Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Short update....

























I have not been able to write as frequently lately....Unfortunately ( and this is a Maui thing ) my Internet service sucks....actually, it's a problem with the whole street I live on. I'll write up a few paragraphs and then suddenly my MAC crashes....terribly frustrating. Anyways, I have not changed much in the sense of my workouts and diet the last few days. I've been sticking to the gym for the most part because our typically sunny tropical weather has not around. It's been super stormy, windy and cold..... YES! COLD on Maui. This has been confirmed to me by several tourist walking through my gallery as well! So, I think it's safe to say that it's not just me.......
I've noticed that I have been eating quite a bit of Thai Green Papaya salad these days....It's great but as much as I crave it I think that spending $13.00 for a serving with sticky rice and some peanut sauce is becoming an expensive habit. I'm ordering from a great little Thai place in Lahaina and the people that own it are so nice so I keep getting it for lunch....However, I think I might need to cut back a bit....( that's $13 before a tip ) I also think I could be making a better grain choice than eating white sticky rice every day. Thai sticky rice is different from the regular Asian rice like you eat in Japanese restaurants. It is soaked and then steamed in a bamboo basket and has sort of a chewy texture....I love it.
So today we are heading to Costco after work.....I'm going to try and stock up on some staples...esp. for the big guy. As much as I enjoy shopping at health food stores sometimes Costco is just more practical. Luckily, I seem to be finding much better organic and local items there these days....

Friday, February 20, 2009

TGIF


Well, I am happy to say that I made it through Thursday totally dairy free:-) For dinner I enjoyed a large bowl of my yummy homemade Thai Coconut Soup. I made a slight change to the ingredient list this time around. I added fresh chopped Shiitake mushrooms instead of dried. Wow! what a difference! Beautiful. I did an hour Hatha Yoga class as well. Yoga is something that I need to increase in my world these days.....I'm interested in Power Yoga. I would like to find something that will greatly increase my range of motion and make me sweat and flexible at the same time. I think I might check out what is available to me on island (as in classes.) As for today, Friday....I'm still not feeling so hot. I'm battling a sour stomach at the moment. However, I think my week of feeling really off and PMS-y is coming to a rapid close.....I have a feeling come tomorrow many of my "symptoms" will be gone....thank god. So, far today ( it's 2pm ) all I have been able to stomach is 1/2 of my green smoothie... and .....a few pieces of vegan chocolate......Go figure, I am a girl.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Falling off the exercise wagon.....


I have seemed to have gotten off track this week.....I have not worked out since Sunday ( It's THURSDAY! ~ hoping to get to the gym later) I'm feeling a bit regretful about this.....I also have been eating out more than usual as well and last night I ended up eating a nice mess at a local brewing company with my boyfriend and friend....I'll spare you the bad choices in food but I'll admit that it involved, dairy, white pasta and even something fried! Yuck! I'm disgusted with myself! I want to make a note that I am 99.9% NOT concerned about putting on weight....my concern is putting bad crap into my body!! I'm also seriously wanting to become vegan and I'm doing a TERRIBLE job at it. I think first and foremost THIS needs to be my goal...The workouts will happen...I'm usually good about this. I have to admit something else too. I'm dealing with what might be the worst case of PMS I've ever had?! This I believe is the main reason why my workouts are sub par. Anyways, I'm forgiving my bad behavior.....I understand that the way I'm feeling physically is real. I know I am not lazy so I'm not going to be too hard on myself. So, that being said, I tried to reverse my little downfall today. I started today with a Green Smoothie and for lunch I had Thai Green Papaya salad, sticky rice with a little Thai peanut sauce.....all dairy free. I plan on doing some sort of exercise this evening and eating a healthful dinner......oh, and skip the Vino. Ciao!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dealing with Recession Depression


