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Monday, March 21, 2011

He's Just Not That Into You

I have a love/hate relationship with cheesy chick flicks.

I hate that I love them. I hate that they are so bad, yet so good. FML.

I am currently sitting in a Panera and am the only one around (other than the employees) under the age of 65 and I find myself avoiding what I am supposed to be doing by watching He's Just Not That Into You.

And I used to think that I loved this movie. That finally there was a movie giving it to you like it really is. I mean being blunt and honest, that's kind of my thing.

But then I watched it again (and again).

Reality has finally hit. These chick flicks, that I love, ALWAYS end the same. Justin Long falls in love with the girl and he really was looking for love. Ben and Jen finally get married after a 7 year relationship. Bradley Cooper, though extremely hot, is a jerk and loses both girls in the end. Gag. 

This just does not happen. Life is not a When Harry Met Sally, The Notebook and it's definitely not Pretty Woman (that might not be the best example, but you get what I mean). We live in real life, not a movie. 

So what now I'm just supposed to turn from every guy who doesn't like me?
Uh. Yeah.
There's not gonna be anybody left.

As I watch/ed the movie I have so many AHA moments it's crazy.  Personally, I appreciated the exception theory.

What Alex tells Gigi seems so obvious, right and true---or so I thought. What he says is something that is so hard for me to get across to my friends. No matter what you think he's going through or thinking, if he's not coming after you he probably doesn't like you. Done. Final. End. MOVE ON.

SO many times girls LOVE to dwell. Not gonna lie, I do love a little drama in my life. When you have something and someone to talk about you automatically seem so much more interesting.

I mean who really wants to gossip about how great your boyfriend is? BORING! Other girls want to hear that "he's unattached" "not committing" "seems so busy and possibly seeing another girl" and whatever else they're doing that we don’t want them to be doing; all while building the anticipation to the resolution (breakup, makeup or fight).

Some times I think I have such an imagination that I could live out an entire relationship seeing only what I want to see. I could skip every flag and signal if I wanted. In fact, if I am being honest with you all, I have.

My first relationship was just that. Me making it all up. I reflect on it and read those little girly journal entries that we write when we're young and naïve (or when we're 22... same difference). I was SO dumb. He obviously wasn't that into me. He obviously had tried to break it off a few times (by no means is he innocent), but let's be honest with ourselves… WE ARE PART TO BLAME FOR THE END OF EVERY RELATIONSHIP. Relationships that should have ended so long ago, but we keep them going because we love the excitement.

Since that first heart break I now pride myself on being able to (or at least try to) find the clues and signals.

How stupid is it that a girl has to wait for a guy's call anyway, right?

Usually,  I will not call or text a guy unless he calls me first. Why?? Because if you stop imagining what you're wedding will look like and open up your eyes you can plainly see what he means. The earliest I will call a guy is 5 days and by then he's probably moved on. Thank God for texting. You can say "hey" and still save a little face. Yup, guilty.

I know that it's so much more difficult to tell what he means. Maybe because I'm a girl, but I feel like I know exactly what a girls means when she says something without even thinking about it. When a guy says something, annoyingly, I have to actually think about it.  And I am assuming this is reversed for guys. We are all a little dense---but that's by choice. We are too busy hearing what we want to hear. He didn't forget your number. He didn't get eaten by a lion. Honey, he isn't that into you.

I may dissect each little thing and put myself out there so much but at least that means that I still care. Oh! You've think you won because women are expendable to you. You may not get hurt or make an ass of yourself that way but you don't fall in love that way either. You have not won. You're alone. I may do a lot of stupid shit but I'm still a lot closer to love than you are.

As I write this I wonder how many more times I will do stupid little things and how many more times I will break my own rules before what I say actually sinks in...

I understand the general message of the movie. Ladies, guys are simple and they mean what they do (not say). If he likes you he will come after you.

He's not interested or  he's totally gonna call you

I am not so realistic (or pessimistic) to think that the world is black and white. Everyone is different. Some guys get busy, really they do. Some guys just don’t know if you are into them, really they need to be told. But my point is play it cool. No matter where you are in life, you still have you. There is no reason to be desperate and exhaust yourself over guys. I am not telling you to write off everyone based around little rules (well I guess I sort of am), but really my point is to play it cool. The sexiest thing about a girl (or so I hear) is her confidence.

