Post-College Realization; My Final Post

It has been a few months since I have posted anything on this blog. The pressure and stress of a extra full-time job, wedding planning, and general life obligations took hold of my free time and unfortunately, resulted in less and less cooking, exercise, and blogging. Now, all of that is behind me (which is good) and I am excited about moving forward.

Married life is great. There is a feeling of contentment I have never had before. A few days ago, I actually recognized true happiness from myself; it was both frightening and comforting at the same time. I am happy to say that it has been this way for over a month and I hope I can carry this feeling with me for a while. Been a long time since I have felt something sustainable. I thought about writing a post about “10 things to consider while planning your wedding”, but after the wedding, I realized there was only one piece of advice. ‘Just do what is right for the two of you’. Ultimately, you need to be happy, whatever that may be. Everyone is going to give you unsolicited advice, just ignore their judgments and do what feels right.

I went back to work after being gone for 4 working days after my wedding. The office hadn’t blown up, so I figured everything went smoothly – I was wrong. After working another 45+ hour work week, a zen-like realization came over me. Outside of workplace politics  (i.e. I don’t receive adequate pay for my time/talents), I realized that no matter if I work an eight hour day or a twelve hour day, the work is always there, piling up. I have never been able to get ahead of it because it is always coming. Therefore, why expel what energy I have left, stressing about what still needs to get done? I can look at my to-do list and say “this is what I can get done today, and tomorrow, I will come back to do more”. That’s that. It feels like a weight had been lifted, and while I still approach things with urgency, I no longer feel like my own personal suffering is attached to them. Can’t say this has been widely adopted in our office, but that’s not the point. The point is that my worth in this job is not tied to the countless hours of overtime I work, the personal sacrifices I make, or my health.

Which brings me to my last statement. I actually realized this before my wedding, but never found the time to actually close in on it. I’m not sure how many people know this, but this blog was created to help me rekindle a person I had lost. She was creative, talented, successful, and she gave it all up to pursue a college education, that at the time, took precedence over everything else. Once graduated, trying to revive what was lost became very hard, almost impossible. I spent many nights thinking she didn’t exist anymore, that I had nothing to give to the world without these parts of me, and I tried feverishly for three years to get them back. But of course, it didn’t turn out. All this time, I thought it was because I lost the talent for writing, performing, creating art, etc. OR maybe the talent never really existed in the first place. I felt extreme envy for this woman that once existed and felt that who I was, in my current situation, was no-one. I couldn’t get her back, I’d have to start all over, and I didn’t know where to even start.

Until I realized, it is ok that this part of me doesn’t exist anymore, because it is not relevant anymore. I was suffering from some serious mental instability which found an outlet in creating art, poetry/prose, and so on. I am no longer in that place and haven’t been for many years, so I cannot expect myself to rekindle something of me that is in my past. I have to live in my current life, something I have been unable to do for many years. It was scary at first, but really enlightening.

It came with some other realizations; like the desire to still pursue cooking, performing, and dance, but now inclusive of my interest and passion in personal wellness. Meditation and yoga has been amazing to me. In addition, it allowed me to admit things to myself that I have put off. Some of them are petty like “I like wearing black clothes. I prefer them over all other colors and am sick of feeling this pressure to wear colors when I don’t like them” or “I like the look of muscular women and I want to not only be strong, but look strong -don’t give two shits if guys think that’s unattractive”. Some other items, larger and more personal, like what really makes me happy and where I see myself in 5 years (which, admitting that I don’t know is half the fun).

To wrap this up, since I have found what I had been searching for, the needs for this particular blog is no more. It is a feeling of great achievement and contentment, again. I’ll start a new blog at some point, probably about cooking 🙂 or WHO KNOWS? but it is an incredible feeling that I am not searching for who I was, but building and creating who I am. Cheers.

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What Is It That You Do, Exactly?

As a twenty-something, I really cannot stand this questions. I cannot stand it when someone asks me and I cringe with hypocrisy when I ask it of someone else; “what do you do, exactly?” “what do you do for a living?” “what’s your job?”…it just makes me want to crawl in a hole and never answer. Some people may ask it with some genuine interest, and are earnest with wanting a thoughtful response, but most of the time, people ask it to compare whether or not you have succeeded or failed in your life. Because, as we all know, you have achieved enlightened, full-zen success at 25. OR YOU HAVE JUST WASTED YOUR TIME.

