Ten Years

What is wrong with me? I post “why I’ve been blogging less but oh don’t worry I’ll still be around!!!”…then I run away. I suck.

I thought the internet was lacking in a sentimental post so here I am to save the day and make all the readers in the place with style and grace…cringe. In the spring of 2004, I was in 8th grade. Throughout grade school I played field hockey (fall), basketball (winter), softball (spring). I mostly did it because my friends did it and I had (still have?) FOMO- fear of missing out. Softball was far and away my least favorite, so I finally decided to ~live for me~ and quit so I could enjoy the remaining of my 8th grade days because I assumed life would be SUPER stressful in omg high school. I think I announced my retirement in a dramatic AIM away message. Maybe with Something Corporate lyrics.

Suddenly I had hours free! So much spare time! It was wonderful….and it jumpstarted the problem I’d have for the next decade. Too much spare time, nothing to do, so I started eating. I ballooned. I’d always been tall for my age, but by 8th grade, everyone had grown and I had stopped. At 5’2 (maybe 5’3 if you’re in a generous kind of mood). I graduated as the 11th shortest girl (I commemorated this in my diary so that’s how you know it rocked me to my core) and undeniably a little bit bigger. I remember my mom asking me once “You’re eating again? Are you sure? There’s a pool party coming up.” I was like “What? Yes I am hungry. I’ll be ready for the pool party, GEEZ MOM.” Lo and behold, a few weeks later, I wasn’t ready for that pool party. I didn’t go in the pool. I wore a two piece but never took my cover-up off. When my friends went in the pool, I sat or went to the bathroom to pretend to fix my hair or something.

I quit softball and filled my spare time with mindless snacking. A habit I have yet to break.

It’s hard to accept that it’s been ten years since that spring. I’ve written over and over in lengthy, painful, rambling posts about how I feel my weight and eating habits have held me back. It’s sobering to realize that a whole decade passed where I hated my body, ate more because I hated my body, and yet I didn’t have “it” to change. “It” meaning: the willpower, the mental fortitude, the knowledge of nutrition or how my body worked, the desire to learn all that, etc. I was miserable for so long about how my body looked so I’d eat to cheer myself up after a dismal shopping trip with my mom when I wanted to wear cute, stylish clothes that hugged my body and instead went with flimsy, flowy blouses or to fill a void when I saw my friends in relationships. Whatever. The list and the drama can go on (and probably does in multiple posts on this blog).

I’ve officially been blogging about my grand weight loss attempt for a year. I’ve done really well, then let myself have a reward “just one cheat day” on a Saturday which turned into a Sunday resolve of “ehhh just make it a cheat WEEKEND” that turned into eating poorly on Monday and Tuesday, but I couldn’t re-start healthy eating and living on a Wednesday! That was dumb! So NEXT MONDAY it would begin! Or when I didn’t feel like prepping healthy meals, figuring out what groceries I needed and then actually grocery shopping.

I’ve re-started with the resolve, then stopped, then taken forever to re-start again so many times over the past year. This particular winter has been brutal when I just couldn’t make myself get up to go to the gym and so hibernated in my house binging because it was too cold! The last week has been better, and I realize NOW that I really can’t let myself off the hook too much with “cheat days” because otherwise it just turns into one big, binge-y freefall. Should it have taken me so embarrassingly long? Probably not.

The last year has been one of so much learning, so much stopping, and eventually re-starting. All that matters is the re-start happens and I’m a lot more motivated than ever. Realizing it’s been a DECADE like this helps. Turning 25 in May helps.

It’s been 10 years but it won’t make it to my favorite number 11 🙂

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014. To quote one of the great philosophers of my time, Hannah Montana, “let’s make it rock.”

I wasn’t going to do one of these but I’ve read so many great posts that I wanted to try. I don’t think these are anything horribly drastic but they are all important. Plus, I find I need things written down otherwise I forget. The food & health ones are the most important overall, buuuut obviously I want to focus on them all.

 

Baltimore:

I live in a city like I’ve always wanted to! I need to take advantage of this more rather then just being content to hang in my house all the time.

Look for opportunities to volunteer…and get involved.

Be more social and become more proactive at finding more friends here.

 

Career:

Get a new job that I like, is an advancement  from where I am now and will teach me new skills.

