I've always been bigger than the rest of the kids my age. At age 13 I decided to take control and asked my parents if I could go to fat camp. From that point on I've lost and gained weight in cycles. I've been everything from size 4 - size 18 in my life.
While head banding at EDC with a grin from cheek to cheek, I heard a voice saying “I want what she’s on.” Little did the man know, I was sober, and my drug of choice is simply the music. Every vibration resonates my soul, taking me higher, and higher.
Although my music library is the craziest cocktail of genres, and each song takes me to a new place, lately I feel like a majority of my vibing has been to EDM music…much like the rest of society.
I find the exponential growth in EDM’s audience to be fascinating. See, human beings crave bold familiarity, which electronic music gives us. Although it’s been around since 1970’s Kraftwerk, engineering frequencies is a baby compared to the hundreds of years we’ve been listening to more traditional instruments, such as the violin and guitar.
EDM is unconventional. It’s adventurous. It’s masterpieces built of balancing a concoction of man-made sound waves. It’s comprehendible, yet undeniably different from everything we knew music to be in the past 500 years.
And it’s accessible.
More music is being published daily than ever before. Which only means there’s more music to be discovered, and, as a musicaholic, I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve found so many soul enriching, life enhancing EDM songs, that have become the soundtrack to some of my favorite memories. From thrashing at summer camp to “Cinema - Skrillex Remix,” to my fastest 1-mile run, backed by “Frontlines,” I love the endorphins my brain produces while listening to EDM, and can’t wait to continue discovering what’s out there.
Now, I already know that the thoughts that go through my head are outlandish and ridiculous, but this one takes the cake. After making No-Bake-Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Protein-Energy Balls, I thought to myself, "wow this is such a good after school snack that the kids would love, and at the same time, they'd get a little bit of protein, so it isn't too bad for them...I'd be such a good housewife." Shocked by my own thoughts, I immediately followed this thought with, "JK I'm a strong independent woman that don't need no man."
That being said, I'm still really proud of the 21 babies I made, so, I thought I'd share the recipe. Besides the clean up that I'm avoiding with this blog post, this was the easiest thing I've ever made. All you have to do is throw these ingredients in a large bowl, mix it up, roll it into a ball, and freeze it. Easy-peasy lemon squeeze-y. ENJOY!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 5 scoops organic pea protein from Trader Joe's.
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
This made me 21 balls, so the calories are based off (whole recipe)/21.
The other night, I somehow got invited to Beau Mirchoff’s house where he kissed me. To be fair, he probably doesn’t remember me, but quite frankly, I don’t care. Being that I was obsessed with both Desperate Housewives & MTV’s Awkward, to me, this was a dream come true. I was elated. As I stepped back and looked out the wall-sized windows in Beau’s home in the Hollywood Hills at the twinkling lights of the city, I thought “wow, my life is a dream.”
At that moment, my insecurities fled and I came up with a theory: the key to happiness is Instagram filtering your perspective on life. People only put the highlights of their life on social media, and hide the sweat pants, eating ice cream out of the carton, oily hair in a messy bun parts. Obviously I’m not going to post that my shoulders are sore from my crazy workout, but I will post the body that it gave me. And I’ll post the midnight sushi I ate, but not the bloat it left me with. I’d even post a blog about Beau Mirchoff kissing me, and leave out the fact that I was fan-girling the whole night and totally embarrassed myself. Okay, for the purpose of this post, I’ll leave it in here, but that’s not the point.
The point is that if you’re not going to post the low moments in your life, why would you focus on them? Every single day is going to have positives and negatives, so post the best moments in your memories, and delete the mental photos of the not so sexy parts of your life. Look at your life as if someone else were scrolling through your Instagram feed, and you’ll start to appreciate how cool you really are.
Successful weight loss isn’t just physical, it’s mental, too. This is a journey to being healthier, not skinnier. You are working on being the best you possible. Your body will reflect your hard work and the healthy decisions by decreasing fat and gaining muscle. Be conscious of what you’re doing today, and tomorrow it will show.
That being said, here’s my story…
About 2 years ago, acne called my forehead home, my favorite clothes were tight, if they fit at all, I was sedentary, my eating habits were about as processed and unhealthy as it gets, I was on anti-depressants, I was late to class daily, and I put in the minimum to get by. When I stepped on that scale and saw 206lbs, it hit me like a brick wall. I was complacent, and I knew I was better than that. It was time to turn my life around, starting by losing weight.
I started with what I knew, “eat less, workout more,” so I downloaded the app “Lose It” to track my calories, eating the same foods, but portioned out, and started going on the elliptical for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Simple, small changes that allowed a few pounds to shed. When I started to stabilize, I decided to push myself further.
“Maybe I should cut out bread & pasta. They always say those are bad for you” I said to myself as I took my next step into a healthy lifestyle. Sugar & processed carbs like bread and pasta are killers for me. I’m incredibly addicted to them, and once I take one bite, I lose all self control. For me, it’s been easier to have none than have just one, so I highly suggest you cut these bad boys out of your life.
From that point forward, I did my best to fill my grocery cart with more whole, real foods. I began avoiding heavily processed, fried, and breaded, foods. I started to look at the ingredient list and nutrition facts to know a little more about what I was putting into my body andbegan balancing my intake of protein, carbs, and fat.
After I trained myself to love healthy foods and eat less, I stopped tracking my calories and started trusting and listening to my body to tell me when I’m full. I stopped eating when I’m bored.
