The Post That Wasn’t Supposed To Be Super Deep But Wound Up Being Exactly That…


Hey everyone.

Workout – 6 miles in Central Park.

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I don’t know what it is, but my legs have been feeling super dead since school started back in August. In fact, my entire body has just been feeling exhausted. I know that I don’t get enough sleep, but I didn’t get much sleep at home… So no change there. I also am working out significantly less than I was over the summer (which I need to change)… So I don’t get why I have been feeling this way.

That being said, I am so happy to be running again after having to take almost 3 weeks off. I just wish that my body was as happy to be running as my brain is.

I also just need to state for the umpteenth time just how much I love running in Central Park. Not only is it aesthetically beautiful, but it is also just such a…. I don’t know… spiritual(?) place to me. The vibe is just amazing.

I love how busy it is. I love seeing people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, etc. out running, walking, and biking. It’s one of those unique places where you can be surrounded by activity, but still be enveloped by a feeling of absolute serenity.

I also love how it feels like a completely different world than New York City. Here you have what is one of the busiest cities in the world, yet it couldn’t feel any less like it.

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I found myself in the middle of the “woods” today during my run. I hit a dead end, and very unlike myself, I felt compelled to stop an meditate. I sat down on a rock, closed my eyes, and meditated in the style that I spoke about the other day. Yup, I did the chants and everything. I seriously felt myself leave myself if that makes any sense. I was surrounded by nature and the sounds of the birds and the wind (today was the coldest and windiest day every, I swear) blowing through the trees. I just kind of felt at complete peace with the world and with myself, and that is not a feeling that I am used to. Typically, I am just constantly consumed by my complete self loathing.

I really want to become a more spiritual person. It’s funny actually… We live in such an amazing and storage and magical world. I am grateful for the air I breathe and the sky above me and the grass and the water and for all of the places that I have been and for all of the places that I hope to someday go. That all being said, I can never get myself to just sit and meditate and really take it all in.

In my mind, I am the kind of person that wants to run around barefoot to absorb the earth’s vibrations and practices yoga, and meditates daily… But I’m not. But I want to be. Does that make any sense?

I wish I could pinpoint exactly what is holding me back. I don’t know if it’s some sort of fear or anxiety surrounding this.. Or if it is just my putting obscene amount of pressure on myself as I always do.

I, like many people suffering from eating disorders, addiction, etc., am a very extreme person. When I focus my attention on something, I feel that I need to give that one thing 110%. Anything less absolute perfection is a complete failure and failure can’t happen because then I just spiral downward into a self-inflicted cycle of despair over my, “not being good enough.” I want to be this spiritual person, but I also like makeup and clothes and don’t want to just get rid of everything and start living a life of complete minimalism. I am not in the place right now where I want to go 100% vegan (although I will say that my diet is predominantly plant based). Because of these factors, along with my not meditating every day or living and breathing yoga, I feel as though if I were to try to discover a type of spirituality… I would be a fraud.

That being said, I know that I need to, in some form, live a more spiritual life.

I grew up attending Catholic school my entire life. I was never one of the super duper into the church/involved in every type of church organization type of kids. But I did, in my own quiet way, have a deeply routed faith. And I cannot even begin to tell you how many times that faith, quite literally, saved my life.

When I was younger and having my severe suicidal thoughts, it was a fear of going to hell (I had a teacher who told me that suicides go to hell once and it stuck with me) that kept me from going through with the act. I now believe that if there is a hell, any God worth loving wouldn’t send a soul there that was hurting so deeply that they felt the need to end their lives. Still, this fear kept me from doing the unthinkable.

When I was in the hospital, having incapacitating panic attacks that had me screaming into pillows and shaking so violently that my IV would come out, it was a little rosary that my mom gave me that was the only way I could calm myself down. Each night in the hospital, I would fall asleep running those little beads through my fingers and praying.

Then one day, I woke up and my faith was gone. I kid you not, there was no event (yes my dad had died the previous year, but I never felt an anger towards God or a doubting in His existence from that) leading up to it. I just woke up this morning and poof. Nothing.

I had never felt so alone.

I don’t know what I believe in right now. I don’t really believe in anything, but I so desperately want to. Need to.

I always used to say to whoever would listen that I felt that there was nothing sadder than believing in absolutely nothing.

“I don’t care if you worship dogs as gods,” I would say. “You just need to believe in something. Because without a belief, what is there?”

And now I am one of those people that can’t believe in anything. And trust me, it’s just as sad as I believed it would be.

I have been listening to a lot of podcasts recently, and a lot of them feature very spiritual beings. Now, none of these people that are so inspiring to me are spiritual in the traditional sense. They aren’t preaching about Jesus (not that I have anything again this, because that couldn’t be further from the truth), nor are they hippy-dippy types (again, nothing wrong with that) going on about the vibes and pseudo-buddhism or any of the dogmatic stuff that everyone seems to love to claim they believe in more so because of it’s being trendy or different than their truly loving and understanding the religion or belief system.

No, these are people who have been in the depths of darkness. People who have overcome some truly heinous things and have transformed into some of the most amazing human being that walk this planet.

These are people who have found a type of spirituality that resonates with them and that they fell in love with . There are people who read and studied everything and felt compelled towards specific beliefs by powers greater than themselves. These are people that you know are spiritual beings, not because of what they tell you (in fact, most of them on the podcasts only speak about spirality for a tenth of the episode), but by the words they speak and the energy and vibrations that they emanate, even over just audio.

I feel that I need something, anything, to make me believe in something. I was to be free from these thoughts, this disease, that is keeping me from becoming the person that I want to be. I am tired of being tired. I am tired of hating myself, both physically and mentally. I am tired of feeling unfulfilled, and I am tired of feeling guilty for my feeling unfulfilled.

In one of the podcasts that I listened to earlier this week, the guest (I can’t remember who) said something along the lines of that once you have been at the point where you were truly suicidal or caught in complete and all consuming addiction, that you have already died. The time that you have when and if you get out of the darkness? It’s a gift. You were dead, but somehow you came back.. And now it is your responsibility to use that time that the universe has so generously gifted you and use it to give back to the world that you wanted to badly to leave. That is all I want.

