Monday, December 20, 2010

My first official setback

This past weekend I started to notice that while I was laying down to bed at night, I would cough a little.  Nothing major, just irksome.  Then, the cough got progressively worse and occurred throughout the day.  I didn't have any other symptoms, just a cough.  I took a couple of days off of running and thought it would eventually go away...

Oh, how wrong I was...

It's now Monday evening and I haven't run since Thursday.  I can barely walk outside.  It hurts to breathe the cold air in and out.  I was very fortunate and was able to get a doctor's appointment at Columbia's student health services (gotta love still being a student sometimes!  Free doctor visits!) and discovered that I have a viral upper respiratory infection.  Nothing can be done to make it better.  Just time.  My doctor told me I could get better anytime between 3 and 21 days!  I'm sorry, but that's a LARGE span of time there... Couldn't you perhaps narrow that down just a tad??

So, here I sit.  Waiting to get better.  He told me to just get rest, drink fluids and take vitamin C.  I could have learned that from watching Sesame Street...  This is the longest I've gone without doing any sort of physical activity since I started this back on Labor Day Weekend.  I'm a little nervous what this long break will do for my motivation.  I'm scared that once I stop, I won't start back!

I'm setting forth a challenge to everyone.  Please, please, PLEASE keep on me.  Ask me about my running.  Make sure I get back out there once I'm back to 100%.  I know I shouldn't do anything before I'm completely better because it will most likely cause me to have a setback and end up worse off than before...  Have no fear I will take care of myself.  But, please help take care of me too and make sure I get back out there!  I had a goal of 40 pounds lost by New Year's Eve and I'm still hoping to hit it!

Well, I'm back off to Kentucky tomorrow morning early.  Wish my safe and happy driving!  To each of you (few) readers, Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate)!  Hopefully the next time you'll hear from me, it will be from a non-hacking, fully healthy Maia.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I interrupt this blog to report...


I gotta say, that took a helluva lot longer than I thought it would...  I've been out of the job since last February essentially.  I did work for about a month in April - May, but other than that I have been spending my year trying to find ways to take up my vast amounts of time.

For those out there who are unaware, unemployment is hard.  It's an emotional beating like you haven't seen before.  You feel lost!  You don't know what to do.  You wonder why no one wants to hire you.  You question yourself and your abilities.

It's a very vicious cycle.  I was only able to help myself by finding a way to distract my mind during the daylight hours.  I am actually fortunate that I had a wake up call and started getting healthy.  It broke my depression.  Other people out there in the world of unemployment haven't been so lucky.  They are still wallowing in self pity.

The Fates
When I think about my life at this moment though, I realize that the Fates know what they are doing.  They knew that I had a messed up life and that things needed to get fixed before I dove head first back into a job.  They knew that I needed to start working on my thesis and I needed to get my health in check.  They waited until I had all areas of my life in control.  Those Fates are pretty smart cookies.

Basically, what I'm saying is...when things are supposed to work out?  They will.

Baby it's cold outside

Gonna start out with some more positivity...  Today I noticed I have been visited by some friends that I haven't seen in a very long while.  Some friends I hope are here to stay.  Those friends would be my collar bones!  I can see them again!  I couldn't tell you when the last time I could see these guys!  I'm not saying I want the scary looking collar bones that the terrifyingly skinny Victoria Beckham has or anything...  But, it's just another example to me that my body is shedding its unneeded fat.  So long fat!  Hope you don't come back again!

The other thing I want to talk about is two of the things I'm severely battling at the moment.  1.) It's really damn cold outside.  For the first few minutes and the last few minutes of each run, it's almost agony for me.  My nose is running, it almost hurts to breathe because the air is so cold, and my skin is completely covered in goose bumps. Granted, once I've been moving for a while I'm much warmer, but still!  I'm chilly just sitting here in my apartment so the thought of getting out there and running is becoming increasingly more and more difficult.  This bitter cold snap needs to end!  Even just 5-7 degrees warmer would make a huge difference I think.

2.)  Holiday food.  I knew it would be difficult, but I have a friend in town right now.  I am absolutely loving having her here, but it's something that kind of bursts my bubble I've created for myself in regards to my food choices.  There is more temptation to snack, or have a few glasses of wine, or even just make less healthy choices in general.  I've made okay choices so far.  I haven't completely fallen off the band wagon, but I know I could have been a lot better.  I think the real threat is next week when I go home to visit my family.  I will be completely without my stock of foods that I know work for me.  It's completely up to me to make the choices whether or not to indulge and its going to be tough.  When I don't have temptation around me, it's so much easier to be good, but place some cookies in front of me?  Ruh, roh...

Oh well, I guess I just needed to write down my frustrations at the moment so that I can say I've acknowledged them.  Once I've acknowledged them, I can face them a little better I think.  We'll see though...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well, well... what have we here?

I have to say after last week's disappointing plateau, this week has brought some great accomplishments.  Tomorrow is my weigh day, so these aren't necessarily scale victories, although I am hoping to see a more positive number this week.

I'm talking about the thing I've been waiting three and a half long months for... a drop in size!!  That's right!  I've gone down a pants size!  My old ones were giving me a serious droopy diaper look (none too flattering) and so I decided to venture online to start looking for a couple of new pairs of jeans.  Being 6'2", stores don't usually carry pants long enough for me in the actual locations, so I am forced to buy online, try them on at home and return via the mail if they don't fit.  I took my waist and hip measurements and according to the websites that I normally buy clothes from, I was not quite to the next size down yet.  I was a full inch away!  BOO!  So, I decided to take my chances, order a couple of pairs anyway and if they were too small then I would just deal with my droopy drawers until I did fit into them.  Well, they arrived today and VOILA!  My thinner ass fit into those jeans!  EUREKA!  Guaranteed proof that what I'm doing is working!  Words could not express how happy that made me.

Another good thing that happened this week was I realized how much I actually can accomplish when I put my mind to it.  Sunday afternoon was POURING down rain.  Like, blowing sideways rain.  I hadn't exercised the day before because my ankle was giving me some problems, so I had to do something.  I wasn't going to be satisfied with just doing some toning/strengthening exercises.  Last week's plateau had me scared!  I knew I needed to go for a run.  Luckily it was slightly warmer, so what did I do?  I laced up my sneakers, put on a hat and my raincoat, I went out into that monsoon and I ran!  I couldn't run the Reservoir like usual because it would be riddled with puddles and would have been impassable.  So, instead I went on and found the northern loop of the park was a little over 2 miles long.  I set out, and just a few short minutes into my run I realized what I was in for: the run was FULL of hills!  Big hills...  I had to walk for a few minutes here and there but I did it!  The sense of accomplishment I felt when I set foot back into the apartment was unreal.  I hadn't felt that good since the day I realized I could run a full mile.  I did that same run today with Stacia in the 21 degree weather.  (Windchill was probably in the teens.)  It was still tough, I still had to walk a few times, but I have a new short term goal!  Hope to be able to run it straight in a few weeks.  We shall see.

Speaking of Stacia, she brings me to my last high point of the week.  Because of our schedules this past month, we hadn't been able to hang out for almost the entire last month.  I think the last time we saw each other was Harry Potter?  When she walked in the door she almost stopped in her tracks and said to me, "You're half the person you were just a few weeks ago!  You look AMAZING!"  She was near tears.  She was so proud of me.  It choked me up.  Most of the people that know me see me on a pretty consistent basis and therefore aren't able to see the transformation as well as someone whom I haven't seen in a while.

I know I said this at Thanksgiving, but I have to say this again.  I'm so grateful and thankful for all of my friends that haven't helped me through this.  Both the ones in NYC and the ones who I just talk to on facebook.  It's SO essential to have a support system like this when you are going through a life transformation.  They are who keep me going and push me.  At the end of the run today Stacia made me finish it out by running as fast as I possibly could.  Would I have done that by myself?  Um, no...

