Fall=Phase 3

Hey there!

Hope everyone had a great Tuesday. :)

So, yesterday I mentioned that October 1st was marking a new healthy focus for me.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again…especially for any readers who are going through a break-up and are wondering when they’ll feel whole again (you’re NOT alone!!)…

Breaking up is hard. SO hard. Going into it you know it will be hard, but you don’t know that there will be days, for months on end, where simply getting out of bed feels like running a marathon.

I am also learning that there are phases, and you just have to keep riding them out, because with a each new phase becomes new growth, new healing, and new self-discovery.

Spring, I was numb. I didn’t feel much, it was all too surreal and new. I was just going through the motions, and it was almost an out-of-body experience. I wondered why it felt so “easy”, friends and family wondered how I was doing so well. Well, in hindsight I now know that I was in shock and I was numb.

Summer, I completely fell apart. From about mid-May (which I guess is still Spring, but yanno) all the way until Labor Day, when I took my mental health day, I felt like I was completely broken. Completely broken.

Like, I would never pick up the pieces or feel whole again. Ever.

I used the only energy I could muster, simply to try to “be normal” at work, so that at least I could hold on to my job.

But there were many, many mornings where I thought to myself: “What am I doing?? I can’t hack this-this living in a huge, distant, intimidating city where I am alone. Alone, alone, alone. Trying to make it in a fast-paced and often stressful industry?? I can’t do this. Who am I kidding.”

Every day was a struggle. Every.Single.Day felt like the biggest challenge in the world, just to make it from the time I woke up in the morning, to the time I went to bed at night.

But I kept going.

Because deep down I know that I do want to be here. I’m creating a life I want. It’s a life of my own, not something that’s dictated by school, friends, even family.

I am following my heart and my instinct.

Plus, sometimes, all you can do is tell yourself that things will get better. Things will get easier, no matter what it is that you’re going through.

Then, one day, I woke up, and it wasn’t quite so hard to get out of bed.

It wasn’t quite so hard to come home alone.

Or fall asleep alone.

Or wake up alone.

Or have no plans on the evenings and weekends.

One morning I woke up and realized, “huh, I’m kind of excited to sprawl out alone on my bed, take up the whole thing, and have no plans or obligations. I’m kind of excited to go to bed when I want to, wake up when I want to.”

I felt the same the next day.

And the day after that.

Now, it’s been a full month of those *easier* days, long enough I know it is not a fluke, simply a “good day”, and I feel like I am now in a new phase, a phase where I am piecing myself back together.

I am no longer broken into a million little pieces.

I no longer have no idea what I enjoy, what makes me happy, and what I do in my free time.

I am remembering things I used to love that I would do and enjoy just because I love them and they make me feel fulfilled, happy, and purposeful.

I am finding new things I enjoy.

One thing that  came rushing back full force the past month?

My love, genuine love and passion, for healthy living.

Yes, I still love beer and wings and staying out til the bars close at 4:00 AM… buuuuut, I remembered that I genuinely love healthy food. Eating it, preparing it, telling other people all about it, reading articles about it, completely geeking out over it…

The Philly Half-Marathon further solidified those feelings, and so did the injury to my foot…which made me realize I shouldn’t take my body for granted so much and should take care of it better.

As soon as I was excited to start really focusing on healthy living, since that is ME after all, I didn’t even think twice about what I wanted to focus on: Gluten Free.

I did a very short GF trial back in March… but life happened 11 days in.

However, I did feel amazing after just 2 days in, and that alone made this decision a no-brainer for me.

And not only is there a ton of literature on it, it’s so compelling that I knew I wanted to try it again, to let my body reset.

Here is the article that originally got me GF last March.

So, what better day to start than a Monday?

Especially if that Monday also happens to be a new month. :)

So, yesterday, I was finally able to make it to the grocery store since my foot drastically improved all the sudden, and starting with breakfast Monday morning, I have so far had two very successful GF days.

Monday’s Breakfast:

With a small handful of these:

Groceries to get me through the week: sweet potatoes, ‘cados, Brussels sprouts, plain yogurt, bananas, almonds, eggs, carrots, kidney beans, pinto beans, sunflower seed butter, frozen berries, jalapeno hummus, unsweetened coconut/almond milk:

When I got home last night I got to work on roasting two of my sweet taters and the Brussels sprouts.

After you rinse them, cut off the stems:

Toss in a bowl with olive oil, fresh ground pepper and salt:

I had a red onion I needed to use, plus onions are super healthy, so I added the onion as well as 3 minced garlic cloves for extra flava and nutrients (garlic is thought to be a great anti-cancer and anti-microbial food!).

Out of the oven! (400 degrees for about 45 mins)

1/3 of the huge sweet potato and some roasted Brussels (also 400 degrees-until tender and as crispy as you like ~40 mins):

I topped the tater with almond butter and sea salt. Glory! And enjoyed a glass of Pinot Noir, because, why the hell not? ;)

Breakfast this morning included these:

On top of this:

Happy Cows!