I just want to be someone that is worth something.

This post was actually supposed to be about my trip to the Brooklyn Museum yesterday and how amazing it was.. But then, in typical Erin fashion, I started rambling about super deep and utterly uninteresting things… So, now I am just going to share with you a few pretty pictures from yesterday! Woohoo!

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Learning To Breathe


Hey everyone.

Yeah, I’m at a point where I need to stop pretending that this little piece of the internet that I’ve got here is intended to be a daily blog. I want it be a daily blog, and I believe that one day it probably will be… But at the moment, my mind is far too messy to post something of substance every day. And honestly, I’m stressed out about so much that the last thing I need is to be putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to put up blog posts every day that no one really reads any way.

All that aside, I am actually feeling… Not positive exactly. Hopeful? Zen? I don’t know, I just feel slightly at peace with the world right now, and that is a wonderful thing. But more about that later.

Workout – I’M RUNNING AGAIN!

I tested the waters and tried to run for real for the first time in 2 weeks on Saturday and I did it and it was pain free and it was absolutely wonderful in every way shape or form, even if I had/have a really bad head cold and felt like my brain was rattling around in my head the whole time =P.

IMG_7965 IMG_7977Now, a reoccurring theme with me when it comes to coming off of injuries is that I instantly want to go out and run ALL THE MILES… But obviously, that’s not exactly the smartest way to go about getting into running and often results in me re-injuring myself.

So today I hit up the elliptical. I am so sick of the elliptical at this point it’s not even funny. That being said, I believe that tomorrow’s workout will also be an elliptical one. Oh the joy…

I also did some strength training for the first time in about five thousand years. I am the very definition of a cardio queen… I just find cardio to be about a billion and one times more enjoyable than strength training (this is why I love Insanity and other plyometric workouts so much, they combine cardio with resistance), but I really need to get back into the habit of strength training regularly. I used to be so religious about making sure to have a balance between my cardio and strength training, and I definitely felt a lot better when I was doing a little strength training regularly.

I worked my legs and flutes and I can already tell that I am going to be in pain tomorrow… But a good kind of pain!

Like I said earlier, my mind has been even more of a mess than it normally is recently… And this has resulted in my being behind on pretty much everything. I am just completely overwhelmed by life and the world and school and then I get even more upset because I know that most people do so much more than me and that I have no right to be as overwhelmed as I am.

I actually opened up my Japanese text book today to try to start on the ten pages of homework that I had to do and to study for the test I had in the subject tomorrow earlier and wound up curled up in a ball shaking and crying (like I said, I’m kind of pathetic) for a couple of hours and got nothing done. I think I have to drop the class, I can’t handle anything or focus on anything and there really is no hope in my passing that class in my current mental state… And I am so disgusted and embarrassed about this fact. I used to be a really smart person and a good student. I was an above average student my whole life, got into one of the most difficult high schools on Long Island, and wound up in the honors track (every class I took was honors) all without really trying all that hard. These days, I struggle to remember anything and everything. I retain nothing that I read or learn, and I feel like a straight up idiot. Tack that on top of feeling like I am letting down my mom by not excelling in school or at life. I mean… What do I do? I have no job because every time I get a job, I wind up having a panic attack on the job and having to quit in change. I am in no clubs because I am too scared of being around people… And now I’m dropping a class that I really can’t afford to drop? I just… I don’t know.

Oh, and there is no way that I am graduating on time. I just feel like I am nothing but a financial and emotional burned on my mom… And I hate it.

All that said, I really am so lucky to have the mother that I do. I called her today in the middle of a panic attack, meaning I was hysterical and not making much sense, and she was nothing but kind and understanding. I am so lucky and really don’t’ deserve the absolutely amazing people that I have in my life. I also cried to my friend Shannon (she’s been not he blog before!), who was my one friend and savior at my last college. She just listened and helped me think a little bit more rationally.

So what am I doing?

What I really wanted this post to be about was how at peace I am currently feeling… Or was feeling. Writing about all of that negative junk that I just did has me a little anxious again. Good job Erin =P. But really.

Something that I really want to focus on is bettering myself in any way that I can so I that I can get myself to, well, become myself. Right now I feel as though I am just trapped in this depressed shell and I can’t get out. There are so many things that I want to accomplish and that I can’t currently accomplish because I am just so stuck. It’s kind of hard to go out into the world and try to accomplish your larger-than-life dreams when you struggle to get yourself out of bed in the morning and often can’t leave your building because you are too disgusted by yourself to be seen by others. Again, I know I’m kind of ridiculous.

One small thing that I have been trying to for myself is start practicing yoga regularly. I am the kind of person that I get frustrated when I am not good at something instantly (which is ridiculous). I don’t like being considered a “beginner” in anything, I get embarrassed and frustrated… But to begin anything, you kind of need to be a beginner.

Last week, I signed up for the 15 day free trial on YogaGlo, a huge website full of hundreds of online yoga classes of all styles. Obviously, once the 15 days is up I am going to have to cancel my membership. I don’t have the money… But I thought it would be a good place to start!

Truthfully, I haven’t practiced every day like I had planned on doing… But I have practiced twice, so it’s a start.

Before sitting down to write this post, I did a 20 minute vinyasa flow for balance and followed it up with something very out of character for me.

Meditation.

Meditation is one of those things that I always know that I should do, but I can never actually get myself to do. My mind is just too busy and I get too anxious and antsy every time I try to meditate. Or I make the lame excuse that I don’t have time.

But tonight, something compelled me to give this highly praised practice another shot… And it was amazing.

The specific type of meditation that I did was called Isha Kriya, and the practice was led by Kathryn Budig. It was a simple guided practice done in a seated position. The meditation session in its entirety was 15 minutes in length and consisted of 3 different sections.

The first part was breathing and mantras. You inhaled and said, “I am not my body,” and exhaled saying, “I am not even my mind.” This portion lasted about 7 minutes.

Next was 7 receptions of breathing in and exhaling as a sound. I don’t know the technical term for this portion, but the point of the sound was that it caused vibrations in your solar pled.

