I’m a FOOD addict.. but I’ve found healthier and better ways to cope with my addiction❤️ #cleaneating
This recipe is the perfect keto dinner- quick and easy to make.. and very affordable.
What you will need:
1 sheet pan
1/4 cup salted butter, melted ** Can substitute for coconut oil and ghee)
1 TBSP of olive oil
3 gloves of garlic chopped finely (I like to buy the bottles of garlic puree)
1 tsp of salt and pepper
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
juice of one lemon
Veggies of choice
4 Filets of tilapia
(Tom thumb (Texas ) has a great sale today on the frozen tilapia, so that’s what I got!
2 sliced lemons, sliced thinly in the shape of a circle :)
Mix together marinade
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil
On baking sheet, line the middle of the pan with the cut lemons
Place the fish directly on top of lemons, and coat generously with the mixed (room temp) marinade
Place veggies on the tray alongside of the fish. Coat the vegetables with a spray of olive oil and season as desired.
**use excess marinade as an extra seasoning for the veggies
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C/ 400 F for 12-15 minutes. *until fish is flakey- test with a fork
** for a crispier finish, after cooked: turn broiler on, and broil the dish for 1-2 minutes until golden brown on the top.
Recipe Notes/ PRO-tips:
Pat dry the fish before you cook it
Use a teaspoon of mayo to coat the fish to add moisture
Cook fish on top of lemons to add moisture
Do not over cook fish, it will be dry and chewy. Tilapia is a very delicate fish and it is very easy to overcook it. For really moist and tender Tilapia, Bake at 200 C / 400 F for 10-12 minutes.
When using more tough veggies, par-bake in oven first, or after the fish has been cooked. I personally cook the entire dish first, and then stick the vegetables back in the oven until golden brown.
The dish is best served hot and not reheated, but you can always make the dish, and serve on top of a bed of arugula or lettuce the following day.
Use the excess juice from the pan to coat the fish before serving
If you are using frozen fillets, then make sure you thaw it completely before baking.
Let me fill you in:
I feel like a turtle, I am in a complete shelled in mess! I will get through this, but I wanted to let y’all in. I promised myself that when I began my journey, I would take y’all alongside me, not only to show y’all the ups of getting healthy, but also to show y’all that life is not perfect.
I think a big part about being an “influencer” is making sure that you constantly are on your toes and posting and saying all the right things. It doesn’t all have to be this difficult, I have just become, numb.
What is right anymore?
Recently more than ever I have realized that you will never ever EVER be right by everyone. Whether we like it or not, the honest truth is that family, friends, enemies, and even strangers have their own standards and opinions.
My honesty: I have not been the best I can be to y’all, or myself. I have started to let the world around me consume my everyday thoughts and my daily routines. I have let negativity slowly crawl into some aspects into my life and it has finally reached its tipping point. I am so sorry to all of you, and I am sorry to myself.
This summer I tried to focus on getting back on track. I went out of town on my own personal oasis to find peace. I read books, I prayed, I walked, and actually I was doing much better.
Before I knew it, something else happened and my world felt like it was caving in.
Then, I hurt my back. I had to go in and have a small procedure, and sadly, it seems like it isn’t much better. I am actually in pain… which STINKS!
For some strange reason in my life when one thing starts to stress me out, I find one thousand other things that bother me, and then I get sick…. Before I knew it, I had bronchitis. **Bronchitis is basically suicide for my voice. I literally cannot sing which drives me up a wall, and then makes me more sad.
When I am sad, I think about sleeping, then I think about food, and then I start to make even more excuses. THEN THE CYCLE REPEATS.. Does this sound familiar????
I am creating excuses. When I had surgery I knew I was making a lifestyle change, and being healthy really has changed my life. The reality of me having surgery, is that while I did have a stomach surgery, I still have the same brain. The same thoughts go through my head. I am human. I feel like I am not only failing myself, but also everyone else. Let me tell you, if you haven’t had that feeling, it sucks.
Why am I writing all of this?
Many people reach out to me saying that they are abnormal for thinking like this. You feel like your world is ending, and you can’t do anything about it, right?
YOU ARE NORMAL. You are not crazy, you are not perfect, you simply are human.
Without making mistakes, we would never be able to learn.
It may look like losing weight can fix your problems. ** YES IT IS SO CRUCIAL TO BE HEALTHY.** BUT, let us not forget that also in order to be healthy on the outside we have to be healthy on the inside.
I am at a point today where I have decided to start taking everything one day at a time. To me that means: Getting rid of Hate, and deciding MY OWN fate.
Let go of the hate you have for the people that judge you, let go of the pain that you have pounding in your heart, let go of the evil and negativity that feels like cannot go away, forgive the people that have wronged you, and turn the other cheek. Every day flip the page, continue to write your own story, and think about why you are writing this story, and for WHOM you are writing it for. We all have our own paths, and we will meet MANY people along the way. The right people will WANT to stay in your life for a reason. If they aren’t there, also, there is a reason.. We have our own purposes in life, but I can promise your purpose is NOT to worry about why people don’t like you, or to sit and stare at a wall and say it is impossible. It is possible, you are capable, I am capable, I can do anything I put my mind to.. If I fail, and don’t succeed, try try and try again; because today, is only the first day of the REST of your life.
I am sorry, and I promise to y’all, and myself that I will keep on striving daily to be the best me I can be. I promise to focus on the reasons why I started my journey, and the reasons I decided to let go, and move on. I promise I will start to TRY again. It means everything in the world to me that y’all have stuck around in my journey, and been so incredibly supportive in more ways than you know.
I am very honest with my readers. While I am being honest and open to each one of you, I tend to loose touch with some of my emotions during that process.
I am sad. I have been sad. I have neglected my own emotions while focusing so much on posting about the positive. While it seems easy to write it out on paper, the realization of this to myself was the HARDEST part. So often I find myself wanting to post happy videos because you know.. that is what everyone wants right? A Happy video. Everyone wants to see success. I post my failures too, I am very vulnerable. While I am vulnerable, and very public, I still obviously have my private life.
It all started this past week. I had family in town and for the first time, I felt like because I was hungry more often, that I would have to hide when I ate snacks. That quickly turned into me sneaking food.. like I was literally 12 again.
