Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ramification Hell - Vlog

Gonna try this Vlog thing again, guys!


Just some more info to add:

I actually had ZERO deep fried oreos.

I walked 3.8 miles from Little Italy to Midtown East (that must count for something).

I did have a Canoli Cronut. #NOREGRETSEVER

A pretty successful weekend ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of . . . WAIT! WHAT!?!?!?

I was going to blog about these amazing Cheetos (JalapeƱo flavor) that I can only find at the vending machine at work, and how I have been on a mission to hunt them down elsewhere. Having cheesy fingers and potential residue arount your face because you eat like a five year old (or most grown men) isn't exactly a sure fire way to a promotion. Not to mention the crunching sound that comes from your cube every other day at 3:47pm. So I've been trying to find them off company grounds.

I'll save that gem for another time. There's something a little more  . . . intense that is on my brain. Allow me to begin:

So this happened this weekend:

which then caused this thought to happen:

followed by a panic which brought about this solution:

Now. before I get massive texts, emails, calls, calls to my mother, calls to my pastor, etc., let me explain.

Firstly, that cutie patootie that I am holding in the photo is by best friend's niece. She is absolutely stunning. I never realized how precious newborns are.

Secondly, everybody who knows me is well aware that I swore off having children years ago after I saw a youtube video on giving birth. Also, because the idea of having some one's life in my hands and the opportunities to screw them up was something I wasn't too crazy about pursuing. And finally, because I love to sleep late.

That said, within the last year, I've noticed some, um, not so pleasant reactions to baby crap. For example, not to long ago I went into Target at 10:30pm, with 30 minutes to spare because I ran out of detergent. I was one day away from using my Bath and Body works handsoap to do laundry if I didn't get detergent right then and there. Could I have gone to the local drug store? Sure. But Target is way cheaper and who doesn't love a late night visit to Target?

Anywho, I was skipping around the store applauding the fact that the crisis at hand had been averted when somehow, I ended up near the baby section. Normally, I run the other way, or make a dash for the purse section right across the baby stuff, and I was about to, when all of a sudden, my eye caught the following:

Usually I would just glance and mosey along. However, that evening, holding a bulk bottle of Tide (with bleach alternative), I found myself . . . getting warm. On my face. Near my eyes. Then, without any notice, I started to well up. Cry! Like a bitch! I mean, I wasn't sobbing or anything, but there was definitely sniffles, and, possibly, a whimper.

WTF?!?!?!? I had never EVER had a reaction to a piece of clothing (well, maybe when bell bottoms made an appearance in the early nineties). I certainly have never had any kind of reaction like that when it comes to baby stuff. I knew I needed a quick fix to get over this bizarre moment. I did what any adult would do in a time of crisis. I bought myself a snickers bar.

And that helped 100%! I paid for my Tide (with bleach alternative) and headed home. I chalked up that crazy reaction to my die-hard dedication to the Mets, and how awful they are, and pms, and never gave it another thought. I have, on occassion, used this story to entertain my friends during happy hours, dinners, and phone calls. Everybody got a laugh out of it! So I decided to laugh it off, too!

Until this weekend. I went up to VA to see my best friend and her family. Her niece had just been born so we went to visit her. I had no plans to hold the little one, since some parents are super sensitive to that, and also, I can barely hold a can of Goya beans without dropping it, so for the safety of everybody, I was just gonna "goo-goo, gah-gah" the kid from afar.

The only problem was, I didn't expect to fall instantly in love with the baby. She is gorgeous. And teeny. And innocent cheeks like a cherub. So peaceful and vulnerable, and a part of a wonderful family, with two parents who were elated to have her here. It was all so unexpected for me to take in.

"Wanna hold her?", her pops asked. I usually respectfully decline, but I found myself getting elated butterflies in my belly and saying, slightly apprehensively, "Sure."   

As I got into position (my bff and her sister coaching me through hand placement, arm stability, and overall relaxation), I started to mildly panic. But there was no time to address it, because my bff placed the baby in my arms. And she melted in, like butter through the crevices of a baked potato. It was perfect.

"Hi, pudding!" was all I could say. Because, within seconds, that same warm feeling from that fateful Tuesday evening at Target started to invade my eyes. That lump in my throat started to grow and I felt my voice sink into my belly. Oh no! I thought. I couldn't do this here. I was surrounded by everybody in the room, and I knew I would be caught! Don't be that girl. Don't be that girl!!! I continued to think. You know what girl I am talking about:

The girl that I fear more than anything!! I usually can't bond very well with said girl. I've met many of them along my journey, and they are usually very lovely. But babies drown the very essence of their brain. In all capacities. With visions of baby showers, choosing names, and whether or not circumcision will happen already planned out!! I can barely plan out my outfit for the day! 

And suddenly, I felt Baby-Crazy Claudia evolving. And I let her be for about 7 minutes. I held back the tears and just smiled my ass off as I stared at this kid, who, not even a week old, had capativated a career woman from New York City.

I felt the spell wear off when I begin hearing the conversation around me. It was a conversation about feedings, pooping, labor incisions, formula testing, sleep, as in no sleep, as in no sleep ever again . . . 

