Friday, April 27, 2012


On the IPOD , "Me, Myself, and I" By: Beyonce Do you ever read someone's post on Facebook or Pinterest only to think to yourself... "I wish you were as smart as you think the quotes are that you're posting on your page?"  Well that's what I have been thinking lately... Listen I enjoy the funny, smart alec, or even sentimental comments, pictures and quotes as much as you do, but I dont like, understand, or condone the self entitled bullshit that spews from the mouths of people my age who in some way or another have yet to grow up in the last 30 years.  Let's take for example my least favorite glittery quote from MySpace circa 2003, which happens to be popping up all over pinterest like it was something new... "No Regrets!"  Whether the actual quote says it in two words or ten, the whole philosophy behind the quote is childish, selfish and just plain dumb. To say you should live your life without regrets is like saying you should live your life without joy... Having regrets make you real... They make you accountable for your actions... They make you appreciate the good choices you make and most of all they teach you who you are and more importantly who you want to be. My social generation is so wrapped up in the belief that we are all owed more than what our parents have that some of us easily miss the point of it all.  Some of us grew up completely over scheduled with strange emphasis placed on being active in certain things because it looked good on college applications and with the false idea that you should go about any means necessary to get what you want, whether you have to lie, cheat or steal because money and material things make you happy... Right? Well let me assure you they don't!  You are the key to your own happiness... It doesn't come from your spouse, parents, children, friends or your job. It comes from within... You have to choose to be happy! I have been working since I was a kid. I'm by no means saying that I haven't lived a privileged life because I have, but it has been instilled in me that working hard for something just feels better than having it all handed to you!  I have also made some terrible mistakes over the last 33 years and I regret them! And you know what... I'll never make them again that's for sure!  Saying that you live your life with no regrets is either saying you have never ever made a bad choice or it's saying you have made bad choices that have hurt yourself or the people around you but you are indeed so self entitled that you have no remorse for them. Either way it's not something I would brag about on the latest social networking site... So I guess what I'm saying is the next time one of your "friends" posts some dumb quote like, "do whatever you want, no regrets!" ... It might be smart to question what it is they are so not regretful of before you hit the "like" button! Just saying... xoxo chef a 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Running Away...

On the IPOD "Dynamite" By: Taio Cruz It's almost 10 pm and I'm laying in bed thinking about running... Mike is asleep next to me and Levi is fast asleep in his crib and I'm contemplating getting dressed and putting on running shoes... Who the hell am I?  I could be really deep and wonder if my desire to run this late has anything to do with something deeper, maybe even something I don't necessarily want to deal with but instead I'm going to focus on the positive and think that obviously its the endorphins that I'm searching for now or every other second of the day... You should know that I don't run very fast or go very far....yet...., but I've been told that I'm naturally good at it... Who would have ever thought that? Supposedly, I'm a very quiet runner, meaning that you can't hear me from a mile away which in actuality is good on three accounts... One being that it is much better for my joints, two being that supposedly I naturally have good form and three being that I might have a future as a secret spy detective lol! Hey at this point I'm keeping all of my options open... About a year ago my amazing friend Jennifer explained to me what running has done for her... She said that running has given her a place to let things go... She has metaphorically dropped her issues/worries/hurt to the ground almost as if she is sort of breaking free from herself.  Don't get me wrong,  I always knew what she meant but now I really get it... I feel it...and I crave it... I love the feeling of pushing through that moment when you feel like you can't go any further and even better when you sit down after a good run and your legs are actually twitching from the excitement. But more importantly the best thing about running is that you can do it anywhere... Over the last two weeks I've been slammed at work and then out of town for a week (Btw first trip ever in my life that I decided to pack 2 pairs of running shoes just in case i was up against different terrain lol!) but running still fit in. Whether it was 5 am or 9 pm and whether I had a baby sitter or not... The path is there waiting for me to forget about everything that is my head and to just move on one step at a time... Xoxo chef a

