As usual, I was inclined to hit “snooze” and simply go back to bed. However, I decided to call The Boy for a second opinion. He had been up since 5:30 a.m. to pick up the Uhaul for our move, so I knew he’d pick up.
Our convo went a bit like this:
Me: Hi Jay, I woke up to run but I kind of want to go back to bed. I’m beat. (groggy, manly half asleep voice)
The Boy: Well, you know you won’t want to run tomorrow, especially after moving all day. Right?
Me: Hmm…yea I guess you’re right.
The Boy: Plus, you always feel better after you run. Why don’t you just do it?
That right there was all I needed to hear. He was right. I do always feel better after a run, no matter how I’m feeling at the time. Running makes me feel empowered, energized, alive. It allows me to think, breathe and spend some quality time alone with my thoughts.
After I hung up the phone, I immediately threw on the first running outfit I could find, laced up my sneakers and head out the door for a river run.
I ended up running five miles on the Charles, and didn’t think about the running part of the run at all. Rather, I just let my mind go, and my legs do all the work.
Morale of the story? Next time you’re questioning a workout, ask yourself “How will it make me feel?” That should be just the answer you need.
Calling all Fitness Enthusiasts or those who have recently adopted a more active lifestyle, and have felt the benefits. Whether you are a walker, a marathoner, a yogi, or a busy mom, you’re in the running to be the next Move100 Ambassador.
I am happy to announce I will be taking part in this initiative, and couldn’t be more excited! (More details to come) In the meantime, check out my personal “essay” on why I should be a Move100 Ambassador:
[May 2009] [July 2012]
I didn’t always lead a healthy lifestyle. In fact, growing up I struggled with body image issues, dieting and finding the motivation to live well. My college days were consumed of counting calories, binging on desserts, hiding in my room ashamed of my weight or living at the gym to burn off that extra piece of pizza. I was stuck in a lifestyle filled with low self-esteem and guilt.
Flash-forward a few years, and I am now 30 pounds lighter and 1,000 times happier. In the past few years, I discovered a newfound love for yoga, which taught me how to listen to and appreciate my body. During this time, I also fell in love with Core Fusion Barre workouts and running, something I thought I could never do. While two years ago I couldn’t even run two miles, I am now training for my third half marathon in Newport, RI this fall. Not only did these accomplishments change and sculpt my body, but they changed me as a person.
I want to be a Move100 Ambassador so I can encourage others, just like myself, to make small, positive changes that lead to big results which I do every day in my health counseling business Zesty Living. I’m 100% dedicated to empowering others to find an exercise regimen that brings out the best in them and makes them shine. After all, health and happiness go hand in hand.
I have attached before and after photos per your request.
Thank you for your consideration,
If you’d like to get on board, send in your application to AmbassadorSearch@Move100.org …
[family hiking trip in Waterville Valley, NH this past weekend]
As you know, I am an avid fan of running mostly due to it’s hidden benefits none of which include losing weight or getting “skinny.” Sure, these are extra perks that may come along with exercising, but they’re not the main reason I run. Rather, I run for clarity, creative sparks (i.e. coming up with a fabulous idea for a new project), getting outside and de-stressing.
I find that when you exercise for weight loss or to obtain that perfect celebrity bikini body it takes all the fun out. And well, when you take the fun out of something, what’s the point?
Exercise should be exciting, invigorating, motivational and even a little surprising. It should challenge you, make you sweat, make you laugh and even make you cry (in a good way like the tears that came when I ran my first half marathon with thousands of other women).
On the other hand, it should not make you feel bad about yourself, evoke jealousy, create anger and bring out insecurities. If a certain exercise is causing this negative impact, you may want to rethink it; most likely there is something out there for you that’ll better suit your needs and your body.
After all, everyone has their own exercise that does this, just as everyone has a certain diet or skin care regime that works best for you. This is an example of bio-individuality, something I learned through my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and incorporate in my health counseling practice every day. Basically, it means that everyone has their own personalized roadmap to health, and what may be one woman’s medicine could be another’s poison.
My “medicine” cabinet in the exercise realm includes running, hiking, skiing, long walks, core fusion, group fitness classes (particularly spinning, step and kickboxing) and Vinyasa yoga. I do not, however, enjoy Pilates, competitive sports, or extreme bootcamp style classes.
