Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"I'd rather own little & see the world than own the world and see little of it."


"I'd rather own little & see the world than own the world and see little of it."

Have you ever had one of those moments where you need to change your environment or shake things up in your life to break the routine or stale energy? I had this experience last Monday morning. By Monday afternoon, I requested three days off work to visit my sister in Tacoma, WA (near Seattle). By Tuesday evening, my husband Donald bought my plane ticket blindly on Expedia.com. Why did I do this? I just needed an opportunity to reset, outside of my North Bay, CA home environment. I fully acknowledge the privilege that is involved with being able to travel and leave at the drop of a hat. In reality, this decision was shared carefully with me and my husband - we reviewed our life budget and made it work. I am only here for 2.5 days. Not enough time to even sneeze. However, out of all the places to choose to vacation to I chose the Seattle area to specifically see my sister Leilani.


I am ten pounds away from my weight loss goal. I feel like I am stuck. My sister though is kicking ass and taking names. She has dropped well over 50 lbs and is close to reversing her Type II Diabetes. I just landed late last night after work from San Francisco, and she already booked me for our Wednesday morning kickboxing class (which did kick my ass). She is living life to the beat of her own drum and not letting money (or lack there of) stop her from living. I haven't even spent 24 hours with her and I have already confirmed I am living waaaaaaaay outside of my means and I can do better. You can live life to its fullest without going broke. You can experience adventure without going broke. There is no such thing as broke - it's living within your life budget.



You might be wondering: "Wow Mo, your husband Donald is so supportive of you just whisking off on vacation without a moment's notice." Yes and no. He is supportive, but the main reason why he worked our life budget to make this happen was because I needed a break to renew and re-balance my mental health. I have branded myself as #MoOnTheGo - I thrive on being busy - or so I thought. I needed a break from work, personal commitments, community work, emails, social media, and technology (yes I know it's ironic considering I am writing this blog post on my tech hiatus). I didn't tell anyone really where I was going. My husband agreed to this trip if I promised to put an away message on both my work AND personal email, plus not post on social media. Keep this trip quiet and sacred.  I know it sounds crazy, but I NEVER put on my away message on personal email. Last time I did that was 2012 - I didn't even do that for my own wedding last year! The moment I got off the plane at Sea-Tac, I felt relaxed. I felt unchained from checking email and my social media accounts. To continue this relaxed feeling, my sister decided to take me to the Tacoma Museum today. I literally sat in front of a video of an outdoor installation of inflatable tubes flapping in the wind on a 20 minute loop. I SAT STILL. My sister found me in the museum and was shocked that I was just sitting there quietly. You are probably thinking: "Twenty minutes? What's the big deal?" For someone nicknamed #MoOnTheGo this 20 minutes meant everything. We even wrapped up our visit with 20 minutes in the creative art making room. Leilani and I sat across from each other. She painted a picture of a bowl of fruit. I drew a sketch of my sister with the bowl of fruit she was painting. We hung them on the art wall with pride. I am taking them back to California to give as a gift to our mom. I am 32 years old. The last time I sat down and drew a picture the way I did today I was a teenager and before that I was in middle school. There we were sitting in complete silence. The only sound you heard was my pencil brushing against the paper and my sister's watercolor brush on her sheet of paper.

I am sharing this because by sitting in silence or in stillness I am shaking away discomfort. I am uncomfortable with silence and stillness. I am uncomfortable with rest. By having a neverending list of things to do, I am not able to prioritize what I really need to do or want to finish. For example, I am in the process of going back to school to finish my MBA. I walked in 2011 with two classes and a capstone project to finish. I finished my capstone project and passed, but never finished those last two classes. I am here sitting in front of my laptop sitting in a coffee shop in Gig Harbor, WA while my sister is running errands with only two goals - 1) finishing this blog entry 2) writing my MBA personal statement to be able to re-apply into my unfinished graduate school program.

Now is the time for me to crowd out the noise. This trip to see my sister was a gift from a higher power and I don't want to waste it.

I know my thoughts are all over the place, but I often delay my goals because I strive for perfection which in the end prevents me from even starting in the first place. Not this time - I am striving for the first raw draft. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try.



