You Gotta Want It

A former boss of mine used to ALWAYS say “You gotta want it.” Sometimes he’d refer to business, sometimes he’d be referring to fitness. 

When I quit CrossFit (LOL remember that time I briefly did CrossFit?), another coworker said “You gotta want it.”

“Yup, and I don’t.” I said. 

If we’re being perfectly honest here, I’ve gained about 15 pounds from my lowest weight ever.

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That was about five pounds less than my goal weight when I lost weight, and my face looks too gaunt for me. (Also hi, apparently I used to be a d-bag who walked around Hawaii in “It’s not fitness, it’s life” shirts.)

That lifestyle required constant sacrifice, and constant thinking about what I was eating, how much I was working out. Thinking about my health took up too much of my brainpower.

Sometimes I wonder how the hell I lost 50 pounds, or how I took an hour off my marathon. Will I ever have that kind of willpower again? Will I ever PR again? Can I ever lose weight again?

After being sooo strict with myself losing weight, then being unhappy for a number of reasons and then becoming absurdly happy, leading the fulfilling life I’ve always wanted, I lost the will to make sacrifices and started making a gazillion excuses. 

Kath had an amazing post up the other day about how to gain and lose five pounds. Last weekend, while watching a friend log her glasses of wine in her Weight Watchers app, I decided I was ready again to make the sacrifices that will make me happier, and I’ve set some guidelines for myself.

Go out less. And when you do, no more than two glasses of wine on a weeknight, three on a weekend, alternating with water.

No more fried food. Not that I eat it that much, but no more.

More vegetables on your plate than carbsss and no more white carbs.

Think about the office celebrations that are worth it. Cupcakes with an explosion of cake batter? HELL YES, but only have half. 

Don’t say yes to food you don’t really want just to be polite. Those calories still count.

Missed workouts only put you farther back mentally and physically.

Sometimes it’s frustrating to look at the women that don’t watch what they eat and still stay small. Well, that’s not me. If I want to stay at a healthy, happy weight, I need to watch what I eat for the rest of my life. 

I’m back in that weight loss mentality, with a massive test in my face immediately: my best friend is getting married tomorrow! The rehearsal dinner is tonight, and the wedding (duh) is tomorrow. I could say I’ll wait until Sunday to start making the right decisions, but I’m not going to let this wedding derail healthy habits. Less wine, make better food choices. I don’t have to eat all of the hors d’ouerves (unless they’re really good…jk.)  Pick the food that’s most important to me, don’t graze just because there’s lots of food in the bridal suite.

I’ve got this.

What changes do you make when you start prioritizing your health again? 

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48 Hours in Washington, D.C.

I just need to do a quick shoutout for an awesome post I just read on Felicia’s blog about the art of the side hustle. I just grabbed a drink with my girl Sarah Fit, who’s in town, and I’m always so impressed by my friends who have turned blogging (/YouTubing, in her instance) into a thriving career. “I could do that!” I sometimes think.

But do I want to? No, right now. That’s why I love what Felicia has to say about the side hustle. This blog started as just a hobby, but the amount of doors it’s opened for me personally and professionally has made it a viable side hustle. I turned it into that — and turned that into a career — by reading everything I could about social media, digital marketing and blogging, applying that, and saying “hey, I could do this for you, too. This blog gives me skills, security in having my own thing should anything ever go sour at work, and yeah, a little extra dough. I feel like ditching the 9-5 is so romanticized these days, but the side hustle can be a great way to transition into that, if that’s what you’re looking for.

OK, that wasn’t a quick shoutout, but whatever.

I haven’t had a chance to write about my time in D.C. two weekends ago, but I had an awesome time and wanted to share some of the highlights. I have a few other travel posts as half-drafts — are these things you’re interested in seeing even if they’re way after the fact? They take longer to write than some of my more off-the-cuff posts so sometimes after a bit of time goes by I wonder if anyone cares any more.

Anyway, D.C.! 

My coworker Liz and I Airbused our way down to D.C. on Friday morning since the race was Saturday. We checked into our hotel (Residence Inn, nothing to write home about but a clean place to rest our heads) and headed off for the expo. PRAISE BABY JESUS, it wasn’t at the Armory. Here’s some of the highlights of where we went that weekend. To some of you, they may be old favorites; to some, they might be brand new. 

Matchbox DC

Matchbox

Definitely an old favorite! The expo was nearby at the Convention Center, and this pizza place was the first thing I could think of. I regret nothing. I sat down and immediately saw my old boss’ husband. Toto, this is a small city.

Tortilla coast

Tortilla Coast

This divey, divey place served as our pre-Capitol tour meetup. Liz and I arrived about 120 seconds before the group was to leave, and not realizing that, ordered a drink that we ended up chugging. I was immediately brought back to 2006 on multiple levels.

THE CAPITOL

^ I would think the seat of our nation’s government doesn’t need to be linked to, right? 

I used to report on Capitol Hill, but there’s rushing between hearings, and there’s a private tour. Rock ’n’ Roll was kind enough to set up the latter for us with former Rep. (and former Olympian!) Jim Ryun. Going on a tour with a former member means you get to see things the public doesn’t, like the House floor. (Way smaller than it looks on TV!) You can book a tour online, though, otherwise.

Capitol

Hi, please take the scaffolding down, thanks.

U.S. Capitol

Inside, it was truly beautiful and majestic, and I realized how much of this I’d taken for granted when I lived there. 

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Each state has at least two statutes representing it.

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Another special area we got access to was the Speaker’s Balcony. If you’ve ever watched Inauguration, this is where you see the President and his family make an appearance just before you see them outside. (I covered the 2005 inauguration for my school paper — and got to sit in the press section just beyond those lights and GOOD GOD IS IT COLD.)

As you can see, you can see down the entire Mall to the Washington Monument. Even as someone who admittedly does not like the city of Washington, I appreciated the beautiful view and what it represented.

After the tour, Liz and I were famished and wanted a bite to eat. We ended up back in Chinatown again, since I knew it the best.

And at another one of my favorites!

PROOF! 

I like wine, and I like convenience…so this wine bar was one of my favorite places in D.C. I got a tapas-sized serving of gnocchi, which was the perfect pre-race meal for me.

The next day, we needed some post-race festivities, obviously. We met up with Anne for a quick brunch at LPQ in Arlington, since it was halfway between us and no wait. 

Liz and I moved on to Chef Geoff’s next. There was one near the American campus and one downtown. We decided it was a good spot to grab a drink while we plotted dinner plans.

Oh, who were we kidding?!

Lauriol Plaza

photo via

Lauriol Plaza it was!

Margaritas and fajitas? DONE. Pro tip for non-DC people who want to try this place: there is always a really long wait. There are also good margaritas. They make the wait way better. Another tip: go to the bar on the third floor. Much quieter.

The next day, we headed off to brunch at Commissary, which Liz found on Yelp. For $30 a person, you got a full breakfast AND you could split a bottle of bubbly. They brought over cute little juices to mix with, too, if you were into mimosas.

We ended our weekend with some culture at the National Portait Gallery, where we checked out the presidential portraits.

National Portrait Gallery

Okay, so maybe Commissary was the only new (to me) place I went, but it was a DAMN GOOD ONE.

What are your favorite D.C. spots?

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