Aside from these wonderful little events, I did have a funny event happen the other night in the form of a date. A really bad date.  Like, a funny scene out of a romantic comedy, bad date.  We met online.  He's 40 and he seemed nice and normal. We had emailed for a couple of weeks, then moved on to talking on the phone and texting.  I felt comfortable enough to meet him for a date.  There had been a couple of things that made me go, "hmmm..." but I figured it was at least worth going on a date to see if they were deal breakers.  Yeah, he had one major flaw that was a definite deal breaker: he is perpetually stuck in the mid-90's.  We were going to watch a movie and when he took his hat off I realized he had that long style hair that a lot of guys had in the 90s.  You know the one, mid eye level and parted down the middle?  He was also wearing higher waisted light wash jeans.  All he was missing was a flannel. Yikes.  The worst part was when he didn't understand that I wasn't a fan of Phish.  He proceeded to play me song, after song, after song in an attempt to convert me.  He was a bit rude about it when I wasn't exactly happy.  "Well, since you don't seem to like anything, who do you listen to?"  While I enjoy some music that isn't exactly current, I have a feeling I would be able to sing a song of a few more Grammy nominees this year than he could...Needless to say, a second date will NOT be on the agenda.  Oh the joys of being single in New York City.

So, I have to say all in all, it's been a pretty great week.  No matter what my scale says tomorrow it can't take away my non-scale related accomplishments.  Nothing can take that away from me.

Side note:   My good friend is visiting me this week from out of town and so I most likely won't be writing anything new until after the holidays.  She departs on the 20th and then the next day I drive home.  (12 hours! FUN!)  I'm really looking forward to it though.  Will be a great couple of weeks.  Maybe I'll find time to eek something out though.  Who knows.  If I don't find time to write, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't care how, I want it now

Be forewarned:  MASSIVE self pitying follows!

So today was my weigh day.  The night before I weigh myself I can usually feel how the next morning will go.  Not necessarily an exact number, but I know if I'm going to see a good number on the scale or a bad.  Last night, I just had a feeling that I wouldn't like the number I saw.  I was right.  It was the EXACT same number I saw last week.


This tells me the thing that I've been dreading, I've hit a plateau.  Ugh.  I knew this day would come, but I was just kind of hoping it wouldn't.  Eh, we all have to have dreams.  So now I have to develop some new strategies moving forward to ensure that this plateau doesn't last any longer than I can help it.  I will be shaking up my calories, adding more exercise, and the key new ingredient is the addition of some toning and strengthening exercises.  That's the one area I've been remiss up until this point.  I would use my Shake Weight when I remembered about it and would do the crunches on my Wii Fit when the weather was just to nasty to go outside for a jog.  We'll see how it goes...

So, moving on from the plateau I'm bummed because I've lost over 30s pounds and guess how many sizes I've gone down?  If you guessed zero, you would be CORRECT!  NONE!  I'm still the same size as when I started.  Granted, when I started I was essentially a size bigger I just was in denial so my pants were very tight and now my pants are almost falling down.  But, I'm still not quite to the next size down yet.  I know, I know... I'll get there soon, but I'm getting to the impatient part of this process.  

This leads into my next whine: I'm tired of being the slowest person on the track.  I swear, every single person who is running or even WALKING on that track passes me.  I try to run faster, but I just am not quite there yet.  I thought I was going at a much faster pace tonight and felt really good until I looked at my watch and realized I had only cut about 15 seconds from my total time.  Really? 15 seconds?  Ugh...  

I know this will come with time.  I know that I've come a MASSIVELY long way... but I have a goal in my mind that I want to achieve and whenever I make a goal, I want to reach that goal as soon as possible!  I'm a very impatient person in all aspects of my life...

There are some other things that I could whine about (job, thesis, money, love life...) but I think I've reached my whining quota for the day.  For now, I'll just go back to watching "Top Chef: All-Stars" and rewriting my thesis statement in my head.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just keep running, just keep running...

I realized that I hadn't updated the blog recently as to how my running is going.  I've posted stuff on facebook about it (which all of you have probably seen anyway...) but thought I would put something on here for the random person who stumbled upon my blog because they googled "die strep throat" (from a post back in January.  I say this because I get at least one a week.  Random.)

Well, for those of you who don't already know, the running is going great!  I've accomplished things in just a few short months that I never thought I would have been able to.  I'm currently running 1.5 - 3 miles about 5 times a week.  I'm still quite slow, barely faster than my walking pace, but for me it doesn't matter.  It's the act of running itself that is important to me, because speed will come organically as I get stronger.  For me, the big challenge that I faced was finding my breathing pattern.  I was always that kid that would cough, gasp and wheeze through just a few short laps in gym class.  But, now that I've found an incredibly comfortable breathing pattern, I feel like I can accomplish anything!

So, I've decided to challenge myself.  The initial challenges of running a mile, and then running 3 miles are complete.  Time for something new.

I'm going to run a marathon.  

Now, before you get too incredulous let me tell you when I plan to do this great act... January 2012.

That's right, I'm giving myself more than a year.  Considering what I've been able to accomplish in just three months, I feel like I can do it.  My body (so far...) has been holding up quite nicely under the strain that running brings and I think that if I do this smartly, I can actually accomplish it!  For you seasoned runners out there, I'm going to be coming to you for tons of advice, so be forewarned!

The marathon I've chosen is the Disney World Marathon.  I've always been a Disney kid, and I figured at least this way I would be running through some pretty fun sites that will keep me entertained along the way.  Plus, if I get into training and find that the marathon might be a goal that is just too far at that point in time, the Disney World Half Marathon is held the day before.  I can downgrade to shooting for that as well.

I'm really excited about this.  It's going to take a lot of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat and most likely tears, but I'm going to do it.  Why?  Because the whole point of me trying to get healthier was to push my body into being the best one that it can be.  I'm not going to do that just by taking the easy route through this. Why not see if I can achieve one of the greatest physical accomplishments a person can do?

And even if I don't end up meeting my goal, I will have accomplished a heck of a lot along the way, I'm sure...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello, dear old friend

As we are now in the depth of the holiday season and the first draft of my thesis is due almost immediately after the first of the year, I've become reacquainted with an old friend.

Hi Stress.  How are you?  Long time no see!

Stress.  We used to be in a love/hate relationship.  In a way I loved stress because it meant that things were going on in my life.  Sure, I wasn't handling them in the best of ways, but stuff to be stressed about meant that I wasn't sitting at home being bored at least.  Of course I hated Stress too though.  With Stress brought headaches, pimples, sleepless nights and occasional tears.

What I need to keep in mind during Stress's current visit now, is that Stress likes to put a damper on weight loss.  Yup.  Stress evidently likes to slow down metabolism (or something!) and causes your body to not want to loss weight.  Kind of like a comfort, I guess?  I don't know...

What I do know is that I've got to find some ways to de-stress besides my exercise.  While yes, I do view my jogging (yup, I'm officially a jogger now!) as my "me time," I have a feeling its not going to be enough in the coming months.

I do know one thing for sure though.  I'm not going to retreat back to my old ways of dealing with stress!  Well, then again maybe one glass of white wine won't hurt me!!

I hope you guys will help keep me sane!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I'm Thankful For

I've had a really bad week in terms of everything besides my health project.  I got turned down for yet another job, money is tighter than ever before in my life, I'm not going home for Thanksgiving and I just started to lose hope.

But it was because of a phone call from a friend that I realized the one thing I have to be thankful for...and that's for you.  My friends and family who are currently reading this.

You are the ones who have kept me going.  Not only through this time of getting healthy, but for this entire past year.  When I wanted to do nothing else but lay in bed, you were the ones who got me out of it.  When I wanted to just wallow in my self pity, you guys pretty much smacked me out of it.  I've talked to you on the phone when I'm feeling down, and you've seen me at my worst.

You've inspired me and pushed me on.

So to you guys reading this...

Thank you.  I'm eternally grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coming soon to a movie theater near you

As I mentioned before, the holidays are rapidly approaching and with them comes one of my favorite past times for this time of year... MOVIES!

It's at this time of year that both mega-blockbusters and Oscar hopefuls are released to the masses in hopes of snagging a few holiday bucks and catching the critics' eyes.  With these movies also comes the audience with what everyone knows to be the movie theater's biggest money maker and rip off:  the snacks.

Everyone has noticed, but over the years the popcorn tubs and cups for soft drinks have become steadily bigger and bigger and with that comes more and more calories.  Everyone knows this and everyone chooses to ignore it.  I used to be one of them, but no longer!  I mean, most people take in MORE than their daily allotted calories during the course of one movie!  And we wonder why American's have an obesity problem!

