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Making My Way 10lbs Down(town)

It’s been 14 days since I joined Noom. It’s the end of my free trial and while I can say I definitely feel better, and have seen the numbers on the scale go down, some part of me was looking for a real sign of progress – looking to hit a bench mark. In the first five days of the program I lost 5lbs. While my eating didn’t seem too different from before, the simple fact of being more aware of what I was consuming was making a difference.

Yesterday I went to a Red Sox  game with Coach. I knew that it would be impossible to go to the game and not give into the temptations. There’s a reason the song goes “buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks”. I knew going into it that all I wanted was a big Italian sausage with peppers and onions and mustard. So I did it. I actually did it as before I even got into the ball park. I’d been waiting for Coach to meet me and I was sooooo hungry. Inside the park, I got a beer. Have I mentioned I’m not a beer person?

So this morning when I got on the scale, I was nervous. It was day 14: the moment of truth. And I was pleasantly surprised! In the last two weeks I’ve lost 10.8lbs!

Just a reminder to my starting point:

How exactly? Goooood question!

  1. I’ve become more aware of the food I’m consuming. With a focus on food with a high water content – more weight, less calories – I’m feeling fuller. No more protein bars for breakfast and then getting so hungry by 10am.
  2. I’ve embraced the morning and afternoon snack. If I’m hungry at 10:30am or around 3:00pm, I’m opting for a piece of fruit. I forgot how much I love red grapes.
  3. I’ve stuck to my gym schedule. I might not be running a marathon or doing a HIIT routine that kicks my ass every time… but I’m going and I’m moving. I’m making it part of my routine. I don’t know if you know this, but Friday evenings at the gym are wonderful. No one is there!
  4. I’ve started learning more about and adding weights to my routine. I had an appointment with a personal trainer at the Y. She showed me all the machines, and how to use them. I feel like I’m getting a work out without dripping sweat on the treadmill. And I’m sore. A good sore, of course.
  5. I’ve planned ahead. Instead of wondering what I’m going to eat or what workout I’m going to do every day, I’ve made a plan. I’ve even logged my food before I eat so I stick to what is already written.

It definitely hasn’t been easy… like at a work conference Thursday. After waiting in line for lunch for 40 minutes, the only thing left was whoopie pies… while I sooo could have had three whoopie pies for lunch, I chose to venture out of the conference and got a salad from Eataly.

But it hasn’t been all red tape. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t feel hungry. I don’t feel resentful. And of course that’s the point, right? Lifestyle changes can’t be unsustainable! I let myself indulge in a half of bottle of Cabernet and a small chocolate bunny on Friday night. #wild I know!

At 222.8, I’m less than 5lbs from hitting the 50lb mark in my weightloss journey, and I couldn’t be more excited! I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I saw this number, felt this strong, or have seen results so quickly. At this rate I’ll make my 200lb goal in no time!

Boys

What is “Dating”, for 600?

This weekend was a weird one. A good one, but weird. I spent a lot of time walking, and therefore thinking. And what else does a girl in a Situationship think about but what’s going on, how she feels about it, if she sees it going anywhere, where it’s going. The list could go on and on. But for both our sakes, I’ll stop there.

So Saturday was spent thinking and then using my friend as a sounding board. I came to a number of conclusions… most of them weren’t right. More than anything, I was looking for an answer to where the situationship was going. And the only person I could ask was Coach.

Sunday night comes around, and I didn’t exactly ask him (I had decided I was content with how things were and there was really no point in starting the conversation before I had decided where I wanted it to go)… but I definitely found out. The dreaded DTR take two!

Long story short: Something completely ruined the mood of the evening and we ended up just sitting in an awkward silence for a few minutes. Avoiding most eye contact. But since were adults in a mature adult relationship, we decided we needed to talk about it. We did. I cried. He comforted me. He shared everything about his past relationships. I listened. He told me he’d be better at communicating.

Then he told me he still didn’t want to rush things and that he’s glad we’re “dating”.

That’s kind of where I had to start talking and asking questions. I had been listening intently for so long and only interrupted like three times (If you know me, you know how hard that is for me!!).

