Farewell to Old Clothes

Farewell Pinstripe Suit! You have been in my closet for years now. Worn once.
Interviewsuit
I bought you for a job interview because they wanted the candidate to show up looking professional. I wowed them so much that they deemed me overqualified, a flight risk, and someone who wanted more. So the hired the girl who showed up super casual.
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And now you are too big for me to justify keeping around for a “just in case” outfit. The corporate world, the land of professional suits and heels, it isn’t in my line of sight right now. And I’m okay with it. Mostly, except for the days that I’m not.

I know there are great things ahead for me. And there are good things for you, too, suit. You are gray with pretty blue pinstripe. Someone is going to feel unstoppable wearing you.

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Tales of My Fitness Past – Part 5

When last we left the discussion of my fitness and body history, we were at a nice positive chapter. I was fit and happy. I reveled in my friends, my career and my life. I didn’t care so much about what I was missing. I was enough for myself. I was traveling to see friends who had moved away. I even joined the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club. I’m not much of an outdoor person, or adventuring in the outdoors. I joined it to meet new people and get some new experiences. It was kind of crazy, but I thought, oh well!

Bash

 

As it happens often in life, just when you get cozy and comfortable, you get the chance to change things. ¬†I met a guy. And being in a new relationship caused my routine and my normal to drastically change. ¬†I wasn’t cooking or myself anymore, I was cooking for 2. ¬†But it was more like cooking for 3 or 4 because my boyfriend had an appetite. ¬†I was going out to dinner much more. My boyfriend was a great cook and he made really, yummy food. He also introduced me to lots of different foods I hadn’t really had a lot of exposure to. ¬†Thai, Chinese, Indian, BBQ, etc. ¬†There wasn’t very much of the new cuisine that was healthy! And dessert, particularly ice cream, was the rule, not the exception.

A lot of my time in the evening had been spent going to the gym. ¬†I did lots of late night workouts before. ¬†Now, if we weren’t hanging out, we were probably playing computer games. ¬†My workouts were not physical except my hands on the keyboard. and running across virtual worlds, doesn’t really count! ¬†Because playing the game was a huge priority, meals were often delivered so that we didn’t have to waste time cooking. ¬†Sadly, our Chinese food delivery guy ended up getting so comfortable delivering to us that he’d just come on it and sit down and chat. ¬†(I do want to brag that I used to get steamed vegetables!)

I was also in ¬†graduate school, which added another layer of stress, time suck, and being sedentary. ¬†I did try and walk to my classes from my apartment, which allowed me SOME exercise. ¬†It was a few blocks more than comfortable so it was a decent amount of steps. ¬†I made a new friend my second year of graduate school who had a summer job working for 2 of the most addictive men I’ve ever met: Ben and Jerry.

She came to school with a freezer full of ice cream pints. ¬†Some we had never had before, and some that weren’t sold in stores. ¬†She filled our freezer. ¬†She filled a freezer at school. ¬†There was ice cream everywhere and it was all yummy. ¬†In the downtime for school we turned to food. When we studied, there was food. ¬†We discovered the wonderful taste of cookie dough in a tub. ¬†Sure, it wasn’t meant to be eaten with a spoon, but it sure was great.

I don’t mean to throw my grad school friends and boyfriend under the bus. ¬†We also tried to do more workout things. I used to do 3 mile walks with the boyfriend. ¬†My grad school friends and I joined Curves and did water aerobics. ¬†We tried to cook together. ¬†Fajita nights!

Fitness and health were less of a priority than school, relationships and recreation. ¬†Socializing was the norm. ¬†I had no real goals. ¬†At one point I did join Weight Watchers at my work and a good Weight Watchers meeting IS worth it’s weight in gold. ¬†But when we didn’t have enough people to keep it up, and when my grant ended and I was in school full-time, I was back on my own.

Sharing a Story is Not Casting a Stone.

This is a really quick blog/brain dump about sharing and reacting.

I realize the power of sharing your story. I have a story to tell you all and I’ve done an okay job so far, but I definitely need to keep going, and to go deeper. ¬†I’m learning more about myself all the time. We all are, and I do believe that when we share openly and honestly, we all benefit.

hs-and-now

I shared this photo in January and happened to reply to a comment. My friend since Kindergarten remarked that I look “lighter” now in spirit. True. I commented that she’s correct, I was very depressed and angry at that time in my life. True. My mom, over a month later replied that she and dad did the best they could. She replied in a way that showed she was very hurt.