Take for instance a large tub of popcorn.  Care to take a guess as to how many calories are in that bucket?  Approximately 1500.  Nachos?  1100.  A large soda?  500.  The average box of candy?  450.

That's outrageous!  Considering how many movies I usually see during the holiday season, that's just not going to happen!  Even with saving up calories and working out an extra half hour...  It's just too much!  So instead, I'm going to be a sneaker-inner.  Yup, I'm going prepared with my extra large purse loaded down with some healthy choices.  Rather than popcorn, I'm bringing a single serving of pita chips (130 calories).  Rather than candy, bringing another favorite for this time of year, a clementine!  (45 calories)  I will grab a fountain soda, (because who can pass up a fountain soda) but of course I'll make it a diet.  But you could even bring a bottle of water.  Even if I were to splurge and bring two bags of pita chips, this whole snack amounts to 305 calories!  Amazing, right?  And its not like I'm swapping flavor.  I'm just leaving behind the unneeded sugar, fat and calories.

Anyway, I'm off to pack my bag of snacks for tonight's screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One.  Hope to see some of you there.

But first, I run!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

'Tis the Season...

With the holidays rapidly approaching I'm starting to get worried and realize that I need to devise a strategy.  Everyone knows that the holidays are when almost everyone packs on a few pounds.  Be it from a few too many helpings of stuffing on Thanksgiving, to the holiday parties thrown by friends, or the oodles and oodles of chocolate that arrive at work, temptations are everywhere this time of year!

Something that I've learned about myself during my process is that I don't typically crave sweets.  I'm more of a savory gal.  However, this is completely reversed come Christmas time.  Jason and I made a trip to the local Rite-Aid tonight and were greeted by the lovely Christmas aisle stocked full of chocolately goodness in the shape of Santas, Bells and Christmas trees.  I was strong during Halloween and was able to completely avoid the candy aisle, however the lure of Mint M & Ms was just too hard to resist.  Those are my favorite treats at this time of year, and they can be incredibly hard to find.  But there they were, staring me in the face.  In a moment of weakness, I bought them.

After breaking into them as soon as I got home I came to my realization that a strategy was indeed needed.  I'm doing incredibly well on my journey thus far (25 pounds lost as of today's weigh-in) and I don't want to completely derail that.  BUT... I don't want to completely deprive myself either this holiday season.  So, I've decided that moderation is going to be my key.

I'm not going to beat myself up over having bought this bag of M & Ms.  However, I am going to make sure that they aren't gone in a matter of days.  My goal is make these last a while.  A cookie or two won't kill me, but 4 or 5 aren't going to happen.  One piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving is totally doable.  But seconds or thirds?  Um, no...

I'm just going to keep on doing what I've been doing, but making adjustments as I need to to accommodate for these extra goodies.   I think if I just remember that moderation is my friend, all should be good this holiday season.  Here's to hoping I will hit the 40 pound mark by New Year's Eve!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dear Arm Muscles I forgot I had...

Dear Dormant Arm Muscles,

Guess what dear sorry, sad, flabby arms?  Starting tonight you are going to be getting 6 minutes of time devoted just to you each night!  Why, you might ask?

Because I just invested in a Shake Weight!

I know, I know... I mercilessly mocked those ridiculous commercials.  I mean, who can help it?  Watching those women hold a phallic weight and shaking it in their faces.  But I care not for the mock-worthiness of this product.  I just care about finally doing something to make you look more presentable!  The rest of the body has fallen in line.  It's your turn my dear friends!

Have no worries, my dear arms.  I have no desire to make you look like the scary woman in the training video.  I just want to make you look less like beached albino whales swinging from side to side along side my torso!

So, take care dear arms and enjoy the (hopeful) transformation.

Catch you on the flip (and more toned) side.



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm All Shook Up!

Wow, so today was my weigh in day and I have to say I was pretty shocked about what I saw, and in a good way!

4 pounds lost!  That's like what some people are seeing on The Biggest Loser every week!

I'm not going to lie, it's a welcome number after last week's less than a pound debacle.  But, I'm assuming that number had to be that low for me to get this big one.  The reason I wasn't really expecting this big of a loss this week is because I went to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear this past weekend in DC.  I met up with my family, and as pretty much everyone knows when family visits are involved, so are bad food choices.  While I didn't go completely overboard this weekend (as I might have done even just three months ago), I did allow myself some extra treats such as a turkey burger and sweet potato fries (split order with my Mom), a belgian waffle, a gyro with regular fries and a lot of brie and pita chips.  Maybe it was the massive amount of walking/standing we did pre and post the rally, who knows!  Maybe my body just needed a shake up from my regular routine.

I had read on other weight loss blogs that sometimes our body gets too used to our regular routine while losing weight and that sometimes you have to purposefully change things up in order to see big results.  Some of the changes include eating slight more or slightly less calories than you normally do in a day (check!), change up the type of food you are eating, (check!) and change up your work out routine (check!).

I think the bigger weight loss this week might also have to do with the fact that when I got back to the city I was so scared of not seeing a loss due to the bad food, that I kicked my butt and was extra careful.  Maybe it was one or the other or a combination of both.  Who knows!  Who really completely understands this mysterious thing called weight loss?

On a side note, I've been walking the Central Park Reservoir at night lately.  Not late, 7ish.  It's quite a sight to behold.  I strongly recommend anyone who lives in New York to take this walk at night at least once.  Once you get past the idea that someone could possibly jump out of the bushes and attack you, it's lovely!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's the little things in life

Tomorrow is my weigh day, but no matter what the scale says tomorrow, I got confirmation today that I am indeed moving in the right direction.

Back before I started this whole thing, one of the things I always dreaded was wearing a pair of jeans right after they had been washed and dried.  Why?  Because that's when they are always the tightest.  For someone who is boardering on moving up a size, this can be hell.  It's a "cross your fingers and pray" game.  Sometimes they were comfortable.  Other times, not so much.

Today, I pulled a pair of jeans out that I haven't worn since the beginning of this project because they had gotten to the point where they were just too tight.  Guess what?  Pretty darn comfortable, right off the bat!  Even a little room to spare!!  I don't know when the last time this happened...

Its things like this that you have to keep in mind in case the scale doesn't give you the numbers you think and feel you deserve.  I wish I had been tracking my inches from the beginning because I would be really curious to find out how many inches I've lost thus far.

So, just remember on your next weigh day to look for the positive!  I know I'll be thinking of my awesome pair of jeans.  :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Forget your troubles come on get happy!

Well, all in all, I have to say that this has been a pretty darn good week.  It's been a while since I've had this sort of positivity going on in all aspects of my life.

Let me start off by following up on the running post.  What I am now calling the "Great Running Project" has not been postponed as I was seriously contemplating, but more like adapted to fit my needs.  First, I had to back track from the 5K program down to the One Mile program.  When I started the 5K program they said that this was for people who could run at least a mile, which I cannot.  So baby steps I guess!!  Second, the program that I am working with requires me to only run/walk for twenty minutes a day, three days a week.  The other days are supposed to be rest days. I am not okay with this.  The program did say the most important thing is that the day immediately following my running day MUST be a rest day, so what I've decided to do is the following:  Walk day (3+ miles depending upon how I feel), Run/Walk day (30 minutes), Rest day.  That way I am letting my legs rest up following the running, but I'm also still getting in more exercise then they are telling me to.  I just wouldn't be losing any weight if I followed their program to a T!

Speaking of weight loss, I am now up to a total of 18 pounds!!  I can't believe that I am almost at the 20 pound mark.  I have never felt so motivated in all of my life and I know that I will never allow myself to get back to where I was before.  I can't.  I won't.  This is the process of becoming a whole new me, inside and out.

Also, I got some great news at the doctor this week!  Prior to be starting this whole thing, I received some really bad news at the doctor which was one of the motivations I've had going through my process.  I was told that I now had high blood pressure.  It had slowly been creeping up for a while, but this was the first time that it was officially in the high category.  I was not okay with this.  I was 28 when I was told this.  WAY too young to have high blood pressure.  That had to change.  This week at the doctor?  I am OFFICIALLY back in the normal category!!  After only 7 weeks!  116/80.  Hallelujah, one goal down!

