Category Archives: Confession

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

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

Dinner With Dad

Hello my friends, I am loving this sunny weather today, despite it being Sunday….

Last night I had a dinner date with my dad in Northampton 😀 My dad Jim, only lives about 50 minutes from my school, so meeting up with him is fairly easy as neither of us have to travel too far. I had not seen him in awhile so I was very excited about my Saturday night plans, as opposed to my usual ones that involve staying in!

After driving around for literally 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot, I finally SNAGGED one and met up with my dad right at 7:00. We were dining at my favorite restaurant in Northampton, Osaka! Japanese food is among my favorites when I go out to eat so I was psyched we decided on there.

Osaka specializes in creating amazing sushi rolls and they also have hibachi for party and group gatherings. I have tested a number of sushi restaurants in the area, and this is by far my favorite one with the food always tasting so fresh!

We started the meal with miso soup and edamame

 

Daddy!

Then it was time for the main part of the meal, Sushi of course!

I am all about the raw stuff when it comes to sushi, so I ordered a combination plate of various kinds of sushi and sashimi and it also came with a california roll. This was so so delicious, fresh, and simply great! All of the flavors were very distinct for each type of fish, I think the salmon was my favorite!

My dad ordered the Volcano Roll, “tuna, white tuna, salmon, yellowtail and king crab with chef’s special sauce on the side.” I didn’t try any of his but he said it was fabulous as well. Overall it was a great time, this restaurant never disappoints me!

After we walked around Northampton for awhile, checking out some of the shops that were still open and continuing to catch up. At one point we stopped in a cute shop so my dad could pick out a particular night gown she liked from this place. It was quite fun trying to choose one, especially when my dad was holding up four different “girly” nightgowns at once trying to decide 😀

Looks like the right fit right? :p

I had such a nice evening with my dad, catching up and simply enjoying each others company. At the end of the night we both wondered why we don’t do this more often, and there is no reason why! So I am looking forward to more dinner dates with my dad quite soon. I love him so much and am thankful to have such a close relationship with him!

Confession: I got back to my room around 9:30 and thought about going out for maybe .5 seconds and realized how much I didn’t want to. I was having similar feelings like last week 😦 For one thing, I was tired from the lack of sleep I had gotten the night before, and I just was not up for it. Also though, eating has to play a role in my decision to not go out. I was pretty full from dinner and the idea of changing into an outfit that would show off (in my mind) my “bloated” stomach was something I was not in the mood for. And so these issues strike again, I am so looking forward to them GOING AWAY!

Sorry to end on that negative note, I had to confess to it though!

Well it is Sunday after all, so I must complete some homework. I am also working on a very important post for later today. I hope everyone has a productive/relaxing/whatever ya need to do- day!

See ya’ll later 🙂

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Filed under Confession, Family, Favorite Foods, Restaurant Review

Fear Foods- Fats

Good morning! Well it seems like the weather predictions are going to come true and we are going to get at least six inches of SNOW! But I’m sure it will melt quite quickly 🙂

I feel like this post about fats is long overdue and something I have been wanting to write about for a long time. I wrote about my fear of cereal a few weeks ago, but fats are in a category all on their own. This is long but it’s something I want to express and is very important to me.

Even if you are not an expert in nutrition, I am sure you have heard that fats are necessary in the diet, ones from fried foods and processed items should be limited and fat grams from nuts, olive/canola oils, avocados, etc are much better for your body. There are several different kinds, mono and polyunsaturated, and the more “scary kinds” saturated and trans.

As a Public Health major with a focus in community nutrition, I have taken several nutrition classes and have learned about the three necessary macronutrients for our bodies, carbohydrates, proteins and FATS. These are the sources that we as living creatures need to consume in large quantities for proper organ function and are necessary sources of energy. These macronutrients are found in every food we eat, but the trick is balancing the amounts you consume for optimum function of your body.

These are the healthy ranges that a person should be getting from foods along with sufficient amount of other essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The recommendations are:

  • 45% to 65% of calories eaten should come from carbohydrates.
  • 20% to 35% of calories eaten should come from fat.
  • 10% to 35% of calories eaten should come from protein

Why do we need fat in our diet?

