Hi!

Hey guys! Jeesh, cannot believe it’s been 4 months almost since I posted. I really enjoyed this summer (except not enough trips to the beach) and didn’t think about writing here often, but now that it’s my favorite season (FALL!) I’m a little more motivated to write. I am teaching Spin/Cycling again and want to get back to posting playlists, workouts, etc and just generally start blogging again. I miss you guys!

I’m not going to do a big recap of the last 4 months because we would be here all night, but I will do a few highlights.

My mom got married in July! She now lives in Rochester, NY and so we spent the weekend there. It was an absolute blast. For rehearsal dinner we were at a family member’s house and ate great food, drank a lot and laughed our asses off.

My brother and I!
My brother and I!

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It was incredibly hot that day and the house we got ready at had no A/C (death) but somehow our hair still turned out great.

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The food at the wedding was amazing, and we danced all night long.

Johnny and I!
Johnny and I!
John and my mom dancing!
John and my mom dancing!
My brother and our 2 new siblings!
My brother and our 2 new siblings!

 

 

So much fun
So much fun

I’m having the time of my life being an Auntie to my best friend Brenda’s baby. Completely obsessed with Ruby.

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John and I just celebrated 1 year of being engaged this week!

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We were upstate visiting family last weekend so to celebrate we went and got pumpkin pancakes because we are basic bitches.

Yep, fully aware of how annoying this picture is. I DONT CARE.
Yep, fully aware of how annoying this picture is. I DONT CARE.

My mom and stepdad and I went crazy in Target purchasing everything and anything pumpkin flavored. My favorite? Very surprising because I hate normal peeps, but these guys were amazing.

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We finally set a wedding date (July 16 2016) so we are well into our plans now! It’s going well so far and only seems mildly stressful. We went to a bridal show while upstate and ate so many samples of cake we were all grossly sick. That’s the way to do it right? Have I mentioned I need to lose 15-20 pounds before my wedding? Help.

My matron of honor and flower girl. My favorite humans!
My matron of honor and flower girl. My favorite humans!

It felt very weird to be wearing a ‘bride’ name tag. I was gagging! 🙂

I started teaching Spin again. Like, a lot, again. I can never ease into anything in life… I took 4 months off and within 24 hours I had taught 3 classes. I am still teaching for 24 Hour Fitness (NYC clubs) but I also got hired at 2 new awesome places. I am teaching Sunday mornings at a small cycling studio called Simply Cycle Astoria (located in Astoria, Queens) and it is absolutely fabulous. I am also teaching for New York Sports Club now! This is huge. I have wanted to audition for them for so long. They have so many locations it’s crazy. I’ve been working for them for about 3 weeks now and I’ve already subbed 9 classes at almost all different locations. I am going to have 2 set classes starting next week but the subbing opportunities are plentiful.

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Remember when I used to run a lot? Ha. I miss those days. Well, Brenda and I put off half marathon training for way too long (she like, pushed a baby out of her body and all and I was suffering from horrible anxiety for many many months) and when we started it was AWFUL. We got up to about 6 very slow miles and decided that now is just not the time to try to get in shape for a half marathon that was less than a month away. So right now my goal is running once a week. Literally. It’s the best that I can do given my spin schedule and the fact that I need to factor in sleep. Sleep is absolutely critical for me to not feel like my anxiety is drowning me (which at times it still is…) so at least a few mornings a week I have to choose sleep over getting up early for a workout. And for now, that’s okay. I’m not getting any younger so sleep in general is just an important thing to make sure I’m getting!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to in a nutshell. I am hoping to write here a few times a week (I know I know, I’ve said that a million times!) but my attitude I’ve basically had to adopt since dealing with anxiety is what happens, happens. 

What have you been up?! Fill me in on your lives! ❤

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Where to even begin? The last 4+ months have been living hell for me and I sort of don’t want to go down memory lane explaining how awful it’s been. But here we go- a quick recap of this shit so I can get into the positive stuff! 

