Healthy Living, or I Sexy-Danced for My Cat


I hate New Years Resolutions because I think that every day, not just January 1, presents an opportunity for change, but I think I’ve accidentally made one…

I’m going to lose weight. How much is my own business, and I share enough of my life on here as it is, but it’s really important to me that I lose it. I want to be healthy, feel better, get active, eat well. And…judging by how much pizza I ate last semester alone, this change is a little overdue. But better late than never, I guess! Plus…as much as I’m always yelling “love your body no matter what!” I want to feel sexy again, and it’s hard to do that when most of your clothes don’t fit. I suppose I could go all Lady Godiva on everyone, but I don’t particularly feel like getting arrested.

I’ve been back in my apartment for the last two days, and since then have been cooking for every meal, juicing, and exercising. Plus, I’ve had so much water that half of my life seems to be spent in the bathroom. Again, I share too much of my life on this blog. But I feel really good! A little more energetic and excited for the future. Y’all know how much I love to cook — the more complicated the recipe, the better — so this is fun for me.

The weather was gorgeous yesterday, so I went on a run around my neighborhood, past my old apartment. I bumped into an old friend — the little tiny kitty cat that lived upstairs — and she ran up to me for a cuddle. If every run involves snuggling tiny cats, I’ll lose this weight in no time.

But the weather changed today. It’s been so cold in my apartment that I checked at least 5 times to make sure the heater was actually working. There’s fog outside my window — so much that I can’t see outside. And so, with no other option but to stay inside and die slowly, I decided to work out and generate some body heat…and my sister had just given me a Zumba DVD.

Zumba is ridiculous. I probably burned more calories laughing at the instructors and myself than I burned from the actual workout. I kept yelling, “I CAN’T SALSA WHAT IS HAPPENING” while my cat stood under my feet and only just escaped being trampled at least three times. He retreated to his cat castle while I did this weird dance move that involved more shimmying than was really appropriate and I’m pretty sure I learned to booty-pop.

So I guess today’s lesson is…if you want to lose weight and you need to keep warm, you can always sexily dance for your cat.

xo

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HUMANS ARE JERKS


keep-calm-and-cycle-on-201I have a feeling that a lot of this post is going to be written in capitals, so if you’re not down with that then its best to just shut your computer off and step away now.

I went on an easy ride this morning (I’m training for a 45 miler on Saturday) at like 11, which is a terrible time to ride because it’s just beginning to get hot, and it was hazy and kinda muggy today too. So I’m riding along, enjoying my time outside, sweating more than I would like to admit, when a car drives by me kind of slowly. I was about to wave at them for being kind to me and slowing down when some DIMWIT sticks his head out the window and SPITS AT ME. Y’ALL. HE. SPAT. AT. ME.

I didn’t get hit, but that’s not the point. Who does that? Who decides, “I am having such a great time with my friends right now. You know what would make it better? Spitting on a girl while she rides her bike. I am an amazing human being.”

I’m so sick of getting crap when I ride. Riding is therapeutic for me. Riding has helped me lose 20 lbs this summer. Riding makes me so incredibly happy I feel like I’ll burst. It makes me feel free. It destroys negativity and…riding is my everything. 

So why are people so intent on being twats? Side note: a twat is a pretty stupid, yet strangely fun to say, slang term for a vulva. Basically, today, a man was driving a car like he was a vulva…with no cognizance of what he was doing, no morals, no anything. He was a vulva. And so was The Spitter and everyone else in that vehicle who enjoyed the Spitting Debacle of 2013.

Anyway, why? Why can’t you just drive in your car to get from Point A to Point B? Maybe throw in a little car-singing along the way, a little beverage-sipping perhaps. Chat with a friend. If you’re feeling adventurous, hold hands with someone. But really? You have to be a huge jerk and spit at me while I’m riding along on the side of the road?

I’ve had people throw cans at me before. That’s a double no-no because it also involves littering. I’ve had people honk at me right as they were passing me. I’ve had them scream at me, accelerate suddenly to scare me, blah blah. BUT I KEEP RIDING. So I don’t know what the purpose of assholes SPITTING at me is, really. Is it fun? Is it the most hilarious thing you’ve ever done? If so, you should probably just go home and watch TV forever because your life isn’t very interesting. Is it a thrill? Does it thrill you to scare the hell out of someone who did nothing to you?

A friend of mine has a brother in law who got SHOT with a BB gun while he was riding out here once. What kind of toothless redneck moron would shoot someone while they were riding their bike?

I feel like there’s not much else for me to say without using the word twat a lot more, and as much as I’d love that, I don’t think my mom would approve. So just know this: some humans are jerks, so the rest of us should all strive to be less-jerky, otherwise the planet will be overrun by absolute fools in 20 years.

SERIOUSLY? SPITTING?

