Your Mountain is Waiting

February 17, 2011

The other night, I did something I haven’t done in quite a long time (we’re talking years here!). I went rock climbing. Looking up at the very top of the indoor wall, I thought, there’s no way I’ll be able to climb that! It was probably a good 25 feet high, plus there were people watching.

Insanity.

But I tried anyway.

It was intense, it was tough, and it was scary. Climbing straight up and trying not to look down was one of the most challenging aspects, and even though I had a harness on I was still terrified of losing my balance and slipping. There were times when I thought my fear of falling would get the best of me, but I toughed it out and had an epiphany while I was scaling that wall.

Climbing up the rock wall is like deciding to recover and, more importantly, defeat my eating disorder. You’ve got to tackle it head on and just climb from the bottom of that wall all the way to the top. Trusting and knowing you’ll be caught by your support group if you do happen to lose your grip is an important factor. They’re there with you every step of the way, whether you realize it or not. They’ve got your back. If you do happen to lose your grip, you have support in your belayer. Turn to them and tell them, and they’ve got you – they won’t let you fall. But it’s also about trusting yourself. You’ve got to believe that you’ve got the right footing and you have to take it one step at a time.

There will probably be a few slip ups and maybe even a few fallbacks, and that’s when the choice is up to you: you can give that climb another try and push yourself to the top, or you can go right back down to the bottom. Although scaling a wall of any kind is never easy no matter what the situation, it is always worth the climb. Because once you’re at the top, there is no greater feeling.

As far as I’m concerned, the only way to go is up.

What’s your “wall?”

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A love letter for 2011

December 31, 2010

Body, I’ve let you down, and I’m sorry.

Legs, thank you for carrying me and remaining strong while I continued to abuse you with running, time on the elliptical, and biking. Thank you for staying strong and not letting me fall.

My eyes, thank you for letting me see the world around me every day, even when I couldn’t see the damage I was doing to myself, even when it was right in front of me.

To my heart, thank you for never giving up, even when I almost did. Even when you were at your slowest, you never gave up and you never stopped.  You never stopped letting the life flow through me, even when I didn’t feel it.

Body, I won’t hurt you anymore.

I won’t push you so far again. I’m sorry for what I put you through and I’m sorry for not knowing my limits. You deserve only the best treatment and respect, and I am glad I realize this now. Better late than never, right? No more two-a-days at the gym, no more skipping meals. Never again will I feel guilty for putting whole foods into you and I will never again try to “undo” my actions. You are so much more than the vessel I walk around in, the skin that I inhabit.

That’s why you deserve better.

This year, I’m not going to make any resolutions to “tone up” or lose X amount of pounds. I’m not going to exercise a certain amount of minutes every week, and I’m certainly not going to feel guilty if I choose to spend quality time with my friends over time at the gym. No more starving, no more feeling out of control. It’s time to stop this…because I’m beautiful just the way I am.

This is my promise to you, Body. I promise to treat you with the care you deserve. I promise to give you days to rest, days to recover, and days to simply be. I promise to enjoy every day and live for me and not for my exercise regimen. No more comparing and wishing; you’re better than that. I promise to live more days with a smile on my face and a feeling of pride in the strong, independent, beautiful person that I have become. I will live more days where I can smile, laugh, and be who I was truly meant to be. Days like these:

(That’s my aunt, BTW. Crazy runs in the family.)

My promise to stay strong.

What I can promise you, Body, is that 2011 is going to be filled with amazing times, crazy memories, and great fun.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?


Why is it that so many women today think that there are two options when it comes to weight lifting?

Option A:

Wimpy wimpy wimpy, like this guy

Option B:

Hefty, hefty, hefty….and scary!

Weight lifting isn’t just for the boys anymore! Besides, we know that all they really do is stand around and try to look appealing to all the ladies, right?! 😉

Now I’m gonna say something that might scare you, so brace yourselves, ladies. Lifting weights will not turn you into some beastly monster with bulging veins and huge biceps as soon as you start. That’s right. Now take a deep breath and read that sentence again. You will be a beast, but you won’t be a ginormous bodybuilder.

If you don’t do any kind of weight training exercises, I think you should seriously consider starting.

