“Gotta slow it down, baby…”

Slow down?!

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My body had other plans…

I was hit with the nasty head cold going around. That means it wasn’t really a choice to slow down. My body won, rightfully so.

By design, I’m a doer. Sitting still isn’t something I do often. When I partake in down time, there’s usually a guilty feeling that follows. It’s ridiculous, I know.

The week went pretty well, with open skate, derby practice and scrimmage. Overall, I’ve been sticking to the plan. With the exception of a post-scrimmage cinnamon roll, I successfully avoided added sugars. Thursday is when the sick hit me hard, and slowing down was necessary. This led to a day out of work, rescheduling my ballroom dance lesson, and avoiding any plans on Saturday.

Instead of stuffing my face with popcorn and binge watching Netflix, I sought other things to do. Chatting with a few prospects on Bumble, watching a couple of movies, and making plans for next week helped pass the time. Listening to your body, and giving it rest is really important.

The Universe tends to unfold as it should…

This week’s feel-good moment was a conversation with someone I spent a great deal of time with earlier last year. We had both let things go, without any closure. The opportunity to chat arose, and it was quite productive.  It’s really nice when you can discuss things in an adult manner, feel respected, and still admire someone when your relationship dynamic changes.

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Remaining open to possibility…

Last year, I was given a great opportunity to record a professional radio air check. This was a HUGE deal, as it’s been a long time dream to work in radio. In college, I was a communication arts major and had my own show at the school’s station. After school didn’t work out, I had almost kissed that dream goodbye. Thanks to roller derby announcing, I’ve had an outlet for this skill. While working part time as a bar trivia host, a local radio host heard the potential in my voice! He invited me to the studio and recorded my air check. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. Since then, I’ve been waiting to apply for radio jobs. The station where I recorded it didn’t have any part-time openings available, which left me a bit discouraged.

Recently, I saw a video of a motivational speech given to the audience of Family Feud by Steve Harvey. Watch it here. It made me think about my goals, overall. This led me to check another local station’s job listings, and noticed a listing for a part-time news reporter. Tonight, I took a step and submitted my resume. I jumped, now let’s see what happens! 🙂

Speaking of goals…my gym is running a 21 day challenge, starting 2/1/16. It’s based on the Beachbody 21 Day fix, but doesn’t require participants to adhere to the Beachbody program. There’s an accountability group on Facebook, which I’m looking forward to participating. My main goal is to do a yoga workout every morning, in addition to skating and eating right.

Here’s my week, according to the scale:

Starting weight: 222 lbs

1/23/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

1/30/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

Amount lost to date: 12 lbs

This week, I maintained. That makes me happy, as maintaining is better than gaining! Still, I soldier on. 🙂

The inspiration for this post’s title is The Spice Girl’s “Stop”. Enjoy!

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to send questions and topic ideas to bootifulbanshee@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Let’s love ourselves and we can’t fail…”

RuPaul’s question makes an excellent point. Many years ago, it made me realize that I didn’t love myself. In short, I was my own worst enemy. Insecure, ashamed of being emotionally broken by my upbringing, and because my body type didn’t fit the mold of what society considered attractive. This led to consecutive poor choices in the realm of romantic relationships. I reached my limit in 2011, and took the first step of loving myself: listening to my gut.

At the time, I was four years into an incredibly unhappy relationship. It shouldn’t have lasted past the two year mark, but I was determined to stick it out. All of the while, my gut instinct told me it was over. Guess I was a slow learner (oops!). Nobody’s perfect, right?

What finally made me listen? An adorable couple with a baby in a goofy little sun hat.

He and I were walking down Wollaston Beach on a warm July afternoon, when the couple  with the baby approached me. They asked me to take their photo, and once I agreed, they handed me the camera. While taking their photo, it was obvious how very much in love and happy they were with their life together. My unhappiness hit me like a ton of bricks, reminding me that a future with him was not an option. After arriving home from our walk, I told him it was over and why. After a few days of crying out my sense of failure, life went on, and I promised never to doubt my gut instinct ever again.