I also added a small handful of pecans and almonds for more protein, crunch, and healthy fats.

For lunch I brought a piece of sweet tater, and a whole avocado and a few carrots, which I topped with fresh ground pepper and salt, and brought a container of jalapeno hummus for dipping.

Dinner tonight: Brussels sprouts topped with 2 fried eggs. And viiiino.

The dippy yolk makes a rich sauce on top of the roasted veggies. So good and so healthy!

It feels really good to take control of my own health, my own life, and what matters to me (healthy, balanced living!), but it feels really good to want to do it for the first time in a reallyyyyy long time. As opposed to feeling like I *have* to.

Any one else want to do a Fall Shape-Up with me? I can’t wait to start working out (for fun!) once my foot is one-hundo.

Fall is such a great time to start making new habits, that, if you stick with it until the end of the year, will already be solidified by the time you ring in the new year.

I plan on keeping on this eating plan throughout October and seeing how I feel once the month is over.

As you can tell from me having A glass of wine with dinner so far, I obviously didn’t give up alcohol. I do not plan on going out during the week at all during this month (which had become a habit :/ ), but I just like wine and beer too much to give it up completely, and I do think it can be part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Plus, this city is pretty saturated with it when it comes to being social.

But it works out, because what I’m doing right now? It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. It’s learning to respect myself and love myself and treat myself well, treat myself as if I am perishable (because I am!!).

It’s about taking time to remember what I enjoy doing and what makes me feel whole.

I’ve recruited 3 other people so far to join me in this month of healthy focus, so if anyone else wants to join in on the fun, please do!

Have a great night!

Cheers,

L

New York Living: Classic Cars, Concerts, and Clouds

Hey there, Happy October 1st!

Pumpkin pancakes!!!

October is my favorite month so I am really excited about a new month. And a new week!

All good things. :)

The last two weeks have been a blur… I just started walking normally a little better today since Philly-so the last few weeks I’ve spent an exorbitant amount of money on cab rides since I couldn’t walk ANYWHERE. Not so great in NYC (BTW-my foot seems to be Extensor Tendonitis).

In the last two weeks, I also moved rooms since my roommate Josh moved back West. Also challenging with one foot, haha.

I also had a huge work event that I planned for the owners of my company and some of our “big fish” customers.

 

The Classic Car Club of Manhattan does events called Autogasms and you get to drive ridiculous cars along the Hudson River all day then have drinks at the Club at the end of the day to discuss your experiences.

Sometimes I think I’m secretly a boy (er, a 300 pound man, more likely) because I can eat and drink like a boy, love to work out HARD, genuinely enjoying watching sports whilst eating (lots of) wings and drinking (lots of) beer, and love all things fast and loud.

For example, I had to be at the Club early to greet people, make sure everything was running smoothly, introduce everyone, etc. so I got to be there when they were driving all the cars out of the Club to line them up on the street (we had 9 for the day).

The sound of multiple cars (some of them V12) made me think I was going to DIE. Gahhh, it was glorious. SO loud with the multiple engines running in an enclosed space.

Unsurprisingly, the event was a huge success. :)

Just look at those rims! Gah.

There they go!

I honestly have some much better pictures (closer, etc.) but didn’t want to get faces soooooo… hope you get an idea of how sick these cars are. :)

I also had a full day out in Brooklyn and Jersey with Justine shopping for our “new” (read: girl’s) apartment-and for my new room!! Again-pretty rough on my stupid foot (I really was incredibly gimpy), but SUCH a fun day out.

We made a Dunkin’ stop on our way out of the city… with almond/coconut milk brought from home

 

The West Side Highway gives an awesome view of the Freedom Tower

 

Hey, Justine!

 

 

Driving across the Staten Island Bridge

 

Then there was… GLOBAL FEST!!!!

Which was absolutely phenomenal.

Not many pictures because I was losing.my.mind between the bands, the acoustics in the park (a REALLY good sound system- I was pleased :) ), the setting of Central Park’s Great Lawn, the city scape behind us… THE BLACK KEYS.

Foo Fighters were also just phenomenal. I’d seen them before, way back in 2000 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the RHCP’s Californication tour. At the wee age of 12. :)

They put on SUCH a good live show. Their last song was Everlong which has been one of my favorite songs for… well a long time. I’ve been wanting to play it at my wedding (haha, I know, not exactly a *typical* wedding song) since…probably about 12.

Plus, K’Naan was adorable and so likeable and when he sang Waving Flag which, thanks again to my sisters (I’ve mentioned before how much hipper they are than me haha), introduced me to before it was the “song” of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Band of Horses? I mean-I freakin’ love Band of Horses-and again, have for a while, so seeing them with these other bands was… well, kind of mind blowing.

Then there’s the legend, Neil Young. Need I say more?

The last song of the concert was unsurprisingly, Rockin’ In The Free World and after Neil Young and Crazy Horse wiled out for a while, all the other musicians came back out and played with them.

Dan Auerbach, Dave Grohl, and Neil Young all standing together playing? I was in HEAVEN.

