a day to remember, choosing happiness, college, concert, dealing with injuries, depression, eating disorders, ed recovery, elliptical, fit, fitness, happiness, happy, health, healthy, healthy eating, healthy living, injury, life, lifestyle, mental health, Mental Health Monday, music, nyc, recovery, run, runner, running, self help, self help fest, thinking out loud, university, weight, weight gain, weight loss, workout

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.”

Thinking-Out-Loud2

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.

IMG_7906

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.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 12.24.03 PM

(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.

IMG_7789 IMG_7812

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.

IMG_7818 IMG_7794 IMG_7816 IMG_7817

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?

Standard
fitness, healthy living, life, recovery

SMART Goal Setting + My Goals For The Week


Hello there people! How is your Sunday going?

Workout: Insanity Pure Cardio + Abs

Today has been a day full of a whole lot of nothing. I’m not feeling well whatsoever, so I’m just trying to rest up as much as possible in anticipation of a long night at work tonight.

I don’t know about you guys, but with rest often comes a ton of thinking… And I have certainly been thinking about a lot today.

I have a lot to work on in my life. In fact, this blog has become a means of chronicling my own journey in doing just that. I have a lot of healing to do, both mentally and physically. I have a lot of growing to do. I have a lot of self-discovery to do.

I have been in a truly horrible place for so long and I have only just recently began thawing. It’s been a slow process, and unfortunately it seems that for every step forward I take in healing, I take 5 steps backwards.

So it’s time to accept the fact that what I have been doing, or not doing, hasn’t been working… And it’s time to move forward.

I think that something I do, and that a lot of us do, is set huge long term goals and leave it at that.

I am going to get healthy.

I am going to lose xx pounds.

I am going to get a good job.

I am going to get a 4.o in school.

The problem with these type of goals is that that they are so broad that they often leave the goal setter feeling less inspired and more overwhelmed.

In my exercise science class, we learned about a type of goal setting called the SMART model.

Goals should be:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time oriented

Now, we were learning about this specific way of goal setting in regards to fitness and weight loss, but it can easily be applied to any and every goal that one sets for themselves.

And this SMART model of goal setting is definitely, dare I say, smart.

Here’s an example of how this model would be used (this isn’t a goal of mine… just one that I made up).

Broad goal – To lose weight.

Specific – I want to lose 20 pounds

Measurable – Weigh ins and measurements taken weekly

Achievable – Losing 20 pounds at a steady pace of 1-2 pounds per week. (What you wouldn’t want is to set a goal of losing 20 pounds in a month…)

Realistic – Pretty much the same as Achievable

Time Based – Lose 20 pounds in the next 4-5 months.

Braking up a huge goal into smaller, more manageable mini-goals makes the goal less overwhelming. It’s like when your room is a complete mess, so you decide that one day you will clean out the closet, then your drawers the next day, and so on and so forth.

That being said, part 1 of what I have dubbed Operation Makeover My Life, is setting weekly goals!

I always psych myself out when it comes to setting weekly goals because all I can think of is, “What if I fail at accomplishing all of my goals and then am a pathetic failure because I can’t do anything right?”

Is this a tad overdramatic? Why yes.

First thing to write down for yesterday’s challenge – I will fail at accomplishing all that I set out to do this week. I will accomplish my goals for the week… And if not, that is ok. There is always next week. I will be kinder to myself.

So here are a couple of my goals for the week:

1. Drink green tea!

 

IMG_5833

I have actually already started on this one! I’m enjoying a cup of green tea with lemon while I am writing this!

Green tea is something that I used to enjoy daily, and I have to say that I actually felt better when I did. Green tea has such a huge amount of health benefits, curbs the appetite, helps control sugar cravings, and helps stimulate the metabolism. It’s also very hydrating.

And delicious.

It seems simple and silly, but as part of bettering my health and body, incorporating a cup or two of green tea into my daily routine seems like as good of a place as any to start!

IMG_5834

 

I also want to work on getting my hands of some matcha (it’s just so darn expensive) for even more health benefits!

2. Reduce my intake of processed carbohydrates.

We all know how I feel about my (grotesquely large) “snack” plates as meals.

