I’m 28! Birthday Thoughts

Hello! Today is the first time I’m writing to you as a 28 year old. Birthdays are weird as you get older, because as you get older they become less exciting and more like, “Oh, it’s my birthday.” This morning I completely forgot it even was my birthday until I opened Facebook on my phone after I pressed the “snooze” button. My adult responsibilities got in the way of me anticipating my birthday – I worked close to 50 hours last week, finished thesis changes, had house guests and doctor appointments. What a whirlwind! Needless to say, I had an amazing day today filled with delicious food (Hubby took me to Cheesecake Factory. Mmmm. We shared a piece of peanut butter cheesecake and half of it is sitting in our fridge softly singing “Alysssaaaaa. Alyssssssaaaaaa. Birthday calories don’t count.”), wonderful people and all of the warm, fuzzy feelings I get seeing so many of you wishing me a happy day. You’re all quite lovely!

In thinking about what I want 28 to be like, I want to claim my health. I’m fortunate that my blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are fantastic, but this year I want to shed my excess weight and reveal the slimmer, slender Lyssa. I’m not going to put a number on how much I want to lose, because that sets me up for disappointment if I don’t make it, but I need to get closer. I’m in the process of doing some fact-finding that I’ll share more about later, but it might be a little clue as to why I’ve struggled so much the past few months. (For the last time… No, I’m not pregnant. Ha!)

Here are some health related things I want to do this year:

  • Run a 5k with April. We’ve been discussing doing a Double Chin Diary Sister Run, and I’m trying to figure out which 5k will be our first to hit up. Any suggestions?
  • Keep drinking water. Did y’all know I’ve been OFF DIET COKE for over a month now??!?!?! Unbelievable. The only thing I miss is the convenience of grabbing a cold coke when I want something different than water. I feel like my skin has cleared up a lot! I’ve been guzzling unsweetened iced tea like crazy!
  • Focus on strength training in addition to cardio. Too often when I’m trying to lose weight (aka my whole life) I just focus on sweaty, messy cardio. However, this spring’s bootcamp session reminded me that great results come from mixing it up. Plus, nothing makes you feel more badass than pushing a sled filled with weights across a park.
  • Work on changing the negative self talk to a voice of compassion. This means calling out my friends and family when they diss themselves. Life is too short to hate yourself… so I want to make sure I live every day grateful for this body I have, as imperfect as it may be. It is perfect because it is mine, and it works, which is a gift some people don’t have.

That’s all I got for now. Here’s some exciting news: The Double Chin Diary has been listed in Diet To Go’s top 100 inspiring weight loss blogs!!! There are days when I’m too tired, too lazy, or too meh to write, but for the most part, I love coming back here and checking in. Writing has always been my sanctuary, and to know that there are real live people out there reading my rambling warms my heart. When I reach my goal, know that you have played a part in it. THANK YOU.

I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

Embracing 30.

Salutations, Double Chin readers!  The last time I wrote to you all, which seems so long ago, I was 29 years old.  Now, blossoming into the Spring like the Golden Poppies that have been covering our Californian hills, I am excited and proud to say I have reached my 30th year of life here on earth.

A collection of flowers from friends and family

A collection of flowers from friends and family

My long stretch of birthday celebrations began with the extraordinary party my sister Alyssa threw for me.  Since it was going to be by the Conservatory of Flowers and I’m a big fan of fresh flowers, I requested that it have a floral theme and Alyssa did such a great job on making that happen. I had an abundance of my friends and family show up who were all eager to help me celebrate my blossoming into my 30’s and I was so grateful for the food and flowers they brought!   Alyssa asked the guests to each bring a single flower so I could make a bouquet and it turned out GORGEOUS!  Thank you to all my flower contributors who read this blog!

Since the party was on April 6th, I still had another six days before my actual birthday and they were certainly filled with all sorts of birthday love and excitement.  I spent my Wednesday night being surprised with decorations, cupcakes, one of my favorite meals, and gifts from the awesome family I babysit for and love as my second family.  After work, I picked up my hot date Melody for a night of roller skating and Applebee’s debauchery as she gave me a treasure chest full of sweet things, including probably 100 gourmet chocolate coins.

Between Alyssa’s candy buffet at my party and Melody’s box full of chocolate, I definitely have been using my “calories don’t count during birthdays” rule way too much.  Typically I like to use this rule for friend’s birthdays so I don’t feel guilty about saying yes to cake… however when it comes to celebrating your own personal birthday, I believe around a week worth of being lenient is alright.  While I wasn’t as awful as I could have been, I did get dirty with the affair I have with Coca-Cola.

Roller blading queen!

Roller blading queen!

I did successfully go a whole month without giving in to that “brown crack” (as Alyssa calls it!) and was really hoping it would taste horrible once I picked up the Coke again… but apparently the corn syrup Gods know just how to make it so no matter what the time span, it will taste delicious swirling it’s goodness around on your tongue.

My body however has not agreed with that week long of birthday gluttony and has proved that by bringing back my heartburn, two days of stomach cramps, and gifted me a random moment where I awoke from my slumber at 5am for a trip to hug my toilet from consuming too much chocolate cake, chocolate coins, Pepsi, and a pulled pork sandwich.  I find it amazing how with all the days over my birthday week that I was consuming beer, I didn’t once feel as sick as I felt after eating all that sugar.