"Here you go Auntie," I suddenly said, indicating that the baby should be picked up, so I could punch Baby-Crazy Claudia in the mouth, metaphorically speaking. My bff picked up the little lady from my arms and held her with such soothing second nature. The lump in my throat was coming back.


You see, my best friend is so many things. So many. I am in awe of her constantly for what she is. But one of the most incredibly components she possesses is motherhood. I've known Jay since we were five. FIVE YEARS OLD! She is, in some ways, my soul mate. If I never make a million dollars in my life, I will still say I won the lotto. Simply because of having her in my life. 

So to watch her be so comfortable with this newborn, adding to already having watched her feed her ten month old son while being captivated by his big brown eyes ,bringing about her ginormous smile that shows off her dimples, and also observing her unique bond with her 5 year old daughter, as they both negotiate childhood transactions, usually ending up with some sort of amusing outcome . . . it was all too much. Too beautiful. Too unbelievable.

It was time to go. Or I was about to have a crying competition with an infant.

For the rest of my time in Virginia, I thought a lot about the concept of having a baby. Jay was MORE than excited about this idea. Both she and her husband think I would be a great mom (I did remind them that I had yet to unpack my apartment and it had been 10 months, and, rumor has it, my eggplant in the fridge had simply just become a plant with a family of something inhabiting it). They seemed not to care of these facts. Jay even went so far as to pick the Sunday night movie that  just screamed coincidence: SWITCHED with Jennifer Aniston. A single career woman wanting to get knocked up. As she played it, I looked over at her, not amused mind you, and she looked at me with those big brown eyes her son inherited and let out a giggle her beautiful little girl inherited and said, "What?"

That's my Jay.

So here I am, back in New York, three days later, thinking about the emotional whirlwind of the weekend. Perhaps I should think about why I am blogging about this, on a weight loss blog. Well, see, I always thought if I ever was to get married and knocked up, I would be at a healthy goal weight with flat abs! Only because I would probably never see those flat abs again. I also fear getting enormous during my pregnancy, because I would give up my vegetarian lifestyle for the fetus and go ape shit on whoppers, breaded thin chicken cutlets, chicharron, my mother's cocacola marinated pernil, and Colombian empanadas. Because all that is WAYY healthier than being a vegetarian. Clearly.

Like I said, guys, I have NOOOOOOOO plans on getting pregnant right now. Possibly ever, perhaps. My brother-in-law said to me this weekend, "There's never the right time." And he has a point. Some of the people in my life that I love dearly were conceived during "pull-out" method intercourse. And I couldn't be more grateful. Accidental and unplanned babies are great. However, I'd like to at least prepare a little more if I am going to bring a kid into my life. 

For starters, I should probably unpack. And get on to those flat abs. See Patagonia. Participate in a bar-hopping Santa-Con event, dress up as a hoochie for Halloween (I came close one year, but it was really cold that evening), date a biker, etc. Perhaps I should revisit that infamous birth video on youtube  and decide if I really want to have that happen to, um, her. Me. Whatever.

Let me make one thing clear. This isn't about getting married or falling in love or anything like that. That concept is so independant from this, which is rather scary. I was raised by a single mom and, while she is the best mother anybody could ask for and has raised me to be the strong, brave, sappy, sincere, successful, yadda yadda yadda, person that I am, I know I probably could have experienced some very wonderful experiences that can only happen in a 2 parent household. 

That said, my parental plans/fantasies have no place for a pops. No Danny Tanner, no Nick Russo, no Tony Soprano (what? he was a good dad!), no George Lopez. Nothing. 

Just me, my kid, and my New York. 

Heavy stuff, huh?

To conclude, I just want to reinterate that I will not be proclaiming an "I'm knocked up" message any time soon. Not unless the good Lord decides to pull a Mary on me. And even then, I might have to negotiate with God and show him my unpacked apartment and deformed eggplant in the fridge.  For now, I will contine to enjoy this wonderful life I have. I don't need to list everything that is so wonderful, but one thing I will mention is that I have amazing loved ones who will always be there to encourage me to follow my heart, or, when my heart is being an idiot, will set me straight.

Case in point, I got the following tweet from one of great friends the day after I posted "Babies on the brain.":


That, my friends, is all I needed to hear.

Now on to those abs . . . .


Sunday, August 18, 2013

A rant

I have no clever stories, no fun pics, no humor to hide behind. I just need to spew out what's in my mind. At 2:25am on a Sunday, when I am suppose to wake up in 2 hours.

So . . . here goes:

I made big decisions last week. Decisions that I haven't told many people about. So why not blog about it for the masses to see, right? smh

I quit WeightWatchers. Officially. I haven't worked in a meeting for almost a year, due to scheduling, due to feeling like a phony, not being at goal, due to my day time gig taking over my life in some way. I made it official with my WW manager, and it was a tremedous relief, because with her approval and empathy, I became a member again. A member who lost life-time and is trying to get back to goal.

So now I am ready to be a member again! Yay!

Well, sort of yay, I think.

This is a new place to be. Before, when I joined WW in 2008, I had never been fit, at goal, healthy. So when I lost the weight initially, it was a dream that became tastier and more real with each week, at every meeting that I would weigh in. This time around, even if I lose a few pounds, it isn't so juicy, because all I can think is, "You suck! This is nothing to celebrate! You've gained back half the weight you lost, so you have WAYSSS to go."