What is “dating”…? He said we’re “not exclusive”. I knew that. But I also know that neither one of us is seeing or sleeping with anyone else. And I know my antics on St. Patrick’s Day were not the behavior of someone in an exclusive relationship. Buttttttt what were the expectations of me? Did I need to tell him I’d made out with three different people and that’s why I got so sick the week after? Did I need to tell him anything? Would I want him to tell me anything? No. And when he asked if I wanted to know if he went out (etc.) with anyone else, I told him that.

For a bit we talked about a few hypotheticals and he said maybe there’s a line… like not sleeping with other people before letting the other person know. Thank God the lighting in my room was shadowy because I guarantee that I made a face at that. Not that I’m trying to sleep with other people… but if we aren’t allowed to sleep with other people… then we are exclusive. THAT IS LITERALLY THE DEFINITION.

I asked him if he would call me before having sex with the hypothetical girl we’d been talking to and told him I would not be calling him if roles were reversed. Can you imagine?! Mid-makeout session…”Hold on, I just gotta call the guy I’m kind of seeing and just check in with him to let him know I’m going to sleep with you…”

In the end he agreed and we have now officially defined the relationship. We are dating. Non-exclusively. And the only time we will ever tell each other about a third party person is if we are ending things. Otherwise, we’re just going to keep seeing each other and seeing where things go.

Surprisingly I feel really good about the conversation and where we landed. I’m now clear on where we stand and where things are going.

So cheers to a successful DTR take two. Even if technically nothing has changed… (aside from my slight guilt for wanting to makeout with that third guy from St. Patrick’s Day again).

Body

Noom Noom Noom Noom (I want you in my room)

Anddd now you have that song stuck in my head. And so do you.

It’s been 5 days since I joined Noom and I’ve lost 5lbs – thanks to my newfound motivation (I mean if I’m going to pay for a program, I’m going to get my money’s worth).

I’ve followed the program every day – logging my food, reading the literature, meeting my step goals. And tbh, it’s not bad. It’s not a waste of time, and the daily weigh-ins make sense to me. While there are a lot of different theories on how often one should weigh themselves, doing it daily was how I held myself accountable before, and Noom seems to agree. The simple fact that I take the scale out every morning when I wake up sets my day in a positive and focused direction. “It’s psychology”, they say.

So at first I wasn’t sure about the food part of the program and I was a little frustrated that they didn’t quickly introduce logging exercise (that’s on the agenda for tomorrow). But after living it, it makes sense. I did have to reduce the speed in which I wanted to lose weight because my initial calorie bucket was 1,200 and much too low for me. I raised it up to 1,400 and because of how much I walk, the program automatically adds calories to my bucket so really I’m working with about 1,600. Better for me.

Noom breaks down food into color groups: Green, Yellow, Red. While obviously the goal is to eat more Green and Yellow foods and less Red foods, one of the things I like is that the colors are more like guidelines… you should be eating more foods that fall into the Green category. Buttttt you can eat Red foods.

Like yesterday I got strong armed into lunch (pizza) meeting with a client (who makes and sells cookies and brought us some to try), and there was no way I could just say “no, thank you” to any of it. Both pizza and cookies fall into the Red category (eat less). So I thought about positive and negative environmental triggers (something Noom teaches you about) and I just practiced good portion control. Two slices of a small pizza and one cookie were not going to derail me from my mission. Four slices of pizza and three cookies, would have.

In addition to logging my food and attempting to stick to the color food system and my allotted calories, I’ve stuck to my gym schedule! (Even though I haven’t yet learned how to log exercise). Monday, Wednesday, Friday at the YMCA that is just steps from my work. Did I mention that if the gym is not conveniently located, I will not go?

At the beginning of the week I was feeling a little “eh” (still recovering from being sick last week) so I decided I’d walk hill intervals. Pro tip for when you don’t feel like running on a treadmill but still want to get a workout: hills burn a lot of calories and make that booty wurk. Cautionary tale: treadmills on an incline create balance problems in the less coordinated (me).

By Friday I was running the flatter part of the intervals and breaking all the sweats. You can’t see my back sweat in this pic but neck sweat is a thing…

Before I left, I even scheduled a consultation session with a trainer. Every YMCA offers a “Get Started” session – 2 half hour sessions with a trainer where they learn about your goals and limitations and then teach you a bit about the machines and different exercises you can do. And since I paid the little extra for a personalized workout plan from Noom, I’m planning on bringing that to the trainer for some extra guidance. #BOOM Getting my money’s worth.

