Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday in Numbers

5.25am: The time the cat woke me up.

5: The number of miles I ran

1: How many times I drank a smoothie.  And wanted another because it’s so hot.

3: The number of wild horses that blocked the road for work.

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67: The number of birds I counted out in the field.

7: The number of lightening strikes I saw during my 30 minute drive out of the canyon.

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1,000+: The number of times my heart breaks when I see the devastation that fires can do in one of my favorite previously forested canyons.

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1: The number of metals I get for running two races.

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12: The number of times I tortured my cat with my new metal.  She’s annoyed.

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3: The number of ads Honey ripped up as I tried to read them.  She loves paper…and killing it.

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5: The number of horses that are always in this gang in the fields.

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9: The time I’m going to bed.  Because my cat is crazy and woke me up way too early.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Denial

[[Side Notes: Denial

(Warning: Numbers are included in this post
so if you are easily triggered, please do not read this post)

I get many emails from readers and other bloggers about my steps in recovery.  It has been a very long journey going on for over 8 years, with it’s ups and downs all over the place, but the question I get asked the most about recovery is the first step.  What did I do?  Who did I go to?  What happened?

I have written previously about how I first got help, with a hall mate of mine confronting me about my weakening figure.  We went to a counselor at my college together to get some help in hopes of getting me healthy again and away from feeling guilty about food and my body.

That’s just one part of the first step towards my recovery though.  All in all, yes it was essential that I got help to help me get better, but I had to accept something first:

I HAD A DISEASE.

I HAD AN EATING DISORDER.

I HAD ANOREXIA.

For the month leading up to this event, I thought I was just “getting healthier” and “avoiding junk food” to reverse the effect that going to college and have so much food at my disposal had created.  I thought I was doing everything right and was just losing the weight I had gained since I had arrived.  I ended up losing a lot more than I gained, but at that point it became an attitude of well, maybe just a few more pounds.  It was no longer about those initial 10lbs I had gained, it was as far as I could get.

I remember vividly standing on the scale at the gym after a workout when I was in college as a freshman.  I had just been to a counseling appointment and had lied my butt off about how I was feeling.  I was always ashamed going to those appointments, like I had let down everyone in my life by developing this problem.  There was so much guilt in having this disease that it just made everything else I did feel just as guilty.  It was a big circle of self-destruction. 

I remember seeing the number on the scale and feeling so pissed.  I was so angry that I had gained a pound in a few days and immediately starting working out how I was going to lose it.  I sat on a stretching bench, beating myself up on the inside and it finally hit me: I WAS SICK.  There was no way that I should be mad that I weighed 102 pounds at 5’6” and that I had gained one in a short matter of time.  I had never felt like this before and IT WAS NOT NORMAL OR HEALTHY.

I remember several discussions with my best college friend at the time, talking about my recovery and I could not for the life of me say the word ANOREXIA.  It left such a bitter taste in my mouth, made my heart jump and hands shake.  I could say EATING DISORDER, but something about saying the “A” word was super bothersome.  I would literally stand in front of the mirror in my room and try to say it out loud.  In my head it was doable, but out into the air it seemed impossible.

It took me a very long time to say it out loud, I think almost two years.  I remember talking to the same friend and we both cried as I slowly but without a doubt said out loud, “Yes, I am sick. Yes, I have an eating disorder.  Yes, I have ANOREXIA.” 

It was such a liberating moment and I think one that is quite essential to recovery.  Why is this essential?  If you’re in denial of your ED like I was in the beginning, there is no matter of counseling or talking with people that will help you get better.  You have to admit and believe that you have a problem and that you have to do something to figure it out.  Without this admission, you’ll probably end up doing a lot of what I did: LIE.  I lied so much about my emotions, how I felt physically and mentally that I could have written an entire book on the lies I told.  It never helped that I didn’t tell the truth, and in the end made me feel worse because I was lying to the people that I loved.  Who ever wants to lie to their friends and family?

So take home message: in order to start your recovery, you cannot be in denial.  I think it’s such an important step to take and after admitting it, will make you feel so.much.stronger;  that you will be able to defeat the disease and move past it living the life you were supposed to.  It also does not mean that you are any less of a person to admit this, it means that you are ready to start recovering. ]]

~~

I”ll be back tonight with a real food post!  I’ve actually been taking pictures of my foods; aren’t you proud of me?!  Until then, this is life:

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

September

Two months. 

