DIY Avocado Hair & Face Mask

Ever have bananas or avocados that are going bad? Make a homemade hair mask!!

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  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

I blended it together to get rid of any chunks.

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Start with your roots and blend throughout your hair. I just piled it on top of my head and let it sit for 30 minutes. Make sure to rinse well and you may need to shampoo to get all of the oil out of your roots. My hair feels so smooth, glossy and shiny now! Try doing this once a week for best results!

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Don’t let the other half of your avocado go to waste! Use the rest to make a face mask! 🙂 Simply use avocado and honey, mix together and smooth onto your face or any problem areas on your neck or back. Honey works great as a way to tone down scarring and acne. It contains antibiotic properties and works beautifully to moisturize your skin.

I will also dab olive oil onto my lips to moisturize them as well – I love it!

Take a minute to pamper yourself today 🙂

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How to overcome binge and compulsive overeating

Believe it or not, there are people out there that stop eating when they are full. They’ve done this their entire lives. They don’t keep eating until their stomach hurts or they forget about their problems. It’s not that they have more self control, they just don’t have that thing about them that makes them want to eat a mountain of cupcakes.

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Me on the other hand, I’ve always been different. I’m like a puppy in front of endless kibble, and if I’m sad or depressed or angry, I will eat until I’m even more so. The thing is, I wasn’t always like this and sometimes I have gone years at a time without this problem. But every now and then I find myself running to the grocery store at 10pm and back home with Ben & Jerries, Cheez-Its, and the entire Netflix collection of the Office on continuous play.

It’s that moment when you think you might throw up, your knuckles hit the bottom of the goldfish bag, or your have to start tilting the pringles because you can’t fit your fist inside. It’s that horrible moment when you think a number of things:

Why am I eating when I’m not even hungry?

OMG I have a problem! I’m a monster!

NO ONE CAN EVER KNOW ABOUT THIS. I need to take the garbage out right now.

Am I pregnant?

Am I depressed? What’s wrong with me?

The truth is. You’re not alone. Around 3.5% of women and 2% of men experience a form of binge eating in their lifetime. And before you get scared and X out of this page because you don’t want to hear that you have an eating disorder. Stay with me. While binge eating is classified as a type of eating disorder by the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are times in our lives where we might be overeating or anxious and it doesn’t mean there’s something horribly wrong with us or that we are lesser human beings. Binge eating is also the MOST COMMON eating disorder out there and effects around 30% of people pursueing weight loss goals or treatment.

So why do people binge eat? And what’s classified as binge eating? And why am I just NOW facing this after having success losing weight?

Everyone seems to have too much food over the holidays or on their birthday. But sometimes we feel like eating alone, eating a lot of food alone, being secretive about it, and then feeling an enormous amount of shame and guilt afterwards. It’s that horrible feeling and promising yourself you’ll stop and that you’re done and then finding yourself in the same situation again.

For me, I’ve binged when I’m alone. I’m bored and sometimes I’m not even depressed or sad or angry about much or anything at all. But I know how good filling up my stomach with bad food will feel…momentarily. It’s a type of high. It’s a momentary feeling of pleasure that makes you forget about other problems. But it can destroy you inside and out.

When I was little, I would often sneak food. I was teased a lot in elementary school for having a tummy and if I was ever home before my parents I’d sneak as many Little Debby snacks as I could and eat them like there was no tommorow. Years went by and I got a lot healthier into my High School years. I would go running, 2-6 miles a day and I felt great, I wasn’t obsessed with my body but I was happy that I felt energized and was getting compliments on my appearance.

Even in college, eating wasn’t an issue. The dorms helped with pre-prepared meals and having roommates always held me accountable in terms of not overeating or snacking at night. It wasn’t until after losing 50 lbs and spending nearly 3 years so heavily focused on my body, my caloric intake, and my results that all of those impulses started to come back. For the past year I have truly struggled when I’m alone (usually Sunday nights) to not eat as much as I can.

Do I feel ashamed? Embarassed? Worried? Yeah, most definitely. But I know that sharing my story and finding ways to move forward will mean that I’ll find a solution faster and stop this cycle.

