My diet…KETO

Hi All, long time no talk. How many times have I started a post that way? Let’s put it this way… A LOT! I have not had much to say on the ol’ blog so I haven’t written much. But I have gotten tons of requests for this one so here it is.

For three years I have practiced and followed for the most part 21 day fix portions. Very rarely to I venture off of that path. It helps me to maintain and to lose when I am super hard core with it. The nice part is it is NOT a diet. It is just an easy guide to what your body needs based on your wants without calorie counting.

But life happens and I get stressed, sad, mad or whatever and my carb intake slowly sneaks up or I convince myself I need an extra whatever. Then sometimes my old habits of wanting a pepsi or pop to cure comes back. I have found a way to combat that.

 

KETO LIFE…

Keto has just been something that has really clicked for me. But I don’t do complicated and keto is sometimes complicated. It is essentially tracking macros but I don’t have time for that. So I have tried to simplify it for myself. Just be sure if you are doing it to experiment with it and what helps for you.

To get myself into ketosis I go straight basic and use about 5 things.

  1. Nitrate Free bacon…basically find the cleanest bacon around and be prepared to spend money here but your body will thank you and it is NOT forever. I go through 4-5 packages of bacon that first week. Check to be sure no additional sugars and that it is zero carbs. Some brands like to sneak in extra sugars.
  2. Sausage…Again the cleanest but here in my town things are limited so Bob Evans it is. No extra sweeteners. Check to be sure it is zero carbs. You can do links or patties or heck even both. I have and do.
  3. Hamburger meat…I purchase mine from a butcher shop and get 80% lean. I make taco meat, hamburgers and fry it in butter. Yes butter.
  4. Eggs. Hard boiled. Fried in butter. Over easy with lots of butter. Scrambled in butter.
  5. Can you guess the last one? Butter. Get the absolute best kind you can find. The European ones are seriously good. But just don’t buy junk butter and check the carb content. You want zero carbs. That means zero additional sugars.

I also will some times add in avocados, pork rinds, salads and cheese sticks (check for zero carb versions). I use a variety of dressings and vegetables like broccoli and green beans and butter them. Who doesn’t love butter on veggies? And you will need to be generous with salt the first week because it helps combat keto flu/carb flu as you transition into ketosis. You up that salt with things like pickles and olives…again just check that carb content.

So for breakfast I usually will eat 1 sausage patty. 4 pieces of bacon and 2 eggs at around 8. Then I eat around 12:40-1 I will eat my hamburger meat fixed over a salad or just eat the meat itself with a side of a green veggie. Be careful of veggies that are higher carbs like potatoes (sweet/white). Corn. Then I eat 6ish and I usually am pretty strict again about fats and eat a fish protein or hamburger with lots of butter and garlic and veggie and salad. I am usually a little more adventurous after I am in ketosis.

Oh and this is worst part of keto…NO FRUIT. Now some can eat berries and be fine. I am not one of them. I eat them and BOOM I am knocked out of ketosis. So I steer clear altogether. Yes it sucks!

The first week I try and stay as basic as I can. If I feel hungry yes I will eat pork rinds. But I am not a fan. But they are zero carb and give you that snacky feeling that is sometimes hard in the first week.

Now to check to see if you are in keto you can purchase urine strips. Or do blood or there are breath meters. I find urine strips are easy and cheap. But they are the least accurate. I did purchase a keto blood meter. I use it occasionally…mostly to check I am in ketosis (so once I test positive on blood for ketones) I am done. The strips for my meter cost 30$ for 10 off Amazon.

The best way to know you are going into ketosis is you get this filmy gross feeling in your mouth. Your breath isn’t the best. It is acetone in your breath. Hence the breath meter. I don’t have one. I also get the jitters in the AM for a day or so. Once those two things pass I am good and I know I am in ketosis.

Then I vary my diet a bit more using websites, podcasts  and cookbooks like:

I will tell you though be extremely careful of adding too much variety. You need to see what feels good for your body and keeps you in ketosis. Start with one or two basic recipes and make a lot so that you can get through a few meals with little thought.

Add in snacks like meat sticks  and pepperoni (always watching that carb content). You want to aim for 20 carbs or less a day. My body reacts to carbs so much so I really shoot for 10 or less especially in the first month.

