Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Cabbage White Butterflies

Did you know that female Cabbage White butterflies have 2 spots and males have 1?

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male cabbage white butterfly butterflies photography identification northern california travel

Let's go on an adventure!


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

She Persevered


I was leery to post this comparison photo because I'm still ashamed of how far I let myself go and how out of control my food choices were just a few short years ago. But hubby reminded me of how hard I worked to lose 95 pounds and get to where I am today--healthy, happy, and comfortable in my own skin for the very first time. And when he said, "maybe it'll inspire someone else," I knew I had to share my journey update.

It's so easy to look at a before and after and forget about the grind in the middle that I had to work my way through to get here. It wasn't easy. I struggled and I fought, but I never once gave up because I wanted it more than anything. And to have success at such a transformation after the age of 40 and while in perimenopause is even more miraculous to me. But it was a challenge I didn't back away from. But I did back away from the junk food.

And I found yoga. I did a crap-ton of HIIT workouts in the beginning because I furiously wanted the weight off as quickly as possible because I couldn't stand being so incredibly uncomfortable anymore. But yoga was the thing I kept returning to because it was so low-impact and it helped me with my anxiety like nothing else I've ever tried. There isn't a HIIT workout for anxiety, PMS, before bedtime, back pain, etc., but there is a yoga practice for all of those things. So, when you see me posting pics of me doing yoga poses out in nature and you're like we get it, she's really into yoga, it's because I'm celebrating the beautiful movement of my body that I've never known before. I'm free to take up space in a different way and it's been the most pivotal part of my journey.

I look back at photos of myself and I remember exactly what was going on in my head during each of them. Trying to pose just right to hide my double chin. Hiding underneath baggy black sweatshirts so that maybe no one would notice that I was overweight. Feeling like I was "less than" because my out-of-control relationship with food was right there, packed onto my 5'3" frame, for all of the world to see. Completely uncomfortable physically and mentally.

Now, I'm thrilled to report that I am finally comfortable with myself. I'm comfortable with my 99% vegan food plan--damn you, microwave popcorn! I look forward to practicing yoga every morning because I enjoy it. (What started out as a 30-day challenge turned into 2 years!) I'm getting better at living with the loose skin and accepting that things are saggier than they used to be. I'm comfortable being me. Gosh, it took me a long time to be able to say that.

My journey of self-love will always be an ongoing one, especially as I age, but it's such a relief to finally be at peace with so many aspects of myself. I'm not battling myself anymore. I've made friends with myself. I'm creative and generous and funny and resilient, and so was the woman on the left side of the photo. She was awesome. She proved everyone wrong. She kept going when people said it was impossible to lose weight over 40. She didn't give up when perimenopause kicked her into a hell dimension she didn't know existed. She freakin' PERSEVERED!!!

So, now that I'm all teary-eyed, I'll leave you with this...

How bad do you want it?

That's it. That's what you have to ask yourself when the going gets tough. And this applies to anything in life. Do you want it bad enough to actually succeed?

Because it's there. Just waiting for you to claim it. The light at the end of that long, dark, oppressing tunnel. The light that you're hiding in yourself because you're afraid. Get off your butt, lace up your shoes, and start making your way toward it.

And because this post went real serious real fast, I'll lighten the moment and close out with my favorite quote from Goon...


Take that special light of yours and find what works for you!

Hugs,
RaVa


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Lassen Volcanic National Park ↔ Winter vs Summer

I came across these comparison photos from the Winter Wonderland video in Lassen Volcanic National Park and thought I'd post them here on the blog.

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Lassen Peak
lassen volcanic national park northern california travel adventures

Manzanita Creek
lassen volcanic national park northern california travel adventures

lassen volcanic national park northern california travel adventures

Isn't nature amazing?

Let's go on an adventure!


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Benched

Take a load off and enjoy the beautiful view...

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Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
Wetland Walk trail

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Wetland Walk trail rachelle vaughn the road again northern california travel adventures birding

Let's go on an adventure!


Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Dragonfly vs. Damselfly

Dragonflies rarely seem to sit still, so it's always exciting to get a few photos of one!

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familiar bluet damselfly california dragonfly dragonflies photography blue damselflies identification

familiar bluet damselfly california dragonfly dragonflies photography blue damselflies identification

The blue one is actually a damselfly (Familiar Bluet) and the red dragonfly is a Variegated Meadowhawk. Thank you, Google Lens!

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Let's go on an adventure!


Monday, May 6, 2024

Logan Creek Trail 🌳 Tree Comparison Pics

🌳 Don't you just love comparison photos?

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I can't believe how different my favorite tree looks from a few years ago. It's the same time of year, but you wouldn't even know it by the looks of its leaves. Nature is constantly changing, isn't it?

Btw, if you know what kind of tree this is, please let me know!

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Logan Creek trail
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex

logan creek trail sacramento national wildlife refuge tree comparison photos northern california nature trails birding hotspots travel adventures

Let's go on an adventure!


Sunday, May 5, 2024