Life lately + a workout + molasses smoothies?!

Hi friends! It’s been a bit… Let’s chat.

I’ve been on the injured bandwagon since the beginning of April… the 5th to be specific. In my last post I told you guys it’s a sprain of my left ankle – ATFL and peroneal tendon inflammation . Shortly after this post I went back to the doctors again as things weren’t necessarily getting worse but there was also zero improvement… insert x-ray number 2 which came back normal, and an MRI which showed a stress fracture in the distal fibula (lateral malleolus). When the injury initially happened I kept saying it wasn’t a stress fracture, it didn’t feel right, it hurt “too much”, it felt like the peroneal tendon was ON TOP OF the distal fibula and I blamed the tendons/ligaments (so soft tissue) rather than bone. I mean after all I’ve had stress fractures before and I know what they feel like/how they present themselves. I also am MUCH healthier now and my body shouldn’t be in a position to develop one. However when it swelled a week after the initial injury and the bone hurt to palpitate I knew something was amiss.

3a0cafaa75ab9506f3874c5c83191230

I know my hips are off kilter as I have hip dysplasia in my left hip. Yep it happens in humans and not just dogs. I swear 96.4% of the time people find out I have this they say “doesn’t that happen a lot to dogs?”… My biomechanics are off because of this, asymmetrical hamstring and hip flexor strength/movement patterns, compensations, ect. I have found a way to work with this in terms of lifting and hiking but running is an entirely different ballgame. Every single stress fracture I’ve dealt with is from running (e.g mechanical/use due to lack of shock absorption), or a combination of running and other activities (e.g volume/overuse).

My PT (whom I have seen for every single injury mind you) essentially told me that my foot/ankle mechanics are not designed for running. Especially road running, which I hate but the trails have been very snowy until now. My dorsiflexion is crap, things are tight, I have a bunch of scar tissue, my natural gait pattern is supination (aka I try to walk on the outside of my foot…placing stress on the lateral ankle), ect.

I’m accepting that this is going to be a work in progress. While I ultimately want to get back into distance racing, my current goal is to finish the NH 4000 footers in a year, so by July 20th. I’ve thought long and hard multiple times about this goal since this injury and if I have to push the date back it will NOT be the end of the world. To be honest, if I hadn’t already healed five stress fractures, have a good overall awareness of my body, and built a solid mental health base I’m not sure how I would be handling this. I’m still irritated, anxious, and annoyed, but I’m accepting the process better than I ever have with an injury before. It’s been a lot of letting go of my natural need for control, allowing myself the space to think things through, and not blaming myself too harshly.

IMG_1058

“Count your rainbows not your thunderstorms.” – Alyssa Knight

So… the workouts. How does one train with a lower extremity stress fracture that can’t take extra weight? Well, I went from 6 days a week 1-2 workouts a day to 4-5 days and one workout. I’m being smarter, taking more rest (something that will inevitably stay even upon fully healing this injury), and working with what I CAN do versus overthinking what I can’t do. It has been a mix of upper body, core strength and stabilization, mobility, lower body which is safe (e.g lateral band work, monster walks, hamstring curls, gentle biking/spin bike, GHD back extensions). I’m making it work. I’m sharing yesterday’s workout with you guys, and note this bench rep scheme is not my normal style of high weight/low rep. I’ve been enjoying changing things up here and there to create a different stimulus, have some fun, and see what my body can do. It’s kind of HE** at 110 total reps and something I may do once every other month… if you give it a whirl please let me know what you think!

1. Bench press: 20.18.16.14.12.10.8.6.4.2 reps. Start at a weight and increase by 5 lbs. each set. Plan it so that the 2 rep is a weight you could usually 4-5 rep because after 108 reps things feel a tad different…

2. Weighted dips 3×6

3a. Dips 3×12

     3b. Hanging leg raise 3×20

4a. Pull ups 4 sets max effort

     4b. L-sit on rings 4×15 seconds

5a. Push ups 4×15

     5b. V ups 4×15

6. Cable press 3×10

7. Tricep push-down 3×10

0c4a15d42160b6d754abdba0f77c42a8

In other news I created a new favorite post workout smoothie concoction! It’s like peanut butter banana meets a cookie full of cinnamon and molasses goodness. The flavor profile is broad and it’s classified (to me) as a strange but good combination for sure.