And finally on a non-weight loss related topic (SHOCKER!) my professor kicked my butt this week about my thesis so I am FINALLY going to start!  Not sure if I will graduate in May or next October, but at least its something!  He even gave me homework!  So, here's a warning to all my ATPAM friends that are reading this blog.  At some point in the near future?  We'll be talking...

So that's all my good news so far for this week.  Here's hoping next week has some more great news for me!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I love you, I love you not...

All my life, like so many overweight people, I've struggled with a bad relationship with food.  I don't consider myself to be an emotional eater, I just really liked food!  I liked the way it tasted, and that made me happy.  So, what do you do when you find something that makes you happy?  You embrace it.  You never let it go.  I loved food.  But, I didn't love what food made me see when I looked in the mirror.

Honestly, the biggest part of my journey has been about building a better relationship with food. I came to the realization food isn't something that I needed to make me happy.  When I looked at my life (conveniently not looking at the jobless end of the spectrum...) I realized I lead a pretty good one.  I live in New York City and have a career that I absolutely adore.  I have a great group of friends who would be there for me at the drop of a hat (and have been.)  I have two great sisters that make me laugh and smile, and a mother whom I love with all my heart.  All in all, not too shabby!  Food shouldn't be playing into my equation for what makes me happy.  Food is fuel, and I needed to start viewing it as such.

This has, of course, been a great struggle.  I was never much of a vegetable person, I was more of a fruit fan.  But, since I started, I have found myself standing in the frozen food section debating between the green beans or broccoli.  I have started adding actually healthy things to my salad instead of the croutons.  Red meat is rare if at all.  Whole wheat, instead of white.  Egg whites.  You name it and I've tried to alter it.

Here's where the problem comes into play...  Remember that 6 Week Itch?  Yeah...  It included food exhaustion.  The problem that I was having was that while I had found healthy alternatives to my diet, I was tending to repeat them as I didn't really know of many other options.  So, what did that make me do?  I started to drift from the path.  Not drastically, but I just noticed a little bit here and a little bit there.  This continued until I saw that (albeit incorrect) number on the scale.  Since then I've tried a little bit more realistic approach.

I never eased into my new way of life, I just changed everything cold turkey. I've realized that I can't go from zero to sixty at the drop of a hat. It's okay to have a slice of pizza once and a while!  Just don't eat half of it!  It's okay to have french fries once and a while, just don't supersize!  I've learned that it's all about moderation.  If I'm going to have these special treats, I need to accommodate for it by being incredibly careful in the rest of my meals.

Actually the days that I would really beat myself up about my calories going over my suggestion number, was on the two days a week I'm not walking.  I need to stop that!  I wasn't going over by much, but I was beating myself up about it.  I need to realize that the suggested number of calories in order for me to lose two pounds per week, is just that.  SUGGESTED!  If I go over it by 100 calories it doesn't mean that I've ruined my entire week!  It just means I might not see a full 2 pounds dropped.  Or, that I need to walk a little bit longer. Either way, I need to not beat myself up about food anymore.

Food isn't the thing in my life that I can call if I need to talk to someone.  Food isn't who I tell funny stories about the crazy people on the subway to.  My relationship with food has moved from rampant love affair to mere acquaintances.  I think it's a good change.  It was time that we started seeing other people...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Running to and fro

I, my dear friends, have decided that I am going to take up running.

Please, take a moment to collect yourselves and let this sink in.

Ok, now that you've picked your jaws up from the ground, I can explain.

I have been walking steadily for 6 full weeks now, at least 4-5 times per week.  My stamina is leaps and bounds above what it was when I started.  I've realized that walking is only going to do so much for me on this journey.  I mean, I could keep increasing the length of my walks and I could increase my speed a bit, but I'm getting the point where much faster of a pace and I'll be jogging.  Also, if I increase the length of the walks it's going to start taking a LONG time to complete my exercise each day.  I've always been a proponent of the "walking is just as good for you as jogging" argument, however it was my dear friend Stacia who brought up the point that its just going to start taking longer to do.  Granted, I have nothing but time these days, but the moment I get a job, that's not going to be the case.  The fact of the matter is I need to keep pushing myself so, either I join a gym and find a trainer (something I can't afford to do at the moment) or I take advantage of one of the multiple "Couch to 5K" programs that are out there on the web.

I'm not going to lie, this video was also a HUGE inspiration to me:

I've NEVER been a runner.  Not even in elementary school.  I would always gasp and wheeze during my laps, unable to even run a mile without stopping for a mandatory breather.  (I couldn't climb the ropes either, but that's another sad childhood memory...)

Times have changed however.  Or at least I'm hoping they will.  I feel stronger than I have in a VERY long time and with this handy-dandy "album" that I downloaded from iTunes, I think I have a runner deep inside me waiting to come out!

The album I downloaded is from the Personal Running Trainer program.  I chose the 8 Weeks to 5K one.  Each week is set to music that I download to my iPod and it makes training incredibly simple.  Rather than having to constantly pay attention to your time or distance a voice on the album tells you when to start running and when to start walking.  I build my running stamina slowly each week. It's Running for Dummies!

I read a lot of reviews online and it was a bunch of people all with stories that sounded similar to mine and I realized what makes them any different from me?  These people are literally going from couch potatoes directly to running.  I have 6 weeks of exercise on them!

I'm going to take my time on this.  I'm not training for a particular race, although I would like to eventually run one.  If I feel like I'm not ready to move onto the next week's running program, then I will simply repeat a week. I'm doing this purely for me, just like I am this entire project.  I'm not out there to compete.  Well, actually I am, but only against myself.

And I gotta say, I'm pretty competitive.

P.S.  I had my roommate hide my scale so that I'm not tempted to weigh myself before my weekly weigh in.  I'm DYING!  I feel like I'm going through withdrawals, only my drug of choice is a bathroom scale!  ARGH!  The agony!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The 6 week itch...

The 6 week itch.  Sounds like a skin condition, doesn't it?  No, no... It's my self control cracking.

It was 6 weeks ago when I decided to take control over my health and work towards creating a new me.  It hasn't been an easy process.  It's taken hard work, determination and the ability to fight tons and tons of food cravings.  However, all of this hard work has paid off so far... 14 pounds lost!

This week however, I had my first set back...  I actually saw the numbers on the scale go the wrong way.

Now, you know that I am not one who is able to stay off my scale.  I tend to weigh myself about every other day.  Terrible I know...  There are so many factors that affect our weight from day to day.  Do any of those factors go through my head when I see those numbers?


All I can think is that I'm a failure.  Am I really?  To put it  My clothes are fitting differently.  Multiple people have told me that they could see a difference.  My energy is up.  My stamina is up.  Basically all signs are pointing towards the positive, with the exception of the scale (that I shouldn't have even been on in the first place!)

Once I smacked myself for the negative thoughts, I did start to think about why I possibly could be seeing the scale move in the wrong direction.

Reason #1:
Possible Water Retention.  Have I been drinking as much water as I need to be?  Um, no.  For the most part, during this process I've been pretty good about getting in at least 8 glasses of water per day.  The past few days I've been slacking in this regard.

Reason #2:
I haven't been tracking my calories as closely.  This is why I'm thinking I have the 6 week itch.  It's been 6 weeks since I've changed my diet, which means that seriously cravings are coming into play.  With the cravings come inappropriate snacking.  With snacking comes me either forgetting to journal these calories, or I purposefully don't journal the calories because I feel guilty about them.  TOTALLY not healthy behavior!  I'm not going overboard compared to what I used to, but still they are little sneak peeks into past behavior that needs to be nipped in the bud.

Reason #3:
My metabolism might have slowed.  Since I started this process I've been pretty good about having something about every two hours to keep my metabolism up.  Be it a piece of fruit, slice of cheese, small yogurt, anything...  The past few days I haven't been doing this.  Need to get back in the habit.

After I sat down and actually thought about the possible reasons for the gain I felt better.  These were all things that I could fix and today has been a good jump in the right direction.  (I'm also going to have my roommate hide the scale and only bring it out once a week so that I won't be tempted to get on it early!)

