Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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Betaine For Gains? Fitness Friday 36

Everyone is always looking for some kind of pill to improve their exercise performance or get bigger. This is why articles like this one

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…Get all the youngin’s running out the door to buy all of the supplements listed because 1. they apparently make you huge and 2. Brian DeCosta is a god sent and who wouldn’t want to look like him. ūüėČ

Sorry you had to be a part of this post¬†Brian, but I just had to chat more on this article and, well, you aren’t too bad to look at for the cover shot.

So what was one supplement on their list that is supposed to make you jacked faster?

Betaine

betaine

So what is it?

It is a derivative of glycine (an amino acid) and due to having 3 methyl groups, it acts as a donor of a methyl group in a reaction that ends up producing creatine in the skeletal muscle. It also has been suggested to have cardiovascular protectant factors due to reducing plasma levels of homocysteine (which is a risk factor for CVD) and inflammation. Due to its role in increasing creatine, it was hypothesized that supplementing with it can have growth enhancing effects and increasing power and strength performance.

Due to these suggestions, this began finding its way into pre-workouts and even as a stand alone addition to any bodybuilders stack.

…the thing is though….

Does it actually make you grow?

Lets start with what the article stated:

Betaine seems to work by increasing the release of growth hormone and IGF-1 while blunting the exercise-induced release of catabolic hormones like cortisol. The overall effect is to increase muscle growth and decrease muscle breakdown following exercise.[2] Since betaine works much like creatine monohydrate, researchers suspect that it, too, might stimulate muscle growth over the long term.

Hmmm interesting. Well cortisol definitely has some support backed behind it…

So now, what does the research actually say?

Well, its all over the place. There doesn’t appear to be concrete conclusions about it.

Hoffman et al (2009) –> 15 days supplementation in active college males to test muscle strength, power and endurance across 3 time points. Study found no significant differences in number of reps to exhaustion (endurance) or on number of reps at 90% power OR power assessments. They did find that squat reps at 90% power increased significantly in the BET group at time 2.

Apicella et al (2012). This was once of the studies cited in the article and it did in fact show significantly lower cortisol levels post training in the BET while also showing significantly higher growth hormone.

Pryer et al (2012). BET supplementation in bike sprinters found a significant increase in sprinting power. The supplementation was only for a week however.

Hoffman et al (2011)–> 15 day supplementation with Betaine, once again, in active males (within subject study, so they each ran through a BET and non-BET treatment period==> better design) found no increase in peak concentric or eccentric force OR overall fatigue. They did, however, find a significant reduction in fatigue when compared workout 5 and 1 (was that a training adaption effect?)

So some studies say YAY and some studies say NAY so its safe to say that there is not a concrete answer on this product. If it does truly work like creatine (which has mass amounts of supporting research) than perhaps there is some merit to this guy. As of right now though, I wouldn’t be running to pick up a bottle of the stuff unless I’m not concerned about the money and I’m looking to do my own trial.

Happy Fitness Friday friends. 

PS it apparently has some gut health benefits too…hmm may need to¬†research those for meeeseelf.¬†betaine

-Chelsea

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Mom’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day my friends

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If you’re a Mom, I hope you enjoy this beautiful Saturday. I hope you get the lovely sun we are going to experience today here in CANADDDAAA.

My Mom is someone special. No, more then just special. There is no real word that I can use to explain her to a tee. She is so many things to me.

Beautiful (both inside and out)

Hilarious

Independent

Supportive

Loving (This is an understatement)

Compassionate (she loves all)

Always Smiling (even with her constant migraines, chronic back pain and fibromyalgia)

Positive (counteracts my and my Dad’s negative sides)

Wise (got that from her Daddy)

Empathetic (you can’t slide anything past her)

and…

Incredibly Strong

Speaking of strong…

This video is very well done in my opinion. It made me smile and I love the quotation at the end. I sent that to my Mom the moment I saw it because it speaks the truth and made me think of her.

