Being authentic

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“Keep your heart clear And transparent, And you will Never be bound. A single disturbed thought Creates ten thousand distractions.”
― Ryokan

I remember the first time I met Jacqui Mccoy. She walked in the room after a group of us watched her episode of Extreme Weight loss. She had a big smile on her face and was so warm and friendly. I cried. For a lot of reasons.

1. because she was so inspiring

2. because I have a problem with being star struck haha

3. I was so incredibly proud of this women and honored to meet her.

4. because in my eyes she was perfect and I realized I would never be like Jacqui.

I sat there while she talked and began to doubt that I would ever be able to succeed in this process.  Jacqui is organized.  She is confident. She is perfect. I was none of those things. The first mistake I made was comparing myself to this amazing woman. Comparison between people isn’t fair yet we do it in our minds all the time. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses as human beings.  Jacqui & I  became very close during the EWL process. I can honestly say that she has become my best friend and here is why. One day we were on a hike in Arizona and I could tell something was on her mind. I asked her how everything was going and she shared her heart with me.  She opened up to me about her struggles.  She told me how she still struggles with food issues daily, how sometimes she feels so inadequate, and that she is still trying to figure it all out. At one point she said she was afraid to tell me those things because she wanted to be a good role model and didn’t want me to be disappointed in her. It was the complete opposite. It was life changing for me. In my head Jacqui was perfect. The fact that Jacqui humanized herself was like a weight off my shoulders. She was so authentic about her struggles and I realized in that moment that I looked up to her even more. I wasn’t disappointed. I  wasn’t let down. I was relieved. That notion that I had to be perfect to succeed was gone. I told myself that day that I would always try to be as authentic and open as possible. Especially when it comes to my struggles. No one wants to look up to someone who is perfect. Its not realistic and in our hearts we know that. That is why its so easy to be discouraged.

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.” 
― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

I’m a people pleaser. I want everyone to like me. I don’t like disappointing people, I have a hard time standing up for myself and im always worried about what people think. Therefor being authentic is scary. It means being transparent. Allowing people to see who you really are. I’ve come to realize that not everyone will be ok with it. And guess what? Thats ok! Because in those moments that we are open and honest about who we are, we learn who really loves us. Who is worth keeping around. We get this amazing gift of true friendship. I’m not saying that I’m great at this. I struggle. Trust me. Sometimes I smile when Im sad. Sometimes I tell people im ok when im not. Just being able to take baby steps in this process has helped me immensely.

 “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ― C.G. Jung

 

Im alive I swear!

Hi friends! So I had to take a short break but I’m back now and ready to write some new blogs! I have a lot of new and exciting things happening in my life and I cannot wait to share them with you. Thank you again for all of your love and support. Jason, Tyler and I appreciate it so much. In the meantime post in the comments below if you have something specific you would like me to blog about. Thank you and happy Friday! See you soon :)

Chile Verde over cauliflower rice :)

 

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I loved this recipe! If you make it please let me know how you like it :)

 

CHILE VERDE CHICKEN OR PORK (I used chicken)

 

Ingredients

5-6 tomatillos (pronounced toe-ma-tee-ohs), husks removed
1 New Mexico chile or poblano
1 tomato (Optional, if not using add 1-2 more New Mexico or Poblano chiles will make it a more vibrant green)
2-3 small jalapenos or 1 large
1-2 Serrano chiles (the more, the spicier)
1 onion
3-4 garlic cloves unpeeled
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 pounds pork or chicken cut into bite sized pieces
3 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450

Roast the veggies for 15 minutes. Remove from oven then peel your garlic. Remove stems and seeds from chiles depending on how spicy you want it, the more seeds you leave the spicier it will be. Process in a food processer or blender with the salt and set aside.

Add the oil in a large pan with a lid on med/high heat. Add the meat and par cook for about 7 minutes.

Pour salsa over the meat and stir to incorporate, bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 20 -25 minutes until meat is cooked and tender.

CAULIFLOWER RICE

Recipe Details

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower cut into small florets
1/2 onion minced
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Process your cauliflower in a food processor or drop florets one by one in a blender on low-med speed until the consistency of rice (If using a high-power blender like a Vitamix, use the lowest speed). Set aside.

In a large sauce pan or saute pan with a lid heat the coconut oil on med/high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and transparent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium, stir in salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for another 7-10 minutes stirring frequently.

 

freedom comes in letting go.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14

The number on the scale. It does not define your beauty. Your intelligence. Your value. What you mean to others.. You are loved. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. .you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are fearfully…and wonderfully made. YOU ARE LOVED.

I will repeat these words every single day. 100 times if I have too.  Like a lot of people I struggle with my value and self worth. I struggle with self image and feeling inadequate. It doesn’t matter how much weight we lose or how much makeup we wear. It will never erase those negative feelings we feel towards ourselves. Its not about changing the number on the scale. Trust me, I know this first hand.  Its about realizing that we are human. That we will never be perfect. That despite our mistakes, our imperfections, the number on the scale…We are loved. We are valuable. We are beautiful and unique. We do not need to be prisoners to ourselves.