So why do we feel so compelled and out of control with overeating after we’ve made such amazing fat loss progress? Losing weight is a journey that will be more complicated than you’d ever expect. When you decide and committ to weightloss journey, you are transforming more than your body. You are changing your habits, the way you think about everything, the choices you make, and you start to look at your body with new hopes and admiration. Suddenly, you ARE capable of reaching goals and not only looking better but feeling better, too! It’s exciting and the compliments are endless and it’s this high of YEAH I’m taking control of my life! But it’s also terrifying. There are moments when we don’t see ourselves the way everyone else does. We get worried that we’ll gain it all back or that we are just as heavy as we once were. It can take months, even a year or more to truly see how small we’re getting and to stop picking up old bigger sizes when we go clothes shopping.

All of that mental effort can be draining and if we don’t find ways to blow off steam and release some of that tension, our minds and bodies will find ways for us. Same goes for all stresses in life. It’s why disorders exist. We can’t prevent stress, but we can find better ways to work through it and not fear being weaker because of it.

I’m not going to sit here and right a list of reasons why binge eating or overeating is bad for you, you probably know why, with the worst part being the way it makes you FEEL. The way it takes away self-esteem and motivation.

So how can we overcome these impulses to overeat when we’re alone or with other people we’re comfortable with. How can we stop?

  • Take 10-15 minutes to write down what triggers you to overeat. Is it being bored? Lonely? Angry or sad? Do you want to overeat when you watch TV or when you get bad news? Understanding what makes you want to start binging or overeating will help you find ways to stop.
  • Once your realize what your triggers are, find healthy alternatives. Go for a walk, do 10 jumping jacks, take a nap, read a book, or call a friend.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of food during the day so you can eat more at night. I’m SO gulty of this. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve tried to do 60 minutes of cardio and eating 500 calories so I can have 1500 left over for dinner. It’s a great way to set yourself up for failure, overeat and feel lightheaded throughout the day.
  • Write down a list of foods you crave when you want to binge and find ways to enjoy them in moderation or healthier alternatives. If you NEVER let yourself have chocolate because you want to lose weight, you’re going to end up invading the local grocery store later. Find ways to have just one of something and enjoy it.
  • If you are at a point where you feel like you can’t trust yourself when you’re alone, find someone or a resource to help you. Find a buddy you can text when you want to eat at night or a community forum online.
  • Empower yourself and take time after reading this to focus on the fact that you are finding a solution and already closer to ending self-turmoil instead of feeling bad that you’ve admitted you have something you want to work on.
  • Check out Top 10 Online Resources for Binge Eaters
  • Don’t hide – you are an amazing person and this will be something you will overcome and be proud of. It’s just one more hurdle in your transformation journey that makes you proud to be the person you are.

You can’t fail if you never give up.

Summer Body Image & 5 Steps to Healthier Thoughts

Recently I made the following post on my Facebook page: It’s July and all of the sudden it’s Summer. This is important, so listen closely. You don’t have to be a size zero or have a thigh gap or a 6 pack to be allowed to Summer. You don’t have to be skinny or toned to wear a swimsuit. YOU are bikini ready simply by wearing a bikini. The people who judge others at the beach harshly are the ones that are deeply insecure. While you may be out there thinking “OMG I’m fat” chances are so is everyone else. We all should strive to be healthy and keep up with our fitness, but just because you haven’t reached your ultimate goals yet, doesn’t mean you are allowed to punish yourself mentally and deny yourself the joys of Summer time. So take a deep breath and be proud of yourself for who you are inside and out. Because life will be a lot more rewarding if you start living it NOW and not “when” something happens or “when” you have a certain body.

Weight loss and fitness can draw a difficult line in our lives. We want to stay motivated and with all of the different ways to do that now with Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or whatever means you use to look at progress pictures or healthy food, it can become overwhelming. It is easy to fixate on someone else’s body, someone else’s thighs or flat stomach and then use that as our motivation. While it’s great to find motivation through different means, it’s important to keep ourselves in check and make sure that we are striving for OUR OWN bodies and our own shape and unique appearance. It’s also important to truly work on creating peach within ourselves.  I love this article I came across on the Huffington Post that shows pictures of women (not supermodels) in bikinis and bathing suits.

Sometimes I have moments where I’ve been working out and I try on my swimsuit and expect to look like some photoshopped, at-the-gym-all-day, supermodel. And when I’m not, it’s a HUGE let down. Suddenly those feelings of insecurity and failure start creeping up and I have to observe them and not let them take over.

