Friday, January 27, 2017

You Are Not Alone - A short story

Hi fellow followers...to the few that may be out there! It's been a while since I've written, but I am back as well as my twin sister, so I hope you continue following and reading about our lives! We hope to revamp soon to include a vlog and youtube channel, but for now...I hope you will read :)

I wanted to write about something that I haven't been able to speak about without being cryptic or ashamed. And while the embarrassment is still there, the experience I have had with sharing my story publicly and the impact that it can have on just one person has given me some courage to share in moderation with those who may need to hear they are not alone. 

There was a small fire sparked within me last night that I never saw coming. I have been on a work trip with a fellow co-worker, male co-worker to be exact. This man is fun, and exciting and completely chill. The kind of person that you just want to be around all of the time because of his outlook on life and the love that he has for all. I am not relaxed around the opposite gender and would never use those words in the same sentence, especially if I do not know them. I am generally always on edge, and anticipating their next move. However, with this gentleman, I was able to be myself and share things I never expected to share. 

     The drive to the airport Monday morning was full of anxiety. To the point I was in tears the whole way there. Since I was traveling when I received the news that my sister died, I haven't been able to go anywhere without feeling like I am going to explode into a million pieces. The added stress of meeting up with a fellow male co-worker, whom was much larger and older, and spending the time alone in the same hotel was enough to make me vomit. We planned to meet at the baggage claim as our flights arrived at the same time - or so that was the plan. I board the first flight with expectations of turbulence because of the wind, but was not expecting the drops and jolts this flight so kindly provided. I was white knuckled the entire flight.

My second flight arrived to our destination but his was delayed by an hour. I still waited in anticipation for him. I walked around the baggage claim, gathered my belongings and went on the hunt for some coffee. With my luggage dragging behind me, I made my way up the escalators and found Caribou Coffee, but opted for an unsweetened green iced tea since the baileys and coffee I had on the plane added to my nausea. I was pacing up and down the airport for what felt like an eternity. My co-worker finally arrived and after a few exchanges via text, we were face-to-face in the baggage area. I had met him before...just once...seven months ago in a group of people so I didn't truly know him. He greeted me and we walked outside to head to the hotel. I did not say much. My anxiety was at an all-time high...my stomach was doing somersaults and I was for sure about to vomit up the spiked coffee I had for free on the plane. We pick up a taxi outside and his first gesture was to put my bags in the trunk for me. I stood there not knowing what to say. I often travel alone, and more than ninety-nine percent of the time I do not require help. However much of a nice gesture this was, in the back of my mind I couldn't help but think there was an ulterior motive for his kindness. And then the thirty-minute taxi ride began. He struck up conversation almost immediately as if we had been friends our entire lives. The ride flew by and in no time we were at the hotel. We checked in at the front desk, and what do you know? We were on the same floor, about four rooms apart. All of the laughter and ease I had inside of the taxi immediately faded...he knew where I was sleeping. 

We head to the elevators. I have my purse strapped over my shoulder, my backpack sitting on my back and my luggage being towed in my hand, with such a tight grip that Mike Tyson wouldn't have been able to pry it away. As we step into the elevator we discuss meeting up in ten minutes to go grab a bite to eat. I push the button for the 10th floor and my stomach feels like it's falling with the movement of the elevator. My body felt heavy and I didn't know if I would make it to my room. We walk down the hall and I purposefully take the long way so that we reach his room first, I watch him walk in and close the door and I sprint to my room, key in my free hand and lock the deadbolt and chain behind me. I gather my emotions and remind myself that I am overreacting. It's okay. I close shades on the windows, put my luggage on the ottoman at the foot of the bed and grab my purse to head back downstairs. I wanted to make sure I was down there before him since I didn't have my luggage and backpack to protect me. I step off of the elevator on the first floor and walk into the lobby. I sit by the fireplace waiting for my co-worker. He arrives and we decide to walk a few blocks to a quaint little pub not seen on the east coast. 