Ok, I’m done.

I Did Not Come Here For Staring


Ah yes, another post about the gym. I hate the gym (still) even though I’m steadily losing weight and feeling less blimp-ish when I wear my gym shorts and trot along on a treadmill. I really, really, really hate the gym.

It is too inside. There are too many walls. Of course, walls are necessary in order to support the roof of the gym, so I guess I’m pretty glad they’re there, and gyms are kind of inherently indoor facilities, but…I work inside for 8 hours a day. I need to breathe real air when I’m done.
I just have a problem with how muggy gyms are, and how the oxygen gets depleted and then there’s a weird fan blowing sad air on me while I sadly do my ab workout on a nasty mat that nobody has cleaned in 6 years and has pieces of foam missing from it, like a baby was set loose in the gym and ate part of it. Stop. I don’t enjoy this.

And anyway, gyms these days are more like libraries than real libraries…Everyone silently works out by themselves, with their headphones in or staring at the muted TV (by the way, watching Jeopardy on mute with subtitles is surprisingly disturbing. The contestants look really uncomfortable, like they’re being held there against their will). My sister and I get really giggly at the gym, and then we feel like jerks, like we’re supposed to be quiet and just miserably get on with our workouts. We will not have fun here. Being in shape is not fun. Being in shape is serious business, and if you’re not an expert on getting in shape, then just get out of here. I have been silently getting in shape for 10 years and look how happy I am now. Look at my arm muscles! They’re bigger than my head. I’m so attractive.

Then you get some weirdo staring at you, and you can’t tell if it’s because they’re attracted to you (probably not, because I look like a wreck when I go to the gym, which is a fact that I am very proud of, actually) or if they hate you…because the gym is for hatred. I did not come here for staring, sir, I came here for exercise. And I would appreciate if you wouldn’t creep me out while I contort my body into weird forms and lift my butt in the air for some very questionable glute exercises.
Speaking of, the gym is the only place in the world where you can lay on your back with your legs spread and not seem like a complete twit. Normally it’s not acceptable to practically flash your lady bits to the whole world, but apparently in this muggy, sad gym it’s not only accepted, it’s expected. I still feel weird doing it…

Basically, I’ve taken to riding my bike a couple times a week and going to the gym less frequently. I will breathe fresh air if it kills me. Which it won’t. Because it’s fresh air, and that’s good for you.

Cheers!

My Whole Body Aches


I went on a long bike ride today, and whenever I ride I have a lot of time to think. About the meaning of life, about new blog posts I could write, about what I wanna do with myself in the future…about how much my butt hurts… Today, I thought about all those things, in between riding past creeks and llamas (I’m not kidding), and I was really excited to write about it all when I got home. But. Y’all, I hurt. In the best way, of course, like when all your muscles feel like lead but it’s okay because it means you didn’t die halfway into the ride. Nope, here you are, aching like all hell, but knowing you finished that ride like a champ.

Anyway, I was gonna write about all that. But now I’m not. Because my brain fell out along the ride and I have to go get it in the morning. So instead, I thought I’d give you a list of books I’ve read recently and just say, “These are great, read them, take my word for it, read them.”

1. The Yard: So good! About Victorian London after the Jack the Ripper murders. This book was perfect for me because I’m super into serial killers (not to date, obviously…to psychoanalyze because I’m a psych major, duh!) and super into London, and it was so gripping and full of depth. The next book comes out tomorrow, and I can just about guarantee I will read the whole thing in two days.

2. A Midsummer Tights Dream: Okay, so this one is for 15 year old girls. But the author, Louise Rennison, wrote my favorite series (The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson) and it is absolutely hilarious. This one is the second in a new series about a girl named Tallulah who goes to Scotland to attend a crazy performing arts school and gets up to all sorts of antics (most involving her knees and owls). It’s a quick, light read for anyone with the sense of humor of a 16 year old girl trapped in a 62 year old’s body.

3. The Bhagavad Gita: This is the holy text of Hinduism, basically. Not exactly a light read, as I get through about 5 pages every time I sit down. But the reason for that isn’t that it’s boring, it’s that it is possibly the most thought provoking thing I’ve ever read. As of now, about 30 pages in, I’ve contemplated my existence and my soul and questioned about 40% of everything I knew to be true. I’d say that’s pretty good. I suggest the translation by Stephen Mitchell, as it’s really easy to read and is rated really well through Barnes and Noble as one of the truest translations.

4. The Name of the Star: This one’s by Maureen Johnson and I’m only 15 pages in but I’m already totally hooked. Surprise surprise, it’s also about the Jack the Ripper murders, but this time about a copycat murderer that only one girl can see. I have no idea what the hell is happening yet, but I love everything Maureen Johnson has written so I assume I’ll love this too. (Try Devilish – it’s a great read.)