What you need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or almond/dairy, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup water (you could do less, I just like the volume!)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Pescience peanut butter cookie flavor)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. blackstrap molasses (can do more/less, depends how much you like molasses!)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • Hemp hearts
  • Ice

IMG_1089

Directions:

  1. Add everything except molasses, ice, and toppings to blender and blend until smooth
  2. Add molasses and QUICKLY blend as it will try to stick like cement all over the blender
  3. Add as much ice as desired for goal thickness
  4. Top it if you feel like it (I used hemp hearts!)
  5. Drink up, buttercup

Well, if this wasn’t the most all over the map post that I’ve ever put up on the blog than I’m not sure what is.

“Time will pass anyway, you can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want. The choice is yours.”

If I’m being honest

Hi guys!

IMG_5536 May or may not have found this lying on the back counter at work… hah 😉

So, now that that’s out of the way… let’s get down to business. This post is going to be an overview, not to mention brief and to the point.

It’s been a hot minute. What’s new? Lots of things on my side. I’ve been on break from school since December 17th and start back the 26th (so like a week) which is crazy long. I’m honestly all about it. As much as I love learning and my coursework I needed a break. I kept things pretty under the radar last semester in terms of what was going on inside of my little brain. I’m here to start that discussion today and it’s probably going to take longer than just today.

Last semester did not go as planned. I’m going to do a brief history first off –

jump back to spring 2013: I was in the middle of an outpatient treatment program for my eating disorder, in school, working, not in the gym. I had taken time off from the gym in order to separate my ED from the gym which in hindsight was definitely a good idea and did help a lot. I did well in school even in the midst of having so much time and energy being placed into bettering my mental health but I wasn’t enjoying it all it. At the time I was in community college and driving about 45 minutes to get to school, would have my classes, drive an hour to get to treatment which was four nights a week from 5-8, and then drive another hour home to do homework and keep my grades up. On the nights I didn’t have treatment it was called work or sleep because my body was so utterly exhausted.

Spring 2014: in recovery and doing really well with that. I was back in the gym and absolutely loving it. My anxiety was low to moderate but completely manageable. I wasn’t seeing a therapist nor did I feel like I needed to at this point. Everything in terms of my ED history was managed and I felt good about that. I was in school and doing well with that except for the fact that I couldn’t handle certain things: feeling inadequate, certain noises (breathing loudly, chewing, and typing mainly). There were times I would need to leave class because of these feelings but overall I was very high functioning in a school setting. Work, school, gym, repeat. Still at community college at this point and beginning to think about my transfer process into a four-year university and extremely excited about this.

Spring 2015: I was now a student at a four-year university studying neuroscience and in absolute love with my courses. I started to become interested in research and ended up joining a lab which I worked in that spring semester and through the summer and ultimately needed to leave because I wasn’t full-fledged into the topic which I’m choosing not to disclose here and never felt like I “fit in” to the fellow group. Also, many of the things were pretty triggering for me which I actually haven’t discussed before right here in this post. I was becoming more serious with the gym, with lifting, getting stronger, and ultimately to a fault beginning to place more pressure onto myself. My ED was also managed really well here still, doing what I needed to continue with my recovery process and keep on the path that I knew I deep down wanted and was best for my wellbeing. I noticed that my anxiety however was increasing rapidly, as with self-doubt, mild depression, self-consciousness not around my body though, and an increased sensitivity to certain noises.