Anxiety is not just being anxious about something. Everyone experiences anxiety almost daily- if it weren’t present, we’d have no reason to hussle getting to work on time, or to go to the gym, or take care of our families. Anxiety fuels us to do things. It can sometimes come at times that are not needed though and out of nowhere.  In fact, my life was going utterly perfect when this hit me. Ultimately through my 2 therapists (one in-person and one through TalkSpace which is an amazing service) and my pyschiatrist, we have concluded 2 things- I have bipolar depression (so was not expecting this) and the ‘mania’ I experience is crippling anxiety in a very high state, and that the culmination of everything that happened to me the last 3 years family-wise, personal life-wise and job-wise that I tried to bury and not deal with exploded out of me. Basically out of nowhere, but could have been triggered through the high levels of anxiety I had during the flights to and from Mexico and all the stress from teaching so many spin classes daily. When I heard the diagnosis, I cried so hard. I felt completely hopeless and terrified. I have been blessed with a very caring pyschiatrist who doesn’t care what it takes to get you feeling better, he will do it and help you. He saw me at the bottom of my depression a little over 2 years ago, helped me get to the amazing place I was in last year, and was very shocked when I took a nosedive in November. It took us over 4 months to get to this diagnosis, and we did it together. I discontinued the medicine I used for 2+ years and started a new one 2 weeks ago and there’s been a big difference. I won’t lie and say things are anywhere near awesome and that I am scared every day of things going south again, but somehow I dug myself out of the hole I’ve been trapped in and started living again. I gave up teaching Spin in early February and it was heart breaking to say the least. I’m not sure how I kept teaching during the highest states of my anxiety- pure will power I guess. It was making me feel worse so I finally had to stop. As my best friend Brenda reminded me 1000 times, teaching Spin will always be there- for now, it’s time to take care of myself and just keep working my full-time job where my bosses were nothing but supportive and helpful through this. It’s been 4 months of pure hell and terror and I would never have made it through if it weren’t for my wonderful John. Every single night he has let me do whatever I needed to survive- usually just crying myself to sleep- but he pushed me to go running a few times, helped me make food when I could barely get out of bed, texted me hourly to make sure I knew how much he loves me, and his undying support and letting me know that I would indeed get through this and he would be by my side. I have no way to ever repay him, but he is truly the best person in my life. 
So, I only really have to catch you up on the last 2 weeks of my life where I have actually been LIVING again! One of the best things I’ve done for myself was sign up for a 10 week challenge through the most amazing cycling studio in NY- CYC Fitness. I have been basically doing nothing since mid-February exercise-wise so it was time to get back in it. Brenda is obsessed with CYC and I tried a class out last July 4th and it kicked my ass even while I was in great shape! It’s just SO much fun for 45 minutes and includes 4-5 songs where the resistance is up almost all the way and you use 1-2 lb sandbags for a few arm routines. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Like I said, even last year when I was in great shape the arm portion killed me. I am not stupid enough to think 2 lb weights will tone my arms up since I have fat to lose on them since I was basically sedentary for a few months, but let’s just say I am REAL sore after class in the triceps! The challenge includes 40 classes (4 classes/week) that you complete by May 31st, and the package also included a bottle of VitaFusion gummy vitamins, and 10 blowouts courtesy of Glam and Go which is a blowout station INSIDE the locker room. How freaking genius right? I took my 4 classes last Wednesday morning, Thursday night, Friday morning and Sunday morning with Brenda for my birthday!
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Blow out #1! LOVED it!
I am super excited for week 2 of the CYC 10-week challenge and to also be teaching for the first time in almost 2 months this week! I’ll continue my birthday post tomorrow and hopefully actually write a few times a week now!
I’ve missed you guys so much. Who out there is still reading?! 🙂

Happy (yes, HAPPY.) 2015.