Be easy on yourself. We can’t all just snap out of our habitual thought patterns, but we can make strides and start with small steps forward. Don’t deprive yourself of the beach or any summer activities just because you aren’t where you want to be yet. Your body is beautiful and amazing, period.
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The next time you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed about your body or any aspect of yourself, take a moment to run through these suggestions:

  1. Take a few slow, deep breaths and calm your mind. Notice how relaxed you become after consciously taking a moment to slow your pace, clear your mind, and truly let yourself visualize and hear your own thoughts.
  2. Let your thoughts flow but try not to attach yourself to them. If you feel “fat” and “worthless”, let your mind roll that thought away. Then observe how that thought makes you feel. Realize that you don’t have to let every thought you have dictate your emotions or your responses. This is the practice of mindfulness and allows you to let your negative thoughts flow through and out of you. Trying to just stop your negative thoughts
  3. Avoid the All-or-Nothing mentality. When we tell ourselves that we have to be perfect in every way to meet a goal it leads to every little mistake becoming a huge failure. Set realistic goals and ways of praising yourself.
  4. Try to get away from “should”, “can’t”, or other negative suggestive words. While it’s important to observe our thoughts, the next step is changing the habits of past negative thoughts. When you think you “should” do something or “can’t” do something, your mind adapts to that mentality. You suddenly can’t see the small positives and feel too overwhelmed to take steps forward, ultimately feeling stuck and discouraged.
  5. Work on incorporating positive thoughts into your mind to replace the negative ones. Over time, you will make new habits of positive thoughts in the same ways you used to automatically come up with negative ones. Re-affirm your positive self-image. Focus on what you like and love about yourself and your body when you look in the mirror. Work on complimenting yourself, thinking about the good aspects of your body, and learn to accept compliments and say “thank you!” instead of down-playing something nice someone is saying to you.

Remember that Witnessing = Observing + Non-Attachment

Body Image And Comparing Yourself to Others: Why It’s Not Worth it

I have written posts before on body image before. I’ll link some of them here:

But today I ran across a post that really spoke to me and I’ll be reblogging it below. I think it is SO important to stay on top of our mentality and outlook when it comes to our bodies and continually work to be at a mindset where you can love your body. But it’s true that sometimes the thoughts and expectations of others can hinder our own thoughts. Frances is a Seattle blogger who speaks her mind and does nothing less in this post. Please make sure to visit her blog here and read her other posts.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

 A high school classmate of mine posted something on Facebook today comparing herself to a well-known and extremely thin celebrity. The gist of the post was why bother competing if we have already lost. It is a very good question but it got me thinking about body image and the way we view ourselves as women.
 
I don’t think any female wakes up every day and thinks she is supposed to look like Barbie or Kim K or Gwyneth Paltrow. I do, however, think we wake up every day and are told that we should want to look this way. This puts us in this weird middle place where we know that the whole world is not judging us on a daily basis, watching the number of calories we take in, the number of hours we spend in the gym, and how flattering our outfits are on these rock hard Pilates bodies. No. We might be judged by the people we know, our friends, family, coworkers; and we might be judged in passing by strangers we walk by in the mall or at a restaurant, but in general we do not experience the same type of scrutiny to always look amazing as celebrities do, and yet we feel we should put ourselves through that experience.
 
Most days after showering I look at my naked body in the mirror and I see some really positive things. I have great collar bones, my back is really nice, I have a stellar ass, my legs are long and toned (even if there is a tiny bit of cellulite). But I also seem to focus on the negative aspects of my body. My stomach is not flat, my hips are too large, I have back fat that cosmetic surgeons refer to as flanks (I know this from looking up liposuction), my breasts are too small, the backs of my arms are not as toned I would like them to be, my nose is slightly crooked, my upper lip is too thin, my eyebrows are different shapes, my ankles are too skinny, and so on. Yet, with all of my imperfections, most days, I look in the mirror and can overlook the things I hate about my body. I can put on clothes and know they flatter my body. I can walk out of the house with my head held high and know that I look good.
 
