Category Archives: ED

Below The Surface- Why Run?

Well, I am back at school, unpacked and preparing for the week ahead. It was a great trip back, I even took a detour at a favorite place of mine (and several others)

This was made even more exciting by the fact that I had never been to this one! A whole NEW Whole Foods waiting for me to be explored :D. And this location in Woburn did not disappoint, great hot food bar, a burrito station, pizza, and a trail mix bar! Exciting stuff I know. Please tell me I am not the only one that gets this elated at the thought of this darn grocery store?!

It’s actually nice to be back, I said hi to several of my residents who said they missed being here! This makes me happy, as I try to enhance their experience at school as an RA (more about this later!)

This is another post for the “Below The Surface” series, I hope you enjoy 🙂

On the drive back, I had some time to just think. I thought about what I had to do this week, my family, this blog, and something nagging me about running.

Why did I begin running? When I quit swimming in 2008, the gym quickly began to bore me and I wanted to find a substitute. I also gained a bit of weight at that time, and thought running would be the best way to lose a few pounds. This was around the same time as starting Weight Watchers, so running had been a means of weight loss. As my stamina, endurance and athletic ability increased, my obsession for running followed suit. Now there were days I could get lost in the run; observing the scenery, listening to music, thinking, and enjoying what my body was capable of.

However, as I got more fixated on my routines around food, running and exercising became a focus as well. About a year after I quit swimming and took up running, I would feel uncomfortable with missing more than two days of running in a row. But why was this? I feared of getting fat, losing everything I had built up from running in just a few days….

As I am reforming a healthy relationship with food, I am attempting to make amends with running, and find the joys and benefits it provides beyond weight loss.

After I returned to school today, unpacked and settled in a bit, I went for a run. I challenged myself to not wear my ipod, a watch, no cell phone or anything, and just jog at a comfortable pace. This helped me understand why I love running: it was just a short, 25 minute run, yet it helped me to realize that I run to:

  • Take time for myself to think
  • Get away from obligations, even if it’s just for a few minutes
  • Savor the feeling after ending your run: that you are empowered, even if it’s temporary
  • Simply enjoy the scenery, weather, or whatever else the environment is offering that day

  • A time where I can simply not think at all
  • Hear my own heart beat, and blood flowing as I test my body to its limits (during a workout)
  • Experience a flood of endorphins as the sweat trickles down from your body
  • Even if I am having a bad day, when I finish a run, everything is better
  • You never know what you can find while exploring a new path

Several of these are mental benefits, yet I also love the physical ones that come along with running, beyond WEIGHT LOSS. My quads, hamstrings and calves have become more defined, and I generally feel stronger.

Today I went from this:                                                                                                           To This! hehe.

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere along the way I forgot how much I love running, and am seeking to find my passion for it once again. If I engage in this sport simply for appearance, what the heck is the point?!

What are your reasons for running? And if you don’t engage in this sport, why do you choose your form of exercise? I would love to hear ideas, so I can add to my list 🙂

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Filed under Below The Surface, Confession, Disorded Thoughts, ED, Exercise, Fitness, Recovery, Running, Whole Foods

Below The Surface- (Past) Reasons For Baking

In addition to the posts I am planning to write about my development of disordered eating and how I am recovering, I also wanted to do a series on specific things that are part of the issue. I have seen this on other blogs, such as Melissa’s Trying To Heal, and thought it would be a great idea to talk about my own fears, habits, and rituals. Perhaps people can relate to these, and I would love to hear from others on their own experiences and input!

*I am not trying to offend anyone in this post! It may seem like I am, or have a bad view of people later in the post, but that is certainly not the case. I was so irrational and crazy at that point.

I am beginning these posts with a discussion on my interest in baking and how it has evolved. I realized how much I wanted to write about this as I had spent this afternoon baking raspberry oat bars with a crumb topping (recipe to come!). I have been doing a whole buncha baking since being home for spring break, it’s been fab!

I had always loved to bake, this beginning at a young age. It was never anything complex, just simple brownie, cookie, and cake recipes that began from a boxed mix (they always turn out perfect). In addition, pancake making became my favorite activity! After watching my mom cook these hot cakes almost every weekend for a few years, I took over the position around the age of 9. It was a ritual I looked forward to: using a boxed mix, adding milk, eggs, and oil a few stirs (keep the batter lumpy 🙂 ) and then a big ole pour of the first pancake onto the hot griddle. That first one was always mine because it had the most butter on it from soaking up the freshly buttered pan. I would consume its fattening deliciousness while making the rest of the batch and would also eat some of the batter, don’t knock it until you try it! :p

These pancakes were a favorite of mine, they tasted great, always came out perfect, were easy to make and everyone loved them. As I grew older, I began baking more and experimenting with more complex recipes (well complex for me). Instead of using boxed mixes, I would bake brownies, bars, cookies, cakes, truffles, fudge, etc, from scratch. Although the finished product was not always perfect, it was fun trying to figure out what went wrong and how to improve it for next time. I would taste test the food of course, savoring and sharing the baked goods which came out to perfection.

