Sex Sells Resolutions

Coincidence, I think not.

What am I referring to? Vh1’s 100 sexiest artists list starting at 6 a.m. of course! Spoiler alert, it’s the queen herself, Beyoncé. My girl crush. My boy Justin also makes the list at a cool number three. So, why do I think it’s no coincidence that this list is playing first thing in the morning?! Oh Vh1, I see right through you- creating sad and unattainable goals for all of us non famous people. I’m sitting in my gym clothes eating breakfast while watching Rihanna fearlessly shake around her inch thin torso and rock solid legs. It’s these lists that make us create insane resolutions hoping that when we go to sleep on January 1st and wake up on the 2nd we will have obtained Shakira’s abs. Whether or not we admit it, it’s societal pressures that shape so many of our resolutions.

This is why I’ve always been hesitant towards resolutions. In fact, I made one in my life and it was last year- remember to floss everyday. I’ll be honest, I definitely didn’t. The sad part is the reason I never created them- I hate failure and I convinced myself that I would be unsuccessful in the resolutions I would make. This year I made a new resolution to myself, it wasn’t for the new year, but it occurred throughout it, and the best part, I actually held myself accountable. So this year after a lot of thought, I decided to make an actual resolution.

Many of us have the gym goal resolution, I do too and I’m sticking to it. I want to continue to create a healthier me and I know that is through continuing this path that I’ve been on. For so many years I started out in January with the gym pack that takes up every machine only to quickly dissipate as the month progresses. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it because by January 30th we haven’t achieved exactly what our intended goal was for the YEAR? Well, I am here to tell you that I have been steadily attending yoga classes since may and running since august. I did not see immediate results and at times it was frustrating, but you have to stick it out. You have to identify your objectives and recognize that there is only one factor in change- it’s you. No one else.

So, here I am to create obtainable and realistic goals for the new year. I will continue to regularly run and train for the half marathon in May. I intend on completing a minimum of two more races throughout the year. I also want to become knowledgeable about the food choices I make and how they impact my health. With that, I will do a better job planning out meals in advance so I’m not continuously running out and spending excess money on less healthy options. I would also like to find creative alternatives to meals. Grilled chicken = snooze fest. That doesn’t mean I’m no longer enjoying my nights out- I also promise to spend important quality time with those close to me. So, here I continue on my journey- a real resolution may take you longer than one year to come into fruition. There is no quick fix. I do not have Britney’s body circa 2002 and that’s perfectly fine. I have a better piece of mind, I feel more balanced, and I’m finally understanding what I need in order to create the life I want to live.

Here’s to a happy and most importantly healthy (which creates happiness!) New Year!

See you in 2014 – much love,

Talia

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Baby’s First Half

When you were born your parents may have made a little book with your name on it- this is most often true for the oldest child and generally fades out the more children there are per family. Sorry Sean. This book was probably adorable and adorably decorated in pastel images of zoo animals, or Winnie the Pooh, or some other cutesy baby stuff. With every thing you did your parents would jot down in excitement – Ashley’s first word – gaga. We have a diva on our hands. That’s how I feel about this blog. Pastel colors and all. This is my book of milestones.

In this blog I have documented countless hours of my life. I have posted pictures of my dirty gym clothes, glorious sunsets, my friends, and my family. In my first blog post I confessed to crying on a boardwalk by myself after finishing my first run, overcome with emotion- this is my life now. I documented in fear my first 5k and I questioned if I would be able to do it and I was truly concerned that maybe I could not. I wrote about my first 4 mile run. My first 5 mile run. Now I’m going to tell you I did it again yesterday- my second time in a row doing five miles. And maybe I will look back on this post and I will laugh at these milestones, but we definitely don’t laugh at a baby’s first time lifting their head, or sitting up, or crawling, and standing up, to walking, to running, to holy crap we need to lock everything up in this house. We all start somewhere. I started as a fatigued, sick, swollen, depressed 25 year old trying to figure out what my next step was- Do I continue living like this or do I make the necessary changes to live a healthy life?

My path to rediscovery began in May. Today I officially registered for my first half marathon.

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What I didn’t realize when I first agreed to this race was that it was one year from the point that I turned my life around. Words cannot express how meaningful this race is to me. And just like my first 5k, I have that apprehensive and terrified feeling, but now I feel empowered with the knowledge that I have set my mind towards many obstacles this year and I accomplished goals that I didn’t know I even had for myself.

In May of 2013 I struggled to walk, in May of 2014 I will run a half marathon.

