That Time I Changed My Life

Eight years ago today, I changed my life.

Like most life-changing days, it was a day that started like any other.

I walked into the New York Sports Club on Wall Street to meet with my trainer. We’d had a few sessions before, and he was…fine.

But on this particular day, he didn’t show up. I was disappointed and dejected. After so many false starts, I was trying so hard to really make a change in my life and paying this man to help, and he still couldn’t show up — literally and figuratively. I sat, dejected, waiting for him, until a trainer named Joel walked over to me. “Hey, I see your trainer didn’t show up. I have another client right now but I’d love to train you. If you two work out together right now, I’ll give you a free session.”

He gave us a great session, and of course, by the end of that hour, I was telling Joel I wanted to work out with him instead. I could tell, it was more than a job for him. He really believed in his clients and wanted to help empower them to change their lives. Which is exactly what I needed at the time.

Before

At the time, I weighed in at 189. My high school best friend, Mary Beth, was getting married in Aruba that summer, and I was fed up with being the fat one. But…how much weight did I have to lose? Like…30 pounds? Joel said he thought I needed to lose 50 — and more importantly — that he thought I could

I showed up, and I put in the work, despite feeling embarassed at being overweight and struggling through exercises that were surely easy for everyone else. I embraced the crazy nutrition guidelines he gave me.

And quickly, the weight started coming off. By Mary Beth’s wedding in August, I’d lost 35 pounds.

Aruba Preppy Runner

By March 2010, I’d lost my 50 pounds.

NYJL Winter Ball 2010

Since then, I’ve run 6 marathons, about 30 halfs, some triathlons.

But even though I am so proud of those accomplishments, I’m even more proud of what getting healthy has taught me.

To take care of myself — including both mental and spiritual health. To want more for myself — and go after it — including an incredibly fulfilling job at a company I really believe in. 

It’s taught me that the people I include in my life are as important as the kale I put in my body, the weights I lift or the miles I run.

I’m so glad I walked into that gym eight years ago and met Joel — it truly altered the course of my life. If you’re where I was eight years ago on any level, I want you to know it’s possible. You really do have it within you.

The Best AND Most Ridiculous Way to Spend My 34th Birthday

Last weekend, I turned 34. (I was 26 when I started this blog — crazy!)

I’d noticed a few weeks ago that Iliza Shlesinger was playing at Foxwoods on my birthday, and thought that sounded like such a fun way to spend my birthday — doing something totally different and ridiculously fun and cheesy. 

On Friday night, I did happy hour with a big group of people at Beecher’s (will age for wine and cheese), and on Saturday afternoon, my dear friend Meg and I drove up to Foxwoods. It’s good to have friends who are down for your crazy ideas.

Foxwoods

Friends who give you magnums of bubbly are keepers, also.

I went to Dream Dry for a blowout before leaving — with a stylist named Theodora! It took me 34 years to meet another Theodora. She was not a unicorn. (I have not believed people who say they know another Theodora, because I had never met one.)

Foxwoods

Don’t stand between Meg and her bathrobes. We called the desk to ask for bathrobes and they said we could only get them in the suites. WTF?

Foxwoods

I think our best attempt at fitting in at a casino was just wearing more makeup than usual. You can take the girls away from the Junior League…but you can’t take the Junior League out of the girls.

Foxwoods

I took this as a perfect opportunity to wear my favorite jumpsuit (similar) and Stuart Weitzman heels. (Good news, the girl who wears workout clothes 90% of the time did not trip in her heels.)

Not only did we see the hilarious Iliza (watch her Netflix specials!), but Kate the Wasp, another fave comedian of mine, opened for her. HELLO, yes please.

We had a drink before the show, and then spent the rest of the night having dinner, people watching and more people watching.

Foxwoods

Like the adults we are, we bought sparkly wine cups and brought them back downstairs with bubbles…that we’d brought back from New Zealand. If my birthday is not a special occasion for wine I carried from across the world, I don’t know what is.

IMG 0918

I woke up with my one true love, bubbly.

Driving Foxwoods

And then, because I was born in February and live in the Northeast…I had to drive back in the snow. What should have been a 2-hour drive, took 4. When I hadn’t driven in the snow in exactly 10 years…I’M ALIVE! And, because Foxwoods is ridiculous and awesome, there was a Vineyard Vines outlet and I got my dream hat. 

Oh, and birthday burpees are a thing we do at work, so I filmed burpees in a casino. Is that weird?

How did you spend your last birthday? I’m glad I did something random and different.