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


Hey everyone.

Workout – 6 miles in Central Park.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had never felt so alone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just want to be someone that is worth something.

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

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Uncategorized

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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Uncategorized

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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Friday Favorites, life

Five Things Friday 8.29.2014 – Focus On The Good


Hey everyone! Happy Friday!

I’m home for the long weekend (yes, I did only stay for one night… don’t judge), and I couldn’t be happier about that. It’s so weird, I really love New York City. When I am walking the streets, whether it be to my dorm, to class, or just wandering, I feel like I am where I am supposed to be. It is the idea of having a roommate to possibly judge me and to not have total control over my living situation that is making the idea of living there so panic-provoking. I honestly feel so pathetic just admitting the fact that all of my anxieties regarding school stem from my having to live with another person. That’s not normal at all right? And it’t not that my issue is sharing a space with someone, it’s just that I really like being alone and I guess it boils down to the fact that I have social anxiety and that this past year is has become uncontrollable and severe.

ANYWAYS, how about rather than rant about all of my issues that I truly don’t even have the right to complain, about, I talk about 5 things that made me happy today instead?

1. My Workout – I got to head over to Central Park for a 5 mile run and it was fabulous.

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Running in Central Park never fails to fill me with an all-encompasing sense of gratitude. I don’t know if it is due to the fact that it truly is an oasis within the concrete jungle of New York City or what… But it just makes me so thankful to be alive.

IMG_6952Also, I am definitely going to be working my legs a lot harder with Central Park being my running location whilst at school. My entire run was uphill (I’m not even exaggerating), and those hills were no joke! Coming from flat-as-can-be Long Island, I am definitely not used to hills! (If there is anyone who lives in the mountains, you are probably laughing at me… And rightfully so. I’m kind of a wimp with hills.)IMG_6945

2. I found a vegan takeout restaurant on my way back from Central Park and I am so excited because some of this items on the menu are actually affordable!

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Yay for 5 dollar vegan soups! Still definitely not something that I can afford to have all the time… But these types of things really excite me. I also may have to splurge every once in a blue moon and get a salad because they sound really good.

Post-run, I was sweaty and thirsty and those juices were so tempting…. But I can’t exactly dish out almost ten dollars on a beverage… *dramatic sigh*

3. New read!

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I got to the train station way earlier than I needed to, so there was time to bop around in the station. I wound up in the bookstore (I also almost missed my train because I lost track of time while in there… Books do that to me), and I wound up purchasing this little gem. I have been wanting to read Murakami’s books for forever, but I always forget about them when I am actually in the bookstore.

I read it on the train ride back and I am really loving it so far. I don’t actually quite know where the story is going yet, but I just really enjoy Murakami’s style of writing. He basically just writes in the unfiltered and sometimes nonsensical way that a person really thinks. I’m excited to keep reading!

4. I don’t know if it was because Murakami had Japan on my mind or what… But I spent most of my afternoon looking into possible study abroad opportunities in Japan. There is actually a winter session program that occurs in Tokyo and centers around creative writing… A dream come true for me.

Now, you guys don’t know this about me, but I am, and have always been, absolutely obsessed with Asian culture, namely Japanese culture. I love everything from the history of feudal Japan, the tradition, the food, the fashion, the music… I could actually start to tear up from just thinking about some day traveling to Japan. It is one of my biggest dreams.

I know that the studying abroad most likely will never happen. It’s a ridiculous amount of money and that is money that I don’t have… But hey, maybe if I work my butt off and stop spending money (it’s bad), I’ll be able to save up by my senior year. Here’s hoping.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that with Asia on my mind, I ventured out to my local asian grocer for the first time and it was glorious.

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Matcha, ginseng tea, barley tea, brown rice for school, koala cookies (too good), herbal facial sheet mask, and, last but not least, a dragon fruit! I’m so excited to try it tomorrow!

5. Being home. I know that I was only gone for a night, but once the long weekend is over and class really begins to be in session, I know that I will not be home a lot. I just want to enjoy my home and my family as much as I can.

Good night!

Question(s):

1. Tell me something that made you happy today.

2. Ever study abroad? Where? If you could study abroad, where would you go?

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