Own your Past to Gain your Future

Day 7:  Belize

Today was our last day in Belize.  Tomorrow we head out early in the morning for our next destination.  So, we wanted to do everything today.  We started the day by dropping off our laundry at Ruby’s Laundry Service.  When you travel the world for a year you need to do some laundry.  There wasn't really a laundromat on the island so bringing it to Ruby’s was the best option.  For $10 US she washed our laundry and hung it to dry. It was ready for us to pick up a few hours later.  I feel like in life we take having a washer and dryer readily available for granted.  Most of us have them in our houses or apartments and if we don't a Laundromat isn't far.  It’s kind of crazy to think that the norm for most people in developing nations is to wash their clothes in a wash basin and hang it to dry.  It’s the little details.

We then walked over to Sip N Dip early so we could get a swing in the water.  We drank our drinks while swinging in the ocean.  Where else can you do that.  The drinks were rather expensive.  The most we've paid in Belize thus far.  However, the experience was so cool it totally made them worth every penny.  After we got out of the water we sat on the dock and enjoyed the turquoise ocean water in front of us.

Afterwards we went back over to Sports Bar and decided to have the nacho boat for lunch, this time with pulled jerk pork.  They were even better than yesterday.  I think between the drinks and the food, I gained like 10 pounds in Belize.  But guess what?  It doesn't matter.  My life isn't dictated by the number of calories I am consuming.  I am not going to miss out on amazing meals and drinks.  The last year and a half I have learned a lot about weight loss and counting calories.  I have been struggling with my weight since I was a little girl.  I was a swimmer so I was stocky, but I was also chubby and I got to high school it became more imperative for me to lose the weight by any means necessary.  At the time I was probably about a size 16, but I wanted to be a 6 like most of my friends or a 00 like my best friend.  So, I stopped eating.  My body attacked itself and I gained almost 100 pounds.  I went from a size 16 to a size 22.  I became even more unhappy. Nothing I tried worked.  I essentially gave up.  I never talked about my eating disorder because no one believed me.  I kept it to myself, no one needed to know, right?  WRONG!!!

When I started my journey at Choice Center a year and a half ago, I realized it wasn’t about telling people.  It was about owning and letting go of my past in order to gain my future.  The trouble is, this is easier said than done.  However, between August 2015 and January 2016 I had lost 60 pounds.  It was a great start, but not even close to the amount I needed to lose.  How did I do it?  I started adding the things that truly made me happy back into my life.  Mainly swimming.  As our lives get busy and overrun with “important” things that NEED to get done, we drop the things that make us happy, that center and balance us.  For me it was swimming and brunch with my girlfriends.  I noticed as I reintroduced these loves into my life, I was happier and the weight started to just come off.  When I made the move to California, I got to find activities that made me happy again.  It took awhile.  For the first six months of me living in Cali. I was stagnant.  I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn't happy and enjoying life.  Again, life was getting in the way of my happy place activities.  It was on a trip to Tahoe last June that I said, “something has to change”.  Apparently, I do a lot of reflection while I travel. 

It was at that moment that I, along with Gabe and Kristie Griess, decided to create a plan.  A six month plan called Journey Within through Choice Center (It meant so much to me that I decided to pay homage to it with the title of my blog).  Over the last 6 months, I have learned how to truly own and let go of my past and really gain my future.  I joined a swim team, traveled within the US more than ever and lost and additional 40 pounds.  I didn't count calories. I didn't really change the way I was eating.  I learned, through a cleanse that my body doesn't process meat very well.  So, I cut out red meat and only consumed poultry occasionally, increased my fish intake and lowered the amount of carbs I was eating by about 1/2.  The key for me though has been not depriving myself of things I want.  If I want a nacho boat and a dirty banana, I’m going to eat a nacho boat with a dirty banana (I wouldn't actually do those together.  That actually sounds kind of gross).  

My point is, own who you are.  You are amazing and beautiful (or handsome), whole and complete and there isn’t anything anybody can do to change that.  Don't let your happy place activities go.  We don't live forever.  Soon it may be too late to enjoy them.  Live for today.  I challenge you to pick a happy place activity that you have forgotten or ‘don’t have time for’ and find 1 hour during the week to add it back in.  You won’t regret it.  It will only enrich your life.

Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox.

For dinner we went to the highly recommended Habaneros.  While it was good and I too recommend it, it was not my best meal in Belize.  That would have to go to Elvi’s Kitchen.  After dinner we went to the I & I Reggae bar.  I finally was able to stay up long enough to make it.  The swings at the bar were cool, but it definitely was not really my vibe.  I prefer chill and laid back and this was chill, but not laid back.

We didn't stay long because we have an early wake up call tomorrow.  Stay tuned to see where our next stop is.

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Food is something that brings the world together. Each culture has its own traditions and favorite foods. As a self proclaimed foodie, I was so excited to try cuisines in the countries they originated in. During my travels, I have discovered and will undoubtedly continue to discover culinary treasures around the globe. I am honored to share with you, My Elephant Tribe, the amazing meals I have enjoyed throughout the world.

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