  • Fat provides needed energy.  It is difficult to eat the large amounts of food in a very low fat diet to get all the energy you need.
  • Fat is needed to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency.
  • Fat is needed so your body can absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, S, E, K, and prevent deficiencies of these vitamins.
  • Fat provides flavor and texture to help prevent food from being bland and dry.
  • Fat helps food to stay in the stomach longer, giving a greater sense of satisfaction and preventing hunger soon after meals.
  • Fat may help your body produce endorphins (natural substances in the brain that produce pleasurable feelings).

What does fat do for our body?

  • Provides insulation under the skin from the cold and the heat.
  • Protects organs and bones from shock and provides support for organs.
  • Fat surrounds and insulates nerve fibers to help transmit nerve impulses.
  • Fat is part of every cell membrane in the body.  It helps transport nutrients and metabolites across cell membranes.
  • Your body uses fat to make a variety of other building blocks needed for everything from hormones to immune function.

Source of the above information.

So it seems like fat is pretty necessary right? You wold think after knowing this sort of information that I would have no problem eating foods with fat in it….WRONG!

When my disordered eating took a turn for the worst, I began to restrict pretty much everything, but especially FATS. In my mind anything with fat= instant weight gain. Anything with fats in it was off-limits; cakes, cookies, pastries of course, but also anything that had been cooked in oil, meats, vegetables, ANYTHING. If I saw a food had that “sheen” of oil on it, I would absolutely not eat it. Eating out at restaurants was the most terrifying thing ever because I would never know how much oil or butter the chef had used to cook the meal, and I usually would not eat it, or would order a salad, because it was “safe.”

It so bad last summer that any food that had more than 2 grams of fat in it, i would simply not eat. When I first began reading Healthy Living Blogs and saw the amazing foods bloggers were eating such as almond/peanut butter, Lara Bars (12 grams of fat per bar! scary at that time), kale chips/sweet potato fries drizzled with (gasp!) olive oil, a piece of salmon?! I was so jealous they were able to and comfortable eating all of these great sources of fat and not gaining weight- must be nice for them. *I truly believed everyone else could eat things and not gain weight but there was no way I could, because I was different in some way.

As someone who has a pretty good understanding of basic nutrition, it’s scary that I was able to convince myself that I didn’t need fats. I knew it was necessary, for everyone else, I didn’t need it and by cutting it out I would lose weight= the goal!

I didn’t like the idea of “wasting” calories that were high in fat and (I believed) wouldn’t fill me up. For example, a piece of pizza was simply not worth all of the fat and calories I would get from it and then be hungry about 10 minutes later which would lead me to eating more, which would lead to weight gain! What a lovely cycle I believed in. I liked the idea of eating an entire salad, plenty of low cal veggies, watery fruits to fill me up for much less calories.

And let me tell you something else, it worked. I did lose weight last summer, but so many other health affects came right along with me cutting out this vital nutrient. A few unpleasant examples:

  • My skin became dry even with lathering with lotion everyday and it was summer!
  • I used to have very thick hair. I lost a lot of hair last summer and now it’s very thin 😦
  • Low body weight= duh.
  • My nails were brittle and would not grow
  • Loss of my period- this has been an on-going issue since starting Weight Watchers in 2008- a very personal post which I will soon be discussing!

There was a point before being really making an effort to change my eating habits that was evidence of how irrational I had become. During Thanksgiving I had made a “safe” side-dish of Ratatouille for myself so I would at least have something to eat with my family. It was made WITHOUT OIL and actually is quite tasty for the record. There was a point I was not in the room and my mom drizzled olive oil over the vegetables as a way to “sneak in” fat for me. Although this was not the best tactic (as doing this in secret wasn’t nice) I understand why she did it; my mom was so concerned for my health and didn’t exactly know how to approach the situation. When the dish was being served, I noticed that familiar look of oil over the vegetables, realized what happened and refused to eat it. Yeah, think I need an intervention much?

During this past winter break, I really made the effort to change my diet. It was uncomfortable and scary but I ate a whole lot more when I was home. Something that prompted me to do this was how thin my hair had become, it used to be “thick as a horse’s tail” not so much anymore. Anyway, one of the first things I ate as a fat source was almond butter. That first state was pure heaven in my mouth. I took a big ole spoonful, and savored the thick, creamy, sweet taste. Every day now I have some kind of almond butter on apples, carrots, oatmeal or just on its own!