A few years ago, I read in a magazine that all the hot celebrities were doing Pilates to develop long and lean bodies, so I thought “I can do that too. I can become long and lean like them.” Well guess what, I hated it, and haven’t set food in a Pilates studio again. It doesn’t make Pilates “good” or “bad.” It doesn’t make me lame or a quitter. It simply wasn’t right for me, and so I moved on.
If you loathe running and never want to be a runner, fine. If you’d rather kayak or spin the day away than set foot in a yoga studio, have no shame. If something simply isn’t for you, it does not make you weak. In fact, it makes you unique. It makes you who you are.
So go ahead and explore different exercise routines to find what works best for you. What makes you feel good inside, fills you up and gives you the motivation to do it over and over again?
What types of exercise get your heart racing, and most importantly makes you feel your best self?
We all know exercise is beneficial not only for our body (who doesn’t love a little extra glute-toning), but for our mental health as well. Many women track hours at the gym, have a strict running routine, or even take several group fitness classes (such as core fusion) in one day. But what’s a girl to do when she’s simply not feeling it? Do we really need to be so strict on ourselves?
Let’s face it, we are only human. While many of us strive to be superwoman at times, even the fitness fanatics among us have their “off” days. And guess what? That’s totally OK and get this…normal.
I know what it’s like to feel guilt for skipping a workout. Heck, I even skipped my 6:15 a.m. Core Fusion Cardio class this morning because the gloomy weather was a huge turnoff, and well, my need for a good night’s sleep was much more important to me. I had a busy week, I was tired and I needed some good old-fashioned beauty rest. Old me would have beat myself up over this for days, but new me simply let’s it go. Now I don’t skip my workouts every day, but when I’m not feeling it I don’t force myself to go.
Anyway, I’ve got some good news for all of you guilt-prone ladies out there. There are little moves you can do that’ll help you to be a little less hard on yourself, while not feeling like a bump on a log.
1. Make it a Clean Day: Just because you’re skipping the gym doesn’t make you “fat” or “unhealthy” at all. If you’re letting this guilt get to you, why not make it a clean day in the kitchen? Eat a hearty breakfast filled with whole grains and protein, like rolled oats with flax seed, almond butter and sliced banana or peaches, or maybe a cage-free egg white omelet like this Vegetarian Farmer’s Omelet filled with sauteed veggies and a slice of Ezekiel bread.
Then drink lots of water throughout the day to flush your system of toxins, and get rid of any extra belly bloat. For the rest of the day, fill yourself up with lots of green leafy vegetables (think kale, spinach, or collard greens), healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil for cooking,fresh fruit, and lean proteins like antibiotic-free natural chicken or fish. As I always say, the more real and simple the food is, the better so try to avoid anything that comes from a package especially items that have dozens of ingredients.
2. Move It Along: Just because you’ve made the decision to take a break from that whole working out thing doesn’t mean you have to sit around and eat pizza on the couch all afternoon, although we all have those kinds of days too and that’s completely OK.
If you’re feeling up for it, why not go for a walk with a friend around town? As you chat away, you won’t even realize you’ve walked nearly 3 miles around the city! If you’ve been running like a maniac lately and have really been feeling it in your knees, a local yoga class may be a good alternative for you. Maybe it’s just the weather is what’s keeping you from going to your favorite class. Whenever this happens, I chose to do an at-home workout DVD or On Demand exercise instead so I can still start the day on the right food, and get a mini sweat session in.
3. Relax Alright, so you took a day (or even a week) off from running and you’re feeling a little blue. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe your body needs that break? Have you been to hard on yourself lately? Did you find yourself in a workout rut where you become angry instead of excited to take a class? These are all signs that maybe your body is craving a mini vacation from strenuous exercise.
When you find yourself feeling this way, it’s best to just take some time for yourself. Cuddle up after work with some peppermint herbal tea and a good book. Close your eyes for ten, even five minutes and just breathe. Meditate. Take a long bath or shower with some aromatherapy oils. Taking care of our mental self is just as important as taking care of our physical body, so try to give yourself a little leeway.
