Tag Archives: lifestyle

skinny fat, fat skinny

how can one be fat

and

skinny?

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I’ve been struggling with this question lately.

I know I am not what society calls fat, but I also don’t fit the ideal beauty standard. I can’t wear a tight shirt without having some rolls hanging out, or sleeveless shirt and take a picture without looking twice my size.

I was at the gym last week and pretended to work out when really all I just stood in front of the large mirror and frowned at my body. I found my body so unpleasant to look at that I left the gym early. Who does that?

I started jogging again this week (well I jogged once… I plan on doing it tomorrow as well) and part of myself wants to know if I’m doing this because I love the rush I get when I’m running up a hill, or how strong I feel when I’ve completed your three miles; or if I’m doing this because I want to look a certain way.

Can it be both?

Can I love the feeling of a jog but also want the flat belly?

By doing this, am I succumbing to society’s idea of beauty?

It annoys me to think that the discontent with my body comes from a source outside of my control.

But it is in my control. I have the power to say fuck it, I feel great and look great. Except, I don’t feel great. I feel weak and low on nutrition. I’ve been eating out a lot and abusing the amount of BBQ sauce I apply to one fry. I’m buying the burger and greasy fries that makes me lightheaded and nauseous. I’m buying the peanut butter Ben & Jerry’s pint and eating it in one sitting for dinner. I am doing that to myself.

then again,

Why is it that we live in a society that shames the “skinny” for being too thin and begs them to have a BigMac WHILE ALSO shaming the “fat” for being too fat and begs them to stop eating the junk food?? AND where does someone who looks skinny but eats the fast food junk fit in?

Can you eat like crap and be healthy?

Can you eat crap and be skinny?

Can you eat healthy and be fat?

Can you work out and still be fat?

Can you work out and eat like crap and be skinny?

Point is: why do we care so much about weight? why do we care so much about our body image and how others will perceive us through it?

Point is: I love to jog and I want to feel healthy and if I do that then who cares if I still have rolls hanging out and look twice my size in photographs who?

Point is: being content with your body is something we all need to survive in this world, when we fail to accept our body for what it is we open the door for harmful patterns.

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Songs I can’t get enough of #2: “England” – The National

This is by far my favorite review The National’s song “England”, beautifully explained. I am inspired to do a “Songs I can’t get enough of” series. 

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So I’m feeling a bit down tonight…I have no idea why…I guess it’s just the mood I’m in. Quiet. Overwhelmed. Jumbled. Contemplating the many things in my mind. So on that uplifting note, I think it’s a good time to review a darker piece of music. There’s nothing wrong with dark music, some of it is quite stunning. Lonely. Honest.  Matt Berninger’s baritone voice dispenses moonlight on a dark night. Solitary, soft, and yet strong and piercing.  High Violet is The National’s third masterpiece, in my opinion, and cements The National as one of my favorite bands of all time.  Tonight, we’ll talk about one of my favorite songs off of High Violet, “England”

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Things will come together.

There is some sort of irony in wanting to write this post about honesty with oneself, leaving behind the judgmental reactions of others and simply not giving a fuck that occurs when you dump a more raw post into the draft folder due to fear. Whether the post was too personal, too emotional, too creepy, too depressive to share, holding back is the worst thing I could do for myself.
Lake Michigan Wannabe DiverHow many times have I lied to myself, my family, my friends about how I felt because I was too nervous to admit what I really wanted. Plenty.

It is a hard process learning how to embrace your feelings and decisions, especially since most of the time they will be frowned upon or rejected. I’ve taken to writing my deepest most secretest thoughts in my journal, not realizing that I might be repressing their development, their beauty.

One of these things are my longing for a meaningful relationship. Wanting a partner in crime is particularly hard to admit since learned to appreciate my single girl status. In fact, I take so much pride in being able to do things on my own that I have fooled myself into thinking I would never want anyone serious in my life. I have played the “I love being single” card when I did not mean it, I have embellished the nights I was the ultimate player (aka the nights I brought boys over only to kick them out as soon as I was not in the mood). Though some of my friends could see right through my own bullshit I was blinded by the reality that I indeed want someone that I could share my amateur poems, deep thoughts, and happy moments with… It gets lonely sometimes. AND there is nothing wrong with admitting that. There is nothing wrong with knowing that you are ready to find someone that can replace all the sleazy boys at college parties. Accepting this has helped me eliminate the individuals that I know will never provide this and that is a damn good step.

