Ahhh!!! I know, I know I basically disappeared for the month of March, it was a busy month for me and while I wanted to log I just couldn’t find the time to really sit down and write anything for you guys…

So what’s new?

Well I wouldn’t have called March a particularly exciting month for me some things have definitely changed. First, I got my braces off!!! I am so glad to be rid of those things. On the downside now I have to wear my retainer which is probably even more annoying than braces and I’m not sure it fits right, which means I have to trek all the way back to my orthodontist this week to make sure it does.

In other news I am still on Weight Watchers with little success. I am tracking everything I eat, working out (cardio and strength) and going to meetings yet I have gained almost every week! I’m not going to lie and say that it hasn’t been seriously frustrating at times. On one hand I am used to trying really hard to be “good” and not seeing results, on the other hand its Weight Watchers! I should be losing weight with them if I do everything right! I do feel like I am getting great support there regardless though, the leader and all the other people there are so friendly and encouraging.

To maybe try to understand why I am struggling to so much I have an appointment in a few weeks with an endocrinologist. I’m not getting my hopes up, but it would be nice in many ways if there was something medically wrong with me that explains why it is so hard for me. It would mean a definitive answer and solution.

I don’t have any new food to show you guys but here are some old meals of mine!

Mediterranean Beef Stew from Weight Watchers.

Salmon with dill sauce and sautéed spinach and tomatoes also from WW.

Fish has become a pretty regular meal here, its quick, yummy, healthy, and not chicken :P

Eggplant Lasagna, this is God’s food I swear! This is what I want to have for my last meal if I get to choose… I cannot adequately express how deep and passionate me love to this lasagna is.

Chicken with fennel, pine nuts, and raisins, this would have been really amazing but despite being cooked for-ev-er the chicken wasn’t cooked enough which is just ewwy.

With green beans and cauliflower puree, I loooove cauliflower puree! probably even more than regular mashed potatoes…

I promise I will get back in the habit of photographing my meals so I can share them with you guys, we have been cooking a lot more lately so I have a lot to share!

In the non-food/weight-loss world things have been improving also. This winter was pretty bad for me, my mood was pretty generally low, but in the last month or two I have been improving. I don’t really know what changed but the days just feel a little easier again. Also (and this probably has helped my mood) there’s this guy…

Yup a guy. His name is Jordan, we have been friends for a while, and I’m not really sure when I realized that I liked him. He is quite smart, and I think that has to do with it. I may not be a genius or anything but I am relatively smart and it’s nice to talk to someone who is on my level and maybe even smarter than I am. He challenges me and I think I like that. I alway’s kind of thought he felt the same way but I was never sure, until recently. Lately we have been texting a lot and we have hung out a few times. The biggest proof was that he asked me to JDD or Junior Dinner Dance (aka Junior Prom). I obviously wanted to go with him, but he doesn’t normally go to school dances and I thought I would have to drop hints left and right to find out if he was going. But he surprised me and asked me totally unexpectedly without any provocation! I have never had a boyfriend or even the possibility of a boyfriend before so this is fun for me… :)

JDD is April 29th and I promise I will post pictures!!

I hope that everyone is having a great spring!! It’s supposed to be warm here this week!!!

xoxo

E <3

Hello friends!

I am officially back to school now but I think I am still in major denial about it. We have off today because of Rosh Hashanah so it feels like summer still. I go back for Friday then it the weekend. It’s a bit of a funky way to start school again…

Yesterday I got home and I was so tired. I forgot how exhausting school is! I love my schedule this year although I know that this is going to be an extremely stressful year considering I am taking 3 AP classes and 2 honors classes! I think I will enjoy AP Psych and AP Bio but who knows what the year holds!

I already have a 25 page chapter to read for monday in honors history, I opened the book to get a head start and just seeing all those words was so depressing!

:'(

We had the same book last year for US 1 so it like this old enemy that I did not miss at all this summer!

Because it has been awhile since I blogged I though it would be easiest to just fly through the food from the last few days rather than try to tell you about all of it!

Rice and Veggies!

<3

Pineapple Coconut is an oddly delicious flavor

Chocolate and strawberry VOO!! to die...

a very nosey kitty... not food but so cute!

some heavenly fruit and greek yogurt

Rye vita cracker with light laughing cow cheese is a great after-school snack!

