Thursday, January 30, 2014

Surgery Update: Weeks 5 & 6

Yeah, I suck at this. 

It appears that I am averaging a post a week. I'm sorry. Life has been a bit crazy. You know, with three snow days, being trapped at E's house and having nothing to do. Somehow I still didn't get around to posting this until now. 

And I am doing this at a bar.

While enjoying my last night of freedom until...well, tomorrow. Since tomorrow is Friday. 

Anywho, here are some pics from week 5 and 6. I am almost 100% back to normal aside from some pain when I sneeze or laugh too hard. But other than that I feel pretty normal. 

And it's great. 

Week Five

Week Six

This one is week three vs week six
Pre-surgery left, week six right 

Week one left, week six right

At this point I feel like any changes that occur will be minimal so I probably won't be posting weekly photos anymore. I will still post updates and pics but instead post about surgery stuff on a as needed basis; like when big changes or milestones occur.

Thank you so much for being a part of my journey, especially through this part. This part was rough and I had some hard/bad moments and it was you guys that helped me through it all. 

And for that I am thankful.

And again, E-thanks for being my partner and friend through it all. I love you!

Love and hugs,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five Things Friday Mash-up

Today you get a hodgepodge of all the daily themes all compiled to make up a ‘Five Things Friday’ post…clever right?

#1 A question from this week’s Friend Makin’ Monday post

What is the last movie you watched? I was home from work two days this week fighting a cold (luckily I didn’t end up with the flu like my bf did) and so I spent a day watching only movies. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome. I watched four movies. FOUR! And they were all good and nothing at all alike so it was fun. I watched Don Jon (love, love, love  me some JGL), the Butler, In a World, and the Spectacular Now. I really enjoyed them all but I think 'In a World' was my favorite. This says a lot about the movie since it’s pretty hard to beat anything with JGL in it.

#2 Transparent Tuesday

Authentically Emmie had a great post this week for #TransparentTuesday. It was the first time I had heard of that hashtag and liked the idea of writing something a little less filtered, a little more raw. I don’t ever want this blog to be a place where I come to air my dirty laundry or talk badly about others. But it should be a place where I can talk openly about my life and the issues I am dealing with. Right now there are two issues that are really weighing heavily on my mind; the soon to be loss of my doggies (they are ok, they just need to go to a new home. Not my decision. And yes, I am filled with sadness, hurt and unbridled anger over this) and the constant feeling of guilt that comes with losing my two best friends. It was difficult when Paul and I separated knowing I would have limited time with them. It was the hardest part of the whole divorce process, not being able to take them with me, not being able to cuddle with them every night and have them to pick up my spirits and help me through the transition. So, when I was informed that the dogs could no longer stay with Paul I was devastated. I still am devastated. After 6 and 8 years with them it is hard to imagine my life without my girls. They have been by my side through so much. I feel lost without them. I am not sure if the pain and guilt will ever go away. I am heartbroken. Without them, my life just isn’t the same.

The second issue is dealing with my past life, post-divorce. I made it through the separation and divorce pretty easily because it was the right thing for me. It was good to break away from that relationship and until the news (after the divorce was finalized) about the dogs, I had no anger or ill will towards Paul. I am still trying not to since I know it wasn’t easy for him to decide to get rid of our dogs. At least, that is what I hope to be true. But there are times when a memory comes to mind and I look back on that moment of my life wondering how I became that person I once was. How did I let myself get so far from the path, from my true self? Some times that realization of that person I was is hard to deal with. It makes me sad. It makes me angry. And if you know me, you know I am not the type of person to dwell over the past. I am a ‘learn from it and move on’ kind of girl. But lately, I just feel a bit defeated and deflated when I am hit by those memories. Luckily, I know better to dwell on these thoughts or feelings too long. Luckily, I know that I had to experience all of the life behind me to get where I am today. Luckily, everything I have endured has prepared me to finally reclaim the life I wanted, the person I once was. And that makes me happy. Knowing I am finally in a place where I can be myself and live this life and enjoy every moment of it without fear or shame is a really amazing thing. So, yeah. I’m human. And yep, there are definitely times when I feel regret/remorse/disappointment in the decisions I have made in the past. And yep, some days it is hard to work through those feelings quickly. Some days I just have to be sad. Some days I just have to cry it out. Or scream a bit. Or curse the world. But most days, well most days I am filled with gratitude for all of those hard times. For those are what have made me strong.


