I Hate This Part Right Here.

Bonus points if that made you sing a Pussycat Dolls song when you read it.

If you have been following (or even just reading occasionally since I started this blog, you may remember it all started with 30 Day Updates.

Every 30 days (or so), I posted a photo of myself in my under-stuff so that I could track my weight loss journey.

The main reason I did this? Purely for accountability, and to give myself a reason to KEEP. ON. GOING.

Alas, shit happens.

Here I am, 5 1/2 years later and the amount of life changes I’ve faced in that time is kind of mind-boggling to me. On top of changing jobs approximately 5 times, moving 3 (or was it 4?) times, beginning a serious relationship, a really weird and blurry 18 month old period where I worked upwards of 90 hours per week without sleep….I don’t really have any concrete excuses for what happened.

All I know is life got crazy, life got hard, and here I am trying to get back to the lowest weight I ever hit: 198 pounds. Or at least somewhere close to it, kinda sorta. Really, I just want to feel as amazing as I did then. I want to be able to do everything my body could do then, again.

You may have seen my most recent post about Whole30 and how since I discovered and tried it last August, I’ve made a lot of changes for the better.

Although I feel those differences, I was really struggling to physically see any changes. So I thought to myself, “Why don’t you start back at the beginning?”

When I began my first round of Whole30 on August 13th, 2016 I had Sean take a photo of me to compare to throughout my process. I actually felt so great and was so happy that my scale moved 13 pounds….I forgot the photo.

So, I took a new photo today before leaving home for work, and begrudgingly pulled up the old one for comparison.

I wasn’t looking forward to making this collage…but I am glad I did. Not only was it important to me to see the difference, but I thought it might be helpful to those who are trying Whole30 or struggling through these types of situations to see that my story and experience are real.

And so, Sondra in her underwear photos have returned.

3e525cd5-b6a4-44db-991d-41c0a33c2106

August 13, 2016 and January 12, 2017

And so, thats where I’m at. It’s not perfection, and it probably never will be. But I’m ok with that.

How do you track your progress? Does the visual make you feel more accomplished, or do you prefer to track by weight and measurements? I wanna know!

Until next time!

See Sondra Sign-off-stacked

 

Join My San Diego #GirlGang!

Hey Beauties!

I am especially excited as I write this post! I was able to attend the Healthy is the New Skinny Re-Model Me Event over the weekend, and I left completely re-motivated and re-inspired!

11391177_10205204730571857_4308982277420897191_n

Katie H. Willcox is not only a beautiful model, but a genuinely beautiful person. My weekend started out with a photo shoot in adorable HNS gear, and Katie herself was walking me through my poses. She is so easy to be around (we had a thrilling conversation about the merits of fans and how pretty you feel with one in your hair), and really, really good at what she does! After we were done in front of the camera, she gave me a hug and thanked me for being there!

Sunday, I was able to attend the workshop portion of the event, and see her newest presentation about media, and how it manipulates us (especially women), into thinking that we NEED these products to be of value. I like to think of myself as a pretty self-aware individual. I see a lot of the tactics in the media and resist them for the most part. But she shared things that really opened up my eyes. More importantly, she helped confirm that my purpose in life is to be more like her.

I want to not only inspire girls and women around me, but I want to embrace them and help them see their beauty goes so far beyond any product that can be marketed to them!

I was able to talk to Katie after the event, and learned about the opportunity to start my own #GirlGang group here in San Diego. I’d love to be able to attend her events with her group in Los Angeles….but I’m already spread so thin with both jobs and social responsibilities I’m already lacking in.

So instead, I created a Facebook group with some of the most beautiful, intelligent, and driven women I know in my city and invited them to use it as a forum to support and uplift one another. Moreso, it’s a chance for us to all come together and participate in healthy actvities…hiking, walking, yoga, aerobics, dance, healthy cooking classes…the list goes on! And even more than that, it gives us all the opportunity to maybe find someone who wants to be our partner in health (because we all know how hard that can be)! I want to meet up once a month and do a self-love exercise, and a healthy activity. Spend some time with each other, for ourselves, and operate on self love together!

If you’re in the San Diego area, I humbly (and really enthusiastically) invite you to join the Facebook group!

HNS San Diego #GirlGang on Facebook

The group kick-off mixer is in the works. All updates will be through the Facebook group exclusively, and potentially via meetup.com once I see what the actual participation looks like!

You’ll see me on social media using the hashtag #GirlGang. Join the movement, no matter where you live! #GirlGang is about female solidarity in every corner of the world!

If you’re local, go a step further and use the code #GirlGangSD so I can share your healthy posts!

I am really hoping to get together an amazing group of people to share in this experience and enlightening with me. I am also looking for professionals/students willing to contribute their time to share with the group. Donations can be arranged!

I am so excited to start this new venture/journey!

Stay tuned for updates!

See Sondra Sign-off-horiz

#1 Sunrise Hike Up Cowles Mountain #27ThingsforMy27thYear

Hello, everyone!

So, as we discussed in my last post, I will be completing 27 things that I have a) always wanted to do or b) wasn’t sure I wanted to do, but figured I ought to be able to. Number one is officially complete!

We are 9 days into my 27th year on this earth, and I was really excited to complete my sunrise hike with Ashley on Saturday, March 7th!

It started off a little rough. I worked 5 pm to 5 am, got off work and headed straight for the mountain.  My allergies were kicking my butt….so we are climbing a mountain at 5:30 in the cold morning, and my lungs were expanding as if they were outside my body, and I had to stop THREE times on the way up. We’ve done this hike twice before, and I never had this issue!