I do have to give myself a pat on the back.  Previously, I would have seen this miniscule set back as a MAJOR deal.  I would have beaten myself up about and used it as an excuse to quit.  But not this time.  I remembered that the real reason behind doing all of this isn't the numbers on the scale.  Those are just a nice after effect.  The reason I'm doing this is get healthy.  Lower my blood pressure, reduce risk of diabetes, etc.

This time I looked the 6 week itch square in the eye and then kicked its ass.

Bring on week 7!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Never give up, never surrender!

So, I stepped on the scale today and I have to admit I was both incredibly excited and slightly nervous about what I saw.

While today wasn't my weigh-in day (I'm AWFUL about waiting a week before stepping on the scale.  It just sits there and calls my name from underneath the bathroom sink!) I decided to check in and see what my trusty friend was going to tell me today.

2.8 pounds lost since last Wednesday!  I know 1-2 pounds per week is what is considered healthy, but I'm not going to be upset about how much weight I lost!  I'm following my suggested calorie intake, and I'm exercising 5-6 times per week.  My body is going to do what my body is going to do...

So, the number on the scale obviously wasn't the problem.  What made me nervous was that I had a flash back to the one and only other time in my life when I sincerely tried to lose weight.  It was 4 years ago now and I wasn't really following a strict diet.  I mean, I was eating healthier and making better choices, but I wasn't counting calories or anything.  Needless to say, I hit a plateau.

I did quite well for three months.  I was losing the recommended 1-2 pounds per week and all looked good.  Then, when I hit 15 pounds lost all forward momentum seemed to just stop.  Of course, it didn't really hit me that maybe I should lower my calorie intake...  I just got frustrated.  And what happens when you get frustrated?  (or at least, when I get frustrated?)  I quit.

I hit that wall and I just quit!

I am currently at 13 pounds lost, and I'm rapidly approaching my previous benchmark and while I'm not worried that I'm going to stop losing weight immediately again, I am worried about what will happen when I do hit that inevitable plateau.  It's looming out there just waiting for me.  I know it is!

What I suppose I am asking is that when I do hit that eventual wall, that you guys help push me through it.  I have a feeling I am going to need a bit of support and encouragement to not just give up.  So please, if you hear me complaining about a wall, or a plateau or saying that "I JUST DON'T WANT TO KEEP GOING!"  I give you permission now to kindly kick me in the ass and shove me out the door.  I won't hate you.

For long...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tomorrow is another day

Today I had a minor setback in Project: Healthy Maia.

This setback doesn't actually have to do with weight, but with another part of myself that I've been trying to get healthy as well and that's my spirit.

I know, I know it probably sounds corny as hell but this summer was a really bad one for me. As I believe I mentioned previously, when someone has essentially built their entire life around their career and has made it a major part of who they are, when that person isn't working they tend to feel lost and like they've lost a major part of their very being. I've been in this state of nothingness since May when I last worked.

In June, I interviewed (twice actually) for a job. Then the company went through some major restructuring and I thought the job I was interviewing for disappeared along with a lot of other things. I had completely written it off. Then, about a month ago I was contacted again and was informed that the job did still indeed exist and they were still interested. Color me excited!

Today I received an email telling me that they were wrong. No job. I felt like someone had just popped the balloon that was my self worth. All of a sudden the progress that I had been making this past month towards a happier version of myself was gone. I am back where I started (only now 8 pounds lighter) and I feel as if I've wasted these past 4 weeks that could have been spent sincerely looking for a job in earnest instead of waiting around for this job that now never was. Who knows how many jobs I could have applied for in that amount of time?

I know I will eventually find a job, but its hard
not to feel a bit helpless and hopeless right now.
I guess the difference in myself now from the myself of 4 weeks ago is that I know I will eventually be okay. I can't dwell on it forever. I need just brush myself off and get right back on the horse again. Tonight, however, I'm allowing myself to wallow in my unemployment. But only for tonight. Tomorrow I'm going to wake up, and take charge again. Because as Scarlett O'Hara once taught us, tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I think I'll go for a walk outside now

So, in order for me to start working towards a newer, healthier version of myself one of the major changes I was going to have to make was to actually get up off my butt and MOVE!

I have never been an exceptionally active individual. I mean, sure I played outside as a kid, but I was never one to play organized team sports or go running just for fun. In fact the very thought of running makes me dry heave. The closest I ever got to being extremely active, and when I was probably the healthiest in my life was when I was in my high school marching band. Now many may scoff, but you try holding up an instrument (doesn't matter that I played flute!) for ten straight minutes and then add in hauling ass across a football field. It isn't easy, believe me!

Well, since the days of marching band are far behind me, I need to find other ways to stay healthy. I'm kind of on a tight budget right now since the job situation is not exactly where I would like it to be at the moment, which means that I need to find a way to exercise that doesn't involve me joining a gym at the moment.

What did I come up with?


It's kind of silly that Central Park is within 100 feet of my front door and I wasn't utilizing it properly until this summer. What's even better than the fact that Central Park is 100 feet from my house? The fact that just a short 2 minute walk inside the park brings me to
the Reservoir!

For those who live outside of New York City, the Reservoir is the BIG body of water in the park that you always see people running and walking around in movies. Think Charlotte in the first Sex and the City movie.

It has a great path that leads around the outside of it that is 1.5 miles long and its well maintained (i.e. no dips and holes. Considering my history with holes in the ground, this is a VERY good thing!)

This picture to the right was taken on today's walk. Not too shabby right?

I do venture from the Reservoir as well. Just this past Sunday I took a very long meandering hike through the park with Katie. We walk through parts I never knew existed in the park before. I'm just weary of some of the paths because they are not nearly as well kept as the Reservoir's path. Like I said, I'm weary of holes in the ground!

I know its not always going to be an ideal place and come winter it might not be very possible at all to use, but for right now these walks are getting the job done and helping me on my road to a newer, healthier me.

Next post I'll talk about what I use to stay healthy when the weather doesn't permit outside exercise. Imagine hula hoops.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gone but not forgotten!

For the two of you that used to read this blog, I must apologize. I may have not been writing for a LONG while, but I haven't forgotten about this blog.

As my close friends (or really anyone who is friends with me on facebook) can attest, I went through a bit of a bad summer. For someone who has spent the vast majority of her adulthood focusing on building and bettering her career almost to the point where I was ignoring my "real" life, to be unemployed has left me almost without an identity. I think I went through my "Quarter Life Crisis" a bit late it seems.

It was really up through very recently that I spent the majority of my day being depressed and doing nothing. Then it really was as if I was hit by lightening. I turned 29 in June and I realized that is roughly 10 months time I am going to be turning the big 3-0. I can't keep living my life like the way I was! I was incredibly unhealthy. Not watching what I ate AT ALL, and barely any activity. If I kept this up, I was going to be yet another one of my extended family members to be diabetic, and who knows what other health issues would start to arise. My blood pressure was already starting to creep up according to my last visit to the doctor. I couldn't keep going on like this!

So I've decided to make a change. Not just a subtle, simple change. A LIFESTYLE change. I needed to start watching what I eat. I needed to be exercising and just general MOVING at least 3-4 times per week. Honestly, the weight issue (I'm at the highest weight of my life) was secondary in all of this. HEALTH is the goal. Obviously the weight would drop off as a result of my lifestyle change, but I'm not even bothering to set an official weight goal.

Here is another realization that I came to in all of this self exploration. I'm PRETTY! My friends can attest I have horrible self esteem when it comes to the way that I look, so this realization is actually pretty major. I've spent my entire life thinking that I was ugly (now I'm not telling you this because I'm fishing for compliments, I'm simply being honest) and it just suddenly hit me one day as I was looking in the mirror that I actually have a REALLY pretty face. I need to get healthy and fit so that I can give myself the body that my face deserves. This may sound really silly to some of you, but alas this is another of my discoveries...

"Why are you telling me all this?" You might be asking... I'm telling you because I think that I will be using this blog as a tool to help me in what I have deemed "Project: Healthy Maia." I was inspired to write about my journey in blog form by a friend of mine back from the middle school days, Emily. She writes an amazing blog at that is inspiring, witty, intelligent and moving where she is sharing her amazing journey to lose weight and find a healthier (both physically and mentally) version of herself. She shares her highs and lows with her readers and it seems to have helped her a great deal. I STRONGLY encourage anyone who has ever dealt with similar issues with their weight/health to take a look at her blog. You'll get hooked, I promise you!