She is and always will be more then just my Mom. She is my best friend. My number one cheerleader. The person I go to with anything.

She’s my rock.

I cannot even fathom my life without her and without our close friendship.

With that, I say thank you. Thank you Mom for being you. For showing me what a strong women is like and what it means to love and be loved unconditionally.

You have given me life both physically and spiritually and ….selfishly, I’m going to keep you as close to me as possible for the rest of our years.

I hope you understand. ūüôā

You don’t have to wait until a specific day to tell¬†your Mom what she means to you but today, remember all of the smiles and times you have spent together and then take those thoughts and roll with them. Call her. Tell her.

Remember that saying “I love you” can never be over used and loose it’s meaning.

‚̧

Tell me one beautiful moment you have had with your Mom if you wish. I would love to hear them. 

-Chelsea

 

 

 

 


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Winding Down This Wednesday

Trigger Warning. For those who are currently struggling or are triggered by the discussion of exercise, psychological struggles, pictures, food, etc please refrain from reading this lil update. The goal here is to ensure everyone remains in a safe place mentally when on my blog!

My friends.

Do you know how much it has hurt me not to be able to chatter with you much this semester? I have my moments where I wonder if you are feeling let down¬†or frustrated with me thinking that I just don’t enjoy or want to blog anymore but please believe me when I say that is far from the truth.

I miss you all and I miss sharing things with you! 

I have tried to push aside the guilt about not blogging and focus on the fact that I’m finishing up my semester hopefully on a high and that I am actively working to bring back up my health status…

My health. How is that progress now that I mention it?

I owe you an update.

I have been officially been working with my coach, Mike, since the beginning of January. I had brought it up before then but we didn’t really gett’er going for real¬†until then. So I suppose I’m wrapping up my third month with him. So what has that brought?

Weight Gains?

Can’t say really because Mike doesn’t want me weighing myself. I will be honest and say that I was initially weighing myself because I felt as if I needed to know when the scale began to tip up. You heard about my lil meltdown I had previously when it did increase a bit and so I have been forbidden to get on it since. To be rational though, that number really truly DOESN’T matter.¬†Your weight tells you nothing about what is going on with your body really. It doesn’t tell you whether you’ve gained fat, water, muscle and so forth. It doesn’t tell you if your organs are repairing themselves. Whether your hormones are regulating. NOTHING. So really, all it does it make you obsessed with a number for no apparent reason.

So with that in mind, ¬†I do weekly progress pictures with Mike and he makes changes as we go…which is EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

Food Gains?

Duh…

I’m not going to say what my specific current numbers are, but to give you kind of an idea…

I’m almost eating my weight in fat (number of grams to number of¬†pounds).

I’m eating triple my weight in carbohydrates.

And around double my weight in protein.

And this is only the beginning. Pretty much without fail, with each passing week, I get another increase. The struggle is real, ya feel? Guys may not (4000+ cals would get their attention), but ladies, do you know how much food that is. Geesh

What I will say is that is just another piece of evidence to show you that you¬†don’t need to be restricting to 1200 calories to maintain your weight or even loose weight! Yes, everybody’s body is different and they all metabolize and respond to nutrients differently but let me be an example to you. Eating high carbs doesn’t make you fat. Eating more then 1200 calories per day doesn’t make you fat.

I may be 5 feet tall but I train hard and so my metabolism is basically a beast…err efficient. I’m truly learning that I need a lot of food just to keep up with it, let alone, make it grow.

BUT! Even if you don’t train, you need to fuel your body sufficiently.

Strength Gains?

Oh yes my friends!

My pride and joy right now is my squat. Since reading week (mid February) my back squat has increased 25lbs! I’m now squatting more then 1.5 times my body weight which is so exciting as that was a lift that really took a hit when my body basically gave up on me¬†(i.e. my strength took a nose dive) in the gym after the weight loss. I’m pushing so hard to reach that 135 ASAP!

