Well-Being Wednesday

Evening bloggers and readers!

I apologize for the late post tonight, I had another serious one all typed and ready to go and then my site started to glitch…? or something and everything was lost! I was a bit frustrated and my non-technical self was not able to salvage my work so I will be re-posting it tomorrow when I re-write it:)

I have seen several other bloggers have “themed” days according to the week and decided to jump on that bandwagon. On a daily basis, I am making changes and choices toward a healthier future that will benefit me both mentally and physically. As discussed a number of times, fitness and running are a part of who I am, so treating my body the best that I can with proper nutrition, adequate calories, and REST, are goals of ultimate goals of mine to regularly incorporate.

So, I’m calling this post, “well-being Wednesday” and will be having this sort of theme each Wednesday, hopefully posted earlier in the day though:) The idea of this is to use my own knowledge and advice from others to make small changes to better my mind and body. It is my strong belief that if you keep making small changes to your daily routine, they eventually add up and become a normal part of your life and are no longer so scary. For example, I took a rest day on Sunday and although it made my anxiety go through the roof, I did not do any extra cardio/weights that day. Yes it was uncomfortable, but resting one or two days a week is necessary and something I promise to do for myself and my anxiety surrounding this will dwindle!

I am forcing these changes for my WELL-BEING because life is so completely beyond a constant fixation and critique of your body.

For my well-being Wednesday I…

  • Stretched my legs, back, abs, and arms after an intense cardio kick class. *I used to never stretch because in my mind it was a waste of time where I could be doing extra cardio, running, or weights while at the gym…brilliant I know.
  • Bought some of my favorite Caramel Corn from Trader Joe’s that I used to not allow in my room for fear of over eating it, hello let’s try moderation, a handful satisfies me just fine! It’s so delicious, imagine Cracker Jacks but ten thousand times better, give or take a bit hehe

  • Tried something new at the dining hall tonight (roasted fish), knowing it was cooked in oil… crazy stuff!😉
  • Had a large breakfast- Oats in a Jar again! This means that I not only ate a big breakfast, but that I am actually plowing through my nut butter stash which= fat in my diet which= healthier hair, skin, everything for me!

It’s the same mix as last time: 1/3 cup regular oatmeal, 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 water, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 sliced medium banana, lots of cinnamon and sweetener to taste. Stir it up, store it in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour, take it out and try not to inhale it:) Once again, looks like baby yuck food, taste glorious.

  • Contacted a long-lost friend I had not talked to for quite some time…via facebook, but a connection nonetheless!
  • Not entirely sure if this counts but it made me feel better–> put air in my tires by myself! I don’t like dealing with car stuff, I know typical female! I just always hope there is a man or someone with knowledge of cars around if I ever need help. Oh and that’s what Triple A is for haha

Sorry about the odd coloring, but this is my car! Rhonda the Honda:)

  • Made some phone calls for summer plans I have been avoiding for a long time, just because I didn’t want to deal with it. This was quite silly, as the calls were no big deal and made me feel more set for the summer!

Like I said, these are small changes but they add up and enable you to make a permanent change toward a life beyond obsessing about your own body, food, what others think, etc.

What well-being changes have you made for yourself today? If none, will you try them tomorrow? Do you like the idea of this weekly post?

Uh oh, it’s pushin past my old lady bedtime of 10:00 pm! Goodnight😀

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Confession: Granola Bars Are Taking Over My Room

That might be an odd title, but it’s the only one I could think of that truly defines this post! After seeing Freya’s post on this matter, I realized I’m guilty of this as well!

The scary thing is this is only about half of my stash! It seems every time I go to a grcocery store, I can’t help but just look at the bar selection and see if there are any new ones! I may or may not squeel with delight if I see a new flavor or brand:) However, I have officially made a promise to myself after seeing this ridiculousness, that I am NOT allowed to buy anymore until I have eaten some of them!

I do have at least one everyday. They are perfect for a mid-afternoon snack around 4 or 4:30 when I am inevitably hungry and bored during class= deadly combination. Whipping out one of these bars not only satisfies me until dinner, but most are pretty darn tasty.

Favorites: (*I was not sent these, just sharing my faves😀 )

  • Clif Bar-  Maple Nut, maple is one of my favorite flavor so putting this in a bar, chewy, amazing form is pure perfection
  • Kashi- Pretzel Chocolate Crunch, truly an unbeatable combination
  • Nature Valley- Peanut Butter, yes they don’t have the best ingredient list, but I can’t get over the peanutty crunch, and I like that there are two in the package. Makes me feel like I am eating more:)
  • NuGo Free- Dark Chocolate Crunch, these are gluten free (not that I don’t eat gluten but helpful for those who cannot!) and they are pleasantly chewy with a strong dark chocolate flavor that really leaves me satisfied.

