I know the scale won’t magically go down a ton without steady healthy eating habits but it is a start and it is contributing to improving my mental health which is extremely fragile. Any little thing I can do to feel amazing, especially if it is free, I’ll do because feeling amazing right now is an accomplishment by itself. With everything going on in the world, I think everyone should find something big or small that makes them feel amazing! Please pick your version of amazing safely ❤
The title sums up the post but I’ll elaborate! Please note I’ll use restaurant, takeout and fast-food all referring to food we didn’t cook at home.
My husband and I had a terrible fast-food/ takeout/ restaurant habit. It was so bad that I would meal prep then we’d get takeout and have lots of food waste as we wouldn’t double back to eat what I cooked. I kept watching my weight balloon because I ordered whatever sounded good at the moment. My new peak was/is 251lbs; I’m only 5’6″… As the horror of this new depressing milestone set in, my husband pitched the no fast food idea to me. I quickly agreed but was worried he’d have to be my strength due to my sugary coffee addiction. Little did I know I was going to do great!
Week 1: The biggest challenge was finding a coffee alternative to my Starbucks addiction. In case you need an idea of what I mean, I’d go to Starbucks and buy 2 drinks (grande and venti) usually with extra espresso or a syrup and a pastry (chocolate croissant). It was expensive and not the best choice for me. The alternative I found was La Colombe available at some Target and Costco locations. I have tried the four flavors available near me but they have more (listed by preference): Mocha, Triple Shot, Vanilla with regular milk and with oat milk. Though the month is over I continue to buy these or brew coffee at home instead of going out.
Week 2: I really started missing the convenience of fast food. The ease of going through the drive-thru or waiting until night before eating because I could. Around this time I realized I could meal prep without it being boring. I decided to start planning my meals a day or two before we went grocery shopping. I thought of what I used to order and simply switched the drive-thru for the grocery store. I even went back to finding quick flavorful meals on Pinterest. I can’t decide if I want to write about the things I’ve tried on Pinterest or not but here’s a picture of one meal we loved. My husband ate it with his steak on “fancy” days when he didn’t feel like eating his regular meal.
Week 3: We went to the grocery store way too much. This was a strange issue. We were eating at home like we planned but we weren’t sticking to our normal food. We made lots of unnecessary trips to the grocery store for wine, sake, sushi, pastries and frozen pizza. Needless to say I was eating at home but my extras were eating up the money we were saving. Again I had to take a look at what I was eating, when and why. I knew I was an emotional eater but the detailed answers to those questions became clear during this month. Once I started addressing them, I was able to make a more realistic meal plan.
Week 4: I was doing well and even preferred cooking all of my meals. It was a different form of self care. I was choosing to put my health first with every meal I cooked. I had to plan, commit and cook. I would listen to music, think about fun things to do with the kids or just have random internal conversations with myself. I could keep this up no problem. At the end, I knew I’d go back to eating out especially sushi as nothing compares to the actual sushi bar but this time it would be rare versus regular. Plus we like to support local and try new restaurants.
Week 5: The month ended and I had my first take-out in over 32 days! I was excited since I was armed with this new resolve to only eat out occasionally. I opened it up, took a bite and immediately thought “that’s it, right back to old habits” then something cool happened. I felt GROSS. My stomach was bloated and upset, my feet and hands started to swell and I couldn’t finish it. I COULDN’T FINISH IT!!!! That might sound awful to some but for me it was great. It was proof my choices really were having a negative effect on my health. At home, I controlled all of the ingredients and the amounts but when someone else does the cooking you can’t control it. Sure you can order healthy alternatives, eat at certain places, etc but at the end someone else is still in control.
Conclusion: If you want to try something different or challenge yourself, go for it. You might be shocked at what you discover. Did I lose a bunch of weight? No. Did I save a ton more by eating at home? No because experimenting with food can be pricey. I didn’t expect what I did get. We did start eating all meals at the table. I started being more aware of what I was eating as well as the snacks my kids were eating. My oldest tried kale. I’ve started to take better care of myself; no more quarantine slump. Overall I feel better, am more aware of what I’m doing and am more present with my kids. I also have a schedule and am starting to get active. I would definitely consider this experiment a success. I’ve even moving on to a new challenge but that’ll be for a separate post 🙂
With all of the updates I’ve given regarding my diet, you think I would’ve stuck to something by now but you’d be wrong. My problem is the same as a lot of others. I start something, am super excited, something comes up, I’m thrown off then whoops. I get derailed, down on my lack of self control then I start the cycle all over again. Well this time is different because I won’t give up. In the words of a cool Instagram meme I’ll just yell “Plot Twist” and keep on going. This won’t be perfect, pretty or pleasant but I know it will be worth it because health.
Going forward, I’ll be making short weekly videos about my diet week rather than the same old blog posts about what I did or didn’t do. The videos will be faster seeing as how I’ll be cutting out the desire to add pictures or any other window dressing. I’ll be talking about how the week went which will include hits, misses and whatever in between. I also post product review videos. In about a month, I’ll be redoing the MyChelle Perfect C Pro Serum. I loved it but didn’t finish because I got pregnant. Yes, I could have continued but I didn’t as my skin is unusually nice when I’m pregnant so I didn’t think the review would be fair. However with a toddler and an infant I feel this will really put the serum to the test.
