Things I Wish I’d Hear in the “Healthy Living” Sphere

It’s essential that everyone living, healthily or otherwise, doesn’t take themselves too seriously. And this post is about just that.

This is super serial, y'all.

This is super serial, y’all.

I came to this gym to flirt with muscly dudes and drink my Jamba Juice… and I’m all outta Jamba Juice.

 

Lemme tell you a secret about this smoothie bowl… it may LOOK like a disgusting swamp monster’s damp lair…. but it also tastes terrible.

Just get pancakes.

Just get pancakes.

There is a WRONG and a RIGHT way to do Zumba. If you can’t figure out the choreography, just leave now. Don’t waste my time.

 

Here’s a fun trick with lifting weights: form doesn’t matter half as much as how well your Wunder Unders fit. Just go for quick jerky motions to get it over with, try to use as much of your back as possible. What season are those crops, seriously?

 

When do you think they’ll start doing ‘Cold Yoga’? I’m not really into sweating.

 

I can’t f*cking stand protein. Real talk: I want nothing to do with it.

 

I think I’m just going to wear sweats to Pure Barre today. Do you think anyone will notice?

Appropriate?

Appropriate?

I know that endorphins are supposed to be released when you run but I think all that comes out of my brain is acetylcholine…

 

I kinda like yoga pants that are sheer. When I’m in down dog, they are a seamless transition from the studio to the street corner.

 

I’m pretty sure that the 25 minutes you spent on the elliptical didn’t ‘earn you that froyo’, Jordan. That thing cost you $10.59. What’s that, like… 2 pounds of froyo? Jesus Christ. Is that an entire slice of cheesecake in there?

Walked up the stairs instead of taking the elevator... #earnedit

Walked up the stairs instead of taking the elevator… #earnedit

Got any good ones? (This was TOO fun to write.)

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In Defense of Small Boobs

I remember Thanksgiving 2008 not because of the turkey (which came in the form of a Capriotti’s Bobbie, basically an entire turkey dinner on a hoagie complete with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and love), not because of the family (I mean, they’re great but they weren’t that much different than they are any other Thanksgiving), and not because of the butter we had in the shape of a turkey (ok, partially because of the butter-turkey) but because of one word.

That's the one.

That’s the one. (full Picnicking credit goes to Devon)

Jawrockers. That’s what my beautiful cousin, Devon, called my breasts at the time. Admittedly, this picture might not be doing them justice. But at the time, my bras were larger than I ever imagined they’d be since they first appeared as mosquito bites in 1999 at the tender age of 12 (is there a letter before AA? No? Just making sure.)

See, one of the perks of being 40 pounds heavier was that at least 10 of them were dedicated to my chest region. And, while the rest of me was certainly rounder and wider than I liked, the boob thing…. well that was pretty nice. I was filling out shirts and dresses with lower cuts than I would’ve dared earlier in my life, the deeper the V, the better for me!

Sorry for cropping you, mom.

Sorry for cropping you, mom.

And it’s very easy to hide your growing weight problem underneath a healthy serving of cleavage. That’s mostly what I did. I stopped wearing fitted pants and jeans, refusing to bump up a size or two, and instead rocked leggings and low-cut dresses mostly always. No one looks at your stomach when you jam your chest in their face, right?

And then, in March 2010, I started this whole “let’s stop being an unhealthy slob” movement that kind of totally transformed my life and my body. And, as the pounds melted off my body, I bid my jawrockers a fond farewell, tucking my enormous bras into boxes to save just in case I needed to transport softballs or grapefruits on my chest in some strange future scavenger hunt or obstacle course. Initially, I missed my lovely lady lumps. I’d grown fond of their sweater-filling capabilities and won’t even pretend like I minded the extra attention they tended to bring. But then, something beautiful happened. Without these obnoxious knockers, I could finally embrace the free-spirited attire of one of my reality TV idols.

KAIA!!

KAIA!!

