Is it just me or did this summer literally fly by in the blink of an eye? July was spent basically doing nothing but working and moving into our new apartment and then August was a lot more relaxing and fun. I made it to the beach 3 times in August which was great and I have a new fav beach to go to around this area. We went out to Spring Lake, NJ which is an adorable town about an hour and a half drive from NYC. First, let me back track to the beginning of August so I can wrap up my summer.
One of my good friends from my Chanel days, Sharde, opened up a nail salon in the Bronx and I could not be more proud of her! It’s called Saint Glam and if you are in the NYC area, please take the 6 train 1 stop into the Bronx and check it out! The salon is fabulous and so are the nail artists!
Beach trips with these lovely ladies (+John) that were unfortunately a little chilly but still fun, and obviously ice cream trips at the beach are mandatory.
We only had 1 wedding this summer (#blessed) which was my cousin Lisa’s and it was beautiful and on such a beautiful Friday evening up in Binghamton! It was our first wedding together being married and we kept saying how happy we were that our wedding and planning for it is over LOL My cousin was so happy it was finally the day of and almost over too- weddings are lovely but so much work.
The Friday of labor day weekend I headed to Atlantic City with Andrea, her sister Ally and our friend Patty. We stayed at The Borgata and it was my first time in AC (romantically known here as Atlantic Shitty) and it was exactly how I envisioned it. So fun but so trashy. We had an AMAZING dinner though at Angeline followed by a fun 90’s cover band (which made me feel 102 years old) and a bedtime of midnight. Nothing better than a girl’s weekend away!
I had a gnarly hangover all of Saturday and most of Sunday haha Finally had some life back in me on Labor Day so I took John to our favorite brunch spot (specifically favorite french toast brunch spot) Le Grainne Cafe to thank him for all his hard work painting our living room the last few weeks!
Then we headed out to NJ for the day for one last pool day with the Golden’s (our 2nd fam!). No one was happy that summer is ending.
We went back to their house for a delicious BBQ and drinks and had such a great time as always. So happy they are in our life! ❤
This past weekend I taught my Saturday morning classes at Push Pedal and then subbed my favorite class to sub at Harlem Cycle, Striver’s Row, right after. It’s a 30 min cycle/ 30 min strength class that we offer and it’s SO fun to teach! I grabbed coffee with my co-worker after class, ate a bagel sandwich at home with John and then headed back to Push Pedal to hang out for our charity ride. We had a ride for Hurricane Harvey and it was sold out! Such a great turn out with some of Washington Height’s businesses supporting us with food and drinks!
The rest of Saturday we unpacked and cleaned which feels NEVER ENDING. John finished painting our living room but we still need to organize and decorate. Here is a glimpse!
Sunday I subbed a 10 AM class at Harlem Cycle (45 min cycle/15 min core- so fun) and then John and I headed out for a day of eating and walking around. It’s our favorite thing to do here and we haven’t had a day to do it in MONTHS which is insane.
And now back to the grind today! I had to work super early this morning so no class today and it is a very welcomed rest day. I don’t plan rest days since I teach and often sub last minute so it always feels SO good to me these days to not have to move my body intensely for at least 24 hours 🙂
Well now that 2017 is nearly over, I thought it would be a good idea to make a blogging come back. Better late than never, right? I don’t even know how it’s possible that it is SEPTEMBER but here we are.
2017 has been so weird. Like, to say the least. It’s been awesome, hard, scary, exciting, and I have grown a lot. As usual, I’m gonna play a quick game of catch up here and then *try* to blog here and there. I think blogging has kind of taken a back seat to Instagram/social media in general but I do still enjoy reading a few when I get a chance to (i.e. never).
Like I said, 2017 has been weird. I’ll assume you know what I mean for the MOST part. January was a time for standing up for our rights. Not just for women.
February/March was cold weather training for the NYC Half Marathon with Andrea and Patty. It was so fun to meet up every weekend either in NJ or NY and then usually get brunch after! We had some COLD ones!
The NYC half was in late March and it was my first half in 3 years! I only really trained with the long runs once a week since I still teach so much spin and we finished feeling pretty rough, but it was a super cold day and so windy. This race is not worth $130 if you live in NYC- if you are from out of town, I’d say it’s probably worth it.
John and I went to Miami for our birthdays in early April and had an amazing long weekend! I am obsessed with Miami. The hot weather, the beautiful ocean, and the food is incredible. It’s a perfect getaway from NY (2.5 hour flight).