The paparazzi don’t follow me around every single day, and I think that helps my self-confidence, living in the PNW doesn’t really hurt it either. But I guess my point is, who decides what is beautiful and why do we all expect to fit into the same box of beauty? Why do we even want to? We all have different hair color, eye color, skin color. We come in different shapes and sizes, so why are we trying to force ourselves to change? Of course, I am not saying to accept being overweight, or people shouldn’t get cosmetic surgery if that is what they really want, but I am saying that striving to look like a celebrity is ridiculous. Those women are paid to be beautiful whereas the rest of us are paid to show up to work every day and perform our job duties. Sure, being pretty helps me in my profession of slinging margaritas, but my job is not to be pretty.
 
Comparing ourselves to knockouts such as Jennifer Lawrence is like comparing ourselves to aliens. We seem to forget that we do not live in the same world as these beauties. Sure, we might inhabit the same planet, but we are not actually competing with them. I wake up every day having no fear that my boyfriend might one day leave me for Angelina Jolie, partly because he has never done a movie with her, but also because it is never going to happen. We spend so much time worrying about how we look and wondering why the girls that grace the covers of gossip rags have these perfect bodies while we slave away trying to maintain a reasonable BMI that we forget these starlets are freaks of nature. We forget to look around the grocery store and see the women we are actually competing with, and usually against those women, we are safe.
 
But the bigger problem is that we seem to forget we are more than just our outside appearance. For all of my physical flaws, I am pretty fucking awesome. I am smart and creative, I dance and laugh at myself, I make my friends and family laugh (usually at my own expense), and generally I am a pretty cool chick. So, while being pretty might be what gets me free drinks, being rad is what makes guys, friends, family, strangers, whoever want to continue a conversation with me. That has to count for something, and honestly I think that has to count for a lot more. I was born with this body type. I came out of my mother’s womb destined to have a pear shaped body and be mistaken for a lesbian throughout my formative years, I cannot change that. Being awesome is something I had to groom, not a lot because I was also born pretty freaking awesome, but it has been honed, slightly. That is what I think we should be focusing on. Not who looks the most like some famous actor or singer, but who can hold a conversation and have an original thought and make a joke and laugh at themselves. Maybe if we started focusing more on those things we would be jealous of how funny or smart a celebrity is instead of how thin or large breasted. And maybe it is just me, but I would rather look up to a smart person than a pretty person.
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If you have a personal story or body image perspective you want to share, please let me know! I’d love to help share your thoughts.

My Personal Journey: 50lbs and so much more

Many of you might not know what my journey has been like and I thought it was about time to share 🙂

It hasn’t been until recently that I have ever truly felt beautiful inside and out in my entire life. For as long as I can remember I did my best to be perfectly content with being the “funny friend” or the girl who would never meet the man of her dreams. I would make jokes about my eating, my weight, and play it off like I didn’t care. I kept lying to myself that I wasn’t capable of so much, nor was I worth the effort.

This mindset only continued. Soon I was 21 and letting myself stay for almost 3 years in a verbally abusive and manipulative relationship that destroyed not only my outside appearance but completely stole who I was and any self-respect I had. After finally deciding with every OUNCE of will that I had in me to get away from that life, I moved into my own apartment and started my new journey; finally creating a life for ME.

About a year or so later, at the edge of 23, I lost my Father, a man and a person to who this day, I truly believe understood me more than anyone else ever has (and perhaps ever will). And while that would have been the perfect excuse to give up and stop caring, it only FUELED me more. His strength continues to carry me on a daily basis ❤
When I post pictures of my progress, I’m sure a lot of people think it’s purely out of vanity but for those of you who have gone through a transformation, big or small, I know you understand how it is SO much more than that. I won’t argue that compliments are enjoyable but it’s the energy I radiate now, the smile I never used to have, the way my eyes light up and how in touch I am with my mind and soul now that brings tears to my eyes when I think about how hard I’ve worked to get here.

And it.wasn’t.easy.

But before you say “I just don’t like working out” or “I couldn’t do that” or “wow you’re lucky” stop. Because you are JUST as capable, we all are.

Sometimes I am so scared to tell people I’ve lost over 50lbs, I worry about how they might judge me, how they might squint their eyes at my old appearance and before pictures. But I can’t take shame in that. Who I used to be and who I’ve become are ALL a part of me and I love every ounce of my being as I grow and continue to transform into Sarah Rose.
But don’t get me wrong. It’s still such a process and I often can’t see what others might.
I still go to the mall and pick out sizes that are entirely too big for me and am dumbfounded when they hang off of me in the dressing room. I still cry and feel over 200lbs like I used to be. Sometimes I look in the mirror and still see that old Sarah.