Yes, Kaia, the never-not-nude lady from The Real World: Hawaii. Seriously: did this chick EVER wear a bra? Hell, she rarely saw fit to wear a shirt…. And though she was often over-shadowed by Tec’s wild antics, Ruthie’s struggle with alcoholism, or Amaya’s enormous breasts drama, Kaia was my favorite. And if her membership in the itty-bitty-titty-committee warranted a life full of coconut bikini tops and backless shirts…. why not me?

Thus began my romance with my less-than-well-endowed chest. And while I support all of you hearty bosomed babes out there, this is a post in honor of the rest of us. Those not graced with double Ds, the gals who prefer our mole hills to your mountains. This is a post in defense of small boobs.

No bra? No biggie.

No bra? No biggie.

Small boobs, while seemingly inconspicuous, can pack a punch. That is to say that they are shown to be more sensitive than the larger ones. That’s right, a study done at the University of Vienna found that “large” breasts were 24% less sensitive to touch than “small” ones. And while I refuse to read this study further since it’s Memorial Day Weekend and I’ve got enough scientific studies to read during school, I’m gonna go with “score” on that one.

With a small chest, we not only don’t have to worry about our posture as we have to strain to carry our over-the-shoulder-bolders, we also may have an easier time during breast self-exams. “It’s easier to detect a lump in the back of smaller breasts, since there are fewer layers to feel through,” says oncologist Marisa Weiss, president and founder of breastcancer.org.  So double score, there.

Not only am I saving a fortune by not buying bras (because, real talk, eff bras) BUT this whole bra-less thing might actually correlate with firmer, less droopy breasts in general. This bra vs. no bra study made me appreciate the French more than any fries, toast, or kissing (ok, maybe not that last one. French kissing is maybe better than this particular study….)

Oh, there’s also this:

Yes, please.

Yes, please.

I may or may not have bought this shirt in 5 different colors. (Spoiler alert: I definitely bought it in 5 different colors.) Victoria’s Secret gets it. They recognize that, while most of their models are rocking some serious sweater puppies, some of their clientele may not be so curvy. Enter: the bandeau. A small-chested lady’s best friend, this accessory not only protects you from nipping out when a stiff breeze comes along, it also can brighten your outfit with a POP of color. No underwire necessary.  I’ll tell you one thing: I would NOT have been able to rock this style (or my bevy of bandeaus) 2 cup sizes ago….

Whew.

I know that was a lot.

But I’m serious here, I can’t speak highly enough about a life sans Jawrockers. And while I’ll always think fondly of the days where my breasts could feasibly knock someone out, I couldn’t imagine being happier with my “exquisite miniatures” (Bamford, 2001).

Advice I Wish I’d Received 4 Years Ago

It’s graduation time for undergrads the world over (or at least the US over. I don’t know how other countries operate). In fact, Penn’s commencement was yesterday (which made me mostly uninterested in getting anywhere near campus.) And as my social media outlets are crammed with Instagrams of grad caps and heartfelt Facebook statuses bidding institutions of learning fond farewells (or less-than-fond ‘f*** you’s, for the jaded grads), I can’t help but harken back to 2009, my own college graduation year. Chapel Hill does grad weekend right, and the sun was shining as the Carolina blue reminded all of us that Mother Nature is probably a Tar Heel.

The Gang's all here!

The Gang’s all here!

The weeks leading up to graduation were some of the most socially packed, emotionally wrecked weeks of my life. It wasn’t until I’d received a formal hiring letter that I finally let myself breathe. My partner at the time didn’t understand why I was getting so worked up (he, a year younger, was still a ways off from the panic I was experiencing, and wasn’t one for panicking regardless.) And after a weekend of pomp AND circumstance, a jaunt back north for a mini “summer” (during which I broke my left foot, not part of the ideal “summer break”), I went back to Carolina, ready to begin my grown up life.

Like a butterfly, ready to flap her wings out of the cocoon!!

Like a butterfly, ready to flap her wings out of the cocoon!!

Only, I’ll be totally honest, the first 9 months after my graduation were some of the most miserable of my life.

Isn’t that awful? I recognize that this was largely my own doing, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to remember… Four years removed, I’ll say I picked up a little perspective. And there are heaps of advice I’d give myself… But I’ll stick with the stuff that might actually be valuable for sharing with the general population, not those pieces that would only be relevant to me (i.e. stop watching your friends play frisbee if you have a broken foot, it will only make you depressed.)

