Voyages of Discovery

My beloved BeltwayThis is my last post for a while, dear readers, as the much-needed holiday va-k season officially begins.

After hosting a holiday cookie exchange with fab friends on Sunday, at the crack of dawn Monday morning, my husband and I are driving to DC (where we met and where I moved here from) and Annapolis (where we got married) to see friends and family over the Christmas holiday.

We won’t be back until late Sunday night, so I probably won’t blog again until Tuesday or so.

This means several things:

1) I will be away from my house. (my usual food/morning get-ready routine)

2) Away from the gym. (my usual exercise routine)

3) Away from my computer. (my technology addiction)

Could be scary, but I’m not afraid. After all this time, I know some certainties about myself. (more…)

16 comments June 19, 2011

Life’s Like a Dreidel …

dreidel_1134594420Hannukah, like Christmas, is just around the corner.

And while I’ve long out-grown my Hebrew School days and the eight nights a year spent playing dreidel with my siblings (always figuring out a way that *I* could win the most of whatever we were playing for, be it money, chocolate coins, etc) … I recently had the opportunity to revive my Jewish roots by teaching a friend’s bright-beyond-his-years four-year-old son about Hannukah …

Hannukah, the Festival of Lights, the holiday where Jews around the world remember the miracle that occured when, at the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, oil that should have burned for only one night, burned for eight.

Sharp as a whip, her son had come prepared with really good questions to ask me about one of my favorite holidays. I answered them, and we talked about special Hannukah foods and shared some Hannukah songs, which of course brought me back to my childhood.

Then, we played dreidel, a game beloved by children around the world. For anyone who doesn’t know what a dreidel is, it’s a small top that children play with on Hannukah. The prize can be anything, but it’s usually gold chocolate coins (called “gelt“), which are distributed to each player before the game begins. (more…)

13 comments June 18, 2011

“Trying Too Hard” — BISJ

One of my favorite bloggers, Steph at Back in Skinny Jeans, had a great post about how “trying too hard” can backfire.

“Trying too hard” can be applied to anything in life, but since today I was talking about our physical selves, it really resonated. Though I’m still Type A and have perfectionstic tendencies, I do know there’s merit to what she’s saying.

Read for yourself by taking a peek here. I am curious as to what you think.

How about you? Do you think if you loosened up and didn’t try so hard, you’d be more successful in various aspects of your life?

5 comments June 17, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Coming off that last post … or perhaps because of it … (I like that better), I want to challenge all of us — myself included — to be kind to ourselves today.

I don’t mean to sound hokey, but really, how often do we give our bodies some love?

We might talk about our insides — like our big hearts, our compassion, our determination, our smarts, our perseverance … and those things are certainly important!

But I’m looking at the whole package today: mind, body and soul.

So how often do we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “Damn. I look good now. Not ten pounds from now, not in a new pair of designer jeans, but now, at this moment, in these pj pants and ratty T.”?

My guess: not often. (more…)

8 comments June 17, 2011

Maintenance is HARD

uphill-roadAfter living in “maintenance world” for almost four years now, I can verify that losing weight was easy and maintaining is damn hard.

OK … I guess it’s not too hard or I’d have gained all my weight back (not just 10-12), but my point is, it’s still not an easy feat and not one I take lightly.

I’ve said it before that when I joined Weight Watchers in April 2004, it was my first attempt at losing weight and worked like a charm. (Probably because I had never tried to lose weight before — even just skipping my daily sugary, whipped mint mochas was enough to cut calories back then).

In 2004 when I began, everything was beautiful. Magical. I loved the feeling of my clothes being loose, needing safety pins and then a new wardrobe, the attention from friends, co-workers, family, strangers … The way my body changed and with it, my brain. (Before the disordered eating behaviors and thoughts began, that is).

