thank you!

Yesterday I vowed to combat my Blackberry obsession (it’s really more like a neurotic tic) for the next few days, at least. It’s the perfect week to be less connected since half the world is on vacation, plus I’m headed to Vegas tomorrow for my cousin’s wedding! I can’t be medically dependent on my phone when I’m trying to win jackpots, you guys. Get real.

So when I checked Twitter last night before bed, my jaw dropped to discover that The Frisky had posted my article yesterday afternoon! I had no idea it went up.

And I was even more surprised to find a bunch of really thoughtful, positive comments. So thank you for reading, commenting and for your emails, tweets and Facebook messages. I’m truly, truly humbled by all the generous and warm responses.

The truth is, it’s a little intimidating to post such a personal story on the Internet. I’m not a particularly private person because I don’t see any need to keep secrets. But telling a story like this in all its scandalous glory on such a widely read site still involves some letting go on my part.

More than anything though, I am reminded that I have nothing to hide. In short, I went through an incredibly difficult time in my early twenties that felt like a death as it was happening. Sure, there are some embarrassing details associated with the whole mess, but I can’t be ashamed of any of it. It happened. And it’s a story I’m compelled to tell.

If readers can relate, are moved, or if it helps them with something in their own life, I’m honored.

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welcome new readers! + 21 things about me

If you’re new around here, welcome! I’ve been so lucky to have so many new readers over the last few months, so thanks for stopping by!

And thank you so much for your emails or comments letting me know that my story on “follow my bliss” is something that resonates with you. Love to hear from you guys.

In the interest of all the new (virtual) faces around these parts, I’m gonna do a crash course “about me” rundown so you’re all caught up!

21 Things About Me:

  1. I’m 29. I’ll be 30 in November. Yikes!
  2. My boyfriend Kevin and I live near Prospect Park in Brooklyn with our two cats, Chawser and Kaia. I talk about those damn cats a lot on this blog. You can bet Kevin and I talk about (and coo at) them even more in real life.
  3. I quit my boring desk job as a receptionist at a law firm last year to…well…follow my bliss, i.e. to pursue work that makes me happier.
  4. I graduated from NYU Tisch with an acting degree.
  5. I graduated two years late because I dropped out somewhere in the middle to..uh..see how much I could screw my life up before hitting rock bottom. It was a blast. That’s sarcasm.
  6. I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD LIKE IT’S MY JOB.
  7. I really want a dog.
  8. I’m originally from the suburbs of Chicago.
  9. I lost 115 pounds in my early twenties through diet and exercise. I’ve kept the weight off for almost 8 years.
  10. Kevin and I have been dating for 3.5 years and we’ve lived together for 2. But we’ve been friends for over 8 years!  I guess I’m keeping him. 🙂
  11. When I was 21 I punched an ex-boyfriend in the mouth, got kicked out of the apartment we were living and ended up essentially homeless on the streets of NYC with $12 to my name. That’s obviously a much longer story. Continue reading

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.