Ok…I’m about to die, and honestly can’t think of any other books I’ve read recently at the moment anyway. I’ve got The Psychopath Test and The Skull Mantra on my bookshelf waiting for me, so I’ll let you know about those soon.

Love you, my muffins. Sleep tight :)

P.S. We should start a book club…anyone in?

Separate but Equal: A Gym Doctrine


First of all, I am super stoked that I hit 1,000 subscribers today, my little muffins! So thanks for reading and loving me (or hate-reading my blog, though I don’t know if that’s a thing…) and making my life that little bit better. Moving on…

I  gained a million few pounds in the last two years. It’s not a huge deal, except that I can’t fit into any of my pants. Or shirts. Or coats. Basically, I can’t fit into my clothes anymore, and it’s a really depressing feeling. I have shed many a tear over favorite dresses that can no longer squeeze themselves over my now-large lady bits. When I say lady bits, I mean my boobs, y’all, not my nether regions. Calm down.

Anyway, since I got home from school two weeks ago, I have started eating really well (so much salad, so little time) and going to the gym 6 days a week. Remember, weeks are 7 days long, so that’s pretty impressive for a person who barely likes doing a sit up at home, let alone in a crowded gym. I am seriously committed to losing what Sarah Millican so rightly called the “cake shelf” because it’s “where I store my cakes.”

I have lost 7 lbs already, y’all. That is what the British would call “half a stone.” So I’m doin’ it, ladies and gentlemen. Doin’ it good. But. I hate the gym. So. Much.

How is my lumpy self supposed to work out when Wonder Woman is running at 100 mph next to me on the tread mill? As I hoof along, she’s practically flying on wings of glory, making me look like a sad sack of sweaty potatoes, and it’s a bit difficult to concentrate when you 1) can’t breathe and 2) now hate yourself and everyone else in the gym. Also, what’s with people wearing so much makeup to the gym? I look like a 15 year old boy, and my hair is all nasty, because that’s what you should look like at the gym. I’m not gonna put on makeup at 9 in the morning just so I can sweat it into my eyes. Besides, I’ll have to shower afterward anyway, because really, nobody wants to smell this after 45 minutes of elliptical/weights/abs madness. Plus, everyone at the gym judges you when you don’t look perfect, but…am I supposed to work out before my workout so I can be fit as a fiddle and look perfect at the gym? I thought that would be defeating the purpose…

With all this in mind, I’d like to propose separate gyms for different body types. Short, tiny, skinny people who used to be gymnasts can go to one gym, where all the equipment is miniature. Bros who want to work on their pecs and have their nipples pierced (it’s a thing, guys, I saw it with my own eyes and now I can never go back) can go to another gym, where the walls are covered with mirrors so they can look at themselves while they “get swoll.” And those of us who are going to the gym because we need to can have our own gym. There would be no Food Network shows playing, because I don’t need to see some lady with too-white teeth bake a cake I’ll never be able to eat while I sweat out of my eyes on a stationary bike. There would also only be one mirror, and that mirror would be in the weight room so you can make sure your form is right. Otherwise, no mirrors. I cannot be motivated when I look into the mirror and instantly want to cry.

Also, and this might be the most important part, all the guys working behind the front desk would be specifically attracted to women of a curvier persuasion. And they’d all be gorgeous, and I wouldn’t feel weird walking in and talking to them because I would know they wanted to take my hand and by my husband.

Take notes, gym CEOs everywhere. This is the next big thing.

The Ride


Please enjoy the scenery from my bike ride.

Tonight, I discovered that nothing beats a bike ride.

As many of you know, I love love love road biking. But lately, I haven’t really been riding. Like, at all. And there are lots of reasons for that. Okay, mainly just one.

I just finished my freshman year of college. I started out at my dream school, but then it turned out that the only place it was amazing was literally in my dreams. I seriously hated that college. And that’s to say nothing against the academics there, because I took a freaking fantastic linguistics class and learned a lot about Shakespeare, but it was just the wrong place for me. I didn’t feel like I fit in, and I had a really hard time making friends (which is kinda hilarious, because I’m not exactly shy).

And then there was the severe, debilitating anxiety that I experienced at that time. I started having panic attacks every night, and then I started having them in public places. For those of you who have never experienced this kind of anxiety, let me just tell you this: I have experienced nothing more terrifying than a panic attack in a dining hall. I — honest to God — thought that the people standing behind me in line were going to hurt me. I had to leave without eating, and I feared going back for several weeks because I connected my panic with that place. So I started staying in my room all the time, sleeping through classes, panicking at night, literally crying in the bathtub at 3 a.m.

I don’t say this to make people feel sorry for me, and I definitely don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. But this is the real story of my life, and it has shaped every action I’ve taken since that time. So knowing me is knowing this, and I haven’t talked much about it to anyone yet.