Learn to handle things better in the workplace. I take it all so personally and recent events have affected me way too much.

Learn tactics to communicate better with leadership/executives in the workplace. I’ve let many issues or incidents that upset me slide, because I didn’t think I could address them with my superiors. I thought i was too low on the totem pole and couldn’t bring it up. I need to figure out a way to discuss them in a professional way.

 

Financial:

Pay cash more often to hold myself accountable. While out shopping, I’m way too liberal about tossing items in my cart because…hey! i have my credit card.

Make more money. 🙂

Contribue to my 401K. I don’t right now because my salary is so tiny that I need it all, but  I know it’s important.

 

Food:

For some reason, I really hate food prep/cooking/baking. It makes me so anxious (?) and I find that I just cannot wait until it’s over and done. Really weird. Get over this.

Become better at packing food for work (breakfast, snacks, lunches). I’m horrible at planning. More on this later.

Prepare better dinners. I often mail it in at dinner because for reasons above.

Try a recipe from Pinterest/Instagram/blogs once a month.

Figure out how to meal plan. Ginger and nutmeg has been sitting in my cabinet forever, buuuut I can’t remember why I have it. I write down on my grocery list to buy this stuff because i see a recipe somewhere along my lengthy Internet trail. Then I can’t remember what the recipe is or why this stuff is in my cabinet.

 

Health:

Lose weight.

Continue to develop healthy habits.

Work harder at winning everyday battles between old binge-y habits and new healthier habits.

Become more educated on my body and healthy eating.

Stop being so afraid of the weight room at gym. One way to do that is become more educated on what those OMG so intimidating machines do.

Incorporate variety into work-outs.

Work out on weekends. I do this like once a month but it could be more.

Successfully complete the Charles Street 12 miler and  Baltimore Half. Do not worry about times, just focus on crossing finish line. Do not have panic attack if it takes 10 hours.

 

Organization:

Uh, pretty much be more organized. Be neater.

 

Social:

Try and attend church more regularly.

Be more proactive at finding friends and being more social.

Stop holding myself back.

Be nicer and more compassionate.

Try not to have a breakdown over turning 25 (!!!!!) and do not dwell on what my life isn’t. For example, I alway thought I’d get engaged at 25 and I’m pretty sure that won’t be happening soooo I just need to let go of what I thought would happen. Live more in the moment.

Have a great year 🙂

 

When The Earth, The Sun, The Stars All Align.

Conferences: I was in DC for the second round of conferences for work and I didn’t really hate it. Well, I hate the conferences part and having to keep up my cheery “goddamn it I’m a professional!!1!1” facade for 10.5 consecutive hours, teetering around on my heels longing to sit down. A woman slipped a book proposal and a sample chapter under my breakfast plate which I did not notice until someone else pointed it out to me. That made me feel very important and I crowed about it to all my friends…. I might have framed it as she was stalking me because she was so excited to see me, knew the important role I held in my company and she wanted me specifically to be the gatekeeper of her long-awaited dream but really she just wanted someone from our publisher to possess it and didn’t care who it was. Clearly. I can’t even influence ordering a new department printer when ours is broken.

Hotels: I really like hotels, guys. The staff has to be nice to you. They take care of unnecessary tasks like cleaning or lugging boxes around. I think room service is the best thing ever invented, especially for introverts like myself who just want to be alone and inhale food without stopping for breath and worrying about public decency and manners all while catching up on internet reading and TV watching whilst wearing sweatpants. It is so fun. I sleep like a rock in hotels. My latest hotel had a king sized bed and my insomnia stood.no.chance. It was amazing.

Healthy Eating On The Road: Is hard. I know. Do you need a second to recover from the bombshell I just dropped on you? Surrounded by continental breakfasts featuring a cinnamon bun table, a croissant table, muffin table, donut table….dear God, is this what heaven is like? If so I swear I’ll clean up my act. I went nuts the first day– give me all of the cheese danishes– but then I realized I needed to fit into a dress for a reception the next night and I literally had no other option packed beside squeezing myself into that dress so I had to reign it in. Donuts are no match for a girl who needs to fit into a dress. Then after I wore the dress, it was so tempting to order chicken fingers from room service every night- after all, nobody would know! But……. I would know. And I’d love it in the moment and hate myself later. I made it to the gym once and when I left, some guy took a break from his weight lifting grunting (such a stereotype. c’mon dude) “I’ll see you later sweetheart” and uh, no you won’t. If you do you will only see my backside as I sprint the other direction.

