Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a Pirate’s Life for Me

I imagine that the majority out there will very quickly tire of hearing this, but I really do have the best job in the world.

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I mean, in what other possible world could I get paid to do things like hang out with awesome people, eat free food, and drink beer… all while dressed like a pirate wench?

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Of course, Elite Events are but one facet of this job, which has me doing all kinds of stuff — from marketing to business owner education to public speaking to writing — but since events are the easiest to show (and show off, hehe), I figured I’d share a few pictograms from my event last night at Heavy Seas Alehouse in Arlington!

The kinds of events that I plan range very far and wide (I’ve done everything from 20-person wine dinners to a 800-person mini-festival!) but ones like yesterdays are by far my favorite. You know, ones that are not too big and not too small, which gives everyone a real chance to mingle and get to chat with one another, and are all about promoting a great local business. And, of course, it always helps to have a fun theme to boot!

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Anyway, you probably get the picture so I won’t drone on for too much longer about how much I love my job. But, I mean, you can’t really blame me for wanting to talk about it, right? Also, I didn’t want to make this post take a floppity jillion scrolls to get through due to having too many pics, but check out the slider at the top of this post to see additional photos of the event, taken by my fabulous brother and sis-in-law (and you can see ALL the photos from the event here.)

If you’re interested in getting in on awesome events just like this where you live, just head on over to Yelp.com/Elite and see how you can get on the squad! After all, pirate-themes are just the beginning. I mean, I haven’t even gotten around to planning my Harry Potter or Hunger Games Elite Events yet…

The Missing Ingredient

So, as evidenced by the increasing infrequency of my posting, I guess you can probably imagine that work has gotten muy loco once again, and this poor, neglected blog is suffering the consequences. Well, there is good news and bad news that comes out of this fact, the bad news being that, of course, my posting has gone out the window… as have my *ahem* weigh-ins. (Oops.)

BUT. The good news is that the thing that I’m working on is a flippin’ huge, rocktastic, amaaaaahzing party that Y-O-U are invited to attend!

Yelp Gets Lucky

Yelp Gets Lucky is taking place on Friday, June 13th from 8 – 10 PM (or 7 PM if you’re part of the Yelp Elite Squad) and it’s going to be a seriously good time. We’re talking tons of noms, draaaaanks, and entertainment, all courtesy of amazing local businesses!

Best of all? It’s 100% TOTALLY COMPLETELY FREE to attend! All you gotta do is RSVP on Yelp. That’s it. For serious. So local readers, you have no excuse not to come out and play, okay?!

Aaaaanyway, now that that shameless plug is out of the way, let’s get back to me making pitiful excuses for why I haven’t been blogging. I mean, wait. What?

Okay, so here’s the real deal. (Buckle in, this is gonna be a long ride, folks.) I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog and where I’m going with it. You know, thinking about where I was in my life when I wrote that first post three and half years ago, and where I am now. Thinking about the goals I’ve achieved, the ones that I’ve failed at, the ones that I first achieved and THEN failed at maintaining afterwards… and how with the onset of this dream job and so many things in my life falling into place, maintaining this blog has lately felt more like a burden than a joy.

I know, I know, that sounds bad, and maybe it actually reads harsher than I really mean it to, but, hmm. How do I say it… I guess I’ve been kind of tiptoeing around the fact that I’m just not as passionate about blogging as I used to be. And I’ve been blaming it on being busy or being distracted or whatever, but I think we all know that it’s not really about not having the time to do it.

I mean, here’s the story of this blog in a nutshell: I was fat and unhappy, so I lost a buncha weight. And it was awesome! Aaaand then I gained a whole bunch of weight back. And that was not so awesome (especially to admit… publicly… on the interwebs) but, unlike before, I was fat and happy. Not happy about being fat, but you know what I mean. But, hey, I write a weight loss blog. So I knew that eventually I needed to own up to regaining the weight, and that I also needed to re-lose it. I had it in my mind that if I did it once, I could do it again just as long as I did all the same things I did the first time around. So that’s what I set out to do.

And sure, it worked for a while, because just paying attention to myself and what I was eating again was enough to help me shed those first 10, 15 pounds again. But then… I dunno. My drive just kinda — poof! — disappeared. And I couldn’t really figure out why. After all, I was doing all the same things I did the first time. Counting my calories, exercising (well, kinda…), cleaning my diet back up. And it was working! I was losing weight again. And yet… something was still missing.