I can’t wait until September because I’ll be back here again:

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Life can’t seem to slow down at all for me to take a breather…seems like this is the only way.  Yeesh.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Great Fundraising Act

I’m sure you’ve all been reading about one of the biggest online auctions our blog realm has ever seen, The Great Fundraising Act.

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I have never met Susan, but I knew as soon as I got the email about this event, I had to take part.  It’s an amazing auction with over TWO HUNDRED ITEMS up for bidding, including boxes/gift bags from several companies and about a hundred different blogger baked goods, mine included! 

I have donated my favorite things:

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Muffins/Loaf

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Peppermint Bark

If you would like to donate or participate in the auction, you can read about it here, which takes place TOMORROW starting at 8AM!  I also contacted the generous people at iHerb and they are donating a $50 shopping spree on their website!  So make sure you keep that in mind too!  They are a great company!

I hope to see all of you taking part in this auction because it is for such a good cause.  Susan is going through so much but keeping such a great attitude throughout everything!

2011 Cypress 10k

Again, sorry for the absence!  Work has been crazy!  Many days this week have been spent doing two a day shifts, one early in the morning for birds and one in the evening looking for bats!  This is where I spent many nights staring at some rocks and into the stars..

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It’s pretty as the sun goes down and the colors come out!

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As crazy as the week was, I was happy to have some plans to go home for the weekend, see my parents and run a race!

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I got an early start in the morning, hitting up the Cypress 10k course for the umpteenth time in the past 15 years and got to the start!  There were a much larger number of people this year versus two years ago when I ran it, but hey, makes for more competition!

The race took off at 7.30am and the weather couldn’t have been better: overcast and mid 60’s!  The course is completely flat and two laps through the city and some neighborhoods.  I’ve been running these streets since I was 14 so I know where every turn and crack is!

The first lap through the city went well.  I actually was in such a hurry leaving my place on Friday that I forgot to bring my garmin, or even a WATCH, along with my band for my ipod!  It was an interesting experience running with no time or music!  But I think it really made me focus on the run and listen to my body.   Anyhow, like I said, the first lap went pretty well.  I actually ended up seeing three different people that I used to run cross country in high school with so it was inspiring!  We used to all be the best of friends!

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The elite came around way before I did and I was trucking along behind them…

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The second lap was not nearly as nice as the first one, but I got through it!  I focused on keeping my arms lowered, because when I get tired I tend to look like I’m punching myself in the face!  I had a few people pass me up that got me a bit upset but I just told myself that the time didn’t matter and I just wanted to cross the finish line. I had no idea at any point during the run what my pace was or what my time was at any mile so I just kept going into the end!  And Whit tried to get a good picture at the finish but this guy got in the way…

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So hey Mr. 248, we have an awesome picture of you at the finish.  Thanks dude.

But, as I came across the finish line I saw the time slowly ticking away and even though I didn’t have a watch, I knew I crossed the finish around 15 seconds after the gun so I figured I got…55 min!!!  I was beyond stoked!  I can’t remember the last time I ever ran a 10k under 56 minutes!  I was exhausted like mad across the finish line but excited to see what a good time I had!  I didn’t even feel like I had been running that fast the whole time!  I felt like I was going a 10 min pace!

I was excited at the end of the race to see one of my great friend’s Neal with his wife and family, along with some other cross country friends, hanging out and chatting.  I haven’t seen Neal since he got married almost two years ago so it was nice to catch up!  I miss this guy!

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After all was said and done I finally went and checked my official time and it was…55:00:00!!  Can you believe that?!   If I had been a 10th of a second faster I would have been under 55 minutes!!!  So close!  Well, I’ve got another 10k in a month but it’s in the mountains, at elevation and not flat so we’ll see what happens with that one…fingers crossed!

We spent the rest of the morning wandering around the city festival where I bought a cute shirt and some super cute necklace pendants and earrings!  I can’t wait to show them to you!

