Memorial Day and “Aha!” moments

Hi friends!

Happy Memorial Day! Go out there and enjoy those Memorial Day sales, but remember why we have this day, too. No matter what you think about the military and current/past military projects, remember that there are men and women who fought and died out of their love for their country.

all-gave-some

So over at Fit Approach, new Sweat Pink Ambassadors such as myself are asked to share their “Aha!” moment, or their inspiration to live healthfully. I figured maybe the folks over here not associated with Sweat Pink might want to read it too! Either way, I’ve included it all below. 🙂

*Trigger Warning: discussion of eating disorders*

Like many of you, I did not simply experience one moment that changed my life. I didn’t suddenly come to my senses, so to speak, and turn my life around. In fact, it has been nothing but a series of slow movements forward, and a few obligatory steps backward, that have made up my journey. It was a journey that I actually never wanted to make in the beginning.

A number of you (but certainly not all of you!) found your respective ways to fitness and balanced living because of weight gain. I actually came to fitness because of serious weight loss. I struggled with an eating disorder that ruled my life (and threatened to take my life) from middle school onward. Essentially I was baseline ill from the 7-8th grade until my junior year of high school when things became dangerous for me. I lost about a third of my body weight – which was alarming and staggeringly unhealthy for someone who was never “overweight” by any measurement. I hated myself and I took it out on my battered body.

I was lucky enough to have an extremely involved and supportive set of friends and family to come to the rescue. These people quite literally saved my life. I also benefitted tremendously from medical intervention, both physical (nutritionist appointments, weigh-ins) and psychological (therapy appointments) in nature.

The closest thing I have to an “aha!” moment that I can recall is moment during a therapy session when my therapist told me that former anorexics often end up being overweight. As a very sick and disbelieving teenager, I snorted at this comment at first, but then realized its significance. It’s because their bodies can no longer handle the starvation, she told me. They either kill themselves slowly or, when they finally begin eating normally again, cannot maintain a normal weight.

However shallow it may be, this is what finally got through to me through my sickness. I realized that the choices my ED was making for me were in no way sustainable. I realized that my ED didn’t make me more beautiful or special, it made me sick and it encouraged me to ignore everything else that actually did make me beautiful and special. I realized that this was my life, and I had to, well, begin living it.

Recovery was slow. Very, very slow. In fact, I’m not sure recovery ever stops. But I made it here, and today I can run and ride horses and do all the things that I was too weak to do when I was at my sickest.

So, today I sweat. And I eat when I am hungry. Sometimes I even eat just because I want to. That is what my healthy looks like, and I am so, so grateful that I am here today to share it with all of you.

Peace, sweat and love,

G

#ShareSomethingInspiring week 1

Hello!

Twitter users out there – get involved in this awesome collaboration between Lorna Jane and Fit Approach and check out the #ShareSomethingInspiring hashtag! Not only is it an online effort to promote positivity and general feel-good vibes, but it is actually also a contest. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card (!!!) towards swaggy Lorna Jane activewear. Just make sure to tag @lornajaneactive and @fitapproach in your tweets! The contest will be running all month long, until June 21st.

For me personally this kick-off week has been awesome! I definitely look forward to the Twitter party on Tuesday May 27th at 6pm PST/ 9pm EST, though – join if you can 😉

I figured the best way to share about my experience this week is just to share my Tweets themselves. Shout-out to Lorna Jane herself for showing me lots of love, and even really sweetly tweeting at me when I mentioned my dad’s health!

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 10.07.15 PM Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 10.07.46 PM Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 10.08.10 PM

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 10.08.32 PM

Join me and the rest of the #SweatPink set!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Feelings + race recap

Hey friends!

Super excited to say that I am DONE with my finals and, by extension, my undergraduate career. Feeling a bit weird about that. It hasn’t sunk in that I’m graduating in a week – maybe because I don’t really want to think about it. It’s honestly just strange, and I can’t really feel anything about it right now. This is highlighted by the fact that I don’t know exactly where I’ll be come fall, so I’m kind of just generally anxious.

BUT, per usual I need to get out of my own head and calm down. As you all know, I’ve already been accepted to BU Law as part of the class of 2017 , but here’s the wrinkle I maybe haven’t included: I’ve also been put on “reserve” at Cornell Law.

I really, really want to go to Cornell. I will get an update by the end of this month regarding my status: accept, deny, or further wait-listed. Knowing that I will find out any day now is killing me. I’m scared every time I open my inbox (not to mention that I check it obsessively). I even had a dream about it last night. Ugh.

But the other part of me knows that these worries come from a place of immense privilege, and that I need to stop and count my many blessings. I have to fight to remind myself to not play this game, because no one ever wins.

How do I fight this? Well, my blog, in part! This blog is representative of that desire to free myself from the (often self-imposed) shackles of my perfectionism. Peace.Sweat.Love is a mantra of sorts – hey, it works for me!