Andrea, Brenda and I ran the Binghamton Half Marathon in May and it was TERRIBLE! It was freezing and none of us were feeling it. We finished, but it wasn’t pretty.
End of May we left for our first Europe trip to PARIS! We found an amazing deal back in February to fly on IcelandAir so we took advantage.
Paris was absolutely the highlight of this year. It was more than I ever imagined it to be!
I am still teaching for New York Sports Club and Harlem Cycle, and I also began teaching at a studio 1 block away from me called Push Pedal! It’s the only cycling studio in Washington Heights and it’s been so fun (and convenient) to help start another studio from the ground up!
The other highlight of this year is that John and I moved into our very own NYC apartment! We have lived in 1 room of a 2 bedroom apartment with the same roommate for 6.5 years. It was awesome and saved us all a lot of money but it was definitely time for us to branch out on our own! We moved in July 1st and it’s been crazy! We moved just 1 block away from where we had lived but the space is big and needed to be painted, and with the limited amount of time we have at home, we still are not done. We should be done in the next few weeks and then our housewarming party is the 30th! We did have a little floor picnic with friends last month because we were dying to host 🙂
That pretty much sums up most of 2017 so far for me: travel, moving, food, lots of spin and some running.
Happy Thanksgiving-week guys! Hopefully today is more like your Wednesday if you have Thursday and Friday off. Sometimes short weeks can feel longer than normal weeks but let’s keep trucking! Recap of last week…
Taught 3 classes (6:45 AM, 5:45 PM and 6:45 PM). I am not on the bike the whole time for any of my classes anymore and my body has benefited so much. Would you ever take 3 spin classes in a day? I don’t know anyone who would, so why would an instructor do it? I feel a lot stronger teaching off the bike these days which took years! However 3 in a day is still a lot since I still have over 8 hours of work sandwiched between them.
Taught another unexpected triple! I taught my normal 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM but helped out last minute for the 6:00 PM too. I had wanted to get in a treadmill run before my PM class but couldn’t when I picked up the 6 PM.
Taught my 6:30 AM class at Harlem Cycle and it was a great crowd! I subbed out my 6:00 PM class and was going to go to bootcamp and get my own workout in but was absolutely exhausted after 7 classes in 3 days. I went home and relaxed in bed which was so necessary.
Taught my 6:30 AM class and rode for most of it to get my workout in. John and I had dinner plans with our roommate after work so it was my only chance to sweat. We have lived with our roommate for almost 6 years (it isn’t unusual in NYC to have a roomie when you are in a couple, hello most expensive rent ever) but we don’t get to hang out often because of our schedules. She wasn’t able to come to our wedding because she was out of the country for work so she treated to us a delicious Italian dinner at a place in our ‘hood I had never been to called Saggio. A little gem way uptown! We had the best calamari ever to start.
Then I had the squid ink linguine with grilled calamari (obsessed with it) in a spicy tomato sauce.
And had a totally unnecessary piece of tiramisu to cap it off.
Sorry for horrible pics, it was very dark inside and too small to blind people with the flash!
Taught my 6:30 AM class at Harlem Cycle (#FriYaY) and subbed a 6:15 PM class. My legs were pretty much not working at this point as this was class #9 and #10 for the week. John and I went to a new pizza place after class that replaced our beloved Patsy’s a few months ago. Since I started eating more paleo-ish before my wedding, my craving for pizza has gone down soooo much. If you know me, you know that you never saw that day coming. I can’t eat an entire (cheese-less) pizza to myself anymore! It’s in the same exact spot but under new ownership and a new name- Zia Maria. Happy to report it was AMAZING! Didn’t get a pic but it was absolutely delicious. So happy to have a replacement pizza joint back in our lives.
Sweet, sweet REST! I had to work all day and I treated myself to a mani/pedi after. Then I headed to a Friendsgiving! A girl that I love that comes to my classes invited me to her place for a feast and it was great. Always fun to meet new people! John made me green bean casserole to take with me since I was at work all day. He is the best wife husband 🙂
Brenda met me for a 2 mile run/walk and then took my spin class I was subbing at 10 AM. The run was horrible- it was the first absolutely freezing day of the year (colder than the 10K I ran last weekend) and the wind was insane. I wanted to get 4-5 miles in to keep this distance shape I sort of built but oh well! We had brunch after class and then I went home and stayed on the couch for a solid 7 hours with John watching movies and staying away from winter. After 28 winters you would think I would be used to it…
Here’s my workout plan for this week which includes traveling!