Then.. I got the news and have recently lost a loved one that was very important to me, and I am binge eating. With all of that in mind, I have gained 2-3 lbs. and it has really been bothering me.
Unlike the past 12 months of being down and back getting up, I have fallen and have not been wanting to move. I have been CRAVING foods that I haven’t craved in A YEAR. I have been eating food, I still cannot tolerate, that I haven’t eaten in a year. It becomes this cycle of sadness, eating, sadness because I am sick from eating, sadness from feeling gross and disappointed in myself, and waking up again, feeling okay, and then accidentally giving up on myself….OH AND REPEAT.
Today I have done better. I think it is okay to admit that we all are going to have low points in our lives, and things are going to happen. It is okay to cry. It is okay to mess up. I know people are going to read this and have their own opinions and say, “Look how hard you have worked, Don’t give up now.” I haven’t given up. It is a journey, and just because I have slip-ups does not mean that I am going to quit. I AM NOT a quitter. I am a go getter. I wanted to share this with y’all because while people see how much gastric bypass has been a God-send, emotional eating is still very much so something I struggle with daily. I have to work hard to get past this hump. Right now if you are struggling, or know someone who is struggling.. do not give them the advice in saying look how far you’ve come. In this time think about what you can do to overcome this current battle that you are fighting, and once you are strong enough to turn back, then look back and see how far you have come. I find that when I am in a state of mind like this, sad, I look back and I nit-pick all the situations that I have gone through and then end up being more sad and letting my cycle once again repeat.
Here is my plan:
I am going to take this one day at a time. Today I woke up.. had a bit of a slip up. I then took my vitamins, and my pre-workout and went to class. After class I went on my first jog in a LONG time. I keep making up excuses for not having time to workout… BUT that is such a lie… I have so much free time.. I just : do not want to do it. I am not perfect.
Funny side story—— while on my jog today I looked at myself and wanted to cry. I guess another reason I have been so sad lately is that I look HORRID. I have not felt so ugly in such a long time. I haven’t worn makeup in days. I want my fake lashes back, and my acrylic nails, but honestly, I just need to embrace my natural self, and make self the healthiest it can be. If I want to use strip lashes and put on makeup.. thats another story, but as for workouts, and longterm routines, MY SKIN has to be naturally fixed anyways.. why not start now. So….after I am done writing this blog, I am going to do my research and fix the following for the next 30 days.
- Teeth Whitening
- Hair/nail/Lashes growth
- UNDER EYE BAGS UGH
- Clearing up skin
- tightening skin (with ab challenge)
- Clearing up scaring on my face— it REALLY bothers me.
I thought hmmmmm what else can I do to start keeping myself accountable. DING DING DING*** a 30- day challenge.. hence my new ab challenge that I am going to TRY to do everyday. Abs are something you can literally do anywhere anytime. When it comes to eating, my appetite has definitely increased, and I am simply HUNGRY. So I will not deprive myself, but I will go to my house and make healthy food, and restock my vitamins. I need to also CLEAN, a clean house gives me a clear mind. I also think I desperately need to start keeping a list, TO DO: MY HOMEWORK, SINGING, FINISH BURN BY FRIDAY, yada yada. Lastly, I thought what else can I do to clear my head space, blog, song-write, and sing.
***WE ARE HUMAN, we are not perfect. We are ask allowed to make mistakes. Take it one day at time.
While y’all ask me for help and for my advice on how I lose weight, I am desperate to know how you clear your mind when you get upset? How do you get back up, when you feel down? I can’t preach it, if I am failing to teach it.
Sending my love to you all,
March 27, 2018
The day before surgery.
The night before surgery- March 27th, 2017. I was shaking, I was scared, I was excited, I was happy, but more than anything I was ready to start over. I looked at myself one last time in the mirror and reminded myself that this upcoming journey was not for anybody but myself. I LOVED myself, and in that same moment I made myself a few new promises.
“I promise through the thick and thin of the rest of my life, no matter how down on myself I may be, I will not give up. I will make an Instagram, and be vulnerable, and honest with people going through this journey. I will not loose sight in why I am going on this journey. I will keep a blog. I will NEVER use photoshop again to edit my body. I will love myself endlessly. Lastly, I promised myself that March 28th was my new life. For me that meant many things: No more negativity in my life. No more lies. No talking badly about people. While there were many “No’s” I also promised myself happy things- “When you set a goal, and you reach it, reward yourself. Promise to laugh more. Promise to love. Promise to support those around you, and those that reach out. Promise to work your hardest to be the best you can be, so then you can help people. Remember that when someone judges you for posting a picture, THIS is YOUR journey. You are not doing this for others approval. You are posting to inspire other people, and if someone hates on it.. then that is their opinion. EVERYONE has one.”
I know for a fact that making these promises to myself changed and shaped my journey. These promises have helped me stay grounded, when I feel like I am on top of the world. Some other things that have helped me stay on the right path are, my faith, my FAMILY, my love for myself, the support from such an amazing weightloss community on Instagram, and my music.
One year later, March 27th, 2018- Here is the my advice to the person on the night before anything monumental- and life changing:
- Focus on why you are changing your life, and what has made you want to make that change. Never loose sight in that. You can be nervous, in fact, if you’re not.. you are a weirdo. Jk
- BUT seriously, go through all of the emotions. Live. Don’t be scared about judgement from other people, because ultimately you are the one that is going to be overcoming something HUGE, drastic, and YOU are making the change.
- Believe in yourself. I had to. I didn’t. That night was the night that I did. I took this picture and I said I love myself. I knew it would be my last before picture, before I turned into a cutting board the next day. (By the way… my scars… are MY story, and I love them)
- Sleep well, say a little prayer, dream about your future, it is about to get REAL.
Lastly, Congratulations, you are doing it, and that means are just this much closer to reaching a goal, your first goal. Go live your life- IT is time!
Meal Prep Monday-
MC’s Metabolic Minestrone
1 cabbage chopped (I did mine in little squares)
3-4 stocks of celery chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 tomato chopped
1/2- 1 Egg plant chopped
1 large red pepper or green…(I don’t like green pepper)
1 large zucchini
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 can of tomato paste
4-6 cups of your choice of broth ( I used my Nana’s homemade bone broth)
- Towards the end, you might end up needing to add more water (2-3 cups, and a cube of bullion. The lentils absorb a lot of the broth while cooking!)
