{3/10/16} LOST (shorties series #1)

LOST: my free time and my sanity

LAST SEEN: Summer 2016, sophomore year of high school, and/or 1998. It’s hard to tell at this point.

DESCRIPTIONS:

FREE TIME:

This guy’s elusive. He’s like the Lochness monster on steroids, or Randall from Monsters, Inc. He often manifests himself in 2-hour naps, catatonic Netflix binges, and a strange surge in online shopping charges on your credit card statement. A master of disguise, if I’ve ever seen one.

 

My free time likes to wander — it’s never in one place for long so be sure to check under bed covers and between book pages to ensure you’ve looked everywhere. It would also be smart to investigate all major holidays, including those that fall over Thanksgiving, Spring and Summer Break, as all of my free time enjoys feasting on turkey or baking in the sun when it should be spending the night at my place. Whatta flake.

MY SANITY:

WARNING: Might crumble to the touch. Handle carefully.

My sanity has been gone for a while now, so honestly, this search could be a lost cause.

It probably looks the way a chorus of wailing babies/melodramatic whales sounds…so like, a small, gross, slightly bald troll with snot running out of its nose and the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Additionally, it leaves a faint sheen of panic on everything it touches almost as if it were a Chihuahua or maybe King Midas on Prozac.

 

FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE: If found, please return promptly to Brigid C. Kennedy. She’s desperate.

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{2/29/16} Why it’s wrong to think you “should” be healthy

Note: Alright, bear with me. It’s about to get 50 shades of serious up in here. 

When I was 17 years old, everything was high.

I went to the doctor — a check-up I figured to be as regular as any — only to discover my young, teenage body was in no good, very bad shape. My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, and my weight was way too high. I was slowly but surely developing pre-metabolic syndrome, a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes, and if I didn’t do something fast, my health would suffer permanently.

I couldn’t say I was shocked — I never was truly any good at giving my body the care it deserves. I barely exercised and avoided sports like the plague. I couldn’t run a lap around the track. I ate my way through my weeks, tossing empty, once jam-packed fro-yo containers here and aluminum candy wrappers there. My clothes, along with my self-confidence, were only becoming smaller, and I refused to acknowledge what was happening. None of this was my fault…it couldn’t be, right? Wrong.

My doctor gave me two options: lose weight, or spend the rest of my life pricking myself with a needle. I chose the former.

Here’s the thing about expectations: they can set you up for disappointment.

I made the choice to lose weight expecting to count every calorie and every pound. I made the choice anticipating a long, hard road on which I was destined to despise every downtrodden step. I expected to hate it.

And I acted like I hated it, too. Don’t get me wrong, I was trying, but each ounce of effort was laced in reluctance and dread. On my good weeks, not even an entire double chocolate cake to myself could break my stride. You’re only as strong as you are weak, though, and on my bad weeks, just a slight gust of freshly-baked cookies would throw me off course.

But here’s the thing about expectations: they can also pleasantly surprise you.

Fast-forward almost four years, and I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. I can finally run a mile (maybe even three or four) without gasping for air. I crave fruits and vegetables far more than frozen yogurt and Hershey kisses, and I can proudly boast I’m no longer even close to developing Diabetes.

But I didn’t get here without learning a thing or two.

I started this journey expecting way too little. My plan was to get in, lose the weight and then get the heck out. But I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized the most crucial aspect of any health-related odyssey: I don’t have to do anything.

Years and years of word association have taught all of us that “should” and “healthy” are two words that belong together — it’s never that we DESERVE to be healthy, but we SHOULD be healthy. And to some extent, I understand. It’s great to love your body and treat your body with love. But, the problem with this mindset and its highly implicative nature is that it sets up a healthy lifestyle as a burden, something we all “should” care about or we’re somehow lesser.

We shouldn’t be healthy because we have to. We should be healthy because we WANT to. There is a huge, undeniable difference between the two, and it’s a difference I struggled with for a while.

My nearly-diabetic self felt as if I had to be healthy. I had a weight-loss focus without a healthy-body focus; in other words, I didn’t really care how the weight came off so long as it did. I just wanted to be x-number of pounds lighter so I could start eating cookies again.

