Health & Happiness Update Pt. III

February was an incredibly busy month so this update will be short. 

I had so much to do with blog visits, my Circuit Assembly, hosting a house guest and the mini road trip. 

I didn’t work out as much as I would have liked and my meals weren’t prepped like before but I did eat healthy even while out of town which I’m extremely proud of! 

I also enrolled in a program that offers health coach sessions which was made available to me through my job. I am super thankful for it! I’ve had two sessions so far and have been given different assignments and goals which I am currently working on. 

Last but not least, I got a Fitbit Alta! Which I had been looking into for awhile so I’m very happy. 

I love it! I’ve been trying to hit 8,000+ steps every day. I’ve also been monitoring my sleep. 

Are you working on any health goals? Do you have a Fitbit? If so, lets be friends! 

-R. Vargas 

Health & Happiness Update Pt. II 

This has been my second month having a gym membership and trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

Last month my main goal was to just be active and my mission was accomplished because I joined a gym!
This months goal was to research healthier snacks and meal prep plans.
I decided to cut back on junk food which is only difficult when I am craving Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Since I already pack lunches for work, I decided I would try to pack healthier lunches and incorporate more fruits and vegetables along with healthier snacks.


Honey flavored Noosa yogurt with strawberries & granola.

Processed with MOLDIV

Baked chicken with vegetables.


First attempt at prepping my meal.


A homemade torta which wasn’t all that healthy but I did add some vegetables at the bottom.


Baked vegetables drizzled with olive oil & sprinkled with a little salt & pepper.


Baked drumsticks and veggies with a Cesar salad and a fruit cup.

I try to prep my meal the night before so all I have to do in the morning is gather everything in my lunch bag and head to work.

A few things that have worked for me have been to stock up on frozen chicken breast, drumsticks, tenderloins, thighs, etc. and divide the pieces in a Ziploc bag and leave one bag out to defrost and cook. Then I place the rest in the freezer so I don’t have to cook them all at the same time.


I also bought frozen vegetables and bake them in the oven instead of steaming them. I feel it holds in more flavor.



I even found myself ordering from the “Lighter Side,” of menus while dining out. (Pats myself on the back.)


Baja Chicken from Cheddar’s

Another accomplishment for me this month was working out at the gym while my mother shopped around at our favorite thrift store. (There is a Planet Fitness in the same shopping center as that thrift store and instead of shopping, I dropped my mom off and headed to the gym.)
Since I have the PF Black Card membership I am able to visit any PF location so I made good use of it.


I also added healthier snacks to my “snack shack,” at work.


My drawer AKA snack shack at work.

I also had a doctors appointment this month and had some blood work done.
I was sure my doctor would tell me that I was borderline diabetic or had a high cholesterol but to my surprise she commended me on exercising and on eating healthier.
A few days later when my blood work results came back, she called me and told me everything looked great and to keep up the great work!
I was so relieved. I just need to keep this up and continue to make healthier choices.

With the small changes I have made, I have noticed my hair thickening, my face being less oily, and less feelings of fatigue.


Any healthy recipes or tips you can share with me?


-R. Vargas

Health & Happiness

If you know me personally, you know that I’ve always been on the chunky side and if you don’t know me personally, now you know.

Truth is, I’ve never been uncomfortable with my weight because I never really cared much to be skinny or to gain anyone’s approval.
I’m not afraid of the word, “fat.”
I’m not afraid of stretch marks.
I’m not afraid to shop in the larger section of shops.
But what I am afraid of is declining health.

Like everyone, health issues run in my family and as I get older I am more at risk.
True, I’ve always known that but I didn’t realize the impact it had on me personally until last October.

Last October, my grandmother, the woman who helped raise me was admitted to the hospital and had to have a major surgery.
A week prior to the surgery, my grandmother was staying at the hospital and I was there every day.
I would sleep in the uncomfortable visitor chair at night and when the daytime came, I would drive home, shower, go to work and after work I would return to my grandmothers side and that awful chair.

While I stayed in the hospital, I really studied my grandmother and how much she’s aged. I guess as a grandchild you view your grandparents as strong and happy as they used to be when they would take care of you.
As I sat in my chair, I looked at her full head of grey and white hair, I heard her horrible coughs, and as hard as she tried to stop me, I was present when she had minor accidents in bed.
The first two days she would alarm a nurse to come in and help her since she was unable to lift herself from the bed due to weakness.
But on that third day when she had another accident, I couldn’t sit back and let some stranger tend to her while I stood outside.

I put on some gloves and did my best to lift certain parts of her to clean her and change the linen on the bed.
As I wiped her and freshened her up, I could see tears rolling down her face.
She apologized and I assured her it was my responsibility and duty as her grandchild to tend to her and that what I was doing was not for her but for me. I expressed to her that it made me feel like I could help ease her pain.
She kept apologizing over and over again until her voice began to crack and I assured her that I wanted to help.

After I finished cleaning up, I told her I was going to dispose of the dirty linen and wash my hands.
I went into the restroom and disposed of the gloves and linen and I held on to the sink and began to cry.
What do you do when the woman who took care of you for so many years can no longer take care of herself?
I couldn’t do much but cry.
After a few minutes in the restroom I got a hold of myself and wiped my tears and went back to my grandmothers bedside.

Since that time I have been very worried about my health because when the day comes that I have to take care of my parents in that same way and I am larger than what I am now, it’s going to be very difficult if I’m not in good health or a decent shape.
God forbid some day I get sick or become unable to take care of myself and my aging parents have to tend to me as if I am still a baby.

No one will take care of my parents the way that I will, so I finally made the move to join a gym to prevent any kind of health issues that come from being overweight.

I am NOT going to the gym to get skinny.
I am NOT going to the gym for anyone else but myself.
I am NOT going to the gym to boost my confidence because small or large, I know my value.
I AM going to the gym to take care of myself so that I may take care of my parents in the near future.
Before I start working on my outside appearance, I’d like to first work on my insides.

I have been working out for a little over three weeks and while I don’t have set days, I do work out three times a week for an hour or more.
Each month I would like to set a goal and accomplish it and post my achievements.
The first months goal was to simply be active. So far so good.

I thought I was going to dread going to the gym or maybe be insecure about working out around fit people but the truth is I enjoy going because I see it as, me time and everyone at the gym is there for the same reason: to exercise and improve their health for whatever reason.

Since I have made the move of joining the gym, I’ve had the opportunity to encourage and support my mother who has been unhappy about her weight so at least once a week, she joins me.

She’s a bit embarrassed but I tell her, “One step at a time mom.”

I haven’t made drastic changes but I am trying to learn portion control and cook and eat healthier meals.

My mom and I alternate from Dairy Queen Dates to Panera Dates.

Pesto pasta with lemon pepper chicken.

Taking care of my parents is my number one priority. In order to take care of them, I need to take care of myself.

This is my health & happiness story.
What’s yours?


– R. Vargas