7 Links: Welcome New Readers Edition

Greetings all, and a wonderful Sunday to you!  At this very moment, I’m writing from the deck of my shore house in Ocean City, New Jersey (my favorite place on the planet.)  I left the Healthy Living Summit yesterday about an hour or so after the sessions ended because, although I wanted to spend time with the new people that I met, I don’t get to see my family too often (as I live in Durham, NC and they all live outside of Philly).  From reading the tweets and posts from these new beautiful bloggers and bloggettes, I missed out on some mischief making, but the opportunity to sip rum & coke with mom and dad and cuddle on the couch watching CSI with my siblings (and the always-gorgeous Horatio Caine was clearly too good to pass up.

Pierce me with those eyes, Lt. Caine... (click image for Source)

Though I was nominated chosen picked for this whole “7 Links” meme a while back by a fellow blogger or two, I figured I’d hold off for a little because it seemed like the perfect way to introduce new readers to myself in a fun, organized fashion.  And also, sometimes, I’m a lazy bum.  But mostly it was because of how appropriate it is for new readers.

For the ease of access, feel free to check out my “About Me” to glean some background info.  And on that note, I’m going to dive right into things.

  1. My Most Beautiful Post

    Football, Football, Football (Oh, and Friday.)

    A Sea of Carolina Blue

    Maybe it’s because I’m romantically involved with my alma mater, UNC. Or maybe it’s because I think tailgating is the most wonderful Autumn pastime of all.  But whatever it is, this post fills my heart with joy and makes my heart beat a little faster when I read it.  If you love college football (or college sports… or any sports), you might think this is lovely as well.  If you don’t, here’s a post on my best friend’s wedding that ought to tide you over: The 61 Hour Whirlwind Wedding Weekend: Picture and the Ceremony.  Don’t say I never gave you nothing….

  2. My Most Popular Post

    New Belgium Tour de Fat, Meet: DURHAM!

    Beer Education: So hot right now

    During a hot summer day this year, I was able to dress up like a champagne bottle and volunteer for the New Belgium Tour de Fat in downtown Durham, North Carolina (the closest city to me).  Being a HUGE craft beer fan (obviously, with a name like “food, sweat, and beers“) I jumped at the chance to volunteer.  I helped bring beer tokens to the masses, got to participate in a mini beer-du-cation class with some of the brewers from New Belgium, and realized that retronasal tasting is a real term (though most folks use it regarding  retronasal wine tasting).  I think this post was especially popular in the Durham, NC area.  But beer fans far and wide are welcome to continue enjoying it.

  3. My Most Controversial Post

    Women and Chick Beer vs. Craft Beer: A Response

    The Infamous "Chick Beer" that sparked the discussion

    While I can’t say this post was incredibly controversial, the topic certainly was, and the discussion was the most enjoyable to read in the comments section. I also brought discussion about this topic.  As I mentioned before, though I just attended a Healthy Living Summit, my passion is also craft beer and this whole topic of women being “catered to” in the craft beer world with weak flavored, low carbonated beers really got me fired up.  Apparently, I was not the only one that cared about it, because I still hear this topic discussed.  It’s a pretty interesting read, if you care about beer, but also if you’re interested in marketing techniques targeting females.

  4. My Most Helpful Post

    Eating Good in the Neighborhood (Pool)

    Poolside with my buddy, Claire

    In the summertime, on the weekends, if I’m not at the shore/beach, I like to be at the pool.  I think this post provided a lot of good advice (and it was a pretty popular one, so clearly others were interested.)  However, I also liked my post on Lunchbox Variety and mixing up your sammies.  Eating healthy on pool weekends AND mixing up my lunches are both challenges for me, so hopefully these posts helped folks in similar situations.

  5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

    No Pants Wednesday

    I. Hate. Pants.

    I guess I’m not SUPER surprised that people love the idea of No Pants Wednesday.  But when I shared with everyone the fact that the reason I go home every day for lunch, I never thought they’d get so fired up about me hating pants.

    Then again, who really likes to wear pants?

    If you do, I don’t mean offense…. I just think you should give No Pants Wednesday a chance.

  6. A Post I Didn’t Think Got the Attention It Deserved

    Wisdom Teeth: Be GONE!

    So Very Loopy.

    This is a tough one, because honestly, I never think to myself “this post DESERVES so much attention.” Who am I to expect any attention from anyone?  (other than awesome.)

    But really, if you want a laugh, check out the pictures on that post. For some reason, when I was loopy on pain medication, I was SO intense about the nurses taking pictures of every step of the way.  And I demanded to keep my teeth (not unlike my new buddy, Jessica and her pillow of baby teeth.)  Now, not only am I the weirdo who was a total bossy brat at the dental surgeon’s office and documented every step of her wisdom teeth removal, but I’m the creep with four bleached wisdom teeth in a shot glass in my apartment.