1 bottle/can of veggie juice (I used homemade gazpacho)
3- 4 servings of lentils, or your beans of choice (good source of protein)
1 Lime squeezed (my personal preference)
Dash salt and pepper
Dash of turmeric
Radish for embellishment- also it is great for you.. so if you like it.. add it in with the chopped veg!
Prep- 5-10 Min
- Chop all of your veggies:
- 1 cabbage
- 3-4 stocks of celery
- 1 large onion
- 1 tomato
- 1/2- 1 Egg plant
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 large zucchini
- 4 cloves garlic
Cooking- 40 min to 50 min
I personally like my veg chopped in bite sized pieces. BUT this first step- is all personal preference (except for the garlic.. chop chop chop)
2. Get out your favorite large soup pot.
3. Sauté your veggies (minus the cabbage) in your Soup Pot, with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, until cooked through but NOT soggy
4. Add in Broth of choice, tomato paste, can of veggie juice and bring soup mixture to a boil
5. Once boiling, add in lentils (or your beans of choice) and the chopped cabbage
6. Cover with a lid, and let simmer for 25-30 min.
7. Season accordingly to taste and preference ( add turmeric, radish, squeeze of lime, salt and pepper)
***********This soup is mean to be a fat flush by itself and a good quick detox. I personally add lentils for extra protein because I cannot survive without it! I find that this is the perfect comfort food for creamy cravings, and cravings for fullness.
- HEY RNY PEOPLE!!! trying to get your protein in??
- USE BONE BROTH!!!!!!! (Super high protein)
- add unflavored protein powder
- for a more creamy texture
- Add yogurt
- Add avocado
- blend the soup
- for spice
- Add a jalepeño
- Add Sriracha
(For people not wanting to use this as a flush)
- Add enlightened ROASTED BROAD BEAN CRISPS
( 4x the protein, and 5x the fiber of normal chips)
From what I have read online.. “The theory behind the fat flush diet is that eating the correct combinations of foods and eating more often will increase the body’ metabolism and lead to the efficient burning of fat. Therefore, rather than totally restricting fat, the fat flush diet calls for eating the correct fats, as well as the correct carbohydrates and proteins. However, in order to maximize the body’ burning of stored body fat 24 hours per day, the liver and lymphatic system must first be detoxified.” (diet.com)
Lastly, I would love to thank Hattee Taylor, for coming up with such an incredible title for this soup! Not only is she a wonderful human being, she is extremely creative.. oh and AN INCREDIBLE horse back rider.
A blog about 3.15.17.
2 days before surgery
I am feeling so many mixed emotions right now it is unbelievable. I remember this day like it was yesterday. One year ago today.. I had the biggest emotional break down of my entire life. Lauren Solomon, my sister, was holding me on my bed in Mexico, while I balled crying to her about how I was conflicted. I was unsure. I was scared. I was terrified of the unknown. I was fearful. Realizing soon after that darkness is the absence of light, and fear is simply the absence of faith. I wasn't trusting in God because I was terrified of not knowing what would happen in my future.
My fears also being: "What if I can never eat normally again? What am I going to do at my wedding when I can't drink champagne? What if all of my hair really does fall out? Why can't I just be normal and eat what normal people eat? I just don't understand."
These thoughts flooded my mind and crowded my perception. People ask me, what were your doubts going into surgery.. well.. there they were. Lauren looked and reminded me to trust in what my grandfather has always told her. The big W and the little w, God's will and your will. There was my second chance at life, and I didn't know when else this could be a possibility.
It hit me that night. I finally could see a light. I could visualize a possitive, yet scary, uneven, and windy road. A marathon not a sprint. A journey and not a diet. A life. A REAL, second chance to be healthy. I called my mom... and at 8:19 pm, we scheduled my appointment for March 29, 2017 at 7 am. ( THE BIG DAY *remember that?)
crazy how time has flown by. Honestly these past few weeks have been tough on me. I have not been my healthiest, yet I have not gained weight. I have been honest on my blog. I have shown y'all everything I have eaten. I have stress eaten.. I have BINGE eaten. I have craved, and caved. You name it, I have a name for it, and I've done it. My point being, sometimes I get so bothered by arguments, and tough situations I am surrounded by. I question why I am put in the ruts that I am in. I wonder why me? I think about what my life coulda woulda shoulda... and then I look back. It all happens for a reason. Remember when I questioned the gastric bypass and almost didn't have surgery? Guess what? THIS... blog would not be a thing. I would not be in Spain. You would not be reading this. I am not sure why, but EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Funny enough recently, someone that was dear to us said, Man plans, God laughs. It is really ironic isn't it?* ;) I am blessed to be surrounded by the most wonderful, strong, incredible family and best friends in the world. I am blessed for the life I have. I need to remind myself, that everything happens for a reason, and it will all work itself out. Do not be be fearful, have faith.
** Oh and don't forget ( Karma will bite cha in the bootyyyy)
I DO NOT enjoy working out..
I enjoy the feeling I get after working out.
In order to stay healthy, I know that I need to workout. Therefor, I have to make it fun!
One thing I have yet to try is PRE- Workout, BUT I am trying it tomorrow. I will let y'all know how that goes!!!
Being that I am away in Spain, I do not have a gym to workout in, so I have to make up my own workouts! Personally what keeps me inspired to workout is a goal. I LOVE setting goals... whether it is for a life long journey, or just a simply workout routine. Here is how I do it:
A SMART GOAL:
I set a goal everyday to take 10,000 steps. Studies show that to actually maintain a healthy weight, 10,000 steps a day is a MUST. Then I look at myself in the mirror... What do I want to focus on today?? I always try to involve cardio. Some days, if not most I like focusing on my arms, and butt. My routine goes as follows: I have none. I make it up myself, and I HAVE TO HAVE FUN. (or else.. I really will NOT workout)
My favorite place to find workout inspiration for specific body parts: legs, arms, abs, butt; is on Pinterest. To involve cardio, I look up youtube videos of either: HIIT at home workouts, or DIY dance lessons to my current fave song. (I will be posting another video of this tomorrow)
While I do like working out in the gym for the sheer fact that everything is easily accessible, I actually REALLY enjoy being able to make up my own plans at home. Not only is it fun, and somewhat judgement free...it is also FREE.
