Category Archives: Personal

Halloween Costume Ideas…Anyone?

Ok, so I’m a bit stumped for Halloween costume ideas.  I’ve been so busy and stressed out that my creative juices just aren’t flowing right.  You don’t understand, halloween is my FAVORITE holiday.  Since I was a kid, I’ve always had the most creative and hilarious costumes, most of them I make myself.  This year, I just can’t quite get it.  C’mon, help a girl out.

As you can see from my photos below, Dina has no boundaries.  I’ll be anyone, wear whatever, just to get a rise.  I’ve won contests (as a kid I won almost every year) and three years ago, I was picked by OK Magazine to be featured on their website for a celebrity look alike contest when I was Amy Winehouse (see below).  Also, two years ago, I won $1000 from Us Weekly & Zaarly and was featured in their magazine for dressing up as Snooki.

So, any fun ideas?   It can be outlandish as possible, ain’t no shame in my game;  the crazier the better.  Let’s hear them in the comments below.


Dina Does Tough Mudder Tri-State 2012

I  did it, yup, I earned my bright orange Tough Mudder head band.  One of the happiest moments of my life.

Something I realized is that there’s such a great feeling crossing a finish line.  Now I know it may not seem like such an accomplishment.  So many people have completed this obstacle course, so it may not seem like such a difficult feat.  But it’s so much more than that.  Anyone can go through those obstacles (or opt out of them) and finish the 11+ miles.  For me, it sort of symbolized how far I’ve come in life.  It wasn’t just 11 miles for me.  Thinking about even just 6 months ago and then versus now is such a huge difference.  My body, my mentality, my strength, everything…I have grown so much.  Crossing that finish line was like the icing on my cake.

I made sure I at least attempted every obstacle course; it bothered me that people didn’t even TRY.  Sure, there were a bunch I knew I wouldn’t be able to do, but I wouldn’t have felt like I completed the course if I didn’t make an attempt at all of them.  Actually, there was one I didn’t think I would be able to do completely – the  Island Hopping where you have to get from one tree stump to the next.  I did it.  Not many people that I saw made it across without slipping into the water, but I did.  Very proud moment.  Now what if I hadn’t even tried it because I was scared or doubted myself?  I wouldn’t have known that I could do it.

Now I know why people enjoy racing and competing so much.  There’s such a sense of accomplishment, and not just about training hard for whatever it is you are working on — but more about yourself as a whole.

Here are the pictures my sister and some friends took from the event:

Have you done the Tough Mudder?  What do you think of it?

First Photos of Me Crossfitting

Yikes! I found some pictures of myself on my Crossfit gym’s Facebook page and thought I’d share.  I still have so much to work on.  Actually, next week I am going to take a private class because I need to work on my form with the weights.  One of the coaches said I’m using too much of my arms and not my legs which is ruining it for me because I have really strong legs.  In these pictures (courtesy of Crossfit Hoboken), it was my first time doing the overhead squats (a virgin, yes!) and I wasn’t using a lot of weight because I’m trying to figure out form first.  Once I learn to use my legs more to lift I’m sure I’ll be able to pick up more weight.

Bare with me because this is a 5:30am class…

Overhead squatGetting low!

Smell check! I know it’s what it looks like but not what I was doing (hope not!)

I’m Fat but I’m Cool Like That…

I watched this video earlier this morning and was practically in tears;  I had nothing but chills after watching it.  This TV anchor had the courage to publicly  acknowledge one reader’s ridiculing email to her about her weight and address it. You can watch the video here:

Whenever I was picked on about my weight, I remember being more upset because I was actually trying to lose weight.  It bothered me that I was overweight and yes I knew I needed to change.  It’s like people think you enjoy being fat.  I can speak for myself and say that I did not.  I dieted, exercised, etc. as a kid and had trouble.  So people pointing out my flaws just reminded me of what was I already knew.  There’s no reason to point out anyone’s faults because the truth is THEY PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW THEM.  And I bet it bothers them WAY MORE than it bothers you.

