My top meals for weight loss

Saturday, November 09, 2019
Chicken, breaded chicken, white rice, brown rice, and vegetable soup
I get a lot of questions about what I eat for weight loss. And the truth is, I eat the same meals all the time because I’m a creature of habit. I do between 1450 and 1500 calories a day, whether I work out or not.

These are the meals I have Monday to Friday. I eat everything, and don't count macros, just calories. On the weekends, I'm less strict with what I eat (It's currently Saturday and I'm about to eat some fried rice, YUM!) but I still watch my calories. However, weekend meals are not cheat meals. They are just different meals. All the meals below are meals I truly enjoy eating, but I have found a balance between healthy and tasty. I practice: Healthi-er, not healthy. I thought I would put them all together here. Please know that just because I buy a product from a store you don’t have access to, it doesn’t mean there won’t be a product similar to it out there. These won’t be recipes, as I don’t have recipes, but just general ideas of my meals. Season to taste.

Breakfast ideas:




-1 scrambled egg (Cooked with avocado oil spray) mixed with bit of ham, 1 wheat toast with light butter, fruit (berries, blueberries, etc), and drinkable yogurt or coffee, or sometimes green juice (I buy my green juice ready from a vegan store).
- Egg salad wrap (Boiled egg, mixed with light mayo and either ham or bacon). Crepini’s egg thins for wraps, or a pita pocket bread. Then a banana, and unsweetened almond milk.
- Chicken salad wrap. (Boiled chicken mixed with light mayo). Crepini’s egg thins for wrap, or pita pocket bread.
- Breakfast in a rush: Almond milk, coffee OR drinkable yogurt, a banana, and a built bar.
Find a brand you like, and measure according to how many calories you permit yourself.

Crepini Egg Thins
Avocado Oil Spray
Drinkable Yogurt
Smart Pockets
Almond Milk
Built Bars

Lunch ideas:


-Trader Joe’s stir fry cauliflower rice with chicken, adding extra peas, corn, and kale. Seasoned with garlic powders, Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning and oregano.
-Trader Joe’s stir fry cauliflower rice with chicken. Seasoned with soy sauce.
(Cauliflower rice measure: One cup mixed with chicken)
-Trader Joe’s carrot spirals with Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs, marinara sauce and parmesan cheese.
-Bowl of salad: tomatoes, lettuce, chicken, shredded cheese and salsa dressing (Preferably from Chicken Kitchen)
-Half breaded chicken with 1/2 cup of rice.

Trader Joe's Cauliflower rice
Trader Joe's Carrot spirals
My nephew says: ['][frweo8*(°&(8u7-0p--------pp-
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 Dinner ideas:




-Half of Amy’s Margherita Pizza, adding condiments like salt and pepper.
-Breaded chicken with brown rice, or tomato salad (made with 1 tomato, garlic paste, olive oil and one lime)
 -Subway’s Tuna Salad (Just tuna, lettuce, and shredded cheese. No dressing because the Tuna already has mayo)
-Turkey sandwich with provolone cheese, boiled egg, lettuce and tomato.
-Breaded chicken wrap with lettuce and tomato.
-Anything else with the remaining of my calories.

Amy's pizza
Cheese
Bread

Snacks: 
-Built Bars in either Peanut Butter or Coconut. I’m not diggin’ the other flavors as much lately. Pretty hooked on the Peanut Butter flavor nowadays.
-Banana
-Oranges

Dessert: 
-Halo Top Ice cream
-Rebel Ice Cream

Halo top ice cream

The measurements of these meals are based on my calories and hunger. Sometimes I’ll have more cauliflower rice for lunch, and less dinner. It just depends on how my day is going and what has been working for me that day. If I eat an egg at night, then I don't add a boiled egg to my turkey sandwich later on. If I have white rice for lunch, I don't have white rice for dinner. I also try to have one of my snacks before I work out, either a banana or a protein bar.

Be kind to people :)

-Cabi


3

Heartbreak, Bumble & Worst Date

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Like many people in the world, my first real heartbreak occurred in high school. I was around 17 and had my first breakup with a boyfriend, who started dating someone else 10 days after breaking up with me via text message. It was fun! Looking back now, I know I was in love, but I can’t remember why. I think it was the novelty of the relationship that made me feel in love. The teenage rush, the sneaking out of my house to see him in the middle of the night, the head-first dive without fear of wiping out, the walking around a golf course and watching the stars together for hours. You know,  the first. I was in love with the relationship, with the feeling, but I can’t remember what I loved about him. Which is silly, considering I cried about it for a year after. Okay, fine, like two years. Whatever. 

