Health

What Fat Feels Like

Fat. Fluffy. Overweight. Obese. Chubby. Thick. Plus size. Chunky. Husky. Plump. The list goes on and on. There is a huge movement right now to eliminate fat shaming and acceptance of everyone’s bodies. And for all the men and ladies out there who are comfortable with their size – you go girls! Work it!14d47176edb9e37d79530d692143a701

I’m super impressed by Ashley Graham’s #beautybeyondsize promotion. It’s 100% true that you do not have to be a certain size to be beautiful or healthy. I am more active and “in shape” than some people who are half my size. And there are people who are larger than me who are healthier than I am. The number on the scale and in your pants does not define you. Health is so much more than numbers. Health is a feeling. Feeling of strength. Feeling of happiness. Feeling of being comfortable in your own body. Feeling of being able to ‘drop it like it’s hot’ and pick it back up again.

There are days when I will be super ok with my appearance, you know how you’ll wake up and just feel thin? You’ll look in the mirror and be like, Hot Damn! Not bad. Not bad at all. Yeah there are those days. But when I was at my heaviest weight, those days were very few and far between. Probably like never actually. This was part of my motivation to finally make some serious lifestyle changes. And those lifestyle changes worked! If you want to know what I did to lose almost 60 pounds you can read about it here.

And here’s that before and after bitches love: img_7273

Even though I wasn’t at my ultimate goal weight or size, I was in better shape than I ever have been in my adult life. And I got a little conceited and unempathetic to people struggling to lose weight. (Don’t virtually punch me in the dick here). I did it, so why couldn’t they? It’s really not that hard. If they would just TRY, they could lose weight. Well then I got the swift kick in the face that I deserved. I gained back 15 pounds. But I’m glad I did and here is why. It knocked me off my high fucking horse and reminded me that being fat is hard and no one chooses it-so stop being a judgmental douche. No one likes that guy. Don’t be that guy.

So if you’ve never been fat. Or you have and you need a reminder of what it’s like: this is what being fat felt like to me:

  1. Hungry- When I was following my weight watchers plan and eating healthy, natural foods, I never felt hungry. You know when I feel hungry? When I don’t have a meal plan and just fly by the seat of my pants. I end up eating junk and then I’m hungry again in a few hours, hell even minutes. Not to mention the more you eat the more your stomach stretches leaving you feeling hungry sooner. So the more you eat, the more often you’re going to feel hungry, leading you to eat more. Talk about a vicious circle. This is not scientifically proven, actually maybe it is, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor or a scientist. This is just what it feels like and it makes sense to me. e06c10956baebbc3983cafec570c7b6f6f9a151450bf65dcae9022e9db8b8fab
  2. Uncomfortable- You’re uncomfortable in your clothes because they’re either too tight, or fit here and then are huge in other places. No brand or style fits right. You’re uncomfortable in a bathing suit because, well because you’re in a bathing suit. You’re uncomfortable naked because your skin is touching your skin, they’re called rolls and they’re a constant reminder that you hate yourself and are never going to eat again- as you scavenge your pantry and refrigerator. You’re uncomfortable sitting because your pants are cutting into your stomach, or you’ve pulled your waistband up over your gut so there’s not a double roll. It’s suuuuuper stylish. You’re uncomfortable standing because while you were sitting your shirt rolled up, your pants shifted down-despite having pulled them up over the gut, so now you have to adjust every article of clothing you’re wearing to try to deceive the eye into a body shape you do not possess. You’re uncomfortable laying down because you have heartburn and indigestion from the shit food you’ve eaten, your fat is creating rolls that aren’t how you look in your mind’s eye, and your boobs are suffocating you if you’re laying too flat. I could go on.
  3. Heartburn- I mentioned the heartburn, but it deserves it’s own number. Everything gives you heartburn. Antacids have become your dessert. Well second dessert after you eat first dessert. 4400239
  4. Out of shape- Oh like you can’t run a mile under 15 minutes? No bitch. Like you can’t walk a mile. You can’t comfortably bend over to tie your shoes or pick something up off the floor. You can’t bend your leg and pull it close enough to paint your toes all at once, you either do a couple toes at a time, or if you let your leg fall to the side to make room for your stomach you can make that shit work. Your feet hurt, and your arms fall asleep if they’re bent for too long because your fat is cutting off the blood flow. 
  5. Tired- Despite having done zero physical activity to warrant being tired, being lethargic breeds more lethargy. It’s like that being hungry cycle. motivation-level-lazy-puppy

It’s not easy being fat. All of these things you endure are exhausting and much harder to deal with than diet and exercise. And I needed that reminder so I can stop making choices that lead to being uncomfortable in my own body, it’s the only one I get. So here is to taking the easy route-making an eating plan, scheduling my exercise and activity, kicking ass and taking names. Because life is hard enough without making it harder on myself by being fat.