Since this experience, I’ve found greater confidence, and began to embrace the whole woman that I am. Roller derby has certainly had a hand in the process (thanks!). Insecurity still lingers at times, and it’s a struggle. It’s something many people battle on a daily basis. What’s important is working past the “less than” feeling, and realizing how fantastic we really are. If I ever need a reminder, I refer back to this page of really nice things written by my leaguemates during a team building exercise at the 2014 MARD retreat.

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Listening to motivational podcasts is something else I find helpful. Lewis Howes’s School of Greatness is amazing, and features people from all walks of life, discussing their journey to success. Check it out here.

It’s 2016; now what?

Find your fantastic, in any form. This year, one of my biggest goals in finding the fantastic is being open to possibility in all situations. That’s exactly why I was excited to share this week with everyone.

This week started by skating on a Sunday night at Chez Vous, which is the equivalent of roller skating heaven. Sunday nights are 18+, and their DJ plays old school hip hop and R&B. There was a 10-15 minute montage of Erykah Badu! Those who know me understand why my heart is truly happy there. The added bonus was hanging out with a former teammate and excellent friend!

On the derby front, our level two skaters assessed, and ALL four of them passed! I’m super excited for all of them, as their next stage of the derby journey begins. Also, we’re the cutest.

FB_IMG_1453639135257Great photo, Luis Mendizibal! Check out more at FotosbyMendi.blogspot.com

The opportunity to get my nerd on at trivia with another great friend was lots of fun. Looks like we’re going to start a regular team. Otherwise, I had an underwhelming but funny date (a note to self: only date 30+, haha) and went ballroom dancing with a couple of friends.

You guys! If you’ve never been ballroom dancing, DO IT! It’s an excellent workout, and having sweet moves on the dancefloor never hurts. About 10 years ago, I had taken lessons by myself and had a blast. I was a bit nervous, but it was a great time. If you’re in the area, you should check out Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Franklin, MA.

20160122_185058-1 I love this dress. It was a wise choice for dancing!

Overall, I can say the week was pretty fantastic! Here’s how it translated on the scale:

Starting weight: 222 lbs

1/16/16 weigh-in: 213 lbs

1/23/16 weigh-in: 210 lbs

Amount lost to date: 12 lbs

Despite the snow, I’m staying focused. So glad to have skating and the gym.

For those who were wondering about the kinds of foods I’ve been eating, here are a few photos.

Left to right: cinnamon raisin Ezekiel English muffin with plain Justin’s Almond Butter, with fresh beet, apple, carrot juice; roasted sweet potatoes with smoked paprika, topped with hardboiled eggs with broccoli and parmesan cheese; quinoa, the super grain!

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to send questions and topic ideas to bootifulbanshee@gmail.com. The inspiration for today’s title is Lauryn Hill’s Everything is Everything

“Let’s love ourselves and we can’t fail
To make a better situation
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow
All we need is dedication.”

 

 

 

 

No time for moping around; are you kidding?

Letting go isn’t easy. In some cases, it’s simply the right thing to do. We reach points in our lives in interpersonal relationships (platonic or otherwise) and work scenarios where moving on is necessary. Many reasons can lead us to that place. I very recently faced such a scenario. It was challenging, scary, and sad. It’s still kind of sad, but trusting my gut was important. Until taking decisive action, anxiety plagued me for a few weeks. I’ve realized now that ambiguity and not clearly communicating my own needs were the likely culprit of my anxiety (hindsight’s 20/20, right?). Add this experience to my short list of invaluable life lessons.

Onward and upward.

Dealing with the aforementioned circumstance, I was determined to avoid my old pattern of emotional and mindless eating. Moping around the house was not an option; there’s too much temptation and it’s counterproductive.  My evenings were spent playing bar trivia as a team of one, coaching derby practice, dancing it out to the Britney Spears Slacker station, making plans to dance in cages with my friends, and shopping for some badly needed cute clothes. Overall, I had fun!

My mission to continue avoiding added sugar was pretty easy, despite this week’s Valentine’s chocolates, Lindt truffles and coffee cake bestowed upon our office from adoring vendors. I didn’t have a single bite of ANY of them, and that makes me incredibly proud. Who knew that I have will power?! 🙂

Roller skates rock my world.

Derby practice is back in session, which amped up my activity. MARD’s skaters in training are preparing for their assessments  (coming up on Monday), and they look great! Coaching and skating with them is lots of fun, and really made my week.

