my journey to be my best self

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

im a skinny bitch

In health, Uncategorized on March 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I went to Allison’s beach body class this afternoon because she mentioned after spinning on Saturday that she would be teaching a step aerobics class.  So 1980s.  If I had a turquoise leotard, leggings, leg-warmers and some high top Reeboks I certainly would have worn them. I was excited for the workout but I walked out thinking, “Damn. No one in beach body is going to have a beach body anytime soon.” The girls in the class were not nearly as competitive as the girls in her condition and tone class (even though Allison has the same energy).

I guess Gabrielle felt the same way because after looking around the room and seeing that the other girls in the class were not enthusiastic she told Allison that we (yes, we) would go to back-to-back classes if Allison promised that we wouldn’t have to run on the track during the next hour. And I agreed to it (when did I become that girl?)

Tuesday is weigh day. I didn’t have time to weigh in when I first arrived at the gym so I snuck in to the locker room between classes. I took off my shoes and got ready to see how close I was to my goal feeling particularly confident because I noticed that my body is toner (than is ever has been) when I walked past the mirror a few days ago.

I lost 9.8 pounds since I set out on this mission and the goal was 10 pounds.

The girls in the locker room giggled when I yelled, “hallelujah” when I stepped on the scale but after months of everyone looking at me like I’m crazy whenever I say I’m on Weight Watchers that’s exactly how I felt.

And Gab and I didn’t do 2 in a row because there weren’t enough bikes for us to do spinning (and you know how much I love spinning).

Only .2 pounds off.  I can live with that.  The journey is definitely not over.  New challenges to come!


spinning: best workout for your body, worst work out for your hair

In health, Uncategorized on March 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Well thats what my mom says. And there is definitely some truth in that. I just calculated how many calories I burned spinning: the estimate is 623 calories. Not bad for a Saturday workout.

After a week and only 1 workout (not even close to reaching my goal of 4) I knew I had to drag myself to Allison’s class. Allison is my condition and tone class instructor.  She’s energetic and pushes me to have a really good workout, which I appreciate because I just wouldn’t push myself the same way.



I look happy here, don’t I?  Well, I am actually miserable.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate to sweat. I hate it. But it was worth it (even though my hair is an absolute mess) because I’m feeling good, looking good.

Almost ready for Mexico.

eating out: pointless

In health, Uncategorized on March 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm

There was just no way for me to plan ahead this time. I have been asking Di, my classmate from China, to cook me a traditional Chinese meal. Last time I asked he responded, “you were serious?” Of course I was serious. And tonight was the night. Finally.

It smelled good in Di’s kitchen when I walked in.

I don’t recognize the smell but I like it. He opened the freezer and as I peered in and saw the frozen food he said “back up.”

While I was sitting in the kitchen I saw him pour the contents of a bowl into a pot on the stove. Then the smell revealed what was in the pot: eggs. I had to tell him I couldn’t eat that. Damn. I wanted o be experimental but that’s a line I can’t cross. I just can’t. Last time I did (trying to be polite) was a a bad situation.

On the menu:

pork with ginger and garlic

delicious. even though i dont generally eat pork.


and bittern chicken

The amazing thing about the chicken is that it’s cooked in a sauce that is used over and over again. From what I understand its soy based. Di said in his hometown every family has their own sauce with their own ingredients. He said his grandmother’s sauce is older than he is! It is used it over and over again. After cooking chicken or pork in the sauce you strain it and put the sauce in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it again. Isn’t that unbelivable?

I finally had a real Chinese meal and learned as much as I could about it.

The big question is what will I cook Di as an American Meal?

eating out: i need a game plan

In health, Uncategorized on March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I already said I can’t eat out. Being invited to dinner at a friend’s apartment may be the only thing worse than being invited to a restaurant.  I haven’t seen my lovely friend Daniel in weeks and am desperate to catch up but at what cost? When I asked him what was on the menu he said:

  • Appetizer: cheese and olives
  • Dinner: pasta, meatballs, sausage and peppers
  • Dessert:  cookies, cupcakes and lemon pound cake

As soon as he got to dessert I screamed, “I can’t eat that!” and he told me I may have to take today off! Take today off? I just took the last 10 days off, hence the 7 pounds I gained while I was away.