My most recent heartbreak—self-inflicted, I should probably mention—occurred about two years ago. I ended a relationship with someone I thought was going to be in my life forever but who wasn’t what I was looking for… That didn’t mean I cared about him any less. I still sometimes wear the earrings he gave me, or listen to music that reminds me of him. Sometimes people are meant to be in your life only for a while, to teach you something about yourself, and once you’ve learned what you need to learn, you have to let go. It’s how life works—the whole “know what you want and don’t settle for less; settling is not the same as compromising” kind of heartbreak I chose.

Sad and all, I was relieved I had made the right choice for my life. He truly was a lovely guy—really nice, really selfless, really loving. However, if I had to write a chapter on that relationship, it would be titled “Sorry about the heartbreak, but your views on life are bullshit.”

So I texted my best friend and ended up where I always go when I’m sad: my best friends’ house. We went out to eat Latin hamburgers, talked about him, listened to their wise advice about LeTTiNg Go oF pEoPLe ThAT aREn’T gOOd FoR yOu, and then got a Bumble account. Well, well, well, wasn’t that quick?
(I’m kidding, I got the account a few months later)

Speaking of Bumble..
I don't like meeting guys online. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and I have, but I like the whole: “Let’s be friends first, then let’s date, text but don’t call me because WHO likes to talk on the phone. Also, give me space, but still talk to me, but don’t text too much because that's overwhelming. I will for sure put my walls up, and you’ll have to try really hard to get me to commit to you—despite how much I do like you—all while respecting my individuality. You also have to be woke, but not fake woke. Anyway. I’m fun. Good luck dating me!!!!”

Just kidding. I’m not complicated like that.

I’m much more complicated. Does anyone wanna date me?

I managed to keep up with the times by downloading the self-proclaimed feminist app Bumble. (Shout-out to the guy I met on it who said he didn’t believe in feminism because he didn’t believe in ideologies but then added that he was a "conservative Christian Republican who voted for Trump"… all in the same sentence.)

Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe, who created the app so that women could feel safe and comfortable dating online while minimizing their exposure to online sexual harassment. In this app, women monopolize the power to initiate the conversation after matching; if you don’t go first, men can’t talk to you. THE DREAM. That really squashes all the “sup sexy?” messages from men holding dead fish on boats. If only IG had that option. Everyone say, “Thank you, Whitney Wolfe!”

Bumble was really fun for a while. I’m not on it now, though. Still, I’m sure I will be at some future point—either for casual conversations or fun dates with interesting guys. Depends on the mood.

Bumble generated really interesting experiences while I was on it that I will one day write about- wait til you hear about the homophobic lawyer- but nothing beats my worst dating experience to date. Which interestingly enough did not happen through bumble. But here it is.

The Worst Date
I was still a bit shaken up by my first heartbreak when I flew to Europe for a study-abroad program early in college. I had dated some boys between my first boyfriend and college, some which I had liked even more than I had liked my first boyfriend, but even then, I was still shook by the first. Despite having had my heart broken and my newfound fear of vulnerability and commitment, it was nice meeting European boys.

One in particular. Let's call him Nik.

My university had four floors, noisy stairs, and no elevator. I had to walk up three flights to one of my classes every Tuesday and Thursday, and I was always completely out of breath by the time I reached the third floor. There were about 20 students in that classroom, all taking Intro to Sociology. It was in that class, out of breath and sweating a little, that I saw him. Nik was a typical European guy with light brown hair and green eyes. He sat at the corner of another table and always rested his back against the wall. I thought he was cute. What’s that saying again? “Girls shoot their shot by staring at you for two seconds and then looking away, hoping you’ll notice?” Yeah. That’s what I did. For days. Until he noticed and started doing the same. For the next few days, I felt Nik staring at me. So, naturally, I avoided him like the plague. After a few more classes, the stars aligned, and the professor put us in the same group for a class project. That’s when things got interesting. He introduced himself and we hit it off right away. He laughed at my jokes, attentively listened to my project suggestions, and ignored everyone else in the group.