The final part of the meditation was the par that I thought would be the worst for me. In fact. going into the practice, I didn’t even think that I would be able to finish it. This portion of the meditation was just simple silent meditation. Normally, this is when my mind floods with thoughts, and they are more often than not negative ones. However, crazily enough, this didn’t happen this time. I was somehow able to keep my mind almost completely devoid of any real thoughts… And it was amazing.

Once the session was over, I just kind of sat there in a trance for a little while. I just felt calm and at peace and… Hopeful. I want to get my creativity back. I want to start doing more of the things that I love. And I want to do them because I want to do them instead of doing them because I feel as though I will be a failure if I don’t do them.

I’m thinking that tomorrow I’m going to explore this amazing city a little bit and take some photos. Growing up, I was always super into photography, but now I rarely do it.

I also want to make time to sit and work on my book. I have been trying to write this thing for years now, but it’s only about 15 pages at this point. I love writing. I really do… I don’t get why I so often forget that.

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Oh, and the new Fall edition of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan was released today, so that’s pretty darn rad.

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Good night all!<3

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Thinking Out Loud 10.9.2014 – Getting Deep Up In Here


Hey guys.

It’s, “Erin rambles on about the jumbled mess that are her thoughts,” day… Or, to put it in a better way, “Thinking Out Loud Thursday.”

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Thanks Amanda for creating this link-up and actually giving me the mental strength to sit and type a post (wow, that was melodramatic).

Workout – 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.

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1. Yup. As I briefly mentioned in my Monday post…. I’m still/yet again injured. I has been almost 2 weeks since my last “run” (ok, actually I ran 4 miles on Saturday because I thought I was healed, but I was wrong and am paying for it.

I strained a muscle in my lateral leg. The pain is most severe in my outer ankle area (hurts to the touch), but it pulls from my arch all the way up through my gluteal area. Not fun.

I just feel as though I am always injured, and yes, I am aware that I am to blame for this in a number of ways… But this just could not have come at a worse time.

Over the course of the last month or so, I have just been spiraling further and further down the rabbit hole of depression and self loathing. I am having trouble getting out of bed in the morning, I don’t feel up to talking to anyone (even if it is just over text messages), I don’t have the mental stamina to complete my school work. Basically, I just feel like curling up in a ball and turning the world around me off. The universe feels too big and loud and terrifying and I don’t feel strong enough to be a part of it.

During the course of this spiraling into a deep sea of depression, there was one single thing that filled me with hope and joy and a sense of meaning… Can you guess what it was?

If you said running, than you are correct.

In fact, the day that I discovered I was injured, I had a therapy appointment before I went to the doctor for my leg. We had an amazing session and we spoke about how bad I have been doing and how running has been my saving grace. She told me how important it is that I keep running, as it is the one thing that gets me out of bed in the morning and that makes taking on the world, while still almost impossible, somewhat bearable.

Of course, right after that appointment I was told that I couldn’t run again for a while.

I completely lost it.

Yup, embarrassing myself, as I frequently do, I started crying in the middle of the medical office. The worst part of not being able to control your emotions is knowing that your reaction to the given situation is inappropriate in respect to the situation. I just feel like a toddler throwing a fit over not getting a toy that they want or something. As a result, I wind up crying even harder because of how pathetic I feel. It is a vicious cycle.

On top of being in a black hole of depression already, not being able to run is a double whammy when it comes to worsening my already less-than-ideal mental state.

On one hand, running is my saving grace. It is my love. It is what I feel passionate about. It is the one thing that makes me feel like maybe I’m worth something. It makes me grateful to be alive in this wonderful, beautiful, and magical world of ours. it makes me thankful to be alive and to have a body, regardless of the size of it, that can carry me for miles and miles.

On the other hand, it is no secret that a lot of my issues stem from a deep loathing of myself, and, more specifically, my body. I was already freaking out over the fact that I feel as though I eat way too much and that I am gaining weight and getting bigger by what feels like the day. Now, I am unable to run or do intensive exercise. All I can do is the elliptical or the bike… Not exactly the top of the list calorie burning machines. I already wanted to get this extra weight off (which is almost impossible for me since I destroyed my metabolism with my eating issues…I really need to get back on track with working on that), but now it feels more impossible than ever. I feel and look puffy and larger. I don’t want to leave the room because I don’t want people to see me. I was already struggling with getting to class, now if feels almost impossible. In fact, I skipped out on two classes this week because I just physically could not get myself out the door. I just crumble… It’s bad.

I think the worst part is knowing on a logical level that a lot of it must be in my head. You don’t swell up 20 pounds over night, but to me it appears as though I do. I have trouble differentiating what is real and what is just a false projection from my disordered mind. It’s like there is this constant war going on inside my mind and I can’t make it stop.

It is exhausting… And quite honestly, I don’t know what to do about it.

Another piece of all of this is that I feel like every time I take one step in the right direction recovery wise, I wind up taking about 10 steps back. At the end of the summer, I was seeing progress, I really was. To others (mainly my mom), I know that it seemed as though therapy was doing nothing and I was in just as bad of a place as I had been for years… But I wasn’t. The thing with recovery is that it is a painfully slow process. Any change, infinitesimal as it may seem, is crucial and important. The recovering person notices them, but everyone around that person sees absolutely nothing.

I explained it, both to my mom and to my therapist, like this – For years now, I have hated my body. I obsess about what I look like, what people are seeing and thinking of my size, and how food is the enemy 100% of the time. At the end of the summer, these thoughts consumed my mind about 98.5% of the time. This 1.5% change of mentality may seem laughable in size… But to me is was huge. 

And now I’m back at 100% of the time for these bad thoughts… And I hate it.

I also feel like I am wasting my mom’s money on therapy and I am wasting my therapist’s time. I feel selfish for even going… I am just at a stand still.

2. SOMETHING MORE POSITIVE!!!!

There is actually one thing that fills me with as much joy as running does.