Haterade

She’s so annoying, no one cares that you went to the gym.

That may or may not be a direct quote from me circa 2012. I used to drink the haterade- my favorite flavor was Too-Cool for the gym blue. I made that flavor up guys, it’s not real. But I was a hater, that is highly truthful.

I’ll give you a classic example. John and I just became friends and we decided to make our relationship more official so we added each other on Facebook. One day a post appeared on my newsfeed:

John (the guy you will date in the future): going to the gym

I see this and I take a sip from the tall glass sitting next to me – of haterade.

I should reply to John

Talia: No one cares.

Yes, I did that! Today I can say that I am mortified that I thought that was acceptable. In all reality it was a very pathetic attempt at flirtation via Facebook. Which is mortifying enough. But who do I think I am that I can take my time to criticize his choice to better himself? To add insult to injury, I actually think I even wrote I’m eating ice cream and sitting on my couch.

I don’t think I’m alone in hating on gym goers. On the list of annoying people of Facebook, courtesy of Huffington Post, the “bragger” makes the list at número 7. HuffoPo: Annoying People on Facebook

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My question is, now that I’m an annoying person on Facebook, why do we find this individual so irritating?

I began to reflect on my own disdain for this person. It has a similar annoyance to the cute couple on Facebook. Now, the interesting thing that I’ve learned is this. When I’m happy, and I’m in love, that couple is the cutest thing I have ever seen. Cute on the scale of puppies playing in snow for the first time. But if I’m single, or John and I got into a tif, eye roll. Please. Get a grip. Or a room. This is a public sphere.

It’s haterade. And we all drink it.

When I decided to change my life and hit the gym instead of the fridge every time I got slightly bored, I was proud. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I also needed to be inspired and I needed to be held accountable. I found that forum through blogging. I figured it would be a good outlet for me, but I also realized that some people would find me insanely obnoxious. Ultimately I decided that I was ok with that. Today when I see someone post of Facebook about a great workout I feel a sense of comradery. I want to high five them because it is a choice and it isn’t the easiest one to make.

I’m so over the haterade. It’s disgusting. For now I’m sticking to water. And coffee. And maybe some adult beverages. On that note, I’m going to the gym. Drink that.

I would love to know your thoughts on this- are there any Facebook people that drive you crazy?!

Alive at Five

After a lovely and festive week with family and friends, I woke up yesterday and appeared to be “expecting” my first little food baby. If you have never heard of a food baby please follow this like right here to this totally accurate and real definition.

I find it extraordinarily simple to get stuck in a couch rut. You’ve been there, you’re no better! You sit down, hours go by, the gym sneakers by the door are giving you looks like you’re lazy, but you don’t care because Real Housewives is hilarious. That was about to be me yesterday, but then I looked at my Nike Fuel band. That little bugger calculates your daily movement.

It knows when you’ve been lazy
It knows when you’ve been fit
It knows when you’ve been good or bad
So get your ass to the gym and move around a bit

Also, I love new toys, so it seemed essential that I get in action for the day.

So I get to the gym and I just had this feeling. Today is the day I’m running five straight miles. This was a goal I created for myself when December began, I knew I wanted to hit 5 before 2014. I know to some that seems minuscule, but for me, that’s a possible life or death scenario. Remember that 5k I did in November for my birthday- the zombie run. Well, I died in it. The zombies got me on mile 2. Had I been able to run 5 consecutive miles, maybe I would have survived. Now I’m daydreaming about running from zombies, and bears in the woods, I’m very imaginative, and my best songs are playing into my headphones and I’m doing it. I pass 3 which has become my new standard. I get to 4. Then I’m thinking to myself, a mile is nothing. And I’m there!

My first five miles in 47:29.

I’m surrounded by people in a packed gym taking selfies like a weirdo. Just a girl and her treadmill. And for now five is alright and I’m pumped to go for six. I just need to be able to walk right first- holy soreness! Happy Saturday loves!

Gifts for a Badass

People always want to know the level of Jew you are when you’re Jewish.

Real life questions I’ve received: so, does your dad have curls on his head.
Real life answer: roll my eyes.

While we weren’t the most religious part of the tribe, my family was never Hanukkah Bush Jews, meaning, we didn’t decorate for Christmas or exchange gifts, and there was never a Santa in my household. Or a Hanukkah Harry if you were curious. In actuality, we loved being stereotypical Jews on christmas- hang out, get Chinese food, and see a movie.