Overall though, I’m much more energetic in the gym, my lifts have been feeling amazing and almost everything is just going up. I PR at least once a week in something and it’s just an amazing feeling.

GIMME¬†ALL DEM GAINZ!…

Please…

Mental Gainz?

Lots! Yes, I have had my share of mini meltdowns throughout this process and things may have taken longer then they should have sometimes, but the point is that I not only have to fight the physical but I’m also fighting back the mental as well and that is tough.

I get frustrated with myself sometimes because I wish I could be like everyone else and be happy to be told to eat more food, but I have to take a step back though and realize what significant barriers I have broken down!

~It may have taken me 3 weeks longer then it was supposed to but I managed to add 4 tbsp of nut butter to my day ON TOP OF what I was already eating in my morning oats. This was huge because I had this ‘rule’ in my head that said I was only allowed to eat 1 serving a day MAX (2 tbsp).

~I still have my treat meals (almost still weekly) despite the increases. That was hard for me because I felt that I should stop eating ice cream every Friday due to my already eating more then normal.

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Jays is back open for the season! Let the spoiling begin!! Homemade Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter gelato (right) and my ultimate favourite, Salty Caramel (left). All their products are made in store. Drools….

~I realized I still get hungry despite eating more. That was another big thing for me. You see, for me, my struggles surround feelings of fullness. I don’t necessarily freak out over calories per say, but I freak out thinking I’m going to feel more full because when I’m more full my tummy will stick out and that’s when I have issues. When you start to feed your body properly after a time of restriction, your body starts to realize that it’s getting more and with that, it can then allow itself to use those additions and ASK for those additions through hunger or other signals. Often times you may think something is a lot but then the next day your stomach will start growling for that extra food because it wants it. It’s proof that your body is efficient. More food or just enough food means that your metabolism is able to be the most efficient and use those nutrients to the best it can, making you an optimal burning machine.

~I haven’t gotten fat. Despite a fairly big increase (in my opinion) to what I’m eating, I have not gotten fat. Instead I have gotten stronger and I have been getting comments that I look healthier (despite the fact that I still really haven’t gained that much). My coach tries to keep me on the straight and narrow about that whole situation but it’s hard for me not to be negative sometimes. That, my friends, is a work in progress.

Any Negatives?

Any change won’t come without it’s share of some not so nice things. For me, the biggest struggle, other then my mind (I’m looking at you ED!), has been my IBS kicking up a fuss with every damn increase pretty much. If any of you have irritable stomachs you know how moody you can get when your stomach decides to screw with you. It sucks, like hard. I’m learning the very weird limits my stomach has and¬†I have had to adapt and try to work with it¬†or else I will just spend all my days with excessive and painful gas, no hunger (because of said gas) and bloating. Sorry TMI but it just doesn’t make this process any easier physically or mentally.

I’m still pushing though and I have so much love and support plus an amazing coach who is backing me up and having patience with some of my irrational thoughts and whining. I will do this and I will come out on top.

….

So, I don’t know if you have been wondering what I look like at the moment as my selfie¬†game has been weak for the past lil bit…

I was super hesitant to post this because I was afraid of what you might think. I was afraid that you would think I looked gross and too skinny. Well the fact is that I am too skinny but I’m moving in the right direction and I should be proud of the gains that I have made regardless of how small they may be. This is my starting point and I’m full speed ahead towards my goals.

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The left was the first progress picture I sent to Mike. The right was two weeks ago. Again, the changes may be small and I’m still small but I’m making progress and he was super happy to tell me about it by putting this shot together for me to compare.¬†

If you have continued to stick by me during this dry period that is this semester, I appreciate it so much and I cannot say sorry enough for not bringing you the content you deserve. I hope that I can do better now that this crazy semester is coming to an end.

I love you all and lets hope my blog can be a bit more active once again because lets be real, my chattering and random thoughts just cannot be contained!

‚̧

-Chelsea


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The End Of The Year Has Come…

It’s the last day of 2015…

Whatcha doing?

