T-Bell Runs and Regret

I’ve never been one to diet. I’m all for exercising balance, and usually I simply keep my fingers crossed that my self-control will kick in. As a cheerleader in high school, I kept my stomach and arms fit through tumbling and built up my thigh muscles with toe touches and herkies. I didn’t think twice about running to Taco Bell during senior lunch – even if it was more than a couple times a week. And don’t even get me started with college. With a Taco Bell within a mile from my apartment complex, cashing in my insufficient funds for a 2 a.m. CrunchWrap Supreme was too tempting to pass up. I mean, look at it…

But I walked to class and frequented the university gym, so what was an extra few calories? (Note: That’s actually 540 extra calories and more than a few grams of fat, guess they aren’t kidding when they call it a ‘4th meal’!)

Four years later, the prospect of a late-night T-Bell run leaves me tossing and turning several nights later.

“Why did I eat that?” I’ll ask myself.

Later, I’ll inspect my arms and legs for signs of flab, cellulite and any other unappealing sign that I might be getting older, fatter and less attractive.

And while I know one extra taco won’t land me on The Biggest Loser, I am aware that my more sedentary lifestyle of sitting at a computer 8 hours a day isn’t as forgiving when you’re on an 18-year-old’s diet. Which, in a word, sucks.

What’s your guilty fast food craving? Do you give in to it as much as you’d like/used to?

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I’m a mother! Well, sort of.

Anyone who knows me knows my pug is my obsession. Pictures of her being naughty – or in her very rare nice form – line my Facebook wall, take up albums and fill my iPhone.

But ask my boyfriend, Stephen, about the day she showed up at my door, and you’ll hear a different tale. You see, I’ve wanted a pug to call my own since the day I moved out of my parents’ house. College was the first time I’ve lived in a house without a pug, and even then, I was only 30 minutes away from a dose of pug-nosed cuteness. But when a furry ball of responsibility showed up at my door as an early Christmas present the weekend after Thanksgiving, I uttered the words no girlfriend ever should…

“What am I going to do?!”

I didn’t mean what am I going to do with a pug, I just meant what next? The sheer responsibility of having a pet came crashing down on me, along with the pressings of my mom to not get a dog until I had a yard and a house and everything in my life figured out. Luckily for me, my amazing boyfriend had my mini-panic attack covered, retreating to his truck for a crate, food and leash to get me started. Since that fateful day, she’s destroyed a few things (more stories to come), put a small dent in my wallet and made several messes. For example…

But today, I couldn’t imagine life without her.

What responsibilities have you initially shied away from?

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When Did “26” Become Old?

A few weekends ago, I found myself back “home” at my parents’ house, doing what has become not only a tradition, but a requirement each and every holiday – challenging my friends and mom to a game of Mexican Train dominos. The “game” usually consists of us chattering away, asking whose turn it is and reminiscing about past adventures. (Don’t worry, my dad isn’t excluded, he simply refuses to put himself through the whole mess.) It was during our most recent game when my best friend’s sister recalled a conversation they had over Easter brunch that very morning. My 25-year-old best friend, one who I grew up with, drove to high school and most importantly AM 2 MONTHS OLD THAN, had a horrifying conversation with her parents about the close proximity of her impending death. The death of her 20s, that is.

“We’re almost 30!” she shrieked to me, as her sister laughed. (She’s a youthful 23.)

“We are?” I replied.

I hadn’t realized that the last 4 years of my 20s were simply going to fly by without causing so much as a stir, while the hill of “30” rose to succumb every last bit of fun which lay before us. It made me think, are the best days of our lives really over at 25? And then it really hit me, am I having a quarter-life crisis? After a quick Google search, the short answer is yes, I probably am.

Nostalgia for high school and college days? Check.

Fear of getting old/dying? Check.

An overall feeling that I won’t accomplish my life goals in time? Check.

While I may not have verbalized my fears, I realized I too was struggling with the thought of getting older. And my friend and I aren’t alone. An influx of problems the Baby Boomer generation didn’t necessarily have to deal with is plaguing 20-somethings earlier than ever. Student loans, job competition, delay of marriage and a failing economy all are leading to a sometimes bleak outlook for anyone who has reached the point beyond frat parties and keg stands. Bye-bye college days, hello real world.

I say, who cares. Wherever the road leads, we’re all on it, and I plan to live everyday of the rest of my youth – that’s right I said it – beating it, and laughing at myself throughout the journey. Hope you’ll join me, and share your stories along the way!

At what age did you start feeling old? How do you work to beat it?

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