Tag Archives: gym

Dispatches from the Land of the Sober People, pt. 1 (maybe)

Dear wine friends,

Any of you who know me in real life (so like, all of you right?) know that I can A.) drink you under the table and B.) probably will fall asleep under that table with a calzone shortly thereafter, so I understand if the title for this post makes little sense.

BUT. Now that I successfully changed careers (what up!) I am moving onto the long laundry list of things I’d like to at least attempt to achieve before I hit my oh-so-quickly-approaching 30s. The first time I typed that, I accidentally typed ’20s.’ Le sigh.

Anyway, that list involves stuff like “have a savings account that doesn’t charge you money every month for being a savings account with no money in it” and “develop a morning routine that doesn’t consist solely of rolling out of bed, grabbing the first semi-non-smelly thing off the floor and buying a diet coke on the way to work” but as both of those sound pretty difficult, I’ve decided to tackle the seemingly easiest thing on my list which involves partaking in a lesser-known New York City ritual known as The Dry Month.

The first time I heard about The Dry Month was my first winter in the city, and I think my head damn near exploded when I was like, “hey [coworker], we’re going to happy hour because Tuesday” and he was like, “oh, no, I’m cool. I’m doing a dry February.” At first I was like, “oh is that a new workout craze how many calories does it burn?” and then it hit me. He was not drinking for an entire month, likely as a means to reset his body back to a level of health somewhere between hanging-on-by-a-thread and feeling-ok-but-I-have-these-weird-rashes after the massive amount of damage that can be done when you combine the holidays with the fact that no one here has to worry about driving.

And then I was like “ohhhh February makes sense because it’s two less days.”

Since then, I’ve heard of Dry Month participants on occasion, but it’s usually more like someone making a sweeping declaration that he/she is going to do so and then immediately failing because New York.

When it comes down to it, I’d liken the idea of not drinking for a month to that of a juice cleanse, signing up for unlimited hot yoga, or getting one of those body wraps that makes you look like a mummy for ten minutes but then somehow compresses your body so that you “lose three inches”. We all say we’re going to do it one day. We all resolve to do it at the beginning of most weeks and fail before we’ve even told anyone we’re going to do it, and we’re all terrified of those who actually accomplish it because that means that we could probably do it too but it sounds really fucking annoying. Or, in the case of the body resizing mummification, it simply sounds terrifying.

I’ve been holding the dry month over my own head for the three years I’ve lived here, but it was hitting a weight that I dare not speak of post-this-holiday-season that made me realize I am being a fat, drunk, lazyass who needs to prove she can do something more than drink a bottle of skinny girl margaritas for dinner and still remember why bodega has the best candy selection on Seamless(kinda a point of pride but I digress).

As I’m writing this, I have officially begun day 7 of my dry month (which I have named Sovember because it technically started mid-January and ends on Valentine’s Day) but really it’s just midnight of day 6 so no biggie. The only remarkable thing about tonight is that it’s the first Friday night since– I don’t remember the last Friday I haven’t gone out to some capacity. I am about to go to bed (so I can sleep and edit this post tomorrow), and while I fully intend to report back as Sovember progresses, I figured I’d leave you with some of my initial impressions of what it’s like not drinking in the Functionally-Alcoholic Apple(maybe we should start calling it the Big Cider?).

  • Easiest diet ever. Holy shit you guys. Did you know how many calories are in alcohol? I totally did because I track my calories unless chicken wings, Saturdays, mimosas or candy are involved (ie. I track my calories on Mondays, sometimes) but SERIOUSLY. I feel like I can eat anything and everything and still be under the calorie limit my fitness app gives me every day without seeing skinny bitches on the train and wanting to start screaming “IT’S BECAUSE OF YOU THAT I FEEL THIS WAY.”
  • I have a lot of free time. I’ve developed a theory that the nail art movement was invented and is wholly maintained by sober people, because that’s really the only non drinking/eating activity that I can come up with for when I want to shut off my brain while I’m watching TV. My nails have never looked so good, y’all.
  • I think I’m less sleepy, but I still have all those nightmares. I’m hella anxious, but as I’ve learned to manage the constant fear of impending doom in my waking life, most of it has flowed over into my subconscious, leaving me with vivid, ever-changing and chronic nightmares. I’ve heard from science (or Distractify, can’t remember which) that alcohol interrupts your sleep and as my sleep is constantly interrupted by basically every type of nightmare mentioned in any dream journal thing, I had started to almost hope it was alcohol-related so that I don’t have to plan for eventual deal-with-my-anxiety therapy or whatever. On the bright side, I wake up refreshed! On the not so bright side, it’s usually the dreams about creepy murderers or my teeth falling out while I’m flying through space and I’m naked and I totally forgot to drop that one class and now it’s finals time and I’m gonna fail that is waking me up in a quick jolt of panic so I can subsequently feel refreshed.
  • I hate the gym slightly less. But still a lot. I still hate the gym so, so much. I guess what else am I gonna do with all this free time, though? Hell, I might even try cardio hip hop one of these days.