I'm trying to ignore that asshole voice in my head and rekindle that drive. I swear, it's like rekindling a relationship that feels stifled. I envision this drive as a poor horse that should be put out in the pasture.

Now, now, don't panic. It's the scenario, the plateau that I wish would be put out of it's misery. Not myself. I happen to think I'm pretty great, just experiencing one of the biggest challenges in my 32 years of life: being healthy and human. Healthy so that my knees don't hurt when I walk a few blocks because I'm heavier, and human so that I don't beat myself up and accept that I am not perfect.

Also, I am cleaning house in general. Cleaning my life of clutter, people, and possible career plans. Trying to create space for what counts. As funny (and annoying) it is, I truly feel like I have no time for "that", that being the long list of bullshit currently clouding my life/perspective.

Look, I am not the easier person to deal with. I'm no fool to that. I may not be available all the time, and I may have to blow you off for work because all I have is me to rely on, and perhaps when I am in a dire situation, I handle it before I reach out to anybody, because my momma raised me to handle my shit, to not depend on anybody, and to be mindful of putting your own problems on other people, because everybody has their own stuff to handle. But damn it, my heart is enormous (metaphorically speaking. I'm not that unhealthy/overweight to have an enlarged organ) and if I let you in, you best be aware of how huge that is for me, and how lucky you are. Does that make me sound vain? Maybe. But if you know me, you know that I am the least vain person in your circle, hands down. This isn't about vanity, this is about reality. When I love, I love hard.

Where am I going with all this? I don't even know. I am really just ranting. And preparing. And accepting that none of this is going to be easy. None of it. And if it means ridding myself of some complacent situations because of certain fears/insecurties/pendejadas (foolishness), then so be it.

For now, I think my brain/soul can enjoy this respite thanks to this blog, where I can come and let out all the heaviness that kicks in some times.

And with that, it's bed time.



Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gotta start somewhere. I did, on 43rd ave and 41st street!

Today began day 1 of my 5k training. For more info, see video below.

Trying something new, you guys, following the advice/guidance of my fellow blogger friends:

Vlogging. A video blog. Another tool to fufill the vanity we all have.

So here it is:

Day 1: Flinging is not an option

What do you guys think? I'm not sure if I enjoy this method of blogging, as I do not like a medium where I can not go back and edit. Additionally, it took like 20 minutes to upload the freakin thing (which is like FOREVER). By then I could have written a blog, swept the living room, and groomed my eye brows.

Also, having bad "post run" hair day can not be hidden when there is proof on youtube.

Also, I say "so" WAYYYY too much. My Com. professor would be giving me his uni brow "grill" right about now. "Ms. Martinez, are you addressing the students, or one particular person named So?" 

Butthead. But he's right. For the record, I'm addressing you guys. My audience. All 5 of you, which includes my mom, who loves everything I do. So there, professor!

Ok, TOTALLY digressing.

Any who, some more thoughts. As per the Couch-to-5K app, here are my "Day 1" stats:

I love love LOVE the smiley face. It totally made me feel like I ran a marathon. But the caption next to said bloody smiley face quickly reminded me of the actual retail price: 2.51 miles.

2.51 miles = 26 miles (Only in my brain)

But you have to start somewhere, I suppose.

Also, let me correct my friend's twitter handle who told me to ice down my old lady back. It's actually Kellyfit1220, not Kellyfitgirl.

More on running on Tuesday, scheduled Day 2. Off to do some laundry and pretti-fy my kitchen.

Note: Definitely let me know you guys think on Vlogging. I even hate the name. Sounds like a mating ritual in Scandanavia.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Behaving like a boob

Allow me to state the obvious: my lack of attention and priority towards my health, weight loss, and, more importantly, this blog, is quite tragic, irresponsible, and dumb. I'm choosing, subconsciously, not to lose weight. Sure, I complain when I'm out of breath after climbing up some stairs, I pout when last season's jeans start to encase my midsection, and I roll my eyes when my mother sizes me up and says a silent prayer to God that I give up late-night visits to CVS for Doritos and Jujubes.

All that sucks! 

That said, there has been a new development that has made this reality a little less  . . . painless.


Allow me to explain:

When I lost 60 pounds, there was no greater feeling than NOT feeling my midsection. The same midsection that would torture me like an uninvited fruit roll-up under my t-shirt. Additionally, being able to cross my toned legs, not being smacked in the face by my under-arm flappers when holding the overhead bar on a crowded N train, and joyfully skipping towards the Banana Republic dressing room to try on some size 4s, were all just amazing things.

However, I was NOT prepared for the discovery that would become apparent on that fateful June summer morning. I'll never forget it. It was mid 2009, and I was all pumped and happy for completing yet another successful a.m. Muay Thai session with my trainer. I arrived home from the gym and had about an hour to prepare for work, so I quickly jumped in the shower, did some early morning sing-a-long to Britney Spears, "Three", because, you know, that's what you do, and sprinted to my bedroom. I decided on an outfit for the day and proceeded to get dressed as usual. 

It was at that moment that I realized something was wrong. I wasn't feeling very . . . um, supported. 

"Hmm. Maybe this bra grew in the washer."

Yes, that thought entered my brain. My college-educated brain.

I quickly tried on another bra.

