Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Testimonial

This is my testimonial to my trainer Ramin Robinson and gym BSCC - Basic Strength and Conditioning Center.

After losing a lot of weight and transforming my body and mind I kept searching for more ways to continually improve myself. I had started at a regular gym and then got interested in crossfit. During my crossfit journey I met Ramin Robinson aka Roby. Roby's knowledge and expertise stood out right away to me. So I asked him if he would train me. We have been training so long now I have lost track of time but I would say it's been at least a year and a half, probably longer. I continue to make tremendous improvements physically and mentally. Even after all this time it is still fun. I am always learning new and exciting things. Today I mostly just focus on olympic weightlifting which I never would of pictured myself competing in. When I started I was barely able to snatch 95lbs and now can do reps of 130lbs. My clean and jerk has gone from 135lbs to 180lbs. The improvement in weight doesn't even begin to show my improvements in my technique and mental game. I have finally gotten to the point where I believe in myself. Roby has helped me find my way to a clearer and more stable mind. To a happier me. This is the kind of happiness I hope others will find in their life. The hardest part is taking the first step. BSCC is a great gym. They are like family to me and offer tremendous support and encouragement. Take it from somebody who has made the transformation already, those are necessities to have in your life when making a change. Whatever your goals BSCC is a place that can make those dreams become reality.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our past shapes our future

"We would not be where we are today without where we have been"

There is not one second of my past I would take back. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for the things I have been through. Me and my husband would not be where we are today if it wasn't for our journey together to change our lives. To find our place in this world and to prepare for our future. We have been through joy and hardships together. We have grown from each and every moment as individuals and a couple. This before and after picture was me from March 2009 to June 2009. This was really where the beginning of my life change began. This was when I finally realized what was possible. When I was overweight and miserable I had no idea how bad things really were until I found out how good things really could be.




This next picture is of my husband from November 2010 to February 2010. 






This transformation doesn't even begin to show the complete transformation. At this point in his life he had lost 100lbs. Can you imagine going through something like that? I have to say I really only had to loose about 50lbs to find my happy place and that in itself took so much hard work and dedication. I really congratulate the ones to have had to lose even more in their journey. The thing is though is it can be done. So many have transformed their life and you learn along the way this isn't just a physical transformation. It changes your body and your mind. There are psychological reasons why we end up overweight in the first place.


These next pictures are me and my husband Randy when we first moved to Seattle in July 2008. This was about 3 1/2 years ago. Our changes have not just been about weight loss but the weight loss has changed us. It is something we will never forget. If you look at us in these pictures we look like we are on the verge of having a heart attack. How would I of lived long enough to have kids and watch them grow? Would my kids then turned out to be overweight and miserable in their lives taking after me and my husband? What would life have been like if we had continued on the road we were on?

 I know most of my blog I talk about my journey to health and happiness. Even though me and my husband have been in this journey together we have had to find ourselves before we could find the true happiness together. If you are not happy you can't be happy with someone else.
So now looking at our transformation......what looks different? Do we look happier? Healthier? All of the above for sure. You can tell a difference in every part of us down to our skin and our smiles. Being healthy has a look to it. I can now look at someone and tell whether they are healthy or not. This is where I would like to say our journey to happiness has really begun. There are so many exciting things to come. And now I know for sure when I have kids I will raise them from the beginning to learn from my past. To develop healthy habits from the beginning of life. It doesn't mean they are not going to make mistakes of their own because we all do. But at least I am in a better position to show them they way and give them the life they deserve. Me and my husbands life will be better then ever as we continue on our road to health and happiness.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Post Competition: Feeling the Zone

So last Saturday was competition day. It was actually my 1 yr anniversary of competing in olympic weightlifting. Makes it even more special considering it felt like one of the best days of my life. I am still feeling the high from it.


 

I pretty much covered what I was changing with my last blog post before the competition but I took what I have found doesn't work in preparation and eliminated those things. I eliminated negativity from my thoughts. I eliminated numbers. All I did was try to take deep breaths and tell myself I could do it. It was just another day of lifting. I tried to smile and take it in. When I stepped up to the bar I focused on my feet and hand placement then let my body take over. That is why the only part of the lift I remember is the beginning and the end. After placing my hands on that bar all thoughts were eliminated. I was taken somewhere else. I just tried to focus. To take myself away.....which in turn got me out of my own way. It is so true that we can be our own worst enemies. Saturday I didn't even care about the medal. I achieved victory in every possible way with myself. I feel like that happiest person alive.



I realized after this competition that I had never failed before. I was just struggling. Every time I missed a lift, every time I had a bad competition I thought I failed. You are not a failure until you give up trying. Once you come to understand that it takes so much pressure off. Now I feel so relieved. I feel like something has clicked inside physically and mentally. All my hard work is starting to pay off. I know it doesn't mean things are going to be easy from here on out because that is so not true. But a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I finally believe in myself. If I miss a lift now I just move on and try my best to fix it and get the next one. I don't feel like a failure anymore. I know I can do it.


All this time I have talked about the zone and feeling bits and pieces of it. I felt it more then ever before at this last competition. It feels like you are on drugs but you are not. So did I have to work a little to stay there? Of course. After the snatch my body ached all over. I felt exhausted. My trainer instructed me I was not there to be tired. I was there to lift. Being tired comes after the meet. So I just stared straight ahead and waited for my time to lift. I kept telling myself you can do this over and over again like I was in a trance. Something must of worked because as soon as I got out to that platform and touched that bar again it was on. It is just the most incredible thing and I almost can't even explain it fully in words. This is what changing your life is all about. My journey just keeps getting better.


Here are the two videos I have from the competition. Yes they are side ways but hey I am a weightlifter not a videographer and rotating does not seem to be coming easy. It works just as well though if you enlarge the video and turn your computer sideways or turn your head sideways and it will look perfect. The video on the top is of my last clean and jerk which was 180lbs but it just so happens there was a jerk attempt and nothing seemed to come of it. But considering that was the only thing I missed that day I couldn't be anymore pleased with myself and to be honest it seemed I didn't have too much trouble standing up with that weight except for a little elbow dropping. It didn't really matter that I missed that last jerk. The second video is of one of my jerks that was taken after I already cleaned the weight.

video video

Friday, October 14, 2011

Competiton Day

 Quote of the day:
 "My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you'll win....Channel your energy. Focus." 
 - Carl Lewis

Tomorrow is the big race......tomorrow is competition day for me. This is a day I have been struggling with. What is struggle? Well I guess in this situation struggle to me is about finding out what doesn't work. Figuring out how to make it better the next time. Until one day what was a struggle before now just clicks. When something clicks does that mean we will not struggle again? Absolutely not. Dealing with struggles is forever. It is about making ourselves better. I would not be the person or be where I am today without the struggles I have gone through. They have helped to shape me.....to make me better in every possible way.