Growing up, all I ever wanted to do was be an adult. I wanted to make money, dress in nice clothes, and make choices regarding what occupied my time. Although these are all glorified parts of adulthood, but at the time, it’s all that mattered. Since I was a teenager, I have always been driven, specifically on a career path. I was so sure that I wanted to be a fully-independent “big-wig” business woman. I was determined that, even though my focus was non-profit work, I was going to make it big. People would respect me, I would leave my peers in awe, I would be on the news.

About a year ago, I had a complete meltdown about not achieving adulthood. I recognized that my career path was cloudy, I haven’t travel, and therefore wasn’t worldly, I was loosely involved with volunteer work, and I still don’t own a power suit. I cried. 4.5 years of college for nothing. I have accomplished nothing. When people asked what I do, I avoided the question all together. I was ashamed that I hadn’t put forth the image I wanted people to see. No one is impressed by a glorified Executive Assistant. I can’t even believe that’s my title. I was embarrassed.

A few months back I came to the conclusion that I do not know what I want to do. I don’t know what I want for a career, and I do not know where I see myself in 5 years. Naturally, being the type A nut job that I am, I panicked that I have completely derailed my life with having zero direction of where I want to go. I’m 25 and an adult, dammit, I should know by now.

A couple weeks prior, I had a realization. I don’t care. I don’t care that I don’t have a designed career path. I am here now, and I want to see where it goes. Will I be there forever? Probably not. Will I be there tomorrow, yes. Will I be there in a year? Maybe. I don’t care that I don’t know if working in an office is what I want to do…or business development, or managing a team of architects. Maybe I want to be a full-time fitness instructor, maybe I want to own my own wellness business, maybe I want to fulfill my long-time fantasy of owning a winery with a bistro inside of it.

On a regular day, I would still be in a panic with my lack of direction. Today, I embrace it. We often look down on those who don’t know “what they want to do when they grow up”, but I think that breaks down our imagination and fits us into a box. I embrace the fact that the destination is unknown and I may get to experience many different jobs before I find my path. It doesn’t matter that at 25 I haven’t “made it” and I completely accept that. I think it is a fabulous idea to get away from putting such an importance of what a person does for a living and rather, ask them what they do for fun. The answer is almost always more interesting.

Incidentally, I am in the process of my second promotion at WWA, which could bring about some amazing new experiences and opportunities for growth. So here is to the unknown future of goals and careers and wherever the fuck you’ll be in 5 years!

Perfected Shrimp Stir-Fry

Finally, after all of this testing, I feel that I have perfected my shrimp stir-fry recipe. It is easy, fresh, full of flavor with just a hint of spice. It isn’t really authentic, but it does taste delicious!  Plus, it is one of my first recipes to be developed by myself, which is a great thing for me. I can feel my culinary skills advancing!

I’d be interested in any feedback anyone has after making this recipe. Good or bad, I just want to learn!

Shrimp Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of medium shrimp, tails removed (frozen in fine, make sure they are defrosted)
  • 2.5 cups of frozen vegetable mix (I’ve been using this local frozen veggie line, which has been delicious. Make sure it is defrosted before use). You want to find a blend with red peppers, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, but you could also add in mushrooms and snap peas. I have done both
  • 1 small onion; finely sliced
  • 2 heads of bok choy; finely shredded
  • 4 cloves of garlic; mashed
  • 1-1 in piece of fresh ginger; skin removed and minced
  • 3 tbsp of dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp of sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 2-3 dashes of fish sauce
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • Heavy pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • Cooked brown rice; for serving

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together shrimp, 2 tbsp of sherry, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining sherry, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large skillet (or wok if you are so lucky) bring skillet to a medium high heat. Add coconut oil and allow to heat, about 45 seconds. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry for approximately 1 minute or until fragrant. Then add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes or until shrimp have begun to turn pink. Transfer shrimp to a large bowl and toss with sauce.

In the skillet, add more oil if needed. Add onions and vegetable medley, cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add bok choy and sugar and toss for 1-2 minutes. Add in the shrimp and cook until shrimp are full cooked, about 2 minutes.

Serve over rice, garnish with sesame seeds and Sriracha if you so choose. Enjoy!

 

I can't even explain how yummy it is, now all I have to figure out is how to make enough for leftovers.

I can’t even explain how yummy it is, now all I have to figure out is how to make enough for leftovers.

The Truth in Balance: Part II

At the beginning of this year, I had one goal: find my balance. The balance between work, hobbies, social life, and my relationship. A balance between who I used to be and who I want to become. On a good day, shit, I am killing it. I work for THE most prestigious high-end residential architecture firm in Wisconsin. I am apart of an incredible team of modern-day artists that create functional, liveable artwork-how amazing is that?! I recently became a part of the 2014 Elite Yelp group, I continue to be a supportive advocate for Planned Parenthood, and I am still on track to becoming a certified fitness instructor next year (can’t remember if I announced that). On a good day, I can handle the shit that comes pouring down because I know that I lead a pretty fulfilling life.

