As a photographer I have always loved taking pictures of people the most. I love the innocence of a child or the loving moment with a family, most of all I love the moment where a person feels good about how they looked in a picture I took. I like making people feel special.
I am most comfortable behind a camera.
I have never been good in front of the camera, mostly because I never have been comfortable with my own body. Years and Years of feeling insecure about my weight has messed with my mind. We all look at a picture and see that our saddlebags are now really duffle bags, or that our eyes are too close together or our nose is too big or too small. I can give you a laundry list of things we see negatively about ourselves. However, there is something my good friend Laura told me one time that has always stuck with me “Regardless of how I feel about my looks in pictures, this is who I am at this moment”
So I like to take family pictures yearly for our annual Christmas Card. My family loves to see pictures of Ray and I and our dachshunds, so despite the sick feeling I get in knowing I am going to look fat, I still send out pictures.
This year I made my annual photo shoot, and I was really excited this year, mainly because I was going to be working with a highly recommended photographer in the San Diego area – Brooke Aliceon Photography. I have heard so many good things about Brooke and I absolutely love her style. Also it is the first photo shoot I have done since I have lost 70 ish pounds.
It was the first time I wasn’t anxious, nervous, self-conscious, insecure, or sick to my stomach that I was too fat to take a family picture. This was a reflection, a reflection of my hard work, dedication, determination of my weight loss.
It makes a difference to have a good photographer, Brooke is a photographer that makes you feel comfortable during the session. I think the best quality she has is that she gives good direction. You don’t feel like “what do I do with my hands or is my head in a funky pose?” Also I told her about my weight loss and she took that in consideration in the poses to showcase all my hard work. She did a great job capturing the love of my family.
Now I can tell you that I am nowhere near my goal weight and I can pick apart every flaw I see in myself but this is life, this is me, and I am working every day to get to that goal. That is something I can be proud about. Here are a few of my favorite pictures – A
I am not going to lie, I was really nervous about my annual trip to Disneyland for the Halloween party this year. Besides the fact that you have trick or treat stations all over the park, which yes I got all the candy I could. You have your special treats. Like for me, I always have to have a pretzel or dole whip. Then there is always the Three Cheese Monte Cristo at Café Orleans. I knew this year because I am working on getting rid of the Candida Overgrowth I wasn’t going to have my special treats or Halloween candy. I was going to have to adjust to this habit.
We ate dinner first, at Café Orleans. I was amazed, when you make your reservation for the restaurant they ask if you have food allergies. I checked yes – Gluten/soy/dairy/grains those all pertain to my diet. Then when we get seated the hostess confirmed that we had allergies in our party. I was expecting a separate menu. As always I mentally prepare when I go to any restaurant, knowing the basics: veggies, meat, & beans are basically what I eat on this diet.
Well they full on had the chef come out to discuss my dietary restrictions with me. There was basically two things that fell into my allowance… a salad that he would have to take out all the fruit so it would basically be lettuce and chicken OR the N’awlins Vegetable Ragoût with Blackened Chicken– It comes with Eggplant, Red Onions, Bell Peppers, Squash, Zucchini, and fresh Garlic served with Corn Cakes topped with Grana Padano Cheese. SO the chef said “I can omit the cheese and the corn cakes but we can give you rice” I said, “no grains” So my meal came out with a spicy tomato sauce with all the veggies, chicken & some asparagus instead of the corn cakes. It was SO filling and delicious.
I was so impressed with the accommodations that Disney provided. The fact that they had the chef come out to accommodate my dietary needs is top notch customer service. I mean you can eat healthy where ever you are; you just need to be creative and be willing to ask. Disneyland makes it so easy to eat healthy too. There are fresh fruit/veggie stands all over in California Adventure and right there on Main Street. It comes down to choices. Either you choose to or you don’t.
If anyone tells you that Disneyland or anywhere for that matter only has unhealthy options it just means they are lazy or unwilling to research, because honestly there can be good choices if you look for them.
I was Ursula the Sea Witch this year……. How amazing did my tentacles come out?? My friend Laura is amazing, cant wait for next year!!!
I recently had a conversation with my nutritionist Julianna and she asked how my progress was going and I said “I lost 11lbs, but this is the weight I start climbing back up” I have been hitting a wall at 220lbs, I just cant get past that number. Julianna said “Angela, you are always going to weigh. You have A lot of muscle mass, that is how your body is made up, its just that we want that weight to be muscle not fat.”