So trust me when I say if a guy is treating you like he doesn't give a shit, he genuinely doesn't give a shit. No exceptions.

So though I know life isn't a movie, it won't stop me from watching unrealistic chick flicks and loving them (secretly hoping life does end up that way). I am just learning to be wiser and less obsessive.

Besides, I am something to be worked for.

 I am somebody's exception.

Current weight: 208
Workout Song: The Fray- Absolute

These Are My Confessions

There are two confessions that I have for you all this week:

1.I gained 2lbs
2.It doesn't really bother me.

When you are writing a blog about weight loss these aren't really the things you highlight. But I promised myself at the beginning of this all that I wanted to become a more open person. Generally speaking, I am very closed. Even my best friends don't know a lot about me. I want to learn how to let out those things that I am thinking. I NEED to learn.

So when I stepped on the scale and looked down between my feet and it read 209.2 I just stood there for a moment to think...

I could have had several reactions to it.

I am putting in so much work into this and this is what I get? Why do I keep going when this isn't going to get me anywhere?
But instead I just stood there.

I turned around and looked in the mirror. I studied my body and my face. Instead of choosing to see all the things I don't like, I looked at where I am going. I don't see it everyday but my body IS changing. I have worked so hard. I have so much more energy and I actually look FORWARD to working out. That is something I never thought I would feel.

I am trying some new things trying to break this plateau and apparently they aren't working. But the most important thing that I know is that this isn't easy. I will have days and weeks like this for the rest of my life.

So to you and your own journey I wish you days of success and happiness. For those not so successful days I wish you contention with how far you've come and how far you will go.

Live Light, Travel Light, Be the Light.

Current weight: 209 lbs
Workout song: Goo Goo Dolls- Broadway

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sex and the Virgin

Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”

I LOVE SEX AND THE CITY. It really is one of my favorite shows.

It's really hard for people to believe that. You are probably thinking “Really Selina?? You like that show?” It's certainly not because of the show, but because of who I am. I am AWKWARD. I giggle about it and have had very few serious conversations about sex. I am the girl who turns around when sex scenes pop up in movies (OK, I look away even if it's just an intense kissing scene). That's just the way I was raised and even to this day it just seems so natural to turn around.

I still remember this one time, sophomore year in high school, we were watching
Schindler's List in History and nudity popped up and I instantly turned around. Embarrassingly my friend Alec did notice and yes, he teased me about it.

But I have noticed that that is the thing people notice the most about me--how awkward I am when it comes to sex.

Nonetheless, I love the show (the edited TV versions of course).

Sex and the City is a show that tells the story of a columnist, Carrie Bradshaw and her thoughts on sex, dating, men, relationships and love. For the most part I find her funny and insightful. She is accompanied by her three friends, Samantha (the PR manager), Miranda (the lawyer) and Charlotte (the art dealer). All four are eclectic and different, yet they make a perfect circle of friends. The show highlights all the good and bad of dating and relationships (or the lack there of).

Now, I'll be honest I don't love the show because it talks about sex, but I don't mind it either. I love the show because through all the heartache and drama it gives me the sense of love being real and attainable.

This show wanted to make me write my own column about sex and dating. However, it was short lived when everything I knew about sex could have been summed up into one column.

There are a few things that I have learned about relationships in my limited experience.

I have yet to feel true love. I have felt admiration and certainly I have felt infatuation. I have loved, but never been in love. I have wanted to be in love—but it just wasn't the right time.

There are different kinds of relationships:

1. There is the “hanging out” relationship.

Basically you have someone to go to the movies with and if you're hungry, someone to eat dinner with. This is a friend-to-friend kind of relationship. The most common kind.

2. The “I really want to date you” relationship

These are a little more rare. A guy likes you so much-- he is insistent and consistent on wanting to hang out and do nice things for you. These sometimes lead to other kind of relationships but are not as meaningful as number 5.

3. The “text message” relationship

He's really sweet and says all the right things---but they're always said in text or instant message. Either you don't get to see a lot of each other OR it's just easier this way. These often die off quickly and abruptly. After all, if you delete an unmemorized number from your phone book you can definitely avoid calling someone at 3 a.m.

