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?
Yesterday was me and John’s 8 year anniversary! We dated for almost a month before making it “official” which was hilarious that I tried to play hard-to-get with an older dude. Don’t worry, it was legal! 😉 I was almost 18 and he was 24 when we met but as it goes, men never act their age. It doesn’t seem like it’s been 8 years AT ALL because I still remember every memory from the beginning on like it was yesterday.
Last night he surprised me with a date filled with my favorite things: pizza, coffee and dessert. We started out at Motorino which is a fancier pizza place I’ve wanted to try for awhile, but with no reservations and a VERY small interior it proves to be hard to get in. We lucked out and got seated right away and the food was absolutely amazing! I started with their special appetizer for the night which was baby Brussels sprouts sauteed with olive oil, honey, smoked pancetta and a sprinkle of pecorino. UNREAL.
I had the marinara pizza since it has no cheese and John had the meatball pizza. Sorry for the awful pics, I didn’t want to use my flash since your table is touching the table next to you and I didn’t want to be annoying haha
We then headed to one of my favorite coffee shops called The Bean. We got some coffees, and John pulled out 2 slices of carrot cake (my favorite!!) that he had gotten earlier after googling “best carrot cake in NYC”. He got it from Amy’s Bread, and it was definitely delicious. SO RICH that I only took about 3 bites before having to pull the plug. The rest is in the fridge for dessert tonight and probably tomorrow!
It was such a perfect night totally tailored for me 🙂 We really don’t buy each other gifts but rather plan special date nights like this, but I did completely surprise him when I decided to get him a gift that we could both experience. I got him tickets for the New York Rangers, his favorite hockey team! They are expensive so he’s only been to one game and I’ve never been, but we had a cheap Christmas so I saved a little and splurged. We’re going early next month and I’m stoked!
Since this blog also serves as my own personal journal type thing, I wanted to post pictures from all throughout my relationship even though it doesn’t fit the theme of my blog (food/fitness). Then I realized, these pictures DO fit the theme because you can see how much weight I’ve lost along the way! It’s been a long journey with LOTS of ups and downs, but how lucky am I that I found the perfect partner who loves me no matter how much I weigh 🙂 Feel free to exit now, regular fitness posts will resume tomorrow!
Those above 3 pictures from our 3rd vacation together in Ocean, MD, I had lost almost 20 pounds before we went. I just followed Weight Watchers for a few weeks but of course put it all back on and then some once we got back.
I have basically no pictures of us during 2009… it was a super hard year for us and for me in general! That summer was when I took charge of my health and by spring 2010…
A few months later, we went to Ocean City for the first time in 2 years and I felt SO great!
Later that fall, we started to visit NYC a lot and figure out a plan to move there as my reward for losing over 100 pounds!
Our last Christmas living upstate:
And my favorite picture of us, ever, from just a few months ago.
Sorry for being MIA this week guys, lots of hours at work and lots of homework mixed in with some sleep and eating are all I have been able to do! I wanted to share with you the podcast I was able to do thanks to Sam at Tipsofthescale.com which is a super inspiring weight loss podcast! If you’d like to listen to my segment the link is here:
While I’ve been very aware that I have a half marathon this weekend and next, it didn’t really hit me until last night. I’m nervous but also have taken the approach to running that works for me… very laid back. I’d say I care about my pace somewhat and it would be great to run 9 minute miles “easy”, but I know I’m slow and ACTUALLY slow. Nothing annoys me more than reading blogs about runners who say their 8:30 minute miles are sooo slow. You KNOW that’s not slow. It may be slow for you and that’s totally fine because we are all different, but stop considering that slow. I can’t even sprint an 8 minute mile. Let’s keep it real. You have natural speed talent, OWN it. Be proud! I think it’s safe to say 11 minute miles are pretty damn slow but I’m pretty damn proud that I can run at all 🙂
My point to that is that I know I’m not going to win any race and while I think it’s great to compete against yourself, you never know how you’re going to feel on race day. I give myself too much anxiety thinking about all the outcomes of a race, and I think that’s one component of why it’s so exciting. But I tend to get too down on myself thinking that my paces are embarrassing… and then I remind myself that just 4 years ago, I was carrying 110 extra pounds and couldn’t even WALK a mile without dying. It’s not that I don’t go out there and run my heart out, but keeping a 10 minute mile pace for 13.1 miles, right now, would have me dry heaving by the 3rd mile. Maybe one day I’ll have some speed back, but it just isn’t natural for me right now. And I am okay with that, and that’s great since I’m the only person who HAS to be okay with that 🙂
I’m starting with this stuff because this week I felt so unmotivated to run at all. My 10 mile race last weekend was great, and then I stressed myself out about being so sore for the following days. I finally ran Wednesday and it hurt. Everything hurt. I took Thursday off, then when I got to the gym yesterday to run I was over it before it even began. I ran 1 mile on the treadmill, then did some upper body work because I didn’t have it in me to run 1 more foot. I thought about why I was so over it all day, and I realized that I’m making races too much about the outcome. I run because I love it and I have to allow races to just be a day of running that I had to pay for (WTF) and that happens to be with thousands of other people while getting water handed to me for free. Pretty sweet deal. So I have to stop worrying about my pace and enjoy the ride! The fact that I have the ability to run and the ability to run these amazing races is enough to make me happy.
