Each road leads you

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Week 2 in Full Swing

After successfully completing the first week of the 12 week challenge, I am more encouraged and motivated than ever. To sum up this past week: it was so easy!

Having your fridge and pantry stocked with ingredients for the week and a meal plan to follow has been such a blessing. Of course, there is a lot of grunt work in going to multiple grocery stores to get all the items (I had to go to three) and spending hours doing meal prep (and more hours doing clean up. Ugh.), I can officially say that I enjoyed my first week.

My diet at work is what concerns me the most. Either I wasn’t eating at all or I’d be going out to eat for every meal. It wasn’t hard to turn down lunch offers, either. I totally enjoyed everything I was eating. If you’re a calorie counter, the average day consisted of about 1,400 calories. Mine was a little less because I never ate M4 because I like to work out right after work and didn’t want to do it on a full stomach.

The weekend consisted of a night in with my boyfriend, Christmas party for his work and a birthday party for our friend’s daughter. Needless to say, there were many opportunities to go ham on my meals and I did. Haha, just kidding. Everything was in moderation. I didn’t deprive myself and I honestly don’t think Cassey would want me to either. I stayed on track with my eating and exercise the whole work week and a couple of meals throughout the weekend didn’t kill me. In fact, I weighed myself on Friday (lost a little over 2 lbs!) and then again on Sunday, and only a 0.5 lb difference! I’m okay with that!

Meal prep was a lot easier this week since I still had a ton of leftover groceries from last week. I will say though that this week’s menu is not the business. Already decided that I didn’t want to follow the breakfast plan, so I subbed it with last week’s menu. And I experimented with today’s lunch plan and I have the worst stomach ache. It was canned tuna with brown rice (why?!), apples (ate it on the side), celery (learning to tolerate it), egg whites (umm..okay…) and a “dressing” of lemon juice, some herbs and a bit of EVOO. I was telling Steven this recipe reminded me of that episode on Friends when Rachel makes an English Trifle for Thanksgiving but accidentally combines that recipe with a Shepherd’s Pie recipe. It just didn’t add up and I did not like it. Oddly enough, this week is supposed to have that damn tuna salad for lunch every single day! Last week was a M, W, F and T, Th and S rotation. I will definitely be getting more creative this week because I am not sticking with this tuna mush.

Aside from that, I’m drinking more water than ever. I’m also peeing more than ever too, but I guess more steps from my office to the bathroom is an added bonus too.

From what I’ve read on Instagram and Twitter, a lot of people have been getting results already too so that’s amazing! I do love the community of Blogilates and fellow popsters!

Now back to work as I try to not get distracted by this nauseating feeling resulting of today’s lunch.

Taylor

Day One: Done!

Everything today was so so yummy. It was definitely an adjustment to eat my oatmeal without brown sugar (I loooove) or PB (I looooove). Everything was so darn good today! I’m excited to sleep so I can wake up and eat some more tomorrow!

Today, I attempted to cook spaghetti squash for the first time. I’ve seen tons of people rave about it on blogs and I totally underestimated the difficulty of cutting that thing in half! I immediately petition any help and suggestions from Facebook and then little resourceful ol’ me found a solution:

My 5 lb weight was just what I needed to get my giant knife through the squash!

Ya learn something new every day!

Probably should have slept hours ago but I got a late start on meal prepping for the week since my Body Pump class didn’t get out til 7 p.m.

On to Day Two!

Taylor

Twelve weeks!

Tomorrow I will begin the Blogilates 12-Week New Body Makeover. I am notorious for trying new fads and diets. I typically always see results too, but it’s just never something I want to stick with. I enjoy indulging. I enjoy eating late at night. I enjoy adding salt to whatever it is I’m eating. (Note to Future Taylor: beware of kidney stones). 

But this time – it’s differentThe last time I went grocery shopping was three months ago. That is amazingly impressive and very hard to believe at the same time. I know I’ve been eating – I just can’t for the life of me remember what exactly what I ate. Thankfully, my office is located next to a natural food store so I usually would grab my lunch from there. But what my meals lacked in preservatives and artificial flavors were made up in $$$. 