Heading out to Global Fest

We also happened to be at the front of our section, right against the railing, so I got to be *that* girl that was leaning over the railing, dancing, screaming, flailing my hair like mad, and screaming and making a scene whenever a video camera went by.

It was AMAZING. One of the coolest experiences of my life. I was with some of my favorite people and we all had such an amazing time.

I am pretty sure I looked (and acted, because I was LOSING MY MIND) like I was supah drugged out because for 50% of the concert I had my eyes closed and head back just soaking it all in and the other 50% of the concert I was dancing like crazy.

No drugs necessary for this girl. Music is enough. :)

It was soooo amazing.

Now today starts a major health focus.

I mentioned how the Philly Half-Marathon completely motivated me to really work on myself and on feeling whole again, but the last few weeks have honestly been rough not being able to walk. I told my close friend, Lauren, it’s like I said to myself: “Hmmmm, I have about a shred of self-esteem left after a summer of gaining weight and feeling 100% broken, how can I rip that last shred of self-esteem away? Oh! I know, I’ll add a horrid gimp and be forced to wear my ratty, old running shoes with my work clothes.”

Here’s an important life lesson though: If you can laugh at yourself, and find humor in any situation, any situation seems doable. :)

More on my (much needed) health focus tomorrow. :)

Have a great night!

Cheers,

L

It’s A Mental Game

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. :)

I had SUCH a great time in Philly.

I left work around 6:00 PM on Friday and took a train to New Brunswick, NJ with my friend Lauren. She then drove me to Philly, which was SO fun! It feels so weird being in a car-and I love it. We had the windows down, the music cranked, and spent at least 90% of the time laughing hysterically. So good for the soul. :)

I got to Philly around 10:00 PM and Erica, Leah and I immediately headed out for drinks and a late dinner.

We put our names in at a wine bar for dinner and then went to an outdoor beer garden for drinks. The beer garden had lights strung overhead and was so cute! Sorry no pictures-it was dark and we were outside. You’ll have to trust me. :)

Dinner was amazing-we went to Zavino and shared 2 pizzas.

Erica and I also shared a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, while Leah got the Miti Bleu Martini: Gin or Vodka, Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olives, Prosciutto. Erica and I tried it and it was really good and salty from the prosciutto. Definitely a creative martini.

One of the pizzas we got was The Stache: (Whole Wheat) Pistachio Pesto, Fior Di Latte, Parmigiano Reggiano, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, Baby Arugula. This pizza was phenomenal!

The other one was a special called The Philly. I can’t remember exactly what all was on it, other than pulled pork and horseradish. It was also really good.

After dinner, Erica and I headed back to the beer garden to catch up more and enjoy the perfect weather.

Saturday morning we walked to Rittenhouse Square for brunch at Parc. I got my usual brunch fav: Eggs Benedict. I just can’t stray. It was so good and it was so nice to enjoy a leisurely brunch with Erica and Leah.

After brunch we wandered around Philly all afternoon before going to the Race Expo.

 

We went a little crazy at this headband store.

For dinner Saturday night we went to Barbuzzo.

I started with the Grilled Figs and Watermelon: la quercia prosciutto rossa, valdeon, marcona almonds, vin cotto, extra virgin olive oil, herbs.

For my entree I got the Pan Seared Gnocchi: with smoked corn, seared trumpet mushrooms, guanciale, cherry tomatoes and truffle butter.

We laughed at ourselves because when the waiter asked if we wanted anything to drink, all 3 of us at the same time reluctantly said: “nooooo…just water”. We really wanted wine.

Photo courtesy of Leah :)

Since we skipped the wine, and dinner was pretty small portions, we decided dessert was in order.

Enter FroYo. In bed. Duhh.

I got Nutella and Peanut Butter with coconut and butterscotch chips. Hit. The. Spot.

Then it was early to bed for an early wake-up call.

We woke up to 3 different iPhones going off at 6:00 AM on a Sunday. Ughh.

My Hippie Runner Headband Says It All

I went into this half-marathon with zero expectations. I even considered just cheering Erica and Leah on from the sidelines.

Timing Chip On And Ready To Go

But by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I was admittedly pretty excited and positive about the whole thing. I was ready for a fresh start, and to me this was the perfect opportunity to reboot myself, and kick off a new (my favorite!!!) season.

Getting ready!

But I also knew that I needed to be realistic (read: not beat myself up for what I used to be capable of) about essentially having not worked out consistently essentially since April. A “good week” (i.e. 5 times workouts in a week) here and there over the course of 4 months is not going to cut it.

So I went into it telling myself to NOT compare myself to past half-marathons, to past fitness levels, etc.

I told myself I could probably make 3 miles since I would have so many people around me to motivate me. That was my goal.

Do the first 3 miles without stopping, then you can walk as needed.

We all 3 got in line together, and Erica and Leah, the rock stars they are, took off…

I got in a comfortable pace that I knew I could maintain for 3 miles-and that would allow me to actually cross the finish line (rather than drop out of the race)… then something weird happened… I felt awesome.