If you’re prone to guilt when you skip a workout, find it hard to relax and be at peace with yourself, or are looking for a way to revamp your diet without going on a diet, I may be able to help you. As a health coach, I work with women who are looking to get that “zest” back into their lives & escape a lifestyle of yo-yo dieting. To learn more you can visit my website here or schedule a FREE initial health consultation with me today.
Have a wonderful day,
Seriously…seriously. I am real, live proof – yes, even though you can’t actually see me – that this remedy works time and time and again. Yesterday in particular it worked perfectly. You see, I had a lot on my mind so instead of panicking or sulking, I booked it to the gym for some intense cross training followed by steam room (the workout part). Hello, endorphins! I was feeling goooood.
Then my roommate came home, who is going through some very tough times right now. So instead of “talking about it” and making her even more upset, I suggested my #1 cure – Sex and the City ‘sodes! Within a few minutes, she was smiling and laughing again, and my mind was off all the bad things and on to “What is Carrie wearing?” and “How does Samantha do that?” (The Sex & The City segment)
After a couple hours of that, and some homemade dinner, I dabbled in some dark chocolate chips. Can you say yum? These puppies enhance my mood the second they enter my mouth…every single time. So go ahead, eat some chocolate; it won’t kill ya! (The chocolate bit).
Alas, after all of that, three of my roommates decided to end our semi-blah night with some Core Fusion: Body Sculpt to beat out any leftover negative energy that was in us. We put the TV on mute, blasted some workout tunes and hardcore sculpted it up. Let’s just say my butt is feelin’ it this morning and I feel AMAZING. (workout part 2)
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have butts like that? I try not to compare myself to other women, but I gotta be honest: I’d die for her butt! Since I’ve finally gotten over caring about my weight, calories and number on the scale, my newest focus is toning the bod…most importantly the butt and the thighs. I’m happy with my stomach and my arms have some nice toneage, but butt/thighs/legs have always been my “trouble spots.” Hey, we all want to look good in boy shorts after all, right? If you’re looking to tone that cute lil booty of yours as well, check out these links I found surfing the web for fab toning workouts for the gluteus. Enjoy and let me know how it goes!
- “Get a Tights Butt and Legs,” Women’s Health
- “4 Moves to Boost Your Booty”, Women’s Health
- “Yoga Exercises for Your Butt,” Women’s Health
- “9 New Butt Boosters”, Fitness Magazine
- “The Short Shorts Workout”, Fitness Magazine
- “The Scoop on Droop,” Self
- “The Busy Girl’s Calorie Booster: Tone Your Tush Commuting,” Self
- “Best Moves for Your Butt,” Prevention
- “Thighs & Glutes,” Exhale: Core Fusion
Do you have any “trouble spots?” What’s your current focus in the fitness realm of life? …
I’m a big fan of doing things that save me time. After all, my time (and your time) is precious so why complicate life any further by doing things that are going to take away our time? When you find yourself saying, “Now if only I had more time in the day…” ,”I just have no time to_____” or “I’m soooooo busy with my new job. I never have any time!” first of all, stop. You are being annoying, and it’s not true. You do have time; really I promise you do. And second of all, maybe it’s time to reconsider how you are are spending your time and do something about it! If you’re anything like me, you want to relish every waking hour, minute and second of your day, so here are some time-saving tricks for the busy lady who “doesn’t have any time”.
Save Time During Your Workout: This is something a whole lot of people struggle with. “I don’t have time to go to the gym, so I just won’t go,” is something I hear every day. Do you really not have any possible time to squeeze in a workout, or do you just not have time to take two hours out of your day? News flash: workouts don’t have to be marathon sessions! In fact, short and sweaty wins the race in most cases.
Take today for example. I had a lot to do, but still wanted to give my body a good workout, so I incorporated strength training with cardio intervals into one quick, 45-minute workout. The entire round trip (including transportation) took less than an hour. Now, that’s what I call efficient. I used to think I had to live at the gym for two hours at a time (including an hour just for cardio alone) to see results, but now I’ve transformed my routine drastically. Today I did a metabolism-boosting workout I tore out of Women’s Health magazine that you can find here. (I like the Tabata method best.) With quick movements and little resting time, I was dripping in sweat in no time, a feeling that I absolutely adore. I love, love, looove challenging my body in new ways, and that’s exactly what this workout did for me. I concluded with five fast ‘n’ furious minutes on the step mill, with 10 minutes of intervals (15 second sprint followed by 30 seconds moderate) on the elliptical. I was in and out of there in 45 minutes. How’s that for time-saving?
