Tag Archives: Health

Running Gear Wish List

17 Jan

After reading Peanut Butter Finger’s post about her favorite workout gear, I started thinking about items that I would like to add to my arsenal of running gear. Don’t get my wrong…I love going out for a run without my iPhone and just listening to the sounds around me and concentrating on my breathing but having some new gear can definitely spice up a run. Here’s a list of some of the items I’ve been eyeing lately and may be adding to my closet before I gear up (fingers crossed) for my first half marathon this summer!

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Drink Up!

9 Jan

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day!  Today started out with a quick breakfast of banana yogurt with oats before tackling a long to do list which I got halfway through before deciding it was time to take a gym break.

Workout

As was scheduled in my Slim and Sculpt program, I had an interval day which consisted of one minute of running followed by a minute of fast walking for a total of fifteen minutes. It was definitely a harder workout than I expected when I was first reviewing it. The speeds were definitely a bit higher than I usually run when I do a distance run and the walking portions were still at 4.5 mph which kept my heart rate up. Thankfully, one of my favorite running songs came on near the end of my run to get me through the last few intervals.

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I was certainly a hot mess once I got off the treadmill but I felt accomplished. I followed up my run with a quick ab workout and a BIG bottle of water in keeping with my resolution to drink more water. Speaking of which… Continue reading

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!

Race Wish List

27 Sep

Happy Thursday everyone! In the past few days as I’ve been trying to find some more fitness blogs that I enjoy reading, I’ve also found that in the coming year, there are a ton of races that have caught my eye and that I’m considering running. Even though I’ve been running since high school, I have never run any sort of race outside of track meets and would love to finally cross that off my bucket list so without further ado, here is my wish list!

1. Zooma Women’s Race Series in Austin – March 23, 2013

Not only is this a race that is largely focused on female runners but Zooma has turned the entire event into a fun girls weekend with shopping, yoga and wine tastings (along with many other things!). In addition to the Austin race, the group is hosting others along the east coast and even one in Michigan. The thing that caught my eye (aside from the fun of a girls weekend) was the fact that this race is in “Austin Hill Country” and if you ask me, I need to see that for myself. Being from the North, I’m use to running hills and seeing mountains but from what I’ve heard, Texas is pretty void of any elevation. Another perk of this race is that they have both a 5K and a half marathon depending on your skill level. I would hope that by the time this race comes around I’ll be ready for a half marathon but as of right now, I’ll be sticking with the 5K.

Click to be taken to the Zooma Website!

2. Tough Mudder Houston – October 2013

Who doesn’t love an enormous challenge? As if running a race isn’t hard enough, make it three to four times longer than a 5K and add military style obstacles that were designed by the British Special Ops. Did I spark your interest yet? The Tough Mudder isn’t just a challenging race though as many of the entrance fees are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project which helps to support wounded veterans…a worthy cause if you ask me and definitely worth the entrance fee! Plus, who can complain about crossing the finish line and having a beer handed to you, a band already playing and the party raging. Finally, the race series promotes helping one another which is amazing when you realize that running, for a lot of people (myself included), is often a solo activity. Definitely adding it to my list of races to complete in the future!

Tough Mudder Pledge

3. Color Run – Austin 2013

It’s only a 5K but at the end of the race, you look like you’ve been attacked with a box of crayons and chances are, you’ll have the biggest smile on your face. This fun run takes that name to a whole new level by covering runners in a different color of all natural chalk every time they finish another kilometer of the race. Don’t want to get covered in tons of color? The organizers have solved that problem and created zones where the color is more concentrated so you can pick and choose how colorful you are by the end of the race. Similar to the Tough Mudder, the finish line serves as the entrance to the after party where people can enjoy music, food and compare how much color they managed to pick up during their run. The website says there is only one rule: You have to wear mostly white and have fun!

Color Explosion!

and last but not least….

4. The Boston Marathon – April 15, 2013

Growing up in New England, the Boston Marathon is a huge deal. Race day is affectionately referred to as Marathon Monday and the entire state has the day off. Schools are closed and for the most part, everyone is in and around Boston lining the race course. I, unfortunately, have never had the chance to see the actual race in person but I have seen it plenty of times on TV and have seen a majority of the course which is far from easy. Miles seven through fourteen pass through Newton, MA and are strictly hills including the notorious Heartbreak Hill which I grew up hearing my mom talk about. There is nothing more exciting than watching the runners turn down Boylston Street for the final stretch and seeing that first person cross the finish line. It absolutely warms my heart and can some years even make me cry. I love seeing other people’s hard work and dedication pay off. I can only hope that there will be a day in the future when I will get to cross that famous finish line after running 26.2 miles from Hopkington, although this race maybe a long way off.

The finish line for the marathon on Boylston Street

Now that you’ve seen my race wish list, I want to hear about yours! What races in the next year (or more) are you looking forward to being a part of! Leave me a comment with your answers!

For more info on each race, click the picture underneath the description to be taken to the website!

 

P.S. I made a Twitter! Click Here!