Tomorrow is going to be nice while I go to the beach with Whit as he surfs and I do a nice recovery run on the beach, sans watch of course!  I hope you all have a great Sunday!!

Did you run a race this weekend?  Anything exciting to report as of now!?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

10k Race Day!

Hey everyone! Sorry for no post they past few days! I've been working some late nights doing research on bats so time has been used mainly to catch up on sleep!

Anyhow, I'm at my parents for the weekend with Whit and am going to run a 10k in about an hour and a half! I'll let you know how it goes this afternoon! Well, if it's anything worth blogging about....haha.

I hope your weekend is starting off well!!

Oh, and if you' re in the OC/LA area let me know! I'd love to plan a little meetup!

Sent from my Nokia phone

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

7 Links and Honey

Whew!  I played the rescuer today in the 100 degree heat when my coworker popped her truck tire in a sand pit!  It was not the greatest tire change I’ve ever done but hey, we did it and no one got smashed! Hah!

Anyhow, one of my favorite bloggers Katy nominated me to take part in a project called My 7 Links.  It’s very interesting and lets me take a look back at all the fun I’ve had on my blog for the past four years!  And hopefully it’ll let you see something things you might have missed over the years!  Here are the guidelines:

THE GOAL

To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

THE RULES

1)     Blogger is nominated to take part

2)     Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.

3)     Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.

4)     These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers

5)    And so it goes on!

6)    We’ll be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on our blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

Here are my 7!

Most Beautiful:  A Different Kind of Post
Most Popular: Abandoning the Scale
Most Controversial:  Skinny Fat Are We?
Most Helpful: On Letting Go
Surprise Success: 2nd Puberty 
Not Enough Attention:  It’s Time To Help The Environment
Most Proud: My first Side Note: A Day In The Field and A New Side Note

And here’s who I nominate!

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
Bobbi @ NHerShoes
Monica @ Run Eat Repeat
Amanda @ Two Boos Who eat
Kaitlin @ Kaitlin With Honey

~~

I thought I’d give you a bit of mid week entertainment by giving you pictures of Honey…who doesn’t love a crazy cute cat, right?  I kinda want to get another…she needs a friend when I’m out in the field all those hours, right?…

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When she tries to get me to stop working

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And play with her…

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Stalker cat…

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Crazy cat…

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I don’t understand her logic on this one since I had just finished running and that camelbak was soaked in sweat!  Ick!  Dirty cat!  Maybe she wants to go running…?

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Playful cat…

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I guess she grew out of my kitten length when she fit in this perfectly….

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And this is why all my clean just laundered clothes are covered in cat hair…she claims my clothes all for herself. 

Haha.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Skinny? Pt II

[[Side Notes: Why Skinny? Pt II

It’s amazing what a run without a watch (ok, Garmin to be truthful, I still had a normal watch on) or an ipod can bring to reality.  Running is something that has always cleared my mind and made me see things they way they really should be seen, without the curtain that keeps the truth from being seen.

From the moment I woke up this morning, my thoughts were everywhere.  My schedule is a lot different than normal this week so I’m totally thrown off and things like that always make me slightly anxious.  I’m a creature of habit and routine.  Anyhow, I had a training class this morning and had to wait forever to eat my breakfast, which left me in a foul mood.  I was beyond hungry even after I had eaten, which made me tired and I couldn’t concentrate. 

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It made my day out in the field an anxious one.  Add onto that that I was stuck in one place for almost 5 hours, some bit of boredom starts to kick in. Add all those things together and it’s a crisis in my food world.  I ended up eating basically everything that I brought, which in my head was the size of a mountain, but in reality just some more than I would usually eat throughout an afternoon, just in one sitting.

I came home feeling, devastated.  I felt like I had failed the “eating plan” (basically of restriction) in my head and that yes, I was going to turn fat overnight.  I was tired and instead of snacking to keep myself awake I decided to just lay down and take a nap.  That did wonders.  I can’t tell you how much better I felt after I woke up, quenched my thirst with some fresh honeydew and finished up work.