Then, after class, I was two minutes into my walk to the train station when I heard him behind me. “Hey wait up. I’ll walk you to the train station.”

He added, “Are you liking the city? What are you doing here?”

I told him about my study-abroad program and that I was from America. We chatted for a few minutes until we reached the train station. He said, “I’d like to keep talking to you. Could I have your number?”
He-e-ey, the staring game worked!

After a few weeks of chatting back and forth, he finally asked me out on a date. He asked if I wanted to have dinner with him and offered to drive me around the city at sunset. I said yes, hoping he wouldn’t be a serial killer. What could possibly go wrong being alone with an unknown dude in an unfamiliar city not knowing the language?

Just my luck, one of my best friends was visiting me. I felt bad about leaving her alone for a whole evening, so I decided to cancel the date. However, sweet as the guy was, he said he had no problem with her tagging along because he really wanted to hang out with me. I was reluctant to go on the date by myself, so it worked out to my advantage.

The date
On the day of the date, he showed up late. I brushed it off because he was being kind enough to drive me and my friend around the city, and, honestly, it happens. We got into the car, and I felt excited but a little weirded out by the circumstances of our date. As promised, he took us uphill to watch the sunset. In what it felt like the middle of the woods. It didn’t feel like the safest experience in the world, so I was glad I was with my friend. He talked about the neighborhood a little bit, and then we got back into the car.

There, he asked if we were hungry. I said, “Sure.” He proceeded to take us to a bar, hoping it would serve food. While we were there, he said, “Let’s do takeout.” I asked why a couple of times, but he wouldn’t say. “This is it,” I thought. “He’ll take us to his place and this is how he’ll kill us.”

This is when the date really got interesting. We ordered food to take out and sat waiting for it at a table. While we waited, he decided he would tell jokes. Like … jokes. He was a stand-up comedian, and we were his audience. The first joke he told was about an olive. It was awkward, but kind of funny. His loud and obnoxious laugh, however, was not. Now, as for the second...

The punchline of the second joke involved his taking a big gulp of water and spitting it out, pretending to be an older woman spitting out jizz after giving her husband a blowjob. The water was supposed to be jizz.

I watched him tell this joke, horrified. He obnoxiously laughed as water ran down his face. I inwardly said … “Check, please!”

I didn’t object to paying for my own meal, although, in a patriarchal society whose men set their own rules for courting women, I found it strange that he didn’t follow the normal dating routine in which men feel obliged to pay for a meal to make an impression on a first date. Still, I didn’t mind. Not the norm, but didn't mind. After the food arrived, Nik drove us to a crop field, which is how I discovered that there are dark, barren crop fields in middle of Europe. What was this, Iowa?

“He really could be a sociopath,” I thought. But let’s be real, sociopaths are charming and wouldn’t tell jizz jokes. We were safe. He found a spot to park in the middle of the crop field. It was dark and cold, but he still made us eat our food outside. I think he meant for it to be a romantic experience, but all I felt was cold.

After finishing our cold meals standing, looking at the dark, deserted field, we finally decided it was time to go home.

That’s where the story ends.

Ha ha.

You’d think, right?

We got into his car, but, as he was trying to take off, the car started making sounds. Specifically, the tire. It just wouldn’t move. The car wouldn’t move. It had started fine, but it wouldn’t go. After a few attempts, he climbed out and assessed the situation. The tire was stuck in the mud. That’s also when I realized that my Converse were full of mud.

He got in and explained what was happening.

Then, he said, “Can you guys get out and push the car while I steer the wheel?”

That’s it. This is how I die. He will steer his way into the horizon and leave us here to die.

“Sure” I replied.

So there we were. Two girls in the middle of a dark crop field in Europe pushing a car in the mud. I wondered how we had gotten here, and all I kept replaying in my head was the dirty joke he had said back at the restaurant.

Finally, we got the car to move, and it took off for a bit. I watched the car go while we got full of mud head to toe. I looked at my friend and asked, “Think he’s coming back?”