Oooooh time to make another list!

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Random Ramblings

Netflix and ch… more Netlix

I hate when someone asks me what I like to do for fun. For some reason it’s just not impressive to brag about the art of Netflixing- that’s right, I’m making it a verb and an art. It’s not impressive because people imagine you laying in bed or sitting on the couch for hours and hours binge watching TV shows and movies. Which is how it looks sometimes, but that’s not the only way I take my Netflix. I also stream it on my phone so I can watch it while I do the dishes, clean the house, work on spreadsheets and respond to emails (you know the stuff that pays the bills), go to the bathroom, work out, etc… I streamed Netflix while mowing the grass before. Netflixing does not always mean you’re lazy damn it! We must erase the stigma! Solidarity!

Moving on. Who doesn’t have Netflix these days? I ditched the land of cable about 7 years ago and have been solely streaming ever since. Raise your hand if you recall when Netflix was more about getting the DVDs mailed to you and the streaming selection was horrendous? I think it was about the same time that Blockbuster’s were suffering their swift death. blu7sc

They put in a good fight though. No shame in the game Blockbuster, no shame in the game.

Well I think I do a significant amount of Netflixing, and as a self-proclaimed connoisseur, I’d like to share some of the highs and lows of what I’ve watched recently because sometimes when you’re an avid Netflixer like myself, you start to run low on new material. Well, when that happens, I like to take a gander at what others are watching via the Trending Now feed. Sometimes they’re a hit, and sometimes they miss the mark by miles. Let’s take a look:

  1. unknown-3Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats- I love stand-up comedy. Some people aren’t into it at all, and I don’t understand. I’m not a fan of the comics who make fun of the people in their audience so much-there are comics who do it right (Russell Peters is a good one) but not all comics do that in their act. But that’s neither here or nor there. Chelsea Peretti’s stand up is a good one in my book. Some of her bits were a little off, they do this thing with staged audience responses that gets a little weird, but otherwise 9 out of 10 friends would recommend. 
  2. unknown-4The Office: The Office is on a streaming loop in my house. I’ve seen the show beginning to end a million times. It’s ole faithful that never gets old. 
  3. unknown-5White Christmas: I had never seen White Christmas before, so on Christmas Eve, whilst cooking our Ultra Feast (heyyyy office reference for the win!) I threw White Christmas up on the laptop. I really enjoyed it! It’s an oldie but a goodie in my book. And it reminded me of my sister (miss you hooker). 
  4. unknown-6Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things: Amazing documentary! It’s not about getting rid of everything. It’s just about being mindful on the things you do need. I suggest you watch this. Seriously. 
  5. unknown-7Fuller House: Season 2: I loved Full House as a child. When they did the remake Fuller House I was super pumped and thought the style of the 90s sitcom was so refreshing compared to a lot of shows that are on the air these days. If you’ve watched it, you know what I mean. So I was a little disappointed with Season 2. The storyline didn’t quite grab me as much and I got pretty bored. With the exception of episode 10. If nothing else, watch episode 10. You’re Welcome. 

Oh Netflix. Should I ever tire of your selection, there’s always Hulu and HBO Go to fill the void. Anyone else watch any of these? Any recommendations for what to do next?

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Travel

Travels with Carlie in Latvia

Latvia. Ever heard of it? If you’re anything like me 7 years ago, then no you haven’t. Ignorant Americans. Well, Latvia is a European country located in the eastern part of the continent in between Lithuania and Estonia. To the right of it is Russia, and the Baltic Sea is to the left.fullsizeoutput_78d Bet you weren’t expecting a geography lesson today.

It just so happens that my husband was born in Latvia and lived there for most of his life before moving to the United States as a teenager. Of course he still has family living there, so I was super excited when we planned a trip to the mother country-and by we, I mean me. 