And so that’s why, to me, making a joint post about law school/future anxieties and a race recap makes sense. It’s not random – to me those things are connected. When I was running my 10k this past weekend and my Nike+ kept telling me my pace, I felt crushed that it wasn’t as fast as I wanted it to be. It was so distracting, in fact, that I almost forgot that my only job was to finish and to have fun. Why was I doing that, getting mad at myself for not running a PR? How on earth does that make sense? It’s moments like this when my old demons creep up and try to get in my head and erase everything I’ve taken so much time to (re)learn. Miles 2-4 I was in a terrible funk despite the fact that I was running this race with my loving S.O. and a dear mutual friend. Finally, mile 5 I started to get it. Or adrenaline kicked in, or I was just less grumpy because it wasn’t as hilly. We crossed the finish line together, and I had to remind myself that that was what I came for. By focusing too much on the end result, I ultimately forgot to stay present and cost myself some of the joy I could’ve gotten out of the experience.

Yeah, I definitely didn’t get a PR during this 10k like I did with my last 5k. But I think this forced me to address some important and consistent underlying fears I have. And like a lot of other people who find exercise to be a healing influence in their lives, sometimes I just have to physically tire myself out before my stubborn mind is willing to tackle my fears.

And if that doesn’t work for you, you can always laugh at how freaking ridiculous you look in your race photos next to your adorable friends and girlfriends. Look. at. my. face! LOL. Clearly I need to take myself waaaaayyy less seriously and take time to smile more often! Hopefully my induction into the Sweat Pink family will make that even easier 🙂

0010876_c85e6cec-9bd1-45af-8e02-87d38b5878fd

0010876_080b38a3-e5b2-4430-ae60-4ab093047bc0

 

PS: Check the “Races I’ve Run” page in a bit for a more detailed run-down of my experience at the Newton 10k!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Exciting news!

Hello everyone!

I am currently suffering through my last ever (!!!!) undergrad finals period, so I am low on time and energy. Sorry I haven’t been posting as much! I cannot wait for this semester to be over and senior week to begin once I had in this last paper on Tuesday. Just one more to go – send me positive energy (and inspiration)!

Before it’s been too long, I did want to share an exciting bit of news I got last week. So, I don’t think I mentioned it, but I applied to be a Sweat Pink ambassador (see www.fitapproach.com if you’re interested!). Basically, Fit Approach (and the Sweat Pink ambassadors affiliated with it) is a community for individuals passionate about health, fitness, and balanced lifestyles. I figured that I would apply to be a part of the community on a whim now that I have this blog. And to my surprise… I was accepted!

I am proud to say that I am now a new Sweat Pink ambassador!

(Check out the badge, folks 😉 )

Sweat-Pink-ambassador-badge-SMALL

I may still be waiting for the signature pink shoelaces to come in the mail along with my Sweat Pink top, but I am excited to start posting on the Fit Approach site/checking out forums the minute I am done with finals. I’ve already filled out my profile page because I was just too excited to wait! Really, really happy that I was given the opportunity to join this community. I know that this will totally nourish me over the summer when I am training, working, and waiting to start law school (another major source of anxiety!).

More later, I have to get back to work and bang out this last paper. I ran my 10k today, so I will do a race update and post after Tuesday.

Peace, sweat and love,

G

“I am a DKE” by Carlos Bello, Amerst ’14 

I am a DKE by Carlos Bello, Amerst ’14

Friends, I have to make a serious post. I’m not sure if any of you have been following the recent happenings at Amherst regarding sexual assault and the recent ban on fraternities. If you haven’t, I suggest reading up on it quickly. Please note that it contains heavy subject matter and is also extremely touching. Tears may follow.

But whatever you do or do not read, please read this. It is a highly emotional and unimaginably brave piece by someone I am honored to call a friend. The discussions taking place surrounding Amherst, fraternities, and sexual assaults are understandably fraught. As someone whose job has been conducting research on sexual violence in schools, I know that all too well. I am committed to ending sexual violence in all forms, but I do not think a ban on Amherst fraternities in any way constitutes a serious commitment on the part of the administration to supporting survivors. I am of the belief that more comprehensive grassroots efforts must be made to change a culture that thrives virtually everywhere, not simply within the confines of the fraternity.

PS: Dear Carlos is single in addition to being an amazing writer 😉

What’s the Healthiest Diet in the World? 

What’s the Healthiest Diet in the World?

Though there is no one scientific conclusion, it seems that (unsurprisingly) the answer is: a diet based on moderation and inclusion rather than on exclusion

“Other evidence that there are many “healthiest” diets comes from the real world. In my work as a sports nutritionist, I have analyzed the diets of large numbers of world-class endurance athletes. This is an extremely healthy population. Without a doubt, most elite cyclists, runners, swimmers and triathletes would come out very near the top of general health rankings based on a battery of tests like the ones described above. Very few of these men and women are members of what I call “diet cults” (e.g. the Paleo Diet), which are based on the premise that there is only one correct way for all humans to eat.

Most world-class endurance athletes instead practice what I call agnostic healthy eating, a broad dietary approach where no food types are completely excluded but there is a heavy emphasis on high-quality foods such as fruit and fish.”

As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and who has failed to properly nourish her body at various points in her life (something that I think is, sadly, becoming the norm for many women regardless of whether they have ever had EDs), this is crucial to me. Recognizing that my diet could and should just be a balanced, happy and healthy relationship with food was groundbreaking. I am a total health nut, true, but I am never one to turn down a cupcake when I am offered. 

Paleo nuts can do whatever they want, but I am going to keep eating the way my Mediterranean ancestors have been for years. Plenty of fruit and veg, healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, lots of carbs for fuel, and lean proteins.

Hey, it works for me (and it’s delicious)!

Peace, sweat and love, 

G