Today- Taught spin and heading to Barry’s Bootcamp tonight after finishing some work (have my usual class covered tonight)
Tuesday- teaching 3 classes, trying to get a 2-3 mile run in before my AM class
Wednesday- teaching spin and a 2-3 mile run
Thursday- 5 mile turkey trot! And a long walk after dinner is always essential
Where to begin with my wedding post?! I truly cannot believe it has been almost 3 weeks. It actually makes me incredibly sad and I keep randomly crying at it all being over… yet the weeks leading up to it I kept breaking down in tears at how I wanted it to be over! It was honestly the most amazing few days before, during and after. I feel so lucky that everything went perfect and most importantly the people who helped us were so amazing. We are SO lucky.
John and I went upstate the Wednesday before the wedding to start decorating and tying any loose ends together. My mom came in the same day and we were able to go up to the venue and make sure tables were set up correctly and take an inventory on what else we needed to buy. I had been buying things and having them sent to my brothers’ house for months so we didn’t need much. Our wedding was very low budget but came together SO perfectly because we kept it simple but stylish.
Thursday we did the bulk of the setup, once my step-dad and step-sister Amanda made it into town and had our centerpieces. We went with a very simple and affordable centerpiece: 3 rose gold spray painted mason jars filled with baby’s breath (the plan was fake ones but we ended up not being able to find much so we got fresh too). The table numbers were from Etsy and the holders also. The holders are HERE and so cute! The menu’s were designed by my brother’s girlfriend Keggen who I adore and printed by a long time friend at her printing business! Even though we had a buffet style reception, the menu’s really spruced up the tables and acted as a favor as well. Here is a close up of the menu.
We had a cute little candy bar set up as favors. I am not a very creative person but I feel pretty proud of this table. The different size plastic containers and candies are all from Party City, the ceramic letters and light up anchor from Target and the little baggies from Etsy! It was a cute and inexpensive way to do favors since hardly anyone actually keeps wedding favors!
We also hung tissue paper pom-pom things (here) in blue and white above the dance floor which you can kind of see in this picture. The huge balloons were inspired by a friend’s wedding earlier this year and were just used for our pictures, they weren’t actually on the dance floor for the reception.
Chalk board sign 🙂
The morning of the wedding, John, my brother, Keggen, my mom, step-dad and I went to Party City super early to blow up the big balloons and while we were there I got sucked into buying the cutest bride and groom balloons ever, and a huge champagne balloons. I wish I could describe to you how happy they made me.
We tied the champagne bottle to the bar in the reception and the bride and groom to the sign of our venue.SO CUTE.
Thursday night John and I checked into our hotel (the DoubleTree in Binghamton which is REALLY nice for the area) and they have an amazing gym! Friday morning I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and did some upper body with Brenda. We went and got our nails done with Amanda, and I ran around town like a crazy person. Finally, it was time for rehearsal with everyone! We had such a good time at rehearsal that I didn’t even want that night to end! Amanda took beautiful pictures for us out on the golf course. My squad wore chambray shirts and against the scenery it looked SO cute.
The morning of the wedding I woke up so excited and strangely calm (I am a super anxious person every other day of my life). I woke up around 6 and headed to the gym to find it didn’t open until 7. I was kind of bummed but I also felt the thinnest I had been in years and my dress was already a bit too big, so I didn’t stress it. After the trip to Party City and to the venue to make sure everything was set to go, I headed to my hair appointment! I get my hair done in Binghamton every few months at Salon TREND by Sherette Parker who is a hair genius. We had an idea for my hair that she executed so perfectly!I had some extensions in that I got to keep (if only I could figure out how to use them on my own!) and I could not believe it turned out so insanely perfect. I have never had an up-do done before so I was worried my hair wouldn’t cooperate, but she outdid herself!
Next up, I headed back to the hotel where John had migrated to his best mans’ room to get ready and all my girls and guys came to our room to watch me get ready. Andrea‘s sister Ally had everything set up for me when I got back to get right to work on my makeup! Champagne and music was flowing and we had a blast. Ally is AMAZING and I could not have been happier with my makeup. I am not a big makeup wearer and so I didn’t want anything drastically different than I normally look like, and she pulled it off 100% If you are interested in makeup, her blog is awesome and she wrote about what she used for me HERE. LOVED it! She is amazing!
