Vacation Time

Just a heads up I am taking the rest of the month off from blogging and other social medias.  I need sometime to get centered and just get away from all the noise so to speak.  Nothing serious has happened sometimes I just get in a place where I need some peace and disconnecting from the constant flow the digital age brings is the best way to do that.

I’m sorry to just bug out but it is what I need at the moment and life comes before online for me.  I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your month and I will see you in July!  Really with how fast time seems to be going by lately it’ll be here before we know it.  I’ll try to make my first post of July epic to make up for dissapearing and for the shortness of my last two posts haha

TTFN

Week 16

Weight: 169.2
Upper Body: 38
Upper Arms: 12.5
Waist: 31.5
Hips: 39
Thighs: 24

Weight lost: This week: 1.8 lbs Total: 20.2 lbs
Inches lost: This week: +.5 inches Total: 13 inches

As suspected weight loss has slowed but I’m not disappointed. I’m around the final 20 or so and 1.8 pounds in a week still isn’t bad at all. As far as inches my bust is growing so I don’t even know if I should include it anymore since I’m still losing under my bust. Total, including the inches I measure but don’t put here, I’ve lost 20 inches. Rather pleased by that. It is a whole new experience for me to have to move from women’s sizes to juniors in a thrift store because all the tops are running too big for me.

Sorry for the shortness of this post. My mother-in-law is visiting so I don’t want to mess on my computer too long.

Hope you all have a great week. 🙂

Week 15

First off the new post title. I have decided to take out the New Me part. I’ve realized this isn’t a new me. This is the me that has always been there. I’ve simply kept myself hidden behind food and a lack of confidence. I am so happy I have gone on this journey. Of course I love how my body is looking but it is so much more than that. I love how I feel. I feel healthy, happy, and oh so alive. I went from hardly being able to jog non-stop for a minute to jogging for half an hour and actually enjoying it. Slowly that little voice in me that for all these years said that I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough, and so on is being shut up. I love to know I can push myself past my limits now and feel great doing it. This journey has been worth it for that alone.

On to the measurements now followed by progress pictures. I realized I said in the beginning I would post occasional progress pics and never did. Now that I’m probably about half way, or a little more, this is a perfect time for posting them. Also, ignore the change on upper body measurements from the Sunday before last. I decided it would be easier to just keep the measurements where I had them in the beginning.

Weight: 171
Upper Body: 37
Upper Arms: 12.5
Waist: 32
Hips: 39
Thighs: 24

Weight lost: This week: 2.6 lbs Total: 18.4 lbs
Inches lost: This week: 3 inches Total: 13.5 inches

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I apologize again for the quality. I thought about having Rik just take them but I thought I should take the second set as close to possible to how I did the first. I will probably have him do it in the future though.  Sorry for the lighting as well.  It was in the morning still so not very bright in that room and I used a lamp but it turned everything yellow haha.

I also have a superb talent for making things disappear. Usually this is relegated to socks or underwear but apparently I was an over achiever and I have absolutely zero clue where the work out top from the first photos went which is why I’m wearing one of my sports bras instead. I suppose it is better for progress shots anyways.

So yeah I’m happy.  Like super duper extra happy.  I am fitting in a size 10 jeans and some medium shirts are even a bit big now!  I don’t even remember a time when this was the case.  I imagine I’m gonna start slowing down a bit now as far as loss goes and that’s ok.  I’m in the home stretch with probably about 20 or so pounds to go.  I spent 20 some odd years with bad health habits and not loving/caring for my body.  That isn’t something that is gonna change overnight.  I’m going slow and steady and it is going to be permanent.