Sure, I could tell I was horribly out of shape-even at my slow pace I was sucking air, and I could tell I had 15 extra pounds weighing on my joints than when I last ran… but it felt SO good. Mentally, spiritually, even physically.

The first 3.5 miles took us all around downtown Philly-past a number of monuments, which was AWESOME.

The weather was cool and crisp and FALL-LIKE (eee!) and it was a gorgeous morning.

As I got into a steady pace and was enjoying the atmosphere, I suddenly felt incredibly at peace.

All the sudden I was SO happy and felt SO lucky because I was doing this for ME. Yes, I was unprepared, I’m out of shape, overweight (for me), and running almost 2 minutes slower per mile than I am used to running, but I chose to go to Philly, to pay to enter this run, and to DO IT.

I was listening to the Kanye West & Jay-Z station on Pandora (one of my favorite stations to run to) and when Kanye’s song Runaway came on, I literally got chills. Yes, it’s kind of a silly song, but for some reason in that moment, as I was slogging along, in a new city, completely on my own, doing something JUST FOR ME, knowing two of my girlfriends were also somewhere out their pushing their own limits, I felt SO renewed.

I was 100% on my own, only I could accomplish this, and I was facing the fear-the fear of moving on, of being alone, of CHANGING MY OWN LIFE, and I was DOING IT ANYWAY.

When one realizes this, it a powerful wave of emotion.

So I kept going.

And going.

At mile 8 my right foot started hurting.

By mile 9 I had searing pain depending on how I stepped down.

I’ve struggled with plantar fasciitis in the past, which is an overuse injury (usually from increasing training way too fast-ummm 0 to 13.1 miles definitely qualifies).

I considered stopping, and I told myself to not be stupid and risk a serious injury, so I was careful to not let it get to a point I could not tolerate.

But I was also completely shocked that I had over 9 miles under my belt and was still feeling strong cardiovascularly considering how out of shape I am.

I knew I could make it if I kept going, and I’m too competitive and stubborn to stop. It’s really a huge change in my mindset the fact that I did this run at all.

Up until, oh about year 23 into my life, I refused to do things I wasn’t prepared for, things I didn’t know if I could do well. I’m glad I’m over that unhealthy sense of pride and perfection-it was too easy to “never be good enough” back then.

But yesterday? I was not trying to impress anyone. I was not worried how slow or out of shape I looked.

I was thankful with every step I took that I can run.

Grateful that my body is still so strong, and has so much endurance, after mistreating it so much for so long, and for having zero respect for it for so long. For ignoring all the miraculous things it is capable of, and focusing it’s worth only on what it looks like. Or doesn’t look like.

I was thankful for the chance to be re-born, so to speak.

And then I saw a woman holding a sign that said: “Today Is Your Day To Get Back Up.”

More chills. Serious chills. Chill city.

That’s what I was here to do after all-way back when I registered and thought I’d train all summer. I was here to pick up the pieces of me.

When I crossed the finish line, Pandora picked a great song: Biggie!!!!. BrookLYN!!! :) Which put the biggest smile on my face and helped me kick it to the end.

I couldn’t believe I managed to run the entire 13.1 miles without a walk break or stopping.

It really is mental.

I wanted this SO badly.

Not so much the finishing, but what finishing symbolized.

Completing this race, to me, symbolizes that I am starting anew, I am reborn, I am ready to get back to the things that matter to me, the things that make me feel like Laura.

Caring about my treating my body right, being an athlete, and enjoying pushing my body to it’s greatest physical limits feels like Laura. I forgot the feeling of complete physical exhaustion, where you feel SO accomplished and fulfilled at what you just accomplished, because you pushed your body to new limits you didn’t think it was capable of.

I used to feel that almost daily when I swam. It’s an indescribable feeling and one that I didn’t even realize I missed so badly.

When I finished, I was more proud of myself than the other 2 half-marathons I’ve done-which were significantly faster.

Yes, those felt great because I put in the work and then was rewarded with positive results in my times, but this time I was SO much more proud of myself. I truly felt-still feel-very fulfilled.

I managed to find Erica and Leah really quickly at the finish line and that’s when the pain in my foot really hit.

I could hardly move.

We had to catch a cab back to the hotel (only 1.5 miles away-would have been an awesome cool down if I wasn’t Gimp City).

We got a late check-out so we had some time to relax, leisurely shower (one of the best feelings in the WORLD!), and Erica ran to get me ice (thanks, Rica!! :) ) for my foot. Putting ice on it felt like pure glory.

We then checked out and headed to a celebratory lunch at Devon, back at Rittenhouse Square.

We all finally got our glasses of wine and toasted!

Photo courtesy of Erica :)

Erica and I both got glasses of a Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Barbara (called Seaglass-loved the name :) ) which was super light and refreshing.