First look with Amanda and my mom!So obsessed with my bridal look. My dress was from BHLDN and it was by the designer Vatana Watter’s. It was light, a champagne color and just my style. I added the belt, also from BHLDN, and the necklace is Kate Spade. I am all about the accessories so I was happy to find a dress that was simple and let me play up the necklace!
The ceremony was amazing. There are obviously too many pictures to share all of them, but I will share the highlights. My brother Drew got officiated to marry us and it was the best decision we ever made. He is HILARIOUS and the 3 of us have an awesome friendship. It was 100% authentic- meaning there was some inappropriate humor in there- and everyone was either crying or laughing through the whole thing. We wrote our own vows and kept them short but again, authentic and awesome. I am laughing in basically every picture!
My amazing brother:
The most perfect day I could have ever imagined.
I want to give some shout outs to the local vendors (upstate NY) who made our day happen and made it happen in an extraordinary fashion. Our venue was Ford Hill Country Club in Whitney Point, NY and our coordinator was Mike Head who was absolutely phenomenal from start to finish. I cannot recommend this as a venue enough. The food was amazing, the space is a perfect size for 100-130 person wedding, the scenery is gorgeous and the price is so affordable. I am actually sad that we have no reason to go there or be in contact with Mike anymore! It was such a wonderful experience.
Our wedding photographer was Danielle of Saraceno Galleries in Binghamton, NY. She was so accommodating and straight forward- we were not able to afford an expensive package for photography and her packages are totally geared towards that- no crazy extras that you really don’t need. She is so down to earth and funny and was a blast to work with!
Our DJ was a friend of my mom and step dads up in Rochester, Michael Fox. He doesn’t have a website but if any of my upstate friends need contact info if you need a DJ, let me know! He didn’t complain about my crazy emails with crazy details about music and we had so much fun on the dance floor! He was even brave enough to read the dirty questions my friends asked during the Newlywed game… more on that another time. 😉
And last but not least.. my wonderful mom and step-sister Amanda made all of the bouquets and boutineers and arrangements for the center pieces! My bouquet was AMAZING and I don’t have a close up of it right now but you can kind of see it in the pictures. Also, right before I walked down the aisle, my amazing Aunt Judy ran up to me and handed me a folded picture while whispering “DON’T CRY DON’T CRY”- it was a picture of my grandma on her wedding day. I, obviously, cried! It was one of the top memories I will have forever of my wedding day. So so special ❤
Next up- our honeymoon in Los Angeles and Las Vegas!
If you are married- what is your favorite memory of your day? Did everything go perfectly or were there some disasters?
Do you remember me?? Can we talk about how it’s been 11 months since I blogged and it FLEW by?! So much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same since we last spoke. It is my great hope that I can manage to find a little time a few times a week to write in this beautiful creation I gave birth to 5 years ago. This blog should be in Kindergarten! I can’t catch you up on 11 months of stuff (I mean, I could– you know I could if you have been reading long enough) but I will try to give you the shortened version and then try to just pick up where we left off.
I will share 1-2 highlights for each month of 2016!
John and I celebrated 10 years together on January 15th!
I fell in love with Barry’s Bootcamp in February. It helped me lost 16 pounds for my wedding and get into amazing shape. I took anywhere between 1-3 classes per week (some weeks none depending on schedule) and started to really clean up my diet the last 2 months before my wedding. The hype is real! (No pics from when I first started, boo!)
March: Had a few awesome highlights! First- I participated in Cycle for Survival with Andrea and a few other awesome gals! It was so emotional and inspiring. One of the best things I have ever done and we raised just above our goal!
Second- I was interviewed for the Dr. Oz website to demonstrate how to properly set up an indoor cycling bike! I have been with New York Sports Club for over a year now and I LOVE it.
And 3rd- I turned 28 and had my birthday party at Sky Zone, a trampoline park 🙂 28 going on 8. NOT ashamed- it was SO. MUCH. FUN.
In April I joined an awesome team at a brand new cycling studio- Harlem Cycle. Our team has changed since the first group picture, but this is my head shot from the website. We are Harlem’s first boutique cycling studio and we ROCK! I love my team and the atmosphere is fabulous. I teach on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:30 AM!
