Monday, June 24, 2013

180 in 180 Days 53-59

Hey Ya'll,
It's been a...let's say highly eventful week, but in understanding how complaining can damage all of the other good in ones life. I'm just so glad to be on a path to change. I haven't had any interesting or ingenious meals lately, so no pictures. Sorry. But I am still on a role with my workouts and feeling more and more proud of myself with each passing week. It's amazing how, even if it's something you don't want to do, doing what is best can make your world so much better. Feeling a sense of pride in accomplishing something good in your life can coast you for years until the next level needs to be reached. Never be afraid to do the work necessary to be your best. That last sentence has been ringing in my ears for all week long. It makes me think of my career (or lack there of) and my husband's career. The Creator works in amazing ways, and always on His own timeline. When we think things should have happened years ago, He knows that we weren't ready at that time for whatever reason. I've been spending all this time wondering what to do with my life, looking to take the easiest route possible. But that's not what He had in store for me. He knew that the head of our home needed to lead our family's advancement or else none of what I needed to accomplish would work. As soon as my husband entered graduate school old ideas of me going to grad school began to return. Once he completed his first year what I wanted to do was like an epiphany. But it wasn't until my husband got a new job that I really accepted the possibilities of my being able to reach for these revitalized goals. An entirely new life plan formed for me once his new job began and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. All because I needed to be the support first, in order to make room for,me to be supported. For the first time ever I'm not afraid to do the stretches of time away from my family that will be required when it's my turn to go to grad school. I am so grateful that God thought enough of me to provide a life partner who is so driven towards success that his drive spills out on to me. Keeping me from hiding from the world for fear of failure and rejection and really encouraging me to push myself toward excellence. I wanted to "find myself" by the time I was 30; but He said His timeline is what we follow, not mine. So I'm going to be obedient and allow His will to unfold as I thank my husband for dealing with all my crazy flakey ideas over the years. I'm sure my husband will never understand how much I need him to help make my dreams come true, but I'm glad he will be here to make sure they do. Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Thursday, June 20, 2013

180 in 180 Day 52

Hey Ya'll,
So I know that in my last post I said I was going to come out of my feelings for awhile. But I want to step back into them today, if nothing more than to be a cautionary word for you.
I am learning that sometimes being quiet about the undesirable parts of your life can be a much better route to take. I don't necessarily mean just shut up and take it. I mean keep your mouth closed and change it. You see, while whining and complaining about 2 aspects of life I allowed something that would be relatively easy to change to spill over into all the beautiful and good in my life. Thus creating an even bigger mess to try and clean up...that is, if I can clean it up in time.

The Creator doesn't take kindly to looking his gift horse in the mouth. He will let it bite you. What I mean by that is, when you continuously vocalize only what's wrong He hears "make it ALL brand new". So the world shakes, turns upside down, empties its pockets, and walks away for you to pick up the mess. I only hope that I can repent enough to let it be known that I realize I was being a lazy, spoiled baby, and that I am taking an active role in my life again. No more words with out actions.

The moral of the story kids is: Recognize what you want to be different in your life. Ask for it once, then be patient while you Work towards it. Had I just been patient I could have avoided so much turmoil. Well there's your Zen for the day... Work
Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

180 in 180 Day 51

Hey Ya'll,
So today I'm shifting gears, lately I've been too deep in my feelings in an attempt to dig out some Zen. You know what, sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone and build on to what you have from where you are. Here in Texas we don't have basements because it's too much trouble to go blasting through the limestone to try and create an unnecessary extra foundation. Well, that's the approach I'm taking to my life right now, no need to go trying to tear up what's set in stone in an attempt to redo what's already done. I am who I am because of the way I have lived; good, bad, ugly, indifferent, all me and all necessary at some point in my life. With that I'm going to bring back some more of the Tasting part of this blog (and my life) for you right now.

Tonight I was in a cooking mood. Which is always a great thing, because a cooking mood means that I am feeling creative, available, relaxed, and at ease with my life at that moment. Tonight's dinner is one that I've been dreaming of make for nearly a week now. And I was absolutely in the right frame of mind to make it, unfortunately we were so ready to eat that I forgot to take the picture before digging in. Oh but man, was it good!
Steamed Broccoli and Cajun Tilapia Topped  with Shrimp Creole over Steamed Rice

This dish was filling enough to not feel deprived, but light enough to survive the increasing Summer temperatures around here. Seafood is the name of the game this Summer, keeping it light to get it tight! :-)
Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Monday, June 17, 2013