As we walk, I can barely breathe, the combination of the thin, cold air piercing the inside of my nose and lungs and my unending anxiety was getting the better of me. He starts talking in his cool, calm, collected way and it somehow eases me. I am able to converse back. We step inside the door and it's a dimly-lit wooden pub that had a perfect seat near the window with a great view of 16th Street and the Pavilion. To my delight, all of the trees were lit up with white lights. The walkway reminded me of being in Mexico City and the flood of happiness that coursed through my body made me forget the anxiety I was letting myself get into. I order a cocktail, he ordered his and we started talking. Long, in-depth talks about work, life, and our partners. This was a turning point in the short trip for me. To be in the company of a male that genuinely cared about just listening and talking without any inferences to sex or joking about the possibility of taking advantage of our alone situation took me by surprise. Any time that I have traveled, there was always such a thick layer of uncomfortability because one of my male counterparts would feel it was acceptable to comment on my body or joke about work affairs, or how they could get a key to my room without me knowing. We remained in constant conversation for about two and half hours over cocktails and soup. We paid and began our journey back to the hotel. As we stepped outside, the cold bit our noses and hands. An audible burr came out of our mouths that made us both start laughing. We arrived at the hotel and headed back to our rooms taking the same route we previously did. 

The next day we head to the office to meet our new hire and spend about ten hours getting everything set up and moving about the day. We decide to do some team building and invite the team that resides there out to dinner. We chose this restaurant where they serve authentic Mexican food and offer happy hour all night! We order tacos and cocktails and have such great conversation. After dinner my co-worker and I head back to the hotel and say goodnight. The next morning we run through the same routine, we meet up in the lobby for breakfast and coffee, chat and eat while reading the newspaper. As we head to the office in our Uber, we discuss what we want to do for the night. By the time we arrive at the office, we have poured over dozens of restaurants through Google. One of the native Coloradians recommended this local place on 16th where those gorgeous lit trees are. We decide that this is where we will go for the night. 

We stayed later than usual at the office and were the last two people to leave. Others had prior commitments so it was just myself and my fellow traveler heading to dinner. We arrive at the restaurant and are seated near a stage. We order this incredible Chile Verde and some cocktails and continue our conversation that hadn't stopped since the first night. After our second drink he looks at the tattoo on my arm and continues to stare. He then looked at me and asked me if it is okay if he says something about it because he wanted to when he saw it the first night of our trip. I was uneasy about saying yes because although I intentionally got this tattoo as a reminder to myself of how strong I am, I hadn't really rehearsed what I would say if someone asked me what it stands for. He said, my girlfriend has the same tattoo but hers is on her shoulder...he was very polite and told me that he didn't want to pry but he understood the reason behind it and is open to hear about my story and how I am able to function the way I do. I took a sip of my tequila on the rocks, put it down on the table and looked up. He was teary eyed. This 6-foot tall, muscle man of a human. My eyes started to well with tears because I couldn't understand how this person could empathize with me knowing that I had been through what his girlfriend had; knowing that I had been taken advantage of, knowing that there was a possibility for vulnerability. Instead of pressuring me to talk, he began telling me how it made him feel when his girlfriend told him about what happened to her. I sat there and listened so intently. 

Then it happened, I just said it. I was raped. I was sexually abused as a child and I was raped. I have been drugged and taken advantage of. It has not been an easy recovery, but the tattoo served as a daily reminder that I am still here. I immediately wanted to throw up. What the hell did I just say?! When I told him, the tears in his eyes started streaming down his cheeks. Unafraid and unaware of those who may have been looking at him. The anger that plagued him showed, not toward me, but toward those who have hurt me. He asked for the addresses and was fighting the words coming through his teeth. He talked for a while, but I cannot remember much after that. I had ordered another two Don Julio on the rocks and was feeling quite numb. I was so focused on how I could tell my co-worker the deepest secrets of my life after only spending three days with him. I tried reasoning with myself in that he knew what the tattoo meant so I couldn't lie and had to tell him.

As I think about it now, it frightens me. I let my guard down, I drank, a lot, and could have ended up in a terrible situation as I have been before. But on the positive side, I found a place within myself that BELIEVES there is a greater good in people. While I have always believed it, I believed with skepticism. He gave me an opportunity to see the better side of the human race, especially those who I am so quick to place judgment based on my biased view on them because of past experiences. This guy bared his soul and compassion for another human being without any expectation in return. 

We walk back to the hotel, and I am so numb from the amount of alcohol I consumed. I am coherent, but well aware of the lack of strength I had. I tried as hard as I could to appear normal, and it worked. He walked me to the end of the hall and watched me walk to my room this time - from a distance. Though he wanted to make sure I was safe, he made sure not to be right behind me, as if he knew that was a trigger. I waved back to him and closed my door. I laid on the bed and the room was spinning as fast as my mind. I couldn't help but think of how I was supposed to face him tomorrow after he knew that I was really weak? Did he think my outward display of being strong was a facade? I came down to the lobby the next morning to face him and I was scared of it being awkward or him feeling embarrassed, and me being so ashamed of just unleashing such intimate details. How was he supposed to take me seriously now that he knew how disgusting I was?