I started this blog in 2009 as a way to vent but also connect with other folks who were on a journey to a healthier version of them. Originally this blog was about my weight loss journey, but morphed into an on-line therapy support group or ever dare I say it - electronic confessional. Now it is 2017 and I am coming back to the essence of why I started writing in the first place: an opportunity to reflect and hold myself accountable especially to a world of strangers (who eventually actually became my real life friends!).

But enough about that. Why am I back? A new journey for me has started. My husband Donald and I have decided to do whatever it took to start a family - now in our 30s we were in a tougher spot physically both weighing over 300 lbs. We made a heavy decision for our family in 2016 - we decided to pursue weight loss surgery. In a future post, I will dedicate a whole entry as to why we decided to go down this route and it was not a decision that came lightly by any means. There are a lot of emotional, physical, and psychological factors involved including addressing stress, food addiction, and other things that we try to bury by eating food for comfort.

**Disclaimer: I am not encouraging folks to go down this route. This is the journey my husband and I are taking. At the end of the day we will still have to eat well and exercise but in summary it gives us the ability to reboot our bodies.**


My husband weighed 324 lbs. in January 2017. This was the same number that was my heaviest weight. We used 2016 as a year to see if we could lose the weight again. We both had experiences in our 20's losing about 100 lbs each but something happened in our 30s where it was much harder to lose the weight.

I am pretty sure you have questions like: "Wait. Why are you choosing surgery as an option? You lost it before, you can do it again!" or "What's wrong with you? Why can't you finish it?" or "Surgery? Really? Isn't that just an out?" 

Ah yes. Trust me. I had these questions roll through my own head, plus the good old "Wow you are a failure" attitude. Here's the thing: Everyone chooses different journeys towards a healthier life. This one is mine. Is it the end all be all solution? HECK NO. Is it for everyone? HECK NO.  

We never considered weight loss surgery before because we used to be big losers and we could do it again, or so we thought. By the beginning of 2017 we moved to at least exploring what surgery and life post-surgery would be like. My husband I were both tasked to lose about 30 lbs each in order to qualify (among other guidelines - p.s. we had different insurance carriers, therefore different activities related to our programs). Long story short, he lost the weight and had his gastric sleeve surgery in May. Today he is in his 240s and is feeling healthier and more confident.

And then there is me. 
I am 10 lbs away from my goal weight! Yay! Right? Um. No. I have been 10 lbs away since July. What is holding me back from getting to goal? Am I really ready for this surgery? Do I even want it?

Short answer: Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try.


I have many friends in my previous weight loss journey who were inspired by my original journey, lost the weight and kept it off. Now I have other friends who started their weight loss surgery pre-op activities and were inspired by me and lost the weight and now are post-op surgery. Do you see a pattern? I'll connect the dots - I have given my time to other people, places, and things and not dedicating the same focus for me. Now it is the end of September and I am still 10 lbs away. New goal is to qualify for surgery this Fall to have surgery before the end of 2017. Now is not the time to half-ass this process anymore. 

I am not going to try to make time for exercise. I WILL DO.

I am not going to try to eat healthy everyday. I WILL DO.

I am going to try to keep my Sundays open for my meal prep day. I WILL DO.

Simply put: Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

I WILL try something NEW everyday.

I WILL take time out every day to sit still.

I WILL achieve my goal by October 31, 2017 because goals without deadlines are just dreams.

I am done with dreaming. #OverIt 




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Walking Meetings: It's Not Just a West Wing Thing




Happy Election Day! #PantsuitNation #ImWithHer


In honor of #Election2016, I thought I would bring up a topic that has helped me avoid sedentary days at work: walking meetings. Believe it or not, it is not just an activity that was portrayed on one of my favorite political shows The West Wing. The New York Times and Huffington Post both agree that walking meetings are a wonderful strategy to engage with colleagues, create fresh ideas, and get walking steps to fit cardio into the work day.

#ProTip: Use tools like #FitBit for accountability!
I like to use fancy pedometers like FitBit to keep track of my steps. I have challenges with my husband Donald and other friend across the country. Oddly enough I feel so connected to them even though we may be hundreds of miles apart - yet I still want to out-step them! I am not competitive at all, unless it's against my husband, then by all means bring it on.

