… but means well

I Am a Real-Life Normal Person and I lost 5 Pounds in One Month: Part 1 – Goals

Disclaimer: I am not accepting any money from any of the listed companies, (less because I am moral, but more that they are not offering anything,) so you can trust that my evaluations are unbiased.

First of all, what am I like?
I am jut like you, maybe even worse. My category is Emotional Eater, if you count being awake as an emotion. There is a desire for food that I possess that is distinct from hunger. In fact, I am such an over-achiever when it comes to feeding myself, that I do not remember the last time I was genuinely hungry. When the first thing you do when you wake up is mentally prepare what you are going to eat that day, you will always have a sandwich prepared. The only time I do not think about food is when I am with or around boys, which is obviously super mentally healthy.
By some miracle, my BMI is within the healthy range for my height and age. By other metrics, I range from slightly overweight by K-mart’s model standards (winter) to adorably chubby (summer). There are some days that I feel good about my body, but no days where I like the way it looks in photographs. Most importantly, I have a feeling I am not getting all the nutrients I need from grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate bars. I like excercise, but can never keep it at it continuously. My enthusiasm for any diet falls after two weeks.
So see, I am just like you, maybe even worse. And I am telling you, there is hope for us.
The proof is in the pudding I no longer want to eat, and the pounds I no longer have. I have lost 5 pounds this month, but have been slowly but surely losing weight for the past 4 months, all through exams and birthdays,and July 4ths. Now I have broke my usual loop, and am safely in the Kinda-Thin/ Pretty-Healthy-Looking category, and you can too!

Okay, listen closely, and do not fuck this part up. Fact: Anyone who has desire to lose weight has some more basic underlining problem. No exceptions, not even in your case. It is never just the weight that is standing in the middle of you and happiness. Wanting to lose weight, or change any part of your appearance for that matter, means always means that there is a deeper story to be told: maybe one of rejection, or bullying, or social problems, or a sense of shame. The underlying problem is what you really want to vanish. I have faced a lot of rejection from boys in my past, and I do not want to anymore. I think my weight has something to do with the rejection. If a magician told me that I do not have to lose any weight and still have my pick of men, COOL I’LL TAKE THAT PLEASE. My problem is loneliness, losing weight is what I think will fix that.
Take a moment to figure out what it is you really want to change in your life. More boys? More attention from the boy you already have? Still bothered by the bullying you faced in 6th grade? Wanting a sense of self-control? An edge in your career? Once you got it, know this, losing weight will NOT fix your problem. The crazy does not reside in the extra 20 pounds around your waist; the crazy resides in all of you.
I know I framed this post in terms of me losing weight, but that is only to capture the audience that can benefit from my experience the most. Weight loss happened, but just like extra pounds are a symptom of a bigger issue, losing weight weight was just a symptom of my attained happiness. Our goal is not to make you thinner, our goal is to make you happier. It worked for me and it will work for you. And in the end you will be happier about your weight.

Part of what everybody needs to be happier is a healthier relationship with food. The next post will be about how I improved my relationship with food. In preperation, I would love to hear about your guys’ relationship with food.


Asking for Advice: Skype Scandal CONCLUSION

Spoiler alert, it is a happy ending.

When the last post left off, my man of the moment, nicknamed Wolf, did not make it to our arranged Skype session and I was blue so I turned to the interwebz for advice. For those that have not read my previous post, Wolf and I are in those early stages of courtship where we are only getting to know each other in a romantic fashion, and it is by no means clear what either of us wants out of this. So, hell basically.
First, let me highlight the pieces of advice that stuck in my mind the most for the remainder of this situations:

  • viralsalome16 – “I just think women have to make sure to take care of themselves (as if you were protecting your own little sister).”
  • interestingboredom – “If he was obsessing over you as much as you are over him he would have been on there.”
  • lolabees – “You’ll know what to do when you need to do it– that’s my theory.”
  • BroadBlogs – “If feeling respected is high on your list AND this makes you feel dissed, drop him.”
  • Pepper Bells – “If he can’t be bothered to make time for you this time, don’t think it will be any easier next time.”
  • emklio – “Communication is key to any relationship! Tell him it hurt your feelings that he missed the Skype date.”
  • anonoymousandarmed – “Everyone express care differently, some rarely show it but it doesn’t mean they don’t care.”
  • Lee – “Keep your options open in the meantime and don’t take anything he does or doesn’t do personally. You’re too smart for that.”
  • dollm – “Dating shouldn’t make you more insecure than secure.”