We’ll see how it goes as I get further into the program! Onto day six and seven. The weekend. Easter brunch is tomorrow and I’m telling y’all know that I will make good decisions… and probably skip the mimosa. But bloody Mary’s are a vegetable, right?!

Side note, I’m not being paid (or threatened) to promote Noom… it’s just something I wanted to try and I’m sharing my experience. If you’re interested in trying it and have questions please feel free to ask!

Body

It’s Fun to Slay (All Day) at the YMCA!

Yesterday was my first time at the gym since January. I’d joined the YMCA next to my work on my first day of work… in February. So with this Wednesday being the one month anniversary of my start date (and join date), and the fact that I had not been once, I told myself that I had to go. It may be significantly less expensive than my last gym, but it’s still an expensive locker if I don’t go at all.

So yesterday was the day. It was Monday and I had told Coach that I would be going. So I kind of had to. And even though I didn’t leave the office until 6:00, I marched my ass into the Y and down the stairs to the locker room to change. I pulled on my big girl work out pants and Beyoncé tank and pumped myself up a little. It wasn’t long before I realized that a shirt with an illustration of Beyoncé with both her middle fingers up probably wasn’t the best life choice for a YMCA. I made a mental note never to wear it again, tried my best to avoid all the children, and made my way to the cardio area.

The fact that the first day of spring was last week reignited my desire to get in formation, and get back to a routine. With the new job, it has felt nearly impossible.

I feel like a new gym is always kind of awkward. It’s like the first day of a new school – You don’t know anyone. You don’t know where anything is. You don’t know how the machines work or what channel Food Network is on. But I’m in a unique position in my life where I’m the new girl all around, so I didn’t let this bother me.

Looking at the machines, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, or where in the room I wanted to be. After going and standing on, like, two different treadmills, I ended up choosing one kind of near the entrance, and lucky for me, the machine’s TV was already on FoodNetwork (I don’t know why, but it’s my favorite thing to watch while working out). And after another minute of staring at the machine, I selected a program that I’d never done before (something with hills), and started my workout.

I had no desire to run. I had no real desire to sweat, TBH. I had made it to the gym and just by being there, I had already accomplished what I set out to do. That said, I did run and I did sweat. But I mostly walked up the giant hills that the program told me I was going to do. I attempted running up them, but I realized it’s a lot harder to keep my balance on a treadmill when it’s on an incline.

After about 45 minutes I stopped, grabbed my stuff from the locker, and walked the mile and a half home, very aware of my need for some serious fitspiration.

I spent the last three years working toward hitting 230lbs. And I did it! I taught myself to run, I started practicing yoga, I even cut out sugar at one point. But what was I doing now? What could inspire me to get back to it? To stick with a gym routine and to make better food choices? I needed another goal and I needed some direction. So after some discussion and research I signed up for Noom (If you want to do it with me, use my special link for 20% off when you sign up).

Spring has sprung and like the song says, “No man does it all by himself”. So I’ll be enlisting the Village People and my soon to be bffs at Noom. Because I’d really like to slay all day and All Night.

Boys

(Don’t) Kiss Me Before You Go.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a thing where when a guy friend of mine tells me he’s moving to another city, I get all emotional and all of a sudden, out of no where catch feelings for him.

I call it a thing because it has happened not once. Not twice… but four times. FOUR. And the what really makes it a thing, is that it follows this pattern: I (usually) don’t have feelings before they tell me, and then I have allllll the feelings after. And then shit hits the fan in one way or another and all things end badly.

The first time was literal hell. The second time was heart breaking. And the third time was insane. The first guy was a dick, and the third just had some growing up to do. I’m grateful nothing ever really came from any of this. The second time, the feelings were a pre-existing condition and things didn’t end badly, but also our friendship was very strong and still is.

So this fourth time is different. And in an attempt to have grown, I didn’t let myself develop real feelings. We weren’t as close, and because the guy has been saying he’s moving basically for the last year, the sense of urgency that I think fuels the feelings (and inevitable hitting of the fan by shit) doesn’t exist. Apparently he’s really moving next month, and last month or so I drunkenly told him that we should hook up before he left. He said “maybe”. (Maybe?! K.) Whatever, at the time I may have meant it. Now, I sooo don’t.