What I Ate Wednesday…well, I am not quite sure what I ate on Wednesday. I was sick so my guess is I ate some vegetable soup at some point. I looked back through my photos and found some of my favorite eats  from the past few weeks and thought I would share those instead
Best. Breakfast. Ever. This is from Surrey's Cafe in NOLA and I will be eating this again next weekend for sure when I visit! 

TLT- Tempeh, Lettuce and Tomato sammie with a bowl of roasted brussel sprouts at Pub 5 in Nashville!

A lovely, and super yummy, vegan entree (not on the menu) from Etch in Nashville

Champagne and straberries cupcake from Oh Snap! here in P'cola
#4 Throwback Thursday

For good measure…little RRR

The world's best parents...and one pretty dang cute baby RRR ;)

Bet you didn't know I was a mini-Mozart...

#5 Five Things Friday

And for my fifth thing…well today I wanted to share something (someone?) very special to me. Last night we made it official by sharing it on Facebook. (I hope you can sense my sarcasm when I say FB makes it official)  So today I thought I would share a bit here. I just wanted to ‘introduce’ you to my boyfriend, E. He is a pretty amazing guy and I plan on having him as part of my life (and subsequently this blog) for a very long time. And since he is in almost every picture I take it was only a matter of time before he ended up here.

He took me to Nashville for my birthday...
We enjoyed lots of yummy local craft beers...

And we saw a Preds game...6th row, center ice. It was awesome!
And enjoyed our time exploring the city...even if it felt like the frozen tundra....

I love that he doesn't mind taking 5 millions pitcures either...even at the most inopportune on an airplane

...Or while driving

...Or even half asleep in bed

He willingly eats tempeh...every once in awhile, on special occassions ;)

...and cuddles with me after surgery 

...and most importantly he stays by my side, even when it involves a nap, through the good and the bad and that is what really matters most!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Surgery Update: Weeks Three & Four...

Warning: this post contains graphic photos. If you don’t want to see surgery pics (before and after) then maybe you should skip this post. Thanks!

Well, I am four weeks post op…can you believe it? I certainly cannot! Where did the time go?

Happy Birthday to me! Banyan Brown to celebrate 36!

I meant to write up a post last week at the three week mark but I just never got around to it. I blame all the raucous birthday celebrations for distracting me. Since I missed last week I will try to catch everyone up to speed as to what has been happening in the recovery process.

Week three went well. I did not have a doctor’s appointment last week but when I saw him at my week 2 checkup (on 12/30) he told me that on January 8th I could begin to transition from wearing the binder all day/night over to wearing a less rigid compression garment (i.e. spanx) instead. He said that at first I would probably want to wear the binder over the spanx because I may feel like I need additional support.

So, on Wednesday I wore the spanx to work and brought my binder with me just in case I needed it. It was really awkward at first. A bit uncomfortable. And I found myself walking hunched over again. On Wednesday all the ladies at work were commenting on how not good I looked so I had to explain about the transition. I made it through the entire workday wearing only the spanx but once I was home I took them off and put on the binder and that felt much better.

However, on Thursday (and every day subsequently) I wore the spanx only and felt great. On Thursday, the ladies at work all commented on how great I looked and how much better/easier I was moving around. It is crazy how quickly the body adapts to new situations. Since last Wednesday I have been following the routine of spanx at work, binder at night to sleep in and it is working out great for me. Oh, and in case I haven’t mentioned it before- the idea of wearing compression gear for months after the surgery is to help hold everything in place as the body heals so that way it heals up nice and tight not saggy and droopy because it is fighting against gravity. Doc says it will be a few months in the compression garments and I am 100% ok with that because I know it will help in the long run- even if it is weird wearing them all the time. Eh, small price to pay right?

