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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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healthy living, life, recovery

The First Real Day


Hey all! 

Workout: Treadmill interval workout from FitSugar.

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I changed the workout up slightly by increasing the speed by .5-1 throughout, running at 6-6.5mph during the walking bits, and running at a .5 incline when it said to run at .00 incline.

Also, I showed you guys that I got new running shoes the other day right?

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I decided to try out Brooks PureFlow 2s, and I have to say that I am absolutely loving them. I have only run in them twice (long run on Sunday and my intervals today), so I can’t exactly give a full review yet. So far they are nice and light, yet they still keep my ankles stable (important for me) and they fit nicely which is rare since I have really bizarrely shaped feet.

However, I have THE most gnarly blisters on the back of my heels. I seriously wanted to cry at certain points during this mornings workout… For the most part I was super happy during my workout though!

 

 

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Incline running is no joke. 

Also, what is it about school gyms and not having the air conditioners on? I thought I was suffocating throughout my workout!

 

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Nothing that a little iced coffee can’t fix though ;).

So today marks my first official day of classes (actually it was Thursday… but I told you a little about that whole fiasco), and my first full day of being “away” at school. I put away in quotes because I’m like…a half an hour train ride from home so I don’t know if it really counts.

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I tried to be a girl. All the lights fell off the wall. Command hooks, you have betrayed me.

So I set out to make today a good one. I got up at 6 (set my alarm for 6:30, but oh well), worked out, had a nutritious breakfast, took a nice shower. All was well and good. I walked the 2 miles to school, which would normally be super nice because New York is the greatest place ever, but between the heat and humidity and the blisters on my feet…I probably should have taken the subway. 

I finally arrived (very sweaty and disheveled I might add… Here’s to making good first impressions) to find a note posted on my classroom door that the class had been changed. I followed what I (correctly) assumed to be others who were in the same class over to the building and room that the class was now apparently supposed to be in, and… Get this.

The teacher never showed up.

We sat there for 40 minutes before giving up. 

So now I am 0 for 2 in this whole “getting to class” thing.

I have to leave in around 15 minutes for my next class (which also happens to be the one that I couldn’t find on Thursday), so here’s hoping the third time is the charm!

I will say though, minus the whole classroom-changing-teacher-never-showing-up debacle… Today has been ok! My roommate hasn’t been here yet, so I have just been on my own,and I kind of like that. Yes, I really want and need to make friends, but at the same time, I am enjoying having time alone with myself. The city is such a wonderful and inspiring place. When I am walking through the streets from my housing to my school, I can’t shake the feeling that this, this city, is where I need to be. Where I am supposed to be. I don’t know.

Also, I have to say that people watching in the city is such an amazing way to find inspiration for characters in the stories that I write. I have always dreamed of being a novelist, and I have a few novels in the works currently. It just seems that I can never bring myself to make the time (which is absurd because I definitely have the time) to sit down and just write. This being alone with myself while still being surrounded by thousands of people in a big city is filling me with inspiration and drive to really get back into writing. I’m thinking of bringing my laptop over to Central Park on Thursday since I don’t have class until 4:10 that day and just writing. 

I don’t know how to describe how I am feeling right now. I still feel down and numb and really anxious and not ok… But I feel something else as well.

I think it’s hope.

And now I am off to go pick up some bandaids for my blisters to make the commute to school a little less painful.

Until tomorrow my friends!

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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!

 

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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!

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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.

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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?

 

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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healthy living

Hey everyone.

I just first off want to thank any of you who read and supported my last post both on here and on my instagram. It was tough to write and I am almost embarrassed that I even have all of that personal information about me up on the internet… But honestly, one thing that I am trying to get myself to learn is that a mental illness is not your fault and it is not something to be ashamed of. There is such a stigma surrounding mental illnesses of all kinds, and it is wrong. People aren’t embarrassed of having the flu or any other kind of physical illness (although, if you have the runs, I would say some people are embarrassed of that haha!), so why should one feel like they have to be embarrassed by a mental illness?

Anyway, moving on to less serious things!

This week, my mom and I are doing the 5 Days Slim Down from the Tone It Up nutrition plan! I am embarrassed to say that I have never actually completed the full 5 days… While my diet really is predominantly clean, starches are my downfall. I always wind up having a couple of pretzels or something and saying, “screw it!” This week, I am confident that I can make it through the 5 days… And easily too! I have found myself craving processed carbohydrates (rice crackers, pretzels, etc.) less and less. Maybe this is due to the lack of access to fresh foods that I had at school? I don’t know, but I’m not complaining!

Dinner from last night: Tilapia with lemon pepper and tomatoes with steamed kale, asparagus, and broccoli and a bit of sriracha!

Dinner from last night: Tilapia with lemon pepper and tomatoes with steamed kale, asparagus, and broccoli and a bit of sriracha!

 

Also, the smoothie bowl obsession is still going strong…

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After this, I really want to try to do raw till 4 for a week (although, I need soy milk in my coffee and tea so that may be a struggle), or even the 7 Day Slim Down from my nutrition plan (way more strict than the 5 Day one that mom and I are doing). I really am not challenged by this cleanse at all and it’s kind of good feeling to know that I am doing well with eating mostly natural and unprocessed foods!

Another part of the cleanse that I already do every day anyway is doing a workout in the morning (you are supposed to do a HIIT workout, but I typically do a strength workout since I can do it in my room in my pajamas haha, and then I do cardio later). This morning, I fought the desire to just workout in my room in my pajamas and decided to head over to the gym to knock out my cardio first thing in the morning.

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3.81 miles covered first thing in the morning! …Followed up by a smoothie bowl… I know, shocker.

One of my major goals for this summer (besides getting a job *sigh*), is to really get my stuff together. Part of this includes nourishing my body with good healthy foods and enough of it. I want to be healthy and vibrant and I want to be strong and successful and as lame as it sounds, I feel like a healthy diet is a crucial component to real success in life. I feel like I completely wasted this past year of my life and spent it digging myself deeper into a hole that I have been trying to get out of for years. Well, now is as good a time as any for a fresh start, and I intend to take full advantage!

A new school in a new city (the greatest city in the world actually) with new people and a new major… I am so full of hope for the future!

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Hope you’re all having a great day!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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