Crusin’ in Cali: roadtrip roundup

Hi Everyone!

We’re back from our California road trip and feeling awesome! Here’s a little recap of our amazing trip!

We started off in Hermosa Beach, which is in LA county. It was absolutely GORGEOUS there and I wouldn’t mind staying there for the rest of my life. We went to the beach, walked to nearby beaches and neighborhoods, ate phenomenal healthy food, and went to a stunning wedding!

After 3 nights, we went to get our rental car (just a casual BMW 428i Convertible…no biggie), and headed up through Malibu to Santa Barbara. It was a pretty ride along the coast and Santa Barbara is a cute town. We were only there for a night, so we didn’t do a ton of sight seeing, but certainly a nice place to stay!

Bright and early the next morning we hit the road on the Pacific Coast Highway and drove all the way up to Monterey. It  took about 9 hours total with several stops including the Elephant Seals in San Simeon, dolphins in Big Sur, lunch at Nepanthe, and a few stops along the PCH just to take in the scenery. I seriously recommend everyone take this ride once in their lifetime. It was so beautiful. I even drove on the really scary parts because I figured I’d be less likely to barf if I were behind the wheel (I was right!)

We stayed overnight in Monterey with a trip to the aquarium (which is fabulous) and dinner in Carmel (not Caramel, which was disappointing to this preggo).

Finally, we headed up to San Francisco for the day to hang with my cousin Eve, and my brother, Ben, who then took us up to Napa for our final 3 nights. This was a much less eventful trip than my last visit to Napa (you may remember the 6.1 earthquake last time), but still beautiful and less wine-soaked as I hit 21 weeks pregnant.

Overall, it was so nice to get away and refresh for summer. I am finally starting to feel confident with this new body, and even walked around Hermosa in just a sports bra and shorts, which I’ve never done before in my life! It was nice to eat healthy with a few  a lot of delicious treats (like the Chocolate Bomb I didn’t share at Morimoto, the loaf of bread and butter at Bouchon Bakery, and the endless number of macarons I ate at the wedding). We did a fair amount of walking, but we also did a fair amount of driving. My brother and I went to a yoga class in Napa. which was super nice, and we refueled with pizza. So really, I think this pregnancy is teaching me true balance. I am feeling really great at this point and enjoying where I am.

So now we’re back home, I have zero plans until September and I feel fantastic about sitting on the couch with Gloria, watching terrible TV, dragging my tush to the beach, and doing whatever I damn well please!

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

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Cancun: An ED Free Vacation

Hello! I have so much to tell you, where do I start?!

Well for starters, Chris and I were in Cancun last week and it was AH-mazing. For those of you that do not follow me on Instagram (you should, by the way), here are some brag-stagrams for your viewing pleasure:

Yes, I am aware that these photos are just the same selfie/beachshot/sunset over and over again, but we literally did nothing besides lay on the beach, drink mojitos, and eat. This vacation was freaking awesome and the number 1 reason it was so good was because ED was NOT invited. Last year over February vacation, Chris and I went to Jamaica. That trip was a real turning point in my recovery as it was the first time I truly felt that I was able to be on vacation without ED. It is so interesting to look at your life in a series of vacations and snapshots and realize how far you’ve come. After re-reading that blog post, I realize that my recovery has continued to evolve to the point where now I don’t even think about ED when planning a trip. Or while ordering sugary drinks. Or eating what looks good. Or while digging through the 50 (that’s correct, 5-0) pounds of clothing I brought to Mexico, only to wear 3 different bikinis and 2 dresses for dinner. THIS is recovery.

This photo is what truly opened my eyes to what a year of recovery looks like:

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The left side is last year in Jamaica. I was SO nervous about having Chris take it. I made him take like 30 or 40 versions with various levels of tummy sucking in and flexing, and hemmed and hawed over posting it. I nit picked every inch of my body after posting my blog and felt really weird about the whole thing. The right side is this year in Cancun. This year, I thought it would be funny to post the same picture. Chris took a couple versions because the sun was behind a cloud. This is not flexed or sucked in. This is a spray tan and a sun burn. That’s a real smile. So while I really felt recovered in Jamaica, I still had some serious body image things going on. Am I completely comfortable in my body 100% of the time? No. But what this photo comparison really shows is that a year of loosening up my diet and exercise plan and being nicer to myself yielded a billion times more confidence, and some visible abs! Hey, I’ll take that over sucking and flexing every day.

Sunday night we got stranded in Florida (which was actually a lot worse than it sounds), and the only open restaurant in a 20 mile radius was a 24 hr diner. Chris and I ate omelets, french toast, onion rings, tater tots, etc etc etc. No, I didn’t feel tip top the next day, but I was also way too exhausted to work out or care about making sure my diet was perfect. It’s all about balance, people.