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(from my Instagram)

It sounds stupid, but if I could be absolutely anything in the world, I would be a musician. Now, I’m not talking like a Taylor-Swift-status-billionaire-superstar status musician… I would just want to be in a band with a moderate fan base that I could love. Music is the most powerful form of expression in my opinion. I have wanted to be a lot of different things career-wise in my lifetime, and none of the career paths that I have aspired to really had anything in common. The only common factor among my passions in life is this overwhelming need to make people feel something. I think this is why writing has always been a reoccurring theme in my goals in life. When you read a good book, watch a powerful movie, or listen to beautiful music, it elicits some sort of emotion within in you. Words have the power to be your best friend, your biggest motivator. Words can make you feel less alone… And that is what I love so much about music.

I listen to music by bands who weave words with melody in ways that make my heart cry out. I listen to music that can bring a real smile to my face whilst also brining me to tears… And listening to live music? There is nothing better.

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Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember absolutely killing it. 

It sounds like a cliche from a bad teenage movie… But music really has saved my life in more ways than one. I have been listening to my favorite band, Silverstein, since 7th grade. 7th grade also happened to be the time where my depression really manifested into something truly nasty. I have continued listening to that band through the years. I know that every time I am having a really hard time, their music has been there for me, and it will continue to be there for me as long as I have hearing.

There is also something truly beautiful, at least to me, about being surrounded by hundreds of people who all have the same deep connection to a certain song or band that you do. We are all pressed together like sardines in a can, we are jumping, we are struggling to keep up with keeping the crowd surfers from falling to the floor. My hair is being pulled and I am being absolutely demolished by the people around me (don’t even ask how many bruises I have on my body right now)… And for some reason, being accidentally punched and kicked, being knocked over while trying to hold up a dude about twice the size of me, and being drenched in sweat that isn’t even my own… It’s beautiful.

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So in conclusion, I have been doing really really awful lately… But I had one really great day on Saturday, so I am choosing to focus on that instead.

This too shall pass.

…Right?

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Mental Health Monday – The Negativity Trap


Hey everyone!
I’m not even going to get into another long-winded explanation of how busy and crazy life has been and how blogging hasn’t really been possible and blah blah blah. Instead, we are just going to get right into today’s topic.

The negativity trap.

This post is one that I have wanted to write for almost a month now. However, due to life and emotional stuff and all that nonsense, it just hasn’t happened. Needless to say, I am super stoked to finally be able to sit down and write about this close to my heart topic.

So, this “negativity trap.” What exactly is it?

In a nutshell, the negativity trap is the phenomena that occurs when you surround yourself with others who have a negative attitude about a particular topic, or just life in general.

For example, say that you are talking to a friend and they are going on about a certain professor/teacher/employer that they just can’t stand. You are also a student/employee of this particular person, but you don’t have the same extreme opinion about them that your friend does. Heck, you may really even like this person.

So your friend is going on about how horrible this person is, how much they hate them, the whole nine yards. At first, you just let your friend vent without interjecting with your own personal opinion. However, this only works until you realize that your friend is actually expecting you to have an opinion as well.

Realizing this, you try to respond appropriately, while still not agreeing with the hateful views of your friend. Eventually, as your friend continues to go on, you find yourself agreeing more and more. In fact, you find yourself complaining about this particular person as well.

It’s strange, and it is something that I notice very frequently. It’s a bit like peer pressure… When you surround yourself with negativity, eventually you will find yourself giving into it.

So how do you handle this situation?

It’s trickier than you would think. You don’t agree with someone’s negative opinion? Just say so! …Right?

Not necessarily.

Unfortunately, us human beings have the tendency to let our ego control our thoughts an actions. We have some deeply routed need to fit in, to feel validated, supported. That being said, just because the ego wants to control us doesn’t mean that you have no choice but to succumb to it.

The goal of not just avoiding the negativity trap, but of life itself, is to achieve the highest level of self-actualization…. And a huge part of this is to let go of the ego, of the herd need, of the fear (that sometimes you don’t even know is there) that is making you give into the negativity that is attempting to make its way into your mind to alter your thinking.

See, it is so much easier to think in the same way as everyone else… And once you do fall into negativity, it is just a slippery slope. Negativity is infectious. But guess what? So is positivity.

It’s a difficult process, and it takes a lot of mental strength and control to avoid falling into the negativity trap. Going against the popular opinion is  difficult, it’s terrifying and uncomfortable. It takes practice, but I assure you that you will feel so much better if you stay true to your beliefs.

When we allow ourselves to give into negativity and allow others to project their thoughts and opinions (that we don’t actually agree with) on ourselves, we allow ourselves to be lesser than who we actually are.

Think about it for a second. Think of a time where you allowed someone else so put their opinion on you. Think of a time where you said something that you didn’t mean or agree with just to make someone else happy. How did you feel after the conversation ended? Did you feel guilt? Did you think, “Why did I say that?”

It’s not a good feeling.

Also, when we allow ourselves to fall into the negativity trap, we portray ourselves as something that we are not. When we surround ourselves with negativity, even if we are not thinking the same negative thoughts as our peers, we are lumped together with those that we surround ourselves with. When we agree with ideas that we don’t believe in and voice negative opinions that are not even our own, we project an image of being something that we are not. Fall into the negativity trap and you take on the image of being a negative person, and that is not who you are.

As I said earlier, it is definitely not easy to avoid falling into the negativity trap. It requires mental strength and control. It requires not allowing your thoughts and behaviors to be controlled by the ego. It requires a constant awareness and constant analyzations of your thoughts, words an actions.

There are always going to be times when you fall into this negativity trap. There will always be times when you let your guard down and let other’s thoughts and opinions warp your own. No one is perfect. However, in this life, the main mission is to become the greatest and most authentic version of yourself. It is a journey, and staying true to yourself even when you stand alone is just one step on this never-ending journey.

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Doing What I Love – Style Saturday 9.27.2014


Hey!

I feel the need to preface this post with saying that I am feeling quite a bit… not better per say… but, more… emotionally stable than I was yesterday. This means that this post won’t be nearly as cringey and melodramatic and depressing as yesterdays! Woohoo!

Workout – An hour of elliptical intervals. 