I hadn’t eaten anything at all yet (and 13.1 miles will get your metabolism jump-started!) so I was worried it would go straight to my head… we sipped really slowly though, so it was fine. :)

To eat I got the Grilled Salmon Panzanella, which tasted like just about the best thing EVER at that point: spinach, montrachet goat cheese, balsamic roasted onions, vine ripe tomatoes, basil oil, balsamic vinaigrette.

We also split the calamari to start. It was also SO good:  jalapeños and carrots, sweet n’ sour, creole remoulade and really unique (and delicious!) with the addition of fried carrots and jalapenos in the mix.

Then it was time to race me to the train station… which I barely made.

By the time I got home to NYC, I could hardly walk. In fact, I could not pick up my foot. I was seriously terrified I’d have to waste one of my PTO days today because of my foot.

But when I woke up this morning it was better. I had to catch a cab to work (and looked like such a fool between my running shoes with my skirt and being gimp city, gimp gimp city), but I made it through work and even walked home! Hooray!

So now it’s lots more ice and hopefully another long night of sleep. I’m a big fan of the whole RICE-rest, ice, compression, elevation-thing-as well as the 3 day rule-if it’s not better in 3 days it is probably more than an overuse injury and time to see a doc.****

Decide That You Want It

More Than You’re Afraid Of It.

~Bill Cosby

We have ~3.5 months left of 2012… is there something you have been wanting to accomplish, change, overcome, or learn?

Something you’ve been afraid of trying for fear of failing? Or not being good enough?

I decided I don’t want to wait until 2013 to start re-defining who I am and what’s important to me.

I’m starting now. I hope you join me. :)

Have a great night!

What Would You Attempt

If You Knew You Could

Not Fail?

~unknown

Cheers,

L

*** I am NOT a medical professional and this should NOT be seen as medical advice-this is simply what I have learned works for me from previous injuries and stints with PT (physical therapy).

Gearing Up: Global Festival 2012 NYC

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.

The weather was so nice in the city today :)

My day at work was actually really good, got a lot done with minimal stress.

My morning started off on the right foot, bright and early with a 45 minute interval workout on the elliptical.

It was brutal waking up this morning-I could not fall asleep until almost 2:00 AM. Double u tee eff? The good thing is that instead of not sleeping because I was thinking about things that stress me out, or going over my To-Do list over and over and over (like that’s somehow going to make it get done faster? Come on, Laura), I think the reason I was not sleeping was actually because I am so excited about my Fall.

As I’ve already gushed about-I LOVE Fall. Love it. That alone is enough.

Love this bus :)

Buuuuut, to make it even better, I have so many fun events coming up, including a trip to Philly this weekend to crawl my way through the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

Fun weekends from here on out! :)

Backing up to this past weekend, on Friday I had some friends over for a chill night on the rooftop.

Thursday night I stopped at the store on my way home from work to get some guac fixins.

There are actually avocados in there, haha. 8 of them, in fact. The 5 of us still cashed it in about 14 seconds.

Anddddd at the store I saw these and had to get them to throw in the Rice Krispie Treats I had planned on making.

I mean, I *need* chocolate in my dessert.

Plus they’re Fall inspired. No brainer.

When I make Rice Krispie Treats I am all about using real buttah. They taste so much better! And food created in a chemistry lab freaks me out (lookin’ at you, margarine).

The best of the butters.

We all had a great time hanging out on the roof-as usual everyone was blown away by the view. It really is unbelievable. Some day I’ll get a real camera and capture the rooftop view. :)

And to make the night even better there was a fireworks show on the Hudson. It was long and really good too. At first we thought it was just going to be *a* firework, but then it kept going and going and there were so many fireworks!

Firework shows here are SO cool because the fireworks reflect off the buildings, which is visually really cool, AND the sound reverberates off the skyscrapers which makes for some really amazing acoustics. I love fireworks to begin with so I totally geeked out.

The rest of the weekend was super chill.

It looked like this:

Candles, coffee, and journaling.

I finally cracked open the beautiful journal I bought weeks ago!

Something else I CANNOT wait for? This!!!!

Global Festival 2012 came to my attention from my sister Maria, who notified me of it as soon as it was announced (why are my sisters so much cooler than me? haha they always know everything wayyyy before me!).

From the website:

This September, as the world’s leaders gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, the Global Festival will bring top artists and 60,000 change makers together on the Great Lawn of Central Park on September 29 to urge our leaders and fellow citizens to do more to help end extreme poverty.
This advocacy concert will celebrate the progress already made in fighting extreme poverty, secure financial commitments for tackling extreme poverty and disease, and mobilise thousands of ambassadors for change. We’ll unite around a simple yet powerful idea: that by giving every child a chance to thrive, our generation can end extreme poverty.

Some of the organizations supported by Global Citizen include: Rotary International, Earth Institute, US Fund For UNICEF, Pencils of Promise, Malaria No More, Half the Sky, World Vision, Global Partnership for Education, World Food Program USA, and Rainforest Foundation.

Considering the reason that I came out here to NYC from the West coast was to start a PhDizzle in Global Affairs, this alone is enough to make me freakishly excited.