Finally learning my lesson, I hid the rest of the coins away in an inefficient place in hopes that my own laziness will defeat the strong desire I have for chocolate.  We’ll see.

The birthday celebrations continued as I spent my last night of my 20’s at my local favorite beach watching the sunset and drinking Ace Hard Cider.  The next morning I woke up and headed up to Ft. Bragg, a gorgeous coastal town about three hours north of my town.  After taking an abundance of pictures at Glass Beach and watching yet another sunset, I had my birthday dinner at one of my favorite breweries, North Coast Brewing Company.  My long time friend Aaron, who was with me on this trip, treated me to a plate of prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, and perfectly cooked asparagus.  The brewery also presented me with a piece of cheesecake that was ALMOST as good as my Nauni’s (grandmother) and they happened to bring me a second one because they “accidentally prepared two”.   So that was a nice breakfast to have the next morning after I uncharacteristically woke up at 7am and headed out to the beach to do more photos and some yoga on my own.

The big 30 at Glass Beach in Ft. Bragg, California

The big 30 at Glass Beach in Ft. Bragg, California

After a visit to the Anderson Brewing Company and Bear Republic, I finally made it back to my bed for a quick disco nap before heading out for an awesome night in San Francisco.  My new friend Silviu scored us tickets to see this group called C2C, made up of four French DJ’s who move their hands quicker than a toddler in a store full of breakables.  I’m quickly becoming very obsessed with this group of turntablists and if you’re a fan of people skilled on turntables, I highly recommend checking  these guys out.  The show was as exhilarating as I expected it to be and was a fabulous way to spend my birthday weekend.
**This group would be GREAT music to work out to, especially the song that is linked above “four French DJ’s…”
C2C tearing up the turntables at The Independent in San Francisco, California

C2C tearing up the turntables at The Independent in San Francisco, California

Now that my birthday week is over, normal life has resumed once more along with my healthy eating and exercise habits.  I’m still rocking the tennis, yoga, and Pilates and got a great work-out when I roller bladed with Melody at the skating rink.  Of all the great things I have done for self improvement as I get older, gaining better health from physical fitness and eating “clean” foods has been the accomplishment I am most proud of.
I can’t control when I’ll fall in love,  the stability of a career, or where it is my life will take me but one thing I can definitely have the biggest effect on is my health.  The past thirty years of my  life has proven to have it’s own idea of how to spend my time here on earth and I’ve spent so much time trying to mold myself into this box of perfection by planning out every detail of my life.
However, now that I’m old enough, I can see that the biggest lesson I have learned over the past thirty years is best said by my most loved song writer, John Lennon.”Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
And unlike my outlook of my twenties, I am totally OK with that.
With love from the voice of the Double Chin Diary writer in her 30’s,

AprilSignatur

April’s flower filled birthday celebration!

This weekend, Matt and I traveled up the boring I-5 to visit foggy San Francisco and celebrate April’s 30th birthday! April is somewhat of a hippie. Even though she missed the 70s by about ten years, she’s always been a flower child at heart. Her birthday party was held in Dahlia Dell at Golden Gate Park, a lush green park on the lawn of the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Here’s some pictures of the special day! Most of these were taken by my mom of the talented Lynnette Joy Photography.

She wore a daisy chain in her hair.

April wore a daisy chain in her hair.

 

My brother's girlfriend Alison made this amazing cake. It was delicious!

My brother’s girlfriend Alison made this amazing cake. It was delicious! We had some of April’s favorite candy, bottlecaps, pixi sticks and smarties for guests to snack on.

sistahs

The Double Chin Duo is together at last! Funny how we look so much alike yet have some major differences, right? Do you think we look alike? Some people think we look like twins!

It was great to see my best friend Katelyn and my Dad. (PS: See that little hip curve I've got?! Always a sure sign I'm slowly shrinking. Woohoo!)

It was great to see my best friend Katelyn and my Dad. (PS: See that little hip curve I’ve got?! Always a sure sign I’m slowly shrinking. Woohoo!)

 

I'm not sure if you've ever seen the Double Chin Brother! This is our sweet little brother, who is almost 25 but will always be 12 years old to us.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the Double Chin Brother! This is our sweet little brother, who is almost 25 but will always be 12 years old to us.

I enjoyed some yummy treats during the party like pork ribs, macaroni salad and a cupcake, but I tried not to drink my calories. This picture was actually taken in anticipation of another post I'll write this week about my upcoming break up with diet soda :(

I enjoyed some yummy treats during the party like pork ribs, macaroni salad and a cupcake, but I tried not to drink my calories. This picture was actually taken in anticipation of another post I’ll write this week about my upcoming break up with diet soda 🙁

We had all kinds of entertainment, from making floral crowns to a ukele player!

We had all kinds of entertainment, from making floral crowns to a ukele player!

These magnificent poppies were just a few of the many gorgeous flowers surrounding us.

These magnificent poppies were just a few of the many gorgeous flowers surrounding us.

Happy Birthday, April!

Happy Birthday, April!

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