End of Summer ’17

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!

sausage stuffed clams
my rigatoni with vodka sauce, brussels sprouts and Patty’s chicken parm
Andrea’s ravioli and Ally had rigi’s too
orange flavored cannolli’s

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.

#CouchGoals at ABC Home

 

Only $12,000. NBD.
Dinosaur BBQ

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 🙂

How was the end of your summer?

Monday.

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…

Monday

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.

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.

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Then I had the squid ink linguine with grilled calamari (obsessed with it) in a spicy tomato sauce.

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And had a totally unnecessary piece of tiramisu to cap it off.

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Sorry for horrible pics, it was very dark inside and too small to blind people with the flash!

Friday

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.

Saturday

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 🙂

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SUNDAY

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

Friday- Trying out my first Orange Theory class up in Rochester!

Saturday- Planning to hit up a spin class and BodyPump class at the YMCA in Rochester! #GuestPass 😉

Sunday- Rest day, maybe a hot yoga class in Binghamton before heading back to the city

What are your workout plans for this busy week?

I’m Back. And Married!

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! 238d630d-1336-48a5-a477-3e832fc43f0d

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!4d65b762-69d7-471f-8d00-f8654a879e7b

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.7fe6970b-4336-4f5e-a206-ee6690ec31fa

THIS is the link for the article!

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.e8987ab7-9505-4741-8e9a-58fbca67c050e25c29a5-a513-40c0-abcb-700065acd391

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!15017fdc-b5bc-4a35-8711-745be25cbcdb

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!fullsizerender

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!e79cab9b-0b59-40ac-99cc-e64eaed34c74

June: 10 year high school reunion!2cb8cf3d-d032-4c5b-a89f-11c2b3cbf144

July: MIAMI with Brenda!b3994aba-21fe-463e-bf55-f4f3ac9286e9

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!fullsizerender-1d1c94219-9e2f-4419-af9a-c05ae215ebbd

Relaxed at The Standard pool- heaven. 1678af52-158b-4670-9bd6-873d04d5166d

And of course- found the food.e6f176b5-2165-4c0a-9002-3f7390dc582c-1

August: Bridal shower & Bach party! Both absolutely amazing and memories I will cherish forever!

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an old spin bike found by my mom :)
an old spin bike found by my mom 🙂
just some of the wedding party!
just some of the wedding party!
always laughing!
always laughing!
bach party drink set up!
bach party drink set up!
SQUAD
SQUAD

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Andrea! <3
Andrea! ❤
so. much. champagne.
so. much. champagne.

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!img_0191img_0192

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!

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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?

Hello. It’s me. With a ton of pictures.

And just like that, another year is coming to an end! It’s been quite a year, lots of bad and lots of good, and a new year is always a nice thing to look forward to! I am hoping to really get back to blogging more regularly and post my spin playlists, food, etc and my journey of getting into tip top shape for my wedding! John and I have moved our wedding date to October 15th and switched our venue (I am the most indecisive person ever) and I am even more excited now! Below are some a ton of pictures to catch up on the last couple of months before this year ends. 

FOOD: (obviously)

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Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!

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Veggie burger at 5 Napkin (a long time favorite) with Andrea!

The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin's wedding!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin’s wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!

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Crazy overpriced avocado toast & latte from the raved-about Bluestone Lane.

The best view ever... diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
The best view ever… diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
mmmmm ceviche!
mmmmm ceviche!
Pina colada shaved ice!
Pina colada shaved ice!
fish tacoooooos
fish tacoooooos
Heaven?
Heaven?
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Vacation breakfast!
Vacation breakfast!
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
LOBSTER tacos!
LOBSTER tacos!
crab benedict...outrageous.
crab benedict…outrageous. From Philip Marie’s
Work Thanksgiving... holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!
Work Thanksgiving… holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!

FASHION: (because when I’m not in gym clothes, I live for it!)

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MEXICO! (John and I went November 3rd-9th, stayed at The Westin Spa & Resort again and had such an amazing time.. got upgraded to a huuuuge suite, too!)

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Our bedroom in our suite!
Our bedroom in our suite!
Living room!
Living room!
Balcony #1
Balcony #1

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My handsome, sweet sweet dude! <3 <3
My handsome, sweet sweet dude!

My sweet baby Ruby: (So she made 2015 the best year ever actually, and if you’re new to the blog she isn’t my actual baby haha)

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Teaching Spin: (For 2 years now!)

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Okay, so 2015 had a LOT of good to it after all! This is my reminder to myself, and to you, to really focus on the positive in all situations. It is a very hard thing to do and I struggle with it daily, but we are always a work in progress.

Merry Christmas to you all, and may 2016 be an amazing year for us all!

Spin, Babies, Rocksbox

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?