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Happy New Years Eve my friends!

I first want to take the time to send a birthday shoutout to my MamaScreen Shot 2015-12-31 at 8.53.46 PM.png

New Years Eve baby she is ‚̧

For this reason, today rarely marks a day where I’m out partyin. If I have plans, then sure, but more often then not we celebrate together because it’s more about her birthday. She opened her presents over Chinese food and we generally will watch some comedies¬†followed by the ball drop in NYC. Then it’s a race between my Dad and my Auntie Wendy (his sister) to see who can call up my Nana and Papa first to scream Happy New Year.

It’s tradition.

Can you tell that we are all about traditions in this house?

Oh, movie choice for tonight is Police Academy. Anyone else ever seen these movies? They are before my time but my parents and I watched them when I was a kid and they still make me laugh. That old fashioned, cheesy humour

So I wanted to take the time to do a fun lil year wrap up survey as well. Apparently I’m on a survey kick lately.

But first, here are some blog stats that WordPress so kindly sent to me.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 34,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was October 18th with¬†624¬†views. The most popular post that day was¬†Strength Isn’t Something You Are Taught.

Top referring sites: Lord Still Loves Me, Facebook

Top Commenters: Brooke, Ellie (Follow her here!) and Carolyn. Much love ladies! 

Thanks so much for all of your love and support! I truly love you all and always appreciate you all for all you do for me.

So onto that survey…

I found this survey on Christine Hennessey’s blog and it looks fun so here it is. (Don’t forget to check out hers here)

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?¬†
Many firsts. I asked out a guy for the first time in my life. I took over taking care of bills in my house (means I’m an adult now right?).Got my first MRI and colonoscopy (not fun..).

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?¬†
I didn’t really set New Years Resolutions. My thoughts on those were in my post the other day.

I did tell myself that my second year at Guelph I was going to make sure I didn’t stress as much and I think I did work towards that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
My Auntie Melanie gave birth to her third child, a baby boy named Kane who unfortunately I have yet to meet. My cousin Chantal also welcomed a third baby, Melanie, into the family. As far as friends, despite the huge string of engagements, I’m thinking I’m still a bit young to be seeing too many babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 
Thankfully no. *Knock on wood* I have never actually experienced a death that is close to home for me.

5. What places did you visit? 
Sadly I didn’t really travel much at all this year. Student life problems. The furthest I went this year was our typical trip to the Walden Gallery for shopping in the last weeks of summer.

Oh I did go to Ripley’s Aquarium for the first time. My Mom and I had wanted to go there for like ever and it was a lot of fun!

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2016? 
Energy. This fall (post Thanksgiving) really marked the start of my legit weight gain goals and working with Mike. Due to my weight loss, I was really starting to lack in the energy department and I’m happy to say that it is getting better slowly but surely with the food increases.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched in your memory, and why? 
Moving into our new house in Guelph. I was super excited about getting to live with my ladies. ‚̧

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
Accepting that I needed help. Other achievements include maintaining my honours status at school, be awarded with a scholarship that I didn’t know about.

Also, a bit of an ego booster was learning that my school actually only accepts about 5 transfers per year. Here I was wondering why everyone was telling me that my program was hard to get into and know I understand. But hey, means I didn’t worry at the time and now it just makes me feel all kinds of special. ūüėÄ

9. What was your biggest failure? 
Failure? Wow harsh words. One negative that is sticking out in my mind because it’s fresh is getting a less then honours mark overall in my biomammalian physiology course this semester. It brought down my overall average/GPA to an 82 which I was very disappointed with so I hope I can bring that up again next semester.

10: Did you suffer illness or injury? 
I got food poisoning once this year…Never again will I be able to a hard boiled egg.