As I approach the table where he is sitting, I smile, he smiles, and I walk to grab a cup of coffee and some fruit. I come back to the table and sit down. He sparks up a conversation as if we never talked about it. I felt a bit of relief. The days goes on, we work and then say our goodbyes. We head to the airport, and just as he put my bags in the taxi the first day, he did the same heading out to the airport. He opened my doors, carried my bags and was just plain decent. We arrived at the airport a few hours early as we had conference calls that we needed to be on. We sat down at this amazing restaurant where we could watch the planes land and take off while working and grabbing a bite to eat. Instead of going to his terminal, he came to mine and sat with me until it was time for me to board. As they called my group number, he gave me the biggest, unexpected hug. He whispered in my ear to remember how strong of a woman I am, and that I am such an impeccable example of how to overcome. He reminded me that I am proving that what happened doesn't define me. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and said thank you for showing me your soul. And then I boarded my flight back home with tears in my eyes. 

Though this may not seem significant to many, it impacted my soul in a way that is so difficult to describe. It compelled me to write about it because there are so many of us that often feel so alone and isolated because of being raped. The journey of recovery is long, but there are facets of hope along the way. Unexpected people can show up and remind you of the decency you once believed in within the human race. He did just that. A kindred soul who shared themselves because they too, believe that everyone should be loved and that everyone is good, everyone is human. I am working on remembering that I am, too...that maybe it wasn't my fault. That maybe I didn't ask for it. That maybe I am not weak because I couldn't fight it...that maybe I am strong. 

Thank you, my friend. 

xox

Saturday, July 4, 2015

i miss you

You always see things on the news but never believe something like this could strike your own family. The night Nikkie called me to tell me you were no longer with us became the worst night of my life. You were always a rock and one of ours growing up, and sometimes you stumbled over yourself but you always got back up. I have always looked up to you in ways I can only hope you heard when I told you that. I have always been so proud to call you my big sister, our secnarf, our singing and dancing partner and our forever friend.

One of the worst things someone can say in a time of grief is: everything happens for a reason. I can't believe that is the case for my sister Fran. Fran, I miss you so much; more than anything in this world. There isn't one day that goes by that I don't think of you. Whether it's a crow flying over me in the morning on my way to work or the days I decide to take exit 20 off of the highway because it is a long road that reminds me of you and it's just coincidence that each time I subconsciously take this exit, it's at the same exact time each time...even more ironically, the same time frame I received the call that you had passed.

I was talking about you today because someone asked how I was holding up. It took me by surprise once again, that they were referring to your death. Even those words are ridiculous to me and seeing them written down tears my heart out of my chest. When I actually process the fact that you are gone, I can't breathe. I can't breathe now. I can't believe I haven't received a text message or a phone call from you in two months. Two long months, Fran. Where are you? WHY?? I can hear your laugh and see your smile - I wish I had one more chance to talk to you. I want to tell you again how proud of you I am and how much you mean to me. How you saved me when I was a child, more than once. How I looked up to you and then you looked up to me and how we helped each other. How I never, ever, ever gave up faith in you that you would come out on top.

Frannie, if you can hear me....I love you. I love you with every piece of me. Every single piece. I wear you on my heart every day in hopes that you can feel me, too. Every day that passes doesn't make it easier to process, I feel like it makes me miss you more. I am not strong enough to handle this, what closure do I have?! It wasn't supposed to end this way. We were supposed to enjoy our 30's together - celebrate our successes and how far we've come with the challenges we faced. Now I feel like I am facing the biggest challenge I've ever had to endure - losing you. Losing someone who so willingly stepped in and stopped the hurt as a child and was there when I needed you as an adult. I will never forget all of the memories we made - singing at the top of our lungs in my apt to "Impossible" by Shontelle or you choreographing a dance to " No More Rhyme" and all of us performing it together. Remember we were going to be the "Shetones?"

I can't handle this. I can't handle you being gone...I don't know how to process it or how this is real. I keep thinking I am in a nightmare and just waiting to wake up. I drive now without peace because I look at every single utility pole and try to imagine what happened and how scared you must have been and it literally tears me to pieces. I want to sob uncontrollably and lay on the floor until I've cried enough to fill every ocean on this planet - and even then it wouldn't be enough tears to make this hurt go away. You can't prepare for the loss of a sibling. I can't begin to describe the pain because whatever I write can't even compare to what it is I feel inside. I'm lost. I make it through day by day and try to enjoy the things that are supposed to make you happy and it's so hard. It's hard to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather knowing that you will never have the chance to enjoy this again or with me. How fair is that?! I'm lost.