1. Don’t live beyond your means, but try to at least live a little. I had this confused world view which led me to believe that until I had heaps of money saved, I should live like a hermit. I didn’t use the AC or the heat during the wild seasonal extremes that Carolina loves so much. Shivering under blankets in my own home in the middle of the winter was not only unpleasant, but just dumb. Turn the heat up. Bask in the fact that you’re making SOME money. Take the Slanket off for ten minutes.

Don't let the smile fool you. This is stupid.

Don’t let the smile fool you. This is stupid.

2. Figure out your body chemistry. I mean this specifically regarding alcohol. And I’ll follow up by saying I’m STILL working on this. I wish someone had slapped me upside the head at graduation and been like “HEY! Just a heads up, you can no longer handle the following: shots (including, but not limited to, shots from glasses, bottle shots, body shots), beer bongs, drinking games where the only goal is not skill but speed-consumption, mixing alcohol types of any kind, and probably a number of options you haven’t even thought of yet.”

Chances are, though, someone WILL slap you upside the head with that information at some point in your life, and you’ll still take a few years for it to sink in. So thanks to that person who slapped me with it, and sorry that I’m not faster at taking it to heart. I’m a work in progress.

3. Learn to feed yourself right. Now, this one kind of went with the Living within my means/hermit lifestyle, but my steady diet of rice, black beans, cheese, and chicken if I felt like “treating myself” did not a healthy woman make.

Woops.

Woops.

The occasional entire massive turkey leg or frozen pepperoni pizza probably didn’t help either.

Learn the deals at your grocery store, figure out what you like that ALSO is healthy, and enjoy those “treat yourself” treats occasionally. Not nightly.

4. Get a gym membership. And don’t get the cheapest one. Because if it’s super cheap, I bet you won’t go. Just saying. Financial commitment SOMETIMES means ACTUAL commitment. Not always, but enough.

5. For the LOVE OF GOD meet some grown-up, totally new friends.

Whew, y'all are lifesavers.

Whew, y’all are lifesavers.

College buddies are great, don’t get me wrong. So are those “Lifers” that you’ve known since elementary, middle, or high school. But after about a year and a half of longing for the days of bar-hopping on Franklin Street and feeling sorry for myself that I couldn’t just stumble out of my room and be surrounded by fraternity brothers and sisters, I took some action. And I decided I, to, could make friends OUTSIDE of school.

This has been the best decision of my “grown-up” life, thus far.

It’s not as hard or as scary as you might think. There are websites entirely dedicated to meeting new people. Get on Yelp, on Meetup, find something going on in your community, join an adult rec league for sports (that was my preferred method for my favorite post-college gang). Maybe you’re even lucky enough to work somewhere where you can find (GASP) work friends!

Whatever you do, though, find some buddies. It stops you from living in the past, and makes it all that sweeter when you DO go back to your college/high school/preschool buddies and show them how cool you still are, even after all these years.

Here’s the thing: there’s no “right way” to grow up, I guess. Hell, I haven’t even done it yet, hence the whole “college 2.0” idea of grad school. But I think those little bits and pieces of advice would’ve helped ease the transition.

I hope they help ease someone’s transition.

An Open Letter to Jason Segel

Dear Jason,

Can I call you Jason? I think, considering our complicated and enduring past, I can. I could also call you one of the many nicknames I’ve given you over the past. J-babe. Jace. Seegs. Marshmallow (Yeah, I snagged that one from HIMYM, but I didn’t think you’d mind.) You can choose, but in the meantime, I’m good with Jason.  I’m writing this to thank you. To thank you for acting as a (handsome) beacon of hope and humor for the past 17 years for me, and for women and men all over the place. The women and men who can recognize the beauty of the Ian Somerhalders, the Brad Pitts, the Ryan Goslings and the Channing Tatums, and find themselves aching for more. You are so much more than a pretty face (though your face is quite lovely).

I can't even.

I can’t even.