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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! ❤

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?! 🙂

Wow. Last week really did me in. Most amount of classes I’ve ever taught in a week- 11. I am still feeling it, as I missed my long run Sunday morning from exhaustion anddd missed it again yesterday morning when I meant to make it up. Ugh. Marathon training is really not even remotely fun for me right now. I haven’t felt even a little excited about it and that makes me sad. But I love teaching a ton, and it’s a source of my income so it is more important than training to run 26.2 miles. Definitely never running a 2nd marathon. I love half’s but this full nonsense is just too time consuming! I NEED SLEEP. (and some strength training would be nice too)

This is how my week broke down.

Sunday July 6th: Taught my 9:00 AM class. Lifted a few weights right before class then walked around all day with heavy ass bags of groceries and other random errands. It was a very active day outside of my normal workout which left me really tired which is actually really sad 🙂 Goes to show you that just because you do 1-3 hours of cardio a day, if you sit at a desk the rest of the time (like me) then some of those benefits are negated.

Monday July 7th: Taught my 6:30 AM class in Brooklyn. Worked all day, then subbed 2 back-to-back classes at 6 and 7 PM. These classes demand high energy because of who I sub for, so I rode about 50 miles or more this day. I also did these exact 3 classes the Monday before and in just a week’s time it’s crazy to feel that I was less tired than the week before. Our bodies adapt so fast! I had this delicious bar right before the 2 classes to fuel up and it tastes like a macaroon. Mmmm.

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Got home, ate avocado toast and my new nightly snack that is sometimes actually dinner because I get home late.

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2% Fage strawberry yogurt, a couple mini chocolate chips and a few animal crackers. There is something so amazing about this yogurt. Please try it if you haven’t. Also please try to un-see how pasty white I am right now.

Tuesday July 8th: Wanted to get in a few miles Tuesday morning but OBVIOUSLY that didn’t happen. I slept in and felt like I was hit by a train. Worked all day then taught my 7:00 PM class. Only day that I only had 1 class. Pinkberry for dinner, yaaaaaaaaaaas.

Wednesday July 9th: Taught my 6:00 AM class which is always beyond rough to get up for, since I don’t get home til around 9 or after on Tuesday nights. Worked all day, then subbed for my girl Nicole at 6:00 PM. This is when my left hip and foot started to hurt during class, so I tried to scale back as much as I could.

Thursday July 10th: My last Thursday subbing the 7:00 AM class and I am really going to miss it! Worked all day, then subbed another 6:00 PM class. I taught in my sneakers instead of my spin shoes for both of these classes and it helped my foot and hip feel a lot better. I learned at the conference in Miami that stress fractures can happen to our feet in spin if the cleats on the spin shoes are too far forward and I think this is the case on mine. The guy actually said something like 80% of people’s cleats are put too far forward! So the sneakers took off some pressure from my toes so I was able to go pretty hard Thursday morning. Thursday night I taught 3 songs off the bike for my first time (it was both awkward and glorious) and welcomed Friday ready to finish my last 2 classes.

Friday July 11th- Taught my 6:30 AM class in Brooklyn. Love my Friday class. We’re so pumped for the weekend and everyone works hard! I was feeling pretty good for having 9 classes under me already. Worked all day, then subbed the 6 PM class that I will be subbing for the rest of summer! I love it and it really helps people get ready for the weekend.

I then had to work overtime Saturday morning where I was a miserably exhausted mess 🙂

My weeks won’t be like that often and at least right now while I need to be running too, my body can’t handle that amount of high-mileage cycling. It’s much different than high-mileage running of course, but it has it’s cons as well. Mainly the fact that I have no real recovery time so I feel too sore and achey to push myself in my classes later in the week. I’m good at faking it on the bike (like any good instructor 😉 ) but the truth is the energy an instructor has while they are also pushing themselves and struggling along with the class is different. I’m still woo-ing, and so encouraging to the classes- off the bike, plus I’m now not afraid to sing along to my songs (i feel bad for my classes haha) but they watch your every move on the bike and it really makes a difference in how hard they work. I’m just not comfortable teaching off the bike (yet? ever? I’m not sure) so I’m figuring out what works for me. If I’m teaching 11 classes in a 5 day span, they can’t all be my own workout too. I HAVE to scale my own intensity back or my burn out is going to happen and it’s my job now to not get burnt out! I do love that this is such a learning process, and I would truly love to be a full time instructor/trainer so I need all the advice I can get from fellow instructors- and those of you who take spin!! Tell me what you love and what bugs you about an instructor!! My #1 thing- I know I used to hate when instructors would come up close to me and touch my resistance knob- hello what if that person has an injury that they didn’t want to announce to the class?!- and I think that motivating and pushing from up front is more effective overall. That’s my opinion, and I’ve asked my classes before if they like that and 99% of them have said they hate when an instructor doesn’t ride with them and when they get all up in their business.