Current: I’m still doing well with my ED recovery. I’m still in the gym, although taking it a bit easy for as long as I deem needed while I work through more important things and feeling extremely proud that I’m able to recognize that’s a needed thing to do. But, I’m nervous about school this upcoming semester. Last semester while I did receive the grade I wanted, I had only one course because I found myself needing to drop the others as I didn’t have a plan of action going into the semester. Throughout the semester I was able to work with my university mental health services to get specific accommodations in place to help my educational pursuits continue. My hearing/sound hypersentivity has never been as bad as it is currently and I partially attribute that to the fact that I have been in remission from my ED for close to three years and my brain is “functioning better” (read: I now feel emotions, feeling, and the processing of those isn’t too hot). Typing, clicking, chewing, excessive sniffling, opening mail, silverware on dishes, unloading the dishwasher, the squeak noises certain machines at the gym make, people scuffing their feet, ect. ect. send me into a complete fight or flight response. It’s called misophonia. Google it. Seriously it’s a thing and it’s becoming increasingly heard of but still people have zero idea. My goal here isn’t to teach y’all about this though, that’s just a side tangent. So, hearing is wicked (sorry new-england term) sensitive, anxiety is BAD… like BAD. I will just start crying out of nowhere and for the most unnecessary reasons. I have accommodations in place at school and pretty much just need to meet with professors at the beginning of the semester to get details sorted out which I’m incredibly thankful for but am feeling really pathetic about needing them. Here I am (pity party for .05 seconds here) a neuroscience, pre-med, 3.89 GPA student and I can’t longer be in class because my classmates make me want to scream, throw their laptop, smack them if eating/chewing gum, leave via temper tantrum. Yep. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I feel pretty f***ing (am I aloud to say that on wordpress?!) worthless even though I know I am doing everything in my power to help myself get over this and that it’s nothing I’ve done “wrong”. I’m working with a therapist. I’m moving to campus to try and lessen the stress of commuting. I’ll be in an apartment so I have my own kitchen and share a bathroom with only one person. I’m taking smaller sized and very interesting to me courses with word on the street great prof’s. But I’m apprehensive. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid I can’t be perfect anymore. I’m afraid that I’ll mess up and will prevent myself my reaching my goal of becoming a doctor all because I’m having a really hard time with my mental health now. Ultimately this is all pretty irrational IF I keep doing the things that will help me get better.

I realize that at thing point it’s up to how I want to take the wheel: either lift myself up and advocate for myself and what I need in order to be successful and ultimately get back to a place of better mental health, or pull myself down by isolating myself and just going through the motions but never really rallying for myself. I think each day is a choice between the two. Perhaps even a couple times a day and I keep telling myself that’s ok. I considered taking the semester off but I know myself well enough to know that while this is probably not going to be cake walk, keeping on keeping on… for me… is better than taking a break. For me, sometimes taking a break is what leads to pulling myself down. I’m not doing that no matter how tempting it is because it feels easier. But, if I’m being honest, it’s not easier.

That’s that for today. I’m not posting this for anyone to be like “omg, I hope you feel better”. Seriously. This is for an honest update to my blog. It’s for awareness of mental health. It’s for the beginning of advocating for me. This one is for me and it is for all of you out there who might also be struggling. Keep going.

“If the grass looks greener on the other side, stop staring, comparing, and complaining, and start watering the grass you’re standing on.” – Eugene Cho

An announcement, upcoming changes, and pursuing your life

Hi everyone! Happy Friday

Let’s jump right into business, shall we? As I briefly mentioned in my last post, my NASM test was April 25th (has it really already been almost two weeks since?!), anyways I’m officially a NASM certified personal trainer. 🙂 I’m so incredibly excited and grateful for this opportunity to help others in pursuing their personal fitness and wellness goals. I absolutely am drawn to trying to motivate and help people become the best possible version of themselves and I believe that this certification will allow me to continually do that. It’s also a great way to start working 1:1 and with groups of people, develop more professional relationships, and expand my horizons.

11191494_376748325847099_1784911392_n Squeeeeee!

In respects to training and all things fitness, I have some ideas for this blog in the upcoming months as I also work my way through organic chemistry (because I will have so much free time, ok I’m kidding with that). I’m excited to see the changes unfold. Expect some vlogs, workouts, workout tunes, and a fair amount of jump rope stuff to be put on this blog. If you have any requests/suggestions of things you would like to see, please don’t hesitate to contact me (email at bottom of about me page)!

These past two weeks have literally flown by, I feel like I just had my test yesterday. I’ve been so all out with finishing papers, volunteer stuff, and making sure I’m actually prepared for finals (which were yesterday, this morning at 8am, and Monday afternoon). I will be happy when Monday night rolls up and I have two full weeks to try and decompress and perhaps have a semi-active social life, then it’s twelve weeks of organic chemistry because that sounds like so much fun (insert copious amounts of sarcasm here).

11085001_675911775848262_1910509800_n scene as of late: psychobiology and bulletproof coffee

Lastly, I want to talk about something simple: life. More than ever before I’ve recently been faced with many open doors, some which I have graciously accepted and walked through, others which I’ve turned down with respect. It’s been a real challenge to turn things down and I’m starting to see how much I tend to completely over-commit myself, it’s my natural tendency. My ego gets in the way and I want to be a part of everything that I’m interested in, full-fledged, giving one-hundred and ten percent to each aspect of my life. Well, I have some news for you: you can’t give all you have to everything, because if you do, you will eventually break.

