Thursday, March 7, 2013

Heather Hobby

I’ve found a new hobby. AND I LOVE IT. Hand embroidery. I joined my friend Heather’s craft night at her shop, Smoobage, and we learned how to embroider. I took to it right away and I’ve fallen head over heels. I’ve finished one design and I’m working hard on my second. I’ve ordered some stablizers off of Amazon so once those are in, I am going to make a T-shirt for someone. Lucky I know a lot of little kids! And after T-shirts, canvas bags! Yay!

IMG_6107Craft night at Smoobage

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IMG_6116My first design, finished in two days!

IMG_6121My floss, all organized

IMG_6124Second design and my nifty floss box

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bishop Peak–San Luis Obispo

There is a mountain here in San Luis Obispo that is infamous among hikers and locals. Bishop Peak is the first of the seven sister’s here in SLO county and, as far as I know, it is the biggest peak of the seven, too. The mountain has kind of been the center of my life here. I’ve worked at various establishments near it’s base for over a year now and I drive by the mountain everyday. I’ve admired the switchbacks from afar, secretly wanting to be the one to traverse them. It just seemed too high, too crazy, too much.

Behold… Bishop’s Peak. I took this picture in the back country during a walk after work last year. It looks a lot scarier in real life. Take my word for it.

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Well… last week I did it. I hiked to the top of Bishop’s Peak. And it was glorious. I went by myself on a Friday afternoon and it took me 3.5 hours to go up and down. The weather was perfect. The skies were clear. It was hot and the higher that I climbed, the hotter that it got. The switchbacks were insane. Just when you think you’re almost there, there are five more switchbacks ahead of you. People come up and down. Good excuses to stop and take a breath while they pass. Eventually, I made it to the top. I was sweating like a mofo, too.  I ran out of water at the top. I ate my lunch up there. I enjoyed the view. I took pride in yet another accomplishment. Reminded myself how awesome I am. And then I put Tegan & Sara on my iPod and I went back down. Took my time. Watched my step. Enjoyed the descent. My legs hurt like a mother when I got to my car. I was sweaty and thirsty. And then I went to the gym and worked on the weights for my arms. And then I went home. And I took a big, deep breath and promised myself that I would do it again. And soon.

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FINALLY.

My declaration of independence.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy, Healthy Heather

It’s been some time, hasn’t it? I’ve been busy and haven’t really sat down to blog in a while. Either that, or I just haven’t been all that interested in it. But I found some time and something to say. So here I am.

My life has been pretty awesome lately. More awesome than it’s been since… pretty much forever. I have found myself in the happiest, most perfect place I could ever be in. And I’m just me, by myself, on my own, loving my life. For most of my life I thought that I could never be happy without someone to love, without someone to complete me. That was pretty dumb because right now I couldn’t imagine my life with someone else in it. I don’t want anyone else in it. The balance is so perfect right now. I’m finally living my life and I’m alive. I’m not waiting for someone else to come and resuscitate me.

At the turn of the new year, like a bazillion other people out there in the world, I decided that I wanted to get in shape and lose some weight. And that journey took me somewhere I had only hoped to go. I didn’t know that I could actually do it. I found a way to make my life good. I found a diet and exercise routine that works for me. It’s not something that a million other people could testify for. It’s just something that I started doing and adjusted it until it was mine and it works.

I sleep 7 to 8 hours every night. I work out 6 days a week, sometimes 7. I work on resistance training 3 times a week. I can press 120 lbs with my legs and I’m currently curling 50 lbs on my biceps. My arms are looking leaner, my body is becoming more toned. You should see my legs! Between weight training and the elliptical three to four times a week, my legs and butt are looking pretty sexy these days. But I’m biased. Ha! I eat five small meals a day. I balance those meals. I haven’t had fast food (except for Subway, oh wonderful Subway) since December 27th. I hardly ever drink soda. I’ve been out to the bars once and when I did that, I had a full glass of water between every drink. I take vitamins and supplements everyday. I juice my own fruits and vegetables. I stay healthy. I like being healthy.

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I’ve lost a total of 18 lbs as of this morning’s weigh in and about 1.5 inches around my entire body. And I’m going to keep going. I have a goal weight and I know I can reach it. And I’m going to. Watch me.

Oh yeah… and I still have the world’s cutest, most perfect cat.

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MY LIFE IS AWESOME.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Could It Be? It Never Was!

Lately (actually, for my entire adolescent and adult life) I’ve been really mindful of the music that is out there, acting as my personal, independent therapist. I heard this one today that had me thinking, reminiscing, laughing, forehead-palming all at once.

This song pretty much sums up my life for EVERY damn relationship fakelationship, one-night-stand, confused-one-sided-broke-down-relation… or what have you – that I’ve ever had in my whole life. I wonder “COULD IT BE?!?!” with every new boy that shows me any shred of attention or affection. Obviously, it never was. What a dumb idea… to have a one-night-stand from a meeting at a bar and think, “THIS COULD BE REAL LOVE!” Now, as I listen to this song again, in the background as I write this post, I’m starting to think that I might hate it a little bit because it reflects so much of me, or at least a past version of me and a part of me that I want to change. I’m almost kind of embarrassed of myself for having admitted that I think like that. As a much stronger girl woman than I was just a few short weeks ago, I know this mentality is seriously damaging and it’s probably why I’ve got a playlist that is 7 hours long which I’ve titled, “Free Therapy.”