Eating healthy isn’t hard for me to do. I actually enjoy kale and prefer water over any juice or soda. My problem is that I lack creativity, motivation and “time” (I know time is a real word – that’s not what the quotes are for. Keep reading … I’ll explain myself).

When left to my own devices, I will continually whip up the same clean meals: oatmeal with berries and PB, medium sized fruit or a handful of almonds for a snack, romaine lettuce, spinach and kale salad with tomatoes, bell peppers and lemon juice as a dressing and dinner is usually some dry, lean meat with broccoli. That is all I know! I’ve seen the pins, the recipes, the photos on my Instagram feed, but none of it was worth actually learning and making for myself.

In my brief 23 years of life, I have learned that if I am not motivated to do something, I pretty much won’t do it … at least, not up to my standards. I’ll probably do enough to get by but there’s no way I’m putting in 100% effort (This also applies to work, relationships, exercise, combing my hair…). This is the reason why I always need goals in my life, whether it’s set by my boss or by myself. They can be in any form, from metrics to crossing off at list five things from my to do list each day. When it comes to my diet, it takes too dang long to see “Abs are made in the kitchen” come to fruition. I’m an instant gratification type of soul, so I need results ASAP.

And concerning “time”, I work full-time, I just started classes for my MBA and I barely have a social life to begin with. I tend to have an important master to do list written neatly out as well as a scattered, frivolous mental to do list in my brain. You know what usually trumps my priorities? The pesky mental to do list because it is constantly burning in the back of my brain. Wouldn’t a simple solution be to just write it all down? You’d think! Except these tasks occur to me while I’m driving, in the shower, during a meeting, in the middle of a conversation, trying to clear my thoughts during savasana (if you don’t know what that is – you need to reevaluate your life and get in on it!) or right when I finally begin to wind down for bed. So in order to alleviate myself from the constant nagging, I handle the less urgent matters. That takes up quite a lot of time. Yes, I know I have the same 24 hours as Beyonce, but I mean, if you can marry Jay-Z, pretty sure you have an alternate source of power to begin with.

All that being said: I am excited to commence this 12 week journey. Why? Because Cassey Ho, the founder of Blogilates, came up with the yummiest meal plan I have ever read. It changes every single week! No longer can I avoid the grocery store – I have a set ingredient list and without it, I have absolutely no food to fall back on in my meager apartment. Secondly, the answer to my Type A need for lists and planning arrived at my door step last week! I now am the proud owner of the  Fit Journal. I am solely using it for health purposes. All other tasks will be written in my daily life planner. This bad boy is to monitor my water intake, every little thing I eat each day, how much sleep I’m getting in and continually track my progress over the weeks. I love the compact, user friendly design and I cannot wait to fill this baby up! This journal actually solves my third problem and will help me prioritize exactly what needs to be addressed and my mental list will just have to work around it!

So after three months, $100 at Trader Joe’s and an enthusiastic post on my neglected Tumblr, I am ready to take these 12 weeks on! 

I hope to continue sharing my experiences, feedback and updates with the world!

Cheers!

Taylor

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About SeaWorld

I was never a big fan of the “amusement” park growing up, but after watching “The Cove” I learned what a cruel establishment that place is and will never support it.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About SeaWorld

So what’s the big deal about 2013?

Remember when getting testimonials on Friendster was the biggest deal? Or customizing your Top 8 on Myspace? How about stalking that chica who always got under your skin on Facebook? Every few years or so, another social media trend absorbs all of our attention and we, the people, become obsessed! Well, somehow I wound up back on my tumblr (thank God for automatic log ins) and I had a chance to reminisce over life events after PUC. I didn’t even realize how often I kept up with my blogging (well, more like venting, reminiscing, predicting…don’t know if that counts as “blogging”).

Anyway, we’re over halfway through 2013 and I am long overdue for an update. My posts are more for the Future Taylor that will have already forgotten what today, this exact moment in time, felt like because she is too consumed with her new life (or new social media trend, whichever).