The last thing I ever wanted to do in the sharing of my feelings and my reality at that time was to upset anyone. ¬†But, I did. I got sad about it and then it made me mad. I don’t want to have to censor myself when I tell the story of my own life.

I was depressed as a teenager. My parents had nothing to do with it. I didn’t know I was depressed. They didn’t know I was depressed. Now, with the wisdom of therapy and time, I see my depression as it developed throughout my life.

I need to tell my story for myself and for anyone who relatesto me. But I can’t be held back by worrying about hurting someone’s feelings. ¬†It’s a hard one to navigate for me.

5 Things We Can Learn from the Patriots

Tonight I watched the New England Patriots win Super Bowl LI. It was historic because this was the first Super Bowl that was decided in overtime.

I guess I’d say that I’m a Patriots fan. I was born in New England. I’m a fair weather fan and I’m always late to the party. My family NOW watches football, but growing up, the only sport I could count my family in watching was NASCAR. ¬†After adult years watching games, mostly the Super Bowls, I can follow it a bit better than that annoying person who asks a lot of questions at the party. Yeah, I probably used to be that person though.

Anyway, no matter if you like the Patriots of not, we can learn some things from their win.

  1. You can start slow, you can start from behind and still come out ahead. The first quarter score was 0-0. ¬†That’s not exciting. By the third quarter the Falcons were up 28-9. It’s absolutely unheard of to come back from that deficit in a championship game. But they did. ¬†History can always be made.
  2. Use your disadvantage to fuel you. Why do some races need a bunny? Why do people need a goal? The chase is a powerful tool for performance. When the tide seems to be against you, you dig in and get stubborn. If there’s something out of your reach, you close the distance. When they tell you that you can’t, you say “watch me.”
  3. Go with the momentum. Once the momentum swings in your favor. ¬†It’s super powerful. Once the Patriots started to turn the game around in the 4th quarter, there was no stopping them. ¬†Any negative referee call? ¬†Didn’t matter. ¬†They decided it was their game and they went for it. As soon as overtime was a matter of fact, I knew they would win. Their momentum was too huge to be held back. It was inevitable.
  4. It’s never over until the absolute last second. They didn’t stop. They didn’t give up. They went straight out, pedal to the metal. When you need to, you get singular in your focus and you just go for it. Don’t even think about failure. Total forward movement with no regard to failure or alternative outcome.
  5. Let your haters be your motivators. The Patriots have been a winning team but a team with controversy. But any sorts of infractions were handled and fines paid, suspensions carried out, drafts adjusted. When opinion is against you, you can be defeated by it or you can use it to show them all. Let it fuel the fire in your belly.

No matter what, both teams that played had great seasons and did fantastic things in the game. No matter what , you have to respect what it takes to perform at that level. And this was truly a game that will go down as a big deal in the history books. Biggest comeback and the first overtime.

brady

Brushes with Celebrities

 

bb-celebs

I’m a big fan of Beachbody. ¬†I can’t really hide that. ¬†And of course I wouldn’t want to! ¬†I’m super lucky that I’ve had the chance to meet some Beachbody leaders, Super Trainers, and supplement creators in the last year.

I went to a Super Saturday event in Orange County the beginning of 2016 and got to hear the CEO Carl Daikler speak. He’s amazing. He’s so good at getting everyone excited about life. ¬†I’ve seen him speak in person before, but this time I got to have a photo op with him. Super cool.

Flash forward to Summit 2016. My friend and teammate Angel and I got to get a quick photo with Tony Horton, OG Beachbody Super Trainer, in the hotel room before Summit really kicked off.  Look at that SMIZE!  We were super lucky and he was very nice to accommodate us and use his long arm to take the photo.

I chatted up Dr. Nima Alamdari, the Director of Scientific Affairs at Beachbody when I saw him in the halls.  I had also met him the previous year when the Beachbody Performance line was launched.  I got to talk science stuff with him.  And he let me take a photo.

Randomly, on the street, I got to meet Superfood Hunter Darin Olien, one of the co-creators of Shakeology. I’m a big fan of his philosophy of food, and I love his book Superlife. ¬†I got a photo with him as well and told him that I was having trouble getting my husband to drink his Shakeology daily. ¬†Darin suggested I tie him up and force feed him. ¬†He’s really great!