“Could It Be” by Charlie Worsham

Right now I’m single and being selfish with my time and I’m happy being ALONE. No “could it be?” questions are circling overhead. It’s a good thing for me because I’m working on me and falling in love with me… which absolutely, positively has to happen if I ever hope to get over my “could it be” syndrome. So, while this song makes me laugh and think back on one too many bad decisions and fast mistakes that I thought would be my one and only, I really hope it’s a thing of the past.

*Well, once I actually looked up the lyrics, I realize that the song is about hooking up with his friend who he’s had a crush on and the repercussions of it but since I don’t have any idea what that’s like, I interpreted it in my own way. Regardless, it has brought up some tough stuff that I’m really willing to work on!*

Stay tuned for an update about my all time favorite free and versatile therapist, Taylor Swift!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Diet, Two Women, and a Whole Lot of Butt Kicking and Fat Banishing

Instead of doing homework for my newest graduate course (assessment and intervention strategies for early childhood education, BORING!) I am going to write about this diet and exercise game that I’ve been playing for the last month and a half.

It’s called The Game On! Diet and I stumbled upon it by accident. I was browsing diet books at Barnes & Noble for the millionth time, trying to find some fix for my current body problems and low self esteem. I pulled it off the shelf (I liked the cartoons on the cover) and started reading it. I was hooked. I loved it, it seemed like something that I could do. And better yet, I knew that my cousin had the same body woes and confidence problems that I was going through so I knew she’d be the perfect person to go in on this with me. I bought the book, told her about it, and the game was on!

Here’s how it works.

The Game On! Diet is a competition. You gain points for eating balanced, healthy meals – points for exercising 20 minutes a day – points for sleeping 7 hours – points for drinking butt loads of water – points for getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with new, healthy habits - points for losing 1% of your body weight each week. You get points taken away for bad stuff like stepping on the scale more than once a day, drinking alcohol, snacking, cheating, and changing your habits.

You record your score as you go. There are a lot of good resources out there for this part of the diet, too. I found a really cool PDF scorecard that I print out and use for every game. You add up your points, subtract your offenses, and report your scores. Because it’s just my cousin and I playing against each other, it’s all pretty easy. My score against her score. We’re both opponents and encouragers. But someone has to win. She won points and weight loss for the first game and so I had to buy her a $15 gift card to Sephora. I’m trying to beat her this time! I want a gift card to Sephora, too!

We started the Game On! Diet on January 2nd. I started at 260 lbs. At my “biggest loser” point, I weighed 243 lbs, shedding about 17 lbs in 3 1/2 weeks. However, I had help from a 3-day juice fast/cleanse and I’ve gained half of that loss back. But even still, I’m down more than 10 lbs from my starting weight and all that I’ve done is follow the Game On! Diet rules.

I eat five small meals a day, each meal balanced between small portions of carbs, protein, and healthy fats. For me this means a lot of hard boiled eggs, raw and steamed veggies, Reduced Fat Wheat Thins, cheese sticks, sunflower butter, whole grain toast, tuna, salmon, brown rice, and Greek yogurt (among other things). I exercise about 6-7 days a week, usually 20-60 minutes of cardio (walking, treadmill, elliptical, jogging) and resistance training (3 days a week). I sleep 7, usually 8 hours a night. I drink so much water and so much fresh juice and so much hot lemon water, that I could pee a river if the time of day called for it. I take one day off a week from all points and one meal off a week. I’ve come to realize that I don’t indulge because my tastes and habits have changed but having the option to eat what I want, at least one day of the week, is probably what makes this work so well for me. I am not deprived from the things that I love and can look forward to having them if I really want them. It won’t set me back and I’m not penalized for it.

I love this diet. I love it so much. It’s the best thing that has happened to me in years. It’s perfect for me and my current lifestyle and it’s something that I can turn into a lifetime habit. I’m doing great and I’m stronger, leaner, and much more motivated than I ever have been before. My clothes fit looser, my muscles are growing stronger and more taut. My feet hurt less. My indigestion is a thing of the past.

My cousin and I hope to continue keeping scoring and kicking each other’s butts for the rest of the year. We’re going to be so hot and sexy when this is all over and we’ve reached our respective goal weights. I can’t wait!

Check out The Game On! Diet on Amazon.com.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Splendid Saturday

Today was a good day. I didn’t do anything spectacular. I didn’t spend an evening out or go anywhere important. I spent most of the day at home, actually. But it was just what I needed. I went for a long walk around Morro Bay with my mom and the dog and then we came home and watched Frankenweenie. I spent most of the afternoon and evening cleaning my apartment which is now beautiful and organized. I took a day off from my dieting, which I do once a week, and I didn’t indulge on too much of anything. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday. I have a post that I’m working on that I will deliver soon but for now, enjoy some photos. Hope you have a good weekend and enjoy the Superbowl!

IMG_5932I can’t wait to juice half of these fruits tomorrow.

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Lucy had a hard day. Decapitated a bird and got high on catnip. Time for some sleep.

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I took a selfie in the gym locker room yesterday.
I’m down 15 lbs and working for 20.
SO PROUD OF ME.