Favorite things: July

Hello there! I want to begin a series of different things I’m enjoying each month. I’ve seen this on numerous other blogs and wanted to join in on the concept, because I think it’s great and fun! With trying to blog more I don’t want to always be talking about more serious topics – I want to break it up. Equal parts fun and serious discussions. Having a balance of the two is important for me.

Before jumping in can I just say how excited I am that it is August? Not to rush time but I’m a fan of learning and can’t wait to be back in a classroom setting come September 2nd. It’ll be here before I know it and I absolutely want to enjoy the rest of my summer relaxing time, but I also am excited to get back pursing my dream of being a physician. Oh the dilemma 😉

Baoding balls. These things are a blessing. Seriously do yourself a favor and buy some.

Red wine. Because it’s my first full legal month. Which actually means it’s my first full month drinking. Because I was that person. Kind of.

I’ve been obsessed with green juice lately. I honestly never thought I would be one to say that because the idea of juicing to me for so long was that it’s unnecessary and costly. While it is quite $$$, I’m also finding some solid benefits. For starters when I work back to back long shifts such as closing then immediately opening and hitting the gym in between my body asks for some support. It’s a convenient way to get in nutrients. For seconds, fiber is taken out of the equation when juicing so there isn’t all that roughage if too much fiber is something you struggle with. So many people are all “I need more fiber”, and I’m over here all “I need less”. My body can’t handle a ton. And by that I clearly mean my digestive system tends to become absurdly upset with me. Not cool.

928574_255832381276287_124704332_n Kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, and kiwi.

On the topic of green things… green monsters have been even more frequent than juice. While I’d love to drink the above everyday my wallet can’t support that. I mean it could but about half of my other expenses would have to go. I can’t really go without gas. Or food. Or coffee. Did I just say I can’t go without coffee? That’s a topic for a different day. Anyways, green monsters are great because they allow for a ton of nutrients (fiber included, but roughage broken down to liquid form) and they taste great. Especially when it’s hot and sticky here in seacoast New Hampshire. Cold, yummy, awesome. The only downside? They look like broccoli soup. That’s what my co-worker tells me. She was convinced until I made her try a sip and she loved it. Winning.

10326367_1380958305498223_372647598_n Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, spinach, banana, mixed berries, strawberry protein powder.

Increasing my time journaling.

Actually painting my nails. I think the last time prior to about a month ago was for a holiday or some family function. I didn’t even paint them for the wedding I attended in June.

securedownload Essie tart deco, smokin’ hot, and she said yes. I’m a fan of these.

What else have I been loving… Well I mean there is yoga and meditation, but those aren’t exactly secrets. With continuing my increased yoga practice I’m feeling better mentally and physically than I have in years. I literally can’t credit these two enough between increasing mental clarity, working through difficult decisions, increasing my self-awareness, and healing my body. Magic I tell you, magic.

10507898_593910520729890_1355017164_n Namaste.

Blogging more 🙂

Group fitness classes. Specifically body combat. I used to go on the regular but fell off the wagon when training for all my races. Fun fitness just wasn’t aloud. Well I’m changing the name of the game. It’s now about what I am feeling on each given day.

Justin’s maple almond butter. No surprise here. In my defense it’s a re-kindled flavor obsession.

10576033_710693569015543_320746607_n This stuff is magic. And I put it on everything.

 

So that is that. I just wrote a post about the little things, and posted pictures of almond butter and nail polish onto my website. On the plus side I didn’t post a selfie of my coffee cup, I’ll save that for instagram. This is a post which is oddly outside of my comfort zone. Cheers to breaking free, new beginnings, and letting go of the fear which holds us back. What have you been loving lately?

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

All things training related

Hello! In my first post back to the blog-o-sphere I said that I would do an entire post on a training update, because well it’s going to take an entire post. If you don’t give a hoot about my current gym routine and relationship with training then feel free to skip this post with no hard feelings. I get it, really. Not everyone is into this stuff and heck I sometimes question WHY I still am.

I’ve been an athlete for the bulk of my existence. This is not necessarily a good or a bad thing, yet merely a fact. I am who I am because of it. I think we all can agree on one thing if nothing else: the things we experience during our early childhood shape us (at least partially) into the person we develop to be during late childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. I know I don’t stray from that theory at all. I’m a competitive person, both with sports and with life and I don’t foresee that changing. Being introduced to the sport of jump rope at four, showing demos by age seven, and competing by age eight – it’s my second nature and arguably my first.

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Circa age 10ish

For me it was all about fun. I genuinely enjoyed the sport, and I would have  never left practice if given that option. When I quit jump rope at age 12 my eating disorder had already began to develop and leaving the sport only strengthened it’s fury. Throughout my experiences thus far with my recovery, the question has been prompted to me on numerous occasions, “can you talk about how your Ed and training are connected?” To be honest, point-blank, I really can’t. I don’t think they were. I think they are now only because it has been over 10 years. With time comes lack of control. I’m sorry but when a person has a “personal interaction” with a mental illness for ten consecutive years it tends to interplay with every single last bit of their life. And you know what? It sucks. But also, I refuse to believe that the two were related from the get-go… Yes the development of my ED and competing were happening at the same time, however the motives were different. I competed because it brought complete joy to my life, a smile to my face. There is not other feeling like performing those skills, it’s a high you get, you’re in the zone. My eating disorder on the other hand began to develop after I was already experiencing anxiety which started rearing its ugly head around age 5. I was a happy kid, but an anxious one. I think in my case the ED was an effect of my anxiety and a way to cope with that rather than being linked to sports. There was just absolutely way to much passion for the sport and for life. I miss that, I will admit that I miss having a relentless passion for my life. I’m working to get that back, which brings me to the present day.