11. What was the best thing you bought? 
Hmmm…Maybe my Nikes. ¬†Wow these questions are testing my memory skills…and showing my lack of said skills…

12. Who’s behavior merited celebration?
¬†Rita. I have never seen her work so hard at school and she did so well this semester! I’m so proud of her.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
¬†We shall say that I learned a lot from my first lil dip back into the dating game in the summer…Immaturity

14. Where did most of your money go?
Supplements. Ouch.   

15. What did you get really excited about?
Being able to enjoy my summer at home, but at the same time, getting super excited at the end of the summer to house with my besties back at school.   

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
I’m a very passive music listener. Mostly whatever comes on Pandora. That said, I really like the song “Home,” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I first heard it in a car full of yoga friends, driving to an out-of-town Ashtanga workshop, after I had to decided to go to UNCW and move away. It was a bittersweet listening.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder?¬†Happier. I’m pleased to say that. It has been a more recent self observation and I truly think it’s because I’m now working on mending my body.
b. richer or poorer? Did I mention student life problems? Poorer… ūüė¶

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I always wish that I spent more times with friends then I did. This year I can say that I tried a lot harder to pull people together more often and enjoy more time with others rather then stressing with school and it always boosted my mood.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending too much time worrying about what I wasn’t changing.¬†¬†

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Hosting Christmas! Seeing so many members of my famjam in our house was super fun but equally exhausting. Worth the work though ūüôā¬†¬†

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
No, but how cute is Christine’s answer..

I fell more in love with the same person. (Aw…)¬†¬†

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmmm I have my favourites but a few new favs pulled into my list including Chicago Med and Stalker (<- such a good show but it’s like never on?!?)¬†¬†

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?
Again, ouch. I don’t hate people.¬†¬†¬†

24. What was the best book you read?
LOL that would require reading…. which I don’t tend to do HA well novels that is. I read blogs and articles online.

25. What music did you get excited about?
I really got into Timeflies this year. Their songs have been continuously making their way into my playlists.  

26. What did you want and get? 
A nutrition volunteer opportunity (Thanks Gabrielle!). A new PR in the gym post working with Mike and I hit 120 for back squats with the best form I have had.

27. What did you want and not get? 
A spot on the student nutrition board.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? 
I don’t actually watch that many movies, is that weird? The Victoria Secret fashion show is always a hit in my books HA

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 
I turned 24 on July 3rd and as I get older (I know I know I’m not that old yet lol) I tend to once again make it about family.

30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying? 
Going to Cali ūüėČ

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? 
HA warmth. After the arctic winter though, I embraced my inner dress lover all that I could in the summer.

I wouldn’t really say I have much of a fashion sense. Is Lululemon considered a fashion concept? Gym Girl Problems.

32. What kept you sane? 
The gym. Always the gym.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 
Hmm toughie, I will say that Jennifer Lawrence always strikes me as a pretty awesome person. She speaks the truth and she is never anyone but herself.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? 
Politics go over my head for real. Although this whole Trump running for president thing is messing with my mind.

35. Whom did you miss? 
Maggie. I really truly miss her when I go back to school. I often have times where I really really miss my Mom too. Thankfully around those times, I can just go home and fill that need.

36. Who was the best new person you met? 
There are a few people who I already met but didn’t really spend time with who I got to know better this year. Jessica from my program was one. We talked a bit last year, but she started training at my gym and we just talked more and more. Super sweet girl. Also Cass, whom I met through my housemate Emily. We were able to bond on a specific thing and got a bit closer this year and I’m glad we had that chance because she is such an amazing person.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. 
Silently worrying about something brings nothing good to the issue. A hard as something can be to start, it is the only way to make things better.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 

Oh geez I’m awful with these types of questions. As cheesy as it’s going to sound and I never thought I would relate to a song by this artist, but Demi Lovato’s new song Confident.

I feel like I have¬†come into the most confidence that I have ever had and I’m loving it and fully embracing it. Coming from a childhood that severely lacked in that department and probably was a huge instigator of my ED, this is a welcomed change.

I’m taking this song as more of a general confidence not the whole sexual side of this song…

It’s time for me to take it
I’m the boss right now
Not gonna fake it

….