So what do I tell myself before competition? Ok.... so, I haven't narrowed it down yet to something I tell myself every time that I know works. But I do know what my problems have been and what should work. First of all negative thoughts. These never work. They will always try to come around but replacing these with something positive because if you are thinking positive you can't think negative at the same time. Those have to be gone. The only way is to believe in yourself and your abilities. To find the power inside of you. I know I can do this!

Next is controlling energy. Nervousness is energy. It can be good and it can also be bad. You want just enough to be balanced. Being too nervous means you will not be able to concentrate. For me it means I will be moving fast not controlled. That would not work. Olympic lifting is all about being smooth and controlled. If I start my first pull of the barbell off too fast the chances of me not making that lift are a lot higher. I know what works. Starting the lift slow and smooth makes the whole lift successful.

Another thing is not introducing anything new. Most competitions I have usually gotten a chiropractor adjustment the day before. This time I am not making any changes. Getting an adjustment is a change in your body, it can cause inflammation and I need my body to be how it is used to being right now. Last competition I brought myself some tea. I had so much doubt in myself that I thought a little tazo focus tea would bring my mind right where it needed to be. Well that didn't work. The truth is I am the only one that can bring my mind where it needs to be. Another thing is food. I usually bring a peanut butter and jelly or honey sandwich with me to competition. It is easier but the truth is I never eat that. No changes means doing things the way I usually do them on a daily basis. Eating what I normally eat. Lately I have not been eating any complex carbs. I have been eating lots of protein, a ton of veggies including mostly green leafy vegetables (lots of kale since it has the highest nutrient content), some dairy, some fruit and healthy fats.

I am still getting over being sick for over a week but luckily have made tremendous improvement. Just started to get my energy back this week. Only thing lingering now is a stuffy nose. Tuesday in training I conquered one of my struggles. I have been off and on able to snatch 130lbs for a long time. That has been my max on the snatch. On Tuesday I snatched 130lbs 3 times. It felt nothing like a max lift. It felt smooth. It felt great. See I can do it. Will I never miss 130lbs again? No of course not. But I can also get it. I can go beyond it. If we keep trying we will surpass. That day I kept thinking of how I kept missing the weight. I was frustrated. I walked outside and looked at a fountain at work. I repeated a quote to myself...."You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" ~ Wayne Gretzky. I told myself it was no big deal. That it would happen and I just have to keep trying. See I took the pressure off myself and later that day it happened. I had no thoughts of missing I just went out there and gave it everything I had. That day everything I had was more then good enough. 


So now that I know what doesn't work. I am going to do what I know does. I am going to give it all I got and with that I can't lose. I am going to believe in myself. I am going to have fun. Treasure the moments. I am going to stay calm and focused. I am going to smile. And in the end it will be a great day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So Why Olympic Weightlifting?

Here is a question I was thinking about to myself. After I became fit and changed my life I had to find my path in fitness. It kind of took me all different directions at first. It started off maybe body building. Then I started to realize how strong I was and how I loved intense workouts and I got interested in crossfit. Of course at that time I had the games in site. I wanted to be the next crossfit games champion. During my crossfit experience I noticed my technique had a lot to be desired and I wasn't going to move any further ahead unless I fixed it quick before I developed anymore bad habits. So I hired my trainer who I have been with since. He introduced me to the world of olympic weightlifting.  Now just in case you don't know what olympic weightlifting is.....it involves two lifts. It consists of the snatch and the clean and jerk. In competition you have 3 attempts for each lift to lift as much as you can. They combine your best lift in each to equal your total score. What happens in the snatch is you take the barbell from the ground to an overhead position and stand up with it. On the clean and jerk you take the barbell from the ground to the shoulders, stand up with it, then take it from your shoulders to overhead. So ultimately the clean and jerk consists of two different lifts. These lifts are full body movements and trust me look easier then they are.

So now going back to the question......why olympic weightlifting? I think every sport is hard in some way. Some sports maybe easier then others or better suited for certain people. I am sure I don't have the ideal body type for olympic weightlifting. I know for sure I don't have the ideal mindset. I have strength but in this sport just having strength is not enough. Of course doing some powerlifting competitions would probably be a bit easier. Nothing against powerlifting it is great and has it's own challenges by far. My goal for myself is to be the best I can be in my life and to continue to push myself to always be better. So why even compete at all? If I ask myself.....is it fun? Well yes of course there are a lot of fun moments but it is also very stressful and of course the most fun when you are doing well. Do we always do well? Not at all. Another thing to look at is do we only do something because it is fun? Is life always fun? I had someone say to me the other day..."hey! don't you go to my gym?" I said "I probably used to but don't go to that gym anymore." They said "I saw you always doing crazy stuff like box jumps....I could never do that" My response "yes you can!" Their response "No, I can't! I am afraid of heights." So all this rambling on brings me to one point. We can do anything we set our minds to. We have to conquer our fears and before we know it we won't be scared anymore.

For me olympic weightlifting has a lifetime or at least many years of pushing me to be stronger physically and mentally. To be honest the biggest success I am looking forward to conquering one day is my mind. I almost think that will be so much more rewarding then the physical part and from what I have learned about the mind it can even help you overcome a lot of physical weaknesses if you use it right. The body cannot function without the mind. Especially in olympic weightlifting were the movement has to flow. It has to be put together just right. If one little thing is off the lift is off and chances are that lift will not be successful.

If you want to see a lot of people overcoming their weaknesses and fears you should watch the biggest loser. Now I am sure this show has its faults but it is really a great show overall. These people go onto the show at the end of their rope. More weaknesses then you can imagine. They walk off transformed and confident in themselves. It is really amazing the life changes that take place.

So will I ever change sports? Perhaps one day but not for a while. I am very satisfied and have some things I want to accomplish and achieve in olympic weightlifting. Until then I am going to keep plugging away. This sport is very challenging and sometimes you feel like you are going nowhere. At that point you have to find the power within.

