Monthly Archives: August 2014

Oh you beach!

Hello all of you beautiful people out there!  I hope everyone is feeling wonderful and loving their summer!

 

This summer has proved to be quite a wonderful one!  Last summer I gave up a vacation for recovery from Plastic Surgery #1 and I thought I would have to do that again this summer (not complaining at all! totally worth it but vacation is always fantastic).  Last week the Shulk and I decided to go on a last minute vacation to Bonita Springs, Florida where his parents own a condo and what an AMAZING decision we made!  WE. NEEDED. IT! We took the time to workout, we slept in, we enjoyed food and we RELAXED on the beach…a lot!  We also met up with my sister Shannon, brother-in-law Phil and my beautiful nieces Emily, Skye and Kama.

Dinner at Pinchers the shrimp was SO yummy! and 2 for 1 wine...I'm okay with that!

Dinner at Pinchers. The shrimp was SO yummy! and 2 for 1 wine…I’m okay with that!

We had gorgeous weather EVERY day!

We had gorgeous weather EVERY day!

THE SEA BEAST!

THE SEA BEAST!

This was the second time that I wore a two piece in public.  The first time was in Las Vegas for  my Tashakin’s bachelorette party…in all honesty that was like throwing myself into the wolves, going into a Las Vegas pool party in a two piece for the first time…but I’m a ball to the wall kind of person.  Marc took a picture of me with sand dollars that we found in the ocean (don’t worry people they went back!)

beach1

(Picture above) I looked at the picture and almost started crying.  Poor Shulk has no idea whether to laugh at me or pretend he didn’t know me! It is still shocking to me to see a flat tummy and a healthy body when I see a picture of myself.  I think we would call that “fat girl syndrome”.  I’m always going to have that mentality in the back of my mind I think, where I’m always going to assume that I can’t go into a certain clothing store because I think the clothes won’t fit.  I spent my whole life knowing that they wouldn’t so something like that won’t change over night.  I’m always going to be nervous when getting ready to sit in an airplane seat because of the traumatizing experience that lead to my “click” moment.  Sometimes I’m scared that I will wake up in my bed in Las Vegas still 320 pounds, unable to breathe, unable to walk or put on my own shoes and all of this would have just been a great dream.  This is exactly why I try to take every single day as it comes at me.  I enjoy every single day in this healthy body and in this healthy mentality where I am not a slave to the grips of food demons but can see real food for how beautiful it is and how wonderful it tastes and I’m excited to eat it and I can MOVE, I can BREATHE.  I know it sounds simple just to breathe.  There are times when I just take a big, deep breath…you have no idea how incredible it is to take a deep breath until you spend years being unable to.

Enough of my ramblings how about a few updates?

Book- is steady as she goes!  I’m still shooting for an April release and have decided that I will work with a publisher instead of self publishing.  I did a bit of price comparisons and all of the “extras” I would have to pay for doing self publishing would be just insane where with a publisher, it is all included and taken care of.

Training- I’m fully back at the gym now and back to a spit workout.  My range of motion for my arms is still limited due to the tightness of the scars but the doctor said it will take a while to get that back.  I lost a bit of strength during recovery and am not able to lift as heavy as I was before surgery but after my first surgery it took a few months to get back to full strength again.

I bought myself a bench press on Craigslist the other night (creepy right) and since it doesn’t fit in the sweat factory a.k.a the basement haha my mom is letting me use one half of the garage as my sweat factory!  So tomorrow is moving day for the sweat factory…photos to come!

Diet- Since being back from Florida I am back on track and full-on Paleo.  I had been experiencing so much pain in the bathroom again and I know it was because my diet was all over the place before Florida and in Florida.  Now that I am back home and back on track I am still in pain but hoping that since I’m consistent that it will slowly start to go away.  I got a Kitchen Aid food processor for my birthday from mama bear YAY!!  I’ve been making hummus for mom and pookie and cinnamon almond butter for myself, vinaigrette, mashed cauliflower and home made hot sauce.  It’s been SO fun getting creative!

Below is my MOST favorite Cauliflower recipe that I have found

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

1 head of cauliflower

2 eggs

Garlic, Salt and Pepper to taste

Toppings: I love kale, shredded chicken and mushrooms

Break up the cauliflower and put into a pot of water to steam and cook.  Cook until mushy or a knife goes all the way through.

Drain the cauliflower, put into a towel and sqeeze to get any extra liquid.  Put the cauliflower florets into the food processor, add seasonings and process until it looks like rice.  Dump the mixture back onto the towel and squeeze again.

Put tin foil on a cookie sheet and grease VERY well.  Spread out the cauliflower and shape into circle or square totally your choice.  Bake on the top rack at 400 degrees until it is golden brown on top.  Put your toppings on top and put back into the oven for a few minutes.