On a bad day, there is no such thing as balance. My body suffers-the neck and back pain have increased to the point where muscles are seizing, causing migraines and 3 second blackouts. I don’t feel fully committed to cooking, blogging, Yelping, or lifting. I have issues problem-solving at work. I go from one chaotic fire to the next. (obviously, all first-world problems yada yada, but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist).

The whole point in finding balance is to be able to handle your shit when things go sour. To remember that you can celebrate all the good that you are even when things are going poorly. We show our true strength when shit hits the fan; especially the commitment to yourself.

I was told the other day by 3 different people in 3 separate, unrelated occasions, that no matter what is going on in my life, I always present a patient, “put-together” aura that makes everything looks seamless. FANTASTIC. Even if I am falling apart in my mind, I am still looking like I know what the fuck I am doing.

At the end, the truth in balance is to embrace the unbalance. Meditate. Guide yourself towards the person you want to be and how you want to handle your life. You must commitment to yourself, to your worth, and your well-being. Just because shit sucks, doesn’t mean who you are is no longer important. Who you are and who you have yet to discover is what keeps us centered. Mediate. Seriously, it helps.

And listen to the Fugees, that helps too.

Chicken Marsala with Mascarpone Cheese

It is amazing how something you love so much can sometimes lose its interesting qualities. I find that if I am always cooking a super healthy meal that is “quick, simple, and ready in 30 minutes” I almost become sad that a hobby I love so much has been subjected to the “rat race” that is my life. I am constantly moving, planning, working, trying to succeed at everything that I do that I look at my meals and think “I gotta make this quick, I have things to accomplish”. I don’t always get to enjoy the smells, textures, and colors of the food I prepare. I am not always concerned about presentation or about challenging my own techniques, I just need to GET IT DONE.

No, that is not the way I want my hobby to go. I do not want to cook for necessity alone, but for pleasure. That is why, for no real reason (i.e. special occasion), I decided to make Chicken Marsala with Mascarpone cheese. It is heavy with buttery goodness and full of dastardly carbohydrates. And it tastes fucking amazing. Enjoy this fantastic recipe from Giada.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of dried fettuccine
  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts; cut in half
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 5 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1 lb of portobella mushrooms; trimmed and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 3/4 c of diced white onion
  • 2 tbsp of fresh parsley; chopped and extra for garnish
  • 1 c of dry Marsala wine
  • 8 oz of Mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.

Drain a smidgen of the olive oil out of the skillet, add 2 tbsp of butter and melt. Then add the onions and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushroom and garlic and saute until mushrooms are tender (they will reduce in size and water will be evaporated). Make sure the mushrooms are not crowded or they won’t brown; stir frequently, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer over medium low heat until it has reduced by half, about 4-5 minutes.

PRO TIP: Take a little taste at this point, if it still has the bite of alcohol, it is not done cooking down.

Stir in mascarpone and mustard until combine. Retrieve your chicken breasts, slice into 1/3 in slices and return chicken and juices to the skillet. Heat the chicken until it is cooked through and sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

At this point, begin to boil water for the fettuccine and cook to al dente. Once cooked, add the remaining 3 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of parsley, stir and set aside.

Place dish by using longs, slightly twirl fettuccine on plates, spoon the chicken mixture over and garnish with parsley springs.

Seriously incredible. The dish is rich, creamy, buttery, with a slight warmth and tangy from the wine. All cut through wonderfully with the fresh parsley

Seriously incredible. The dish is rich, creamy, buttery, with a slight warmth and tangy from the wine. All cut through wonderfully with the fresh parsley

I couldn’t be more pleased with this dish and it happily brought back why I love to cook in the first place. Enjoy!

 

 

Citrus Shredded Pork with Mango Salsa

So much is happening! I will have to devote a post just to get myself up to speed with all the craziness in my life, which is the main reason I haven’t been blogging as much. I did some recipe experiments lately, and hopefully will get to perfect and blog about, but not yet. Regardless, this recipe has been a big hit in my house. My fiance couldn’t get enough of it! Also, it was super easy for me to make during the week, since it is a crock pot meal, and that helps me out with my psycho work schedule.

This will make so much leftovers which can help with batch cooking and making additional meals. You can make shredded pork sandwiches, throw it in salad, make tacos or quesadillas, the possibilities just keep going!