IMG_5830

See all those pretzels and rice snaps? Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying some pretzels now and again. I know that a lot of people look at carbohydrates and breads as the devil… But the way I see it is that if pretzels are the most unhealthy thing that I am eating, then I don’t exactly see it as the worst thing in the world.

What makes my pretzel habit problematic is that they seem to make up almost half of my total intake for the day… I include them in my lunches, and often my dinners since I often have snack plates for dinners as well. Along with incorporating them into meals, I also snack on them throughout the day.

I just don’t feel comfortable with the percentage of my total intake coming from these types of foods or with the lack of nutritional value that these foods offer.

And this leads me to my next goal.

4. Eat more protein!

I seem to have fallen out of incorporating lean protein sources into any of my meals… I maybe have something like tuna or chicken breast of fish twice a week… And that is certainly not ideal. Funny thing is, I know that part of my aversion to protein sources is my stupid fear of calories… I feel like if I am going to intake x amount of calories, I would rather get them from something that I enjoy more (hello pretzels).. Which is dumb.

Protein has a thermogenic effect on the body, so incorporating more protein into my diet would actually encourage a higher metabolic rate after meal time which would encourage a leaner physique.

and that brings me to my final goal for the week…

5. Normalize my meals.

One cannot and should not live on acai bowls, snack plates, and pretzels alone… I strongly believe that if I started eating more normal meals, my issues with constant grazing and high intake of low fiber carbohydrates would greatly lessen.

Then maybe I would feel better about myself and less bad about my diet and eating habits.

 

Small steps. Small steps.

Here’s to a good week!

Question(s):

What are your goals for the week?

What is your biggest dietary downfall?

 

 

Standard
fitness, life, recovery

Best Swim Workout to Date


Hey everyone! I am finally done editing tomorrow’s video for my Youtube channel so I finally have a chance to type up this post! I’m hoping I’ll actually get it up before midnight haha…

Today I woke up at 6:30 to head on over to the gym for my last swim workout before I go away for the long weekend. I’m considering buying a knee brace and trying a short run while I’m away to see how my knee feels. As much as I enjoy a good cross training session, I miss running so much. Plus, there’s something about running while on vacation that is just the greatest thing on the planet.

Not only was my swim absolutely awesome this morning (although the dragging myself out of bed and throwing myself into a cold pool was not), but I also got the lap lane all to myself for a majority of my swim! This never happens at my gym since I typically go when all of the people who are going to the gym before heading off to work are there and there are only two lap lanes.

IMG_4807

How many times am I going to reuse this photo? The world may never know.

Here’s the breakdown of my workout:

Warm up – 350m freestyle

Endurance –

2 x 200m freestyle pull (buoy between legs and using    arms only to swim)

2 x 200m freestyle kick (hold kick board and use legs only to swim)

2 x 100m freestyle

Sprints –

4 x 50m IM style format (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle)

2 x 25 freestyle

Repeat sprints 2x

Cool Down –

100m breaststroke

300m freestyle

Done!

The workout in it’s entirety took about 55 minutes total (the 200m freestyle kicks took about a million years since I kind of fail at the whole kicking thing) and my legs and arms will definitely be feeling this tomorrow!

After my workout, I hit up the sauna for a few minutes to sit and meditate before starting my day. I am one of those people that always means to meditate but either forgets to or doesn’t have the patience to do so. I find that sitting in the sauna allows me to quiet my mind enough to really reflect and mediate and I have really been loving starting my day this way.

Next, I hit up the shower, put some makeup on, grabbed some coffee, and headed off to therapy!

IMG_5086

It feels really weird saying, “therapy,” on my blog… But I really am not ashamed of the fact that I attend therapy and I really love going. I’ve said it before, but the type of therapy that I attend is holistically based and marries different techniques of healing like meditation, hypnosis, and traditional talk therapy.

I started work the other day and it has been triggering a lot of anxiety in me along with the fact that I am going away tomorrow until Sunday with my entire family (I love traveling but it also freaks me out because it means not being able to have my normal routine that I do at home) so I am so thankful that I got in a good session today! We talked about a lot of really great things like positive affirmations and having hope for the future.