I'm trying REALLY hard not to let these tough times get me down......However, I'm not immune to the discomforts and stress of watching my bank account and pay checks dwindle. No longer are the days where I would buy a bunch of organic vine ripened tomatoes without weighing them first. Long gone are the days when I would try different raw food creations from online outlets or an expensive vegan deli without thought. It stresses me out that coconut water cost me over $6 for a small bottle. and that I had to pair down my Green Smoothies to a just a few ingredients every morning so I could keep them under $10 a day. However, my diet seems to be the least of my worries....I own a beautiful house that I can't seem to sell. I sell luxury fine art in a world where people are foreclosing on their homes at historic rates. I live on Maui, which is probably one of the most expensive places in the world. So, I'm asking myself a question that I'm sure so many others are facing..."What can I do to make things easier??"
Part of me feels this.....if we can get through this, stick it out and set up for the next "wave" maybe we will be ok? So, how do we do this? I don't have many answers for myself yet but these are the questions I'm asking.
So, what do I do immediately? First, don't get into any more debt. I've actually been working to get rid of any debt I have right now. I'm almost done paying off my credit card ( I had a trip to Argentina and Australia on it ) and I'm happy to say I see the finish line. Second, I'm NOT going to buy a new car right now. I drive a 2003 Honda Civic with 75,ooo miles on it. Instead of trading it in I decided to do all the preventative maintenance and even got nice new tires for it. It's a Honda, it will last forever right? Besides, who needs a car payment right now? Third, Refi-I've been a perfect borrower on my home.....Lowering my mortgage shouldn't be THAT hard? Forth, don't touch my savings.....I'm pretty good about this and when I have to I do pay it back....I plan on putting my tax return straight into it as well. Five, sell sell sell.....I have some extra stuff I do not need....clothes, surfboards, artwork even jewelry. I'm all about lighting my load these days...uncluttering the clutter and making myself much more mobile. Six, take advantage of free stuff....hiking ( doing this a lot lately ) surfing, camping and exploring. I'm starting to make our yard/garden into a beautiful outdoor living space for lounging and entertaining. I have a nice outdoor dining table now and a extra sitting nook...a colorful hammock my man got in Costa Rica, white Christmas lights and several glass lanterns from Morocco to make the place feel warm....
If all else fails we can split....we are daydreaming right now about this very idea...Indo? Central America? The South Pacific?? Who knows? It seems a bit crazy but not out of the question. We've both done it before...I moved from California to Samoa then onto Maui. My guy moved from Argentina to Florida then onto Maui as well. Even my sister married an Aussie and lives in Sydney now. So, the expat lifestyle doesn't frighten either of us.....it actually inspires us xo, Amanda

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines weekend


Well, if there is ONE thing I am feeling right now that would be soreness!!!! Yesterday my man and I did a 2 hour hike into the West Maui Mountains. Along with being just beautiful ( I even gathered some Lilikoi fruit on the way back down ) it was challenging! I'm not sure what elevation I reached but I do know the hike was about 5 miles long. The day before I did a gym workout.
40 min elliptical machine level 7
150 crunches
Machine weights: Back, Triceps and Shoulders
I will have to say that I have definitely noticed a difference in my arms...my biceps especially.
I wish I could report a healthier diet this weekend but I will have to blame Valentines Day!
I had a pretty dairy filled dinner that night.....an artichoke dip with tortilla chips ( shared ) and a pecan and blue cheese salad with some dark bread and red wine. Dessert was some Chocolate heart shaped cookies at home. Everything was very tasty but I'll admit the dairy did bother my tummy a bit....I wish I could say that my poor diet stuck to just Feb. 14th. Unfortunately it carried on to the 15th. After a great homemade dinner last night. My man purchased a beautiful Key Lime cake at the local market. Granted, the cake was amazing and full of natural ingredients....however, eating something like that on a regular basis is not a good idea.
Feb 14
Breakfast~green smoothie
Lunch~not hungry enough to eat a full size lunch
snack~organic blue chips, organic full fat sour cream ( wonderful ) and organic Habenero salsa
Dinner~see above ( Outback Steakhouse ~ Lahaina )
Feb 15
Breakfast~green smoothie
Lunch~ Spinach salad, tomato, vinaigrette, 2 panko crusted goat cheese medallions. 2 small bread rolls ( At the Plantation House ~ Kapalua )
Dinner~Homemade salad~ see below, goat cheese crostinis ( sour dough baguettes, organic olive oil, Cypress salt, reduced Balsamic syrup )
Dessert. small slice of Key Lime cake
*Chopped salad*~ for 2 or 3 as a Main VEGAN
Romaine chopped about 4 cups
garden grown rainbow chard chopped about 2 cups
garden grown opal basil handful
cherry tomatoes 1 cup
chopped hearts of palm 1 cup
organic white kidney beans 1 cup
sunflower sprouts 1 cup
1/3 C Paul Newman's olive oil vinaigrette with squeeze of lemon ( my boyfriend didn't care for the extra lemon ).
TOSS