What challenges you in your life? What are your goals?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Study time

I know I have not written much in the past week but I have had to dedicate my extra time to studying my crossfit certification material for this weekend. Yes that means after this weekend I will hopefully be a crossfit certified trainer! Ok now I looked back at what I just typed and got it wrong already. Here goes.....I will be a crossfit certified trainer! See how I changed that around. There is no thinking there is doing when it comes to be successful. Set you mind to something and go for it. See the only reason that statement came out like that is because there is a test involved. And I am one of those lucky people that get to experience test anxiety. You know heart racing, self doubt, all that good stuff. What is very interesting though and my husband has witnessed this through my nursing school experience. Every time I had to take a test and doubted all my abilities to pass it I ended up coming through in the end with flying colors. So why doubt ourselves? Ok, I could understand it you are thinking of jumping off a building.....that might be a good time to bring in all the doubt you have inside of you. But truly we need to believe in ourselves. Maybe not as much as Muhammad Ali who stated "I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was". But you also have to look at the fact that Muhammad was a champion. Something to be said about his self confidence and where it got him in his life. He got to the top. Where do you want to be?

We all need to be the change we want to see. I want to see people live healthier happier lives so that is what I am doing with myself. You lead by example and people will want to follow guaranteed. That is the only way to lead. Do you look at others and think "boy, I would sure like to be like that"? Well what stopping you. The hardest part is taking the first step. Ok so I have gotten off track once again but that is me. My husband said my mind is spaztastic. I think this is a new word we should add to the dictionary because there must be others with minds like mine that just keep going and going. So keep following your dreams and I will keep you updated on my certification this weekend. Very exciting! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cooking for health: Don't forget your veggies!

Today I did a google search for healthy recipes. Now I am not sure who determines what is healthy and what is not but I had to say to myself are you kidding?! The recipes that came up were not at all what I should be eating and of course all seem to take a lot of effort to make. Ok, so I am figuring out there isn't a way to make being healthy effortless or at least if there is I haven't found it yet.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about vegetables lately and trying to figure out how to get more veggies into my diet and how to diversify it a little. When you buy veggies from the frozen section of the grocery store you don't have much of a selection to work with. Considering I have been healthy for a couple years now I am getting very sick of broccoli, carrots, spinach, peas, and green beans. I have been realizing I don't really know anything about the different veggies out there and their nutritional value.

Now I realize I may get off track at times but you will have to excuse me considering it is after 8pm and I am just eating dinner and yes it is close to my bedtime. Sleep is very important. So after work today I went for a massage. Then I had to figure out what is for dinner. I am already very relaxed and can't even imagine getting in front of the stove. Off to the grocery store I go (sometimes you have to force yourself to do things you don't feel like doing). Then I end up walking out of the grocery store with 5 bags of mostly fresh fruit and veggies with a few other odds and ends. They are not joking about healthy not being cheap. Over $100 later I am on my way home to figure out how to cook all this stuff. I have to say that on the way home I had all kinds of ideas going through my head on why I didn't want to cook anything and how I could just go out and get something or just go to bed which would not be good since I hadn't eaten in a while.

Let the cooking begin and let me start off by saying I still had dirty dishes from the last time I cooked. Yes I know not cool at all but give me a break I am still trying to figure out this how to do everything thing. The idea of a cleaning lady is sounding very nice but how can I afford that when I have to buy all this healthy food.

First things first and that is the veggies. Now I read an article on Web MD today about the best greens. One of the highest rated in nutritional value was kale. This is the veggie that we see as a garnish on the side of our plate but I definitely don't see anybody eating it. Doesn't exactly sound right that we are leaving something with the best nutrients and eating the stuff with hardly any.



So here they are kale, collard greens and ......some other leaf. Yes I have already forgotten. But who needs a name when you have a picture. Everything I have seen says wash really well. I also read somewhere to soak them and then rinse again. So I pulled a couple pieces off each one and soaked them while I got the other veggies started. I got my pan out and added some olive oil, roasted garlic, crushed ginger, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes. Later added the greens after they were washed and sliced. I cut the think stems off to help speed up cooking.


I also added a little rose wine while sauteing. I try not to drink very often and very much but I do like a little wine or a good beer occasionally. So I had about half a glass. Then the bad part is I have to pay full price for a bottle of wine and what do I do with the wine I don't drink. Time to experiment. I have to say it didn't turn out bad at all. I also sprinkled a little goat cheese on top.

Then my other idea was some whole wheat angle hair pasta with garlic, olive oil, and pesto. This was kind of turning into a disaster in the pot trying to mix these which means I must of done something wrong so I sucked it up and put a little on my plate and just put a little pesto on top with parmesan cheese. I pay a lot of attention to labels now so I found the pesto with the least amount of sodium possible. You have to watch out for these things. The pasta tasted excellent but wouldn't of won any prices for elegance.

Next I need some protein. I bought some chicken at the store but said forget it because I also had some already cooked in the fridge. I heated up my chicken and made a cucumber dill sauce. This is a greek thing I believe but not hard to make. Greek yogurt, dill, and chopped cucumber and you are good to go. If only everything was that easy.

Meal complete: It probably won't win any prizes and I know why would someone put greek and italian together but hey it is all fresh and homemade. Full with lots of nutrients.



It just goes to show sometimes we underestimate what we can do. Now I can go to sleep knowing I did it. I had a wonderful meal and I remained calm the whole time. Even though my massage probably helped a little.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Focusing on you

So are you the type of person that frequently compares yourself to someone else? This is not always a bad thing but it can be. For some, this drives them to make themselves better without bringing them down and holding them back in the process. For others, this could be what is keeping you from achieving your dreams. This could make someone feel inadequate and never happy with their accomplishments because they never match up to the person they are comparing themselves to.

First of all you have to figure out what type of person you are. I know I am the type of person that comparing myself to others will only hold me back. I am also the type of person that is usually never satisfied with my accomplishments because I always seem to want more. It never really seems to be good enough. I have definitely been making improvements on this in my life. But making changes in your life is not easy especially when you are used to being and doing things a certain way. It takes time of drilling the new way in to eventually make it part of you. The key is just not giving up. Making sure you congratulate yourself for your accomplishments. If you notice yourself doing something you shouldn't don't get angry at yourself just change it. Like me for instance if I notice myself thinking negative thoughts or comparing myself I just need to turn it around and say something positive. Tell myself how far I have come and remind myself I am exactly where I should be at this point and time. Remind myself to enjoy the moment. Don't set your expectations to high and miss the journey. It is the journey that shapes your life not the destination. The destination would be nothing without how you got there. And if you struggle more then others along the way to your destination it just makes it that much more commendable. Don't forget that happiness is a choice. You determine what kind of journey you will have in life. Keep dreaming and believing in yourself. Make sure you enjoy the little things along the way.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Congrats Mom!