IMG_7504My leg is definitely feeling a little bit better than it did yesterday. It still hurts, but I was able to actually get down the stairs without having to crawl down them today! Baby steps people. Baby steps.

Now the main goal is to keep up with the R.I.C.Eing and not running (I have a bad habit of coming off of injuries the moment they start showing any signs of getting better… Needless to say, this results in reinsuring myself) or doing any other intense/high impact exercises.

Anyways…

When I originally decided to name this blog Snapbacks and Racing Flats, there was a reason behind my choice for this name. A reason that has since fallen to the side.

I originally started writing this blog in 2011, right after having recently been released from the hospital for anorexia and having lost my father. I called the blog Erin Learns To Live because, well, I really did have to relearn how to actually live this life of mine. My world had been turned upside down, I had been prisoner to my mental disorder. I didn’t know how to live life like a normal person should. Actually, I am still trying to learn how to live.

However, I wound up deleting all of my posts from that blog because I didn’t want this blog to be solely focused on my eating disorder. I wanted this blog to be about me, and I am so much more than my diagnosis.

Funny how it seems that this blog has really just become about exactly what I didn’t want it to be about. I think I had to accept that my eating disorder, my anxiety, my depression, they are all a part of me… And I cannot fully express myself without expressing my full self. And whether I like it or not, my diagnosis’s really are a part of me.

Digressing now… I renamed this blog Snapbacks and Racing Flats, because I wanted this blog to be about all of the things that I love in life… All of the things that make me, well, me. And I definitely have a lot of interests.

The two interests that stuck out to me the most were, of course, running (and just health and fitness in general) and fashion/beauty. Thus, Snapbacks and Racing Flats was born. I also really wanted to include music, since I love music more than anything… But my blog name was already longer than I wanted it to be haha.

Anyway, I really want to get back into expressing my whole self on this blog instead of just using it as a platform to rant and complain. That’s what Tumblr is for! =P

I made a couple of Style Saturday posts back in the day, and then, like most things that I start, fell off the routine of these posts as soon as things in life started getting to be too much.

So I want to reintroduce this series. I don’t know if it will be every week, or if you guys will even have any interest in it. For now, I just want to share some clothing items/outfits that I both found online and put together in sets on Polyvore. Eventually, if I can get a tripod/build up the confidence/build up my wardrobe, I would absolutely love to start doing weekly outfit posts… So we shall see!

Well, now that the world’s longest intro to a blog post is done… It’s time to share some outfits/clothing items that have excited for the upcoming autumn season!

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I don’t actually own anything with a peter pan collar as I am always unsure if I would be able to pull them off… However, I think they are absolutely adorable, especially when worn under an oversized sweater! I’m also a huge leggings girl and printed leggings are, in  my opinion, some of best statement pieces that one can add to a plain outfit. I feel that this outfit would look super cute with either a pair of faux suede maryjane flats or faux suede creepers!

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I feel that this outfit is just a prime example of how one can dress up super basic pieces to make an edgy and trendy outfit. I am currently on the hunt to find the perfect (affordable) black booties for winter. I feel that they are one of the most necessary pieces for fall/winter. Yet, I have never owned a pair! I really love the layered black shirt sleeves poking through from under the white top, and then you can never go wrong with throwing on a good anorak jacket over an outfit!

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This is just a compilation of jackets that I am currently drooling over from one of my favorite online shopping sites, Yesstyle. It is a site that sells asian fashion brands and I am obsessed with pretty much everything. Especially that pink moto jacket. Alas, it is over 200 dollars and will forever remain nothing more than a pin on my “epic wish list” Pinterest board *dramatic sigh*.

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Just an outfit that I would, and more likely than not, will be wearing very frequently this fall. I love velvet leggings and I really want to get a colored pair. Paired with all black everything else, the pop of color in the leggings really gives the outfit a special something without being too much.

Also, this outfit would be cozy comfy as anything!

And now, I am off to try to get some sleep giving that I haven’t gotten more than 5 hours of sleep in a night since May. I can slowly feel myself losing it.

Goodnight!

Question(s):

What clothing item are you most excited to wear this Fall?

Anyone hear any good music lately? I need some new jams (did I really just say jams?!)  to listen to!

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Injured Again


Hey guys.

I really am trying to get back into the swing of blogging. Like I said the other day, I miss it. And I am in desperate need of an outlet… Especially now.

Warning: this post is going to be even more depressing and lacking in energy than usual. It will also very likely be mildly melodramatic. Proceed with caution.

Workout – 30 minute interval cycling workout on the stationary bike + 25 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.

So, as the title kind of already says, I am injured. Again.

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My life for a while.

During my run the other day, I was feeling sharp, but not unbearable, pain in my inner ankle/calf region of my right leg. I figured that the muscle was just tight, as my calve muscles typically are, and that the hills of Central Park were just getting to me. I thought I just had to get used to the uneven terrain and hills of Central Park. Nothing to worry about. I was just thrilled that the deep blisters on my heels were finally recovered enough to be able to actually run without having to stop due to pain.

The next day, I did speed work on the treadmill and felt fine. Actually, I felt great. Such a great workout. I was stoked.

So after my workout, I packed up my things and went home for the long weekend. That evening, I noticed that the muscle in my leg was feeling very tight again. Again, I didn’t really think much of it.

I spent that night at my grandparents’ house, and laced up the next morning for a 5 mile run. Well, I made it about 3 miles before I was hobbling and crying from pain. Being my insane self… I forced myself to do at least one more mile… And then I had to stop. I couldn’t take it.

I had a therapy appointment and had to drive out about 45 minutes in severe pain. I made an appointment with my chiropractor for right after my therapy session and rushed there after. Unfortunately, due to the new health care laws, my chiropractor isn’t really able to spend as much time with each patient as she used to. So I was hooked up to the electric stim machine to loosen up the muscle for a while, and then she came in, looked at it, told me to go get an ace bandage, and wrapped my leg up with ice. She also worked on the muscle a little bit and I, one who has a VERY high pain tolerance, was sobbing. I can’t even explain the amount of pain.

