Happy Wednesday, or as I like to call it, Happy Spill An Entire La Croix On Yourself Before two PM Day! What a rush. I am now Piña Fraise scented and tingly in all the wrong places. It’s hump day y’all.
New York is currently going through pre-winter puberty which means one day you wake up and it’s a charming, sun dappled city of opportunity. The sky is blue, there’s a chill in the air, and you feel good. The next day you wake up to a pimple covered, talkin’ back, asshole of a metropolis. Except the pimples are really rain clouds and instead of talking back you get to watch your favorite umbrella take his last dying breath before flipping inside out and joining the carcasses of other abandoned umbrellas that seem to pile up on every corner in Manhattan. May they rest in peace. Amen.
We haven’t written since the election for a myriad of reasons. First, I apparently was revisiting my SAT study guide because who actually writes myriad? Actually, we’ve just been busy as hell. I kicked off a new freelance job that I’m really loving and I’ve had a big life change. It’s something I should have shared with you earlier but I’ve been trying to figure out how to break it to you.
Guys, I’m a gym person now.
I know, I know. I barely recognize myself but something clicked in me. It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. I’ve buoyed on the scale more times than Refinery29 has posted about the Kardashians and for the most part I’ve stayed true to the higher end of the weight spectrum.
Then 2016 happened.
I think it’s been a combination of a couple different factors. On one hand I have some great things going on. I feel financially stable, my friends and family are better than ever, an Equinox opened very close to my apartment, and my current work schedule is not too hectic while still being challenging and exciting. On the other hand, I am very much dwelling on some issues from the past few months (and honestly years) that I’m finding difficult to separate from. I have completely sworn off dating, I have not been writing nearly as much as I want to, and oh yeah – that whole President Elect thing.
When I got back to New York in September I was a bit of a mess. I love being able to work bi-coastally and hope to continue to do it, but it can be exhausting. I have switched coasts FIVE times in the past year and a half and it was taking a physical toll on me. I just wasn’t taking care of myself. While I regularly found ways to treat myself with experiences, I was not working out regularly, eating healthy, or even taking my medication. I felt lethargic and none of my clothes fit. And then something clicked.
I had a few weeks off to regroup in October and in that time decided to wander into the new Equinox on a whim. The most elegantly pregnant human I’ve ever encountered showed me to the spa and the yoga room and the spin box and before I knew it I had thrown a couple hundred dollars at a gym membership and an even larger amount of money at 12 sessions with a personal trainer. It was terrifying.
In my life I have belonged to at least 8 gyms. I have worked out with countless personal trainers (my previous record: twice with one person). I have paid for hundreds of workout classes, tried every fad diet known to man, and one time bought a 30 page exercise book out of the back of a teen magazine that my Mom found and hid because it was called “The Final Solution” and she was worried I was becoming a latent, teenage, Jewish Hitler Youth. (Please note that my Mom was very busy and forgot to actually look at the book before hiding it.)
The only weight loss solution that ever “worked” for me was a combination of a few key things when I was 19: no social life at Syracuse which lead to my once in a lifetime temporary tanorexic, adderall fueled, nutrisystem eating, potentially anorexic gym rat phase. This was followed up by a bad case of gallbladder disease, an even worse case of Mono (#college), and my very first breakup. I lost 100 pounds and felt terrible. For the first time in my life I could wear the clothes I wanted to wear and was being showered with compliments. At the same time I was so stressed about gaining the weight back and overwhelmed by the new attention that I never really got to enjoy my new figure. Within the next year I met a great guy, got my first job, and steadily began to gain the weight back.
So it’s been 10 years since I was last at my ideal weight. TEN years. I can’t believe it. I am so happy to be where I am in some parts of my life and yet, I haven’t felt physically comfortable in ten years. Ironically, I think about weight loss and health so much that while I’m not even close to healthy, I have an insane library of knowledge at my beck and call. But this is all changing.
There are 157 days until I turn 30. While I am not afraid of growing older, I am afraid that if I don’t start taking care of myself I won’t have the luxury of growing older. I have PCOS and thyroid issues and Hashimoto’s disease. I am on a handful of medications and I am sick of getting out of breath when I walk up the subway stairs. You know that thing where you kind of cough at the top of the staircase to cover how out of breath you are? I am far too familiar with it. And I am ready to fix it.
Remember how I threw my money at Equinox 2 months ago? Well, I have been using it. I have known for a long time that just paying for a gym membership will not make me go. I paid $200 for a membership to a gym in SF that I used a total of four times. FOUR times. In three months. But I figured out a trick and he goes by the name of Ryan.
Ryan is my Equinox trainer. Three days a week he drags himself out of bed to meet me in Williamsburg at six am. We stretch, and joke, and laugh, and then he makes me really sweaty for about an hour. Basically it’s Tinder except instead of hanging out with the scum of the earth, I get to pay my new friend expletive deleted amounts of money to make me feel good. And sore. And flexible. And tired. And every morning when my alarm goes off at 4:45 I am armed with the knowledge that if I don’t get my ass out of bed, I will be spending the equivalent of a Comme des Garçons wallet to sleep in and stand up my new buddy. No fucking way dude.
So while I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to start writing about this, I think I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. I had to be accountable to myself before I could be accountable to you sweet friends.
And while I have a newfound appreciation for the gym, I need to make one thing very clear: I still despise working out. You know what I don’t despise though? The new muscles that popped up in my biceps and the fact that all my jeans are starting to fall off and the memory that this morning, for the first time in my entire life I ran for 20 minutes without stopping. So what does this mean for the future?
Well I am running my first 5k in 2 weeks. I am terrified but excited and I can’t wait for it to be over. I am going to continue to unabashedly drain my bank account into Equinox because I realized that the most valuable thing in my life is me and if I’m not investing in myself, what’s the point?
Damn. That’s profound as hell.
And what does this mean for the future of the blog? Well, it means a bunch of fucking awesome things. Because while I haven’t posted in some time, I have a bunch of new experiences to share with you. Keep your eyes peeled (seriously, is this the grossest saying of all time?) for the following:
VPL & Me: A love story between me and my gym clothes
All of the things that suck about becoming a gym person
Laundry! Heavy bags! Early mornings! Why am I peeing so fucking much?!
So many boobs
Ladies of equinox, I get it. Your boobs are amazing. Do they need to be 6 inches from my face while I’m blow drying my hair?
Oh, LOL, what muscle is that?
And other things I’ve pondered since I started working out
Part of this experience has been really contemplating why I want to get healthy. All introspective and shit. Also I spoke to a psychic. OooOooOoOoooohhhhhHHhHHhhh!
For the first time in my life, I am not attempting to take the easy route to size 6 jeans. I try not to weigh myself even though it’s really, really hard. I’m taking my medication regularly – even the one that occasionally makes me feel like I’m dying from stomach cramps. I’m eating food that tastes good and makes me feel good and I humblebrag at minimum 248 times a day to anyone who will listen. And It feels great. Really great.
So I’m a gym person now. What the hell?
** PS the featured picture on this post was my weak attempt at a 5:45 am selfie on my way to the gym. You can see the anger in my eyes.**