Anyway, this is all I'm going to share for now. Stay tuned for (hopefully) frequent updates on Project: Healthy Maia. I will also continue to write about other subjects as they strike me.

Until next time, good night and good luck.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What a week this has been

Well, I have to say this week hasn't been as good as I thought it would be.

I did bumpkis towards my thesis, I haven't lost any weight despite working out for at least 45 minutes everyday and altering my diet (albeit it slightly, but I know I need to take smaller steps in regards to food), and Kentucky lost in the Elite Eight so I'm not going to the Final Four.

Okay, that's the negative... Here's the positive outlook!

While I haven't lost any weight, I can definitely feel the workouts working. My abs are crazy sore, and I'm just starting to feel better overall. Yes, I do need to make more alterations to my diet apparently to start to see real weight loss begin, but I feel like I at least have the momentum.

Yes, Kentucky lost but I have to admit I'm okay with not going to the Final Four as I had previously planned. I honestly can't afford it. I bought my plane ticket using miles, but I was going to fly into Louisville which meant a car rental and then of course the hotel and meals were going to add up. So, instead I'm selling my tickets which have already paid for themselves and I am going to make a few bucks on them as well, and I am still going to go home for a long weekend which just happens to be Easter and close enough to my Mom's birthday that we are going to celebrate early. It will actually be a really nice weekend!

There isn't really a positive way to spin my lack of motivation on my thesis. I just can't seem to get my butt in gear. I think a big problem comes with the fact that I'm unfocused about what I even want to discuss. Granted I've been given some helpful tips to narrow that down, but I still am having a difficult time just getting my butt to the library!

OH! And another positive thing that happened this week was that I had a job interview. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will talk more about it if I get it.

Well, that was my last week and here's to hoping this coming week will be decent. Maybe I can finally get to Home Depot, although that might be unlikely. It's supposed to rain hard all week and I have a feeling it will keep me indoors more than it should.

Alright, this is Maia. Over and out.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

You say goodbye and I say hello!

Hello to my two readers (who I hope haven't forgotten about me during my lengthy absence!)

The past two months of my life have been quite interesting. My Broadway show closed and therefore my job went with it. I've re-entered the world of unemployment, I went to California to visit Sabrina, procrastinated for two weeks, and then went to Austin to be in Trisha's wedding. Now that I no longer have any excuses, I'm back in the city and attempting to keep myself occupied and to actually accomplish something other than to the check movies off my Netflix queue.

I do have to admit that I think I needed the mindlessness of the past two months though. The trip out to California was fantastic. I hadn't been to northern California since I was 19 and it was nice to be back when I was legally able to drink. Sabrina and I visited some great wineries and all in all had a fantastic time. I left for the west coast about a week after my last day of work so it was perfect for clearing my head of the insanity that was Finian's Rainbow and to help prepare me for the difficult task of finding a new job. What I did discover was that I really love the Bay Area. I could certainly see myself settling there some day. San Francisco especially. It just has such a great vibe, a great arts community and just seems to GET it, you know? So, I added it to my list of cities I could see myself moving to when/if I ever get sick of NYC.

Once I got back from the trip, I had every intention of doing something productive but I used my fine tuned art of procrastination to keep me from these tasks. So, I made a deal with myself. If I let myself have these two weeks inbetween my trip and the wedding, then I need to start cracking as soon as I get from Austin. I have to applaud myself, so far, so good!

First off, Trisha's wedding was gorgeous. She married an amazing man who has proven himself worthy of her, and we had a blast. They rented a trolley to take the wedding party around downtown Austin for the photos prior to the ceremony and I can't wait to see them. There was a slight hitch when they discovered that the florist had the wrong date for the wedding (Completely the florist's fault too. They switched the date on their own.) Luckily they were able to come up with something on the fly. I am so completely happy for the two of them.

So, since I've been back I've actually gotten quite a bit done! I had a job interview (it was HORRIBLE, but at least I had one I suppose!) I made a doctor's appointment to get the metal plate taken out of my ankle, I made a few other doctor's appointments, I met with my professor about getting started on my thesis, I sent in resumes and actually got called for another interview! This interview is for a job I actually want even though its another summer gig. I know that I swore off summer jobs after last summer, but this one actually pays me a living wage and considering no Broadway shows are hiring at the moment, it will be a great way for me to spend my time until the fall when new shows start to hire their management staff.

Next week might be the real test though. That's when I actually am going to have to start working on my thesis, and my professor even told me to check in with him in a couple of weeks to let him know how its coming along, so I actually have someone to report to, which I think will help me keep on track. So, here are my goals for this coming week. In addition to the doctor's appointments and my job interview, I hope to get myself to the Columbia library to start research and to get myself to Home Depot to get the items necessary to start painting my room. I'll update you on my progress next week. Hopefully I'll have some good news.

Speaking of good news!

I just discovered that the Season Three premiere of True Blood is on June 13th this year, aka MY BIRTHDAY! I'm not usually one for having a shindig to celebrate the date of my birth, however I think this warrants a theme party! Consider this an early Save the Date.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thank you for being a friend...

As many of you who know me can attest, or for those who can read my description of this blog at the top of the page, you know of my ultimate unhealthy obsession.

We're talking about the original Sex and the City women, only it was a different city: Miami!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen it's time to discuss the loves of my life, The Golden Girls!

I honestly don't remember when I started loving this show so much. I mean, I remember watching it when I was little with my parents but of course I didn't understand anything that was happening. Then during my high school/college years Lifetime start showing reruns and I've never been the same.

I do have a bone to pick with the current channels airing the episodes though. WE, Hallmark Channel? Are you listening?


I don't care if you do have 189 commercials you must air during an episode. Make it work without harming my Girls! You are cutting some of the best one-liners out, plus making incredibly awkward edits. You've even edited out an occasional "damn." Don't deny it!

I recently heard that Rue McClanahan had a stroke. The quartet has already been decreased to a duo in just the past two years. While I heard she is recovering well, it still saddens me. She is the one Golden Girl that I've had the privilege to meet. I was working for a theatrical General Manager at the time and she was a close friend of his. When she came into the office my heart stopped for a moment. My boss introduced me and made sure to point out to Blanche, I mean Rue, that I was from the south. (I guess Kentucky is the south...maybe. Depends who you're talking to and where you are currently located.)

When she heard I was from the south she said to me, "You're from the south? And your name is Maia? Well, that's not a southern name. I'm going to call you Maia Sue."

Again, I nearly died of cardiac arrest.

Anyway, I watch these episodes now and I think about how groundbreaking this show really was. It dealt with issues that not many shows acknowledged at the time. Here were four women all over the age of 50 discussing their sex lives, the pains of getting older, same-sex marriages (hello, made in the 80s!) and who can ever forget Dorothy's battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome...

Seriously though, this show paved the way for a show like Sex and the City to be on the air! Samantha is our modern day Blanche, Miranda is Dorothy, Charlotte is Rose and I guess that makes Carrie the Sophia? Hmm, I might have to rethink that one...

Anyway, I know people make fun of me for my obsession with this show but I don't care. I'm sure 9 out of 10 of these people could probably hum the theme song if they thought about it.

Oh well, they can just keep right on judging me. Won't make me stop. I'm going to keep watching these reruns until they go off the air, and even then I'll have my DVDs to keep me entertained.

This is Maia Sue. Over and out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Friend or Foe?

Oh Snooze Button, how I love you.

Oh Snooze Button, how I loathe you.

How can you be my friend and foe at the same time? Sometimes you are so good to me! You let me sleep that extra 9 (or 18, or 27) minutes and yet I am still able to wake up with enough time to get to work. Of course, this may or may not have to do with the fact that I purposefully set my alarm earlier than need be so that we can spend each morning together.

But what about those days when you just don't want to let me go? Like this morning? I love you too Snooze Button, but sometimes you just need to cut the cord, ok? I have to leave you, no matter how much I don't want to...