If you’re wondering what has worked for me I’m still doing the Happy Herbivore meal plans.  For the price I seriously cannot recommend it enough.  It has saved me so much time and money.  Yes money.  The weeks meals are completely planned out with an included grocery list so I only buy what I know I’m going to use.  No more wasted food and no more impulse buys.  I also started doing intermittent fasting which basically meant I ate between the hours of 11-8 everyday and that was it.  Now I don’t stress about it because it quickly taught me to listen to my body and learn when I really wanted to eat and when I was full and didn’t need anymore.  I mean I used to wonder what it was like not to think about your next meal or what you were gonna eat all the time.  The combination of having meals all made and the IF stuff has made it so I don’t even think about it.  I know my body will tell me when it wants to eat.  It is so freeing I can’t even begin to tell you and unless you’ve struggled with food, or probably any addiction really, you probably don’t understand but if you have I’m sure you have a good idea where I’m coming from.

As far as working out I am pretty much doing what I did before.  I use my tracker to make sure I get 10,000 steps a day.  I rotate work outs between jogging one day and some light weights and then the next day I do more weight training stuff and pilates or yoga type things to increase flexibility and endurance.  Remember that exercise is important but the saying that you can’t outrun a bad diet is very true.  So if you need to you should focus on healthy eating first and then add in an exercise routine.  That is what I did at least.

Anyways I hope you all have had an awesome week and have an even more awesome week next week!

If there is anything you’d like me to include or talk about in future posts comment below and I will 🙂

New Me Week 14

I know I said I wouldn’t do any stats this week but I took my weight on the scale my mother has the day after I got here and it was close enough to the weight I had the morning I left that I’m sure if it isn’t exact to my scale at home it is off by less than a full pound.  Therefore, I decided to do weight though not inches this week.

Weight: 173.6

Weight Lost: 18.8 pounds

That is a lose of 3 pounds for this week which is a major success considering I have always gained weight on previous visits and this time have continued going down instead.  So woohoo for that!  I head back home on Tuesday and I love my family like crazy but I’ll be glad to be home.  I’m missing my little fur baby Mina and I’m really missing my future hubby Rik.  Over six years together and we still miss each other when we are apart for a week.  I feel like that is a good sign haha.

Speaking of Rik we had our engagement photos Friday May 15th.  It was an awesome thing to do on my birthday and we had a ton of fun.  Our photographer was amazing.  She is super talented and fun to work with.  Her blog is here: http://joyfulmomentsphotoblog.wordpress.com/ You should definitely give her a look see especially if you are in Ohio and in need of photos!

I decided I would post a few of my favorites so you all can oh and ahhh over them 😛

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That’s all I got for you now. On a side note it is Stevie Nick’s birthday today, just in case there are any other Stevie fans out there. See ya all next week 😀

Why I am Vegan Part 2

Why I am Vegan Part 2

“As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”- Pythagoras

If you couldn’t tell by the quote by Pythagoras, a famous Greek philosopher, my second part in the Why I am Vegan blog posting is all about the animals.  This is a hard one to write simply because it is such a huge topic.  The amount of none human species on this planet is vast.  All of those species deserve life.  If you are human that does not make you better then other species.  Being human does not give you greater moral rights than other creatures on this earth.  Watch the movie “Earthlings.”  If you have a heart it will likely leave you in tears and make your stomach turn.  If you can watch it and not think twice about eating that steak then I’ll be amazed.  If you refuse to watch it then you are in denial and refusing to face the truth of what that food on your plate and milk in your glass really is.  Which, to me, is almost as bad as actively participating.  If you eat animal products you are supporting animal genocide.

