Thursday, October 25, 2012

Being you...IS good enough.

My feet are in the sand on the beach in Cancun; living up the moments with my sister. The warm Caribbean sun is beating down on us and tiny beads of sweat trickle down our face. I stand up to take a dip in the pool and I notice I am wearing a bikini! But stomach is flat and I have this intense feeling of self confidence!! I climb into the pool and then as quickly as the cool water hits my face, I am awake....

Several months ago I wrote a blog about someone using not so kind words to describe what they thought I looked like. They said I was short and chunky. And I know, as I had said before, that it was not meant with ill intent, it still hurt. I find myself, once again, in the same situation at work. One of the guys at work went to the doctor and had a physical. He came in and told everyone how his cholesterol level is 785 - which is insanely high. This man is in no way fat, he is just short. So they got on the topic of how his cholesterol could be so high and he said that his doctor considers him obese. I was standing next to his desk discussing possible natural options because I work in a supplement shop,  and one of the guys that ALWAYS makes fun of me states: "Well, look at Patti; she's fat! If she were six feet tall, she would be skinny; but her cholesterol is fine." Now, it's one thing if I ask - "Do you think I look fat?" And how do you know my cholesterol?? I know the truth, I look in the mirror every day. I don't need you to tell me that I am fat. The girls around him and the guy that sits next to him just turn and glare. I understand that he was just saying what he thought was truthful, but I was so incredibly embarrassed. Three times this week he had made some comment toward my weight - One of the girls asked if he thought his wife was fat; his response: "She's not skinny, but Patti is fatter." I mean, what the hell?! Why am I the target of his ridicule? I'm not pleasing to the eye? Then keep it to yourself. It's such a cliched saying; but if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. 

The next day it became the thing to talk about - how can someone eat healthy like me, but stay fat? I am facing my computer screens when they start talking about what I ate for breakfast and what I brought in for lunch; I slowly turn around to them and shake my head. I just couldn't believe it. There is so much work to be done and some people are more worried about the affect of the good food I am putting in my body is having on me than doing their job. I just want to scream out: WHO THE HELL CARES?! I should be the only one concerned with me, and you should be the only one concerned with you. Yes, I eat healthy. No, I am not skinny. But, please, tell me...why does the entire world need to know my insecurity about being fat?! Why do you feel it necessary to tell the people with in a six-foot radius that you think I am fat? I have a bad enough complex about myself, and you feel the need to add to it. And they sit there and laugh because to them, it's a big joke. It's not funny - it hurts.

Today I wore black slacks with a fitted sweater and black flats; normally I will wear a scarf over my sweater so it sweeps over my stomach and hips or I will wear a flowing dress or some other fabric with many layers; but I didn't today. The girl that sits next to me tells me that I should wear things like this every day because I look 10lbs lighter. Maybe it was a compliment; but it still angers me. If I wanted to discuss my weight with my co-workers then I would. But I don't! I obsess over my weight enough in my head and with my twin. I tell her every day in an email what I am eating, what I have planned to eat and what I bought at the grocery store. I write my food in a daily journal, and count calories every single day of my life. If you ask me how many calories are in a piece of chicken, I can tell you. Skin on? I can tell you that. Cooked in olive oil and served with rice? I can tell you that too. So the last thing I want to do is come into work and have to discuss with people who don't care, things that are so detrimental to my well being.

This brings me to my title that being you is good enough. I was made fun of so much when I was a child and through middle school that I don't need to endure this as an adult. I am not that far away from being 30 years old and the last thing I need is for some 30-something-year-old man to tell me almost every day that I am FAT. I strive to live a healthy lifestyle and I eat as healthy as possible. It doesn't mean that I will be a size 0. It means that I will be as healthy as I can be on the inside. You cannot listen to the negative things others may be saying to you. You are good enough. Being you is good enough. You don't have to be something that others think you should be. Keep that in mind the next time someone says anything negative to you. Exuding positivity from within will make you a happier and healthier person.

Thank you for listening to another rant of mine. I think it's important to share things such as this because I know that there are others who go through this, too. I can't be the only one who struggles every day with their self image. Who feels like the mirror is going to break in disgust whenever you step in front of it. One day it will get better. You just have to remind yourself that there is no one else in the world that can be a better you. So you have to be your best you. And your best you starts with, none other than YOU.


Health and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Busy working girl getting back on track...

Hello my friends! It feels great to be back! I have been stretched thiiin. haha! I still have about 12,000 more photos to go through and edit, but believe it or not, I have made a dent. Which brings me to the topic I am about to discuss. Weddings. During the week I have a pretty set regimen of my food intake for the day. I have a banana and plain oats for breakfast, a mid morning snack, a salad with protein for lunch or a sandwich on sprouted grain bread, then an afternoon snack (usually raw almonds and a piece of fruit and last but not least, a protein and vegetable for dinner. Sometimes I will have a sweet potato if my fat kid is really screaming. 

