My 15 Year Struggle with Weight Loss & Eating Habits

self-love

I’ve struggled with my weight and relationship with food since I was twelve years old. I remember thinking my mom was the worst person in the world because she thought I needed to lose weight and eat less. She wasn’t wrong, I was at that age where my parents couldn’t play off my chubbiness as baby-fat anymore and my eating habits needed to change. As a girl who had just started puberty and was very uncomfortable about the whole thing, I felt like my mom had just turned against me and was out to destroy my life.

I have always had a problem with overeating. Growing up, I almost always went back for seconds and I always went overboard with dessert. I used to spend a lot of time at our neighbor’s house and they would usually feed me dinner (they were Argentinian and I loved the food they cooked), and then I would go home and eat whatever my mom had made as well. And after eating two meals, I would devour a huge bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with lots of chocolate syrup. Looking back on this now, I’m disgusted with how I was able to eat this way. At the time, I saw nothing wrong with it. I just loved food and loved to eat a lot of it.

By the time I was in high school, I was very overweight and unhappy. I hated my body, but I didn’t know how to lose weight. I remember my mom asking our doctor what to do about my weight. All I remember her suggesting was being more active and cutting back on junk food. I wasn’t happy about that at all because I hated gym class and loved junk food. I eventually got into running with one of my friends, but I never really saw any weight loss because my eating habits hadn’t changed.

I didn’t start to seriously dive into losing weight until I was around 20 years old. My mom had seen an article in a magazine about an “ultra low-carb” diet plan. It seemed easy enough, so I tried it out. After 10 days, I ended up losing around 10 pounds. I immediately came to the conclusion that carbs were the enemy. So, for the next couple of years I was either avoiding carbs or hating myself for eating them.

About a year ago, I began dieting and exercising consistently. I followed a high protein, low carb diet and would go for hour long walks 4-5 days a week. I lost about 20 pounds in 4 months and became the smallest I had been in my adult life. I was so thrilled with my results, but then things changed. I became bored of my meals and started eating foods that I hadn’t allowed myself to have in a long time (pizza, pasta, rice, cake, etc) and slacked off with my exercise. I completely fell off the wagon around July and by the time November hit, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life. It took me a couple months of depression, self-loathing, and self-sabatoge to finally come to the realization that I needed to make some serious changes.

Right now, I’m just focusing on making healthier choices. That means instead of eating a pint of ice cream, I’ll have some frozen chocolate covered berries. Instead of ordering a cheesy pepperoni pizza, I’ll make my own healthier version. Since I started eating more nutrient-dense foods, I am feeling so much better. I have more energy and am just in a better mood. I also track my calories through the MyFitnessPal app to help me know that I’m eating enough, and when to stop eating. And I’m working my butt off on my Peloton to get in shape.

Yes, I’m motivated to lose weight, but it has become much more than just that. One of my goals is to be the best version of myself. To me, this means becoming the healthiest version of myself by treating my body with love and respect. Every day that I crave something really unhealthy (like a 24 layer chocolate cake) I ask myself, “is it worth it?” Is it worth the calories, the sugar, the weight gain, the health risks? I think you know the answer.

Monthly Goals: March

plan

Okay, so let me start off by saying that February did not turn out how I expected. In fact, I failed at completing most of my goals. It was a bad and exhausting month for a number of reasons, but I won’t get into that. The point is that I had an “off” month, and that’s okay. I’m not going to beat myself up about it anymore than I already have. Sure, I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve the goals I had set for myself, but I know that if I work harder this month, I will absolutely be able to reach my goals.

Here’s what I have planned for this month:

Get Silver in Peloton Challenges: I slacked off in my exercise last month, so I only made it to Bronze for February instead of making Silver. This month I am going to work harder and make sure I get on the bike at least 4 times a week.

Spend time outdoors: This one really depends on the weather. If it warms up a bit and the snow stops, I will be able to go for walks around town. From Spring through Fall, one of my favorite things to do is go on trail walks and hikes. This past year I wasn’t able to find much time for this, between apartment hunting all Summer and getting settled in this Fall. I really hope that it starts to feel like Spring this month, but if not hopefully April will bring the warmer weather.

See a movie: Andrew and I used to go to the movies all the time, but since moving in together we have only gone twice… in a six month period. So I want to make it a point to go see a movie at least once a month, depending on what’s showing.