Same thing. In fact, I remember feeling very, somewhat . . . breezy.

It was as if I was bamboozled. Not only because I didn't expect I'd be losing boobage, but less than a month before I had invested in some new support in a pricey bra place on the Upper East side.

Clearly this was a joke.

Of course, by nature, especially when it comes to my self-image, I tend to focus on the negative. All the other parts of the weight loss, all the aforementioned above, were quickly forgotten when I realized that my breasts were changing. It goes deeper than the usual bra cup that I had so easily filled before. In 2008, when I was 200 pounds, my girls were a sizable part of my identity, a symbol of sexiness and femininity, in a world where I seldom felt attractive. Listen, I wasn't hideous, but I clearly was drowning in my weight, and I needed something to hold on to for dear life (really, no pun intended).

Fast-forward a year later and all that was changing. I had lost the weight and I was finally embracing my health and newfound confidence in my body. And the one feature that I had been hiding behind was slowly deflating (honestly, ignore the pun).

It was an intense moment. And something I would struggle with for some time. I was beyond proud of myself for being svelte, healthy, and present. Living in a world where I felt beautiful, a world I could never imagine. But there was a slight sadness, as I could no longer hide behind my loyal buddies.

Fast forward, yet again, to the last 6 months. This weight gain has been a smack to the ego. I haven't gained back all the 60, but enough to begin to panic.

However, I was once again bamboozled when, during a recent morning, as I prepared for work, I felt a little . . . um, stifled.

After taking a peak in the mirror I realized that . . . well, they were rather present, more present than usual, and it was all too familiar. The girls were sort of... back, in full bloom (I had flashbacks of being a 17 year old late bloomer when, in a dressing room in Mandee's, I realized that I was no longer a little girl).

I wasn't immediately thrilled. I mean, it was another reminder that the weight gain was very real. That I couldn't blame the scale or the washer for shrinking my clothes (my college-educated brain finally figured that out). There was no way to blame other factors, like the environment, water, air, the City, the Media, Al-Qaeda, etc. My weight gain was happening, and my choices were making it very concrete.

That said, I started to feel mildly happy. It was a nice moment, like seeing an old friend, one that did you good in the past. Also, my confidence began a happy dance, which is always nice.

I made my way to work that day with an extra skip in my step. It had been a long time since I liked what I saw in the mirror, so I was on cloud nine. But, throughout the day, I also got to thinking how much emphasis I was putting on this one characteristic, and how maybe I was defining myself on something really superficial. And then, I thought of my momma.

Allow me to explain:

It goes without saying that I got my figure from my mother, a beautiful Liz Taylor replica. Always gorgeous, elegant, and, quite frankly, a knockout! She carried her appearance with grace, and, also, always took care of her health. 

Sadly though, in 2007, she had come face to face with a life changing reality and, from that, made a powerful decision. My mother gave up her breasts for the opportunity to live. Cancer tried to take her by taking them. Her response to Cancer, " Fuck off. You can have them. Me? Think again." And, with that, Cancer fled, but not without taking her breasts and some of her right lymph nods.

Almost six years later, and she is healthy and still the most beautiful, most feminine woman I know, and will ever know. Those who have met her would agree with me, 100%. 

Momma is also incredibly wise. She showed me that, as women, your breasts don't define you. More specifically, they do not define what a real woman is. When cancer confronted her, my mom taught me what it meant to be a real woman. A real woman will put her worth first. A real woman is brave. A real woman is defined by her courage, dignity, and selfless yet steadfast decisions. 

Which brings me to a lesson that is presently unraveling: a real woman will realize how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so that the likes of Cancer, Heart Disease, and High Blood pressure never make an appearance. The journey must continue, no matter how long it takes, no matter how life's circumstances may throw a wrench in things. 

A real woman will never ever give up.

Since my reacquainting with my breasts that morning some weeks ago, I've been thinking a lot about how lucky I am. Sure, it's great to be curvy. No doubt about that. But it's even better that I have my legs to run on the elliptical, my arms to do intense kettle ball exercises, my torso to hold proper form for squats and ab work, and my brain to make smart choices on diet and activity.

And, unfortunately, I am NOT maximizing or taking advantage of any of these wonderful features that make up who I am.

Clearly, I am behaving like a moron. Being proud of your boobs, no matter the size, is a given, a necessity. Behaving like one, though, it's out of the question.

Dedicated to my beautiful mommy. Her lessons are great and everlasting, no matter where my journey takes me. I love you, momma  <3


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shame on me!!

I haven't posted on here in 2 months!!! Unacceptable!! So much to catch you guys up on.

Where to begin? Where to begin?

Well I'll fill you on a few tidbits (in 50 words or less as I have to be up in 4 hours).

1-Hit a weight plateau. I thank my birthday, long weekend in Jamaica, my birthday, 8 day cruise, and my birthday. I am incredibly loved therefore I had much celebrating. And since my loved ones know me, I had a shit ton of cheese fries. And alcohol. Bringing me to my next update.

2-Cold turkey. I have given up alcohol until further notice. Today is day 9. I feel ok about it. Booze is expensive and, thanks to texting, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I have made a shit ton of mistakes, where the next day it's like a perpetual, "Ohh maaan! Did I really do that?" Also, I have felt sluggish, unhealthy, and depressed. All bad bad side effects of alcohol. Am I giving it up forever? I don't know. Much like this journey, I won't make any definite decisions. Just one day at a time.