4. The good ol' “she's crazy and we're not in a relationship” relationship

This is the kind of relationship where it's all in your head. You think that you are dating but really you hung out once and in your mind you skipped all the steps in between. These are the hardest to break from.

And last but not least...

5. A real relationship

This kind can start from one of the previous stated relationships or it can just be an instant connection. This kind of relationship is substantial. This is when you have all the potential to meet the love of your life and/or have your heartbroken.

Carrie dates all the wrong guys until she finally ends up with the right one (who was the one that was always there).

Watching Carrie I did realize, it wasn't really what she was doing right or wrong, but rather, it was the guys that she was choosing to date. My friend is always telling me, “you date for the experience” and I'm great at the first date, it's the second and third date that I'm not so good at.

My life in Morocco was a time in my life where I really opened up to a lot of things. I learned to be optimistic and learned to say to myself “it's OK to be excited and happy”.

It was a country of tall, dark and handsomes—throw in a pair of glasses and a deep voice and you had me at hello. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I wouldn't love a blond with blue eyes. It just means that I (think I) am willing to try to go outside of my comfort zone, just like I did in Morocco.

I have been on some pretty awkward dates. I ended up on a date with a guy, who I didn't actually catch his name, but I think he said it was Eduardo. He didn't actually speak English and we only agreed because we thought his friend was cute and spoke English. The friend never showed up and instead it was some dude who didn't speak French and he def didn't speak English. In my 30 minute conversation with Eduardo I understood that he called me nisareen (which was what he decided my Arabic name should be), said he was a black belt in Tai Kwon Do (doubtful, very doubtful), worked out of Dubai (yeah, right. I am sure he does) and studied literature. We had coffee by the river and then Ally and I made a dash for it. He offered to take us to Prive (the “it” club and expensive). This may have been one of the most awkward dates, who am I kidding, this is the most awkward date I have EVER been on. 

If I could only explain it to you, you would understand.

If could open up to this I should be able to go on a few less awkward dates.

What I have learned from my experience and what Carrie has taught me is that I should not date someone I would not marry. It's too difficult to end something like that.

Find your own.

I'm excited to see what I think about all this three or four relationships from now!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

I knew this would eventually happen.

Everyone says that you go through this. But just because everyone says it doesn't mean I am any less frustrated by it.

The first few months were so much easier. I lost 17 lbs without even noticing a difference.

But now I am faced with something worse than the cookie monster. And that is the PLATEAU phase.

I do not seem to have lost any weight these last few weeks. I detailed everything I ate, double checking everything from carbs to saturated fat. I workout 4-6 times a week (30-40 minutes of cardio/1 hour of weight training). But yet the weight is not coming off.

I won't lie to you. My change in eating and exercise with lack of results has really shot my confidence and motivation. If this was something that had happened to me before I would have simply quit. But since I know that I have a goal quitting is just not an option.

So I did what any rational person would do. I googled it.

The most widely used quote in my search was one I learned back in high school. Benjamin Franklin said that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."


Our bodies are incredibly adaptive and as my body tries to sustain an equilibrium I was left feeling like I had done something wrong.  But the truth is I just need to do that thing that I hate: CHANGE.

I found two articles that were very helpful.


So, what am I going to do to break this?

*I will be adding acai berries and nuts as a snack.

*I will be trying the zigzag method. Tricking my body on the amount of calories I take in. So if I cut 200 calories from Monday I will add those to my calorie intake on Tuesday. I will still eat the same amount of calories for the week.

*I am going to look for an exercise class to take. Perhaps a zumba or a kickboxing class?? If I can't find one I will dedicate two of my workout days to a fun dance videos, pilates or yoga. These are normally not in my routine.

 *I am on an equal amount of carbohydrates and proteins. I will alternate weeks between low-carb/high protein and high carb/low protein.

I am hoping that these little changes will get me through the next phase. Since they are based around variation I am hoping my next plateau will be either further down the road or less likely.

I have not given up hope!! I know that I will reach my goal soon enough.

The month of April is quickly approaching and so it means that the time for fasting will start for me soon. Every year since my junior year of high school I have done the fast of Daniel.