Start your day off on the right foot...with a walking meeting!
Walking meetings have been a quick solution for clarity. Whenever I am in a mind blank at work or even at home with my hubby I turn to the walking meeting method to help shift the energy in whatever I am fretting about. Surprisingly enough, there have been some pioneers in history who believed that walking meetings were just what the doctor ordered!

Walking meetings aren't a new thing.
Remember folks and friends: 30 minutes of walking a day is the best form of prevention! These health benefits include improved body composition (higher muscle-to-fat ratio) and decreased risk for metabolic syndrome (high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which together increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke) - just to name a few!

Insert #dropmic here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

MOtastic: Five Years Later

Hello FFF Diva Fans!

Five years has passed since my last blog post. Life has definitely changed greatly and I come back to the blogging world for one thing: MOtivation.

Today, I stepped on the scale and I weighed in at 300 lbs. I thought to myself: "WHAT HAPPENED?! What happened to the gal who got healthier and took back her life?" As I was trying to run through every scenario of whose fault it was, clarity kicked in: "Life happened Maureen. Now it's time to get re-motivated again. Keep moving forward."

I decided to go back to the beginning of my journey. In 2007, I weighed in at my heaviest at 324 lbs. Today in 2016, I realized I was only 24 lbs away from that number. I found this FFF Diva Blog and started reading its posts from the beginning. Did I have a different mindset in 2009? In 2011 I was starting to gain weight again but I was trying to get it under control. Or so I thought.

I repeat: Life happened. 

Key Highlights:
My health was no longer a priority. Other people, organizations, and things became a priority. However, somewhere along the way I forgot that I cannot help anyone or anybody else unless I put myself first.

It's my fault my husband got fat. 

Two years before my husband moved to California to start our new life together he lost 80 lbs. Now it is roughly 2.5 years later and he gained it back and then some. He says it's not my fault because I never force fed him, but I do know we are a strong source of enabling each other. Maybe it's my Catholic guilt talking, but still I feel horrible about it.

Now that I married all I can think about is my timeline for having kids.

I have to publicly thank my husband Donald. We were able to have a true heart to heart conversation about children. Yes babies are in our future, but we made a pact - we need to get healthier together first. 

If you made it this far down the blog post - thank you! I debated back and forth about blogging publicly again but I remembered what this community gifted me with: genuine accountability. I'm back and hope you can re-join me in my health journey in this new chapter in my life!

With love,
FFF Diva Mo

FFF Diva Mo is now #MoOnTheGo

Donald and Mo are proud Rotarians

Mo and Donald on their wedding day in Pittsburgh, PA: July 2016


FFF Diva Mo at 300 lbs. 



Friday, September 16, 2011

REAL UNEDITED FFF DIVA MO: A New Day. A New Beginning. A New Mo.

