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
Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 8.1.2014 – July Favorites.


Hey guys! Happy Friday!

And also… Happy August!

tumblr_n9n496H8i71r9idjeo1_1280

I seriously can’t believe that it’s August already… Or that I start school this month! I am so not even remotely close to mentally, emotionally, or physically prepared for this!

So let’s talk about some of the things that I have loved this week!

Favorite Meal:

I don’t know if this is cheating or not… But tonight’s meal was pretty much the greatest thing ever….

IMG_6170

Okay… So it’s definitely wasn’t the most photogenic meal in the word. But for what it lacked in aesthetics it made up for in deliciousness!

My brother has been away this week, so my mom and I decided to have a girl’s night and order takeout from a local Japanese restaurant! I opted for the spicy king crab salad (seaweed salad, cucumber, panko, crab, and a spicy mango dressing) and hot and sour soup. My mom got a salmon dish that I stole some of the veggies from (there were A LOT of them) and we shared a shumai appetizer.

So delicious and fresh. I will definitely be ordering this again soon! Or perhaps even trying to replicate it at home? 😉

Favorite Sip:

I have been absolutely obsessed with Pukka brand tea lately!

IMG_6180

I’d be lying if I said that the cute packaging wasn’t what originally caught my attention. Pretty boxes aside, I absolutely love the thought and time that must go into creating these teas. The herbs used are all blended together with intention to serve a certain purpose, whether it be to calm and soothe or to energize and balance.

Plus, not only are they great for you… They taste great too! I have a whole bunch of stomach issues, so I am always trying to force myself to drink mint tea. I have to say that this stuff is the only peppermint tea that I have tried that I actually enjoy!

Favorite Workout:

Same as last week… Nothing really compares to a long run in the Hamptons.

IMG_6123 IMG_6125

I mean… The 7 miles just flew by.

Links I Loved:

1. I’m sure most of you have seen this already… But this girl is the biggest inspiration! Kacy is just 5 feet tall and 100 pounds and she completely destroyed this course on America Ninja Warrior. A course that, may I add, is not designed for women of her size. There is NOTHING that a woman can’t do that a man can!

2. This is  a super old post… But this article regarding eating disorders, their sources, and what is needed for recovery is one of the best I have ever written. And let me tell you,  I have read a lot of articles in my time.

3. Um… I kind of sort of want lemon poppy seed everything after this post. Some baking will definitely be happening soon.

 

Oh! And if you want to know more things that I have been loving lately, you can check out my July Favorites video from my Youtube channel ;)! (Would it really be a Friday Favorites post without some shameless self promotion?)

I hope you all have a wonderful night and weekend!

Question(s):

You know the drill. Tell me something you have been loving this week!

Standard
thinking out loud

Thinking Out Loud – 7.10.2014 Upsides and Downsides


It’s that time of the week again to spew all those random thoughts of mine.

Wait… Don’t I do that every day?

20140703-233615-84975169.jpg

Thanks again Amanda for creating this link up!

1. IMG_5469.JPG 6 miles this morning to start my day and I loved every minute of it… Except for the fact that I had some knee pain. I’m hoping to go for acupuncture on Tuesday. It’s tough to get an appointment because my acupuncturist only has hours on Tuesday and Saturday mornings and I can never seem to get in!

2. On the up side, my pace was more around where it was pre-injury for an easy run.

IMG_5471

3. I’m just going to whine for a moment and say how badly I wanted to run more than just 6 miles today and that I’m extremely bummed that 6 miles is what my so-called, “long run,” will be for the week.

4. On the upside, I’m proud of myself for actually listening to my body and not feeling (too) guilty about not running as much as I would like to. I know that taking it slow with getting back into running will be best for me in the long run!

5. We started regression work in therapy today and I really don’t know how I feel about it. Basically, I was put into a state of deep relaxation (state of hypnosis) and was guided in  “rolling back” through my life, trying to access memories from my childhood and then, later, my past lives. It was a really bizarre experience…

At first I felt like I was sitting in the back of a cart or pick-up truck of some kind and I saw a gravel road and fields and I felt like I was moving. I actually felt like I was having motion sickness.

When trying to roll back to a different memory from this “past life” (I don’t know if I actually believe in past lives), I felt like I was bound. I couldn’t move my arms or legs and I felt like I was being pressed down. I freaked out and jolted myself out of the scene… or memory? I’m not quite sure what to call it.

I have also felt extremely sick and off-kilter since then. I was actually nervous about driving home from the appointment because I felt so weird.

5. Upside(s) –

My shirt made me way happier than it should have.

IMG_5474

Doesn’t it look like something that I could have stolen from my little brother’s closet?

It’s from SheInside and I love it.

This.

IMG_5483.JPG

I picked this up from the health food store that is by my therapist’s office and I can’t even handle how delicious it was! I will be purchases this again next time I’m craving something that’s not water!

6. I had work tonight and it was absolutely brutal. With already feeling so sick from earlier, I seriously felt like I was going to pass out the whole night and the restaurant was so busy.

7. Upside – I’m home now and I don’t have to do it again until Sunday.

Finally, here’s something that I found in one of the books in Joanne’s (my therapist) office today.

IMG_5479.JPG

This was on the first page that I opened up to and I want to think that I opened up to that page for a reason.

Illness sucks, whether it be mental or physical… But you really do always get something out of it. Between my eating disorder and my losing my dad, along with other family members, to cancer… I have learned a lot. I have grown and have learned to look at the world differently. It seems twisted to say that anything good has come out of tragedy… But everything happens for  reason right?

Question(s):

What’s on your mind?