For maybe a few months or so I have been giving my mom a few tips about how to change her diet and exercise and make it better. She has been wanting to get rid of that unwanted belly fat everybody dreams about. The hard part about the belly is it is one of the last things to go. When I started losing weight I started to notice it in my extremities first, then it worked its way in. At one moment my body looked a bit deformed from my perspective at least. It is a slow process if you do it right and it takes a lot of time and dedication.



My mom has been doing fantastic with her diet and increasing her amount of exercise. She works a couple jobs and is still able to get the workout in and prepare her food for the day. When she started the process a couple months or less ago she weighed 154lbs. Now she weight 139lbs and still going. I just wanted to send a shout out to her and her great efforts. Keep up the good work mom and I am proud of you!

Remember you can do it to. If you are having trouble accomplishing your goals find support. I wouldn't of been able to change my life without great support from others. That was the ticket for me. You can find support from family, friends or by hiring a personal trainer. I know it can get expensive but remember you are worth it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Update

So here is the story. I am suffering from a case of writers block. Every time I come up with some great ideas and things to say as soon as I sit down I can't seem to get them down in writing. I am sure glad writing isn't where I make my living because I can see how that would be very stressful and it seems the harder you try to think of something the worse it is.

So training is going really well I PR'd on my clean and jerk with 200lbs! Ok so no that is a lie but things have been going really well in practice. After the competition I PR'd on my clean at 185lbs....it wasn't very pretty but hey I stood up with it. Snatch has been a bit more of a struggle with 130lbs getting the best of me instead of me getting the best of it. But as they say patience. Which means I am going to chill out and keep chipping away and let it come. One of the biggest problems is when the weight gets heavy I think I need to change how I lift it. Instead of continuing to pull it very slow off the ground like it's supposed to be done I decide pulling as fast as possible will definitely help. Well it seems that is not the case. You need to save your explosion for the top otherwise you will have nothing left when you get to that point and guess what that bar won't be going anywhere. Tuesday I struggled with my clean a bit for the first time but I think it was more mental then anything. My mind felt so good the whole practice. Really wasn't thinking about anything and all of a sudden 1 lift didn't go exactly right so I started thinking about what I needed to do to fix it. Very wrong. During training is not the time to start thinking about what you are doing wrong it is the time to think about what you need to be doing right. After you finish you can think about those things you need to fix. When you think about something you are doing wrong your mind doesn't comprehend how you are thinking about it it just thinks you need to do that thing you are thinking about if that makes any since. But I feel my squats are getting stronger and technique is getting better. What more can you ask for? I will continue to keep working hard on my body and my mind. It will be a life long journey but I know I can do it.

So onto my cooking. I did try some other recipes but decided it might be kind of boring if all I put on here was recipes. I want my blog to be diversified and include helpful information. After the chili I had also made some double chocolate cookies. I know what you are thinking this doesn't sound anything like what I should be eating but it was a treat and they were healthy. Well as healthy as a cookie could get. Made with brown rice flour, coconut oil and not a whole lot of sugar. They still tasted very good just not as sweet as a regular cookie but didn't feel as guilty and weight has still been around 150lbs. I also made some banana walnut muffins and then I think I got too frustrated, it was time for a break. The fact is you don't have to get so crazy about it. Don't be like me and let the spaz come out. I got all freaked out about cooking until I realized I don't have to cook a fancy meal everyday. It doesn't have to be stressful it can be fun. The food certainly tasted a lot better then the plain chicken and veggies I normally eat almost everyday. So how can that be bad? I finally figured out how to relax again and it feels great. Remember don't let life get the best of you. Most things aren't worth getting worked up about in the first place. Think about this quote below a little....I am sure you have heard of it. This can be used in all aspects of life. If you have no control over something why let it mess up your life. You are how you react.

  "Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."
 
- known as the serenity prayer

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cooking for health: Turkey three bean chili

First of all let me start off with the fact that this cooking stuff is very hard work. It is very clear why most people don't or can't do it......now I hesitate with the word can't because I don't think it is a very good word. We ultimately can do whatever we put out mind to doing. If you have a very busy life you may need to be a little more organized in your planning and preparing. But there is no doubt that being healthy takes a lot of time, patience and money.

On that note lets move on to my chili which was one of the least disastrous things I have cooked this weekend. I took the recipe again from the Whole life nutrition cookbook, which means pretty soon I am going to need to find another cook book if I am going to want some new ideas. It is under the three bean chili recipe but I decided to add ground turkey and used a few ideas from the vegetarian chipotle chili recipe. I have to say actually cooking recipes equals a lot of trips to the grocery store and people looking at you funny when you ask them if they have something with a funny name such as kombu. It turns out kombu is a sea vegetable that contains glutamic acid which helps to tenderize and breakdown the indigestible, gas producing sugars in beans (information obtained from whole life nutrition cookbook).

Step 1:  I started the beans soaking the night before but it was pretty late. I would of put all the beans together until my husband said the black beans would of turned everything black and should be soaked separately. I actually let the beans soak until the next day until early afternoon.

Step 2:  I drained the water off the beans and rinsed well. Put them all in a pot with 8 cups water with some kombu. Simmered for 1 1/2 hours.


Step 3:  I used another pot and put on medium heat. Added 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 whole onion chopped. Sauteed for about 5 mins, then added 2 tbsp crushed garlic, 5 carrots sliced, 1 green pepper chopped, 2 zucchini's sliced, 1 tbsp cumin and chili powder,  2 tbsp oregano, 1 cup cilantro chopped, and I also added my own creation some chipotle red pepper (so yes this is some SPICY chili). I sauteed this for over a couple mins since I was chopping while sauteing so it ended up cooking longer then the instructions.



Step 4: I added diced tomatoes 28 oz, tomato sauce 14 oz, beans and water they were cooked in and 1 pack of browned ground turkey. I simmered this for about 25 minutes. Didn't add the herbamare yet but thought about adding it when I serve a bowl. Just a little to taste.