Maybe it's time we stop seeing each other all together Snooze Button. I mean, we've had a good run while it lasted but I have a feeling its starting to become an unhealthy relationship. It's getting harder and harder each morning for you to let me go and I think it might just be easier for us in the long run if we just completely sever ties now. Just go cold turkey, what do you think?

Just a thought.

Yeah, I thought not.

See you tomorrow dear Snooze Button.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Strep Throat...

Dear Strep Throat:

GO AWAY! I hate you! I hated you when I was ten years old and would get you every winter. I hate you now and the fact that you have kept me awake for the past two nights. I hate that you make me feel like I'm drowning in my own spit because I can't swallow!

I hate that I can't eat solid food! I hate gargling with salt water!




Monday, January 25, 2010

Watch those hands buddy!

I willingly admit to the fact that I am a fan of good ten minute back massage at a nail salon. Almost always after my manicure is complete, I indulge myself in a back massage that costs about $15. Sometimes its worth every penny and sometimes I'm gravely disappointed. But, never less, I'm sure at least an ounce or two of lactic acid has been squeezed out of a muscle and I will at least feel better for a bit. I tend to carry all of my tension in my shoulders, so its worth it to me to feel those knots disappear even if it is only for a moment or two.

However, lately I've started to notice a trend at my local nail salon. I must say this upfront, I would never even consider finding another salon because this place's manicure lasts me longer than any other manicure I've had in this city. They are the best I've found. I will not give them up! The problem is obviously not with the manicure, but with the massage that comes after.

I've noticed what was intended as a back massage tends to wander to other places!

No, not there you dirty minded people!

I'm saying as I sit in the massage chair, they tend to move pretty far down my back to the point where I have to ask myself, "Do they realize they are essentially massaging my ass?" I mean, it's not a high tension area generally speaking. I'm sorry, but the only time I am okay with this area being massaged period is only in my fantasies and there my masseuse looks spectacularly like Alex Skarsgard... No offense to the lovely ladies at the nail salon.

Maybe I need to start being more specific.

Rather than tell them I want a back massage, I ask for a shoulder massage. ONLY shoulders!

Maybe I should get a tramp stamp that says "Do Not Touch Below THIS Line!"

Either way, my bum is not to be massaged, thank you!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Help! I'm covered in bees!

One night while I was still in high school I was flipping channels one night (remember flipping channels? Wow, that's such an extinct art now!) when I came across a stand-up comedian on HBO. The fact that he was wearing make-up, heels and a pair of shiny pleather-like pants didn't just catch my attention... The fact that he had me laughing after just a moment's viewing made me stay on the channel. That moment was an eye opener. It was my first, albeit incomplete, viewing of Eddie Izzard's Emmy Award winning "Dressed to Kill" special. I have never looked back. He is one of my longest unhealthy obsessions, and one that I never see going away.

Since that moment, I have shared a very serious and intense love affair with Mr. Izzard. He's just not aware of it.

I own all of his stand up DVDs and have seen the vast majority of his acting roles, and believe me when I say some of those are movies only a true fan would enjoy... *ahem* All the Queen's Men *ahem* It wasn't until I moved to New York that I was finally fortunate enough to see this brilliant man perform live.

The first time was two years ago when he was performing at the Union Square Theatre, trying out material for his upcoming tour. Being the incredible fortunate person that I am, I contacted my friend in the box office at the theater (Thanks Mandy! I never forgot this favor!!) who was able to hook me and 7 of my nearest and dearest up with FOURTH row tickets. Amazing. It wasn't as thought out as his normal stand up routines, he was testing out new material. About ten minutes of the night were spent making fun of a guy making some weird noises in the back. But, it was one of the most amazing 90 minutes of my entire life. With tears streaming down my cheeks I vowed then and there that if I were ever given more opportunities to see him live, I would be there every single time.

And I have.

That following summer he performed at Radio City Music Hall in the now official tour called "Stripped." I attended with my littler sister in tow, whom I had converted into an Eddie Izzard fan at a very young age. I hobbled my way into the second balcony of Radio City and on crutches no less, as I had had surgery just a few weeks prior. Didn't stop me. Come hell or high water, I was going to see Eddie. And believe me, that was no easy feat! And again, it was a priceless memory. Seeing him on that infamous stage was amazing.

What I love about Eddie Izzard is that he is not only an amazing comedian and a talented actor (he just made some bad choices there for a while) but he is just an amazing individual. He recently completed not one, but 43 marathons in 51 days for charity. That's right. 43. He is very active politically and he's not afraid to speak his mind. He says what everyone is thinking, but afraid to say aloud. He's smart, and he makes you think.

Last July, I was thankfully notified by Ticketmaster that tickets for Eddie Izzard were going on sale to the public the next morning at ten a.m. for a gig in Madison Square Garden. Definitely not a typical venue for Mr. Izzard, who has primarily performed in theaters, not arenas. I gathered my troops and we were lucky enough to get floor seats. Knowing that the Stripped tour hadn't performed a new gig in a while, and the fact that it was in Madison Square Garden led me to believe that they might be recording this performance. I was right. As we walked in, there was a huge platform of cameras about fifty feet behind us and two large cameras on booms close to the stage. At first I wondered if they might be the cameras for the three jumbo-trons that were set up around the stage, but consider once Eddie came out, those cameras were steady, I knew the boom cameras were for a recording. But the thing that convinced me the most were the cameras going up and down the aisles filming crowd reaction shots. (Keep an eye out for me! I wasn't on an aisle but they filmed my section a lot!)

Even though I had already seen this particular routine about three times now, it still made me laugh until tears sprang to my eyes. It was truly an experience having seen him play in one of the most famous venues in the world. Prior to Eddie coming out on stage, they played audio of an interview he must have done a number of years ago. In it, the interviewer asked Eddie what venues he would like to play in his lifetime. In it, he mentioned Madison Square Garden.

Well, he's done it. Well done, Eddie. Well done.

But, I have to say the moment that I think really proves to me that he's a superstar? At the end of his encore when a woman threw her panties on the stage.

Now THAT'S an "I've made it!" moment!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I would like some cheese with my grilled cheese, please!

I have to say, I seem to have drawn the short end of the stick lately when it comes to my food deliveries.

Like most New Yorkers, I don't cook nearly as much as I should. It's just difficult when there are so many choices and they ALL deliver! Plus, when it comes down to it, its not that much more expensive to order than when I cook. So, instead of standing in my miniscule kitchen at the end of a long day when all I want to do is lay on my bed and watch episodes of Glee, I order from and eat in the comfort of my room or living room.

I tend to order from the same places, and honestly I think I need to start to expand my horizons because all my regular places seem to be screwing me over lately!

I'm sorry, but how can you simply forget half my order? I've had drinks forgotten, side orders ignored, hell I've even had half my main course never make it to my door! Whenever this happens, I always stop and think for a moment... "Is it worth it for me to call and complain?" I mean, in the grand scheme of things most of the time the item that was forgotten is really only a dollar or so... Nine times out of ten, I always decide to call the restaurant and tell them because I did infact pay for that item, and therefore I am entitled to it!

I don't really understand where my bad food delivery karma comes from, but alas, I have it. I guess I just don't understand why so many mistakes are always made. I mean, I'm someone who believes that you should always do you absolute best at your job and if you can't do that, then you should move on. I mean, how hard is it really to read my order ticket and see that I ordered a Diet Coke? Not a Sprite. I'm sorry, but those are two VERY different things! You work in the service industry! It is your JOB to get the order right! My favorite is when they actually take offense to when you tell them they made a mistake! As if to say, "How DARE you say I did you wrong! You should be happy you got food at ALL!"

I do find some comfort in the fact that I'm not alone in this bad food karma-land. My friend Susan told me what I determine to be a classic... She once ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. What did she get?

Two pieces of TOAST.

She had to call the restaurant and tell them they forgot the cheese in her cheese sandwich!

At least my mistakes could easily be explained away with the "we forgot to put it in the bag" excuse.

Now that restaurant Susan ordered from has to worry about reading tests for their employees...

"What does this say?"


"You're hired."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Til we meet in Glocca Morra...

This week marks the final week of performances of Finian's Rainbow. This show has been such a journey for me, and its coming to a bittersweet end.

