Journey to the Sunshine State

Well hello beautiful people! I can’t believe it has been over a year since my last blog. That’s unreal to me. So much has changed since then but I’m not recapping over a year in this blog right now so let’s just fast forward real quick to the here & now 🙂

If you did not know, I left Buffalo, NY on July 11th to start my trek to Fort Myers, FL where I will be teaching second grade. Gosh typing out makes it sound so easy BAHAHA. I know, I know, I did this TWO years ago when I went to Charlotte and that didn’t necessarily pan out but we can’t focus on the past or taint this experience because of that. #mindset.

Okay so the journey here let’s discuss. I took the seats out of my car and only took the essentials. AND YES I SOLD MY BED ON MONDAY AND I MOVED WEDNESDAY #bossstatus

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If you need someone to pack up your house in 3 days and fit it in a PT Cruiser, I am your girl! That was one of the most stressful things I did and I lost a lot of sleep those 3 days because I am a procrastinator but damn I purged a bunch of shit and only brought the essentials which felt GREAT! 🙂

SO first stop was Carlisle, PA for a car show that my dad and sister go to every year (Wed-Sat) and last time I attended was when I went to Charlotte in 2016 but went for a few years as a kid too. My dad had his 1969 Road Runner in the survivor tent and this year he trailed his car with his new 2018 RAM truck and I was so happy for him! Normally he drives his 91 Ram Charger and the trailer is not a fan of that. He kept saying how he could have kept driving to FL it was so easy, LOL!

dads cars

The morning we left my sister texted me something along the lines of, “Hey let’s get tats in PA” and I legit texted her back, “ARE YA NUTS” well needless to say we spent that 5 hour drive creating our matching tat and well here ya go 🙂 I could write an entire blog about how we came up with this so stay tuned! Hers says, “I’ll keep you wild” and mine says, “I’ll keep you safe” and well that’s self-explanatory as I am the more reserved, conservative one and my sister is well…the wild child 😉

Tats

I left PA Saturday morning at 8AM and headed to visit my good friend Taffy in Charlotte, NC! When I left for Charlotte in 2016 my dad cried and it literally broke me so I told both my dad and sister, NO CRYING. Here is our way too early selfie, LOL!

Leaving PA

The drive to Charlotte said 7 hours and 20 minutes and I knew I would be fine because I did just do this TWO years ago. Ironically I stopped at the same Dunkin’ Donuts in Maryland from exactly TWO years ago. I drove from PA-MD-VA-WV and I made it to Taffy’s outside of Charlotte about 5:15PM.

Our entire trip may have revolved around food but I ain’t even mad about it 🙂 She makes me laugh until I cry and I am so blessed to even have met her! Our last night was my favorite as we went to Pinky’s (which has been on Diner’s, Drive Ins and Dives) and then blasted Barenaked Ladies, “The Old Apartment” as we went to see my old apartment LOL along with the most epic car snap karaoke on the drive home. Thanks so much for the hospitality Taffy, LOVE YOU ❤

Taffy and I

I left Charlotte 7AM on Monday to start my 10 1/2 hour trek to THE SUNSHINE STATE. Shoutout to Taffy for documenting my drive off. If I’m being honest, this is when I was the most nervous because well I was prepared for the Charlotte Drive but had no idea what to expect on my drive to Florida and I just have one thing to say: IT WAS LONGAF. I am so so glad I left at 7AM because I did not pull up to my new place until almost 8:45PM.

Leaving NC

I think I stopped for gas 3 or 4 times? It is all a blur right now BAHAHA. All that matters is that I made it here. AM I RIGHT? Well, if you do not know, I found this couple on craigslist that I am living with, I’m just renting a room from them and I skyped like over an hour with them initially on June 15th. They told me they had 1 dog and 2 cats. I got here and there is 1 dog and FOUR cats. Legit the night I got here they were all in my room and I took this video panning the bedroom and I legit felt like the crazy cat lady. I cried a lot that night. The first night is always the hardest. Trust me, you know I love cats but FOUR plus a dog, I am just so so overwhelmed! Peep them all over my bag the first night. All I did the first night was bring in my bedding and shower.

cats

 

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If you have not seen my snaps or Insta story documenting my journey here so far basically they are slobs. When I talked with them via Skype I do remember her saying that he hurt his back. I got here and it’s the same story. He does not work and is the most lazy human being I have ever met. I swear he is a drug dealer or something. It is not adding up.