Let me tell you a little about herbamare, which is an herb salt spice and I had to go to 3 different stores to find it. Finally found it at tops food store. The only place I found kombu was tacoma boys in puyallup but it was in a soup packet so I bought that and just used the kombu.


My goal is to serve it over a little brown rice but this may take a while since I just burned my first attempt. Now you would think that would be the easiest thing to fix but when you are too busy trying to clean up the mess you made with all the cooking you kinda forget about checking what is on the stove.

Let me end this by saying how exhausted I am now and this is my weekend off. I am sure for an experienced cook it may not take so much out of them but for me this is very challenging. I have more recipes to come but that will have to be after a little relaxation time since I do have to go back to work tomorrow. At least I have a lot of leftovers building up so I will be able to use this during the week. I really do like cooking this really healthy food for myself but wonder how I will keep up. It also makes me think about the fact that I want to have kids in a few years and I want them to be healthy from the start. If I have trouble keeping up with myself how in the world will I keep up with kids. I will just take a big deep breath and keep moving on. Life doesn't have to be so overwhelming. Learning how to stay more relaxed in intense situations I am sure will save me from being quite so exhausted. As with everything in life including my workouts I use a lot more energy then is actually needed. Just one more thing to work on getting better at.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cooking for health: chicken strips, sweet potato fries, and carrots

Here is another one of my stressful cooking moments. Now I have been thinking about it and for some reason I decide to make moments stressful instead of enjoyable. I am not sure why we (now I say we because I hope there are others out there with the same problem), like to think only about the negative things that happen. For instance my training on Thursday. I felt like I had a great training session and my mind felt clear. There was one thing that went wrong. I couldn't snatch 130lbs! And you know out of an hour training session that was the one thing I focused on. I didn't think about the fact that I snatched 125lbs beautifully or the fact that I squatted 215lbs after many reps. So last night now looking back at my cooking experience I am remembering it as a negative experience. I remember saying how hungry I was, how much I hated cooking, what a mess my kitchen was, the list goes on and on. The ending to the night was the only thing I enjoyed....yes this was eating the food! It seems if I don't eat on time I start to get a little edgy. So this means since I eat every 2 to 3 hours that could equal a lot of moments so feeding me would definitely be recommended. But since nobody else is going to feed me at this moment let me tell you how I fed myself.

When I typed out the title for this post I realized one thing that could of been improved upon my dinner last night. That is the fact that sweet potatoes and carrots are the same color. The meal probably would of been a little more well balance by picking a green vegetable but I had a craving for carrots.

We can start it off with the fact that I went to the grocery store hungry. Again this is a bad idea. All day at work I was planning on coming home and looking for a recipe to cook. So this means I got out of work had to come home and find the recipe and then go out to the grocery store. Of course there was not a parking spot in the whole lot so here I was waiting for someone to back out so I could steel their spot and I feel a bump on my car. Yes this nice gentleman decided to back out of his spot before I was out of the way. Considering this is my new car and I am madly in love with it. I got out of the car very nicely but the inside of me was about to bring out my old black belt skills. Luckily there really wasn't a mark on my car so I let him go without any bruises. Now I was reminded last night this is not using my zen like mindset. So I guess I have to get working on this a bit more. But now I am getting off track.......

I better keep these kicks on the mat and not the parking lot...Yes this is me!

So after walking around the store forever trying to find a spice they didn't have called Herbamare which I have learned is an organic herb seasoning salt. I had to settle for some italian seasoning. I did get my recipe out of a new book recommended by my naturopath called The whole life nutrition cookbook  by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS, CN. I went by the chicken nuggets recipe but decided it was easier to make strips.

Here goes: Preheated oven to 400 degrees F. Got 2 bowls out. Put 1/2 cup hemp milk in one bowl (soy could also be used or if you are a 100% paleo kind of person I would imagine eggs or even water would work because you just need something to make the chicken wet). No it did not say this is the book I am just thinking it so if I am wrong you didn't hear it from me. The second bowl I put 1/2 cup brown rice flour and 1/2 cup almond flour. The recipe called for just 1 cup brown rice flour but I decided I wanted a little more healthy fat in the meal so I made a substitution which wouldn't be a bad idea if you were 100% paleo you could do all almond flour. If you don't know what paleo is it is also referred to as the caveman diet. You eat the foods that the caveman had available to them back in the day. So meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.

Next I took my package of chicken strips that I got from the store of course all natural, no hormones. Dipped each strip first in the hemp milk and made sure it was completely covered and then same process with the 2 flours mixed together. After that I put it in a baking pan that I had already rubbed with coconut oil. I was supposed to put my seasoning in the flour mixture but forgot and ended up sprinkling the italian seasoning on top of the strips.

Then put them in the oven to bake for 20 mins. I cut the thickest strip open to see if it was done cooking and found it was due to there being no pink in the meat.

Next I went on to cut up a bag of organic carrots I got from the store. I thought about the baby carrots that are already small but have heard they are not as healthy. Now since I had no idea what to do with the carrots, if I had taken an idea out of my head I would of boiled them in some water. Not sure how that would of turned out so to make sure I was doing it correctly I decided to look  in a cookbook I have called How to cook everything by Mark Bittman. Very good book if I say so myself. So I washed and peeled the carrots then chopped them into fairly large chunks. I place all the carrots into a pot with 2 tbs smart butter, 1/4 cup water, black pepper, I squeezed 1 small orange in the pot and put 1 tsp ground ginger. I turned the stove onto high to get it boiling and covered the pot. After it started boiling I turned the heat to medium and cooked for 5 mins. After that I uncovered the pot and turned up the heat to let it cook until there was no water left stirring occasionally until tender.


After that I fixed the sweet potato fries. Yes I could of saved a lot of time preparing everything first but I managed to do it one at a time. Which is why I didn't actually eat the food until 9:30pm. I cleaned a sweet potato and cut off the ends and dark spots but left the skin. Then I sliced it up into wedges. This recipe was under the oven fries in the whole life nutrition cookbook. I preheated oven to 420 degrees F and now that I am reading the book it was supposed to be 425 degrees which is why mine probably could of cooked a little longer but I guarantee I had no trouble eating them. I placed the sweet potato wedges into a large bowl. Added 1/4 cup olive oil, sprinkled some italian seasoning, black pepper, 1/2 tsp turmeric, garlic powder and 1 tbs paprika. I tossed it all together to try to get the sweet potato's coated well. Next I put them in a baking pan which I had put coconut oil in but that doesn't have it in the recipe and is probably unnecessary since the potato's have oil in them. I baked these for 30 mins.

