That One Time I Exceeded My Own Expectations

Actually, I'd be lying if I said that this has only happened to me once. I blow myself away on a regular basis. Dare I even say it happens everyday? Yup, sure does! It's because I have a ton of love and respect for myself. And I take a moment everyday to check in on my badassery and acknowledge myself on the inside and out.

That's usually when "it" happens.

Some days it's as simple as, "Wow, I can't believe I got up and made shit happen at 7am!" or "Damn, I just cooked an insane amount of food in just a few hours!" Other times it's more monumental..."Did I really just toss that cookie simply because I didn't like it and felt not even a smidge of pressure to eat it all?" or "Are you fucking kidding me, I'm at 15% body fat?"

That last one happened two weeks ago, and I'm still a little shocked about it. 

I've never had my body fat measured via hydrostatic testing before. This is also known as a "dunk tank." The last time I had my body fat measured with any accuracy at all was when I was a teenager and it was also the first time I had ever had my body fat measured. I had no idea why it was important or what the numbers meant. I just knew my results (45%) and what the technician told me (you're morbidly obese). Devastation, guilt, and shame set over me and I carried it with me every where I went. 

Am I killing myself? How much bigger am I going to get? What happens now? What am I supposed to do? How did I let this happen? Why did I let this happen?

The only answers I ever seemed to get led me to extremely low-calorie diets, a deep sense of self-hatred, and a neverending cycle of binging and purging. It was the darkest and loneliest time of my life. 

My weight has been a topic of discussion, an issue, a THING for nearly my entire life. I was almost 10lb when I was born...so I've been big since Day 1. From a big baby, to a chubby girl, to a pretty face, to nobody. People seem to get uncomfortable around fat people. Especially fat adults. Because if you're a fat kid, it's not your fault. But if you're a fat adult, you're lazy and pathetic. Even though I was fat, I used to compare myself to other fat bodies and wonder if I looked as grotesque or disgusting. I always came to the same conclusion...no. What I saw and thought never had anything to do with the person I was looking at or thinking about, it had everything to do with me. I felt ugly. My body seemed grotesque. I was disgusting. But deeming others worse off than me made me feel better. I was a bully.

Fast forward to 2006 when I left the country for 14 months and was officially reborn. It took me that entire time away to realize who I was, what I wanted for myself and my life, and why I had become the person I was. A person I was desperate to love and accept. I felt my potential exploding within me and I wanted so bad to let it out. When I finally did, my whole world changed. And it wasn't until that moment, when I just let go and embraced me in my entirety, that I became the person I had always wanted to be. 

When I returned home in late 2007, I was finally ready to reveal my true self to the world. Between now and then I graduated from college, paid off all my student loans and other debts, rekindled some precious relationships within my blood family, came out to my family as a gay woman, got certified as a personal trainer, then as a fitness nutrition specialist, then as a health coach, traveled to 3 different continents and explored more countries than I can list, met the love of my life, moved in with the love of my life, proposed to the love of my life (she said yes), adopted two furry kids, started a business, and have been financially self-sustaining and independent for two full years now. None of any of that would have been possible without my own self-love and acceptance. 

So where does the weightloss come in? Notice I didn't mention that in my grand list of achievements. Why not? Because my weightloss was a byproduct. As a result of me embracing myself in my entirety, I made my health my number one priority. And then, I defined what it meant to be healthy. It was easy for me to do that once I stopped listening to others. Health = happiness. Simple as that. What makes me happy is being outside, helping others, exploring, cooking, eating, traveling, dancing, animals, good people, and love. So, I just cranked up the volume on all of those things and left everything else in the dust. Consequently, I lost 140 lb. But because I stopped focusing on the numbers, how hard I was working, how often I was exercising, how long I was on the treadmill, etc., the weight came off of me like a snakeskin. Slow, bit-by-bit, and revealing a brighter version of the same person underneath. 