Wear a waist Trainor while working out
DRINK WATER- DRINK MORE WATER- KEEP DRINKING WATER. I love using a swell bottle everyday and my TEAMI bottle for tea! (I will be posting a promo code on insta for this.. keep your eyes peeled)
Sweat.. it might not seem cute, but you will feel cute once you reach your goal :)
Count your steps everyday- FITBIT/Apple Watch/ iPhone health app
Lastly, and really crucially believe in yourself and have fun.
I have been horribly MIA from my blog online, and I am sorry. I constantly talk about how I want to blog but truthfully I just never get around to it. So here I am writing my first post of 2018, sitting in a library in Valencia, Spain.
January 3rd, 2018, I posted a before and during transformation picture of me in a pink shirt, and it was reposted by a very large transformation Instagram. From then on.. it was a grapevine of reposts, and before I knew it, I had become inspiration for someone else. Months before surgery even was a thought, I followed accounts similar to mine now, but never did I think I would have the impact on others, that they had on me. I am so honored to have such an amazing support system, such an amazing following, and such inspiring people to surround myself with. I have been receiving more and more similar messages on my Instagram DM’s. (Which I am trying VERY HARD to reply to!)
Here are some of the most reoccurring questions that I will be hoping to cover soon in my blog:
What are my workouts?
How do I workout without a gym?
What does my daily routine look like?
What do I eat in a day?
Why did I pick RNY?
How do I stay motivated?
and the Number one question
HOW did I do it?
It is NOT a short answer. I did it first with God and my family and my absolute best-friends. I have not done it yet, and I never will do it. I will always be doing it. This is my journey, this is my life, this is an adventure, not a diet, not a fad, not an easy 2 week cleanse.
Secondly, I had a massive realization in January of 2017. People always told me, if you want to lose weight, YOU have to really be the one to want to. I never understood it, until it really hit me.
So, I walked up to my car, opened my door, and sat down. I looked down. I started to ball crying. My stomach was being squished between the steering wheel and my body, almost as if it was like an extra add on to my body. The best way I can describe how I felt, is to say that it felt like I had a very very large donut strapped around my lower abdomen.
I have had horrible things said to me, and about me. “MC is twice/three times a normal persons size. MC is named MC after McDonalds.” The words Fat Ass have haunted me. Like anyone that is alive, I have lived, in saying that I mean NO one is perfect, everyone has said something they regret, or that is hurtful. I have have been picked on.. but who hasn’t? The reason I am writing about this is because bullying really took a toll on me while growing up. While it really killed me, my own judgment of myself killed me more. I think I was able to cope with other people talking about me because I never believed it was true. One day, in January, in my car, it hit me. It hit me so hard. I ate less than anyone I knew because I had the lap-band, and I was still gaining weight. I was killing myself. I was eating myself to death. I had horrible knee pains, I had gained 30 lbs. in that month alone. I needed help. My cortisol, thyroid, and blood pressure were awful, my metabolism was SHOT because of the horrible eating habits I had taught myself from the lap-band. Lastly, my mental state was at an all time low. I did not want to do anything but cry about it.
I had been speaking to my doctors for a while about the gastric bypass, but years prior. I was torn between a rock and hard spot. Part of me knew I needed to have surgery as soon as possible, but then the other part of me, wanted to be with my best-friend studying abroad in Spain (which mind you was already paid for and registered). January 12th I spoke to my sister Lauren on the phone and she said, “MC, Spain will always be there, but surgery will not.” I spoke to my best friend later that day and she cried because she was so happy for me. She supported me. January 17th, my mom and I committed to making the biggest decision of my life. She supported me.
Which is the third part of how I am doing it: I had the gastric bypass surgery.
Now let me stress how many people DID NOT support this decision of mine:
initially… almost 95% of everyone I told.
Why? Well, the gastric bypass is a risky surgery. It also comes with many complications if you are not caring to your body, and if you are not serious about weight loss it could be actually quite a harmful surgery in the long hall.
I had to go to 3 months of therapy with a psychologist, nutritionist, physical therapist, and meet with my doctor many times. Lastly I had to go on a pain in the butt diet before and AFTER the surgery. Fast forward to after surgery (my blogs can kinda sorta fill you in :)
The fourth way of HOW I am doing it:
I do my research, and I fuel my body with what MY body needs. I am not going to lie, I have done my fair share of stalking many gastric bypass Instagrams and blogs. I like learning from true experiences, rather from something that is just text book. I listen to nutritional books, but everyone is so different and doctors have different methods for different patients. I have dumping from mayonnaise, and peanut butter, but I'm sure many people don't have that. I live by a mind, body, soul, theory. It is so important to not only focus on your eating but to work hard on your mind and soul throughout a journey like this. I was given a second chance to live again. Why would I not take advantage of the fact that I can start over. Gastric bypass has helped me because I eat less and now when I start to eat something unhealthy I remember very quickly what the repercussions are. I am lucky that I had the surgery. Many people will argue that surgery “did it for me” but as for my own personal belief, I LOST the weight, and the surgery has helped me immensely, NO doubt. I tried to loose weight without the surgery. I lost 70 lbs, and gained 120lbs back. My entire life it was a never ending cycle of ups and downs emotionally, and physically with my weight. I control what goes into my body, and I chose what I eat (I will discuss this in another blog soon as well:) Working out is also something I have to do, or I will not be successful, and see a physical change. I think working out is something that sort of grows on you.. Honestly I still hate it, but it is more so now a hate LOVE relationship. I hate it at first and then love it after I am done. Lastly, journaling is something that has always been apart of my life. Journaling is actually the way I found my way to my name of, “mclivinit”.
The fifth way of HOW I am doing it:
Music, songwriting, and prayer.
I have this new found passion for singing worship songs by Hillsong. I have always been told that singing is like praying twice. I love to sing, and it think their music is so unbelievably beautiful. I don’t know where my love for it came from, their music is what gets stuck in my head all of the time. I love music. Music keeps me sane. I go to Berklee, and honestly being back in a musical environment is such an incredible feeling. I missed being able to just walk over to a piano and play it. I missed being able to step into my own practice room and sing as loud as possible.