Maybe one day I will make my way through this fog I am in. It's hard, harder than I thought it could be. I love you forever. Big sis <3

Always your baby sis <3

Pagatha

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Balance

 What is balance? A noun, a verb? The definition that fits most for the use in my life is: to offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another. I haven't ever been able to balance things in my life in the noun sense of the definition; an even distribution. I've always struggled with balancing work, school, social life and my personal life. While I can juggle it all, my time is not equally shared with each nor is it equivalently disbursed among the sublets of those four.  

Just recently I began my journey back to school. I am one week in and finding a good balance between going to the gym, leaving work at a reasonable time, doing my school work, being logged into our blackboard, eating, spending time with family, friends and my boyfriend is next to impossible. 

I don't believe in making New Year resolutions, and the saying: New Year, New You drives me crazy. You should never try to be a "new" person because you are always going to be you. And you would be lying to yourself trying to live life as something you're not. So I didn't make any resolutions, instead made a promise to myself that I am going to work on being a better me. In admitting my flaws, weaknesses and working to make them my strengths. While all of these things are struggles to balance, one of my most challenging weakness is my obsession over food.

My sister and I started this blog in 2012 with hopes of keeping ourselves on track with food and exercise and while it has served as a place of recipes, expression and randomness, it has far from kept me on track. Countless times I have said; this is it, I am really going to do it this time. I am going to be skinny, I am going to lose weight, I am going to end this insanity of obsessing over what I am eating, I am going to stop eating crap that I know isn't good for me, I am going to stop binge eating, I am going to stop beating myself up for eating something that I shouldn't have, I am going to say no to bad food...yet every time I find myself back to where I am right now. 

Four weeks ago I thought I was doing well. I was losing weight, I was feeling a little better because the scale was going in the direction I wanted it to go. Every night when I stepped on that scale, I was at least a pound lighter. I was drinking a lot of water, eating half the amount of calories I would normally consume and fight off the hunger pangs that plagued me. I have four packs of gum in my drawer at work because I will pop a piece of gum when I get hungry and get up from my desk to distract me away from my hunger. I was keeping track on my calorie counter app and made sure I was eating less than 600 calories. I was at the gym every day burning no less than 400 calories to allow my whole consumption for the day be 200 calories. I was getting horrible anxiety when I was running and getting tired at 2 miles, so I pushed on to the point of being so sore that my muscles felt like they were pinching and I could barely lay down and sleep. I lost a little over 10 lbs in less than two weeks and then of course, I quickly fell off of my schedule because a weekend came that I was with my sister and was ashamed to eat like that in front of her and didn't want to lie to her. So instead of measuring out 2oz of tuna for lunch or 1/4 cup of plain oatmeal for breakfast, I ate whatever I wanted and could get my hands on. Convincing myself that it was okay to eat a donut and then drink a coffee with sugar in it, eat taco bell and then eat Mexican all at the same time. I felt like shit. There isn't any other word to describe it. I ate this way for two days and by Monday I was right back on my strict eating. It's such a tug of war. It's not that I don't know what is good for me, it's that I don't know how to balance it. Of course I gained the 10lbs back immediately and when I said I am back in the same place I was before 4 weeks ago, I mean I am struggling with knowing what is good for me and what I am going to do. 

Nikkie and I are both starting a 24 day challenge and have committed ourselves to eat healthy in the right way; not binge or limit and prove to ourselves that there is a way of living without torment over what we eat. I stepped on the scale tonight and I cried on the floor in the bathroom. There is so much going on in my life at the moment that I knew I couldn't sit there and cry and that I need to do something about it. I am going to work on my image inside and out. I start tomorrow and will hopefully be able to post more blogs with the positive progress we are making. I will document it every day on Instagram so you can follow along if you'd like: http://instagram.com/paggiaggie/. It will be #24DayChallenge.

I am posting tonight as I know there are others that are out there that go through the same mental affliction and should they happen to come across my blog, I hope that this helps them to understand they are not as alone as it feels. 

Here's to looking better physically and feeling good mentally.


Love and Wellness to all!


Twinspiration


Patti xox

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Window Seat

Another post...not about food or exercise...

Some say that the eyes are the window to the soul. As I sit here looking out of the window on the 737, I see a capacious world beneath me and makes me believe it. Everything is still and it feels like we're frozen in time. I can see the horizon and it seems as if each layer of the earth is visible from my view. The contrast in colors are breathtaking and it makes you wish you were floating within these layers; the layers within the stratosphere, the space between you and the gravity that keeps you grounded to the earths floor. 