I stopped weighing myself, I stopped caring about carbs and sugar, I stopped worrying about calories, I stopped restricting foods from my diet. I ate what I want, when I wanted, and however much I wanted. Nothing was off limits. Nothing was a "bad" choice. I wanted to be free of my abusive relationship with food and that's how I did it. 

And that's why I, again, exceeded my own expectations two weeks ago. I had no idea just how hard I've been working, how strong I've gotten, how much muscle I've built, how much body fat I've lost. No idea because I'm happy as hell about everything in my life, therefore I know I'm healthy! So, fuck numbers and scales! That's not how I measure my success. But, it's an amazing feeling to know what I was/am capable of and to see the physical transformation I've made. Ready to see my results? :) 

 About to go in! We went with  Fitness Wave  for their mobile testing service and they were AMAZING! Highly recommend them. 

About to go in! We went with Fitness Wave for their mobile testing service and they were AMAZING! Highly recommend them. 

 Getting my resting metabolic rate analyzed. Apparently, I have a faster than average metabolism, SWEET! P.S. Breathing through your mouth for 10 minutes, into a tube, while your nose is plugged, is seriously difficult!

Getting my resting metabolic rate analyzed. Apparently, I have a faster than average metabolism, SWEET! P.S. Breathing through your mouth for 10 minutes, into a tube, while your nose is plugged, is seriously difficult!

 Getting weighed, something I stopped doing regularly a long time ago. 168 lbs. A meaningless number to me. 

Getting weighed, something I stopped doing regularly a long time ago. 168 lbs. A meaningless number to me. 

 I'm going in! The water was warm thank god! 

I'm going in! The water was warm thank god! 

 Getting prepared to submerge myself under water and have my water weight measured. 

Getting prepared to submerge myself under water and have my water weight measured. 

 Aeron (dude on my left)  told me that I sink like a stone in the water...which is an indication of someone who has lost a lot of weight and has a low bodyfat percentage. 

Aeron (dude on my left)  told me that I sink like a stone in the water...which is an indication of someone who has lost a lot of weight and has a low bodyfat percentage. 

And now, the numbers:

  • Previous weight: 300+ lb 
  • Current weight: 168lb
  • Previous body fat: 135lb or 45%
  • Current body fat: 26lb or 15.9%

Before the test, Aeron asked me what my body fat goal was. I promised the participants of my current 90-Day Program that I would join them on their journey every step of the way, so I knew I had to have a goal to work towards just as they do. So, I just threw out a random number that I felt was attainable in that time frame given a lot of hard work...

My answer: "20%" 

The comparison trap

It's really cool to think about the fact that no one else on Earth is exactly like you. That's over 7 billion unique souls and bodies. IN-CREDIBLE! And while most people seem to have no issues accepting and embracing this fact, so many of us fall into the comparison trap: "I wish I had _______ like hers," "If only my _______ was like his," etc...indefinitely. 

So what's the problem with this? 

Well for one, this kind of thinking is a total self-love destroyer. When you're focused on what someone else has, or how someone else does something, you quickly minimize your own beauty, talents, and uniqueness. You start to doubt yourself. Now, let's refine this for a moment. There's a difference between downplaying yourself for the likes of someone else, and using another persons success to fuel your own endeavors. We should ALL have people we look up to. Whether you aspire to be courageous like them, open-hearted like them, patient like them, giving like them, etc....is all fine and dandy. You can apply those attributes to your own personal growth and passion. But wanting their body?...not so fine and dandy. And wanting their life?...definitely not the business. 

Your physique is determined by so many unique factors. Even identical twins don't have identical bodies! The way you are shaped is ALL YOU. The way you move about the world is ALL YOU. Your energy and personality is ALL YOU. And there is no other you out there. 

The same can be said about your life in general. No two people will ever share the exact same experiences over a lifetime. Each of us are awarded different opportunities, in different environments, under different circumstances, for different reasons. That's what makes you who you are. Your life is ALL YOU.