Meal prep: Last month I slacked off in my meal prepping, which led to excessive spending on lunches and dinners, as well as eating things I shouldn’t have. I’m definitely going to work harder to plan out meals and prep whatever I can ahead of time. By doing this, I won’t be able to use the “I don’t have time,” or “I’m too tired,” excuses for not cooking.

Make the most of my time: I really did not put my spare time to good use last month. This March, I am going to make a serious effort to use my time wisely. Essentially, that means making smarter choices and avoiding my couch, haha. Too many nights, I get home from work and find myself lounging on my couch for the rest of the evening instead of doing something useful with my time. This is a bad habit that I really need to stop.

In my agenda, the message for March says, “Be the best version of yourself.” This is something that resonates with me. A few months ago, I felt like I was at my all-time low. There wasn’t a single thing that I liked about myself. Last month was a reminder of that version of myself. This month more than ever, I want to be the best, and happiest version of myself. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I am up for the challenge.

What are your goals for this month? I hope that you achieve all your goals and have a wonderful month. 🙂

Love Always,

Kathleen

Baskets: Five Ways to Use Them in Your Space

home decor

I have a basket obsession. It’s pretty serious. Every single time I go into HomeGoods or any other home decor store, I have to make a stop in the basket aisle. I feel like they not only look so beautiful, but they are so functional. Today I’m going to share with you five ways I have used baskets in my apartment.

Plants: I’m sure you’ve seen this all over Pinterest or Instagram, but this is a really great way to use a basket. I’ve found that larger plant pots are usually pretty pricey and heavy. When I got my bird of paradise, I knew I wanted to place it in a basket. All you have to do is find a basket large enough to house your plant’s pot and buy a saucer to go at the bottom of the basket (I think I got this one). The saucer will protect the basket and your floors from water damage.

Shoes: Using a basket to toss your shoes in next to your entry way is an easy way to keep them all kept together instead of spread out across your floor. For us, we had our cycling shoes next to our Peloton, but I hated seeing them out on the floor all the time. I found this basket and decided to tuck our shoes away in there, which makes the space less cluttered and me more happy.

Blankets: I had a couple of cozy blankets that I wanted to have close to the couch for movie nights and afternoon naps, but i didn’t like having them folded on the couch or tucked away in a closet. I decided to pick up a wider basket to keep a few blankets in. I keep it right by the tv stand, where I can grab one before plopping on the couch for a snooze. I also have another basket in our bedroom that I keep an extra blanket in for super cold nights.

Hiding Clutter: This is arguably my favorite use for baskets. I hate clutter so, so much. Especially when it isn’t intentional or cute. There are some things that are just useful to have nearby, but not pretty at all. For instance, my fiance likes to keep a cloth and some screen cleaner on the end table near our Peloton. Sure, it’s useful… but it’s really ugly. So, I got this set of three baskets from Ikea and used one of them to keep these items out of sight. I especially love baskets with lids to hide clutter. I used the other two baskets in the set for keys and spare change in our entry way.

Bathroom Storage: Like I said before, I love baskets with lids to hide clutter or to store ugly things. I used two of these baskets in our bathroom. One is used to store extra toilet paper and air freshener next to the toilet. The other is used in the cabinet under the sink to organize all of my hair masks, bath goodies, etc. It makes it a lot easier to find what I need instead of sifting through a sea of products.

Do you use baskets in your space? If so, what are your favorite ways to use them? Leave a comment below.

Love Always,

Kathleen

Favorite Hair Treatments

self-love

I’ve got wavy/curly hair. I’m not sure who I got it from, because no one else in my immediate family has hair like mine. It gets frizzy and dry very easily. Growing up, my hair was always so frizzy because I had no idea how to care for my hair, and I don’t think my mom knew what to do about it either. After she washes her hair, all she does is brush it and let it air dry. Seriously. No products, no heat tools, nothing. And her hair always looks sleek and frizz-free.

Unfortunately, my hair requires a lot of love to be soft and smooth. I try to wash my hair only 1-2 times a week. If it weren’t for dry shampoo, I’d have to wash my hair every other day because my scalp is prone to get very oily. In addition, I do a hair mask at least once a week, as well as use a few oils to keep my ends from drying out. About once a month, I will make my own deep conditioning hair mask. Today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite hair masks and oils.

