Happy New Year/Holiday Recap

2 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and were able to spend time relaxing with family and friends. That’s the best part of this season after all. As for me, the month of December was INSANELY busy. I finished my last semester at LSU and I will now be transferring to start nursing at a school closer to home which is exciting. Finals went well and it’s been nice to be home relaxing. The last week was filled with holiday parties and New Years of course which was wonderful. I had a chance to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in ages and spend some much needed quality time with my parents and brother.

Our Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree

Even Oreo was in the Christmas spirit and filled in as Santa if only for a little while.

Santa Kitty

Santa Kitty

It’s definitely been a huge adjustment being home but in a good way…although I am already a little tired of the snow. Waking up this morning, I saw that the low for the day was 3º….yes. THREE DEGREES! I haven’t seen temperatures like that since I was in high school. I was hoping for a winter like last year where there was hardly any snow and it stayed in the forties but alas, it won’t be that kind of winter. We’ve already have two snow storms since I got home and my duck boots have had plenty of loving.

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Workouts

With my move back home, I also decided to make some changes to my workouts which maybe one of the more exciting changes for me. After trying out a few workout programs, I was having a hard time sticking to them because they rotated the same workouts throughout the week. Then, I came across Carrie’s WordPress. I was instantly hooked and decided that after Christmas I would try out one of her workout programs. After purchasing the program, she sends you the package with all the info and offers help and advice throughout the 12 weeks of the program. I am currently trying out the Slim and Sculpt Program.

Unlike most of the other programs I have tried, this one is done in phases so that every four weeks, your workout routine changes. Although I’ve only done the first week, it’s definitely been keeping my attention. I look forward to going to the gym to see what the workout for the day entails. I definitely don’t think this is the last FitChick program that I’ll be doing.

Stretching out after Day 3

Stretching out after Day 3

Today’s workout was an interval day so I completed PBFingers Quick ‘n’ Sweaty 20 Minute Interval workout which kicked my butt. I was definitely a sweaty mess when I hopped of the treadmill. After, I completed day four of the 60 Day 6-Pack Promise App and headed home to whip up some dinner!

Dinner

I was extra hungry when I got home from the gym. I have been craving sweet potatoes a lot lately so I tried my hand at making baked sweet potatoes which turned out well. I had my potato along with a few pan browned chicken tenders and brown rice which certainly hit the spot. Dinner was followed up by a few pieces of chocolate while I curled up with Oreo to read for a while.

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I hope you all have a wonderful night and a lovely rest of this short work week!

P.S. I updated the fashion page

(How do you guys like the new look??)

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Happy Election Day!

6 Nov

I hope everyone who had the opportunity to get out and vote today took advantage! It’s such an amazing freedom and I was so excited to vote for the first time….although I had already voted four weeks ago! I had to absentee vote because I am in Louisiana and can’t possibly make it home to Massachusetts on election day. I was pretty sad that I didn’t get a sticker because of my early voting but I’m sure I’ll get one next election! As for right now, I am just watching the numbers come in on TV with friends and catching up on a bit of homework. It’s a bit crazy trying to focus on both politics and Astronomy!

As for the rest of my day, it was pretty uneventful. I am coming down with another cold so I skipped the gym and instead took a nice long walk around the lake. It was a cool day in Baton Rouge which made it an absolutely amazing walk. After I returned from my 4.2 mile walk, I did a few planks and crunches before prepping dinner. I made a romaine salad with a Boca Chik’n Patty, red bell peppers, onions and yummy Russian dressing. Yum yum!

Well I hope you all have a wonderful night and an exciting rest of the week!

It’s Geaux Time!

4 Nov

If you watch college football at all, you know that yesterday was one of the biggest games of the year and I was lucky enough to be there! Although it didn’t turn out the way that all of us Tigers wanted it to, it was still an amazing night that I wouldn’t have missed for anything. Here are some pics from the weekend!

I hope you guys all had an amazing weekend and are ready for another fun and exciting week!

P.S. The fashion page was updated!

Back to the Grind

1 Nov

I’ve been lacking a lot of workout posts lately (or I guess any posts for that matter) but this semester has been kicking my butt. I can’t wait until Thanksgiving and Christmas break to get a chance to sit down and catch up on posts!

