Sunday, October 27, 2013

Accomplishments, Balance, & Celebrations. The ABC's of Success!

Whoa. That title makes it sound like this is going to give you all the answers about weight loss and how to make a life changing journey.... I wish that was exactly what I could give you. Instead, I'll talk about some of those in my life that has taken place this last week! 

On Tuesday, the UM Staff Senate had a FREE Power Hour at Title Boxing Club for all UM Employees. I was excited to try kickboxing for the first time and actually take a group class again. I was warned ahead of time by one of the workers about how my heart rate would go up and that the workout and first 15 minutes would be the hardest part. I understood that kickboxing would be a challenge, but for a split second I was intimidated and I was considering leaving. I stuck it out. I kept up & was sweating harder than I ever have before. It was tough. A whole hour that felt like 2 hours. I learned so much & walked away feeling strong and powerful. 

Such a hard workout!

Had so much fun! 

On Thursday, it was the one day I've been waiting for the past 4 months!!! MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS in Missoula! I have been working my tail off so I could feel awesome in the outfit I wore to the concert! I had a tough time shopping for the outfit because I didn't know what I wanted to "look" like. I finally landed on the idea of skinny jeans, boots, and a nice flowy top. I didn't get a full body picture but I felt AMAZING and I was so happy! I enjoyed the concert so much & it was worth the hard work and dedication. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis put on the BEST show I've ever been to! I danced the night away! 

Me & Alesha!

Karla, Me, & Aislinn

This weekend I decided to have some fun! I didn't eat that well and didn't workout, but I had fun and my soul needed some friend time and no stresses! I didn't do horribly, but I could have done better! The best part? I keep looking at myself in windows or in pictures and am amazed at how far I've come and I know I could never let myself go again. 

So, since tonight is Sunday night I did some grocery shopping & wanted to share some ideas! I found some dark chocolate almond milk (sweetened) and compared it to my normal unsweetened almond milk. I posted it on IG and so many people started bashing on the sugar content. I agree, it is higher...but it's not as high as most chocolate milks out there. Plus, my sugar in take is VERY low (natural sources only) so the fact that I will only add splashes of it on occasion in my smoothies. I took a couple sips and enjoyed it! 

Here is some meal prep ideas! Click here for the full recipes! 

Egg Muffins

Red Potatoes

Crock Pot Chicken "Fajitas"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Find a Balance

What Brings You Peace?

If there is one thing that I've found most important during this whole journey is to find a balance. Not just pertaining to exercise or food. You need to have a balanced life, I know, easier said than done. It takes a lot of practice and sometimes it feels like a big FAILURE but other times you feel such peace that you are reminded why you started this crazy journey. 

I am a Christian, I'm sure you have all picked up on that if you've been following my posts. I was raised with my Native American traditions passed down from my great grandmother, but I was also raised in a small church. When I was a teenager, I attended a church camp for 7 years and it was a big part of my faith and identity as a Christian. 

So, when it comes to finding a balance it's important that you take time and turn to an area in your life that heals, rejuvenates, and motivates your spirit. If you are Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, or if religion is something that you may not lean toward, find something. When I am home or am able to go to a Pow-Wow or sit with an elder, I always feel at "home" and peaceful. It's a large part of who I am and it puts my life into perspective. I am also reminded of the traditions I hold close and it reminds me to stay connected to that part of my life, even away from the reservation. 

Comparison Picture.

So many of us find losing weight is difficult and all your time and energy is spent in the kitchen or at the gym. Yes, that is a majority of it, but if you're not taking time to really find inner peace and balance, all your hard work can go unnoticed or your progress can be delayed because you're not in a "right mind". I highly encourage you to reach out to a friend, group, or organization that brings you happiness. 

I spent the weekend at a women's retreat and I found myself not focusing on my weight or what to eat next. Yes, we ate meals and there were options of bad and healthy food, and I felt amazing when I had healthy food on my plate but also allowed myself to eat a donut hole. I didn't fret because I was in a positive mind set. I knew that all my hard work the past 7 months wouldn't be rouined with a donut hole. I also reminded myself of the simple fact: this journey is to prepare us for the future. 

Everyone says to take it one day at a time. Yes, that's so true; you can become very overwhelmed. But there comes a day, and I promise you, it will come; you aren't just focusing on the hour you're in, you aren't worried about the decisions you're making that second. You look to tomorrow, aware of what challenges come and you have such confidence to get through anything thrown your way. That's when you know this challenge has become a lifestyle. 

October 21, 2013. Meal prep for work & an update picture.

 Be confident in your ability to change your life. You can spend days and hours talking yourself down and talking yourself out of a decision, but you're only hurting yourself. Stop holding yourself back, lift your spirit and mind higher than you ever imagined; progress will take place. You may not like your body, but until you accept it and realize that changes can be done, you will always be stuck where you are. Accept it, look at it, touch it, know what you're working with and start the improvements. Once you see progress, you will fall in love with your imperfect body. Remember, we all have imperfect bodies, it's how we fall in love with them each day that makes us successful. 

Wishing you peace, acceptance, joy, and understanding in this crazy journey. Lean on me, ask questions, find someone who you can be accountable to, and never give up.


Monday, October 14, 2013

First 5K & HUGE Milestone!