Hopefully you’ll join me weekly on YouTube to see diet related videos as well as an occasional review 🙂 It’s Journey to Mommy and the picture on YouTube is the same one I use here. https://youtu.be/ZT8y9dqsFGs
Things have changed. I’m working, failing at being primarily plant-based and other stuff. Most noteworthy has been my mental health. I debated mentioning this but decided it could help my son when he’s older. I hope he realizes there is nothing to be ashamed of, embarrassed about or fearful of because it can happen to anyone. Before I start, I’m not taking anything as I don’t think it is that bad however if you do need help do not hesitate to seek a professional. In my case, I sought comfort from my family.
It started when I was having a hard day. I wasn’t sleeping, everything went from great to horrible over the smallest things and I didn’t seem to enjoy anything. By all accounts, I thought my depression was coming back. I feared not being able to handle everything with a smile on my face. Embarrassed that I lacked endurance because all of this took place in only a few months. And I was ashamed of not being able to balance everything perfectly. Holding everything in was turning me into an emotional monster.
One day I decided to blurt it all out no matter how crazy I thought it made me look. I was nervous as I’d built up a terribly dramatic scene in my head. Thankfully all went well. My husband comforted me and reminded me that taking time for myself is important. Actually following through with what we discussed was extremely hard since I’m not good at relaxing…
Step 1 – Logging off
I stopped checking social media which included watching vlogs. I started comparing my life to the ones I saw which isn’t fair because most only put up the good stuff and even “regular” moments seemed to look shiny compared to my own.
Step 2 – Getting the basics done
I knew there was no way I could relax if I didn’t clean my house to my satisfaction and check off certain things on my to do list for work. I’m the type of person who has to have clean, organized space or my mind feels cluttered. I stopped fighting and used my first (and second) day alone to do just that!
Step 3 Relaxing
I never thought I’d be able to do this! Technically I’m writing this post, working, making grocery list, light cleaning (I truly enjoy cleaning) and planning my return to healthy lifestyle changes. But I am truly relaxed (for me…). Like previously stated, I enjoy getting things done and though I should’ve continued to do nothing it just isn’t in my nature.
Was my time alone perfect? No. Was I relaxing the whole time? Nope. Did I enjoy myself? Absolutely! I may have times when my emotions go haywire and I don’t enjoy anything but now I have steps to get me back into the right head space. I also have people I can talk to that will help me come back down off of the emotionally dangerous ledge. So here are my keys to success*:
identify the problem(s)
talk to someone including a professional if necessary
make a plan
*this is not medical/ professional advice; this is what works for me 🙂
The first week of my Pescatarian/ Vegetarian lifestyle was easy. It was fresh in my mind and I was filled with blind determination. I knew what I wanted to do and I made sure to stay close to home so I wouldn’t be tempted to revert to my old eating habits. I felt great. My mind and intestines felt clear. I’m not sure if this was in my head or real but I loved the feeling. I wanted to keep it going but I still hadn’t bought groceries so I kind of fell off on the weekend. Not horribly but still not what I planned.
Week two was just plain sad… It was so sad I didn’t even track how many good days I had. As far as how I felt, I didn’t have the same clear, excited feeling. I was slightly stressed, distracted and questioning every decision I’ve ever made as an adult. Some of those things were huge and caused a lot of unnecessary anguish. I won’t say my new lifestyle was the cause because I don’t know. What I took from the first two weeks:
Don’t be a junk food pescatarian/ vegetarian
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not perfect
esp if you’re not a vegetable lover…
Have a backup plan when you’re on the go
Don’t skip meals unless you are planning to fast
this is not medical advice
Keep a food journal or at least jot down food you weren’t planning on eating
Ex: in my case it would be any meat other than fish
The picture at the top was the first meal I planned after going grocery shopping. It was a big deal because I wasn’t a fan of cucumbers. However I am challenging myself to try vegetables I don’t like. Sure I don’t love them but I’m glad I went for it because now I find them tolerable. The takeaway is give yourself leeway without completely forgetting your original goal(s).
I’ve been considering being a pescatarian or vegetarian for a while but never fully committed. Now I feel inspired to give it a try. I’m not going to commit to a specific duration because I’m hoping this will be a permanent change. I know myself and the people I’m surrounded by so there will be challenges but in the end everyone will be supportive (or tolerant).
I plan to read the Meatless Machine chapter in the book 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris. He was spot on helping me lose weight (though I’ve fallen off the wagon and burned it…) so I trust this source to get me started with all around health and nutrition for my seafood only journey. I still plan to transition to full vegetarian but I feel pescatarian is a more realistic goal for now. I’m not a huge fan of vegetables. So the first thing I need to do is research recipes in order to make my meals edible. Once I get that down I’ll start trying new things. Any advice or helpful tips would be more than welcome.