The go to bible for me is Keto Connect. Use the calculator on this website to help you calculate how much fat you need. You will find you will have a lot. For me, I know I struggle to meet my fat I need daily. So I have to watch my protein intake daily.

I am lactose intolerant and cannot get a lot of my fat from cheeses and heavy cream like a lot of the recipes suggest and I don’t do complicated, so I eat the fattiest meats I can and drink bulletproof coffee. I sometimes will make fat bombs but again I don’t do complicated and I am not a huge fan of stevia sugars (I get migraines). So I recognize that and just do the best I can.

My bulletproof coffee I do when I need more fats is one tablespoon of butter melted and 1 cup of coffee blended and I add cinnamon to the top because straight cinnamon is really good for you. You can add heavy cream but I watch my dairy close. The blending makes it especially frothy. It will leave a buttery film on your mouth and you know you did good.

Once you are well into ketosis you can really use the carb math trick. Look at amount of carbs and then the fiber and you can subtract fiber from carbs and get net carbs. Need more explanation. Be careful with this because bars like Atkins do this…and they work but it is easy to get yourself into trouble with this.

I basically use it to treat myself occasionally like once or twice a week with half a cup of Halo Top Ice Cream or a low carb bar. You can easily knock yourself out of ketosis with this.

And how do you know you’ve had too many carbs and you don’t test your urine, blood or breath? I wake up with a “hangover” type of headache. It is bad. It is basically carb flu. Drink lots of water and up your sodium intake for the day, eat lots of fats and very strict with a low carb intake (like I will go down to zero or 5) and usually you will be back in ketosis within a day.

Finally, the benefits are your energy. I just have more pep in my step, my brain fog lifts and I not nearly as hungry and I can fast intermittently. I have gone 16 hours without eating and had no issues what so ever.

This for me isn’t a forever diet. I am not as good at working out during keto and that is SO important to me. I lose stamina. So if I do it it is to get myself back on track and I add in 2 servings of carbs later. Or I use it till I get my weight back where I want it and then again add in my 2 servings of carbs (my recommended daily allotment).

You can do it though and workout. I just hate complicated so I haven’t ever taken the science that far. I hope to make do that this summer when there is more time.

I just know I love it.

Need more info find me on the socials @ mommyrhetoric because you can see my journey there on instagram.

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It’s only been 3 years.

3 years since I decided to put myself first. 3 years since I began pushing play. 3 years where #lessofme began. In that time a lot of things have transpired and most of which was the girl on the inside came out. I am a strong, fierce, independent warrior of a woman. I knew that already, but I proved it to myself and to the world.

Too long I believed I couldn’t do it. Too long I let others call me the “big one” and I over compensated for what I believed to be my flawed self and lack of control.

Now I embrace those flaws. Hello world…I am all flaws and I love each and every single one of them because it isn’t about how I look in the mirror, or what I put into my mouth or even what size my jeans are. What it is about is how I feel in my skin and I feel amazing. I sweat, take care of my body and take care of my mind. I put myself first.

Happy 3 Year Fitavesary to Myself! Keep going!

Here is what 3 years looks like compiled in selfies.

 

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I saw this picture of me and I decided to make a change.

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These pictures were taken this weekend.

So much laughter and so many tears. I am proud.

Less of me is a thing – MR 

My 21 Days of Not Weighing Myself

The best thing I ever did was break up with the scale. Seriously! The day came to step back on the scale and the crappy feeling of inadequacy creeped back into my mind. The feeling that always begs these questions of me.

  • When will it be enough?
  • Why is any number not enough?
  • Do you really get a value from yourself from THAT?
  • I should have worked harder or worse you should have deprived yourself more? (WTH???!?)

Not stepping on a scale every day is so freeing and something I have practiced since the day I stepped back on the scale. Immediately, I began to beat myself up when my actual goal for the 21 days was to focus on showing up for myself, being healthy and feeling good in my skin.

I have had doctors tell me no more, I have had friends say no more and my husband and kiddos just plain do not care like at all what I weigh. So why? I have created this mentality for myself that I need to prove to me that the work and effort means something and unfortunately I have placed that value in the number a little white box gives me.