Now, as a Jewish girl in a predominantly Irish / Italian catholic town, you would think I would stick out like poor old Rudolph, but unlike Rudolph I never needed to cover up my true identity. What I’m saying is, I was invited to play the reindeer games! Lucky me! I spent quite a few christmas eve’s with my best friends family enjoying the most delicious foods you have ever tasted and spending quality time with wonderful people. I think they were prepping me for my pseudo Christian life in the future. Everyone knew it was bound to happen that I would wind up with a nice Christian boy. Even in the Jewish pre school I went to, the only boy I wanted to play with was Hunter, the only little Christian boy in class. Thank you for just trying to prepare me for my future of christmas dinners, a Christmas tree (even though I am totally calling it a Hanukkah bush), and misleading my unborn children about that guy in the red suit- don’t get preachy on me about that statement, folks. Its my blog. I will offend Santa if I want to. Now I spend the holiday with John’s clan but those memories are always so special to me.

On Christmas Eve we go out to dinner at a place we go to every year. This meant that unlike Christmas morning where no makeup and pajamas suffice, I had to get ready.

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My big decision for Christmas Eve. What color, what color? When your most challenging decision of the day is lipstick, it’s going to be a damn good day!

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Lipstick decided. Fur is fake.

We met up with family and friends and had a table going with thirteen people. We laughed, ate, fought over politics, and possibly offended nearby patrons of the restaurant- it was a great time.

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John and I headed home to exchange gifts with each other. As a girl who loves bling I have to admit that I requested no jewelry- true statement. And he held to it and bought me gifts that any person that has a blog about running and staying active would want. A nike fuel band! A package for kick boxing! An SD card for my new camera! He’s the best! Athletic gear is a girls best friend! And boxing gloves – with a special note attached if you saw my previous post. For John, I got him new running sneakers and snowboarding gloves. An active couple? Us? Not one year ago.

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I immediately sat down at the computer and set up my new toy- the fuel band. The fuel band measures and tracks your daily activity as you set up goals. So I got some kind of jewelry. I will do a full review on it next week I want to see how it works this week. We tucked in early and got ready for Christmas Day.

I love christmas morning because it means no fuss. I showered, threw my hair up in a wet bun, put on my casual clothes that could simultaneously look cute and fit an expanding waistline, and headed over to John’s family’s home for French toast and eggnog with an extra special treat in it. After filling our bellies we sat around to unwrap gifts prior to heading over to our next location for Christmas dinner.

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Of course he gets the crock pot. No one trusts me with cooking devices. He also got truffle oil! Cooking time!

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I know this season can be a huge challenge despite the message it brings with it. As much as we adore our family, the pressures of running around, cooking, cleaning, and purchasing can take a toll on us. And as much as we adore our family, they can drive us crazy and they usually do. More crazy than we knew was possible. But I love family. And that’s why I’ve always loved Christmas. And clearly it’s not a religious holiday for me, and I understand that for many it is, but I love the message. I love love, and I love family, and I love togetherness. Isn’t that what this season is all about? That and food. Love, food, happiness, togetherness, and family. It doesn’t matter what religion you were born into, you can appreciate those things.

Happy holidays everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas- I know I did.

So This is Christmas

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

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Why it’s Better that I was a Jewish Child

The title is implying a lot of things, so I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you what I mean before you ruffle your feathers. I mean, I’m annoying. I say that as I begin this post from bed at 7 in the morning when there is absolutely no reason to be awake.

John has a little saying he thinks is adorable, that makes me want to punch him when Talia’s up everyone is up! It’s been a sickness since I was a child. Do I mean for it to happen, no, but I’m restless and laying around or sleeping in seems like I just lost a huge portion of my day. So, I get up. And I start doing things. Or bothering people.

You may be thinking to yourself, and so what does this have to do with you being Jewish?

Some of you may have been that child, some of you may have that child. I’ll give you a familiar scenario, you are sleeping, I am not. I tip toe out of my bedroom because I’m bored, duh. Now, I open your door because there is no such thing as privacy once I’m born, and I creep over to the end of your bed so I can awkwardly stare at you. You don’t notice me. I must get closer so I move to a key spot and now, I’m closer to your face and blatantly staring at you while you sleep just waiting for you to notice me and get up.

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Oh, hey, don’t worry about me, whenever you’re ready to get up just let me know.

I’m sure if I was an adorable puggle, such as the photo I borrowed from google depicts, that would have worked better, but it worked fairly well most of the time, perseverance pays off, mom! And the next thing I knew I had a playmate and someone to hang out with in the wee hours of a weekend morning!