I’ve traveled quite a bit since 2010 when I got bit by the travel bug, and Latvia has been my favorite spot by far! We left December 26, 2015 and didn’t return until January 6, 2016. While there we spent a large chunk of time in Riga, Liepaja and took a road trip to see Jekabpils and multiple castles around the country. Here are my top five tips for traveling to Latvia, as I’m sure it is now on all of your lists:

  1. Airfare- I saved us a ton of money by flying out of JFK in New York City. We flew on the Russian airline Aeroflot. Our total flying time was about 10.5 hours with a quick layover in Moscow. Overall it was a good flight- even though the husband’s tv didn’t work so we shared mine to watch movies. flying-aeroflotAnyways, I saved us about $400 flying out of JFK vs. any other airport. JFK was about a 4 hour drive from our home in DE, but it was worth the extra savings in my book. So I’d recommend you do your research and consider widening your flexibility with nearby, and not so nearby airports. I use kayak.com to search for flights, and cross reference with skiplagged.com as well. 

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    This is the face of someone super happy about saving $400.
  2. Weather- Is it cold in Latvia? It was balls freaking cold. For some reason, my dear husband suffered from amnesia when he was asked about how cold it was and insisted it wasn’t that bad. It was a cold, I don’t think I’ve experienced before. I might be exaggerating a bit, it wasn’t like arctic temps, but it was very cold- like -18ºC (I’m so European now). If you’re planning a trip in January, make sure you have the appropriate gear. I’m talking sweaters, two layers of pants, gloves – not the cute little Old Navy cotton knit gloves that will look so dear with your matching scarf because they have hearts or puppies on them, I’m talking the kind you’d wear for the Antarctica expedition you’re never going to take- wool scarf, hat-again, leave the hearts and puppies at home- THICK socks and winter boots. We each have a three in one coat from North Face that did the trick for both of us. Here is a link to the one I have. 

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    He’s freezing. Don’t let the brave face fool you.
  3. Latvian, Russian, and English, oh my! -They have their own language, Latvian, in Latvia. There’s also a very large population of Russians who live in the country as well, so Russian is also a common language you’ll hear there. Buuuuuut, you don’t have to speak either of these languages to visit this beautiful country. English has been widely taught to younger generations as a second language, so you’d definitely be able to get by without being fluent in Latvian. I downloaded an app called Lingopal though and selected Latvian as my language as choice. It was 99¢ but has all sorts of helpful words and phrases. Here are some screenshots of what you can learn:

    Let’s take a closer look at the Insults-X-rated:fullsizeoutput_791Worth the 99¢ even if you don’t ever go to Latvia.

  4. Riga and Public transportation- Riga is the capital of Latvia and they have AMAZING public transportation. It’s affordable and easy to understand. I’ve been to NYC multiple times and I still can’t grasp how to read the subway. Riga’s bus, trolley bus, tram, and train system is so convenient and you can buy tickets online, from the driver, or from many kiosks and shops. You can find specific prices and times here and here. I recommend you do the e-ticket. It’s cheaper and it’s 2016- get with the times. 
  5. Castles- Have you ever been to a castle? They’re super gorgeous. You know what’s even more gorgeous? Castles covered in snow. And there are a bunch you can tour and visit in Latvia. We saw Bauskas Castle, Rundale Palace, Cesis Castle and Sigulda Castle. I highly recommend them all! 

    We were only able to see all of these magnificent beasts because we rented a car and road tripped our way around the country on a whim.

    Here is the route we took:screen-shot-2016-01-19-at-10-06-52-pmAnd here you can experience some of our Latvian overlanding:

Not all of the roads are paved, but we still made it through fine in this sweet little ride:fullsizeoutput_79d

And those are 5 tips for your next trip to Latvia! I’ll share more in future posts, I didn’t even begin to talk about the FOOD, but those are enough to get you started. In the meantime, enjoy these adorable photos of family and our other adventures on the trip.

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Where should we go next? Comment below with your recommendations!

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Military

First Christmas in the Military

Christmas is:

  1. Family- I’ve always spent Christmas surrounded by family.
  2. Presents- I love getting presents, but I have always especially loved giving presents-not the spending money part, that part stresses me out- but I love selecting a gift that I think shows that person that I care, or how funny I am, or how well I know them (still about me, but you benefit too).
  3. Food- Christmas is like Thanksgiving the Sequel. Give me all the food.
  4. Multiple pit stops- I think one year, I visited 5 different houses on Christmas. Last year was 3. I’m lucky to have so many people inviting me over, or coming to my house to eat some grub.
  5. Decorate- Who doesn’t love some Christmas Decor? Besides my husband – he doesn’t dislike it, he just doesn’t get it – But he’s wrong. Christmas decor is AMAZING! And my Halls are Decked!