Do you agree with the quote on illness? Or do you see no benefit whatsoever?

Standard
Uncategorized

Tone It Up Bikini Series – Recap And Final Reflection


Hey everyone! I’ve been meaning to write this post since Saturday and am finally finding time to sit and take some time to write it.

So, as I have mentioned countless times before, I am a member of Tone It Up and have been for years. In case you have never heard of the Tone It Up (in which case… do you live under a rock?), it is business and community founded and run by best friends Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn. Tone It Up began as a Youtube channel and have since grown into a multi-million dollar company with tens of thousands of followers. K & K are unbelievable inspirational and have been my role-models since finding their Youtube channel in 2008. I could go on and on about how much I love them for forever, but instead I’ll just say that if you want to know more about Karena and Katrina as well as Tone It Up as a whole, you can read about them/it here.

tone-it-up-plan-1

This year marked the fourth year for Tone It Up’s Bikini Series, an annual challenge beginning in the spring and ending on the first day of summer. The goal is to get you into tip-top shape come bikini season (i.e. summer)!

Throughout the series, Karena and Katrina post weekly schedules for workouts on their website along with daily “Sunset Challenges” and post new toning routines each Tuesday. Participants are encouraged to check in daily via Instagram, Twitter, or in the Tone It Up Community with their meals and to offer encouragement to other Bikini Series participants!

IMG_4395 IMG_4466 IMG_4608

(all from my Instagram)

For the sake of keeping this post from being obscenely long, you can read more about the Bikini Series here.

The Bikini Series is something that I look forward to every year and is something that I have been “participating” in since the very first one four years ago. Now, I put “participating” in quotations because every year I begin the series with good intentions… But every year, as I have mentioned before, I fail because I freak out and fall back into unhealthy habits.

This year, I wanted things to be different. I was/am so sick of constantly tormenting myself with guilt and fear and all of that other nonsense that prevents me from living the life that I want to. I want nothing more to be the image of health. I want to focus on eating healthy and nutrient dense foods instead of looking to get the least amount of calories in my meals. I want to be able to run fast and long and do it because I love it instead of doing hours of half-hearted workouts in hopes of burning as many calories as possible. I want to be fully recovered. I do.

It’s easier said than done… And more often than not, I convince myself that I don’t in fact want recovery… So this is my public reminder that I do want to be my best self, not my sickest self.

How does this ramble fit into the Bikini Series? Well, the Bikini Series was actually a huge proponent in my finally realizing just how badly I want to be a true example of a healthy and happy human being. The Bikini Series brings an unbelievable amount of beautiful, kind, and inspiring women together to work hard and support each other in a loving and positive community.

I really do have to say that I have never experience anything but positivity within the Tone It Up/Bikini Series community. Yes, I do realize that negative comments and statements are probably monitored and promptly deleted, but for the most part, I do think that the following surrounding Tone It Up is predominantly made up of kind-hearted people who genuinely want the best for all of the other women pursuing the same goal that they are: their best self.

Going onto my Instagram every day and seeing check in after check in of healthy meals and workouts and smiles from beautiful women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. Seeing all of these ladies succeeding in moving towards their best self really gave me the push that I needed on days where I would have much fathered skip lunch in favor of a calorie-free coffee.

In addition to the wonderful Tone It Up community, Karena and Katrina never fail to inspire me to strive for health. Like I said earlier, I discovered these two amazing ladies back in 2008 when I was just a self-conscious 8th grader who wanted to lose weight.

This may sound dramatic, but finding their videos on Youtube all those years ago truly changed my life forever. I found my love for fitness, I found my desire to pursue a career in healthy living (although I have swapped out my major in exercise science for journalism, I still want to personal train and be a fitness instructor more than anything), I found a desire to create Youtube videos to create and share my thoughts and ideas with the world (I finally worked up the courage to pursue that dream this year!)… I just can’t even properly explain to you how immense of an impact Tone It Up has had on my life.

I started this Bikini Series wanting to lose weight, although I know i probably didn’t need to, but not ready to dive in full force since I knew that I most likely would gain weight if I ate more.

I ended this Bikini Series focusing less on the weight and more on the mindset. I’ve been trying to think less and just live. Can I say that I’m recovered and now I can eat whatever I want without a second thought about how many calories are in it? No. Can I say that I allow my body the proper amount of rest that it needs between workouts? Unfortunately, no.. I can’t. But I can say that I am getting there. 

For over 3 years not I have felt nothing but stuck. I wasn’t getting sicker, but I also wasn’t getting better. I gained weight without upping my calorie intake which caused my restricting even more out of complete terror that eating 5 extra calories would cause my weight to go up overnight again.

Yesterday, I weighed myself for the first time since my body completely betrayed me two years ago… Gaining almost 20 pounds in less than a month even though I was existing on less that 1000 calories a day and running competitively. I don’t know how I feel about the number… I didn’t feel much of anything about it actually. I wasn’t happy about the number, but it also didn’t cause me to workout an extra hour that day and skip breakfast. It was just a number.

I know it doesn’t seem like that is much, but it is everything to me.

This Bikini Series has put me on the path to a long overdue change that needed to be made. Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near where I need to be yet… But I’m closer. Even if I have only creeped an inch forward on the journey towards recovery, it is an inch more than I have moved in years. 

I am so thankful to Tone It Up, the Bikini Series, and all of the incredible women who took part in the challenge for inspiring me each and every day to try to be my best self. I am thankful for the women who showed me that you don’t have to be perfect all the time, that you don’t have to punish yourself for a slip up, and that everyone is worth something.

Even me.

recovery1

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