So there it is! I hope that once school gets under way I will find time to blog! I know I will make something work because I am not going stop completely but I don’t know how it will work out especially with volleyball all fall (so many double “l”s!).

xoxo

E

What?! It can’t possibly be my last full week of summer!! :( But sadly it is. My wonderful, life changing summer is coming to a close. Will it go out with a bang? Sort of…

I’m running a 5M race on Labor Day in Ocean City at the beautiful New Jersey Shore. And then what? probably Bio or english essay… not so much a bang but ya gotta do whatcha gotta do!

This weekend was a weekend of Mom-daughter time!

Late summer veggie soup was made compliments of How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

Corn, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, red pepper, and basil! with a little parmesan of course!

Sunday we took a little trip into good ol’ Philly to see a special exhibit on Cleopatra at the Franklin Institute.

KNOWLEDGE!!!

Then we chilled at Logan Square in the 90 degree heat and watched the little kids play in the fountain.

And of course there was food involved! We had a gift card to Triumph Brewery and not ones to pass up a free meal we headed on over!

I normally avoid bars at all costs because I feel like a total poser but Triumph is a super nice place and despite being a Brewery it is also kid-friendly so I didn’t feel too awkward…

Ok kinda blurry but you get the idea! Bad lighting is my excuse!

I had a mixed Greens salad with cherries, pecans, and some other stuff with grilled chicken. I went the healthy route! It was yummy but it could have been way bigger.

blurry!

Madre on the other hand went all out and got a burger with grilled onions which she said tasted like the burgers she had as a kid. So basically she loved it. And I we both enjoyed her fries. :P

Can you say saturated fat? :P

On to today…

Breakfast was classic cereal deliciousness.

and some suber-sweet n’ juicy  local honeydew.

Lunch was beyond filling! 4 hours later I am still not hungry!

Huge Green Monster SIAB: it came out to 3 full bowls!

Flatout wrap with cottage cheese, cinnamon and sugar, raisins, and blueberries

The frenimies situation with food has been improving since last we spoke, but it is far from the BFFs we once were. I am going to this woman who works at University of Pennsylvania who is studying weight loss and stuff (I’m actually not entire;y sure what she does) on Thursday so hopefully she can help us out! Food and I need some serious relationship counseling!

This week I gained a pound as testament to that. Oh well just gotta roll with the punches for now…

Tomorrow is the first scrimmage for volleyball so it will be a busier day for moi as I am the manager! I can’t guarantee a post but I will do my very best!

Now I am off to eat! I may not be hungry yet, but I need my fuel for kickboxing tonight!

xoxo

E :)

That basically describes my relationship with food right now. Food and I have always had something of a rocky relationship. I mean food is how I got to a place in my life where 30+ pounds needed to be lost. So obviously I love food.

But hate food? You might ask. How can you hate food? You have a food blog for goodness sake! Well… there are days like today, when I just don’t feel like thinking about what I’m going to eat or really feel like eating at all. I have to because I get hungry and I have to eat but sometimes it can be hard always having to think about how many calories are in whatever I might eat and if I can eat it. That is if whatever I want to eat is not too high in calories. I think about that before pretty much every meal and it gets tiring. Sometimes I wish there was just some magic pill that had 1600 calories in it and would keep from getting hungry all day so I could just not eat, and not have to think about eating…

This is maybe the only reason why I want school to start. Because right now (summer) my days seem to revolve around food. During school though my days will revolve around other things. So yeah I’d say that for now food and I are total frenimies.

Part of this change may be because I am basically on a liquid diet right now. Why? One word: braces. That’s right I got my braces tightened yesterday and they freakin’ HURT!!!! My poor teeth got manhandled yesterday. Now even with prescription strength Aleve they still hurt too much to chew pretty much anything.

Here is some of what I have eaten the last day and a half:

Uber-choclately overnight oats

Pumpkin greek yogurt (did not taste as good as it sounds/what I wanted it to taste like :( )

Green Monster SIAB

Oatmeal : Quick cook steel cut oats (from TJs), smashed banana, applesauce, cottage cheese, almond butter, flax seeds, a few crasins (they hurt but I needed something solid gosh darn it!)

Yes they all tasted good (except for that yogurt: can you say unsatisfying), but I miss solid food! I want something crunchy! :'(

Today is my day off from exercise so I am a little more crabby/whiney than normal… I need the break though.