Lush Cosmetics H’suan Wen Hua: I love this hair mask because it’s full of super moisturizing ingredients like avocado, banana, and extra virgin olive oil. I like to use this one when my ends feel really dry. You apply it to dry hair and leave on for about 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as per usual.

Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Strengthening Masque: This mask is my go-to for a quick fix. I’ve had a lot of breakage and damage in the past from excessive use of heat tools as well as using harsh chemicals, so I really appreciate this mask for it’s strengthening qualities. I use this mask in the shower after shampooing my hair. I apply a generous amount on top of my head and work the product through the lengths of my hair, combing it through with my fingers. This one says to leave it in for 5 minutes, but I’ll usually just finish up washing and rinse my hair right before I finish my shower.

One ‘n Only Argan Oil: I’ve used this product for years and I can’t live without it. I apply argan oil to my damp hair after every wash. I also apply it before using any heat on my hair, or in between washes when I feel my ends are a little dry. It gives my hair a nice shine without looking oily. Plus, I really enjoy the smell of this oil.

Hask Moisturizing Shine Oil: I think it’s safe to say that Hask’s shine oils are one of my favorite products. The first one I tried and fell in love with was the Orchid & White Truffle Oil, which is sadly no longer available. I’ve found that the Monoi Coconut Oil is also very good. I like these oils because they make my hair look super shiny and healthy. I’ve found that a little bit goes a long way, and that this product works best for me only used on wet hair. When I apply it to my dry hair, it makes my hair look greasy rather than shiny.

DIY Hair Mask: I’ve tried so many different DIY hair masks over the years and have discovered which ingredients I like to use in my hair. I don’t follow a particular recipe or anything, and my masks come out a little different every time; I suppose it depends on my mood. Today, I made a mask with the following ingredients: coconut oil, honey, castor oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, and rosemary oil. I chose this mixture to hopefully stimulate some hair growth, as well as moisturize my hair. When I make masks at home, I usually like to keep them in for 30 minutes or longer if I don’t have to leave the apartment.

If you haven’t tried a hair mask before, I highly recommend it. There are so many different kinds for all types of hair. I especially suggest making your own mask because it is really affordable and easy, since you probably already have a ton of ingredients in your kitchen. What’s your hair type, and what is something that you struggle with then it comes to your hair? Let me know down in the comments. 🙂

Love Always,

Kathleen

Monthly Goals: February

plan

I don’t know about you, but I felt like January would never end. It was long and so very, very cold. I’m thrilled that February is finally here because it is one of my favorite months. Good things just seem to happen this month, and I’m always in a better mood than I ever an in January.

So, this month I have a few new goals, as well as continuing goals from last month. To recap, I was able to complete all of my goals for January (yay me!). I completed with Bronze in the Peloton challenges, cooked a lot of meals at home, hung out with friends, and created this blog. Since I did so well last month, I have made this month a little more challenging.

Here are my February Goals:

  • Continue 17 Day Diet & Lose 10 Pounds: Just a week ago, I started the 17 Day Diet and am on Cycle 1. If you haven’t heard of this diet, I highly recommend doing some research on it. A couple weeks ago I was talking to a friend about how I was struggling to lose weight lately, even with regular exercise. She told me about this diet and lent me the book. After reading the entire book, I knew that this diet would be really easy to follow. One week in, and I have lost 6 pounds. My goal for this month is to stay on this diet and lose at least 10 more pounds.
  • Earn Silver in Monthly Peloton Challenges: I was able to get the Bronze for both challenges last month, so Silver is the goal this month. My strategy for this month is to take classes that are longer, and also stop making excuses not to exercise. I’m that person who, after a long day of work, will give myself a pass and be a couch potato for the rest of the night. I am going to try to end that bad habit this month as well.
  • Minimize TV and Phone Time: I’m a binge watcher. When I find a show I like on Netflix, I dive in deep. I often find myself watching 3-4 episodes in a sitting. It is not something that I’m proud of. I also do the same with YouTube or Instagram, where I will spend way too much time watching videos or scrolling through my feed. This month, I’m going to try to minimize my time spent on my phone and watching TV by challenging myself to complete two books this month. In addition, I will only allow myself to watch one episode of a show per night, and set a timer on my phone before I go on Instagram or YouTube.
  • Keep up with the Blog: I am very proud of myself for finally starting this blog, which I had put off for (literally) years. Now, my goal is to keep up with it by making sure I am writing a few new posts weekly and dedicating more time to it. In my planner, I have set aside time for me to work on the blog which will help me to stay focused and on schedule.