Ever since then I have been incorporating fats into my diet slowly but surely. For example, I always put walnuts, almonds, or sesame seeds on a salad, I cook with olive oil, and nut butter= true love. Foods with fat in it, such as granola bars, other prepared foods are finally “allowed” in my mind. I finally tried a Lara Bar after practically hyperventilating before eating it! 🙂

Not going to lie though, I am still struggling with eating foods with sources of fat I consider bad–> baked goods, ice cream, pizza, and so many others. It is my next step to try some of these things, in moderation of course! These still to me= instant weight gain.

I realized I wanted to write this post when I noticed all of the fat sources I had in my room:

Now that I have proper amounts of fat in it, I have noticed changes in my body! I am not losing hair at the same terrifying rate I was, my nails are growing and thick, my skin is less dry and clearer and overall I feel less “brittle” if that makes any sense. Also, I have gained weight, and you know what, it’s okay. Besides fat being great for your body, it also tastes really freakin good 🙂

It may seem like I have perfectly comfortable eating fats now, and I am to a certain extent. However, I am still very aware of how much fat I am getting from foods and I am limiting the number of nuts I eat a day, tablespoons of almond butter and if I deem a food has too much oil on it, I still am not comfortable eating it. That’s why I don’t eat several of the prepared meats and veggies in the dining hall, they are always shining with the scary oily substance.

Phew that was long, and I feel like I am going to think of more things to add as the day goes on. I might add something later if it seems important for me to mention.

If you read all of this, thank you, if not that’s okay too haha. It was long and wordy and kind of all over the place= word vomit :p

*Has anyone fear or feared fat? Any other irrationalities surrounding food? -> I have so many more but I think this is enough for today 🙂

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Filed under Below The Surface, Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Fear Foods, Nut Butter, Weight

Motivating Music

Hi Readers!

I made a new page about important people in my life, to get to know me a bit better. Check it out if you would like! 🙂

I have my paper to finish and an exam later today so I knew I wanted to start my day out with a run. It gave me a chance to think about what I needed to do for the day, but also have some “me” time, and I knew it would feel great. At least that’s what I was telling myself. For some reason, the LAST thing I wanted to do was run today, just wasn’t feelin it. However, I knew once I got out there and finished, I would feel better, I don’t think I have ever regretted a workout.

Confession: I know a part of my sluggish feeling is not fueling before runs ( i have talked about this before but need to reiterate!). I KNOW i need to do this, but I am never hungry when i wake up, so I just slam some coffee down, pop in a piece of gum and go. My irrational thinking is that since I am not hungry, why eat…i’ll just “save” my calories for later. This is ridiculous, I know I need fuel for this sort of exercise and that my performance is better when I do. I had this meal before my race on Saturday and I felt great during that.

+

 

 

 

 

Yum 😀

To give myself a kick in the butt to get going, I decided to run with music today. Sometimes I run with music, but for the last few months I have been listening to books while running instead. Let me tell you, it’s great! Especially when I’m listening to a good story, the time and miles zoom by. I finished Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult the other day, and am now listening to South of Broad by Patrick Conroy. Unfortunately, this book hasn’t exactly pulled me in yet so I figured the run would go even slower. At this point, music seemed the best option, and it really helped push me on the run!

It is safe for me to say that I like really ANY kind of music, so my playlists are all over the place. They range from current pop songs to country, oldies, etc. Today though, I decided to listen to the only band I consistently liked every song they have produced, Rascal Flatts!  Yes they’re country, and I know there are a lot of country music haters out there :p but this bad is fabulous. Most of there songs are upbeat, have catchy lyrics and don’t have that “twang” sound you often hear in country singers. I would loveee to go to one of their concerts soon too 😀

 

So Seductive :p

(Source)

I think I have about every song they have written on my iPod, so I just blasted them for my entire run.

Stats for the run: 7.1 miles, 55:00, which averages about 7:45 pace per mile. It was a very hilly run, so I bet some of that time contributes to me have sheer relief of being able to go downhill!

Here are the songs I listened to today (all Rascal Flatts):

  1. Here’s To You
  2. Life is a Highway
  3. Break Away
  4. Feels Like Today
  5. Backwards
  6. My Wish
  7. Me and my Gang
  8. Cool Thing
  9. No Reins
  10. Secret Smile
  11. Summer Nights
  12. Sunday Afternoon
  13. Why Wait
  14. Love You Out Loud

Although I most races without music, sometimes you just need that extra something to get you going!

*Do you run with music? Ever tried listening to a book? Or are you anti-ipod?

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Filed under Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Favorite Products, Fuel, Running