I am afraid to go.  It’s not like when I went to the Wizards game because (besides being a bit embarrassed) Mike wasn’t offended and Daniel will be if I don’t eat his mother’s home cooking.  So I need a game plan. I know I won’t be able to avoid the cheese but I can avoid the wine (I think I had enough bacheloretting this weekend).  I can eat the pasta but not the dessert.

I wish I could bring a snack pack but that would just be rude!

Tomorrow, I will be at the gym.  And I will be counting points like an accountant. If I don’t – I will never get back here by the time I take off for Mexico.

all desserts are not created equal

In health, Uncategorized on March 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Last night my dad called and said, “how could you let me come home, eat dinner and go to the freezer and not tell me we don’t have any Skinny Cow left?”  Well, excuse me!  I tried to tell him the night before that they were delicious but as I was talking he turned his nose up.  But he ate every last drop of his dessert.

I love Skinny Cow.  When I first moved to Boston I had a glass of wine (or 2 or 3) every night when I came home.  Now, I cannot wait to get home to eat Skinny Cow.  My favorite: chocolate ice cream with fudge in a cones.  You know those cones with the chocolate in the bottom.  Saving the best for last.  mmmmm.  I had my first cone at Laura’s: vanilla ice cream with caramel in a cone (that’s her favorite).  And nothing I have tried ever since has been as good.  And for those of us counting points, both are 4 points (same as 4 oz of white wine).  Skinny Cow has bars, cones, cups and sandwiches so I am going to diversify my nightly ritual.  But what I won’t be eating is Weight Watchers ice cream.

Weight Watchers has the same selection and the same point values.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but their ice cream tastes like diet ice cream!  And who wants that?

Skinny Cow vs. Weight Watchers is no competition.

But if you want a treat in the street these are my favorites.

I do not love Pinkberry.  I might have been the only one.  Each and everyone of my coworkers were delighted when they opened a location next door to my office in Columbus Circle and wanted to go every day for a mid-afternoon snack.  On hot days I would enjoy a cup on the terrace with everyone else; I learned to appreciate Pinkberry but I never really loved it.  So I was skeptical of frozen yogurt until I went to Boston.

BerryLine:  A treat you don’t have to feel guilty about.  The nutrition value is online so you can really know what it is you are eating.  For point counters a 5 oz cup is 4 points (like a Skinny Cow ice cream cone and a 4 oz glass of wine).  And now that it’s getting warmer, it’s great to have an alternative to walking outside with an ice cream cone in your hand, trying to finish the cone before the ice cream melts all over your hand (or worse, your clothes). There are locations at Harvard Square, Porter Square and Fenway (near me, so if you want to meet there let me know!).

I tried IceBerry in Georgetown this weekend and it was the perfect thing to sit outside and eat while I was catching up with old friends and getting to know new ones.  The alternative was the line at Georgetown Cupcakes or Baked and Wired.  And guess how many points: 2! There are IceBerry locations in DC, MD and VA but also in LA and West Palm Beach if you’re ever at the beach looking for a little pick-me-up.

Everyone deserves a treat.  Get one!

reading: it’s fundamental

In relationships, Uncategorized on March 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

There is a new phenomenon where men no longer read.  Maybe it’s not really a phenomenon.  Maybe I’m just expecting too much.  Really? I met a man and the first time we went out I asked him what the last thing he read was and he said, “I don’t read.”  He’s a 32 year old black man, he went to Syracuse and has been working as an accountant in Boston for the last 5 years.  So it’s impossible he can’t read, right?  When I asked him what he meant he said he probably hasn’t read since junior high school. Damn. That first date should have probably been the last date.