Fitness: Blah. I came home to our hot water being out. Hoorah, but it’s the best motivation ever to propel my sleepy self out of bed at 4 a.m so I can go to the gym and shower.

Class Clown: A girl I went to high school with was working at the hotel I was recently at. We had a nice um-hi-quickly-summing-up-the-last-5-years conversation. We had a few classes together over the  high school years and she said, “I never forgot Creative Writing class and your poem during poetry unit.” I had no idea what occurred during poetry unit, and she reminded me “You stood up in front of the class and read the chorus of Hilary Duff’s song Come Clean. [Teacher] was so impressed by your imagery about the rain….” I have no recollection (I think I blacked out most of high school) but I  can readily believe I did this. I told her I  hoped I didn’t get a grade for my plagiarism of a Disney tween queen’s songwriters and she assured me no it was just free-write. What is wrong with me?

Lean In: I bought it ages ago, read half, then under-my-bed borrowed the book for a few months, I recently reclaimed, and finished it. It was a great read with some powerful anecdotes and recommendations, but one thing I can’t stop mulling over is the Heidi/Howard study Sheryl Sandberg mentioned. A professor at Columbia Business School handed out the resume of a guy named Howard to one half of the class.  The other half of the class got the resume of a woman named Heidi. The students who received Howard’s resume thought Howard was likable, competent and they would absolutely want him to join their company. The students who received Heidi’s resume thought she was selfish, unlikeable and they would not hire her. The catch? The resumes were exactly the same. The professor just changed the name and pronouns. Howard was made up for the sake of the study. Isn’t that fascinating?

Happy One Year: …to me. And zee blog. Truth be told, I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it this long. I started my blog because I had moved to a new city two months prior and I was lonely and friendless. When I started the blog, I could have never imagined what it would become and what it would mean to me. I would have never imagined that I’d ever go to a blogger meet-up — let alone host one! It’s surprising how important blogging has become, although I acknowledge I’ve been the laziest, worst blogger ever for the past two months. It still astonishes me that people read here. The blogs I read are really inspiring to me because sometimes [a lot] I slack off on working out because “omgz i’m so exhaustedddddd sitting in a chair for 8.5 hours drains me like nuffin’ else i wanna die” and then, I kid you not, I think about the blogs I read and how much people cram into a day and how they still manage to cram in a good sweaty work-out and then eat healthy meals….and then I’m all..”oh…well I’m pathetic. I’m not special. I need to get my ass up.” I also have learned so so much through the blogs I read. I’m pretty dumb/ignorant about all things health and wellness and the healthy living blogs I read teach me a lot. For free! I’m so grateful for this community and how nice people are and how much you share. I really count a lot of you as friends and I spill a lot on here and yet you still come back (!!!!!) and I’m the most thankful person. I write about something totally rambly and people are like “I know! I’m that way too! I do that too!” and I love knowing I’m not alone (because sometimes, it really feels like you are!) or leave the most insightful comments and give the best advice and it’s just the coolest thing ever. come on over and i’ll make us all cocktails with…

photo-55

yep. i know. I KNOW!!!!!!! Remember how my parents have been kicking butt at weight loss?! Wellll…..I’ve been chattering their ear off for the last year about the power of the almighty Vitamix. Now that they’re working at maintaining their newfound healthy lifestyles, they decided to get a Vitamix to help them out. And I collected a splendid finders fee–>my own Vitamix. Yep. They bought me one too (for Christmas/birthday) and I am paying them back for a little bit of it. I still can’t believe it. I walk past my kitchen counter, it catches my eye, I stand there and blink rapidly in confusion until it dawns on me that i am a Vitamix owner and OMG all is right with the world forever and ever amen!! If you ever hear me complain about how hard it is to get veggies in waaaahhh wahh wahhh, punch me in the face.

this was a ginormous post. sorry. i’ve bottled a lot up, eh? probably should have broken this up into two but…here we are anyway.

The End.