This place is a legit mess and my motto is “I’m doing what I can with what I have.” I realize that everyone has different standards for cleanliness but when someone gives you $250 for a security deposit and then $500 to rent the room for the month–Why in the actual heck did I find a candy wrapper, a pen, a hair tie, cat poop behind my bed? I also went out and bought a hand vacuum little dust buster thing because the amount of just dust and cat food along the molding of my bedroom is UNREAL. I do have my own bathroom but this is another level of filth. Do you know what living in filth does to one’s mentality? AGH it is fucking me up HARDCORE fam. My bedding makes happy though and I went and bought these scent cones that I had at home which is the same scent as my fabric spray. You know the stuff that makes you feel at home? Yea, trying to fill myself with those things ❤

FL Bed

Now that it is Thursday and I went on the cleaning rampage on Tuesday, I am feeling a little bit better. I try and get out for a good chunk of the day. My first full day here I went to explore the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and tried running a little over a mile on the boardwalk but later found out you’re not supposed to run on it. WOOPS. Going to try and explore more parks and get more runs in over the next few days here. I went back to Weight Watchers this morning and feel really good about that and tracking today.

6 mile cypress preserve

I did finally empty out my car as well and I have been getting familiar with the area. Exploring has allowed me to figure out where I would like to live and I have looked at 6-7 places the past two days. I am living in Lehigh Acres right now which is about 20-25 outside of Fort Myers so if I go and do anything in civilization, I make sure I do what I need to do before heading home. Gosh that makes me sound crazy but I’m used to like my 7 minute work and gym radius back home. I know I will feel better when I move closer to the things that I like to do.

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The end of the blog brings me to MINDSET and how much I have evolved since the last time I did this in Charlotte. I shared a little about this on my Insta live earlier today but when I moved to Charlotte and shit went down I was crying like everyday. I am happy to report that I did not cry yesterday or today and I am super proud of that. IT IS NOT EASY TO MOVE TO A NEW PLACE FAM. Yes I have done it before but Florida is FAR. Like over 1,100 miles FAR. Anywayssss today this leasing consultant asked me if I had any friends or family here and I was like well I have one friend from social media but we have not met yet HAHA.

I just keep telling myself that this beginning stage is the legit hardest and if I can make it through the hardest part: not having many friends, not loving where I live, not having a paycheck, etc. THE REST WILL BE CAKE. Because what I do have right now is all of you on social media. I have the ability to go OUT and make new friends. I have a roof over my head, a shower, food, a car, etc. Once you add up all that you DO have. It’s not that bad.

BUTTTT I can NOT wait to look back on this moment in a few months and laugh and be like, “hey, remember when you lived at Dr. Dolittle’s?” And then I can just laugh until I cry about what a joke this situation is at the moment. I realize that this is just a blimp in time and I just need to make it through ONE day at a time and then once all the days add up I will look back and be like WHOA you made it through THAT. I am just filling my time and days with doing things that make me happy. Trying to establish some what of a routine and making it similar to what I would do at home. First step was getting back to Weight Watchers this morning. Next step is getting back into an exercise routine. So now that it is almost 1AM, I want to get up and go run at this Lakes Park tomorrow and then find me an acai bowl. (I already have it all mapped out) Maybe look at more apartments? Apply to the one I want? I may or may not have already put myself up on Bumble and I may or may not have a pizza and bowling date tomorrow night 😉 ARE WE SURPRISED? MAKIN ALL DA DAMN MOVES FAM ❤ Until next time! If you read this far…#bless!
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Failure is fuel.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for awhile now…..for the past few weeks months, I know that I’ve gained at the scale. BAD. There is no denying that so….. I’ve been contemplating going back to Weight Watchers. I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the way that I look and feel. I constantly compare to what I looked like last summer and how CLOSE I was to my goal last July/August. Also, timehop is a b.i.t.c.h. Therefore, last Friday, May 29th 2015 I have re-committed to Weight Watchers for the sole purpose that it works. YAY! It was a super vulnerable feeling walking through those doors again but I knew it had to be done. I felt my absolute BEST last summer at 157lbs and the fact that I let the pounds pile back on is so so upsetting. I know I should have never quit in October in the first place. It just kills me that I spent from February 2013-October 2014 losing all this weight, driving to the gym, putting in the work, running all the miles, doing all the grocery shopping, just to basically end up right where I started. Those thoughts alone bring me to tears. You can add up all the time and money that was spent on the first journey but that WILL NOT push you forward. I’m making a promise to myself that I can’t obsess about the past, the only direction is forward. I have to let the past go and realize that this journey is a new beginning and I have to remember that I’ve done this before and I’m worth it to myself to get healthy again. My favorite part about the quote above, “the time will pass anyway” is something I have to hold onto because just as the time will pass anyway, I can’t rewind or erase the mistakes. It happened and I have to use this failure as fuel to push forward and the simple fact that I know where I was and where I can be is motivation enough. (See happy July 2014 photo below)