    Be careful if we ever do shots at chez moi… no one wants a shot of tooth.

  7. Post I’m Most Proud Of

    Wake-Up Call


    This post was both a reminder to myself of all the progress I made (I have lost 40-45 lbs since March 2010 with the help of Weight Watchers, exercise like Zumba and Body Pump , and support from family/friends, as well as a reminder that sometimes, all you need to change your entire life is a little wake-up call.  It sums up my progress, it talks about how my thinking about food and health changed over the past year and a half, and it has a cute shot of me sleeping (in case you’re into that kinda thing.)

    This weekend, I realized that even though I never really have experienced the hardships of disordered eating that many of my peers dealt with, I had my own interesting set of circumstances that others might benefit from.  No one becomes who they are in the exact same way, and though my story feels unique, I am sure I’m not the only one who slowly put on weight until they were living an unhealthy lifestyle without even realizing it, and then decided to change things up.

So there you have it.  Some funny posts. Some poignant posts. Some food posts. Some beer posts.

Read up, learn about me, comment, email me, follow me on Twitter, and let’s get this party started.

Now, I’m back to hanging out with this stud:

Princess of the Jersey Shore

Isn’t he handsome?


Can I See Some ID, Ma’am?

Hey there y’all, and happy Hump Day!

Hope you’re enjoying this lovely Wednesday. The weather in Durham is a cool, breezy 90 degrees (note the sarcasm) and I’ve been spending it in an almost Arctic office.  We call it the frozen tundra.  After yesterday’s in-office lunch ordeal, I decided it’d be wise to come back home and eat on my little perch.

I'm basically the cleanest lady around.

I have been taking to typing and eating and chopping up here, this little counter might be my favorite aspect of my tiny little apartment. It’s bar height, and it’s perfect for a giant like myself.  Lunch was FANTASTIC, just what I was craving:

Piping hot!

On the menu:

  • Steamed veggies (the same as I had with last night’s tasty fish! Total mood booster)
  • Coke Zero
  • Sandwich Thin featuring:
  • Turkey
  • Provolone cheese
  • tomato
  • spinach
  • one fried egg!

Perfect and delish.  I also nibbled on a few chips from Trader Joes while cooking and watching Pretty Little Liars (my Wednesday lunch show of choice!)

Now let’s get onto the good stuff.

Last time I was home, I rifled around in my old bedroom, as I always do when I return home.  And I found some REAL gems…. That’s right, various IDs since like… 7th grade.  Now, I present to you:

The Evolution of Jordan

Braces and some sweet single strand bangs

This shot’s from 7th grade, and I’m pretty sure the fiercest of the bunch.  Clearly, I was Sm-eyes-ing. And presenting quality posture.  Did everyone at your school do those single-strand bangs that we all were into, pulled tight to your head?

Yeah, no, me either, this was def a fluke.

Grade: 10 Shirt: Volcom Attitude: Pure Jordan

Up next, we have a snapshot from 10th grade (we’ll call 8th and 9th my “black” period during which I refused to take photos…. or I couldn’t find those ones.)  I think this was when I started standing up straighter, and truly coming into myself.  I was on the varsity basketball and volleyball teams, playing lotsa sports, and finally feeling like I had a place in the world/school. I also shopped almost exclusively at PacSun and owned more tshirts with little characters or logos on the front than I own VS underwear now (hint… well over 30… and 40).  It was a pretty good time.

This might be my favorite ID outfit of all time. Also, sorry for the crumbs in front of the ID.... maybe those TJ chips I was talking about.

In 11th grade, my mom finally started demanding a modicum of fashion sense from her eldest child.  I thank her for this every day of my life.  At this point, I was thinking almost exclusively about colleges to go to, Junior proms, and being the captain of my sports.  Oh, and boys.  But let’s be honest, even though I had my first real kiss at 16, stuff didn’t start getting really interesting until my senior year.

Yeah, that's me. Winking obnoxiously. In my senior ID.

Don’t worry, this wasn’t in the yearbook or anything (at least I’m pretty sure…)  Since we had fancy shmancy senior portraits taken, these were just IDs used for lunch and to get discounts at the movie theater.  And I figured, it was my last year at this joint, I was already accepted to UNC (GO TARHEELS!! LOVE OF MY LIFE!!), go hard or go home.  As the photographer counted back from three (3… 2…. 1!) I hammed it up REAL big at the ONE and got this beaut to have and hold for the rest of my life.  That year, I was voted Most School Spirit, Most Likely to Change the World, and (shocker) Best Sense of Humor. I wish they’d just used this picture for the yearbook superlative shot, it would’ve summed it all up….  (PS So as not to hurt anyone’s feelings, I chose Best Sense of Humor since we weren’t supposed to hoard the superlatives.  BUT THE TRUTH’S OUT NOW, GARNET VALLEY ALUM! Sorry for spilling the beans. But not that sorry.)

