Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nail Attack... Growl!

I have the itch again... I just bought a whooooole bunch of new nail stuff so more posts to come. 

Here is what I did today while binge watching Breaking Bad. 

Stamping Plate - Konad M57
Base Color - Sephora By OPI - I Only Shop Vintage
Spots - Konad Black Stamping Polish
(*Note on this guy- I tried regular polish first, forgetting that I had Konad.  It REALLY does make a difference.  Some regular polished stamp just fine, but the black Konad is worth it!)
Brown Spots - Sinful Colors - Vacation Time

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crossfit Update and the Best Season of All

I did Crossfit for a month.  I gave it the old college try.  And you know what?  I hate it.  And that's OK.

What led me to this realization was a workshop I went to on Wednesday that was run by a health coach and a life coach where we created "vision boards".  Sounded like total happy bull shit and I was dreading going, but I agreed to go with my friend Sarah and we had to follow through.  On the way over we were both saying how swamped we are at work and how as soon as it was over we were heading back to my apartment to do more work. 

So we enter the workshop.  Take off our shoes, and sit on the floor in a circle of ten women.  We meditate, we agree to leave our stress at the door, yaddah yaddah.  We get started on the process of tearing images out of magazines that we liked.  Not that mean anything like "I should work out more" but just things that made us happy.  We then edited down our pictures and started gluing our boards together.  While we were doing this, the instructors came around and asked questions about what we were choosing.  I had some images of women working out and looking really happy.  We are about T minus ten seconds from my breakthrough.  After about a question and a half I started spouting out how I hate Crossfit but it seems like something I "should" do.  I haven't eaten a carb in a month (except for my meltdown the night before which included a burrito, a bottle of Rose, and a lot of tears... long story) and how I needed to find exercise I actually enjoy.  My vision board came out pretty awesome and it's now hanging at my desk.  It reminds me that it's OK to take some time to relax, and live a more balanced life.  Not no carb, dead lifts, and squats.  Also.. "food is not a reward or a punishment".  Which is pretty much exactly how I eat.  So instead of going home to do more work, we went out for the most amazing pizza at Motorino, and a bottle of sparkling red wine.  To die.  Oh yeah, carbs are back in my life in a MAJOR way. 

Friday I met up with my beautiful, fabulous friend Ly who is visiting from Dublin.  We realized that we haven't seen each other in three years, since I was last in Dublin!  The best part about a friend like her is that I saw her, we chatted and chatted like not a day had gone by.  I miraculously guessed the name of her baby girl due in December.  Like, and Irish name that sounds nothing like how it's spelled (I'm still proud of myself).

And Saturday we headed to my lovely friend Sarah's house in upstate New York for some R and R.  Her parents spoiled us absolutely rotten.  We had tons of great food, great laughs, and girl time.  We were away one night, but it felt like a real vacation.  And we went to Jones Farm, which is in my opinion heaven on Earth.  We checked out the farm, the pumpkins, and the most insane baked goods around.  I had three cider donuts (did I mention carbs are back?) and headed back to the city today. 

It's been an amazing week, and I did some good hard thinking about my health and what's next.  Crossfit is out, but something else has to come in.  I might start seeing a health coach to get on track.  It seems like a good way to deal with whatever is making me eat a burrito when I have a bad day, and need to go to confession over the guilt. 

Here's to another amazing week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Doing Crossfit. I said It. Eating My Words.

I NEVER in my whole life thought I’d do Crossfit.  I thought it was cult-ish and crazy, and above all else, something I am not capable of.  But here I am, three classes in.
I have two friends who do it regularly and look absolutely freakin' amazing.  At some point I had to make the decision between doing what I do now- sporadic classes at the gym, never doing weights, or trying something to really push myself and hopefully see some results.  I want to see progress and know I'm getting stronger, and that's something I just can't do on my own.