That is just plain wrong. I won’t do that to myself anymore. So the scale is going up. When this journey started I was at 210. I needed that scale. Now I am where that scale means so little and how I feel is so much more important and not stepping on the scale every day felt amazing.

So it is back. I haven’t done it since.

But since I am guessing you are wondering…I lost 1 lb and 4 inches. My goals were to not step on the scale for 21 days, and to complete the 21 Day Fix for the first time. Guess what I did…..BOTH!

What I did gain was abs, like seriously I have abs and a core. Somehow Autumn gets me to stick in it a bit longer with my abs. I have massive protruding hip bones. Who knew??? I like living fairly low carb. I won’t, will not ever deprive myself. Life isn’t about hating it and punishing yourself for your choices.

I am going to 21 Day Fix Extreme after the first of the year and then to get me through winter I will probably do 80 Day Obsession and that scale….well it can bite it! 😀

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January 2014 – December 2017

So  my advice moving forward to myself and all of my readers…..

Love yourself and the rest will follow – MR

21 Day Fix will always have my heart!

IMG_0265I have been doing 21 Day Fix for the last 18 days and there is just something that feels like home when it comes to 21 Day Fix. I love it because once you master it it is literally the most flexible and easy thing to do.

It doesn’t feel like a diet and I don’t ever feel deprived and like I am missing out on something. I haven’t been perfect. If I plan it works amazing and what I mean by that is when I knew my husband and I would be going out for tacos I could plan and save my carbs for it.

I also like it because if I want to have chocolate I can. It truly is about portion control. Again like last time the containers are so easy to know what they look like. I rarely need them other than to confirm what I already know.

I have also been doing the 21 day fix program except for the pilates fix and yoga fix. I swap those out for 21 day fix extreme upper fix and lower fix. I have also incorporated a ton of fixate recipes because fixate wasn’t really a thing my last rounds of 21DFX.

I still hate how sore I get with 21DF, but I am finding I am enjoying them more than I had previously. I like the weights in them because if you know me you know I lift. I get a good calorie burn without feeling like I want to die with the 1 minute moves.

I have no idea if I have lost anything. I have not weighed or measured myself. The only judge I have is clothes fitting and commits others make. I can tell you something is happening because my clothes are fitting different. I also have received lots of comments on weight loss. My workout clothes have been getting more loose as well. I bought a few XS pieces today, so we will see how they fit tomorrow I suppose.

Now let me compare keto to 21dfx and I can tell you I felt deprived at times on Keto and I IMG_0243would get bored of how I would eat. I would eat it anyway and I still am in love with the way it made me feel. However, I will always dislike how I felt so blah and like I had no stamina.

21dx, is nice because you don’t feel like you cannot have anything. It just requires planning for everything you eat. Carbs are limited, but you can have them so that feels really nice sometimes.

I do find I get headaches if my carb content is too high. I feel like a keto flu headache. I don’t know what that means, but I have noted it. However, I am looking forward to Christmas day when I can check things out. I know I broke up with the scale and my obsession with standing on it and that is a good thing!!!!

 

Surgery Recovery: 6 Months.

Well let’s see…let’s cover the positives besides the obvious ones. Some have something to do with the surgery and some who knows? I have lost 30 pounds. Lots of inches and honestly the pain I have is minimal compared to the pain I suffered from PTLS.

I had no minor or major setbacks in my recovery. I saw and knew a lot of people that had long and slow recoveries and by all accounts I did not. I attribute that to my dedication to good health in general over all both before and after. There are a constant abundance of jokes that stem from being a hyster sister at 41. My family pokes fun at me and I poke fun at myself.

There have been some other stuff that just kinda popped up because of the closer monitoring I am getting both from the doctor and myself. Thankfully, I think they were/are all blessings and God’s work. So I wouldn’t necessarily call it negative impacts from the surgery and more just timing and awareness is needed.

I still have my hemorrhagic cyst and cystic ovaries overall. That is actually an issue I have suffered with my whole life and my doctor offered both hormonal and surgical solutions for. Both of which I turned down. Let me address the surgical issue. I do not want another surgery LIKE at all. I have had four surgeries in my reproductive organs and my scar tissue is abundant. Scar tissue causes pain.