This would be my list on how I spend Christmas if I were to write it last year. This year looked different. Since my husband commissioned into the Navy in September (more on that in a later post), he received orders to report to Pensacola, FL for flight school in December. The best part of that was I got to spend Thanksgiving and my birthday with family and friends before leaving the only state I’ve called home and moving over 1000 miles away. The downside is we would be missing Christmas.

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So with only a few weeks to get settled into a new home and a new state before Christmas day, I did a few things the same and a few things differently to keep up with the Christmas cheer. Here is my list and tips on making it through Christmas as a new military family:

  1. Decorate- I unpacked the house and decorated for Christmas the first week of moving in. Do I still have unpacked boxes? Yes. Anyone who has moved knows-there’s always something that goes unpacked. Fuck that box. Clearly it’s not important. Can we get rid of it? No. This was so important though and I didn’t even do it with the intention of the calm and homeyness it brought me. Homeyness? that’s a word right? Sure. But it did. And I think it helped the cats adjust too. Which is really what makes it a golden tip.

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  2. Explore- Like I said, the first week I unpacked -mostly- and decorated, and then I swiftly got bored. But then I realized I was in a completely new place with new and undiscovered things. I wanted to wait and experience it all with the husband, but he had shit to do (or so he claimed), so I set out to familiarize myself, find some interesting places, and not have to use GPS to get every-damn-where
  3. Cook for two- Have I mentioned that I love food? I don’t think I have. But I do. I love to cook it too. So even though it’s just the two of us, I decided at the last minute I wanted a meal that would bring home to Florida. Ham. Mashed Potatoes. Gravy. Macaroni and cheese. Sweet Potatoes. Green beans. Corn pudding. All made by yours truly. And I bought these amazing little cheesecakes from a local cheesecake shop, Chrisoula’s Cheesecake Shoppe, to round out the menu. And egg nog, I love me some egg nog- unlike the husband, one of the many things he’s wrong about-like home decor. This menu was NOT weight watchers approved. And even though I reduced drastically the amount of food, we still had leftovers for days. Which made it the gift that kept giving. 
    img_7298
    Take a moment to appreciate the portion sizes of the carbs vs. the sole vegetable dish.

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    Chrisoula’s Cheesecake Shoppe Cheesecakes!
  4. New traditions- New home. New state. Why not start a new tradition? So we did. I decided we would begin our celebration on Christmas Eve so we could spend Christmas Day relaxing. So Christmas Eve we went to brunch at this great place I had been dying to try, The Ruby Slipper, came home to cook and enjoy our ultra feast (The Office fans know what I’m talking about), and marathon watch Star Wars. I’ve never seen them before and I was tired of getting this look: images Christmas day was all about relaxation, taking advantage of the beautiful weather outside and catching up with family. We had intentions of going to the movies (I heard that’s a thing) but the relaxation took too much out of us. 
  5. Facetime- Technology is awesome. Even from over 1000 miles away from friends and family, we still got to say hello and see their faces. We were able to FaceTime with my best friend’s family, my family, and the husband’s family on Christmas Day. Was it the same as being there? Hell no. But it was still super amazing. 
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Check out those sweet photoshop skills.
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We’re the little ones on the laptop screen

Bonus Tip: Have a drink- relax, don’t stress, kumbayah and all that. Seriously though.

The Holidays may never be the same again, but I’m a firm believer that life is what you make it. And we made it pretty damn good.

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What are some of your Christmas traditions? Feel free to share in the comments, I need ideas for next year!

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Health

How to lose weight

If you’ve never struggled with your weight-this post is not for you. If you have, welcome fam!

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It’s not about looking hot…. Ok it’s a little about looking hot.

At least that’s what was always my motivation for wanting to lose weight since middle school when I first grew to a size larger than most of the other girls. I always wanted to lose weight, but didn’t really know how to do it. In middle school and high school I had no clue about nutrition or how to safely lose weight so I went to some pretty extreme measures. I remember wishing I could stick with bulimia or anorexia. Those gals had dedication. But alas, forcing myself to vomit required shoving a toothbrush down my throat for about 20 minutes before anything would come up- making my eyes water and bloodshot, and my head throb. I came out of the bathroom looking like I just got back from a 72 hour rager in Vegas. Not exactly subtle. And I think the longest I went without eating was like 14 hours before I ate three packets of ramen noodles-chicken flavor of course- the food of the poverty gods.

