• Tue, Feb 12 2013

30 by 30: Learning How To Balance Bikinis, Burritos and Birthday Cake

treat yo self

I turned 29 this week. I am now officially on the countdown clock to 30. I typically have a lot of anxiety around birthdays. What am I going to do? What am I going to wear? What if no one remembers and I have to hang out in my apartment alone? But this year, I found that my birthday week was filled with surprises, treats and excitement. Who wouldn’t love a birthday like that? It was a great week.

The thing is, in one week alone, I had 9,000 temptations. It’s like Christmas and Valentine’s day and Easter combined, and all the treats are for you. My sweet coworkers surprised me with a birthday party in the kitchen where they made not one, but four different kinds of treats. FOUR. There was a cake, cupcakes, cookies and brownies. It was like birthday kryptonite all in one place.

That evening, I went out for margaritas with some of my closest girls. Again, kryptonite in a glass. And on Saturday, 28 of my closest friends joined me for a brunch on the Upper West Side where there were unlimited mimosas, delicious pasta and once again, cupcakes and brownies.

Everywhere I turned this week there was a sweet calling my name. But the amazing thing? I knew it was coming and so I made sure that I was disciplined enough to tackle it. I went to the gym three days this week, and yoga once to make sure that my body was ready for the celebrations of 29. I chose diet coke over wine at regular dinners, and made chicken soup to eat at home for when I wasn’t running around. I made sure that my week was balanced.

And you know what? It paid off. I felt great all week. Other than that second cupcake I snuck at my birthday party, I did amazing. I was able to enjoy myself without giving in to 12,000 calories of deliciousness. I was able to make it to the gym and work hard instead of celebrating every single minute.

There’s a phrase on my favorite show Parks and Recreation where Tom Haverford and Donna say “TREAT YO’ SELF.” It seems that there is something to celebrate more often than not…a birthday, a promotion, a raise, an engagement and so on, always a reason to treat yo’self.

Several years ago, I was introduced to the “treat” that is the Chipotle burrito. Delicious, delicious Chipotle burrito. I was hooked. It began as our Friday afternoon work treat, but soon became our whenever we are having a good or bad or kind of normal day treat. I was hooked. When I started to lose weight and be more conscious about my eating habits, I quickly realized that the 900 calorie burrito HAD TO GO. It was a sad day. No more Chipotle treats for me.

And that’s why the internet is so lovely. I found the Chipotle nutrition calculator. After some trial runs, I determined that a salad with my favorite toppings is only 455 calories, without rice it’s only 335! So now, when I need to treat myself, I head downstairs to the Chipotle underneath my office and get a salad to go and a fountain diet soda. I still feel like I’m getting a delicious lunch, just without all the unnecessary calories. It’s my secret “TREAT YO’SELF” habit that helps me kick my cravings for things much worse.

I think what I’m finding as I get older is that sometimes it’s about bikinis and sometimes it’s about burritos and birthday cake, but at the end of the day it’s all about balance.

Weekly Weigh-In:

HIGH: Having a friend at the gym with me all week really helped up my motivation and my birthday brunch with all of my favorite people was icing on the proverbial cake.

LOW: This week was a win all around. I was able to enjoy parts of my birthday while still working out and staying on track.

+/-: -2lbs  (TOTAL: – 3lbs)

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  • Hannah

    Hey! I always enjoy your column, but I have to ask, what does the “+/-: -2lbs (TOTAL: – 3lbs)” mean? That you’ve lost 3 lbs this month or what?

    • Kendyl

      Thanks Hannah! That’s my weekly weigh in, I’m down 3 pounds total due to my Vegas setback!

    • Hannah

      I see, congratulations- and thanks for responding!

  • Mila

    I am glad you had a great birthday and feel good about the gym & yoga, but, why, oh earth are you still consuming (diet) soda???

  • AD

    Stop drinking soda. Diet or not its still bad for you. Read these 26 reasons why soda is bad for you: http://www.coachcalorie.com/why-is-soda-bad-for-you/

  • Eileen

    I love your salad suggestion, but if I may, another awesome thing is to eat just half your burrito. It’s still amazing and delicious – and the more you get used to eating less, the more you’ll realize you can’t comfortably finish a whole Chipotle burrito in one sitting – plus, if you have a toaster oven, you have an amazing leftover that can make a great meal tomorrow. If you put half aside right away, it’s pretty to resist the urge to eat it all in one go. (And yeah, okay, I feel compelled to say that soda is shit for your body and water – Pellegrino if you need the bubbles – is so much better, but I’m sure you already know that)