But, oh, it gets even better.

Need another? Me too.

Anyone that is around me for longer than 2 seconds, knows that music is my favorite thing, well, possibly ever. I am obsessed. I spend hours every night that I’m home looking up music and watching concert footage.

Well, the line up also happens to be SO good: Neil Young (with Crazy Horse!), Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Band of Horses, and K’Naan.

WHAT?!?! I can’t even take it. I know and like every single one of those bands.

I am SO crazy about The Black Keys-I just don’t seem to be able to get sick of them. Ever. Same with Band of Horses. Those two bands alone being in the same place at the same time!!?? Gahh, it’s too good! Plus, I mean, Neil Young? I never thought I’d get to see him play live. Goes without saying, but I also like Foo and K’Naan, so it’s just all around excellent.

And on the Great Lawn at Central Park? I think I need a sedative right now just thinking about it.

Soooo, anyway, back when Maria first discovered this, we immediately signed up to start promoting for the chance to win free tickets.

But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I HAD to go.

So, I spent the money to get VIP tickets. I didn’t even care if I went by myself, I knew I would still have a fantastic time.

But my good friend George (who I went to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers with wayyy back on Cinco de Mayo) also bought a VIP ticket so we knew we would be guaranteed in.

With George at Prudential Center to see the RHCP

Seen the RHCP 3 times and they put on SUCH a good show. Still.

But Maria won two tickets! Since she is in California, she generously donated them to two of my friends so now it’s going to be even better since more people are going!

Fall, I LOVE YOU!

Questions of the Day: What’s your favorite season? Any other New Yorkers going to Global Festival? If so-I will be the girl they are slipping sedatives because she just can’t take it.

Something to Think:

Always remember you are braver than you believe,

Stronger than you seem,

and smarter than you think.

~Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

Have a great evening, everyone. :)

Here’s a little music glory to get you ready for your Tuesday. Eeeee! Enjoy. :)

Okay, one more. Somebody help me.

Cheers,

L

Take Time To Realize That You’re Worth It*

*Inspired by Colbie Caillat’s song Realize

Hey party people!

Happy Monday. Hope you all had the day off and enjoyed a long weekend with the perfect mix of fun and relaxation?

My weekend was awesome-buuuuut boy was it filled with lots of self-control, introspection, and soul searching. Which I will enlighten you all with in a bit.

First, though, anyone else ready to pop bottles simply because it’s September? I know the first day of Fall isn’t technically until September 22, but I just LOVE September all the way through New Year’s Eve.

I am sooooo ready to start eating this with a spoon.

Washed down with pumpkin coffee or pumpkin beer. Duh. Depends on the time of day, I s’pose.

I also love Fall clothes, Fall colors, the changing leaves, the start of holiday season, apples, pears, crans, Brussels sprouts, football season (which means soon Rangers and Knicks will be back in action, too!!!!)… I could really go on forever, so I’ll stop boring you all now over my…obsession.

Anyway, back to this weekend, after I left you on Friday, I went to Whole Foods for a delicious, veggie filled lunch.

Almost a pound (!) of kale, frisee, and spinach with strawberries and almonds

Kombucha, kombucha, kombuuucha (said to “Rufio”. Obviously.)

Then I explored the Upper West Side some. So in love.

Love the old buildings in the UWS

LOVE this building AND the store it houses-gahhh! North Face!

Love the flowers being sold on the sidewalk

I decided an evening spin class sounded phenomenal.

I thought to myself: “Eek, okay, well this is going to be REALLY ugly-I haven’t spun (spinned?) since… oh no, I don’t even know the last time I went to a class… maybe 6 months? Oh noooooo… well, it’s okay, you’ll be fine, just sit in the darkest part of the room, in the back, blend in, and try to keep your wheezing to an indoor wheeze.”

Well… I *kinda* forgot that everyone in Manhattan would be going to their beach houses one final weekend. Eep.

Yep, it was me and the instructor. So I had my first “private” spin class when I am the most out of shape I’ve been in MONTHS. Read: all summer what I would consider  a “good” workout week would be weeks when I would workout…ohhhh…2 times?

Somehow, I survived it, and I had dinner plans with Josh (roommate and friend for new readers), which was definitely motivation.

Well, my inner 300 pound man was present Friday night and he wanted wings and beer for dinner. We went to one of our favorite bars, Lansdowne Road. It’s very Irish, has phenomenal food, maybe the best wings EVER, and is my favorite place to watch sports in our ‘hood.

We watched some of MSU/Boise State game, sipped our beers, and shared some wings.

We then decided it was time to go up on our roof to enjoy the weather and the Blue Moon.

We had a great time chatting and hanging out on the roof and then, like all nights in our apartment (Josh, Justine and I are HUGE music nerds), we headed into our apartment where we drank more beer (Sam Adams Coastal Wheat-SO good!) and TOTALLY geeked out over music for hourssss. It was awesome.

Saturday my somewhat classier and definitely more feminine personality was present, and Justine and I had a sushi and viiiino filled night.

