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2015

1 Jan

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions in the traditional sense. Gave that up years ago. They were always flimsy and fleeting and it felt a little silly to think I was magically going to turn it all around just because it was a new year.

For the past few years, I’ve joined in with others and chosen one word as a theme for the year. The idea is to drop the long list of challenges you want to overcome and instead focus your energy on a singular idea.

I’ve been thinking about my word for several weeks now, and thought I knew my word up until this morning. I woke up with a new word on my heart and it felt right. So, without further adieu…

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Try a little harder to be a little better. -Gordon B. Hinckley

Those who know me well know that I am on a perpetual journey of self-improvement. They also know that I am impatient with myself and can be very hard on myself. So they may be wondering how this word is different from every other day or my life.

I chose the word better because it symbolizes a more realistic expectation of myself. It’s about acknowledging small successes and finding joy in moving forward. It’s about self-love and self-acceptance.

It’s also about believing I deserve better. I often settle for what I think I deserve, but I’m slowly learning that I am worth more than I perceive.

2014 was good, but 2015 will be better.

Week 2 Recap

15 Dec

I am currently participating in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live 6-week plan to becoming Nutritarian.  You can follow along with my journey here.

Starting Weight: 279.0

Today’s weight: 281.8 (up 2.8 lbs)

Total weight loss: 8 lbs

This week will go down in history as the Bavarian Pretzel Crisis of 2014.

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First of all, I chose to take this challenge during the holidays on purpose.  Sure, I could have waited until the New Year and allowed myself to partake of all the goodies I wanted these holidays.  I specifically chose to start now.  I suppose I wanted to go ahead and face the challenge head on.

The Christmas packages from vendors started rolling in last week… dark chocolate toffee with almonds…  boxes full of cookies…

I was doing pretty good until I lost my resistance to the toffee late one afternoon.  I had at least one piece everyday afterward, which still wasn’t horrible but definitely NOT on my plan.

Started out the weekend strong and then my church Christmas party happened Saturday night.  I felt like I should go since I’m still very new to the ward and trying to get to know people/feel like I belong.  I knew they weren’t serving anything I could really eat on my plan, so I decided just to eat small portions of the healthiest items available.  No desserts.

I was feeling good about the plate of food I ate, so I allowed myself a little dessert.  I think I had two cookies, but to be honest I can’t remember because it was completely overshadowed by what happened next.

A brother in my new ward is friends with a woman who runs the German bakery on the island.  Once a week they apparently get rid of tons of bread items by donating their leftovers.  There were BAGS of fancy (and expensive) breads in our kitchen.  They were encouraging everyone to go get what they wanted.  I saw person after person hauling away big bags full off goodies and curiosity got the best of me.

I knew better than to take one step into that kitchen!!

There were still three large flour bags full of bread.  I looked in one and right on top were two pretzels.  They were glorious and I knew I was doomed.  Soft pretzels are a major weakness for me.  There was no resisting.  I took them home and gobbled them up.

Have you ever heard of “sliver, slice, slab”?  It’s the idea that we tell ourselves that we can have just a little, but then we end up devouring the whole thing…  Well, my little allowances of a piece of candy here and there snowballed into pretzels and sadly beyond.  On Sunday, I had cheese-stuffed shells with garlic bread and even a donut.

What is the most telling to me is the way I have felt.  I woke up Sunday with a sore throat and felt lethargic all day.  Two days before, I felt like I was on top of the world.  It was obvious that my health was taking a hit thanks to all the sugar and carbs I had eaten.

By Sunday night, I was ready to get my act together again.  I decided to let it go and move forward.  This is a great learning experience and I know that I’m growing and my mentality is changing.

I’m off to a very strong start for Week 3 and hopefully I’ll survive traveling and my family Christmas next weekend!

And so it begins…

1 Dec

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Starting weight: 289.8 lbs

Today is the day! A girlfriend of mine, Cassandra, started the 6-week challenge with me this morning. The photo above was taken of us about 6 weeks ago in Canadian, TX. Too bad I wasn’t holding the adorable baby so I could cover up that spare tire.

I am so grateful to have the support and expertise of a good friend! She’s done this before and is very knowledgeable. I’m a little scared – giving up sugar, salt and meat (not forever) all at once… It’s intense. I’m just so relieved to know I’m not alone in the good fight.

I’m thoroughly committed to completing these six weeks. I know it’s going to be amazing on the other side!!

Prepper

1 Dec

It was my intention to get started with my new Nutritarian lifestyle today, but Saturday was one of those days where everything seemed to go wrong.  I managed to get all of my shopping done, which was more of a task than I thought it would be.  I had an excellent list, but it was still a little overwhelming.  Trying to buy enough produce for this diet is a struggle.  I also bought as much as I could from the bulk bins at Sprouts.  I fully intend to pick up what I can from the Farmer’s Market this coming Wednesday – especially greens!

I realize that anytime you start something new, you’re going to spend some up front money investing in items you need.  I had a budget in mind and I exceeded it, but to be fair, I have prepared food for more than a week.  In any case, I feel like I overspent and will be working on that.

I finally got around to prep cooking today, and this is what I managed to accomplish:

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1.  Smoothie Packs:

Breakfast is covered for the next 10 days!  I used several different recipes to create freezer bags full of nutritious breakfasts that will only require the addition of unsweetened almond milk or pomegranate juice (or both).  I can blend it up in no time!  There’s ground flax seed in all of them and one recipe calls for cocoa powder and dates. Should be interesting!