For those of us who yearned for more air-headed stoners in pop culture, or those of us who mourned the lack of male full-frontal nudity, you were there. For us Amazon women who couldn’t help but notice the fact that Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Tom Cruise, Seth Green, and Scott Caan are all shorter than 5’8″, you stand proudly at 6’4″, a gangly bean pole of arms and legs, just begging to be climbed. (That’s what you do with bean poles, right? I don’t know, I’m not an expert. But that’s definitely what I’d like to do with you.)

I remember when I first saw you. Our eyes connected (well, my eyes connected to the pixels of your eyes) during the cult classic, Can’t Hardly Wait (one of the greatest examples of campy teen party flicks) and, as you described Preston, I knew you had a way with words. It’s only upon reviewing the clip as a grown woman that I noticed the way you worked that watermelon. My goodness, the things you were doing with your hands and mouth….

Let me be your watermelon, Jason.

Let me be your watermelon, Jason.

It wasn’t until my 8th grade English class that my heart really started to flutter. See, my teacher, whose name is escaping me, liked to show episodes of the all-too-short-lived Freaks and Geeks when he didn’t wanna teach. Or like, we finished tests early. I don’t know, like I said, I don’t really remember much of that time.  But I do remember you, Jason.

It is love.

It is love.

You were the star of that show, Nick Andopolis. And the star of my 8th-grade fantasies. I’ve re-watched the entire series so much, I feel like I could disco dance with you with my eyes closed. I’d happily listen to you bang the drums, certain that they couldn’t overpower the drumming of my heart. I know you used to play basketball, so did I! But that’s not where our similarities stop.

First of all, the easy one. Your middle name is Jordan. It’s like your parents were ASKING you to meet me. (Yes, I recognized that your mother’s maiden name was Jordan. Don’t hit me on semantics here, a woman in love isn’t always the most logical human.) You grew up Jewish, thanks to your daddy. I LOVE Bar Mitzvahs (and Bat Mitzvahs, I’m an equal opportunity Jewish Party hound). We’ve both struggled with our weight over the years, a challenge for any particularly tall individual. I feel your pain, man. But we both got through it, hard work and determination and all.

You like to work out? ME TOO!!

You like to work out? ME TOO!!

You’re hilarious. We all know it. And, real talk, I think you’d find me pretty funny too. I’m not certain of this, but I feel confident. We’re both very tall, and I’d look great on your arm (or you on mine, rah rah gender equality and all.)

Your joy in The Muppets was palpable, and I wanted to climb through the screen and kiss your face. This makes me think that, if you can interact so well with puppets, you’d make a great father. Which is good because, as the eldest of 5 kids, I’m looking for baby daddy material. Also, you do well with nudity.

Hello, there.

Hello, there.

I know you said you did it for the laughs, but it takes a big man (#notaeuphemism) to embrace “dudity” in an industry where the nude female body is glorified and the nude male body generally receives shudders. Well, can I just tell you that in college, going streaking might as well have been an extracurricular activity for me. We could traipse around the world, flashing our goodies at onlookers and bringing smiles to the faces of all (for any reason they choose to smile).

Most of all, though, you’re patient. And I wanna thank you for that. Because, that one time that I hunted stalked found you walking around on Bourbon Street, my heart jumped out of my throat. You were alone, enjoying your night. And, chances are, with my wild excitement and rapture (and kind of loud tendencies), I maybe ruined it by drawing attention to your existence. Within minutes, drunken sorority girls were begging you to sing them a Dracula song and bros were high fiving you as they nabbed some selfies.

Your patience allowed me to get maybe the coolest picture I’ve ever had of me in my entire life.

This is totally real, y'all.

This is totally real, y’all.

Admittedly, at the time, I was in NOLA with my former partner. So I didn’t throw myself at you in the manner which I may have under other circumstances. But it’s obvious here we’d make a cute couple. (I promise, I don’t always wear beads.)

I heard about your semi-recent breakup with Michelle Williams. I am sorry to hear about that, I know y’all had something good going for you. But I wanted to let you know that if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, a lady to grab a beer with, or a plus one for any event where leaning over for photo-ops sounds miserable, I’m your gal.