I’ve learned an incredible amount since then. When my body began to change, I noticed not only did I look better, I felt better, too. I was filled with a burning energy for everything around me. I laughed and smiled more. I would walk away from meals light and satisfied instead of bloated and weighed down, because I was fueling my body with love instead of junk.

I eat whatever I want now. If I want a cookie, of course I’m going to eat a cookie! I deserve a cookie! But what I want has changed: because I acknowledged my body and my mind’s right to be happy, what I want are foods that make me feel happiest. Sometimes that means an entire pizza to myself, and sometimes that means a gargantuan salad. The bottom line: eat what brings you and only you contentment.

I don’t weigh myself now. I don’t care what an arbitrary number on a scale says about me, because I know myself best. I track my health and my fitness based on how my body feels in my own mind. It’s such a simple concept, yet it took me years to figure out — my body may be a “temple” but it is my own temple, and I get to decide how to worship it.

I love myself now. I didn’t before. It’s taken me some time, so be patient with yourself. Always remember you don’t have to be a certain weight, body mass, number or fitness level. You don’t have to be anything. You are not a number: you are intelligent and driven, you are kind and warm-hearted, you are unique and beautiful.

You are what you want to be. Always. And loving yourself is a god-given right. I know some of us aren’t there right now — believe me, I wasn’t there for awhile either. But after a few tough years, lots of sweat and (i’ll admit it) lots of tears, I’ve arrived.

And I’ve never been happier.

{1/18/17} January Tunes

Hello, earthlings!

If any of you are on the look out for some new tunes, you can follow my Spotify playlist (linked below) for the month of January!

These are the songs I’ve been jamming out to in my headphones, singing creepily under my breath in public places, and unsafely dancing to while I drive from my house to Trader Joe’s and back again.

Happy listening!

— Brigid

 

{1/17/16} The Powerball & What I Would Do if I won

Few things look or sound more appealing to me than food. So if you were to try and talk to me about the recent unprecedented Powerball jackpot, I’d probably be too busy day dreaming about dessert to notice.

But if given the choice between 1.6 BILLION DOLLARS or triple chocolate cake, I would be out of my right mind to pick a fleeting piece of dessert over the ability to afford 7,500,000 of those cakes, five/eighths of the British throne, and a small, yippy show dog named Sprinkles that I can train to do cool flips and fetch me snacks.

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness?

Just because I could afford a canine butler/potential member of the US gymnastics team, though, doesn’t mean I want one. In fact, if I were to defy the odds and win the Powerball, I’d probably spend the jackpot on other stuff. Probably mature professional adult things that mature professional adults buy…probably.

Peep the list below to see what I would purchase to blow it all:

  1. Everything in the SkyMall Catalogue. Skymall has everything I never thought I needed. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that any self-respecting woman needs a singing gondolier pool decoration for the pool she has yet to own. It just makes sense. Sadly, Skymall and their life-changing inventions (see: magic wand remote control) have been out of my price range since I was a tween with a mere $15 allowance and a deeply-rooted love of Harry Potter. But with $1.6 billion in my pocket, you best believe everyone and their mother is getting a magic wand remote. And I’ll keep the singing gondolier for myself. Thanks, Skymall!
  2. Donald Trump. Honestly, I feel this would be doing the world a huge favor. With my huge lump-sum of cash monay, I’ll buy Trump, and then keep him as a pet that says, “You’re fired!” on command. Maybe I’ll even buy him some new hair? But most importantly, I’ll take him to parties, and guests will be so shocked at what’s coming out of his mouth that they won’t notice I’ve just shoved half the tray of appetizers into mine. It’s a win-win.
  3. A film crew. If I won the lotto, number 3 on my dream list would be to hire a film crew to follow me around, and then have that same film crew turn the footage into an award-winning film. The promotional poster could feature images as jaw-dropping as me, mid-bite, eating my twelfth bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, or perhaps one of me driving in my car to get my tires changed. Audiences do love automobile maintenance. Why do you think ‘Cars’ did so well? Anyway, this movie and I would win a Mt.Everest-sized pile of awards, including every Oscar on the market. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t direct the movie—I want the little gold ‘Best Director’ statue for Trump to play with. Hey, life’s not fair.
  4.  A small remote island with coconuts and monkeys. Do I need a private island? Absolutely not. But, I mean, who really needs a private island? I’m looking for some property with white sandy beaches, a plentiful supply of coconuts, and maybe a small tribe of talking monkeys that break into song on occasion so I can impress my friends. Nothing screams “unbelievable wealth” like a private chorus of singing monkeys! That’s what I learned in business school, at least. Anyway, although I want the island to be remote, it’s also imperative that there be wifi, or else how can my friends and I post obnoxious Instagrams 24/7 to let you know we’re having more fun than you?
  5. A second stomach so I can eat more. I don’t really know how this would work. I’m still working out the logisitics/making sure the technology exists/making sure it is legal, but we’ll get there. Stay tuned.
  6. A Shetland Pony. Have you seen this? Or this? Enough said. Plus four-year-old kids at birthday parties would LOVE me.