Save Time in the Morning: You know when you wake up for work and you want to smash your alarm clock then go into monster-mode for the next hour? Well, what if I told you you could have up to 60 additional minutes of sleep? Sounds pretty tempting now, doesn’t it? There are a few things you can do in the evening to shed time off your morning get-ready scramble:
- shower at night (-up to 30 minutes if you let your hair air-dry)
- pack a lunch before bed, something my roommates are experts at (-5 to 10 minutes and hundreds of calories from buying lunch at work)
- set your coffee pot on automatic the night before (-3 minutes OR 15 minutes if you’re one to stop on the way to work…the lines at Starbucks these days are insane!)
- take it back to middle school days and lay out an outfit (-up to 30 minutes on “I look fat” / “Nothing looks good on me” days)
- make a quickie breakfast, instead of stopping for bagels, like oatmeal ‘n’ organic nut butter or a healthy smoothie with banana, berries, soy milk and protein powder. (-15 minutes from bagel detour, -150 calories, + a whole lot-o’ energy)
Save Time in the Kitchen: I know a lot of people who moan that they don’t have time to cook, and end up settling for take-out or frozen meals. But guess what, you do have time to cook if you cook it right! The biggest misconception people have is that cooking has to be complicated and time-consuming. But it most definitely does not. I am living proof of that because most of my (extremely healthy meals) take less than 15 minutes to prepare! Nothing painful about that. Some of my faves?
- Chop up a bunch of veggies like zucchini, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and asparagus, put them in a baking dish, drizzle on salt and olive oil, pop ’em in the oven and roast for 30 minutes on 400 degrees.
- Bake a sweet potato and top with agave & cinnamon (for sweet) or olive oil, cajun and red pepper flakes (for spicy). Pair with brown rice or a big, fun salad.
- Speaking of salads, jazz up a boring salad with avocado, walnuts, tomatoes, feta cheese, apple bits, pear, and even tofu! Buy whatever is in season in the supermarket, then have fun with your salads…get creative!
- Sauté chicken or salmon with a little olive oil, lemon, dill/rosemary/other herbs you have on hand. I also LOVE topping salmon with plain greek yogurt mixed with dijon mustard and dill. The greek yogurt is a perfect substitute for mayo!
- Sauteed veggies in garlic! Garlic makes any dish extra delish. Add the veggies to a salad, some brown rice or whole grain pasta or enjoy on their own!
- Breakfast for dinner: Make an egg white omelet with 2 egg whites whisked with a little water, mushrooms, onions, spinach and some low fat cheddar or feta cheese. Serve with a piece of ezekiel toast with Smart Balance butter , some grapefruit wedges and even some turkey bacon! (Mmm)
- Take a trip to Trader Joe’s! They always have delicious, ready-to-go healthy meals. My favorites are their packaged rissotto (takes about 5 minutes to cook), frozen mahi burgers (you can grill or saute stove-top), and ready-to-go sushi & salads.
- Have fun with lean ground turkey-form into burgers or cook in with zucchini and onion and cajun seasoning for a zesty dinner
To save even more time in the kitchen, try cooking your meals ahead of time and storing them in the freezer. That way, you can have a meal ready to go for you and your family instead of worrying about cooking all night long. I understand, you’re tired and not in the mood. Also look into places near you that make pre-packaged healthy meals, like my recent post on Healthy Habits Kitchen.
What do you do to save time throughout the day? Do you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have time” more often than not? …
I have a confession: I don’t get angry much but last night I was fuming. I won’t go into details about why/who/what caused my anger, but let’s just say my blood was boiling. I guess anger wouldn’t even really describe it; pissed, shocked, stunned, steaming may be better words. I was actually shaking…literally. All I wanted to do was go for a run (but I had already done that before the anger came on and it was now too dark outside). Then I thought about kickboxing and realized that too was not rational at the moment.
So I took a deep breathe (or 15), stood in the shower for a loooong time just thinking, made some hot tea, heated up my corn bag (it’s this homemade heating pad I’m obsessed with) and went to bed. Everything would be fine in the morning, right? Wrong. I had one of those *good* dreams where you wake up and realize shit, it was just a dream, hence already started my morning on the wrong foot. I woke up still feeling on edge (to the max), and that’s when I decided it was time to let my aggression out. No, I didn’t punch anyone (although I coulda) or down vodka (wayyy to early for that).