If I never see you again, know that our brief encounter was more than enough to fuel countless daydreams the world over. And if I do…. well, I’m just saying, I may not practice the same self-control I once did.

Yours (seriously.),

Jordan Price

 

What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging

My last post was in mid-April. This, for me, is unheard of. Then again, I guess I never was in grad school before this year, and never juggling quite so many random things. Normally, when I come home from an evening of class, the last thing on my mind is blogging. And when I return after hours of Living Socially, I am too wiped to do anything but maybe sometimes just fall asleep immediately on my couch. Despite my bed being a mere 10 feet away.

Let's not ask how we have this picture.

Cheers to friends who will always creep on you when you’re sleeping.

All that aside, the past month has been jam-packed with so many papers, new opportunities (and not in the way that couples counseling tells you to call things you don’t like opportunities a la The Office, just really exciting ones), oodles of tasty foods, and definitely NOT enough working out.  When I wasn’t in class or sleeping or working, I was generally feeling that guilt that only comes with school. That whole “I should be doing work, not having fun at Zumba class!!” I recognize this is a load of bull. But that’s where my head was going. Dumb.

Luckily, it paid off with the grades looking pretty excellent. I started working a new internship for some field work hours. I obtained a part-time job at Penn which should help pay the bills. But really, that’s the boring stuff I’ve been doing. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Come to mama.

Come to mama.

There’s been cheese, and lots of it. Some things I’ve been learning:

  • Gruyere, I can do without you.
  • Cheese should always be paired with new things. Get creative, ask your monger. The most interesting one I’ve tried lately? Oriol cheese paired with passionfruit jam, peanut butter, and banana chips. I know, it sounds revolting. BUT OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND YOUR MIND, PEOPLE! It’s a much sexier PB&J(&C) sammy.
  • Gouda, like many wonderful things, gets finer with age. But you don’t necessarily need an ancient gouda. In fact, I tried a l’Amuse Gouda that was aged a mere two years that possessed the idea crystalline bits along with a richness and smoothness that isn’t always present in the older goudas.
  • I can do damage on chevre. I need to stop buying it three wheels at a time.
  • I’m still hunting for Bonne Bouche.
We are all hobbit-footed

We are all hobbit-footed

We had our retreat for Living Socially. It was a blast (too much of a blast for some of us, cough cough). But real talk, if you ever wanna know how to throw a successful Beer Olympics, just let me know. I’ve got the deets.

Is that a dragon? NOPE IT'S JUST ME!!

Is that a dragon? NOPE IT’S JUST ME!!

Martha and I went to the Philadelphia Science Festival Kickoff Carnival. We dusted with fingerprinting kits, made our own lip balm, tried Yards’ Pythagorean Beerum (Bahahaha craft beer names are the best), blew smoke from a mixture of giant marshmallows and liquid nitrogen (see the above photo) and played with the biggest thing of silly putty I’ve ever seen.

I probably won. She's just too little of a lady to fight THIS CHICK!

I probably won. She’s just too little of a lady to fight THIS CHICK!

My “baby” brother Connor graduated from Penn State. I couldn’t be more proud.

Never not funny to see my tiny mother

Never not funny to see my tiny mother

It was incredible to be up in State College with ALL of my nuclear family. This like, NEVER happens. Things got a bit rowdy at times, but nothing a good family game of flip cup couldn’t resolve.

Definitely my uncle pounding a beer. Oh goodness.

Definitely my uncle pounding a beer. Oh goodness.

And now?

Well, now I have the next two weeks off from school before summer classes. My goals include: work as many hours as possible, be outside as much as possible, get to the shore at least once (cold weather be damned), try not to eat with quite as much reckless abandon as the last weekend (Penn State isn’t known for having tons of healthy options….), and not think about class at all.  Other than obsessively checking online to see if my grades are posted.

Whew. That was a mouthful (a handful? Since I was typing?)

What stops you from posting, whether it’s on a blog or Twitter or Facebook? School pretty much always gets me, although when I’m reading some quality novels, I have no interest in writing. It’s a thing.

What game would you rock at in the Beer Olympics?  I’ll give you a hint: mine was NOT Tour de Franzia.