What are some of your favorite granola/nutrition bars? After I have eaten a few of mine, I am going to HAVE to seek out more and like I said, am always looking for new ones!

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Controlled By Routine

Good Morning everyone! Another lengthy post ahead…😀

I went on a run this morning despite the on and off rain we have been experiencing since yesterday. It is quite warm out at least, and I ran in shorts and short sleeve, more evidence that we are approaching the wondrous warm weather:) Running the rain (as long as it’s not too cold!) always makes me feel intense, kind of bad ass? Haha, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that but I usually feel really powerful in this kind of weather, which I did today.

(source of picture)

I completed 9 miles in 1 hour and 10 minutes and felt increasingly more energized as the distance went by. Like I mentioned yesterday, I listened to South of Broad by Patrick Conroy on my iPod and once again, made the time go by quite fast. This book is really compelling so far and some of the descriptions make me want to move to the South pronto!

On my run this morning I realized how much I love working out in the early morning, to start my day and to get it over with the rest of the day. I usually do enjoy my workouts, but I still like to complete them, shower and then do whatever else I need to do without a workout impending on my thoughts. This goes along with my addiction to exercising, but I also can’t remember the last time I didn’t work out in the morning- this isn’t at the crack of dawn though! I don’t have class until 11:15 each day so I go for a run/gym around 7:30 which gives me plenty of time to shower after and get ready for the day.

Reflecting on this workout routing allows me to see how much I am love, depend on and am attached to my daily routine. I get up, workout, sort of eat breakfast, go to class, have an hour to do work until lunch, eat lunch, go to my remaining classes, blog, or do homework the rest of the afternoon depending on the day, go to dinner or have dinner in my room, go on the computer a bit more/watch tv, and then go to bed preferably before 10:30 pm. Yep, not exactly a thrilling routine but one that I have become used to and when this schedule is disturbed, or a requirement comes up that was unexpected, my anxiety flourishes, I am irritated and cannot handle the change well.

I can understand now that my routine provides a sense of “comfort” for myself, which goes right along with desiring to have complete control over what I eat/when I eat, exercising, and how my own body looks. I get truly nervous and upset when any part of my routine is disturbed. For example, if I have an unexpected meeting around the time I usually have lunch, I get pissed because my usual lunch time has to change, and I have to maneuver what I am going to eat, or if I have to bring it with me, etc.

Last summer, I would wake up run/workout, eat fruit for breakfast, get anxious if I ate anything else, pack my lunch (salad, no fat sources, egg whites), go to the beach (if I was not working that day), come home and try not to snack until dinner (I always did because duh, I was hungry) which would include a large sweet potato with Greek yogurt, an apple and spinach. I would try not to eat dinner before 7:30 because I feared being hungry before going to bed. Well why not just eat something then right? Nooo because that would be a disturbance in my schedule of course!

My older brother Tucker was living with us for a few weeks last summer and sometimes he liked to have friends over, which gasp, coincided with my dinner time. I didn’t like eating in front of anyone besides my family so I would get so angry when someone unexpectedly came over and disrupted me. I felt I was being judged by his friends, which was not true at all, and they are people I have known for years. They probably couldn’t care less what I was doing and came over to see Tucker, not to see what I was eating. I was so crazed at that point and my attitude lead my brother and I to fight a lot last summer, something I truly regret. I hope he understands it was not completely about him, and that any changes to my daily routine were simply not allowed with me.

Another story:  as an RA, emergencies occur usually on the weekends and in the middle of the night which require me to get up. “OH NO! I’m going to miss out on my usual 8-9 hours, my workout the next morning is not going to be as successful, I am going to be tired the rest of the day, and my eating will be off!” During these incidents I turn into an unpleasant bitch, as if the world is revolving around me and I am the only one that is affected by a disturbance in sleep. However, the other members of my staff obviously have to get up too and they put on a smile and deal with the situation in a necessary fashion.

 

We had to clear these boxes in the middle of the night after move-in day! Fire Safety Issues

This is all about food, which I have come to realize and can admit to. I want to eat the food that I want to eat, when I want it, and in the environment of my choice. This is why going out to a restaurant that is unfamiliar causes me to become a nervous wreck. What if there is nothing I want to eat? Or what if everything is smothered in butter/oil? What if we have to wait and I have to eat later in the evening then I want to? I might still be hungry after eating! <– These are all the thoughts plaguing me when I go out to eat and prevents me from enjoying the company I am with and the chance to be in a new environment trying something new. All I can think of is how this unfamiliar food and change in my routine is going to make me FAT.