This past Sunday I taught in the morning and then Brenda and I went to the Brooklyn Bridge Park to lay out in the sun. I got REAL burnt like an idiot- it was cloudy and we were too afraid of rain to go out to the beach- but it was nice to just lay out and talk and laugh after a long week! I finished my Sunday with a chicken pita, froyo and bed at 8:30. Gloooorious.

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Total weekly mileage for cycling:

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Why it says 9 and not 11, I do not know.

That’s my last week and a half! How have yours been? 🙂

This is a ramble.

We still have some catching up to do so be prepared, this is looooong!

Basically my life is spent doing nothing but working. Luckily right now I love my jobs, but I don’t love cleaning, laundry or grocery shopping and I had to do all of the above on my 3-day weekend. But the weekend before was no work and ALL play, so lets get to that fun stuff first.

John went out of town for a few days so Brenda and I planned a romantic weekend together since we hardly get to see each other for more than an hour at a time these days. First up: seeing our favorite comedians from the show Broad City! Anyone watch that on Comedy Central? Well it’s hilarious and a very REAL depiction of what life is like in NYC when you’re a broke 20-something. They were performing at FIT along with Bevers from the show and Jason Mantzoukas because he is at literally every comedy show ever. The show was awesome and we were hurting from laughing.

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On the way home I stopped and got myself a cheese-less pizza from Patsy’s to take back to my apartment and eat alone in bed. It was seriously glorious. I love John to death but sometimes you just need a night alone in bed… with pizza. Ya feel me?

 

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I slept in Saturday morning and casually drank coffee and watched TV. I NEVER get relaxing mornings anymore since I’m always teaching, so this was much needed. In the afternoon I headed to meet Brenda at Whole Foods for lunch then we spent the rest of the day walking all over the park. Once we got back to my apartment for a sleepover (yes, were 11) we ordered cheese-less Domino’s (please don’t comment on my pizza addiction) and watched Blue Crush because we will always be wanna-be Surfer Girls.

Sunday morning we lifted a little before my spin class, then headed to my friend’s birthday brunch at Bagatelle. It was Pride weekend so we knew we were in for some fun. It started out innocently enough with rounds of Prosecco, then some appetizers, and the main courses. She had a pre planned menu and we all passed the dishes and ate what we wanted. It was the perfect amount of food because we all really wanted more champagne than food 😉

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Then it got wild. Wild for 2:00 PM.

Superman bringing out champagne to another birthday girl. If this isn’t what your brunch looks like, you’re doing it wrong.

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Gigantic ice cream towers with sparklers. Again, NYC brunch > all other brunches.

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Happy Birthday baybeeeeee
Happy Birthday baybeeeeee

It was so fun and I hadn’t drank since my birthday so it was much needed. Brenda and I went back to my apartment for awhile and I was asleep by 8. Perfect weekend!

Last week my spin schedule was lightened and I was so grateful. I really needed some rest so the holiday weekend was perfect for it. My Thursday and Friday classes were cancelled, so I did a 3 mile run on Thursday then went to a CYC class on Friday morning. CYC is a boutique cycle studio (like SoulCycle except not a cult and less expensive) and Brenda loves it so I’ve wanted to try it for awhile. It gave me a run for my money, that’s fa sho. 45 minutes of crazy-ness including 4 songs where we turned up the resistance almost all the way so we weren’t moving our legs much and used 2-3 lb weights for back-to-back strength training. Sure that weight is nothing but it gets into your tiny little muscles and left me shaking! The founder of CYC, Keoni, was the instructor so it was a blast. He has the best energy and inspired me so much! It was nice to be the student and not instructor for once!

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French toast, coffee and cuddling was next up for my 4th of July.

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I alternated from my bed, my couch, and a lot of cleaning for the rest of the day. It was so nice to be able to catch up on life things that never get done because I’m always working!

Saturday morning was long run time with Andrea! This girl is going to be my saving grace for marathon training. The 3 miles I ran on Thursday were terrible, and while I still felt out of shape on Saturday it went much smoother. 8 gorgeous miles with the birthday girl!

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Followed by my favorite brunch with John at Grey Dog!

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Fried egg, turkey sausage and goat cheese on a croissant with sweet potato fries. YAAAS.

We walked around and got coffees and started to look for running sneakers for John becauuuuuuuuuse he told me he wants to start doing a little running with me. Yes, I almost died. I hope he sticks to it! 😉

What else? I ate fried chicken Saturday night. First time in like 4 years? It sounded so good, John loves it, and it was only $5. Long hair, don’t care.

Taught Spin yesterday morning with a little upper body lift before, then had an extremely active day that has left me very sore today. Started with a nice walk to get an acai bowl at The Juice Shop in Flatiron. Highly recommend this place.