As for my workout today, I felt pretty unmotivated until I got to the gym at which point I wanted to do everything. I lost track of time quickly which I find is amazing because it makes workouts fly by. I started out with an awesome “shredmill” workout that I found somewhere on the web. I wish I could remember where I found it because this is one of my favorite workouts lately. It’s long but like I said, time flies when you doing it because of the constant changes with speed and incline.

Get ready to break a serious sweat!

This one definitely had me breaking a sweat and I was pumped up for some supersets when I got off the treadmill. I found a blog the other day called The Lean Green Bean which had tons of workouts. Definitely worth checking out! Anyways, after browsing some of the supersets she had, I came upon an arm and abs one that I actually thought I would finish. Sometimes when it comes to supersets, I find that I get bored or get to a move that I hate and just stop. This one I ended up pushing through and I was definitely feeling it a few hours later.

As for the rest of the afternoon, I will be spending it catching up on some school work and getting chores done around the apartment. I am hoping that between those two, the days between now and November 20th when I go home for Thanksgiving will fly by! Fingers crossed! Have an amazing Thursday!

If You Don’t Like The Weather, Wait Five Minutes

31 Oct

I grew up in an area of the country that, on occasion, can have some of the most bizarre weather patterns you can think of. There’s a saying in New England that “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” I was reminded of this phrase a lot this week as the weather went from comfortably warm to arctic in just a few days. As I was walking to class yesterday, I felt as though I had somehow been transported back home to Massachusetts because it was FREEZING. That’s not exaggerating either. At 36 degrees, it was about as cold as I have ever seen in Baton Rouge but I realized that there are some things that I associate with cold weather that I miss dearly. Here are a few…

 

1. Drinking hot things without feeling like you are going to burst into flames. 

This is a big one for me because as a lover of all things containing caffeine.  I have a hard time trying to drink a coffee on my way to class when it is breaking into the 90s. It’s far from my ideal of sipping on a cup of steaming coffee or hot chocolate while bundled up in all sorts of winter gear.

My sixth coffee after pulling an all nighter to study

2. I actually know how to dress for this weather!

When I first got to LSU, I found that it was hotter than the surface of the sun. I had never experience this kind of heat or humidity and it was miserable. All of the clothes that I had brought from home were essentially useless and I quickly learned that the only way to survive the heat is shorts and a tank. Although I don’t necessarily get dressed up for class (I usually rock Nike shorts and a tank top), I like having the OPTION to do so. Take yesterday for example. After pulling an all nighter to study for an Organic test, I was excited to throw on my (ahem) dusty riding boots, a pair of jeans and a flannel. It was like being back home.

Nothing like getting to wear fall and winter clothes

3. It makes crawling under the covers before bed the best part of the day.

There is nothing I love more than finally getting to go to sleep on chilly days and shaking the chill. I especially love throwing my comforter or pillows in the dryer for a few minutes before bed so that they are extra extra warm. The only downside to this one is waking up in the morning and talking yourself into getting out of bed which can be pretty challenging.

Who knew it even got this cold in Louisiana?!

 

As you can see, the weather is certainly going to be a little more reasonable this week but I’m not getting too comfortable. Before I know it, I’ll be back in Massachusetts hoping that spring and summer come earlier than expected! Hope you’re all having a wonderful Halloween and a great week!

NEEDTOBREATHE

15 Oct

I’ve been gone for way too long but in my defense, last week was midterms which was chaotic and I finally had my last test today. Thank goodness that is all over until finals week starts up in a few weeks. Even through all of the tests, I still found a bit of time to fit in some fun and had a chance to go see NEEDTOBREATHE in concert at the River Center downtown. They were AH-MAZING. I figured they would be good because I have a few friends who saw them last year at a smaller venue right off campus but they sounded as good as they do on their records. It completely blew my mind. The opening bands were just as amazing. We only caught the end of the very first performers set but his vocals were crazy. The second band was called Parachute and they were so much fun to watch. They definitely pumped us up pretty quickly for the rest of the show. I would recommend looking up both bands if you haven’t heard of them before. I put a list of some of my favorite songs at the bottom to save some time. It was nice to finally have a chance to hang out with friends too who I feel like I haven’t seen all semester because of classes and our schedules. Here’s one of the videos that I took during the show…you can’t see much but the music is amazing: Washed By The Water – NEEDTOBREATHE

My freshman roommate and I at the concert

Aside from that fun last Thursday, I also spent Saturday night at Tiger Stadium hanging with 92,000 of my closest friends with a few South Carolina fans mixed in there. It was one of those games where the stadium was roaring and it was such a fun atmosphere to be a part of. There’s nothing like getting caught up in a game and cheering at the top of your lungs. After the game, a few friends and I headed to Chimes, a restaurant right off campus, to grab some appetizers before heading to bed. Definitely another amazing night.