Now imagine that exact scenario on Christmas. I can only fantasize about the terror of a child I would have been had I been born Christian and it was christmas morning. I may not be here today.

Mom, mom, mom, mom… Santa brought… Mom. I heard him. Wake up. Mom.

So mazel tov to me for staying alive all of these years. Now, as I sit around waiting for friends to get up I have a better grasp on what’s appropriate and what’s not. Text message your friends. If they don’t answer, they’re sleeping. Bother your boyfriend, he will love you no matter what.

But seriously, I want to open presents. Get up everyone!

And don’t let me forget, as I’m all wrapped up (pun intended) in my own nostalgia…

Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for letting me share in the culture of Christmas! And making it socially acceptable to wake up earlier than usual.

Getting in the Spirit

We all get it, you’ve been sick. Well, I’m better loves!

Yesterday I put in a challenging 5k at the gym and then busted out some ab work, and I felt right where I was supposed to be. But holy difference after not working out for a little while. This makes total sense as to why every time I quit the gym thing I’m straight back to apathy and hating the gym. Not this time.

This morning I woke up in the Christmas spirit, for a Jew, and I went to a yoga class with a truly phenomenal instructor. I knew it would be necessary with the running around and the stress leading up to a day that is seemingly non-stressful. We can all laugh at that statement, right? The class was packed, mat to mat, and I’ve never been in a tighter space in a yoga class before, but as we spoke about the season and coming together it became yoga family time.

Wonderful! Breathing capabilities restored.

So, from one Jew to all of you, merry Christmas. Find your place of peace. Do whatever you have to do to get there, because yes, this time of the year is amazeballs, but it is really stressful!

Much love,

Talia

Piece of Peace

When I first moved to Long Island I had one goal in mind: Find a cheap apartment.

Yes, that sounds very stingy, but there are a few things you need to fully understand before we get into this further:

  1. My home is the place I go to sleep at night and not too much more. Truthfully, this has changed as I’ve become more of a homebody, but when I first moved here that was the purpose of this nest.
  2. I was coming from upstate New York where my cost of living was literally 1/3 of the price. Wowza.
  3. At 22 I was used to dorm living, shady college housing, and horrific conditions- including, but not limited to: a homeless man living secretly in the basement and having a mouse crawl over me in my sleep.

Moving from five hours north was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. My biggest concerns centered on not knowing anyone in the surrounding area and… just that, I knew no one. And truth be told, it’s hard to make friends in your twenties.  My new boss smelled out my fears and suggested, why don’t you move into this wonderful little beach town not too far away. So I did just that, with my cheapskate intentions to guide me.

Well, it turns out nothing is cheap in Long Island. Especially when you want to live by the beach, so I settled with the lowest cost I could find- $1280 for a itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot apartment. Le sigh. Now, the owners of this place created a litany of rules including: we wont take care of anything, but god forbid you make the place look better (ie: paint, install new wood floors) we will charge you and make you replace everything the way it was. True story. So, I kept it the way it was. I didn’t replace the smelly carpets, the ugly 1970s tiling, or paint the vacant looking walls. I always had in the back of my mind: this is temporary, and it wasn’t too bad considering I could walk to the beach, bike ride around town, all while enjoying a great social scene (with all of my non-friends). Also, this place was solely for sleep because we all know I wasn’t cooking. I also couldn’t afford cable or internet at the time, so it wasn’t the most exciting place to hang out in by myself.

So, now that I’m older, wiser, splitting rent with my boyfriend, and making more than I was four years ago, I must have a bangin’ apartment, or my very first home, right? Wrong. I’ve lived in the same apartment for over three years. And I have put zero effort into my surrounding environment because: This is temporary. 

Unfortunately, temporary has turned into almost four full years and the white walls, now cracking due to the lovely salty air, are just heinous to stare at. After staying inside on Friday and Saturday I couldn’t take it any longer. I re-did the most important room in my place: my bedroom.

As I sit here typing from the newly arranged setup, staring out into my lovely Woodlawn Blue walls, I feel a piece of peace. My room is tranquil, and calming, and now I regret only one thing, that I stopped looking into my future and saying, it’s temporary. And if it was, big whoop. I would have to repaint the walls boring white. Last night, when all was said and done I acknowledged that this is my home and it’s more than a place to lay my head at night. Also, I bought new sheets with a very high thread count and let’s just say they are super comfortable. Take that more expensive apartments!