What a way to live right? No, this needs to stop and I think recognizing this is a necessary first step. Again, this goes along with my addiction to exercise and my anxiety when I take a day off. Resting for a day is a change in my intensive workout schedule, and my irrational thinking= I will lose everything I have worked for, lose muscle, gain fat, blah blah blah. For so long I have believed that my controlling my routine and every aspect of my life would make me happier, but in fact, holding on to my “schedule” has increasingly upset me and make me cling to even more. I am petrified of letting go of this routine but know I need to.

Perhaps people can relate to this? Does anyone else turn into an irrational bitch if something is slightly off? I do not think this is a great quality to have at all, and “going with the flow” is a goal of mine I am determined to achieve and make a peace of mind with my once controlling schedule.:)

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Filed under Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Exercise, Recovery, Running, Serious Stuff, Weight

Favorite Running Products

If you haven’t read my post about my compulsive exercising, check it out if you would like! It is a very important topic to me and one where I must listen to my own damn advice and not just preach about what I SHOULD be doing!

My “career” with running started only a few years ago, when I was 18. As I have discussed on the running and races page, I used to loathe running and couldn’t comprehend how people actually enjoyed voluntarily engaging in this activity for pleasure and fun. To me, running= torture. Not so fond memories of earlier running experiences were in Middle school when we were forced to run a mile on the track as part of a fitness test most kids had to go through.

Well I barely finished the mile but did manage to get 12:30 which I was fairly proud of! The next year when I was 14, I banged it out in 8:45 and figured that was the fastest I would ever go. However, the combination of quitting swimming when I was 18, with diligently building my miles, speed and endurance over several years, I can run a mile a whole lot faster!

From this….

To this!😀

With the continuous engagement into the world of running, I learned to become particularly attached to a few products along the way that I consider essential for successful runs! *Note- I am not trying to advertise any of these/none were went to me, I just wanted to share what helps me run:)

Asics- Kayano 17. It seems I have been sucked into the high-tech shoe craze, but I have to admit, I absolutely love these sneakers! I have bought the same brand and kind for the last three years and these are the only ones that have not hurt me in anyway. I overpronate, which means my foot rolls in too much when every time I come down on my feet. It is ideal to have normal pronation, or the inward roll of the foot and in particular the heel and arch which occurs naturally at the heel strike as a cushioning method. (Source) I know there is much skepticism around whether “minimalist shoes” such as the Vibram Five Fingers are actually the best for a human body, but for now I’m sticking with these. Check out this article from Runner’s World, if you are interested in finding out more about minimalist shoes! And this brings me to my next favorite…

I look forward to Runner’s World every month! I love the tips and suggestions for runners and athletes, but also the quirky articles from various authors, and updated information on all the elite runners out there.

Under Armor’s Cold Weather gear running tights. Trust me, I know these are expensive, but they have been a great investment! Especially this past epic winter when I would sometimes be running in 10 degree weather (that’s my limit), at least my legs stayed toasty warm!

This is a great, inspirational read that I feel every athlete or anyone into fitness should read to give themselves a motivating kick in the butt! The book made me want to ditch my running shoes and go gallivanting into the dessert to simply run! Well that thought crossed my mind only for a second, then I read the perils the group went through!

My iPod, a nano in particular. This is a good size for running/walking because it’s quite small and doesn’t weigh my arm down at all, where I listen to it on an armband during a run. I also have mentioned that listening to books on my iPod is my favorite new thing to past the time! If I am just going for a casual run, it is so nice to zone out to the book I am listening to and like I said, it makes the miles fly by. I am currently listening to South of Broad by Pat Conroy which is amazing so far! Full review when I finish:)

The first time I tried these was during my first half-marathon (I know I should have tested them before, newbie mistake!) and I really feel they helped to give me that extra push during the race. I ate two around mile 7 and 11, and definitely felt a bit more energized.

Well these are my favorite running products! I also have a very basic stop watch from target that I use to time myself but would love a Garmin or similar watch. I’m a bit too poor at the moment to buy one though:)

*What are some of your favorite running/work out/walking products? I like hearing input from others to maybe incorporate some of their goods into my life!

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Addicted to Exercise?

Good afternoon! My attempts at doing homework today have been a large fail. After lunch, I drove my car to my favorite location to do work, Barnes and Noble, and managed to take fall asleep in my car for a half hour before waking up to the sound of someone’s car alarm going off next to me.

I have finally moved my bum into Barnes and Noble to do work, but I am writing this post instead because it is a topic that I need to talk about, especially after I am feeling today! This is my story of compulsive exercising and is on my mind right now. I am taking a “rest” from working out today and I am flooded with anxiety.

