That New York Magic

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On a chilly Friday night in the heart of Brooklyn the laughter and dancing was drawing to a close.  The evening wound down and last call rang out from behind the bar.  Everyone sensed the end was near, then slowly out of the speakers came an old familiar melody.

Start spreadin’ the news,

I’m leaving today

I want to be a part of it

New York, New York

Friends and neighbors gathered around, arm in arm and like a scene straight out of a Broadway show they kicked in unison while singing along.

I want to wake up, in a city

That doesn’t sleep

And find I’m king of the hill

Top of the heap

 

I’ll make a brand new start

of it

In old New York

If I can make it there, Ill

make it anywhere

Its up to you, New York,

New York

If there was ever a thing called New York magic, this was it.  It would make even the grumpiest of people believe that New York had something special. I’ll have to admit, this was my third time to the big apple and I never found the magical city I’d seen and read about for so many years.  To be honest, I always deemed myself much more of a London person if forced to choose.

My first trip to New York was at 14 with my family and the first thought that came to mind stepping out of Penn Station onto the city streets was, “Man this place smells bad!”
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Two days ago I once again stepped out of Penn Station onto 7th Avenue and thought,

“Man this place smells bad!  In fifteen years you couldn’t make it smell any better? Graffiti, garbage, rats… I see you’re still here too.”

As I headed toward Herald Square to catch the M train to Brooklyn, suitcase in hand, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people.  Black friday had hit NYC in a big way.  As I crossed onto 34th Street I looked up and saw the remnants of the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade lingering in shop windows and atop buidings surrounding the square.  This is it, I thought.  This is the magic.
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Every year since I was little I would watch the Macy’s parade in the living room with my Mom and sister while my Dad prepped Thanksgiving dinner. Every Christmas season we would watch movies like Miracle on 34th Street along with many other old Hollywood classics and get lost New York of another time.  Nowhere else in the world could bring back all those memories and feelings of joy except New York.

The magic really isn’t New York the city, the magic for me is in the feelings and memories that New York represents.  At it’s core New York is just a city with regular people.  Regular people who wake up, go to work and live everyday lives.  The magic happens when you’re walking down the street and stop to say “Wow, that means something.”  Not every city can do that.

We visit for the New York magic. The moment of magic is why we put up with the smell and the fact that breakfast in a shanty shack is $50 and they put cauliflower in omelettes, a place where cauliflower does not belong.  We ignore the fact that next to the fancy restaurant is a bag of poop and an abandoned cardboard house.  We put up with all of that because at the end of the day when you find that small piece of New York magic, you are awfully glad you came.

~E

If you’re curious about New York life or interested in travelling there, check out these books:

Happy Thanksgiving

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Inbetween the turkey and cranberry sauce don’t forget to be thankful for all the blessings you have.  It’s easy to focus on things or situations that frustrate or anger you but if you start counting your blessings every day the world looks a little brighter.

Happy Thanksgiving!

~E

Stop Eating!!

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“STOP EATING…you are full.  You don’t need it!”  This phrase has been on repeat in my mind for the past five minutes as I shove barbecue potato chips and chocolate chip cookies in my face.  My intentions were good.  I came into lunch with a plan.  First, I filled my plate with salad and removed the bread from the sandwich leaving just protein and cheese.  I felt so proud and accomplished but that didn’t last long.

For almost 5 years I worked in the weight loss industry and have been on a healthy eating journey (as I like to call it) for about 9 years.  Eating healthy for me is not something that comes easily or naturally so I consider myself on a journey to progress and get better at it.  The first thing I had to do was educate myself about food and then I had to change my habits and figure out a balance.

One of the strategies we used to talk about at Jenny Craig was to identify and ask yourself the question, “Why am I eating?”  What this does is start an internal dialogue about why and when you choose to eat.  This is a very good strategy for mindless eaters or people who snack when they’re bored.  For social eaters I always recommended going in with a plan like I did.  I knew what was going to be offered for lunch and I was able to determine ahead of time what I would eat.

Normally that strategy works well for me but lately I’ve been disastrous.  For the first time I can’t blame the change in season or halloween candy, my problem is emotional.  Emotional eating is the toughest to overcome.  While I have never had a big issue with emotional eating, my stress eating has reared its ugly head worse than ever.  Recently I have been under serious stress and subsequently I am pounding the food.

