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

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 🙂

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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