Perhaps you are one of the ones who only eat “humane” meat and drink “humane” milk.  Well let me ask you something.  Have you led a pretty good life so far?  How about if I bought you your dream home and that car you’ve always wanted and generally filled all your hopes and dreams for a year.  After a year I’ll take you in the backyard and let you watch while I put an air gun to other peoples heads.  Some will be lucky and die.  Many more will be simply stunned and wounded.  When I get to you I do the same thing.  After that I hang you upside down and messily slit your throat.  Again if your lucky I’ll kill you instantly.  Chances are I won’t because there is a lot of slaughter to be done.  So you’ll bleed out and, if I decide to give you the same treatment as pigs, you’ll be dumped alive into a vat of searing hot water to burn off your little hairs and skin.  All this because you taste good.  If you’re a woman I will artificially impregnate you by sticking a large syringe or a gloved hand into your uterus.  When you have the child I will take it from you.  If it is a girl she can grow till she is able to breed and the same thing that I did to you will happen to her when she is able to give birth.  If it is a boy he will be chained and prepared to be killed for human veal after 12-23 weeks of age.  You breasts will be hooked to machines that milk you constantly.  When you are going to go dry I’ll impregnate you again and it will start over.  This is “humane” meat and dairy.

I will not apologize if that last paragraph was rough to read.  The truth is often rough to hear but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be spoken.  Veganism also goes towards things you wouldn’t necessarily think about.  I avoid palm oil because of the awful way it is taken.  I also do not wear leather or any other animal products.  Frankly, now that I have opened my eyes, the idea of wearing another animals skin is disgusting to me.  Why would I kill them when I do not need them?  Because they taste yummy and their skin looks good on me?  Those are not valid reasons for killing someone.

Alexis, animals aren’t like us though.  Cows, pigs, and livestock are here for us to eat.

Why?  What makes those cows, pigs, chickens, and other “food” animals different from your pets.  Would you be able to eat puppy or kitten?  Why can you then eat a baby pig, a calf, or eat eggs knowing that male chicks are ground up to nothing in the egg industry.  It is true, they go in a giant machine with big razor blades which are then turned on and hack them up to little bits.

I’m only touching on the horrors of the animal industry here and I don’t intend to go into the process anymore as it makes me very upset.  I believe it is important to educate yourself though on how exactly that meal is getting onto your plate.

Now I’ll go into a few of the more common farm animals with facts about them since there are many misconceptions about these amazing creatures.

Cows – First let me address the biggest misinformation about cows that the majority seem to have.  Cows do not randomly produce milk.  Cows are mammals like us.  Their breast milk is produced when they have a baby, for their baby.  It is just like human mothers.  Cows, like most mammals, naturally nurture and bond with their young. On a dairy farm the young are taken from them almost as soon as they are born so humans can have that milk.  Milk meant to grow a cow.  Think about that.  We are the only species that drinks another species breast milk and not only that but milk that is designed to make a baby that weighs around 100 pounds at birth eight times it’s weight by the time it is weaned within about 290 days.  Our breast milk is designed for our babies and so is the cows.  Adult humans have absolutely no business drinking it.

In the farming industry cows are killed between 3 weeks of age (veal) and 36 months of age (beef).  Dairy cows are usually sent to slaughter at around the age of four or five when they lose their productivity.  The average lifespan of a cow is naturally anywhere from 18 up to over 25 years of age.  Cows can detect odors at 5 miles away and hear at lower and higher frequencies then us.  They also have panoramic vision and the ability to see all colors but red.  Cows are extremely social creatures and use a combination of facial expressions, body language, and “moos” to communicate with each other.  There are about 920 different breeds of cow now.

Pigs – That bacon your eating was smarter then your dog and/or toddler.  Pigs are highly intelligent creatures.  They are actually #4 on the list of most intelligent behind chimps, dolphins, and elephants.  Pigs are social creatures who enjoy contact with each other and will often lay near each other when possible.  Despite the very common myth that pigs are dirty they are not.  In fact they are one of the cleanest animals.  Even the piglets will leave their “nest” when they need to go to the toilet and find an area some distance away.  The reason pigs roll in mud is because their skin is much like ours.  The mud not only cools them but acts as a form of sunscreen so they do not burn.