Nonetheless, when we did stop, we admired the moon behind us, and the little bit of sun peeking out in front of us.

The goal? Get to the top of this mountain before the sun does. And we did! As a matter of fact, I’d venture to say the sun only rose about halfway by the time we got up there.

DSC_0422

We admired it, took photos with our boards (Ashley is doing 29 Things for her 29th Year), and then we enjoyed croissants and mimosas (with pink champagne!) at the top! Also, I could breathe up there, too!

DSC_0416

DSC_0417

This experience made me feel strong, it made me feel accomplished….and it made me appreciate the beautiful things around me everyday! I sometimes forget I live in one of the most beautiful states, and cities, in America! You can you see the beach from the mountains! It’s insane!

DSC_0422DSC_0420

Also, fun fact: I wore my new Healthy is the New Skinny tank on the hike, and @HealthyistheNewSkinny shared it on their Instagram! It made my day, and made the experience even more meaningful!

Take the time to appreciate your surroundings!

Take that walk around a beautiful neighborhood, run on the beach, climb a mountain and nearly have an asthma attack (hahaha)! You won’t regret it! I’m up early everyday (I went straight from a 12 hour shift to do this, after all), and never did this before. And now? I cannot WAIT to do it again!

Wishing you love and light, and the creativity to make a list of your own!

SeeSondraSignatureWEB

Mirrors Lie….and a Photo Reveal!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

It has been quite a week!

We got back from our adventure to Reno/Virginia City/Lake Tahoe/Mammoth (I used my new camera! Photos coming soon!) late Sunday night, and I dove right back into my normal routine on Monday!

I was really excited for Tuesday to arrive, because I had an appointment to pick up my photos from The Boudoir Divas! I went to grab them, and then headed back home to pick up my mail and get some stuff done around my apartment (that I basically don’t even live in), and then had some errands to run for my impending 3 Year Anniversary on Wednesday before I’d be able to go back to Sean’s, pop in the disc, and marvel at the fact that the woman in those gorgeous photos is….ME!

I have no shame. I use car windows as mirrors on a pretty much daily basis. Obviously, I’m going to stare at professional photos of myself for a upwards of 15 minutes. Speaking of which, I saw this awesome “quote” I posted on the SeeSondraSlim Instagram earlier today, that really resonated with me:

10939355_10204267933112506_1583645882_o

I headed to Target after leaving my house, and after finding what I was looking for (amidst all the things I was NOT looking for, and ended up purchasing-hello, new embellished sweater!), and I stopped at the Starbucks they have to grab a venti iced green tea. Suddenly, as I’m waiting at the counter, I get a notification that my blog has been linked to another post, and so I go to check it out: lo and behold, Sarah over at The Boudoir Divas, who I worked with for this shoot, did a blog post about….ME. And not only did it feature some really nice, and emotion-evoking words about me, but it held some amazing sentiments about the power of recognizing, admiring, and embracing our beauty overall.

These ideas, sentiments, movements, and campaigns are very near and dear to me, because the blessings and fortunate circumstances in my life are a direct product of being at my lowest low, and taking a good look inside myself, and deciding “I am better than this, and it’s about time I show the world that.”

Life has gotten better and better ever since!

I will forever be grateful to the ladies at The Boudoir Divas for helping me see such a powerful, feminine, and beautiful part of myself. And I am even more grateful that they go into each day with the intention of doing this for ALL women. I really hope that you’ll check out their blog. It’s a great way to get periodic doses of beauty, inspiration, and encouragement. I also suggest you “Like” The Boudoir Divas on Facebook!

If you check out Sarah’s blog post, you’ll see some of her amazing work (and you know, my face)!

I figured I’d share my absolute favorite (well, they’re all my absolute favorite, but you know what I mean) with you here on the blog!

sh_-225

I have to give another huge thank you and round of applause to my #GlamSquad for their amazing talents: Hair by Candace Givens at Ah La Mode Designs, Makeup by Shelby McElroy of Shelby MUA, and amazing florals by Jen at City Girl Finds! These ladies brought my vision for this “Boho Glam” look to life in the biggest way!

It’s interesting, how we live in a society so obsessed with masking, camoflauging, and “fixing” what naturally occurs. Nothing natural stays perfect forever…not the water, the trees, flowers….none of the things we deem so impossibly, breathtakingly beautiful. Yet, we spend TRILLIONS of dollars on industries that introduced the idea that we can take just a few minutes, hours, weeks, days, or longer recovering from procedures, products, and such to make us “better.” I look at these, and see that with the “pudgy” parts, the dimpled parts, the “regular old me” parts….I still look pretty damn beautiful. And I really, really needed that reminder.

In fact, one of my favorite blogs to follow is Healthy is the New Skinny, celebrating these so-called “flaws,” and challenging the far-fetched beauty discrimination we see on a daily basis. Check out the HNS Facebook and HSN Instagram accounts for even more daily inspiration and love!

Also, yesterday, Wednesday January 21st was our actual anniversary, and I am so grateful to have a man in my life who tells me I’m beautiful and that he loves me everyday. I wish that for everyone in the world…. someone who sees your beauty when you’re blind for a moment. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (again) Sean! Love you!

On a short stop on the Geiger Pass in Virginia City, Nevada.

On a short stop on the Geiger Pass in Virginia City, Nevada.

I truly hope you’ll take the time to acknowledge, embrace, and cherish your beauty today! You are more than worth it!

SeeSondraSignaturePRINT