Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Day 152: Late Nights and Visions of Vodka

KetelOneIt’s interesting how your relationship with alcohol evolves as you age. In college, I was a student athlete by day and a wild socialite by night. Vodka was my poison of choice. Back then, we all drank the cheap stuff. No-name brand liquor packaged in flimsy plastic bottles didn’t make us so much as bat an eye. My consumption wasn’t excessive, but with a party-filled schedule, the drinks flowed freely.

As I progressed to post-college life, my nights of partying dwindled dramatically. My focus was now centered on a budding corporate career and a renewed passion for health and fitness. Don’t get me wrong; I still went out on the town now and then and enjoyed an array of cocktails. The difference was that alcohol no longer defined what it meant to have fun. Admittedly, some of my best memories with N involve loose lips, warm bodies and an overindulgence of liquor. But even then, it was the company that made those nights remarkable, not the Ketle sodas.

A group of old college friends arranged a girl’s night out in Hollywood last weekend. We set up camp at a popular nightclub famous for its guest DJs and celebrity sightings. Knowing that I wanted to return home safely to N, I made a conscious decision not to drink that evening. I reconnected with friends, danced the night away and had an amazing time – all without the aid of alcohol. Each time I politely declined a drink offer, I felt infinitely more secure and happy with my pledge of sobriety. When the club closed, my inebriated friends stumbled out, entertaining slurred conversations with questionable men as I returned to N’s warm bed.

While that was an empowering evening, it didn’t make me suddenly turn a corner and want to abstain from drinking altogether. I still enjoy a stiff cocktail at the bar and my weekend dinners wouldn’t be complete without an accompanying glass of wine. But what that experience did reveal was that I’ve grown a great deal since I graduated from college. I’m not the same naive young girl whose small world revolved around late night club hopping and endless bottle service. I realized that during the last four years, my priorities have shifted and I’ve truly come into adulthood. Now that’s something I’ll toast to.

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Day 142: Small Moments and Holiday Temptation

spinning-workoutThe holiday season is synonymous with sugary desserts and cold weather – both of which encourage a sedentary lifestyle. Against all odds, November and December have been milestone fitness months for me. I’ve adopted an early morning workout routine, my strength has increased, and my body weight has dipped down to a number previously thought to be unattainable.

Today, I pondered how I’ve been able to stay motivated amid the temptation of gooey chocolate chip cookies and couch-filled movie marathons. And the truth is, there’s not one answer I can point to. Similar to transforming your body, miracle solutions just don’t exist. You succeed by slowly changing your habits over time and capturing the little wins. I’m living proof. My motivation doesn’t stem from a singular breakthrough, or even a vision of my ideal appearance. Instead, it’s the small moments along the way that inspire me to remain healthy and focused.

Moments like slipping into my clothes only to discover they’re too lose. Having better deadlift form than most men at the gym. Receiving sweet compliments from N about my well-toned physique. Feeling like a strong, powerful woman after an intense cardio session. Serving as an example (hopefully) to my family who suffers from chronic obesity. Having the discipline to eat clean, but still enjoying the occasional burger and fries. But more than anything, being in control of how the world sees me and – most importantly – how I see myself.

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Day 53: Ghost Towns and the Climb

This weekend marked another uncomfortable heat wave. And what better way to celebrate the sweltering climate then to go hiking outdoors? That was our plan as N and I prepared for the 5.4 mile roundtrip up Echo Mountain. In 1893, Lowe’s railway was built through the mountain, which boasted a 70-room Victorian hotel, casino and dance hall at the top. After a series of natural disasters, the entire area was abandoned and later recognized as a National Historic Place.

I had previously hiked Echo Mountain, but it was N’s first time so I was excited to make the climb with him. We’re both in top physical form and, even so, the hike was a legitimate workout. The inclines were surprisingly steep and the rising temperature only added to the amount of energy required to keep pace. Breath heavy, beads of sweat peppered my forehead. N led the way, shirtless, as I voyeuristically watched his back muscles flex beneath the light. Sometimes we spoke, but other times we simply enjoyed the surroundings and our bird’s eye view of Los Angeles. It was one of those shared moments of intimacy that can only be experienced in the silence of the outdoors.

After what seemed like a never-ending trek, we reached the abandoned railway. I sat down, exhausted, while my leg muscles pulsed in complaint. At the ghost town, the building foundation, eroding staircases, and rusty railway tracks are still present. N and I explored the ruins, immersing ourselves in its rich history. We also took an awesome picture of ourselves propped on a huge concrete basin with the mountains in the background. Peering at the downtown skyline more than 15 miles away, I felt a sense of accomplishment. The hike was a challenging physical journey and it served as a much-needed mental cleanse too. Now, if only N and I had a private helicopter to take us back down to the bottom…

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