Two options will take place here in the next 10 years. The pain will outweigh my decision to not have surgery and I will get my ovaries removed or I will quietly go into menopause and my ovaries will hush finally. The latter would be better.

Now let’s talk for a minute about the hormonal option. I have never been a huge fan of synthetic hormones of any kind. But a few weeks ago I got some scary news about my mammogram. I have been trying to not be dramatic about it, but I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been on my heart and mind.

I have dense breast tissue. There are four levels of breast density and mine is the highest. The reason that is scary is because it makes it difficult to use a traditional mammogram machine to screen for breast cancers. It requires additional testing that has a higher likelihood of a false positive. It also can be a predictor of breast cancer. From Are you dense Advocacy website:

“It just might be the greatest cancer risk you’ve never heard of.”1

Five facts about dense breast tissue

  1. 40% of women have dense breast tissue.

  2. Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography to detect cancer.

  3. Mammography misses every other cancer in dense breasts.

  4. Breast density is a well-established predictor of breast cancer risk.

  5. High breast density is a greater risk factor than having two first degree relatives with breast cancer.

Ways to fight against the increased statistics are to lead a healthy life through fitness and nutrition, monthly self breast exams and live a clean life. So no additional hormones unless the benefit outweighs my risk.

Thank goodness legislation just passed less than a year and a half ago in my state that required dense breast tissue to not only be leveled, but to be reported to the patient because before that radiologists were NOT required to report it. The statistics of women who got “normal” mammograms with dense breast tissue and then found out they had breast cancer within a year should drop because of the women (and maybe men just haven’t researched much) who advocated that they have the right to know. I thank them. I also thank my mother who shares similar issues and has been fine. It eased my mind.

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My doctor has always been so supportive of my lifestyle and my choices and I never feel like any of them I have made have been alone. She is always respectful to the fact that I want to talk to my husband about them as well.

Now maybe for the most bothersome and truly related issue related to my surgery is my hormonal fluctuations which has caused me to have dry eyes. I should note I have had them before this, but it was like the surgery put it on a speed track.

Every day I would feel like I had sandpaper in my eyes. I attributed it to my make up or my glasses. Eye doctor finally said get hormones tested and I will do what I can on my end and yes hormones are goofy, not terrible but off. I ended up getting punctal plugs.

They are the absolute best thing ever invented. If you have watched my instastories you know I love them. I didn’t realize how much of an issue it was until my doctor had me do to the dry eye test and I had to have temporaries for two weeks. My life was changed and I all the sudden had normal eyes again. Finally, last week I got my permanent ones. They last for six months and are amazing.

The last and and final thing about my surgery is I still get the nerve jolts. Usually they only come when I work out too hard. That is totally normal and is actually a sign of healing. They aren’t bad at all and more just surprising.

So to answer the question…would I do it again? Yup. 100x over. It was still the best thing I did for myself and my well being.

Grateful Day # 4 – I can thank myself.

If I could even put into words how bad I wanted this. Years. 4 years of working. 4 years of ups and downs where I gave up and started again for the 100th time. Maybe it took 4 years, or maybe it took some fire within, or maybe my surgery or maybe I just continued even when it was hard.

Frustration reigns supreme when you are focused on numbers. I know that. I purposefully had not weighed myself in a few days because I was tired. I was tired of the trying and eating and really just wanted the doing.

I see my doctor next week and I had hoped I had met my last and final goal. The one goal that felt impossible for years. As it seemed like more of a possibility I didn’t give into hope. Today I decided to step on the scale and it had been over a week. I didn’t expect much and I looked down and an audible scream came out then tears.

I sat in the dark of my living room with just the christmas tree lights glowing crying quiet enough to not wake up my number three. Sniffling and smiling and trying to snap a picture without the flash.

So today I am grateful for me for not giving up on myself. I am grateful that I have healed my relationship with food. For too long I let it beat me and let myself hide behind my weight, big frumpy clothes and all of my favorite carbs.

I am grateful I found me. I am grateful for finding comfort in my own skin on the inside and the out. I am grateful I let my “dear fat girl” posts go. Why would I ever address myself with such contempt?