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Size 0? Not for me anymore.......


Yesterday was Friday the 13th. I spent the most the day chilling with my all black kitty cat. I was still feeling a bit strange? Sort of like PMS. Anyways, I'm hoping it will pass soon because I'm starting to get annoyed....
Friday was a work day. However, I spend about 2 hours in the a.m. ( I worked at 4pm until 10 pm ) trying to find a wave to surf on.....no luck:-( Then I figured I would paddle the coastline but the trade winds were KICKING! So, out of complete frustration I decided just to go home a reorganize my closet. OH MY! did THAT turn into a project! With my bikini still on I started trying on everything I own. 3 hours later I had filled 3 large bags with clothing and shoes that I plan on taking to a local consignment store. I had a unique experience doing this too. Instead of feeling chubby and tossing things because they didn't fit. I was tossing things that were falling off me! I never thought I would ever in my life think this but in all honesty I could stand to gain a few pounds! I decided to jump on my rarely used scale and see what I weighed. 104.6 lbs. I took my measurements as well because I would like to see if my new workouts will add some inches. I think I would like to add a little roundness to the booty. Strengthen my legs and add some muscle to my back and arms.
Waist~23 1/8"
Left thigh~18 1/4"
Right thigh~18 3/4"
Hips~33 3/4"
I didn't do a chest measurement because my boobs have a mind of their own. I'm a 32 D and I don't think I can do much about that! LOL!
Diet~
Breakfast~Green Smoothie
Lunch~Quinoa Salad ( last of the leftovers from yesterday but still yummy!)
Dinner~Thai (vegan-no fish sauce ) Green Papaya Salad, 1 scoop Thai sticky rice with curry peanut sauce
2 glasses of red wine late night and a small Chocolate
NO exercise!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Workout Updates



Feeling kind of weird, tired, puffy? Maybe PMS?? lol! No, not yet. Anyways, I hit the gym tired yesterday after work. Today I still have low energy but I made some headway......
Feb. 11~
Elliptical Machine level 8
200 abdominal crunches
Weight machines
~shoulders
~triceps
~upper back
lots of stretching on a mat
Feb. 12
Surfing 1.5 hours 7'8" fun board~small waves 2ft.
Gym~
30 min. bike level 4
~100 crunches
Lots of stretching on a mat

*Diet Today*
Breakfast~Green Smoothie
Lunch~Lemon Quinoa salad
Dinner~Lemon Quinoa salad ( again! Had lots of leftovers )
sinful treat 3/4 of a Mauna Loa Chocolate and Macadamia nut bar
*Quinoa Salad * VEGETARIAN
Cooked Quinoa ( 1 cup dry ) add juice of one lemon and zest
1 drained can of Chickpeas or kidney beans ( organic )
chives chopped- small handful
chopped cilantro- large handful
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup golden raisins
Tahini vinaigrette dressing
TOSS and YUM
I was inspired to make this salad because of a beautiful receipt I found in Heidi Swanson's book "Super Natural Cooking" My version varies slightly because I had different ingredients on hand. I also added Feta....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dry Brushing to Coconuts