The next time we had dinner (at my apartment because I can’t eat out) we were talking about movies and I asked him if he realized that the heist in The Town mirrored the heist in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  He was silent. So I asked if he knew about the heist and he said he hadn’t. Ok. But when I asked if he had been to the museum he said he had never been.  He said he doesn’t like art.  Wow.  The worst part is when I asked him what he is interested he said, “men spend 90% of their time trying to get at girls: getting haircuts, washing their cars.” 90%? No. That can’t be right.  So I started thinking about all of the men I know.  They all have interests. Period.  So I tried to ask him in another way, explaining his interests don’t have to be my interests.  After a long, exhausting conversation I came to the conclusion he has no interests.  And if he has not interests I cannot be interested in him.

At least I have my friends at home.  Last night I attended Artini, an event hosted by the 1869 Society benefiting the Corcoran Art Gallery at Tabard Inn.  Each participating venue features a martini inspired by a piece of art and they donate 20% of its bar sales to support upcoming exhibitions at the Corcoran. Perfect. I like art and I like martinis.

We left there and went to Twins Jazz on U Street.  To see/hear some jazz click here:

Besides the fact that there was a $10 cover charge that I didn’t know about until the bill for my rum punch came, I enjoyed a night of jazz in a dark, intimate room with friends.  I am most grateful that I have friends that I can spend nights like these with.  Because it’s not looking good with the people I am meeting in Boston.  At least the men.

family dinner: doesn’t have to be soul food to be good food

In health, Uncategorized on March 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I cannot eat out anymore. I just can’t.  The last time I went out to lunch I narrowed down the choices to southwestern salad and chicken stir fry.  When the waitress came to the table I asked her what she recommended and she quickly suggested that I have the stir fry.  She wished that was all she asked.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: How much chicken is in the stir fry?

Waitress: It’s a chicken breast.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: No, in ounces.

Waitress: I am not sure.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: Can you ask?

Waitress: Sure.

She came back and announced that the chicken breast was 8 ounces.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: And can I have brown rice rather than white?

Waitress: It comes with brown rice.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: Great. How much rice is it?

Waitress: 1/2 a cup.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: How much chicken is in the stir fry?

Waitress: It’s a chicken breast.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: No, in ounces.

Waitress: I am not sure.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: Can you ask?

Waitress: Sure.

She came back and announced that the chicken breast was 8 ounces.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: And can I have brown rice rather than white?

Waitress: It comes with brown rice.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: Great. How much rice?

Waitress: About 1/2 cup.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: Ok. And what’s tahini sauce?

Waitress: It’s healthier than soy sauce.

Fat Girl in Skinny Girl’s Body: How?

After that meal I decided that I just can’t eat out anymore. Which becomes a challenge when you are dating.  I am dating a man in Boston and when he asked if I wanted to go to dinner I recounted the story about my last experience dining out. After a long pause I decided to invite him for dinner. On the menu:

fillet mignon

brussel sprouts

acorn squash

brown rice

and for dessert:

skinny cow ice cream

When he called to say he was on the way I started thinking to myself: Oh my god, men like smothered pork chops (at least my father does). He’s going to leave here and tell his friends that he came over for dinner and had nuts and berries.  I started panicking. But it was too late. That’s what I had in the refrigerator.  That’s what I planned to prepare.  I served him dinner and I watched as he took his first bite.  I was astonished that he ate every single bite. And later called to say (besides when his grandmother cooks) it was the best home cooked meal he has had.

So tonight I made the same meal.  At lunch this afternoon my dad said he can eat fried chicken 3 days a week.  So let’s see what happens.

game night: i need a game plan

In health, Uncategorized on March 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I seemed to be enjoying myself at the Celtics game but at the end of the weekend I told my friend Geoff, who was visiting from New York, that he might have to take me to the emergency room.