Now... that's during the week. The weekends are a bit harder. I am usually photographing a wedding or on a shoot so I am not able to eat at the correct times or always eat the right thing. Recently I completed a 24 day challenge and I had to eat super clean AND cut out  coffee. Ouch. I don't think I could have picked a more challenging time to do the challenge. In that 24 day period I had 4 weddings and a few portrait, and engagement sessions and with that, came the wedding food. The food usually consists of mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, pasta,  stuffed chicken breast, and a salad... but it's caesar salad. I had to come up with a plan to make sure I wasn't going to slip up at the weddings! Remember:

 It IS possible to be healthy and eat right when you are constantly on the go. I decided that I could either take on the challenge or not. It was that simple. I continued my new way of eating for my monotonous M-F work schedule, and when it came time for the back to back weddings, I felt prepared and found myself excited to see what the weekend was going to bring. I also knew that this would set the tone for the rest of the 24 days. The night before, I acted like it was going to be another work day. I packed a lunch and tried to get plenty of sleep. (Yeah right.) I woke up and had an Orgain organic protein shake and a banana for breakfast. I got ready with Patti and then made sure that I had packed enough food for us. For the rest of the day we had a snack bag of grapes, raw almonds and a few clementines. I made two salads that had grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, spicy peppers and crushed red pepper. For dinner we had a piece of chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans. 

By the time the weekend was over I had made it! I proved to myself and every other busy working person that you can be healthy. You just have to plan ahead and remember that sleep is a big factor as well. Even though I can't pack my food for the wedding we have in December in Mexico, I know that I will be prepared for whatever is placed in front of me!

I hope you enjoyed my blog today! I will blog some of my new recipes soon!


love and health to all

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Staying busy on an unproductive day...

...Well that's kind of a contradictory statement, now isn't it. But is it? Most of us work hard, and work a lot; so when it comes down to a day where you don't have to do anything you might not know what to do with yourself or your time...

I found that I was lost today. I woke up early and realized that I didn't have to do anything. Nothing. I walked out to my living room and stood there for a minute;. Looked around and then went to the kitchen. I made myself some ginger pear tea and filled my 34oz mug with water and plopped on my couch. I sat there and pondered for a few minutes what I would do today to ensure that I am not sitting on my butt being useless. Nothing came to mind that seemed to fit how I was feeling. So I opened my kindle and just started reading my latest purchase. Today was a day that I could have to myself - mostly, as my job demands a majority of my time; that I didn't have to feel the pressure of answering to anyone or being around people. Everyone deals with their emotions on different levels, and I really love the time that I have to myself. 

As an hour passed and I was still in my pajamas, I started getting this nagging feeling of guilt. I was just sitting there, reading when I could be doing something productive with my time away from work. What do I do? I pull out my lap top and start making corrections to this big project we have going at work. This absorbs about a good 4 hours of my time. Awesome. Let's spend the day working when you're supposed to be OFF work. (We have a running joke in the office: (PTO is not "Paid Time Off," it's "Pretend Time Off"). Such conflicting feelings! I feel like I should be working, but then I get angry for working when I am supposed to be enjoying the one day off that I have! Geesh! I know what can settle this argument in my head..."COFFEE BREAK!" YEAH!!! And then I realize...I gave up coffee one week ago today. Grrrr, okay so now what, I think to myself. Oh - tea! Wait, no...Lunch, lunch would be good since I skipped breakfast; shhhh, don't tell Nikkie. It's not part of the cleansing routine. You have to have eaten at least two servings of fruit by now. Oops. I stumble into the kitchen as my legs are half weakened from sitting for the last 5 hours (that is just terrible). And I make a turkey burger with some steamed zucchini and eggplant. YUM! I go back to the warm spot on my couch and enjoy my delicious lunch - I flip on the T.V. and watch the X-Files movie on Netflix. (I found that I can hook my computer up to my television and watch movies on T.V. while streaming from online)! 

Now what? I am trying to stay busy on such an unproductive day...Do I take a nap? No...that's just being really lazy; I hadn't even been up for 10 hours. So, I make another cup of tea. Sooo good! So calming, I think and so worth sitting on the couch once more - still in my pajamas. Should I go to the gym? No, every excuse in the book comes flooding to my mind. I don't hate exercising; I just don't want to be around people today. Decision made; I get up and start doing push-ups on my floor. What? Yes, random push-ups, which turn into squats and then calf raises. I'm done. I sit back down and sip my tea again. Ahhhh! I am starting to get really antsy. I should be doing more! I should be outside enjoying this beautiful day - I hear rain and then I feel a little better. I tell myself that's it's okay to be home right now. It's raining outside and you don't like to drive in the rain - it will just make you miserable and have outbursts of hatred-filled road rage. The less rational side of my subconscious wins and I stay in. Just to sit back down on the couch and shop online. I need new things for my place as I am moving in December. OH CRAP! I am moving, which means I need to pack. I don't even know where to start. There is just so much stuff!!! So much to pack. Will it all fit? Will my bed fit in the bedroom?? Will I have to purchase a new bed?! It's a house - with a basement, how am I going to lock the door to the cellar?? Do I need new curtains? I need to call my leasing department and tell them I am not re-signing. Too much to think about. Geez, this isn't working. I close the computer and just shut my eyes for a minute to bring me back to a non-panic state. I decide to just put on another movie and lay down. I put on Georgia Rule and just sink into the couch with my blanket wrapped around me, the shades all drawn, my 3rd hot tea and my pillow tucked under my right side. I feel my body start to physically relax.