What is it about news of a departure that drives people into making rash decisions and taking action in a way that they normally wouldn’t? I’m clearly a prime example of this, but I know it happens to other people too. If it didn’t, every movie wouldn’t end with a confession of love in a airport.

There was even a thing in college called Before We Leave (or something like that) where you listed the top people you wished you had hooked up with but didn’t, and if the other person had you on their list then y’all would be notified so you could make plans to smash before you graduated.

Honestly, I don’t have answers. Obviously or I wouldn’t have now done this so many times. But what I will say, is unless the feelings exist beforehand, it’s not worth getting into. There’s no need to race the clock to make something happen that wouldn’t have happened organically. If he’s not going overseas, there’s no reason to rush. And if he is… well that’s what WhatsApp is for.

With #4, we’d had a flirtation for over a year and actually drunkenly made out (I told y’all, that’s my MO). But even though there is a level of attraction, thanks to the positive nature of my relationship with Coach (and even my connection with my third makeout session partner from St. Patrick’s Day), I decided that the attraction isn’t worth the shit.

So when he invited me out last night to “chill” in a way that seemed to want to make that “maybe” and yes, I used the fact that I’ve been sick to my advantage and politely declined.

I’ll cap my thing at 3.5 times and call it a day.

Body

3.1 Miles in 36:04

So I almost forgot to give an update on the 5K.

It. Was. Really. Hard.

Somehow the race was harder than training. Maybe it was because I ran faster. Got caught up in all the excitement, I guess. My normal time is 38:00. And while two minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, it was. My legs ached and my breathing was heavier than normal. I mean, it also probably didn’t help that I drank a bit the night before and went to bed late.

(Proof I actually ran below. Courtesy of Cambridge 5K Series.)

Mile one was difficult. It took a while to get into a good pace. Mile two was actually okay… even with a hill. Mile three was really, really, really hard. I wanted to stop and walk so many times in that last mile. I kept thinking about how nice it would be to walk. I had to remind myself the whole time that I could do it. After all, it’s all in your head. Plus, running would make the race be over much faster than walking would. And by mile three I just wanted to be at the finish line. To drink a beer, grab a pretzel, and haul ass to brunch. After all, there was an order of chicken and waffles with my name on them.

In the end, I did it! And I ate delicious chicken and waffles.

Plus a few beers, a pretzel, some weird Irish potato soup, and free Reebok sneakers!!!

I know the next one will be easier, and the one after that will be even easier. I told myself I would run five 5Ks this year, and I plan to keep that promise. And now that I’m feeling better (the bar crawl got me sick… somehow), I’ll be making my way right back to the gym. After all, there’s another race in June!

Booze, Boys

Up All Night to Get Lucky

Saint Patrick’s Day. A day to drink green beer and Irish Car Bombs. Especially in Boston. And since I’m a young whipper snapper, I decided that a bar crawl was in order.

Spoiler alert: 1) I was up all night. 2) I did not get lucky… But I could have.

Now for the protection of all those involved I won’t disclose all the details of the shenanigans (What happens on Landsdown Street stays on Landsdown Street). But LOLOLOL! I did not realize how thirsty Saint Patrick’s Day made people. And not for alcohol (obviously everyone is already drunk).

We started the crawl around 12:30pm and shockingly I was not drunk by 3:30 and blackout by 6:00 as was expected. That said, questionable decisions were made by all. And you know…when in Rome! (See blurry dance floor photo for proof).

So while we were all very responsible during the day – A drink here and there. Bowling and arcade games. Lots of bar food – By the time night fell, so did we. At some point we made friends with this group of guys and while I didn’t think pairing off was something that happened after middle school, that is exactly what happened. And suddenly after countless drinks, dancing slash making out to Irish flute music wasn’t at all weird. It wasn’t until this morning that we realized that the guys we were macking on were 21. More than numbers were exchanged by some.