It is a great assortment of different possible approaches to my situation. Together, all the bits of advice I received changed how I viewed the situation with Wolf. I saw his absence on Skype as my failure to be an interesting enough person. The first problem with this is that its already too analytical of me to read so much into a Skype game of tag. The second problem it is unhealthy for me to think that the guy is the prize to be won in this scenario when I am as much of a prize myself. Slightly adjusting this mindset had a ripple effect on my confidence over the situation. As the last pieces of advice were rolling in, I was already so over this whole Skype scandal.

Then as I was beginning to forget about him, he sends me a message the next day. Wolf: “youre too quick for me. free tonight?”

Here is what I told lolabees: “I thought about what being strong would mean in this case, as in would a strong woman ignore him or give him a second chance, etc. Let me know what you think about this Lolabees, but I decided that a strong woman would not not immediately cast a guy out for making one “mishap” because in a way that’s a defense mechanism as well. However, a strong woman would also not forget the mishap. So I asked him what time he wants to Skype. If I happen to have nothing planned that hour I will talk to him for 20 min or so. If I am busy, then I will just tell him I can’t and that maybe I’ll talk to him some other time. That way he realizes he snoozes he loses! lol”
We made a new time that night. 9pm. Very specific. He missed it.

Comon boy.

But, I meant it above when I said my mindset changed, because I was totally cool with it. For once, instead of worrying about why I am not good enough to be on, HE was the one that got less attractive in my eyes because of this poor show of effort. I didnt even want to Skype him at this point. This is strength!

An hour after we were supposed to Skype this convo happened:

Wolf: sorry got my timing completely wrong. can you come on now?

STRONG Girl, who happens to be me :No I left my house to go to the doctor for a jab. Can you make it up to me but telling me right now that it wont hurt? Im scared lol

Wolf: it wont hurt… whats the jab for?

STRONG Girl, who happens to be me: it prevents against HPV and other STDS, which is grrrreat, I dont want to ever get either of those things. didnt hurt THAT much, but I cried anyway, just in case …
I was nice, whatever, no attitude, not making a big deal our of anything. It could have been two honest mistakes in a row, or maybe He Is Just Not That Into Me, either way the weight of our love story was no longer all on my shoulders. I did my bit, so mentally I told myself that I will not be initiating any contact after this.
THEN, two days later, out of nowhere:

Wolf: so the olympics is over and i now have some time on my hands. shall we try to skype again?

I though, fine, but I wont go out of my way to make this happen. It will be on my terms. I replied two days later (hehehe):

STRONG Girl, who happens to be me: sure. today at 2 uk time? i got an hour or so. or sometime thursday

Wolf: i’ll be there

And he was! And it was great and fun. Some moments I was cool, some moments I was dorky. Whatever, I had fun. There is more I can write about in terms of the content of the convo, but I do not even care anymore. That is how goddamn COOL I am now, all thanks to you guys.
After he hung up I messaged him this address he wanted and said:
STRONG Girl, who happens to be me:Hey boo, here’s the address for that paper thing you need:
315 W 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

gettt it dooone, dont fuck up. skype again sooooon. xx”

Wolf:thanks for that. looking forward to it! x”

Who knows what happens next. I’m not worried. I’ve got you guys.

Back to Basics: What Every Woman Should Have in Every Bag

Hey listen up, this is quite a good idea so I need you to take me seriously right now. This post is geared towards women, because I am a woman and not because I do not care about my male fans (in fact I’m only on here for the fame, the fortune, and the boys.)

Having a lot of handbags is confusing. You forget where you left what and when your man yells for you to hurry up because you’ll be late, you end up scurrying around grabbing whatever you see as if the house is on fire. Fast forward two hours when someone asks for your business card and you realize you can only offer him four-year old lip gloss and a tampon. To help prevent these minor irritations it helps to pre-pack ALL of your handbags with multiples of some very basic accessories.

Here is a list of things that every woman should pack into every handbag she has:

1) 20$ – You never know.
2) Mints/gum – They, like, NEVER expire.
3) A couple of business cards.
4) A pen.
5) A metro card with at least two rides on it. (Or whatever the equivalent is in your country.)
6) A condom, if sexually active. And if not, a rubics cube maybe? I don’t know how you guys get your freak on.
7) Small compatible hairbrush.

That is the Master List of seven items that do not take up loads of rooms, but there are also other good options that you might consider, if they fit your lifestyle.

– Lip gloss (But never powder or the like, nothing ages a lady like the sight of her applying powder.)
– Notepad
– Tissues
– Perfume
– Hand sanitizer.
– Pepper spray if you live in the ghetto.
– Hair tie.
– Compass? Maybe?

