Looking for cheekbones and confidence

Wow, it’s uh, been a while. Quarantine has been interesting to say the least. I haven’t been writing (obviously) and have been going through a rollercoaster of emotions.

If you read my last post, you’ll remember that even at the beginning of quarantine life was a mess. Well, it only progressed from there.

My mental health wasn’t great. My jeans were fitting a little tight. I felt lost, confused, and just angry at myself, and the world around me. So, what did I do? I decided to get my shit together and start Weight Watchers. What better time to cut back on drinking beer and to kick my emotional eating habit other than the death of one of my dear friends, mixed with a human rights movement, wrapped up in a quarantine and served up on a pandemic?


Well, here we go. I took the quiz, figured out what plan I am on and instantly felt lost, overwhelmed and like I needed a snack, or a drink. LOL. Off to a great start.

THANK GOODNESS for my mom. For many reasons, but specifically in this story for helping me figure all of this stuff out. She started WW a few months before me, has been KILLING IT. She is the one who recommended I give it a try one night while I was having a slight mental breakdown.

I used to really enjoy cooking and baking, but then my social life got the best of me and I got away from all that. Well, thanks to the quarantine I had nothing but time, and absolutely no where to go. I really wanted to stick with this new plan, so had to get creative if I didn’t want to eat chicken and veggies every day. I started to experiment and have fun in the kitchen, and it became a great outlet not only physically, but mentally! I stepped out of my comfort zone with new recipes, and drinks. It took me a bit to come to terms with, but I really do enjoy a spiked seltzer. (Nothing will replace my love of IPA’s… but I’m all about that balance right now.)

WHO KNEW THAT A HEALTHY DIET WORKED?! I was/am very minimally working out, and have seen some great progress in just under 2 months! I’m down about 20lbs, and physically and mentally feel so much better. I have long way to go, but off to a good, well-paced, start.

The mental aspect has been MAJOR. Majorly hard, majorly important. Not turning to food during all of the emotional turmoil of the past few months has been nearly impossible some days, but some how, some way…. I’ve been doing it. And if I can do it, I have no doubt that anyone can. In the past food has been my friend, my crutch. I’d eat something totally unhealthy and wash it down with a beer or two to temporarily forget what was going on in the real world. But, as much as I love Dr. Nowzarden, I really don’t want to end up as one of his patients.

Starting to find a jaw line, and now looking for cheekbones and confidence!

Instead of turning to food or booze, I needed to find healthier outlets to cope with the shitstorm that is 2020. A few things that have helped:

  • Journal: If I feel like I need to eat out of emotion, I write down all that I am feeling. What is making me feel this way? Why do I want to eat? Am I really hungry? What actionable steps can I take that will actually solve my emotional distress?
  • Track your food: What you are eating, how much you are eating. AND DRINKING. Don’t forget your liquids. Also, look up the actual serving sizes of things and give yourself that much. Especially salad dressings, oils, cheese, etc.. It will be a shock and adjustment, but you will adjust. Promise. (You should have seen me when I first measured out a single serving of pasta)
  • Drink water. Drinking water really does help relieve stress. Gives you something to focus on. It also helps curb hunger, promotes weight loss and apparently helps clear up your skin. (I’m still waiting for the last part.) And, bonus! It helps get you some extra steps because you are peeing 73 times a day.
  • Accountability: Have a buddy, or a tribe. Accountability and support is key. Join facebook groups, have people you can message, text, etc. to complain with, motivate and get ideas from.

As total joke, I brought back my old #cookingwithjulie and to my shock, people actually started enjoying that content. It selfishly motivates me to keep coming up with healthy, creative recipes so that I can have some type of connection with the outside world. I’m all about giving the people what they want, so, today was born my newest Instagram @_cookingwithjulie. Feel free to give a follow for all of my recipes, ideas, etc.. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of fails and Maddy content.

I’m still trying to figure out where to take my blog in regards to recipes, my weightloss journey and all that, so if there is anything you want to see, let me know!

Until next time,


The many trials… and many failures

I don’t have the best track record for sticking with things. Diets, exercise plans, TV shows… I just can’t seem to get my shit together long enough to really see things through. Maybe I haven’t found “the one” in that aspect, which is why. Or maybe it wasn’t working? Or maybe I’m full of excuses and bullshit? (Likely the case). If I’m being honest, I’m shocked that I’ve made it this far with my writing (Hey! Maybe I did finally find my thing!… If only it would solve ALL of my problems!)

Over the years I have tried approximately 69,420 things to cure, maintain, and manage my physical and mental health. A few things have helped, but nothing really gave significant results. Granted, a lot of this is due to me not following through on things (like diet and exercise). But, mainly I’ve had many failed doctors and medications. Since modern day medicine isn’t helping, I decided to start from basics. My diet. I hate the word diet. As long as I can remember, I’ve hated the way I look. I’ve never been happy and comfortable with my weight, so mentally when I tell myself I’m on a “diet”, I immediately just tell myself I’m going to fail. I’m my own worst enemy.

That’s why I’m going into with a different mindset this time.

I’m not going on a “diet”. I’m not doing this for the sole purpose of losing weight to look better in my jeans (although, I won’t be mad if that happens). I’m doing a lifestyle shift. I’m not telling myself I can’t have anything, but I’m going to remind myself that there are some things I probably am better off without. And, the golden rule…. everything in moderation. I’m doing this knowing that my life, my health, and my future depends on making small, conscious, healthier choices.

Not only am I banking on this to increase my physical health, but also my mental health. By eating better, I know mentally I’ll feel sharper and hopefully get rid of some of that “fibro fog”. The book I’m using as a guide even breaks the weeks out:

  • Week 1: Pain Management
  • Week 2: Gaining Energy
  • Week 3: Fighting the Brain Fog
  • Week 4: Promoting Healthy Digestion

My life will benefit greatly from improvements in these 4 areas, so I’m actually excited to give it a shot. Nervous, and terrified, but excited overall. I’ve been to countless doctors and have had so many procedures and tests over the years for these 4 areas, that I don’t only want, but need to make positive changes. I need something to work. I need a miracle. (I need to be my own miracle, really.) I need to prove to myself once and for all that I am capable of generating my own happiness. And, becoming healthy is the place to start.

*Shout-out to my friends recently who have been talking to me about your own journeys with changing your diet for better health (for various reasons) – you guys really inspired me to really tackle this!*

My plan is to start Sunday. I already have my week 1 menu planned, and even made an organized shopping list. I really don’t even know myself right now. If anyone else wants to join in for accountability, let me know! I’d love to share my menu! (There is more per week than I’m doing, but I’m one person so I’m planning more leftovers than the guide calls for).

I know I won’t be 100% with it. And that’s fine. But, I plan to be conscious of what I’m eating and drinking, which is a huge change for me. I’m also going to track what I’m eating, and note any changes in my symptoms.

So, please hold me accountable. Encourage me. Cheer me on. Pray I finally get some sleep.

Thanks for the support!