Buzz's girlfriend... woof.

I hated my first one card with a fiery passion. My eyebrows are huge, I’m cracked out from having spent the past 2.5 days at Orientation (not sleeping and sneaking out to Durham to play beer ping pong with friends), and my hair looks like a horse’s tail.

Well, wouldn’t you know that got stolen (though, not for good) in 2007, so I had to get this bad boy:

Faded glory

My most used ID of my school years, you can really see the weight on my face in this one.  So I guess my junior year was when the poundage started going on. Something to do with moving into the fraternity house and having constant access to my bean-cheese-hot sauce dip at all hours of the night…. really did a number on me.

And now, here we are!

Glamour Shot!

Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane… Because that was a blast to write.

Can’t wait to get a new ID, maybe I’ll post that one to see how things have changed.

Do you keep your old IDs like a secret hoarder (or like me)?

What’s your favorite ID picture of you? (mine’s the senior year one, hands down.)

Wake-Up Call


Wow.  So once, going through pictures and trying to find the one of me doing yoga at all, I found this one.  Taken in Las Vegas, right as I was coming off of a summer of sloth following a wicked lame pre-summer foot break that incapacitated me, right outta college graduation, the caption on facebook of this was “My dream wedding.”

I think, in my mind, the joke was not only “wow, she just got married in the middle of the day, in vegas, in a full wedding gown, and is playing penny slots” but “and also, she is fat.”

However, reflecting on this picture (this was probably the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life) I am blown away by my own appearance.  Because, after losing almost 50 lbs, I look at this and think “there are two people in this picture that are overweight, not just one.”

Talk about your belated wake up call…

I have to say, this isn’t a post to call anyone fat (even though I did just say that I considered both people in this image overweight), more to evaluate the change in my thought process.  Because honestly, while I was happy as a clam that weekend, I can’t help but think I’d have had such a better time if I were my current weight.  And while I didn’t THINK I was overweight at all at this time in my life, it’s like…. wow.  Now that I see it having lost the weight, I can’t believe I just allowed myself to have all those extra pounds on my body.  I remember once, at a UNC football game, I was loudly cheering for my team, waving my pom poms around like a locopop (GO HEELS!!! TAR HEEL BORN AND TAR HEEL BRED!!) when a random viewer at the game mentioned, off hand to her friend, that I should “calm my fat ass down because it was jiggling in [her] face”.  That hurt.  That hurt, so friggin’ much (I’d say another f word, but I’m unsure if wordpress monitors these supah hard.)  I think that was the first time I thought to myself, “Wow.  This whole ‘being overweight’ thing is miserable, horrible, and people mock you for it.”  At the time, I was a happy, fun-loving UNC student, who got hit on a lot (just saying, for a while, that’s how I measured my self-worth) and looked sexy in clothes (in my opinion at the time.)  How the HELL could some girl call me a fat ass?  Well, now, looking back, I see it, and I believe I might think the same thing about old me now a-days.  That’s harsh, right?  Jeez.  But I’m… just being honest. (Andre 3000, 2003).

The change is monumental. And my life has just changed so much.

I think about my health, my weight, my diet, my fitness…. so much. Like, constantly.  Everything I put in my mouth, everything that comes out of me (TMI? whatevz), everything I do with my body, every activity I plan…

I was talking with my beau about how, despite the fact that we’ve both lost over 25 lbs since we initially decided to get healthified, we think about our weight/fitness more than we ever did when we had those extra lbs on our body.  I guess it’s just part of adapting your awareness regarding your body.

Tomorrow, I’ll be heading to Ocean City, New Jersey.  It’s my home away from home, and my favorite place on the face of this planet.  And once, 2 years ago, my grandma mentioned to my mother how terrible I looked on the beach.  It’s stuff like that which make me so so happy to have decided to make the change, not because of her, not because of what anyone has ever said, but because I knew that if I wanted to live a long/healthy life, I couldn’t continue living the way that I was. And because of the changes I’ve made, I’ll be able to spend time indulging in my favorite treats, while enjoying my mornings being more active than I used to be.  It’s all about balance and, as evident by that earlier picture, I’m all about balance (except for the fact that my balance is HORRIBLE due to breaking both my feet at different points in my life.  I’m basically on a constant teeter totter.)

To sum it up: I’m so excited for this weekend.  And I won’t feel guilty about anything I do.  I will go to the gym tomorrow, I will enjoy strolling/powerwalking on the boards the rest of the days, and I know that I won’t look back on pictures from this weekend and think negative thoughts about myself.

It’s all because of a little wake-up call.


Have you ever had a wake-up call to health?  Regardless of your answer, what boosted you into a healthy lifestyle?

Do you wish that you could snuggle with me?  (duh.)