3-I'm tan. Sounds hilarious, but it's worth noting. I never ever get tan. And so this is all new to me. It appears, interestingly enough, that when you are tan, you appear svelter. I have had a few people tell me how thin and fabulous I look since I returned from my cruise, which is a big pile of poo. Not that I think they are lying, but I think with the right outfit and this tan, it works!

But the scale can give 2 shits about my tan. It made it clear that I have a lot of work to do.

So here I go!

I'll report back soon, y'all! So so much to tell you all!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

As promised

Weighed in today at 169 . . .

3 pounds up.

No permanent harm. No foul. Dusting off and am going to keep trekking forward.

Stay tuned folks!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Having a life is fattening

I threw an infamous Claudia tantrum today in a meeting room near the editorial department at the office. I pulled poor unsuspecting Yoda into said room and went on a rant about how this weight loss shenanigan is NOT happening fast enough. I mean, sure. I've lost over 8 pounds in 7 weeks, but I expected a lot more. Kind of like when I lost the 60 pounds in 9 months back in 2009. I essentially lost about 2 pounds a week then. This time around, the average I am losing is 1.25 a week (but whose counting).

"You know, it's not like when you lost the weight some years ago because now you have a lot less to lose AND now you have a life. You aren't living like a monk this time around."

That hit me like a ton of bricks. Not because Yoda was wrong (because seldom is she wrong). But because she was right. Without getting into too much deets, I was not my happiest in 2009. I was recovering from some massive life changes, including a breakup, a move, and the cancellation of ER. Additionally, I was enduring terrible "Virgin Mary" hair and was attached to wife beaters and baggie jeans.

Not my finest hour.

Therefore I threw myself into working out, eating at home and having lots and lots of salads, yogurts, boca burgers, and WW brownies. It was my life goal, not because I wanted to be healthy, but because it was what got me out of bed. Seeing the numbers decrease every Wednesday gave me oxygen and purpose. Not to mention all the lovely compliments I received.

Fast forward to 4 years later, and I am WAY happier. Plumpier, but happier. I have a great gig at work, a business that is thriving, an amazing apartment in Sunnyside, wonderful friends throughout the world, and gravity hasn't quite hit the twins, despite going through a weight gain-loss. My mom is still feisty and full of life, I really have the best felines in the universe, and I have been jumping out of planes, traveling the world, and not being sucked into terrible reality TV.

All in all, a huge success.

That said, it seems that :

Having a happy life + being over 30 (because all I keep hearing is everything gets harder when you leave your 20s) = slow weight loss. 

Must I sacrifice this happiness for a higher butt, tighter arms, and sleeker quads? Does having a life really mean having to be overweight? Case in point: I went to the Poconos this weekend and redefined the word "Lazy." In fact, I was in this position for 80% of the weekend:

Sans the suitcase, sans the suit. I was in my jammies and it was glorious!

And I ate Pirate Bootys and Cheese sandwiches and used fruit as garnish and to enhance my red wine. I'd say it was essential nutrition! Because, you know, I needed constant nutrition for being horizontal the entire time.

And then, there was this:

The most amazing place on Earth. The place where my love of Cheese fries is perpetuated. And where I lose all sense of caloric control and just about propose marriage to my dinner. Like I did. En route. To the Poconos. My inner fat girl sort of sounded like this:

Not my finest hour.

That said, I honestly had a great time this weekend with my friends. It was relieving and foreign and wonderful to turn "off" Claudia, who always has a deadline, client, errand, or phone call to make. This weekend, I literally only worried about brushing my teeth, showering, and  . . . that's about it!

But when I got home, back to reality, I realized that I may not be happy at weighin tomorrow. In fact, I was thinking of not going (which is an essential NO-NO when traveling this weight loss journey). But my choices will be mocking me at the scale tomorrow, and it's got me thinking of reverting back to "monk" life.

Or maybe. Just maybe, I can balance both. Embrace this weight loss journey in a slower pace, yet still have some great experiences with some wonderful people, because, well, it makes this girl happy. I just have to remember to satisfy this 31 year old girl, and not the former fat girl within.

To be continued, really. I have no method to decipher which is the right way. But I intend to try the balance. The worst that can happen is that I fall, get up and keep going. Not a bad outcome, if you ask me.

I will get weighed tomorrow. Pinky swear. And I will report back.

Fair warning: it may come with a tantrum. The only way a 31 year old girl can throw one.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crying for planks

Disclaimer: My words today may not be in usual chipper form, but it's a part of this journey that is important to share. I've been trying to be more honest during this process, as it's the only way healthy results are guaranteed. I promise to include more funnies next week. Until then, welcome to a more intimate part of me.

Last time I checked in, I was on a cloud nine of sorts, excited for what was to come!

Happy to report I'm down over 8 pounds (wheee!), about 1/3 of what I need to lose to get to goal. It feels great! I've been working my ass off to get there, and it's nice when I stand on the scale to see that all the portion control, planks, and non-alcoholic choices have all been paying off.

That said, it's been one hell of a week.