Its like a prolonged force of nature I have never experienced before.  My stress got to a point where my drive to maintain my exercise and healthy eating completely stopped.  I was going along great and then it was done.  My control over food took up too much energy and with my tennis shoes in hand I drove right past the gym and to my couch for a Real Housewives marathon.

After I finished my bag of chips I thought to myself, “Erin, it’s ok but you’re done now.  You are not hungry, you are full, you don’t need any more.”  Nice thought but immediately after down went the cookies.  All the while I was saying to myself, ” WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!?!!! It’s not even that good!!”

imageYesterday was a breaking point for me and that is why I decided to write about it.  I’m tired of having these conversations alone in my head and figured if I wrote this down it could be the catalyst for change.  I need something to shake me out of this food funk and back into my normal routine.  As motivating as everyone can be the one thing about food is that it is very personal.  If you want to lose weight or if you want to eat healthy you have to have the right mindset or nothing will change.  It’s not about friends, trainers, inspirational quotes or significant others.  It’s about you and what going on upstairs.

These are hard times but I can be resilient and get back on the horse.  There is no alternatives to my goals.  No matter how many times I fall off I just have to pick myself up and get back on.

It’s an exhausting, tiring, irritating truth that this will always be something I and many other people deal with.  But the sooner we accept that and move on the better we will be.  Maybe you’re goal is to lose weight.  Maybe your goal is to eat healthy.  Maybe your goal is to love where you are right now.  We all have goals to get to and its time we keep fighting.

To Resilience,

~E

Pumpkin Bumpkin

Something shocking has happened.  I’ve lost my taste for everything pumpkin.  I don’t know how, why or when this happened but my pumpkin addiction is no more.

It’s interesting how we associate different foods and different smells with the time of year.  This time of year I stand in the candle section of Target trying to see which one brings me the most seasonal joy.  For some reason I always lean towards pine or evergreen. 

Fall and winter are closely linked to food and joyous merriment.  When I realized it was halfway through November without a pumpkin treat I thought to myself “maybe I don’t like fall anymore since I don’t want pumpkin.”  There were days when I would eat a pumpkin scone from Starbucks multiple times a week.  Typically it was accompanied by a salted caramel mocha or a fall inspired beverage.  Also, it generally came with 5-10lbs.

So far this year I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to Starbucks and each time I ordered a plain tall latte and nothing else.  Plain.  Tall.  Latte.  Either an alien has taken over my body or my tastes have changed.  That might be even scarier, yikes!

I’ve heard that this happens.  All of the sudden you’re going along in life shoving every cake, cookie or caramel available to you in your face and the next minute you’re drinking plain lattes with no sugar.  It’s mind boggling! 

My solution will be to stand in the candle aisle at Target and smell a pumpkin candle to give myself some fall cheer. 

My only hope is that I haven’t lost my taste for cookies or peppermint.  Christmas could be completely ruined.  (For the record, that was a joke in case anyone reading is upset about a certain red cup.  I love Christmas;-)

The End

~E

Honky Tonk Badonkadonk

Lately there has been a trend on TV and social media towards body acceptance, no matter the size, shape and look.  Fantastic!  I like this way better than the alternative.

Unfortunately this doesn’t change the fact that shopping for pants is insanely difficult.  Whether your issue is bottom, top, middle or all of the above, clothes shopping can not only be a challenge but it can also shoot your confidence level down in about .5 seconds.

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Personally I am a pear shape.  My Kardashian like issues come from my father and he apologizes frequently.  While I have grown to love my body, finding something that fits correctly is a HUGE CHALLENGE.  I range between 4 sizes depending on the cut of the pants and it’s a constant guessing game that gets old fast.  Three stores, countless styles, sizes and lengths but I came out with nothing.

I remember watching an episode of “What Not To Wear” and they said don’t blame your body, blame the clothes.  So keep this in mind while in the dressing room.  Sometimes it really is just the clothes!

Out of all the apps in all the land I wish there was an app to help you find clothes that were the perfect cut and the perfect style/fit.  Clothes that magically appeared when you entered only one store and that you could purchase without trying on.  Dear someone in the tech world, please develop this and pay me royalties.

Someday I hope these troubles will melt away but in the meantime I think we should continue to love our super fly bodies and join the no body shame movement.  We have fabulous ones, after all!!

Thanks.  The End.

~E