I also got Schwinn indoor cycling certified at the end of April with Andrea! It completely changed the way I teach my classes and I am SO HAPPY we got it!
May was not that eventful apparently- I am scrolling through the pics on my phone looking for content! I will share this picture of Ruby falling asleep on me for the first time and melting my heart while babysitting her in May. If you are a new reader, Ruby is my God daughter and my best friends daughter!
June: 10 year high school reunion!
July: MIAMI with Brenda!
We went for a little pre-bach getaway for the two of us and ended up going to an awesome fitness event. We did a beach bootcamp thrown by Barry’s (!) and then an aqua cycling class!
Relaxed at The Standard pool- heaven.
And of course- found the food.
August: Bridal shower & Bach party! Both absolutely amazing and memories I will cherish forever!
September– lots of prep for the wedding but we took a night off to see 2 of our favorite comedians perform their first Broadway show of Oh, Hello. It was HILARIOUS!
I also had an awesome makeup trial done in September by Andrea’s extremely talented sister Ally. Her website is here and I can’t wait to show you pictures of my actual wedding day. My makeup was exactly what I wanted!
I will do a whole post about our wedding this week! It feels great to be back in the blog world!
FILL ME IN ON YOUR YEAR. What have the highlights been for you?
Hey hey! Wow, look at me posting twice in a week’s time! 🙂 I loved the comments from some of you guys who have been reading for a long time and it made me feel more connected again. I’ve had a few friendships blossom from the blog and it’s really special. Thanks for still reading!
Backing up to last week and last weekend, my best friend Brenda taught her first spin class so of course I had to be there! She came to my first one almost 2 years ago and the experience of taking your friends fitness classes are just so fun. Or maybe we are just huge fitness dorks. Our friend Mandy came too and we screamed our heads off the whole class. We ran into our friend Dante there too and it’s because the gym is our love language. Friends who sweat together, stay together right?
I even made it to a BODYPUMP class last Friday morning! I know you probably don’t believe me because it’s been like a year since I strength trained but I took a picture for proof.
I used crazy light weights on the bar for all of class and I was still sore for about 4 days after. Trying to go 1-2 times a week from here on out!
The Pope was here last week but no, I did not see him. I don’t love crowds and figured my chances of seeing him were slim. Turns out, basically anyone who was near 5th Avenue got to see him! I should have went. I’m not super religious but I do believe, and this Pope seems like such a good person. My grandma would have loved him.
Last Saturday, after I worked all day, we met up with Brenda and her husband and Ruby for Brenda’s birthday. Funny how our idea of fun for a birthday is now a maximum of 3 hours of socializing and bed by 9 PM. We hung out at Central Park and let Ruby experience all that is ‘nature’ in New York City (aka not much).
Followed by delicious thai food and a mango cake that we had to keep Ruby’s hands out of. Poor thing is teething and she devours her hands or really anyone’s hands the first chance she gets.
Sunday morning I taught 2 killer spin classes at Simply Cycle Astoria. We thought it would be funny to take a picture and show the world that I killed them during class. It got dramatic.
And lastly, I need to tell you guys about a super cool monthly ‘box’ that I finally fell in love with. Honestly, I’m approached by a lot of companies about putting their products on the blog and that’s why you rarely see any from me. I only will write about what I have interest in, and if you know me then you know fashion is a huge part of my life. Rocksbox is an awesome monthly box that costs $19 per month and you receive 3 amazing pieces that are selected by a stylist based off your profile that you fill out. You can make a wish list and at least one of the items from your wishlist will be in your monthly box! You can keep the items as long as you want, ship them back to receive new items, or buy the items at a discounted price. Pretty sweet options if you ask me.
Honestly, I forgot to take a picture of the 3rd item that came in the box because I wasn’t impressed with it at all. Which is fine, because the other 2 items were TOTALLY me! Let’s start with this necklace that I haven’t taken off in 2 weeks. I have worn it with everything from a plain nude sweater to plaids and it truly goes with everything.
This is called the ‘Olivia Necklace’ by Perry Street. I am so obsessed. Rocksbox will occasionally slip in some ‘shine spend’ which is a credit towards purchasing the jewelry. I have $10 in my account right now and am still debating between this necklace or the awesome Loren Hope earrings I also received in my box.