Needless to say… She told me not to run. I, being the emotionally unstable person that I am, started, to my complete mortification, crying… Yup. Crying. Right there in front of everyone. I felt like the world was ending.

Like I said, quite the melodramatic post.

Here’s the thing, I had just come from therapy, and that already typically makes me more emotional that I usually am (and I am already a pretty emotional person). I had just had a great session, we spoke about how I have been scaring myself lately with how low I have been. I have been unable to find it in me to even text my best and only friend, let alone attempt to make new friends at my new school. I haven’t been able to find it in me to do my school work. Leaving my dorm to go to class is unbearable. My only salvation? Getting up and running every morning. Joanne (my absolutely amazing therapist) said how important it is for me that I even get up in the morning to run. It is the one thing that allows me to face the world. It is the one thing that makes me truly grateful for the body that I have and that makes me think about how much I truly love this world. It is the one thing that keeps me going and feeling like maybe I may have some sort of purpose in this world. I spend most of my time feeling like a failure. I don’t know what I am doing with my life. I don’t know what I am meant to do. I don’t know what my purpose is. I hate my body. I don’t have friends and I don’t feel as though I can handle having friends right now, yet I am terrified that I will now be alone forever. I feel as though I am wasting my college experience and that I am wasting my life.

But running makes me feel a glimpse of hope. It is the one thing that can actually make me feel ok about myself.

With my being in such a truly terrible place right now… I need my running now more than ever. And I can’t do that.

On top of that, I have no idea when I will be able to run again. It is my favorite season for running right now, and it only lasts a few weeks. Also, like I addressed the other day, I have gained weight and I am not ok with this… And now I really can’t workout except for the bike.

I am just at a complete loss. And I know that I am being stupid and dramatic and trust me, I of all people know that there are much worse things in this world than a temporary injury preventing me from running. It is just that I have really been scaring myself recently and running was my only salvation. I just feel like it is always something going wrong and I just don’t know what to do. Also, my mobility is very limited. I have trouble getting up and down the stairs due to pain, and walking is painful and problematic… I am not good at sitting an doing nothing. Again, I feel as though I am wasting time.

I just don’t know.

Sorry! I’ll try to be more positive tomorrow. I just really needed to vent.

On a more positive note… I put up a new makeup tutorial today! It’s a fall look inspired by the iconic autumn drink, the pumpkin spice latte. Hope you enjoy!

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Mental Health Monday – What Is Over Exercising?


Hey all.

Workout – 4.31 easy recovery miles in Central Park.

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(The reason that the pace is drastically slower in the first mile is due to the fact that there were a million red lights on the run over to the park and I didn’t pause RunKeeper at them… Whoops).

So it’s been quite a long time since the last time I sat down to write a Mental Health Monday post, and today’s topic is one that is very close to my heart.

Overexercising.

Or, more specifically, what exactly is overexercising?

The term is pretty common. You see it everywhere in the forms of magazine articles, health website posts, and even in those little ads that you see on the sides of the webpages that you are browsing.

Are You Over Exercising? 5 Signs Of Overtraining.

How To Tell If You Are Overtraining.

Science Finds That Too Much Exercise Can Lead To Weight Gain.

Wow. If there is so much talk on the issue of over exercising/compulsive exercise/overtraining, then surely there must be a great amount of awareness surrounding the issue, right?

Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

See, the lines of what is too much exercise is a very blurry one. I mean, pro athletes train for hours every day and often train twice a day. They aren’t over exercising. In fact, they are arguably some of the healthiest people out there.

So where does that leave us? If pro-athletes can train every day, then who are we to think that our *need* to exercise for 30 minutes every day with no rest days ever is too much? It can’t be, now can it?

I have a very strong opinion of what exactly over exercising is. Now, keep in mind that this is purely my theory, and has no real scientific backing. However, as someone who has struggled with an eating disorder that manifested itself as an exercise addiction for quite some times, I do like to think that I am fairly knowledgeable about this particular issues.

Now, when I say compulsive exercise, what exactly do I mean?

The NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) references compulsive over exercising in their definition of the anorexia subtype called, “anorexia athletica.”

Anorexia Athletica (Compulsive Exercising)

Anorexia athletica is a condition where people over-exercise because they believe this will control their bodies and give them a sense of power, control and self-respect. It isn’t a clinically recognized diagnosis in the same way that anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are, but compulsive exercising can have serious health consequences.

Symptoms of anorexia athletica include:

Exercising more than is good for our health.
Being fanatical about our weight and diet.
Taking time off work, school and relationships to exercise.
Focusing on the challenge exercise poses and forgetting that it can be fun.
Believing that our self-worth depends on our physical performance.
Rarely being satisfied by what we achieve physically.                                                           Saying that this exercise is okay because we are athletes, or insisting that the behavior is healthy.

(Source)

Now, I know that whilst anorexia athletica always includes excessive/compulsive exercise, over exercising does not always mean that one has anorexia athletica. However, I would definitely argue that over exercising often has less to do with the amount that you are exercising and more to do with the mentality that surrounds/backs your compulsive exercise.

So some questions to ask yourself could be:

Do I exercise because I want to? Or do I do it because I feel like I am a failure/will gain a million pounds overnight/will be looked at as lazy etc. if I don’t?

If there is a day where I truly can’t workout, will it completely destroy my day? Will I obsess over this one missed day of exercise for weeks to come?

Do I put working out over spending quality time with family and friends? Do I avoid making plans if it cuts into my workout schedule?

Do I not allow myself to take off if I am sick or injured? 

If you answered yes to these questions, then your mind is definitely not in the right place for exercising.

Also, obviously you can kind of tell that you are over training (even if you are in complete denial of this fact and push the thought to the back of your mind) when you are constantly fatigued, start dreading your workouts, or begin to feel sickly often. These are obvious symptoms and are always the first to be mentioned in those magazine/web articles that I referenced earlier in this post.

One thing that I don’t ever see in these articles is something that I believe to be the number one most crucial factor in determining what exactly it means to be over exercising.

Your caloric intake vs. the amount of exercise that you are doing.