Oh, and since I headed out to New Orleans last weekend (which is about a 3 hour car ride) I did wear the binder for the trip for some extra support. I am flying out to Nashville this Saturday and I plan on doing the same except I don’t plan on wearing it until after I get through security- kind of worried they would think I had some kind of explosives strapped to my stomach and search me.

Overall week three was great. I am feeling more like a ‘regular’ human being especially since I was able to go out and celebrate my birthday, travel, and do all of the fun things I would have done if I hadn’t had the surgery so that is a very good thing!
Week Three Pics

Left side is the night before surgery, right side is week 3!

Left side is one week post op, right side is three weeks pot op!

Today is the four week mark and I am pretty pumped at all the progress I have made so far. On Monday, I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon and he basically cleared me to start all activity, at my discretion. He said to ease into it and be smart about it. Like with cycling to try the stationary bike first to see how it feels, then move to riding outside but ride in a really safe/isolated area, then take it out to the streets. With running he said to slow jog and build as I feel comfortable. This of course is what I would have done anyway. I am a wimp; I will stop the first sign of pain. I am absolutely not, nor have I ever been, the ‘push through the pain’ kind of person. So, slow and easy sounded perfect to me.

Last night, for my first foray back into activity, I hit the track and it was great. I would have been 100% happy if the only thing I was able to do was walk but amazingly enough I could jog. I mean it was a slow jog. People could have easily walked past me but it was a jog nonetheless and I’ll take it. My friend E and I started off walking. After about 2 laps I was ready to see if I could jog. We did one full lap jogging then walked another one. I was hoping to just alternate laps between walking and jogging if my stamina and body could handle it. We started off on jogging lap two and it felt really good so we just kept going. We jogged another 3 or 4 laps (we kind of lost track) and only stopped because I was worried it would be too much to do more. We walked 2 more laps and called it a night. It was great. It felt amazing to move again. I was beyond floored that I was able to do so much. Afterwards I stretched and even that felt great. I thought my range would have diminished from the lack of regular activity but there I was, hands on the ground in a forward fold. That was pretty awesome. Also, was pretty stoked that I hit over 18K on the fitbit yesterday. I felt like a champion when I saw that!

Tonight I am heading to the gym. Going to test out the stationary bike and maybe some light weights and maybe a teeny tiny bit of core work. We’ll see. I’m just going to test the waters and see what feels good. I also am going to begin seeing a personal trainer soon. Lita, the trainer who ran the boot camp class I took last semester, said she would love to help me get back on track after the surgery so I will be using her to help me get there. I don’t have any expectations of what I can/cannot do; the only thing I expect is that if I listen to my body and continue to take care of myself I will be just fine.

Moving forward, over the next month until my next visit with the surgeon, I just plan on doing what I’ve been doing; resting, eating good whole foods, drinking lots of water and slowly reintroducing activity back into my life. Looking back over the past month I am surprised at how easy it was and how much I am able to do after such a short amount of time. But I should probably clarify that last statement a bit here…

No, the recovery wasn’t easy per se. But it was a hell of a lot easier than I imagined it to be. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when it sucked, it hurt, I cursed, cried, whined, and cried some more. But those times, they only accounted for like 10-20% of the time. The pain hit quickly but also subsided quickly. Putting the binder on was really difficult at first but that was like 5 minutes of my day. I was walking around from day one and once I figured out how to get up/down from the couch/bed/chairs I was able to do so on my own if necessary. For the most part I slept through the night and usually if I woke up it was because I had to pee, not because I was in pain. Less than a week post op I had both drain lines removed and was able to shower and was even able to ride in a car for an hour to spend the holidays with my Florida ‘family’. I was out drinking on NYE and spent my birthday in New Orleans. I can shower and get dressed on my own and have been doing so the whole time (with the exception of the binder when I needed to have it super tight- that was a two man ordeal); I can drive and have been cleared to do so since 12/30. I was back at work full time since 2 weeks after the operation and now am fully adjusted back into my routine and adjusted to being upright all day. I am back in my apartment; cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. Life is pretty much exactly the way it was pre-surgery except that I wear spanx now. Which is crazy….it’s only been FOUR WEEKS!!!! I absolutely did not expect to have made so much progress so quickly and so when I say it was easy- this is what I mean.
Week Four Pics

Left side is one week post op, right side is four weeks post op!