The turbulent air shakes me back to simple thought. I take a glance through the small rectangular window and see such an incredible full moon. The view from the sky is unlike any other I've seen. Its massive size makes it appear only a short distance away. The crimson colors and reflection from the sun make the clouds surrounding it glow like the reminiscent coals of a blazing fire. It lights up the earth below and I just bask in the beauty of the moon.

I notice another plane passing below at an incredible speed. Why does it feel like we're just suspended in air when this plane is zooming by at top notch speeds? It disappears into the clouds and leaves a translucent white trail behind it. I am left pondering if we are really moving...

As the plane banks slightly to the right and the nauseated feeling reminds me that we are in fact, moving, the magnificent moon disappears behind the wall of the plane. It's playing hide and seek with me between the two windows I am fortunate to have on this flight. My eyes fleet down to the twinkling lights below and the view never ceases to excite me. Among the vast spread of electric filled space are large areas of land that at night, look like a black abyss. I stare into the darkness with hope of finding some glimmer of light. And I do. If I look hard enough, I can see small dots of orange lights beaming up as if they're saying, "We're here, too!" They twinkle with every surge of electricity that is flowing through them. They remind me of the stars that shine above them and it makes me wonder if it's really just a reflection. 

Two hours into the flight I close my eyes and reminisce about the happy and peaceful thoughts that this view brings to me. Such a calm washes over my entire body. It's as if I am laying on the beach, the moonlight is reflecting in the water and all I can hear is the sound of the waves crashing as they come into shore and I can feel the wind softly blowing through my hair. I take a deep breath in and silently sigh. I fall asleep for a few minutes. The air gets a bit more turbulent waking me from a sleep that I am so thankful to experience undisturbed for that few moments. My eyes remain shut for a minute and I slowly open them. I look back out through the window and the sky is brighter than ever. The earth has moved along it's gravitational course so the moon appears higher and now has a white fluorescent glow. There isn't a cloud in the night sky as far as I can see. I close my eyes again and drift off to sleep to be woken up once again to the announcement that we have begun our decent into Bradley. I bring my seat back to the upright position and stare longingly out of plane wishing I could take this back with me in the car. I generally prefer the aisle seat on a flight; however, this upgrade to first class gave me an opportunity to explore the mystery of the outside world from within. A break from the inner torment of feeling like I don't belong up here with these folks. Being able to experience such a sight let my mind focus on other things aside from what I am eating, how I am dressed, how much I need to exercise. It's tranquil.

As we descend, those small twinkling lights that were barely visible are clearly defined into city street lamps and the windows in the house that look like a dreamy picture from a Christmas book. We approach the runway and I can finally see how fast we are really going. All the different colored lights on the runway blur together creating an image of a kaleidoscope. We slow down and start taxiing back to the gate. It has rained and all that is left to remind us are the puddles and steam reflecting in that beautiful moonlight. 

Maybe I will take the window seat more often :) 


Love and Wellness to all!

Twinspiration

Patti xox



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Food....you are always on my miiinddd

I think about my weight a lot. A LOT. If I could lose a pound for every time I thought about how fat I am, I would be walking among the Victoria Secret models I so desperately envision being me. Thinking about my weight so much, I obsess about food and calories and sugar and fat and salt. I want them all, but cannot have ANY of it. Zero. Zilch. And like my blog in April, it's so much easier to control when I am home. 

I have multiple habitual tendencies and for the past two weeks I have developed yet another very strict way of eating and working out. Today was difficult in sticking to this routine. It is one of those days where you don’t want to get out of bed from pure exhaustion. I am sure you all have been there…those times when you fall asleep an hour before your alarm goes off and you lay there awake, eyes closed, talking yourself into crawling out of bed. I open one eye at a time and fling one arm off of the bed followed by my leg. My foot touches the ground and I immediately retract the pep talk I gave myself. I look like a circus act trying to get up.

I slowly walk to the bathroom and brush my teeth; second thought of the day that comes to my mind aside from wanting to go back to bed is: what will I be eating today?? So early to be thinking about food, but my mind has it planned – very carefully…as I walk to the kitchen, I think of my next move. Every step and movement there has to be precise in order to ensure I don’t stray from my plan and set myself on a downward spiral of a horrible eating pattern. I have a solid routine when I am home.

I take out the scale and weigh myself – stand looking at the number in disbelief. I put my head in my hands and just sigh. I don't move for a good five minutes. NEVER happy with the number, I hide it away in the mini closet as if it’s hiding me.