I wanted to comment on something that I have been doing a lot lately. This has been dry brushing. I've been reading quite a bit about the benefits of dry brushing your skin with a natural bristled brush before bathing. Basically you are slothing off old dead skin cells and buffing your skin out. I start with my feet and work my way up the body. It feels really good! It has some stimulating effects to it as well. Another thing I've been in the process of doing is slowly replacing my cleaning and beauty products with natural, cruelity free and biodegradable alternatives. And I have to say ( and surprised ) I really do like them much better. I also noticed that they smell much nicer too ( lavender, rose and tea tree etc. )
Another thing that I have been doing is replacing all my plastic with glass. I've been recycling old pasta and salsa jars, cleaning and stripping the old label away and using them to store all sorts of things in my pantry or in my bathroom cabinets. It made managing my shopping list much easier because everything is so organized and now "see through" Plus, they just plain look cool:-)
*Receipt of the day*~ I've made this for dinner last night and had it for lunch today
*Vegan Thai Coconut Soup*-makes a large batch ( can be cut in half ) VEGAN
1 quart Vegetable broth~I use water and vegan bouillon
1 can coconut milk ~ I use full fat because I like the creamier texture
2 inches of ginger root sliced thin

5 cloves garlic minced- or more if you want
2 TB organic soy sauce or shoyu
juice of 1 large juicy lemon
8 keffir lime leaves-torn ( pretty important flavor if you can get them ) I have a tree in my yard
3 inches crushed lemon grass~tender end of stalk only ( optional )
2 TB local organic honey/or agave ( add more if you like it sweeter )
two large handfuls of sliced mushrooms
8oz extra firm organic tofu
1 thinly sliced carrot

1 can organic baby corn
1 thai chili halved ( or 1 TB of Red Curry Paste )
2 large handfuls of thai basil
I simmer everything together on med. heat for about 15-20 min, sometimes I brown the tofu first in a skillet. I add the basil when I take it off the heat. Adding chopped cilantro is good too. This is awesome and my man keeps telling me its the best soup he's ever had. By the way he adds a big scoop of Jasmine rice to his. FYI*this tastes even better the next day:-) xoxoxo









Mondays....


I have been spending the last two days NOT working out. I'll have to admit that on Monday the 9th I was very sore....my legs, butt and back from this weekend's ups hill hikes. I had actually planned on making Monday a "rest" day because I was planning on going to a friend's "Moving off Island"party ( having lots of those kinds of parties these days )after work. I had my usual Green Smoothie and I had a yummy salad for lunch ( romaine, spinach, golden raisins, pecans, vinaigrette and a small amount of Blue Cheese ). Then, I went to party around 6pm and had two glasses of white wine before I ate. For dinner I ordered a Quesadilla ( feta cheese, spinach on a spinach tortilla ) and, not too much later I noticed a pretty strong headache coming on. I do like to drink wine...In fact most nights of the week I have a glass or 2 of wine. I hate beer and unless it's a margarita I rarely have hard liquor. I've actually made it a goal of mine to start limiting the wine I drink to maybe half the nights of the week. I am starting to worry about the effects of alcohol on my body such as increasing my risk for breast cancer and the amount of empty calories and sugar it adds to my diet. Anyways, my point being, I'm wondering if having wine on an empty stomach and on a day full of mostly fruit and vegetables caused my headache? I never got any better and I ended up having 2 Excedrines ( which I'm sort of addicted too and I'm trying to cut out as well )
So, Tuesday the 10th I felt hung over all day? Yuck....not fun. I had run out of ingredients to make my smoothie but I had a yummy Green Papaya Salad, some Thai sticky rice and a few squares of dark chocolate for lunch and I still did not feel any better. I resorted to 2 more Excedrines ( bad bad bad ) and made an appointment for a 60 min massage after work.
*By the way....I LOVE getting a massage......I have no problem spending the money for them. I love all spa treatments. In fact the first chance I get I want to go on holiday at some resort that specializes in just that!*
So, needless to say, I didn't do any sort of physical activity yesterday either although the massage helped my minor hangover. I also skipped the vino last night and went to bed early-ish. I think Monday is a classic reason for why I would like to cut back on wine. Don't get me wrong....I love it......I'm from Northern California and grew up around it. I spend my vacation time in wine countries ( Argentina and Australia ) to see family and I will always enjoy a beautiful Aussie Shiraz or a New Zealand Sauv Blanc. However, feeling healthy is much more important to me now. Today is the 11th. I feel 100% better and I do plan on being much more productive ( as soon as i can get out of my Art Gallery ) xoxo

