My Time in Europe

Long story short, my time in Europe was amazing and life changing. I was such a different person there. The real me actually came out! I danced until 5am at clubs which I never would have done here. I wore tank tops without cardigans. I felt safe walking around London at night on my own. I met an amazing guy. I acted out my feelings without over analyzing them. I was confident. I was happy. It was amazing and life changing. I met so many cool people and had amazing experiences. I can’t wait to go back.

I’ve been planning on moving to London for a few months now. Now that I’m home from London I’ve been doing a lot more research on how to move there and it’s looking to be extremely hard. I’ve been applying for jobs but I’m not legally allowed to work in the UK until I get hired and the company will sponsor me. Then I can apply for a work visa. Ugh this is all so difficult. And now I’m in a long distance relationship with a great guy in London and it’s making it even harder.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get hired in the UK and to move to London? Do you have any experience with this?

I’m also going to include some photos from my trip.

 

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What do you do when family break your heart and spirit?

My mom is an alcoholic and drug addict. When I was 7, she left me at a babysitters house and didn’t come back for me. She disappeared and my grandparents took me in. Eventually she came back into my life  and got sober but then she relapsed and never fully came back from that. Throughout the years we’ve always fought because she never accepts responsibility, drinks a lot,  does drugs, drinks and drives, gets arrested, and lies about every single thing. We also have two very clashing personalities. I’ve always been more mature and she’s always acted like a teenager. 

Well we haven’t talked in a year due to some massive fights and the fact that I wasn’t going to tolerate her substance abuse and constant lying. When I set these boundaries she reacted terribly. We fought and fought and fought. Eventually we ignored each other (She was living in my house at this time) and then I moved back to school and she took off and moved to Tennessee without telling anyone. 

Well tonight I reached out for the first time in a year. My grandpa was hospitalized tonight (he’s good btw) and she had been calling the house trying to find out if he was okay. We never called back because we want nothing to do with her. This might sound harsh but if you lived our lives you would understand. Anyway, tonight I called her to tell her what was going on. Surprise surprise, she was drunk. She screamed at me the entire time after I said I didn’t want to talk about “our shit.” 
At one point she says “aren’t you supposed to be more understanding? Weren’t you a social worker major?” 

Me: no that was you.

Her: whatever you were an LGBT major

Me: nope. I’m a community leadership and civic engagement major. Despite your objections I can tell you have been drinking so this conversation is over. Goodbye.

She doesn’t even know what I majored in like what the fuck. 

So I reached out with the best intentions and it bit me in the ass. I totally was asking for it. I never should have said anything but I felt like she deserved to know. If this was reversed I would be hurt if I didn’t know. 

I don’t want a relationship with her. I don’t trust her and frankly I don’t like her. I’m done. But this stupid family thing keeps us in tact.

How do you deal with toxic family members? How do I separate myself from her?

Monthly Weigh In

As promised, I’m only weighing in on the first day of every month! Before I started this blog, I did weigh in last week.

Last week’s weight: 315
This month’s weight: 313.4
Total Weekly Loss: 1.6 pounds
Total Loss: 31.6 pounds

So I’m pretty happy with this loss considering I did eat out once and also went to the movies where I had popcorn with lots of butter. I also ate a lot of cookies this week before I started my blog. Seems as if things have evened out.

Now I’m a little worried about this month when it comes to losing weight! I leave on Tuesday to go to London and Paris for two weeks. I did get an apartment with a full kitchen so I can cook and buy groceries but I’m also going to eat each countries food because I’m not a fool. I didn’t spend all this money to visit another continent to NOT eat their food! I’m going to try to walk 4 to 8 miles a day around London because I should just to get exercise in but I can also fully take the city in this way. I’m only in Paris for 9 hours and honestly I’m just planning on eating some delicious pastries and seeing the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Conciergerie. I’m going to London on my own so really everything is up to me! It’s up to me where I eat, what I eat, and where I go.

Can’t wait to see where I’ll be a month from today! Maybe I’ll be out of the 300’s or very close.