I would really love to share some of what we spoke about today, but I think that I will save that post for later in the week when it’s not midnight and I’m not falling asleep on top of my computer so that I can really write an in depth post. I both hope and think some of the coping techniques that I learned today may be helpful for some of you =).

Now off to bed so I can get up tomorrow and get my video uploaded and my workout in before I have to pack and leave!

Oh, and my night ended in a really good way… Just saying ;).

IMG_5088

 

 

 

Standard
fitness, healthy living, life, recovery

Summer Is Here!


Hey everyone!

Guess what…

Guess…

Guess.

Did you guess what?

Ok, I’ll tell you.

It’s officially summer!

tumblr_n7iwfse37m1sbafcao1_400

Admittedly, given that I have been out of school for over a month, it has felt like summer for a while. However, it’s still exciting that it’s officially summertime!

With spring ending and summer beginning, this also brings Tone It Up’s Bikini Series to an end. I have been participating in the Bikini Series since the very first one 4 years ago and this has been, by far, the best one yet! 2014-bikini-series-toneitup-tone-it-up

Every year I have tried to stick the Bikini Series, and every year I have failed due to my refusal to let go of my disordered habits and mindset.

Obviously, this year hasn’t been perfect. As I’m sure you’re all well aware of due to my obnoxious amounts of thoughtful and mildly depressing posts recently, I’ve struggled. However, I have to say that the community that Tone It Up provides through Instagram, Twitter, and their Community, has really helped me through the rough patches. It’s just a really wonderful and supportive community of wonderful women who want nothing more than to help each other. I’m just very thankful that I found Tone It Up all those years ago back in 2008 when I was just an 8th grader who hated her body and wanted to change.

I’m going to do a full post summarizing the Bikini Series and my experience later on this week =).

This morning, upon waking up I decided to test the waters and go out for an easy (and I mean easy) 4 mile run.

Again, I have yet to master the whole "take a non-blurry picture whilst running" thing.

Again, I have yet to master the whole “take a non-blurry picture whilst running” thing.

I lucked out in the sense that my local bird sanctuary was actually open this morning (it has really weird hours and is typically only open noon-3) which meant that I got to run on a non-cement surface. I definitely find running on grass more difficult, especially when the terrain as uneven as it is in my local bird sanctuary… But I know that it’s better for my joints.

IMG_4850

I was feeling hopeful when I made it through the first 2 miles with absolutely no pain, but then I began to feel my knee act up for about a half mile before the pain dissipated again. I guess I’ll be sticking to the pool for a while longer.

Bummer.

I have to say though, swimming has been killing my shoulders and arms like no other! Maybe by the time I’m no longer injured I’ll actually have some upper body strength!

Now I’m off to go get a present for my cousin’s engagement party later!

I’m also bringing them a sweet treat.

IMG_4845

You’ll see the finished product later 😉

Final note: I made the best smoothie bowl to date this morning.

IMG_4852Ok, time to stop procrastinating and get stuff done!

Standard
fitness, Uncategorized

Do it because you love it…


Yesterday, I came across what is, probably, one of the best things I have seen on the internet in a long time…

IMG_9203

I saw this floating around and I really found it to hold so much truth. There is so much pressure put on people from social media and just society in general to be this super fit person who eats only berries and seeds and works out for hours a day. I see so much of people who live these kinds of lifestyles being judgmental of people who don’t and honestly, it’s ridiculous. Too many times I’ve seen people post on twitter or instagram about how they are, “so grossed out” because they just saw some family eating McDonalds. Who are you to judge people by what they eat? Just because you see someone eating something one time doesn’t give you any right to judge them and make assumptions. Maybe they have little kids and it was all they could think to grab, maybe they haven’t had it in years and they want to treat themselves. There are so many possibilities. That person eating a candy bar on the train could be a marathon runner for all you know.