And just as I said that, I watched the red headlights light up and the car came to a stop. And there, in the middle of an empty dark crop field, I watched this white face come out of the dark and run straight to me from the distance. He was running towards me, full speed, ecstatic that the car had gotten out of the mud. He hugged me, tried to pick me up, and couldn’t because I was too heavy, and then I was mortified. That’s the moment I decided to change my identity and never return to the life I was living because what’s the point?

Just kidding.

Worse.

I got back in the car with him. And to make matters even more awkward, I sat in the backseat of the car with my friend instead of the front with him. So, in the middle of the night, he drove us home as our Uber driver.

When we got home, our shoes were so full of dried up mud, I had to throw mine away. I still miss my blue converse, RIP.

It was the strangest experience of my life, but I made it out alive. I left the city soon after and went to Madrid.

In conclusion.
He meant well. I know he liked me because he continued to text me, even after his date had gone terribly wrong. I actually saw him again after that. Redemption or whatever. He wasn't a good kisser. That's the tea. Dating is rough out there in ‘em streets. Lesson to learn: Don’t date boys that don't have good manners at the table.

Thanks for reading.

Be kind to people.

-Cabi
3

How I've handled fat shaming in my life

Saturday, October 19, 2019

I think it’s a waste of time to get upset, especially over things you can’t do anything about. Being upset can be a useless emotion. If you get in a car crash, for example, that sucks. But there’s nothing you can do about it. You can either choose to be happy or upset about it. It won’t change the circumstances, so might as well try not to stress about it.

9

The Secret to Weight Loss

Saturday, October 12, 2019
The other morning, as I was unproductively scrolling through Twitter multiple times in a day like the millennial I am, I came across this tweet:
What a time to be alive. This tweet literally summarizes about 80% of what I’ve been trying to do this year. In specific, I’ve been trying to sleep better, drink 2-3 liters of water every day, consistently workout, walk around my park, eat fruits, eat veggies, watch Hasan Minhaj's show on Netflix and read. By read, I really mean briefly read twitter headlines, and by veggies, I mean like, potatoes and stuff. Just kidding. I started eating cauliflower rice this year and adding other veggies to it, like kale and peas. That’s three whole vegetables. As a result of these activities, I’ve been losing weight. It’s just been melting off of me. (Important to note that I’ve combined these activities with counting calories and portion control. I use the MyFitnessPal app to track what I’m eating.) 


These are tips I had heard about my whole life. Everyone always said, “Cut your meals in half!” “Go to the gym!” “Stop eating junk food!” “Portion control!” But I never listened. Everyone said that losing weight was a matter of healthy eating and exercise. But what does that even mean? What is healthy eating and what is exercise? Who am I? Why am I here? Is there life in other planets? I just want buffalo wings with ranch followed by dessert, preferably that Molten Lava chocolate cake from Chili’s. 

But what does being healthy really mean? What’s the secret to weight loss? How can I get away with eating buffalo wings and still lose weight? Not only did I ask myself these questions, but I also expected an answer. Deep inside, I believed there was a magic answer, a secret diet, an easy solution. So I WAITED. I waited 28 years of my life to somehow be gifted with the secret to weight loss. Was it Weight Watchers? Was it surgery? Was it diet pills? Was it keto? Was it Nutrisystem? What the heck was the secret? 

One day it occurred to me that maybe I needed to start looking for the answers myself. That maybe, just maybe, the secret to weight loss was to stop waiting for the secret and just try. Try something I hadn’t tried before. Whatever “trying” meant. To try, fail, and do it all over again, as many times as I needed to. To find my own answers and stop waiting for someone else to give them to me. Here’s my secret to weight loss: 

Mindset. Commitment. Consistency. Willingness. Positivity. 

My secret to weight loss was deciding to do something different; even if I didn’t know what that meant or how it would look. To start the kind of habits that would make feel hydrated, and stop overworking my pancreas, habits that would make me dodge diabetes, or maybe even walk for more than a block without losing my breath. I figured that if I created healthy habits, I could improve my life in all aspects. Then these habits would just become part of my life.

My secret to weight loss, ironically enough, was not focusing on the weight itself, but on the choices I was making. Like maybe chill a little on the 8-foot Philly cheesesteak sandwiches with extra mayo or the chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A all the time. Do it for your health, but also for social justice and human ri- wait, are we talking about crispy nuggets or grilled? because my ethical code depends on that. 