In a nut shell, I called it quits with someone I was seeing, am on the cusp of losing a very dear friend over something I have no control over, had what appeared to be a terrible sinus clusterfuck all weekend, missed an annual poker game I had really been looking forward to due to said clusterfuck, and stepped in cat vomit this morning.

I mean, come on! Could it have been any worse?

The one thing that kept me sane, besides my dear confidants and TONS of deep breathing, was exercise. I was desperately looking forward to the challenge of Refine more than ever, looking for an outlet to release all these emotions that was swirling through my insides. I wanted to hold planks longer, up my weights when possible, and exhaust my quads until the burning alone kept my legs vibrating even after I had stopped moving them. I needed a release. A release that usually involved cheese fries, and/or crying. I refused to turn to calories for solace, and somehow, I had no desire to cry this week. No desire to feel anything.

Until this afternoon.

It all began while I was half way through my second refine class for the week. I was fully aware that in my first class yesterday evening, I was having trouble keeping my usual pace, partly because my lungs were congested, partly because I was unusually lightheaded. So ok, fine. Maybe I was still under the weather, but I refused to let some pansy sinus infection hold me back from taking class. But I wasn't prepared for the limitations my body threw at me yesterday. I was so mortified, that after class, I went up to Katie, the amazing Refine instructor, and apologized for not being able to give my all.

She looked at me like I was bat shit crazy and then gave me the warmest smile. "Claudia, you were fine. I love when you take class. You work so very hard." Suddenly I felt my lower chin quiver, my throat tighten up, and my already high-pitched voice rapidly soaring to "hamster mating-call" levels.

"K thanks Katie. Bye."---I ran out of there so fast, refusing to cry at Refine. I instantly thought of one of my favorite Tom Hanks moments:

There is no crying in Refine!

Until this afternoon.

I started feeling  dejavu moments all through class today, as I had to stop during lunges, planks, push ups, and jumping jacks, because spots were appearing again, and my breathing was challenging. I couldn't get oxygen in my mouth fast enough. I was beyond frustrated. I took a moment when the class continued on with side lunges, and took some water, and started to take deep breaths. We were finishing up the final set of jumping jacks when Laura announced the final component of the final circuit of the night:  elbow planks. Laura, another favorite instructor of mine,  is so encouraging, challenging, and thoughtful. She, just like Katie and Brynn, are the kind of instructors you WANT to work hard for, instructors you don't want to disappoint; that the idea of them catching you taking a break, modifying, or working in faulty form is beyong mortifying. They are wonderful.

Therefore, when Laura made the final direction to get into plank, I was on a mission to hold that 60 second plank with every ounce of strength that I had left. It turns out, though, that I probably had only 7 seconds of strength left. My legs gave out.

"&#*#^#$^$&#&^%$%"--Was what I mumbled, in Spanish no less, letting my frustration roll off my tongue in an aggresive haste. I took another deep breath and attempted more planking.

7 more seconds. Collapse.

My frustration was beginning to shoot through my arms and overwhelm my shoulder blades. I was pissed, but I simply could not give up.

"15 seconds, guys. Come on, you can do it. Your body is stronger than you think." Laura was not letting us give up.

I uploaded my exhausted and stubborn body into plank position and held. My core started to shake. Sweat started to drown my eyes, beads skiing down my sore biceps. A familiar failing feeling came creeping back. I was done.

"You got this, Claudia. You can do this. You are doing great. Don't. Give. Up." Laura's docile voice, with conviction, suddenly scared the option to quit out of my system. It was an option no more.

I held on.

"5, 4, 3, 2, 1."

My body crawled into child's pose. And, in an odd turn of effortless events, I began to cry. Right there, in a dim studio on the Upper West Side, drenched in sweat, in child's pose. Tears came down my face. All this frustration, emotion, pent up anger, sadness, and, well, the week, flooded out of my already soaked eye sockets. Lucky for me, because I was already drenched in sweat, nobody really could notice I was sobbing like a bitch.

But I took full notice.  Couldn't explain any of it at that moment. Just went with it.

On the train ride home, I thought about why I cried. I came up with a whole slew of reasons: my frustration for having to rest in between circuits, my anger at my body for being a douche (or in recovery. Whatever), the fact that a dear dear friend of mine is falling within my grasp and the idea of not having her in my life is down right tragic, the realization that people hurt others for no reason, the fact that I couldn't hold the fucking plank for 60 seconds.

Or. It could have been the cat puke.

Who knows.

What I do know is that tomorrow is a new day to keep trying. I'm grateful that I am getting healthier, that I am beginning to fit into some smaller clothes, that my booty is not quite apple-bottom, but there is definite pomegranate potential. And for this:

I'm also beyond grateful for Refine. Yes, it's so wonderful to flex and pose when I brush my teeth in the morning (and evening. and sometimes midday at work) so I can stare at my biceps in the mirror. But, it's also pretty amazing to be able to release all the bullshit of daily life, 3 times a week, in the form of a plank.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weigh-in day, Oh how I loathe thee . . . Well, maybe.

So today was weigh-in day. And I knew I wasn't going to see what I wanted at that scale for a few reasons. Firstly, I checked my personal scale earlier in the morning and I let out a great big "Carajo" when I saw a number that I was not expecting, which one should never do before 6am (both weigh-in and curse). Secondly, I am in the midst of a week when it's no fun to be a lady. The baby-making machinery is being fine-tuned, if you know what I mean. And, historically, I have always put on 5-7 pounds during this week due to water retention and yadda-yadda-yadda. Which usually means the weigh-in following this week will be quite satisfying.

