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This Summer, Follow Your Gut

5 Jun
archway at Descanso Gardens

An archway of branches at Descanso Gardens in Southern California. It’s a beautiful place to explore. What’s keeping you from exploring new activities and places this summer?

Summertime, like New Year’s, can be a great launch point for new goals and adventures. It’s not only a clean slate, but also a season that enables you to be more active and that inspires happiness and fun. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt like I’ve reached a plateau. I’m at a point, physically, where I need to amp up my weight loss methods in order to keep my metabolism high and lose more weight. I’m also at a point, emotionally, where I feel like if I don’t get up and run with some of my project ideas, I’ll miss out on some great opportunities. With all that in mind, I’m kicking off summer with a reinvigorated mindset. I have all the tools necessary to accomplish my weight loss goals. It’s time to kick myself into high gear. Here are some of the plans I’m making for summertime weight loss:

  • I will follow my gut, take more risks, and try things I’ve never tried before. Experience can only be gained by trying something new…and if you fail in the process, you’ve learned even more. I’d rather see what’s on the other side of trying than to sit on this plateau and not try.
  • I will give myself a mini-makeover. I have an extremely limited budget. I mean, money is really tight these days. So doing things that cost money is usually ruled out for the time being. However, there are small, inexpensive ways to boost your self-confidence and have some fun. Like my budget, my old jeans are still too tight. Instead of getting hung up on what I can’t wear, I’m pulling out all of my skirts and sundresses and mixing them up with other clothes to make new outfits. I’m also thinking I’ll dye my brown hair blonde for the summer. That kind of change gives your system a real jolt and can help give your attitude a new spin.
  • I will listen to a record or CD every day. Instead of sitting down for an hour to watch a TV show or read articles online, I will choose instead to dust off an old album or disc and keep moving–standing, stretching, dancing, anything but sitting!
  • I will explore new places. I will find as many places I can to walk to or drive to (if they have free admission) so that I can see more, hear more, and feel more. Sometimes a different bird call or view can tap into a sense or memory that leads to new inspiration. I will also take my sketch pad with me and start drawing again. It’s so much more relaxing than vegging out in front of the TV.
  • Speaking of vegging out, I will dedicate this summer to trying new veggies and new ways of cooking them. Summer is probably the best time of year to take advantage of local produce markets and farmers. I realized yesterday that I pretty much only boil my veggies unless I throw them in the baking pan with some chicken or fish. I want to break away from this habit and learn new ways to incorporate veggies into our meals (besides my love for making veggie dip). My first experiment will be using the indoor grill to make different types of veggie skewers.
  • I will use the longer daytime hours to my advantage. One of my favorite things about summer is the longer days. I feel like the extended daylight gives me extra energy and opportunity. Now that it’s still light out even after we have dinner, I’m going to start suggesting we go for evening walks. It’s time together; it’s good for digestion; and we may learn something new about our neighborhood.
  • I will indulge in more fun and games this summer, including but not limited to hula hoop, jump rope, beach fun, and dancing. Anytime there is a chance or invitation for fun and physical activity, I will do myself and my body a favor and say yes!

What are your weight loss plans for this summer? How are you going to keep motivated to stay active? Share your thoughts, struggles, questions, or achievements in the comments section. Good luck!

–Michelle

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Dropping the Jealousy

24 Apr

“What is she doing to look that good?” I asked myself. “And why don’t I look like that?”

It was a silly question asked only out of a twinge of jealousy.

green-eyed monster of jealousy

The green-eyed monster of jealousy can creep up on all of us sometime. (My cat as the jealousy monster, green with envy.)

There are a million reasons why she and I don’t look alike now, even if we did in college. We were both full-figured all through college and seemed like we always would be. Now, thanks to social networking, we keep in touch without staying close and I get to see all the reflection-in-the-mirror shots of how thin and smokin’ hot she looks now. And now I sound bitter. I am, of course, happy for her. And she really does look gorgeous and toned. But I want to lose that much weight too. And I don’t know what her diet or weight loss method has been. To be realistic though, whatever method she’s using may not work for me anyways. We all respond to different motivators and nutritional changes.

This sudden, fleeting feeling of jealousy is one of those inevitable things that can sabotage a weight loss plan.

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Vita’s Style Improvement

30 Mar

Even three years ago, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I did not have any style of my own. I was totally lost in any trends, fashion, design, or style that every time I was going to the mall, I didn’t know what to buy. My idea of a style was whatever feels comfortable, pretty much jeans and T-shirts. It was a loneliness factor, which I intend to write about in a separate post, but nevertheless I was at total loss. It wasn’t until I was living with three other gals that I started to pick up ideas of some style. At that time I was a plain canvas ready for them to experiment on with some colors and textures and designs.

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Rainy Day Adventure — Vita’s Story

26 Mar

We decided it’d be fun to do more joint posts so that you can get a more intimate look at our friendship and have fun hearing about the same day from two points of view (giving you the Rashomon effect). Enjoy!

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I love rain. Love everything about it, the calm warm weather prior to the rain storm, falling asleep listening to the lullaby of rain drops hitting the roof, sleeping in without being able to make what time is it, watching movies all day long under a cozy warm blanket, the ability to wear rain boots… But most of all, I love fresh clean air, which is so wanted and desired in smoggy Los Angeles. I guess people here are so spoiled with sunny weather that couple days of rain is considered a storm, worthy of occupying two thirds of the local news broadcast. Perhaps I’m not a meteorological genius, but I believe it’s a quite a stretch to be panicking about few inches of rain, especially when it should be taken as a blessing, not as a curse.

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Rainy Day Adventure — Michelle’s Story

26 Mar

We decided it’d be fun to do more joint posts so that you can get a more intimate look at our friendship and have fun hearing about the same day from two points of view (giving you the Rashomon effect). Enjoy!

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Sunday was a blustery, rainy day in Los Angeles. Normally such dark, ominous, wet weather makes me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and an old movie. I appreciate rain but I prefer to not be cold and wet. However, Sunday was different. Vita and I had planned to go check out a JCPenney because they’re advertising new rebranding efforts as an always-affordable, no-gimmicks kind of store and we both wanted to look at dresses (I haven’t decided yet what I’m wearing to a big party next weekend). We both thought we knew where there was a JCP near our neighborhood…but we were both wrong.

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Plus Size Models, Fat or Beautiful?

9 Mar

Even though this blog is dedicated to the weight loss, I think it’s very important to feel confident and beautiful no matter how much you weight. That’s why I wanted to share this recent article in the Plus Model Magazine, that seemed to stir up lots of talk and controversy around the world. This article features a plus size model Katya Zharkova, 28, in a nude photo shoot with a “traditional” skinny model, comparing them side by side and promoting the idea of natural ladies’ forms and curves. I highly encourage everyone to read the whole article, and get familiar with the current statistics it reveals. Yes, getting yourself back into shape and loose some weight is important, if you already started the weight loss process than obviously you had your reasons and motivations for that. However stressing yourself out during the process is not healthy at all.

So I say, Good job Katya, you rock!

— Vita.

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