Freedom comes in letting go.

“Does this person really like me?”

“Does this outfit make me look big?”

“Am I pretty enough?”

“Am I as important?”

“Am I good enough? ”

“Have I made too many mistakes?”

Freedom comes in letting go.  

I know im repeating myself a lot in this blog but sometimes we need to repeat things to truly comprehend the point. To really let the words set in. We often repeat those negative lies so much that we start to believe them.  I’m going to try and change this.  The moment I feel those hurtful thoughts enter my mind I’m going to stop what I’m doing and pray. I’m going to repeat to myself “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am loved.”  Why? Because its the truth. Im still trying to learn that my value is not hidden in what others think of me and honestly I’m sure it will be a constant  battle.  What I can say is that the process of healing has already started. I’m learning to let go. When I start to question my self worth…When I wonder if someone truly cares about me…When I look in the mirror and think that im not good enough…I will remind myself that I am loved. That I am fearfully and wonderfully made..I will pray and let it go..That is where I will find freedom. 

What are some of the negative thoughts you tell yourself? Will you join me in trying to change your thought process?

The Still Project

As most of you know I lost my daughter Ava shortly after she was born. It was in fact the worst day of my life. I was told by the Dr. it could be an issue called incompetent cervix, issues with the baby or simply because I was overweight and my body rejected the pregnancy. I chose to hear that it was my fault because I was overweight. I blamed myself for the death of my little Ava. I felt so much guilt that I didn’t feel like I had a right to grieve properly. I wouldn’t talk to any one about it and I didn’t show much emotion because I felt like I didn’t deserve sympathy for what I felt I had done. I felt torment for not making her a part of the family. I felt Like I took away the fact that she was a person. My baby.  It took me 5 years to break out of the prison of guilt that I put myself in. I made a decision that I would do what ever I could to help other women or men that have lost babies. To teach them that we need to grieve and that we need to not blame ourselves. Feeling lost, sad and desperate to have our babies back does not define our strength. It does not make us weak. It makes us human. There is no shame in grief. None at all. What there is, is healing. Comfort. Support from those we love and even complete strangers. There is a God that longs for us to reach out to him. As I write this I’m in tears because I know there are so many people dealing with this and feel alone. Its time for us to reach out to these people and let them know that they are not alone. I have received hundreds of emails from families going through what I went through and each one has a special place in my heart. There is so much healing and forgiveness that needs to happen. One email I received is from Carrie Pascual.  Carrie and her husband lost their baby girl, Elena, at 21 weeks in to her pregnancy. She is currently raising money to make a documentary called The Still Project. I watched the video she sent me and cried the whole time. Everything about it is exactly what I’ve been searching for. I got this off of the website “STILL is a feature length documentary film committed to breaking the silence surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS and other causes of infant death. The STILL Project is the movement behind the film, one that will help us gather the funds and support necessary to see that STILL is completed and distributed.  It is the community of people who believe that this film can spark an honest dialogue leading to education and healing.  In other words, the STILL Project is YOU.”

This amazes me. Baby Elena was and still is celebrated as part of the family..Simply because she is. In my episode you see that even after 5 years I was able to bring Ava back in to my life and make her a part of this family even though she is with the Lord. That is the healing I needed and that is the healing people can get from this documentary. This is something that is so personal to me and I truly feel like It will change lives. Check out the link below and watch the video. There is a link where you can donate to the cause. Please help if you can. Its a wonderful cause.

“I want others who know the experience of losing a baby to feel safe in sharing their grief but to also feel secure in celebrating the life of their child” – Carrie Pascual
Watch the trailer below please. And then visit this site to make a donation if you felt led. Thank you

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/still-project-phase-ii

 

welcome!

                                                                                                                                                                              IMG_5685

Well.  Im finally getting this blog together!  Be patient with me.  Its still in the works!  I plan on having a page with recipes, workouts, photos, Q&A and more.  I plan on covering what my year was like and what life is like now. I want to fill you guys in on my biggest struggles and how I work to overcome them.  What you guys like to see on this blog?  Start asking questions and I will do my best to answer them here.  Only 34 days until my episode airs and life becomes crazy again. Thats when I can really update you on whats going on in my life. I cant wait!

Speaking of honesty. I need to tell you guys that life is not perfect and easy after the show ends. In fact this is the hardest part. Throughout the year I found myself learning more and more about myself. Some things were simply amazing and some things very disappointing. In the end I know I have grown from what I have been through and it has indeed made me a better person. I’m not perfect. In fact I’m perfectly imperfect.  When we finally figure out what that truly means its easier to pick yourself up when you fall. Every time you pick yourself up from those hard times you only become stronger. I promise you. You will be ok :)

I don’t have a theme for this blog really. Just a few ramblings to get me started.  Please feel free to start asking questions and I will do my best to answer all of them. 

Thank you again for following my blog and my facebook page. Having your support is amazing and keeps me going!