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Sam over at A Teenage Gourmet was kind enough to give me the versatile blogger award. So here it is 7 random, mind-blowing facts you didn’t know about me…

1.) I hate the ocean, lakes, bays, basically any natural bodies of water. I like to look at them and maybe swim in them a little but they CREEP ME OUT!!!! There are so many weird bugs, fish, animals, and who-knows-what-else in them. They just freak me out… :P

2.) I am terrible with electronics, computers, etc. My mom knows more about my computer than I do. Perfect example: You know how you can have like “click here” and if you click there it will take you too a new site… yeah I have no idea how to do that. If anyone wants to tell me I’m willing to learn but make sure its clear and as simple as possible because you are working with a beginner here.

*correction: Yay I know how to do this now!*

3.) I love to paint my nails. I almost always have them painted. And I love odd colors too. Not your basic reds and pinks. My favorite nail polish is pastel purple. Right now I am wearing turquoise. I love purples, greens, blues, and orange. Having some funky color on my nails just makes me happy. And if for some reason I don’t have a color on I have clear polish on.

4.) I collect Snowbabies. You know those little white porcelain babies from Hallmark. My mom gets me one every Christmas. I think they are the cutest things ever. Useless? Yup! But I love ‘em!

5.) I am really organized and orderly. I always have little to-do lists for myself and love my routines (ok that you might have known).

6.) I used to write all the time. Like stories and stuff. In like 5th grade I wrote almost 70 pages of a “novel.” Its terrible but I wrote it! Now I almost never write (not counting this blog of course).

7.) I’m superstitious. I believe in karma, and ghosts, and all that stuff. When I was a little baby my mom took me to an astrologer to have my charts read and stuff. I listened to a recording of it and pretty much everything she predicted about me was right! She said I would love to travel, not get along with my dad, and be really close to my mom. All true! There were tons of other things she said to that I don’t remember but they were all true!I’m not super religious, but I believe in some sort of “god.” Maybe not some guy in the sky with a white beard, but I believe that there is something more. I definitely believe in astrology, but I think it’s more than that too. I just don’t know what it is.

So there you go… and now I tag:

Kayla at Kayla.Eats.Healthy

Ann Claire at Ann Claire’s Healthy Adventures

Kelsey at CleanTeenKelsey

Court and Whit at TeensEat (do one each girlies!)

E :)

Sorry for not blogging all weekend. This has been a very interesting weekend. *this might get a little wordy so bear with me and there will be plenty of pictures later*

Friday night I was feeling really bad. Not sick but sad and frustrated and lonely.

I have been going to the same barn on Saturdays for over 10 years and the people there are practically my family. When I came back from Colorado I had discovered a lot about myself, who I want to be, weight loss, etc. I tried to explain this to them, they mean so much to me it was only natural to want to share what I learned with them the  same way I did with my mom. But as I was explaining to them how I learned that I don’t feel the need to change the world or write novels (which we have sort of jokingly talked about) but that I just want to help a few people and be happy, I was met with blank eyes. The kind of eyes that say “I can’t relate at all to what you are saying to me but I am going to smile and pretend that I do so I won’t hurt your feelings.” It hurt, not that they didn’t understand that’s not their fault, but that these people who mean so much to me can’t understand this huge and really important thing that happened to me and they can’t relate to the things I learned from it.

In Colorado I discovered this part of myself that really wanted to be more spiritual. I think that it was always there but it just became louder out there. When I say spiritual I don’t mean like going to church on Sunday kind of spiritual (although I have nothing at all against going to church or mosque, or temple) I mean Eat, Pray, Love kind of spiritual. This isn’t the kind of thing most 16 year olds are faced with so I had no idea what to do with this desire to meditate and learn more about the spiritual side of myself.

So there I was 11:00 pm Friday night on the couch with my mom bawling my eyes out. I felt really lonely and bored with my life. I missed backpacking where every day had meaning and I grew as a person. I know that I can’t have that everyday but I wanted to have it sometimes. Then mom mentioned that there is a Buddhist Sangha that met in an Unitarian Church about 20 minutes from my house. At first I thought, “I can’t be a Buddhist” but the idea of being able to really meditate and learn how to do it right with people who were also interested in meditation really stuck in my mind.

Fast forward to Sunday at 7:00 at night. There I was sitting in the basement of this church with a bunch of mis-matched people from all walks of life meditating and reading the Noble Eightfold Path.

It was a new experience and I really know almost nothing about Buddhism but I loved it and should you be in that church next Sunday at 7 you’d probably see me. I don’t know how it will fit into my life when school starts but if I find that it is really something that matters to me I know I can make it work.