Sure professional athletes can workout for hours a day and not be accused of overexercising, but these athletes are also eating a ton to make sure that their body is properly fueled for this level of training. However, if you are eating a calorie deficient diet and exercising for hours a day, you are literally destroying yourself.

Think about it, we all too often see this (idiotic) idea that women should be consuming 1200 calories a day if they want to lose weight. Firstly, that is complete nonsense. Unless you are obscenely short (and even then, this is often way too low), your body needs more than 1200 calories per day just to perform its necessary functioning for survival. Now, add exercise, even if it is just 30 minutes per day, each and every day, into the equation and you very likely will now have (depending on the workout that you do) a net caloric intake of less than 1000 calories. You are literally preventing your body from properly being able to fulfill it’s job of keeping you alive… And yet you are expecting it to support and give you energy for working out? It doesn’t work like that. Keeping you alive is your body’s priority.

So what is over exercising?

I firmly believe that the term over exercising is completely relative. There is no set amount of time or intensity level or frequency of workouts that can tell you whether or not you are over training. It all depends on your mentality surrounding exercise, and whether or not you are adequately fueling your body to support your level of activity, whatever it may be.

Moral of the story? DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.

Just because someone can run ten miles a day and be perfectly healthy doesn’t mean that you should ignore that you are feeling the symptoms of over working your body while running 3 miles a day. That other person is not you. They do not eat the same food. They do not eat the same amount. They are not at the same stage of life as you. They do not live in the same environment as you. What they can do should never influence how you feel about what you can do and what you should do. You are your own person and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you acknowledge that fact and listen to your body. You know yourself best, and you know when something is not quite right.

Never let the fear of not being enough prevent your own personal growth and healing.

Thank you for reading. I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow =).

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So… It’s Been A While.


Hey guys. Remember me?

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(Here’s an awkward deer-in-the-headlights selfie just in case you forgot what I look like).

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve been wondering where the heck I have been (ok, you probably haven’t actually been wondering that…), so here’s a quick update.

As you may know, I moved to New York City for school about a month ago. It has definitely been a big adjustment. My roommate didn’t move in for the first few weeks (she should be moving in this upcoming week), so I was essentially completely on my own. Honestly, I like being on my phone. I prefer it. Living in close quarters with someone who doesn’t know me really sets my anxiety skyrocketing. I think it’s just the typical nervousness that comes with living with someone I don’t know in combination with the fact that I have anxiety, am prone to crying for no reason and having meltdowns, and having anxious fits (the most embarrassing and shameful thing ever), and having to really constantly force myself to pretend that everything is ok and to suppress my emotions in an effort to make sure that my roommate doesn’t’ think that I am some emotionally unstable psychopath.

On top of this, the main reason that I originally stopped blogging for a while was due to being piled high with work (I’m taking 18 hours of class a week) while adjusting to a new life in a new place.

I felt like I had to force myself to blog, whereas I typically just did it out of enjoyment. I felt like I was being pathetic for not being able to balance blogging and doing my Youtube channel and do all of my school work whilst trying to figure out what I am doing with my life. I mean, there are plenty of people who not only have blogs whilst WORKING full time, but also have families and a social life while also blogging as a job, meaning that they need to put more time and effort into their blog than I do with my tiny blog that no one really reads.

But I do this this where I put an obscene amount of pressure on myself for no good reason whatsoever.

After missing a couple of days of blogging, I was filled with tons of ideas for Mental Health Mondays as well as some New York City living posts and heaps of other things. I was so excited to write them. However, the moment that I found time to sit down and write… I just couldn’t find it in me to put words together.

I was, and still am, in a rut.

It’s almost funny. I feel like half of my posts on here reference to my being in a rut.. But the thing is, I have been in one for years. The only difference is that sometimes I manage to pull myself up a little bit, whilst other times I find myself buried to far in the darkest places in my mind and am become paralyzed.

I have been paralyzed.

I just honestly feel like I am having an existential crisis. I am in a city that I love, but I am not finding the drive to really enjoy it. I have no energy. I seriously can barely find the strength to walk up a few flights of stairs most days. My weight has gone up. I am watching it go up and up and I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to be seen by people. I feel like I am unable to keep up with my schoolwork. I don’t enjoy the classes that I am taking, even though I should, and I feel like I can’t retain any of the information that I am learning. I feel like my life is at a standstill. I feel like I am wasting my days away and it completely freaks me out. I don’t know what my purpose is. I don’t know what I am supposed to do with my life. I don’t have friends… But I don’t feel any drive to make an effort to actually make friends. I just want to be home and hiding away… But I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life… And I feel like I will be if I don’t make friends now. I am just scared for the future and I have no direction in which way to go to make things better.

Wow, I’m sorry for the rant… It just feels really good to be blogging again. I really have missed it. I need to remind myself how much I enjoy it and I need to keep with it. It really is a huge stress reliever and outlet for me… Yet I am so unable to put words together most days because I know that the way I write and the things that I write about aren’t exactly things that people want to read about… And I want people to read my blog. I want to network and connect with people while still feeling comfortable and safe behind the screen of my laptop. Is that normal? Probably now. I don’t know. I really don’t know what I am saying.

Anyways… How about some things that actually have been making me happy and thankful to be alive lately?

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Smoothie bowls that taste exactly like vanilla bean ice cream.

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Putting together delicious dishes and treats for my family when we had everyone over for my grandpa’s birthday last Sunday!

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Finding coffee in NYC for under 3 bucks that also has the option of putting soy milk in for no extra charge.

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Morning runs in Central Park… They never get old.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday. I apologize for how much I complained in this post and I thank you so much if you actually read it. I will be back tomorrow with another Mental Health Monday post!

=)

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Komen Race For A Cure And Gratitude


 Hey everyone! How is your Sunday going?

Workout -

5 miles + 2 miles (7 mile total)

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So today was a very special day.

The Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure New York City 5k for breast cancer awareness. Like millions of others, I have people in my life who have been touched by breast cancer. Every year, my mom and I head into the city with my mom’s friend (a 6 year breast cancer survivor!), and her family. We go in early, start the morning off in Survivor’s Village (an area of the race expo for the survivors and their friends and family). 