2.  Black Beans:

I used this method to cook 2 lbs of dried black beans, but without the salt.  I had to cook them for a total of 90 minutes in the oven and they were nice and tender thanks to soaking them overnight.  Once they had cooled, I measured out 1 Cup of beans into freezer bags and ended up with 12 days worth.  I plan to add pico del gallo to them upon reheating.

3.  Ukrainian Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup:

This recipe is from Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Cookbook and was recommended by a friend.  You can also read this review from a fellow blogger.  You start the recipe by blending Granny Smith apples, prunes and water…  which was intriguing.  I doubled the recipe and ended up with 8 large servings of soup.  The broth is so yummy.  The apple is delicious but not over powering.

I will be taking an insane amount of food with my to work tomorrow.  It’s fantastic because everything is ready to go.  It’s gonna be great!

Here we go!

34

25 Nov

I’m turning 34 this week and for the first time ever, I’m having an issue with my age.  I know why it’s bothering me.  35 has always been this looming age in which my chance to have children would expire.  The old biological clock is ticking so loudly.  Like sands through the hourglass…

But I’m in no mood to drive myself crazy.  Life is REALLY good.  And I’m not giving up on having the family I desire, even if it isn’t a biological one.  And logically I know that I will be okay even if I never marry again or raise children.  I’m still working on feeling good about that spiritually.  (Mostly because I feel like it is supposed to be)

I can’t snap my fingers and make it happen, but I can prepare.  If you build it, they will come?

So, my birthday gift to myself is to make a commitment to getting healthier.  More specifically, I am committing to a 6-week plan to become Nutritarian.  I’ve been reading Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman upon the suggestion of two different friends – both also LDS.  They both feel that it is essentially the Word of Wisdom, and I would have to agree.

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Of course, I want to lose weight.  But this isn’t a “diet”.  It is a lifestyle – much like being a vegetarian or vegan.  I’m committing to this 6-week plan because I am concerned about my health and in healing.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I have fertility concerns.  You also know that I’ve been struggling with my weight/health for YEARS.  I’ve had great success in the past with clean eating.  It’s how I lost the first 60 pounds and I’ve maintained it for quite some time.  The Nutritarian plan is clean eating, but more focused.

I’m going to spend Saturday prepping for the week and will start the 6-week plan on Sunday.  Luckily for me, another friend is starting at the same time – so we plan to keep each other accountable.  I’m going to be blogging about my experience weekly and sharing recipes, etc.

I hope you’ll follow along.  I’m going to need all the support I can get.

Double Dog Dare Ya

4 Jan

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I must say, 2013 turned out to be a pretty stellar year. What made it so great? Personal progress.

I started out the year in one of the lowest points of my life, but through the love of a dear friend I started making steps in the right direction. Once I got active in the church again, everything started coming together.

The culmination of the year had me preparing to take yet another big step in my personal progress and I’m very excited about my plans for 2014.

Speaking of the New Year, I don’t generally make resolutions. I pretty much always have goals I am working on year round, but this year I felt moved to participate in My One Word.

So maybe I’m feeling a bit feisty lately. It happens. But I’m tired of approaching life so meekly.

Some of you are probably thinking, what? Meek? Brandi??!!??!!

Ok, maybe the word is scared. Fearful. Shy.

The point is that when it comes down to it, I don’t pursue the things I want the most because-

I wouldn’t dare.

Change to the natural/clean/whole foods lifestyle I really want to live:

I wouldn’t dare.

Put it out into the universe exactly what I want to be and do. (Hint- not what I am now)

I wouldn’t dare.

Ask out the fella I’ve been eyeing for the past few months?

You get the picture.

And I guess I just really want to DARE.

How am I ever supposed to get where I truly want to be if I don’t try? I’m tired of staying stagnant because its safe. I’m tired of telling myself that I’ll do those things someday.

I’m starting today. Babysteps in the right direction. Being purposeful in my daily decisions is a good start.

I dare you to take some steps toward your heart’s desires this year!

The Experiment

22 Dec

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A few months ago, my ward’s Relief Society was passing around a book- The Faith Experiment, by Laurel Christensen. This little book that took me an hour to read packed a powerful message and helped me realize that I was standing in the way of my hopes and dreams.

When my divorce was finalized two years ago, I decided my chances of having a family died with it. I made this decision in order to protect myself from further disappointment and pain. A family is all I had desired for so long, but I knew I didn’t want to just run into my next relationship with only that in mind. I knew it would take time for me to be truly ready to love again. Considering that I was already in my early 30’s, time wasn’t exactly on my side.

It was easier to believe that I would just remain alone.

The problem is that my heart knows better. I still long for that family. The spirit whispers that a family is out there for me. Deep down there is still hope.

The problem is that I’ve been to afraid believe it. What if it never happens? Can I survive another heartbreak? Will my heart harden if I don’t get what I ask for? Am I even worthy enough to want such a blessing?

It’s a crisis of Faith.

I have to believe that my righteous desire for a family will be provided if I just ask, act, and believe.

I have to pray to my Heavenly Father and ask for Him to provide the desires of my heart. This has been the hardest for me to do so far. I promise to do it tonight.

I have to do everything in my power to be worthy and prepared. This requires my dedication and action. I have to show that I am ready for the blessing.

Finally, I have to believe that a family will be provided to me. Without faith, I will surely fail.

I’m ready to take the leap!