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10:2, 3

The fast basically comes down to a 21-day vegan diet with slightly different restrictions. It sounds daunting but I have enjoyed doing it all these years. My challenge to you all, even those who are not religious, is to join me in the fast.

Our bodies are a temple and we are supposed to care for them and treat them that way. This is a great way to either jump start a diet, break a plateau, or even just to give your body a break from all the bad toxins we put into them.

Find your own solidarity. When I get hungry I journal and/or pray. I thank God for all that he has blessed me with and even though I am hungry I am blessed with the option of being able to eat.  Fast for spirituality or for those who suffer. Fast to understand. Or simply fast for health.

Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast:
All fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and quality oils.

The only thing that you drink is water.

You can also include tofu, soy products, vinegar and seasonings.

Sunday, April 3 I will begin the fast. If you have questions or concerns about it, please, feel free to contact me.

Happy Eating!!

Current weight: 208 lbs
Workout Song: Outkast, Hey Yah

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You Don't Realize How Strong a Person is Until You See Them at Their Weakest Moment...


Loosing weight is so much harder than gaining it. I feel like I can gain a pound in one day but take a week to lose it.

That's really where I realize that it is so important for me to set realistic goals. 1-3 lbs/week. NOT 5-6 lbs/week!! That is not healthy, at least not without proper supervision (and I'm too broke for that). But I also make achieving that goal an everyday goal. Especially when I think about what I am eating. My friend said "I should really learn to pray for my food, so at least I will think twice about what I am about to eat". 

If anything this process has taught me to know my limits. No starving myself and no excessive amounts of exercise. Moderation is key!! Too much of anything is not good. My funny moment of the week was when I had already ran my miles on the treadmill and did my circuit training and then I tried to do an hour on the elliptical. I let out a big "WHEW!!" right at the 20 minute mark. I literally thought to myself "Giiiirl, you crazy". It's ok to laugh at yourself. Just take a step back and reevaluate. People always say "listen to your body" and my body was def saying "get me the hell off this machine. I am tired!"

The biggest lifestyle change that I have noticed in myself is the fact that I now realize that rewards don't always have to come in the form of food.

All the money that I used to spend on fast food and uselessness I now spend on things that benefit me. Fun teas and smoothie makers. Cute workout clothes and shoes. I even spend more money on my hair and appearance. When you feel good about yourself you tend to spend more time taking care of yourself. 

Even with my family. We always loved each other with food, now we love each other in other ways. My little brother goes with me to the gym or my little sister and I check out new movies or do our nails. It was never about the food, but about the time we spend together. Stopping my addiction---that is something I am learning.

I have lived my life on faith. I have followed a path of faith. Yet one of the hardest things to do is to have faith in myself. I really am my biggest critic and no one can get in my head better than me. So now that I am here and at this phase in my life I have to face myself. I need to believe in me.

Reflection can be a good way to start. I get empowered thinking about my friends and family and all that they have conquered:

Car accidents that should have taken a life but left them stronger than before
Staying in or stepping out of a relationship that took so much
Raising a child as a single parent
Facing the death of a sibling or friend
Facing the death of a parent
Sexual assault
Verbal and physical abuse
Cancer, diseases, physical disabilities and conditions
Social status and poverty
A parent letting you down
Even eating disorders

I know there are so many more, but this week I have really stopped to think about how these individuals have faced such life-changing experiences and survived. It gives me the motivation to face my own past and a reassurance of knowing "I will survive".

I have to learn to be happy with myself as I am now. I read the little tab on my Yogi tea and it said "Whatever you are, you are. Our challenge is learning to be proud of it."  And it's so true. I am me. I love me. I am just learning to cherish me enough to take care of me.

There are so many lessons that I have yet to learn. But even just this one year out of school I can see how much I've grown as a person. My parents get smarter every day---now that I can appreciate the advice that they give.

I asked people to tell me all the things that they want to change about themselves. The list was vast: my body, my confidence, I hate that I procrastinate, I hate the way I look, my ears, my nose, my relationship (or lack there of), my boobs and so on…

There are some things that we want so badly and we either don't know how to get them or we don't see how we can ever get them.

Really the beauty in life is being able to experience yourself. There is such a thing as over focusing. I realize I have spent far too much time focusing on negative things and what I don’t like instead of the great things and what I do well. Do not waste your life over focusing.