The student section for the South Carolina Gold game

In the future, I will certainly try to not go that long without updating but I can’t make any promises when it comes to finals week! I hope you all are having an amazing Monday and have a fantastic rest of the week!!

P.S. I updated the fashion page with my outfit from the show!

Kiss Me Slowly – Parachute

She Is Love – Parachute

Something To Believe In – Parachute (my personal favorite!)

Lay ‘Em Down – NTB

Girl Named Tennessee – NTB

Something Beautiful – NTB (probably their most well known by people who don’t know their music)

No Time For Being Lazy

6 Oct

…unless it’s this morning and you’re me. I have had the absolute slowest start this morning and getting myself out of bed this morning was on the verge of impossible. I ended up working on some homework last night until almost 1:30 AM without even realizing it so this morning was not fun. I think I’ve been gradually waking myself up over the past two hours, starting with reading a book in bed for the majority of that time. Then I finally managed to make it out of bed and get a mug of tea going.

Must. Wake. Up.

As for the plan today, I am hoping (fingers crossed!) to get back into the gym today for at least a little while. My nose is still stuffed up but I am getting so antsy that I can’t wait another week to get to the UREC. I’m planning on doing the Saturday circuit here from Back On Pointe and just going at my own pace. No need to rush through it while I’m still recovering! By the time that is done, it’ll be time for the LSU/Florida game which is going to be a nail-biter with the way that we’ve been playing recently. Let’s just hope we don’t have as many penalties as last week! Last year when we played Florida, our punter ended up scoring which was EPIC but because he was celebrating before he got to the endzone, we sadly lost the points. It’s still one of my favorite highlights from last year though….

 

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Saturday! Enjoy it while you can!

Stir Fries and Study Breaks

4 Oct

It is finally Thursday, or at least it will be when this post finally goes up. You’ve almost made it to yet another weekend so hang in there! I know that I am looking forward to relaxing and hopefully kicking what is left of this cold that just won’t seem to go away. It’s definitely been taking a lot out of me this week and it’s been killing me that I haven’t had a chance to work out. I have, however, had plenty of time to study. Yesterday, I spent a few hours at Barnes and Noble studying for my Astronomy and Organic tests next week with a yummy Naked Green Machine. It’s nice to finally study at a BN where everyone else looks just as nerdy as I do. Back home, I was usually one of the only people with all of my textbooks spread all over the big tables.

Studying and snacks!

I returned to my apartment and sat in our kitchen for a while before finally realizing that I was absolutely starving. I haven’t had much of an appetite the past few days with this cold so when I realized I did, I wasn’t even sure what to eat. I also realized that I haven’t been grocery shopping in ages so I was left rummaging through the cabinets to find something yummy. Fortunately, I found some mushrooms in the fridge and soy sauce in a package that my dad had sent me at the beginning of the school year. My dad always makes beef and broccoli with the sauce back home so I figured I could manage to make some stir fry mushrooms the same way.

Before adding the sauce

I threw about half the carton of mushrooms into a frying pan and added a bit of olive oil. I let the mushrooms sit in the oil for a bit while the browned, occasionally stirring them until they reached a texture that I liked. Then, I added a bit of the soy sauce and mixed it together with the mushrooms and voila! Dinner! I whipped up some white rice on the side and mixed it together after taking a yummy looking picture….

Dinner is served!

Well I am off to finish some more homework, watch the debate and eventually get a great night sleep! I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and hang in there! It’s almost Friday!

P.S. I updated the recipe and fashion pages!

The Challenges Only Make You Stronger

3 Oct

I’ve been hesitant to put this post up because for the most part, I would like to keep this blog as positive as possible even though somedays, it’s hard to do. My life isn’t always happy or perfect and for the most part, I find a lot of days incredibly challenging to deal with largely because of my eating disorder. I also planned on keeping most of my eating disorder talks away from this blog but for some people, it may in fact help people understand the situation I am in or why some of my workouts are so intense. After trying to think of a way to talk about my eating without having it seem like word vomit, I came across this list which seemed like a good way to talk about the issues with guiding questions. Originally, the list is from Tumblr and although it’s a thirty question list, I am going to answer ones that I think are the most important so here goes nothing.

