A Little Help From My Friends

It’s amazing how lonely a big city can be. Perhaps its enormity reminds me of just how small I am in the scheme of it all. I try to start everyday on a positive note, but some days despite my best efforts, I just can’t shake the funk.

Today was one of those days…

I know that I have so much to be thankful for and I know in my heart that everything will work out in the end, but the journey can be all-consuming at times.

I find myself impatience for what is to come and melancholy about my current state of reality. There are a lot of things in my life that are currently up in the air and sometimes it feels like I will never quite be able to grasp them.

As a result, it becomes very lonely in my head and my heart. Will my dreams of success in life and love ever become a true reality or will I always be in a state of unrest and unknowing?

And the unknowing is the worse part of it all.

I know that life is a struggle and not every day will be filled with positive energy. Everyone has those days where it seems like you are fighting just to breath, the world around you is crumbling at your feet and you are powerless to stop it.

But it’s how you choose to deal with these lows that determines whether the outcome will be positive or negative.

I reasoned that my somber feeling today was most likely due to feeling lonely and a bit homesick. I am miles away from almost everyone closest to me and I miss them all immensely. It’s not that I don’t like to be alone, because it’s quite the opposite, I love my alone time. However, I miss having the option to spend time with the most important people in my life.

I strongly believe that each connection we make with someone is part of a greater plan. Those we choose to share our lives with are meant to be in our lives for one reason or another. So, it only makes sense that although I am excited about my current venture, I am deeply missing their presence in my everyday life.

I reached out to my friends today and they reminded me of my strength and the inner light that always carries me through. It’s amazing how those close to you know exactly what to say to lift you up. We get so caught up in the moment we are experiencing that we start to lose our momentum towards the final goal.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who see in me what I am too blind to see in myself. Thank you for reminding me that I am still the strong and powerful person I always have been and that this is just a fleeting negative moment. You give me peace in knowing that no matter what happens, I will always be loved.

All my love 🙂

Coming Up For Air

I paused for a moment of reflection today to chart my progress on my path to success.  The best description of my current state of mind is like coming up for air after a long hard struggle with the ocean current. The stagnant place I once called reality is a slowly fading memory. Six months ago, I was barely breathing. Drowning in feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness, I was emotionally, physically and spiritually drained. I was heartbroken, uninspired and defeated. I have been battling with the undertow for years and I have finally beat the tide and pulled myself ashore!

My past still lingers in the shadows, the constant reminder of the person I was and shall never be again. In less than a year, I have shaken a love I never thought I could and found a love for myself that I never thought was possible. I took a leap of faith by leaving the familiar and much to my surprise it has all worked out. I forced myself to deal with the issues that have plagued my existence for as long as I can remember. As difficult as it has been to step up and own my mistakes, my insecurities and my faults, this breath of fresh air makes it all worth it.

May you all find your breath of fresh air!

Do You Ask Yourself the Tough Questions?

Have you ever felt as though you were living your life for everyone else? Has there ever been a time when you stopped to explore the reasoning behind the decisions you’ve made and who they most benefited? Have you been living for you…or just to please everyone else?
These are the moments when I suddenly feel lost and out of touch with who I am. A moment amidst depression and reflection of how much of my life is already over.

Oh how much I used to dream of a future and now I find myself planning for it instead.
Wondrous dreams have been faded by the reality of time and I find myself feeling hopeless.

No sense living like this…Sad Life.

So, instead…

I ask myself the hard questions! I put myself on the spot just as I fear someone else will.

I ask…

Wait a minute, who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where am I going? When am I going to snap out of it and how come I lost myself again?

I begin to remember after digging through the thick sheet of disappointment I spread upon myself that I used to know who I was and I miss that person!

I mistake confidence for arrogance sometimes and I have to remind myself that it is okay to say you are good at something without being full of yourself or snotty.

It’s a wonderful reminder that you are special, you have a purpose, but you’ll only achieve it if you have confidence in yourself!

What are You Striving for in Life?

In my last post, I mentioned that my temp job would be ending soon (today is my last day) and I had planned to take the next month off to work on marketing the book and kick starting my journey back to raw food. Plans have changed just a bit. I will still be kick starting my journey back to raw food and working on marketing for the book, but I will also be working now as well.

I must admit that I was really looking forward to the time off, but another short-term opportunity came up and I thought it would be silly to turn it down. Especially considering the extra boost it will give me financially. It will be less hours per day, but I will be making roughly as much as I am currently making as an executive assistant. My biggest fear with this new opportunity is that it will take away from the momentum I currently have going into the next phase of publishing the book.