The 6th way of HOW I am doing it:
Social Media. Sounds crazy, I know. While it sounds nuts, it has its own community. my blog keeps me accountable. Instagram inspires me. I love getting on Instagram and checking the newest transformation pictures from some of the people that are just starting their journey. While I am away in Europe, social media is a wonderful way for me to have “support groups” online, and from afar. I get tons of my at home workouts and yummy DIY recipes from Pinterest. (I will discuss that in further detail in another blog soon :) I want to inspire people with my story, just like I was inspired by other peoples stories. I keep a blog because it keeps me sane.;
I was given a second chance at life. You can have your second chance too. You have to be the one to make the choice to make the change, for YOU. Do it for YOU, because YOU can do it. and as my mommy has always told me,
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life, if you don't try you have already failed.”
(she also says “DORITOS ARE HEALTHY”… but I wasn't going to mention that lol)
"I am fine. I am okay. I am in love with myself. I am beautiful the way God made me. Screw the people that say I need to lose weight.. I DO NOT need to." I often used to say this to myself.
Diet after diet.. change after change.. breakup after breakup.. I kept using my weight as my crutch.
Weight loss... it’s not just loosing weight. It’s a life changing emotional journey, that has many ups and downs. Tonight, for the first time since January, I realized I did this.. I DID THIS. This has been the ONE thing in my entire life that I can truthfully say I DID, and I am working so hard to continue to do so. I don’t see my weight loss, and I get very hard on myself. I see numbers, I see positive messages, but I do not feel worthy of the accomplishments that I have made. I don’t realize my self worth, even though I post often about health and self love. I get down on myself. The picture I posted tonight reminds me that no matter what I have been through, and what I go through...
I can do it, I am doing it, and I will continue to do it. I am doing it for ME. I am proud of ME. I did love myself. I look back at the old pictures and am ashamed. I am broken hearted that I didn’t see that I needed help. I needed saving. I’m blessed by the grace of God to have had the love and support from such amazing people. I seriously do not understand how I was blinded. I sit back and recognize that it was, and is an addiction. I needed help. I needed someone to grab my hand and say DO IT. My bestfriend significantly pushed this, and without him bringing it to my attention.. I cannot say that I would honestly be living right now. I was sad. I was scared. I was living in a 330 lb body that was being controlled by an addiction. I was an addict. I am an addict. I just now have to take it ONE day at a time to overcome such a battle, and keep pushing forward. God gave me that second chance, you supported me through it, and I have to keep doing it.
I have not been fully honest with y'all. While loosing weight has been amazing, and my life has changed a lot, it is very hard for me. I have been struggling to love myself, and struggling to stay possitive through this terribly long plateau. I recorded this video to share how I am feeling about it all..below.
I have been trying my hardest to REBOOT...ergo the REBOOT vitamin infusion from Vitaliv Therapies.
Thank you all so much for your love and support. Simply put, I could not do it without you.
My past four months have been absolutley life changing.
Over the summer I have been working very hard physically and mentally to be the best I can be.
Before I left for Greece, I had honestly only worked out probably 10 times since surgery (including walks). My inspiration to workout only came about recently when, I realized that while having a small stomach is great, I have to remember, "calories in, calories out." Meaning, while I still will probably loose weight without working out, eventually I will plateau and get stuck. Not only has working out helped me continue with a somewhat steady weightloss, it has mentally been wonderful for me. I do find myself constantly in a battle with myself. I always try to make up an excuse to not workout, but once I force myself to workout, I feel amazing.
One thing that has really changed recently is my energy level. While I do workout, have a routine, and eat healthy, at the end of the day, I am exhausted. I am still not sure why my body shuts off around 8 or 9pm on days that I workout, but it annoys me. I used to be able to go out with my friends and hangout and sing until 4 am. While I could still do so, I am literally almost a zombie by 10 or 11pm. I think it is just my body's way of saying, you need rest. I do find myself having very extreme workout weeks, and then some very pathetic weeks where I cheat and have foods I should not and make excuses to not workout.
I am realllllly lucky to have the trainers that I do. I workout often with @CoachRayRay at ASD Dallas. I find that when I train with him my body gets so sore. (BEST SORE) We will work on body parts that I had no idea existed... haha. His workouts remind me of 1 hour boot camps, with intervals of cardio. After just a week of going to ASD I can physically notice a difference in my body. I love working on toning. Shifting gears..... Tim, my hero, agent, trainor, and practically uncle, kicks my butt. Our workouts range from pushing football sleds, to doing squats, to jogging, to doing high knees. When we workout, I feel like I really get in a lot of my cardio. Lastly I have been working with my good friend Claire Coggins. She has personally calculated everything out for me and our workouts, and always challenges me. We workout on every part of my body, but focus on weight lifting and use the HIIT training theory. On top of working with these awesome people, I try to walk. I find that while I say that, I do not... SO I purposefully will make little changes. Something as small as parking at the end of the parking lot, taking the stairs over an elevator, and even walking around the mall to shop to get in my steps, makes a significant change!
What do yall do to keep you energized throughout the day after a workout?? I drink water, take my vitamins, and am fairly healthy.. so I really would love your advice!!!!!
Time for some fun in the sun! School is out and summer has just begun. I have to admit this is one of my favorite times of the year. On Friday my dad brother and I flew to Saint Thomas. To be quite honest with you, as much as I love to travel, one of my least favorite things in the world to do is fly. I do not hate flying because of any other reason but one. Seat belts.
I know many of you are reading that thinking, why in the world would you have a problem with seat-belts? Let me tell you, I've had nightmares about airplane seat-belts. Airplane seat-belts have always been a physical reminder to me of how heavy I am. It is so embarrassing to sit down on an airplane and not be able to buckle your seatbelt.
For the first time since surgery I got on the airplane and attempted to put on my seatbelt. To my own surprise, it fit. Not only did it fit, but it fit somewhat comfortably. I actually started crying on the airplane. It is crazy that something so small can't emotionally impact us and change our perspective on something. I reminded myself once again that it's not about the scale, obviously I've been working my butt off (literally), and it has started to pay off.