When my disordered eating worsened, and I became fixated on losing weight, and only eat what I considered “safe” I continued to bake, but NEVER ate any of my own food. I would make buttery, oily, fatty desserts and bring them to school for my friends to enjoy. I loved seeing their reactions and give me their thanks and words of pleasure as they graded and enjoyed my food. In my own kinda messed up mind, it was like I was living vicariously through them and eating the desserts.

But also, making chocolate chip cookies from scratch (for example) and not eating a single bite of the dough or the finished product gave me a bit of a rush and feeling on control. These feelings would embellish when I would see my peers eating the food I believed they would feel guilty about and would make them fat, yet they could not resist it. But HA! I COULD! The insane control I had over myself gave me a high, I believed I was stronger than these people by denying myself pleasurable food and would not be feeling guilty like they all were.

I am quite aware of how positively messed up this is. Because I was depriving myself of what I truly wanted, I became obsessed with researching recipes online, in magazines, books, and from other people. They were always for foods I would never touch myself, but knew other people would enjoy the finished product. I was attempting to suppress my desire for food, yet was actually worsening it because my body was in a state of semi-starvation mode.

I read an an article recently that was describing a test that had been conducted in 1944 in Minnesota. It studied a group of men that volunteered to be on a restricted diet for a period of time and then have the results measured. The findings were remarkable and one noted piece was that the men became obsessed with food- researching and fantasizing about it, constantly going grocery shopping, creating recipe collections of foods they could not eat, talking about it and so many other effects. Here is the link to the Wikipedia description of the study, The Starvation Study.

When I first read this, it was quite shocking how many of the effects the men faced in the study, I was also battling in my own life. I developed such a focus on food because my body was obviously trying to tell me something, EAT!

This reading, plus other supportive methods are getting me out of the deprivation/food obsessed mode. Now when I bake, I do actually EAT what I create, and always sample the batter! By the way, yellow cake mix and brownie batter are definitely my favorite :D. And nope, I don’t worry about food poisoning from the eggs!

I hope this post was helpful to anyone that read it. Reflecting on these memories enables me to realize how irrational I have been and how the mind is a very powerful thing, to put it simply!

One last question, what are some of your favorite dessert recipes, I got a hankerin to try something new! 🙂

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Filed under Baking, Childhood, Confession, ED, I'm Just Sayin', Recovery

Wednesday and Thursday Recap

Hi everyone!

I have had two great days of social outings, something I used to absolutely shy away from in the lowest point of my disordered eating. I would often turn down plans, lie about something else I had to do, or just simply not show up, because I had a fear of breaking away from my routine of eating a very specific something for dinner, and going to a restaurant where I had no control over the food and it would of course make me FAT! Dumb I know, but reflecting on this makes me realize how much I have missed because of the disordered eating and ignites my plans to fully recover!

Wednesday night, I met up with a few of the remaining friends I have from my hometown for one of the girl’s 21st birthday. We went to a local bar and had a great time buying her drinks, dancing, and hanging out/catching up! She did end up booting by the end of the night though, whoops!

*As a side note, it is safe to say that one of my greatest fears is throwing up! I am getting better about being around people who are sick, but when I personally feel nauseous, I deem it the end of the world and usually end up crying, sobbing or calling my mom frantically. It’s something I need to get over STAT because I do realize its not THAT BAD, and I make it worse by getting so anxious! Does anyone else have this fear?

I had such a wonderful day yesterday, and I am so glad I busted out of my comfort zone and went to Boston! My friends and I from school had planned to meet at Quincy Market at 3:00 so I left my house around 2:00 to give myself plenty of time. I was taking the blue line in ALONE which is a first for me! I had this silly idea in my mind that the trains were impossible, and that I would get lost for sure. Not the case at all! I found my way in just fine and met my friends right at 3.

I was meeting a small group from school, who are also Resident Advisers in my building. We all live on different floors but regularly see each other and have become good friends. I am so glad to be an RA for many reasons but one is meeting and befriending people I would probably never met. We all have varying interests yet our personalities matched well right from the beginning of the school year and we have been great friends ever since! I do not have too many friends besides them so I am so fortunate to have these people in my life 🙂

Well we met up, walked around a bit, people watching to the extreme, and saw so many crazy things! It was St. Patty’s Day after all, and where we were in Boston, was certainly a popular place to come out and party. You could certainly tell some people had been drinking since the early morning, and some were trying to catch up! We went to a few bars, but most of the cover charges were above 10 dollars which I would NEVER pay. Me=a college student who is quite poor!

We didn’t end up staying too late, I was home by 9:00 as a matter of fact! I know, kinda lame but I was really tired after being out for a portion of the day! This old girl needs her rest :p

Here are a few pictures from the day, including some of the lovely people I work with!

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Filed under Boston, ED, Friends

Confession and a Healthy Granola Recipe!

Good afternoon! I almost just wrote morning, but the day seems to be zooming by, its already 12:30!