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bringing It Matrix Style

On the IPOD "I'll Be Missing You" By: Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans and 112

Not that it should all be about the numbers but for the record since January 21st I have lost a whopping 45 pounds and since I started working out with Shawn on Friday February 17th I have lost 24 pounds. And I have also gained serious muscles so in reality the actual amount of fat that I've lost is probably even higher. What is more important than any amount of weightloss though is the amount of inner strength I feel from just getting up in the morning and being present in my self. Whether I'm busting my butt to Nia on a Saturday morning, going on a 4 mile walk/run in the afternoon, gritting my teeth in the gym after a full day of clients, or hardest of all standing in front of the refrigerator contemplating what to eat. Through it all I have decided to be present in my own body.

I'm by no means saying that i don't have my moments of weakness.... Last night while I was rocking Levi I ended up in tears... I'm not exactly sure why... I'm sure it's a mixture of everything, but on another note I'm happy to report that Levi has been sleeping through the night in his own bed for over a week now (this is a small miracle in our house and it only took us 14 1/2 months!). But crying sometimes just feels right if you know what I mean!

So I'm going to talk a little bit about the joys of working out, lol, never thought I'd say that! Ive come to appreciate gritting my teeth and pushing though, whether it is running when I just cant do it anymore or getting through that 12th rep on the shoulder press, there is something joyful about using everything I have to get through it. I first felt the joy when I noticed shawn's face when he saw me grit my teeth, he couldnt have been more happy that I was pushing myself. Now it's like an inside joke...but what's funny is that what started out as a joke in the gym has become like my drug of choice. Now all I want is the grit, it almost feels like I'm not getting enough out of life without feeling my jaw tense up.

Nia is based in martial arts so sometimes we focus on jabs, cross checking and upper cuts... Over the past few weeks, I have come to love this part of class ( it might have to do what the fact that a certain somebody has become the focus of my angst). Anyways on Thursday let's just say my focus was on and I went all matrix on her imaginary ass, lol. I closed my eyes gritted my teeth... Shawn was on one shoulder, Jule was on the other and fire was in my belly, and it was amazing! And better yet I'm planning on going all matrix on somebody's ass again today so watch out suckers lol!

Xoxo chef a

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More and Enough

On the IPAD  " I Won't Give Up" By: Jason Mraz

 I wish I even had the words to write everything on my mind but it's just a mess up there... Levi has been fighting RSV for the last 10 days and it's been awful.  Of all of the wonderful things I could have passed down to my child he was lucky enough to get my asthmatic lungs, which is just not even fair! So we have been to a doctor literally everyday for the last week and have been doing breathing treatments nonstop and forcing all kinds of wonderful meds down his throat.  I mean it's been one complication after another from double ear infections to throwing up to refusing to eat and drink all together... I'm hoping he is finally over it, but I hate to even say those words aloud...

On another note I'm still the mess I was from the last post, although a skinnier version... I swear I've never worked out so much in my life. I'm even contemplating adding a boot camp to the weekly mix!  I will say that I'm a stronger mess this week... I'm actually seeing some value in myself which is an old friend who hasn't been around for awhile lol. 

What is funny is that in the past I could've easily given a friend advise on how to deal with the situations I'm in but being in it makes it totally different and much more complicated...  I think it's always easier to judge as an outsider... 

Anyways in Nia class with Jule recently we had an interesting focus...  It was the idea of more and enough... And it pretty much translates to all parts of life... I take it to mean that you push yourself until you reach that point of enough.  Let's take for example running... Running scares me... It's  very difficult to run with boobs and being overweight doesn't make things much easier.  So when my trainer Shawn told me we would be doing some running sprints a couple of weeks ago, I was like great I'm never going to make it... But I did. I'm not going to lie and say it left me wanting more... I definitely reached my point of enough back then, but this past Monday I ran for 5 minutes. And although that doesn't sound like much to you ... To me it's pretty freaking fantastic!  And more importantly it left me wanting more...