What eating disorder are/have you struggled with?

I have struggled with both bulimia and anorexia but by far, the first is the worst of the two and has been the most detrimental to my body in the past nine years that I have dealt with these problems. The restricting that goes with anorexia comes and goes but the need to purge in some form, whether it be excessive exercise, laxatives or vomiting is always in the back of my mind following a meal.

What are factors that contributed in your choice to recover? 

I was very reluctant to enter treatment in the first place because for most of the time that I have had these problems, they have gone unnoticed by close friends and family, at least up until last September when the restricting and purging caught up with me, forcing me to put school on the back burner and take a year off from college to address the issues. At first, treatment was the appease everyone around me. I half-assed the process and didn’t care if I lied to my therapists about how I was doing because at the end of the day, my eating disorders were my comfort and I needed them, or so I thought. The change finally came when I had others genuinely show concern for my wellbeing and remind me about all the goals that I have in life and how they would be unattainable is I continued on the path I was on. I used that as my motivator as well as reading stories about other people’s recovery. Specifically, I read Amanda Beard’s biography In The Water They Can’t See You Cry which really hit me hard and made me realize I wasn’t the only person who had the problem (as it sometimes feels) and that things can get better.

Create a list of all the negative things your eating disorder has given you.

Loss of friends, injuries, headaches, stomachaches, zero confidence, stress, failing grades (on occasion), exhaustion, depression, uncontrolled weight loss/gain, bad skin, ruined relationships…I could continue for days.

Do you believe you can ever fully recover from an eating disorder? Explain.

No. I believe that having an eating disorder is like being an alcoholic. You are always in recovery no matter how hard you try. You don’t forget about your habits or your urges even when you learn how to better maintain them or avoid them. They are always there. There is always the chance that you could slip up and there are days that are going to be incredibly difficult when you look in the mirror. I truly believe that in order to be healthy and happy, recovery needs to continue beyond the point where you are “cured.” Just like most other mental illnesses, there is no magic cure or easy way out. You can’t take medicine and get rid of the problem but you can continue to work towards you goal or maintain all of the hard work you have done.

How do your friends and family feel about your eating disorder?

For my family, it scares them to know how out of control it can get, especially when they realize that for the majority of the year, I live 1,600 miles away where they can’t actually see the changes in my weight. Phone calls do little to comfort them as I’ve become good at hiding how my eating is affecting me and lying about my eating habits, neither of which I am proud of. However, regardless of how much it scares them, they have been there the whole way with me tackling the issue head on which is the extra help that I think I’ve always needed to really start my recovery. As for friends, I feel as though most of them aren’t sure how to deal with that information. It’s not a comfortable topic to talk about as I can get very confrontational and protective about my habits so I find that most friends walk on eggshells around me or avoid the topic entirely unless I bring it up.

Has your eating disorder ever held you back from something? If so, explain.

Being happy is a big one for me. For the most part, my eating disorder has led me in the past to self-sabotage relationships and friendships. It has held me back from getting spectacular grades all the time as it’s impossible to even get out of bed some mornings. Running races has become a hard goal to attain because the lack of food in my system makes long runs on the verge of impossible. It makes me incredibly self-conscious in crowds and I’m constantly uncomfortable about my looks. On the other side of this, there are plenty of things that I have done despite my eating disorder. For example, I moved 1,600 miles away from home to go to college and made new friends who are incredible people inside and out. I’ve opened up and been honest with a lot of people in the past who I use to shut out but now eagerly let into my personal bubble.

Describe your goals for your future.

I think, like most other people who suffer from eating disorders, I would like to be happy in my own skin and be comfortable eating any food item without having to cancel it out later. I would like to stop spending money on multiple gym memberships and laxatives. I would like to be able to go out and eat with friends without feeling guilty after. I’d like to enjoy eating instead of viewing it as a chore. I’d like to stop comparing myself to every girl that I walk by or see at the gym and appreciate the fact that every size is beautiful in its own way. I’d like to have a healthy relationship where my eating doesn’t turn me into a saboteur. I’d like to have children and be able to deal with my post-baby body in a healthy way instead of resorting to bad habits. I’d like to become a doctor (hopefully a surgeon) but take time on the side to do more research into the causes of these all-consuming diseases that so many men and women suffer from.

Where were you in terms of your eating disorder 6 months ago?