Hi FFF Diva Fans and Followers! I know it's been ages. I always say things like that. I have been going thru a lot in my personal life, hence why I have been sparingly posting to this blog of mine. I want you to know MAJOR CHANGES are afoot. Below is the 1st entry of my new life blog: "The Girl Called Mo: True Story For Reals" on http://motastictsfr.blogspot.com/. Why did I start a new blog? Well the 1st entry below says it all. Long story short I hired a weight loss life coach to get me thru my weight loss plateau and in the process I will be given LIFE ASSIGNMENTS. My first assignment? - START A NEW UNEDITED AND REAL BLOG ABOUT YOUR UNHAPPINESS AND CHALLENGES OF WEIGHT LOSS THEN TAG THE FOLKS YOU WANT TO READ IT ON YOUR PERSONAL FACEBOOK and let the magic work out itself. So for the next 6 months I WILL NOT BE POSTING to this blog page BUT I invite you to come along for my new journey thru my new blog http://motastictsfr.blogspot.com/. See you in March 2012! =) All the love, FFF Diva Mo <3 ------------------------------------------- A New Day. A New Beginning. A New Mo. (1st blog entry in new blog) Let's be real: You are probably wondering why you were tagged to read this blog in the first place. You have been directed to read this blog because long story short: In 2011, you have helped me learn something more about myself as an individual and have made some significant impact on my life in the last year. Heavy right? It gets better. Keep reading... For the last year I have been extremely confused and unhappy about my life, my future, my everything especially in regards to my weight loss journey and career planning post MBA graduate school. Since May 2011 to August 2011, I basically regained 30 pounds, took on habits that were unlike me, and just got unfocused. I wanted you to know friends and family that I decided to seek professional help: I hired a weight loss coach. Yep, I brought in the big guns. Why?! Although I was successful to lose almost 100 lbs on my own, since 2008 I have stayed relatively around 250-ish pounds and have not made much progress since then--yes I know it's 3 years later. During the next 6 months my weight loss coach will give me life assignments to complete during this time of healing and self-discovery. There are times where you might get annoyed with me, support me, or quite possibly never talk to me again. And you know what--I am prepared for that. Basically my coach asked me to start a new blog to be truly transparent about myself, my unhappiness, and my real raw weight loss journey struggles and challenges. In other words: I am going thru a detoxification of my life as I currently know it. Life Assignments Due By Next Session: Life Assignment #1: Create a new blog that is completely honest about my current journey.Tag certain individuals who you want to specifically read this blog. Life Assignment #2: Go through ENTIRE Facebook friends list and ask "How does this person add value to my life?" If no value can be established, then delete the individual from my friend's list. Life Assignment #3: Turn off my iPhone completely for 30 minutes per day to make myself completely unavailable. Life Assignment #4: Meditate 10 minutes a day by myself in a quiet place. Life Assignment #5: Clean out entire clothing closet and donate ALL clothes that are either too big or too small for me. Start from scratch. Life Assignment #6: No alcohol. Period. Life Assignment #7: 3 times a day look into the mirror and say: "I am beautiful. I am worthy of living a healthy life. I am going to reach my weight loss goal." Deal of a lifetime: By November 11, 2011, if I follow everything that is asked of me and lose 35 lbs. or more my payment for each coaching session will be majorly discounted. Talk about a true incentive! <3 I am detoxing from everything, but myself. I ask nothing more than for your love and support. However, if this is a journey you don't understand or are uncomfortable with all I can say is this: "You can be in my tribe or walk away." Simple as that. I would love for you to stick around for the adventure, but if you can't I understand and good luck to you! Like I said: "A New Day. A New Beginning. A New Mo."

Friday, July 22, 2011

FFF Diva Realization: Mental Vacation


Life Transitions: July 2011, photo courtesy of Cree Djork

Quote of the Day: "Love the body you have today, regardless of what you want it to look like."

It's been about two months since I updated this blog. I could go back and explain what I did the last two months, but I will just summarize it as this: I was finding myself through the course of a mental vacation. I seriously vegged out. I was still running, exercising, and skating but in reality I was a lost mess. I delved back into my habits of exercising but eating whatever I wanted. In all honesty I lost sight and track of the former disciplined Maureen. So during my two months off from blogging and other things I am happy to report that I am back and more motivated than ever to lose my last 50 lbs. to get back to my original college weight. Once that is achieved then I can address other things like toned muscles, etc. It's all about the low hanging fruit.

I just wanted to let you all know that this journey has had many ups and downs but I can finally see the light. (I know cheesy, but be patient with me, LOL)

I'll end on this note: Everyone needs a life reboot from time to time. A life reboot is an opportunity to make change for the better. Almost like wiping the slate clean. I've started my reboot. How about you?

Committed to health,
FFF Diva Mo

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WLB4: Roller Derby Adventures and More

Welcome to the final and last week of WLB Season 4! Wow, it has been one heck of a seven week ride hasn't it folks?! I am happy to announce I made some stellar life long friends through this process and have learned a lot more about myself as well as how to stay motivated during a weight loss journey! My hope is that by keeping track with my journey the last 7 weeks kept you inspired to start your own healthier lifestyles too!

But DO NOT WORRY! I hope to come back to WLB as a guest blogger AND we can always keep in touch in various ways:

Maureen "Mo" De Nieva
Facebook: /MOtastic145
Personal Blog: www.MOtastic145.blogspot.com
Facebook Fan Page for Fierce Fat Filipina Divas: /FFFDivas
Facebook Fan Page for Dominican Radio Show: /TwithnickyP
Twitter: MOtastic
Email: maureen.apa.yli@gmail.com (I also g-chat too)

AND if YOU are living in the Bay Area in California we can always meet up and have coffee! I mean it! Or better yet a cool walk or a stellar hike! =)

New news and updates:

So unfortunately, because of unexpected expenses I couldn't afford to come back to Operation Boot Camp's June session. BUT DO NOT FRET for I will be back for our July camp! What's cool about my OBC family is that THEY WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR ME. So, what will I do to keep me fit and accountable until OBC starts?