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Plan


Yesterday, February 6 was my boyfriends 38th birthday. Recently both he and I have been discussing what we want to be doing with ourselves in the next 10 yrs. Besides some obvious discussion relating to our career paths the other topics focused around travel. We both share an incredible passion of wanting to see the world. We also share a common interest in surfing and all water sports in general and we want to be able to continue these activities into our 40's and beyond. I came across an article online about training into your 40's. The article featured big wave and local Maui surfer Laird Hamilton who is currently 44 years old. Laird has always amazed me and not only for his surfing abilities but also because of his pure dedication to being an all around athlete. He windsurfs, stand up paddles, snowboards, bikes up mountains (like 10,000 ft. Haleakala) weekly and surfs 60ft waves. In order for him to continue these sports in spite of age takes training....A LOT of training ( daily ). I can not help but be inspired by his workouts. For the most part, they seem to be focused on circuit training. Although he does spend time in a traditional gym with weights. His workouts seem to be centered around stand up paddling, weighted bike rides up hills and many other balancing techniques using an exercise ball. I really don't have the desire or need to workout 5+ hrs a day but I think I'd like to really change some things up. First of all, I have been debating on purchasing a Stand Up paddle board for about 2 yrs now. I think it's about time I just do it. I love the idea that I can get out on the ocean and on a surf board when there are no swells in town ( common esp. in the summer! ) I also like the idea of paddling on my stomach more often for distance paddles, and bike riding. Most importantly I think I HAVE to incorporate some sort of yoga or Pilates class 2+ times a week to focus on my core and flexibility.
Lucky for me, my partner wants to kick start his workouts as well and is more than willing to join me ( I hope ). About a 1 1/2 yrs ago he and I travelled down to Australia for a month. We had planned for it to be a surf trip but we got skunked on waves. However, it still turned out to be one of the best vacations of our lives because Australia just happens to have the best food in the world! So, Our holiday turned out to be all about dining out and it was great!! Unfortunately, for my sexy man after 4 weeks of fine dining, wine and countless desserts packed on about 20 lbs. Lucky for him he's 6'2" and it is barely noticable. A year later we did the same thing in Argentina and needless to say he's still about 20 lbs heavier than he wants to be. So, this was actually the point of why I was researching the "aging athlete" in the first place. I myself gained about 3 lbs on our trips but then again I think I have a bit more restraint! hahaha. Anyways, I'm happy to know we are on the same page. Travelling the world and surfing for years to come is going to require us to be more disciplined with our daily habits.....I'm looking forward to upping the ante:-)
So, yesterday....I did my normal 40 minutes ( level 7 ) of the elliptical machine but then I added 20 minutes ( level 5) on a stationary bike. I then proceeded to work my shoulders, upper back, abs and triceps with weight machines.
Today, we did a 3 mile hike with lots of steep hills into Maui's west mountains and I did another 40 mins on the elliptical machine followed by 200 crunches.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back to the Gym......