I walk out of the bathroom and to the counter in the kitchen. I open the New England Coffee French Roast (It’s sooooo good) and place the K-Cup into the machine. I let the cup sit to cool while I put a pot of water on the stove to boil some water for my eggs. (gross). I don’t want to eat another egg, but they are so low in calories but high in protein and they keep me full for a while so I don’t get that nagging hunger. And making them hard boiled means I won't add any additional calories as I would if I were to make them over easy. I measure my precut vegetables and fruit that I am eating for the day and put them in their respective containers. Then I put my protein – usually a shake with some mint extract and my shaker cup in my lunch bag and run over the list:

  • Eggs – check
  • Garlic powder – check 
  • Smoked Paprika – check
  • Valentina Sauce
  • Mustard – check
  • Separate fruit containers – check
  • Shaker Cup – check
  • Protein powder – check
  • Love handles (I call them; touch me there and you die handles)– check and check
  • Coffee and more coffee – check, check, check
I go back to the Keurig machine and remove the coffee cup. I take the ice out of the freezer and fill my travel mug; still half asleep. I pour the coffee over the ice, still warm enough to melt it and I add more. I cannot put the cover on because there is now too much ice. I never learn. I drink the coffee until it about half gone because once I start drinking it, I cannot stop. It’s like my drug. I put the lid on and let it melt some more so I feel like I have more coffee – which I tell myself I need for my commute in the morning.

Every morning for the last two weeks, this has been my exact routine. It has paid off so far – total lbs lost = 5. In conjunction with working out 1-2 times a day.

When I get to work in the morning, I arrive early so I can peel my eggs and mash them up with the garlic, paprika, Valentina and mustard and I drink about 16 ounces of water. I sip my coffee until I can eat my fruit. Then I wait for 12:00 to arrive and have my shake. Two hours later I am eating some more fruit and drinking more water. I get up to use the restroom at least six times!! I feel like I have the bladder of a 5 year old dancing in the middle of the store screaming: mommy I have to pee! I leave the office and head home. 

As soon as I walk through the door, I change into my gym clothes and immediately put on my work out DVD. Sometimes it’s insanely difficult to get through and sometimes I am ready to pass out from how hard I am working, but I push through it. Determined to get skinny. When I finish with my workout, I make some dinner and then shower. My dinner has almost been the same every night aside from switching up the protein if I include any. In the beginning of the week I had prepared my vegetables by chopping them into about quarter inch pieces and put them in separate containers: carrots, asparagus, onions and bell pepper. I measure out ¼ cup of each, ½ tsp – 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup of water, turmeric and cayenne pepper. I sauté all of the vegetables for about 3 minutes so they are tender but still have a little bit of a crunch to them. If I make any protein, I will have about 1.5 ounces of ground turkey or ¼ lb of salmon. All of the vegetables fill me up enough to get me through the night. And of course I drink raspberry-lime seltzer water with my dinner. If it’s too late by the time I get home, I will just cook my veggies and eat them with some water. They are so delicious and I take it slow eating one piece at a time. Lately I have been obsessed with dipping each piece in a drip of Valentina hot sauce or Cholula! Both have zero calories and zest up your meal.

June is right around the corner…50 more lbs to go before I will feel any sense of security and can stop wearing these scarves. I hope I can keep this momentum! 1 week before I become Zumba certified and then I can kick up the work outs. I am super pumped!! Doing Zumba for 60 minutes can burn anywhere from 500-800 calories…I could do two a day! Eeeek!!
Stay tuned…

Love and Wellness to you,


Patti xox

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hungry Hungry Hip...Patti

Have you ever been sitting at your desk, everyone is diligently working and the still silence is interrupted by a low but forceful grumble that sends everyone’s eyes scattering to the window looking for the lightening that follows a boom of thunder? No? Me either. – Actually, this WAS me. ALL day yesterday and ALL day today. My hunger pangs woke me up this morning – before my alarm clock even had a chance to be its annoying self.

It didn’t matter what I ate yesterday, the satiated feeling that should follow after you eat was playing the role of David Copperfield in his disappearing act. It started after I ate breakfast; a low calorie, (130 cal) high protein (14g) small meal. I ate around 8:10 after I had gotten into the office. I continue working and then suddenly feel this gnawing sensation right below my ribs. It’s so incredibly strong that my stomach feels like someone is squeezing all the content out and into my throat. You know that feeling when you haven’t eaten in a while and that funny stomach of yours seems to be sending an awful lot of ghrelin into your bloodstream; causing your mouth to salivate and waves of nausea hit you one after another after another until you put something in it? Yeah, that feeling. That’s what it felt like about twenty minutes after I ate breakfast. I know this because I glanced at the clock believing that at least two hours had passed because there wasn’t any way I should be this hungry. I was so wrong. Twenty minutes. In an effort to control the mindless eating that happens when you work in an office, I decided to down about 16 ounces of water immediately. I took some vitamins and it calmed my needy, rumbling stomach.