Transformation December 2014This quote reminds me to just get back up!

never quit quote

In addition, if there is anything I have learned on this journey is that you have to do what works for you and only do it for YOU. Do it because you want to crush your goals. Do it so that you can walk into your favorite store and try on that awesome outfit without hesitation. Do it because you deserve to walk around with the highest level of confidence and you deserve to feel the most comfortable in your own skin. People may suggest other weight loss products and programs BUT you know you best. I know that I can’t simply eat clean and workout..maybe you can but I KNOW that I need to track my points and exercise. I also need that accountability to someone at the scale every single week. That’s the only way IT WORKS for ME. This does not make any program better than another though. In this life we get to choose what works for us and if you’re killin’ it with a different program but still working towards the best version of you and you’re happy doing it..then GO YOU! We’re all in this together and nobody should knock someone else’s journey to becoming healthier simply because it’s not their program of choice. DO YOU ALWAYS.

Recently, someone shared with me that it’s hard to get back on track and tracking their points is hard. That statement really made me think that yes, nobody wakes up and says, “YES I LOVE TO TRACK, TRACKING IS MY FAVORITE” nobody wants to count calories or track their food in any app and if you genuinely do…then I need to meet you and get your autograph. It would be GREAT if we could all eat what we wanted without keeping track or putting in the work during workouts. However, personally, I feel that being overweight is harder. Walking around feeling uncomfortable and not fitting into the clothes I wore last summer is harder. Running at a slower pace than last summer is harder. Taking 17 minutes longer on this year’s half-marathon is harder. Not being able to sit down without feeling my fat rolls rolling on top of each other is harder. Not being a size 10 is harder. (Yes, I went there) It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting to not be 110% happy with you. Tracking IS hard, there is no minimizing the time and energy that must go into preparing food and workouts BUT gaining 35 pounds in 8 months is harder for me. (Ouch. Makes me sick.) Choose your hard. That is all.

But I would rather end on a positive note SO here is a wonderful transformation photo of me at 214 pounds to running my FOURTH half-marathon and Sunday’s meal prep. YAY. Smiles all around for moving forward. Can’t wait to see my Sunday warriors this week! Keep on keepin’ on fitfam! 🙂

4th half transformationmeal prep

One year FITversary!

I’ve been meaning to write this post since Thursday as I reflect on my ONE YEAR FITVERSARY. (Yes, this post is long, no I am NOT sorry.) When was the last time you spent an entire year making yourself better? Focusing on what you wanted the most? Sure, it’s selfish and it’s a crazy thought but on February 6th 2013, I never thought I WOULD be where I am right now. Actually, never in one million years!

I never thought that I could lose 46.8 pounds IN MY LIFE, not to mention ONE YEAR.

I never thought that my Instagram account “luvtobfit” would have 1,175 followers.

Of those followers, I never thought that I could receive so many touching comments informing me that my success was inspiring others to accomplish their goals.

I also never thought my page would be shared on another fitness page and receive 447 likes on one transformation picture.

I never thought that I would be seriously contemplating signing up for a half-marathon.

I also never thought that I would be looking into the different certifications in order to become a personal trainer. Wait, you mean I actually like the gym?! WEIRD.

I also never thought that I could be THIS genuinely happy.

When you see yourself going places that you never thought possible, you just sit back in awe at everything you have accomplished and just cry tears of joy. You literally think to yourself, “Is this really me? Am I really doing this?! (Okay, so I admit it, making that transformation picture down below, I cried.) It’s amazing how much you can achieve when you finally believe in yourself and you can actually physically see all of your hard work paying off. It’s safe to say that this past year has shown me that I’m a lot more capable than I ever anticipated.