Another fear I had was dropping the idea that I was going to law school after graduation… JEEZ did I not want to go to law school! It was one of those careers I decided on when I was 12 and promised my parents I would pursue. It was only this year that I finally bursted my mother’s bubble when I told her I was not taking my LSATs or applying to law schools. I had fooled myself so much, that I believed it was all my idea. Of course, now that I have decided not to attend law school I find that I am completely confused about my future. A good confused though and that’s the liberating part. I am so free to decide where to take my life, what to study in grad school, that’s if I want to go to grad school… The point is I am so happy to answer all the questions about what my plans are after college with an I HONESTLY HAVE NO IDEA, I’M JUST GOING TO TAKE MY LIFE AS IT COMES. It just feels so good to have options. To be so young and fearless that going for my Masters in London actually seems like a possibility or that I could just follow in Peyton Sawyer’s steps and open my own record label… OH the place you could really go, who knew. I am more excited about all the opportunities I have to actually do something that makes ME happy and no one else should be a priority in that decision.

I also recently accepted that it is okay to be sad, that it is okay to need to disconnect from people, including those that I feel I’m drifting from. I have deprived my dark thoughts for a really long time, but only a few months ago did I find the strength to say that I get so unhappy at times that I have no desire to do anything else. Admitting this felt like a weight was lifted. It is too draining to be happy all the time. And I decided that I prefer to live a life where I am allowed to be angry, emotional, overwhelmed. If I didn’t have the downs, then I would not realize how amazing the people around me are and just how lucky am I to be alive.

In short, I found that letting go of all the negative connotations attached to certain behaviors or lifestyles has provided me with a very honest and enriching life. I always knew that I need to do what makes me the happiest, but it is truly hard to follow through with when you surrender to social normatives.

No one person is whole, no one person has all the answers to life, no one person can say they haven’t based a decision on others and that is okay. We are on a mission to flourish at our own pace. Somewhere in-between the bad and good choices we have made, we will find that life has paved the perfect path for us. A unique road that makes us smile and understand why those unhappy moments needed to be.

Eventually, we will be okay with allowing the world to see our beauty, one with flaws and imperfections because only can we live freely.

FOMO is real… and its greater than ever

It has been two weeks since I left my host city of Valencia and while a lot of things have been keeping me busy in the States I still feel incredibly out of the loop with my friends that stayed. And day by day I see myself losing touch with some of the girls I called “family”. Yet, I don’t dare leave our Whatsapp chat group. I constantly get the group messages about going to the club, the beach, or simply meeting downstairs to eat. Needless to say I am inflicting some emotional self-harm by pretending I’m still included.

I was warned of the dangers of reverse culture shock, but do I have reverse culture shock, or is it just “fomo”…. In other words, the fear of missing out on memories and stronger bonds my friends are continuing to form? Because truthfully I don’t miss the Spanish students at the dorm, they were loud and rude… But I do find myself wishing I had more time to spend with my roommate before leaving. Sure, I miss having a roommate who didn’t judge me for taking my siestas… She was usually taking them with me for a longer period of time. However, things like siestas are cultural norms that can be transferred back to the States. My friendship with a tough-loving Spanish student isn’t.

As for my American friends, I miss being able to contribute to the group, being able to make memories we can laugh about once “we’re” back. Maybe it is simply the case of missing my friends and feeling totally offended that they haven’t stopped their lives for me, but that would just minimize the severity of my “fomo”. It no longer simply is the fear of missing out, it has become a fear of never being able to have this opportunity again. The opportunity to be young, wild, free (so cliche, I know) with the same 10 girls.

I’m not saying I had a strong connection or relationship with all of them, still I really do care about them and knowing that when they all come back to their real lives, the times spent together will simply be stories that brings us back only for a brief moment.

And because they are still in Valencia while I’m back at school interning and working (or trying to work), I feel like I have been deprived of a proper goodbye to a semester filled with amazing experience. There is no one to blame for my OWN decision to leave Valencia early, I got the internship I so strongly desired and I moved into my off-campus place at school… I mean what more could I want?

I’m trying to take this process of returning, without my friends, on my own terms and while it is taking longer than I expected I know that sooner or later I will be back to normal. Heck, this FEAR might be just that… Fear isn’t a definite conclusion that things will actually turn out how I’m afraid they would. I know my experiences with the girls haven’t ended in Valencia, I guess I just need my friends to come back soon to reassure me! 🙂

Drawn by the talented Patty Gea

Drawn by the talented Patty Gea 

London Calling

A couple of weeks ago, I made my last trip in Europe before heading home. My trip to London was possibly the best choice we (Sam and I) made. I fell in love. Everything about the city made me think I could live there some day.

I’m a city girl, or so I like to think I am… But having lived in the NYC area and Boston has made me a go-getter for public transportation. AND also the fact that I don’t own a car. Anyway, the tube system in London was very impressive and super easy to maneuver, so obviously that earned London some points.
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Art, Art, Modern Art. We made a quick visit to the Tate Modern, because it is FREE and I live for that shit. I also discovered Tracey Emin, who in my opinion is sort of the riot grrrl of modern art in London. Very Raunchy. Another thing I dig.