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb pork shoulder; needs a bit of fat
  • 6 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 2-3 tbsp Jerk seasoning from Penzey’s spices or any Jerk seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 orange; juiced
  • 1 lime; juiced
  • 2 Haas avocados; diced
  • 2 mangoes; diced
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional:

  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice; I used a pilaf that was a combo of sprouted lentils, quinoa, and brown rice-YUM
  • 1/2 cup of cooked black beans

Directions:

I recommend marinating the pork overnight, it really helps develop the flavor and make the pork incredibly tender. Take the pork shoulder and score the skin, fat side exposed. You want to score it in a criss-cross pattern. Take your minced garlic and stuff it in between the score marks. In a small bowl, mix together the Jerk seasoning and salt. Once combine, rub into the pork shoulder, making sure you use all the seasoning. Put the pork in a bowl and squeeze the orange juice and lime juice over the pork, rub it in a little, then cover and refrigerate.

In the morning, place the pork and all the juices into the crock pot and cook on low for 9 hours. In the meantime, and by meantime, I mean like 10 minutes before it is done, start your salsa.

Combine avocado, mango, cilantro, and red onion together. Season with salt and pepper. If needed, you can add a little olive oil to bring the salsa together.

When ready, the pork will be fall-off-the-bone tender. Take the pork out of the crock pot and place in a large serving bowl. Shred the pork with two forks and take a ladle to the leftover juices and pour about 1 cup over the pork. To plate, spoon some rice onto a plate, top with black beans, shredded pork, and then the salsa.

I cannot express how amazing the pork tasted, but was fantastic. The tender and spicy pork was cut nicely with the creamy and sweet salsa. Super easy and healthy meal!

I cannot express how amazing the pork tasted, but was fantastic. The tender and spicy pork was cut nicely with the creamy and sweet salsa. Super easy and healthy meal!

 

Can’t wait to make this with chicken, it was so good. So I gotta get back on the blogging train, I have taken too long of a break from blogging to focus on Yelp reviews, but there has to be a better balance! Hopefully some new recipes coming soon!

 

Tilapia Po’Boy with Homemade Tartar Sauce

I really love tilapia, if you couldn’t tell by the numerous recipes I have for it. It is so simple to make, so healthy for you, and can be very versatile. This recipe, for example, is awesome. Quick, easy, and homemade tartar sauce-once you try it, you won’t go back to the bottled stuff.

This recipe was adapted from Foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

Tartar Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1/4 cup of sweet pickles; finely diced
  • 2 tbsp of red onion; finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Po’ Boy

  • 4-6 small tilapia fillets
  • Olive oil; drizzle
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Udi’s gluten-free buns or bread
  • 2 slices of beefsteak tomato
  • 1 slice of lettuce

Directions:

Preheat oven to broil. Place fillets on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Broil in the oven for 6 minutes, turn once in between. Remove and cool slightly

Meantime, mix together your tartar sauce ingredients and set aside. Toast your bread/bun in the oven or in the toaster. To assemble, take first piece of bread, layer with tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato, and then the fish. Top with a little bit of tartar sauce and the final piece of bread.

I served my sammie with a salad and some tots. Oh man the flavor of real tartar sauce! It was amazing!

I served my sammie with a salad and some tots. Oh man the flavor of real tartar sauce! It was amazing!

This meal was seriously ready in 10 minutes, you just can’t beat that. Enjoy!

Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Salsa Verde

Let’s just dive right in. This recipe is super delicious, easy, and gluten free. How great is that?? I adapted this recipe from the new Betty Crocker cook book that I got for my birfday.

Ingredients for Enchiladas:

  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salsa Verde (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro; chopped
  • 1/4 cup of parsley; chopped
  • 6-7 gluten free tortillas (Udi’s is a good brand)
  • 2 slices of lime and 1/2 sliced avocado for garnish (optional)

Ingredients for Salsa Verde:

  • 2 medium-sized tomatillos; chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion; chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper; seeds removed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro; chopped
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With cooking spray, coat a large, glass baking dish and set aside. In a food processor or blender, combine your Salsa Verde ingredients until semi-blended. You don’t want it to be chunky, but also not puree either. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, parsley, cilantro, 1/2 c of cheese and approximately 1/2 of the salsa verde mixture. Take a tortilla and put about 2-3 spoonfuls of the chicken mixture and roll it up. Place the enchilada seam down in the baking dish. Top with the remaining salsa verde and cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until enchilada is warmed. Serve with a squeeze of lime and creamy avocado slices

Oh and served with a Spanish Rice! Ok, the enchilada is tender and full of fresh flavor. I really couldn't believe how good it was!

