Putting the ‘Y’ in Gym

In seventh grade, I had this insane urge to join the lacrosse team. My sister had done it years prior, and my friends were joining. The thing I didn’t realize was that they all had natural athletic abilities, and I did not. I run like Peggy Bundy and get nauseous after the first two minutes. I never got the ball, let alone scored a goal (or whatever they call it in lacrosse). But during the last game of the season, I had a chance to shine. It was a total inspirational sports movie ending, all in my hands. Last couple minutes, down a point against the rival school, I was at the goal… totally open. My teammate tosses/throws/lobs (?) the ball to me and I watch it breeze right by my head in slow motion. No sports glory for me. To this day, when my nephew throws me a ball I flinch as if I’m about to get a Marsha Brady nose job.

I’m terrible at sports. All sports. It’s just not my aptitude, I don’t even look good in a hat. In elementary school I managed to stretch my required ‘run’ of the mile to a stealthy twenty-six minutes, so after the mile I didn’t have to also play basketball. And when I did attempt to put some effort into it I broke my wrist during the shuttle run (you know the one with the erasers?), followed by a nice old vomiting session. So I went back to my old ways, doing everything I could to do exert the least amount of effort in gym class. There was no reason to hurt myself for nothing, I wasn’t going to become an Olympic athlete. So I worked on entertaining myself by seeing how long I could sit in the locker room before being called for, how loud I could yell ‘get the fucking ball!’ to someone before I got detention, and wishing for mono so I could have a couple of weeks off. Those things worked, most of the time. That is until a high school gym teacher forced me to run the time, with her, while she sang girl scout songs. I didn’t think gym class could get any worse.

Today, I know my place. I won’t play football in the park with you, I can’t go ride bikes with you (those things terrify me), and as much as I love it for some reason, I don’t think you want me playing tennis. I’m happy in my natural habitat, the couch, with a beer, watching General Hospital or a Hoarders marathon.

And for exercise? I walk. Just walk. Because I know how to do that pretty well… most of the time.


*This short post brought to you by the fact that it’s my birthday! So back to enjoying the day, my way.


Yan Can Cook and So Can I!

I cooked today. Be very surprised.

All my life cooking consisted of opening a box and throwing the contents in a pot or microwave, and I was happy. But last year, with the threat of my thirtieth birthday looming over my head, I knew I needed to step it up. It was time to stop living like a broke college kid, because I’m a broke adult now. I enlisted the help of my best friend, who had just become a holistic health counselor, for six months of lessons on how to find the balance in life. It worked.

Without even trying, or feeling deprived, I’ve lost thirteen pounds so far. (Ten was the first goal, my fantasy goal is fifteen). That’s a lot considering I’ve always been a skinny girl. (I didn’t even break the hundred pound mark until I was in my mid-twenties). But after years of indiscriminate drinking and late night pizza runs, I ended up with too much jiggle that begged to be dealt with. I also didn’t want to enter into a new decade with the same poor eating habits. There’s a time and a place for Pastaroni, and it’s not twice a week.

My sessions were a combination of visualizing and addressing my physical and emotional needs, as well as experimenting with new ways to treat my body the way it deserves. And after everything I put my body through the past fifteen years of my life, it was the least I could do to try. My stubborn self actually found the changes to be super easy and rewarding. I started cooking for myself on a regular basis, even baking on occasion, and learning that my cooking skills weren’t as bad as I had once believed! Cleaning up afterwards wasn’t even so torturous, and I totally hate washing dishes. 

I have found myself gravitating to one recipe over and over again. It’s a simple mix of kale and white beans. It’s just kale sautéed in olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic, with white beans added at the end. (You can really use any green. Last time I made it with bok choy and added eggplant, it was fantastic). I always make enough for a couple days, that way it allows me to feel productive and healthy while still being lazy (which I love more than anything).

So that’s what I made today and I’m super excited to eat it all. I’ll probably have some over a little pasta for dinner tonight and fold some into scrambled eggs tomorrow morning, and then repeat until it’s all gone. I’ve even used it to top cut pieces of baguette for an appetizer. 

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a simple, tasty, versatile, easy meal because it’s super awesome. (And I’m saying that because it’s been on my mind since I cooked it).

Here’s a picture. Keep in mind, I’m not a professional food photographer. This photo was taken right after I put it in a container to store in the fridge, then I had to separate myself until dinner time.

My masterpiece



I bought an exercise bike last fall. I was staying with my parents at the time because my dad found me a job and negotiated a pretty enticing deal that I had to give a try. (It didn’t work out). But I decided that some of the money I made would go to a piece of equipment that would keep my beer belly in check.

I’m not a good exerciser. I hate to run, and taped work-outs bore me after a while so I thought I would try a bike. It would be fun, right? Yes, actually. I could watch TV and be totally distracted (except that just watching TV doesn’t usually make me sweat as much).

When I went back to New York I seriously missed the terrible thing. But there was no way that huge apparatus was coming with me. I found other half-assed things to keep active, like walking… and cleaning… and not eating.

Since being back home I’ve been taking advantage of my bike, but my ass isn’t having any of it. I forgot how long it takes to get a good butt callous going. Now I can’t sit at the dinner table with my family or stand up without looking crippled.

I really love to sit. And standing up is something I find I need to do on occasion. Sometimes I wonder if the pain I put myself through is worth the flat-er stomach.