I recently watched Silver Linings Playbook and this quote makes perfect sense:

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Most recently, I proved to MYSELF that you have to literally “do everything you can” in order to reach the impossible. Why meet yourself only halfway? Every Sunday morning I would drive to my Weight Watchers meeting and say to myself, “Now, are you going to lose or gain?” “Did you REALLY do everything you possibly could to make that number go down this week?” Almost every single time I had a feeling of doubt. Sure, I worked out 5 times that week, but did I track ALL of my food? Did I drink enough water? Did I limit my portions? NOPE. Sure, I partially did each of those things, but it was never 110% and I knew that I was only cheating myself.

I was rocking this weightloss thing with Weight Watchers since February 6, 2013 and in November 2013 I got stuck in the 170s that is, until this week. I was so tired of playing this yo-yo game with the scale since November 3rd. (Later, I realized it was a mental game) I hit my 40 pounds and then I hit a wall. One week I lost .6, the next, gain .4, then lose .2, then stay the same, then gain .6, then lose .2. There were no more multiple pound loses at the scale. I never gave up. I knew I had to stop playing the game. Sure, some refer to Weight Watchers as a game because there are points involved, but you have to keep track. I knew I had to make it an all or nothing thing. I was tired of letting not only myself down, but my Sunday Warriors Weight Watchers group and all of my followers on Facebook and Instagram. I was slowly losing my enthusiasm and I knew that those who followed me were losing their belief in me.

This morning, February 9th, 2014, I stepped on the scale at 167.4 and LOST 6.2 POUNDS IN ONE WEEK! I wanted to cry tears of joy at the scale because this week, for the first time since November, I finally did everything I could to stay positive. I did everything I possibly could to make sure that number on the scale was less than the number the previous week.

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I had to dig real deep to get here and I also had to realize that it’s not going to be 6 pounds every week. But damn after being so back and forth since November, I felt like a baby bird who could finally fly! (Too corny? Probably.) I had to say no to cupcakes, dinner invitations, coffee outings, chips, cookies, you name it, I said no because I promised myself YES on February 6th, 2013. Now, I realize you can have anything you want in moderation, I mean moderation is my favorite word. However, I needed to focus and moderation was getting a little out of hand for this one over here. So this week I said to myself, “Enough is enough, you can do this. You spend $42.95/month on Weight Watchers, for YOU. Why are you putting all of this bad food in your system (spending more money on said bad food) and chancing your own body with the potential to be successful and happy?” This gambling has got to stop!

Once you realize that every time you reach for a “treat” or “I worked out and I deserve it” you only set yourself back.  It’s so very hard, I know it’s hard but being miserable and overweight is HARDER. I would get Tim Horton’s Iced Coffee and a Breakfast Sandwich EVERY MORNING. I’m talking Iced Coffee with chocolate syrup double cream, double sugar. WHO WAS I!? Now, sure, if you tracked said Iced Coffee and Breakfast Sandwich it would be doable. (Which now I do because I get two milk instead of two cream and one sugar. The egg white and cheese on an english muffin is 5 points!) I told myself, “This is getting out of control, why are you doing this? STOP IT. STOP PLAYING THE GAME.” I could list all of the horrible things I ate two weeks ago because I had a not so good number at the scale but I can’t focus on the past, I can only focus on the good things I’ve accomplished this week. I fueled my body with the healthy and filling portions it needs while tracking and IT FELT AMAZING to read 167.4. I honestly do not know the last time I was in the 160s, sophomore year of college? Maybe? I can’t wait to say that for all of the wonderful numbers ahead 🙂

What I learned from my plateau:

1. Find a workout buddy. I’ve had a great friend from high school join Weight Watchers and now we go to the gym together every Sunday morning after our meeting. I look forward to our Sunday routine every week. Then throughout the week we may send a picture of what we’re eating or tell each other the point values of our food. Total nerd status but having a partner makes you realize you’re not alone and they have this ability to push you without even realizing it. Oh right, that’s called accountability!

2. Don’t get too comfortable. The minute your workout bores you, you need to change it up! Muscle confusion is my new best friend and after almost 2 hours at the gym 5 days/wk, I’m sore as ever 🙂

3. Play with your food! Pack different snacks that will excite you and look forward to trying them! EAT OFTEN. Yes, you feel as if you are eating all day but your body needs the fuel. I eat breakfast before work, have a snack before lunch, lunch, one/two snacks in the afternoon, dinner and a snack after dinner. Listen to your body. Don’t deprive.