Recipe ideas

 Hey guys! So I left work today around 12:15pm and I was starving, of course. I thought “maybe I’ll go to Steak n Shake and get a chocolate shake!!! Oh and maybe some chicken tenders and cheese fries!” But then I remembered that 1. I have food at home and 2. I’m trying to make better healthy eating choices. So for lunch I made veggie tacos! 

 Ingredients:

  •  Corn tortillas
  • White rice because I don’t have any brown left at home
  • Black beans
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Pico de gallo
  • Tobasco sauce

These are my go to tacos because there’s vegetables and it’s easy to make. I don’t eat a lot of meat just because I’m not a huge fan of the taste and texture. I really only eat chicken.

So my question for you is, what is your go to easy lunch/dinner meal? Definitely share your recipes with me! I need new ideas!

                                        – XO Steffanie 

What does being healthy mean to me?

After reading FitWithNoGym‘s “Do You Know What Your Goals Are?” blog post, I realized that I needed to sit down, figure out what being healthy really meant for ME, and list my overall healthy goals. I haven’t done that since starting this journey! Funnily enough, I’m writing this post while eating tortilla chips. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to stay on track!

  1. Lose Weight – Well, that’s pretty obvious isn’t it? I want to lose weight the healthy way by eating right and working out. I have a problem when it comes to weighing myself. I tend to weigh myself every day to every other day and then I become discouraged if I see the weight either increasing or not coming down. I become obsessive. This is not healthy behavior at all! I will set specific dates for weighing in. The first day of every month. Hopefully by setting this specific date for weigh in’s will allow me to become less number obsessive and will allow me to focus on how my body is feeling.

    Also just to clarify, I am happy with my body! I am a fat woman and I’m okay with that! I just want to be have more energy and hopefully get rid of my asthma for good! It was something I was born with and I would love to not have to deal with it anymore. I’m not trying to get my body to a specific size; I’m just trying to be the best me that I can be. 

  2. Try to Eat More Cleanly   I need to eat more clean foods. I eat too many processed foods, too much sugar, and eat out way too much! I need to get back on track and start eating more fruits and vegetables. It’s expensive but it’s worth it. We all know this! Eating more clean foods will allow the weight and fat to melt off. 
  3. Exercise – Exercise is something that I slack on quite often. I am part of a monthly work out challenge but that’s not enough. I used to walk and run a LOT when I was living at school. Now that I’ve moved home, I started using the stationary bike. That is starting to take a toll on my knee so I need to back away from that. I would love to get into taking walks now that it’s starting to warm up. I also want to try yoga and in home work outs. 
  4. Stress Less I stress a lot. I stress about my parents, about my grandparents, about my friends, the rest of my family, about my job, etc etc etc. I have nightly nightmares about my job. I need to quit it but I can’t find anything I’m qualified for in my field. Yet another thing I stress about. I hope that once I get back on track with eating and exercise, that hopefully the stress will start to melt away. Lets hope.

    What are your goals for being healthy? How do you define health? What are you hoping to accomplish in the next few months?

April Goals

Every month I set goals for myself to achieve. Sometimes I repeat goals, especially if I didn’t achieve them the previous month. Next month I’m heading to London and Paris for 10 days. Besides lifestyle posts I will also be sharing some of my traveling with you! Here are April’s goals.

  • Have the time of my life in London and Paris! Get up early and stay out late. Meet new people, try new things, and have a fantastic experience. You may not feel comfortable in that nightclub you’re going to but embrace the experience! Dance like no one is watching. You will most likely never see anyone in that club again besides your best friend. Don’t be self conscious on this trip!
  • Exercise! This should be easy because I’ll be waking anywhere from 4 to 8 miles a day while I’m in Europe for 10 days. Try to not take the Tube or Bus if you can! Walk walk walk!
  •  Eat better! I haven’t been making an effort to cook because it’s so much harder to eat healthy while living at home but this has to change. Find new recipes, buy more groceries, and set aside time to cook! You’ve done this before and you can do it again! Chips are NOT dinner, Steffanie.
  •  Actually weigh in. You are afraid of the numbers on the scale and that is not okay. Those numbers do not determine your self worth! Own up to it and start making healthier decisions. You weighed in and it wasn’t so bad, now was it?
  • Finally, cut down to 1 pop a day. You’ve been doing great this past month by cutting down from 4 cans of pop a day to 2 a day. Time for the next step!