I won an Instagram contest in October and in December, I got an in-home visit from Autumn Calabrese, the Super Trainer who has brought my favorite programs to life, and her brother Bobby Calabrese.  Together their cooking show Fixate and the Fixate cookbook has helped change how we eat and approach food.  They were honestly just as lovely and wonderful as I could have hoped.  We cooked with them, shopped with them and had some great talks about fitness, food, living in California, and everything else.

My last brush with a Beachbody celebrity was Mr. Tony Horton again. ¬†He spoke at our local Super Saturday and I got a photo op! ¬†Sadly, I couldn’t do his workout because I had an injured shoulder. ¬†But he gave a great Q&A and really brought a lot of things into perspective that I was missing. ¬†Our photo time was brief, but he called me Sweetheart, and can you really ask for anything else?

One of my wildest dreams is to be Beachbody famous myself. ¬†I want to be a top coach, have an incredible result to share, and keep inspiring ¬†other people to go for it. ¬†I want to talk on the National Wake Up Call, and in front of the crowd at a Super Saturday. Until I’m legit famous, I’ll have out with the elite when I can.

No One Gets to Make You Feel Bad.

I did some personal development courses over the last couple of years and it did make me feel more bulletproof. ¬†My biggest take-away from that aspect was that no one can hurt your feelings. ¬†Feelings aren’t something that is injured. ¬†You can choose to not allow anything to make you feel bad.

I still struggle with feeling bad. ¬†I haven’t reached bulletproof status yet.

bulletproof

One thing that I am really guilty of doing is hiding things that really upset me. That doesn’t really do any good but I find myself embarrassed by what happened and what my response was.

Earlier this month, I went on an outing by myself.  I was walking around a small downtown area enjoying the day, enjoying my own company, and enjoying my thoughts.  Even extroverts get some good stuff from a self-date.

I was minding my own business, walking, watching, thinking, when men in a car that passed me by decided to yell out their window at me.  How do I know it was me?  The street was deserted.  Their chant was negative and it regarded my weight, my appearance and how  I was porcine-like.

I responded by doing nothing. Oh, I heard it. ¬†I’m sure my cheeks got red because I don’t have great control over my autonomic nervous system after all. ¬†I just walked with the same peaceful look on my face and categorized the encounter as one of those ones I wish I could forget. I texted a friend as soon as I ducked in to a shop. ¬†I just told my husband tonight.

This isn’t the first time a stranger or even an acquaintance decided to make a statement about me, at me, to get my attention in a malicious way. ¬†The first time I can remember was 5th grade. ¬†There were times in high school, college, being at the mall, and last year when I did a lot of street running when training for my half marathon. These were never “woo hoo, you go girl” genuine cheers. ¬†These were always meant to be taken negatively and designed to make me feel bad about existing in this world and looking the way I do.

Street harassment isn’t a new thing and it certainly isn’t something that has stopped being discussed. In our culture, we are opening our eyes to how men and women experience different treatment. One viral video shows a woman confronting her harassers in sometimes very funny ways. When we think of street harassing women, we usually think of cat calls. Even for people like me, who try to be enlightened, can think of it as a very misplaced way to compliment someone in a knee jerk reaction, when it happens to someone else.

The truth is, there isn’t a lot of difference between someone cat calling someone on the street and yelling something derogatory at them. They are both unwanted. Neither one come from a well intentioned place. Both are only slung to elicit a response. Both make the issuer feel power over the target. And since we live in the United States, both are completely protected by the first amendment of our Constitution.

But just because speech is protected, doesn’t mean you can’t be viewed as a first class jerk for having said it.

I honestly don’t know if I can do anything about this. How could I have changed the outcome of that occurrence? ¬†If I was a Marvel Superhero I could have stopped the car, jumped on the hood, and made a speech and made them poo their drawers. ¬†But this is real life, I’m not a superhero. I was a pedestrian, they were in a car, and I could have been liable to any damage jumping on the car would have done. (I love how working in insurance has since colored so many of my revenge fantasies with reality.)

My mom always told me to ignore teasing. This isn’t really teasing. This is taking ownership of my body away from me. This is gross. And though it’s perfectly legal, it’s not okay.

The only thing I can think to do is not be silent. ¬†So I’m writing this piece and I’ll see how I feel afterwards.