2018, goals, gym, intentions, vlog, working out

ambitious and unapologetic

This year is all about continuing to be authentic and unapologetic. I want to be who I am and who I love and share my happiness and passions. As you’ll watch, blogging more is going to be a huge goal of mine and I’m excited to start sharing my voice and who I am more. I don’t want to worry about how I look or how professional my lighting is but to just share when I want to, unapologetically.

Here I go!


Happy  2018!!!

I can’t wait to see what amazing things we all do!

body, goals, health

I’ve got that summertime, summertime fitness

When I started my lapband journey almost 3(!) years ago, I really wasn’t sure where it was going to take me. Oh sure, I knew it would be a tool to help me lose weight and that it was going to be the start of something new. It was going to give me my life back. I went to the insurance mandated therapy appointment and felt confident everything would be fine.

I’ve written about the mental aspects of losing weight and about emotional eating and how it’s affected me. I’ve written about how happy I am to have done the surgery and I still feel that way. Lapband has changed my life but where do I go from here? Truthfully, my weight and health no longer define me. You will notice my laugh or long hair or energy before you will look at my weight. I am a socially acceptable body weight, whatever that really means, and I can shop it any store I want.
So what are my goals? What do I want out of health and fitness? I follow so many health/fitness/wls surgery accounts and it’s really making me look at where I am and what I want. 
do want to work out about 4-5 times a week. A mix of cardio, weights, yoga, and some fun classes like boxing or kickboxing. I think it’s going to be fun to try different forms of cardio, not just the treadmill. I am not a zumba girl because one of my knees is a little bit bum thanks to a high school aerobics class injury (sad to say that’s a true story). I think mixing it up and finding a class could be really fun. I want to continue to see my trainer 2 times a week as well. He’s a great guy and thanks to him, my body is getting toned. 
do not want to take pre or post work outs at this point. I seem to be fine without them at this point. I am not saying I will never try them but I don’t like adding chemicals to my diet. I obviously am keeping my mind open but it’s something I’d like to avoid for now. Depending on the classes I take, I might be able to find a reasonable one and see. 
do want to keep monitoring my sugar intake as well as general eating. I want to make sure I am balancing my body’s needs with some wants. Yes, dessert is okay but not every day/every meal. Finding a food balance that works for me is a goal. I am pretty close but just need to keep going.
do not want to apologize if my life flow means I have wings and cake one night. Yes, I know it is counter productive to my workouts and goals. Yes, I am fully aware I will be doing at least an extra hour or two of cardio to make up for it. I.do.not.care. When my period comes I want to to eat all the sweet and salty combos I want. I refuse to apologize. Only I can be accountable for the line between healthy balance, indulging, and emotional eating. 
do want to be able to be a comfortable size 8. I am about 8lbs I would guess, away from it. I am not using the scale as much because it tends to get me down. I am using my clothing sizes and how I feel. I am LOVING my thighs these days. So just making sure I can reach and maintain a weight balance would be a HUGE achievement.

do want to have a toned and healthy body in my 30s, 40s, and older. I want to keep investing in my health and we all know it’s much harder the older you get. No impossible but just a lot harder. I want to Marissa Tomei and get better looking with age, Hey, I’m Italian too, it can happen!

What are your health goals? What are the changes you’ve incorporated and love? Who inspires you?
crafts, DIY, fall, goals, happy, joey waffles, life, noshopo, thrifty, weekend

Falling Into the Season

I love fall. I loves pumpkin spiced lattes, boots, the crisp weather, saying the word ‘crisp’, well…you get the picture. Thanks to the interwebs freaking me out about PSL giving me cancer(yeah google that shit, kinda scary) I have been drinking cinnamon dolce lattes with soy and whip (I like no dairy usually but whipped cream cannot be ignored). Fall in Chicago is pretty breathtaking and I am hoping we can actually commit to a season because we had no spring and a weird not summer summer.