The night the Celtics played the Lakers was the beginning of the end. Geoff arrived in Boston Thursday night, dressed in all green (that’s not him to my left but if he could find that hat, I assure you he would have it and he would have been wearing it) and ready for the game.  When I asked Geoff if he wanted dinner before heading to TD Garden he said he wanted a hot dog and nachos at the game. Seemed like a good idea to me.  It wasn’t.

After finding our seats and getting settled amongst the obnoxious fans we went out to find something to eat: hot dogs.  Geoff wanted kosher dogs.  Not a bad idea.  When we asked we were told there was a kosher dog vending machine. Vending machine? I was disgusted but intrigued.

When we found the machine there was an energetic man explaining that the hot dogs and buns were frozen until you pressed the red button, at which point they would be lasered. Lasered? Come on. This kept getting better and better: a vending machine that lasers kosher dogs. I peered though the glass of the vending machine as my hot dog was being cooked (well, technically lasered). It didn’t look like anything was happening but a few moments later the light went off and the man opened the door and handed me a hot dog. Hesitating to take the hot dog (that looked like any other hot dog) I asked, “Are you sure they’re good?” He assured me that they were and that if I didn’t like them, I could have my money back. He was right.  It was good. So I bought another. I finished them both before we got back to our seats.

When we were in our seats I looked over at Geoff’s nachos.  You know those nachos with the cheese that isn’t really cheese? Those.  And caught up in the moment they looked appealing to me too.

Tonight I am going to the Wizards game.  And knowing that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray” I need a plan so I don’t find myself unbuttoning my pants at dinner by the end of the weekend.

Plan A: Eat a healthy, balanced meal so I am not hungry at the game.

Plan B: Pack 99% fat free popcorn and a piece of fruit in my bag (tacky) so I have a snack if I get hungry.

Plan C: Research healthy eating options at Verizon Center.

If all else fails, I will be eating hot dogs and nachos. Yikes.

skinny jeans: just for skinny girls?

In health, Uncategorized on March 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm

No matter how skinny I get I am not skinny enough for skinny jeans.

Yesterday’s mission: to buy a pair of skinny jeans (when I should have been preparing for my last midterm).  Every time I wear my wide leg jeans my friend Laura says the exact same thing, “You can’t wear those anymore! We have to find you some skinny jeans.” Well, easier said than done.

Laura and I spent the better half of the afternoon yesterday searching for the perfect pair of jeans.  We went to a boutique on Newbury that had a large selection of jeans and asked the sales girl (sounds so 1960’s) to pull every pair in my size from the shelves.  I tried each and every pair on (in the middle of the dressing room area because the stores policy is that customers can only try one pair on at a time) and left empty handed.

Why is it that I cannot wear skinny jeans? Is it because I am not tall? Is it because I do not have long legs? This failed attempt leaves me wondering am I resigned to wearing wide leg and straight leg jeans?


i want my body back

In health, Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I wish I could say I began this journey because I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself but really I just wanted my body back.  The first time I heard T.I. say “im 22 and a vet in the game” I felt he was speaking to me: I was 22 and definitely thought I was a vet in the game. I know I cant click my heels and go back to 22 (if I could, I would) but I can be the absolute best 29.

Before I went to college I remember hearing about girls and the “freshman 15” but my freshman year I quickly lost 15 pounds (on a diet I certainly cannot endorse in 2011) so I didnt know what to do when I realized I had gained 10 pounds when I started my graduate program.

When I went home for winter break my mother was doing weight watchers. She was attending meetings, weighing in and trying to reach her weight loss goal. I didnt want to count points but she made me (if you know my mom you know its true).  But now I’m planning my meals for each and every day. And its kind of fun. Damn. Maybe I should think about how to get my 22 life back too.

Since I have been back in Boston I started a condition and tone class at the gym and have tried incorporating new workouts into my routine.

I already lost 5 of the 10 pounds!

More importantly, i have also learned to cook healthy meals (my future husband and kids will thank me one day) and workout (my future husband will thank me every day) and I am on the way to be the best version of myself.

Come along on this journey and maybe in the process you’ll be a healthier version of yourself before you know it!