I just haven’t been able to muster up the same enthusiasm towards my weight loss that I had the first time around. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken so many steps backwards that the fact that I’m finally moving forward again isn’t really a big deal. Because I’m still so far from where I once was. So, you know, celebrating a loss that I had already lost but subsequently regained doesn’t really seem like an appropriate thing to celebrate anymore. There’s too much guilt and shame involved now.

Beyond that, though, I think part of the reason why doing all the same things and following the same path doesn’t feel quite right anymore is because while all those things might be the same, I’m not. I’m pretty damn different now than I was three and a half years ago (um, thank GOODNESS, right?). Pretty much everything in my life has changed since then — my job (VIVA LA YELP!), my relationship (I think I’ll keep him), even my family (hello, Auntie Gretchen!). In fact, the only thing that hasn’t really changed is this pervasive obsession I continue to have with losing weight and, while we’re being honest I’ll just say it, being thin.

Let’s just face facts: While I talked a LOT about how, really, this blog is about getting healthy, and, really, it’s about working through my food issues, and, really, it’s about loving myself, you wanna know what it’s REALLY been about? Losing weight. I mean, it’s right there in the title. And I feel like in having that focus right from the start, I was always in the mindset that there was something about me that needed to change. That needed to be fixed. And that one basic thought right there, despite all my best efforts and a lot of denial, led the way for a lifetime of doubt and self-loathing to settle in under every victorious blog post, every one of my successes.

I mean, heck, even when I did lose 60 pounds and felt happy and whole and looked rockin’ in tapered denim, I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to continue to “fix” myself, to lose more, to be skinnier… and I’m pretty sure that lack of contentment is probably a key factor in why I started to regain weight in the first place.

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So yes, I obviously would love to get back to that place, that weight, how I felt at that time. But I don’t want to get there by spouting positivity on this blog but secretly wishing I could chop off the rolls on my stomach in private. The truth of the matter is that I’ve spent far too much of my life punishing myself for my body, being mad at myself for lacking the self-control to be thin, hatefully comparing myself to other women.

Now, let’s just hit the “pause” button for a hot sec, because I want to clarify that this post is in no way a declaration that I’m going to stop blogging. I’m obviously waaaaay too egomaniacal to ever do that. Please. But I am starting to reevaluate what it is that I’m looking to get out of this and put into this blog. Because I don’t think my real goal is just to lose weight any more. Or, at least, I don’t think I want it to be.

Maybe I’m finally getting to a place where I truly do want to work towards being able to fully accept and love my body as-is. No improvements needed. And I promise, I’m not trying to use this as an excuse to be lazy and eat whatever I want and be unhealthy. This is all about trying to implement a shift in my perspective, and I think it’s time for me to take a break from this total fixation I have on my weight, my size, and my body in general. Or at least, to TRY to take a break from it.

And you know, while I’m working on the full mental overhaul that I’m sure will be required to get me to see things just a little differently (I tell ya, the media industry really has done a number on me), I’ll continue to eat healthily (for the most part, as I do now) and go to the gym (for the occasional part, at least) and we’ll see where that gets me for the next little while.

Aaaaand since this post has LONG since passed the “eyes glazing over” stage right into TL;DR territory, I’ll go ahead and stop myself here. Let’s see how this attempt at a shiny new perspective goes, shall we?

Ommmmm (Nom Nom)

To all those who think that my job pretty much just means I eat all the time (and, to be fair, I do eat a LOT for this job), I want to set the record straight. Not errrrvery single event that I throw as the Yelp Northern Virginia Community Manager is totally food-centric. I mean, sure, a lot are (and I love ’em!) but yesterday I actually got to do my job AND get some fitness in at the same time, thanks to the yoga-tastic event that went down!

Yelp’s Mind + Body Bender took place at Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City, a wellness center and yoga studio that gave Yelp Elites the chance to try out many different kinds of massage therapies (Thai! Mysokeletal! Full-body! Chair! Reiki!) as well as participating in yoga and bellydancing classes!