Today was the first day I was actually productive, I did lots of errands and was out and about all day.

My day started with an iced soy cappuccino from my favorite little coffee place EVER, Je & Jo, which is also right across the street from our apartment, which means it’s wayyyy too easy to *need* an iced capp or americano. Like, every day. Apparently I think I’m a boss.

Then I went to Whole Foods for breakfast:

Fage 2% Greek yogurt (have to start my day with protein) and a Vegan Oatmeal Date Scone.

You see how much I just love food? Wings for dinner Friday, Vegan scone for breakfast today. I don’t really discriminate if it’s good quality food. I like it all. :)

Love the grainy texture: chock full of oats, walnuts and dates

Fage is my absolute favorite Greek yogurt because not only is it the thickest, creamiest yogurt out there, but it has two qualities I love (eh, terrible iPhone pics):

Cows that don’t dope

So much protein!

So other than awesome evenings with the Stringers, and lots of downtime and good workouts, I have had 4 days where I could really focus on myself, what I want, and learning to be okay on my own.

Yesterday I celebrated (read: thought to myself: “yayyyyy, Laura, you made a week!”) making my first full week of NO emotional eating since early April.

All summer it was pretty much to the point where I could not go through a full DAY, let alone a week, without eating for an emotional reason (or being tired) rather than being hungry.

Now, for me, emotional eating can be anything from ordering the fattiest, greasiest thing instead of the salad at dinner not because it sounds the best but because I’m a) stressed b) tired c) sad I’m going home alone d) lonely e) all of the above (always “e” the last 4 months) to full blown binge eating to *needing* a cookie the size of my face.

So, as you can see, I can, and do, run the full gamut of  “seriousness”. But at this point, this long after starting my blog (May 2011) and figuring out why I have disordered body image, self-esteem, etc. that leads to disordered eating in the first place, I’m not concerned about the “what” or “how much” I’m concerned about the “why”.

So, last Sunday, I told myself: “Laura, you are allowed to let go and move on, it doesn’t make you a bad person. You are allowed to be happy-to do things that make you happy. You are allowed to take time to be completely selfish and to realize that you ARE WORTH IT.”

And guess what? I didn’t emotional eat all week after that.

So when the security guard made the dick comment, I was already 4 days into re-creating myself.

Okay, I know to people who have never struggled with emotional eating 4 days is like whoopdie-fuckin-do. But considering all Spring and Summer I could not hardly make it through a single day, to me it was a big deal. Which is all that matters, anyway.

Good thing too, because despite “my guys” all standing up for me, flooding me with compliments (which 2 of the 4 guys also used the expression “I swear I’m not blowing smoke up your ass” which I of course loved cause that expression is awesome), that comment could have really done a number.

Out with the guys about a month ago-here with DJ and George

Mentally and emotionally it did, but I was even more determined to focus on eating only when hungry, but eating if hungry (as opposed to trying *not* to eat), eat what I want at (read: I am craving wings), stop when full, and get back to my 80% healthy, 20% not *as* healthy.

Because I know I cannot “give up” my favorite things, which includes chocolate, wings, all things bread, beer, and wine. But I can (and want to!) fill up on foods that make me feel good and are good for me *most* of the time and I’ll be fine. The weight will peel off, slowly (it took months to put it on, gonna take a while to take off, ughhh), and I will be slowly re-creating myself, and my life, with each passing day.

I also now know that I don’t have to kill myself in the gym (while simultaneously severely reducing food) to try to speed up results. I know how to work out, I know how to eat in a healthy, balanced way. I do NOT know how to stop using food as an escape. For that, there is no quick fix. Only hard work, and trust in myself.

Because I AM TAKING TIME TO REALIZE I’M WORTH IT.

There were probably a good 8-9 times the past 4 days where I was thisclose to eating something not because I was hungry, but because I was feeling bad about myself, feeling lonely, feeling bored, etc.

And guess what? EVERY SINGLE TIME I stopped myself with this thought:

“Laura, you are starting a very long and challenging journey and every day you make it through, the closer you will get to where it gets easier. You are not hungry, you want to escape. That’s what you’ve learned to do, but you don’t want that to be life anymore. Feel this emotion, think about the life you WANT and are CAPABLE of creating, and move on.”

The other major obstacle that comes up is catching my reflection and having my initial reaction being SO strongly negative (“Oh em gee I am morbidly obese!!! Fuck it, I need ice cream, it’s too late anyway”) that I have to stop myself with this thought:

“Laura-it has been 8 days where you have eaten like a healthy person, exercised in some form every day, been sleeping well… there is NO way you look worse than you did a week ago when you started. Even if you look the same, you are ON YOUR WAY. THE ONLY PLACE TO GO IS UP.”

And guess what? I get a lot of comfort knowing that I can only look and feel better and better with each passing day.

Sooooo, for the first time since mid-April, I have made a full 8 days of working toward the life, the body, the mindset I want.

But it takes CONSTANT self-awareness. Which is NOT easy.