I am telling you my crazy day because it's not really a crazy day. It's a non-productive day physically, but a mentally hectic day in my mind. I feel like I should have done so much more like search for answers for things I need answers to, or planted a pumpkin garden, something that would have physically told my body that, yes,  you did good today, now you can rest. Instead, my mind is still completely active because I feel like I was under accomplished today. I am sure you are asking yourself how this has anything to do with health and wellness. It has everything to do with it. When your body is stressed it releases hormones into your body that can cause internal damage. You have to find ways for your mind and your body to relax and not be in a constant state of anxiety.  Once I find them, I will blog about them each time one comes to me that truly works.

It is 12:18am and I STILL don't know what I could have done differently today. And I think that's okay. Sometimes you just have to figure it out. 


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Back to the basics...

Hello to all my blog followers!! Many apologies - as it has been over 2 months since my sister or myself have written. :'( So our promise to you is to ensure that we are keeping up to date with our latest shenanigans!

About 1 week ago I decided that my body and my mind needed a complete overhaul from the stress induced environment I have been in lately. My sister started it a week prior and she is feeling incredible. What we started was a cleanse - not a detox as you would think. It is a complete cleanse of anything that promotes inflammation within the body. So yes, this means I have given up coffee! (Everyone beware). Just kidding ;) The cleanse also prohibits sugar, salt, processed foods and dairy. It's very much like the Paleo diet - vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs (meaning legumes and brown rice). My water intake has increased to just about a gallon a day, sounds easy enough to drink that much, right? Well, let's put it this way; 1 gallon of water is equal to 128ounces. That's tough, but a mix of herbal teas, water in between meals and some energy mixes has made it easier. In doing this cleanse, I have been introducing myself to new ways of cooking my food and new recipes. I just may even have a cook book by the time I am through with this. And so I am writing to not only share that so far I am feeling better, but also one of my favorite things I have cooked thus far.

It is baked sweet potato with onions and sauteed chicken in garlic infused extra virgin olive oil:

Here is what you will need:

1 Organic large sweet potato
1 Organic sweet onion
1 Package of boneless, skinless chicken breast (Trader Joes has a good selection of hormone free, free range, no antibiotics chicken). 
2 Tablespoons of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil 
1 Tablespoon of Oregano
1 Teaspoon of garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 Teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic 

1-gallon ziploc bag
Baking sheet
Small frying pan or wak

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your sweet potato as you will leave the skin on. It is so thin and there are many added health benefits to eating it. Cut the potato in thin, round slices. Then take those slices and cut them into quarter pieces and empty into the ziploc bag. Chop your onion and add to the potatoes.  Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic EVOO, and the rest of the spices to the mix. Shake up the bag. Line your baking sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil and empty the contents of the ziploc onto the baking sheet. Spread evenly so the potatoes and onions are covering the entire surface. Place in the oven on the middle rack for about 25-30 minutes. (I have found that baking them for 28 minutes in a gas stove is the best - it gives them the perfect texture and takes that raw crunch out). While this is baking; add the remaining EVOO to your frying pan or wak, and place burner on medium heat. Cut up the chicken into thin slices; it cooks faster this way - but you can cook as desired. (Be sure to wash your hands and the counter where you just cut the raw chicken; safety first). Add the cut up chicken to the frying pan and season to taste. Add the minced garlic cloves. I added more oregano to the chicken. You want to cook the chicken after the potato and onion mix are in the oven as it does not take as long to cook. The chicken should be thoroughly cooked within 18-20 minutes; but timing may vary depending on your stove. The best way to check is to cut one of your bigger pieces in half and make sure there is no sign of pink. The juices need to run clear - and a cooking thermometer is also very useful. Once cooked, serve :)

This yields between 2 and 3 servings. 

This recipe is packed with many nutritional benefits and is also very tasty. I hope you all get a chance to try this. There are many alternative foods that you can substitute if you're not able to eat sweet potatoes or are vegan! You could use butternut squash and/or zucchini as an alternative to the sweet potato and firm tofu for the chicken. All just as delicious and something I just may have to make tomorrow!

Thank you all for to tend to the chicken drumsticks I currently have simmering in the crock pot...


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox