Wednesday, October 30, 2013

sticks and stones may break my bones...

but words will never hurt me.
Growing up I thought I was pretty. Why? My mom and dad would tell me all the time. I was loved
and I felt it. It was not until around age 12 that I started to notice that I wasn't as slim as my friends. I remember that it didn't bother me but I did take notice. Who cares? I played a ton of sports and didn't watch much TV. I can say I was pretty active but also loved junk food. Hot Cheetos with lime and a pinch of salt? YES PLEASE. I didn't want to be skinny, I was happy the way I was. High school was a little different. Along with peer pressure, boys, and wanting to fit in so bad, I decided to go on a diet. I was 15 years old. I stopped eating anything that had carbs. I don't remember how much weight I lost that summer but it was enough that people noticed and asked what I was doing. I didn't see a difference, the person I saw in the mirror was still the same person I saw at 12. From that age on I would go on a diet, stop the diet, eat junk for a few months (gain it all back), and then go on a diet again. It was a cycle.
Despite my irregular eating cycles, I was still active. I played volleyball, soccer (on two teams) and softball. I loved it. Before I knew it I was in college. The summer before I began my freshman year at Cal State Long Beach, I went on another diet. Again, I lost about 30lbs that summer and got really sick. Why did I get sick? Its shame to even admit but I went on a diet that required shots, pills, and I broke out in sweaty fevers throughout the day. I remember being at freshman orientation sweating, with a fever, and wanting to throw up. It was horrible. Since then I have gone on a few more diets and quit each one. I loved the compliments I got from people. They were encouraging and motivated me to keep going. But was I happy? no. Was I being healthy? hell no. I was taking tips from people that I shouldn't have taken tips from. I was doing it for all the wrong reasons, and harming myself while doing it too.
 At 18 someone told me, "I never wanted to tell you this, but you would be so pretty if you lost weight". People are careless. The person I saw in the mirror was no longer the person I saw at 12. I was so unhappy. After this comment I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. You know the huge mirrors in department stores? well, I always look away when I see one. Why? because of what this person said. For the first time in my entire life I felt ugly. Why did I care so much? I cared because I wanted acceptance. No one ever wants to hear that they would be pretty if they lost weight. I honestly thought I was pretty already. I let this comment haunt me. I cried for nights wishing God had made me thin & beautiful. I tried so hard to diet & exercise. But each time I did, I was....miserable. We have to be so careful what we say to people. Because unlike the saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" words do hurt, they hurt really bad. I forget a lot of things but I never forget a rude comment, ever. I let myself get buried in the myst of negativity and it prevented me from doing so much. I hid myself, my face, my body, the real me. I didn't want anyone to see me because I was afraid of what they would say.
 Not until a few weeks ago, I had a change of heart. I was sitting at the dinner table at home and Richard was sitting across from me. We were having dinner. I was talking (I forgot about what) when I finished he looked at me and said, "why you so pretty mama?". I blushed, smiled and continued to talk. His words made me feel SO beautiful. If he thinks I am pretty who cares what everyone else thinks? *I am not saying that a man/boyfriend/husband should have to tell you you are pretty in order for you to think you are. But this is what made me realize it.  Reality of all of this is that we are all different; short, tall, thin, brown, white, orange, purple. We come in different shapes and sizes. Naturally we have different characteristics & personalities. That is what makes you, you. Why do we struggle each day just to be unhappy? I say, SCREW THE DIET, SCREW THE ROUTINE EXERCISING AND SCREW ALL THE BAD PEOPLE! You see, I have done so many diets that I can write a book on each one. They have all left me empty and unhappy. I do not condone eating bad per say, but if you want a doughnut why can't you have it? I believe it becomes a problem you eat a doughnut everyday.
 Since moving in Richard and I started eating better. During the week I eat salads, chicken, fish, toast, eggs, rice, veggies, fruits even ICE CREAM! I've even had In & Out. Have I lost weight? you bet. My exercising no longer includes a gym. I hate the gym! Everyone is smelly, everyone stares and it is deadly boring. Did I mention they have HUGE mirrors everywhere? I hate that too. Now, I go on walks at the park, I play soccer, and I hike. To me, this is fun and I get to spend quality time with Richard. I am not attempting to change because I want to be skinny. I don't want to be skinny. I want to be healthy. What does that even mean? I want to be able to see 80 years old. I don't want diabetes or high cholesterol. I want to have a healthy pregnancy (hopefully at the end of next year). I want to be able to run after my future kids. I did not change my habits because I want to be pretty. I already am. People hurt you so deeply sometimes and others will tell you so many good things that they heal the hurt too. I want to tell you, you are beautiful, knowledgeable, funny, outgoing, creative and do not let ANYONE tell you different. Today I walk proudly knowing I am loved and blessed. I let the mean comments slide right off of me. I do not dwell on the stupidity that comes out of people's mouths.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"
xoxo Yessenia

*photos 1,2, 4 taken by Richard.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

apartment tour

Our apartment is tiny. Not NYC tiny but tiny. I don't know the exact square footage but I do know that I can hear everything Richard says to the TV (usually while watching football or golf), from the bedroom.  It is tiny but I love it, it forces us to love each other that much more! Speaking of loving, we need a bigger bed (not what you're thinking). See, I am a crazy crazy crazy (should I say crazy one more time?) sleeper. I usually kick, slap, and steal the covers from Richard on a nightly bases. So we decided to upgrade our bed to a king for Christmas. We accumilated all our furniture within a year of moving in. I wish I had taken a picture of my bedroom the week before we moved in. It looked like one of those rooms you see on Hoarders (minus the garbage + cats). Collecting furniture worked out for us because it allowed us to spend wisely and stay in our budget. When we were collecting we didn't have a particular style. We always opted for white, after all it is my favorite! (and it matches with everything). 98% of what you see was either thrifted, craiglisted or made by Richard & I OR bought on clearance (I love clearance). Some of our furniture, like chairs, nightstand, lighting, were relived by Richard and I. I think he did an awesome job at our dining chairs (they use to be an ugly green and chrome....yuck!). All the art work you see was done by yours truly....with a little help of Richard on the sign in our room. Here you have it, this is our space....the space we created and moved into together for the first time! We hope to stay here for at least a year...or until a baby comes and white furniture just won't fly anymore.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

how we now eat brussels sprouts;

Brussels sprouts have never been my favorite vegetable. I never really ate them growing up so the taste was never my favorite as an adult. Not until 2 weeks go that I went to Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Beach, CA. We ordered the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts as an appetizer. Let me tell you....I ate the whole bowl. They were SO good I didn't even want my entree, I wanted more brussels sprouts! After I left the restaurant I was on a mission to make the dish. Guess what? I found it online *hallelujah! I modified it a little because I will not buy anchovies. They take about 30 minutes to make and are SO worth it. 

You will need: 

2lbs of Brussels Sprouts (more or less it's up to you!)

1 tbs of Lime Juice

6 tbs of Butter

2 tsp of Capers 

2 tsp of Chopped Parsley

Salt + Pepper (to your taste)

2 tsp of minced garlic

3 tbs of Olive Oil 

I had all of these ingredients at home. I just had to buy the capers which I never knew what they were! and now I use them on almost everything! 

Wash your brussels sprouts! (We use veggie wash, it's awesome!

Cut off the ends + in half, like this ^

Toss your brussels sprouts in your olive oil. (I did this in a mixing bowl then placed them on this baking sheet)
Bake at 350F for 25 minutes (you can leave them a little longer if you wish!)

They should look like this when they are done baking!

Once the brussels sprouts have baked, melt your butter and pour in your garlic. Once the garlic is golden brown
pour in the rest of your ingredients. Then put your brussels sprouts back in the mixing bowl you used in the beginning and pour the sauce over them and shake it well so all your sprouts are covered. I then put them back on the baking sheet and sprinkled with salt + pepper. 

You can eat them alone (they are delicious as is believe me!). Here I served them with some grilled tilapia.