So I know that was quite wordy so let’s get onto the food!

Rather than explain everything I’ve eaten since Friday I will simply show you…

Friday

Saturday

My very first Vegan Overnight Oats! With pumpkin, cinnamon, crasins, raisins, and almond butter!

Elementary school lunch! PB&J, sugar snap peas (with nutritional yeast), and applesauce.

Veggies, tomato sauce, and polenta (its hiding under the veggies)

Sunday

My Sunday Tradition: made with white flour and all! Protein powder is the only remotely healthy thing about these beauties!

Today

Bio :/

Mmmm my favorite standby lunch :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Oh! By the way, I know I haven’t been updating on my weigh-ins lately what with trips and stuff, but I lost .8 pounds this week. Not to bad. I think I have been gaining major muscle but I am trying to lower my calories a little bit so I can get back into the routine of consistently losing weight!

E :)

Today has been cool and rainy and I can’t lie it’s getting to me a little bit.

Getting up this morning was far from easy. I over slept by a half an hour. It really doesn’t matter if I get up a little late since it’s not like I have to be anywhere, but it just throws off my whole morning. Although since I get back from Colorado I have been really tired in the morning. Before I left I could easily get up at my normal time (7:30). Now its a struggle every morning. WTF! The icing on the cake is that my legs are really sore which makes it literally painful to get up :P

Ok enough complaining… on to the food!

Let’s go back in time a little to dinner last night. I had a Healthy Choice dinner.

I added some extra veggies (broccoli, kale, and orange pepper) and it was quite yummy! This is funny to say but I haven’t had pasta in a really long time!

This morning I had my Green Monster as a post-run snack since I was in rush to get out and run. My run wasn’t that great though. I guess b/c it was pretty cool my body didn’t have to work as hard to keep me cool so I only burned about 500 calories. I know what you are thinking now. “500 calories is really good! What are you talking about you crazy girl!” I know that 500 calories is really good, but I normally burn more like 550 which is good b/cI never know how many calories I will burn at kickboxing. Some days it’s really hard and I can burn almost 600 calories but some days its slower and I am closer if not below 500 calories. So I like to burn a bunch of calories when I run so that I can easily reach my 1000 calories per day goal. Hopefully today will be good though. The last few days of kickboxing have been hard so fingers crossed the pattern will continue!

My lunch today was soup, salad, and toast: the perfect rainy day lunch.

The soup started out the way you make egg drop soup: by pouring a beaten egg into simmering broth. Then I added frozen corn, frozen spinach, tomato, a tiny pinch of red pepper flake, dried basil, and teeny tiny bit of butter, and these TVP bits from MorningStar that are like fake ground meat.

My salad was lettuce, yellow pepper, tomato, crasins, and pea sprouts. The dressing was just a little bit of EVOO, lemon juice, and agave nectar.

My toast was Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread with almond butter, honey, and some banana.

All in all lunch warmed me up and was super delicious!

This afternoon is more Bio reading and maybe even watching a little TV! I am kinda tired and the idea of just relaxing my brain for a little sounds really nice.

Hope the weeks is treating you better than it is me!

Elli :)

Hello!

So I have spent all morning doing reading for school so today has been very boring.

This has been my new best friend (or worst enemy?) for the past few days. I love bio and so I really don’t mind the reading. But I have 4 chapters with about 12 review questions each to read before school starts. So basically I have to read a chapter a week. To do that I need to read AT LEAST and hour a day if not a little more. I hate feeling the pressure like that. I would have started it much earlier in the summer had I known about it. I only found out about it because by chance I went on my school’s website out of boredom and found it! Thank goodness I did otherwise I would have started AP Bio on a bad note :(

Ok on to the food!

Last night I went to the 7-8 kickboxing class because I had a dentists appointment. That meant that I didn’t eat din-din until about 9:30! Needless to say dinner was about quick and easy, not gourmet. But it was delicious!

A peach, some cherries, and blueberries, with cottage cheese and greek yogurt (and some flax seed). I also had some toast :P

Today has been rather uncreative.

I had the same old cereal and Green Monster for breakfast, ( it really never changes, I never feel like making anything in the morning) and banana with PB for a snack.

Lunch was a veggie pizza and applesauce. :)

It seems like I have a veggie pizza every other day for lunch lately. But its so yummy and packed with veggies!