My Lifestyle Change Journey

Why?

You might wonder what inspires someone to start a lifestyle change versus jumping on the fad diet bandwagon. I’m going to share with you the reason that I started my journey.

I was always a fat kid growing up due to medical issues and constantly being on steroids to get healthy. In case you didn’t know, steroids make you gain weight. Surprise! So what did I deal with growing up? I have a heart condition, Colitis, asthma, allergies, depression, panic disorder, acid reflux, and constant bronchitis. As you can imagine, I was on a lot of medication which helped spur my weight gain! Despite my illnesses, I did play softball for several years along with bowling and I loved it! Except once I hit the 6th grade, my doctors made the decision to ban me from going outside if it was too cold, wouldn’t allow me to run with my friends, and finally removed me from gym class until I graduated from High School. Now for 7 years I become completely inactive furthering my weight gain. I grew up constantly being told to lose weight and it made me hate my body. I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food at this point. I was constantly eating out, eating full bags of chips in one sitting, and not eating fruit or vegetables. On top of that, I wasn’t allowed to do any exercise! After graduation I weighed 250 pounds.

In 2009 I finally had to have open heart surgery to correct an issue I was born with. Every single doctor I saw told me to lose weight before we went into surgery. At this point in time, I had moved to Iowa to live with my mother since she lived only 2 hours from the Mayo Clinic, where I would be having my surgery, versus the 8 hours from my home town. Once we talked to the doctors and she heard that I had to lose weight, she put the house on lock down. Keep in mind that I only had 30 days to lose weight before my operation. I did not have a job at this point and relied on my mom to buy groceries. For groceries all she would buy was spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, and whole grain bread. She hid all of the salt and sour cream in the house. This is all I ate for 30 days and then I would work out 4 times a week. Needless to say, I lost 30 pounds in 30 days due to more or less malnutrition.

After my open heart, I moved back to my hometown and to my grandparents house. All effort I had given to losing weight and flown out the window. I wasn’t interested in losing weight because I wanted to eat whatever I wanted. I grew up with my grandparents and their bad eating habits so of course I would transition back to old habits. Within the next few years, I had gained 125 pounds. Yikes!

In 2012 I moved away to college. This was the first time I had lived on my own and you can imagine the damage I did to my body with food and alcohol. At the end of my first year at NIU, I remember texting my friend, “Wow! I only gained 30 pounds this year! Definitely thought it would be worse.” ONLY?! Wow… At this point I weighed 345 pounds. The most I have ever weighed.

Fast forward to January 2013. Something finally clicked. I realized that I hated my body and my self. How could I fix this? Easy. Weight loss. Or so I thought. I started eating right and working out and the weight started coming off! Except I still hated myself and my body. I realized that just pure weight loss wasn’t going to work for me. If I didn’t change my lifestyle I would end up gaining everything back and more! Just like last time.

Eventually I found some amazing support and fellow blogs that introduced me to this new idea of Body Positivity and Self Love! This was fantastic! I started embracing myself and my whole mood and personality changed. I started becoming a more positive person and more fun to be around. I realized at this point that I needed to make this a lifestyle change journey and not just strictly weight loss. I needed to learn to find a balance between eating and exercise along with self-love. Slowly but surely I did find what I was looking for! Motivation comes and goes, but I never give up.

I now love myself and I love my body! My motivation comes and it goes but I never give up. In the beginning I had lost 55 pounds. Now I’m down to 35 pounds but that’s okay because I’ll get back to where I was!

Before and After


What is a blog post without any pictures? This first picture is a before and after I took. The photo on the left was taken in October of 2012 and the photo on the right was taken in August of 2013. That was 55 pounds down making me 290 pounds.

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Now here I am at 315 pounds. Still fat and still loving myself! I’m never giving up. I don’t wish to be in ONEderland or a size 2. I just want to be the best me that I can be while also loving myself and enjoying life! This is my journey.

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P.s. This blog will be about my lifestyle change journey but it will also include my travels and how I handle them health wise.

 

– XO Steffanie