Weight training (obviously) builds muscle. That’s what scares a lot of people, and I’ll tell you why. Muscle weighs more than fat. Gaining muscle through weight training means you’ll burn fat and gain muscle. That can sometimes equal a weight gain. But guess what – it’s not a bad weight gain. It’s an “I’m building muscles so I’ma look super sexy” gain.

Well here’s a few reasons why you should lift weights.

1) Physically, you will be so much stronger. You won’t be a wuss. Your flexibility, strength, endurance, power, and speed will all improve.

2) Your base metabolism will be raised. I’m  no dietitian, but I do know that muscle burns more calories than fat, even when sedentary. That means you get to eat more. Win.

3) You’ll become a sexy beast.

4) Muscle has gorgeous, lean form. It takes up less space than fat does and it doesn’t disfigure you, either. Actually, it will protect you. Stronger muscles will help protect you from osteoporosis. So put that milk down and pick up some weights.

5) Weight training has been clinically proven to raise your “good” cholesterol and lower your “bad” cholesterol. It also strengthens your heart.

6) You’ll become a sexy beast.

7) You’ll be in a chipper mood all day. Trust me – when I lift weights, I leave the gym feeling awesome. I feel strong and powerful because I am! Weights work wonders for self-esteem too!

6) The guys will probably all be smitten with you. Seriously… a chick in the free weights area that knows what she’s doing?! Daaaaaang.

7) All of the men in said free weights area will think you’re a sexy beast.

So what are you waiting for? Time to explore the free weights, ladies.

Know Your Limits

July 28, 2010

Time for a non-food related post!

But before I get to the good stuff, let me remind you that you have one day left to enter my giveaway. I’ll randomly pick a winner on my birthday, July 30th.

Anyway, on to the crux of the matter.

This is a representation of me this evening:

This is an artist’s interpretation of me post-running this evening:

I was spent. Exhausted. Pooped.

I ran with Caitlin and Emma tonight, and something was totally off for me from the beginning. My knee was being a brat and then I got a nasty stitch in my side about halfway in. I managed to last about 2.8 miles (I think?) before my knee said NO and I had to stop. The whole way home my stomach and chest were aching and I had to pull over at one point, taking deep breaths.

When I was halfway home, I realized my problemo.

I’m completely burned out.

You see, I decided a few weeks ago to up my exercise to five to six days a week, an hour a pop, switching between cardio and weight/circuit training. It’s been good for the most part – I’ve discovered my love for weight lifting (there will be a post on that soon, trust) and I’ve also learned to be more adventurous with my cardio (i.e. doing quarter mile sprint intervals on the dreadmill instead of chugging along on the elliptical for 50 minutes). But that’s about it.

I’ve never been one to dread going to the gym. Perhaps it’s the supa cute guy that runs the desk (and occasionally bends over to wipe off the bottom of the treadmills…mmm), or maybe it’s the fact that I feel super inspired and love running on the treadmill next to the others. I think I just like an excuse to be sweaty in public.

Creeper.

I think tonight I realized what I should have learned weeks ago…that working out six days a week, an hour a pop was only going to lead to guilt when I couldn’t fulfill my high expectations. Essentially, I was opening the door to my previous behaviors. I was starting to feel how I felt back in my compulsive exercise days – guilty, worried, and anxious. If I wasn’t “good enough” or didn’t work out for quite enough time, I would obsess over how I could do better. I once again started a food and exercise journal, and I found myself in a vicious spiral once again. A few days ago, I even Tweeted that I felt guilty for eating dark chocolate as well as having a scheduled rest day. Um, hello?!

My body was trying to tell me it was tired tonight. Caitlin made me stop running tonight because my knee was hurting me, but I was trying to ignore it (Thank you, Caitlin!!). I felt like I was weak, like I was quitting. I’ve run 10 miles before, why can’t I do this 3 mile loop? But you know what I figured out?

You’re not quitting if you’re listening to your body.

So, body, I’m going to start listening to you more. If that means skipping a workout to rest, that’s okay. If it means cutting my gym sesh short (and seeing Cute Butt Desk Guy less), that’s just dandy. I’m not going to die and the world won’t blow up because I missed a workout. Because it’s all gonna be okay in the end. And if it’s not okay, it’s not the end (thanks to whoever said that!).

And I think my body’s trying to tell me what it wants right now:

I’m so down.