So, focus your energy inward and let it expand out onto the world naturally. We are drawn to people who are REAL. We get to know our true self when we are REAL. We love ourselves the most when we are REAL. Don't try to imitate someone one. Embrace the body you were given. Take care of it like you give a damn. Live your life like you give a damn. And fuck what everybody else is doing! 

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog:

A week of new foods: Day 7, duck

I've had duck before. But only at restaurants, I've never cooked it at home. It's always been something I thought was weird to make at home. I have no idea why. I even recently said to someone while perusing a cookbook, "Who makes duck? Nobody cooks duck!"

So I made duck. 

My partner and I worked together on this one because I don't do well with carcasses. I imagined duck to be a lot like chicken but it is not...at all. It's extremely fatty and the body is much longer. I was disturbed, not gonna lie. But I'm a strong believer that meat eaters should have a strong connection to their animal foods. I don't just choose meat blindly because it's on sale or looks good in its packaging. Every time I buy meat, I know where it comes from, when it was harvested, how it was raised, etc. This duck was special because it's life ended to fuel mine. I appreciate that. 

We rubbed her in fresh parsley, cumin, black pepper, pink Himalayan salt, and thyme and stuffed her with celery, carrots, onion, orange, and parsley. The smell was INCREDIBLE before it even went in the oven.

And when it came out...the whole house smelled like Autumn. It was beautiful. I sautéed some green beans with coconut aminos and black sesame seeds and reheated some roasted kabocha squash as side dishes. We were both SUPER stoked to enjoy this meal. 

I mean, look at that beautiful meat. It was so damn delicious, words cannot describe. And we managed to cook it to PERFECTION. It was tender, juicy, flavorful, and satisfying. The only pain was carving it. The fatty tissue layer beneath the skin is SO thick and the connective tissues are very tough. That duck was held together like gorilla glue. 

And then I smoked the neck. Ok, not really but I did eat it and it was by far the best part. My partner ate the liver...I couldn't manage. But the heart was all mine! :) 

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog:

A week of new foods: Day 5, feijoas

There are an overwhelming amount of different fruits on this planet. I mean, really. I saw these guys at the market and thought, "I love guava, everything about it, and I love the flavor of pineapple...but pineapple is just too sweet for me. What would a cross between the two of them be like???" So I grabbed a few and made a note of how to eat them by photographing their signage.

These things are INCREDIBLE! Exactly like a guava in texture and consistency but with a somewhat tart, unique pineapple flavor. One was very soft and ripe and the other was a little harder so I got to try both and I enjoyed them at both states. The soft one was easier to peel but the skin on it tasted better while the firm one was a little more bitter but still good! They'd be an easy option for something on-the-go, for a picnic, carrying in a bag (unlike bananas...yeah...never carry a banana in your purse...), or just a refreshing snack or dessert. Super yum! 

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog:

A week of new foods: day 4, sparkling probiotic

I asked my sister for some ideas of new foods I should try because I was feeling uninspired. We were grocery shopping at my favorite bay area shop, El Cerrito Natural Grocery, and she asked me, "Do beverages count?" while staring at the chilled beverages section of the store. 

Sure, why not?

I don't buy beverages...so this seemed like an appropriate challenge for the week.

We settled on the "Mojita" flavor of Kevita sparkling probiotic because mint and lime is one of the most refreshing combos and because the only other options were juices, smoothies, or "natural" sodas, or water. Taste-wise, it was good! Better than GT's Kombucha (yuck) for sure. I hate that stuff. GROSS!! I'm not a fan of added flavors or stevia and this beverage contains both. Also, I like drinking water. Just plain, good ole water. I feel like spending money on any other liquid to drink is a waste of money. I already pay for water. Seriously. I guess I prefer probiotics in the form of food. 

If anything this experience has made me want to take a stab at making my own probiotic teas or beverages at home! Anybody got any tips for beginners? :) 

Enter your email address to subscribe to my blog:

?2015 Eat Suite | all rights reserved