One of the things that has resulted from trying to eat as low calorie as possible is that I find a few good meals that I know are low calorie and filling and I sort of stick to them for the most part. So because of that there isn’t a whole lot of experimentation that goes on on most days. Every so often I mix it up but I know that certain things (like veggie pizza :P) work for me so it gets easy just to eat what I know is “safe.” I don’t really get bored with what Ie at ever but I going to try to mix it up if I can before school starts and my days get super repetitive.

Trip photos update!

Still no pictures for me. But yesterday we took my memory card to these computer guys near my house. They said they hard software and stuff that should be able to get my photos off the card. Fingers crossed it works because I really want to post some of my photos so you guys can see all the amazing things I saw! And because I still haven’t been able to show my mom! the computer guys seemed pretty confident that they can get my pictures off, and I hope they can! This trip meant so much to me and was really once in a lifetime experience. Sure I could technically to the same route next summer but it was the girls I met on this trip that made it truly special and it would be so sad not to have my pictures to help me remember and to have forever. :(

Well it’s about time I got back to reading Bio! Hope all is well for everyone!

So…

Do you have a go-to favorite meal (bfast, lunch, or dinner)?

Got any fun and low calories lunch idea you’d like me to try or think I would like?

Elli :)

Yay! I’m back in business! Yesterday my mom and I went camera shopping so I can finally get back to blogging!

After coming home from out somewhat epic camera search my mom and I made biscotti to send to the family I stayed with after backpacking. I wanted to stay so I could do the community service project our group planned. (We talked to a bunch of local 7-10 year old from a local YMCA camp about our trip.They were so freakin’ cute)

I can’t lie, I definitely sampled our creations. They were so delicious, and not at all low calorie! But they are gone now, off to Colorado, so there is no worries about munchies, besides they aren’t mine to munch on!

I had no clue what I wanted for dinner so I decided on an “omlette” which was really more of scrambled eggs with whatever veggies were in the fridge and cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast with almond butter. I also had some fruit and yogurt.

Breakfast this morning was Kashi Go Lean, my new favorite cereal.

It’s simple with just a little sweetness, but not at all cardboardy like one might expect. And how can I not love the nutrition facts!

I had it with blueberries, some banana, and a little bit of honey to make it sweeter.

And a very green Green Monster! :)

All that amazing food gave me some awesome energy for my run. Which was a good thing because it was hot out this morning! But my run went smoothly.

My post-run snack was a banana and peanut butter, a match made in heaven!

This morning seemed to fly by because all of a sudden it was time for lunch!

A flatout wrap with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, yellow pepper, and pea sprouts with some cabbage salad on the side.

Now its time to work on things for school. It may still be summer but I still have work! I have tons of reading for AP Bio. I am almost finished the first of 5 chapters I have to read. Each chapter is about 20 pages long so I have to get reading! nAs nerdy as this may sound though I am actually enjoying the bio reading. I really like bio! I can’t explain why but I really loved it when I took it my freshman year so hopefully I feel the same way this year because APBio is far from easy!

It’s been a little weird readjusting to life at home. I learned all these things about who I want to be and what I want to do and it can be hard to explain to the people who you want to explain to. It can be a little lonely feeling when the people closest to you just can’t understand what you are feeling because they didn’t share the experience you did. I know they want to but they just can’t.

It has been so nice getting back into working out again though. I missed kickboxing and running so much!

Last night around 11 or 12 ( I know so late! My internal clock is all whacked out right now!) I caught a major cleaning bug and cleaned out my whole closet! I went through all my shoes and dresses and shelves and got rid of things I will never wear and organized like my life depended on it! I got a good look at the number of shoes I own and was somewhat surprised. It never feels like I have a ton of shoes but I do!

Going through my old dresses was really fun. I tried some stuff on to see if I could still wear it and so many things were too big! I kind of re-realized how much weight I have actually lost! I tried on the jean skirt that I didn’t even know I had and then looked at the tag and it was a size 8! I am starring to wear clothes in 8 and 10 instead of 10 and 12! Whoohoo go single sizes!

I now have 2 giant trash bags filled with clothes and shoes for Goodwill. Cleaning feels good!

*sigh* So now I am off to read Bio and stuff for AP English. hope everyone is having a super fun Monday!