I was completely against any form of treatment. Although I was seeing a therapist weekly, I would often cancel appointments and tell her that I needed to work or that something came up and I wouldn’t be able to make my session. My parents were still largely in the dark about my problem and the nuances of it. Although they would ask me daily about what I had eaten, people were so rarely around when I ate that it was easy to lie to them about my daily nutrition. I was on a roller coaster when it came to managing my feelings about my eatings with my relationship and would often take out bad days with my eating on my then boyfriend, breaking up with him or arguing with him over some trivial issue. I felt even though I had done little to change where I was with my disorder, I was ready to come back to LSU which I am now seeing was far from true. I was getting to a point where I was either going to continue to slowly kill myself or make a change which fortunately came after working at camp this summer where people convinced me to, for once, take care of myself and my health.

Eating disorders often come hand in hand with social anxiety and or depression. Explain how you feel in these situations.

I hate social settings with a passion whether it be with a few friends, sitting in a class or hanging out at the Student Union. For the most part, I get so preoccupied with looking at others and comparing myself to them that I have a hard time enjoying the people I am with or focusing on the work that I am doing. Eating in public is one of the worst as I feel like the people who know about my eating analyze every bite I take and notice whether I look at my food with disgust, while I feel jealous of people who don’t deal with these issues and look as though they can eat whatever they want. I also feel like people always know before I even tell them or sometimes even before I meet people. I feel like I have it stamped into my forehead that I deal with this problem constantly and people, before they know me or about my problem, judge me for it. As for depression, I have felt so low at points that I have just wanted to lock myself away in my room and never come out. I have gone weeks without speaking to people who were only trying to help me or, other times, hid the fact that I would go back to my apartment and just lay in bed. Depression got so intense for me last year that I went three days without getting out of bed except to go to the bathroom and missed two tests which I didn’t even have enough energy to care about. I have scared myself at times with how dark my thoughts can get but try to remind myself, even in those times, that it gets better. It may not be soon and it may not be ideal but it will be better.

What kind of treatment are you currently in and what others have you tried?

In the past I have tried therapists which have failed largely because I would go to sessions and lie about my situation. Now, I am currently in an eating disorder program that is run by the LSU Health Center in which I meet with a therapist and dietician once a week and an RN every few weeks. Each person that I meet with helps to address a part of the eating disorder such as my internal health, the emotions and feelings associated with the disease or the actual food and as a whole, begin to chisel away at the negative self-image and thoughts. So far, treatment has had its ups and downs but unlike times in the past, I am sticking with it as much as I can and not backing down no matter how hard it gets.

If you’ve made it this far then thank you for hanging in there. I think that having answered these questions, I have even reminded myself why I continue to go to treatment every week and why I am working so hard to deal with these issues that have plagued my life for the past nine years. At the end of this journey, I would like to be able to say that I didn’t end up as a bad statistic and that I instead had a successful, although challenging trip navigating this disease. It won’t be easy, it won’t be pretty and it’s far from over but at least I am headed in the right direction which is more than I can say of myself a year ago and for that, I am more proud of myself than I have ever been before.

Turn the Beat Around

30 Sep

Is it just me or does everyone else get incredibly tired of their running must after a few runs? Lately I’ve been finding myself skipping through a majority of the songs on my playlists and getting distracted from my run. I should also add that I am the queen of making mental notes and forgetting them seconds later. For example, if I am in the car and I hear a song that I’d love to add to my workout list, I make a mental note. The problem is that the song never makes it to my playlist…until now! I found an app for iPhone called Shazam that I’ve been using lately which listens to the song that is playing and saves it to a list so that you can download it later. Genius right?! Although I’m still working on adding some more songs to my lists, here is a list of my favorite workout songs now:

Another neat site that I use a lot to find new workout music is called jog.fm. I can’t exactly remember where I heard about the site but it has turned out to be an amazing find. The site allows you to enter your pace for either you runs, bike rides and walks and returns a very extensive list of songs that have the same bpm as you run/walk/bike. Nifty right? You can also listen to the songs on Spotify if you have it installed on your computer as opposed to typing them all into Youtube which can be a pain.

Well now that you have plenty of new sources for music, I hope you all add some new songs to your playlists and get going! As for me, I’ll be taking the next few days off because of a sneak attack from a cold but no fear! I’ll be back out on the trails before you know it. Have a great Sunday night and a wonderful Monday tomorrow!!

Do you have any favorite workout songs that you add to every list? Any suggestions that I should add to my lists? Leave them in the comments!