So, any of you that are struggling to change something in your life, think about what you really want, envision that life, that person you want to become, that body, that job, etc. and focus all your energy on it.

Make it your PURPOSE.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

~Robert Byrne

Something to Think:

You are entirely up to you.

Make your body.

Make your life.

Make yourself.

~Nike ad that I love :)

Here’s to a new week. The first week of September! You know I will be working really hard on myself all week-what are YOU going to work on this week??

Cheers,

L

Once in a Blue Moon

Happy Friday!

Guess where I am right now?

Yep. It’s 1:30 PM on a Friday and I’m getting my blog on at Bucks. Glory be.

Yesterday when I got to work, I was incredibly tired. Sick tired. You know the feeling? Where you’re so tired you feel physically sick?

Yeahhh, 3 day headache, 2 day stomach-ache and just generally feeling like I desperately needed some time to myself meant I finally did something I do once in a blue moon: requested today off simply because. For a mental health day.

Taking time off work is one of those things that I am NOT good at practicing what I preach. I constantly tout the value of mental health days, encourage other people to take time of work to just be.

And yet… since starting this job February 1, I have not taken a single day off just because.

I took vacation off when I was in the Pacific Northwest, and when I had food poisoning that had me literally sleeping on the bathroom floor… but a lot of shit has happened since I started this job, and even though I wanted an escape more than anything 23 million times the last 7 months, I wouldn’t let myself take time off work.

Well, I finally did. On top of personally feeling beaten down lately, I’ve been working at least 9 hour days, often more like 10, and not coming up for air the entire day (example: lunch at 4:00 PM-not ideal).

And guess what? I fell asleep at 7:30 PM last night! Who does that? I missed a ton of texts-which I NEVER do, I always wake up when I hear my phone (and my phone is loud) and just passed out.

I woke up briefly at 9:30 PM when the front door closed and was rolling over to go back to sleep when I realized that I had planned on talking to my parents (the best medicine :) ). Plus I was thirsty as hell.

I talked to my parents for a long time (almost 2 hours?!) and then passed out again-for another 12 hours.

Clearly I was just exhausted.

I woke up SO elated and hopeful, though, simply because I knew I had the entire day to myself.

My day started with French press coffee (yes, I drink the entire thing-I’m a badass) and catching up on the latest mags I get.

Then I decided to one of my favorite things EVER. Go to Bucks (as in Star) to get some blogging done.

Lookin’ a little (a lot?) greasy but happy to go to Bucks!

One of the things I miss most about school is going to coffee shops to do work. Is it weird that’s one of the things I miss most? I mean-it involves studying… Which I also always kinda loved. What a freak.

Anyway, when I was talking to my parents last night, they were both telling me how proud they were of me for deciding to take a mental health day because they had wanted to tell me they thought I should, but I am the most stubborn, prideful, person…ohhhh EVER. Seriously, I can be the most difficult person ever when it comes to “taking a break”.

Almost a year ago, I talked about the importance of mental health days and how every fall my parents would take off of work, pull my sisters and I out of school for the day, and we would drive to the Santa Fe Ski Basin for a picnic lunch and a hike among the golden Aspens that cover the mountains of Northern New Mexico every fall.

We all 5 treasured these days and it is definitely one of the many, MANY (good Lord, with each passing day I realize how INCREDIBLE my parents are with everything they instilled in my sisters and me) things my parents did with us that taught us the value of family, mental health, and appreciating the beauty of nature, and… life.

As soon as I knew I was going to take a day off yesterday morning (it was pretty obvious as soon as I woke up that I had to do it), I immediately had a post idea in mind.

Then when I told my parents I took the day off they immediately were like “ohhhh, like we used to with our autumn ski area hikes!” and I was like “yeah-exactly! Which I blogged about…jeez almost exactly a year ago?!…and was gonna blog about again tomorrow”.

When I was completely falling apart on Wednesday in front of one of my close work friend he was like: “LJ, look at me… will you look at me? (the whole stubborn thing haha)… will you do me a favor?” Since my sassy pants were on I was like: “probably not” (Ha! What a treat I am, right?). Luckily, since he’s used to my ‘tude he was like: “Take a day off. Please. Will you do that for me? And list the things that are going well in your life”. Jesus. Has he been talking to my mom?! Can you guess my response? “No.” Haha. I really did have zero intention, even on Wednesday, of taking the day off, but as soon as I woke up yesterday I knew it wasn’t a sign of weakness to take today off, it was a sign of intelligence. Sleeping for 14 hours verified that.

Question of the Day: Do you take mental health days? What kinds of things do you like to do on your days you take off just to have completely to yourself?

I hope you all have a great, safe start to the holiday weekend!

I’m not sure what the rest of the day entails for me, other than a workout (made Monday to Friday! Hellll yeahhhh!). But the beautiful thing is, whatever is involved is whatever I want to do. :)

Something to Note: Today is a Blue Moon! Which means it’s the second full moon in a single month. Next one isn’t until July 2015. So go check her out tonight! :)

Cheers,

L