Oh and served with a Spanish Rice! Ok, the enchilada is tender and full of fresh flavor. I really couldn’t believe how good it was!

 

Plus it looks pretty and is very filling. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Asian-Inspired Burgers with Fresh Veggie Slaw

I could eat burgers for every single meal and probably never get sick of them. I love all burgers; meat, veggie, vegan-doesn’t matter I love them all. This recipe is a fun twist on your normal burger without cheese (no cheese on these babies!) and a great slaw as your side. I also served these burgers with Alexia’s potato pops (also known as Tater Tots). You can sub out the pork/beef for chicken and feel free to eat the burgers without the bun, like me 🙂 Just a personal preference these days!

Ingredients for Asian-Inspired Burgers:

  • 1 lb of ground pork and 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 4 scallions; finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of hoison sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Slaw:

  • 1/2 head of napa cabbage; thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red and orange bell pepper; julienned
  • Approximately 1 cup of pea pods; julienned
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • about 1 tsp of fresh ginger; minced
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix pork, beef, onions, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, and hoison sauce together with your hands. Salt and pepper to taste. (If you have the time, let the burgers sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to build the flavors). With your hands, make little meat patties, place on baking sheet and bake for approximately 7 minutes per side. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

While burgers are cooking, make your slaw. Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper and whisk together. In a medium bowl, toss your veggies with the dressing and set aside.

To plate, place your slaw down first, top with your yummy burger and garnish with a little Sriracha mayo (mayo, chili sauce, and a squeeze of lime juice). SRIRACHA ON ALL THE THINGS!!

The burger is full of amazing flavor, juicy and tender! The slaw has spice and tangy which balances out with the fattiness of the burger.

The burger is full of amazing flavor; juicy and tender! The slaw has spice and tangy which balances out with the fattiness of the burger.

Seriously, some of the best tasting burgers I have made thus far, enjoy!

 

The Truth in Balance

Since the beginning of the year I have been working towards a better understanding of a “work-life” balance. It hasn’t been the easiest, but I think I hit a moment of clarity last week after a particularly difficult day at my job.

All days are challenging and I am positive that is the case for most people so I am honestly not complaining nor assuming my situation is unique. I am just pointing out that everyone has their moment where they have hit their limit and they must choose to adjust or accept. I did both.

With the help of therapy (yes, I love therapy, everyone should try it) I have finally begun to understand the meaning of “accepting things you cannot change, and changes things you can”. This is very relevant to my version of a “work-life” balance since I spend almost every waking moment thinking of how I can change the culture, life, and structure of my office. Finally, after accepting there are certain things I cannot and will not be able to change, I was given a whole new perspective on my life…something I have been hoping that would happen for the last 4 years.

There is more to life that constant work and crisis. There are things to experience that do not deal with satisfying a quota or retaining a client. I have been so consumed by the daily grind and professional pressure to succeed, I never really considered the fact that my poor personal/mental health is effecting my job. Now that I have stepped back and allowed myself to be present in the moment, it is like a new life. I am more productive at work because I am fully engaged in what I am doing. I enjoy my time away from work much more since I am committed to whatever I am doing in that moment. I do not worry as much, I do not stress as much, shit…I even look better!

I’m signed up for my first African dance class for the next 6 weeks. It makes my heart feel good to be dancing again. I have also started baking, which is hilarious. I really don’t eat sweets, but having like 5 good dessert recipes is something I have always wanted. My first try was homemade Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting.

Tasted good, but needs a lot of testing. Lesson learned, you can't sub in heavy cream for milk!

Tasted good, but needs a lot of testing. Lesson learned, you can’t sub in heavy cream for milk!

My weight lifting has finally paid off as well. I measured myself after 6 months of progress and here we are:

Sept 6, 2013Weight: 136 lbs
Height: 5′ 4”
Body Fat %: 26

March 2, 2014
Weight: 132 lbs
Height: 5′ 4”
Body Fat %: 22

It may not be much, but this is a huge difference for me. When I started, lifting 8 lb weights hurt and I could barely do a modified push up. Now I can do 30 lbs in repetitive curls, 20 push ups, and bench 40 lbs.

It may not be much, but this is a huge difference for me. When I started, lifting 8 lb weights hurt and I could barely do a modified push up.

I know there is a general feeling that it’s selfish and vain to take care of yourself. Sometimes I feel like I am being judged when I say I need to take care of myself instead of pulling another 12 hour day. But you know what, I don’t care if I vain or selfish. I am no use to anyone if I am a cranky piece of shit, hating my whole existence. So here we go! I am very excited for this new feeling and approach to my life!!