Even though I am currently still in the throes of terrible anxiety, I am not giving up hope that 2015 will be great. I actually can’t really think of the future too much right now because I have to take things hour by hour and don’t have the energy to think of the future, but my big thing for this year is learning to accept myself. I never thought I’d be able to accept my body and over the last year I did, whether I’m right where I want to be or 10 pounds heavier, I learned to love and accept my body and stop trashing it. Why can’t I learn to accept that with my anxiety issues, I need to slow down and be okay with it? A jam-packed schedule is not something I can handle right now. Maybe one day I can do it again, but for my mental health right now I most certainly can not. I wish I could go back to being the girl who could work 45 hours a week plus teach 15 spin classes, but I can’t. Turns out- that girl was running from some deep-seeded issues that decided to explode out of me 6.5 weeks ago, out of nowhere. Anxiety has a way of coming out of (what we think is) nowhere and leaves us having to piece the puzzle back together. 2014 was SO AMAZING for me and I think it was too hard for me to accept that I deserved all of that happiness. Something inside me sabotaged it subconsciously and now I am left trying to figure out what to do. This isn’t just attacks I’m experiencing, it’s 24 hours a day of anxiety. Just chillin’. I’ve become a huge hypochondriac (anyone else out there feel me?) and every part of my day is a challenge. Teaching Spin has gone from my biggest passion in life, to my biggest fear. Intense workouts makes my anxiety worse, and even teaching off the bike gets my adrenaline going when it’s already high. I’ve cut way back on my classes and while it sucks for not just me and my wallet, I know my clients miss me but I also know they would want me to take care of myself. And right now and for however long I need to, that is what I am doing. I am trying to keep 3-5 classes a week (ha, kind of sad that I consider that cutting back! Hindsight…) as long as I can. Running helps me the slightest bit, but they have been few and far between as usually all I can muster up is sleeping. While my faith of this getting better has definitely been tested, reading this post today made me cry and reevaluate. By nature I am a bit of a negative person when it comes to myself, and I know that I need to change this to see progress. It is SO not easy to do, but all you can do is try. I need to learn how to live more fearlessly which seems incredibly hard for me right now. Positivity is the name of 2015!

 

What do you envision for 2015?

I miss you.

I hate to say “I’m back” because I think I’ve proven that I am a bit unreliable these days when it comes to blogging… but for today, I am here. I am saying hello. And I am trying to pick up where I left off and continue right here, instead of just doing a big massive recap of the last few months. I will have to include some Mexico pictures and highlights because it was the best trip of my life but things the last few weeks have been really rough for me and I’m hoping bringing back writing will help me cope a little more. As I’ve opened up about before, I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life and it has been pretty tame over the last 2 years since I started taking a low dose of medicine and therapy. Especially in the last 6+ months since I started my new job, I have been the happiest I’ve been in years. So confident and just feeling amazing. For some reason about a week after I got back from Mexico, I got hit with a bout of anxiety from nowhere that has not really subsided. It was so bad 2 weeks ago that I had to get an ultrasound of my heart because my blood pressure was so high. It’s been so scary and just putting it out there that our minds can really screw us up pretty badly. Long story short and after 2 emergency sessions with my psychiatrist, we decided to stop taking the medicine I was on (lowest dose of Wellbutrin) and let my body get used to not being on anything. My body is VERY sensitive to things, like I feel the effects of everything not just medicine almost instantly, so within a few days my anxiety started to get better. I am feeling a little down but that is to be expected after coming off an anti-depressant, and it’s NOTHING compared to how depressed I was when I originally went on the medicine 2 years ago. This is just more worry that I will never feel normal again because that’s my biggest fear. I basically have “denationalization disorder” from extreme anxiety so for 3+ weeks now I have felt totally disconnected from my mind and body. Meaning I have to really pinch myself or touch my face to even remember that I am existing, and sometimes the act of doing that freaks me out. It basically must be what a really bad trip on acid is like? But I can assure you I’ve done no drugs. So my course of action for the next 5-6 weeks is no medicine, starting therapy again, and trying to really get myself to yoga or start a practice at home. I am not against going on another low dose of an antidepressant but I’m really not depressed, just full of extreme anxiety for reasons I am not sure of. The worst part is that it’s effected my spin classes; for some reason exercise has made this worse, so I’ve had to cut back on a lot of my classes because I feel horrible and anxious the whole time and it’s incredibly distracting. It’s also made me develop some social anxiety, so the thought of being in public and riding the subway every day has been SO challenging for me. Here’s hoping answers are coming soon.