When I read that tweet above, I realized how the answer to what I once thought was a complicated and stressful question was so simple. It was right in front of me. Now, it should be said that counting calories has also helped a lot. And yes, counting calories can be annoying and tedious, but that’s when you figure out just how much you want what you want. 

How many excuses are you going to make before you realize that sometimes all it takes is giving weight loss a real try, with no excuses. Granted, sometimes we try our hardest and things don’t work out. But if that’s the case, then maybe your approach is not for you. Maybe the secret is to try another approach, or just to change your habits and make healthier choices in your life. 

It doesn’t take sweating buckets at the gym every day or living on only broccoli, kale and eggs to start seeing a difference. I didn’t even have to cut carbs from my life. Weight loss doesn’t mean starving yourself or hating the food you eat, it means finding a healthy balance of nutritious meals and activity – even if that activity is walking 20 minutes a day. Literally. 

I know everyone is different, and this approach might not work for everyone. I can only speak to what’s worked for me. I hope that if you’re reading this, you take something important away from my experience. Don’t wait for the magical solution to come to you in your dreams or to be posted on your Twitter feed. If you want to see something different, make a change. Start doing something differently and you’ll start seeing new results.

If that’s not what you got away from this blog, at the very least, I hope you got away that I eat my buffalo wings with ranch and not blue cheese. Because that's how you are supposed to do it. Blue cheese is trash. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. 

Be kind to people. 
(Except if they seek to oppress your basic human rights.)

-Cabi
0

Lifestyle vs. Dieting

Saturday, October 05, 2019

I grew up surrounded by people doing diets. Everyone I knew always talked about diets. It was like living in a world where everyone preferred to eat half a broccoli head for lunch than be overweight.

Most people I know don’t usually go on diets for health reasons – although, that’s a common excuse people use to disguise internalized fatphobia. In reality, most people begin dieting because they do not want to look overweight.

0

Instagram Marketing and Brand Deals

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Instagram can be a good place to make money, either by becoming a fitness coach, an influencer, a brand ambassador, by starting a business or sponsoring a product. Brands want to work with Instagram influencers because they target real people and have more of an impact on sales than almost any other form of marketing.

24

My Top 10 Weight Loss Products

Saturday, September 21, 2019

I’m a creature of habit.

I like what I like, and stick to what I know 'til the very end.
5

The Year of Saying Yes

Saturday, September 14, 2019

At the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to improve my life. I wanted to feel great about my health, fitness, heart, and mind. So I embarked on a fitness and weight loss journey.

Over the last few months, I also decided that I was going to say “yes” more, and “no” less. Like many of us, I enjoy the sweet comfort of, well, my comfort zone. Change scares me because I’m happy and I’m protective of that happiness, anything that could change or hinder it, I automatically reject.

0

Reverse Dieting and Plateaus

Saturday, August 31, 2019
First McDonalds breakfast in 8 months 8/29/19

Here's yet another funny term to learn about during our weight loss journey: Reverse Dieting. 

What the heck is reverse dieting?


2

Counting Calories

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The internet can be a nightmare when you are trying to figure out how to count calories in order to lose weight. Everyone has a different method, different graphs, and different equations to determine how many calories they should consume vs how many calories they should burn in a day to lose a certain number of pounds per week, and they are not afraid to voice how YOU should do it too.

2

We Stan a Playlist

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Music has always meant so much to me since I was little because I think it’s easier to express thoughts and feelings through lyrics than conversation. For a long while, I didn’t listen to songs I DIDN’T connect with some way or another, but as I’ve grown older-older, I’ve learned to love music for all different reasons.

2

Training for My First 5K

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Ah.. running.
I can’t imagine a world where people genuinely enjoy running. The sweating, the running out of breath, the soreness of the muscles, the stickiness of the skin when you get back home and don’t know whether you should wash your hair again that day or not…We all agree exercising is not fun, right?
0

How I Lost 60+ Pounds in 6 Months

Sunday, July 21, 2019

When I started my fitness journey, my mission was to redefine what losing weight meant because it always sounded like the most dreadful thing I had ever heard of in my whole life. Everyone always made it seem so tedious and unattainable. People around me lived in an eternal state of dieting—sorry to say—with little to no results.
21

How to Get Back on Track When You Fall Off

Saturday, July 13, 2019

This week I might have been a little overdramatic about falling off track and getting back on it again. I have been consistent with the gym for about five to six months straight. I’m not sure what happened, but I began over snacking and feeling too lazy to workout for a couple of days.


