Tag Archives: Recovery

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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Filed under Favorite Products, Product Review, Recovery

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

Dear Bathroom Scale,

I am just going to come out and say it, we need to break up.

Because we have been together for so long, this may come as a shock to you. However, our relationship has gone on for far too long at this point, and I really don’t see this going anywhere.

You have always been a presence in my house, but we did not make a true connection until I joined Weight Watchers, and you and I had our weekly Tuesday dates. There was another person there though, the woman who would moderate our relationship, praise me if your numbers showed a decrease of weight, and a “you’ll do better next week” if you showed a gain. However, no matter what the number said, I was never happy, determined to lose even more weight the next week.

Eventually, I stopped going to Weight Watchers, but you, my precious scale, stayed with me. You came with me to college, where you stayed hidden under my bed, because I feared what my roommate would think if she knew of you and how much our relationship had grown. I could no longer wait a whole week to see you, so weighing myself on you became a daily expectation, a routine that has continued to this day.

Last summer was when I felt my strongest need for you. As soon as you showed a number I approved of, relief would flood through my body. The rest of the day I would be in a great mood, yet would cling even more to my rigid food and exercise schedule so I could see this number again. And yet in the back of mind, I sought to lessen the number even more, something that you helped me to accomplish by being readily available.

Unfortunately, what results you presented to me were not always what I wanted. When these days occurred, my mood would deteriorate, restriction of food would occur, exercise would intensify, and I would be anxious until the next morning, when the number said “normal” again. I would get so frustrated sometimes, “why do you fluctuate so often?!”

You may have noticed, but since the beginning of this year, our relationship has begun to deteriorate. Yes, it is true that at this point I still see you on a daily basis, but I am finally taking the number I see with a grain of salt. Not going to lie though, when I first saw the numbers increasing, it was terrifying and almost led me to become further obsessed with you. But there have been outside sources of rationality that are helping me to understand how little the number that shows my “weight” actually means.

You do not properly weigh muscle, healthy fat, water retention; things I am working so hard at building up again because we both broke these down to an unhealthy level. I am understanding that what appears on your screen does not define me, it is a freakin number that means nothing.

Scale, we are done. It is time I met new people, tried new things, ate some food, and these things won’t happen if we stay together. There is so much more to life than you, and fortunetely I am discovering this now and finding the real joys that life has to offer.

Perhaps I will see you once in awhile after this point. Honestly though, I doubt it. It has certainly been a long journey with you, but one that has ended.

Best wishes from a formerly obsessed woman,

Tessa

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Filed under Below The Surface, Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Recovery, Scale, Weight, Weight Watchers

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