If you have any tips or want to share your story of dealing with anxiety, I’d love to hear them! 

Honesty & Depression

So besides the fact that it’s Holiday season and I work in major NYC retail which is one of the main reasons I have been M.I.A from the blog scene, there is something I have been toying with sharing with you all. I am an honest and open person, so I decided I would share what I felt I could. I also felt that in light of the tragedy that happened to those poor children in Connecticut, light should be shed on mental health illnesses. There seems to be a major stigma with them, some sort of fear or brushing them under the rug because they are so hard to pin point and sometimes hard to believe someone could be dealing with. But I don’t to be another person hush-hushing what so many of us out there deal with on a daily basis. I can only hope that this post will help someone else out there seek the help that they deserve.

For most of my life and especially teenage-adult life, I have suffered from varying degrees of depression and anxiety. As far back as middle school, I remember feeling “off” and feelings of sadness and unworthiness that I couldn’t shake. I never went to an actual therapist but I would talk to my primary care doctor and she never seemed worried, just kind of brushed it off as being a teenager going through changes. I always had a great group of friends, a close family and nothing really to complain about. My weight always bothered me especially going into high school  and finally when I was 17 and felt my depression was out of my control my doctor prescribed me an anti-depressant at a very low dose. Within a week, I felt a lot better but not completely different, which I thought was a good thing. I had been afraid of going on any medicine for fear that it would make me a different person, but this just eased my anxiety and gave me a lot of energy which I had been lacking. After a few short months on it, I didn’t think I needed it any longer and since it was such a low dose I didn’t need to get off of it slowly. I was just able to stop taking it.

Throughout the years after high school, I put on more and more weight and dealt with practically crippling anxiety for a few months in the spring of 2009, right before I gained control and lost weight. I was dealing with tons of mixed emotions all through my weight loss, and even once I got (below) my goal weight, a whole new set of problems appeared. I became obsessed with controlling my calorie intake and obsessively exercising, and only felt worthy if I went to bed eating far too little food. Of course this led to months of binging, into 2012 where I dealt with my greatest loss of all- the death of my grandma this past February. Ever since that day, it has been a struggle for me to even get out of bed most days. I can’t get into detail regarding other areas of my life, but this year has felt like my entire world as I knew it was shattered into a million pieces. Granted, amazing things have happened to me this year but I have gone through the motions and never felt how I should all year. I have tried time and time again to pick myself up, start over, “get back on track” and I feel like I have such little control of my emotions that I snap constantly. I go to bed optimistic that the next day will be better, but wake up and have no hope before I even get out of bed. This has led me to get sick more times in the last 3 months that I’ve been in the last 3 years. My body is essentially shutting down and I finally accepted that I need to reach out for help for myself. This was by far one of the hardest things for me to ever do. After losing 110 pounds, I should be able to do anything for myself, right? Apparently I was wrong.

I have been going to a therapist a few times for the last few weeks and she confirmed my other greatest fear. I simply cannot control everything the way I want to, and she is sure that I am suffering from a chemical imbalance/mood disorder that can only be corrected with medicine. One thing she said to me that really hit me hard is that I don’t have to live and feel like this. There are solutions. A low dose of an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medicine can simply take away the bad and leave the good. The one I tried when I was 17 proved to help but I didn’t need it the way I need it now. I would never judge anyone at any age who is taking an anti-depressant, but for some reason I felt so ashamed admitting that I need help.