5

From Sore to Healthy Knees

Saturday, July 06, 2019

My dad has always been an active man. He likes to work out; ride his bicycle; go on walks; and play golf, tennis, and soccer. He’s not really a football or basketball guy, but I’m sure he’d be happy to play these sports as well.

One piece of advice he constantly gave me when I was growing up was: “Take care of your knees.” At 10, 16, 20, or 25 years old, this advice meant nothing to me. How was I supposed to take care of my knees? Talk sweet nothings into their knee dimples? Wash them with vanilla scented body wash? Knee masks? Knee massages? “Take care of your knees”—what the heck did that even mean?

At 28 years old, I was about to find out.     

February 2019, at 240 pounds, resting my knees with ice
When I initially started getting fit and losing weight, the first challenge I faced that no one warned me about were sore knees. I had googled everything there is to know about weight loss before starting my journey, and not once was this topic mentioned. Sore knees! You should have seen my face when my knees finally gave out on me after ignoring the constant sharp pain for a week, and I suddenly understood what my dad had meant all along: “take care of your knees!”

When you are 245.6 pounds, your knees can be under a lot of stress. It’s the kind of stress you feel on the Sunday night in middle school before your Science Fair project is due and you still haven’t started working on it. Or the kind of stress that hits you when you hear your mom getting home and you have forgotten to defrost the chicken. Or when your college professor says, “Please turn in your papers,” which you had forgotten about. It’s stressful!

When I started walking and running, my knees were even more stressed. I was working out much more than usual and didn’t have the right kind of sneakers. I only owned one pair, and they were Kylie Jenner’s Puma Defy Mid Casual sneakers because they were trendy and cool. I can assure you they were not meant to provide support for knees holding 245.6 pounds while running on pavement. Soon enough, my knees became so sore that I couldn’t even walk without pain.

I suddenly understood the importance of actively taking care of my knees, especially when they are carrying more weight than they should be. Let’s be real—I weighed 245 pounds and rarely exercised; of course I was going to get sore knees.

So, after a very (and I mean very) frustrating walk around my park in where I kept trying to run but couldn’t, I was forced to do something about my pain. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t jog, and I couldn’t run. The pain was constant. So, like always, I asked google dot com for help.

First, I approached my best guy friend and asked him to help me find a good pair of sneakers. After researching the market, we visited the mall together over the span of two weeks and I got myself three different pairs: Brooks Bedlam, Adidas Ultraboost, and Nike Zoom Pegasus. (We stan a knowledgeable sneaker-crazed best friend.)

And they were all expensive… but I needed to take care of my knees!

My first pair, the Brooks, felt like no other sneaker I had worn before—comfortable, light, nice fit round the ankles. However, the back of the shoes gave me blisters, and they didn’t stop giving me blisters for months. Now, when I do wear them, I wear high socks. They’re amazing for running!
The Brooks.

My second pair was the Adidas Ultraboost. They felt like socks, like I was walking on a cloud. I remember thinking that I needed more resistance for my feet for Zumba because they felt too light and comfortable. I loved them, though. These ended up being my favorite to wear when traveling and walking around a lot. My mom got a pair too; she claims that they are her favorite walking shoes.
The Adidas

The last pair I got—and my favorites for running—was Nike’s Zoom Pegasus. What a shoe! What a shoe. Here, here, Nike! You did that! Amidst controversies, we stan Nike. The racists are shook. I got my Nike pair in bright obnoxious neon orange, so I don’t usually wear them anywhere but the gym, but I’m obsessed with them. They feel like heaven. I’m positive that this is the sneaker that Superman would wear if he had to save the world by running instead of flying.
Nike. Bae.

The second thing I did was get on Amazon and order some glucosamine pills. They are magical and really helped me with the pain. I was watching a video on youtube by the oh-so-handsome and oh-so-dreamy Dr. Mike, and he says we shouldn’t be taking vitamins if they are not recommended by doctors, and even though I somewhat agree, I’m still all about glucosamine pills because they really helped my pain. Don’t know about the medical pros or cons of glucosamine other than it works for me and my grandma. Lol.