Luckily, I didn’t go home with the 21 year old stand up comedian. Instead, when the original group disbursed around midnight, I chose to meet up with another group. An Uber ride, a drink, and a Vegas Bomb later, I found myself on another dance floor with another guy in my third make out session of the night. I know, I know. Blame Saint Patrick’s Day.

I don’t think I need to clarify but Coach wasn’t with me yesterday. So none of these make out sessions were with him. And oddly I was (and am) okay with that. Not that things aren’t going well with him, but we’re not exclusive and we haven’t actually defined our relationship (despite the kind of DTR convo).

This last guy is someone I’ve known for a bit but haven’t seen in a while. I had a thing for him and clearly still do. He’s really nice. He gave me his jacket to wear (I didn’t bring one), we ended up going to IHOP, and he drove me home at 5:30am. And even though we had made out on the dance floor there was still an awkward car kiss. I even asked him if it would be weird if I kissed him before kissing him. Because asking that isn’t weird or awkward in any way. I guess that’s my MO.

So that’s my Saint Patrick’s story. Up all night. Did not get lucky (had three chances to). Thank god most of my thirst was quenched by vodka.

Body

My mind is tellin’ me no but my body, my body’s tellin’ me yes…

I’m not normally one to quote R. Kelly, because he’s a rapist and in general just a horrible person… but quoting Troy Bolton and saying “my head’s in the game but my heart’s in the song” doesn’t quite work for what I’m about to talk about: the power of the mind.

See…I’m running the 5K tomorrow.

And despite my good intentions to train for it over the last few months, I did not. However, it must be like riding a bicycle because I feel as though I’ve run enough in the recent weeks that I’ll be fine. I even ran the race course this week as practice and finished in 38:00. I didn’t stop to walk once, even though it took me a bit to figure out exactly where I was going and I learned that I can’t run in a straight line to save my life (see my map my run below).

So yes, I can run a 5k no problem. But last night when I ran to the ATM to get cash it was an issue.

Sure, I didn’t have the proper bra on. And I had a few things in my legging pockets that made me feel like my pants were falling down. And I was running a lot faster than I normally do… but I felt like I was dying running a whole four blocks. What is that?!

This morning while scrolling through Pinterest, I saw this:

And it clicked (Not the link…the source site no longer exists). Last night I didn’t run with intent. My head wasn’t in it the same way it is when I’m running longer distances – when I run to practice, to train, for exercise. When I run with intent, I’m on a mission. I tell myself that I’m going to accomplish something and I’m committed to the task at hand.

When I was first learning to run, there would be days I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t run for three minutes even. It wasn’t that I couldn’t. It was that I wouldn’t. I didn’t want to. And the minute my brain realized that, it was all over. My mind was giving up. My body followed suit.

The thing is: our bodies are strong and can handle a lot more than we put them through on a normal day. We were made to survive. I’ve never realized this more than hearing about survivors of violent attacks. They can survive a psychopath serial killer but my mind thinks my body can’t run 3.1 miles?!

I call bullshit.

Anytime you think you can’t, remember that you can. It’s like Kimmy Schmidt says… “You can stand anything for 10 seconds. Then you just start on a new 10 seconds.”

A long run? Up a hill? No problem. Burpees (aka the worst exercise in the world invented by a total masochist)? Get it. Literally whatever it is, approach it with intent and positivity. Know you can do it. And you will.

Boys

Anyone Here Single?

I went away this weekend. I attempted to write something but ended up drinking three mini boxes of wine with a straw. Unfortunately for me, writing and wine don’t quite mix (but remember what does pair well with wine?) So my irregular blog schedule continues. I promise it’s something I’m working on fixing!

So naturally when I returned from my weekend away, I met up with Coach. As you all know, Coach and I recently kind of had the dreaded DTR convo… kind of (for those of you who aren’t familiar with Coach, I suggest you go back and read my last bunch of Boys posts). Butttttt the thing is, we DTR-ed by not really defining the relationship and not deciding to be exclusive and basically not taking any action at all. Make sense? No? Let’s just go with it. I’ve seen him four times since the DTR convo, and things are very normal and progressing as I assume a mature adult relationship progresses. Did I ever mention I’ve never been in a relationship? No? Well… yep. But it’s not surprising considering my typical indifference toward people.