In class one we went around and everyone said why they are doing Crossfit.  Most people said “I’s in the neighborhood”.  I said "because I can make myself do cardio, I can’t make myself do weights."  Coach seemed to like that answer.  I never for one second thought it would be easy, but I guess that’s also why I’m there.
The first thing we did was learn the "air squat".  Or some might call it just a squat.  I totally get the need to master the basics and get the form right, so away we go.  It started with "do five air squats" but as the coaches walked around and checked form I had probably blown through fifteen and they weren't even to me yet.  Next we did "front squats".  We grabbed a PVC pipe to get the form down, and lifted it up while doing the squat.  Seems easy enough, but the same thing happened.  "Do five or ten" probably turned into 40.  SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT!

Then we got the WOD (Workout Of the Day).  It was a timed event where we did 30-20-10 of air squats, wall balls (throwing a medicine ball up to a high point on the wall, and catching it in a full squat) and box jumps.  Did I mention that the wall balls are weighted?  Ten pounds was the lightest.  GASP!  And for the box jumps they suggested that men jump straight up onto a 24" box and women do "20 or "12.  I picked 12" and even in the moment I asked myself if I was cheating myself.  But my legs were legitimately jelly, and 12" was plenty!  The first round was 30 of each, then 20, then 10.  I honestly couldn't tell you my time, I think I blocked it out.

Day 2, my legs were ON FIRE!  To the point where I wondered if I should work out again.  I even asked when I was leaving day one and Coach Eric said we would be working different muscles the next workout and to definitely come back.  So after about 27 Advil and a lot of self loathing, I returned.  This workout was with Coach Melissa, Coach Eric's wife.  I could tell immediately that I liked her.  Very sweet and encouraging, which is what I need.  She made sure she knew everyone's name, and that was generally pretty awesome. 

We started with "mobility" which I think means stretching etc?  We took two lacrosse balls taped together, laid down on them, and rolled them on our spine.  It felt pretty damn good.  We also did some walking pigeons (a la yoga) and then onto Snatch.  Yes I said Snatch.  It's a weight lifting move, perv.  I used a 15lb bar, no big deal.  We did about 400.  Then the WOD.  It was an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) of 20 Snatches and 10 pushups.  About 30 seconds in and I was winded.  But in 10 minutes I did six rounds, and I was happy.

Now tonight.  Ughhhh tonight.  The WOD was called Helen.  Why would they name these horrible things after women?  It was three rounds for time of a 400 meter run, 21 kettle bell swings, and 12 pull ups.  Now I have no upper body strength, so this was a challenge.  We were able to use bands over the pull up bar, which help you.  They are a total pain to get in and out of.  On round two I had one left and I just couldn't do it.  They told me to take a break.  I think that makes it worse.  Now I have to wriggle out of the bands only to get back in and do it again.  I asked if I could add one on in the next round and the answer was "No, you can do it".  Fuckers.

Now round three.  I feel like shit, I'm digging deep.  I walk a little on the run but I pull it out.  I crank out the kettle bell swings and almost puke at the thought of more pull ups.  At this point everyone else is done, I'm self conscious, and going to cry and/or barf.  I literally CANNOT do it.  They let me do "jump ups" from a box, into a squat and back up again.  I finish.  Barely.

I walked out in tears.  I was the last one to finish.  There was a bigger girl who got to modify everything and it killed me that SHE beat me.  I was last. 18 minutes, 18 seconds.  I walked home feeling sorry for myself.  Oh and I saw two huge fucking rats frolicking in Thompkins Square Park, right in the middle of the walking path.  Oh, and I have my period.  Really not my day.  I texted my friend Kim who has been Crossfitting for a couple years and swears it gets better and says it takes a couple months to even moderately like it.  And most of all, don't compare.  At the end of the day, is it better to be the last one to finish the WOD or sit on the couch all night?  I worked my ass off, and I need to be proud of myself.  I'm working on it.  I know about myself to know that it is at least as much mental as physical with me.  I tell myself I'm not capable.  I make myself believe it, and I'm hoping that Crossfit is a way for me to get over it.

