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Author Archives: Pretty Patina Photography

Nutrition + Groupon = A New Goal!

I decided I needed a new project to keep me out of trouble outside of work, so today I purchased a Groupon for an Online Nutritional Theraplogo_Health_Sciences_Academyist Certification Course from the Health Sciences Academy.  It pairs my struggling desire to lead a healthy lifestyle with online deals, it was a match made in heaven.  Armed with a coupon code for an additional 20% off the deal plus 6% cashback through Ebates, I saved 94% off the enrollment cost.  Being fully aware I am on a strict budget, I came to the conclusion that it was worth the money to educate myself on nutrient deficiencies and learn to build nutritional programs that can better my quality of life.  I’ve been tracking my own nutritional intake without any formal training and lots of Googling, MyFitnessPal, and common sense guessing for years.  I still have no idea what I am doing.

If this program can give me any sort of guidance and applicable information to better my vegetarian lifestyle without becoming an insane health nut (I want to be a sane health nut) and possibly help others on their journey towards wellness, than it will be worth every penny.  If not, I shall pen a strongly worded letter to the Academy.

I plan to update this blog with my experiences throughout the course.  I hope you will follow my progress with positive support, constructive feedback, and questions!

The Katy Diaries Entry #2

“I’m Sorry I Hurt You”

It is said with the best intentions by people who inadvertently caused someone emotional pain.  You are trying your best to be kind and show compassion and say the right thing, but in my heartfelt opinion you are not fully taking responsibility for the actions that lead up to the hurt.  Admitting you are sorry for the damage done to ones heart is only half of it.  If it was not intentional, your choices and actions that lead to someone’s pain should still be recognized.  Telling someone “I’m sorry I hurt you” is like telling someone you are sorry they are human.

If you truly want to be sorry, be sorry for what you did or how you went about your decisions.  For example, I would say “I’m sorry I punched you in the face” or “I’m sorry I never told you I was pining over an ex throughout our relationship even though I told you convincingly I was completely over them.”

Look I get it, my ex wanted to be the man who could love someone like me. He felt something for me, he felt a love there, but it wasn’t “THE love”.  I know it took time for him to come to that conclusion and he was honest with me when he figured it all out.  I know I’m a strong personality, I know I am not typical or normal, I know I am unique and weird and I love that about myself.  I just ask that if you aren’t sure and are confused about your feelings for me, you clue me in and take a “break” or slow down so I can make my own decision on whether I want to continue to be with you to see if we are meant to be together, or not.  It’s not up to only you in a partnership to make that decision secretly, otherwise your partner feels like the rug is being pulled out from beneath them once the light bulb goes off in your head and heart.  If you truly want to be a “nice guy” you would be communicative early on before an emotional investment has been made.  It’s not rocket science, it’s common dating courtesy.

I refuse to tell myself I’m lucky I even got an answer or the truth, because no one, man or woman, deserves to have their heart toyed with or have someone just disappear on them after cultivating a loving relationship.  That’s what can create tough, cold, bitter humans and no matter how hard they try not to have a new love pay the price of an ex, it’s really…really…difficult.  I know I’ll have trouble trusting the next guy, but I am not the kind of girl to let my heart harden.  I will just keep the wall up as long as needed, and the right guy will patiently wait for it to come tumbling down.

The Katy Diaries Entry #1

I have not blogged in many moons.  Sometimes even over-sharers like myself need a little break to go offline, live life in the flesh, make mistakes, fix mistakes, fall in love, fall out of love, and come back to report back to the masses.  Since it’s the first day of a new year I decided to start a new series of blog entries to share even more about my personal life in addition to my physical health and exercise updates.  Welcome to my mental health updates!

Entry #1: We Need To Talk.

“We Need to Talk” are four of the scariest words if you are ever in a relationship. Yesterday was New Years Eve and I was planning to drive over to my very new boyfriend’s apartment to ring in the new year, just the two of us, when he called after work and said he was on his way over to my house because “we need to talk”.  My heart sank and I sent a warning text to my sister and good friend to be prepared to answer my call.  This was a young flourishing relationship of two months, but as with the dangers of finding a partner so close to the holidays he surprised me and gladly met my entire family on Christmas and accompanied me to many dinner parties and social engagements.   Those 2 months felt like 6 months with how much time we spent together and how many activities we were doing or planning. Those four words hit me like a ton of bricks but in reality, after only 2 months, it was always a possibility.  Hell after 30 years those words are always a possibility.

He and I got along so well, it was easy being myself with him on all levels.  He never judged and we have similar values and core beliefs.  I knew it was a lot to get all wrapped up in so soon, but we talked about our speed often and made a conscious effort to be honest and enjoy getting to know one another and live in the moment. I sensed him getting caught up in the fantasy of the future, but then reality would bring him back and all was ok.  Or so I thought.  It was the first relationship where I honestly felt I didn’t have to worry of him straying or leaving or being unhappy.  He was attentive, communicative, affectionate, planning dates, and a genuine wordsmith who actually showed me the loving and thoughtful actions in person that he professed over text and message.  He was the perfect boyfriend for me as he knew about my cheating and manipulative exes and made an effort to not hide anything.  I didn’t want that to be a red flag, but in hindsight it clearly was.

So, why did he need to talk?

1. The man decided he didn’t want more kids.  He is a divorced father of a 7 year old son and 4 year old daughter and was originally open to the idea of having more kids, seemed excited at the possibility in fact.  I am a unicorn.  I am 36, never married, with no kids.  This has been by choice, but not because I don’t want those things.  It’s because I have yet to find the person willing to commit to without ending up committed.  I know I want a child and cannot date a man seriously who is not open to the idea of having a family one day.  I make this known, it is not a secret in my dating life.  On New Years Eve he tells me that he thought if he would meet his perfect woman then he would want to have more kids.  That is a pretty skewed interpretation of “being open to having kids”. There seemed to be a footnote there somewhere.  He then came to the conclusion that he was done with that chapter in his life and has many more things he wants to do with his time.  Fair enough.  I’m glad he told me after 2 months and not 24 eggs later.

2.  The main reason for the dumping – He is still in love with his ex-girlfriend:  a separated woman with children that he dated for less than a year and who dumped him a year before he started dating me.  He dated her between me and his ex-wife of 4 years who left him after 5 years of marriage.  (I knew this about his past and noted it as a red flag I waited to see play out).  Sadly, this is not my first ex-girlfriend-still-has-an-unhealthy-hold-of-my-partner’s-heart rodeo and I even told him details about my ex.  But this man was good at compartmentalizing his emotions and my natural instinct of being able to read people was truly put to the test.  I honestly had no clue, no gut feeling, even in hindsight, that I didn’t have 100% of his interest and attention and that is scary.  He made me feel stupid, and I am not stupid.  The guilt eventually got to him, hence the great NYE confession of 2015 when he cut me loose.  I will give him credit that he told me in person, face to face.  He was finally honest about something he apparently struggled with for 1.5 out of our 2 month relationship. (pay attention to those numbers)  Perhaps too honest as he asked me if I was ever in a perfect relationship where everything was just great and fit together effortlessly because that’s what he had with his ex.  To which I answered, “yes, so i thought, and it just ended.”  Pro tip Guys, don’t gush about the ex girlfriend you are still in love with while you are dumping your current girlfriend.  That’s just bad form.

But I have a few problems with the choices he made during our young romance.  Maybe put a pin in all the relationship building activities while you are figuring out your emotions regarding an ex who started messing with your head alluding to wanting you back TWO WEEKS INTO YOUR NEW COURTSHIP?    It’s still early enough to be confused and slow your roll and think hey, maybe I shouldn’t tell this new girl I’ve made things exclusive with that I love her 2 weeks after my ex-girlfriend contacts me and gets inside my head.  Maybe I should not push send on a Christmas day message to my girlfriend saying “You, my lady, are a joy that makes this guy eager to learn the ins and outs and all of you as time goes by.” less than a week before dumping her?  Maybe I can continue to get to know this new girl without the false security in my words & actions that I am doing clearly because I am a nice guy.  See, nice guys are not always using their kindness for good.  And if the man apologized for “hurting me” one more time instead of taking responsibility for his actions, I was going to unleash the back room lot of my very protective friends & family.

I do believe he went into this relationship with the best of intentions and his actions were idiotic but not malicious.  A 38 year old divorced man of two young children who tries to please everyone while ignoring himself and what is true is not someone I need in my life.  Was I harsh laughing in his face when he said he still wants to be friends?  Maybe.  I have enough friends and I stand by the rule of never staying friends with an ex.  I don’t need that drama, I have Netflix & cats!



Busy Day? It’s OK to Stray!

When you are running around trying to deal with whatever life throws at you, sometimes the last thing you are thinking about is the quality of food you grab on the go.  Your choice may not be the healthiest of options, but it may be the only thing available a midst the chaos of your life.  You wouldn’t be the first person to finish your kid’s plate of chicken nuggets and french fries. And guess what?  It’s ok!  If you forgot to pack your healthy lunch for the day and you only have time to wolf down a high caloric meal because it’s cheap and easily accessible, you can wipe the slate clean tomorrow!


Grabbing a quick bite on the go!

In the past, I’ve felt that a momentary set back in my diet means I should give up in fear of “falling off the wagon”.  Not all of us make perfect food choices every day, and some days we crave that big fat juicy burger or delicious cheesy pizza.  Giving into temptation every now and then doesn’t make you a failure.   The key to success is getting back up once you fall.  The strength is in moving forward after you’ve had a day when healthy food was not on the top of your list.

My primary care doctor has to remind me that it’s all about the big picture, so I’m here to remind you.  I feared that my year long battle with food would show very unhealthy lab results at my physical the other week, but surprisingly my labs were within normal range and extremely improved over the past year.   I owe my healthier lifestyle not only to the health care professionals, but to myself for remembering to continue forward on this journey and not give up.  It’s been a wellness journey that is full of ups and downs and will be a constant ebb and flow for the rest of my life.

I try to eat my best daily and stay away from fast food, but when life gets in the way I remind myself it’s OK to stray.  The important part is getting back on track the next day.



Perfectly Imperfect

This past year has not been without it’s challenges.  I went through a heart-wrenching breakup and my dietary self-discipline was touch and go.  The thing that kept me moving towards a positive goal was finally focusing on myself.  What did I need?  What did I want?  Health, yes.  Happiness, of course.  But overall, I wanted to accept myself as I was: perfectly imperfect.

I admire those who lead a strict disciplined life of impeccable health and physique, but I know that is not in my DNA, and that’s ok.  Recently learning from my physician that my metabolic blood tests were within a healthy range despite my being “obese” makes me want to share that it’s possible to reach that healthy balance without being perceived as perfect.  You can lead a healthy lifestyle without making the right choices all the time.

The Smart Ones© message of wiping the slate clean has been a running theme on my blog and it’s one that resonates strongly with me.     Giving in to unhealthy food choices at events, family gatherings, and any sort of environment you find yourself within reach of food temptations doesn’t make you weak.  It makes you human.  If you are able to say no to the extra slice of cake, that’s great!  But in my experience, deprivation of certain foods can lead me down a slippery slope of gluttony.  I’ve learned to take desserts home if I am full, wrap up half of my plate of excessively portioned restaurant food before I start eating, and most importantly I listen to my stomach.

Occasional food slip ups are part of your journey to wellness, and it may be difficult but not impossible to keep from starting at square one.  Schedules get busy and unhealthy food makes it past our lips.  As much as I wish I had the money for a personal trainer and private chef, that’s just not the case.  Try not to let momentary set backs become permanent by realizing that it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t making the best food choices for a day or even weeks.  It may seem impossible if you are in a viscous unhealthy food cycle, but with a little help and inspiration you can get back on track.

Time is not always on my side.

Time is not always on my side.


Obese & Healthy

Last Friday was my yearly physical and today I got the blood test results.

According to every BMI chart out there, my 5’9″ 231 pound solid self falls on the obese side of the algorithm.

According to my primary doctor’s observational evaluation and “superb” blood test results with “good, if not better, numbers than my previous results,”  I am metabolically healthy.


I am more than a number.  I am an ongoing work in progress. I’m not saying weight doesn’t have anything to do with your health, it clearly does.  But, it is not everything.

I stand by the belief that not every thin person is healthy, and not every obese person is unhealthy.  There are many factors that play into health, but numbers on a scale and coordinating charts do not define your lifestyle.  You define your lifestyle and the blood tests confirm it.  What you put into your body and how often you move your body is ultimately what makes you “healthy” or “unhealthy” as far as diet.  It’s a pretty simple formula.

There is a little debate about the term “metabolically healthy obese” but more and more people are starting to understand that it’s not all about weight.  “It’s much easier to get a fat person fit than it is to get a fat person thin,” states Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., an exercise and wellness professor at Arizona State University.   My experience focusing on weight alone has led to a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and depression, fueling my hatred for TV Shows like The Biggest Loser.  Since changing my mindset to focus on strength and fitness, I’ve never felt better in this “obese” body and I’ve tried to make it easier for others to accept their own natural healthy size.


I dreaded these annual physicals in previous years due to my elevated weight, poor eating habits, and fear of needles.  2 years ago and 48 pounds heavier, I knew it was time to change & take control of my health no matter how difficult.  I wanted to feel better in my skin while improving my overall quality of life.  My primary doctor’s tactful bedside manner and compassion for my weight struggles had a large part of helping me get started in making the right food and exercise choices.    Being lambasted by primarily older doctors in the past about my weight would send me spiraling deeper into a depression and avoiding check ups on the regular in fear of “failing”.  With my current physician it’s a team effort and I never feel judged.  That’s the way it should be.

This is why I cannot express enough how finding a support system that you trust, and who builds you up instead of tearing you down, is very important in reaching your health goals.   I tried to do it on my own in the past, but I knew that I needed guidance from someone who I could be completely honest with this time around.  Not only did I find a wonderful Primary doctor, but I found an excellent therapist who I saw regularly over these past years.  I now only call her if I need her and I have not seen her in over 2 months.  It’s nice to know professional resources are there when I need a little extra support, ongoing or temporary, and that they will help guide me back into a positive and encouraging mindset.

I understand not everyone has access to these resources but sometimes we all just need to find that one person in your life (a partner, sibling, parent, child, co-worker, friend, blogger, etc.) who will be there to urge and support you as you transition your existence into something meaningful and long-lasting.  I want to let you all know that it’s OK to ask for help and you are not alone in your struggles to find that healthy balance in your life.




The Importance of Support

I make the healthiest food choices every day.

Wouldn’t that be nice if that statement was 100% accurate!?

I am guilty of having a “fake it until you make it” approach to life.  I am constantly at battle with myself over food and image and I try my best not to show it.  Since I started working with Smart Ones®  by appearing in the “Clean Slate” video filmed last November, I’ve felt empowered.  Learning that I was not alone in my food struggles and that there are a number of women who share similar stories was comforting.  I was honored to be a part of the Smart Ones® video and I proudly support the “Clean Slate” project. The project’s simple yet powerful message helps women lead a realistic healthy lifestyle.   I truly feel that Smart Ones®  cares about our wants & needs as women.


Behind the Scenes of the Clean Slate Project video

Recently my struggles with food have been less thanks to the support of the “Clean Slate” community.  Connecting with other women about their healthy set backs has been reassuring and has kept me from going back to square one.  This non-judgmental community gets it.  I will never underestimate the power of support and how it’s OK to ask for help and share your struggles with those who get it.

The “Clean Slate” mentality is one I’ve talked about for years but found it difficult to actually practice until I discovered the Smart Ones® project.  Accept your dietary set backs as temporary, be kind to yourself, and focus on the big picture.  You are human.  You will make mistakes as we all have our moments of weakness.  Wipe the slate clean and move on.  You have a long, happy and healthy life ahead of you!



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