Final Result: 3 chicken strips, carrots, sweet potato fries and 1 spoonful of honey mustard. (tried to find the healthiest one on the shelf)


By the way I did want to eat the entire pan of chicken strips by the time I was done but settled for 3 and it was plenty as far as my body went my mind that is a different story. One of the main problems I have found with cooking is the mess and the fact I am too tired after to clean it up so this is what my kitchen still looked like in the morning.


This is not exactly what you want to wake up to and no I won't be having anybody over anytime soon with my house in this condition. Kind of embarrassing and here i am showing it on the internet. Very strange character I am!

So I have to say this meal was very healthy and yummy. Really one of the best things I have eaten in a while considering I normally live on plain chicken and veggies. One thing I have to work on is being more prepared. The day before after training I also went to the store hungry and got very irritated at all the people with a piece of pizza in their hand only because I wanted to have something so easy. But really I don't. I know deep down inside it is my choice to live this way. The difference in how my body and mind feels being healthy makes life the best thing ever when I remember how miserable and disgusting I felt being overweight and unhealthy. Let me clear one thing up is the fact that being overweight isn't necessarily the problem. If you are healthy then the weight will take care of itself. We are all going to be different shapes and sizes and that is how it is supposed to be. We need to be happy with how we are inside and out but if you give being healthy a try with nutritious foods and exercise you will find a whole other world for yourself and I promise you will love it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Letter to Myself

I was talking to a good friend of mine and we were discussing my problems with competition. During our brain storming we came up with the idea to write a letter to myself that I can read. It probably sounds really silly to a lot of people but really it's not a bad idea. Who better to write a letter of inspiration then the person who knows us best.....ourselves. I have been sitting on this letter for a few days and I am sure there will be ways to tweak it and make it better but for now here it is.


Dear Kim,

I know you are probably really nervous right now. Maybe 
starting to have some doubts about if you are really ready or not. What you have to remember is you are ready and you are already a winner. You can't fail no matter what happens. Remember how far you have come and how many people would love to be in your footsteps right now. Remember you are the only one who has the power to make your dreams come true. Nobody can do it for you. You have to find the strength within. Go out there and give it everything you got and I promise if you do that there is no way you can lose no matter what happens. Embrace the journey and believe in yourself. The power lies within you. Dig deep within your soul and when you reach you will find victory.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day Washington Exploration - Leavenworth

I love to travel. There are so many great places out there. Taking a drive to Leavenworth in my little convertible driving through steven's pass with kid rock blasting on the radio was amazing. The mountains are gorgeous and experiencing the wenatchee river wasn't so bad either.



When my husband and I got there we drove around town over and over again trying to find a parking spot. This must be a nice place because it seems nobody leaves. When we arrived of course I am thinking about food but what part of the day am I not thinking about that? Yes, I eat a lot!  We started off with a trip to the Cafe Christa to see what the German food was all about. My goal was to find something healthy to eat which it seemed was nearly impossible unless I had ordered a plate of lettuce. We shared a cup of goulash, the frigadelle (German meatloaf) and the Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes with weisswurst). Not exactly the type of food I would be eating at home but not the worst choice either.


Next was the hat store. Kind of a cool place. Here are a couple of our favorite hats....


So randy's favorite is the king hat for himself but I personally think the curly hair is awesome. He says it looks too natural.

 
I can't say my hats are as funny but lets face it I am more concerned about cute then funny. I did get a picture with the hat on the left and some pink glasses on but it reminded me too much of when I was a little kid and wore mickey mouse glasses. Yes I was the biggest nerd! I would show a picture but I think it has been banned from the internet. 

After the hat store we went into a hippie store. Now I can't be certain if that was the name or not it's getting kind of blurry but it might have been. Randy made fun of me because I took a picture of every quote in the store. some are a bit hard to read on picture so here are a few basic ones. Yes I know I am weird but somebody has to play the part.



I am kind of a sucker for quotes lately. I guess it helps keep my mind on track. I have been working really hard to get rid of my nagging negative self talk that I have somehow developed so reading positive quotes is very helpful. It seems getting rid of a bad habit like that is not exactly so easy. 

Next stop was the wine tasting. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures or even the name of the winery we went to because I was too busy sipping the glass. Yummy! I am a sucker for great wine. 

We did stop by the chocolate factory but thought it was kinda lame that it wasn't filled with german chocolates. So I took their free sample of fudge which was smaller then my finger tip and headed out the door. 

After that was a little stop by Cured by Visconti's and of course I had to try a piece of the buffalo jerky. Not too bad except I almost broke my teeth. 

To take away the pain in my teeth we now walked by the art in the park where they were selling a bunch of paintings and photos of washington and I wanted to buy every picture.

Then we had to turn around so I could stop by the cup and kettle tea shop. I am sure my wallet would of thanked me for missing it but what can we say. How was I supposed to pick just one tea when they made all of them sound amazing! I bought so much they gave me a free cup of tea to go. My mouth is still recovering from my first sip of tea in my new mug...ouch! From what I could taste with a burnt mouth it was very yummy through.

If you don't know my husband he manages a beer and cigar store so yes he loves beer. We stopped by the Icicle and got a sample of each. 

We did order a veggie plate and you can imagine how excited I was to find the healthiest thing of the day. 
Beers we tasted: 
Khoas Kolsch (german blonde ale)
Colchuck wheat (american wheat)
Freund Festbier (german amber lager)
Bootjack IPA (indian pale ale)
Priebe Porter (american porter)
Don't ask me to pronounce the german names because I failed spanish in high school and can only imagine how german would go. I will leave that to the professionals. I was kind of partial to the first 2 beers but the porter wasn't so bad either. 

Well I will have to cut this a little short which I am sure you are thankful and skip to dinner. The lady at the winery suggest we try South which is a mexican restaurant. I am proud I made a pretty decent choice, yes I did think of making a bad choice but talked myself out of it knowing it would not of made me feel good. It was not a lot of food and it was very good. 