Instead, I booked it to the gym for an early morning cardio strenth training class. If this doesn’t help I don’t know what will. When the extremely ripped instructor told me to grab two sets of weights, a weighted bar, four stacked blocks for stepping, resistance bands, and sliders, I knew I’d come to the right class. This was going to be one long and sweaty session…right up my alley! I lunged like I’d never lunged before, I grape-vined like it was my job, I challenged my body, and I pushed myself to the limits. I was sweating, out of breath and in the zone.
Once the class ended, I felt like a brand new woman. The power of exercise is unreal. It’s like a drug, one that’s extremely good for you! I walked out of the gym feeling terrific, shaking my ass down the street, admiring my toned arms and feeling good. It’s funny because when I woke up this morning I was feeling quite the opposite (even though I was the same old Rachel), but just 60-minutes of exercise gave me a brand new outlook.
The anger has now passed and I’m feeling absolutely fabulous, ready to take on the day! Lesson learned? Next time I get all angry and fuming, I’m going to sweat it out, blast some Paula Abdul or Madonna and punch, kick, crunch, jumping-jack, lunge my anger away (even if it is midnight and the rest of the apartment building is sleeping). It’s so worth it. …
I have to admit: up until this year I absolutely hated running, but I did it. I ran to lose weight, to burn off my dinner, and to look good in my bikini. I’d force myself to go on group runs with my roommates, even though every stride was absolutely painful. I hate this. But I have to keep going, I’d think to myself.
It wasn’t until this year that I began to enjoy running. The weekend of my grandmas funeral, I was filled with a bajillion emotions: anger, confusion, pain, rage, and I don’t know what got into me but I laced up my sneakers and hit the road. It was a beautiful spring day in Boston, and the temperature was in the low 70s. While normally I’d want to quit before the first mile, I simply couldn’t stop this day. I ran and I ran and I ran, letting out all my emotions on the road. I ran three miles that day, and never felt so alive.
Ever since then I’ve used running as an outlet, a way to explore and understand myself. I’ve realized running is so much more than looking good in that tight dress and burning off the extra cookie you snuck at lunch. While it doesn’t hurt that running helps burn off some fat, I’ve come to realize that running is so much more than that. Alas, I share with you some of my secret running benefits:
1. Admiring Other Active People: When I’m running, I love checking out all the people I stride by. I constantly find myself thinking, “Damn, her arms are nice,” “I love that top,” or “Boy is he cuteeeee.” It’s fun to observe other athletic people like yourself hitting the pavement, especially in the city of Boston where I swear people run outside from sunrise to sunset.
2. Discovering Hidden Gems: I can’t count the number of amazing places I’ve discovered while on my long runs. From mom & pop shops, spas and trendy cafes to beautiful farms and parks, there are a number of hidden gems I never would have known about if it weren’t for my love of running.
3. Mental to-do Lists: While running, I mentally jot down all the things I need to do, whether it be grocery shopping lists or little goals I have for the week. It saves time and paper when you organize things out in your head! (Need: apples, peanut butter, trip to the bank, new fall outfit)
4. Creativity Spark: On that note, my creative juices tend to flow best during a good, long run. I come up with some of my craziest, most inspiring ideas while on the road, and then I write them down as soon as I get home so that I won’t forget. Sometimes I wish my brain would write everything down for me so I wouldn’t have to do all the work! (It’s hard to multi-task!) I’ve come up with most of my blog posts while on the run, including this very one you’re reading right now.
5. Erasing a Bad Day: Whenever I’m having a bad day/stuck in a rut/feeling sorry for myself/feeling lonely and “extra-single” I go for a run, and by the time I get back I usually have an entirely new mindset. Running is refreshing and can give you a new perspective about things that may seem like THE END OF THE WORLD, when in reality they are just trivial issues.
6. Familiarize Yourself With Your Pod: When I put my iPod on shuffle, I discover tons of music I never knew I had! From oldies and country to rap and reggae, I like to run to all kinds of beats. Today my faves included “Satisfaction” (Benny Benassi), “Ridin’ Solo” (Jason DeRulo), “There Goes the Fear” (Doves), and “It’s the Same Old Song” (Four Tops). Told ya, I like random!