3. Admit from your mistakes, but move forward. Don’t look back and realize that failure is part of the process, accept it and keep going. I promise you that the success that follows is well worth the wait.

I figured I would share my insane organization, as I don’t want to have an excuse to not know how many points something is or not have enough snacks! Now, don’t worry, I have yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, applesauce, and other items in the fridge! From the left: Oreo Thin Crisps (3 points) Special K Pastry Crisps Cookies and Cream (2 points) Weight Watchers Marshmallow Brownie Crunch (2 points) Special K Protein Bar (5 points) Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss Peanut Butter (2 points) Fiber One Gummies (2 points) Keebler 100 Calorie Pack Fudge Stripe Cookies (3 points) Can you tell I like chocolate and peanut butter? 🙂

 Cabinet 2.9.14

This week I’ve also been reminded that we shouldn’t focus so much on the finish but realize the importance of starting. I was watching the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics:Sochi 2014 and I was very emotional watching this commercial. (Me, emotional? You don’t say!)

Why do we always set our sights on the finish? When the most important moment is the start. The moment we begin to dream, to climb, to conquer, to soar, where we realize the only impossible journey is the one we never begin. Because from great starts, come great things.

This weight loss journey is far from perfect, I’m far from perfect. I’ve made some mistakes, and I’ve lied to myself. Most importantly I learned from my start, and soooo many great things have come from my start. I’m not focusing on the finish because I don’t know what the finish entails just yet. That’s what is so exciting about all of this, I have no idea what the finish looks like. I mean I have no idea what I’m going to look like and that thrills me so much! The changes I already see with my body are INSANE. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve learned that it’s better to not set any expectations so that there is no room for disappointment. You may just surprise yourself with losing 6.2 pounds in one week. 🙂

Not to mention, I’m only human….

I can do it. I can do it. I’ll get through it.

Be YOU. BeYOUtiful.

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

I’m disgusted with the fact that I have not posted one single thing on here since September 6th but that might be because grad school owned my life and I’m slowly getting it back =) YAY! The semester from HELL is finally over!  I would like to dedicate this post to all of those who get discouraged and think they can’t tackle this whole weight loss thing. Actually, let me rephrase that, this is a lifestyle change.

You have to grasp the mentality that the weight you have acquired was definitely not put on overnight. It may not even be weight, you may just want to work on a fitness goal, you may desire to change some eating habits. Whatever your goal is, I hate to break it to you but it’s not happening OVERNIGHT. That is why I live by the phrase, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” Sure, I may not hit that 9:00 mile today but you better believe that I’m going to fight like hell to get there until it happens. Some days suck real bad. Of course, I want to quit. Some days I want to demolish a pack of Oreos . Some days I push myself so hard at the gym that my head feels like it’s going to explode and I want to puke. But somewhere within myself I dig reallllll deep and realize how bad I want this. I define this as being happier and healthier. I know there will come a day when I am 110% thrilled with myself when I look in the mirror. I’m not there yet, but I’m much closer than I was yesterday =)

I get so many messages, comments, etc, on Facebook & Instagram asking me what my secret is. That question actually really pisses me off. So stop asking about “the secret.” I mean feel free to ask me whatever, but no matter what I tell people, I advise them that they have to want it bad enough. It’s also called getting off your ass and actually having a passion for something, a passion to CHANGE. Does that offend you? WELL IT SHOULD. I did not get to where I am today by making excuses for myself and I certainly did not accomplish losing 40 pounds by sitting on my ass. YOU have to start with YOU and realize that YOU are going to experience a different journey than who you happen to be running next to on the treadmill. Most importantly, “No matter how slow you go, you’re lapping everyone on the couch.” Who cares if you don’t run the fastest mile, who cares if you don’t lift the HEAVIEST weight. Add some exercise into your life, eat everything in moderation and it will happen naturally. It actually becomes a habit. I only allow myself to drive to the gym everyday after work. I can NOT drive anywhere else. If you are strict enough in your routine, it becomes a habit. It won’t feel so much like a chore. Surprisingly enough, you actually don’t need an extra- large drink with 1,000,000 calories. A small tastes just the same and if it’s diet, that’s even better! Start out with small changes, you’d be surprised at the BIG IMPACT. Once you realize you are making a positive lifestyle change for yourself, that within itself should make you the most happy!