So recently I have been REALLY slacking on my workouts. In my defense I will have to say that it has been primarily due to illness. I went surfing on a New Years day with a tiny pimple ( on my booty! ) but by dinner time it had turned into a mean looking boil. 2 days later I ended up in the urgent care clinic with MRSA Staph......Anyways, I highly recommend not catching this mean bug. I'll spare you the icky details and let you just google the infection on your own but in a nut shell it REALLY sucked and worst, I gave it to my man......Who knows how I got it??? It could have been from anywhere, the gym, work, the ocean? Who cares... I got it somehow......Well, 3 weeks later my wound was finally healed and then I caught a head cold......So, far '09 has been off to a shaky start.
So, this brings me to today. I finally got back into the gym! Ya!! I typically do 40 minutes on level 7 on the Elliptical machine ( with moving handle bars ) and then I do 200 crunches with my legs at a 90 degree angle on a bench. I always do my stomach crunches first because I hate them. Once I finish that I go on to upper body weights. Today I just worked my shoulders and back. I honestly feel like I did a medium effort workout this evening but I expected that after almost a month off.....( can't believe it was that long! )
I also dealt with something minor today as well.......I usually make my Super Green Smoothie every morning but I ran out of spinach yesterday and I could not get to the store last night. So, I went into work today ( without my smoothie but with my man ) and he wanted to stop at Starbucks. I don't drink coffee anymore but I was drawn into these big doughy looking cheese laced baguettes. I was hungry so I ordered one heated up....I was half way done with it when it started to lose it's appeal but I finished it anyways. I felt kind of gross afterwards too. My point is this.... back in my "bigger" days this would have triggered a interesting result. I would have said, "Screw it! I blew it already so I'm going to eat crappy food all day long" However, now, without much thought.....I go right back to eating healthy. For lunch I ordered a Thai Green Papaya salad and veggie summer rolls wrapped in cold rice paper. For dinner I had a big salad of dried cranberries, pecans, Anjou pears, romaine lettuce and a simple olive oil vinaigrette ( and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ).
You know, having a white flour cheese baguette at 9 am is not the worst thing in the world. I mean, I will probably look exactly the same tomorrow as I did today when I woke up but the issue is this. I feel like crap these days when I eat this sort of "fluffy food". I couldn't wait to eat a crispy green lunch to hopefully cancel out my heavy breakfast. It's so nice to eat this way now...it's so refreshing to eat certain things for health reasons and not because they WON'T make my thighs big....I really feel that this is the key ingredient into what I was missing in all my "diets" when I was younger and so much heavier. This is also why I feel that pushing myself to stick to a vegan diet instead of a vegetarian diet will make me feel even better in the long run. I also love how raw light foods feel after I consume them. I want to feel like this all the time. I do see a Raw Vegan diet in my near future....Aloha

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yummy Winter Dish

I came across some colorful carrots yesterday while at a local natural food store. They came in bunches of dark purple, orange, red and yellow and looked very fresh! I grabbed some and figured I'd make a dish with them for dinner. I did, and I think it came out REALLY well. All the herbs I used came from my own small garden too! I don't think the following receipt is all that original but here it is anyways:-)
*ROASTED ROOT VEGGIES* VEGAN
pre-heat oven to 425F
1 large Yam cut into 1" cubes
2 small Okinawan potatoes cut into 1" cubes
1 large Maui onion chopped into thick pieces
2 apples cut into 1"cubes
handful of chopped fresh herbs ( sage, rosemary and lemon thyme )
couple Tbs of organic olive oil
1/4 C organic balsamic vinegar
couple pinches of sea salt and pepper to taste.
***I mixed all of these ingredients with my hands and placed them in a large glass baking dish. They took about 45 minutes to roast ( I checked on them about every 20 mins or so and tossed the veggies with a spoon )
-I then cooked up some Quinoa and added some dried cranberries and golden raisins to it. Everything was great and I had a lot extra for my lunch today and probably tomorrow:-) Enjoy
!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Green Smoothies