We took a little different route on the way back and this time drove through snoqualamie pass with stevie ray blasting on the radio. Not too bad for a day trip. Ended up home a little past my bedtime but still enough sleep to PR on my clean the next day at 185lbs. Slowly but surely it will come. Next step of course get 185lbs again but next time prettier and overhead. :)

Late Entry: 
Ok so I left out a couple things. I kinda put this together in a hurry and my boss would not of liked it if I was late for work because I was too busy blogging. My husband mentioned the cheese shop we went to. Now not remembering the name but it is in the comments if you are interested. Anyway they had the most incredible carmalized goat cheese! I don't know how I forgot about that. It tasted like cheese that was candy. Wow!

I also forgot to mention the fact that I tryed to find the bakery that was listed on the town map on the way out of town. Luckily for me they didn't exsist anymore because I was determined to eat a german streusel. If that is how you spell it. Anyway pastries was on my mind but since I was already on my way out of town it was too late. Definitly didn't need the calories anyway. Yes I am human and love sweets even though I can't eat them very often.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Then and Now

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Unknown


THEN
NOW
 I always like to remind myself how far I have come so I make sure I am proud of myself and I don't go back. This change is forever. It doesn't even matter what I do it is just the fact that I am doing it that counts. Taking the first step is the hardest after that you feel like you are flying.

Cooking for Health

Turkey Meatballs and Veggies

This whole post was very clear in my mind last night while I was cooking until I fell into a meatball coma. During the cooking process I felt like I was on a cooking show. I thought of so many funny and informative things to say in my blog. Now you are just going to have to laugh to humor me since I have forgotten it all.

After a nice long walk at chambers bay after work yesterday it was time to decide what to eat. Most days I am on my own since my husband comes home from work after I am already asleep. I am not much of a cook but definitely love food. My husband won me over by cooking me candle light dinners and he can cook some amazing food. Sometimes I do take the easy way out and get some already prepared food from a store that is as healthy as I can find. It is always better to prepare your own food since stores usually add a lot of unnecessary ingredients. I stopped by Trader Joe's on my way home (now at this point I was already hungry, not recommended unless you have lots of willpower). I was really in the mood for turkey meatballs. They didn't have any already made and after walking around the store forever I just said forget it I will make it myself. Walked out with ground turkey, 1 eggplant, 1onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, and tzatziki (a cucumber yogurt dip).


Now take into consideration here I am a beginner cook. I am no Rachel Ray and cooking is not exactly my favorite thing to do but I have made improvements in it over the years. Maybe if someone was available to clean up the mess for me after I wouldn't mind it so much.


I started off browning the meatballs. I really didn't put much in the turkey other then some spices but I did threw in some onions and mushrooms to saute in the pan with the meatballs. I just sprayed the pan with pam in order to not get too much fat from a whole bunch of oil.


After browning the meatballs a little I transferred them to a baking pan and poured the sauteed onions and mushrooms on top. Preheated the oven to 350 degrees and baked for 20 min.


Next was time for the veggies. I have never cooked eggplant but I saw some grilled eggplant in the frozen veggies section so I decided to try and cook it myself. I threw in some eggplant, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and collard greens in a pan with a little olive oil. Let me say collard greens is something that is hardly tolerable by itself but what I have found is if you mix in just a few with something else you don't even really notice. One of the most important things I have learned is you want a variety of colors in your food. Each different food has different nutrients. Diversity is very important when it comes to diet.


Now for the finalized meal. Really didn't turn out bad at all for not looking at a recipe. Spices I used were Italian spices, allspice, garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, celery seed and nutmeg. No rhyme or reason to how much I threw in the food. I did add a little tzatziki dip for the meatballs. No I did not make this one myself I would of been up until midnight. I also added a little feta cheese on the veggies.

One of the key points here is your are worth knowing what is in your food. You can still enjoy food and make it healthy. Sometimes you have to let a few household chores go by the waist side and dedicate that time into yourself. There is not always enough time in the day for everything but we do what we can with what we have. Have you found any delicious healthy recipes lately?


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Food Addiction

Recently I had the pleasure of enjoying a visit from my mother. I took some days off of work and we had a really great time. For the most part my eating was very healthy except for a couple little cheat meals. It is definitely good to treat yourself once in a while but what I have noticed is when I do this it makes me want more. When I am strict on my diet I don't really crave the bad stuff. Even though eating bad doesn't make you feel good, something makes you want more and more of it. Interesting........Have you experienced this?

I have noticed it is harder for some people then others to make sure they get themselves right back on track. It is even harder if you are surrounded by people who don't eat healthy. I wouldn't tell anybody that being healthy is easy. It is very hard. It was hard to lose the weight and it is hard to keep it off. Certain parts of it get easier but it just has to be part of your life. It has to be a choice you have made for yourself. That is the only way it will work. If you are tired of the roller coaster then you should try making the sacrifice for yourself. There is no greater feeling then being healthy. Your energy will be high, you will be happy with your body, your mind will be clearer.....I could go on and on.

Since I made my transformation my goal is to help others realize they can do it also. I know I won't be able to reach everyone, but you can help the world one person at a time. All of us have a choice. Nobodies choice is necessarily right or wrong, it just depends on what you want for your life. If you just sit down and think about how you feel and how happy you are with yourself.........would you change anything? If not then I guess you are living your dream. What is stopping you from making a change?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Goals: Making dreams come true

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."  - Muhammad Ali

I have found coming up with a good blog post takes some time and planning. On that note lets get into talking about my goals. Coming up with goals is not exactly one of the easiest things to do or is it? It is easy to come up with some sort of goal but is that goal realistic? If so have you actually came up with a plan as to how you are going to reach this goal? If not it might be quite difficult for it to come true. It could just be a dream that will remain a dream forever. To have a dream come true I think it takes setting the right goals to make that dream a reality.

What do I want to be when I grow up? Lets talk a little about trying to figure out what you want to be and what you want to do with your life. Me for instance.....I have gone back and forth with crossfit and olympic weightlifting. First I wanted to go to the crossfit games. I was introduced to olympic weightlifting through crossfit. I started training with my wonderful trainer Ramin Robinson to improve my olympic lifts and become more efficient. I fell in love with it. It is very challenging for me but I enjoy striving to make myself better. Olympic lifting challenges me both physically and mentally which in turn helps me with my life outside the gym. Now I have gotten off track a little but my point is if you really want to succeed at something you have to make up your mind that that is what you want to do.