The Road I’m On

I was thinking the other night about how happy I am when I go to the gym and that I work out. Weird. Have I fallen in love with fitness? I’m not sure I’d call it love yet, but right now, it’s definitely infatuation.  All I know is we’re in it for the long haul. Fitness has been trying to court me forever, and I’ve brushed it off with lame excuses that are the equivalent of “I can’t..I have to wash my hair” or flirting with it briefly then never calling it for months and months and diving out of the way when I see it on the street.  We’re going to have our highs and lows throughout the decades and I’m probably going to hate it and behave like a bratty Taylor Swift toward it from time to time. Lately, though, I’m starting to feel as if I’m getting in the groove.

I never was someone who liked working out. In college I’d take my Kindle to the gym and sit on an exercise bike going the slowest possible speed and would read.  Or I’d just go for long, slow walks on the most isolated part of campus when the gym was too crowded so I could be alone with my thoughts and my cheesy bad pop music on my I-pod. I never would attempt to work out very hard. I didn’t like how red my face got if I tried too hard. So unattractive. Of course another factor was that I was in such bad shape with virtually zero stamina so why would I want to embarrass myself and flaunt my pathetic status in front of my classmates? I didn’t like my body and knew I had to work out and eat better, but I had no interest in it. I didn’t want to try and set myself up for embarrassment or failure. I have a hard time sticking with things when they’re hard and give up on myself pretty quickly.

But after  starting a new chapter when I moved to a new city, I realized I was sick of coasting and so easily accepting that I was: overweight, not in shape, weak,  a horrible eater and resentful. I was too young to give up and just slot myself into the role of a person I didn’t want to be. I had such an opportunity for a fun life in my new city, I could start over here. I could be happy here. So I started a blog about it (my condolences to the Internet).

My fitness journey for the few months has found me going to a class or just ducking into the cardio cinema and doing strictly treadmill or elliptical because I didn’t know what else to do at the gym. But lately I have been hanging out in the private training area. It’s very isolated and I get to try out new circuits without feeling self-conscious or like everyone is silently mocking my slowness or noting that my arms start shaking 5 seconds after I get into a plank. I’ve had so much fun playing around on Pinterest and finding work-outs to do. I’ll find them the night before, save the pin to my camera roll on my phone, then watch a Youtube video on how to perform a certain move.  I, of course, forget how to perform that move when I actually get to the gym. BUT…I get really sweaty, have fun (will wonders never cease?) and afterward feel like the cat that swallowed the canary. The red face I used to dread is now worn as a badge of honor, of sorts. Like, yep, I worked out hard people. 

I love feeling my heart beat faster and the beads of sweat. I love getting my body moving. After years of only fueling it with poor nutrition, I love knowing I’m finally taking care of it.

apartment-house-quote

 

image from fellow bmore blend, kate. I LOVE THIS QUOTE. #hitshome 

Over the last few months, I’ve tried a lot of new things. I’m not particularly adventurous and am very intimidated at the idea of new things. Remember it took me two months to work up the nerve to go to Body Pump? And I LOVE it. I’ve tried CXWORX, which I liked even though I made a fool of myself, and I really look forward to definitely seeing improvement as I get stronger and not having such a hard time with the ONE piece of equipment the class uses [sigh]. Also I ran two 5ks.

I’m so glad I found  Brian, the Zumba instructor at the gym, and that I have such a good time at his class. I love that I can kinda run a little now- granted, it’s still pathetic and I’m slower than molasses, red-faced, panting, dying, cursing with my last breaths, etc., but I can do it. And I do do it. Slowly I’m learning to let myself revel in the fact that I do it, and not pay attention to how much faster everyone else is or how much longer they can go for, because just the fact that I am going at all is wonderful.  I love that I have the Bmore Blends and that we’re plotting out fun workouts. I love that I’m get to try classes like Body Combat but I especially love how gleeful I am  about trying these classes.

It’s also dizzily exciting how much I am looking forward to trying things out: I’m determined to compete in a half marathon sometime in the next 18-ish months. I want to try CrossFit. I want to try the bootcamp type classes my gym offers that right now I’m still too scared to attend.  And whatever else I decide I want to do.  It’s truly amazing that I now look forward to fitness classes and going to the gym.  I’m excited for all that’s ahead and working toward it.