Chickens – I will admit I haven’t learned as much about chickens as I have about cows and pigs.  I have learned more since becoming vegan however.  I used to dislike chickens and, if I’m honest, geese, parrots, and so on.  Since visiting a local farm sanctuary though I have learned chickens are actually full of personality.  Some are grouchy and others are sweet.  Some are dumb as a bag of rocks while others are smart and inquisitive.  Also, May is international respect for chickens month, so step away from those nasty processed nuggets.

I brought up personality with the chickens but the fact is each and every animal has it’s own personality.  Just because it cannot form words like we do or tell you it hurts doesn’t mean it isn’t thinking and feeling.  We should have learned by now that different does not mean less than.

Even fish have personalities and deserve life, though they are commonly over looked.  We are over fishing now to the point of extinction for them.  Certain fish, like the atlantic blue fin tuna, have declined so the species’ survival is greatly threatened.  That’s not even getting to the destructiveness of many fishing practices such as bycatchs.  A bycatch is when a species not wanted for food is caught in the net and killed.  These include birds, dolphins, whales, sting rays, turtles, and more adding up to millions of tons being killed and thrown back into the ocean each year.

Since I have stopped consuming animal products I feel at peace in myself and with the world around me.  I never felt such a connection to everything like I do now.  It is something I could have never imagined and cannot begin to explain.  My compassion for all things has grown.  I feel clean, unsullied, and utterly at peace with the world around me.

I will close as I opened, with a quote;

“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer and Nobel laureate (1902–1991)

New Me Week 13

New Me Week 13

Weight: 176.6
Upper Body: 34*
Upper Arms: 13
Waist: 32.5
Hips: 40
Thighs: 25

Weight lost: 15.8 lbs
Inches lost: 10.5 inches

First off the note about the upper body measurement. So I would measure right underneath my bust and the bust itself. My bust has actually gone up an inch to 38 but directly below the bust is down from 36 to 34. I’m rather happy about this honestly. It means my bust growing routine is going well since I’m loosing around the breasts but gaining in the breasts themselves. I don’t want to be huge but a little more would be nice. I know there are probably plenty of you ladies who know what I mean and I would never have cosmetic surgery so I’m glad the natural routine I have is working so well. Anyways I’m going to be tracking with the measurement right below my bust from now on because otherwise it’ll look like I’m gaining weight where I’m not. Also this is the last time I’m gonna be mentioning my bust because I feel weird talking about it on a public blog haha. However if any of you ladies want to know about my routine feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to tell you :). It is mainly exercises and vitamins like milk thistle and so forth.

Second I lost a little over 2 lbs this week which I am totally happy with.  Especially since this meant for my birthday Friday I am officially the smallest I have been in forever.  I wasn’t even this low in high school that I remember. I went out for my birthday on Friday and indulged some so the fact that I still lost is a big deal. I have found my tastes have changed a lot and that is exactly what I want.

It is true when they say diets do not work. Trust me I have been on many of them and none have ever stuck. This time I am doing a lifestyle change and it is working beautifully. This may mean at some point the weight loss will slow down but it is going to stick and that’s what counts. If I could give you all any advice it would be forget dieting and work on lifestyle changes. There have been tons of things I thought I’d always crave and now I don’t at all. Soda, fast food, meat, and, most recently, ice cream and pizza. All of those things no longer even sound good to me. Given the choice I’ll take a veggie roll from a sushi place over ice cream or pizza now. So do not give up and take joy in the little victories. If you change your diet to healthy whole foods your taste buds and cravings will follow suit I guarantee you! Just stick with it. If I can do it you can too, there is no magic trick to it.

Sorry for the rather short post. Next Sunday I will still post something but it might not have measurements since I will be in New Mexico without my scale and what not. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Why I Am Vegan Part 1

Why I Am Vegan Part 1

“Why are you a vegan?”  Is something I get asked a lot.  That or “why not just be vegetarian?”  I decided to just write about it because the answer is long and has multiple factors to it.  I was going to put the reasons on one post but they are getting a bit long so I will break it up into a few posts over the next couple weeks.  The reasons aren’t going to be in any particular order because I think they are all important.  The only semi ordered item will be the first one since it is what got me on the track to veganism to begin with.