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I had plans to run and burn off all those calories, but as I headed out the door, I told myself, in my new shoes and with confidence they would be great, that I was doing so without pressure and going to take my time.  I had plans to run a 3.5 mile block near my house, but as I neared the last turn I realized how great I felt and kept going.  And kept going still.  And I kept repeating, “Give yourself some SLACK.  Perfection is OVERRATED.”  I finished the 4.6 mile run in 40:47 which is way faster than my normal pace!  Who knew?!  I felt great and even picked it up at the end and I felt awesome when I stepped back into my place.

But while I was running I thought about my last post, about the things that I have thought for so many years that I thought being skinny, or losing that last 5lbs would bring.  Really?  I’ve always had it in my head that being skinny meant:

-I would instantly have a better fashion sense, since I simply don’t have one at all.
-I would have more friends and they would like me more.
-I would be more outgoing and go out.
-I would never have someone say they don’t like me or think less of me for something.
-Everything in my life would be perfect.

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(College at the end of my freshman year, at my lowest…)

In reality though, none of that would happen if I was skinny, or lost that 5lbs.I mean, I’ve already done that and can say from experience: none of it happened.  Instead, these were the results:

-Extreme fatigue, no matter how much I slept or napped.
-Extreme cold.
-Constant paranoia over food and exercise.
-Never going out with my friends and declining every offer given.
-Wearing baggy and ugly clothes to keep attention from being drawn to me.
-Never running for fun.  Or without some sort of pain.
-Running injuries.
-Headaches, night sweats, body aches, etc.

It.is.not.worth.it.  I mean, why do something that won’t give me the things I want, because they’re either something I can’t control, or something I simply need to learn (like fashion…it’s always been a sore spot for me…help dress me please? haha!)?

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So hopefully when I wake up tomorrow, I will feel better than today.  It doesn’t have to be completely 100% chipper and outgoing, but at least better.  I have to start somewhere, right? ]]

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why Skinny?

[[Side Notes: Why Skinny?

Excuse the absence.  Things have gone from bad to worse to better to good to sub par.  You know how emotions can be?

It’s been a daunting few days and to tell you the truth the thing that pulled me out of it was seeing my counselor.  Since the marathon, I have been down in the dumps.  I go through phases like this, but none have been this bad.  I wasn’t to the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed and just sleep my days away, but I was very blah, not caring about anything going around me, not caring about food, looks or anything whatsoever.  Well, except my cat.  How could you not care about a pet?

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(Look, the environmentalist cat. 
She loves reusable bags just as much as I)

The past month has taught me a lot of things. I have never been more determined to beat these “funk” feelings and see to it that it didn’t bring my eating disorder back into full swing.  Before, I would have given into it, let it take me away because I thought it was right.  And for a while I was very scared, seeing myself walking into the open arms of my eating disorder.  All the signs were coming back: checking the mirror too much, finding ways to skip meals/snacks, exercising more than once a day in an obsessive/aggressive manner, counting calories meticulously and wanting so badly to lose weight.

I kept asking myself as all this was happening, what good is being skinny going to do?  It’s not going to make the marathon come back and be any better; it’s not going to make your emotions any easier to handle; it’s not going to make people love you more than they already do; it’s not going to make running and training any easier; it’s not going to making anything better at all.

I had turned into a bit of a hermit, secluding myself from activities amongst friends and coworkers.  It was hard to decline their offers, but I did.  One of the biggest failures I would say was not taking part in all the restaurant outings I was offered. My dreaded fear of eating out had come back.  ]]

I needed something to show my independence and well, to show myself that I was stronger than this feeling.  So what better than dive into the barracudas that are car dealerships, right!?!?!

I have been in the market for a new car for a while.  I’ve got back and forth between small compact cars to mid size cars and crossovers.  I couldn’t decide what would be best for dealing with the amount of ice and snow we get during the winter, but also be extremely reliable and get very good gas mileage with all the crazy driving I do for work.  So I headed into the city and went to test drive a few cars…

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Nissan Juke…kinda weird looking right?  A bit too small.

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Honda CR-V…I didn’t test drive it, but it’s nice.  No one likes the very back side windows, but when you’re driving you can’t see it.  Otherwise very roomie and nice car!

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Toyota Prius.  I know many who have this car, but with the new edition I felt like I was so overwhelmed.  As comfy and smoothly that it drove (though a lot of road noise) there was just too much computer/electronic components.