If you guys have any more ideas, let me know and I will definitely update the post with your suggestions, and give you guys credit.

Also, I promised that if I ever reached 100 followers, I would reactivate my Twitter account. So if you would like updates on my posts, plus daily inspirational quotes and articles I find interesting, please follow me by clicking here.

Asking for Advice: Skype Scandal

So, I am not sure what to do about this.
Boy, nicknamed Wolf. Slept with him once. Pretty casual, but we have more fun together than the really casual things. Sounds great right? WRONG.

I am sorry, I shouldnt take this out on you. Basically, I, ultra casually, asked him to Skype one evening, and the conversation went like this (I am risking him finding this completely copy and pasted conversation because, well, I love you.):

Beautiful Girl who happens to be me: heya skype this week?

August 2
Wolf: hey, you free saturday?

August 2
Beautiful Girl who happens to be me: yessssssss, but only after 6pm my time, which is like 11pm for you. is that past your bedtime?

Wolf: it is a little, i have to be up at 4.30 tomorrow. are you free next week?

Beautiful Girl who happens to be me: 430, that’s rough. Next week works better actually cuz ima be babysitting my three yr old all day. Gimme a shout when you want me

16 hours ago
Wolf: free tonight or tomorrow night?

14 hours ago
Beautiful Girl who happens to be me:  i will be home/on skype 12pm-4:30pm today (which is 5pm-9:30pm i think for you) sooo CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

You Honest Abes out there let me know if I sounded too needy, but I did not feel needy at all. That is until 4:30pm (like 9:30 for him) rolled around and he was nowhere to be seen.

The first problem will be difficult for any of you to solve, and I am not just saying that to sound complicated and misunderstood. The first problem is that I felt a lot more hurt by his absence then I thought I would be. In my mind, he is not that great, he is just really really really good-looking, and took care of me when I was crying once. So not only did I not care for him much when I made this fatal Skype request, but him not being on is not necessarily a rejection. These were vague plans at all. If for some reason he was preoccupied, I do not think he had an obligation to tell me. So what is so messed up in my internal workings that computed this situation and  came up with: I, thusly, will be depressed for the remainder of today.

The second problem, I expect real advice on. What do I do know? Do I just not say anything further and leave the ball in his court? Do I ask him what happened today? Do I message him again asking is he is free another day? To complicate matters, me and him are friends, so our relationship never was only romantic. If it was some guy that picked me up in a bar I would have no doubt about leaving the ball in his court, but me and him started out as chill friends, and in terms of being chill friends, missing out on a Skype sesh is totally fine.

It is a minor problem, but it is a common problem for me and other Beautiful girls who happen not to be me. I say, together, we figure out a solution once and for all, FOR WOMEN EVERYWHERE! Let’s find the cure for the Common Cold of Relationships.

Vid: Chelsea Handler Interviewing Russell Brand

Despite the misleading title of this YouTube video, Chelsea shows us how to handle one of those charming/irritating bad boys. Watch and learn! And look out for a post tomorrow about my fun dinner with two of my ex-lovers at once. Manage-a-three waters please!

MoL: Day 5 – My First Success

Month of Love is a series where I faithfully follow the advice of one reputed relationship expert. Surely one of them will change everything.

This Month’s adviser is Steve Santagati.

Everyone has this type of guy friend. We’ll call mine Simba because his real name is similar to a feline, and … because his father has also passed away. Simba has been through a lot of shit in his life, which is probably what sharpened his acute rationality. Rationality is valued in our society, but it works against him; happiness depends a lot on an almost religious leap of faith that things will work out, which has little rational basis. However, Simba does offer an incredibly refreshing outlook on everything in my love life. Our friendship is basically based on monthly breakfasts during which we discuss every little detail of our love lives. My role is to tell him everything will be okay, and his role is to dissect every text, call, wink some guy has given me. Another boy “named” Jade sometimes joins us. Jade plays a mixture of both our roles.

In Simba’s words, “You what what guys, I’m the only one who gets to complain about anything, my life is in shambles, you two are just a bunch of cry babies.”

Probably. But either way, I crave these meetings with Simba because usually my love life has got my mind all tangled up and busy, and I need him to tell me whats what.