The third thing I did was get a knee brace on amazon, as I needed the support, even for low-impact cardio. I bought three different types, but this one takes the crown for comfort and support.

I also rested tons and iced my knees every night for the first few nights.

All these changes combined helped me a lot. After less than two weeks, my knees were back to being perfect.

I took care of my knees, alright!

I currently try to run on a treadmill and still take glucosamine three times a week. I’m 184 pounds now and have not had any problems since.

Like my dad would say:  “Take care of your knees.”

And be kind to people!

-Cabi
3

Self-Love

Saturday, June 29, 2019

“I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.” -Andrea Gibson



On June 7, 2019, I was coming home from work when I heard an ad talking about authentic representation of all women on social media. It discussed a world in which diversity is shown and all body types are celebrated through a project called #ShowUs.

Growing up, it wasn’t until I came across other social media figures with my body type talking about loving their bodies that I began to feel completely comfortable in my own skin. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve always been a very confident person. But when I was younger, seeing other girls loving themselves just had that clicking effect in my brain. The kind of clicking that said: Why can’t I wear crop tops, shorts, and dresses too? Why can’t I consider myself beautiful?

The ad spoke to me. The first thing I did when I got home was upload a picture to Instagram about self-love with the hashtag #ShowUs.

#ShowUs

It is so important to show authentic representation of women in the media. After all, a world in which diversity is shown is more fun! If eyes are on you, your message should be one of inclusivity and positivity. 

For a long time, media and society have upheld the idea that only a specific type of body is attractive and deserving of love. What is the last romcom you watched in which the female lead was plus size? Or of color, or a minority? While there are movies that represent all types of women, most don’t. And don’t get me wrong; this “ideal” type of body is attractive and does deserve love. Asking for representation of all women doesn’t negate the beauty of the typical women already being represented and celebrated; cheers to you all! Like Taylor Swift said, we can all wear crowns.

I don’t believe in a world where we have to say that being slim is bad in order to say that being big is good. These two concepts can coexist… and should. 

What I’m saying is that we all deserve to see ourselves being represented; however, how YOU feel about yourself should not be affected by a lack of representation because we live in a faulty world and we need to know better.

Your self-love will not depend on the social standards 
that were created in a patriarchal society 
in order to sell you something.
 Your self-worth will not be measured 
by a number on a scale.

What I’m saying is… self-love has to come from within you, and some people have to work harder at achieving that than others. What I’m saying is... you should feel beautiful and loved despite what the leading cast of your favorite romcom looks like.

Your body is not incorrect because it’s different than what’s advertised.

Let's make this clear: We live in a society that profits from your self-doubt. Unrealistic beauty standards have been advertised for decades, and there are products in the industry to fix virtually everything they say is wrong with you. Blemishes? Wrong. Overweight? Wrong. Wrinkles and aging? Wrong. Body hair? Wrong. Here are all these creams, and treatments, and makeup, and weight loss products, and laser packages, and anti-aging creams for you! When society only advertises a certain image as beautiful, it automatically alienates all other bodies. If you don't fall into this "ideal" female body, you will inevitably begin to doubt yourself, and the industry (which is mostly ran by men) will profit off your insecurities.

And I'm not saying you shouldn't buy these products. I take care of my skin, I try to be healthy, I use face creams, and I wax. I do these things because I want to do them, not because I'm buying into the idea men would want me more if I looked a certain way. I'm not ashamed of my blemishes, or stomach rolls, or wrinkles. Not even the gray hairs I keep getting. My self-care doesn't come from self-doubt, but from self-love. In my own terms, and when I want to. 

Self-Love Tips

After I posted my photo with the hashtag #ShowUs, I received an unbelievable amount of love. Comments, DMs, Insta Story posts, tweets, and even e-mails. A conversation that resulted from my post was with the lovely Wilmarie (@Wilmarie09), who presented the idea of discussing self-love by doing an Instagram Live.

So, that’s exactly what we did. On Wednesday, June 12th, 2019, Wilmarie and I got on our phones and connected via IG Live to discuss this topic in depth and offer tips to whoever was listening. Shoutout to you, Wilmarie! You're a rockstar.

