Traveling to Tanzania has not been a small task. It took months (six months to be exact) to get ready for this one week adventure all the way across the world. In those months I … More
Half way point of my goal! Not much to report for the sixth month since most of it was spent getting my body prepared for Tanzania, being in Tanzania, and then trying to get it back working properly after Tanzania. African countries can do a number on your body if you are not careful.
I look at my pictures from Tanzania (series starts 12th of June!) I look bloated. Why? Because fluids were trapped in my system at times after both long haul flights, and the food is on the carbohydrate side. I did loose weight in Tanzania, and it was only five pounds total. I was lucky not to get traveler’s sickness from the food, but there were times I petered on the edge of getting it. I did go on a hike in the middle of Africa up a rather steep hill to have a view of Mt Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro. With a two-mile up and back, the whole experience was worth the sticker bushes grabbing me and falling on my butt on the way down. The above picture was taken two weeks after Tanzania, and you can see the five-pound loss and not the five pounds of bloat as the bottom picture has.
After coming home it was full swing into a second round of Whole30 for me, and getting back to being outdoors. The last two weeks of May had Seattle in summer time mode, and that was a great time getting up in the morning for a run. Along with my Whole30, I have been trying out some recipes I brought back from Tanzania. So far I have made a healthy version of Tanzanian stir fry and getting back into the swing of going to farmer’s markets for fresh produce.
Six more months to go in this goal!
Finding lovely in moments of life. As I move on to the next decade of my life, I want to reflect on the lovely moments in my twenties. The small details that are at times overlooked during a period of life when learning to be an adult is the hardest. Where the bigger picture in one’s head drowns out the smaller pictures making up the bigger one. This is what being twenty is about, finding lovely and looking for lovely in the smaller aspects of life.
I’ve made most of my twenties by working hard at my jobs and played a fair amount along the way. I ran half marathons, ran from God and then ran back to him and flung my arms around his neck saying please don’t let go. I have read countless books on many topics. I ate a lot, stopped eating, then started eating differently, and more healthy. Developed healthier relationships with God, my body, and friendships. I have traveled to places, dreamed and took scary steps to the next stage in life. I have had good days, ugly moments, ugly cried and laugh-cried my way through ten years. Days have been long, but these years were short and time was sweet summer nights on a front porch.
I have wrecked and renewed relationships. Loved my friends and failed them. Times I have asked myself where all my friends had gone and then learn to be a better friend. I have built friendships from the ground up and resurrected relationships after I set fire to them through careless actions. I have pushed my family away and then ran back to them to seek comfort and security I needed. I sought meaning, love, and value where there were not meant to be sought. I have been broken and emptied before I could slowly patch myself up and be filled again. I have questioned my motives and at times God. I have said goodbye to destructive relationships with people who were toxic. I have left a trail of broken and imperfect steps of my past behind me as I did so. I left an abusive relationship and became stronger in my single season of healing. I have poured myself into others lives as they have poured theirs lives into mine. I can never say I wouldn’t do anything differently but looking back I called it redeemed life.
I’ve changed for the better. In the ten years, I’ve worked hard, taken risks, changed jobs, and changed direction. Changed my philosophies and perspectives about what is life. I’ve been changed by my faith and my faith has changed me. I have left behind many of the misconceptions I once held to be true. I have dropped, picked up and then dropped again the baggage of my past I have collected. I have found new joy in same old things I have been doing for years. I have been stagnant, stretched and renewed. I have broken out of my introverted shell only to later retreat to long time comforts of being an introvert. I’ve held titles of a student, lab assistant, lab technician, research associate, friend, blogger, daughter, sister, girlfriend, learner, wander and beloved. I’ve evolved into a person my twenty-year-old self would not be able to recognize, but I think she would love a whole lot.
Looking back I have pictured myself as a twenty-year-old a career, marriage, and possibly a baby, but along the way, things changed. There are mere lovely details along the path to thirty that makes up for the disappointments of my twenty-year-old self. My twenties taught me anything it’s changed is slow and often imperceptible at the whole of a period. The tiny moments collected along the way propelling forward into bustling new life ahead. I see this as a view a small part of the larger picture of my life. I have found lovely in my twenties.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~John 14:27
This whole month of April was completely busy with studying for finals, getting ready for a trip to Tanzania, and keeping up on being committed to fit. The treadmill and I had a 30-45 minute a day every morning this whole month. Will see how it lasts after I get back from Tanzania.
