From LA to L.A. in 30 days

From this blog you might get the impression that I am a world traveler. This is only partially true. I am often on planes traveling to obscure corners of the world and griping about the lack of vegetarian food along way. But, the map of my travels would show that I’ve done the bulk of my globe trotting around the Atlantic Ocean. In reality, there are huge swaths of my own country that I haven’t seen. Every election year, I’m dumbfounded by just what’s going on in the middle of the country. I completed Buzzfeed’s ‘What city should you actually live in’ poll and I got Portland. I had to google where Portland was. Sad, but true.

I’ll have you know, though, that I do not take lightly gaps in my travel portfolio. So, I spent the last month visiting friends and family in the United States. Only the United States. No going a’foreign for me! In that four weeks, I covered from sea to shining sea, literally. Most of these cities I had been to before, but that’s beside the point. Making the deliberate choice to stay within the confines of the 48 contiguous was huge for me. And since it had been years since I’d traveled to some of these destinations, it was like discovering them all over again.  You’ll remember my last trip to New Orleans was over two years ago. And though I’m a frequent visitor in New York City, I fail to blog-scrutinize it as if it were a ‘destination.’  Well gone are the days when I undervalue all things domestic. I’m going to hit you with the highlights of my month of American couchsurfing.

Newark (2014)Destination 1: Newark, NJ, Last visit: October 2012, Highlight: Family time! Down side: Chris Christie’s political career imploded. Sights worth seeing: Newark Museum

 

Destination 2: New York City, NY, Last visit: October 2012, Highlight: Having post-birthday celebrations with CharlieDown side: Didn’t get to make it to Harlem. Sights worth seeing: The Whitney

IMG_0091Destination 3: Washington, DCLast visit: October 2012, Highlight: Brunch! Down side: Most of my friends who like to party have moved. Sights worth seeing: Rock Creek Park

 

 

Destination 4: New Orleans, LALast visit: July 2011, Highlight: Reunion with Alyson & Chlovah! Down side: It was friggin’ freezing. Sights worth seeing: Antique Bookstores

DSCF3001Destination 5: Los Angeles, CALast visit: December 2008, Highlight: A day at Matador beach in Malibu with Leah! Down side: I’m convinced that most people in L.A. are delusional. Sights worth seeing: Cirque de Soleil

 

Destination 6: Arlington, VA, Last visit: October 2012, Highlight: I have my own apartment and my dog is here too! Down side: I live with my co-workers. Think: bad episode of “Real World – Federal Employees” Sights worth seeing: Pentagon Row

Skinnier ever after

Dosas in Delhi

I went home and realized that I was clearly fat again. Kinda sucks, right? Right! Apparently my family and friends are better at lying to me than I am to myself to because they seemed to not remember the time when I was a visible size 4/6. But, I REMEMBER! And the current me and that skinny girl are on a quest to be reunited.

Are there unique obstacles I face? Yes. I can’t breathe the air in this city, so walking outside for a few laps during lunch is out of the question. While we all have to reduce our calorie intake, most people I know aren’t worried that there’s clarified butter and MSG in every meal they eat in a restaurant. But, those are my realities and not excuses.

What about the advantages of putting my fat foot down? Well, in Delhi the cost of a personal training session (in home) is $20 a pop. My maid could cook every meal if I wanted her to. And, frankly, lipo is cheap. Add it all up and I’ve got my mojo back.

I’m ready to try again to be a more fit, healthier me. While this would seem to be a singular process, I imagine that this would take a toll on my friends and family too. How many articles from Men’s Health can I send to work mates before they get pissed? And how many times can I turn down a host’s overtures to have a sugary, sypurey Indian sweet before they are all out offended?

Here’s a short list of the ways that I believe my workout plan will affect those around me. Forgive me in advance and thanks for your support!

Sweets in Paris

5- I’m going to be a lot less fun to be around: I can’t drink as much alcohol or eat out at as many random restaurants. I can’t even consume the proper amount of calories per day for a person of my height and that means I’ll be a grumpy camper. We all know how much I love food, and just the thought of not having it makes me a Debbie Downer. So, don’t take it personally when I try to eat your hand.

 

 

Banana rice in Bangkok

4- I’m going to say “I’m so fat” a lot. Don’t try to stop me: I do not have an eating disorder (anymore, j/k) and I don’t have weird body image issues. I just know that I’m fat right now. So, don’t try to dissuade me. It will not turn out well for you. Trade comments like “you sure can’t tell” for “you sure hide it well,” because I will not buy the idea that I am not visibly bigger having gained 15 pounds in a year. I’ll just consider you a liar or clinically blind.

 

Guadelopean creole fish in Paris

3- I’ll tell you now that I don’t want to go clothes shopping with you: You can fit things and I can’t. So, yea… no!

 

 

 

 

Lemon Tart in Mumbai

2- You should discourage me from buying shoes: When I go overboard shoe shopping, it means I’m trying to find a way around the fact that I can’t go clothes shopping. Yes, I am a shoe freak, but the freak goes Frankenstein haywire when I can’t fit any clothes. If the shoes are particularly fabulous, be prepared to stand down. But, if they are peep toe stilettos, just know that I am trying to overcompensate. Remind me how many training sessions I could pay for with those shoes!

 

Teddy’s Roti in DC

1- I do plan to be your skinn(ier) friend some day and I swear I’ll make up for everything I put you through! I’ll be lighter on my feet when we go dancing, and I’ll make you fresh fruit juices and bake you vegan cupcakes that actually taste good. I don’t plan to be Oscar the Grouch forever, just until I’m satisfied that I am no longer shaped like Big Bird.