I like to think of myself as an athlete. What defines someone as an “athlete” depends on the opinion of the person you are asking. I consider myself one because I work very hard to stay in shape, usually have a specific fitness goal in mind, and participate in running races and triathlons to prove the physical ability I have worked so hard to attain.

There are days that training is exhausting. Tempo runs and interval work, difficult strength training day, and even those that are both mentally and physically tiring because your mind is simply not into the workout and need to recover. These are the days where listening to your body is vital, it asking you to take a break. Recovery and rest days are the major component to a successful, healthy performance.

During recovery, our bodies replenish energy stores and repair tissues that have been damaged during physical activity. This is how muscles are built up and toned, and how a person’s endurance is improved. Without sufficient time to repair, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise and can lead you very susceptible to injuries. This seems pretty obvious; if you feel a twinge of pain in your knee and continue to run on it, the pain will get much worse and could leave you with an even worse injury.

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional athlete, a person who workouts out every so often, a casual runner with no specific goal in mind, everyone needs to rest once in awhile! Makes sense right? Well, I need to listen to my own preaching on this!

This morning I woke up around 9:15 after getting about 10 glorious hours of sleep. After that amount of time I should have felt refreshed and roaring to get my day started. Instead, my alarm went off and I felt as I often do, sleepy and my whole body is exhausted from the workout the day before. Despite this physical feeling, I did my usual routine of coffee and breakfast and was getting ready for a run. Knowing the importance of a rest day and fighting against my own thoughts, allowed me to realize how much I didn’t want to run. It would have been “junk” miles, a distance pounded out with no benefit physically or mentally. I texted my friend Danielle instead and we went for an “easy” walk, which turned out to be 5 miles up and down hills. This is what I consider a rest day.

Getting what I consider to be enough exercise is something I achieve most days of the week. In my crazy mind, doing some kind of physical work for at least 60 minutes is necessary and 80 minutes is even better. Sometimes I will do a combination of things to meet this time criteria, running, spinning, elliptical, plyometrics, strength training, fitness classes, etc. For example during cross-country season, I would do about 40-50 minutes on the elliptical in the morning, and then practice later that day.

I have felt that it is no longer a choice, but an obligation. What is the fear behind this? Gaining weight of course! Without this exhausting amount of hard-core exercise every day, I will balloon, and lose everything I have worked so hard to achieve! For example, during last summer, the peak of my disordered eating, it was easy to mask my long runs, and two-a-day workouts with the excuse that I was training for the upcoming cross-country season. Although partly true, I was trying to keep my weight down/lose some. Here is the irrational side of my brain taking over the part I know that is not true. I have become addicted to exercise and become very anxious, uncomfortable and upset if I do not complete the “necessary” amount of exercise per day, at least 60 minutes of strenuous activity.

I know I meet the criteria of a compulsive exerciser, someone who feels they need exercise to maintain a peace of mind.

Warning Signs of a Compulsive Exerciser (Source)

  • You force yourself to exercise even if you don’t feel well- Check.
  • You almost never exercise for fun- Check.
  • Every time you exercise, you go as fast or hard as you can- Check.
  • You experience severe stress and anxiety if you miss a workout- Check.
  • You miss family obligations because you have to exercise- Check.
  • You calculate how much to exercise based on how much you eat- Check.
  • You can’t relax because you think you’re not burning calories- Check.
  • You worry that you’ll gain weight if you skip exercising for one day- Check!

Back to this morning, I took a 5-mile walk with my friend and was earlier contemplating going to the gym because I didn’t think a walk was enough. It is and it was a fabulous walk with my friend! But I can honestly say I cannot remember the last time I have not exercised, but it’s been YEARS.

Realizing how compulsive/messed up this is, I have forced myself to do no more activity the rest of the day. However, now the thoughts that I don’t need to eat as much food are creeping in. I mean why not just restrict a bit, then I will feel better, some of the suffocating exhausting will lessen. I mean obviously if I eat the same way as other days, I will gain weight. NO, this is not true! I must fight this, as backing off once in a while is NECESSARY. I need to scream this to myself to get it through my sometimes-thick head!

So how can I recover from this? It is a process, and “practicing what I preach” is certainly necessary. If I want to be the best athlete I can be, I need to rest, but can this be done with the suffocating anxiety that comes along with it?

One thing during the walk that did brighten my day was the first flowers I have seen of the season! Warm weather is on it’s way:)

I would love to hear suggestions, hints, and help from anyone on this subject! Can people relate, or perhaps once were able to?

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Filed under Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Exercise, Friends, Recovery, Serious Stuff, Uncategorized, Weight