This video hit so close to home because if you’ve ever been teased or bullied, you know exactly what she must have felt like.  It’s like people don’t realize that you recognize your own flaws.  Trust me, they do.

These are the words that hurt the most.  If you’ve ever experienced any time of teasing (and I’m sure you have because we all probably have), I bet you didn’t forget exactly what they said.  I remember verbatim, any time anyone ever made me cry or really hurt me.

Recently, a guy that teased me as a kid asked me out on a date and I laughed at him.  I can still remember exactly what he said to make me cry and now this is in like 7th grade.  He had no idea why I would say no to him – he’s good looking, smart, has a job, blah blah blah.  So why would I reject him years later?  Principle.    I may not be a fatty to him anymore, but he will always be a fucking loser to me 🙂

But really, with shit like that, sometimes you really just don’t forget what people say….

She’s a much better person than I am because my response would have probably been something along the lines of “Thank you for pointing that out, yes I own a fucking mirror.”  Actually, when I was teased about my weight as a kid I used to say “I’m fat, but I’m cool like dat.”  That was my be strong statement; I actually used it a few times.  My sister taught me to say that after I came home upset.

Were you ever bullied or teased?  Do you remember the things said or what you were teased about?

Crossfit Fundamentals + 1st 5m Run

I finally finished my Crossfit fundamentals courses.  So for the first class three weeks ago we did this WOD:

400m run


  • Squats
  • Push-up
  • Ring up (I’m not even sure what it’s called, its like a push up but on the rings)

I finished it in 9:02 three weeks ago.  We did it again at the last class on Thursday and this time I finished in 6:49.  I’m excited I improved my time.  Now that I’m done with Fundamentals, I’m a little nervous jumping into a class.  I’m still learning all the moves so worried I might not know everything and fall a little behind to everyone else in the class.  I’m such a chicken shit.  I emailed my coach so he could suggest which ones I should start with.

I took a break from Crossfit this weekend to run. I’ve been nagging myself to run 5 miles nonstop which I have yet to do, but haven’t had much time to work out aside from Crossfit.  Now with work AND school – there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

So, I finally hit 5 miles non-stop – big milestone for me.  I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to run 3 miles since I didn’t run in about 3 weeks but I actually did.  I ran 5.03m in 52:05.  I definitely needed that.  I have trouble running in the morning because I don’t eat or drink (I know I should), so I find myself getting very dehydrated after 5K.  At 4m, I ran past my house and had my father bring me a water so I could finish up my last mile.

I feel much more prepared for my Tough Mudder obstacle course race (which is less than a month away — eek!).  I’m in much better shape than when I initially signed up for this bad boy over six months ago!

Now back to Crossfit…

Made in America Festival in Philly

My girlfriends and I decided to go  to the Made in America music festival in Philly, which was such a great time!    Only my second time there and love it!  The last performance of the night was Jay-Z and while we were waiting for him to get on stage I was standing in the crowd and suddenly felt someone push me forward.  I turned around ready to flip out on someone when I realized it was a bouncer and looked to see who he was escorting.  I realized it was Drake and he was literally right beside me about to walk past.  But there was no way I was letting him get away.  I quickly grabbed his arm and he turned around and looked me straight in the eyes.  Yes, we made eye contact.  He’s probably one of my favorite artists (I actually used to watch him on the Canadian TV show Degrassi when I was in college).  Seriously, one of the best moments of my life; I needed that.

One of my favorite acts of the night was the Calvin Harris set which was on a smaller stage in a tent.  The atmosphere was so intense and it was amazing.  Here are some videos I took during Calvin Harris:

My 5 Year Reveal: How I Lost Nearly 100lbs

Five years ago today I made a very important decision and had weight loss surgery.  Some people knew but I tried to keep my weight loss a secret because I was embarrassed.  When people asked how I lost all my weight, I’d simply smile and say “Oh, I watch what I eat and work out a bit.”  But it was so much more than that.  I knew  that people have a preconceived notion about weight loss surgery and might think, “Oh, she took the easy way out.”  The truth is, this was the hardest decision to make. And sometimes I felt like I HAD to do this.