I always try to be open and honest on this blog and share with you as many details as possible about my life and the goings on of it but if you have any questions regarding the procedure or the weight loss or anything really please let me know.

Love, hugs and happiness,


Thursday, January 9, 2014


Today, as you probably already know, is my birthday. WOO HOO! I love, love, love birthdays and so far this one has been tops. My awesome friend/co-worker brought in a big box of vegan red velvet cupcakes. My other friend had flowers and balloons delivered to my work. Pretty much everyone on the surface of planet earth has taken time today to wish me a happy birthday.  It's been pretty incredible.

I am thirty-six and I totally embrace that number.

So when my friend asked me this morning how it felt to turn twenty-nine I replied with, ‘so much better the second time around’

It’s weird (and awesome) how much I have learned to love this age. There is something pretty amazing about being in my thirties. I am so thankful that I (eventually) got over the whole stigma of being thirty, being ‘old’ and in turn have made my mid-thirties the most active, the healthiest, and the happiest part of my life so far. Just further proof that life does not in fact go downhill once you hit 30.

Anywho…I don’t have much to say right now other than THANK YOU for all of the love and if you do not already subscribe to Notes From the Universe you should! Check out the awesome email I received this morning!


Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu,
Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu,
Happy Birrrrthday Dear Dacia,
Happy Birrrrthday to Youuuu!

A few years back, not so long ago, heaven and earth erupted into a major celebration with the news of your impending adventure into this very time and space. You see, someone like Dacia doesn't come along all that often. In fact, there's never been a single one like you, nor is there ever ANY possibility that another will come again. You're an Angel among us. Someone, whose eyes see what no others will EVER see, whose ears hear what no others will EVER hear, and whose perspective and feelings will NEVER, ever be duplicated. Without YOU, the Universe, and ALL THAT IS, would be sadly less than it is.

Quite simply:

You're the kind of person, Dacia,
Who's hard to forget,
A one-in-a-million
To the people you've met.
Your friends are as varied
As the places you go,
And they all want to tell you
In case you don't know:
That you make a big difference
In the lives that you touch,
By taking so little
And giving so much!

Dacia, you are so AWESOME! For your birthday, friends and angels from every corner of the Universe, including buddies you didn't know you had, will be with you to wish you the HAPPIEST of days and an exciting new year in time and space. You won't be alone!


Mike Dooley
Orlando, Florida, USA

PS - Dacia, this is going to be YOUR year!!

Wow! And of course, I totally agree. This is going to be my best year yet!

Love, hugs and cupcakes,


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My "Rules"…Part Two

Hey! Welcome back! If you missed yesterday's post (My "Rules"…Part One) I encourage you to take a minute and give it a read. This post is a continuation of yesterday's post about my personal life rules. So, without further ado…I give you Part Two.

Surround yourself with positive people and try to cut out negative people from your life. Fill your mind with positive thoughts and try to cut out the negative talk. I know, I know…it’s my inner hippie speaking but it’s true. Happiness loves company the same way misery does and if I had to choose I would pick being happy over being miserable any day of the week. Luckily for me, it is my choice. I can be happy every day. It’s totally my call. But having negative people in my life and negative thoughts in my head make it hard to see that I am and deserve to be happy. So I made the (not always easy decisions) to cut out the people in my life that were always bringing me down and I actively work/worked on reducing/eliminating the negative thoughts that liked to frequently overtake my mind. I love myself and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect; from others as well as from myself. If you want to be a happier you then it’s time to get rid of the haters and the Debbie downers…even if (especially if) they reside in your mind.