What am I getting at here? I think it’s so easy to get stuck in less than optimal patterns in life. For instance my pattern is to keep over-committing myself until I get to a point where I’m either going to spontaneously combust or something has to give. As much as I’d like, I can’t be perfect. I’m working on learning to not spread myself so thin that I eventually crack. I experienced a downfall over the past few weeks as I was finishing my certification, focusing on my classes, having two volunteer positions, my job, and my own training time. I found myself waking up at 4am and not going to bed until around 10:30/11 because I just had my plate way to full. But I felt like if I wanted to be successful than this was the schedule I would just have to deal with, hint: that’s a straight up lie from my ego getting this best of me.

I’m working on balancing my life out. There is a self-exploration exercise I learned in treatment years ago which I still use to this day: if you were able to wipe your plate completely clean, having zero commitments, and it was entirely up to you to decide what to put back… what would you put back? I did this yesterday and I found that there were definitely some things on my plate which didn’t need to be there. As I keep being told, this process isn’t a race, it’s a slow progressive journey. I’m not going to be a doctor tomorrow. I’m not going to have a successful personal training business tomorrow. I won’t be competing again tomorrow either. This is my journey, and I need to make it the best it can be, not flatten myself in the process of attempting to be the best and complete everything in the fastest way possible all simultaneously.

What would I put back on my plate? school, my two volunteer positions, my job (because well, $, being honest), this blog, working hard to compete again. While stuff has been taken off, this still is a hefty load to handle day in day out, but it’s important to me that I include all of these things, not because it makes me better that I’m able to manage it, but because they all make me happy. Let go of what doesn’t work, keep what does. It might be a challenge, and sacrifices will need to be made now and again, but ultimately if all the things you are doing make you smile – they are entirely worth it.

In the past I would have just kept going, both with the things that I really enjoy and the things that were just taking up my free time, because I always told myself I should be fully capable. SHOULD. That would is one that put me in some tough positions in my life, I should do this, I should do that – how about what I actually want and enjoy vs. what I think others want/what I think is acceptable yet entirely irrational. That is a mind-blowing concept for me, and one that I’m beginning to fully embrace.

10549868_438080516350738_839523267_n

“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” – Robert Holden

Summer plans + a workout

Hey! Long time no chat. I’ve been craving writing a post and knew I needed to make it happen.

I’ve been uber busy with school and finishing up my personal training certification (squeeeee)! My NASM-cpt test is April 25th, so you know less than a week away. I’ve been enjoying reading the textbook – both reviewing a lot of things I’ve previously learned and gaining new knowledge. One can never learn too much, in my humble opinion. I’m just really excited to see where this goes and hopefully starting working with clients soon 🙂 Helping people achieve their fitness, wellness, and life goals = major winning.

What else is new?! Let me keep on the topic of fitness real quick here (but who am I kidding, more than half of this post is gym related)… I’ve been working really hard on my own pursuit of gaining more strength, improving my lifts, and getting back into a place where I am open to competing again. I feel stronger and more centered in this past month than I have in close to four years. Between keeping a level head, focusing on what’s truly important to me and ditching the rest, and listening to my inner-self – I’ve been able to reach some goals which I wasn’t sure I was capable to nail down anytime soon. I keep proving to myself time and time again that you really can achieve whatever you have the guts to set your mind and body to reach. If you WANT it, you CAN reach it.

There has also been a shameless selfie or two along the way, you know to keep that motivation flowing. Ok, I’m semi- not telling the complete truth, I just enjoy flexing. And biceps. 😉

11049414_1550997555151873_1948866388_n Not a care in the world. Be strong for yourself.

I also want to share a workout I recently made up on a whim, worked through, aaaannd had a ton of fun with:

conditioning 5 rnd

Note: KB swings: moderate weight here, keeping a focus on form. Use what YOUR body can handle. Deadlifts: again moderate weight, form > being a badass. Kapeesh? This workout is meant to have a conditioning focus, not specific strength gains.