Health –  It started when Rik and I stumbled on a netflix documentary called “Forks Over Knives.”  We had been aware of what kind of nasty things processed foods did to the body already and had an interest in sustainable farming and the anti-GMO movement.  I highly recommend this documentary to everyone.  It doesn’t focus on the animal abuse and has none of the horrifying images and videos that some vegan documentaries do so it is a good start point for those interested in veganism.  This documentary is all about health and how the increased consumption of animal products has also increased things like cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart diseases.  Even if you don’t want to believe about veganism you cannot deny obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are at epidemic levels.  We are so concerned with treating the issue after it happens that we tend to forget that it can be avoided to begin with in most cases.  As meat consumption has risen hugely over the past few years so has obesity and diet related illnesses.

The movie focuses also on the China Study By T. Colin Campbell.  The milk myth is a big focus.  Now on this I could go on and on but I will try to keep it fairly short.  The diary industry is a huge money making corporation.  They have been known to use their money for inaccurate studies and false advertising.  Milk is a business and as with most businesses they don’t care about people no matter what they say.  If you look into the FDA in fact you will often see people who have very strong connections with dairy, meat, and pharmaceutical industries which seems to me like a huge conflict of interest that shouldn’t be tolerated.  Anyways back to the calcium issue.  Not only do we not absorb the majority of calcium in the cows milk but it actually depletes calcium from our bones.  Milk, like all animal products, acidifies the bodies pH which makes our bones respond by releasing calcium to neutralize the acidity once that is pulled out we expel if through our urine.  Don’t believe me?  Research countries that have low dairy consumption and see the difference between how many people suffer from bone diseases in comparison to the good old dairy loving USA.  The China Study goes into that.  It is an interesting study and I would suggest you all looking into it.  After all I can tell you facts all day long but the best way to decide something is to research multiple angles and judge for yourself.  I would also note take a step back and realize that you are an adult drinking the breast milk of another animal.  As adults why are we still consuming breast milk much less the breast milk of another mammal?  That part is more getting into the animal rights part so I will stop here on the milk thing for this post.

Next health related argument is inevitably, “but humans are omnivores so we need meat.”  Yes and no.  We can live with animal products in our diets though clearly by the health epidemic we have now not nearly at the levels they are being consumed but, we do not need animal products.  Especially not in countries were there is an abundance of other food options available.  One of my favorite quotes is from a speech by Harvey Diamond.  You can find it on youtube in fact and you should!  It is awesome.  Diamond says,

“You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit.  If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple I’ll buy you a new car.”

I could just list the fact of why we aren’t actually full omnivore but I like pretty charts and I find that people read them more than a jumble of text so here is a chart for you.

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So there you have it. This is a very basic, just scratching the surface, explanation of the reasons I am vegan for health. Before you ask my vitamin levels are all excellent.  Yes, even my B12 is good thanks and I get plenty of complex protein without even worrying about it.  I just eat a well rounded diet of whole foods. If you don’t believe you can be healthy or athletic as a vegan look up some of my favorites like Jim Morris the 77 year old body builder, Dr. Ellsworth Wareham a 100 year old vegan heart surgeon who didn’t even retire till the age of 98 and still is very active and says he has no aches or pains and a very clear mind, and Mimi Kirk who at 75 looks better then some 30 year olds and says she feels like a 20 year old still.   So you don’t think that I’m just focusing on the older vegans here is a list of vegan athletes for you http://www.greatveganathletes.com/ That is just a few if you look up vegan athletes or vegans over 50 or any number of things like that you will see plenty that show up.

Next Wednesday I will post another reason why I am vegan.  I hope this post will help some of you understand my reasons and/or, even better, start looking into the benefits of a plant based diet yourselves!