I found the job after months of endless searching, and it was perfectly timed. It was to be my first Broadway show in a company management capacity.

Now, after months of pouring blood, sweat and tears (Quite literally, tears...) it is to perform its last performance this coming Sunday. I will be sad to see it go. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the show I was working on (which is not always the case in company management-land) and I do have to say I met some very awesome people along the way.

There were lessons learned and wisdom imparted.

Number were crunched and tickets sold.

Unfortunately, just not enough...

Now I have the next journey of my life awaiting me: Unemployment.

I've been on this adventure before and I know I'm in for a bumpy ride. I'm actually quite looking forward to have a bit of time off in the beginning. Lord knows I could use a break, and I'm looking forward to having *GASP* two days off in a row. It's the third, fourth, fifth, etc.... that I'm worried about! But honestly, I'm looking forward to getting some stuff done that I've been putting off. I'm going to visit my sister in California. I'm going to get to be in Trisha's wedding without worrying about how much time off I'm taking. I'm finally going to take down the fruit wallpaper trimming my bedroom and paint it to look like an adult lives there. Hell, I might even dust off my paper writing abilities and start working on my thesis. I know, I know... Let's see what actually gets accomplished! But, I have high hopes. I mean, I can't go into this situation assuming that I'm going to fail, right?

Of course, I would toss all of these plans aside in a SECOND if I were to be offered a job.

I think another reason I'm kind of going into this period of unemployment with a bit of a heavy heart is because of my impending birthday. I know, I know, its six months away... But it's a big one.
The last official birthday in my 20s. It's starting to wig me out.

But, I'm sure there will be more on that subject later as the date rapidly approaches.

Honestly, I know everything is going to be okay. It's worked out before and it will work out again and almost always in a way that I never would have suspected.

I just need to remember to "Look to the Rainbow..."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Unhealthy Obsessions

So, I may or may not have a problem...

For my entire life I have always been someone who's easy to become obsessed. Luckily, I don't think this is the same as having an addictive personality. I'm not smoker, only drink socially and don't do drugs. My addictions are of a less harmful variety.

I'm talking about movies, books, actors, etc. Once a full blown obsession has started, they can last for a while. Some have only lasted a few months, while some have become a lifelong devotion.

I've decided to share these said obsessions with you, my devoted readers. (All two of you.)

My first and most recent obsession...


Are you shocked, really?

I remember when I first heard that Fox intended to make a show about a show shoir. Sabrina and I snickered via email over what a lame idea this was. I mean, it's show choir!

Then, we heard it was by Ryan Murphy, who created Nip/Tuck. Granted, I don't watch Nip/Tuck, but I've heard how brilliant it is. Okay, the idea was starting to sound better...

Casting announcements then started to make headlines. Broadway darlings were being cast in lead roles. Matthew Morrison as a lead on a TV show? Okay, that guaranteed a viewing of the Pilot episode at least.

Then, Fox released the trailer. Oh, this was going to be dangerous! Witty repartee? Spontaneously bursting into song? Oh dear, oh dear...

The moment I knew I was screwed?

Three words...

Don't. Stop. Believing.

DONE! Been obsessed ever since. The lyrics of Journey tugged at my heartstrings and my poor DVR hasn't forgiven me yet.

If you haven't seen it yet, give it a chance. The Golden Globes are this Sunday, and I have a feeling the show is going to be announced in at least once category. Ahem! Jane Lynch? I'm talking to you.

I am just worried about how I'm going to be able to handle the hiatus of new episodes until April. You've been warned. If I start to speak only in song lyrics, I apologize now.

I leave you with Sue Sylvester words of wisdom:

"You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded. THATS hard!"

Doesn't that just give you chills of greatness?

Thought so.

My wish has been granted!

There is a god, and he has answered my prayers!

The Golden Girls reruns are airing again in the morning!

Thank merciful Zeus! I thought I was going to have to start doing something responsible and normal, like watching the news or the Today Show.

Now THAT would have been a tragedy...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

As Stephanie Tanner would say, "HOW RUDE!"

Yesterday, Jason and I went to see the movie, "Nine." For those who are my friends on facebook, you may know that I've been looking forward to this movie since I first saw the preview back in the spring. Yes, I had heard the "so-so" reviews and word of mouth, but I didn't care! Come hell or high water I was going to see Daniel Day-Lewis portray Guido Contini on the big screen!

We arrived just a few minutes before the previews were to begin. I was a little surprised when we arrived to discover that the theater was decently full. At least to the point where it was going to require us either asking people if seats were taken, or sitting in the dreaded first few rows. Because we were the ones who were late, we moved quickly and tried our best not to disturb anyone. We managed to find two seats in the back row in the corner. We arranged ourselves quickly, pulled our illegal candy from Duane Reade from our bags and sat back to enjoy the previews.

During the third or so preview, a group of three people rushed into the theater. The leader of the pack, a tall gangly man wearing a giant fur deerstalker hat proceeded to exclaim at the top of his lungs, "the theater is full!" or at least, I think that is what he said, as he said it in a different language. The rest of the group exclaimed their disbelief to his statement, quite loudly as well. Then, rather than attempting to disturb as few people as possible and take the obvious empty seats at the front of the theater, they proceeded to climb the steps and stand there looking for seats. I know, I just admitted myself that I hate sitting in the front few rows, however in the rare instance when I enter the theater late and its decently full, I suck it up and sit down there because it is, after all, my fault I'm late.

Now, by standing on the steps in what was a relatively small theater, they proceeded to block the view of the screen for the entire back corner of the theater. After much loud debate, they finally decided to take two seats and a seat directly behind it. These seats were in the two rows right in front of Jason and myself. Mind you, the one empty seat required Deerstalker Man to climb over the occupant in the seat on the aisle. I neglected to mention that they had obviously been shopping prior to the movie, because he had to climb over Aisle Seat Man with several quite large shopping bags.

After the three had sat down and proceed to settle themselves in, Deerstalker Man proceeded to yell over their shoulders for his Coca-Cola. "You have my Coca-Cola!" he yelled. They turned to tell him they didn't. He then had to go get himself another Coca-Cola, so he climbed back over the man in the aisle seat, stepped on one of his many shopping bags and almost fell down the stairs. He evidently REALLY needed a caffeine fix.

In the mean time, the movie has started. He returned with his gallon cup full of what I assumed to be his precious Coca-Cola about five minutes into the movie. He stopped to chat with his friends for a few minutes, evidently to tell him all about his trip to the concessions counter. Again, since him standing in the aisle proceeded to block the view of the entire back corner, I told him to "sit down." Granted, I could have been more polite and said "please" but I was already missing the first few minutes of the movie. I was promptly yelled at by the genteel woman of the group to "SHUT UP!" Ah, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Deerstalker Man finally climbed back over Aisle Seat Man, stepped again on one of his shopping bags and finally settled down. I hoped this would be the last I would hear from my dear new friends for the rest of the movie. Boy, was I wrong...

Evidently Deerstalker Man also had a nicotine fix he needed to take care of, because about half way through the movie, he climbed BACK over Aisle Seat Man and (you guessed it!) stepped again on one of his shopping bags and vaulted down the stairs. I think he must have gotten lost on his way back, because during this time my new BFF answered her phone. I couldn't quite make out what she said, but I like to think it was directions back to Theater 10 for Deerstalker Man, because he made his return visit just a few minutes later. I don't have to tell you what happened when he stepped back over Aisle Seat Man. I know he went to smoke as when he sat down in his seat in front of me, the whiff of smoke billowing from his coat proceeded to give me a nicotine fix as well...

Amazingly enough, the rest of the movie went by without another peep from our new friends. However, when the movie was over I told Jason we were going to have to sit for a few minutes until they left because I couldn't be responsible for what I said if we ran into them again exiting the theater.

I don't understand this. I mean, they were most likely drunk or at least I hope so because nothing else could possibly explain their behavior. Nothing excuses it, but at least alcohol could explain it.

Why are so many people so unaware of how their actions affect others? Why is this such a hard concept to grasp? Unfortunately rudeness happens way more often than it should, and at least this occurrence has prompted what will now become a regular column in this blog...

Random Acts of Rudeness