In other news, I registered for a triathlon. I’ll be doing it with a friend, so it’s for fun and just to get myself back in the competitive atmosphere. While in the back of my head, and now on the blog, I do have the goal in mind to seriously compete again, right now it’s called making sure I’m ready. Trusting myself on this.

triLastly, lets chat about school for a quick second. I’m currently sitting three weeks and a day out from being done with the spring semester, where time went… I have no idea. I feel like this semester flew by. Spring tends to do that, and once it’s nice outside my brain capacity turns to mush. Partly kidding, but sadly not really. I just want to be outside, soaking up that vitamin D, preferably hiking, running, or cycling.

This semester has so far gone really well and I’m still loving my new school and coursework. I’ve started a really neat opportunity within my major as well which I’m beyond thrilled about. I had my meeting with my advisor last week and we discussed all that I still have course wise and what my plan of action is going to be. We also talked about how I intend to complete a minor in nutrition along with my neuroscience major, because WHY NOT. I’m insanely passionate about nutrition, both in terms of healing/optimal wellness and sports performance. Plus, my career goal is to be a physician, and having a background in nutritional science will only help me in that pursuit. So I’ll be meeting with the minor coordinator at school this week which hopefully goes well.

In the meantime, to keep busy over the summer – I will be taking organic chemistry 1 AND organic chemistry 2. Needless to say from May 26th until August 14th I am going to be insanely occupied with cramming the maximal capacity of orgo that my brain can handle. I’m freakishly excited about it. And that folks, sums up why I’m a neuro/pre-med major… excited for 32 weeks of organic being slammed into 12. Outside of my comfort and safety zone? Absolutely yes. I’m nervous. I know I can handle it, but I’m nervous in anticipation.

 

Questions for you readers:

1. Who has taken organic chemistry?

2. Favorite (or top) outdoor activities for the warmer seasons!?

“I don’t belong to anyone. No one belongs to me. I belong to high of the mountains and quietness of the sea. If you want to join me there and there, make yourself at home, as long it is your choice and only. I am free. You are free.” – Ricardo

Relatively heavy deadlifts + it’s spring break week

Hey kids! Guess what this week is? SPRING BREAK. Wahoo! I’m pumped. If you’re on break also, I hope it’s going fabulous. If you’re not a college student and work a typical full-time job, I’m sorry to rub my break in your face. If it makes you feel any better please be aware that I am considerably busier this week than during a normal school week. SO there’s that.

What am I keeping busy with?

Well on Monday I deadlifted the most weight I have since 2012, I’m beyond stoked about that because #1 it means I’m getting stronger, #2 I love my deadlifts. I hit a 195# lift on my last set. I wasn’t planning on that at all but after pyramiding up 145, 155, 165, 175, 185 I felt awesome and said ____ it, do it. Pure bliss. My first goal is 200, then 225, and then 2xBW which is a smidgen over 225.

DLS Recycled picture 😉

I’ve been focusing on two very essential mindset perspectives. These are two things it’s taken me a while to fully realize. While I can be stubborn and tend to brush things off and not give a care, that doesn’t always end well and can leave me beating myself up mentally quite a bit. Also, from the internal perspective of giving myself love and kindness – both considerable challenges but I’ve improved for sure. It’s a constant progress I think, which I’m completely accepting of. I’m not perfect, I don’t want to be. I just want to be happy with myself, my goals, and my life at the beginning and end of each day. The fact alone that my strength physically is improving (above), is proof that my strength mentally is also moving miles forward.

IMG_2074 IMG_2077

Another thing I’ve realized is that while this current semester is by far the most demanding, I’m handling it the best. I guess I can say I’m where I’m supposed to be. Between changing schools, jumping into an undergrad neuroscience program, taking classes at two different campuses (M/W/F at one, T/Th at the second), working weekends, being in the gym at the most consistent and driven point I’ve been since my recovery, finishing my NASM certification, continuing healing my gut, trying to blog (!), and lastly maintaining a semi-kind-of social life. It’s been fun actually so far. I genuinely enjoy everything listed so that is really helpful. Although I’ll be honest I skipped my 8am philosophy class one because I traded it for sleep. Sleep > philosophy (on necessary occasions) = fact.

I’ve been sleeping more! Don’t get me wrong it’s not like I wasn’t sleeping because you might infer that from my skipping philosophy for sleep. Not true. Even with a hectic school schedule I’m managing 6.5-8 hours per night. This week I’m nailing 8-8.5 per night which has definitely been helpful especially because I’m maxing this week at the gym and my body needs the extra recovery between sessions. I think that range is my sweet spot. Another fact, I have sleeping habits outside of the norm for my age group, I’m in bed by 8:30-9:30pm and wake up between 4-5am. Daily. Sunday you ask? 5am. I came across this handy chart on sleep recommendations (source)

IMG_4020 

And that is that for today. Deadlifts, loving yourself, and sleeping. All solid topic choices, right?

