i’ll be patient

I have been on the brink of sneezing for the last two days. It’s torturous. Every once in a blue moon, I will sneeze, but as soon as it’s over, I immediately have to sneeze again and it stays like that for the next couple hours.

Been busy, been sick, looking forward to spring. My days consist of sleeping, commuting and working with some evening obligation most weeknights. But tonight Kevin and I went to see a show, something I bought tickets for in February, and we had a lovely time together. Mike Birbiglia is a favorite comedian of ours and neither of us had ever seen him live – it was a great show. We braved hail on the way home but it was worth it.

Some big changes are coming to my life pretty soon. I’m not exactly sure what direction they’ll take yet, but changes nonetheless and I’m excited and grateful.

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addicted

Fruit.

Been eating a ton of it because it’s 0 points on the new Weight Watchers plan. And I’m enjoying it more than ever before.

I’ve been hearing that same sentiment from a lot of people who’ve tried the new WW plan. Being allowed to eat unlimited fruit without having to pay for it with your points bank, especially for those of us who followed the old Weight Watchers plan for years (where most fruits were 2 precious points per serving), is God’s gift to snacking.

I’ve actually never been a huge produce person. As a kid, it was a constant battle and as an adult, I know I’m supposed to eat produce, but ugh. I usually want a piece of bread or cheese instead. I also rarely cook, so unless someone else is preparing my veggies, I’m eating them raw. And fruit just never sounded quite as appealing to me as, say, a cookie.

But that’s all changed now that I can eat as many strawberries as my heart desires without worry. I’m obsessed. Now, at age 30, I’m finally getting nearly as many servings as one’s supposed to have in a day. And weight loss aside, I can totally tell. I feel healthier, I’m generally fuller longer and my skin even looks better. My therapist told me recently, “You’re glowing! I said, “It’s the bananas.”

I’m really into blueberries right now. Like, I’m inhaling almost a container’s worth a day. Can’t get enough.

 

mixed bag

"Another Psycho" shoot - image via P3 Entertainment

A mixed bag update on this sunny Thursday:

We’re screening the HST short film we shot over the summer “Another Psycho” (the one we made with the $10,000 grant from the Friar’s Club!) tomorrow night at The PIT in an evening hosted by the HST girls. Looking forward to it. The awesome production company that helped us make the film, P3 Entertainment, posted some behind the scenes shots on their Facebook Page recently and it reminded me what a great time we had shooting our little movie.

The warmer weather and sunshine we’re enjoying in New York City today has certainly improved my mood.

I’m also feeling pretty good physically. I’ve lost 10 pounds since the beginning of the year doing the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program. (As you may or may not know, I lost 115 pounds in my early twenties through Weight Watchers. I put 10 of it back on last year because of a lack of food mindfulness and a change in my daily routine.) I wasn’t desperate to lose these 10 pounds – I was actually okay with having gained them – but I did want to avoid having to buy bigger pants and to have more energy, so it’s nice to have lost them. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, this Points Plus thing they rolled out at the end of last year is pretty fantastic. I recommend it.

I haven’t been exercising a lick besides walking around the city and my occasional yoga practice, which is more than enough for me right now. I used to bang out 5-6 days a week at the gym – for years – and finally got to a point where that just wasn’t interesting to me any more. Maybe it will be again someday, but I’m not in the business of forcing myself to do things I really don’t want to do. So for now, this is fine. I am excited for the warmer weather to tempt me outside for an occasional jog or bike ride. Moral of that story: exercise to FEEL GOOD. Not to lose weight. And do active things you enjoy! No sense slogging through a workout feeling miserable. If you love the gym, go for it. If it’s not your thing, there are so many other options.

Career-wise, I’ve decided I need to be doing more. I do a lot right now as it is and I love it…and it’s also hectic and insane at times. But it makes me feel alive and happy when I have a lot of projects going at once. I’d rather err toward that than feeling bored or unmotivated. Gotta work hard while I’m young!

End transmission.

this girl

She’s sick! She’s getting better, but we had a scare on Sunday when we woke up to an ailing cat who had licked and scratched a spot on her back raw. Awful, I know.

Turns out she had some serious double ear infection type thing and her wound was likely a symptom of that, which is something they’ve seen before. They sent us home with three different medications, two of which we have to give her twice a day for ten days!

You can imagine our joy. Giving medicine to a cat ever – but especially this cat – is the worst. And we have to do it twice a day for ten whole days.

Naturally, we’re going out of town right in the middle of the ten days (for my birthday!) and we really don’t want to have to cancel the trip over a cat. So our kind and dear friends Faryn and David are going to come vacation at our place for the weekend and care for sweet Kaia and her ailments.

So that’s what’s going on around here. Every morning and evening we upset our family world for a solid 10 minutes when we catch her, try to get it done quickly and gently, and we feel guilty while she sits in the corner recovering, pouting, and looking seriously pissed.