No one has a right to judge someone based on an assumption they make without even knowing something. Also, yes, being someone who is super into fitness and eating healthy is wonderful, but it doesn’t make you God’s gift to humanity. You need to focus on yourself. Not everyone feels the need to be a paleo crossfitter or a vegan yogi. Some people will just go to the gym to get in their 30 minutes on the elliptical. Not everyone wants to do HIIT or go run a 5 miler.

I work out because I love it. It’s part of my life and it’s what makes me who I am. For some people, working out is just a chore. Yes, it’s important to stay active, but that could be as simple as going for a daily walk. Yes, healthy eating is important but not everyone WANTS to be 100% with their diet. You could easily eat a moderately healthy diet and still be a healthy, happy human being. Not everyone wants a 6 pack and killer quads and standout triceps. Life is too short to try to please others by doing things you hate. If you hate running, DON’T DO IT. If you want to eat a slice of cake one day EAT IT. Life is so short and it’s not worth living a life that you don’t feel the need to.

Judging is judging, you may think that you’re “helping” by pushing someone to live the same lifestyle that you do. But stop, let others live their own lives, you focus on your own.

 

 

Standard
fitness, healthy living, Uncategorized

Dealing With Injuries…


Running is my passion, it’s something that I live and breathe for. As melodramatic as it sounds, running is my everything.

Cross country season ended back in November, and as much as I enjoyed running on my own, I missed the goal-oriented, structured manner of being on a team. So I signed myself up for a half marathon, the Manhattan Half Marathon to be exact.

Training was going amazing, I was running further and faster and feeling amazing. Running is one of the only things in this world that can actually make me feel good about myself.

Two weeks ago, on a 10 mile run I began to notice some sharp pain in my arches at around mile 2, luckily the pain dissipated around mile 4 and I finished my 10 miles feeling like I was floating, yeah, that good. 😉

Anyway, the next day I woke up and the very first step that I took caused me to wince in pain. My right foot felt like it was being sliced open. Ignoring the pain (figured it was just soreness) I headed out for my 3 mile recovery run that I had planned on. However, after a block I was forced to turn back. With each stride I took it felt as is the ligament (or muscle?) in my arch was being pulled too tight, it felt as though it would snap. Not wanting to take a risk, I hopped in the car and headed to the gym to do an elliptical workout instead.

The next day I went to my chiropractor (we are very close and she is an expert with the entire human body) with only taking a quick look she determined that the pain in my foot was plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.”

It’s been almost three weeks since I was told not to run. It sounds dramatic, but I honestly spent every night crying for a week. Like I said, running is my release, I don’t know how else to get out my stress and anxiety.

So, now onto how to deal with injury. My biggest saving grace was taking the time to try new things. A week into not running I woke up at 6am, and drove my sleepy self to an early morning hot yoga class.

post yoga sweaty face

post yoga sweaty face

And I left both happy and sweaty! I purchased a $30 month trial and have gone a couple of times since. Would I have tried it without being injured? Probably. But being injured definitely gave me the extra push.

Another thing that has definitely been focusing on what I CAN do rather than what I CAN’T do. I’ve still been working out every single day as intensely as possible. The elliptical has been my best friend (though I have to say that I’m getting sick of it) I’ve also discovered the stair master. I’ve done a few stair master workouts that I have very much enjoyed!

stairs

Finding other outlets and still getting good sweat sessions in has definitely helped me.

I’ve also been very involved in Tone it Up’s Love Your Body challenge! I’ve been a Tone it Up member for almost a year now and I absolutely love them! The challenge is definitely something that you should check out if you haven’t already. It gives weekly plans for workouts and food challenges, offers great advice and awesome motivation. I’m LOVING this challenge! Having the structured workout plans makes e feel more at ease since I had to give up my half marathon training.

So where am I now? I am definitely still suffering with not being able to run. I miss it more than anything. But I have found ways to make it more bearable.

makes_you_stronger_by_rajasegar-d2xujde

Injuries suck, there’s no arguing that. But it’s not the end of the world. I know that every day that I keep myself from running in favor of letting my foot heel is bringing me one day closer to my next run. Too many times I have kept running on an injury until I had to stop and take off for longer than I would have had to if I had just caught the injury early on.

I’m staying positive!

Standard