I can’t really put words together to describe the experience that is the Komen Race For A Cure (this could also be in part to the fact that I am sick and have a fever so I am struggling to put words together in general). The women, their families, their stories. It is just an amazing atmosphere to be around.

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I think the most beautiful thing about this particular breast cancer awareness walk/run is the fact that although what we are walking/running for is so terrible and unfair… It is such a positive atmosphere.

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Obviously, all of the participants in the race are there for different reasons. Some have fought breast cancer and won, some have watched their loved ones fight and win… And then others have not. 

As someone who lost a parent to cancer, it especially hits home with me when I see people with tags on their shirts saying, “In Loving Memory Of…” I saw too many young children who were walking for a lost mother. And too many mothers walking for a lost daughter.

But even still, they were smiling and laughing and cheering.

I mean, what is more beautiful than that?

Also, one of my favorites things about this day is the time that I get to spend in Survivor’s Village. I am surrounded by all of these strong, amazing, beautiful, and inspiring women. I hear them give speeches on their battles and how they have come out on top. These are the kinds of people that I look up to. These are the kinds of people that make me want to really live my life and to be thankful everyday for the fact that I am here. It could all end in an instant… And if it did, would I be able to say that I lived my life to the fullest each and every day? No, I wouldn’t. 

And I really want to.

Also, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.

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Oh, and there was another thing that made today extra special.

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I got to see my mom! (Pardon the fact that neither of us are exactly looking our best…)

I know that it’s really only been a week since I’ve seen her…. But that’s a long time! As I mentioned the other day, I have been really having a hard time lately and I have been extra homesick. Seeing her was just what I needed to help me push through this upcoming week.

It was so nice to see her and get to walk with her and talk. As much as being away from home kind of sucks, it’s an amazing way to raise the level of gratitude that you do have for your home and your family.

My mom is my best friend and my hero. I just can’t wait until next Friday when I get to go home for the weekend and see your again!

Some other things that I am grateful for today.

 

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Living close to this amazing place and being able to run there.

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The best coffee on the Upper East Side.

 

I hope you have an amazing rest of your Sunday and that you have a great week ahead!

Question(s):

What are you grateful for today?

 

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*Hecka Kawaii* And August Favorites


Hey everyone! Happy Friday!

Workout – Treadmill interval “endurance workout”

5 minute walk/jog warm up

Ladder:

1 minute fast

1 minute jog

2 minutes fast

1 minute jog

3 minute fast

1 minute jog

2 minutes fast

1 minute jog

1 minute fast

1 minute jog

(Repeat entire ladder one more time)

5 minute cool down.

All done at level .5 incline.

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I’m really wishing that I was home right now.

Today is the first day that I don’t have class since I came to school, meaning that is the first day that I am not harried and rushing around. This means that I have time to, well, think about things. And thinking about things leads to homesickness in my case.

The problem with the school that I attend is that it is largely a commuter school. This means that most of the student population (about 80% if I’m not mistaken) simply get on the subway, go to class, get back on the subway, and go home. This doesn’t leave much opportunity for meeting people or creating friendships.

In a traditional college setting, interacting with others and creating close bonds super quickly is extremely important. You are away from your home and your family and your friends. You are essentially completely alone, and this creates a sense of urgency in creating a relationship with the people around you. This way you feel less alone.

Now don’t get me wrong, I kind of thrive on being alone. My roommate hasn’t been here (I literally have only met her once and it was for about 5 minutes), so it has just been me. I wake up, I do my thing, I walk to school, I explore, I run errands. I lie being on my own. I am a deeply introverted person. That is not to say that I don’t like people (I actually did a whole post on introverted personality types and the stigma surrounding the introvert), I love people. I think people are great and I love interacting with others. That being said, I prefer to be alone most of the time.

And I feel bad about that.

The thing is, while I love being alone, I don’t love feeling alone. I also don’t love the fact that I keep thinking that if I don’t make super close friends as soon as possible, that I will be alone forever.

I want to have a great group of friends. I want to interact with others… Just not right now.

Does that make any sense?

I don’t know, I just don’t want to be friendless for the rest of my life. That is no way to live.

Moving on…

Due to the fact that I had some free time today, I decided to make good use of that time and head out to the Kinokuniya Bookstore (it’s the greatest place ever, let me tell you) to get the textbook that I needed for my Japanese class. I could have just gotten it through my school’s bookstore, but apparently I was going to get a 10% student discount at Kinokuniya, so I couldn’t pass that up.

Also, the idea of a Japanese store just was really really exciting.

And exciting it was. It was pretty much my definition of heaven on earth.

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An book of art from my favorite mangaka of all time, Arina Tanemura. The detail in her art is seriously unreal. I mean, look at that.

 

 

 

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Manga. Manga. MANGA!!!!

 

 

 

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I need that giant Rilakkuma plush in my life… I also need that Hello Kitty bento box.

Yup.

 

 

 

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Yes, I did wind up impulsively buying something, but I am proud of myself because I only bought one thing instead of the whole store.

Unless you count the coffee and Ume (pickled plum) Onigiri (Japanese rice ball) that I got from the cafe that was in the store…

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I wound up with a Japanese fashion magazine. I am obsessed with all things Japan… But their fashion is one of the things that I am the most in love with. I love it all from the ruffle-y hyper girly “kawaii” doll-like fashion to the more grunge Harajuku style fashion. It’s all so over the top and I love it so much.

All the fun aside, I did actually get what I was supposed to… i.e. my textbooks. My wallet hurts.

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My brain also hurts.

 

After I finally pried myself out of Kinokuniya (I seriously could just live there), I walked across the street into Bryant Park to drink my coffee, get some work done, and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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I also purchased 8 dollars worth of salad from Whole Foods and my wallet hurts even more now. I need to stop doing that.

And now, to go off and eat my overpriced salad whilst attempting to teach myself Japanese!

 

Oh, and if any of you have any interest in listening to me talking about makeup, fashion items, music, books, and other things that I loved last month… There’s a video for that!

 

Have a great night! 

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