Unfortunately the idea of more and enough doesn't only translate to positive stuff,  it can also hit you below the belt... I'm fighting with more and enough right now... More doesn't always have to mean that you are wanting more... Sometimes you don't ask for it but it just keeps coming and then you have to find your white flag and raise it when you have reached enough... And sometimes when you think that even the idea of more is just too still can't manage say enough... And what does that really say about you?  Lol don't answer that, it was purely a hypothetical question... 

 I guess the moral to this thought is that more and enough are always there, sometimes you are looking for them and sometimes you wish that you could just run away from them but at the end of the day we each have our little white flags you just have to be willing to be true to yourself and realize when enough is enough!

Xoxo chef a

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brick Wall

On the IPOD "You Belong To Me" By: Carla Bruni

Life is funny...just when you think you finally have it figured out, it comes back at you like a ton of bricks. I'm not really ready to even touch on the last month of my life, but I can admit that I was quite unaware of the amount of inner strength a person can have under so many layers of self hate. My therapist says that I have a broken friend picker...but I'm thinking that maybe I'm just sort of broken in general... but one thing is for sure, I definitely have found a new meaning for the word devastation.

So anyways here I am on a new journey... Ive decided that instead of curling into the fetal position on the floor, I'm going to instead be the best Amanda I can be!

About two weeks ago in the midst of my agony, my cousin, who I'm pretty sure is here as an undercover angel, said to me, "Amanda, don't take this the wrong way but I think you need to take care of you...Have you ever thought about trying out for "The Biggest Loser"?" My response was pretty quick, "Ah No, there is no way in hell that I'm gonna stand in front of the world on a scale in shorts and a sports bra!" And that was that I went home cried myself to sleep and woke up the next morning with an idea...

So I texted her first thing..."I'm still not interested in going on the show but what about a trainer here in Dallas...Do you know of one?"

Within an hour a guy named Shawn Brown called me and we set up our first session. I'm not going to lie, I showed up two weeks ago scared, but within 5 minutes Shawn had me feeling completely comfortable. I think he could tell that he is dealing with someone who is pretty broken at the moment, so he reassured me that he is my partner in this and that he knows that this will not be a quick fix and that it is going to be hard for me, not just physically but emotionally too. We are meeting three times a week and I'm also going to my nia classes with Jule three times a week and taking a Barre class (which is brutal) on the weekend. Nia has always been my safe haven and it still is, there are days that I'm smiling the whole time and days where I have tears running down my face, but I'm surrounded by friends there and that makes it ok.

As far as eating...well I wasn't for awhile, but now I'm trying really hard to eat right and most importantly I'm writing everything down using an app called sparkpeople. It makes it sooo easy. In the last month I've probably lost somewhere around 30 pounds, but I'm not really counting I just want to feel good.

So that's all I have for the moment... I'm hoping to check in as often as I can...

xoxo chef a

Friday, January 6, 2012

4 years...

On the IPOD "Pictures" By: Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Here I sit at 3am January 7th once again... It's like we are old friends in a way... My mind goes back and forth, this days events still fresh as if they are just now happening, even four years later, like I'm sort of reliving them.  If I had only known four years ago at 3am that it would be the last time I would see my dad conscious maybe I would have done something different... Maybe I would've said all the things that I said the entire next day or maybe I would've just sat in the room with him instead of making my way back to bed...

After I throw my little pity party of regrets I then think of all that has happened in our family in the last four years... My brother Adam and Audra got married, we lost my Aunt Mickie and my Aunt Charlotte, Mike and I got married, We lost a baby ...then almost a year to the day ago We were given the best present in the world...Levi was born, we lost my granny 6 weeks later, and now Levi will be celebrating his first birthday tomorrow,  Adam and Audra are a month away from having a baby boy and my brother Andrew and Natalie are engaged... How could so much change in just four years?

It makes me miss him more... I wonder what he thinks if all of this... I know he is proud of us but I would be lying if I told you that knowing that was enough...

xoxo chef a