I’m exhausted. Work is constant. The day goes by in an instant because I am working non-stop. I’m writing, performing, rehearsing and teaching when I’m not at work. And I sleep and watch TV the rest of the time. It’s a whirlwind.

Goodnight.

spring in july

If you’ve yet to check out Spring, the site I’ve been contributing to lately, get on over there!

It’s a lovely corner of the web created by four successful, passionate women – entrepreneurs and bloggers in their own right – who’ve come together with a singular focus on mind: To inspire you to “design a life you love.”

Obviously, I like that.

Throughout the month of July (which is coming to such a swift and sudden close, I almost can’t believe it!), I wrote four pieces on the theme of Self Care:

Self-Love Advice from a Former Fat Girl

3 Reasons to Skip the Gym

A Lesser Person Couldn’t

Without Condition

I’ll be back contributing to Spring in August on the subject of, what else, inspiration! If there are any specific topics you’d like me to explore or any questions you’d like me to ponder in my August articles, shoot me an email: jenifercurran@gmail.com.

…and it’s good

You know what I realized?

It’s so easy to keep an automatic running list of what’s not good enough – what I’ve yet to do, yet to accomplish, what’s been hanging on my To Do List for weeks, the fact that I don’t keep my clothes folded as neatly as I “should,” that I wish our apartment had more light, that I am nervous to turn 30, that I’m too old, too young, too inexperienced, too unmotivated, too ambitious, not ambitious enough…

I could literally find a fault, major or minor, with every aspect of my life if I wanted to.

It’s a tape in my brain and it might be the default. It might play over and over again if I leave it unchecked. I have to actively work to change those messages, otherwise I will tell them to myself all day every day.

The funny thing, the TRUTH, is that there’s no way I’m as much of failure or a slacker or a troublemaker or a messy-clothes-offender as my brain would like me to believe. There’s just no way. Because I do my best every day to be a good person and to work toward things that fulfill me and to be supportive and kind in my relationships.

So why isn’t THAT the tape that runs automatically through my head?

I don’t know why it isn’t. But I don’t really need to know. All I need to do is gently switch that mean, judgmental, always-wants-more tape to “mute” and go about my happy life.

Because most everything is exactly as it should be.

And it’s good.

something to keep in mind…

Last week I wrote a post called “feed yourself – a word about diets and cleanses” and I told you about my friend Fitzalan, who discovered, after getting her resting metabolic rate tested, that she hasn’t been eating nearly enough calories to keep her body healthy.

Well, she has a new post up this week where she shares how things are going since she’s been increasing her daily calorie intake. She’s trying to eat more (while still making healthy choices) under the guidance of a nutritionist and has been doing so for a week. Guess what? SHE LOST TWO POUNDS. BY EATING MORE. Amazing…

Of course it doesn’t always work this way. Often we have to eat less to lose weight, but not in Fitzalan’s case. And it makes me wonder how many women are stunting their body’s natural processes by eating too little. Because they’re afraid to eat too much, because they think eating less is always better?

Now, F’s goal isn’t necessarily to lose weight – she wants to maintain her weight while being healthy. But isn’t it interesting as hell that she was eating less than 1400 calories a day forever and now she’s eating around 1700 calories a day – and she lost weight? The body is a fascinating machine. And it likes food.

Something to keep in mind…

who stands like that?

(image via Jezebel.com)

I’m not crazy about magazines like this one, but I’m not gonna lie – I totally read them from time to time. Like at the dentist’s office or the airport. Or when one winds up in my purse because somebody took money out of my wallet and handed it to the guy. Sheesh.

They’re candy, for sure. But I tend to agree with Jezebel.com‘s assertion that these types of magazines claim to be about women’s health, but are more often about how to lose weight, get thin and be a super woman while you do it.

Still, I usually feel hopeful when I open one up. Something on the cover catches my eye (“Get fit for life in 4 minutes a day and never break a sweat? NO WAY!”), but by the time I flip to the article, I’ve already seen 12 pictures of perfect women in bikinis who couldn’t pick a stretch mark out of a line-up, and four different “Lose 12 pounds in 2 Weeks!” diet menus that are so unrealistic for my lifestyle I might as well be homeless.

My self-esteem tries to pretend it hasn’t noticed the hot bikini babes or how different my thighs are from theirs, while I curse my inability to enjoy salmon. Or cook almost anything.

But, blah blah blah who cares, right? We’re all “victims” of our “culture” and who needs another blog entry about women’s magazines and how they make us feel bad about ourselves. (This won’t be the last one…)

I’m only bringing it up today to mention the following: Do you realize how far to the right Kim Kardashian is actually crossing her leg to achieve that weird angle? I mean, she looks good. But I guarantee, if you could see both her legs, they’d  look bizarre as heck. Who stands like that?!