I know what you’re saying, I could have just dieted and worked out and lost the weight.  Wrong; I tried that.   I’d lose weight and gain it right back plus more.  It’s not like I just gained some weight after college or had a baby and gained a few pounds.  I was a chubby kid, a fat teenager and an obese adult.  I can’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t heavy.  It’s not that I sat around eating Twinkies all day (I actually can’t stand them), but no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t lose weight.  I remember being like 10 years old and dieting – I couldn’t just grab whatever I wanted, I actually had to watch what I ate.  I was also pretty athletic (OK, who am I kidding? I was a tomboy) and I was always playing sports.  I was pretty down on myself because I tried really hard to lose weight (or even just NOT gain it).  I felt like a failure when I couldn’t lose the weight.  Maybe I didn’t try hard enough, but when you’re young it’s not as easy.  As a kid, everyone thought my chubbiness was so adorable and told me it was just “baby fat.”  They said that as I got older, I’d get taller and lose the weight; that never happened.

In high school, I was over 200lbs.  These are the years when everyone was at their skinniest; not me, I was probably at my heaviest.  In college, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and some of the side effects are weight gain and obesity.   It all seemed to make sense now.  This is why I had so much trouble losing weight growing up; it all became more clear.

When I turned 18, I began looking into weight loss surgery.  I met with my surgeon, Dr. Trivedi and LOVED him.  It was set.  I met all the requirements because of my preexisting medical conditions and it was approved by the insurance.  I was all set for surgery and then two days before, I had a really horrible migraine, but my friends took me out to eat at Hooters for my last meal.  On the way home, my migraine got so violent I began sweating and we had to pull onto the highway so I could vomit.  WE called my surgeon and he cancelled my surgery and told me I needed to be cleared by a neurologist before he would operate on me.  I met with the neurologist and got  full neurological exams including CAT scans, MRI — the whole nine yards.  He found that I suffer from migraines and put me on a medication called Topamax.  College started and I began taking the medication so I didn’t get any more violent migraines.  The Topamax had very crazy side effects on me — I barely ate or slept and all I did was work out.  I went days without eating and I didn’t even realize it — not even purposely either.  I dropped about 80lbs in like 2 months and I did not look well at all.  I gained it all back plus more in about a year.

When I was 21, just got my degree and and was still on my parent’s insurance that I knew would approve me for weight loss surgery, I decided to give it another shot.  My “Last Supper” meal?  My best friends brought over A Rueben sandwich from Harold’s Deli — my FAVORITE!  This time, there was no turning back.

One of my biggest reasons for having the surgery was for health reason.  I was pre-diabetic (and there’s a history of Diabetes in my family) and my PCOS was a big issue.  Do you know what it’s like having a doctor tell you that you’ll never be able to have kids?  I felt like less of a woman; useless even.  I used to joke that I didn’t want children when I was younger, but more because I was scared.  After the doctor told me I was infertile, I blamed my stupid jokes for my health.  I swear I’ll never say I don’t want kids ever again.

Although the Lap-Band is reversible, it is still a life altering decision.  I’m going to be totally honest and say that I wasn’t the most active person after my weight loss surgery (which may be the reason it took me 4 years to reach my goal weight set).  I didn’t go to the gym (I was very self conscious about working out in front of people – I still do but I’ve gotten much better recently).  However, I still had to watch what I ate and couldn’t sit around eating ice cream all day (maybe just at night?).  It wasn’t the easiest decision to make having weight loss surgery, but for me, the benefits outweighed the rights.  This is STILL the best decision I ever made and I wish I could have done it sooner.

The night before my surgery my sisters took pictures of me in my underwear so I can always remember how I once looked. They said soon enough I wouldn’t recognize those pictures but we should keep them to compare.  I found those pictures recently and I wish I had enough guts to post them.  I can’t believe I looked like that.   One day I’ll get the balls to show them – promise.

So on August 30, 2007 I weighed 238lbs and today I am 147lbs…not bad huh?