Over the last few years I started looking into a living food diet. I've been a vegetarian for many years and I have been becoming increasingly intolerant to dairy. So, it was probably just a matter of time before I would stumble upon the popular Raw Food Diet. A Raw Food Diet consists of living foods ( vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts and sprouts ). These living foods have not been heated past 118 degrees F. The verdict still seems to be out on the exact temperature that food's enzymes start to die. I actually hear everything from 108-118 degrees F these days so don't hold me to this. Anyways, I could go on and on about the information I have gathered on this particular way to eat but what I really want to do is point out how I've been incorporating some of these theories into my current diet.
At the end of summer my boyfriend and I decided to invest in a Vita-Mix 5200. We came upon a deal at Costco one day and grabbed one ( they are not cheap ). Since August, I think I've been using it almost daily. Most mornings I make a "Green Smoothie". When studying raw foods you seem to read a lot about the importance of eating and juicing green veggies. I tried many different combos of green leafed veggies and fruits until I came across a good one. The biggest challenge I found was reducing the price of my daily smoothie. I think I was mixing too many ingredients in the first month. So... now I narrowed it down to the basics. Here's my current receipt. It varies a little ( usually the fruit part ) but I nurse one of these everyday for breakfast and it keeps me full until lunch. The biggest improvement I noticed is my zero need for a morning coffee!
*Green Smoothie* ( I eyeball all amounts and buy organic whenever possible ) RAW VEGAN
2 Cups Coconut water
3 large hand fulls of Spinach, Kale, or cilantro ( or a mix of all 3 )
juice of one lemon
1 apple
1 inch slice fresh ginger
2-3 packets of Stevia ( natural sweetener )

Blend all ingredients in Vita Mix or powerful blender until smooth. I like to freeze the bananas or papayas overnight to make the smoothie even creamier.....yum:-)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Story


I've been working on my diet and workout routine for as long as I can remember. When I was in my teens I seemed to always be struggling with my weight. When I went to college the struggle got even worst. My heaviest was 142 lbs. ( I'm 5'5" now but 5'3" at the time) and I was very curvy. I could never figure out what the secret was to trim down and I tried everything......I worked out all the time, I was a vegetarian, then I went 2 yrs on the Atkins diet. I did the cabbage soup diet, I took Dexatrim, drank Slim Fast, I starved myself ( that was dumb), I did a diet where I ate nothing but fruit until noon. Then I did another where I didn't eat anything past 5pm. Any weight I would lose I would just gain right back. I was constantly frustrated until finally I just gave in. I think I was about 23 yrs old. I figured that I was going to learn to love my thicker thighs, my DD cup bras and bigger booty. I started to focus on other things like saving to buy a house, getting back into surfing and studing interior decorating. I started to forget about my weight, what I was eating and at what time I was eating it at. I started to eat when I was hungry and not when I wasn't. I started to cook again and fall back into my vegetarian diet because I liked it the best. And then the strangest thing happened......I lost about 30 lbs over the course of about 2 years. So, this brings me to today. I'm 32 ( 33 this coming April ) and I've maintained my trimmer size without much stress for about 10 years now. I'm actually even a bit smaller these days but I don't think that what I weight now or what size I am is that important. What is important is the life style changes I made. Diets never work. You have to change your habits instead and this takes time. I can honestly look back and see that I made positive changes in my diet and physical activity over these years and the result has been a more athletic and trim physique. I'm far from perfect. However, I've learned to forgive myself when I eat junk or get lazy. Instead of losing weight these days my focus has been health, strength and endurance. I also want to eat more locally and shift from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet. I'd even be interested to explore Raw/Living foods more and new ways to supplement my workouts by concentrating on my core and flexibility. Anyways, mahalo for taking the time to check out my blog. I'm hoping to use it as a journal so I can track my own progress and maybe as a result it will motivate someone else along the way. Aloha