Meanwhile at the gym, 30 minutes on the elliptical turned into 45, then an hour. 3 days a week turned into 5. Level 1 turned into some of those pre-sets that make the level easier and harder throughout the workout. I started doing other things like swimming, lifting weights, and at one point I even downloaded Couch to 5K to learn how to be a runner. And 4 months ago, I started taking HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes. But everything I did was 1 easy step at a time. Just like if you try to jump 10 stairs, you’ll fall and break a bone. Slow and steady wins the race.
OVERVIEW AND TIPS:
- The best, most attainable, long-lasting thing you can do is make one small, achievable goal at a time and stick to it, no excuses. Once it becomes a habit, rechallenge yourself to master a new level of healthy.
- Be conscious.
- Weigh yourself, but only to keep you on track. When you’re overweight, the number on the scale going down will tell you that your body is appreciating what you’re doing to be healthy, and when it stabilizes, that number is telling you that you’re capable of more, but it’s not a perfect science.Don’t let that number define you or discourage you, because in the end, the most important thing is that you’re being healthier than before and you should be proud of that.
- Find what works best for you!
- A rigid, strict plan is impossible to stick. Make healthy your lifestyle. One off day is fine, just get back on the horse and keep riding. We are not defined by our mistakes, we are defined by how we continue after we’ve made them.
- Giving up your favorite foods isn’t as scary as it sounds. As humans, we’re conditioned to love things that we’re used to, and it’s very possible to reprogram your taste buds to love healthy foods. I used to eat pasta daily, but now the very thought of it grosses me out the way fish, my now favorite food, used to.
- Find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods and love every bite you take. Healthy can be delicious, too!
- Listen to your body.
- Know that food gives you energy I need to live (and work your butt off while working out).
- Balance is everything.
- I put a note on my fridge for a while that said “are you hungry or are you bored?” If I was bored, it reminded me to close the fridge and find something better to do.
- Walk away from the kitchen if you’re eating because you’re bored.
Getting Started and Need Food Ideas? Over the last two years, I’ve had obsessions with all of these. Slowly I change my own plan, as you will too, but these have helped me get to where I am.
- If you love cereal, try muesli, bananas, raisins and (unsweetened vanilla almond) milk. It may take a minute to get used to, but the raw rolled oats is a healthy carbohydrate option and the banana gives you the sweetness you love. You can even add honey if you’d like.
- Want a burger or taco? Get it with a lettuce wraps. This is my newest obsession. Take away the processed carbs and still get a ton of flavor with the contents. A lot of restaurants will substitute the bun/tortilla easily for lettuce wraps, too, so thats a plus.
- If you love pasta, try putting your favorite sauce on chicken. As long as you measure out a good serving size, pasta sauce is a great addition to protein-packed chicken.
- I survive off eggs/egg whites because they’re easy to make and you can throw so many things in to spice up the flavor. My favorites are olive muffuletta, pesto, veggies, or guac and salsa.
- Costco has Chicken Kale Mozzarella Burgers and I used to be obsessed.
- They also have mediterranean chicken skewers.
- And I love their tortilla soup.
- Speaking of soup, any non-creamy & carb filled soup is great. I’m obsessed right now with Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper soup from Trader Joes.
- Sushi can be great as long as there's not a ton of added sauces and fried things. The basic rolls are great - like a cali roll or a yellowtail roll with avocado. Just avoid the mayo.
- Carrots & guac.
- Skinny pop.
- (Measure it out but) almonds, peanuts, and other nuts. Fun fact, they have pouches of portioned out roasted, unsalted almonds at Trader Joe’s.
- Rice cake & 2 tbsp peanut butter.
- Rotisserie Chicken.
- Apple Sauce Pouches.
- I used to be obsessed with Jarrow Whey Protein shakes with unsweetened almond milk. I’d have vanilla some days, and chocolate with a tbsp of PB2 on other days.
- Mini pepper & hummus.
- Salmon is the easiest fish to cook. Get them individually wrapped and portioned for $5.99 at Whole Foods, freeze them, and take one out the night before you want it.
It’s the first sentence that always kills me. It’s the first line, the first chord, or, when I’m cleaning, actually picking up the vacuum that curtails my productivity. But after the initial step, hours pass like minutes.
It's passion that makes diving in and working significantly easier (and considerably more rewarding.) Passion is the fire that allows me to stay alive through the Arctic winter that is my To-Do list. I've found that a connection or appreciation allows me to conquer the most mundane, and even dreadful of topics with my whole heart and soul.
But giving 100% is both a gift and a curse. "All or Nothing" is so hard-wired in my brain that I’ve neglected to undertake large tasks, such end-of-novel papers in High School, because my schedule made it physically impossible to provide my undivided attention. I've spent years reprogramming my brain to accept that perfection isn't always attainable, and something is better than nothing.
But even when I'm so captivated by my work that the world around me no longer seems to exist, perfection still hinders me. I fixate on unimportant garnishes when I know cranking out a rough draft and revising is a much more effective method. Hundreds if not thousands of unfinished projects lay in my brain, notebooks, and computer archives with nothing to show. The wasted time and energy makes me sicker than Perfection Paralysis Disorder (P.P.D.) (I just made this up).
Perfect is an arbitrary term, and I'm done letting an inaccessible idea control me. From now on, I will track my growth by finishing projects and moving on to another. I will set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) Goals and hold myself accountable for reaching them. And when I find myself infatuated by minute details, I will put myself in someone's shoes who isn't mentally attached to the project.
Now I just have to sit down and do it.
So, what holds you back from productivity and what do you do to overcome it?