Despite the advice of many people in my life suggesting that I cease any hard-core training for now and potentially for good, I’m going to pass. During my last round of treatment (early 2013) I stayed out of the gym for a period of months but what is more fascinating at least to me is that I stopped going to the gym the day that I relapsed. When I was actively in my disorder I would not train because I refused to allow the two to inter-correlate themselves anymore then they already were. Now if you have read any previous post on this blog you might be asking but, Sarah, you discussed how you almost died training for the death race. Yeah, I did. This is a difficult thing to explain and I’m going to do my absolute best here. When I first started training for the race I was in a really good spot mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was stable. I was a senior in high school and had been on a good track. I completed another Spartan Race and thought heck, why not. I’m competitive and this is the ultimate. It wasn’t about anything other than seeing what my body was capable of doing.

After my training for the race had been going for months I began to become obsessive with it, however in my head I told myself that everyone else was training at a high capacity and that in order to be prepared for a 50+ hour race you kind of need to “over-train”. Which brings up a whole different controversial point among the fitness community. What is over-training? And is it really over-training, or rather under-recovery. At the time I didn’t see an issue with it. There was a different mindset during this time, while I definitely wasn’t taking care of myself I also wasn’t completely neglecting things which is what happens during a relapse. I was eating enough to keep my weight stable, but I wasn’t eating enough to allow my body to recover between sessions enough to avoid injury. It’s a very fine line, but there is a difference in mentality and perspective.

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 2014. Progress is a process.

These days there is a balance. There is a balance between gym-life, work-life, social-life, and school-life. Each different component has it’s time and place, and they balance each other out nicely. My mentality around the gym has also undergone a full 180 from where I was back in 2012. I no longer beat myself up over a bad session. It is what it is and if I can’t let it go than it has control over me which is not positive energy and will only affect future sessions. I used to go in with the mindset that I needed to absolutely annihilate myself in order to improve, where in reality it’s quite the opposite. While I still push myself and give it full-effort, I respect my body and it’s signals. If something doesn’t feel right I go lighter or modify to a different exercise and I don’t beat myself up over this emotionally. If I feel really good one day I’ll push a bit harder. I’ve also come to terms with accepting days off, or rest days. I’ll admit there used to be days where I could barely walk, I was sick, or I just dreaded the thought of going and I went anyways only to leave feeling worse. People say you never regret a workout, I can’t tell you how many times I have. Now a day I have an idea of what my workouts will be each week, but it’s fluid. This allows less stress and more balance. If I wake up really not feeling going I can either choose to take the day, change my workout plan to something different, or head to the gym at a different time than “planned”. If I’m too strict then things inevitably happen and I freak out.

In my last post I wrote about how I’ve been lifting less while practicing more yoga. This is still holding true and my body is feeling good. I’m more relaxed, my mental clarity is better, and I’m focused. I’m beginning to really feel like I’m getting back into my zone which is such an amazing feeling. A typical week looks something like this (but it does change):

Monday: lift (usually deadlifts and accessory work), maybe some sprints

Tuesday: jump rope or crossfit or a run, yoga

Wednesday: yoga

Thursday: jump rope or crossfit or kickboxing

Friday: yoga, maybe a run

Saturday: lift (usually bench and accessory work), yoga

Sunday: off, active recovery (10 hour standing work shift)

I’m still enjoying practicing deadlifts and bench press, as those are my two favorite lifts. I definitely feel myself gaining strength since cutting back on other lifting and really focusing on only those two plus accessory stuff to help the rest of my muscles support the load. I’ve been having fun with more body-weight exercises, which yoga also helps me focus on. Jumping is going good, I hope to compete again one day. That’s a big goal of mine and each step I take with my gym-life is ultimately focused around that goal. Time will tell. For right now though it’s all about finding my happy and enjoying each moment.

 Just playing around.

In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow

Bliss and a healthy dose of inspiration

Hi there! I’m back and it’s only been a week, this is a step in the right direction.

It’s been a good week for the most part. Full of work, yoga, lifting, some social-life activities, and much-needed sleep “catch up”. A group of co-workers and myself went out downtown to celebrate one of their birthdays, the eighth anniversary of her 29th. Don’t you just love that? Because I do. I’ll be staying around 24 forever thank you very much. I just need to get there first. We went out for dinner and drinks and then more drinks. Side note: if you’re celiac and actually want beer, Green’s makes a fairly decent one.