Just breathe. Live. Don't dwell.

I know. It's easier said than done.

But as you learn to have faith in your own wisdom and knowledge those three little tasks will get easier.

Trust me.

If you are still following the road to running 2 miles:

MW RUN 7 minutes WALK 3 minutes x3
TTh WALK A BRISK 30 minutes
F RUN 3 minutes WALK 2 minutes x6
Sat WALK A BRISK 30 minutes
Current weight: 208 lbs
Workout Song: Girls Aloud, SEXY! NO NO NO

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.

Hello, my name is Selina and I am a foodaholic.

I guess I never realized how addicted to food I was before. But now that I am in the process of changing my lifestyle I find myself in urges of "I NEED THAT" and nobody needs an ice cream cone or a chipotle steak bowl. I am teaching myself to control those urges.

I will tell you one thing for sure, FOOD IS NOT THE ENEMY. Food is a friend--- an essential. We need sodium, carbohydrates, protein, and even FATS. In order to function and survive we must have them. SO, simply cutting this or that will not work. You must learn what to put in your body, especially if you are working out.

My final semester of undergrad I survived off the Taco Bell menu. Cheesy Bean and Rice burrito, at a buck eight-five, what else could a girl want?

Well let's look at what that $1.85 did to me:

Serving Size 1 burrito (227g)
Calories from Fat 180
Calories 470
Total Fat 20g
Saturated Fat 6g  
Trans Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 1400mg
Total Carbohydrate 58g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 5g
Protein 13g

LOOK AT THAT SODIUM INTAKE!!! The body requires only 500 milligrams of sodium each day. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, but most of us take in more than 4,000 milligrams every day. Add a few more burritos in there and I was on the perfect path to high blood pressure and heart disease (all of which run in my family)!

This burrito is filling for a while…and then three hours later I was hungry again. But I had wasted nearly 1/3 of my daily intake on ONE burrito.

I have to look at what I eat. I can exercise 8 hours a day (I don't exercise 8 hours a day :), but if you are not eating the proper things you will not lose weight! And don't forget about the skinny-fat people. You may not look it, but on the inside you are killing your body.

It's taken me 22 years, but I get it. I get the devastation that I was causing my body by ignorance. Ignorance, in this case, is not bliss.

Let's look at some goals.

In order for me to loose weight I have the following:

Calories: 1,440 - 1,790
Carbohydrates: 190 - 275
Fats: 38 - 66
Protein: 60 - 148

Water is essential. Food. FINE. Make your excuses. But what excuses do you have for not drinking 8 glasses a day? Just do it. You need proper hydration. You will notice in your workout that you can go longer and harder.

Eat all the salad you want. But make it fun. Throw in some turkey or chicken. Raisins and strawberries add that little sweetness to it. Salad does not have to be boring. I can make a huge salad and not even crack the 300 calorie mark AND I feel full.

Find the right carbs. Complex Carbohydrates are your friend. They are harder to digest and so your body is working to take them in. I start every day with a packet of oatmeal. Eat some oatmeal 30 minutes to 1 hour before you workout. It will give you a good amount of energy.

TAKE YOUR VITAMINS. I have cut back on a lot of meat and such. So to pick up the slack I have a multi-vitamin pack and a protein shake everyday. Protein is so good for you. It helps build and repair the muscles that you workout AND makes you feel fuller. So if you are getting the full amount of protein you are less likely to want to binge later.

*To make your shake thicker and a little flavor buy instant jell-o pudding boxes. Preferably the sugar free, but any flavor you want. 1-2 tablespoons and you get yourself a delicious treat. My favorite is a strawberry crème! I then add mango and orange juice (instead of milk) and it is SO GOOD! Have this 30 minutes to 1 hour after you workout!

Plan your meals. It WILL  help.

Be honest with yourself. If you feel the need to hide what you eat from other people, than you probably shouldn't be eating it. If you feel guilty about eating it,  than you probably shouldn't be eating it.

This, my friends, is not a diet. It's a lifestyle. You will feel so much better. You will notice that you are becoming more positive and that your life has structure. These are all things we already know. We just need to accept them.

Remember that you can help other people by helping yourself. Inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness.

Current weight: 209lbs
Workout Song: The Academy Is "About a Girl"