We arrived in St. Thomas, and were welcomed by delicious rum punch. Knowing that I would get dumping syndrome and get off track, I promised myself that I would not have any other drinks besides iced tea, lemon water, and cucumber water. (Of course I wanted that rum punch, but I'm trying to mentally retrain my thoughts) As the days fly by here, eating my meals have been difficult. Of course, I can order off of any menu and get a kids grilled chicken with vegetables, but that is just so boring. Food has always been a comforting go to. Going on vacation, I've always told myself that I could eat and drink what I wanted, and really not do anything. This vacation was different. I haven't had anything but water, and the occasional Iced tea. I've had chicken and vegetables, and some fish. I have watched my family eat and order fried food, and drink whatever they would like. It is hard, and it does suck.
Another thing that I have committed to on this trip is, working out, as you have previously seen on Instagram. Honestly, working out has inspired me not to want to cheat and to keep focusing on my goals. I never would've thought that being in pain from the gym would make me want to work out more, but it does! We all always say that we want to work out hard to get a beach body... but once we get to the beach, do we really have the right mentality? Do we all eat healthy on vacation, like we did for the months prior? Do we workout on vacation? For me, the term Beachbody seems quite ironic.
If staying true to your beach bod, how do you order when you're on vacation? What is your workout motivation while you're out of town?
WOW, I cannot believe that it has already been 6 weeks since my surgery. I feel like just yesterday I was sitting in Baylor Hospital prepping for "the big day".
This week was great. I went on my first road trip since surgery. Now, I know many of you are thinking.. uh why would that matter?
SO, let me ask you:
When you go on road trips what do you do?
Do you take pit stops? Do you sleep? Do you scream are we there yet and annoy the living daylight out of your family and friends?
Well in my family, whenever we drive down to Houston we always stop at Bucee's. We would walk in to the gas station with our sweatpants on, hair in tangles up in buns, get the largest drinks, and most delicious (unhealthy) snacks to munch on. I can honestly say that not once in my life have I looked at the calorie content in each of the snack bags. I DEFFINITLEY never thought about how many grams of sugar were in a soda. I know you continue to read this and wonder why I am going on about Bucee's, here is why. This past weekend when we drove to Houston, I packed my own food. We did not stop at Bucee's. I had will power. Yes, we did stop at a gas station in between, and yes my brother got unhealthy snacks, but for the first time in my life, I did not crave them. It sounds so simple, but for me, this was a monumental moment in my life. Just like that, I knew the trip would be fabulous.
It started off with a bang. I got to see my lovely cousins in Houston. My cousin Isabela, and I danced through Saturday night,(I got 15,000 steps) and it was honestly the most fun I think I have ever had. Sunday we all went to mass, and had a bbq for lunch. While everyone ate burgers for the meal, I focused on my goals. I served myself turkey, with grain mustard, a small low fat babybell cheese, and 4 olives. I know.. that kind of sounds terrible, but I was so satisfied, and not to mention.. so full.. A concept in which i'm not sure I will never fully understand!!!
We drove back to Dallas late that night and continued on with the week. My weeks recently have consisted of the same things. I wake up, make breakfast, drink water 30 minutes after (with the gastric bypass process this is CRUCIAL), workout, help TAKE STOCK!!, eat?, drive around dallas, do squats, shower, eat again somewhere in there, and sleep.
This Wednesday there was a great change of pace. While I did continue to go about my day, I also had time to stop by Septien. Ever since I can recall, Septien has been my safe haven. I practically grew up there. When I was a kid I attended summer camps, and took lessons often. I learned to sing, act, and dance. With that, I learned the truest form of expressing myself while doing what I love. When I was 9, Remington recorded my first cover, Love you I do, by dream girls. Since then, he has recorded, and help me incredibly. Even to this day, I belive he is one of the most talented songwriters and producers I know. His mother, Linda Septien, is a powerhouse in the music industry, but more importantly such an incredible role model for me. Visiting yesterday made me realize that I really need to start kicking it in gear with my music again. I have not sang in over a month because my surgery has really taken a toll on my diaphragm. Thankfully visiting Septien has reminded me that I can do it.
Over the past 6 weeks I have been through a lot. My entire life has changed, for the best. Throughout my process, out of all the weeks, this week has been the best week I have had yet. While change sometimes sucks, and cravings are the worst, I am slowly starting to recognize the love I have for myself, my music, and my life. I saw this week how much music has truthfully always been my passion. I felt a rush of inspiration to perform again after Wednesday night. I could not be more excited and ready for my future. If you had one thing which would inspire you to keep going in life.. what would it be? Better yet, what keeps you going now.. is it your passion?
In life, there is no easy way out. This week, I realized that. Having gastric bypass surgery, has completely changed my life. I would not trade it for the world. Yet, like all big decisions we make, I still question myself.
As much as I would love for my journey to be about constant positivity, and happiness, it is not. I have had my fare share of "tantrums" over the past week. Thoughts of binging and cheating frequently cross my mind. It would be so easy to just pick up a darn cookie. I just want to be allowed to eat ONE bite of watermelon... BUT I cannot.
Yes I can eventually eat fruit, but right now I am in the "soft food" stage of my diet. My meals consist of low fat cheese, low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, hummus, fish, and eggs, eggs, eggs. I can have bananas because they are soft, but in severe moderation. Even though I can have "soft" foods, I have to be very careful eating specially healthy soft foods. Mayo for example, is soft... Mayo has also made me sooooo sick. Along with mayo, anything too high in sugar, fat, and carbs will make me have "dumping syndrome".
Gastric bypass is commonly known for the term dumping syndrome. For those who don't know what that is, let me explain. Dumping syndrome after gastric bypass surgery is when food gets “dumped” directly from your stomach pouch into your small intestine without being digested. There are 2 types of dumping syndrome: early and late. Early dumping happens 10 to 30 minutes after a meal. Late dumping happens 1 to 3 hours after eating. Each has slightly different symptoms, such as abdominal cramping, fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, and getting sick. It is the WORST THING EVER. Hindsight is 20/20. You learn quickly what you can and cannot eat. Every person with #rnysurgery (gastric bypass) struggles differently with dumping syndrome.