Friday night I made a mixture of the Pioneer Woman’s chili with some help from Jamie Deen. So delicious. I added coco powder, cinnamon, a Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer, and a jalapeno. Made some Bob’s Red Mill gluten free cornbread muffin mix and an Angry Orchard cider and life was real good. 
Saturday was a huge score at the garage sales. Joey Waffles and I had to have hit up at least 15, some duds, some pretty amazing. Also went to my first estate sale, not so great but won’t stop my from trying again in the future. We supported C.A.R.E in Evanston by going to their rummage sale first and I got a new litter box, car seat booster thing for Dante and a picture frame. By the end of the day, I had 2 more frames, a mini muffin top pan, a sewing machine, and a vintage tray with flowers on it. Oh, and a corkboard.
Thanks to pinterest, I found inspiration for my office and used thisthis, and especially this to help me DIY my new frames. With some metallic spray paint from Home Depot and some fabric from JoAnn fabrics, I now have a beautiful corkboard, a frame to use over a dry erase calendar and another I am not sure exactly what to do but it’ll look pretty. Grabbed some extra fabric to make curtains to hide Joey’s random junk on the bookshelves and a matching seat cushion for my chair. Pictures soon of the rest but here’s the corkboard:

I spent Saturday night at the rehab clinic/home my Grandma is currently staying at and had a great time with her. We talk and laugh and play scratch off lotto and watched the new Lifetime Movie Deliverance Creek which was a departure for Nicholas Sparks but I absolutely loved it. I hope they make it into a mini series because I love a show with a strong female lead and a great plot.

Sunday JoeyWaffles and I went to Kauffmans for bagels, Starbucks, and then Home Depot. We are so yuppies in our 30’s but whatever whatever I do what I want. We bought mistake paint at $9/gallon for our bathroom and the new laundry room, which will apparently be a bright lilac. Then CarlitaRosita and I went on a lady date to JoAnn fabrics, Sears Outlet, and the grocery store. Who knew Sears even had an outlet and what great sales they had? Not me! I snagged a cute ress (olive green with light pink hearts) and a fall skirt along with a pair of gloves with the thumbholes cut out for $7.92. Who says you can’t be a baller on a budget? NoShoPo for life #noshame.

We also cooked steak, steak fajitas, chorizo burgers, chicken kabobs, salmon, chicken thighs, chicken leg quarters, and then I baked these yummy carrot cake muffins (sans the cream cheese). I love that we can cook for the week, be healthy, spend time with each other, and save money. It’s all abut balance and I am loving what we’ve got.

This week’s goals are:

  • Completing the laundry room by Saturday for the washer/dryer delivery. 
  • We have to put the new vessel sink and vanity in the bathroom and lay down the new tile. 
  • Sewing my curtains/making the sea cushion/finishing touches on my office
  • Sign up and study for the GRE
  • Work out 4 times
Happy Monday! 
body, fit, goals, happy, health, healthy

North Shore Healthy!

So I had a really amazing thing happen on Sunday. I went into American Eagle and bought a pair of size 10 shorts. This might not be a big deal to some people and it might even be bad news for others but for me it’s amazing news. If you don’t know me in real life, you don’t that I used to be really heavy. 75lbs heavier to be exact.

I was a skinny kid, average teen (a little on the chubby size but I could fit into abercrombie, the obvious benchmark of late 90’s ‘cool’) and then I hit my 20’s. One bad relationship where I gained 40lbs + and I was just used to being heavier. It never stopped me from dating so I never thought much about being “bigger.

Around 2009/2010 I realized I was not feeling any kind of good about my body. I hated getting dressed, changing outfits 20 times to feel “skinny”. I could never just grab something and go. I started feeling really self conscious and hating to go out. I would be late to events because I felt ugly in every single thing I wore. It didn’t help that food was comfort and fast food was easy, cheap, and delicious. I ate crap, loved sweets, and always ate the free bread at meals along with a desert. I was a Ranch dressing addict and always wanted the potato, not vegetable options. Every choice I made was the unhealthy one and I never thought I ate bad. Sure chicken with broccoli is a great dinner but ranch to dip both in does not a healthy meal make.

