Tag Archives: Los Angeles

I Will Always Love Richard Simmons Because of Moments Like This One

I cannot believe that this happened for the first time five years ago!

I think of Richard so often, and right now I’m going through training that makes me think of him everyday.

He helped me change the way I see myself. He made it okay for me to love myself more, to desire more for my life and to feel confident dancing off the pounds.

I’ve gained weight since this video, but I’m in pretty healthy groove right now. Watching this video for the first time in ages reminds me that I can do very cool things.

If you’re reading this, Richard, I love you and miss you and pray for you.

Bicycle! Bicycle! Bicycle!

If you’re friends with me on Facebook and/or twitter then you probably know that I have a new bike.  I’ll share some details about that later, but right now I’m just so excited to share pics and talk about my first experience with it.  It’s 2012 Trek Lexa C WSD, and it rides like a dream!

My long time friend, Joe (a bicycle commuter in L.A.) put my bike together so we could ride to Slimmons.  I was so nervous to ride in traffic, but Joe made it easy.  And I was thrilled when he decided to join me for a workout with Richard!

Our bicyles are friends.....

On our way to Slimmons...

By the time we arrived at Slimmons, I was on cloud nine!  I faced my fears of riding in L.A. traffic, and it was so rewarding!  And I was surprised by how easy it was to get there.  Commuting by bike is so much faster than driving, and I can’t tell you how happy I was with myself for stepping out of my comfort zone again.

Joe and Me before our workout

Aunt Janice and Joe joined the workout and had a blast, and Barbara watched and took pictures with us after class.  They loved being there, and I loved that they were so close for a while.  I already miss them, as they left yesterday.

Aunt Janice, me, Richard, Barbara and Joe after our workout...

And, of course I had to take a solo picture with Richard before hopping on my bike again.  I love taking pictures with Richard…I’m quite sure I’ll always love it.  He’s just such an incredible person, and I feel so lucky!

On my way home via my bicycle...

I’m excited about adding another fun form of exercise to my regular routine.  I’ve missed having a bike and a car, and now I have both again.  I also feel as though I’ve regained control of my body and habits.   I’ve been struggling with cravings lately, but I’m winning the battle.  And I know that if I keep this up, the scale will yield good results Monday.  I’m a work in progress, and that’s okay.

Life is so good right now, and I’m thankful for the people and the opportunities in my life.  I have friends and family that support me and a body that is strong enough to change.  And I’m going to continue reminding myself of these things because I believe in myself now, and I believe that I will reach my goals.

I feel renewed today, and I’m looking forward to a weekend filled with exercise and health-minded friends.  What are your plans for the weekend?  Will you make healthy choices that you’re happy you made Monday?

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Last weekend, I was invited to attend IDEA, a fitness convention in downtown L.A. so I met up with a couple of my favorite Californians – Leslie and Jaason and met many interesting people who are dedicated to living super fit lifestyles.  Everyone there (including Leslie and Jaason) looked beautiful and photo shopped (there’s a theme here, isn’t there?) so I was more than a little intimidated until I started talking with everyone.

You know how much I love Greek yogurt, right?

I met several people (trainers, company owners, musicians and vendors) who were all incredibly fit. I also met Nicole from Sparkpeople, and she was fantastic! Shortly after I arrived, I was talking with a small group of fitness experts and thought I recognized a woman, realizing a moment later that it was Britney, one of the trainers from the show, Heavy.

Britney and me...

We talked for several minutes about my journey, my strategy to press on toward my health goals and a variety of other topics that included my insecurity about being in a place filled with ultra toned, ridiculously good-looking people. I can’t express how hard it is to lose 100 pounds and still be the heaviest person in almost every room. She was incredibly encouraging, and I left that conversation ready to meet everyone else.

I also met the awesome people behind the Do or Die Fitness which was awesome because I adore their products!  They sent a set of tools for me to try last month, and they’ve helped improve my floor exercises tremendously.  In fact, I think I need to do a giveaway.  Who’s in?! I’m obsessed with using their wrist wedges which makes me so much easier for me to do mountain climbers, push-ups and other things that make my arms and shoulders feel like they might crumble beneath me.  I also like their knee wedges for similar reasons.

Attending this convention was a big deal for me because I stepped out of my comfort zone to do it, and I’m so glad I did. Being here has already presented so many opportunities for me to reestablish my health and fitness goals, but it has also given me the to opportunity to appreciate myself where I am right now. I’m trying…I’m trying…I’m trying…and I’m going to keep trying as long as I have to because there is no other option.  I will continue working toward my fitness goals, updating my food log and loving myself as I am today.

And because I love working out at Slimmons, I’m going to share another video. You can see KeepItUpDavid killin’ it throughout the video, and you can catch me rockin’ out with Richard at about 6 minuntes and 35 seconds. 🙂

How do you feel about stepping outside of your comfort zone?  Do you do it?  How do you handle situations in which you’re insecure due to your looks?  Or does that only happen to me?

Unexpected Emotions

I’m sitting inside a Starbucks (a place that’s always familiar) on Wilshire Blvd. with my headphones in my ears and a million emotions swirling around in my head.  Immediately upon arriving last night, I went to Ralph’s for eggs and cheese (yay! Tillamook!) then to Trader Joe’s for cereal, more cheese (my beloved brie bites) and a few other essentials.  And the emotions started flowing…

When I lived in New York, I went to Trader Joe’s regularly. And last night, while I was looking for soy sauce, I ran across a certain food that I used to buy – shrimp that my ex-boyfriend used to like – and suddenly I realized that I miss him so much it almost hurts.  I’m not saying that I wish I could be with him again (though part of me longs for the life we had when we thought it was good.)  Instead, I really just wish I could talk to him about everything – his grams, where I went wrong, what’s happening in my life now…  He felt like my family, but that isn’t going to happen.  And as I begin this new chapter, I know it’s time to say goodbye to him.