It’s just food…but it is also so much more than that. This is a difficult one to explain. It’s really like two rules in one. On one hand there is this idea that it is JUST food. It should not control or wield power over me. The only control food has is what I give it and there is no reason for me to give it any power…at all. IT IS JUST FOOD. On the most basic level, we need it to survive and that is all. It is not a friend or an enemy, a ways or means to heal or grieve, it is not a shoulder to cry on- it just isn’t. BUT…food is so much more than just food. Yes, it is sustenance but it is also nourishment. It helps keep us moving and functioning but also allows us to chase our dreams and push our limits. It allows us to be better, stronger than we ever imagined.  Or it can kill us slowly. Hippocrates (you know: do no harm/Hippocratic oath) said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. We don’t need pills or drugs to heal us, we can become healthier all by changing what and how we eat. We basically have two choices; use food as a tool to help us live a long, healthy life or we can allow food to slowly kill us. I am using it for the former but the only way I could was by taking back the power I allowed food to have over me.

Accept yourself now. This is probably the most common ideal I discuss on this blog; self love and acceptance. I believe this is the heart of being able to make any change successfully. But I know it is hard to do. More than likely you won’t just wake up one day and say ‘hey, I love myself. I am really awesome as is. Yay me!’ I mean maybe that happens but I would think what would need to happen first is that you fix the problems that have led you to be at a point in your life where you are so dissatisfied that you do not have self love or acceptance. If you don’t work on fixing the underlying causes of your problems they will just continue to resurface. I don’t know about you, but I was ready to fix me (all of me) even if that required digging through and uncovering a lot of demons and bad shit that haunted me. In the end, as difficult as it was to be brutally honest with myself, it was what allowed me to be who I am today- happy, healthy, focused but yet also a bit more carefree, more loving, and by far the best version of myself I can put forth.

Moderation, never deprivation. I think it goes without saying that nothing is off limits in my life. I drink beer, I don’t skip dessert and I have been known to totally house a vegan cheeseburger and fries every now and again. But, like I said yesterday, that’s my 20%. I don’t have foods that are off limits. But I do control how often I eat them.  I know what I want to do (be healthy) and what  I need to do to get there (eat good foods, be active, get good solid sleep, practice self care) and moderation is how. I don’t restrict my diet to the point I feel crazed from deprivation, I don’t workout until I am near collapse and in the same sense I also don’t eat and drink with reckless abandon and sit on the couch for weeks on end. No extreme overindulgences or depravity…just moderation.

Prepare for and openly embrace change. It seems obvious right? You want to change your life well then you should prepare for change.  You would think this would have been pretty easy for me but it wasn’t, at least not at first. It was like I wanted to change completely (like 180 overhaul) but could not get it through my thick skull that I wouldn’t get where I wanted to go by doing the same things I always did. My old WW leader always used to say; ‘if you always do what you always did then you will always get what you always got’. I got it, after time, and once I started to make changes in my life and started to find my way it got easier, much less scarier, to the point where now I openly embrace (even carve) change. Change…that’s where the good stuff happens.

Be a snob or be a French woman…Do you remember the book French Women Don’t Get Fat? I am not 100% I read the whole thing. I mean I feel like I did but who knows. But I do remember reading how French women eat very small portions of very rich foods. They indulge, but in moderation. Yes this kind of ties in with two of my other ‘rules’, I know. But the point I am trying to make with the above statement is this; I can only have two MAYBE three really good craft beers in one night, I eat dark chocolate almost every night but only a few pieces. My cravings are satiated by the depth of flavor of good quality beers and the richness of really good dark chocolate. I may seem like a beer/food snob but I found really good products that allow me to practice moderation and still really (REALLY) enjoy my life.