Elli

Before I get to the meat of this post I will tell you guys that I “gained” 2.2 pounds this week. Although I ate a TON on vacation and didn’t weigh myself when I got back, but I could easily have gained 3 or 4 pounds on vacation in which case I really lost weight this week! At least that’s how I’m choosing to look at it. No onto the real point of this blog…

I use a website called Sparkteens, which is partly a social networking site for teens who are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or just be healthier. I have a blog on there and I posted a version of this post on there. But I thought that it was a post that might be relevant on here too. So keep in mind that a lot of the eating stuff in here might not be relevant to those of you who have taught me to eat this way. ( thanks by the way)
*Just FYI this blog is going to be a little deep, but I think some of what I will say needs to be said, and I need to say it so that I can look back and remind myself.

Although I have not been doing this blog for very long I have learned a lot about being healthy and happy through this blog and trough the fantastic blogs of others. (From here on this is exactly what I posted on Sparkteens so keep that in mind when you think “well actually I do that already” or whatever you might think.)

Some of what I have learned isn’t relevant to most of you guys because we all eat in different ways and for some of you the idea of eating a mostly vegan diet would never work but for me it has made me feel happier and healthier than ever before despite the fact that the number on the scale hasn’t changed.

However, there are somethings that I have learned that are relevant to everyone weather you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or neither. The best example of this I can give right now comes from one of the blogs I read called Oh She Glows (http://ohsheglows.com/). In her last post Angela talked about a quote from the book Eat Pray Love, which I haven’t read but after reading this quote I plan to. Hear is the quote:

“It was in a bathtub back in New York, reading Italian words aloud from a dictionary, that I first started mending my soul. My life had gone to bits and I was so unrecognizable to myself that I probably couldn’t have picked me out from a police line-up. But I felt a glimmer of happiness when I started studying Italian, and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt- this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.
I came to Italy pinched and thin. I did not know yet what I deserved. I still maybe don’t know fully what I deserve. But I do know that I have collected myself of late- through the enjoyment of harmless pleasures- into somebody more intact. The easiest, most fundamentally human way to say it is that I have put on weight. I exist more now than I did four months ago. I will leave Italy noticeably bigger than when I arrived here. And I will leave with the hope and the expansion of one person- the magnification of one life- is indeed an act of worth in this world. Even if that life, just this one time, happens to be nobody’s but my own.”

I really liked this quote and I thought that some of it was really important. At the end of her post Angela asked a few questions to her readers.

“Do you have any ‘glimmers of hope’ in your life right now? Have you ever experienced any small pleasurable activity that got you though a difficult time, like the blog did for me? Are there things in your life that you could do to create these small bits of happiness in your day?”

Here is my answer to some of those questions:

For me my “glimmers of happiness” are cooking and exercising. They may not be all that original but they make me happy. When I’m in the kitchen and I make something I cam totally from my head not a recipe. In the kitchen you follow your own rules, if you don’t lie cilantro you just leave it out, if you think some lemon juice would brighten up your dish you put it in. Its your dish, you kitchen, you stomach, and your tongue and that’s all that matters. And I love making something and then seeing the happiness it brings my mom (my only tester) when she eats it and cannot stop telling me how good it is!

Exercise is different but the same in many ways too. Its not always as joyful as cooking. Sometimes I’m hot, or tired, or I just feel lazy, but the fact that I normally still get myself up and go for my run or go to kickboxing despite how I am feeling makes me proud. And there is nothing like the feeling of an amazing workout. The kind that wipes away all the stress of whatever else happened that day or whatever could happen. When you feel like you could fly because your body feel powerful and strong. That feeling is definitely a feeling that nothing can replace. Or when you finish a particularly hard workout and are amazed at hoe much farther you pushed yourself than you even thought possible. Exercise has taught me so much about my body and myself and the confidence it has brought me is irreplaceable, and makes me so happy.

I think its really important that everyone do things that they love. Life is short and spending any of it miserable by choice seems wrong to me. So I have a few questions of my own for you guys.

Do you have things in your life that make you happy? Does whatever “diet” or “plan” you are “on” make you happy and bring joy to your life? Or do you dread working out and only do it because it burns calories? Do you love the food you eat and look forward to it? Does most of what you eat make you feel energized and healthy? Or do you eat what you what you eat because it is low in calories, while craving things you have decided you “can’t have?”

I really encourage anyone who has read this far into this post to think about the answers to those questions. And BE HONEST with yourself.