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Dear beautiful girl, the one who fights for who she is and who she wants to be. Never give up. I am so grateful for you. – MR

Keto Thoughts. Week # 9.

whole30-newsletter-logoSo I am on the verge of a decision. I love Keto. But there are some things about it that I have to acknowledge and most of them are my own personal issues that I have to work through. They are:

  • I have lost my workout ability and lack total and complete umpf. I tried adding a banana as the keto book suggested and I bumped myself out of ketosis. My body doesn’t tolerate influx of carbs. There are a lucky few and I am one of them.
  • I have become obsessed with my keto #. I mean this in an unhealthy manner. I have a likelihood to become obsessed especially with this kind of thing and I have.
  • Sometimes that obsession for me makes me make poor eating choices like eating eggs and bacon for over a week for every meal because I know it works and it is easy. So yea that is my next one…I have very little variety and I am getting bored.
  • A lot of keto uses plant based sugars and ugh…I would rather go without any type of sugars or natural ones like honey and agave if I have some.
  • Finally and probably the biggest, I am struggling to get the nutrients I need without too much dairy and I am lactose intolerant, so I am finding my symptoms increased for that. I hate it.

Now that I have covered all the bad there is a huge amount of good and I want to highlight that as well. I have had great success with Keto and don’t see myself “done” with it. I feel like I am at a point where I need to take it to the next level, but before doing that I need to educate myself some more. But let’s look at the positives:

  • I have lost a lot of weight and inches and got myself back down to the smallest size I was in my health journey. I am 5lbs from my goal weight overall. Admittedly, I would like to lose some additional, but that goal weight would get me to goal of my family doctor and I with room to lose a bit more if I want.
  • I gave up carbs and processed sugar. On Monday, I will have survived without processed sugars for 10 weeks. I would have never dreamed that would be possible for me ever. But I did it and that honestly feels better than losing all the weight I have.
  • Fats are not bad and my blood pressure is lower than it has been. In fact, it was low enough my doc worried a bit.
  • I got to eat bacon every day for a diet.

So with all of that I am fairly certain I will be doing Whole 30 the day after my birthday. My birthday is in two weeks and I plan to celebrate via this diet. I have always wanted to do it and tried so hard that last few years and always failed or was scared away because of giving up carbs and sugars. Well guess what keto did for me. I tackled that beast.

I do really appreciate my morning coffee and Whole 30 does require that sacrifice so think of me the next few weeks before my birthday as I start to wean. I will probably be pretty grumpy. So this will be the next beast, but I have done that before many times and I can do it again.

And one final note before I end this post. None of this fad. I am not a fad dieter. In fact, these are diets that create a better awareness of your body and what it needs and I would argue the 21 day fix container system works similarly as well. It is figuring out healthy ways to eat because somewhere along the way I never learned, or forgot. The container system showed me portion and amounts, Keto helped me to see good and healthy fats and I suspect that Whole 30 will be more about my psyche and conquering the one last hurdle of knowing what is best for my body.

And finally, I think Whole 30 will let me get back to what I love and that is physical movement. It is pivotal to my mental and physical being so I have got to do this.

The Downside of Keto & Figuring it Out

IMG_9094I love keto. What I love most is that in 8 weeks I have lost 18lbs and that I have crazy weeks like last week where I lost 8.5 inches. Yes 8.5 inches and that was with three pitiful workouts in that week. But the end of that sentence is the downside.

I have been almost 4 years at this point maintaining an extremely active lifestyle. So to find a diet that I am losing weight and feel amazing, but cannot work out has been a struggle. I don’t just work out for the weight loss.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder and it a key component in how I manage my OCD. It is also the best way I have found to deal with all the stress and emotion that comes from teaching, being a parent and just life.

The reality is that keto for me creates no umpf in any workout no matter what I try. SoIMG_9122 last week I started on Saturday I had a carb cycle day. A day where I ate pretty much whatever I wanted. I didn’t go totally crazy and eat like crazy, but I didn’t limit my carbs down to the 20 I typically limit it to any other day.

I did it again this week as well. As well twice during the week right before bed I consumed a full size chocolate bar. Nothing crazy high in carbs, but enough. This awesome thing happened I have been able to exercise more and am maintaining the loss of weight and inches. This is me flirting with carb cycling.