180 in 180 Day 50

Hey Ya'll,
Have any of you ever had to actively stop yourself from sabotaging your current situation? Well today I struggled with this on a whole new level. Today it wasn't my food choices or even my workout routine. Both were solid and positive this hot humid Monday. Today I had to force myself from sabotaging the good place that one of my most valued relationships is currently in. You see, I make every effort to be open and forth coming in general, but with those I hold nearest and dear to me I do my best to be as transparent as possible. This is my policy because I want to be loved for who I am and that cannot be done if I am hiding behind half truths, omissions, or out right lies. Also, I choose this policy in my life because the people I love and keep nearest to me I respect too much to be false with them.
Unfortunately, I have been certain for years that a large lie has been fabricated and adhered to and today I was reminded of it yet again. I had to decide if forcing the truth out once and for all was worth the turmoil that is sure to follow. I still haven't decided. I really wish that I didn't have to be placed in the position of dragging out the whole truth and that it would just be offered up in good faith that I am a reasonable person. I am not perfect and I do get angry/sad/confused/hurt, but I also make the effort to be reasonable about my reactions to my emotions, especially when my decisions will inevitably cause drastic changes in the way my life is lived.
I can't for the life of me imagine the amount of false pride and ego required to continue to look a person in the eye and consistently lie...even if the lie is slightly different every time. What sort of love could possibly find its way through opaque facades? Certainly not unconditional or everlasting love. This is how mistrust, insecurity, and fear anchor themselves into your life. Are relationships that introduce such questionings into your life worth keeping? Well, I guess that all depends on if they can be out weighed by more positive things or if the negative will continue to rear its ugly head into your life. Clean house or Clean address books, either way the air needs to be cleared in order to breath deeply.
Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Sunday, June 16, 2013

180 in 180 Day 49

Hey Ya'll,
Happy Father's Day to all of the men out there who are doing their part to raise their children. You are a bigger blessing to the lives you touch everyday more than you could ever know. 

Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Saturday, June 15, 2013

180 in 180 Day 48

Hey Ya'll,
So today I took the time to go see my fraternity brother and his new family. The teeny tiny baby made me question what I am willing to do/give up to have the type of life I always dreamed of (4 kids, country home, etc.) I decided that I'm okay with living the life that I have now as long as I can continue to make it less and less stressful. My eventual goal is to wake up with a passion and truthfully say I love what I do more often than not.
As I sit here alone, I find myself contemplating the next thing to commit to that will improve my life. I'm not certain what it is, but I'm leaning towards renewing my cleanse and going for a 50 day clean eating program. but in order for this one to stick I can't leave things as vague as I did last time. I need time frames as well as rules for food. Maybe tomorrow with less white wine in my system will allow for more clarity. Until then:
Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Friday, June 14, 2013

180 in 180 Day 47

Hey Ya'll,
Have you ever felt the need to apologize for the way you live?..No, just me? Well that's okay, I own my dysfunction. I have always had a problem with feeling the need to apologize for simply taking up space sometimes. As if my existence were a burden upon those I encounter rather than a blessing. I'm not really sure where this began, or maybe I am and I'm choosing not to pour all of that out here on the world wide web. Either way, what I do know is that if I'm okay with me then most other people will be okay with me as well. Of course you can't please everyone, but when you're living a decent life you can get a smile out of most for it, right?

I bring this up because the last few years I've been apologizing for my size, trying not to be an embarrassment to my husband out in public. You know, maybe if no one ever really sees me in person then they'll only remember me as I was. If I'm not on my husband's arm tainting his image then he won't have to hang his head down and walk 3 steps ahead of me. I know this sounds ridiculous, but unless you've been inside the mind of someone who is hurting and doesn't know how to stop it, then you'll never understand. But  since choosing to embark on this journey I've come to terms with the fact that I have been projecting my own feelings about myself on to those around me. I didn't want the old self image that I clinge to become tainted by allowing others to see me as I am now. In a world where men would rather be single eternally than marry the fat version of the woman of their dreams, one just doesn't feel very secure in their position among the rest of society. I get that it's important to take care of ourselves, that's why this journey is in place right now. But finally, I also get that I don't have to wait to live my life until I've lost *blah blah* pounds.
You deserve to enjoy your life regardless of how perfect or imperfect you are or hope to be. You deserve to be seen, heard, loved, cuddled, invited to life events, treated to new clothes, allowed to be exactly who you are; all regardless of what you look like, what you studied (or didn't study), what you earn, what you're interested in, or what you weigh. With that I would like to say, I don't even know you and I Love You, all because I am learning to love myself.
Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Thursday, June 13, 2013