Oh, magazines. We will never quit you. And you will never be honest with us. It’s the perfect dysfunctional relationship.

Pass the cookies!

feed yourself – a word about diets and cleanses

I don’t believe in cleanses. I don’t think they’re necessary. There, I said it.

I believe that our bodies like to eat, want food, need fuel, crave calories. I don’t believe in not eating for periods of time.

Yes, I realize there are certain cleanses where you do eat. I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the ones where you drink juice.

I don’t have any scientific evidence to support my disbelief in cleanses. Although the Mayo Clinic does say, “The digestive system and bowel naturally eliminate waste material and bacteria — your body doesn’t need enemas or special diets or pills to do this.”

That. I like that.

Just Mary’s Mary Rambin is on a cleanse right now. I know she’s done cleanses in the past and I’m sure she’ll do them again. I don’t know her personally, I only read her blog, but I remember her once explaining via her blog her reasons for doing a cleanse and they all seemed valid and justified.

To each her own and I know Mary knows what she’s doing when it comes to her body.

Me? I don’t believe in cleanses.

While we’re on the subject of dieting and restrictive eating, I read something very interesting this week on Happiness Awaits, my friend Fitzalan’s blog. (Fitzalan is a great name, right?) In her post entitled “Nourishment” she talks about getting her resting metabolic heart rate tested. Here’s what she learned:

“I actually need 2187 calories a day…my goal is to maintain my weight. I have been getting ~1400 calories a day. I have basically been starving my body and that is why I am always exhausted and want to go to bed at 8PM.”

My jaw hit the floor when I saw that. She has been inadvertently denying her body almost 800 calories a day! I’m so happy for her that she discovered this.

Naturally, now that she’s challenged with the goal of consuming MORE food, not less, she’s nervous, like many of us would be. She said, “Eating more in my head equals gaining weight, which is something I obviously do not want to do.” She’s consulting a nutritionist to find out the best way to go about it.

I don’t write about Fitzalan’s situation to wag a finger at her – she was doing what many of us do – striving to maintain her weight, to be able to have an indulgence every now and then and not have to pay for it later. She was doing what she thought was best for her body.

But she was unknowingly starving herself to avoid gaining weight. I think her story is important.

Ladies, let us not go crazy with the rules and restrictions and 2, 3, or 5 pounds. In fact, I’m going to lighten up on myself about by my own goal to lose 10 pounds.

UGH. WHO CARES!

(Let’s be honest, I’m still trying to lose 10 pounds.)

My point is, crash diets and cleanses and not eating and not eating enough and over-exercising and stressing the fuck (yeah, I said it!) out about it all has got to stop. It’s good to be mindful about your health and weight, but Love First.

failure and living well

I was flipping through the May 2010 issue of Oprah Magazine last night (Yes, I read it. No, I’m not embarrassed about that.) And I came across this article all about failure and living well, written by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Committed.”

The whole piece is a great, quick read that I think every woman should read. Click here for the full article.

Here’s an excerpt:

By all rights, every one of these clever, inventive women should be radiant with self-satisfaction. Instead, they twitch with near-constant doubt, somehow worrying that they are failing at life…(And) all of them worry that they need to lose 10 pounds.

It’s terribly frustrating for me to witness this endless second-guessing. The problem is, I do it, too. Despite having written five books, I worry that I have not written the right kinds of books, or that perhaps I have dedicated too much of my life to writing, and have therefore neglected other aspects of my being. (Like, I could really stand to lose 10 pounds.)

So here’s what I want to know: Can we lighten up a little?

As we head into this next decade, can we draft a joint resolution to drop the crazy-making expectation that we must all be perfect friends and perfect mothers and perfect workers and perfect lovers with perfect bodies who dedicate ourselves to charity and grow our own organic vegetables, at the same time that we run corporations and stand on our heads while playing the guitar with our feet?

I loved this article – again, I recommend reading the whole thing – and I couldn’t agree with her more.

Try, just for a minute, to believe that everything you do and have right now is already exactly perfect. That your life today is as good as it’s ever going to get – that you will never exercise more than you do today, never be more organized, never use up your groceries any more efficiently, never fight with your spouse more constructively – the way you are today is how you will be forever.

Sure, it sounds boring and stifling. Because we are humans who thrive off growth and change. But isn’t there part of it that seems like a little bit of a relief?

We put so much pressure on ourselves to CONSTANTLY be improving, growing, changing, losing weight, gaining friends, making career advancements, having our laundry done, keeping the bathroom clean and fitting into our skinny jeans that the idea of turning off that motor for an afternoon (or a lifetime) has its merits.

I’m not saying we should stop striving. Striving is part of what it means to be a woman in today’s culture.

I’m saying we should be a whole lot nicer to ourselves about the whole game.