All in all, I was pretty sure by now I would be curled up in the fetal position holding an empty bottle of rosé while whispering the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You” through by tears, but given that I was able to eat a bag of jelly beans tonight without exceeding my calorie limit, I’m no worse for the wear.

More to come probablyIguessunlessIgetbored.

Peace, love and take a shot for me, 

BWCE

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Notes from the week

The past week was full of important landmarks for me. Here’s a list of them, as well as some not-so-important but noteworthy items:

1.) Weekend wins: Some of my favorite friends came to visit New York last weekend, and we didn’t waste a second of our time on things like sobriety or culture. It was one of the best weekends I’ve had since moving here. As a result of all the drinking, I made two bodega stops over the course of the weekend and BOTH TIMES I WON. The less exciting win was the discount I received on an arm full of candy I purchased – “All of this is five dollars, but for you, I charge three.” #fatwin. The super exciting win happened around 4 AM on Friday night, when I was waiting for my spicy special, philly cheesesteak and mozzarella sticks to finish cooking. A drunk, old fat man walked into the bodega to buy beer. He looked me up and down and walked to get his six pack. He must have been struck by my beauty; I was wearing a skimpy peach minidress and clinging to an assortment of cookies and candy… Sexy, right? Anyway, he walked up to the counter and says, “This beer and everything she’s having.” The clerk looked at him like you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into buddy, and goes, “Nonono. She has many other things.” The drunk man waved his hand up as if money was immaterial, purchased my $30 worth of drunk binge food and disappeared into the the night. Now I understand the allure of a sugar daddy…

2.) Summer’s arrival: Sure, it rained all week, but last weekend I got a fucking sun tan. I can honestly tell you the last time my skin was anything but disgustingly pale was two years ago. I’ve started carrying printer paper to the Duane Reade so I can make sure I’m properly matching my skin tone to my makeup.

Of course, along with the heat comes the need for an AC, so on Tuesday night I carried my window unit down our long hallways and propped it up in my window. I love my AC so much that I named him last year.

This is Coolio-

Welcome back Coolio, I’ll sing the theme song to Kenan & Kel to you all summer

3.) I STARTED MY NEW JOB!!!!: I’m super excited about this one. After a week of not fielding angry phone calls and emails from everyone and (sometimes literally) their mom, I remember that I like working. On top of that, working for a more established company comes with big perks like A KEURIG, AN IT DEPARTMENT, A REGULAR SIZED REFRIGERATOR, FAST ELEVATORS. I even have an ID badge to get into my building. Bad. Ass.

4.) Failing at the Financial District: I’m working in an entirely different area of town and it’s really cool to be somewhere new, especially a place that’s so iconically New York. On my walk to the subway every night I stare up at the new World Trade Center, and I walk past all these beautiful historical churches and cemeteries every day. That being said, it’s a confusing area. It’s not a grid, there are tourists everywhere and I keep fucking up with the subway.

Example 1 – There are like 14 entrances to the Fulton Street station, and I found a new one that’s super close to my gym yesterday. I was feeling so cool and I was so enthralled with playing Angry Birds on the platform/train that I wasn’t paying attention to anything going on around me. About 20 minutes later I looked up and realized I was not, in fact, almost to 23rd street, but instead I was deep in Brooklyn.