180 in 180 Day 46

Hey Ya'll,
You know the dark forces of the world really try to get you when you're feeling optimistic about life and smiling through the day. The dark goal is to bring you down and keep you there so that you forget what you believe in and what you live for. Yesterday I expressed me renewed hope and light here as I journey through these 180 days. Well today the ugly flew all around me and I just wanted to come home have a home brew and go to bed. But instead I came home, worked out, sat with my hubby and shared some new ideas with him. I laughed at the none sense of the day so that the anger couldn't fester. My hopeful mood does not change the fact that I want/need something different in my life in terms of my career. It just means that I'm managing the anxiety around the subject better. I have a friend who said something that really stuck with me. She said: "Everyone's life is hard and Everyone's life is beautiful." It's so true, the beauty in my life right now out weighs the hard more than it has in maybe 11 years and I am so grateful. I know that I get impatient and anxious, but it's just because I can feel the advancement for our life right on the tips of my fingers and I so desperately want to be able to grasp it fully and bring it all to life at one time. But I know that would disrupt the plan that has been so carefully laid by The Creator for us to be able to optimize our life and living.
If I can just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming. Then I know we'll land on every shore that we're supposed to land on. until then I have to take these less than stellar days in stride and try not to eat my feelings. Bad habits die hard.
Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

180 in 180 Day 45

Hey Ya'll,
So my body is crazy super tired right now, but I feel as though my mind is as uplifted as it has been in months. That tells me somethings about myself:
1) The time that I am getting to myself lately I really needed
2) I am so physically out of shape that I had fallen emotionally/mentally out of shape as well
3) I need to find a routine that I can maintain during the school year while I tote my kid about
4) My body is designed to move and I do it no serve by refusing to move.
5) I can think more clearly when I've moved around a bit at some point in the day

I am being to feel like a missing element in my worship and praise practice was treating the only thing that my Creator gave me to have forever (my body) with love and respect. I have always known what I should do to honor myself while on this Earth. But I don't believe that I ever honestly felt as though I deserved to be treated so kindly and with so much love and respect. I have been told that my appearance is wrong and I should be ashamed, so in my shame I abused myself into a never ending battles of wills. Then found myself wondering why I kept losing. Well, how many people get hit right in the mouth every time they attempt to speak and still manage to successfully communicate verbally? Not many right? Well, that's what it's like to attempt to do something for yourself that requires love and respect but instead use hate and shame.
So yes, tonight my body is tired, but for once my soul is not weary. So I will just go to bed a little earlier, stretch a little longer, and get ready for tomorrow's workout and workday. What do you need to help bring clarity to your mind and light to your spirit?
Peace and Namaste Ya'll

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

180 in 180 Days 39-44

Hey Ya'll,
This week Miss Jillian Michaels and I have been having knock down drag out fights...and I think I'm winning. hehe. I've been passing out as soon as soon as my head hits the pillow at night, but I've been getting it done. And I'm feeling proud of myself again. Something I haven't felt in a long time. I'm feeling uplifted again in my life and capable of taking control of my life again. I hope to be able to say that with each passing week I spin just a little more to reach 180 degrees.

As another element in doing what I love to live my life rather than allow it to pass me by, I have decided to take a cooking class as often as possible in order to hone my skills and feed my creative needs. So far I have taken a Cold Beer and Small Plates class as well as a Pasta Workshop. These classes were belated birthday gifts from my dad and I am so grateful for this jump start into my creative advancement. I would like to show you all my creations:
The local grocery store where I took my classes.

The first beer and plate:
"Sculpin" IPA from Ballast Point, San Diego, CA
Seared Scallop on Summer Greens w/ Passion Fruit Vinagrette

 I found that the sweetness of the scallops and dressing brought about a desire for the hoppy, bitter, crispness of the IPA. Typically I am not an IPA fan, but this went well enough together that I was able to appreciate the style of beer.

This is a local beer from right here in Austin, TX (we make great beer) 

The beer is called "El Cedro" a Hoppy Cedar-Aged Ale made by Jester King

The "El Cedro" was paired with a Dill & Citrus rubbed Wild Salmon over steamed Jasmine Rice
The salmon was so perfectly cooked to medium that I felt I had never really had salmon before this class.
The fruity cedar notes in the beer cut through the fattiness of the salmon really creating an effortless balance.

The 3rd pairing:
"La Socarrada" by Cervesa Artesanal de Xativa from Xativa, Spain
 Smoked Pork Loin Chop w/ Mushroom Demi
This pairing happened to be my absolute favorite. The La Socarrada  has a caramelized pear flavor to it.
The tender sweetness of the pork leaned into the golden honey notes of the beer almost like a complementary glaze.
The final plate was paired with 2 different beers:
"Guanabara" Imperial Stout made by Cerzeva Colorado in Brazil
"Victory at Sea" Imperial Porter made by Ballast Point in San Diego, CA

Marinated Sirloin with Bacon and Tomatoes was the simple pairing for such complex, deeply flavored beers.
The Guanabara smelled of prunes or figs to me and even when poured had the appearance of prune juice or molasses.
The beer sort of coats the palate with rich dark fruit flavors and the saltiness of the bacon bounces off these flavors.
The Victory at Sea was a heavier creamy beer with big bitter chocolate flavors and smelled of toasted beans.
The beer was more of an end of meal beer rather than a complimentary beer. An ice cream float with this one would work.

