Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2/3 of the way through 2014

It's been a while!

It's August, and September is a few days away. We're somehow 2/3 of the way through 2014.

Here's what you missed on GLEE, or really, a recap of my year to date:

  • January
    • January 1: I begin seriously following the Paleo diet and by now, I'm a few days into DAILY myfitnesspal food and exercise logging. I haven't stopped either since, and I'm now on my 241-day streak on MFP!


  • February
    • Presidents' Day: I decide to put my money where my mouth is and actually give dating a try instead of just telling everyone I have no interest/that it's not for me. 
Update: It really, really, really wasn't for me, but I conducted this experiment through July. I'm just holding out for Daniel Radcliffe, methinks, or I'll remain an independent woman until the day I die.




  • March
    • March 11: My 27th birthday comes and goes. 
I told my friends I wanted NO acknowledgement of the day and no STELLAbration, but my core near and dear group of friends insisted, and I'm so glad they did!

My mom made the day great, even though I had to work (FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TWENTY SEVEN YEARS. I've always had spring break or took the day off, but figured, 27 sucks, so I might as well go to work) and we had a great lunch at La Duni, and I got a David Yurman ring I fell in love with a few days prior and a delicious pair of Kate Spade aviators.



My podmates ("pod" = group of cubicles) were amazing and surprised me with a sneak attack decoration of my cube, flowers, a hilarious card, and a cake.




I went to dinner with my parents at True Food Kitchen (my latest obsession), and it was phenomenal.




That weekend, some of my best friends and I (the ones who insisted I do something to mark the occasion) went to (you guessed it) True Food Kitchen, and it was the first time for all in the group, and they absolutely loved it. We stayed late, chatting with the manager who became our new best friend, and then we headed to Knox/Henderson to meet up with more good friends at Barcadia.


  • April
    • April 5: My RPM mentor/teammate and I get some great feedback in writing at Gold's!
#2 :)

    • April 19: I take my first-ever City Surf Fitness class, and it's City Surf Circuits. 
I took this right after my first class, and never looked back. Absolutely obsessed!

It's quite the introduction, because CSF Circuits is undoubtedly one of the toughest classes they offer.

I walked in 15 minutes before class started, as they said to do in the confirmation email, and the class before ours was still going. I had a moment of panic, and texted my friend Brittani to ask her what the hell I had gotten myself into, but it ended up being something I've since become full-on addicted to in the form of a 5x/week habit.

Here's how circuits goes:
2 rounds. 50 minutes.
Each board has a sticky note with the name of the exercise, and the instructor walks through every single exercise once before we start.
10 boards, and typically 3-5 other stations at the mirror or on the floor, like battle ropes, resistance band kickbacks, lunges, and towel sliders (plank with a towel under each foot, and slide one foot across the body and back)
30 seconds per station, 10 seconds between stations, and before you move to the next, you have a "middle station" move, which is also 30 seconds long.

Here's what we did Monday:

In between:
Round one
MIRROR STATIONS: Side plank (r, l, then regular)
FRONT ROW STATIONS: Burpee with a 10 lb. sandbell slam when you rise up to stand
BACK ROW STATIONS: Low pulsing lunges

Round two
MIRROR STATIONS: Squat jumps
FRONT ROW STATIONS: Surfboard burpees (no chest to board, just extending out to a plank)
BACK ROW STATIONS: Plank shoulder taps (SO SO SO TOUGH!)

STATIONS
1. Curtsy lunge R (holding 10 lb. sandbell at chest)
2. Squat low on the board and do knee drops, turning one knee in and down - close to the board as possible
3. Curtsy lunge L (holding 10 lb. sandbell at chest)
4. Surfboard sliders - rest elbows on board, towel under each foot, and either slide both feet out to the side, do plank to pike, mountain climbers, or slide feet so they both go front and back together
5. Lie back on the ground and place feet on the board, and do a pulsing hip bridge (up and down)
6. Lie down on board and do skull crushers (tricep extension to the skull with a 10 lb. sandbell) with feet on ground, on board, or do a hip bridge
7. Do push-ups on the board for 30 seconds (knees OK but try toes)
8. Sit on the board, and have palms flat with hands facing the front of the room. Lift one leg up and do dips, focusing on the triceps here. Switch to the other leg on round 2.
9. Stand on the board and hold a bag in each hand. Then, bend over, hinging at hips, and row - L, R, then both twice (1, 1, 2, 2 rhythm and repeat)
10. "Ice cream scoop" R: Stand on the board, and plant the L foot. Then, carefully let your R foot hang off the board and make a motion with your foot as if you're scooping ice cream. Goal is to get as low as possible. Balance focus here.
11."Ice cream scoop" L" Same as 10, but with L foot doing the scooping
12. Weighted board hops: Squat low, holding the 10-lb sandbell at your chest, and hop to the front and then to the back of the board. Stay low so that your butt touches the surfboard every time. Tough!
13. Squat knee drive: Stand on the board, facing the wall, in a squat stance. Squat, then bring your L leg to l elbow. Squat again, and then bring the R leg to R elbow.

After the two rounds, our instructor told us she had a "surprise" for us, which I also chose to do after teaching spin that night:

50 jumping jacks
40 high knees
30 mountain climbers
20 burpees on the ground where chest hits the ground (tough!!!)
10 push-ups

  • May
    • No particular highlights or milestones, but what I have written in my agenda is, "The I'm Just Gonna Do Me Month." I'm guessing this was when I decided to give up on the dating thing and completely devote myself to working on the best version of me, which is what I'm still doing ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Looks like it's also when I first tried the 21DSD and didn't succeed.
That was one Sunday. I've lost my damn mind, but can't seem to lose any weight. INTAKE IS KEY, and the BS is over.

Mantra I picked up at City Surf Fitness from the Tuesday Buddha Board instructor, Aleena

A delicious 21DSD lunch: grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, and zucchini noodles

Everything blue is a workout

  • June
    • Friday, June 27: I see DANIEL RADCLIFEE LIVE on stage in "The Cripple of Inishmaan," and don't get a Stage Door selfie (didn't shove the line aggressively enough), but did get some pretty damn good close-up pix of him while standing on my tiptoes. 
    • I get to see New York on my own terms for a day, walking EVERYWHERE and finding and loving Union Square and lots of shops, restaurants, and fitness studios I've followed from afar via Instagram. My parents join me and we spend some good quality family time in NYC (The High Line, Central Park, and just a lot of general walking EVERYWHERE, which I loved) and Connecticut to see family we hadn't seen in years.
#thehighline

Breakfast at Max Brenner - SO GOOD. Granola/yogurt/fruit/cacao nibs + a litttttle chocolate to pour on top

#thehighline

View from The High Line

Stumbled upon the Flatiron building!

DYING DYING DEAD DYING

View of the City on my Uber ride from LGA --> the hotel

This is a slide from my upcoming #suitschool presentation. Because IDGAF :)
It's framed, and I just need someone with half a brain more than I have to help me hang it up!

  • July
    • I start and FINISH the 21-day-sugar detox diet successfully!



  • August:
    • Saturday, August 9: My friends and I see "What If" at the Angelika, and it's absolutely fabulous. Even my non-DRad-fan friends were suddenly in <3 with him. Step aside, y'all. But seriously, go see it.

    • Friday, August 15: After work, accidentally run a 5K (distance-wise, not for charity) for the first time ever without stopping! 


I'm telling you, #fitbitmademedoit is VERY, very real. I am SUPER competitive and was driven crazy by constantly falling to the number 3 spot on my Fitbit friends weekly step rank.

I was determined to get to the top of the list. Friday, I did 6A City Surf, spent a full day in paradise in the ad world, and then headed home, threw on clothes, laced up my sneakers, packed my SPI belt, and got the playlist ready and my Fitbit app on to track the run. I have it set up to interrupt the music every mile to let me know my average pace and distance, and I was suspicious at a certain point in my run when I hadn't heard the "ONE MILE" call yet.

I glanced at my armband and saw that I was already at 1.83 miles, and I was ecstatic! That pushed me to keep going and make it all the way back home until I hit 3.1. I did it, and had a respectable pace of 10'01". I'm thinking of trying to make Friday5K a thing.


  • September
    • TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: I absolutely CANNOT WAIT until 8:30 a.m. on September 16. That's when I'll be DONE with #suitschool. This is sort of a rite of passage where I work. 
Every Tuesday at 8 a.m., a brand manager (what I do) has to deliver a timed, scripted, rehearsed, and interesting 20-minute presentation to the head of our agency and a table full of men who have been here for 20+ years, plus 100 or so brand managers around my age in the audience. It's videotaped. It's scary as HELL. It's probably the thing people here fear the MOST, and it's been something I've freaked out about since March when my boss said, "Oh, by the way - did we tell you? You've got suit school."

I've spent many a weekend not working on it, and finally forced myself a month or two ago to go to a (gasp) library on Saturday afternoons to get away from distractions at my apartment, like sleeping, watching Netflix, or doing about 10 million other more fun and interesting things.

I *think* I'm done with it, and I'm just waiting to get some feedback from my boss. Fingers crossed the feedback isn't too extensive or horrible so that I can memorize it and be done! I probably won't have to do it again for another 5 years or so, and thank GOD.

It's going to look a little something like this, but with 100+ (I'm bad at counting) people


Teaching RPM has definitely been good preparation for this because it's put me in front of a crowd and I've had to deliver a presentation of sorts 5x/week for almost two years.



I can also thank Occidental College for setting me up for success under stress. At least 5 times over the course of my time there, I had to deliver a scary timed presentation to a group of people and a discerning professor. It wasn't fun, but I survived, and it's helped me get through some pretty tough presentation situations at my current job.

Miss this place.



I can also credit some time spent on the small-town musical theatre circuit back in junior high, as well as doing dance recitals and band concerts from 2nd grade through 9th grade. Thanks, Mom, for forcing me to do those things that I really, really had no interest in doing, but were indirectly pretty damn influential/skill-shaping for this sort of "real-world" stuff.


I've got a pretty lofty weight loss goal ahead of me, and I'm more determined than I've been all year to get this DONE. It's a constant and lifelong battle, but it's not one I'm willing to give up on. I'm still making tweaks on the intake, and trying to force myself to work in weight training and some runs multiple times a week to see if that helps shakes thing up.



It starts with FOOD. You can't out-exercise a bad diet.


Here's to a successful last few months of 2014, and to creating the absolute best version of me in 2015 and beyond.

XO,
Stel