Category Archives: Friends

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

RA…Adventures? Story Time

Good evening bloggers!

Once again I am up past my old-person bedtime of 10 and currently sitting in my dorm’s office, where I will remain until 2am. You may be wondering why?!

I go to UMASS, which has that oh-so-lovely status of being a party school, aka UMASS Slamherst, so clever! There are 5 major residential areas of campus, and I am a Residential Adviser (RA) in the area with the worst reputation for being the most out of control. Tonight I am “on-duty” meaning I set up in the main office of my dorm’s building for 6 hours, and walk around every so often to see if anyone is in danger in anyway, usually involving (if not all the time) involving too much alcohol.

I work in all freshman, coed building. There are 9 staff members, including myself and we each have a set number of residents, I have the most with 54. An all freshman building + coed floors + the party central of campus= recipe for disaster and cray stories 😀

What people do and how they behave never ceases to amaze me and actually makes me fear for the future (especially on Friday and Saturday nights)! Here a few events I have encountered, and some have been really scary!

  • One of my residents was growing weed in his room- he was kicked out.
  • Another was keeping a hamster in her room, against the rules.
  • I have almost stepped/walked into throw up that has been outside my room or all over the bathroom, classy.
  • There was a fairly serious fire in one of the rooms on my floor. A candle was lit, the girls left the room and forgot, and the entire room went up in flames. They were expelled 😦
  • When everyone first moved in, our building violated fire safety codes by having an enormous pile of boxes blocking emergency doors on each floor. Apparently its no big thing to have giant, flat-screen televisions while at school! I was awoken at 4am by very angry fire and policemen and told to clear the pile asap. Twas scary!

  • Last Wednesday, I woke up to go pee in the middle of the night and found one of my residents and a guy from another floor having sex in the shower. That was awkward situation to say the least. :p
  • Some of the guy staff members have had to call emergency maintained because some dude decided it would be HILARIOUS to POOP right in the middle of the bathroom floor. Gross.
  • A resident came up to me recently complaining she was being “sexiled” too often from her own room. I had to go tell the roommate to calm down a bit.
  • Countless calls to ambulances because people were dangerously intoxicated and needed to be transported to the hospital for help.

Those are the more memorable issues I have encountered, and I’m sure as the weather gets warmer, the freshman will become even more rambunctious, joy! Reflecting on these does make me laugh though and I have shared many of these times with my wonderful co-workers all of who I have become good friends with.

Halloween!

 

Q: Is/has anyone been an RA? Were your college experiences pretty (or very!) crazy at times? I would love to hear some stories, it would make 2 am come much faster 🙂

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Filed under College, Friends, Funny, RA

Noticing the Changes

Ahh, it’s almost 11:00 pm and I haven’t gone to bed yet! Confession: I am an old lady, I go to bed before 10:00 pm almost every night and am a failure without at least 8 hours! I love those zzzzz’s 🙂

I am up later than usual finishing a paper due, and studying for two exams that are tomorrow. Professors who make exams occur on Friday= pure evil. It’s my own fault I have put off studying until now, and I am clearly still procrastinating as I am choosing to blog instead! Muahaha.

On that note, I had such a refreshing afternoon! The sun was shining bright, the temperatures were above (gasp!) 40 degrees and I went to free sample night at Whole Foods with my best friend Danielle!

This particular store has one free sample night per month each time with a different theme, and you better believe we ALWAYS go to them. She is the only other person I know that gets as excited as I do about grocery shopping. Tis the joy of the month for us (perhaps that’s a bit sad… :P) Today’s theme was “Local Night” where farmers and other store owners around the area brought in some products to try.

As we walked through the store, I sampled gluten-free pizza, gelato, soy milk, bread, candy, and fruit. Overall, the foods were tasty! Yet there was something even better going on, I was actually eating the food I wanted to try.

Before getting a hold on my disordered eating, I would go to events like this and walk around and kind of just look at the food that could be sampled. I picked out groceries as I walked around, but I would not touch the samples that were out. I watched others eat them and I was somewhat envious, yet that feeling of enpowerment was rearing its ugly head, making me feel eletated– that I had the control over myself from eating anything I deemed “unsafe.”

You are probably wondering on earth I would even go to an event with free food I was not going to eat. You know what?! I wonder that too. It was almost like a test for myself, going into a store and seeing what I could resist. I believe this goes along with why I watch Food Network and other food shows constantly. I genuinely enjoy them, but at the same time it’s FOOD PORN from Wikipedia, (provocative term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in infomercials,  cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content, exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat). I am looking at the wonderful recipes being created and thinking how great it looks, yet something I would never eat.

It’s a step in the right direction toward recovery and I am glad I am overcoming these seriously effed up thoughts. 🙂 I even splurged a bit and bought some items from the hot and cold food bar, I can’t resist that dang thing!

 

Mmm Pretty Fruit!