It was a full event with lots to see and do, and I even got a chance to be thrown around by MYBO’s Thai massage specialist for a few minutes. I’ll, a-hem, go ahead and let those photos speak for themselves…





LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Being of the no pain, no gain persuasion when it comes to massage, I actually loved it, and it was over far too quickly for me! I guess I’ll just have to go back and get pretzel-fied again. 🙂

In other news, you should be happy to hear that I totally cheated on my weigh-in once a week rule and checked myself out on the scale yesterday. I can happily report that I am blessedly — amazingly! — back to my pre-San Francisco weigh-in weight. So those 2.5 gained libbies are officially gone! I’ll wait until Friday to officially report in, but I just wanted you all to know that I am most definitely working it!

You’re Invited to: Yelp’s Passport to Mosaic!

Local friends, get excited.

Non-local friends, you can totally get excited too, if you want, but this will be decidedly less applicable to your lives unless you’re planning on visiting the DC area between 3/30 and 4/5.

And why’s that?

Well, I’ve got some VERY AWESOME AND FUN THINGS happening in just a little while, and, best of all, they’re open to ERRRRRVERYONE!

Introducing: Yelp’s Passport to Mosaic!

Yelp's Passport to Mosaic

I’ve put together a FULL WEEK of awesome events, special deals, and general good times at Mosaic District, the hottest new area in Northern VA! Kicking off on Sunday, 3/30 with an Elite-only CLASSIC MOVIE-themed event, and moving on through the week with things like tasting dinners, shopping parties, craft nights, and wine tastings, this promotion is sure to kill me dead be one heckuva good time!

I don’t know if I’ve referenced Mosaic District enough times on the blog for you guys to immediately know what I’m talking about, but it’s, like, totally awesome.

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It’s essentially a town center/shopping district full of hot new restaurants (Matchbox’s first VA location, Red Apron Butcher, awesome local standards like Cava Mezze Grille and sweetgreen, etc!) and fantastic boutique-style shopping (Anthro, Lou Lou, Langford Market, South Moon Under, etc.) PLUS they have a baller movie theatre (the Angelika, which is like a movie theatre FOR GROWN UPS), they do lots of events, have a giant screen on the outside of the movie theatre (they call her “Lucy”), an enormous outdoor chess set, a public piano that they bring outside on nice days… oh man, the list goes on!

It’s also got pretty much the nicest Target on this side of the beltway, and new things are CONSTANTLY opening since it’s all still so new and shiny. As you can tell, I’m a huge, huge fan of this area — and I have been since it opened! So putting this promo together was a natural step for yours truly, and I can’t believe it’s actually finally here!

AAAANYWAY, the exciting news here is that all the events happening are open to ANYBODY with a Yelp account, and they’re FREE. (PS: It’s free to sign up for a Yelp account too, so it’s REALLYREALLY free.)

There are currently 8 events happening, with the potential for more, so head on over and RSVP now if you’d like to get a taste of what this whole Yelp thing Gretchen’s always talking about is like.

And then say a quick prayer for me because these next couple of weeks might very well kill me! Wheeeeeee!!

YBL 2014 Final Weigh-In

Well, my complete and total lack of posting this week is indicative of the fact that I very nearly went totally insane from how busy I’ve been. I leave for San Francisco on Sunday for CM Week — the annual Community Manager summit over at Yelp HQ. And while I couldn’t be more excited to get to spend an entire week with some of my Yelpy cohorts who I thus far have only known online (and most of you should know how much I love turning online friends into real life friends by now!) getting things tied up in a semi-respectable bow before I leave has been a little bit stressful.

However, not so stressful that I was unable to remember to tally up for my final Yelp’s Biggest Loser weigh-in! That particular challenge ends today (though obviously I still have many personal challenges and goals still to come!), so let’s get on that, shall we?

(Re)Starting Weight: 236.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 226.2
This Weigh-in: 225.1 lbs
Difference: -1.1 lbs

Heyyyyy, I’ll take it! I’m the first one to admit that my eats this week were NOT exactly on point (there may have been an evening spent at Red Lobster somewhere in there…) so I’m actually kind of shocked I was able to lose anything at all. I consider that a definite win.

So this brings my YBL Challenge totals to 11.5 pounds lost and a 4.9% change. Which almost definitely means I didn’t win any kind of prize as the grand poobah of weight loss (we have a guy who’s lost like 9%!) but I still consider it a valient effort that I’m certainly proud of. After all, hey! I’m 11.4 pounds lighter than I was when I started.

And now? Well, you know! Onward and downward and all that good stuff… after a probable bit of relapse given that I’m headed to San Francisco, the land of the Sushiritto.