Considering it’s been over 11 months since my last post, I have a good feeling this update will be a doozy.

2012 sucked was hard. I remember realizing that some of the worst events in my life all took place within the first five months of the year. My childhood dog, Bailey, had to be euthanized due to a cancerous tumor on his spine that caused him to be paralyzed and caused him tremendous pain. The transition from student to professional left me confused and feeling more isolated than ever, so I traded in my three year relationship (with someone I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with) to embark on that ever so cliche journey to find myself. My family lost our home; the home I had lived in since moving to Loma Linda was seized by the bank like thousands of other homes across the nation. A friend battling leukemia for over eight years took his last breath in the living room of his own, surrounded by his loved ones. Yeah, those events were all hard.

But that’s the thing about time – it continues to pass whether you’re prepared or not. It doesn’t care if you’re desperately holding onto it. All it knows is how to pass. One of the biggest challenges I was facing (and didn’t even realize it at the time) was how to let things pass. I have this innate predisposition to fix and organize and manipulate every aspect of my life. None of these events were in my control. (Well, breaking up with Steven was – but at that time, I truly felt like it wasn’t.) With every disappointment, I grew more and more frustrated. And then I got to the point that I was so frustrated, so exhausted, so overwhelmed with trying to put the pieces back together, I finally accepted my defeat and realized there was nothing I could do

Being in that situation really tests you. That state of vulnerability is a very fine line. You either assume that “nowhere to go but up” mentality or you can throw your middle finger in the air and give up. Now, the latter is the more appealing option; you get to be selfish, you get to act with reckless abandon. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks because you just #dgaf. I think for a while, I wanted that option. It was a complete 180 for me and if I could just let myself fall apart, I’d be able to feel something I had never felt before. But something didn’t let me. Actually, God didn’t let me. I believe He held me closer to Him than He ever had before. Whether I realized it or not (I didn’t), there was no way He was going to let me go.

Did I continue to make selfish decisions? Yes. Looking back on it, do I still think they were selfish? Not at all. Every decision I made from that point, whether it was my health, my career, my relationships or my financial decisions, needed to happen. I needed to experience a life where I was so far out of my element that the only option I had left was trial and error. As a person who survives off of efficiency, motivation and success, trial and error is a slap in the face. But walking on that aforementioned fine line requires you to become balanced. Doing things “my way” hadn’t been working out too well and I wasn’t about to jump ship and abandon everything I had known to be right. I just needed a chance to do things differently.

Since this post is for Future Taylor, I don’t need to elaborate the details of the decisions I made last year. And although each and every experience of 2012 has brought me to a place I never thought I’d be at the ripe age of 23, I will say that I’m sorry for those I hurt in the process. I try to live my life with no regrets, but hurting people who you truly care about (and who care about you ten times more) is never acceptable. I keep focusing on the bigger picture and the “greater good” of it all, but when I remember the immense amount of pain I caused upon someone, it becomes impossible to justify. The only solace I find is knowing that the same God that held me closer, is the same God that will hold him close (and closer than ever).

So what’s the big deal about 2013 that is deserving of a new post? I will tell you:

  • I finally found a financial plan that restores my life to me; now the 13 of the 15 years I was supposed to be burdened paying off school and car loans will now allow me to buy a home and travel travel travel!
  • I secured a promotion that finally allows me to put all that creative juice I’ve had festering in the back of my brain to use! I am so incredibly eager to see what I’m capable of and having total control of my job is not only liberating, but challenging and I needed that. Desperately.
  • I realized I didn’t lose myself because of Steven, I lost myself because I gave up on myself. That year apart tested our limits, our strength, our patience and our commitment – not just to each other, but to ourselves. While we lost a year in our relationship, we gained a lifetime in our future. (*Sidenote: we couldn’t determine what our “new” anniversary would be – or if we even wanted one – and then we realized this isn’t a high school relationship where the future is unknown. We both know what we want and that gives us motivation to look forward to an even better anniversary!).

Cheers to health, wealth and happiness!

Current Taylor – the only time I will be in this exact moment ever again so I’m savoring every moment.