We haven’t talked in almost a year, but I think about him everyday.  He was my friend.  I don’t say his name much anymore, but it’s time to start thinking about him less too – what he’d think about my workouts with Richard Simmons or how much he’d love laying on the beach all afternoon or how he’d laugh at my idea to run from my apartment to Sprinkles (a cupcake place that I haven’t tried yet.)

I’ve known for months that the rest of my life would happen without him, but now I feel as though it is finally happening! The new chapter has begun which means it’s time to turn the page.  I have a few new friends, a new place to workout, new pots and pans and a new zip code.

Life has provided a clean slate for me, and while I’m nervous, I’m also ready to create the life I want so I’m going appreciate my surroundings and opportunities and fear less.  I’m going to continue working to accept myself as I am – a work in progress who has made mistakes and great strides.

I’m choosing to move forward with my body, my mind and everything else because life is what we make it.  And I want to make mine extraordinary.  Wish me luck…..

My Bags Are Packed

I spent most of the evening packing last night, and I’m finally done (apart from a new things that I’ll take on the plane with me.)  And I’m so relieved to be done.  After several months of feeling like I don’t have a lot of things, I realized that I have more than I thought.  And even more important than the things I have, I have a family that supports me unconditionally.  I already knew the last part, but it’s really nice to be reminded when I’m nervous about the future.  🙂

My aunts, who came to visit this week before I left, have decided to act as my personal movers.  How awesome is that?!  They’re going to make their way to Los Angeles next week with my things so I don’t have to ship it, carry it on the plane or leave it, and it’s a relief for a few reasons.

First, I love the idea of having family with me as I settle into my new surroundings on the west coast.  And secondly, it’s such a relief to skip all of the headaches associated with moving one’s belongings across the country.  And they’re coming in a truck which means I’ll be able to buy a couch and such without worrying about getting it home.  Awesome, right? =) So while I’m still tired, I’m also feeling less pressure and anxiety as I think about the changes that are happening.

I haven’t eaten as well as I could in the last two days so it’s time to find the groove that I’ve been in during the last couple of weeks.  Today, I will work on making healthier choices, and I’ll enjoy the time I have with Mom and the other people who matter to me here.  And I’ll relax and look forward to being back in Los Angeles.

And one last thing…the winner of the Keurig Platinum Edition Brewer is John who said “My wife and I get up at completely different  times so a keurig would be great because we waste a lot of coffee now because it gets cold. Plus they are freaking cool looking.

They are cool looking, aren’t they John?  I’ve sent a message to you via email so please respond by Friday at noon eastern time or another winner will be chosen.  Thanks so much to everyone who entered.  The folks are Keurig are fantastic so perhaps there will be another opportunity in the future!

I hope everyone is enjoying this Thursday!  What’s happening in your world? What’s for lunch?


New York? Los Angeles?

Though I hadn’t planned on it, my trip to Los Angeles forced me to think about what I want out of my life.  For months, my heart was in New York, but  being back recently I’ve realized that most things I loved about the city are different now.  I am different now.

New York has a tendency to take its toll on people.  Living there is an incredible experience, but it can be a grind too.  And in my experience, it’s a place to make tons of friends on the surface, but building friendships on a deeper level was hard for me.  It was nearly impossible for me, in fact.

It was, sadly, too easy for me to play the game – often times pretending to be someone I was not in an attempt to seek approval from the people around me.  And as embarrassing as it is to admit that, I have to because it’s not who I want to be.  

I have a couple of friends in the area that I believe will always be there for me, but for the most part, it’s not easy for someone like me to make friends in a city that is consumed by social status and body image. It was tough to be honest with the people around me and with myself.

The weather was dreadful in New York last week before I flew to Baltimore.  Cold and rainy downpours made me wonder yet again…Do I really want to start over in this place?  The answer, surprisingly, is no.

Of course, I experienced some incredible things in NYC too.  Last week, while running from 57th St to Central Park South, I ran into one of my favorite singers of all time – Tony Bennett!  He smiled at me – completely acknowledging my existence and my efforts as I ran toward the park.  That’s definitely something that doesn’t happen everywhere!

Taking a break to photograph myself in Central Park.

I enjoyed my time in New York City.  And I’m fortunate to have a few great friends there and memories that I’ll keep for a lifetime, but the city is cold and hard and far from the people I love.  And at this point, I think I need to be surrounded by supportive and encouraging people in a place that has sunny days, fresh produce and good Thai food. =)  And it doesn’t hurt that you can rent an apartment with twice the space for half the price.  Who knew that LA was so much cheaper than NY?!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found myself riding a bike on the beach in Venice the other day thinking “Why don’t I live here?”  Good question…so I’m going to apply to a couple of schools, consider my job options and work on moving toward some big goals which no longer include moving back to New York.

I guess I’ll need to come up with a new tag line for my blog. 😉  Until then, wish me luck with this next step.  So many things have fallen into place for me lately.  I can’t wait to see what unfolds here…