My second class, turned out to be more about sauces than the pasta specifically.

Though we did get to mix our own pasta dough

My smooth as a baby's bum dough

The kitchen/stage where all the magic happened

Lasagna with Bolognese and Bechamel Sauce
This was not my favorite version of this dish, I found it to be a bit bland and lacking the lovely cheesy elements that I love in lasagna. Give me Ricotta and Mozzarella any day. 

Class participants having their turn up at the stove

Butternut Squash with sage Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sauce
These were made by hand from the dough that we made earlier in class.
I think the recipe had potential, but needed better seasoning. Butternut squash is one of those foods that does better in a hearty big flavor component for me. Otherwise it is obscenely bland. 

These were the two dishes that we did not have time to sit and eat. Plus we were too full to try anyway.
Pasta Pomodora and Pasta Primavera.
Simple, healthy, satisfying. All wonderful elements to any meal.
I seem to have lost my Pasta Cabonara picture, but that dish was my favorite of the night. I intend to make it at home as often as my gluten allowances will tolerate. 

This last week and a half brought new perspective, renewed drive, hope, and desire. I know that this challenge is one of the best things I have done for myself in years. What's been the best thing you have done for you lately? Till next time..
Peace & Namaste Ya'll

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

180 in 180 Day 38

Hey Ya'll,
I managed to talk myself into another workout today and you know what? I don't regret it. It may hurt or be uncomfortable while I'm doing it. And the couch looks so soft and cushy while I'm standing on my feet sweating. But, the discomfort will end and the couch will still be there all soft and cushy waiting for me once I'm finished. While digging through Pinterest I came across this pin:
This really struck home for me, because it is the absolute truth. There is absolutely NOTHING easy about staying fat, contrary to the belief of many others. I'm going to be honest, of the 3 choices, maintaining weight is the easiest. I fully intend to return to maintenance status because I don't ever want to feel as ashamed of myself again as I have felt for the past 6 years. Staying fat is not only hard on the body, it's hard on the mind and spirit. You never quite feel worth as much as the next person because you haven't dug deep enough within yourself to be worth your own time and effort. Losing the weight is equally hard all around because it is the constant reminder of how you managed to shame yourself and slip out of the good graces of life. Every painful movement and labored breath is a reminder of how little you cared about yourself, or how you allowed the actions of other people to determine how much energy you were worth. It's a mental battle between doing what is comfortable and pushing through that wall that allows you to begin enjoying the journey and seeing the fruits of your labor. 
One day at a time, I have to just keep reminding myself of why I want to do this. I'm tired of hiding from the world, hoping no one will see me as I am so that they can remember me as I was. I can't keep disappointing myself the way I have for the past 6 years. I take accountability for every other action, this should be no different. I want to finish something for once and feel proud of myself again. I haven't felt that since the day I crossed the burning sandz. (If you don't know you never will, and that's okay) That was a long time ago, and since then I have just been allowing life to happen to me rather than being an active participant. This is MY life to live and I'm going to make it Everything that I want it to be. I wish the same for each of you.
Peace & Namaste Ya'll 

Monday, June 3, 2013

180 in 180 Days 34-37

Hey Ya'll,
The last few days have been a fury of  exercising and job hunting. Unfortunately, I think I lost track of the jobs I applied to because I received a phone call today and I had no idea which posting it was for until halfway through the conversation. Not a good look. But, after speaking with the guy over the phone I don't really think this is a position that I actually want. The downside of getting desperate is you forget why you were being selective initially. Time for me to step back and remember what it is that I want from a new position.

I spent quite a bit of time doing laundry and walking my dog with the hubby. I think this past weekend was one of the best that I have had in a long time just because it was so calm. Even though it ended kind of solemn after some reflection on what we want, need, and can actually have in terms of our family structure right now. But I have faith that The Creator didn't bring us this far just to watch us squirm. Something glorious this way comes and I'm ready.

I have some new ideas and I promised myself the time the wheels started turning that I would follow through on them and make myself successful. So as I work my way through these 180 days I going to have to challenge myself further as if I were a coaching client. I need to hold myself accountable for my well being, my success, and ultimately my happiness. This will happen for me. It has to. I refuse to let myself down again. I am not a failure, so I am going to stop behaving like one. The same goes for you, you are greatness waiting to happen. Actualize it and let loose.
Peace & Namaste Ya'll