Listen to your body. I found veganism by listening to my body. Through food journaling I found what worked for me and what didn’t and on a whim (after a few months of personal research and diary keeping) I decided to cut out all animal products and what do you know? My body was giving me signs all along that the foods I was eating weren’t good for me. My body knew, I just had to figure out how to listen to it. Another big advantage of listening to my body is it allows me to monitor my hunger scale. My friend told me a few years ago about this concept and it has stuck with me ever since. Picture your sense of  hunger on a scale from one to five; one being full, not hungry at all and five being ravenous, wildly hungry. The key is to not eat when you are a one (or even two) because then you are eating out of boredom or some other non-hunger related reason. Recognize this behavior and work to break the habit of eating while full. On the other end, don’t let yourself make it to a level five. At that point you will be so hungry you will make bad choices, eat too fast, east too much, you forfeit all control. Instead just listen to your body and eat just as you are starting to get hungry, around a three. You will eat slowly and cognizantly and hopefully be able to recognize the cues your body sends you when you are full.

Don’t listen to me…I am no expert and I am not writing this list for you. I mean, yes I am writing this for you but not because I want you to go out there and do all of the things I do. This is my list. I wrote it for me. This is what works for Dacia. Maybe it can work for you too. Or maybe this list will make you miserable. But it’s a good place to start. To reflect on your life; what works and what doesn’t and maybe start to write your own list because you are amazing. You totally deserve your own life, your own happiness, and your own set of rules.

Until next time…

'Love, compassion and kindness are the anchors of life'

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My "Rules"…Part One

Author Michael Pollan is pretty awesome. I have read a bunch of his books (In Defense of Food, the Omnivore’s Dilemma) and one of my favorites is his super quick and easy read, Food Rules An Eater’s Manual.  Pollan has a list of pretty simple and straightforward rules for food, both for choosing what to buy and what to eat/not eat, that he lives by and if you read through this book you would probably agree with most, if not all, of them. They are pretty dang logical, if you ask me. Here are a few of them (sorry for not including the explanation but I think you can understand these ones without one) so you can get an idea of where Pollan is coming from;

  •        Avoid foods you see advertised on television
  •         If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t
  •         Do all your eating at a table
  •     Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored

I love Michael Pollan’s food rules and have adopted most of them (because they worked for me and what I believe in) as my own. But after a few years on this adventure I have created a bunch of rules of my own, too. Today I thought I would share because when people ask me how I did it, I never have a good answer. I just say I changed how I ate and became more active, which is 100% the truth, but man that does not really even begin to explain how I got here.

Eat real food. I say this to anyone who will listen…I don’t care if you are a vegan or paleo or if you do Weight Watchers or track on MyFitnessPal…if you asked me what you could do to start focusing on your health one of the first things I would say is eat real food. Cut back, as much as you can, on the processed foods and swap in some real, whole foods. In place of boxed mac n’ cheese try a sweet potato, instead of some cocoa puffs try some steel cut oats (not the processed instant, sugar loaded ones the real whole steel cut oats) or maybe instead of some ice cream have some fruit. There are so many cheap and readily available whole foods options out there nowadays (frozen fruit and veggies, no salt added canned veggies and beans, dry beans, bulk grains) that make it so we can more easily incorporate real, whole foods into our diet. BUT if you have to eat processed foods (which most everyone does, myself included, in some form or another) go for the best version of it you can find; sprouted grain bread instead of white, whole grain pasta (or for me, I like quinoa pasta or just plain quinoa) instead of traditional semolina pasta.

Eat raw foods, as much as possible. I love cooked foods a bit too much to ever move to a 100% raw diet but I do think that a lot of the foods I eat, mostly fruits, veggies and nuts, are better for me if I consume them raw. Now, that statement isn’t 100% true, some veggies (like cabbage) are better for you cooked but for the most part eating fruits and veggies in their raw, natural state is the best way to get all of their nutrients. Cooking not only diminishes the nutritional values of the food it also kind of throws your body for a loop when you eat it. 