I am still researching and studying the science behind carb cycling, but I feel like it will work well for me and the reality is that I am feeling so amazing about this diet and I only have 7 more pounds until I am at my first goal.

I am staying the course and eager to see where I end up. Once I reach my goal I will again try and decide the best course of action. What keto has done for me is relieved me of my sugar addictions. I eat entirely clean. It also has paved the way for if I want to eat 21 day fix, Whole 30 or keep on Keto I can. I feel freed.

 

 

Saturday Sharing – Keto Life (Otherwise known as the Bacon Life)

16.5 Inches – 13 Pounds WOAH!!!!

Yes you guys…these are my month and half of keto stats. Those inches are INSANE and I am so glad that I looked at this. Most of those inches are in my waist and hips. As well, I feel like my body is beginning to heal better. I feel it and can tell. I will try and update this post with a picture later today.  While you wait here is a visual chart of my weight loss and my chart to my actual goal over the last six weeks.

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Top left is today and top right 6 weeks ago and yes I have lost much my tan. Bottom right was today and bottom left was 6 weeks ago. I don’t know why I did them opposite.

But I am not gonna lie sometimes I lack the inspiration of the diet. I just use my standard go to of eggs of some variety and bacon. So much bacon. When I grow tired of these two things I am worried for what that means.

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I do find that I need more and more fat. I am not getting enough and you have to be super careful about not all of your fats coming from proteins because higher proteins can turn into glucose which can mess with ketosis. This is the stuff I am slowly learning.

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So I have been trying to find more fats like this while joking soon I will just need to chew on a stick of butter. While I hope it doesn’t come to that I did try an experiment this week. Last week I had very little change as far as weight (I even gained and lost two pounds a few time) and inches were minimal I sat back and thought about what I did. The difference I believe was that I ran every single day. I was also burning almost 3000 calories and eating about 900-1200 calories.

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Keto makes you not hungry. Like at all. I seriously cannot eat enough and I am going hard running or working out I know my weight loss will stall. It also stalls when I am doing that eating that calorie range. I try and eat more and feel pukey. But something unique happened last week. I ate this!

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Admittedly I didn’t eat it all, but I woke up the next day thinking I would gain a ton of weight and be knocked out of ketosis and I was for less than a few hours. But nope…I woke up feeling terrible, but I lost a pound and was in ketosis again by lunch. I cannot say I got so lucky this week with a treat I had that my co-worker bought for me. I am just now getting back into ketosis after a little over a day. (BTW…I have no regrets. Life isn’t about deprivation and being miserable).

As well, I am at a place in my keto journey where I need to start playing around and seeing what makes my ketones ebb and flow and what I can handle and not handle. I am having to use more dairy than I would like to keep my fats up, but I would like to not. I also can mess with some of keto friendly flours like coconut and almond. I would also like to try some variances on carb cycling. But before I do that I need to identify how my body responds to certain carbs.

I feel seriously super good. I will tell you working out on keto has been my biggest struggle. I lack the stamina, but I know for a fact if and when I add more fats into my diet my stamina perks up. I also know when I can figure out how my body processes carbs then I can carb up to aid in working out. I also would like to find a fat bomb to help with this. Fat bombs scare you a little though, but it does help balance out macros if you need it.

I am going to get a blood test soon for hormones and the rest to be sure that my body is handling this alright. I will also give you a small update about last week’s post about the cyst. I have had a ton of a pain this week especially the last few days which likely means it is disintegrating. That is good news. So we continue to wait and hope it goes away on its own.

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Ketoing On Over Here – MR

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Saturday Sharing is a weekly post where MR covers the latest in her life.

 

Transformation Tuesday: Less of Me is a thing.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

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This is today!

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Sometimes it is so easy to lose your motivation and inspiration or even worse sometimes you feel like giving up because the changes aren’t as noticeable or as quick. So you gotta take a moment and take stock in just how far you have come. And more then anything…you need to remember to enjoy the process because it is all a part of the journey. My journey didn’t just start and it certainly isn’t going to end any time soon. But I gotta hold steady. I am worth it.

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