Easter was healthy (take that Peeps!) with minimal sweets. It seems there are five months out of the year where candy is used in celebration of the holidays. Interesting. Besides, I dislike Peeps so you will NEVER see those nasty marshmallow chicks in my cupboard EVER. But I had to have the Belgium waffles church was serving for Easter breakfast with all the Nutella and banana slices on top!
Meal prep has become more routine since I have a friend who taking the challenge of commit to fit. Now all I do is search Pinterest for recipes and try out all the concoctions hoping not to get bored in eating the same thing day in and day out for a week.
Depriving myself is not on the agenda and having a group lunch date with all the organic chemistry peeps (ha!) at Maggiano’s in Bellevue, eating Chicken Marsala was on the agenda. Well eating a ~1,200 calorie meal over two days would count on the agenda and I had to balance out my meals to compensate for this calorie heavy meal for the rest of the week. I regret nothing!
You would think stressed from work and college would keep me skinny, but the opposite is true. When stressed it is like diving face first into a bowl of M&Ms for me. Chocolate is the go-to comfort food for me when I am stressed out. I am glad to say I did not dive into a bowl full of chocolate but decided to take the healthy route when it came to stress over finals. I found snacking on “apple nachos” and little bite sized Pro Bars to help with mindless eating while studying.
The month of April came pretty fast and ended fast. I could say I sailed through this month with a few healthy habits after being derailed for two months. I wonder what May (Month 6) has in store for my goal of committing to being fit by the end of the year? Stay tuned!
I haven’t gone off my plan of commit to fit and yet I feel as if I have. Oops! Weight loss is a fickle thing at times. One minute you lose some weight and the next it is back. Then again the law of physics plays a cruel joke on you and no matter where you put the scale in the house, you have a range of weights! Then again why am I weighing myself? Isn’t healthy measured not by how much you weight, but how your body feels? Ugh! Even a biologist like myself has a hard time answering this very question. A friend of mine who is a dietitian determines healthy by the things you eat that help the body better function. Then again it doesn’t matter what you read, it will be wrong at some point. Anyways…..
In the past two months it has been a roller coast ride in weight loss, and being on a healthy living kick. I could say all the hard work done in January on Whole30 came undone in the month of February. How can a short month cause me to derail my diet? STRESS!!! Its’ not like I ate a whole bag of M&Ms every day, but it felt like I did. February stresses me out. Even the thought of it right now stresses me out! The whole month was stressful, and instead of me losing the weight like a normal person, I gained weight back! Ugh! My inner fatty kept telling me I needed bread!
March was crawling back into trying to be healthy again until the Girl Scouts decided to hawk their wears outside the grocery store. Who can resist thin mints? Yep though so! I had to have not just thin mints (hey don’t judge! I know you went crazy too!) but the Samoa and the s’mores. Damn those s’mores were good! They better be back next year! Also, the weather sucked again. Talk about the weird weather in February (snow every Monday) to being washed out in March. Even the treadmill is guilt tripping me to stay longer on it. Motivation is hard at times, and even with all the Pinterest motivation quotes, it was still hard to get my butt in gear to do anything with the world exercise in the title. Even stocking the Tumblr called Commit To Fit wasn’t helping either. Just seeing all of my classmates walking around with athletic wear and drinking protein shakes didn’t motivate this late twenty-year-old into exercising.
You can say the last two months has been derailing my diet and having no motivation to exercise. Is this normal? Apparently, it is when you think about the bleak days of winter in Seattle. Just hoping the next month will be better and this exercise funk will be over with spring here.
Stormy winter days on Puget Sound are a perfect day for a little stroll to cure the soul. It has been a long time since I have been to Golden Gardens Park and little did I know I returned on the same day as the wedding I went to two years ago. A lot has changed since that day, and the couple who’s wedding it was is now clear across the country in Wisconsin with a daughter, and the guy I met them through long gone. But the place still looks the same as ever. Somethings never change in Seattle, and a park is one of them.
The morning started out with the sun out, but as soon as I parked the car in the lot the clouds started to roll in off the sound. Strolling along the beach I caught glimpse of the Olympic Mountain range across water with snow on it’s peaks. I have seen these mountains my whole life, and the sight never gets old. Even with the wind blowing across the beach, there were still people with their cameras out snapping what little was left of the sun gleaming off the snowy peaks of the Olympics. Just another beautiful day in Seattle and another day of Pacific Northwest beauty on full display.