In my school program we are reading Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. In her second chapter she talks about forming rituals, her ritual for going to the gym in the morning is getting up and calling a cab. Once she is in the cab, she has to go to the gym, she’s on her way, whether she likes it or not.

Even though I don’t have Internet right now at home, when I was working through losing weight (its maintaining it now, and with school, my schedule around it has changed), I would roll out my mat (if I had put it away…), put on my workout clothes, and turn on “Stereo hearts radio” on Pandora. If I didn’t workout after doing all of this, I would feel silly, why else am I wearing workout clothes? So. Reminding yourself of what works, or developing a small habit (Like to study, I have to turn on the radio, instead of a CD, or music on my computer) that signifies that we are doing “this thing” now, like your workout playlist, a pre-workout smoothie, or wearing an outfit for working out.

Its little things like this that make working out a habit, when your fitness becomes a habit, then it will eventually become part of your lifestyle. Subsequently, your workout might eventually become a ritual of your day, one that you must do to function! So when people say one-step at a time- that is the literal meaning. Your habits are small, so it’s difficult to throw something new into your routine when it’s a bigger task/endeavor. Making small rituals or habits that make working out a natural part of your day will make a huge difference.

just keep eating healthy.

Remember that abs are made in the kitchen, because of work, moving and a death in my family, the past few weeks have been stressful, and my workouts have been lacking.

Working at fairs is really difficult for a clean diet, but that’s when you can say that the healthiest thing are the nut dipped bananas/fruit. THOSE THINGS GOT ME THROUGH SOME TIMES. There is always one place with decent food, I found a gluten free healthy crepe place and stuck to it. I also packed a lot of food for the cooler, even just one PBJ will cut down on the pull to buy corn dogs, elephant ears, and all the fair goodies. (I decided to have one elephant ear and my body immediately rejected it, it was purely doughy fat and sugar, something my body hasn’t even touched in a year, so that unpleasant moment took care of that craving.)

In sticking to a healthy diet and remaining active, even when I didn’t have time to workout, I maintained what I’ve worked for, and being able to start my workouts up again in a regular fashion (about 1hr a day) shows even more results, like better ab definition, because my body has been shocked.

So if you have a stressful time in your life, and you can’t workout, keep eating healthy and think positively about it, I did have my unhealthy food moments, but they were fleeting and I stopped myself before I binged, which wasn’t always easy.

Just remember that even if times are stressful now, and you don’t feel like you’re getting your you time with your workouts, that it can actually be good for your body, because your getting that shock, stuck on those last few pounds anyway? Just think of the results you’ll see when things calm down. And try to stretch at night before bed, its easy to get sore when you’re busy and stressed.

Happy Living!

XO Andrea

My brother is on the brink of obesity. His girlfriend is already there.

Their lifestyle is painful to see, they are on the road to diabetes (if not already there) and many things that scare me.

I love my brother and I want him to stay around for a while. His girlfriend too.

Does anyone have any advice on how to approach someone about getting healthy?

Its not about appearance, its about the fact that they get winded going up 4 stairs. Not flights, just 4 steps.

Their lifestyle is their own, so I don’t want to tell them how to live it. I want to help them, I know they want to be healthier, they’ve made small changes, but they seem really lost. She gained the weight back in high school through emotional eating, and my brother gained the weight out of sympathy (he used to be another one of the beanstalk clan of my family that I never fit in with).

My brother would be easier to talk to, but his girlfriend has a lot of emotional baggage with her weight, and I have never been that big, so I don’t want to try and relate to her and have it sound like I’m trying to tell her she needs to change. I think she is beautiful, but I know she is unhappy.

If you know of anyway I can approach this? I know they have gone gluten free, which has helped their emotional states, could I go off of that? Like, if you are enjoying being gluten free, maybe you should try ________?

I have wanted to help them for years, but I just don’t know where to start.

I know this is a sensitive subject, which is why I am asking advice. I just want them to be truly happy, and this seems like the only thing that is stopping them from feeling that.

Clothing sizes have officially gotten bigger. I am all for accepting every body type, but this is catering to obesity. There’s not argument.

My older clothes, including vintage clothes are all different sizes. I have some shorts that are a size 3/4 from about 2 years ago (second hand from a friend). They fit perfectly. When I wear older clothes this is generally the smallest they are, 2’s in dresses.

This is the size that I am after losing weight, I used to be in the 9-11 range.

So. I go shopping at a second hand store, these sizes hold true.

I go to a newer store, where I try something on in a size that is the same size as the clothes I’m wearing. Today I am wearing a dress that I bought in a similar style just this January at the same store. Target, to be exact. The dress still fits well, maybe even better because my body has more structure now.

The dress I’m trying on looks like a gunny sack.

Slight exaggeration.

But it is just about a size and a half too big.

A new frustration for shopping.

No, an old frustration.

I have spent my whole life not being able to find things that fit me right.

And here we are again. I had a good 4ish of really knowing what fit me.

America.

All bodies are beautiful.

But health, in my opinion is the most beautiful at all.

And a healthy body reflects that.

That is what we’re about in this community.

Being healthy.

This is not so much about me complaining about not being able to find my size, but about the fact that sizes shouldn’t cater to the obesity epidemic. I know its about marketing, and that society shouldn’t force women to look a certain way.

But more attention needs to be called to the fact that a growing population of (mainly) young people are unhealthy. Obesity reflects unhealthiness.