So back to me wanting to cheat... I could if I REALLY wanted to.. BUT I would get sick. I have melt downs, and sad days when I actually ball my eyes out because I can't eat what everyone else eats. I am an addict. The reason I can't cheat is because for me, this is my option. Before surgery I had the choice to chose between my life with modifications, or my short road to depression, gaining weight, and a painful death. I chose life. I CHOOSE life. I do struggle, but I am getting through this, one day at a time. Everyday, more than the last, I work hard on retraining my brain. I try to refocus my passion for food onto something that is not food related. I did have a physical surgery on my stomach, but in my mind, it was more than that. My surgery is a mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional new lifestyle that I promised myself, and God. How do I get through this rough patch? I pray. I ask for strength, and guidance. I sing. I songwrite about being upset. Most importantly, as my mom says, "One day at a time."
How do you cope?
Hi guys! I quickly just want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for the support. I never realized that this blog would touch so many people, and I'm so blessed that it has.
As of yesterday, I am three weeks post op from my first original gastric bypass surgery. Late Monday afternoon, I went to my first post op doctor appointment with Dr. Davis, at @Center for Metabolic and weight loss surgery at Dallas (on Facebook).
Of course going to the doctors is never fun. I thought to myself, what if he tells me I can't eat food yet? What if I have gained weight? what if this? What if that…?
I arrived to the office, and the first thing they did was weigh me. My nurse looked at me and said "Since, March 17, You have lost 38 pounds." I was floored, it's only been a month, and I haven't even gotten the chance to work out. After that I met with my doctor, Dr. Davis, and it was all so exciting. He said, "Your incisions look good, you look good, and now you are allowed to do whatever you want (meaning: I could drive, exercise moderately, and even help my mom run errands😂).
As many of you know, I've been on a liquid diet for the past five weeks. That day, Dr. Davis gave me the OK to eat food... soft foods, but still, food. I don't think I've ever been so excited to hear the words, "you can eat an egg" in my entire life.
Afterwards my mind couldn't stop thinking about what I wanted to have for dinner. Of course me being a sushi fanatic, thought what better way to celebrate than with salmon.
So, to commemorate the occasion, I took a short video. It is all about showing y'all what life as a gastric bypass patient, when it comes to eating for the first time. It was the weirdest thing. David, and I went to go fish poke, in Preston center. I walked up to the register and saw two bowls, a 24 ounce size, and 36 ounce size. I looked at the lady and laughed, and said, "do you guys have a kids menu?" I never thought in my entire life I be ordering off of the kids menu, but thankfully, they didn't have one. I explained my situation to the lady, and she let me order a la cart. I got a scoop of 2 ounces of salmon, and a scoop of 2 ounces of avocado. My whole meal cost four dollars. I sat down and thought... there is no way I i'm going to get full off of just this. I had to remind myself that it was all mental. I saw these one and a half ounce cups and decided I was going to separate my meal into them. I purposefully did so before I ate, to tell myself that I had to stop after I ate my portion. The weirdest thing happened, I got full of 1 1/2 ounces, which blew my mind. The way the gastric bypass works is as so: 60 g of protein a day, 60 ounces of water, low sugar, low-carb, and healthy fat. (Thank GOODNESS for my Doctor and his office for being so hands-on. These past five weeks I've been super stressed out and they have been beyond helpful with explaining whatever I have questioned.)
Anyways, this was my first time eating with my new tiny belly, and I thought that I would share with you guys what it felt like.
Last night, we cooked a perfect Chilean Seabass thanks too, Perle, from Jean Philippe. What is your favorite high-protein snack? Do you guys have any yummy recipes? Please share, I cannot wait to hear!
These past three weeks have been very trial and error for me. March 28, I had my first surgery. March 31, I had another surgery, and the following week, I took much-needed time to recover. I received beautiful flowers, gifts, prayers, text messages, and phone calls, from lovely people. The level of support and love that I have received in the past three weeks is impeccable.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, were very hard on me, but as the week continued on, day by day I was healing. Every day I could add a few extra ounces to my meals, and drink more water. Friday I was actually feeling my best.
Finally feeling like I could conquer the world, I figured it was about time I spiced up my food regimine. So that day, Friday, my Tia Paulita came by the house and helped me cook. We made 4 different kinds of puréed veggie soups. Every single one was absolutely gourmet and delicious.
Late Friday night I started to feel a bit off, so I took my anti-nausea medicine and went to bed. Saturday morning I had a cup of soup, and 10 minutes later got sick. It wasn't just throwing up, it was strange, I knew something was wrong. I threw up blood. The situation seemed similar to when I knew I was sick the day after my first surgery. As Saturday went on it became harder and harder to keep anything down. By Sunday, I could not take any medicine, and I was still getting sick. We contacted my doctor and he recommended I took My Lanta. I tried to do that but sadly I got sick. At that point he knew something was wrong too. He called Baylor Hospital and reserved us an incredible room, with a beautiful view. That night we got there and were greeted by a lovely nurse, who had both beds made for me and my mom, and an IV ready to give me. Due to the fact that I could not keep any liquids down for two days, I became very dehydrated.
We got my IV in by using this new machine called a vein finder, which was absolutely insane. Once I got my medicines and fluids started, I was off to sleep. At 8 AM the next morning I went in for an endoscopy. Dr. Davis noticed that in the endoscopy, he was able to get the tube entirely down through my stomach by moving a bit of scar tissue that was being built over. The acid in my esophagus finally subsided, and by the end of the procedure I was feeling much better.
I finished around 10 AM and was sent back to my room to see if I could finally get down liquids. My room was located right behind the emergency landings for the helicopters. Being in that room really made me realize how blessed I am.
While I was trying to relax and get down my food, a lady named Beebee walked in to the room. She was a substitute Eucharistic minister taking over for someone named Richard wood. Funny story, I did not know that the minister would be working on Mondays. My grandfather, Richard Wood, happens to be out of town right now in Greece, celebrating Greek Easter. If this incident would've happened any other Monday, my grandfather would've been the one giving me communion. I was completely in awe.
Later two nights ago, we were released from the hospital. Jeremiah Tyson and Cristen Cooper came over and gave me so much love. We laughed for many hours, and finally they went home once they saw that I was bobbing my head because I was so tired.