Yeah, that should blow it all. I should probably hire someone to manage my funds, but honestly, who has the money for that?

–Brigid

{1/10/16} New Beginnings & How To Pursue Them

Let’s start with 2 truths and a lie, shall we?

Truth: A new year is synonymous with new beginnings.

Truth: There is something you want to do this year—lose weight, start that club, write a book—that you’ve been putting off.

Lie: These things, whatever they may be, are absolutely impossible to begin.

The hardest part of anything is starting—this much is true. Garnering the courage to go after what you want takes a lot of chutzpah. But that does not make any certain goal unattainable, nor should it make any long sought-after quest of yours seem more trouble than it’s worth.

Because here’s the truth: the pursuit of what makes you happy is all we’ve got. And it will always be worth it.

So, in the spirit of carpe-ing that diem, here are my best 6 tips on how to drag yourself out of bed, down some coffee (because let’s face it, you’re only human), and begin the journey toward what you want most.

Tip #1: Stop making excuses. There will always be a million reasons not to do something—you’re too broke, you’re too tired, you already promised yourself you’d binge watch Gossip Girl on Netflix all night—but none of those reasons hold any legitimate weight. You’re simply putting off whatever it is you’ve been wanting to start probably because, well…you’re scared. Recognize the difference between a true roadblock and plain ol’ fear. Once you do that, you’re golden.

Tip #2: Don’t get bogged down in the details. A wise professor of mine once said, “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done.” REMEMBER THIS. You don’t have to find the perfect shoes and leggings before jumping on the fitness train, and your blog doesn’t have to look professional-grade before you write your first post. Just get it done! It’s okay if the strides toward reaching your goal are a bit rough around the edges at first. You can shine ’em up later.

Tip #3: Tell everyone. The easiest way to make sure you start and follow-through? Let people know what you’re aiming for, and make them check in with you. It’s one thing to let yourself down, but when there are others counting on you, you’re much more inclined to get the job done. And if that sense of dependency doesn’t motivate you, the humiliation in letting others know you failed definitely will.

Tip #4: Give yourself time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will those six-pack abs. Don’t expect overnight success; if you do, you’re more likely to stall out and to give up before ever properly beginning. You don’t want to give yourself too much time, though. An appropriate deadline will give you both motivation and sensitivity. Pick an end-date that allows enough time to get back on board if you slip up, but not so much time that you forget why you wanted to start in the first place.

Tip #5: Be consistent. You’re more likely to rev your engines if you know exactly when the revving should be done. Example: Pick 3-4 days a week you want to go to the gym, and then schedule the time. You’ll feel more organized and on top of your goals when you know what’s coming. Having a plan forces you to acknowledge whatever you’re after at a daily, weekly, or monthly interval. Motivation is fleeting, but Wednesdays at 4pm are forever.

Tip #6: Reward yourself. You did it! You finally joined the exclusive group of people who are bold and brave enough to begin a new chapter in their lives! So treat yo’ self. Get a cupcake, get a new dress, get a pair of socks for crying out loud. Anything that will serve as both a pat on the back and, when you look at or think about it, a reminder of what you’re setting out to do.

So what are you waiting for? Oh, for my cue? Okay..

Ready, set, GO!