Example 2 – Earlier in the week, I’d found another entrance to Fulton Street that was more convenient than my first station and I hadn’t yet remembered Angry Birds, so I was very focused on my surroundings. As soon as I swiped into the station I realized that I’d swiped into a platform with a train only going in one direction. I wasn’t sure of the direction, and rather than asking someone I decided to walk out of the station and check for myself. It turned out it was the correct direction, but when I went to reswipe my monthly MetroCard I got the stupid Just Used message that turnstiles give you to avoid people sharing MetroCards. I’m poorer than anything right now, so rather than purchasing a one ride ticket for $3, I walked the four blocks to another station.

The turnstiles are smarter than I anticipated. I got the Just Used message from that one too. After a few very frustrating minutes of waiting, I saw a Youth jump over one of the turnstiles. I looked around, waited for all the people in suits to swipe in, and then attempted to jump over the turnstile. It turns out I do not have the tricep strength, and I ended up having to crawl underneath the turnstile. I got through this way, but not without awkwardly getting stuck underneath it for what was probably five seconds but felt like a minute.

Lesson learned (I think). I will be more conscious of my surroundings and I will not try to swipe in twice.

5.) Flailing at the gym: Now that I’m in a new area, I’m also going to a different gym than I was going to before. On Tuesday night I tried a class called Abs & Ass. There’s a couple men who like to teach classes in a ‘military style’ at Crunch, but like any other aerobic instructor they are still definitely gay. Imagine listening to a techno remix of Michael Jackson’s Black or White while some super-effeminate yet totally jacked guy yells, “Left, Left, Left Right Left!” at you. That’s really all that happens.

Eric, the Abs & Ass teacher was one of these. I’m fairly new to fitness – I started working out on a regular basis about two years ago with an amazing trainer I had in Atlanta named Ali. Our training sessions involved him making me do really simple things like squats and then laughing at me. He once said to me, “When I started training you, you were so weak that I didn’t understand how you could walk.” I miss Ali. While I’ve gotten a lot better – I can run several miles, I don’t throw up every time I work out and I understand that the elliptical was something invented so fat people can feel better – I’m still clumsy as fuck.

Eric had us doing these plank exercises that involved us laying on our side and then lifting our hips. It should have been simple enough, everyone else seemed to have no problem with it. I, on the other hand, could not manage to keep myself laying on my hip. I’m not talking about the actual movement he wanted us to do (a side plank), I just couldn’t lay on my side. As Eric walked around the classroom and yelled that we were not trying hard enough, I was continually trying to roll myself to my side, falling over onto my stomach and flailing my arms in attempts to regain my balance. Pathetic, Tiffany… Pathetic.

6.) My first Katz Deli experience: Katz Deli is super famous because it was the setting for Meg Ryan’s faked orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally. On Thursday night, I got to try a pastrami on rye sandwich from the deli for my first time. HolyFuckingShit. I don’t even like pastrami OR rye, but oh my god this sandwich was amazing. Sidenote: It does cost $18…

I stole this photo from a google search

7.) Last, but definitely not least, my street interview: About 30 minutes before my Katz experience, I was standing outside of a concert in the LES, smoking a cigarette I’d bummed from some guy who seemed like he was giving me the cigarette just so I’d leave him alone. Another guy comes and stands next to me and introduces himself. He was a Bangladeshi masseuse who was very drunk. He offered me a free massage (which I declined) and somehow, despite my tremendous arsenal of standing outside a bar talking to a stranger questions, the conversation veered very quickly into him telling me that he masturbated a lot. It took him saying this three times, because it was hard to understand his accent, so I can assure you that it wasn’t one of those drunken word-vomit situations. He definitely meant to tell me about his extensive ‘personal’ time.

He then proceeded to interview-style ask me a number of questions about my sexual history, preferences, etc., including but not limited to asking if my gay roommate sleeps with girls too, if I like to sleep with girls and how my one-night stands have gone down. I answered far too many of these questions (mainly because I still had cigarette to finish, but also) because I figured at a certain point there would be no more questions, but the Bangladeshi guy was full of them. I eventually had to run back into the concert and hope that he wasn’t secretly a Candid Camera person asking me all about my sex life as a joke.

 

All in all, it was a typical New York in the summer kind of week. I’m so excited for so many more of them this year.

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