We made sure to touch on the topic of mental health, as mental health can have a lasting impact on how we feel about ourselves. I watched some TED talks, reflected on my own experiences, and gathered my thoughts.

Once the IG Live started, we both shared experiences, tips, and ideas on how to love ourselves. The following are some of the things I learned and talked about. First step: Fake it ‘til you make it. Act as if you feel like a star. Do it often, do it consistently, do it so much that your brain starts to believe it.

Here are other tips we discussed:

How to practice self-love
  • The way you speak to yourself is important. Tell yourself you’re beautiful, even when you don’t feel your best. Tell yourself you love yourself, even when you feel full of doubt. Tell yourself you are worth it, even when you feel worthless. That way, your brain will change the narrative of “Aw, I hate myself!” to “Ah, hey, there are things I’m thankful for.” Switch the tape. Stop replaying negative thoughts in your head, and press play on positive ones. SWITCH THE TAPE.
  • The average person spends 2-3 hours of their day thinking of all the things they hate about themselves or a specific body part they don’t like. That’s a lot of time of your life spent focusing on negativity. What if you changed those hours of self-hate into hours of self-love and positivity? Be kind and compassionate to yourself.

  • Learn to love yourself through how you love others. Wilmarie discussed this idea. and how to do this. You already know how to love your family, friends, and significant others. Now use that knowledge to apply it to how you love yourself. That way, you’ll start to treat yourself the way you treat your significant other and your best friend: with love and respect. Don’t talk to yourself in a way that you wouldn’t talk to your best friend.

  • Appreciate the beauty that is being put out there by the media, don’t trash other women, and fight for representation of your skin and body by celebrating those who look like you. The more people you see being celebrated in the media who resemble you, the more confident you will feel. Some of my personal favorites are Sarah Rae Vargas and Ashley Graham!

  • Follow accounts that motivate you to feel better about yourself. Find accounts of people who feel confident and loved, especially those whose body types are similar to your own. That way, you’ll see their posts on your timeline every time you scroll through social media, and your brain will be exposed to that type of body positivity. You can find these accounts by navigating hashtags like #SelfLove and #BodyPositivity. If you are on a weight loss journey, find accounts that post before and after pictures. Scroll through them, find someone whose body type looks like your own, and follow that person.

  • Unfollow anyone who doesn’t make you feel like you’re a fuc*ing star. You’re a fuc*ing star; act like one!
  • Improve whatever you feel you need to improve, but love yourself as a whole in the process. This includes your fitness, your weight, your hair, your skin, and your body parts. I’m rooting for whatever you wanna do. Self-improvement, self-care, and self-love can go hand in hand, and they should
  • Read books that discuss confidence, self-love, and self-worth. Listen to podcasts. Listen to feel-good music; Lizzo’s Good as Hell is a good one, Hailee Steinfeld’s Love Myself is another, and Bebe’s Ella, a Spanish song, is marvelous.

  • Surround yourself with people who will lift you higher. You don’t have to keep people around who make you feel unworthy or give you anxiety. If you can’t cut them off, distance yourself. Surround yourself with good, positive people. In my experience, if I have to hang out with someone who makes me feel a certain way, and sometimes I do, I distance myself as much as possible and keep that type of negative vibe away for me. Trust me—it WORKS. Mental health first, social life second.
  • Self-love won’t happen overnight; it’ll happen gradually over time.
  • It’s not fair to yourself to compare yourself to others. We are all different; we all have different body types and genetics.

  • Do more things that make you happy. For you. Have you-time. Find something you like, and do it. That way, you’ll start to build a relationship with yourself that has nothing to do with other people. If you are good at make-up, practice it. If you are good at sports, play them. If you are good at a musical instrument, learn new music. That can be your you-time. Get really good at it and spend time developing that talent. Having something specific that you are good at will make you feel better about yourself. Find your thing. If you cannot find anything you are naturally good at, explore new things. That is when self-love becomes a choice. How much work are you willing to put into it?

  • Law of attraction: You attract what you put out there. Be kind and be positive. You can find the good in most situations.
Self-love is something we have to exercise every day of our lives. It’s a learned habit.

If you want more tips on how to exercise self-love and self-care, I found this lovely article about it. Click here. 

Remember, taking care of your mental health and how you feel about yourself is just as important as taking care of your body.

Be positive and be kind to people.

-Cabi

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