Two things:

1. I will be doing a hydrostatic water dunking weigh in to see how much fat % I need to drop. Healthy fat % for a woman is 22% body fat. Yeah, last time I checked I was around 42% give or take, pretty good considering the first time I took it 4 years ago and it was closer to 50% body fat! Yikes! Now you may ask: WHY? BODY FAT TESTING? Well it's a more accurate way to measure your journey versus weight on a scale. See, muscle weighs heavier than fat. So for me I like to measure my journey through metrics: 1) hydrostatic dunk 2) measure inches 3) weight on scale. This makes me feel MUCH MORE positive about the whole weight loss process.
For more information: http://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/underwater.htm

2. I signed up for beginner's girl's roller derby boot camp with the Silicon Valley Roller Girls! I just started a week ago. I haven't touched a pair of skates since I was 12 years old and I could barely skate in general. But yesterday at our second practice I was already skating laps and doing basic skating drills. Win status! Now that's progress! Here's to the next 10 weeks! Hopefully I can pass my minimum skating skills test in order to try out for the league, but first thing's first: DO NOT GET HURT MO. HAHA! For more information: http://svrollergirls.com/about.php


FFF Diva Mo on the start of her girl's roller derby journey

The Rules of Roller Derby

You can find the Official Rules at the Women's Flat Track Derby Association's website.

How to Play:

There are two teams on the track at once.
Each team can have no more than five skaters on the track at one time.
Each team is made up of one pivot, three blockers, and one jammer.
There might be fewer girls on the track at once, depending on if any girls are in the penalty box.

Positions:

Pivot - Skates in the very front of the pack, controls pack speed and serves as a last line of defense against the opposing jammer. The Pivot has a solid stripe on their helmet cover.
Blocker - The blocker's job is to make sure the opposing jammer never gets past them. They work together with other blockers and her pivot to help her jammer through the pack while stopping the opposing jammer. They can help their girl out by whipping them through the pack. Blockers do not wear helmet covers
Jammer - The “money maker“. They score all the points. Jammers starts 30 feet behind the pack. They have to skate through the entire pack once and lap the pack before she can begin to score points. Every girl on the opposing team she passes is a point. That includes girls in the penalty box and girls on the floor. The Jammers have a large star on each side of their helmet cover.
Lead Jammer - The first jammer to get through the pack passing all skaters legally and in-bounds. The lead jammer can call off the jam anytime she wants after lead jammer status has been earned. Referees will signify lead jammer status with two rapid whistle blasts and by pointing at the jammer.

The Game:

A bout is 60 minutes broken into two 30 minute periods. Each period is composed of an unlimited number of jams which can last up to 2 minutes. After each jam, the teams have no more than 30 seconds to line up for the next jam. If a skater is not on the track when the whistle blows, her team must skate short.


One long whistle blast signals the beginning of a jam and for the pack to begin skating.
Two rapid whistle blasts are blown to signal the jammer start.
Four whistle blasts signal the end of the jam, which can happen because the two minutes have elapsed or because the lead jammer called off the jam.

Penalties to watch out for:

Pushing, shoving, punching, grabbing or holding
Hitting or jabbing with the elbows
Hitting from behind
Tripping, kicking, or blocking with skates or legs
Blocking or assisting a jammer while twenty feet ahead or behind the pack
Blocking or passing skaters out-of-bounds

For more check out this video of '09 highlights of SVRG:


Yeah, this is going to be an interesting summer, but hopefully after my time here at WLB4 you can still follow my journey at my personal blog:

www.blogspot.com/MOtastic145

Anyways, rounding out this week...how have all of you been?! Has the weather been beautiful or absolutely dreadful? Have you been able to sneak in workouts in between? Let me know, I'd love to know!

Dedicated to health,
FFF Diva Mo <3
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