October 11, 2013

A little story about how I lost weight and got healthy.

"How did you lose all that weight?"

I get asked this question a lot these days. I don't really notice the weight loss (well, it's more of fluctuation because I lose a few, and gain some of it back...which means I only notice the addition of pounds, of course). Though it's extremely flattering to have so many people notice for me, I don't really see anything on a day-to-day basis.

Freshman year - Winter

But I was trying on some of my fall/winter clothes last month, and I realized that everything was fitting differently. All of the clothes that used to be too small on me (my sister and I are weirdly firm believers in "Just buy it, you'll fit into it later" -- which is never a good thing to go by, by the way) now fit, and all the things that used to fit are now too big on me. And it was a big deal.

So I wanted to write about it. Though even now, I'm not sure exactly how to.

Sophomore year - Spring, Fall

My initial intention really wasn't to lose weight. I expected it to be a by-product of my efforts, but the goal was to be healthier. And I know so many people are going to laugh at me for that, but it's true. I was tired of getting winded from walking up a flight of stairs, or not being able to keep up with my friends when they power-walked down the streets of New York like we had somewhere to be. I was tired of being tired all the time, of feeling sluggish and exhausted in the middle of the day. For someone so young, I thought it was super abnormal.

I didn't really cut out any foods or force myself to exercise if I didn't want to. If I wanted dessert, I got dessert. If I wanted pizza, I ate pizza. The one thing I did that I think really did the trick was doing everything in moderation. I drank a lot more water. When it came to exercising, I didn't force myself to jog. I didn't guilt myself. If I really didn't want to work out, then I walked instead of jogging. As long as I wasn't sitting around doing nothing, I was content.

Junior year - Spring, Winter

And I did that on and off for a year and a half, in what seemed like five-month intervals, until January of this year, when I really tried to stick with it. What helped me in doing that was not forcing myself to do anything I really didn't want to do, just for the sake of being healthy. I let the change be gradual and went with it, instead of trying to make it happen overnight.

Of course, the lifestyle change helped a lot to. I went from California, where everyone drives and portions are huge, to being in New York, where everyone walks and everything is so much more expensive (either that, or I was paying for my own meals outside of the dining hall so I saw how much everything cost).

Now (top), Senior year (bottom)

So what does all of that mean? I have lost more than fifty pounds since I came to New York in the fall of 2009. A good portion of that weight was lost this year, after I started eating smaller portions and being more active (this even means walking a few blocks instead of taking the train). And I feel a lot better about myself, my health. I don't need to sit down for ten minutes after walking up some stairs (or...maybe I still do). I'm not as tired as I used to be. I'm still an insomniac and I don't get nearly enough sleep, but I know the source of my lack of energy -- it's not a mysterious thing anymore.

The only unfortunate part (though I'm definitely not complaining!) is that all of my beloved jackets and jeans are too big now. Jackets are a bit of an easier fix as I can layer to my heart's content, but the jeans...well. I'm going to have to either get creative or to the Goodwill I go!

Just to note, I didn't think I was terribly large before -- again, this was all an attempt to be healthier. Starving myself wasn't an option. It was about moving around, changing the way that I ate, and making sustainable changes in my life.

Have any of you been trying to get healthier? Especially with the holidays coming up, I'm trying to make sure I don't binge on apple pie and hot chocolate...too much, haha.

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October 4, 2013

Phoenix and The Vaccines at Barclays

What? I know.

Even I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I have some pretty awesome friends that take me to do cool things, like go see Jason Derulo or go to a super-cool food tasting (or in the rare event I have something fancy going on, I take them to movie screenings). Yup, it feels pretty sweet.

On Wednesday, I got to go see Phoenix play at Barclays with The Vaccines (which I was really excited about because I knew who they were!).

You know what's better than a concert? A free concert. We were able to snag free tickets thanks to Will Call and made our merry way over there. After being asked to move once -- does anyone ever sit in their actual seats if there are better ones available? -- we enjoyed jamming out to The Vaccines and Phoenix for a lovely night of European bandmen. That's not a word. Oops.

It was pretty great. I tried to record part of it but ended up not getting my face in it, with just a glimpse of my friend. Welp. They also had a part that totally reminded me of Rainbow Road. It might be that anything rainbow reminds me of that ridiculous course in Mario Kart -- it's my least favorite, I always fall off, I'm the worst.

Anyway. The show was fun, and I was reminded of how much I enjoy going to shows. I hadn't been to one in what felt like two years, so it was good to be back. There's nothing like it -- being surrounded by people dancing, bobbing their heads to the same song, feeling everything roar in your chest. I need to go to another show ASAP.

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October 2, 2013

Welcoming fall with open arms.

I have tried to avoid writing the obligatory "summer is gone!" post, but it feels appropriate to do that now. It's October already and I feel the tell-tale signs of autumn all around me -- people are starting to cough, the weather can't decide if it wants to be warm or cold, and shorts are no longer around. And I love it. Sort of.

There's something about this time of year that makes me feel rejuvenated. Maybe it's because I spent almost all of my life getting back into the swing of school around this time, settling into new new new: new clothes, new classes, new people around me, new school supplies. It feels fresh, like I'm packing away my sun-faded dresses to make room for the rich, deep colors of autumn. And we can't forget the crisp air that makes me want to be outside all the time.

Though I will say, that this time is also the beginning of my hibernation mode -- all I want is to eat and sleep. Two contradicting feelings, I know. Oops. But that's how it goes, I love being outside and I love being inside at the same time. All around happy to be where I'm at. Also, this photo is from Colorado. How ridiculous is that? It looks fake to me, even though I was the one who actually stood there in May.

Fall also heralds the beginning of the time for comfort food, spiced anything, apple everything (like this chai apple cake with cinnamon glaze from the lovely Two Red Bowls -- she even included instructions for a non-chai version for those of us who might not be the biggest of fans), and jackets -- oh how I love jackets! And boots. Things that are appropriate for every season except summer, where sandals, shorts, and light-wash denim are staples (have I mentioned that I'm not a fan of any of those?).

I've definitely mentioned this about a dozen times, but this past summer was insane. It was the summer of change, decision making, and learning. I've learned a great deal about life and myself, and it's been a challenge -- though one that I took on headfirst. My life has changed completely from where I was at in the spring, and looks very different from what I had imagined. But I think it all worked out for the best and the way it was supposed to.

Anyway, I love this time of year. I feel inspired to do things, to make things happen. Already I've re-launched this blog, started to do some healthy cooking and tried out one of the many recipes I've saved, and am well underway on another very exciting project I can't wait to launch...eventually.

So this is goodbye to the ridiculous summer that was, and a grand hello to the upcoming fall.

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