Boom. My co-worker who sits across from me, turns and says “Did anyone hear that?” I’m thinking to myself; you’re kidding, right?! I answer, “Hear what??” He looks back at his computer…I don’t say anything. I think it’s understood that it’s obviously not thunder and it’s my body that cannot be satisfied with water! RRAAAHHHH. My stomach has many hats and today, aside from its magic act, is also a super hero. Introducing you to the Pink Hulk – my stomach is not green…at least I hope it’s not because then I wouldn’t be human and I think I am human. It wants to break out of my body and go find some food. Say hi because wherever you may be reading this from, I am sure you can hear it :)

I glance at the clock again and it reads 11:26 – I think to myself, only thirty-four more minutes and then I can eat lunch. I can do it! Mind over matter, right? I take a sip of my iced coffee and it settles my hunger for a mere 30 seconds. I agonize and stare at the bottom right corner of my screen and the time is moving at the pace of a snail with chronic fatigue. It finally says 12:04 – yes I remember the specific times – and I take my lunch out from my bag and devour it within minutes. Normally I eat very slowly, but I just cannot take slow bites or even savor the taste. It’s gone within 10 minutes. I didn’t bring anything to go with my turkey and cheese, no bread sandwich. Turkey meat and cheese. I still have insane hunger pangs…I am far from satisfied. I tell myself; wait and let your stomach digest the food. It takes at least 20 minutes for your body to get the signal that you are full. – So I drink some water and wait. Why am I soooo hungry?!?! I’ve consumed 440 calories, 22 g of protein and it’s only a little past noon. I shouldn’t be hungry; I literally JUST ate. I drink some more water and it still does not get rid of the hollow feeling in my stomach. I continue drinking, refusing to give into Mr. Grumbles.

Thankfully I have meetings the rest of the afternoon and I can no longer be taunted by my hunger because I don’t have anything to eat. Just my water to sip on. Before I know it, it is past 6:30 and I decide to pack it up for the day. SO much easier to leave at a more reasonable time than 8pm when I am traveling. My hunger never subsided. All I could and can think about is how much food I just want to shove down my throat in order to silence this loud and obnoxious feeling! Why is it so impossible for me to ignore? Is there such thing as hunger hormone removal?? KIDDING…sort of. Although I constantly think about food and what I am going to eat and sometimes plan my day around what I am eating, this hunger is of a different sort. It’s like I haven’t eaten in a month hunger. The desire to eat is all I can think about!

So I head out to the grocery store to pick up trash bags and Brussels sprouts. Worst thing you can ever do is go shopping when you are hungry. Not because I will buy things that are bad for me, but because I am tempted to buy the things that are bad for me. So instead of walking the perimeter of the store – and get the two things that I needed, I walk aimlessly up and down every aisle looking at all of the food that I cannot purchase because it will add to the ever growing circumference that I call my hips. I pick up a box, look at the calories and put it down. Grab a bag and put it down. Grab another box and put it down. This continues until I have spent over an hour and a half fighting with myself, sometimes out loud – sorry to the little girl who thought I was yelling at you; not to put that item in my basket. By the time I am done shopping, I leave with 4 boxes of Keurig coffee (yet another addiction, or should I say substitution for food), a bag of Brussels sprouts and a bundle of asparagus. (Yes I forgot the damn trash bags which resulted in another trip to the grocery store today with almost the same behavior – and now I have EIGHT boxes of Keurig coffee at home. Hope you enjoy, Eric)! I get home and it’s an agonizingly long time before the Brussels sprouts are ready…I had prepare and them wait for them to roast. By the time they were done, I was famished. I devoured a half of a bag myself. Although they came out mighty delicious. Want the recipe?? Okay Okay…it’s listed below :)

After I am done eating, and am still hungry I decide to shower again – because you can’t eat in the shower. Although Kramer did on Seinfeld….hmmm. When I get out, I take my time getting ready for bed trying not to think about my noisy belly. You would think with all of the noise and contractions, that it would send signals to my abdomen muscles to shrink and tighten! But it didn’t, I checked, flub is still there :-/ I finally lay in bed with yet another glass of water and read for a little bit before going to bed.