7. Post-Run Glow: I LOVE how I look after a run: glowing, red face, healthy, sweaty, strong.
8. Appreciating the Outdoors: Before running, I’d go on walks occasionally, but that was pretty much my only dose of fresh air for the day. Now I’m outside nearly every day, soaking up the beautiful weather, feeling the breeze blow through my hair and smelling the fresh scents of fall.
Do you enjoy running? What are some of the reasons you absolutely love lacing up those sneaks for a nice, sweaty run? …
This morning, I got up early and headed out to meet my friend at Starbucks for…wait for it…PUMPKIN SPICED LATTES! Yes, they are indeed back and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Not only do I love the flavor, but it makes me ecstatic for the fall season: pumpkins, running outside, not sweating in my 100+ degree apartment, kettle corn, hayrides, apple picking… Seriously, I could go on forever.
Anyway, as we chatted over our absolutely delicious “fall in a cup” lattes in the park, my friend admitted to something: she felt guilty for skipping her morning run. “I woke up early so I could run before work and then just laid around the house and didn’t do it. Now I’m going to feel guilty the rest of the day.” As I took another sweet slurp of my latte, I reflected on how I’ve been there a million times in the past. Whether I wasn’t “in the mood” to go for a run or skipped a cardio class at the gym due to pure laziness, it’s hard not to feel a little guilty when you skip a workout. I remember in college if I didn’t go to the gym for an hour each day or missed out on my weekly cycling class, I’d completely beat myself up over it. I’m lazy. I’m fat. Now I’m going to gain weight. I may as well not eat for the rest of the day. I should have just gone to the gym. Negative thoughts would haunt me for the rest of the day. Therefore, I’d force myself to exercise on days my body wasn’t feeling it, and skip out on fun dates with friends in order to go to the gym. Looking back now, it’s completely pathetic that I put so much emphasis on my psychotic workout plan.
Now, my mindset has completely changed. I don’t let myself feel guilty anymore because if I decide not to work out, I don’t think of it as a bad thing. The phrases skipping or giving up have such negative connotations to them. It’s not like you gave up on eating healthy forever or decided to drop out of school. It’s one workout for Pete’s sake! Therefore now when I choose not to do a workout, I think of it as just that. This was my decision. My body wasn’t feeling it at the time. I’m going to go with what my body tells me to do, rather than meeting my expectations.
Once you have this mindset, you’ll never feel guilty about missing a workout again. In fact, I decided to skip opt out of my morning run yesterday, and ended up having the most fabulous, healthy day because of it. I was able to make a hearty breakfast, do 20 minutes of morning yoga, and go for a long walk with my friend later in the afternoon. Sure I didn’t sweat a bunch or torch hundreds of calories, but I felt good about it and made the right decision for that day. On the other hand, I will be going on a 5 mile run this evening and couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m excited to challenge my body, see what my time will be and run in this gorgeous fall weather. However, if I happened to not be feeling it at the time of my run, I’d chose to do something else and would move on with it. It’s all about listening to your body.
After all, working out shouldn’t be a chore; you should feel motivated and inspired by it! Whenever friends complain about going to the gym or talk about “forcing” themselves to go, I tell them to stay home and do something else, or go for a long walk to sort things out. If you’re feeling miserable and dragging yourself to exercise, it’s NOT going to be a good workout. And let me tell you: 25 minutes on the elliptical at a slow “I-don’t-want-t0-be-here” pace is going to do nothing for your body or overall weight management efforts. Our bodies need a break once in a while after all. And if you’re someone who exercises nearly every day, the occasional rest day is more than OK; in fact it’s good for your health. We don’t want to overwork our bodies now, do we?
So to wrap things up: next time you find yourself feeling guilty about “skipping” a workout, try to listen to your body and think about what’s right for you. If you really are just being lazy, give it a few minutes and see how you feel, or start by just going for a walk and begin running if you feel like it (not ’cause you HAVE to). However, if you really do just need a day of rest, take one guiltlessly. There is always tomorrow and one little missed workout is not going to make the slightest difference on your overall healthy lifestyle (I wish I had known this in college). Trust me. …