The one thing that is getting me through this journey is God. I have been in a lot of pain, I promise you this isn't easy. Of course. I am ready to lose weight, but you can never prepare yourself enough for something like this. Life always has its ups and downs, but it is hard. Mentally it is still hard for me to grasp that I will never be able to eat a normal plate of food again. On the other hand, I am grateful that I am given a second chance to overcome my addiction with food. It is hard waking up and smelling bacon when your brother is cooking it, or smelling butter and garlic, knowing that if I eat that right now, I will get sick. I am on a liquid diet for the next two weeks, and I have been on this diet for the past four weeks. I am officially down 32 pounds since March 17, 2017. I am very proud of myself.
Speaking about how I am getting through this, I should mention my, Alison Wood. My mom has been my saving grace. I'm so grateful for the love I have received from her. My mom has been taking care of me for the past three weeks, well my whole life, but these past three weeks have been very very difficult. I'm so grateful for everything that she does. She has a job from 8 to 6 every day.. called Take Stock Inventory (you should really check it out), she is selling the house, she has to stage the house, box the house up, go to work, take my brother to school, pick him up, feed us, make sure I have my medicine and that I am comfortable, and live her own life. On top of that.. I have had two unplanned surgeries this past week and a half and I don't know how she juggles it all. She gives absolutely everything that she has, to us, and I will never know how to repay her. She is the most wonderful mother in the world.
Hello hello! I am finally able to write my second blog, and I am very excited about it.
Of course many people are wondering, why in the world has it taken so long for me to write this blog...... Well, I actually was just released from the hospital yesterday.
Tuesday morning, March 28th, 2017, my life changed forever. I was wheeled into the operation room, and came out with a second chance. After the procedure I was taken up to my room, and surrounded by beautiful flowers, balloons, mini gold spoons, and my incredibly supportive, Dr. Dan Davis, and family. The day came and went. The most exciting part of Wednesday was getting a shower...but Wednesday, like Tuesday was pretty much a blur too.
On Thursday I had a swallow study, and realized that I was not able to hold down any liquids. The doctor closely monitored me and decided that on Friday we would have to have an emergency surgery. Friday morning I went in at 7:30 and was released from the operating room at about 11:30. I remember my parents and doctor standing over me, while I was trying to breath through the pain. I had no idea what was going on. The next thing I knew I opened my eyes and it was 6 pm on Friday night. Later that night I found out that I had a massive blood clot, (the size of a deflated football) in my abdomen walls, and the doctor had never seen anything like it. I am so blessed that he saw it, and took it out when he did.
Saturday, I immediately started feeling better. I could finally, but slowly, take down my liquid pain medicine, and drink 1 oz of water every 15 minutes. I started to walk more often, and yes I still hurt, but I didn't feel like I was dying anymore!! Sunday morning my incredible doctor released me from the hospital, and my mom has become my doctor, at home nurse.
Last night, David, my brother, was confirmed and they had a mini party at my house. There was bbq and family, and I did crave a little bit of the food... but at the same time I realized, I am improving my life for a reason. I cannot and will not loose focus. I tried to hold down sugar free- fat free fro yo- but that did not go over to well. I was up four times last night, BUT for the first time since Tuesday, I got up by myself each time. ( I cannot tell you how annoying it is to not be able to pee by yourself)
So now here we are.... Today, the first day of the rest of my life. Fighting an addiction, one day at a time. Each day more and more realizing who my true friends are, and who I am. I will keep on fighting, and bettering myself to be the best I can be.
My name is MC ... I am a 19 year old overweight singer with a dream, born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I pray I inspire other people, whether that be through my music or in my life. I have struggled with weight my whole entire life. I've been through it all: bullying, counseling, nutrition classes, fat camps, the newest fads, and even the Lap Band. But NOTHING has ever worked. Why you ask?
I was never ready.
This past year I've had many struggles with my Lap Band. I finally came to terms that I needed to have it removed. While in the process of figuring that out, I began to learn more and more about the gastric bypass. I wondered what made it so successful. I followed many accounts daily, waking up and going through hundreds of social media platforms to find out how it was so successful and what the downsides were.
These past three months have been the hardest of my entire life. I was studying abroad through Berklee College of Music in Valencia. The original plan was to go back to Spain and live with my best friend, studying, traveling around the world, kicking butt in school, and having a great time. I firmly believe that God had bigger and better plans for me. Two days before my flight was leaving for Spain, I met with Dr. Davis, a brilliant gastric bypass surgeon from Baylor University Medical Center. After that meeting, it was as if the stars finally aligned. I now fully understood what I had to do. God was giving me a second chance at life.
I have stayed home this semester and decided that I am getting the gastric bypass. The reason this is different from any other time is, that this time, i'm not changing because of someone else. I'm not changing to feel happier, or to change my physical appreance. Yet, I'm only bettering myself. I am going on a life long journey, to figure out who I am.
People frequently ask me who are you? And I've come to terms with the truth.. which is, I don't entirely know yet. I know that I am MC, I'm not changing who I am, but I want to go on this journey to find out more about myself and more of who I am becoming.
I want to be healthy: mentally, physically, and emotionally. I want to be motivated and finally I can say that I am. For the first time in my entire life, I can honestly say I'm happy. I'm genuinely happy, proud of my journey and so excited for my future. I know it is going to be very hard, but life isn't easy.
I have gone through many many tests, met with psychologists and nutritionists. As opposed to the lapband, I am very prepared for this. During the past two weeks, I have been on a liquid diet (hence the protein shake video) and have lost 21 lbs.
I hope that we can all go on this journey together. I don't want this to be a one-day blog. The one thing that would've helped me this past is to have realized that I am not alone. By doing this blog I will keep myself accountable and hopefully inspire those around me. I will be releasing more music, along with many videos on Instagram and Facebook. I promise to document this entire journey so that we could not only see this together, but in the end be the best we can. We all have our own issues, so let's come together as one and figure out how to solve them.
Throughout these few months I have learned a lot. My favorite realization: I am writing a book. I am writing my own book, and will continue to do so until I die. Today is the first page of a brand new exciting chapter. I am sure there will be bumps in the road, and tons and trials and errors, but without making mistakes, we will never learn to succeed. As my mother reminds me every day, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Lets ALL choose to LIVE today, and continue to write our book.