Hard choice! I of course want both but I’m trying to be good! 😉
You can get a free month of Rocksbox with my code artificiallybalancedxoxo 🙂 If you love jewelry and are wanting to try new pieces without committing to buying them, or you need a special piece for an upcoming event, I can’t recommend Rocksbox enough. I am sending back the 3rd piece that I didn’t like and either the earrings or the necklace tomorrow to receive my next box! Rocksbox has generously gifted me 3 months of the service to try in exchange for promoting it to you guys! Let me know if you end up using my code and of course if you do, show me what you get! As soon as I receive my next box, I will post what I get.
What’s your favorite type of jewelry- necklace, earrings, bracelets or rings? Mine is a tie between necklaces and amazing rings! However, I have HUGE fingers (I wear between a 9-10 size) so nothing ever fits me haha
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.
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.
The food at the wedding was amazing, and we danced all night long.
I’m having the time of my life being an Auntie to my best friend Brenda’s baby. Completely obsessed with Ruby.
John and I just celebrated 1 year of being engaged this week!
We were upstate visiting family last weekend so to celebrate we went and got pumpkin pancakes because we are basic bitches.
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.
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.
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.
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! ❤
Hey there! It’s been a little while again but I’m still here! The biggest/best thing that has gone on since I wrote last is that my best friend Brenda (ya’ll know her on here by now!) finally had her baby a week ago today!! I got to be there for the whole time she was in labor (about 17-18 hours) and now her gorgeous little babe is here in our world. Of course we made our time at the hospital a blast…
And finally at 9:25 AM, Ruby came into the world!
She is absolutely perfect and I am so excited to start my journey as an Aunt! I also fell even more in love with Brenda watching her become a mommy. One of the most special moments of my entire life!
And on to other stuff…
I don’t want to go on about too much right now but lets just say I’m still dealing with anxiety. I am learning how to manage it/accept it/live with it more than I was. It’s a really hard, AWFUL process but I focus on each hour and just getting through it. I know this won’t last forever but it certainly feels like it is going on forever.
So while I am still on a hiatus from teaching Spin, I have been going to CYC at least 3 times a week and running here and there. Running is SO hard after taking basically all winter off and not being at all consistent. Here’s what my running is looking like right now (in the spirit of keeping it real)
I’m doing some run/walk intervals but nothing set- just running until my lungs feel like they are going to explode (thanks, allergies) and then walking a bit. Getting past 2 miles right now feels sooooo hard. A good friend said the other day to me that training for the first 3 miles is always the hardest when getting back into running and she is so right. Once I can consistantly/easily run 3 miles again, I’ll start training for longer runs. I don’t have a half marathon or any race at all right now planned until October, but I may try for a 5 miler at the end of next month. CYC is so amazing and hands down the best spin classes I’ve ever taken! They are so motivating and SO fun, plus super challenging but I can feel myself getting stronger. If you are in the NYC area, let me know if you want to try a class with me!
This past weekend was an absolute blast. John’s mom came to visit us and we took her to most of our favorite spots- of course you need at least a full week with us for us to take you to alllll of the best spots 😉 Friday night started with Patsy’s pizza and a walk down 8th avenue from 23rd to 14th St to show all the fun gay culture through Chelsea- she loved it!
Saturday morning we headed to brunch at Le Grainne Cafe, our absolute favorite place for french toast and delicious coffee. This is hands down the best french toast in the city.
We strolled through Chelsea Market and Union Sq, then I took a quick class at CYC and met back up with them in Soho at Harney & Son’s tea. From there we walked through Soho to a few other stores, then took the 6 uptown to show her Grand Central. I always forget how magical Grand Central is until I’m seeing it through someone else’s eyes!
It started raining so we cancelled our initial plan of walking from Grand Central to Times Square and just headed to dinner. We had to of course take her to our favorite, 5 Napkin Burger, as we take pretty much everyone who visits us!
Sunday morning we headed to one of our favorite bagel places, Absolute Bagel, on the Upper West Side. This is right near the gigantic cathedral on 110th st that we wanted to see. We’ve been past it a million times but never actually went in until Sunday! It is so huge. Definitely a must see here.
We walked all through Central Park and took the train down to the West Village to get Big Gay Ice Cream…obviously 🙂 We were pretty exhausted so we ended the trip by heading back uptown to Trader Joe’s and last but not least, Shake Shack. If you can’t eat red meat or cheese like me, they have chicken sausage dogs that are incredible!
According to my FitBit we walked about 10-11 miles total for the weekend!
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!
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?! 🙂
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!