 

Questions for you:

If you are a lifter, what’s your favorite lift?

Do you have a bedtime, and how much shut eye do you get on average?

 

“I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself.” – Jack London

xo, S

Being committed to recovery means that

If there was one single tidbit of advice (ok, two) that I could give out to those struggling with an eating disorder pursing their recovery it would be… that recovery is being committed to yourself, to the pursuit of your health (mental, emotional, physical), to overcoming those demons and striving to thrive in life rather than destroy yourself. Second, you’re not a failure if you go backwards and you’re not a failure if you don’t go backwards.

When I was in treatment a few years ago the hardest part for me at first was committing to myself. Sure I was the one who made the phone call, I drove down by myself for my intake, I went to all the meetings and necessary steps to get into the program. But at that point I wasn’t fully there. I knew it was what I needed, but not fully what I wanted. It was what was going to hopefully save my life, but I needed to commit myself to doing so. While I was going to have the support, that support would mean nothing more than guidance and short term love if I weren’t able to continue on with the process afterwards and always. I think recovery is a life long process. Treatment, therapy, groups, support networks, ect. – they teach the necessary tools for self-care, respect, and healing. But they don’t do the work. Only when the person who is struggling is ready at the level where they can commit themselves to the pursuit of healing and self-care can the fullest recovery process begin to unfold.

It’s tricky. I’m not going to short-hand that and say that this process is easy by any means. It’s the hardest thing I ever did and continue to do. I cannot even begin to express the variations of recovery I have seen and I think that is an extremely important point as well – everyone’s version of full recovery is different. By the books I’m recovered. However, I don’t really tend to associate with that, I say I’m in remission. For me that’s what works. I think finding that way, whatever it is, to keep yourself on the good road is what ultimately counts rather than throwing a label on it.

10979598_741248615995595_1768505812_n source

Another really big hurdle for me was one I hit once I was full heartedly sure that I wanted recovery for myself… keeping that mindset. Keeping that focus, that drive; the relentless desire to heal. Writing down a list of what being committed to my recovery meant for me helped a lot in staying on a positive road. Here’s what worked for me, maybe it’ll work for you or someone you know who is struggling, maybe it won’t. That’s ok.

  • Tuning in and listening to what my body tells me.
  • Accepting where I am, and accepting where I want to go.
  • Knowing that having temptations, urges, and triggers is normal. Realizing that I don’t have to give in to them. Accepting that if I do, it’s not an end all be all. It’s a stepping stone.
  • Remembering to always ask for help when needed, it isn’t a sign of weakness rather a sign of strength. To know that you need help shows strength and courage. It’s hard, but it’s something everyone needs at some point or another in life.
  • I will place my health and my wellbeing first. After all, I’m my number one. In the end, it’s me for me. This is the only body and the only life I will be given, it’s my duty to honor both of those.
  • That I will get enough sleep. Trust me, it helps.
  • That while I may want to [inert negative behavior here], I will try my hardest to not. Whether this means reaching out, journaling, taking a walk, ect.
  • Being completely honest with my support system. It’s for the best, no matter what. This was hard for me in the beginning. I didn’t want to be completely vulnerable. I held stuff back. I wanted things to seem better than they were. What really helped me though was when I just “gave in” and made myself an open book so to speak.
  • Doing everything in my power to take care of my body in terms of both physical and mental health. This may include:
    • seeking a treatment program, therapist, nutritionist, group-therapy, ect.
    • yoga
    • meditation
    • journaling
    • practicing mindfulness
    • spending quality time with friends and/or family

10949068_909540435725333_282067296_n source

There are so many more things I could list, endless really. Those are the main points which helped me on my journey to reach a place where I am thriving, living my life, and loving all that I’m doing. I want any of you who are going through this process to know that you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. You will achieve recovery if that is what you want. You don’t need to want it at first, I don’t think that’s essential. I think knowing you need it is. Wanting comes after. It’s that whole pre-contemplation –> contemplation –> action concept.

