Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Stroll

It is starting to get really beautiful in Seattle. The weather is starting to get warmer, a little slower this year compared to last, but the rays of sunshine that are beading down are finally creating warmth on my skin. The surge of Vitamin D to the system is an amazing pick-me-up.

We've been in our new apartment for two weeks now and we are really loving it. Right next door to us, literally a two minute walk, is an amazing trail. One way takes you into a little forest and the other takes you higher to an amazing view where you can see the snow capped mountains over the lush pine tree forests.

All around the place are these berries. I'm not 100% sure what they are but I've seen people eating them. So I'm assuming they're edible or there are some silly people living around here. I think they are raspberries? Can someone help me out with what these are?

Koda loves to come along this trail. We've been bringing him here to get him fit enough to come on hikes with us. We are trying to work on his endurance because he gets tired rather quickly! It has also been really great for off lead training.
Summer is an amazing time here with plenty of outdoor things to do. Yesterday we completed our second hike for the season (more about that later) and have a camping trip planned in two weeks along the coast. I'm taking advantage of all this good weather & hikes to get myself it shape, not just for my Leila v2.0 project but because I promised Daniel I'd hit the mountain with him this season and learn to snowboard.

Fields of daisy's everywhere and snowcapped mountains. The northwest is such an amazing place, I am so glad I got a chance to live here and experience it.

This was my Sunday afternoon. Relaxing & warm. How was your weekend? Did you get outside & enjoy some fresh air?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spin It Like A Yo-Yo

 As a child I was slim. I ran around and played outside and was always on the go. As I entered the teens I was able to maintain a healthy figure until I was about 16/17. It was around the same time that a whole lot of personal stuff happened in my life and eating right became very low on the list of priorities. At 17 (I don't have any photos) I was at my highest weight I'd ever been. I never weighed myself around this time but as a guess I would say that I got to about 85kg.

Thankfully I wasn't at this weight for too long. In 2001 I went back to highschool and lost a lot of the weight. I got back down to around (from memory) 65kg.

I finished highschool at the end of 2002. 2003 saw myself & my husband (then boyfriend) Daniel, moving away from our home town for university. It was at this time, with our new found "freedom" of being able to take care of ourselves and eat whatever we wanted that saw me (and my husband) gaining weight by the end of 2004. By 2005 I was well and truly overweight and by the end of the year I was borderline obese.

By May 2006 (date of photo below) I was obese. I remember thinking at the time that I was a little overweight but I really didn't realise how bad things were. It was only when I saw the below pictures that I knew that things had to change. I was only 22 and I was obese. I was around 95kg.

I started eating better and smaller portions. And I started to lose weight.
But I didn't exercise regularly. And before I knew it I was back to my old habits and gained a little of the weight back. By 2007 I was sitting around 80-85kg.

In 2008 my husband & I moved to America. I settled in and somehow I lost a little weight. I was a little depressed around this time with homesickness and didn't really eat. So when I did start eating properly again the weight I had lost came back by the end of the year.

By the start of 2009 I was starting to getting quite overweight. The photo above was taken at my 25th birthday, and was one of those "omg THAT is what I look like?" moments. I started going to the gym and cutting out the crap from my life. I was starting to look good and feel great. But it didn't last.

In 2010, I didn't exercise at all. I didn't gain too much more weight. I hit a plateau and have been sitting around 75-80kg ever since.

This is the most recent picture taken of me, only a few weeks ago. But like usual with this constant yo-yo weight battle that I seem to be engaged in, I've started to gain weight again and as of this morning I weigh in at 77.6kg

I am so sick and tired of feeling frumpy, fat, bloaty, miserable, sad, pathetic, overweight, unattractive, sick, tired, having bad skin, sleep problems, severe mood swings and just plain gross.

So I'm going to do something about it. I'm going stop spending so much time on my butt in front of my computer, the tv & playing video games. I don't want to die young and I don't want any cancer, disease or health problems to happen because I was too busy playing World of Warcraft or I'm replaying Super Mario World for the umpteenth time or trying to finishing Portal 2 (which I'm still working on finishing) AND not exercising.

I have the tools and the knowledge to know better and to act better. And to be better.

This is that start of a new section on Emerald City Girl titled "Leila v2.0" & will serve as a tool for me to keep track of my progress, my thoughts and a way to (hopefully) inspire and encourage others to join in and live a better life.