I'm not a runner. I don't like running, actually. I never ran when I was heavier because I simply couldn't. Now that I can, it's not one of those things I love to, but I will do it. One of my 3 goals for losing weight and becoming fit was to run...not walk for cancer and other issues close to my heart. I told myself that one day I would run a half marathon or maybe a full marathon for raising money for cancer, PCOS, suicide etc. I shared my goals and hope to run a 5k this year with my dear friend, Mamoru, and just days before he left this earth he said, "why just run one 5k? Run 5!" I laughed. I told him I would try. Since he left, I wanted to honor his name and memory in a positive, clean, healthy way. After all, he was one of my biggest supporters. I decided that for the next year I would run as many 5K's as possible. 

I have a t-shirt that his mom, Julie gave me when I was at their home. It has a picture of him and a beautiful writing piece on the back about family. Mamoru was the closest thing to a brother I had, so I thought it was only fitting that with each race I do, I will wear the shirt, write the date, race name, and time on the shirt. After a year, I will frame the shirt and put it on my wall. I didn't realize how emotional participating a 5K would be for me. Yes, I was emotional because I was remembering my friend, but also the simple fact I would have never signed up at 250 lbs...even to walk it. My confidence and self worth has increased beyond belief. 

I spent most of the 5k walking with a friend because of how cold it was! I definately did not train for a 5k in the cold. My lungs were freaking out, even walking. I'm excited though, I plan to actually train for a 5k at least a couple times a week. I think I'll practice running outside during the weekend, so my lungs have some idea as to what to expect. :) 

I did this for you, Mamoru.

I'm noticing strength and endurance in my body that I didn't know existed. I was just telling a friend last week, I feel like I'm in this awkward stage because I know my body can do so much more than what it looks like I'm capable of doing. Yes, I don't look 250 lbs anymore, but I don't look like a body builder either. However, when I see women and men benching weights or doing machines at the gym, and I'm able to keep up, they are shocked. That to me, proves that any number on a scale is crap!! 

I've said this soooo many times before, and I probably will continue to say it until the end of time. It's something I'm extrmeley passionate about and I truly believe nothing (body size, weight, etc) will change unless it place....


I had to tell myself that I was worth fighting for. Once I did that, everything fell into place. No, it didn't happen over night and I still had to work very hard and remind myself often of my purpose and love for my body. Once I did though, I felt unstoppable. Be realistic. Stare at yourself in the mirror often. Look at what you're working with. Picture the slightest changes and soon it won't be a picture, it will be reality. The hardest part of this journey is the mental struggles that come with food, body image, and self worth. 

Something this weekend happened that really gave me a new rush of motivation. Last October 13, 2012, I was at a football game and a picture was taken of me. You've probably seen it posted it quit a bit, it's a picture of my heaviest weight 253 lbs. I untagged myself on facebook, deleted it off my facebook, etc when it first was posted. Now, it's a favorite photo to reference because I've come so far!! Anyway, a whole year has passed since that photo, and I decided to wear the same top and the same size jeans as the picture to share a little comparison. :) 

I am wearing a size 18/20 (stretch) American Eagle pants and a XXL stretch sweater.on the picture on the Left. Currently I'm in a size L/M in shirt (depending on the style) & a 12/13 pair of pants.There is a total of 72+ lbs difference between then & now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

PCOS Awareness Month Giveaway Winner!

Congrats! Please stay tuned for when I feature 3 amazing women and their stories this week. 

To everyone who entered, your beauty, strength, and determination was a privilege to read! Best of luck and hugs to you and your journey! 

Please read about Jess Pauly & her journey thus far! 

"Hi! My name is Jess. I'm 19 years old and I was diagnosed with PCOS April 15th, 2013. My doctor tried to explain and answer my questions about it to very little success on that first visit and that visit was followed by monthly blood tests up until August of 2013. My DHEA levels were and still are very very elevated. The first step my doctor took was to put me on metformin. Sadly I had a severe allergic reaction to the medication and I was switched to Victoza which is a once daily injection. Being a 19 year old college student, I bawled my eyes out when my nurse handed me a pack of needles for the month and a sharps container... but I got over it thankfully. My insurance would not cover victoza so two months ago I switched to Byetta which is a twice daily injection and has made me feel somewhat ill but it is working correctly in my body and I've lost 32 lbs in the last two months thanks to the combination of proper medication and my dietician opted to switch me to a Gluten and Dairy Free lifestyle plan. I've been G&D Free for one month now and I will not lie: It sucks. Being used to indulging in bread and cheeses, it was heartbreaking to walk away from my favorite foods but the weight loss has made it worth it. I've added exercise to my daily life (walking for about half an hour) and I've built a support network through my family and friends to try and feel more comfortable with my diagnosis. 
I still sometimes find myself crying and feeling sorry for myself but then I remember how many people are not only supporting me in my daily life but there is this wonderful network of women with PCOS online here as well. That makes me smile all the time! I found the PCOS Awareness Association two weeks ago so I'm still relatively new but it's been amazing to read and post along with everyone else who understands what I'm going through and who I can connect with. So, so far in the last few months I've been playing with new recipes that are good for me as well as taste good, I've been toying around with herbal remedies to some of my unpleasant symptoms and/or side-effects, and I've been trying to step out of my comfort zone and communicate with others who have PCOS as well as remember to ask for help and support when I need it (I'll admit I'm stubborn and really don't like asking for help)."

If you would like to contact Jess, please email: