“Pretty Faces”

After I posted “Beat the Bulge” (which you should read if you haven’t yet), a few friends reached out to me to let me know that I am not alone in my struggle which truly touched me. I had friends reaching out that I never knew struggled with eating and body image disorders. A family member always says, “You know honey, I wish that you didn’t have to struggle so much.” It always bothered me because I don’t feel like I am really struggling in the way we perceive what it means to struggle. I always think, what exactly am I struggling with that someone else isn’t? So I thought about the word struggle for a while and then I decided to look up it’s definition. This is what I found…

As a verb :

to contend with an adversary or opposing force.

to contend resolutely with a task, problem, etc.; strive.

(of athletes and competitors) to be coping with inability to perform well or to win; contend with difficulty.

to exert strength, energy, and force. to work or strive.

As a noun :

a task or goal requiring much effort to accomplish or achieve. a fight or battle.

Let me repeat…to exert strength, energy, and force. to work or strive. And then it kind of hit me, to struggle doesn’t necessarily mean that you are suffering. Again, to exert strength, energy and force. We all struggle with something, that much is true, but it is how we approach that struggle that can make or break our soul. My client always tells me it is important to have mental strength and that it is more important than any physical strength we possess. It amazes me that it took me 27 years to start to feel comfortable in my own skin and comfortable with the person I am becoming.

After the “Bulge” post, I was directed to a link to a project on Kickstarter called Pretty Faces : All Female Ski & Adventure Sports Film that highlights women in sports, specifically skiing. This could not have come at a more perfect time. Within 10 seconds of watching the teaser on the Kickstarter website, I knew I wanted to be a backer, that I wanted to support the project and promote it by writing this post, that I wanted all women to see what Lynsey Dyer and her team of kick ass women are promoting.

When I finished watching the Pretty Faces teaser I felt a sense of community, collaboration, unity and pride flooding into my mind and my heart from women I have never even met. When I see female skiers crushing the slopes, crushing the big mountains, pulling tricks that seem other worldly and doing it with a huge smile celebrating their femininity, I get inspired. I get inspired to write, to promote, to ski again. They want females young and old, to watch this and say, “yeah, I can do that!” They want to promote that body image and main stream thoughts on what a female should be interested in and what they should look like, isn’t what the world is really about.

It’s ironic that the title is Pretty Faces because we are so much more than pretty faces. But that’s what the film is about. We are more than faces, more than body image, more than fashion, more than changing who we are so we can be popular. We are real women with real bodies and real passions. We have real sparks that can ignite a fire if allowed to develop into fruition. We now need that support. We need the support to ignite that fire. We need to come together because we can’t do this alone. So I ask you to support Pretty Faces so that we can see more of those faces out there, so that we can see more beauty in athletics and the type of beauty that comes from the soul, comes from who we are as women.

I am supporting, backing and promoting this project because it represents something I never had growing up.  I wish I had strong women to look up to when I needed it the most as a young girl, women that are not afraid to push the boundaries, to do something that hasn’t been done: an all female sports film! This goes beyond women in skiing, this goes into self confidence, following your passion, going boldly into this world, running wildly into your future with no chance of stopping, no chance of giving up. A community of strong willed women – what more could you ask for? What more could I ask for? I would ask that this project raises enough money in order for the women behind it to pursue their dream of an all female ski video to it’s fullest potential. I do this in the hopes that it inspires and motivates girls and women to follow their dreams and bring excitement and passion to this world.

Check out the project on Kickstarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/188962949/pretty-faces-all-female-ski-and-adventure-sports-f

Even if you only donate $5 you are still representing something that is truly inspiring. Again, I am promoting this simply because this film hits me deep and touches my soul and anything that does that for me, is worth writing, speaking, screaming about.

Powder Magazine wrote an article about it as well if you care to check that out. Pretty badass.

http://www.powdermag.com/stories/more-than-a-pretty-face/

PS. In a previous post, I had this quote as something that was important to me and ironically enough, it is said in the film.

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So why not come alive? Why not celebrate women in sports? Why not celebrate all that we are and showcase it in one of the most badass sports out there? Let’s struggle a bit, but more importantly let’s exert strength, energy, and force.

 

 

 

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Being a UVM Catamount

Today I went skiing. I ski twice a year, one day around Thanksgiving and one day around Christmas. It is a far cry from my 17 year skiing career (yes I count my Nastar days as part of my career). I raced out of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club at Stowe for most of my life as that was where I grew up. Yes, I was one of those rugrats terrorizing the mountain, almost hitting everyone in my path. Freshman and Sophomore year of high school was spent at Green Montain Valley School in Waitsfield, Vermont while Junior and Senior year I was at Stowe High School and just skipped school way too much in order to ski. When I graduated high school I took two years off to pursue my dream of being a World Cup skier and to my surprise I actually made the US Ski Team right out of high school. My ultimate plan of being a World Cup racer didn’t pan out but it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I got to be a UVM Catamount.

For me to become a Catamount after my ski career seemed to completely fall to pieces was a God send. I grew up watching the Catamounts training at Stowe and I knew at some point in my life that I wanted to be one, I wanted to race for my state college, I wanted to experience that Catamount pride. And that is exactly what I did.

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This was my very first home carnival as a Catamount. The red bib indicates the leader in the collegiate standings and I think that was the only time that I wore it, but it was the perfect time to be leading. I grew up racing at Stowe so I was not only representing UVM but I was representing my town.  I felt a lot of pride that day, hell I felt a lot of pride the entire time I was racing at UVM. I loved my team, my coaches and my mountain. Seriously, how could you not be in love with a team like this…

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I think the best way to explain how I felt about being a Catamount is to watch this video from my senior year….

I look back at my ski racing career with a serious case of nostalgia, especially being up there today. When I graduated college I HATED skiing so I took  a lot of time off even though I lived 45 minutes from the mountain. Last year I kind of fell in love with it again, but today, I REALLY fell back in love with it and I documented it through some pictures.

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Father daughter ski day. My dad was my biggest supporter. When I got serious about ski racing he was right by my side for every race. He was my travel buddy, my technician, my motivator, my verbal punching bag, my shoulder to cry on and my sometimes much needed slap in my face. He built a hot box so that he could make my skis as fast as possible. He would stay up all night prepping my skis so that I would have the best equipment I possibly could. The sacrifices he made to support me were endless. He even tuned my skis to perfection for today.

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Hayride. My true stomping ground. This trail separated the women from the girls, the men from the boys. It was a gnarly hill that was unforgiving. If you fell on Hayride, you fell hard. It was the type of hill that if you didn’t give it everything you had, you would regret it forever. The picture at the beginning of this post was on Hayride. Every time I raced on this hill, I left it all on the hill. To come down from a race run and know that you gave it all you had is one of the best feelings in the world, even if you aren’t on the leader board. Looking down at that trail that hasn’t been raced on since 2008 and that I haven’t personally skied in 3 years, I knew I had to ski it.

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Start position. Fully focused.

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What we stared down at in that start gate. Deceivingly flat but let me tell you that you pick of speed FAST and get going even faster when you hit the headwall.

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The beloved head wall and death trap. I can’t tell you the number of times this took my breath away, the number of times I muttered “Oh Shit” under my breath. Again, it doesn’t look steep but anyone that’s raced on it, knows how treacherous it can be, especially if the snow was particularly terrible and the light flat…kind of like today. Good thing I have NO problem sliding my turns now-a-days.

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The finish hut and scoreboard where we anxiously awaited our times to be posted and for the other racers times to be posted. Ya never knew if you were going to be elated or seriously let down. 🙂

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I had to stand on that board. Giving a shout out to my girls that raced that with me: Kate, Lyndee, Bry, Jill, Val, Ashley, Chelsea, Tania, Amanda, Hannah. I can’t tell you ladies how much I miss throwing myself down that hill with you.

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My senior year when we absolutely dominated our new race hill Main street on Big Spruce. We went 1, 2, 3: Meg, Lyndee, Me. This was one of the happiest days of my ski racing career. I hadn’t been skiing well previous to this race which meant I didn’t have a ton of confidence and was insanely nervous given it was my last time racing on this hill for a team I took pride in and was blessed to have been able to race with for 4 years…I wanted to throw up. I was hesitant in my first run because I was a senior and wanted to make sure I finished my final race on my home hill. I was really far out from first which meant I had to absolutely destroy my second run in order to move up the ranks.

I made a promise to myself that I would go all out no matter what and that’s exactly what I did. From the start I was pushing it, so much that I came very close to falling, so much that I almost skidded to a stop. At that very moment it was like a switch was flipped and I went into an even higher gear. I remember it clearly. I remember how mad I got, how I swore under my breath, gritted my teeth and told myself there was no way I was going down without a fight. I came through the finish line expecting to not take the lead…I was wrong. To come in 3rd on my home hill for the last time was spine-tingling. I can still feel it as I sit here envisioning it. I can still feel my skis on the snow. The cutting of the edge, the gliding of the skis…gosh I miss it.

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This was from that race. My last run on my home hill as a Catamount. So proud.

I knew that the rest of my year was going to rock. My team was crushing it and I had finally figured out my skiing again. But life didn’t work out how I thought it would. The next day I suffered a concussion at an Eastern Cup at Middlebury Ski Bowl that took me out of racing for all but one race…the Middlebury Carnival. There was a very rare chance that I could make NCAAs at this point. I had to win if I wanted to even be in contention. This race was my first race back and I sucked, truly sucked. That was why I hated skiing so much right after college. To end my career like I did was heart breaking. Looking back on it almost 4 years later, I don’t even remember that part so much. Instead I remember that last UVM Carnival. I will never forget that day, ever.

I am thankful that I still even get to ski, albeit with a hip that hates me! So today I decided to relive my moments on Hayride – I would have gone to Main Street but I don’t know if it was even open and I take more pride in Hayride as it was such a skill defining hill. At the score board I decided to jump…

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…because I wanted to celebrate all my accomplishments, all my good runs, my bad runs, my diggers, my concussions, my good days, my bad days. I wanted to remember those moments I shared with my teammates that I will forever have a strong bond with, even if we rarely see each other and rarely talk.

I look back on my life as a ski racer and am thankful for every training run, every race run, every person I ever interacted with, every happy moment, every sad moment, all the bad training hills, all the good training hills, all the hard work we put in during our workouts in that Catamount gym and I smile. The elation I felt today was insane. I can only wait with impatience until I get to do it again next year.

I leave this post with something that Meg brought to UVM that I still do today and that makes me smile every time…jumping shots. 🙂

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Beat that bulge

I’ve been drinking a lot of wine these past few days and therefore thinking much more than normal which is very hard to imagine. When I put those two together my mind goes into a whirl wind of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Here’s what I’ve thought about: 

I have been getting bombarded with the classic “Beat the Holiday Bulge”, “10 Tips to Fight Holiday Weight Gain”, “Survive the Holidays” and I am just sick of it. Look, I used to diet non-stop and post pictures of my abs and my hot little body to Instagram and Facebook because I wanted everyone to see my hard work…or rather I wanted to show off what I had and I wanted attention for my body. Yeah sure, I can say that I wanted to inspire people to look their best but was that what it was really about? No. I wanted people to notice me for my body. I am clearly not one to bash people that do that and I am in no way doing that right now, especially because I will at some point in my life do it again, especially if I keep modeling. Be proud of your hard earned body and post that because it does inspire and motivate people, it’s just not for me right now. 

For right now, my thoughts on the whole thing have changed simply because there have been a lot of changes in my life. As you all know I am having hip surgery in just over 2 weeks which I am terrified about because I have never had surgery, I’ve stopped working out the way I want to which included CrossFit which is extremely frustrating because my hip just simply hurts, my boyfriend and I broke up which really sucked, I’ve stopped dieting, I’ve gained weight and I’ve gained body fat and I have cellulite now. I used to have an eating disorder…BAM. I said it. That might be too much to throw out there but it’s important. I need structure in my life and for the longest time I structured my life around eating because it kept me looking the way I thought I wanted to look. I was 111 lbs my junior year of college and am currently weighing in at 131 lbs. Am I entirely happy about that? No. But it’s life and I am accepting it.  

When I diet and workout incessantly, I am running on adrenaline. I am high off of the idea that people are looking at my body, I think I have a better body than the girl standing next to me and I think people think I look hot. I believe whole heartedly that I am happy. When you have struggled with an eating disorder it never leaves you…ever. You are stuck with the memory of the control you had over food and how good you thought you looked. You pinch your fat on your arms, your legs, or stomach, your love handles and you know every inch of your body so well that if you gain so much as a pound, you notice and beat yourself up over it. I weigh myself every gosh darn day so I can control my weight and if that number goes up, I freak out and put myself down which is what has been happening the past week. I believe I have no self control, I am fat, I don’t deserve what I have, I am not worthy, I am a bad person, I’ll never get a boyfriend. This is what goes through my mind and it is so unhealthy. I don’t want those thoughts anymore.

I still struggle every day with the memory of my eating disorder, my low weight, my low body fat, the attention I received. But what happens when shit gets real and you gain a little weight? What happens when life happens? You lose your hot little body, you lose the 14% body fat and instead are around 18-19% which really isn’t high when it comes to the national norm for women. What then? Where does the happiness come from? You suddenly realize that you aren’t happy because it was built off of something false, something that is easily taken away. That’s the thing about happiness; it is so easily stolen from us so we need to find happiness from something concrete, something that is important to us on a deeper level. 

My eating disorder is a part of me and always will be and I do not regret putting myself through that torture even if it’s messed me up a little (lies…A LOT) and affects me to this day. I don’t regret it because it taught me a lot about myself and my approach to my life, to my body, to food and I have only recently learned this lesson. It is without a doubt the most important lesson that I have learned in my 27.5 years on this little planet. When I realized shit got real and my life changed I decided to do some soul searching and look for what actually made me happy. If happiness isn’t deeply rooted within you, it is easily taken away. 

I asked myself these 3 questions:

1. What things do I want to do that come from within, that move me, that make me think, that challenge me, that take me out of my comfort zone?

2. What makes me happy from within, that cannot be taken away from me?

3. What do I think about every day of my life that I wasn’t doing for whatever excuse I kept making? 

This was my answer: I want to cook, I want to have the balls to share my thoughts and my life in a blog, I want people to know me for my brain, not my body, I want to start journal writing and reading incessantly again, I want to go out to dinner with friends and order the most fattening thing on the menu and NOT feel guilty about it, I want to drink wine, I want to enjoy being social, I want to dance, I want to get the F out of my house and stop feeling sorry for myself for whatever ridiculous reason I come up with. A client once said to me that you have to live your life in a way that is congruent with what you can handle at that moment in your life. Right now I can handle me, I can handle what makes me happy. I can handle the things I listed. I am doing what I can handle and I believe I am doing it damn well. 

I can’t handle dieting right now, I can’t handle being 14% body fat, I can’t handle CrossFit, I can’t handle high intensity training, I can’t handle falling in love (which I desperately want) and I don’t want to handle those things. I am happy with what I can handle because it is what I want to handle. Sure some days are harder than others and I get pissed about my weight and the body I see in the mirror. So I stare right back at that fucking thing and say, “You are worth everything and you look damn good.” No one can take that away from me. As a friend told me last night, the scale doesn’t measure happiness. And he’s right.

So to all those articles on advice on how to not gain weight over the holidays, F that. No one wants to gain weight but if we really had an issue with it, there would be no need for those articles. Everyone would be fit and have the body of their dreams. If you really care about something, you make it happen. If I really, truly cared about being 5 lbs lighter and 14% body fat at this very moment in my life, I would diet and I would ignore my hip pain and make it happen. But I don’t truly care about that right now. I care more about my health, keeping my body as healthy and strong as I can going into surgery and I care about my happiness. I have never been so happy and it’s the kind of happiness that no one is taking away from me. No one is taking away that smile.

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PS. Do what makes you happy. Gain weight, lose weight, be social, be antisocial. Read the articles, don’t read the articles. Read this blog, don’t read this blog. Agree with it, don’t agree with it. Just do what you want, do what makes you happy, do what is in line with your beliefs and values. Ultimately, just do what grants you health and happiness and don’t forget that you are worth it. I forgot that for the longest time and I wish I had told that to myself every day of my life up until this point. Thank you to those that did and still do. 

Weight Gain?…Yes please

Yes I’m talking about weight gain. What is it about the holidays that makes us think its okay to pack on 5-10 lbs? And then to say, “Oh I will lose it in the New Year.” For someone who has a pretty good self control, I found myself unable to say no to anything last week. It was out of the blue too. All of a sudden it was like a switch was flipped and I went into a see food diet…I see it, I eat it. I didn’t allow my brain to even think about whether or not I should eat it or even wanted to actually eat it and half the time I didn’t even realize what was happening until I finished whatever it was! I guess you might be able to call that emotional eating? Maybe?

I started last week with making sugar cookies and I thought I was being really good by bringing them to work…boy was I wrong. I am at work more than I am home and since I hoarded them in my locker instead of putting them in plain sight to actually share with my coworkers, I ended up eating almost all of them myself.

Weight gain reason #1:

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Then on Tuesday a client was talking about pizza…COME ON! So what did I order before I left work that was ready for pick up by the time I got home, conveniently right downstairs? An arugula pizza with mozzarella, truffle oil and shaved parmesan. I ate half of it in 3 minutes then continued to eat some of the sugar cookies that I didn’t bring to work. Yeah I stashed some for my late night munchie issue.

Weight gain reason #2:

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Then on Thursday I went out to dinner for the 110 club which is a dinner for those trainers who hit 110 sessions or more in the previous month. We went to Pier 6 in Charlestown. PHENOMENAL. Seriously go there. It is where Tavern On The Water used to be. Anyways, we could get whatever we wanted on the menu…2 Malbec, 3 vodka soda, 4 sweet and sticky chicken wings, 4 oysters, 2 pieces of bread, 1 lobster salad sandwich, 10 french fries, 3 scallops, 1 apple crisp later and I was well over my caloric limit for the week.

Weight gain reason #3:

No this is not what I ate but I have no picture so I used this because this is what it felt like had entered my stomach

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Friday night was the Equinox holiday party. 6 glasses of Malbec, 12 pieces of sushi (at home) and some peanut butter and jelly (late night), later and I am starting to feel a bit bloated.

Weight gain reason #4:

Minus the sushi and peanut butter and jelly obviously

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Then Saturday night I went to dinner in the North End to Mare. Best seafood in town. Half a bottle of Ferrari-Carano, 6 oysters, 3 pieces of olive bread, 2 scallops with a bowl of butternut squash (with lots of butter), truffle crusted tuna with grilled eggplant, wilted spinach and sweet baby peppers. This doesn’t seem like a lot but if you include the late night cookies….yeahhhh

Weight gain reason #5:

Use your imagination.

Now this might not seem that bad, but I didn’t even mention the fact that I finished the pizza on Wednesday, ate sandwiches all last week, night ate every night and ate my weight in cookies this past Monday when they had a BAKE OFF at work. Moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips should be on repeat over the holidays. Of course some indulgence is normal but to consume every cookie/brownie/cake in the bake off Monday is just completely unnecessary. You know a bite of each just to be able to judge fairly would have been just fine and totally acceptable. Instead I chose to eat ALL of the individual baked good, even the ones I didn’t like and there were about 10 different options. Not to mention the brownies I made from chickpeas earlier on Monday. Of course I ate the batter while I was making them because the recipe said it was totally acceptable. Then I proceeded to eat about 5 before returning to work, greeted by my biggest guilty pleasure. Damn you baked goods. Oh and I barely did any of this last week….

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Which would lead to weight gain reason #6.

But really, it is the holidays!!! To not taste the holiday treats and sweets and to not indulge at holiday dinners and parties is just out of this world silly…or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. I mean come on, it’s winter and everyone is wearing lots of layers so no one can really see what you look like under all your clothes so no one should really care. And I also remind myself I’m getting hip surgery in 3 weeks and totally not thinking about how my body is changing (lies)  because I can’t do much to control it (some truth, some lies) and don’t care what happens to my body (more lies, lies, lies) and suddenly I have convinced myself it is perfectly okay to eat all day long…until I get on the scale and it says I have gained 5 lbs in a week.

Sooooo maybe I care a little bit more than I think I did. All these weeks of not dieting and not gaining any weight and I think I am invincible to this thing we call weight gain. Well, I found those lbs and they found me. I will have to break up with them eventually but for now I am just going to accept that I let them in to my life and move on…maybe tone down the feasting for now.

Malbec, you’re here to stay, don’t worry. 🙂

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The little things

Lots of reflection this weekend…I ask myself, what are the simple things in life that I love? What makes me smile, what makes me giddy, what reminds me of where I am now and how far I have come, what have I moved on from but cherished so deeply?

(Not in any particular order except for Malbec was supposed to be #1)

1. Malbec

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2. Songs that make me feel that someday I will fall head over heels in love with someone and they would jump through hoops to be with me. Everything I do, I do in love and I just want to be in love (with something other than wine and cookies)

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3. Moments like this that capture happiness (and crappy IPhone pictures)

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(The fab four: Sorry guys. If you read this, don’t get mad, I had to post it. Epic night in college)

4. Random signs that come at the perfect time.

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5. My tattoos that remind me of what I’ve been through, who I am and what got me to where I am today.

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6. Ornaments like this that just make me giggle every time I see it on my tree.

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7. Pinterest finds like this one. Reminds me to live my life every day.

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8. All my friends that I don’t have enough room to post pictures for. I cherish you all more than you know.

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9. This guy who I will love forever and who helped me stay alive when shit got real in college. I will always love you and you know that.

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10. Salmon (duh)

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11. Cookies (to say the least)

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12. This beauty

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13. Forever knowing that I used to be good at this sport

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14. My family

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15. Which leads me to this guy…thankful for learning so much about myself with him. Maybe someday we can be friends because no matter how much I try to convince myself that I don’t miss you, I do. Thank you for being you.

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Sometimes it’s nice to reflect on what is so amazing in your life because it becomes hard to remember every day…and that when you get to #15 and you know you’ve lost it, it doesn’t seem so bad.

I’ve definitely been reflecting a lot this week. Sorry for the sappy stuff. Sometimes you just need to hit repeat in order to make it more of a reality.

 

Prince Charming

Well it has been an insanely busy and social week for me and I cannot believe I am JUST getting to write a post. I kept thinking all week, “I have to write a post, but what do I want to write about?” There were many happenings that moved me and inspired me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what would make me laugh while writing. My main goal when I write is to simply make myself laugh, to make a comedy of my life, to allow me to realize just how crazy and interesting this thing is that we call life. I wrote something in my phone while I was walking to work the other day (I told you I write wherever). It was just a snippet but it was a thought of the moment and I always write those down. They can lead to so much more than one thought. They are reminders of a moment that stuck out in my mind that I will want to go back to at some point in the future. Try it sometime, you will be surprised what happens.

What I wrote:

I walk around the city as a single gal with hope in my head and love in my heart. Music helps me stay focused on my life and my happiness. M83 Midnight City comes on Pandora. Just the beat makes me take a look around, breathe the fresh cold air and smile, knowing there’s so much out there for me. So much I have yet to tap into. My future is limitless as long as I maintain truth to myself. Hope. Love.

Now I sit listening to that song and within the first beat I am reminded of that emotion I felt. I don’t even know the words. It’s the computer generated beat that I love so much that moves my soul. And like I wrote on my walk, my future is limitless and that ignites a fire in me to live my life like I never have before. Being social on a weeknight even though I have to get up at 4 am, hanging out with girlfriends, seeing family, going on dates, cooking, drinking wine, signing up for a cooking class (to be done) are all things I haven’t ever done; especially the date thing. 🙂

Prince Charming.

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My friend from work always jokes about the fact that Prince Charming is taking a little longer than expected to come along. She also mentioned how she used to look like Raggedy Ann at work until her mom said to her something along the lines of, “No wonder guys don’t ask you out.” I fell onto the floor in tears at that comment. Now I will tell you, I have never really dated…you know gone out on dates, where a guy takes you to a nice dinner and you have an intellectual conversation (if I have a sneaking suspicion there aren’t brain cells up there, I don’t go on that date). But I haven’t had a ton of boyfriends either. I count 3 real ones…my last one never took me on dates which I am still trying to understand. Anyone? Epic fail.

I like to get dressed up. I like to put make up on. I like to straighten my hair. I like to socialize. I like to be girly. After my break up and when I was single growing up I was either too tired, bawling my eyes out or so insanely fed up with the male species that every time I was asked out (which wasn’t often even when I was single before) I would find a reason to say no and totally run away. I also used ski racing as an excuse. Ski racing was my relationship and nothing was allowed to threaten that sacred part of my life. But now that I don’t race anymore and I realize that Prince Charming is simply just not going to show up on my door and ask me to marry him, I really need to start being social before I end up as the cat lady and CLEARLY I do not want that.

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No thank you.

But I can totally dream that he will just show up right? I know someday I will meet that special guy, that Prince Charming. Until that happens, however, I intend to be social on weeknights, to hang out with my girlfriends, to drink great wine, eat great food, cook until I drop and have as much fun as humanly possible. Life is short. Live it up.

And as my friend said after a dinner this past week with some awesome coworkers, “It’s people like this that make it worth setting a 4:30 AM alarm…6 nights a week…because they’re standing right there next to you (at the gym of course).” That makes me smile huge and if I can meet more people like that (even though most of them won’t be standing there right next to me at the gym unless they are crazy enough to train with me at that hour), then I will be happily fulfilled with the direction my life is headed. I will be surrounded by people who inspire me to be a better person so that maybe when Prince Charming comes along, I will be ready.

Off to dinner. 🙂

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My brief theory on my inability to sleep

Today I was sitting in the gym trying to do any amount of work that I could manage to do without falling asleep at the cafe in the middle of that very well lit, very LOUD gym that is just teeming with people all the time. How do I manage to stay awake? Lots and lots and lots of coffee. It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t sleep through the night (more on that in a minute), ever, so I wake up and am exhausted. Pulling myself out of bed is like pulling me away from a cannoli, a chocolate croissant, a vegan blueberry scone and the sugar cookies I made yesterday. Close to impossible.

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I ate more than I care to admit. My first sugar cookies ever! Mmmmmm.

Anyways, I fall asleep in the middle of the day without trying to or wanting to, my vision goes double and I often find myself staring into space. So of course I resort to coffee, especially this time of year when training sessions are in high demand, 12 hour days at the gym are the norm and 6 hours of sleep is a luxury, a BIG luxury. I am currently getting no more than 4-4.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep which has been going on for about 6 months. It’s like clockwork…every night between 11 and  midnight I get up; and it is not to pee…it is to EAT. As if my endless cooking and baking and therefore endless taste testing and eating isn’t enough for my digestive system.

It started when I was in a, Kara is over exercising and under eating phase in order to fit into skimpy workout clothes so she can do a test shoot and send photos to Wilhelmina and hopefully get signed and be on the cover of Women’s Health, Fitness Magazine and Shape Magazine someday (which is still a dream of mine…try saying THAT in one breath). It made sense that sleep was getting in the way of my eating because my metabolism was on warp speed. But I am not dieting anymore and I barely workout which means my metabolism should be somewhat slower…in theory but really who the hell knows?

At first I thought I had just developed a really annoying habit. It is not so much the eating that bothers me, it is the fact that it happens every night. That every efffffing night I am waking up between the same hours to do a seemingly pointless thing at that hour of the night. I mean really, who actually needs a sugar cookie covered in fresh ground peanut butter and apple cider jelly at midnight? Thank heavens that is not my normal indulgence. Usually it is an apple or banana with peanut butter. One time it was salmon… The other morning, however, I woke up with a cereal bowl next to my head and didn’t remember it being put there. Thank the relationship gods I sleep alone again. How would I explain that to another person? Jeepers.

But then it hit me today while I was at my therapists office…I am lonely. And I’ll give you one guess as to when it’s the worst; the one time of day that is most difficult being single again…

Night time. Sleepy time. The time when I cuddle with my stuffed bunny that I have had since I was 10 that I cleverly named Bun Bun, which informally became my nickname from my ex. She was a constant joke whenever we would snuggle up under the covers. If I was mad at him, Bun Bun went between us but for the most part she just hung out next to me.

This is just a theory but when I wake up in the middle of the night and he’s not there, I remember my loneliness, I remember he’s not there and never will be. It is simply a distant memory, one that provokes something to take a way the loneliness. Now, what single thing do most females resort to after a break up in order to comfort their broken hearts??? FOOD!!! DING DING! I wake up, I am lonely, I have a snack, I feel whole again, I go back to sleep. I didn’t binge eat or sympathy eat after my breakup, so maybe this is just my self conscious mind giving me a big FU.

But then I look at my food consumption today…eggs, sugar cookies, chicken, more sugar cookies and this…

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…and then more sugar cookies and wine…clearly my subconscious caught up. All I know is I better sleep through the night tonight since I already comfort ate the entire damn day. I don’t feel lonely right now. I’m not hungry. I’m tired. So we should be all set right? My conscious grants a smiling, bubbly, “yup!” but we’ll see what type of roller coaster my subconscious wants to go on.

And like that 10 year old Kara that jumped for joy when her father gave her a stuffed bunny for Easter, this 27 year old Kara still jumps for joy every time she is reminded that at the end of the day she is happy, even if she is barely sleeping and likes to eat peanut butter and jelly covered cookies in the middle of the night. Plus, who needs a man to snuggle with when you have a 17 year old stuffed bunny that will never break your heart?

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