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Hyundai Elantra…meh.  Super nice car, but something just wasn’t biting with me.

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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid…nice car.  Way too $$$$.

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Nissan Rogue.  Nice car and reminds me of the CR-V, but I don’t think I need a big car like that for a prolonged period of time.

But, nothing seemed to click more than when I, after researching this car for weeks and never seeing it on the road, went and saw and test drove the Honda Insight.

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It was simple. small but large enough for the things I tote around, zippy enough and how could I ask for better hwy mileage (44mpg? With up to 50?!)?  Everything about it screamed to me and I mean come on now, I’m a biologist/conservationist so how could I not want to get a hybrid!!!???

So soon enough, my trusty Baby-G (yes, that’s the name of my car; she’s green/turquoise and small, ok?) will be partnered to another while I hit the road with my new baby…name tbd.

Anyone seen the Insight?  Or own one?  What do you think of it?!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Favorite Foods

Today I made sure to give myself what I wanted food wise.  I have spent too many of the past days thinking about what I needed or should have instead of what I wanted.  What is a life without things I love like chocolate.  Or a nice big bakery muffin with some pb and a delicious organic white farmer’s market peach.  Kitty smiles on the side.

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Lots of time in the field today…oh the house of driving.  A little bit of encouragement to keep me going…seriously, I love this bar.

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I didn’t think I was going to be out as long as I had, so I didn’t bring an adequate lunch.  I was ravenous on the drive home so I tore into my secret stash of dry roasted cashews and had just enough to keep me satisfied until I got home to this:

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I love me some fruit salad and crackers with hummus.  These crackers and hummus have been my mainstay these past weeks.  If you can get to TJ’s I highly suggest these crackers!

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Whit came up before he’s going to be gone all weekend camping on the coast so I had to make sure he had something good for dinner, or that I had to make something other than a sandwich for dinner.  Anyhow, I chopped up a watermelon for everyone to munch on, including myself, while I got started on a tofu scramble!

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Mine included a full block of tofu, two types of summer squash, 1/2 an onion, green beans, soy sauce, olive oil and vegetable broth.  It came out a little more bland than I’d hoped, but I’m trying to adjust my palate to less salty things since I makes me feel/look like I’m pregnant!

And to finish off my sweet tooth for the night I had one of my favorite and not longer available Attune Bars: Milk Chocolate Crisp!

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And a few pieces of dried mango…I seriously can’t stay away from these things!

This weekend I’m focusing on getting in some more things that I love from local eateries (french toast here I come!!!) along with some time to indulge in what I want…like a NEW CAR.  Yep, car shopping this weekend!  Is it Friday yet? :D

What are a few things you LOVE to eat or CRAVE?!  And any fun plans for the weekend!?  You can’t plan too fara ahead, right?!

Everyday Is The Start, Of Something Beautiful

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This funk has really got me out of sorts.  Poor Whit has been having to deal with all my crazy moods that seem to come out of no where and linger on forever.  I’ve been taking time to read, breathe deep and appreciate my surroundings for work in hopes of getting this underlying feeling out of my head. 

It’s hard though.  I’m trying so hard to fight off the urge to restrict or run more than my legs can take, but I’m getting there.

It helps when I get flowers too (8 months!).

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I can’t say everyday has been a success because they haven’t, but I find that catching the actions in the act and telling myself it is WRONG, will help get me in the right direction.

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Besides, how could I not be in a good mood when I see nature at it’s finest: momma and baby!

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After much contemplation about this “funk” and feeling bad I think I know where it’s coming from: the marathon.  Ever since the race I feel like everything has been downhill.  I’ve be more insecure about my body than in the past year I’ve been at my new residence and going to counseling and can’t help but want to go back to my old ways from almost 8 years ago (yes, 8 stupid freak’n years….gosh).

It’s very frustrating to say the least since I have been doing SO.MUCH.BETTER.  It drives me crazy that it’s coming back when it had gone away from so long and I’d gotten so strong.  But as I’ve always said, I know that I’ll never be rid of this disease and even though it might come up every once in a while, I’ll just have to remember the joy I feel when it’s gone to help me get over the lull that has made it reappear.

Positive words are working their way through my mind…and hopefully staying there.