I truly try to come off as someone who is happy and at least approachable, and I don’t like to project my mood or feelings on others as to ruin their mood. I am lucky to have some of the best people ever in my life who never make me feel like a burden. However at some point your friends, as amazing as they are, can only offer so much advice before the next step has to be taken. I have never felt any feelings of harming myself or others, just a disclaimer, but that isn’t the point anyone should get to before they seek help. We are supposed to feel happy and fulfilled and everyone has the right to that. A chemical imbalance is not something any of us can help if we suffer with it. Relating to health and fitness, I think this is the main reason I have been unable to get my stress eating under control this year. These 15 pounds that bother me every day and I want so badly to lose, I can’t muster up the motivation to get there because I am buried with anxiety. Almost every minute of my day is a struggle the last few months and I know that is not the way I should feel!

Mental illnesses need to be taken more seriously and need to have the shame erased from it. I am happy I have taken the (scary) approach to seek help for myself. I hope that this will inspire someone who is afraid to do the same. You are worth it!

Anxiety :-(

Last night after my awesome day off, which ended with the most intense spin class to date and brought my cardio total for the day to over 2 hours (!), I went home to chow down. A plate of veggies with a little hummus and guacamole, and an ahi tuna fillet with butternut squash and edamame. It was SUCH a good combo!

I didn’t finish the plate of veggies but a little while later I had a piece of sprouted bread with Better’n PB and a banana. I was happy that it was in no means a binge; I felt genuinely hungry for carbs seeing as how I burnt over 1000 calories with my workouts for the day! 🙂

Unfortunately, 2:30 AM rolled around and I was still wide awake. I hadn’t fallen asleep yet, which is very unusual for me (I generally fall asleep before 11) and especially unusual after a 2 hour cardio day! I started to have really bad anxiety and it reminded me of how bad I used to get it every night almost 3 years ago. Luckily now I know to take deep breaths and talk myself out of an attack! For the next 3 hours, I tossed and turned with less than 20 minutes of sleep. I had to be up at 5:45 for work, which is when I finally fell asleep 😦 So one hour of sleep later and a head of dirty hair (today was supposed to be wash day), I took a 5 minute shower, grabbed my coffee and headed to work. The worst part? Today was an 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM work day. I felt hungover but missing the part of the fun, crazy night that caused it.

With no time to make breakfast, I had to hope that our meeting would have something healthy to eat. Luckily, they did! I had a whole wheat wrap with eggs, cheese and deli turkey. It was delicious, along with some kiwi and grapes. It held me over til noon when I was ready to eat my arm off. Lacking sleep = makes you hungry and in desperate need of carbs for an energy boost. I had the world’s smallest cup of plain granola and milk- it didn’t even fill up 1/4 of the paper cup! I also had to eat it with a fork?

I didn’t want anything big cause I had a lunch date with John and knew I wanted needed pizza. No sleep and an 11 hour work day = do the best you can. Pizza is the best you can do 🙂

This is the face John got to dine with:

I am the biggest, pouty, grumpiest baby on the planet when I am tired. But, a few small slices, a diet coke, and laughs later, I felt a little better!

(still tired and still had dirty hair) John also brought me an americano in hopes I could make it the last 4 hours of work. He is cute and knows what I need to try not to kill anyone.

Despite my exhaustion, I knew a little walk and a tanning session would end my day on a good note. I walked over a mile to my new tanning salon (review to come!) to get in a quick vitamin D bronze boost. So relaxing, so needed. I may be tired and still trying to lose 15 pounds, but at least I will be tan again which makes you look at least 5 pounds smaller 🙂

A co-worker told me today I look like I am losing weight but that I don’t need to! Best compliment ever. I haven’t heard that in awhile, and it was a big motivating boost!

That pizza at lunch totally held me over all day, and at 8:30 I realized I wasn’t hungry still! Since I was only at 1300 calories for the day and I want to workout tomorrow morning, I made a wheat bran protein pancake. In the mix:

1/2 cup wheat bran
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 scoop protein powder
3 egg whites
Splash of milk
Cinnamon

Mix together and cook like a pancake. This made two little fluffy ones and I topped them with blueberries, PB and sugar free syrup. Yum!

I do not believe in skipping meals especially if you are low on calories for the day. That road I went down for a year and do not want to go down again, even though I know I’d lose these few pounds faster. Not worth the misery!

Climbing into bed now THANK GOD! Goodnight!