‘Cause this is my game
And you better come to play

I hope you enjoyed this lil year wrap-up and have a safe and fun New Years Eve friends!

Song lyrics that sum up your year?

Thing that you wanted this year and got?

-Chelsea


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You Made Me Realize…

…That I did have a full year.

What great goals! And what a packed year you’ve had! -Rachel

You have had such a big year Chelsea with moving away and all your paid work and this lil blog. I hope you are proud of yourself!– Tammy

You really have accomplished a lot and I look up to you. You had a very productive yr, it’s amazing! РTraci

Congrats on all you’ve accomplished this year!! I’m continually amazed at how much you manage to fit into your life -Tina

Thank you so much for all of your love and constant support. You all mean the world to me honestly!

Things have changed. I have changed. I have grown.

It was a great year and I really send many thanks to all of you for reminding me that I too need to take the time to reflect on the year that has left us and realize how much I did.

Personal Life

  • I moved to a new city. I moved away from my jobs. My home. My friends. To do what? Start again with that whole school life. Was it scary? HELL YES. I don’t like change. It scares be to death. BUT I had to come to the same terms that I did when I moved from high school to university, that I was doing this to strive for my passion. I miss my Hamilton life still but I’m making great memories here in Guelph too and moving towards what I want in life.

  • My boyfriend and I went our separate ways after 5 years. I never disclosed this when it happened because that is a very personal aspect of my life, but I felt like it would come out eventually. I consider him to be one of my best friends and have come to accept that I grew a lot mentally from when I was 18 and that has caused me to realize that we mesh better as friends. He is an amazing person and I hope to always have him in my life. There will always be a special kind of love there.
  • I remembered what it was like to have friends. Sometimes when you are in a relationship and busy with other aspects of life, you forget you have friends. One thing I have really embraced since school started was that I have a lot of truly special people in my life and I have enjoyed catching up with them more then ever.

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  • I balanced more of a social life with school. This was something I always struggled with because I would isolate myself with my school work because I felt that I should always be studying or doing something related to school. I have learned that balancing socializing in with school is key to reducing my stress and it should be maintained as a priority.

Blogging Life

  • I started vlogging! I have really enjoyed this newer component to the blog as I find it to add another level of realness to it. I hope you guys are enjoying them despite them being done simply on my Mac with no fancy-shmancy equipment.

  • I have seen my lil group grow! I love the fact that I can recognize all of you when you make your comments. It’s like creating another supportive family! Much better than having a bazillion subscribers but no talking that’s for sure!

School Life

  • New school. New degree. New focus. I’m so excited to really get more into the real nitty gritty nutrition aspect as that is my love.
  • I survived my first semester and managed to pull out an 86 GPA. That surprisingly included the completion of biochemistry. A high GPA is something I always strive for and while I am used to a bit higher, I accepted the fact that this was a transition period and I need to not be such a perfectionist 24/7. I did my best while not making myself a hermit. School is not life.

I bet you are all just ROTFL’in at all that chemistry humor eh? ….

Gym Life

  • New gym. This was quite an adjustment because I had to leave my gym family. I still miss them and my pink towel will always remain there in spirit, but I’m starting to make a name for myself here too. I suppose it doesn’t take long for people to start to notice the tiny lil girl who lifts all zee weights. ūüėČ
  • I added more new things to my workouts and things have continue to intensify. I am more aware now of what I want to work on and am actively working towards bringing up those weaker areas, like my hamstrings. Thank you to all of the amazing YouTube accounts for showing me new fun things to try.
  • My muscle definition is getting more noticeable! People have been telling me that I am starting to grow and from a girl who has the toughest time keeping weight on, that is the best thing I can hear.

I have so many things I want to do this year. I have the drive for them so I hope I can make them happen. Again, much love for always bringing me back to realizing the important things in my life, where I have come and pushing me forward.

Love you all.

-Chelsea