Today I decided I was worth it, I hope you decide you are too. Because you are. And so am I.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Origins & New Beginnings

I started ECG as a way of having a fresh start in the blogging world. I orginally started blogging in January 2008 with my very first blog, "Day in the Life of an Expatriate". It was a journal that I kept to keep track of our new life in America, so that family & friends could keep up with what was happening.

{some old blog headers I still have on my computer}
Slowly that became "That Random Leila", because I wanted to expand the topic of things that I spoke about, not limiting myself to just expat related posts. About 12 months in I had again grown tired & restless and started & stopped a few blogs in this time. "Losing Leila", "Just Like Grown Ups", "Living Life Kind" & "Whisked Kitchen". I was clearly searching for something but none of these blogs were satisfying the creativeness & orginality that I craved.

Just recently I almost created a new blog but decided against it. Thank goodness.

For too long I had been thinking about blogging the wrong way. I had this deluded thought that if I wanted to talk about certain topics that whole blog should be themed that way. How silly!! So I set up a new tumblr instead, thinking that I could just put my new ideas on there and that would make me happy. But only after a short time of it going live via my Facebook I got what I felt was a discouraging comment. So I had a think about it and decided to scrap it. If one person thought what they did then many more would & I didn't want any negativity to overshadow what I was trying to achieve. {The Emerald City Girl tumblr is still active}

I love this blog so much. I feel very at home here. So instead I'm making some changes here at ECG. Over the next few weeks you'll start to notice small changes around the place as well as new topics pop up such as fitness, geeky girl stuff & diy tutorials as well as the original content of fashion, food & fun.

Now you might be reading this and wondering "Why is Leila telling me all of this?"
Well, I feel really lucky to have people that not only read my blog but read it on a regular basis. In fact I know I have some readers of ECG who has made the long journey with me across all of my blogs. And I am very thankful for this. I wanted to be honest & share my little trip down memory lane. I wanted to share my story with blogging and where ECG grew from. And I wanted to share my vision for ECG with you so that you knew what to expect from now onwards.

This is my little FYI.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Boxes, Changes & Happy

I'm currently surrounded by towers of boxes. Been busy packing up the little apartment because this weekend Daniel & I are moving to a much larger two bedroom place. I can not wait. So my blog is going to be a little neglected until late next week.

In other news, I went for a job interview yesterday in the AM & by the PM I was employed. Such a relief. I'd just hit eight month unemployed and was pretty much giving up hope. I even made suggestions that perhaps it was taking so long because of my age. Sheesh I'm only 27. But sometimes you go a little crazy like that.

So lots of changes happening on my side of the world. I'm even working on a new personal project. Very exciting times ahead.

What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun & exciting? Tell me, I'd love to hear all about it xx

Sunday, June 5, 2011

{Recipe} Delicious Pea & Ham Soup

I love soup. I love how easy it is to make. I love how good it is for you. I love how cheap it is to make. And I love how warm it makes your belly. One of my favourites since I was a kid is pea & ham soup. My dad made the best pea & ham soup, I loved coming home from school and all you could smell through the house was soup. De-lish!!

Here is my version of pea & ham soup. It is so cheap to make, this costs me just under $10 for the whole pot to make and a loaf of French bread. All up I get about 4-6 bowls per pot depending on how much water you add. Make sure you keep on eye on it when cooking because the split peas absorb the water and you may need to add more. I usually end up adding about an extra 1-2 cups of water. But it all depends on how thick you prefer your soup. Don't cook it too high or the split peas will cook and form a crust along the bottom making it harder to boil. Be careful.

Most of all, enjoy!!

What is your favourite soup on a cold Winter's night?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What I Wore Today {WIWT}: Outfit 1

Welcome to what I hope becomes the start of many outfit posts. This is my very first attempt, which I'm ruling as an almost failure but I did learn a lot. I'm not normally the one in front of the camera, rather behind it, so I had no idea how to pose myself. My arms suddenly felt like these big clumsy things in the way! Oh well, at least I'm a little bit better at this compared to yesterday.

And I can't wait to try again tomorrow.

Shirt: Thrifted
Jacket: Closet Romantic 
Jeans: Aeropostle
Shoes: Steve Madden

Note to self: smile more & learn to pose in flattering ways.

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