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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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Thinking Out Loud 9.4.2014 – A Ton Of Thoughts And Questions


Hey everyone!

It’s my favorite day (blog post wise) of the week!

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Thanks Amanda!

 

1. Workout – 6 miles in Central Park to start my day!

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Recycled (and blurry!) photo because I didn’t actually take any in the park this morning.

I stuck to the standard run/bike road today instead of venturing off onto the other trails. This was partially due to the fact that I didn’t feel like running uphill anymore than I needed to (although, I will say that a majority of this run was still uphill.. The climbs just weren’t as steep as they would have been if I had ventured off of the main trail) and partially because it was early in the morning and I felt more comfortable being around a lot of people than being on my own. 

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2. I go to Fairway way too often.

Also, the Fairway near where I currently live is absolutely nothing compared to my local Fairway back home. I miss it.

 

 

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I really can’t keep going to the grocery store/buying coffee/spending money every day… But I just really “needed” more dark chocolate covered ginger (I shouldn’t keep that stuff around, let me tell you), crystalized ginger (again… dangerous), and pretzels (Fairway carries the best super thin whole wheat pretzel sticks ever). Needed…

 

4. Breakfast. Same as per usual + crumbled Weetabix. A winning idea. 

I also have been putting my yogurt in the freezer in the morning upon waking up so that it will be slightly frozen to a froyo like consistency by the time I have worked out, showered, and am ready to eat.

 

 

 

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4. So that yogurt…

Last night, I watched the very well known and well loved documentary Forks Over Knives.

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I have been wanting to watch this documentary for quite some time now. I loved the idea of a documentary that focused on a whole food, plant based diet that used facts, numbers, science, and testimonials over scare tactics and horror-movie like scenes of animals being tormented that you find in most “go vegan” type films.

Also, since I have been reading Dr. Cambell’s Whole book and Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution, I found myself even more motivated(?) to watch this particular documentary.

It was great, I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, whether you are vegan, are interested in going vegan, or have absolutely no desire whatsoever to embrace a vegan lifestyle. Regardless of your dietary preference (as you know, I myself am not vegan), I truly believe that everyone should live a predominantly plant-based lifestyle.

That leads me to my next point…

5. I feel so guilty.

I have been watching nothing but vegan Youtube videos recently, and now I have unleashed the beast on the vegan documentaries. I am the type of person that once I become interested in something, I become obsessed. It doesn’t matter whether or not I agree with everything that I am watching (I watch all different types of vegans on Youtube, and I’m sorry but some of the advice that some of them give is seriously alarming and disturbing), I will still watch as much as I can. I love learning a lot, and I love learning as much as possible about everything that I can… Whether or not the information that I am learning is correct.

I am also an extreme person, but I am also working on trying to be less extreme, less intense.

Balance. I am trying to learn balance.

For some reason, I thought that it would be a good idea to watch another documentary as I was eating my breakfast/right after.

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It seemed innocent enough, 3 meat loving New Yorkers challenged to a month of veganism. It also started out innocent enough.

And then all of a sudden there were animals being killed… I skipped past that part.

And then I felt guilty about skipping that part.

I don’t eat a lot of meat, and I am very careful about where any animal products that I do consume come from (I know that there is no real way to make meat/dairy consumption “humane”… but there are definitely some sources that are better than other.. a little less cruel I guess). I felt guilty that even though I was skipping the graphic scenes, I still knew what they were saying. I felt so guilty that I was not vegan. 

I ate yogurt right before watching this film. YOGURT.

So I started freaking out. 

Am I bad person?

Why am I not a vegan?

Why can’t I just become a vegan?

I don’t even consume many animal products.

Why?

Why?

Why?

And then I realized what it was.

Basically, the intense and extreme part of my brain is also the part of my brain that is “sick”. It is where my eating disorder, my anxiety, my OCD, and my depression lives. Then, there is the part of my brain that is ok. That part of my brain is the part that wants to heal, it’s bigger than the part that wants to remain sad and sick, but it is also much weaker.

The non-sick part of my brain is also the rational part. It knows that I am extreme, and that labeling myself to committing to any specific type of diet or lifestyle will force the bad and sick part of my brain to latch onto that title and thrust me into a constant state of anxiety over the pressure to be absolutely perfect. 

I don’t know what to do. I do know that I want to limit animal product consumption as much as possible… And I do believe that I do that. But still, that bad part of my brain keeps telling me that that is no where near good enough. I feel like there is this entire community sitting around a table and discussing what a terrible person I am because I claim to love animals and dream of peace and want to live in harmony with the world… But I won’t commit to vegan. I feel like I am thought to be a fraud.

And here’s the kicker.

There is not one single person (that I know of) that gives a hoot about what my diet is. 

I don’t judge anyone else’s dietary choices… So why do I feel like others judge mine.

Wow, this just turned into a really long point… I guess that my mind is just really spinning right now and I feel like a bad person, but I also know that committing myself to being vegan will actually detract from the (small) progress in mental healing that I have made so far in my recovery from my eating disorder.

I know that there are many many people who find that adopting a vegan diet actually helped them heal from mental disorders.. But I know myself, and I know the pressure that I put on myself… And I know that putting a title of any kind on myself, whether it be a good one or a bad, is not good for my mental health.

I don’t know man, I just don’t know.

But I don’t like feeling like a bad person.

Well, if you read this entire rant, you deserve a hug and a high five, because you, my friend, are awesome.

5. I walk by this every day on my commute to school and it never fails to make my heart happy.

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6. And now I am off to my 3 hour class in the room that has no windows or air conditioning. Wish me luck!

 

Question(s):

1. What is your opinion on my whole “to vegan or not to vegan” thing? I would really love as much input from other people as I can get!

2. Do you like documentaries? What are some good ones to watch (health related or otherwise)?

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