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They also gave me 3 free green juices (maybe they could sense I ate fried chicken the night before?) but they didn’t taste so good, not even a little. I did some healthy damage at Trader Joe’s and lugged 2 very heavy bags back home. Then took 3 big bags of clothes from our cleaning frenzy Friday down to Buffalo Exchange to see what I could sell and donated the rest to Good Will. I made out pretty well and it felt really good to get rid of those size 2 pants I will never fit in again. I’ve been holding on to them for too long! Size 6/8 is working out just fine for me, thank ya very much 🙂

Meal preppin’.

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I’ll share what I’m eating this week and my new obsession from Trader Joe’s later this week! Feels good to blab on about my life to you all again! 🙂

How was your July 4th weekend?? Oh I also ate a hot dog on Friday too. John bought the all pork ones since I can’t have beef and it fulfilled a 3 year craving for me, on a nice white bun with ketchup and mustard. Mmmm the bad stuff!

AND- 29 days til Costa Rica. But who’s counting?!?! 😀

!!!!!

I am so sorry to have neglected you guys. I thought my life would slow down after leaving Chanel and having more normal work hours, but all that has changed is that I am happier! I’ve been teaching so much- currently have 6 set classes a week plus I sub usually 1-3 more times- so I am exhausted alllll the time but in a good way. Add on that I am now starting my first official FULL MARATHON training plan and I seriously have no extra time. Well, I made time to watch all of season 2 of Orange is the New Black in 2 weeks, but that made for way too late nights and ended up being not quite worth it. 😉

Let me catch you up on my last month of life.

My best friend Brenda and I had an amazing weekend in Miami about a month ago. We went for the WSSC Conference for Spin and just to get out of NY for awhile and hit the beach. I am terrified of flying and hadn’t flown in 5 years so I took an Advil PM and chugged 2 glasses of wine. We watched Bridesmaids the whole time while I squeezed Brenda’s hands every time I got scared (basically the entire 2.5 hour flight). I HATE FLYING. But boy is Miami gorgeous!

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The Spin conference was amazing and we took 3 classes total plus a class on how to properly fit people to the spin bike. We ate breakfast after the first session and then went across the street to a cafe with delicious food for lunch. After the last session, we snuck out onto the pool (we weren’t staying at the hotel where the conference was held) and it was SO gorgeous. There was an aqua zumba class going on that looked like so much fun too!

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Once we got back to our hotel, we showered and got into bed where we stayed for the rest of that night. Don’t worry, we had no plans of actually going out in Miami… this is our version of heaven. Working out a ton, eating a ton, and resting a ton. We ordered food from the sports bar downstairs in the hotel and no picture but it was so, so good.

We woke up Saturday morning with no alarm which was such a treat for both of us, then got some coffee and breakfast and headed to South Beach! Miami’s public transportation is pretty awesome for how big the city is, and the bus we took was really easy to get around on. South Beach is GORGEOUS! I wasn’t even expecting the water to be so clear since it’s still America, haha. Clearly I don’t travel much 😉

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My first ever fish taco’s.

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And after the beach we went back to the hotel, ate, and slept. LOL I’m telling you, this is why we don’t have friends but each other. Sorry not sorry. Oh and this was me on the plane ride back Sunday morning. I did NOT do well on the flight black. God help me for my Costa Rica trip in a month which is 2x longer than Miami.

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I’ve barely been running at all which really stinks since I wanted to build at least a 2-week base before marathon training started for me this week. Well, I ran twice (one 1.5 miler and a 3.35 miler, wowza) and then did the Queens 10K. It was a GOOD race. I pushed myself way out of my current comfort zone and averaged 9:57 miles for a finishing time of 1:01:48, only 1 minute-ish off my PR time from 2 years ago. I also got to meet up with Andrea again and it’s always so great to see her cute face! 🙂

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In true Jen fashion, I refueled with nutella banana french toast and fries. Just so you aren’t worried that I’ve changed! 😉

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Oh and I also met Joe Caputo from Orange is The New Black on the train to Brooklyn a couple weeks ago. He is my favorite character on season 2! He was SO nice and we talked for almost 10 minutes. Love NYC.

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So besides Miami and teaching Sunday-Friday for the last 6 weeks (usually 2 of those days includes AM and PM classes!!) I have really been doing nothing else. As you can imagine it’s exhausting, but I am really happy that I am out of that terrible disaster of a job I had at Chanel. While I’m still not 100% sure what I want to do, it’s great to have this time to clear my head and get a lot of teaching under my belt. This week officially started marathon training, too. How much exercise can one person take?! Haha I also need to fit in some strength training and yoga here and there, too. I mean it’s a good problem to have, but I really want to get back into blogging at least once a week specifically while I’m marathon training to keep a log of all this! So this is my unofficial I’m-back post. I’ve missed you all so much and I don’t want this to end! Bare with me.

WHAT HAVE YOU ALL BEEN UP TO??!! Fill me in!! ❤ ❤