Confession Time: This morning I went on a pleasant 7 mile run at a relaxed pace. I came in around 55 minutes, but was quite tired the whole time! I really need to start fueling before my runs, or at least during. I know, it is so BAD not to, but I usually run first thing in the morning and I really NEVER wake up hungry and forcing myself to eat leads to stomach issues on my run…gross I know! But not going to lie, the irrational, wanting to lose weight side of my brain thinks this will lead to a faster weight loss, similar to what I did after workouts, not eat! NOT SMART!

For runs that are longer than 8 miles, I am going to try incorporating Shot Bloks or an equivalent every few miles. I am sure that will make a difference in my energy levels, and I will report back with my experiment! If that goes well, I am going to try eating a small something before a run, perhaps half a banana or something. What are people’s favorite mid-fuel treats that are easy on the stomach?

I should note, however, that I ALWAYS fuel before Cross Country races, and other road races no matter what the distance is. I try to perform by very best during each race, and know how important fuel is… so DUHHH I need to do this before every workout/run to get the most out of my training!

After I showered, I whipped up a pretty quick and very easy granola recipe to have for breakfast! I based it off of this recipe, Banana Granola, but changed a few things

  1. Cutting the recipe in half
  2. Using only walnuts instead of walnuts and seeds
  3. Agave Nectar, not honey,
  4. and a few sprinkles of TJ Peanut Flour which has been discontinued! Alas 😦

It turned out really good! I love granola but some recipes and ones you can buy are fat and calorie dense. With this recipe, you still get a good measure of healthy fats with the walnuts and bit of Peanut Flour, but it is much lower, and still tasty! The banana adds a touch of sweetness and the baking time allows it to crunch up nicely. I suggest you make this asap! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, I read the Fitnessista Blog (which is fabulous for so many reasons, I’m sure you already read it 🙂 ) She did a short video on a pretty twist you can do to your hair and I decided to try it today, check it out!

 

 

Have a nice day everyone! Later today I will be posting more about disordered eating habits, such as my daily eats before and after getting better

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Baking, Confession, ED, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Fitness, Fuel, Running

I’m Just Sayin’ (Part 1) Beginning the Long Road

I am planning to do a few posts about how I developed disordered eating habits. I am calling it “Im Just Sayin” as a sort of fun way to catch your attention and it’s a phrase my mom and I use quite often!

I wanted to write this in a few posts so I could tell my story, but also not bore people to tears on the length! Angela, from OhSheGlows, did a similar style on her amazing blog, telling about her eating disorder, recovery, and finding true joy in life. I read her blog everyday and her entries have helped me a tremendous amount. And her recipes are to DIE FOR! Nom nom!

I didn’t post yesterday because I have been attempting to figure out WordPress and update my blog! I added a new page about running, and am trying to make it as visually appealing as possible. I am certainly not the most tech-savvy person, so understanding this website has been difficult, but I am up for the challenge!

After checking out the Hollaback Health website (which offers great blogging tips) I realized one of the most important things I should do as a new blogger, is to write about what I WANT to tell readers about. I am psyched to do posts on nutrition, my training, running, etc, but a huge part of me is the disordered eating I battle with, so writing about it not only purges my own feelings and allows me to reflect on my choices, but it also may be helpful for someone out there to read about and possibly relate to.

Let me start by explaining that I am 5’10”, which is fairly tall for a woman. I have always been taller than my peers, yet it did not start to bother me until sixth grade. I was 12 years old at the time, and becoming more of my height, and the discomfort it was giving me. Middle school, or the “dark ages” as I like to refer to it, was a time where girls and boys were reaching a point of becoming aware of their own bodies, their peers, and how they appeared to others around them. Looks were now important, what clothes you were wearing, make up, and yes, even how much you weighed.

My height began to bother me when I took notice of my oh-so-petite friends getting attention from boys in my class. During recess, we would play games with the boys, and somehow I always ended up being the strong, forceful one, such as during games of kickball, chasing, red rover (ugh) and others. I was also a bit chubby at the time, nothing too abnormal, but a few extra pounds were there. When boys saw me, I imagined them seeing a huge, towering, chubby girl with braces and bushy hair. No one had a crush on me, yet I wanted that attention that my tiny, cutsie friends were receiving.

This is where my attitudes towards eating were changing. Although I could do nothing about my height, I could at least lose a few pounds to not appear as large (in my mind). Hence my disordered views towards food began, and I did lose weight! However, I was getting too thin, something my mom took notice of and she told me to stop, which surprisingly i did. It was as simple as that at the time– I was tired of being hungry, and wanted to enjoy ice cream, treats and fast food again with my friends.

Unfortunately, my recovery only lasted a few years and I entered the world of disordered eating once again, at 18 years old.

*NEXT- I will tell about the next part of journey toward permanent recover and how Weight Watchers is a part of this!

Can you believe this was happening in Sixth grade?! Now girls and a small amount of boys, are developing eating issues even younger in life, because of media, peer, parental and other influences. Although we are taking steps in the right direction, such as the wonderful work that Caitlin does with Operation Beautiful, we need to continue this trend to stop these views of what a great body looks like, according to media standards.

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Childhood, ED, I'm Just Sayin'