In other news, I’ve increased my time spent practicing yoga weekly and I feel pretty darn great. I had been sticking with 1-2 classes per week for the last year and have bumped that up to 3 classes and then spending an additional hour or so on my own with a basic flow. Both my physical body and mental clarity are benefiting from this change. With yoga there is so much variability in the poses and the practice. One day I will have a really good flow, everything feels smooth, and I’m hitting some of the more challenging poses with ease. Whereas other days I’m not focused and my body is tight/worn-out and I spend half the class in down dog or child’s pose. It’s definitely taken a considerable amount of time for me to be accepting of spending half a class in child’s pose because I’m so used to pushing myself physically and not allowing my body what it’s asking for. Each time I step on my mat it’s a whole different experience and a constant learning process which is just awesome. For me it is just as much of a practice for self-awareness and allowing myself to get in touch with my body and how it is feeling and doing, which is exactly what I need right now.

I’ve never finished up a practice on a bad note. For me, yoga helps me re-focus and energize my body. It helps me tap into a higher power. That sounds a little crazy but for any of you who regularly practice I can guarantee you know exactly what I mean by that. I ended up dropping into a class I don’t usually attend yesterday morning and I was so completely blissed out the remainder of my day it was insane.

891411_1480220052225316_271775743_nSource.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of lifting and lifting decently heavy. I’ve been lifting weights in one form or another since I was around fourteen, so seven years. In comparison to competitive power lifter’s and olympic lifters, it’s really not that long. But, to not compare myself, it’s a third of my life which is considerable for sure. Recently I just haven’t been feeling it most days. And I’m respecting that which is totally not like me and outside of my comfort zone which is a good thing because we only grow outside of our comfort zones. Ding ding. Progress is a process and I am just telling myself that there is a reason I’m not motivated right now to lift as often and that I need to respect that and what is meant to be will be. If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that our bodies are machines but they also need maintenance, love, and respect. They give us signals which we can either choose to ignore or listen and for once I’m listening. Soooo, in the meantime you can find me on my mat. 🙂

10369302_1426412407644862_227903363_nSource.

Let’s be honest here, we all know I’m a sucker for quotes and motivational passages (see above). Well, I recently came across a series of quotes by Rumi on Mind Body Green and absolutely needed to share! I’ve seen these time and time again, have them all down in my journal, and thought that it would be a good ending to a post. Enjoy 🙂

  1. CHALLENGE FEAR. Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.
  2. BE BOLD. Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.
  3. HAVE GRATITUDE. Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.
  4. TAKE ACTION. Why should I stay at the bottom of a well, when a strong rope is in my hand?
  5. HAVE FAITH. As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.
  6. EMBRACE SETBACKS. If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?
  7. LOOK INSIDE. Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
  8. LEARN FROM SUFFERING. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
  9. DON’T BE CONCERNED WITH WHAT OTHERS THINK. I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.
  10. DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.

-RUMI

Go out and find your happy.

Life lately

Hi there! It’s been a while, but that’s ok. Let’s get this started.

After my classes finished up last semester I jumped right into working 40+ hours each week and hitting the gym harder. #badplan. I’m feeling more overwhelmed currently than I did while still in school which is not a good thing especially considering the summer months are intended for a mental break before classes start back up again in the fall. I’m heading into a difficult semester and I need to feel refreshed and excited not worn down and an anxiety attack waiting to happen.

I’m changing the game and getting my shit together for lack of a better term. I’m trying hard to not strictly schedule things so that I’m able to keep my day-to-day as fluid as possible. I’ve mentioned this before and I’m finally beginning to realize just how crucial it is for me to have this balance. After all, I don’t have school right now so the only real commitment I have is work. My social life and my gym life don’t have to be rigid. For the bulk of June I was strictly scheduling when I would do everything and for each week that was more organized than the previous I was also more of a head-case than the prior. Things happen and I need to learn to be able to move things around on the fly and not even think twice to place any worry. Such as life.

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So in my attempt to gain some sanity and enjoy these last two months of summer break I’m doing my best to keep things open. Fluid, like water. Just go with the flow. I have my work schedule set to pretty much the same times each week which definitely helps me too.

What else is new? A lot. I turned the big 21 on June 14th! Being one of “those people” who didn’t really drink ever prior to their 21st birthday bash, I was a mess. But hey, you have to learn somehow, right? I’ve definitely been enjoying the social aspect of being able to go out and drink – it’s allowing me to enjoy myself a bit more and spend time with those that I care about and want to have in my life. I’m a fairly introverted person so going out isn’t usually my game, but lately it’s been fun to just let go of my completely irrational fears and just GO FOR IT and go out because honestly as cliché as it is, life is too short.

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  We were photo-bombed. Typical.

 

Last weekend I attended a wedding (and had my first mimosa, see I told ya). The wedding venue was absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect. So incredible happy for the bride and groom and blessed to know them.

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Selfies with the bride.

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  Stunning.

 

All in all life is good. I’ll do a gym update in the future as that is a whole post on its own. I’m working on balance and finding what way works best for me and my personality. I’m finding that the more I simply let-go, the more I actually feel grounded. New things are coming and I’m excited to share them on the blog. Which brings me to saying that I hope to be back posting a few times a week which. Progress is a process, you just have to keep going.

 

“There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.” – W.E.B. Du Bois