Anyway, we went to the Liquid Courage Comedy Club at Slumbrew in Somerville. It was pretty fun and the food and beer were great! During one of the sets, a comedian asked “anyone here single?” and asked for a show of hands. Andddddd neither Coach nor I raised our hands.

I didn’t act weird at all in the moment. Shocking, I know. But now… I can’t help but wonder. I mean, I’m not dating anyone else and I’m not sleeping with anyone else. And as I understand, neither is he. So did we not raise our hands because even though we aren’t together together, technically we are together? Or would it just have been weird to raise our hands since we were out together? Either way, I don’t consider myself single at the moment. But I feel like this situation is a pretty common one. This is what my friend Danny* has named a “Situationship”. We’ve all been there.

So sans DTRing, how and when do you decide you are suddenly not single?

  1. Do you see the person you’ve been seeing on a regular basis?
  2. Would you flirt with someone else in front of the person you’ve been seeing?
  3. Are you interested in dating anyone else?
  4. Are you interested in sleeping with anyone else?
  5. Have you told your friends about the person you’ve been seeing?
  6. Have you told your mom (or parent figure) about the person you’ve been seeing?
  7. Have you and the person you’ve been seeing talked about going away together for a weekend trip?
  8. Is this weekend trip potentially a long ways away but still very likely to happen?
  9. Do you have a couples massage scheduled with the person you’ve been seeing?
  10. If a comic asked you to raise your hand if you’re single, would you raise your hand?

If the answer to 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 is yes, and the answer to 2, 3, 4, and 10 is no… then you might not be single.

But, I’m in no place to tell you what that means… I’ll let you know when I find out.

Body

Decisions, Decisions: The Power of Positive Choices

I started my new job yesterday. It was exciting but like any other first day, it started slow. But even in my first day, I did things I’ve never done before! Like…attending a casting call for a video my new company is producing. Almost the first thing we did when we got to the agency was order lunch. I was presented with a giant menu. And I could order anything! (I could get used to this!).

As I skimmed the menu, my eyes were drawn to the baked mac and cheese and the buffalo chicken wrap – two of my all time favorite foods. I had decided on the buffalo chicken wrap before changing my mind in the eleventh hour and ordering a salad when one of the assistants came to take our order. When the food came, I was happy with my last-minute change. The kale, quinoa and brussels sprout salad with chicken was delicious, and it was all around a healthier decision than either of the two options I had previously considered.

When I got home last night, I went for a run. 3.24 miles along the river. And aside from stopping at crosswalks, I didn’t stop to walk once! I felt inspired to do my best… because of the smart decision I had made earlier in the day for lunch.

It got me thinking about the impact that a positive choice can have going forward. With each positive choice we make, we build momentum and each decision influences the next one, and the one after that, and so on. It’s like a decision domino effect.

I think it’s actually easier to see this domino effect with poor decisions. Take food as an example. For me, when I eat something not so great, like fast food burritos, I’m much more prone to choose another fast food choice later on, like pizza, and then a fast food burger. And fries (I may or may not be referencing my life last weekend). But it also applies to getting a good nights sleep, exercising, and basically anything else. After all, repetition is how habits are formed.

So how do we take advantage of this power and keep up the momentum for good things?

1. Remember that you have a choice.

A few weeks ago I reverted back to what I used to do in college: I drank whatever everyone around me was drinking (everything), and I ate whatever they were eating too (burritos, pizza, wings). By the end of the weekend I had a stomach ache and was very dehydrated. I felt awful!

That Monday, I told myself I would never do that again. Yes, I was out with friends being social, but that didn’t mean I had to do everything they were doing or make food and drink choices that weren’t good for me.

2. Be okay with the choice you’re making.

You’re more than welcome to make whatever choice you want – in the end it’s your decision. But make sure you’re good with whatever it is you choose #NORAGRETS. The weekend I was reliving college, I was cool with everything… until I felt sick and suddenly wasn’t. If you know you’re going to regret it the next day, or even the next second – don’t do it!

3. Stay inspired.

Every choice is as inpiring as your make it. By being aware of the good choice you made earlier, you’re choosing to build that momentum with another good choice – becasuse you feel good. If you’re on a roll, keep going. And if you slip up, that’s okay too… just get back to it with a positive choice!