80/20- my whole life is pretty much based around this ideal. 80% of the time I make my own meals and snacks, drink tons of water, keep active, and overall just focus on what I need to do in order to live a healthy lifestyle. The other 20% is allotted to beer, cheeseburgers (even if they’re vegan they are still junk food), TV, dessert, and more beer. I like this mix. A couple meals out, a couple beers one or two nights a week, an occasional cupcake or a Saturday afternoon spent catching up on SOA balanced out with boot camp classes, bringing my lunches to work, making breakfast every day, afternoon walks at work and meal planning has led me to not only lose and subsequently maintain my weight loss but it also has allowed me to keep my sanity and have a pretty well-rounded and happy life.

You know that saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’? Well that cliché is popular for a reason. You didn’t gain all your weight overnight nor will you lose it all overnight. And for me, where I am now is far different from when I started but I didn’t just make a bunch of huge changes overnight. I got here one small change at a time. I started to drink more water and less soda and then one day I was ready to cut out soda completely. Months later I started to change up my diet and even though I became a vegan like 26 months ago I have changed (and still continue to change) how I eat as a vegan. I started out walking and built up, over almost 2 years, to running a half marathon but between walking and running a half there was couch to 5K, running 5Ks, 4 milers, 5 milers/8Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks and 10 milers. It was a slow progression, small mileage increases. For me, and I kind of think this is true for most, big changes are overwhelming and can be really hard to sustain- especially if you make them all at once. Which brings me to my next rule…

Only make changes that are sustainable for YOU! Don’t try to build new habits that you don’t want to keep for life. Some changes are going to be difficult to make and may take time for you to adjust but there is a big difference between making changes you want to make versus changes you feel you need to make but have no desire to sustain. For me, no matter what I was trying to accomplish (lose weight, eat healthier, become more active) I got there and continue to meet these goals by making small, sustainable changes. I am one hundred thousand percent ok with knowing that the life I live today will need to be the life I live thirty years from now in order to keep doing what I want to do. If you are looking to do the same, think of the end result you want and think about little changes you can make to get there. Don’t make any changes you wouldn’t mind doing regularly for a very long time.

Be active and by be active I do not mean go run a marathon. I simply mean stop sitting all day long. That’s what my old life was; 9+ hours at a desk job followed by an evening spent on the couch watching  TV. I started off doing the only thing I could, walking, and progressed from there. Now I am back (well, temporarily) to where the only thing I can do is walk and I am ok with that. Our body doesn’t care how we move, it just needs to move so find what you can do and enjoy doing and go do it. And maybe also watch less TV too. It’s a good habit to break, in my opinion.

Variety is the spice of life, why yes, I do love me some clichés. But it’s true- variety is the spice of life. It’s good to try new things (foods, activities, hobbies) and break out of barriers created by fear.  It’s good mentally and physically and the reality is you never know what you may fall in love with when you do. When I lived in San Antonio I attended classes at a studio that offered so many different types of activities (almost all of which I tried there for the first time); Nia, Tai Chi, QiGong, Journey Dance, Zumba, Pilates, a whole lot of different types of yoga, and guess what? I loved them all. At 260 pounds I started taking classes there and if I let my fear hold me back I would have missed out on so many life changing experiences. So, try new things, whenever you can. Don’t let fear or that negative monkey mind hold you back.

Ok, so I have 9 more ‘rules’ (ugh, that sounds so serious) left and this post is already super long so I am going to break into two parts. Guess you will have to wait until tomorrow to read the rest.

Until then, take care of you. You are the only you we have!

Love and really warm bear hugs,


P.S. Apparently I like this topic…I wrote a very similar post back in May called The Rules. Feel free to check that one out too. My rules then are still my rules now and between this post and tomorrow's you will have seen all of the one's mentioned in that one so your call. You can totally skip it. 

P.P.S. So far I have pulled two items from my 2014 action jar; 'cut your hair' and 'buy something just for me'. 

Here's proof of the first one. The dress I ordered, just for me, should be here tomorrow or Thursday (my BIRTHDAY!!!, what a funny coincidence!)