These little changes are the things that help people turn a blind eye, this is the first generation in the US to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Read this article, it will help explain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/17/health/17obese.html

I got into a conversation with my mom, and have started asking around.

Next time you go clothes shopping, wear something that you bought a few months ago that still fits you well. Try on something with some similarity in structure and of course, size. Its not all stores and brands doing this, but a lot of them are.

What do you notice?

I know I have not lost this much more weight. I’m petite, but not so skinny that I should be shopping back in juniors to find something that fits me.

Which is what I’m starting to have to do. I spent all of my insecure years shopping in juniors.

So it pisses me right off.

If you are going to make all the sizes bigger, maybe make sizes that include the smaller sizes that were just there. Do you really think that we people don’t exist? It messes with my mind, I think that’s why I don’t like it. I’ve been troubled. I have, and I’m realizing what it is now. It makes me think that maybe I should eat more, like I shouldn’t be as fit. They are trying to impose the notion that bigger is better. Health is better. Whatever you look like in result of being healthy is what is beautiful. And there is no end result, because it is a life. Not just a lifestyle.

I’m not talking about working out every day at a high intensity not being a fitness guru, but being active, not eating unnatural processed foods. Eating things that come from the earth, enjoying real flavors over something created in a lab.

We are not getting bigger as a nation because of dessert. We are getting bigger because of that dessert being food of things processed so many times that it becomes… what?

Tell me what that is. Because I don’t even know.

Good thing I’m a thrifter.

Fitblrs are a movement. ‘Nuff said.

Happy Healthy Living!

XO Andrea

Very… yoga-esque.

I’m interested, so let’s keep going!

I finally decided to get a new bra and get re-sized. Victoria secret is having their presale, and I’ll be going back for their half yearly sale in a couple weeks (it has almost been half the year already, what!?)

I went down from a 34D to a 32B- I am technically in between a B and a C, so the B I got is a little small (push up with out the push!), I will get some of both, and luckily I still have some Cs from before I gained more weight. Since I am at my goal weight and I’m only working on toning now, I don’t expect to have to go down any more sizes. I better not! I should also reason that I have gone from a M/L (ranged anywhere from a 7-10 depending on the store so I can’t tell you exactly) size in dresses to a size 2/S. 3-4 in the hip. American sizes.

For most of my life, with hitting puberty early and whatnot, my boobs have been the feature of my body that I was most confident about, so this journey has been a struggle for me- when I started noticing changes I had the excitement about the changes in my body, but I was very self conscious and insecure about my boobs going down.

Toning has helped a lot, and getting this new bra really brings my confidence back up. I cannot tell you how beneficial a good bra is! If you haven’t gone bra shopping yet and you’ve lost weight, make the investment, it will really open your eyes. The VS girl helping me took one look at me and sized my whole body, it was creepy, but one of those tricks of the trade thing that I got all amazed with….

Anyway. I know that this is the way my body is meant to be, so I’m okay with the boob change. I’m in great shape and I feel better than ever, so I can handle smaller boobs, they are still pretty nice ladies… hehehe

I also got a bright orange tshirt dress at Forever 21, its so juicy! Yep, that’s what the descriptor that I used…

And a bag of flax seed, to have on the salad I just made, and in the smoothie I’m about to have :)

Underground Wellness

I found this very interesting. But what ARE these exercises? When I break down and have that giant piece of cake, what do I do??? I will find the answer.

Also, it weirds me out to see ads of bigger people as a norm.

**I am all for supporting every body type. Especially with women, I know what its like to be curvy. I might have slimmed down, but ladies, I am still an hourglass through and through. Some things just don’t fit the same. (This is also how I got into vintage clothing, the past just understands me better… but I digress, I always digress.)

However, in America, for the most part, obesity is not due to bad genes, it is due to processed foods being a staple in our diet, sugars, and high fructose corn syrup are unregulated and are MAIN ingredients in foods, even kids foods! Hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated soy oils, cottonseed oils, palm oils: we can’t process these things, they stick to the linings of our organs as much as and more so than saturated fats. They are trans fats. I know we’ve all heard about this stuff, some of you say- enough! But its never enough, because its killing your body to eat these things. We don’t want to be like the humans in WALL-E… do we? 

You know who you are if you still are eating some candy bars, or fast food is alright, like, once a week. Unless you are truly cutting out those processed sugary and salty foods, don’t you dare tell me that its just genetics.

Whoever you are, whatever your size or health background: I challenge you to try eating unprocessed foods, truly unprocessed (whole grains, produce— be able to understand everything on the label, or go by the fact that it doesn’t need one, no dyes, no added sugars, no partially this or thats, if its not exact that’s mostly ok, I don’t always go by this either, I can’t always afford the absolute best, unfortunately). Even if you don’t notice a change in your body, I can guarantee a change in how you feel. 

My main rule is to avoid the middle of the store. stick to the produce section, and the organic whole foods section, like at Fred Meyers, they are right next to each other. And the wine is close by! Yummm. I love red wine, but Andrea, that is so off topic…

I realize that my ramblings are quite unedited and candid. I’m not trying to be an expert, but I know what foods are bad, I generally know what’s good. I’m sharing the rules I use for myself. They are not perfect, but they’re better than no rules at all!

And I know my little challenge is safe for everyone, because you are only cutting out what’s bad for you, I’m not asking you to add anything that might harm you.

Happy living!

XO Andrea