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

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

A Highly Belated Update

You guys. I have been SO BAD. My last blog post is from February 8th. It’s March 1st! Harumph. I know there’s not anything I can do about it, but stiiiiillll…

I am just coming off of the busiest of weeks. It’s ~*midterm season*~ so I’ve been totally blessed with huge amounts of work + extracurriculars + jobs + trying to make it to the gym + feeling slightly under the weather + not sleeping enough.

tumblr_mmgvtmOSEc1ryjwzno1_500 

So as I write this, I am currently sitting slumped in my bed like a burned-out college zombie catching up on blogs I follow, attempting to figure out how to write such a belated update, and eating delicious yogurt.

I don't know what constitutes "Australian style" yogurt, but I do know that this organic banana vanilla flavor is delicious.

I don’t know what constitutes “Australian style” yogurt, but I do know that this organic banana vanilla flavor is delicious.

I think the best way to catch up in my blogging absence is stick to the handy ABC- format. So, What have I been doing between now and my last post?

A) Celebrating Valentine’s Day with my lady 🙂 I, of course, was not going to mess up our Valentine’s Day/Anniversary (we like to call it Vanniversary), so I made reservations at a fancy restaurant in December. Naturally, I was feeling like I pretty awesome girlfriend/human.

How the gf woke me up on Feb 14 <3

How the gf woke me up on Feb 14 ❤

We dined at Bondir in Cambridge where they offered a crazy prix fixe menu. I wasn’t able to get any decent food pictures because they had dimmed the lights for a romantic atmosphere, but suffice it to say that it was so delicious that my all-American, sandwich-loving gf ate snails and liked them (as did I!).

Pre-dinner selfies

Pre-dinner selfies

B) I finally bought new sneakers. I went to a local running store and they did a gait analysis, and apparently despite my flat duck feet, I do not over-pronate and have a pretty neutral, normal gait. Great news! I still went for my tried-and-true Nike Lungarglide, this time updated from my old and desperately worn out Lunarglide 4’s to the Lungarglide 5. It’s already so, so much better. My old sneakers were so bad that even just putting them on and walking around in them would make my shins start to ache! These new shoes feel like amazing, arch-supporting clouds on my feet.

I bought them in black - goes with everything! And I like to be creative/bright with the rest of my fitness ensembles ;)

I bought them in black – goes with everything! And I like to be creative/bright with the rest of my fitness ensembles 😉

C) I went running! Finally, with the help of my new shoes, I am experiencing barely any shin pain. That, and I’m making sure to put the new Pro Compression socks and Trigger Point foam roller to good use (they couldn’t arrive soon enough!).

D) I went to yoga. I’m in love with the fact that Lululemon stores hold free yoga classes – crucial to a college student/athlete like myself who can’t afford the expense of yoga classes! I’d love to go again tomorrow, but we’ll see how things work out.

Bad off-to-yoga-class selfies FTW!

Bad off-to-yoga-class selfies FTW!

E) I treated myself.

Parks-and-rec-treat-yo-self

I found of the the Cool Racerbacks from Lululemon on sale – $29 as compared to the usal $42. Feeling pretty good about being fabulous but also thrifty.

Best part? I'd been eyeing this cute color combo for a while.

Best part? I’d been eyeing this cute color combo for a while.

F) I fueled my body. I gave myself healthful, nourishing foods, but also remembered to let myself live and enjoy food, not fear it. In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I give a big middle finger to the ED that used to rule my life. My favorite means of doing so? Brunch.

A gruyère, mushroom, and fresh spinach omelette, homefries, and a raw-sugar encrusted scone topped off w/ organic coffee and fresh grapefruit juice. HEAVEN.

A gruyère, mushroom, and fresh spinach omelette, homefries, and a raw-sugar encrusted scone topped off w/ organic coffee and fresh grapefruit juice. HEAVEN.

Peace, sweat and love.

G