Architecture Architecture and some really cool buildings… AKA everywhere in London called for an Instagramable picture. Flawless.

We also had time to visit King’s College, so maybe living in London isn’t completely unrealistic. Plus, I could really see myself eating fish’n chips on the regular, dating a hot man with a British accent, and getting use to frizzy hair from the unreliable weather.

Ps. Our hostel London Backpackers was a great place to stay, free breakfast and only 20 minutes away from downtown on the tube for the price of 11 pounds a night. Not so bad. And if you’re trying to save money I’d recommend buying pre-made food at a supermarket (they’re everywhere)… I ate a bean salad and wedge potatoes for 4 pounds. IMG_4378

This is Tracey’s piece… “Hate and Power Can be a Terrible Thing” 2004

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Abbey Road… Ps. It is NOT the Abbey Road stop on the tube. This silly misunderstanding cost us 7 pounds.

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Famous Fish and Chips from the famous Sea Shell Restaurant

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Films I’m Loving (Spanish Edition)

I truly underestimated the results of traveling and sunbathing would have on my body the following days after arriving from Ibiza. My body felt completely unable to do any work, which wasn’t so great considering this week is my last week to get any real work done before my Semana Santa (Holy Week) break where I’ll be traveling to three Italian cities. 🙂 (Side note: I have never traveled to Italy and I am soooo excited!) I tried to take advantage of my time in bed rest to watch Spanish films, because as no surprise I had simply been watching my American TV shows and movies. What’s living in a country for five months and not caring to enjoy in their cinema?

So I asked my lovely Mallorca native roommate, Yeye, for her suggestions and she said I would enjoy La Cara Oculta (The Hidden Face), 3 Metros Sobre el Cielo (Three Steps Above Heaven), and its sequel Tengo Ganas de Ti (I Want You). I watch all three and as Yeye had predicted, I loved them. 

The beginning of 3MSEC seemed like a typical Hollywood-fairytale love story to me, I was happy to find that indeed it was nothing like an American film. The sequel TGDT was just as great, probably my favorite of the two, I feel in love with the new characters and the soundtrack! Clara Lago, the lead female in the film, sang two songs in the film. Now, I’m not sure if they are her own songs, either way she has a beautiful delicate voice. In love. Zahara, a Spanish singer, also has a couple songs in the film. Considering that I haven’t stopped listening to these Spanish songs, I am required to share them with you:

Zahara: Tu Me Llevas, Con Las Ganas

Clara Lago: Aunque Tu No Lo Sepas, La Cama

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Does spending your day in bed watching movies from your host country count as integrating to the culture? I think so, plus I’m 100% convinced that there is nothing better than watching a film in its original language. I’ll be watching some more Spanish flicks during my time here, so send any other suggestions my way! 🙂

 

Real look inside… Room tour Spanish-style

It is necessary to do a room tour blog post, in my opinion of course. I am what better way to describe my living situation than to take pictures of it? Well you should feel lucky because I’ve taken a total of EIGHT so you can really get a sense of my living conditions.

Here we have the view of my “module” aka suite from the main door. My bedroom is the first on the left, and the bathroom is the first on the right. YAY for the bathroom being two feet away from my bedroom 🙂image

The GIRLS ROOM aka bathroom where we all shower and get ready. Only problem, the door doesn’t lock (not for the entire bathroom, OR the toilet room in the back right) and the shower doors are nearly see-through. image

The “You Just Walked into My Bedroom” view. Hola at my side, the right one that is, for being semi-organized… Yeye (my roomie) must’ve had a bad morning, who knows.  image

More of my side, here you a lack of family, friend, and real people pictures, instead you have two Picasso and one Velázquez posters, a postcard of Sevilla and a handmade tapestry from Cordoba. Why do I have ZERO pictures of my family and friends? No lo se, definitely a mistake. IF you are planning to study abroad, bring pictures of your LOVED ONES it will help you through the rough days.  image

Semi-aerial view of my room, here you see the two closets on the left and our desk space on the right, pretty spacious. image

What I see when I look out the window.  image

My desk, where I spend a whole lot of time doing work. Therefore needing the “be positive” reminder, a calendar so I realize how fast months go by, my books, notebooks, hair brush AND my mac… Basically my life essentials.image

Here you can see my desk from a distance, you see that map? Yeah it’s a map of Valencia, because I’m trying to master my direction skills of this city. I do not dare leave my room to go somewhere without looking at the best way to get there, by foot, bike, metro or bus (I use all four methods very frequently). image

THAT CONCLUDES MY ROOM TOUR. Here is a picture of  me and Yeye, aka my roommate…

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NOW NOW NOW, we woke up like this, flawless as ever. 😉