That said, I still approached the scale today with a pout on my face. I felt as though I had reverted to my five year old, pig-tailed self, when I was denied a Baby Alive.

Swap baby alive for a scale, and, well, you have a travesty.

I arrived to the meeting at 1:30pm, almost not showing up. At this point, I was tantrumming for a variety of reasons, one of which had to do with the earlier "Carajo, I gained weight" moment in my bedroom. I ultimately made my self go, despite wanting to hide behind the piles of work that were thrown at me just as I entered the office.

Indubitably, I, in fact, man-ed up and made my merry way to the meeting.

Before approaching the scale, I managed to take off as much clothes as possible without fully embarrassing the other members in the meeting. I mean, they came for weight loss guidance, not a free show. Additionally, I attend what is known as a WeightWatchers "At-Work" meeting, where WW goes to your place of employment and hosts a meeting there. It's been a God-send for me, and I adore my leader, Barbara. That said, I have to also be aware that I am still at my place of employment and therefore showing up to weigh-in wearing a wife beater and boy shorts may not fly. So you gotta be creative.

Because of the so-called snow storm that was suppose to invade the city today, I wore jeans, which is a weigh-in No-no! However, the last time I wore a very light springy skirt on a windy, snowy weigh-in day, I flashed most of Midtown Manhattan. So, I thought since I "knew" it was going to be a gain, who cares what I wear?

Apparently I did.

I dragged my hormonal bratty ass to the scale after proceeding to remove as much clothing that I could, all hair pieces (the one bobby pin), and jewelery (my work i.d.).

As I stood up on the evil complacent-looking apparatus, I kept telling myself, "It's ok. You know the drill. It's ok. Next week will be better. Early morning boxing sessions, Refine classes, and saying no to cheesy bread is ALL worth it."

And there it was, folks. An outcome that floored me.

I maintained.

No loss. But no gain. Which leads me to believe that next week, I will have a pretty fantastic loss!

Unless I chose to celebrate by giving in to my hormonal cravings of warm pizza and brownies. Not at the same time, though. Well, I don't think. . .

Can you believe this image exists in a google image search?!?!? There's hundreds of these!! And you guys think I'M crazy!

Well, rest assured I did not celebrate by indulging in the above. I decided on a great salad, a latte, and some strawberries. Then I went to Refine, which was pretty kick ass! I out-did myself, which included full form push-ups, lots of arm work, ab work with a kettle ball, and lunges. Lots and lots of lunges. I even received a Twitter shout out from the Brynn, instructor extraordinaire and creator of the Refine Method, telling me how much stronger I was getting, which made this closeted brown-noser feel mighty giddy.

So I feel good at this moment!

Are my clothes looser? Yes!
Is my collarbone resurrecting? Absolutely!
Have I been caught checking out my butt in the restroom at work? Sadly, more than once.

All good signs I am on the right track!

Here's to next week, folks! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Refining my lifestyle, one plank at a time . . .

So much has happened since my last post. I went from whining about being plump to doing something about it. Don't get me wrong. I still managed to whine some, but that habit went away mighty fast after I began my humbling journey as a  Refine Method-Head.

The Refine Method. A sure-fire reminder that your body can do much more than your couchy-potato-y, cheese-fry seduced, self-entitled-"why me" mind thinks it can. I slowly realized this after I began doing push-ups (and non of that lady-like modified kind), burpees (which sounds a LOT friendlier than what they actually are I might add), and lunges with kettle balls (not to be confused with kettle chips, which can easily happen. Just sayin.).

Who the hell was I? I went from this:

to this:

I mean, not as gracefully as the aforementioned, but definitely much more elegant than Chubbo.

I signed up for Refine when I realized I needed a kick in the nuts when it came to working out. My longtime concern with, not only exercise, but life in general, is that I get bored very easily. This becomes an issue when I go to the gym and all the machines look Cuisinart complicated and Magic Bullet boring. There is no variety, no change up. One method, one result. I mean, the result is fabulous! Who doesn't love good guacamole from the magic bullet? Or in this case, a great butt lift from running on a treadmill? But the process is soooooooo snoozy. I've totally had the urge to do this, I am ashamed to say:

Since my attention span does this frequently:

So I would often set myself up for failure by purchasing these gym memberships and enjoying the visa bill appearance that stupid fee made every month as I paid my bills from the very couch that my ass was expanding on.

It wasn't until Yoda came to me and told me about her new fitness discovery. For those of you new to this blog, let me remind you about Yoda. She is my fitness guru, my core when it comes to fitness, health, and simply goodness. She is stern with me when I need it, as she HATES whining:

She is compassionate with me, as she understands the numbing sensation that comes after a Refine class:

She is honest with me, as she knows how important it is to stay on track and not to fall into old habits:

She has taught me how to handle my haters:

She continues to remind me of the force behind success:

 And before every refine class, she sooths my anxiety and self-doubt with a mantra similar to this:

Point blank--She is the best! My Yoda!