What motivates you do lose weight? Is is just so that you can look like the models in Seventeen magazine or wear a bikini? Or is it because you want to feel good about yourself and your body, like really bone deep good? It’s really easy to say well duh I want to feel good about my body and I’ll feel good when I can wear a bikini. But I can tell you that there is a difference!

I feel so good about my body right now, and I still would not wear a bikini. Sure when I look in the mirror I wish my stomach were flatter etc. but I also love my body and I am constantly impressed with how strong and powerful it is! I eat healthy and am trying to lose weight because I love my body not so that I can love my body. I want the way I feel on the inside to be reflected on the outside.

My weight loss journey so far has taught me so much about myself and about how to be healthy and happy. I am not proud that I once was 186 pounds and ate tons of carbs and fat and almost not veggies. Or that I never exercised. But I am grateful that it happened to me because losing the weight has made me a better person. I am stronger both mentally and physically than I ever have been before. I am going backpacking in Colorado for 12 days soon. I will have to carry all my clothes, food, and whatever else I need on my back. 2 years ago I would never have done something like that! I would not have been physically capable and I would not have had the confidence to believe I could!

I hope that one day all of you guys reach the same realizations I have come to. I can tell you that I am still learning more about my self everyday, and this is far from the end of my weight loss journey! You have to learn these things for your own though and I encourage all of you guys to stick with it! One of my favorite quotes is “Nothing worth having comes easily.” I cannot tell you guys how true that is and I am a living example of that.

If you actually read this whole blog thanks for reading this through and I hope this helps you in some way no matter how big or small.

Ok so there you go! That basically sums up this HUGE realization I came upon today! I promise a regular old post will also happen today but I needed to put this out there :)

Elli

*I tried to post this yesterday but my computer is mildly retarded and is doing its best to make my life difficult, so sorry about that!*

So I’m home from Milwaukee/camping in Wisconsin! I have never been to Milwaukee but it was a really nice city!

One great thing about the Midwest is that everyone is so much friendlier! Maybe it’s a stereotype but it’s true also! People smile at you when you are walking down the street! In Philly and New York City (the 2 cities I have the mot experience in) people just ignore everyone else on the street like they don’t even exhist, which I hate.

I forgot to take pictures of the 2 dinners we had out (bad blogger, bad blogger), but they were amazing! Tuesday night (our first night) we ate at Coquette Cafe (http://www.coquettecafe.com/) a french restaurant in the historic part of Milwaukee. I had french onion soup (my favorite soup in the world!) and a salad with apples, goat cheese, candied pine nuts, and chicken. The whole dinner was amazing!

Wednesday, my mom and I went to Beloit College one of the 3 midwestern colleges I am considering.

Then we went to this amazing vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Cafe Manna (http://www.cafemanna.com/) seriously this place was amazing!! I had a little lentil-fest with lentil soup and a lentil burger :P

Thursday we hit the pavement for a food tour! It was so much fun and we got to taste some of Milwaukee’s best food!

Like Pizza, which was delicious! Milwaukee style pizza has a super thin crust and they cut it into squares. This was amazing pizza definitely one of the best I have ever had!

Tacos ( the best taco I have ever had! but a really awful picture)

Canolis (so sweet and creamy! definitely NOT health food but it was really small)

Olives (which I actually didn’t eat because I HATE olives)

And shepherds pie!

As I’m sure you can guess this was amazing also!

Then we set off to Kohler State Park for some camping… all of which I forgot to take pictures of because we were doing so many fun things. Sorry :(

So now I am back for about a week and a half before my mom and I are off to Minneapolis, MN and Boulder, CO before I head out into the wilderness for 12 days of rock-climbing and back-packing! Yeah I’m starting to get kind of nervous for it but I’m just trying not to think about it :P

I completely forgot to photograph my lunch yesterday ( I had a wrap with veggies and soy sausage and some fruit) but Monday I had this amazing pizza!

I made it on a Flatout flatbread which are my new favorite things to play with because they are only 90 calories per wrap and they have tons of fiber and protein! On the pizza I put sauteed summer squash, orange pepper, onions, garlic, and broccoli. For sauce I used my go-to tomato sauce: original Prego, and I used part-skim mozzarella and some parmesan for cheese. It was so yummy and healthy too!

So that has been the last few days! I promise I will not get behind again (until my next vacation!) But I will try tog et to a computer if I can sometimes hotels have them! Sometimes it would be nice to have a laptop!

Elli :)

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