1.2.3… Reset

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Oatmeal, almonds, chia seeds, granola, honey, and mixed berry bowl

First off I wanted to apologize for how long it has taken me to get back online and type out a post. Its been a crazy busy last four months and I have been super duper focused on trying to get back in shape and bettering my life. I have started to work out five times a week, I now eat 5 healthy meals through out the day, and I also limit my drinking to once a month (not because I had an issue with drinking, but I thought if I really wanted to get get in shape I needed to get rid of all those empty calories). I also even started to attend mass, which I have not done in the last six months; usually my parents had to drag me out of bed and yell at me a couple times so I could go. However, lately with all the positivity in my life and all great things I have been doing I thought that it would make feel a little bit more complete. So far, it’s all been great. It almost feels like a complete reset of my life and I am starting to define who I really am in this big world. Don’t get me wrong, deep inside I was always kind of the same person, but now I have so much more motivation and drive to accomplish my dreams. For example, when I was back in school (middle/high school) I was reading a book a month, and it wasn’t just any small book it was books like War and Peace by Charles Dickens or Les Miserables. Somewhere in Senior year it all seemed to stop. So I decided it was time to dig back into it and I started with small readings like the newspaper and now I’m back to reading a book a month. It all seems like life is just flowing and I am vibing with it. As they say, whatever you put into the universe is what you get out of it and let’s just say the universe is loving me right now.

Scrambled eggs with arugula and tomatoes (hot sauce topping) and a side of buttered Shiitake mushrooms

So how did this all get started. One night I was just laying in bed and I started to think about all the things I wanted to do, and then I thought about how when I was younger I planned on having all these goals accomplished when I was 25. I figured I graduated college, I have an amazing job, and I have a wonderful fiancee…seems like a good life, but deep inside I still felt like my aspirations to be very successful and healthy were somewhere along the way put off to the side. I always wanted to be in great shape and wear fashionable clothes that all the hip millennials were rocking, but it didn’t really seem to matter to me at the time and I started to think why it was like this. I was usually a very motivated and a driven individual, so what was the issue…. At that point I didn’t really have an answer, but I thought heck if I don’t try to fix something its never going to happen. So I decided I would start working out at least three times a week, even if It was 10 mins of cardio for now. I also promised myself that I would start reading again (even if it was just 10 pages a week). Month 1 was very hard. I would get my gym bag ready the night before so that when I was off of work I would have no excuses to go work out. It started out great, I had forgotten that I loved to do cardio. After a few months, I was back to doing 30 minutes of either elliptical, stairs, or biking. The food part was the hardest issue. Usually I had large portions anytime I ate, I wouldn’t eat the best/healthiest food, and then I would sometimes have a second dinner after my normal dinner because I would get hungry. So I motivated myself to eat healthy by first buying the healthiest ingredients. It was a little more expensive, but I thought hey this is going to be worth it and I am going to thank myself later. Also instead of eating out so much, I (or my fiancee) started to cook for ever meal. Not only did we eat healthy, but we stopped eating out so much. As the months went by, instead of grabbing some chips for a snack I would go for the veggies and hummus or instead go for the fruit and then all of a sudden, me having a second dinner vanished. At this point, I was really like wow this was a great choice, and a few months ago I hit my goal of losing at least 25 pounds.

Oat-Protein Pancakes with a side of mixed berries (straight from a box from Trader Joes!)

All of this just gave me even more motivation to keep going. Now I was going to the gym five times a week and I had pushed up my cardio to 45 minutes and then added heavy lifting as well. Thanks to my co worker Jay, I learned to properly lift and make sure that I kept my breathing in check, so lifting became even more fun. Eating healthy was now a normal habit and I even made it a goal to not eat carbs with my dinner. I would eat all my carbs in the morning and then a light salad for dinner or a veggie and protein dish. My fiancee has been so supportive through all of this and I really want to thank her for always pushing me to be better. At this point, I am now down 50 lbs from 316/317 to 268. Which is almost unbelievable. A little side story, I actually weighed 300 lbs before, and then in HS I lost over 100 pounds (I did this by eating really healthy and played soccer). I guess I never learned my lesson and college wasn’t good to me with all the drinking and all the late night Taco Bell.

All these lifestyle changes, motivated me to do even more with my life; starting with more reading and then focusing on being the best employee possible. I bought three books and one of the books (which I always had on my top reading list) was Think & Grow Rich. Let’s just say that book forever changed me. All in all it taught me that first you need to build a master mind group by surrounding yourself with other smart/hard-working/successful people in order to grow into a successful person just like Thomas Edison or Henry Ford did when they built their business empires. Secondly it taught you that you must have a burning desire/intention to accomplish something or be someone you want to be. Lastly, it taught that you need to have perseverance and always be the best person possible. You might think these are all things that you already knew, but when you read it and you actually apply it to your life its a game changer. At work, I always used to pay attention to all the details and I had a very good work ethic but after reading that book I really focused on being the best accountant possible. I learned all my processes like I was an expert in them and I even reached out to all the folks that I worked with in order to understand how they prepare their reports (that they eventually pass on to me) to create the journal entries. I also cleaned up all the weird variances in my accounts, and I offered my help to the boss for any other projects or helping cover my team if they were ever out. While on the topic of volunteering, that’s another big thing that I have decided to do. Back when I was in school I volunteered and I was heavily involved in many organizations, even in college, but again somewhere along the way it stopped and I think I got annoyed of all commitments I had. However, this time I am more careful with the organizations I am committing my time to and I am also looking at making sure that not only does the organization benefit off of my involvement, but that I get something as well (whether that be professionally or personally). I am going to be volunteering for junior achievement, the Knights of Columbus, and also ALPFA or the association of Latino Professionals.

Eggs over-easy with a side of black beans and sliced tomatoes (seasoned w/ salt)

Overall its been a great reset and I am very excited to see what happens in the next six months. I know that I didn’t talk a lot about new recipes, but I provided you with some great pictures of dishes that I made to help me start my day off right (plus you can whip them up real quick by just mixing ingredients). Starting your day off right is one the key things in order to keep the success train going. You might think that doesn’t affect anything, but one good act inspires another one. You start with working out , then you start to eat healthy, then you start to get back into your faith, and finally you start to volunteer in your community. It might not be the cycle that everyone expierences but it was for me. I’m just thankful that I have wonderful folks to keep me motivated and challenged. Everyones always watching so make sure that you are always doing your best and I promise you that the universe will always reward you.

Peace, love, and well wishes!

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