But keeping it off requires thought, preparation. Just like when losing — only magnified like twenty-fold. (more…)

15 comments June 17, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions — Thanks, But No Thanks

newyearseveIt’s ironic (or maybe not?) that during the most joyous, food-filled time of the year, everyone seems to be talking about dieting, “being good” or “being bad”, weight loss, exercise … it’s like a national past-time this time of year. A fixation on “fat.”

At work, at home, out socializing, at the mall, restaurants, you name it … I’ve heard it. I’m convinced the topic du jour is the dreaded, dirty four-letter “D” word.

Collectively, we indulge and talk about it. We don’t indulge and talk about it. We talk about the new pudge around our middles and the extra flesh forming on our backside, real or imagined.

We commit to the gym, our trainers, our nutritionists, our diets, our programs.

We pooh-pooh things people bring to work (or to the gym or deliver to our home) as “too fattening” and groan when we see it … then we over-indulge at home on Puffins or something equally ridiculous. (more…)

17 comments June 16, 2011

Note to Self: Chex is Crack

Do not buy Chex mix. It is not worth the agony. Even that time of the month doesn’t warrant you to eat … four (!!!) servings in place of a balanced dinner. What were you THINKING?!

On the plus side, you had a kick-ass workout (cardio and some lifting), are reading a fabulous new book, your husband is done with his first semester of biz school at University of Michigan, and … it’s a new day Tuesday!

Signed, Self.

1 comment June 15, 2011

Awesome Interview with Dr. Judith Beck

Crabby McSlacker over at Cranky Fitness recently interviewed one of my heroes, Dr. Judith Beck, author of The Beck Diet Solution.

Her father, Dr. Aaron Beck, is the man behind cognitive behavioral therapy, and she applies the methods to weight loss in her book The Beck Diet Solution (which I’ve yapped about plenty here on my blog).

The phrases “Giving Credit” and “Flex Your Resistance Muscle/No Choice”that I’ve used here come from her lessons.

Because CBT is part of my own therapy journey, I’m especially interested in what Beck has to say, and will be purchasing her new book when it comes out.

Check out the awesome interview here.

2 comments June 15, 2011

Crazy Sore, Crazy Good

weight-liftingI have a confession to make: I haven’t lifted in three months.

Yup, you heard me.

Although I know how good for me is, although I know how good lifting makes me feel … I’ve been painfully negligent of this portion of my workout routine.

And it’s showing. On the scale, how my clothes fit, the little bit of chub that has made its appearance on my hips. I don’t have a muffin top yet … but I’ll be on my way if I’m not careful!

The reasoning for my lack of lifting is simple: I know I can sweat out 400-500 calories in my cardio sessions (my Polar F6 heart rate monitor serves as a personal trainer) and then by the time I’m done, I’m spent.

The thought of pumping iron at that point is just “eh” and then I say, “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow … ” I used to spend 90 min. or more at the gym back in the day, and I just don’t want to go back there, where I was obsessed with gym-time. (more…)

16 comments June 15, 2011

Relishing “Me” Time

Fave photo I took in San Telmo, Bs. As.

Fave photo I took in San Telmo, Bs. As.

In college, I used to dread the thought of doing anything alone: shopping, eating, walking on the quad.

It wasn’t so much a confidence thing as that I just wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. And by being surrounded by other people all the time, I couldn’t spend too many of my thoughts on introspection.

Like most freshman on my floor, my dorm door was always open so friends could pop in. I always made sure I had a friend or group of friends to go to T.D.R. (our dining hall at American University) with. And I’d never take the bus to Georgetown alone.

I didn’t have a boyfriend and so naturally, I did everything with my friends and was fortunate that I never had to worry about being “that girl” who spent all her time with a guy. I threw myself into my sorority (Chi Omega, for any sisters out there!) and built my world around my girlfriends.

I just never realized how dependent I was on them for my happiness.

Then I spent a semester abroad in Buenos Aires during my junior year of college (more…)

13 comments June 12, 2011

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