 

THIS. IS. SOOOOOOOOO. GOOD!!!! total foodgasm official!  Give it a try!!

REST AND RECOVERY: NOT JUST FOR THE BODY

​Thought I forgot aboutcha didn’t you?  You’re so used to knowing every single dirty detail and way too much information that it must have been weird to not have me updating every second of every minute and every bathroom trip (you missed quite a few by the way).  
To be honest, I really needed the break.  I went in for surgery on July 3rd.  This was part two of the three part excess skin removal process.  This round was; extensive liposuction of my thighs with fat grafting to my breasts (basically the fat he took out of my legs, he put into my boobies) and my arm lift.  I decided that these weeks of recovery would be exactly that…a full on balls to the wall recovery.  I wanted them to not just be recovery for my body but for my mind and my sanity.  Right after surgery I took one full week off of work to be home and recover, so I had TIME and so I decided to do things that I never really do or things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while:
I RELAXED
I sat and watched a FULL season of Kitchen Nightmares. I am now head over heels in love with Chef Gordon Ramsay.  I even had a dream that he let me cook for him and loved my food SO much that he proposed to me!  (I said yes by the way).  I also watched a whole season of Marriage Bootcamp: Bridezillas.  I wasn’t going to mention that because that is 4 hours of my life I will forever regret giving up…but we all have SOME regrets in life.
My lift chair became my best friend in the world!  The chair moved back and forth so I don’t have to use my muscles to get up so it literally moves forward until it dumps me out of the chair.  It’s the best!  I had my lift chair, my pain meds / muscle relaxers, my back scratcher and my 2 gallon water jug so I was a happy camper.
I MOVED
I took time to go outside and just walk around the neighborhood.  I left the headphones at home and just listened to the noises of nature and our neighbors.  I walked at a pace that I felt comfortable with and I didn’t care if it was at target heart rate or not.  I listened to by body instead of my mind. Granted, I looked like the Michelin man when I walked and I’m pretty sure my neighbors were watching me trying to decide if they should just laugh at me or come ask me if I shit my pants.  I walked every single day and made sure to get up every hour so I wasn’t confined to my beloved lift chair the whole day.
My surgery was on a Thursday and Saturday, July 5th was the Chicago Pro bodybuilding show in Tinley Park.  There was NO way I was missing that!  Two  of my favorite bodybuilders were competing and there was no way in hell that a little surgery was going to keep me from seeing them!!  Jeff Long was one,  I have been following his career for a few years and I just love his positive attitude and determination.  Even if he doesn’t place the way he hopes for at a show he keeps pushing himself even harder for the next one,  I just admire that determination and perseverance so much. I also like his method of training. The other competitor is a women’s figure competitor, Wendy Fortino.  I seriously have a woman crush on this beautiful creature! This woman is so absolutely stunning, her figure is basically perfect and her grace and poise on stage was beyond fascinating to watch! SO! I packed my cooler, took an extra dose of pain meds and Marc and I headed to the convention center to watch the show.
(Side note- I actually got to MEET Jeff Long while I was waddling to the bathroom! I thought my heart was going to fall out of my butt!  yes, he is a great bodybuilder but he is so freakin’ man-gorgeous that I had to remind myself to speak so he didn’t think I was a mute!  I was SO bummed I didn’t have my cell phone to take a picture with him!  I ALWAYS have my phone in the bathroom for entertainment and the one time I forget…I have a photo op! DAMN IT)
I SLEPT
 I slept 8-9 hours per night and took naps during the day and cherished every single moment of those sleeps.  During regular weeks,  I work myself to absolute exhaustion between work, the gym, meetings, writing ect but I never make the time to get a full night of good quality sleep.
I ATE
 I didn’t stress about my diet or measurements or calories or portions.  When I was hungry, I ate.  When I had a craving for something, I indulged.  I didn’t go on any crazy Godzilla like binges but I enjoyed and let myself do so without stress.  I did a lot of cooking (with help from my grabber tool to reach the items I couldn’t reach with my arms haha).  I tried different combinations of foods, made sure Johnny had a good dinner when he came home from work and made healthy treats for momma bear.
One night, I made a big Italian dinner for Johnny and Marc.  I made home made gravy, caprese salad with arugala and home made vinaigrette, my own stuffed meatballs, two types of pasta, Vodka sauce for Johnny, garlic focaccia and gooey peanut butter brownies for dessert…my boys were happy.  It probably wasn’t the BEST idea to watch Extreme Weightloss after that meal!
I TOOK TIME TO REFLECT
 There are so many things in life to be grateful for.  I know that it sounds so generic, but, I spend my days so consumed with myself, my life, my goals, my plans, my food, my workouts and my routine that I forget to really be grateful for the aspects of my life that allow me to have the things I have and live the way I do.