I’ve always been fascinated by people adventurous enough to live abroad. I wanted to move when I was fresh out of high school but I didn’t. I wanted to move when I got married but again I didn’t. I’m a mom and still have those desires but this time I wouldn’t want it to be permanent because I want my son to be able to grow up around his family (unless an opportunity was too good to pass up!).
My questions for anyone reading this: How did you do it? Did you plan for years? Did you just go for it? How did/ do you feel? What did your family/ friends think? Does anyone visit you? Do you go back home? What has your experience been? Any advice for a mom that wants to see the world?
I have a desire to show my son the world so he can experience life outside of the United States of America. I want him to be brave enough to be an explorer and know that mommy and daddy have his back. I want him to visit different places and know he can live any where he chooses especially if he has space for his parents (LOL)! Most of all I want him to widen his view of the world and know the world is big and small at the same time because while the space is huge the human experience happens everywhere and everyone has a story to tell.
I’m on YouTube! Below is a link to my newest unboxing video.
I decided to start posting on YouTube a few months ago because it is easier to show products in a video. I have a few review and unboxing videos but going forward I will have more. I plan on having 3 playlists for now: health and fitness, unboxing and reviews as well as my YouTube adventure.
Health and Fitness will at times replace the blog because I’ve been failing to update it since I haven’t made any real progress. I feel YouTube will give me the opportunity to quickly own up to my healthy lifestyle struggle rather than having a repetitive apology blog. Reviews and Unboxing are fun things I like to do because sometimes (esp when buying online) you need to see how an item looks while in motion. And you want to see someone you know trying it out. My YouTube adventure will be an amusing look at the process I’m going through to start my channel and work through anything that comes up.
I hope you’ll join me on YouTube as Journey to Mommy starts creating videos 🙂 And thank you for reading and subscribing to my blog. It means a lot when I see people not only found my tiny corner of the internet but also liked what they saw and chose to stick around ❤
Do you remember her from my Motivation & Habits post? If not feel free to check it out!
NOTE: I asked the woman above for permission to post this screenshot.
Well I did exactly what I intended to do but with a twist. After checking out http://www.ryschyragz.com I decided to purchase motivation items. These are items I intentionally bought in a smaller size to inspire and remind myself to stick to my healthy lifestyle. This is also a form of financial motivation for me as I do not like to waste money.
I bought 2 shirts and pants.
I’m an XL or XXL depending on the shirt and pants size 16/18. The shirts are both medium which I didn’t plan but they were too cute to pass up. I originally bought a different pair of pants but they were out of stock. She explained what happened, apologized for it and sent me the pants below in 2 different sizes (L & XL). Not only was I pleasantly surprised by the customer service but she included a nice note saying thank you and acknowledging what happened. Now I don’t know about you but good customer service is getting harder and harder to find so when I get it I become a regular customer.
The surprises kept coming as I tried the clothes on. I tried it on to see how much I needed to lose before any of it fit. I mean they don’t fit correctly but at least I got them on! I’m wearing the XL pants in both pictures as I was under no delusion that the Large was going to go up far enough for me to take an appropriate picture.
The shirts are both soft to the touch and feel good on. The pants have great stretch so even if they don’t look like the correct size* trust me and try them on. I’ll have an update as I lose weight and can fit them correctly. But for now I will definitely be a returning customer so I can get something that fits now 🙂
*For my exact measurements please see my April 2018 Weigh In post.
I’ve often wondered how reviewer/ product testers get in contact with their favorite brands in order to get sponsored. I’ve looked into a few things on my own but not many end up being real. I am here to ask for advice from people capable of pointing me in the right direction. I know all information comes with BUTs because no one can guarantee a company will have any use for what I can provide; detailed reviews and suggestions for improvements but any useful advice would be very much appreciated.
Drum Roll please:
Target Corporation – This has been a favorite of mine for years and I frequently refer to it as my happy place. 2 of the 3 other companies mentioned were discovered at Target. The Starbucks inside are an added bonus.
Yes To, Inc. – Specifically Tomatoes. I love their sheet masks but I can’t use them as often as I like so I am not positive they work so much as I enjoy using them during my Spa Day.
SheaMoisture – Favorite products African Black Soap: Clarifying Mud Mask, Body Wash & Clarifying Facial Wipes; Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe and last but not least Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner. They also have makeup I would love to try.
NOW Foods – ALL THE OILS!!! I’m kidding I haven’t tried them all (though I’m working on it) but I am obsessed with a lot of them. I’ll name my top 3 there are a lot: Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Grapeseed/ Avocado (these I use interchangeably).
There you have it. It is now in the universe and even though I will not give up in pursuing these brands I’m hoping someone with the knowledge I need finds my space and points me in the right direction. Also this is not me saying I wouldn’t be open to other brands especially ones with natural ingredients, fair trade practices or local businesses. I’m simply saying this is a list of companies I currently use/ go to.
PS – I’m counting this as a digital Vision Board because lets face it it would be a dream come true to have my favorite brands find my corner of the internet.