Anyway, I transferred to a school closer to home in January, joined a sorority and the school paper, and am so completely content there. That’s not to say that the anxiety is gone, because it definitely isn’t. I have the occasional panic attack, though with the help of a fabulous psychologist those are becoming few and far between. I still feel anxious almost all the time, to varying degrees, but it’s not as bad as it was last year. So I’d say I’m definitely improving.

What the hell does this have to do with biking, you ask? Well, I think when you start limiting your activities based on how much anxiety each one causes, you start going a little bit overboard and limiting everything. I don’t do much these days. Yeah, I read, blog occasionally, study for math placement tests (yuck), work around my house and babysit (cutest kids ever), etc, but I get so scared and anxious doing everyday activities that I worry about what will trigger the anxiety. And for some reason that means that I’ve pushed biking out of my life, even though you’d think I’d know that exercise outdoors would make me feel better.

Believe me, I do know. There are just a lot of barriers I still have to get past.

So getting back to the story…I took a long ride tonight. Today was a crappy day, and I was feeling all anxious and jittery, and those thoughts of, “Hey, just go upstairs and get in bed” were starting to jump into my head. Somehow, this time, I pushed them aside and hopped on my bike. Believe me, that ride was hard. I haven’t ridden in so long. But it was kinda like getting together with an old friend, one who never lets you down but also never lets you quit.

I rode 8 slow miles through the countryside, and by the time I was done I couldn’t really walk (and my butt still hurts). But somewhere between panting up a hill and riding past a pasture full of horses, I forgot all of that anxiety. Even if it just lasts a couple hours, I’m really glad I rode tonight.

Although…I can’t lie; the smell of horse poo is lingering in my nostrils still…

Author’s note: I would love to hear your stories of anxiety, depression, etc should you feel compelled to share them. I understand how sensitive this topic is, and rest assured that this will be a safe place to voice those stories. Or not. It’s up to you.
On a related note, please refrain from attacking any commenters or belittling their experiences. Thank you.

What You Don’t Understand About Bikers


That's my bike! Mine's blue.

1. If you hit us with your car, we die. You, on the other hand, probably won’t. You’re safely in your car, and when you don’t give us enough space, our lives are actually in danger. So play nice.
Uh, also…I love my bike almost as much as you love your child. I mean it. That thing’s my baby. If you endanger my life, or the beauty of my bike, I’m gonna be mad. So please, refrain from cutting me off while I’m riding.

2. Bugs hit your windshield. Bugs hit our faces. We’re exposed to the elements while you hang out in your air-conditioned SUV. It’s hard to bike up a hill while it’s raining, cold, and windy. So if you just wanna be nice and give me that extra foot of space, it would be much appreciated.

3. Most of us aren’t idiots. We know what we’re doing, because we do it often. So even if some bikers do dumb stuff, you shouldn’t take it out on the rest of us. If you think we’re riding too far out in the lane, it’s most likely because we have to; road bike tires are really thin, and if we ride in that fine gravel on the side off the road, we can crash our bikes. So which would you rather deal with? A biker that you have to give an extra foot of space, or one who just crashed into the side of your car and now has a concussion?

4. Bike lanes don’t always work (see #3). Some cities do a great job of cleaning the sides of the roads and bike lanes, but a lot (including mine) don’t. So it gets a little tough riding with skinny tires over bottles, rocks, and other random crap.

5. We’re not something to be afraid of. Seriously, if you just give us enough room when you pass us you will be fine! And so will we. You sit in your car freaking out when you see a biker because AH, you just DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO! It isn’t hard. Just give us a couple feet of room and slow down a little. If a car is coming in the other direction, then just slow down more. You can’t possibly be in a big enough hurry to justify putting a biker’s life in danger.

6. Motorcyclists need to follow these rules, too. Here’s the deal: even though they’re smaller than cars, most motorcycles make really terrifying noises and aren’t as easy to hear from behind. So it’s really startling when a motorcycle (or a pack of them) sneaks up on you and barely gives enough space. Also, some motorcyclists do some crazy stuff. So motorcyclists: please stop swerving around the lane and just pass me with some courtesy. I swear, I’ve almost fallen off my bike in shock.

7. We bike because we really love it. It can get really dangerous for us to ride, and that’s usually the fault of jerk drivers, but because we love the sport so much, we go out and do it anyway. You must have something you love that much too!
Even though you think we’re annoying and don’t deserve to expect courtesy on the road, you should still help us stay safe.  So whether you think biking is stupid or not, you don’t have the right to pass by us too closely, throw things at us, yell and honk, or actually try to run us off the road.
I don’t care much about bull-riding, but I’m not about to jump in the ring and throw a rock at the rider.