Those are my main goals for this month. At the start of next month, I will share how I did for the month, as well as next month’s goals. Have you made any monthly goals? I’d love to hear what goals you have set for yourself and how you are going to achieve them.

Love Always,

Kathleen

Treat Yourself to a Feel-Good Snack

self-love

One of the ways that I like to show myself some love is by treating myself to a healthy (and pretty) snack. It’s so easy to pillage through the fridge or pantry and quickly munch on something that’s either not very good for you, or just sort of boring and unfulfilling. I’m definitely guilty of this, and it usually leads to more bad snacking.

I’m the type of person who appreciates a good smoothie bowl. I especially like making them at home because I have total control over what goes into my smoothie bowl. The one pictured above is a new favorite. It’s jam-packed with antioxidants, and it’s so yummy.

I assure you that if you make yourself this smoothie bowl, you will feel so good. Not only will it taste great, but you will be making an effort to satisfy yourself with a nice, healthy treat. Little things like this are a great way to show yourself and your body some love.

If you’d like to make this smoothie bowl, here’s what I used:

  • 2 bananas
  • 5-6 fresh strawberries
  • 1 Trader Joe’s unsweetened, organic acai puree packet
  • 1 serving of collagen peptides (optional)
  • 1 serving Trader Joe’s super green drink powder, berry flavor (optional)
  • chia seeds
  • trail mix

Chuck 1 and a 1/2 banana, 4-5 strawberries, and the acai puree into a blender. Also add in the collagen peptides and green drink powder if using. Blend until it’s thick and smooth, then transfer to a bowl. Top with the remaining banana and strawberries, as well as chia seeds and some trail mix. Enjoy!

I hope you will treat yourself, whether it’s to this smoothie bowl or some other healthy snack. Your body and well-being will appreciate the effort you make to take care of yourself. If you do try this smoothie bowl, I’d love to know how you like it.

Love always,

Kathleen

Organizing My Disaster of a Shoe Closet

organize

Our shoe and coat closet has not been looking very pretty lately. In fact, it’s quite appalling. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even shut the door to hide the mess; it’s literally spilling right out into the living room.


The current set up just isn’t working for our needs. I have a shoe cubby for my shoes, but my boots don’t fit in there, and I have a hard time finding the shoes I want to wear. Andrew’s shoes are on this little rack that doesn’t fit all of his shoes, plus it’s sort of buried underneath his coats.

So, I picked out this shoe rack from Amazon, hoping it would be the solution to my closet troubles. I have to say, this is not the sturdiest shoe rack. It’s just a couple of plastic pieces that you stick the metal rods into. It is quite wobbly and I had sections coming apart while I was placing our shoes on the rods. It wasn’t a good time. You could easily glue the rods into the sides to make it more sturdy. As a renter, I don’t like to invest too much money into things that we may not have use (or space) for in the next place we live, so this shoe rack is a pretty decent in my book.

The rack claims to fit 30 pairs of shoes. That’s a stretch. Ideally, you’re supposed to fit 3 pairs of shoes on each tier. I wear a size 7 1/2 or 8, and I had a hard time squeezing 3 pairs in. For Andrew’s size 11 shoes, 3 pairs was impossible unless you stacked a pair on top of each other.

I made sure to put all the shoes we wear most often on the rack. What we had left was a ton of my summer sandals and all of Andrew’s dress shoes (that he never wears). I chose to store these shoes in baskets and put them behind the shoe rack. This closet is pretty deep, so I wanted to make sure I was utilizing as much space as possible. I also had a big, heavy basket (full of backpacks and tote bags) that had been up on the shelf, but it was too difficult to go through up that high, so I brought it down next to the shoe rack. I chose to put our winter boots up on the shelf instead, so they look neat and are easy to grab when needed.

Overall, I think that it came out really good. It’s been about a week since I re-did this closet, and so far it’s stayed nice and neat. I love how easy it is now to find the shoes I want to wear. It is soooo nice to open up the closet doors and see an organized space and not the crazy chaos that previously resided there.

What’s your shoe storage situation like? Are you able to keep it nice and neat, or do you find it to be constantly messy? I’d love to hear what works or doesn’t work for you.

Love always,
Kathleen