Man that was such a hard pill to swallow.
We all have this idea of what weight loss is all about. I thought my goal was going to be at least 170lbs or less and 20% body fat. Then I get a bomb like this. “You will always weigh” It really blew my mind.
Like, the concept that I will always weigh ….. what did that mean to me? That meant that I will always be fat. Julianna saw the tears in my eyes and started to explain. My body is the perfect make up to be more of a power lifter, which I don’t see myself as that but that is what I love to do, Lift weights. She said that I am a slave to a number and I need to stop. So she suggested that I weigh myself once a month and get a body fat analysis monitor. There are other things I should focus on, Body fat/measurements/how my clothes fit. The scale doesn’t tell you everything.
When you weigh yourself often this can become a very destructive pattern, the scale for me was dictating my steps towards my health. I was stressed, discouraged, and obsessive. I have always used the scale to keep me accountable and in check. SO now that I don’t have that to measure my progress, I was nervous that this would discourage me on my weight loss journey.
The last time I weighed myself was September 27th and I have realized that the steps that I do daily cant be weighted: the healthy food I eat, my sleep, hydration, exercise…. These things don’t change just because of my weight. These are the things I will continue to do for the rest of my life. So it has been hard to not weigh myself but nice not to have that number hanging over my head. I cant tell you what I weigh right now. BUT, I can tell you that I feel good, I have been making choices that are in line with my goals for the most part, and my clothes are getting looser. So I maybe 200lbs for the rest of my life but if I am 20% or less body fat….. then I will be okay with that.
“Accepting your body as it is right now allows you to make decisions about caring for yourself in the present moment, which is, after all, the only moment you have any influence over.”
So I am on week 9 of 13 weeks for the Sugar Detox that I am doing or the Candida diet. I thought I was going to be on it for 6 weeks but then Julianna (my nutritionist) said “Oh no its going to be 3 mos” I totally got sucker punched. I can’t say that it has been easy. About week 3 my husband and I went to our favorite restaurant Donovan’s to celebrate 14 years of marriage. Donovan’s always gives you a complementary Crème Brulee. Now I am not a fan of Crème Brulee but Donovan’s makes the best one I have ever had. Ray’s dinner that he ordered came with dessert so he ordered the Cheesecake. Usually we would share the desserts. But since I can’t have sugar, I just sat there and watched Ray eat both desserts as I drank my tonic water and lemon. Although that was really hard for me not to say screw it and cheat, I didn’t. I was really proud of myself.
Here is our wonderful dinner……..
With temptation every day there are sometimes that you just don’t want to work hard and you don’t want to be diligent and you don’t want to look at a menu and think “I can have this but I need to switch this out for that and can I add a salad instead of fries and …..” That was me on Sunday night. I just wrapped up a great photo session with my friend Jenn and Brian and their sweet baby Sawyer. We were down at Oceanside Harbor and we were talking about dinner, Brian suggested Harbor Fish which is fish n chips. I have never been to Harbor fish but I have heard nothing but great things about their fish n chips. We get there and I look at the menu on the wall, Fried…. Fried…. And more Fried food. I justified it as “At least I am not eating sugar, which is what really feeds the Candida Yeast” I also could have said “I deserve it because I have been doing a good job” but do I really deserve to put junk in my body for doing a good job with fueling it correctly? I ended up ordering Fried fish and a salad instead of fries. It wasn’t as horrible as I use to order but still off diet and a really bad choice anyway. Especially since, I could have ordered a grilled chicken salad. I also ate some of Rays fries. I got really sick that night because my body is so use to eating clean. I felt guilty and now sick. I owned it, I made a bad choice broke my 9 week streak of following my diet. But as quick as I was to hop off the wagon I was that much quicker to jump right back on.
We are all human, we are all flesh, and we all fail and succeed. At that moment of weakness making a bad choice I could have easily said OH WELL and kept going. I could have said “I screwed up now I will just eat a candy bar and a pint of ice cream, and chips.” I didn’t, I accepted my moment of weakness, my poor choice and I moved on with the diet.
“Rather than viewing a brief relapse back to inactivity as a failure, treat it as a challenge and try to get back on track as soon as possible.”