I repeated the same thing today. My stomach is still sending me signals that I am hungry, but as you can see…If my fingers are typing, it means I cannot eat. So as I click “publish” to this blog, I am going to shut my computer off and close my eyes. Feeling accomplished that I did not give into my distracting hunger.

Pink Hulk – 0                                               
Patti – 1

Brussels Sprout Recipe:
· 1 Bag organic Brussels sprouts
· 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil or Grapeseed Oil
· 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
· Salt
· Pepper
· Garlic cloves (optional)

Directions
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.Wash Brussels sprouts
3.Cut the heads in half
4.In a bowl, combine the vinegar and oil mixture
5.Toss the halved Brussels sprouts in the mixture
6.Lay on a broil pan or an coated cookie sheet with the flat part facing down
7.Season with salt & pepper to taste; I add smoked paprika and garlic powder
8.Peel the garlic cloves and place around the Brussels sprouts for added flavor
9.Bake for 30-35 minutes or until desired colored is achieved

Enjoy!

Health and Wellness

Love to you all,

Patti xox

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eating Healthy?!

The past six months has been such a whirlwind - I don't know whether I am staying or going and it's wrecking havoc on my body because I am letting it. First blog since all of the traveling picked up pace, and it feels great to be writing again. 

Traveling sure doesn't make it easy to eat healthy, but it doesn't make it impossible. The best thing you can do if you're in a hotel that doesn't have the necessary tools for you to go shopping and keep fresh food, is educating yourself. Educate yourself on the food that is available to you. If you are going out to eat, look up the menu online and prepare the questions to ask your waiter/waitress and choose what you are going to eat. You can look to see if the restaurant you are headed to has the type of menu you can order from; for example, if you need gluten free foods, or are a vegan. 

Eating healthy while traveling and constantly eating out doesn't have to be a battle. While it may seem extraordinarily difficult in controlling your desire to eat whatever you want; especially when the menu doesn't offer healthy choices, you can still make the better decision by knowing what and how to order. I was recently at a restaurant in TX with a few co-workers and this restaurant did not have a single dinner option that was under 1000 calories including the salads. So I had to make a decision on what to eat that wasn't drenched in fat, salt or fried. I looked through the menu and murmured to myself: "this is why you are so fat and continually gain weight." I sat at the table and looked over page after page...the smallest portion of steak or chicken they offered was 6oz. I have the most difficult time making decisions of what I want to eat in general, never mind looking at a restaurant menu with so many options. I start getting very impatient with myself because I cannot make a decision mostly because there isn't anything I see that I can order that isn't a heart attack on a plate. Everyone else is ready and the waiter is standing at the table. While he is taking the orders, I see the salmon and then just muster up the courage to order what I want and how I want it. He looks at me and I ask for a grilled piece of salmon, not cooked in butter and without salt with a side of grilled asparagus. It felt liberating. Strong word for ordering food? Maybe to others, but it's exactly how I felt. I ordered what I wanted, no sauce, no salt, no butter, just how I wanted it. It was delicious. 

I have been traveling for work for the last 6 months just about every week and it's been hard to get back on track with eating and working out. It's as if I get these small bursts of thoughts and excitement that I am going to do better that day and then hour by hour, it becomes increasingly more difficult for me to make the better decision with anything. By the time I get back to the hotel room, I am exhausted and I don't want to work out. We meet for breakfast at 6:15 a.m., working until at least 7 or 8 pm, then we go out for dinner and then I am dragging my feet at 9 or 10 night into my room. Then I open my lap top to catch up on some more emails that I was not able to get to during the day. By the time all is said and done, it's sometimes 1 o'clock in the morning and I do not feel like working out, nor getting up at 3 to work out before the day starts. This past week, I made the effort to leave the office by 630-7, and forcing myself to do an hour of cardio and some weight training before hopping back on the computer for work. Hoping that this week will be easier. 

Summer is right around the corner and I am in the same place I was last 10 years, obsessing over the fact I can't lose weight and that I promise myself that I will do better. This time it seems impossible. I just keep telling myself that with the support of my twin, and a few caring people, I can do this. I can make better choices that will promote my health and well being. Starting with eating while on the road since this is a very real part of my life right now. I've blogged in the past about being prepared for when I travel to make it easier, but taking the actions and caring enough about yourself makes all the difference. Right now I feel completely defeated. The scale seems to go up and up. But I am going to take my mini victory of decision making and continue to strive for better days. 

Today was a bad day, tomorrow will be better. 


Health and Wellness to all

Love Patti xox