Moving on to the good stuff. If you are new to running longer distances or races, I will share with you what seems to work the best for me when it comes to “carb loading.” If you are also new to reading my blog, first of all… thank you 🙂 Second of all, I have a little history with binge eating. It was a period of about 4 months of bad binge eating… I would eat normal all day, then come home and eat a ton and wake up in the middle of the night to eat. It was in between my lowest, unhealthy weight when I needed to gain some back and I lost control. I had restricted for so long that suddenly eating more became MUCH more, and I put on 20 pounds in those 4 months. I am thankful every day that I have overcome it but it did take over a year to really rid myself of it completely. How this relates to carb loading is that I HATE feeling overly full now, so when I got into distance running I thought it would be a little tricky to add extra calories and carbs the day before the race without that feeling. The trick is to start carb loading the 3-4 days before the race by adding in extra calories and carbs without overdoing it. Trust me, you do NOT want to wake up the day of the race (or a long training run) with a food hangover. If my race is Sunday, I start to add a bit more to my day starting Thursday.
Thursday’s breakfast was oats in a jar with a few scoops of apple butter. I eat oats every morning, but on this day I added in another banana (well, ate it on the side) and these scoops of apple butter.
Yesterday’s lunch was amazing. I had to go to the Upper East Side to get my race stuff for Sunday, and since Panera Bread is up here and I am never up there I decided to grab it for lunch.
I ALWAYS get the greek salad with grilled chicken (which costs more to add, of course) and once I got back to my desk I was beyond pissed to see that no grilled chicken had been added. SO PISSED. Luckily the pumpkin pie bagel I got to carb up with didn’t disappoint.
I just had it toasted with nothing on it and it was perfection!
Last night John and I went to the great new restaurant in our neighborhood, Heights Tavern. It’s so great to have a restaurant in our neighborhood that’s really good and not entirely spanish food!
I had grilled chicken, avocado & goat cheese on ciabatta with sweet potato fries. Nothing is oily and greasy there which I absolutely love!
Today’s breakfast was extra carby of course, since it’s the day before the race.
Just so happened to have another almost empty jar of Justin’s deliciousness, so I added in my heated up banana chia oats and added 1/4 cup of dark chocolate macaroon granola AND a mini dark chocolate mounds bar. Chocolate coconut heaven! I found that granola at TJ Maxx and it’s amazing.
As for lunch today, I will have a bagel and some Popchips with guacamole and dinner later is my pre-race ritual of cheese-less Domino’s pizza! I’m aiming for about 2500 calories today so even with the pizza I still need a snack of about 500 calories! Hard job fueling for a race, huh? 😉
One other thing… if I had ran more miles this week I would be eating a bit more than I am since I would need the extra fuel from burning more calories. I have this worked out for my own body and its’ needs, keeping in mind that I still want to lose a few pounds so there is no need for me to go out of control with calories! It’s a constant learning process and since it involves food… it’s pretty fun.
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!