I’ve labelled this post my first success because I had breakfast with Simba this morning and I did not feel the need to delve into my love problems at all. There is this thing kinda-friends-with-benefits-kinda-not mess I’ve been having with this guy back in my college town that I could have dished about … Normally, that’s the type of confidence-faltering, mind-playing, confusing case I would normally LOVE to hear Simba analyze. However, suddenly, it does not seem too important. I did not really care what Simba had to say on the matter. That is because what is happening with this boy-of-the-moment suddenly seemed so unimportant. He could be in love with me (would be smart of him really), he could be using me for an ego boost, he could be confused, but suddenly it wasn’t my problem any more. Not every reader out there will understand why this moment is so important to me, but for the few that do, I want you to know that you can go from the embarrassingly love-obsessed girl that you are to someone who does need to discuss her love life! What?! I know! I’m serious. This aint no fan-fiction blog.

This is the first real shift in attitude and mindset that I have concrete proof of since I started this experiment. In my previous post I expressed concern about the possibility of changing the way I am used to thinking about love. This moment, slight as it is, gives me hope that despite how deep-rooted my problems are, they are not so deep that they cannot be dug up and fixed. This probably has a lot to do with Steve forcing me to look better, which had tidal wave effects elsewhere that I am not even conscious of. I have done only minor adjustments to my image, but have seen a exponential increase in general response. I do not think it is the compliments alone that have helped my growing emotional independence, but the knowledge that its due to my own work and dedication.

So now the problem is, what will Simba and I have to talk about now?

Babushka’s Basics: How to Put Clothes into a Dryer

In this series, I share some of my Russian grandmother’s best advice.

How to Put Clothes Into  Dryer

Most people probably think there is no art to this. Figuring out the f—ing settings your clothes need to be on is the real difficulty of Laundry day. However, Babushka is very careful when she puts clothes into the dryer. She takes each article out individually, airs it out, and hand straightens it as best she could, before putting it into the dryer. This guarantees that the whole garment will be dry. It also reduced ironing time and can prevent silky and such clothes from getting those permanent creases.

MoL: Day 4 – Tripped Up and Slipped into a Pond

Month of Love is a series where I faithfully follow the advice of one reputed relationship expert. Surely one of them will change everything.

This Month’s adviser is Steve Santagati.

I slipped up! Already. A party should have been the perfect chance to execute everything I have been practicing all week — the fitting, the confidence, the looks, but instead by the end of the night I was feeling very self-conscious. Something went wrong and this is blog gives me a chance to see just what. I am going to define a “failed day” not in terms of any concrete events, like if some guy did or did not ask for my number, but in terms of how I feel. And on this day I felt shitty, which is not what Steve wants me to feel like, so something went wrong.

I spoke to the friend that invited me to the party (let’s call her Fira, because she is bound to come up a lot in this blog, and because she can either warm or burn you depending on how you treat her) on our way back about this strange feeling of failure I was feeling. Like I failed the party. That is not to say I wasn’t sociable, or laughing, or having a good time. All those words described me at the party, and yet I left it feeling empty. Maybe it has something to do with the sense of promise and romantic mystique a party where you are bound to meet knew people inspires, which can only turn out to be a let down. Typical “Prom Syndrome.” Nothing went wrong at this party. I spoke to a lot of boys, made a few laugh, got at least one invite to a future musical reading (this was a hipster Brooklyn party.) Fira said she knew exactly what I was talking about, which gives me hope that this feeling, even though I am finding it hard to explain, is one that most of us girls have experienced.

I can pinpoint the specific moment things went sour. There was this slightly older guy I was talking to, and we seemed to be getting along great. In my mind I was on top of the world. This is what they mean when they say there are plenty of fish in the sea, I thought to myself, A fish! A Big Fish! For the duration of the party we exchanged side glances, and had chats here and there. We laughed a lot, which was nice. I was not swooped off my feet, but I enjoyed his company, thought he was cute. Most importantly I felt like I was standing my ground. But THEN, this fish of mine, started announcing to the room how he had a date with a ballerina tomorrow. And boom, from then on I became super self-aware. Are people talking to me? Are they laughing at what I say? Am I interesting enough? Am I pretty enough? Do I look leaned back and relaxed? Maybe I have some weird mannerisms? What if Big Fish could read my mind and saw that I nicknamed him Big Fish and freaked out because we are so not familiar enough for nicknames yet? Any thought is possible when you are under the influence of self-consciousness. In the blink of ballerina-twirl, the party was turned into this high school horror story where everyone finds everyone else but me interesting. Then I progressively retreated from the part into my own head.

Decomposing the party this way makes it pretty clear what went wrong. Walking into the party I felt beautiful and confident, and most of all really excited to put into practice everything I learned from Steve’s book. And to be fair to myself, I did that perfectly with Big Fish. However, as I mentioned above, there was large sense of “finally this guy I arrived into my life, here is my chance to get this right.” That seems to be a pretty benign thought, and yet what it does is equate my sense of accomplishment, and thus self-esteem, with how things conclude with this one random guy. So when he announced his date with this ballerina (really, she couldn’t have been like a store clerk), even though my heart was by no means broken, I felt let down. A boy you find cute who is taken should be slightly irritating, at most, but instead it completely changed the thoughts I was having about myself.