I just finished reading, Platform, by Michael Hyatt and I am feeling much better about the marketing platform that I have already built, but there is still so much more I need to do. This is a great book for anyone looking to build a marketing platform for any product or service. It is easy to comprehend and literally takes you through every phase of the process step by step.

I have the necessary social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. I have my own website (TheTiffanyRochelle.com) and I have created a fan page for the book on Facebook (Insane Roots: A Memoir). However, all of these pages are in need of some major TLC and there is also the question of whether or not to use my last name rather than my middle name. For obvious reasons, I am not a fan of my last name (my mother’s alias), so I have been using my first and middle name on most items related to business. Unfortunately, the handle on twitter was not available, so I had to use my last name instead (@TiffanyBybee).

Just typing all of this makes my  head swim!

With all of this on the horizon and still needing to maintain a certain flow of income to support my lifestyle, how can I ensure I stay on track?

A post on BodyMindHeartHealing had the answer! Their most recent post: What is Your Mission Statement? discussed the very importance of creating a mission statement in order to ensure that you do not lose sight of your ambitions amidst this enormous world of distractions.

She writes, “A mission statement shows you where your time and your energies are best spent.”

I thought to myself after reading this, that this is just what I need!

So, I decided to spend the morning writing my own mission statement. I had a bit of trouble at first, but here is what I have come up with:

“To live life to its fullest, honestly, and faithfully. Striving for success both financially and spiritually in an effort to inspire and encourage others to believe in themselves and never give up on their dreams, no matter how far from reach they may seem.”

It’s a bit wordy, but I think it is a good starting point 🙂

What is your mission statement?

P.S. If you are having trouble, I found the following article helpful in formulating mine.

The Five-Step Plan for Creating Personal Mission Statementsby Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D

Image courtesy of mrpuen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Journey Back to Raw Food Begins…

When I was in my early twenties, living in Seattle, I was an avid Raw Foodist. It was the healthiest I have ever been in my entire life. I felt amazing, looked amazing and took great pride in the person I had become. Over the years, my life changed and I have taken a massive detour from the path that I was on back then. My boyfriend (at the time) and I had pitched in together on a dehydrator, a juicer and a good quality blender so we were all set in the appliance area. We had a constant rotation of flax-seed crackers, buckwheat crust and variety of raw dips such as humus and guacamole. After we got in to the rhythm of the raw food lifestyle our only challenge was balancing our social events and making sure not to consume too much alcohol. When you are eating strictly raw organic foods, one glass of wine can have the effect of several. Not to mention the after effects it has on your body…talk about a hang-over! Ideally we should not have been drinking at all, but we were young and very social so that was just not going to happen.

When we separated in the Spring of 2008, he took possession of the kitchen accessories, which made it a bit of a challenge for me to keep up the lifestyle. Besides the fact that after moving back to the Midwest we had already ‘fallen off the wagon’ in reference to eating healthy anyway. We slowly started consuming cooked food because it was easier and less expensive. Our drinking also increased after the passing of my grandfather and our eventual break up. We remained vegetarian for quite some time after that, but both of us eventually jumped back on the meat wagon too. In the last few years, I have been living on a steady diet of cheese, beef and beer. After all it is the Wisconsin way!

When I moved to Denver, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. No more size 5 jeans for me! I had been in the double digits for several years and I was not happy with myself. I knew I needed to do something.

I pulled out all of my material on Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Low-carb food. I knew I would need to make a slow transition and most importantly I knew I needed to be realistic when setting my goals. I am in my thirties now and it is not reasonable to think that I will ever be at the weight I was when I was twenty-two. My body has changed too much. Believe it or not there is a great deal of muscle hiding under all this fat 🙂

At this point in my life I don’t think I will ever go back to being a diehard Raw Vegan, but if I can get myself to being at least 80% Raw Vegan consistantly I will be a happy camper. Although, I remember transitioning before and it becomes much easier the further along you are in the process, so that may change down the road. To start, my main focus was to start eliminating all my unhealthy habits. For example, the amount of soda I would consume was beyond embarrassing. This was the first to go! In place of the soda, I would drink water, something I rarely do. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and I am not a big fan of bread, so these were easy things to let go of.