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It was quite the week. Here’s how it plays out on the scale:

Starting weight: 222 lbs

Last week’s weight: 215.4 lbs

Today’s weigh-in: 213 lbs

Amount lost to date: 9 lbs

The plan is working, and I can’t wait to keep going. Tonight, there’s skating with a few of my level two skaters. Tomorrow, my gym has a core class right before yoga. It should make for a fun weekend!

Stay tuned for a mid-week food post. Thanks again for reading, and feel free to send questions and topic ideas to bootifulbanshee@gmail.com.

Here’s a little Mary to get you dancing. This song’s the inspiration for this week’s title. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/G6ZjBPXSmnE

A Change Will Do You Good

Sheryl Crow’s not wrong, friends (it’s a good song, too!). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDwLPMOzHLY

To begin, a little background info is needed. The last four and a half years of my life have been a whirlwind. At the end of July 2011, I took control of my life by ending a toxic relationship and found roller derby. Since then, roller derby has been my life.  Between skating on my league’s charter roster, serving on the Board of Directors, and becoming an announcer, I was beyond busy. Overall, it’s fantastic, but there really can be too much of a good thing. To quote the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I was “single-minded to the point of recklessness.”

The pressure cooker of league leadership in 2015 was not something I handled well. Thankfully, it’s behind me, although the results of stress eating for half of last year are not.

Here we are, starting off 2016, with a new season ahead of us. That brings me back to this entry’s title.

This year, I have opted out of my rostered skater status, and joined my league’s fantastic coaching crew. The opportunity to use my skill set to work with skaters and assist them in achieving their goals is an honor. Our first practice of the year is on Monday, and I’m super excited. No joke; I CAN’T EVEN. 😀

During the second half of 2015, I became a junkatarian. Sure, the foods I ate didn’t include animal products. They didn’t exactly contain real food, either. Oreos, for example, are vegan, but are completely devoid of nutritional value. Basically, the things I consumed contained LOTS of sugar. Sugar is deadly, and some studies claim it is addictive as crack cocaine. I can understand it, having been sucked into the sugar trap on many occasions. Knowing myself, I’m aware that habits can be broken. Also, that a plan is needed to break my bad habits.

Mindless eating has been one of my biggest issues. My office receives cakes, cookies, and numerous goodies from the companies we represent. Junk food is in my face every day, it seems. Combine that with sitting at a desk for 7.5 hours per day; it’s bad news for your body.

“Put it in your mouth…” NO; really, don’t do it!

While eating a slice of cheesecake for breakfast (for the third day in a row), sitting in the break room, the thought hit me: DIABEETUS. My family has many type 2 diabetics, all diagnosed at an older age (50+). I need to do my best to improve my health. WTF was I thinking?! That’s the moment I woke up and realized a big change was needed. I knew better, especially since becoming a vegetarian after losing my Mom to a genetic form of colon cancer in 2014 (a plant based diet is a smart preventative choice, per DFCI). I definitely knew better!

Thankfully, I have a head start in avoiding sugar. Soda is not a factor (I don’t drink it), and when I drink coffee or tea, it’s without sugar.  In addition, extra calories from alcohol aren’t a problem since giving it up in 2014. If it were possible to survive on Polar seltzer, I would.

The goal: remove added sugar from my diet and lose approximately 40 lbs (in a healthy, sustainable way) by the end of June 2016.

The plan: swap quinoa and brown rice for pasta, limit dairy intake, and avoid mindless eating.

Today is day seven of my new plan.  Regarding added sugar, my intake consisted of a single piece of chocolate, an ice cream cone, and a small butter cookie. Otherwise, there’s no added sugar to report.

FYI: READ ALL FOOD LABELS! Added sugar is EVERYWHERE. Last week, it took visits to three grocery stores to find almond butter without sugar added (I’ll touch on this topic in a future post).

Instead of mindless eating and snacking, I enjoyed tea, and waited until actually hungry to eat.

Starting weight: 222 lbs.
This morning’s weigh-in: 215.4

WHAAAAAAT?! The results of my first week are surprising and keeping me motivated.

Each week, I plan to blog about my progress, challenges, yummy recipes, derby, and the generally awesome. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!  If you’d like to recommend topics for future posts, drop me at line: bootifulbanshee@gmail.com