Anyway–This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. To celebrate, I’m reveling in bikini pics and happy vacation memories. Also, if you’re in the area, I’m speaking at the MEDA hosted panel of recovered speakers. Come by and hear from some really amazing people about their journeys.

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xoR

Bye Bye Summer: the ups and downs

Hi! Happy Labor Day! It’s my last official day of summer vacation (#sadface), so I thought I’d give you a little wrap up and perspective as we ease into fall.

As as you might remember, summer was a little rocky for me. See here and here for more info about how summer impacted my recovery this year. It wasn’t all fun and games this season. I certainly had my share of ED dips, but coincidentally, I also feel the most recovered ever. I’ve learned so much about myself this year and have made a very clear and conscious decision to leave ED in the past. Sure, I had tough moments, but I also had a kickass time living my life! I did tons of traveling, eating, and drinking, plus I fit fitness into my life without compromise.

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No, I did not achieve everything on my bucket list, but it did push me outside of my routine! I ran a super muddy/foamy 5k. I went to new fitness classes like boot camp and spin, went to Miami with a bunch of hot chicks, Newport with the hubs, and lived through and earthquake in Napa. Plus I landed an awesome new job and we bought our dream house! So yeah, this summer rocked.

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All in all, a fab summer! We rounded out the summer by going to a UMass football game (our alma mater!), eating many brownies at a BBQ, and going to the beach for one last hurrah. Have a fab holiday!

Napa Valley: Wine, Food, and Earthquakes

Hi everyone! I’m back from Cali and I have TONS to share. Guess I’ll start at the beginning!

I arrived in SFO/Napa on Wednesday morning to see my brother. We drank tons of wine, ate delicious food and saw beautiful sites. Here are some pics from Mumm (bubbles!), Sinskey (snacks!) and Scribe (Hipsters!):

that beagle is my new friend Lady. She is basically my spirit animals. She only paid attention to me when I fed her cheese.

On Saturday, Ben brought me up to Somerston, where he works. Holy gorgeous! It was insanely scenic and fabulous. We had the whole place to ourselves, so we drove around in a fire engine red ATV, drank wine, ate pears and strawberries and took in the views!

For whatever reason, we decided to stay in on Saturday night and watch a movie with Ben’s friends. Lucky we did because come 3:20 AM, I was awoken to the world shaking all around me. I can’t really remember exactly what happened because I had been sleeping so deeply, but I hopped off the couch, screamed for Ben and ran toward his doorway. The earthquake lasted between 30-60 seconds, but it felt like an eternity. Between my screams, glass shattering, the house flexing all the plaster from the walls, and the ground literally shoving itself into my feet, the din was overwhelming. When it finally ended, I found my footing, grabbed some shoes and got outside. I’m not exactly sure how the events sequenced because I sort of remember seeing Ben’s face, but the electricity was out, and I remember running to the door, but then fell down the stairs on the way out because my legs were still shaking. I proceeded to sit on the ground for a long time with my insides churning. We were nervous to go inside without the lights on, so we decided to head into town and survey the damage. There was glass and rubble everywhere. Bleary-eyed neighbors checked in on one another and wandered around, not sure what to do next.

When the sun finally came up, we headed home to see the damage. Every wall had cracked and hurled everything toward the middle of the rooms. It was interesting to see what broke and what stood. Wine bottles shattered on the floor, but stemmed glasses stood as it nothing had happened. The walls buckled, exposing beams underneath, but the TV didn’t even tip. So odd.

There was nothing left to do but drink some champagne, eat some cookie butter and feel lucky to be safe and unharmed.

I headed back to Boston on Sunday evening with tons of stories and a new found sense of WTF??? What I really realized is that worrying about bullshit like pizza and wine instead of enjoying every second while we’re here is plain stupid. I really, honestly!, feel like this has to be the end of all my anxieties. Sure, I could wander around being afraid of earthquakes, but what purpose does that serve me? Drink some bubbles, eat some cookie butter and chill. Cheers!

xoR

Bucket List Check-in

Good morning! It’s been pretty hectic around here, so apologize for the recent radio silence. I thought today I would check in on my Summer Bucket List and see how I’m doing!

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1. COMPLETED: this summer I’ve taken boot camp, spin, and last megaformer Pilates class!

2. COMPLETED: I’ve made lots of new recipes, including this yummy salmon Monday night!IMG_4903-2.JPG

It’s grilled salmon (that I grilled myself!) in an Asian inspired marinade on a salad of baby arugula, dried cranberries, slivered almonds and goat cheese. I tossed it all in EVOO and balsamic vinegar. YUM! So easy.