I can only continue to exercise my mind along with my body.

Thank you all for your continual support, you have absolutely NO idea how much it means to me and how much it continues to motivate me.

❤ You truly cannot fail if you never give up.

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Keeping a Healthy Body Image: A reminder we ALL need

bodyimageI rarely make statements like this but I think this is important. In every woman there is a 12 year old girl who once thought that the images in magazines were what was beautiful, and were what she should strive for. This has affected every woman more or less and differently in many ways. But as we’ve gotten older, whether we’re 25 or 55, we realize that these images aren’t what we should strive for. They aren’t realistic and they aren’t the only thing that men find desirable. But every now and then, the 12 year old inside us creeps back and gains a voice; we forget that with all of the images and constant pressure to be fit and have a certain body type, we too, are still beautiful in every way.

We may know that these images aren’t what we HAVE to be, but it doesn’t make that desire go away. With more and more sites like the ones listed in the article below, we are constantly shown not only pictures of women with extremely low body fat, but also how specific parts of our body should be. Not only should we have clear skin and perfect boobs, but we also should have gaps between our thighs, our hip bones should protrude, and we should relish in the fact that men find us so completely perfect if we can reach these goals. But the truth is that no two body types are the same. Some women will never have a gap no matter how much weight they lose.

I’m writing this to take a minute to remind every woman who reads this that you are beautiful, gorgeous, and perfect in your OWN unique body. And I’m writing this to remind every man to constantly remind the women in their life the same thing. Don’t assume we always know this. We have to constantly fight to stay on top of our body image (in fact, every individual does).

We need to stop “liking” and posting pictures that make statements that “this” body or shape is better than “that” one. Curvy isn’t any better than skinny, just like skinny isn’t any better than curvy. BOTH are beautiful. ALL women are beautiful. We need to work on creating an environment that works on supporting and loving each other, not standing in opposition because our bodies are different. In the same way that the media has deformed our perceptions of attraction, women continue to do the same by encouraging one body type over the other. COME TOGETHER and stop hating or feeling jealous of another body type than your own. Embrace all women around you and let us find that strength in numbers. This may sound cheesy but it’s true.

I know I have spent my entire life (and will always struggle) because I’m not skinner, tanner, or I don’t have bigger boobs. We all have insecurities that some days are easy to push to the side, but on others can bring us to tears. We all have a 12 year old within us that needs to be comforted, nurtured, and reminded that we are strong, unique, beautiful, and determined women. And that the more we stand up and praise our own bodies, the more everyone else will, too.

We need to stop punishing women who DO stand confident in their skin by calling them “vain” and “full of themselves” and praise them for taking care of their bodies, striving for health, and setting an inspirational path for others.

The challenge and effort it takes to continually love your own body from age 5 to age 90 NEVER stops. Take your insecurities and turn them into strengths and remind yourselves, your friends, and your children, how important their own self-worth in their body image is. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. And that’s what I have to say for Monday. ❤

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/pro-anorexia-community-inspires-upsetting-and-stra

Progress Update: Focusing on More Than Numbers and Appearance

I’m dripping sweat as I write this. Just finished another shred sesh of level 3. Today was the first day I was able to do it all without taking any breaks and pushing it harder than I ever have before.

Today is only day 24 and oh the results I feel. Granted there’s been 3 days throughout this 30DS where I didn’t make the time to do it. One of those being over the weekend when I spent 4 hours floating a river and then had a bacon burger, fries, AND froyo after. Not my best fitness day. But I did bring my leptin levels back up (a hormone responsible for keeping your body out of starvation mode). Having a cheat day can help reset your metabolism.

I’ll post a pic of my progress below (3 inches of the waist in 3 weeks ain’t bad). But today I want to focus on results beyond looks and numbers. Today at the gym I was running, doing the cross trainer, and did some lifting. I haven’t felt this strong in a long time! I may only be using 3 and 5lb weights in 30DS but it IS making a difference in my strength and overall endurance.

I can feel the strength in my core and underneath that layer of fat I have left. I’m getting strong, I WANT to workout. I even missed the shred on the days I took off. It can take 21 days to create a habit and I’m getting there!

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