“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” – Nathan W. Morris

XO, S

Weekly workouts + living in the present

Why hello there! Happy Friday. I hope you’re having a fabulous week and well let’s be honest, tgif. I know I’m pretty excited to be almost over this week because while I’m loving school… this is the first full week we’ve had due to all the snow. I had three exams, one quiz, one paper, and a lab due this week. Woah. It’s quite exhausting 😉 In all seriousness though it’s nice to not have classes cancelled and actually have some solid lecture and lab time. Goes to show how much I really do love school and promoting neurogenesis (the birth of neurons) by constantly learning. #neurosciencemajorproblems. Be on your toes here guys, I’m going to be adding vocab into my blog posts on the regular because I think it’s fun.

10895071_347825798736115_1931511224_n completely necessary

Today I wanted to jump into what I’ve been doing gym wise lately. A while back I typed up a lifting cycle for anyone reading to see. To be honest I haven’t changed a whole lot…well, kind of. I’m still doing a lot of deadlifts and benching, along with bodyweight stuff, jump rope, and yoga. One major change I’ve made is the mindset I have going into the gym each time.

Back a few months ago, while I was definitely light years away from where my headspace had been it still wasn’t anything spectacular. I’ve been working on that a lot recently. I wanted to get to a place where I was going to the gym solely because I love it rather than any other factor such as feeling like I needed it for anxiety modulating reasons, or just out of habitual practice. I’ve changed up the outline of my workouts so they aren’t as strictly set. While I have a general idea of what I am going to do when I go to lift, it isn’t written down and actually I haven’t even been tracking my workouts in terms of sets/reps/weight lifted. It’s mentally noted, but nothing more. In the past I would be able to look up a Tuesday five weeks ago and tell you exactly to a key what I did that day. Right now, I don’t care.

I’m not saying that tracking doesn’t have it’s benefits, because it definitely does and it can be an extremely motivating tool as well. However for me, as someone who tracked every possible thing in her life for so many years, it gets old. I’m at a place in my life currently where I want the gym to be purely a playground, a place to get back to my roots, and to just have fun. I love feeling capable, strong, and like I can take on the world. I’m noticing that when my focus is that and nothing more, I feel better. I also subsequently perform better. Who would have thought that. Not I, that’s for sure.

Another change I’ve made is that I’m doing slightly more conditioning. Now before you all up in arms (because trust me you wouldn’t be the first), I’ve literally been doing two days of kickboxing in addition to some double under medleys post lifting. It’s all about balance, and at this time I’m digging kickboxing because well, it’s FUN. I’ve also noticed that my gut health seems to be improving since implementing some changes and also not over-thinking every last detail, this is something I’ve been aware of for a while – the link between physical activity and digestive function. While exercise/physical fitness is proven to be beneficial for digestive function, it can be a U-curve. As in, not enough provides no real change. The right amount, aka the “sweet spot”, helps us feel good and function better overall (this is different for everyone). On the other end, too much can be linked with negative physical symptoms both gut wise and non-gut specific complaints (irritability, susceptibility to injury, injury, ect.).

b74da74331bc49c669882359f176dd59

I think we tend to get so caught up in the past and the future that we forget we are actually living currently, in the now. It’s a constant challenge to keep the mind focused on the present moment and you might find yourself present one moment, and then thinking about next Tuesday three minutes later. It’s natural for the mind to shift, to oscillate between past, present, and future. Our brains have so much going on, so many functions, things to process, and information to relay to us. I think what’s essential however is to be content and happy with the now so that the reason our mind is wandering isn’t to escape the present moment. Oddly I’m going to tie my above lifting update into this. When I was constantly tracking everything I was constantly obsessing over things. I needed to know to a key what I’d be doing for the entire week. I’d usually even plan out what weight I was going to do each set. Do you know what that accomplished? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was holding me back, keeping me stressed, keeping me out of the present.

I’m tired of holding myself back out of fear, and out of habit. I’m in the process of learning that when we truly let go and follow our dreams, what makes our soul happy, that we feel better and things go better. This is becoming clearer to me every day in many facets of my life. By the simple act of letting go and following what feels good, I’m being surprised with new opportunities and experiences that I never thought would happen. I’ve found that the more I just let go, and let things be, the happier I am. In the end though, it’s all about perspective.

“Sometimes life will test you but remember this: When you walk up a mountain, your legs get stronger.” – unknown