3.Not quite yet: on Monday I ran 2.25 miles, walked for about .25 mile, the. Ran 1.75 miles home. I totaled 4 miles, but not all at once. I think I’ll get there soon!

4. COMPLETED with more weeks to come! Granted last week I got rained out, and Miami was technically a pool at the beach….I think I’ve held up my end of the beach bargain.

5. Not even close. I’ve read half of one book that I enjoy, but cannot seem to finish. Oh well.

6. Ehh…I saw a Chicago tribute band with my parents and made them leave after 10 minutes…I don’t think that counts.

7. COMPLETED: I’ve been traveling a lot, so I’ve been forced outside my restaurant comfort zone many times. I challenged myself not to look at menus ahead of time and go with the flow. Success!

8. Partially completed. We “hiked” up in Maine last weekend, but it was more of a bumpy walk…I’m gonna push for a real hike soon.

9. I’ve pinned lots of DIY stuff…does that count?. No? Fine.

10. MUCH IMPROVED! I feel like this summer has been a challenge and a success. My ability to stay present is variable, but much more consistent than before. I continue to strive for full recovery and mindfulness.

I have a few weeks left, so this isn’t the end for me yet!

xoR

 

You Can’t Sit With Us: a weekend in Miami recap

Hello! It’s Monday. I’m tired. And hungover. And have no voice. Must have had the best time EVER in Miami!

Woo! What a weekend! It was filled with champagne, bikinis, sunshine, club nights and tiny dresses. Pretty much a recipe for success! I have to say, I was pretty nervous and self conscious going in, but I honestly had such a blast and I know the bride did too!

It was interesting being in a large group of beautiful girls and really listening to what they each had to say. Body consciousness came up sort of a lot this weekend in both a direct and indirect way (which I guess isn’t surprising since we were all either wearing bathing suits or skin tight dresses). Several of the girls that I found myself comparing to were making negative comments about their own bodies. Normally that’s not a huge deal, and actually expected in a way. Our society has instructed us to be this way and that it’s ok. Well, it’s not, and we need to find something positive about ourselves every day and stop comparing. It’s certainly not easy, but let’s give it a try! I’m ready!

Here are some pics from the best weekend everrrr!

I saw a really interesting TED talk the day before I left for Miami covering the topic of body image and it had some pretty staggering stats. It’s really worth the 16 minutes.

You can learn more about Jes Baker here

I’m feeling empowered today (can you tell??) and really ready to leave this negative body image behind. When I look at the above photos of myself I need to make a decision. I can either overanalyze and feel bad about my body, or remember the kick ass time we had celebrating together! I think I’ll go with the latter.

Have a fab day and make sure to say something nice about yourself before days end (it can be harder than you think!).

xoR

Newport, New Mindset: mini vacay thoughts

Hello!

Sorry I’ve been MIA! Chris and I were on a mini-vacay last week in Newport, RI! Holy gorgeous! It was the perfect little getaway to relax, get some sunshine, see friends, and refocus on what’s important.

Before last week, I was definitely struggling with old ED thoughts. As hard as I pushed back, I could feel myself sliding into old ways. It’s actually the worst feeling in the world. Newport came at just the right time to get me out of my head, and onto the beach!

I took time to notice how my emotions play into body image. I was feeling really bloated and sorry for myself when we first got to Newport…then I received some really good news about some jobs, and suddenly I was feeling confident in my body and appearance! WTF?! I’m pretty sure I didn’t gain and lose some monstrous amount of weight in the span of 1 phone call…so it’s interesting to take inventory on body image as it responds to emotions and try to separate the two. Just because I’m having a bad day, doesn’t mean I’m fat. Confidence has to come from beyond that. I decided to keep a bit of a photo journal for the rest of the summer of me wearing summertime clothes, having a good time, nothing thinking about my size. I started with this pic:

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Is that body perfect? Nope. But it’s my body, and that’s pretty damn awesome.

Anyway, this plan might sound conceited, but it really helps me keep perspective. PS: those aren’t my boogie boards.

I know you’re dying to see more pictures, so here ya go!

And in case you’re wondering, I bought my sneakers to Newport, but they stayed in my suitcase. We did a fair amount of walking, but mostly I just didn’t care to workout. Now that we’re back, I’m trying to stay with that vacation mindset (I am still on vacation, afterall!). I’m nourishing my body and exercising in a reasonable and fun way. My body does a lot for me, I need to be nice to it!

That’s it for me. Have a fab week!

xoR