So lets start with dreams that may be a little far fetched:
1.  Go to the Olympics:  When I was younger yes I did dream of going to the Olympics. At that time I dreamed about going for Tae Kwon Do. I had chosen to go to college instead. I am not saying this would necessarily be a bad goal but if that is what I am focused on at this point in my life I will spend most of my time being very disappointed since I am not even close to lifting at that level yet. Not bad to dream about it but not realistic to set it as a goal.
2.  Go to an international level compeition:  This goal would at least be a little more realistic then going to the olympics but still very far off. I think only a few get picked to compete internationally each year and those are the top athletes. My total is not even close to them.
3.  Total 200kg or more:  So if I did this then the other dreams above would probably come true. Again ok to probably think about these things but it would probably be more productive to think about smaller goals that will get me closer to the big ones. If I spend my time getting disappointed that won't help me at all.

Let get realistic........Goals:
1.  Keep bodyweight at 153lbs or below:  The main reason for this goal is because this is the weight I am happy with. When I start gettting above this I start to be a little unhappy with my body.
2.  Gain muscle:  Now I do understand that gaining muscle may equal gaining weight but if my body weight increases due to muscle I will cancel out my first goal as long as I don't look like I am on steriods.
3.  Improve technique:  Making sure I get my head through (not looking to the sky so my bar has no where to go but down), Keeping my elbows and chest up (those kind of go together....if elbows fall chest falls and in turn the bar falls to the ground which is not where I want it), Keeping my back flat (very important especially if I want to keep lifting for many years and not have a bad back), Push knees out (I know a lot of people have trouble with their knees going in so that they are almost touching but not going to help me complete my lift), Starting lift slow and controlled and finishing fast and smooth (a lot of the time I seem to think the faster I pull that bar off the ground the better my chance of getting it overhead. What I am finding out is this is not true. As coach Mike Burgener told me "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast".
4.  Improve the mind:  Be able to visualize the perfect technique and apply it to my lift, Get better at clearing my mind and develping no mindness, Believe in myself and gain confidence, Have fun....not letting the stress make what I enjoy not be fun anymore, After having a failed lift be able to regain composure and get the next one.

So I have been working very hard on this post but while reading through it again it was kind of putting me to sleep. Weather that is because I have been working all day or because the post is too long not sure but hey I tryed and I am sure someone will find it interesting. If not I have my goals down in writing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Exploring Washington Day #2.........Paradise continued

So yes my mom is ok. This hike, as small as it was tested all of our courage, strength and focus. We had to face our fears. My poor mom has had to deal with me and my husband picking on her for freaking out on the hike. We all had our moments of being scared and I am so proud of my mom for conquering something she was too afraid to do before. We made it through this hike as a team, as a family. It was incredible.

My poor husband had a hole in his shoe and no socks on. Each step in the snow equaled some very cold toes. Once we made it to the top the view didn't exist due to the clouds.When you got to panarama point they had the fanciest bathroom you had ever seen.
Yes I did put up a picture of a toliet. As we started making our way down it started to clear up.
We thought all of our fearful moments were over until we had to cross this ledge....
Now those are people that went after us. Yes they were prepared with poles and seemed to have no fear. We creeped along step by step they kinda did a sprint. One little slip and you would of been sliding down the mountain.
Finally we were home free. Enjoy the magnificent views ahead. Eager to make it to some food and water. Hot chocolate was on my mind. Going downhill has it's own challenges. Each step equals pain in the knees. My body was starting to feel a little older then it is. Of course I am coming up to the 30 mark as far as age goes and yes I know some of you would slap me for saying that.
We did meet some friends along the way. From what I have been told these are called Marmots. Marmots are large ground squirrels as stated in wikipedia. That was really the only animal we saw except for a deer on the drive to paradise.
The beauty out there was like no other. I am originally from Florida which of course has its own beauty but you know when you live somewhere your whole life you are just dying to experience the world. I definitely have. Now I have found my home. Of course I love seeing other places out there traveling and everything but I love it in Washington. There is the ocean and the mountains.
When I look at the pictures I almost have nothing to say. The beauty speaks for itself. Hiking the entire skyline trail brought us to an elevation of 7,100 ft. It was a total of 5.4 miles long that seemed like 20 during the hike.
Finally the paradise visitors center was in site. We were on our way to 3 of the worst and most expensive cups of hot chocolate that tasted like the best thing in the world. After that we went to a little cafe called Cooper Creek Inn restaurant. Famous for its wild blackberry pie. Yes I ate all of it. We almost ate them out of food after hiking with no food at all. We built up an appetite and it was amazing. A little cheat once in a while keeps you sane as long as you know how to get right back on track. I almost forgot the nice sunburn I get to recover from now. Don't underestimate the power of sun and snow together. Oh and the fact that if I didn't have my dark cloths on you wouldn't be able to even see my white self in the snow.







Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Exploring Washington Day #2.........Paradise

Where do I begin with this extraordinary and adventurous trip I experienced yesterday? Mt. Rainer is the second largest mountain in the united states. We got to experience a place they call paradise and that is sure a great name for it. Seems to fit perfectly. The beauty of it is like places I picture in my dreams.

So originally we were just looking for a few little hikes. We talked to some rangers to get some information. They said there was "a little" snow on the trails. I can laugh about now. Me, my husband and my mother start off hiking on the skyline trail. We thought we would just hike a portion of it but thought about the idea of doing the whole thing. I mean it was only 5 miles......how hard could that be? We made it to myrtle falls which was absolutely gorgeous.
After that we kept hiking and eventually ran into a little bit of snow. My mom and husband got very nervous as we started heading up and they said they wern't going to go. We turned around but very soon a couple of girls walking by my mom and they told her she should really consider because they have hiked it in tennis shoes before. Yes we all had the old tennis shoes on, a little water and no food. About as unprepared as you get. But now we all felt like we could do it. Working our way up the small patch of snow with only a few slips we made it to dry ground again. Enjoying our hike even further until small patches of snow turned into large ones.
I did get to see some beautiful wildflowers along the way. Now that was the reason I wanted to go to the mountain in the first place. My dream of wildflowers. They were not quite as nice yet but still nice enough for me.
During the trip every time we thought about turning back someone would tell us it gets better ahead and so we thought well lets just keep going. Before we knew it.....
Here comes the panic. I look over at my mom and she is frozen in the snow. Not moving anywhere and hyperventilating. I scream "Mom! Are you ok?" She said "No! I can't move!"........