Category Archives: parties

New Year, New Me

(toothpastefordinner.com)

So I know we usually hear those words around January 1st, but this is a different kind of ‘new year’ for me. 

I’m turning 25. 

Yeah, I know. 

I can no longer claim to be in my early 20s, and I’ve officially hit my mid-20s.  I can’t blame my age as much when I do ridiculous things, and I’m expected to be a little more responsible.  On Sunday I will have officially been on Earth for a quarter of a century.

But I’m actually kind of excited about it.  I know there aren’t many new perks to turning 25 (I can now rent a car. That’s something, right?) like there were when I hit 18 and 21, but I feel that up until this point I’ve sort of been teetering on the edge of adulthood, waiting for that certain something to tip me over.  And although it’s just a date, I feel that June 20th is going to shove me out of feeling like such a kid.  And that’s a very good thing. 

That’s not to say that I won’t still be a complete goofball — afterall, that’s part of who I am. But I think that, to me, 25 will leave me feeling a little more sure of myself.  A little less hesitant to take life by the horns.   A little better prepared to run with whatever life throws at me.  I’m no sage just yet, but I do feel that I’ve learned a lot –about myself and life in general — in the past year. 

I quit my nice secure office job to try my hand at a completely new career path that I knew I would be much more passionate about.  From this I learned that doing what you love can be hard, but if it makes you happy, it’s more than worth it.  I started actually dating again, and I remembered what it was to open myself up, leaving myself vulnerable to heartbreak.  I discovered I’m a lot more fragile than I ever knew, but also more resilient than I had imagined I could be.  I made a lot of decisions on my own this year, and instead of asking people if I should do something, I told them.  This meant dealing with the consequences alone as well, but I slept better knowing my choices were solely mine.    Overall, with the many changes I’ve gone through in the past year, I found out I still have enough glue to patch myself back up when I start to crack.  And that I have so much to be thankful for and happy about, no matter that I’m not exactly where I want to be in life just yet.

So what about this ‘new year, new me’ business?  Well, I’ve changed so much in the past year, that I think it’s worth trying to continue with the education and evolution of Heather.  I’ve got a lot I want to do this year, so there are things I’m going work on with me:

Be gentler with myself. 

Sometimes I berate myself and tell myself that I haven’t done enough.  But the thing is, I usually do try my hardest.  And when I don’t I need to go a little easier on myself.  If I wouldn’t speak to a good friend a certain way, then I shouldn’t speak to or treat myself that way.

Be more realistic with myself. 

This means being honest with myself at all times.  And if I haven’t done enough and I know it, then I need to admit that too.  I know this sounds like the opposite of the previous statement, but I can apply the friend philosophy to this one as well.  If my friend is being ridiculous and making excuses for herself, it’s my job to tactfully snap her out of it.  So it’s all about finding balance.  Being nice, but also not letting myself get away with silly things.

Aim higher.

This actually goes with both of the above statements.  I need to remind myself that I am capable of a whole lot.  So I need to give myself pep talks here and there, being kinder to myself and building up my own confidence.  I also need to be realistic when I think I can’t do something.  When I’m being honest, I realize I’ve been through things a lot more difficult than things I’m doubting myself on.  The scary talks, the job risks, the potential of falling on my face.  I’ve already done them all and survived.  I can do whatever I put my mind to because I’ve probably done it before.

Love myself for who I am right now.

Not for what I was in college or who I want to be by next year.  But for every quirk, flaw, strength, and bit of potential I have this very second.  I have to love me. For me.  Right. Now. 

Have any of you reached milestone ages recently? Are you approaching one?  How did it or does it make you feel? Anyone else turning the big 2-5 soon?!

Happy Birthday to me!

Surviving Summer Holidays (and Wedding Season!)

Ah summer, a time of relaxation and fun in the sun.  Right?  Sure, but a lot of that fun involves food and booze, and when you’re trying to get in or stay in shape, that can be more than a little stressful. On top of that, May through September is a time notorious for being (the sometimes dreaded) wedding season.  This means lots of champagne toasts, wedding cake, and sugary wedding favors – along with potential difficulty zipping up that bridesmaid’s dress.  So what do you do when faced with all of these challenges?  Avoid parties and BBQs altogether?  Vow not to touch the spread at any family picnics?  With a few tweaks to how you approach events, you can have your burger and eat it too.

Tip 1: Decide on what you reeeeeallly love

Is potato salad your all-time fave, or are you more of a strawberry shortcake kind of girl?  Does the five-tier wedding cake look a-maz-ing, or are you drooling over the entrée being served?  What do you love – and what could you do without?  Think about how you normally operate, and stick with that.  If you don’t normally love sweets, and the chocolate chip cookies or wedding cake appear cheap and store-bought, then go for the savory appetizers you do love!  After all, if it’s wedding cake you’re missing out on this time, you’ll likely have the chance to indulge in it once a month for the next five months anyway.

Tip 2: Socialize first

Do not, I repeat, do not head straight for the food.  First of all, most of us aren’t usually so starving when we arrive at these events that we must eat immediately (this is why every health article you’ve ever read says that it’s a good idea to have a healthy snack before!). At least I know I’m not.  When I do want to eat right away, it’s less because my stomach is rumbling, and more because I’ve spotted my cousin’s amazing Texas salsa.  So to avoid monopolizing the whole bowl, I need to catch up with family I haven’t seen in a while first.  At weddings, go congratulate the family before you hit up the cheese plate (ahem, or the open bar).  The truth is, many of us will go back for seconds of a few things, and maybe even thirds, so we can keep from grazing for the entire duration of the event if we don’t start immediately.  Plus, isn’t chatting with friends and family what these summer celebrations are all about?

Tip 3: Make smart swaps

This one can be a little trickier when you are only presented with what your host provides.  Eat whole wheat if it’s available, and go for the less caloric spreads when it comes to picnic sandwiches and burgers.  Mix some more fresh veggies in with that potato or pasta salad.  At weddings, chose lower-cal mixers for those drinks (again, watch that open bar!), and choose the healthier salad dressing if more than one is offered.  And hey, if your date isn’t the world’s biggest green fan (a lot of guys I know aren’t), see if he’ll swap his veggies for your potatoes.    

Tip 4: Get moving before the event

You know the drill – calories in shouldn’t exceed calories out.  So make sure you burn some extra before you indulge that day.  Plus, I can almost guarantee you won’t want to exercise after you find yourself in a food coma or after you’ve had that third vodka tonic (actually, I recommend staying away from the treadmill after this one).

Tip 5:  Pick one vice and stick to it. 

Ok, this one goes along with Tip #1 to a certain extent.  At these events, it can be almost impossible to be a perfect angel when it comes to your choices.  But the thing is, you don’t have to be.  You are likely to indulge a little (which is more than fine every once in a while!), so try to just indulge in one area.  Don’t have three burgers, four desserts, and ten beers.  Pick one of those celebratory vices and stick with it.  I’m not saying three burgers is OK (unless they’re teeny?), but I’m saying that you’ll feel a whole lot less guilty about it if that’s the only thing you splurged on.  Same with weddings.  If you want to get hammered because you’re back with all of your high school friends, then, well, I’m not going to stop you (mostly because I suppose that would be a bit hypocritical to say the least), but just don’t eat your wedding favor cookie along with everyone else’s at the table.  Your hangover will be enough without you feeling chock full of white sugar and flour.

Has summer party and wedding season begun for you yet?  How are you dealing with it?  Do you have any other tips to making surviving these (fun!) events easier?

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