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Archive for February, 2012

I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten a bikini wax, but if you have, you know what a vulnerable position you’re in. It’s similar to a visit to the gynecologist, but slightly more painful (depending on your waxer). Guys – I don’t know what to compare it to for you.

The point is this: you are vulnerable. Naked from the waist down and flat on your back.

When I first started getting waxes, I avoided eye contact with my waxer and gritted my teeth against the ripping.

As I got more comfortable with my current DC waxer, we started chatting – about the weather, weekend plans, engagements, etc. We covered it all.

But yesterday we crossed a new line. Yesterday we delved into American civics.

She’s taking the citizenship test in March and showed me the book she’d been studying from. As I flipped the pages – while flat on my back, mind you – she said, “Go ahead! Ask me anything!

So, from my slightly awkward vantage point, I asked, “How many years do we elect U.S. senators for?” *riiiiiiip* Six!”

And how many senators are there?”

*riiiiiiiiip*100! Two for every state.”

And who’s the Chief Justice of the United States right now?”

*riiiiip* *riiiiip* *riiipriiip*

When she didn’t know the answer, there were clearly far more rips between responses.

But every time I stopped asking and focused more on the hair being yanked from my body, she urged me on. “Ask me another one! Ask me more!”

Never have I ever had such an educational waxing.

And never will I forget that John Roberts is the current Chief Justice.

Though I will probably always think of his name surrounded by *riiiiiiiiiiiip* from here on out.

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I have been feeling increasingly unmotivated and unenthusiastic during this last semester of grad school. I have been procrastinating even more than usual and doing fewer and fewer of the readings.

(Oddly, I have also found myself participating more in class, which perhaps means that my bullshitting skills have increased over the past year and a half.)

As I was describing all this to PiC, she told me what was going on in no uncertain terms: “You have senioritis.”

Huh.

She has a point. All the symptoms are there (minus the truancy/skipping class…for now). And it’s definitely worse when the weather is nice. It has all the makings of senioritis.

But, seriously, who gets senioritis during only a two year program?

Maybe the time has nothing to do with it. Maybe it’s just inevitable to get that slacking urge when you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You know you’re so close that you could practically coast the rest of the way. Besides, it’s not like anyone wants to fail you. Right?

I think that’s what’s going on here. In 12 weeks, I’ll officially have my degree. In 10 weeks, though, I’ll have turned in every last final and will have my life back. My weekends, my evenings, my sanity, my money for things other than books and tuition – they will all be mine again.

Hopefully that motivation will be enough to power me through the next 70 days.

Because I just don’t care enough to try to find another cure.

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Last week, with Lent just around the corner (today), BNF and I were discussing last year’s sacrifice: Diet Coke.

You’re not going to do that again, right?” he asked me. Absolutely not. It was a literal headache for me, and I’m sure I wasn’t too pleasant for him to deal with.

But that still left the Lent options wide open for this year.

What about cheese?” I suggested.

Why are you punishing yourself?!”

The point is fair. I do love cheese. But I also haven’t been eating a whole lot of it while on Weight Watchers, so it seems silly to deliberately give it up.

And then…”How about alcohol?”

BNF suggested it, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t think that I’d take him seriously.

I wasn’t sure about it either at first.

My first thought was whether or not I actually still drink enough for it to be considered a sacrifice. Let’s be honest, I may be 26, but I don’t go out like a 26-year-old. Frankly, I rarely go out at all.

And then one recent happy hour with friends happened and I realized that just because I don’t go out often, doesn’t mean I don’t go out (too) hard. And that this particular Lenten sacrifice is probably long overdue.

Side note: Not true. I did briefly consider the fact that Lent falls over St. Patrick’s Day, I just decided that it’s one holiday I’m willing to miss out on.

I half-assed it once in college. I gave up beer for the 40 days, but ended up playing beirut (and other drinking games) with jungle juice. That didn’t turn out well for anyone.

So this year, I’m all in. No alcohol until Easter (April 8th).

I’ll still go out (as often as I do now), but I suspect that my tab will be lower and my memories less hazy for the next month and a half.

And that? Not such a bad tradeoff.

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To say that I struggle with my weight would be an understatement.

In addition to changing my diet and exercising, I have tried countless diet pills, juices, and fads over the years. In fact, the first time I lied about my age wasn’t to get into an R-rated movie, impress a boy, or buy cigarettes; it was to buy diet pills at GNC.

About six years ago I decided that the best way to diet was to simply count calories, eat healthy, and go to the gym every day. And it worked. In the course of a summer I lost about 15 pounds.

And I was living off roughly 1000 calories a day.

At the time, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I was thrilled that the weight was coming off like that! And I reveled in the days that I made it all 24 hours on less than 1000 calories. It became a game.

A very dangerous game.

I should have known that it wasn’t sustainable. That summer I was living at home, not going out much (if at all), and working more than 40 hours a week.

I had no life, but by god I was skinny!

And then it all went to shit when I re-entered the real world by studying abroad and going back to college. The pounds came creeping back on and I became more and more frustrated, and more and more restrictive with my diet – an unfortunate method that has had lasting effects.

Not only had I severely slowed my metabolism, according to the nutritionist I was instructed to see, but my entire view of food was warped. I’d eat the occasional cheese fries (because my self-control was also shot), but I’d constantly be thinking about what I couldn’t have because of that indulgence. Or how many miles I’d have to do to balance it out. I thought of foods as expensive (lots of calories) and cheap (not so many), and it was exhausting.

I’ve been dieting for 6+ years without ever again seeing the number on the scale that I saw that first summer. And it made me feel like I was failing.

Until now.

Because now, at the risk of sounding like a commercial, I’m on Weight Watchers. BNF and I have been doing it for the past month (inspiration: less than five months ’til the wedding!) and we’re actually seeing noticeable results. The difference between these results, though, and the ones from six years ago is that I don’t feel like I’m punishing myself this time around.

I’m not so much restricting what I eat; I’m just making better choices. As a calorie-counter, I would have limited the fruit I ate during the day because it adds up. As a points-counter, I’ve been snacking on fruit and veggies so much that the amount we buy never makes it through the week. That’s a good problem to have.

I’m finally happy with this method, and I haven’t really been able to say that since I started my dieting career.

While part of that happiness is spurred by the number on the scale, I ultimately just feel better in my own skin.

And that never happened with the calorie-counting.

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The first time I went to the Y, I remember looking at all the machines trying to decide which was for me. It appeared that most girls my age were either on the treadmill or the elliptical, and since there was no way I was going to run if I wasn’t being forced by the gym teacher, I hopped on the machine that vaguely reminded me of the old Nordic track that used to collect dust in our basement at home.

This is pretty easy, I thought. I must be a natural ellipti-cizer!

And so, over the next four years or so, on the very rare occasions that I went to the gym, I ellipticized. I would leave the gym barely sweating, and the only clue that I’d been working out was my clothes.

Then I became a runner.

I didn’t gain the freshman fifteen; I gained the sophomore twenty. I quickly realized that my sporadic elliptical trips just weren’t cutting it, so I started running. And the running, well, it turned me into a bit of a gym snob. After spending 40+ minutes on the treadmill, I would scoff (only in my head, I promise) at people on the elliptical.

You want a real workout you should try running. You’re barely doing anything over there! You’re not even sweating!

Fast forward to 2012, when I have nearly burnt myself out with running. The marathons were great last year, and I’m still signed up for some key races this year, but I just don’t have the drive to run every.single.day. So I had to come up with some alternatives.

On days I truly hate myself, I use the stairmaster. You sweat like crazy and your legs feel like jelly afterward. What’s not to love?

But on the other days, I need something else. So I returned to the elliptical.

In the past month I’ve probably ellipticized three to four times a week, and it only took the first time to realize that I’d been doing it wrong every time before that.

The elliptical is essentially a metaphor for life – you get out what you put in. You want it easy? That’s fine, hit that “quick start” button. You want a challenge? Go ahead and increase the resistance and maybe the incline, too. You want a little something extra? Try using the arms, or going in reverse for a few intervals.

Don’t worry if you stumble the first couple times you try. It happens.

But the workout is totally worth it.

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Relationship:
noun
3. the mutual dealings, connections, or feelings that exist between two parties, countries, people, etc.

(That’s my own emphasis, by the way, because I think that’s important.)

I have always been under the impression that in order to be in a relationship, both parties should know about and agree to said status. It’s just good sense.

That definition was challenged, however, after my friend Hbomb shared a series of emails she’d exchanged with GQ – after she’d had the “friend talk” with him multiple times, and was clarifying that status after a mixed signals weekend.

GQ:

I freaking adore you. I say that as both a coworker, an ex, and even more-so as a friend…And I say all this as a friend. Our relationship was oh-so brief because, at the end of the day, it wasn’t meant to be. But our friendship? OMG…I called you that before we ever flirted with a relationship, and continued after.

Hbomb:

Well, this is a little awkward…I wasn’t aware that we were ever in a relationship, unless you meant relationship in the very broad, non-romantic sense, e.g. I have a “relationship” with my boss, my mom, my roommate, etc. To me, being in a relationship, romantically speaking, only occurs after two people have a conversation where they both agree that they are going to exclusively date each other. And we never even came close to discussing anything like that as far as I know, so I don’t see how you can consider me an ex…

GQ:

I used the word relationship because there was an oh-so-fleeting moment when I felt a spark of “something”– maybe it was an unrequited crush–for what must’ve been one week late last summer.

Hold on just a second. An unrequited crush can count as a relationship? The mere feeling of a potential spark? That can make someone an ex?

Well, shoot.

By my definition, I haven’t had too many full on relationships. A handful, here and there, plus, you know, the one super big one that I’m in right now (and forever!). But by GQ’s definition…

There was that one major unrequited crush from the seventh grade – I’m hoping only major crushes count, not minor ones – then a string of them throughout high school. You know how teenagers are.

There was that guy in my Italian class four years ago – I thought there was a spark. We never went out (or talked outside of class except on the walk to our respective homes), but apparently, he’s my ex.

And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Should I count the lacrosse players I ogled in college? Or the blind dates I was set up on for sorority formals?

This list could get long.

And we haven’t even started on celebrities yet.

Though, by what other definition could I call Sawyer my ex?

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