My immediate family are all average weight, no obesity, mostly average with a small propensity for chubby at times. My mom works out a bunch, loves pilates and learning about healthy eating. She always offered advice, help, encouragement, and anything she could think of to help me to healthy weight. My Dad had became really fit and what is known in the gay community as a “bear”, working out and watching his diet so he’s a big muscled guy with a goatee. No matter what they were saying to me, until I really felt ugly and unhealthy, nothing stuck in my brain.

Around the time I met Joey, when I felt my worst, I tried a personal trainer. After a few months with little results, I gave up. I was just sick of trying so hard and not seeing results. I finally realized I needed real help to kick start a healthy lifestyle before I turned 30. I just didn’t want to enter the next part of my life heavy and unhappy and unhealthy. I talked to my mom and we started looking into my options. After a long process, we decided that lap-band surgery would be a good option. We looked into Chicago area doctors and found Day One Health.

I can really say that with Dr. Elli and the Day One staff, my life changed. I had my consultation, they handled the insurance and all the paperwork. I waited 6 months, learned healthy eating tips, saw a therapist and got ready for my life change. I did the 2 week liquid diet and had my outpatient surgery. The picture from August 2009 about was about a month after the surgery and 20 lbs down.

Lap band is not a miracle cure. It does not make you skinny by doing nothing. It is a tool but many people don’t use it correctly and only lose a small amount of weight. Some gain it back and some stay stagnate. Lap band is a tool that helps you feel full faster and longer. You can’t drink when you eat and junk food is much easier to digest then healthy food. When I lost the first 20 lbs I was inspired. It made me want to lost more. Over the course of the first year I ate less and ate better, I lost another 25 lbs or so but I still was starting to plateau. Then I realized hey, eating well and working out will get me healthy, toned, and feeling great. Duh Tiffany! I re-activated my LA Fitness membership and started eating Paleo. Through my excellent job I started taking the free Yoga class once a week. I also take CorePowerYoga classes which I love!

Another 25 lbs later and here I am. Toned, happy, healthy and fitting in a size I haven’t seen since I was 15. It feels amazing. It feels good to eat healthy and good. Besides my cheat day s’mores blizzards I don’t eat fast food. I never go to Wendy’s, McDonald’s, BK, etc. When I’m hungry in a pinch I can grab a quick steak or chicken to grill. If I’m out to eat, chicken or salad with lemon and salt for dressing is my go to. I love avocado and eat with with all my meals pretty much. When I want a free ice cream from work, I eat it knowing my workout later needs to be harder/longer. I eat for fuel and taste buds.

Fitting into a pair of shorts that a few years ago wouldn’t have gone up past my knees is huge. I work out 4 days a week, eat well, and love that I have changed my life. I am happy, healthy, and feel great knowing I can grab anything clothes I own, throw it on and leave the house. Did I have a toxic friend or two that didn’t want to help and would constantly try sabotage me, yes. Did I drop them along with the weight? Absolutely. Did it suck really liking someone that I finally understood never had my best interest at heart? Yes but did I gain when I lost (har har har), I sure did. I love investing in myself and my health.

Loving my body isn’t about what other people see, it’s what I see and how I feel. Loving my body is giving it what it NEEDS, not satisfying wants. I love my body and want it to feel great and function well. It’s an investment in my future self. I was fat and it was my own fault and I changed it. Fat isn’t a bad thing but it was unhealthy. I don’t need to be a size 2 and I am still fat to some I’m sure but I know I’m healthy. My next goal to lose more fat % and tone up. I would like to ultimately get down about 15lbs more but it’s really about how my clothes fit and getting toned.

Last years goal: wear a bikini proudly?