I also let my job consume me.  Working for the hotel is an incredible opportunity.  I like my job and I’m pretty good at it, but I know that I won’t be doing it forever.  I burn out, I work extra hours, I stress out and let my job consume me when there are so many other things in my life that I need to use that focus on.  I’m trying to build my own company, my own business and doing my own thing and my energy, stress and time needs to go there.
I SPENT TIME WITH FAMILY
 There are times where I miss Vegas so much it brings me to tears.  I left Vegas to be closer to my family while my dad is slowly on the decline and I wanted us to be together during this the rough time.  My family is the most incredible family in the world.  Even before my dad got sick we had an incredible bond where the four of us were our own team.  The Remaly family could take on the world…and we did.  We don’t have a huge extended family.  My grandparents have all passed on, my half siblings are all of doing their own thing and can’t be bothered to check in on their own father and all other relatives live in other parts of the country.  Because of this we have created our own family.  Marc always teases me when I say “Oh that’s my aunt” and he always says, “is she REALLY your Aunt?”  We have chosen people who we consider more than just friends…we consider them family.
One week before my surgery when my mom was in Israel, my dad had who severe seizures and these landed him on the hospice floor of a hospital.  John and I were completely torn on whether we call our mother or not.  We knew that if we called her she would leave Israel and she deserved this trip.  She deserved to do something for HERSELF and I would never forgive myself if we called her to come home just to sit and watch Dad sleep.
Thank god everything was okay with my dad.  I ended up pretty much living at the hospital.  Johnny would spend days there because his boss told him not to even worry about work until dad was okay.  It was during this time that our chosen family stood by us and made sure Johnny and I were okay.  We were smothered with constant reminders of how much these people love us, how much they love dad and how much they love our family.  There was chunk of time in there where we weren’t sure if our dad was going to survive.  If we didn’t have the undying love of our chosen family and of each other I don’t know how Johnny and I would have remained strong enough to take care of mom once she came home.
When I talk about my family I don’t mean the family that I’m bound to by blood and at times an unfortunate turn of genetic events.  When I talk about family I mean the people that we have CHOSEN to surround ourselves with.  The family who support us and who surround us with unconditional love.  This is the family that I love to spend time with.
I think it also goes without saying that my mom, John and I have grown stronger over these last few years.  For people like Marc and Tom (mom’s boyfriend) people who are more like hostages, I can understand how it can be intimidating to come into a family like ours.  I tell you what though…we have a insane amount of love, respect and courage.  We may have an odd sense of humor and a sick and twisted way of dealing with devastation but there is an unparalleled bond between us.
Besides the above I had a chance to do more writing in the book.  I now finally have an idea of when I want to finish and hopefully start publishing as well as have the book ready for the public.  February 2015 is my goal date to have the book done and ready to be edited.  March 2015 it will be available as an e-book and April 2015 It will be printed, tangible and ready to sell.  This is when I will also do readings, a book tour and start the dirty work getting the book out there.  I won’t give away ALL of my ideas but there are some fun things up my sleeve *stay tuned* mwahahaha.
As of today, I am back at work and doing SO much better now that I have changed my attitude towards work.  Who knew that just sitting at a desk all day was so exhausting?! I have been doing a TON of writing (at LEAST 3-5 hours a day).  I still cannot go to the gym, it has been KILLING me.  I feel like I’m going through withdrawals.  I literally have CRAVINGS to lift something heavy, feel the adrenaline in my blood from a good pump and have the sweat pouring down from hard work…soon though!  I do make it a point to move as much as possible.  I wear leg weights around the house when I can when I walk,  I use resistance bands to do calf pumps and stretch my ankles.
I do have to continue wearing the incredibly sexy onesie (see picture below), I still have swollen feet like a 15 month pregnant lady, and I have a bit of trouble sleeping from my arms but all in all recovery of the body, mind and soul has been much needed.  Even if you don’t have surgery… I think everyone should do a full-blown, balls to the wall rest and recovery of the mind and soul.  Doctors orders.
PICTURES BELOW!!!
PICTURE IS ONE WEEK BEFORE SURGERY on JUNE 28th, 2014

PICTURE IS ONE WEEK BEFORE SURGERY on JUNE 28th, 2014

TODAY (AUG. 1, 2014) CHECK OUT THOSE BAKED HAM LOOKING ANKLES!

TODAY (AUG. 1, 2014) CHECK OUT THOSE BAKED HAM LOOKING ANKLES!

 

THE SEXY ONESIE- I HAVE TO WEAR THIS THING 23 HOURS A DAY!! THERE IS A PEE HOLE THOUGH!

THE SEXY ONESIE- I HAVE TO WEAR THIS THING 23 HOURS A DAY!! THERE IS A PEE HOLE THOUGH!