Anyway, Yoda had been raving about The Refine Method for a few months, trying to convince me to try it. I was apprehensive because I thought it would be too intense for my recovering back. It had only been over a year since the surgery and the daily immobile activity on my couch seemed to be MUCH more restorative than any kind of exercise.

Finally, I hit a wall around the time I posted my last blog. I was fed up with the scale, the return of my back pudge, and the constant unfufilled goals I was encountering every Monday morning when I realized a week had gone by and my fitness level was at BUPCUS.

So, with the help of Yoda, and my lovely assistant (a definite Yoda in the making), I decided to join the Refine Challenge, a 3 month initiative that required upping your Refine Class goal every 4 weeks. Being the badass that I am, I decided to sign up for a total of 30 classes in 12 weeks, 8 in the first month, 10 in the second, and 12 in the third. I was terrified, but ready. It couldn't be worse than the dread I started feeling  getting dressed in the morning because my clothes were suffocated my limbs. Or the sadness I felt because I would be out of breath after climbing up the subway stairs. Sadness and hyperventilation.

No, this wasn't the same Claudia who wore a 2 piece on a vacation not too long ago. The same Claudia who wore a size 4 and who could double cross her legs. The same Claudia who would do push-ups at home because she was stressed, or who would get a crazy pleasure out of doing tricep dips.

Therefore ANY terror I had was crushed by good ole, "Anything is better than this" thoughts. And Yoda. She's got a way of making any crisis seem doable, tolerable, and accomplishable.

So I started, 4 weeks ago. Countless burpees, push-ups, kettle ball lunges, snow angels (don't be fooled. There is no season greeting that comes with that exercise). Sprints, jumpin jacks, squat-and-reaches. Planks, planks, and more planks. And my body is definitely changing. Not to mention my mind. I wouldn't have been able to define any of the above a month ago.

I'm down 5 pounds. 8 classes completed, and the limbs aren't as suffocated in the morning any more. Like Yoda said, I will not lose the 20lbs. in a month, as it took a lot longer to put that on, but best be sure by the end of this challenge I will be better. I won't define what "better" will be. Not now. Let's just see where this journey goes.

Until then:

I will SLAY 30 classes!

Wish me luck, guys! Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Enough with the WAH!

I am jumping on the official bandwagon, folks. The one where everybody is recommitting and blogging about it, being that it's the new year and all. It's kinda the best bandwagon out there (definitely better than the Yankee fan one). The true test, though, is how many stay on the bloody thing.

I can't type here and say confidantly that I will see this journey through. Truth is, I don't know. The last year and a half has been a year where I fell out of love with being healthy and fit. I did the off again, on again relationship with my tracker. I neglected eTools consistently, and I cheated on water with Coke Zero.

Essentially, I sucked as a girlfriend, metaphorically speaking of course.

So now what? Well, I've been inspired by so many out there who are brave enough to share their story via blogging, and raw enough to speak the truth. I've also stumbled upon some writings I did when I was losing weight in 2009. I was completely in love with losing weight. I gather it's similar to reading the soulful love letters written by your then highschool sweetheart (now husband) 20 years later as he sits across from you at the dinner table scratching his arm pits and oozing in pride as he belches the chinese take out he just inhaled. Could the romantic and dashing writer behind these letters be in fact the same person who is facing you? Only, instead of the husband, it's me, in the mirror, looking back at a very perplexed and horrified girl.

The analogy may not be so pleasant but you get the drift. I don't recognize the voice within these writings. But one thing is very apparent. I just gotta stop whining! I feel like the last year and a half has been non stop wah wah wah! I've bitched and hollered as my clothes have gotten tighter. I've thrown tantrums and resented the scale as the number has gone up. I've cried and embraced depression when I RSVP no to a social life because I don't feel so hot.

So 2013's motto: Enough with the wah!!

And to be as candid as possible. Ugh. Here goes:

On Thursday, 1/3/13, I went to a Weight Watcher meeting and weighed in. I saw something I hadn't seen in 4 years. A weight I swore I would never see again, unless I got knocked up.

174 lbs.

(I've deleted and re-written the above paragraph 5 times, with doubts, shame and fears about sharing my weight gain. It's kind of funny. Somewhere in my mind I'm convinced that if I change the wording, rearranding the sentence, and maybe throw in a pun, that the above reality will be more tolerable and not as scary. There aren't any words in the English language that makes that number ok).

So here I sit trying to figure out the next step. Do I want to write an inspirational closing that would give any rom com heroine the motivation to take on her challenges, all the while inspiring the audience to applaud her? Do I want to spell out a game plan, complete with bullet points, highlighted index cards, and laminated action plans? Will I proclaim that 2013 is my year to shine and that there is no failure in life?

Nope. None of the above.

I'm simply going to pubish this post. And check in every week with a weigh-in. And bring the WAH WAH WAH down to a tolerable level. Listen, whining is essential, but when it becomes the wall you hide behind to wallow in your frustrations (as I so elegantly have done), then it's time to reassess. WAHs are ok, until they affect the other "W"s in your life: your weight, your will, your world.

Dedicated to all of you guys who are the amazing soulful writers that make this journey just a little bit easier. Suzi Storm, Curvy Fit Girl, the every so charming Sheryl Yvette, and many many more!  Thank you for inspiring and for blogging about it! You have no idea how your words move mountains.