So three workouts in, I'm not completely sure how I feel about it, but being sore feels better than knowing I need to do something but doing nothing.  So, back it I will go on Saturday.  More to come!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Juice Cleanse, and a Foot In My Mouth

Tomorrow marks day one of the Blue Print Cleanse.  A thing I said I would NEVER do.  Why would you just drink juice I always wondered?  I like food too much.

Welp.  That's the problem.

Things have gotten out of hand.  I see the delivery guys WAY more than I see the gym.  I have let an occasional treat meal become the norm, and it is showing.  Summer is just around the corner, and my thunder thighs can feel it. I just want to reboot my system, and hopefully do away with the cravings for junk.

I never considered doing a cleanse because like many things, I don't have the faith in myself to believe that I can do it.  Well, I've never been happier to have a stomach bug.  Last Sunday and Monday I was in a bad bad way.  This thing ripped through my family (literally) in a matter of days, and since my turn I have had absolutely no appetite.  So when I walked into work and a couple friends asked if I wanted to do it, I thought no time better than the present, and I signed up.

What may be tougher than the cleanse is the pre-cleanse.  Like it isn't bad enough not eating food for three days I have to eat kale for three days leading up to it?  I'm supposed to be carb free, booze free, and vegan to make the transition into the cleanse easier.  All I want to do it load up on meat and carbs, but BPC warns you that if you do, things will only be that much harder.

So all in all, I have been good with the pre-cleanse.  My only slip ups were Friday night when watching the coverage in Boston, watching police chase a mad man all around my home town, I cracked and ate some Doritos I had hiding way back in a cabinet.  Whatever, I eat my feelings and I am OK with it under those circumstances.  My other slip up was today during letterpress class.  We had limited options for lunch, and we had falafel.  I had it on a plate with salad, no pita, some hummus and babaganush.  Much better than it would've been normally.  Then I came home, sat down to this beauty (ehhh) as the buzzer buzzed.  A different kind of delivery man.  No pizza, no Thai, no curry noodle soup.  BPC is here, nestled in my fridge.  Ready for tomorrow.  Am I?


Crankin’ it Out

Not everyone appreciates craftiness, but I sure do.  Two friends asked if I wanted to take a letterpress class in Brooklyn.  I didn’t know a thing about letterpress, but they had me at “homemade greeting cards”.

We roll into “The Arm” studio in Williamsburg I am shocked at how many guys were there.  We were outnumbered.  Not just by dudes, but hipsters.  I was looking at all these crazy letterpressed posters on the wall, and I started getting nervous about my potential lack of creativity.  Panic set in.
We had a lesson on how to use the massive beasts of machines (five rollers, giant crank, tacky ink) and off we went.  We were given free reign to make whatever we wanted.  Most teams started making posters of sayings including “You are not your code”.  Hipsters, remember?  We opted for greeting cards with a simple “Love & Thanks”.  Mostly because we wanted to use the ampersand, but also because we wanted something useful. We all looked around at each other’s work, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel judgey looks from those hipsters. 

Before our lunch break, we were poking around at the image stamps available to us, and the three of us pointed and shouted “LOBSTER” all at the same time.  We knew we’d be making something with a lobster, we just weren’t sure what yet. 

After our lunch break we started looking up lobster sayings and boom… party like a lobster.  Done deal.  We set up the press with navy ink for the letters, cranked them all out, and noticed as everyone in the class left their presses and came over to check ours out.  They just couldn’t wait to see when we were going to do the lobsters.  We cleaned the machine, inked it up in red, and off we went.  The results were AMAZING!  Couldn’t be happier.  Look at these little guys!  Everyone was asking for copies.
At days end, we left with some awesome cards, the awe of jealous hipster dudes, and some awesome cards.  And the best part, we can go back and use the press anytime we want.  I am already having visions of Christmas cards.  Too soon?


Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Thick of It

We are in the thick of winter, and I am just about over it.  However, here are a few pictures of the prettier side of things.