 

Danielle!

Before going back to campus I needed requested a coffee.

 

Need coffee now!

We made a stop at my personal favorite place for coffee, Dunkin Donuts! Starbucks is good and all, but I just can’t go wrong with a coffee less than 2 bucks and I savor its perfect light flavor 🙂

Uh oh, it’s pushin 11:30 pm and I still have some studying to do! Time to get PUMPED for that

Fake it till you make it right? 😉

Is anyone else as obsessed with Food Network/other cuisine shows, as me?!Can any readers relate to this kind of scenario, almost torturing yourself with food? Does anyone else LOVE TO STUDY?! Because I do! (Errrr…not.)

Have a lovely night!

 

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Filed under Below The Surface, Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Disordered Eating, Friends, Product Review, Serious Stuff, Whole Foods

Fun Sayings and Thoughts on Lunch

As I was sitting in my 4:00 class today, the kid that was sitting next to me reminded me of a few favorite quotes and sayings I use on a daily basis. This may sounds weird, but I have realized I have several particular things that I say to my mom, my best friend Danielle, brothers and a few other people and also say that in a strange way…does that make any sense? haha perhaps not! 🙂

Back to class, so this guy next to me kept doing a loud and obnoxious yawn every few minutes, shuffling his feet and feeling the need to deeply sigh. I tried ignoring him and listening to the professor, but the antsy moves were “Grinding My Gears!” <— I love that one, “you know what really grinds my gears?” or “this really grinds my gears!” Yeah you get it, it’s surely a fun way to express frustration!

Another one, “tickles my/your fancy?” At dinner tonight, Danielle exclaimed that the ice cream she was eating was tasty, so I asked her, “Does it tickle your fancy!?” Also what we both like to do is call each other the strangest…err.. pet names while texting. For example (in a text), “Good morning, shnookums, pumpkin cheesecake pie, honey blossom, cherry pie in my eye, dearest, lovely lady, sexy lady, pretty lady….” I could go on but shall spare you! 😀 She is such a good friend and we are constantly “On the Prowl” aka searching for guys, “big game hunting” all referring to the hunt for a man! Ha!

This is a one I used often during this past cold, freeing-death winter, “I’m freezing my tits off!” Not sure where that one came from, but it always produces a chuckle and gets your point across.

My brothers names are Russell and Tucker. When I say hi to Russell or write an email/text to him, I address him as “Ruski” and I’m “Teski” With Tucker it can be a number of things, “T-Money, Tutter, Tucky, T-Mon…” Sometimes I am simply, “sister” 🙂

Well if you read that whole thing, I hope you don’t think I am completely nuts. Do you have any fun/quirky sayings you exchange with family and friends?

I also wanted to mention my lunch today. I really like to have at least one huge salad per day to get in lots of veggies and I really do enjoy them. As I have been recovering, my salads have gotten even more delicious! The one day was especially loaded, and it gave me plenty of fuel for that midterm I had (errr, didn’t go so well :-/) Fondly referred to as a “salad beast” and contained:

  • Spinach
  • Tons of tomatoes (love)
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumbers
  • Heaping scoop of cottage cheese
  • Sunflower seeds, have to get those fats in!
  • Kidney beans
  • Ketchup <– I use this as dressing for my salad. I love ketchup and on a salad= magical combination, give it a try sometime!

I also had a nice side of fruit: grapes and honeydew!

<– Salad bar at my favorite dining hall

This was my first time taking pictures of my food and public and it definitely made me feel a bit weird! I tried to snap a pic as quickly as possible (hence lame pictures) but am going to work on my photo skills.

I can honestly say I enjoy the food here at school! UMASS has really come a long way with promoting healthier options, such as ones that are lower fat, less sodium, grown locally, and there are several vegan and vegetarian options. The salad bar is my favorite and there is always fresh fruit available, bananas, apples, grapes, various berries, watermelon, honey dew, cantaloupe and pineapple. The fried and fatty foods and desserts are still there, but people really have options and have to make choices for themselves to choose items that are better for them. It is all about balance, something I need to continue telling myself!

The school is really working to improve the health status among the students. Besides providing nutritionally balanced foods, they also have several opportunities that provide education on healthier foods and fitness. For example, the Dining Services are hosting a 5k this Saturday, the “Dash and Dine” to raise money and get people moving! It is for the school and community so anyone can participate. I plan to run with a friend and I’m psyched!

As a Public Health major, seeing the work that UMASS does shows there is hope for the future, and the weight issues our country is experiencing can he overcome.

Phew! This post turned out much longer than I anticipated! But once I start writing, it doesn’t stop, like word vomit! (another gross fun phrase :D)

Anyone in school, how is the food there? Or work/offices? Are balanced foods available?

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Filed under College Tips, Family, Favorite Foods, Friends, Funny, Lunch, Public Health, School, UMASS

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