This demonstrates just how much my lack of relationship success matters to me, whether I admit it or not. Turns out being independent, ambitious, sarcastic, and a New Yorker does not exclude one from needing the mushy stuff. Really wish I had read the fine print. So even though on a rational level I can agree with a lot of Steve’s philosophy towards relationships, clearly it is much harder to reprogram my subconscious to follow suit. How to even begin? I really believed that I was in a more sturdy confined place when I entered the party, but the second I “failed,” all the positive thoughts I worked so hard to build up crumbled down.

There is a big chance that all the little things Steve recommends have the combined effect of targeting this very deep-rooted insecurity about a lack of relationship, but I guess only time will tell. I remain hopefully. Today was another day and I woke up feeling completely fine about that boy from last night. He might have been a big fish, but the party was a very small pond. And with this bit chin’ haircut I got today, my pond is endless methinks.


MoL: Day 3 – Bring handcuffs to the library, because you never know …

Month of Love is a series where I faithfully follow the advice of one reputed relationship expert. Surely one of them will change everything.

This Month’s adviser is Steve Santagati.

Flirting gets shit done. I know how to flirt when I have to, like when my luggage is overweight at the check-in booth “my, you look fresh at five in the morning =)”. But Steve wants me to do it all the time. It makes sense, the more you practice something the better you get. If appearance is the  advertising of the dating world, then your little flirts are the free samples. So I vow to try to be more proactive in my flirting and let all those cuties who do not work for Virgin Atlantic get a glimpse.

Today was my first day as (officially) a flirting machine, and I may have taken it a bit too far … But more on that later. First, I present stereotype of the day: Just a sweet smiley girl wearing a white summer dress and laughing at all your jokes. Steve points out that a woman’s appearance works best if she only shows off one feature body part at a time, rather than letting it all hang out. I agree. Today I decided to show off my … eyes  …

Eyes down here. So the issue with being a flirting machine for me is that I am supposed to be doing research for my dissertation in the library and not eyeing down boys a party. At this time in my life I really should be putting my schoolwork and career first, though of course not neglecting all the fun social bits. I am going to have to take all my flirting to the New York Public Library.

1) Guy checking ours bags as we walk in. Early 20s and cute (and bored – perfect target.)

Guy (as he is rummaging through my bag): “Gotta make sure you don’t have any bombs.”

Angelic Me: “No, not this time.”

Guy: “If you did I might just have to arrest you.”

Angelic Me: “I like handcuffs.”

Too much? I was nervous! And I had Steve on my shoulder telling me to flirt, flirt, flirt.

2) Anonymous opponent on the Words with Friends app.

Okay, hear me out. I had my nose in the library all day with very minimal interaction. I was however, using Words with Friends as procrastination, and I did promise to flirt with everyone and anyone …

Me, losing by a million points: “Wow, you are pretty good at this.” (It is hard to be witty when the only thing you know about the other person is their level of vocabulary.)

Shrk388: “Thanks! You are pretty good. Its a fun game isn’t it.”

Not to brag or anything, but he totally asked me for a rematch. Or she for that matter.

Apart from that I was just generally more talkative with any people that came my way. Notably, I have continued my flirtation with my doorman, which if you are in my life you would know has been going on for a while now. This could only end really, really, well.

In all seriousness, today was pretty good. I put myself out there, relative to how much I usually put myself out there, and even dirty-flirted with a STRANGER. It obviously made me feel beautiful and fun, but it also had a rebound effect of making me feel better about all the romantic baggage I have picked up over the years because it gave me a fantastic sense of possibility. Suddenly, everyone is a possibility. I think we tend to pigeon-hole where we can meet people, (at school, at work, at a party, at a club,) so when we meet a guy in any of those places, and we hit it off, he suddenly feels like the only option around, because where else will you meet someone? And that puts the boy of the moment on a pedestal he really did nothing to deserve. Simply by flirting with the masses for a day, I already feel like the one or two boys I think about are not that tall, dark, and handsome. Psh. I’m the handsome one here.

But I could have done better. I was more flirty, but not that much more proactive. I wouldn’t say that I started any conversations. Tomorrow I will try the dreaded look at some one and smile maneuver. I might have to start slow. 1 second smile, then a 2 second smile, then a 2.5 second smile, then a 2.55 second smile … I’ll get there.