Needless to say I wasn’t successful in achieving a healthy weight or body image in middle school or high school, as few do. Take a gander at this hot chick:

Enter my 20’s– still overweight but I’m a little smarter and now am braced with the vast knowledge of my brother, who lost 100 lbs on weight watchers. Between that and his obsessive compulsive research on health and fitness, I finally knew the right way to lose weight. Diet. Exercise. The whole shebang. But knowing and doing successfully are not the same thing. It is during this time period that I yo-yo lost and gained the same 15 pounds.

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Cue the wedding bells! It was after marrying my husband that I then did the opposite of what I always wanted to do (lose weight), instead I gained 50 lbs. Bringing me to the heaviest and unhealthiest I had ever been. I stayed at this weight for about two years. That’s not true, I yo-yo’d the same 20 pounds down and up.

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Finally enough was enough. I took 5 major steps to losing weight so I could be “healthy” (really so I felt like I looked hot).

  1. Weight watchers- I tried counting calories, I tried counting carbs, I tried counting fat. Didn’t work for me long term. Oh it worked for you? Rub it in, asshole. Weight watchers worked for me.
  2. Working out. A LOT.- I had always been pretty active in the past. I played softball and danced in high school. And I did zumba in other weightloss attempts. This time I did everything. I jogged, I weight lifted, I swam, and I did pilates and zumba (It helps with the feeling hot bit I go for)
  3. Water- You know those commercials where some dude quit drinking soda and loses like 15 lbs? Or so and so Sally switched to diet and lost 10 lbs? Fuck you both. I’ve never been a soda drinker so there was no soda to cut out. But I did increase my water intake. Take your weight, divide it in half and drink that in ounces. It’s a lot of fucking water. Especially when you’re fat. 
  4. Weighing in- So this probably isn’t the healthiest bit of my regimen, but I weighed myself everyday. Sometimes multiple times a day. I’m not recommending it. But I think it motivated me a lot. It didn’t cause me to skip meals or starve myself. Actually it helped me to recognize how much your weight can fluctuate in a day, so if I got on the scale in the morning and it wasn’t what I expected, guess what? not the end of the world. 
  5. Refocus- So I started it all to get ‘hot’. All very superficial reasons. But what ended up happening was I fell in love with the health benefits. I didn’t have to pop antacids after every meal. I didn’t wake up with back pain. I didn’t sweat in uncomfortable places due to fat rolls. I know, gross. I had more energy. I felt… strong. All of these things ended up meaning more than looking hot. 

Am I done losing weight now? Not even close. I still have more to go before I’m in a healthy weight range. But from June 2016-August 2016 I lost 40 pounds. I’ll go into more detail about each of these points in later posts, but I was almost 60 pounds less than my heaviest weight. And if the lighting and camera angle is just right-I might even be able to pass for hot.

Here’s a before and after. Bitches love a before and after.

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Just had a mini heart attack because I thought that was a snake behind me. Just a stick.

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Health · Military · Random Ramblings · Travel

Allow me to introduce myself

I am a writer. 

At least that is what I aspire to be. It doesn’t quite feel right to call myself a writer, as I have never written much of anything that wasn’t required as an assignment in school and college. But this is my attempt at taking my life and experiences, setting it to words, and sharing it. Maybe it will be useful to someone besides myself.

Something that has always been useful to me are my lists. My lists have lists, and it’s always helped me to get shit done. Oh I should mention that swearing will be a part of this blog. Here are the five things you can expect:

  1. Swearing- Maybe not every post, but you have been forewarned. 
  2. Military tidbits- I’m a military spouse. I’m new at it. My husband is new to the military also, so while we navigate this new world, I’ll share my experiences. 
  3. Travel- I love traveling. Near. Far. Wherever you are. I have a titanic appetite for seeing the world. Pun intended.
  4. Food- I love food. I love cooking it and eating it. I love restaurants. I’ll write about it all. Don’t come here with an empty stomach. 
  5. Health and weightloss- I’m overweight. I believe the correct term is obese. It’s not healthy. I want to be healthy. I can do it and still love the food. 

There it is. Short and sweet. My first list of five on the List Five Blog. Now I’m a writer.

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