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.

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

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