Once I jumped those hurdles, I started researching the many other diets out there to determine their commonalities and took these in to account when planning for my transition back to a mostly raw food diet. Some of the commonalities I have found are:

1. Don’t eat anything at least 3 hours before going to bed.

2. Increase your water intake to help with bloating due to dehydration.

3. Cut out soda and sugary drinks completely

4. Walk or run for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. 15-30 minutes twice a day is the best.

5. Watch your carbohydrate intake.

6. Eat a healthy filling breakfast.

These all seemed easy enough for me not only remember, but to actually execute. I also decided not to jump on the scale every morning. If you do not see what you want to see, this can ruin your entire day! Instead, I decided to weigh myself monthly instead. As women, we can fluctuate between 1-3 pounds daily according to my old nutritionist, so weighing yourself daily doesn’t really give you an accurate account of your progress. I knew I would start to see it in the way that my clothes fit anyway.

I still  have my morning cup of coffee, but instead of 3-4 tablespoons of sugar (naughty!) and creamer, I have it with Stevia and rice milk. I make sure to always eat breakfast. This is something that I have never been good about and it is very, very important. I usually can’t get down more than a banana, but I try to sneak in some yogurt or an additional piece of fruit if I have time. Ideally I should be having a much larger breakfast, but I physically cannot eat more than this or I feel sick.

I have almost eliminated the amount of meat and high level carbohydrate foods that I consume. A typical day for me looks something like this:

Breakfast – Banana, 1 cup of coffee, and maybe an additional piece of fruit or yogurt.

Snack – A handful of raw nuts (I prefer walnuts or almonds) or maybe a small bag of pretzels if I am really feeling munchie.

Lunch – Humus and raw veggies. Once a week I will allow myself a sandwich from the deli or a prepared salad & soup

Snack – Most of the time I skip this snack and just have a flavored water, but if I am still hungry after lunch, this is usually where I will sneak in a piece of cheese or some beef jerky once or twice a week. If you know me once or twice a week is a huge improvement. I have a very strong addiction to beef and cheese 🙂

Dinner – A huge salad or a small salad with a piece of Salmon or Tilapia

On the days when I have a large lunch, I will have a small dinner and skip the afternoon snack. That way I don’t consume too many calories in one day. There are still days when I splurge and have some fries or something like that, but not very often. I walk to and from work every day, which is 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, but I have also decided to introduce another challenge in to my routine. I live on the 12th floor of my building and our elevators are really slow. As I was standing there waiting the other day, I thought to myself about the prospect of taking the stairs.

Over the weekend, I made my first attempt. I needed to take the recycling down and I always hate doing that in the elevator anyway. I always feel silly standing there with everyone else holding a large garbage bag filled with recyclables, so I figured this was a better time than any to make my attempt. The way down was easy. The way up as you can imagine was not so easy, but I did it. by the time I reached the 6th floor I was completely out of breath and ready to exit the stairwell and hop on the elevator. I didn’t though. Instead, I walked up two more flights, stopped to catch my breath and then continued the journey up. By the time I reached the 12th floor, I was exhausted, but I was so damn proud of myself!

The next day, my calves were killing me, but I pushed myself to take the steps down one more time. I took the elevator up, because I didn’t want to push myself too much and tear something. I am still feeling it in my calves a little today, but I think by tomorrow I will be ready to try again. I keep reminding myself how great I will feel when I can make both trips without feeling the intense burn I am feeling now; it keeps me motivated.

Since March 1st, I have been following the same routine. I have lost 3-4 lbs as of March 31st. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but what is significant is my pants size! When I started, I was a size 16. Today, I am comfortably wearing a size 12 and have been for several weeks. In my opinion that is an amazing change in such a short period of time. If I continue on this rate, I may be waving goodbye to the double digits in another month or so! I know I will reach a plateau at some point, but hopefully it will be when I reach size 9 🙂

My temp job will be ending on 4/20 and I will be off until June working on marketing the book and adding inventory to my Etsy shop. I have decided this would be a great time to also challenge myself by doing the 28 day Raw Foods on a Budget Bootcamp offered by Brandi Rollins. I will have the free time to really jump back in to it and I am extremely excited. She provides you with everything you need to plan out your method of attack and keeps it as inexpensive as possible. My roomie and I will both be doing it, so we will have one another to lean on, which is great because it really helps to have someone’s support. Between the two of us, we have all the tools we need to be successful. The excitement is building already. I cannot wait to feel healthy again, it has been a very long time 🙂

Cheers to Raw Food!