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The “UnNamed” Journey

So I’ve been on a bit of a journey for a while now.  I’m not sure what to call this journey but I know it has consisted of lots of self sabotage, body shaming/body obsessiveness and a roller coaster of emotions.

I have always been fascinated by how my body responds to different stimulus whether it be exercise, diet or environment.

I started very early with a pattern of self harm as a child because of abuse. My main go to was biting myself for the longest time.  As I grew up I switched to another form of self harm that was definitely more accepted but it served the same purpose.  I began exercising to the point of self harm but it didn’t begin that way. Continue reading “The “UnNamed” Journey”

Eating Out CLEAN

 

I am so excited to share my strategy for eating out while eating clean.  Let’s define clean first.  Clean eating is eating real food that has been properly prepared and is known to be nutrient dense. I have been eating this way for many years so I have had to learn through trial and error all the tricks to getting a clean meal at a restaurant and which restaurants I can trust along the way.  It doesn’t seem so hard now but I can remember when I first started, it was the most daunting thing about eating out.  Now I feel confident I can go into any restaurant and find something to eat.  I have yet to starve.

I know not everyone will be local to me but this guide will include places I have personally eaten.  I will be giving the criteria for each meal I chose at these establishments so hopefully you can translate them into any place you might visit.

Let’s dive in!

My picks for a quick, inexpensive meal are Newk’s and Chipotle. At Newk’s I love to get their Shrimp & Avocado Salad. It comes with a dozen broiled shrimp, avocado, arugula, tangy feta cheese, sweet grape tomatoes, green onions and a lemon basil vinaigrette but  I use regular oil & vinegar they provide at their awesome condiments station.  I like to add peperoncinos to my salad as well.  Sometimes I will ask them to hold the feta but I can tolerate it on occasion.

Probably the one place I frequent the most when I need to get a quick bite to eat is Chipotle.  I can trust their food is fresh, responsibly sourced and delicious.  Plus, they are like Subway for the clean eater, meaning you can find one in almost any city.  When I go to Chipotle I will always get a salad, hold the dressing.  I add either Carnitas or Chicken, white cilantro-lime rice if I feel up to it or if I had a grueling workout that day, fajita vegetables, pico, red and green chili salsa and a side of guac.  My salsas serve as my dressing.  This is a favorite for sure.

I have a couple of options for a date night or a business lunch/dinner.  I love the food scene in Austin so I chose it for my first pick. Continue reading “Eating Out CLEAN”

My Service Dog Beau

Beau is a Border Collie – American Pit Bull Terrier mix.  I say this fairly confidently but in all honesty we have never had him genetically tested so he could be a Standard Poodle – Labrador mix for all we know.  I’m saying this because in reality it doesn’t matter but it is the number one question we get asked.

Did you know any breed and any size dog can be a service animal? Also the only animals qualified to be service animals according to the ADA are miniature horses and dogs! Can you imagine, a miniature horse as a service animal?  I can, those animals are very smart and seriously some Great Danes are just as big.  More fun facts about service animals are that they don’t have to registered, certified or licensed to be a service animal and lots of service animals are owner-trained.  Beau is an owner-trained service dog but I do have a behaviorist and a service dog trainer I work with to properly train Beau.  All the training takes a lot of time, dedication and consistent practice.  One last fun fact about service animals, they do not have to be vested or identified in any way when out in public.  We call it “working naked”.  I rarely work Beau naked because I don’t like the reaction from others when I am in public with him. I do change him into a red bandana that states he’s a service dog when it gets hot here (we are in Texas where it get’s crazy hot) but if he’s not in the bandana, he is in his service dog vest.  It also helps him to realize when he is “on”.  Many people comment on how “calm” he is when we are out but when he is off and at home, he is a nut and full of crazy energy.
Continue reading “My Service Dog Beau”

My Love Story

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Our Wedding Day circa 1999

*For clarity purposes, when I refer to my “mom” or “dad” I am referring to the loving couple that took me in after my parents finally lost custody.  When I refer to my biological parents, that is how I refer to them, biological.*

I had an arranged marriage.

Hahaha, not really but sort-of.  It’s a running joke that our moms set us up because they were best friends and seemed to be very set on us getting together.

I’d just gotten out of a long relationship which began when I was a freshman in high school so I was not “looking” to date anyone and honestly just wanted to put my focus on my college studies and enjoy my youth before “adulting” became a necessity.

I can remember the first time I laid eyes on my now husband.  It was at church and he was in town visiting his family.  He lived and worked in Oklahoma at the time.  He is the third of four brothers and I knew his other brothers well so I had heard tales of this “other brother” but not yet met him.  I watched him as he was walking down the steps talking to his family outside the church.  He was so handsome that he took my breath away.  I know that sounds dramatic but I’m dead serious.  My mind replays that exact moment in slow motion with a blurred filter only focused on him.

I didn’t actually meet him just yet.  I can’t remember the first time we spoke to each other but I do remember he ended up moving back to Texas and was working for my dad helping him with the landscaping business. I was a nurse’s aide and during the early morning hours and late afternoons we would cross paths at my house as he met my dad for work. Continue reading “My Love Story”

What anxiety looks like for me and a bit about my journey…

IMG_8874Anxiety for me is a large, encompassing mass.  It has many forms for in my life.  A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a panic attack before I even get out of my car.  A family outing to celebrate a birthday can come to an abrupt end when I have to be escorted out by my husband because I am trembling with fear and unable to walk out on my own.

I can remember the first time my boys (14 & 16 at the time) witnessed one of my panic attacks.  They were mortified and embarrassed because they had no idea why I was all the sudden crying and hyperventilating in the middle of Peter Piper Pizza.  They had just ordered pizza and were ready to sit down and enjoy it when I was paralyzed with a fear I could not explain.  In my head I kept telling myself to chill out and I was okay.  I remember thinking I just needed to get up and go to the bathroom until I could get myself together but I couldn’t move.  I was yelling at my body to respond and it just sat there shaking.  My older brother looked at me and asked me if I was alright but all I could do was shake my head no.  Then my oldest son walked up, took one look at me and knew I was not okay.  He tried to get me to talk to him and all the while in my head I was responding with, “Please help!”.  He could only see the message in my eyes.  He went running for his dad and the mere fact that he left me, even to get help, sent me over the edge into a full blown, hyperventilating, sobbing uncontrollably, panic attack.  Everyone surrounded me wanting to help but that just made my need to escape, to hide, even greater.  Finally my husband was by my side, lifting me out of my seat and pulling me towards the door.  My boys followed and I collapsed just outside the doors into a ball.  I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t see because I had my eyes so tightly closed and they refused to open.  Somehow we made it back to the car and I sat there as my sweet, gentle and patient husband buckled me in even though I had my legs pulled up into a ball. Continue reading “What anxiety looks like for me and a bit about my journey…”