And so begins the final stretch of summer…

August is upon us and I have made it my mission to exercise every single day.  But when I swore my declaration of body-hate independence, my mom asked me, in almost an accusatory way, why bother doing something if I don’t like it?

A very good point.  In fact, I consider it a rule of life.

But the truth is, I don’t hate jogging.  I hate the deathly humidity we’ve had this summer that has put a major dent in all my jogging prospects.  Some people find the heat invigorating.  If you’re one of those people, I envy you.  Truly, I do.  I wish it didn’t melt me into a pile of misshapen goo.  But walking, nevermind running, in 100 degree weather is horrid.  I don’t enjoy it.  So I don’t do it.

However, aside from the unbearable heat, I mostly hate the build-up to get my stamina to a place where jogging isn’t torture, but rather a second-nature daily activity.  I’m not looking to be an athlete or to run a marathon.  I just want exercise to be a part of my lifestyle.  Permanently.

When I look back on last summer, I can’t help but feel a little twinge of frustration at where I was then and where I am now.  As far as stamina goes, that is.  I started jogging regularly around the end of August right before school started.  After a summer full of many nights at the bars drinking with friends (no regrets btw), I was feeling sluggish mentally and physically.  So I decided I needed a change.  I stopped drinking and slowly started exercising.  I honestly thought giving up alcohol would be harder than exercising regularly, but it wasn’t.  In fact, it was really easy.  And it made a huge difference!  Usually I have a hard time keeping myself motivated and on track, but this time around it wasn’t much of a challenge.  Maybe it was because I knew I was going to be performing a lot and was stressing about looking good on stage.  Or maybe it was because I was expecting my then-boyfriend to be even more supermegafoxyawesomehot after bootcamp.  Whatever the reason, it worked.  I was diligent and kept myself at a healthy moderate level of exercise.

I want that back.

And I can have it.  I strongly believe it’s an issue of mind over matter because I do not think that I am horribly out of shape.  In the past few months of getting back in touch with my recovered self, I’ve come to realize that I associate negative self-talk with exercise, which makes me afraid to do it.  Who wants to subject themselves to self-loathing?  I don’t.  It certainly isn’t very motivating or at all nice.  I need to break through that fear.   I need to break through that chain of negativity we all wear when things get tough.  THAT is my ultimate goal for August.

I’ve made a lot of healthy changes this summer and hopefully August will prove to be just as rewarding, even if it is in small doses.  I cannot wait to welcome back the brisk Autumn weather with open arms.  But until that happy moment, I’ll just chip away at my goal and think happy thoughts.

Advertisements

Calories vs. Feels

Today was a bit disheartening.

I deliberately skipped breakfast.  Again.  I got up early to drive to Carver and even though I knew I should eat something, I told myself, “Ehhhhh no.  I’m not hungry.  Just wait until lunch.”  I’m not going to beat myself up over it because I know it’s just one slip up, but one can lead to 100 so easily.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, my hunger cues have been kind of off lately.  When I wake up in the morning I’m not hungry, which makes it tempting to skip breakfast altogether.  It takes more effort than normal to bring myself to eat, and when I think about eating, my body gets turned off to it.  It’s almost like a slightly  nauseous feeling.  Very subtle.

The frustrating thing about all this is that I feel good.  I have my bad days, but overall, I’m content.  Usually loss of appetite is a signal for something negative (i.e. stress, ignored inner turmoil, bottled up feelings), but I really don’t feel bad (most days).  I can acknowledge maybe 3 things off the top of my head that have valid reason to stress me out, but they’re comfortable discomforts, meaning I’m not worried about them.  I’m optimistic and keep on goin’ with the flow.  It’s all good. 🙂

Now I’m going to break a rule here and compare myself with someone else.  I promise it’s to make a point.  When I look at my general diet, I see it as pretty healthy.  It’s fairly balanced and the portions are reasonable.  The concept of eating 3 times a day is still something that makes me uncomfortable, but I do abide by it.  But then this weekend, I visited my sister.  In my eyes, she and my mom have always been the epitome of healthy.  Her 3 meals a day put mine to shame.  They are actual meals.  My idea of a meal?  Well, an orange for breakfast counts as a meal, right?  WRONG.  I’m confusing a snack with a meal.  My sister and I were making lunch and she was asking me what I wanted, listing off options.  Pizza, macaroni and cheese, quesadilla, etc.  Everything she offered was (in my mind) too much for lunch.  Eat a quesadilla for lunch AND eat pasta for dinner?  I couldn’t possibly do that!  Especially since I had cornbread and butter for breakfast!  Jesus Christ, you want me to have orange juice too?!  TOOMANYCALORIESDEARGODNOHELPMEASDFGHJKLASDFGHJKlASDF

THAT, my friends, is disordered thinking.  Again, forgive the comparison (I’m already awaiting a text from my sister yelling at me), but I thought it would be worth it to illustrate a point.  Out of everything that comes with an eating disorder, the one thing that I truly have not shifted in my mind is the number of calories I, as a twenty-something year old woman, am supposed to be eating daily.  Usually that number is around 2,000-2,400 cal.  My mind runs on a 1,000-1,200 cal basis.  Granted, as someone who used to only consume (aside from nothing) 300-800 calories a day, it’s an improvement.  But it’s still too low.  I don’t know why, but just as 800 calories used to boggle my mind, eating over 1,000 is still hard to wrap my mind around.  Even today, I ate homemade pizza with my grandparents and then they made chicken salad sandwiches, potato salad, and salad for dinner (ha lots of salads).  It’s like I still have trouble processing eating those two (again, in my mind) big meals consecutively, which is frustrating.  Something’s wrong with me.  I feel like an alien. :/

So here we have reached the dilemma.  I’m happy and comfortable with what I’m doing in my recovery.  Even if I don’t meet the advised caloric intake per day, I feel fulfilled and healthy.  The question I keep asking myself is, do I still need to consider upping my intake just to meet a health standard?  Or do I measure myself with how I feel?

Note to self

Chill out.

(I mean that literally and metaphorically – this humidity is disgusting!)

Kristine, you are not an Olympic athlete, and that has never been one of your aspirations so stop being hard on yourself.  You’re doing something, which is always better than nothing.

I know recovery is hard and attempting to lose weight the healthy way is a challenge, especially when you have a disordered voice nagging you all the while.  But stick with it and stop with the negative self-talk because what this is really all about is feeling good.  How can you do that if you let all these negative (and untrue!) thoughts into your heard?

Think of all the unhealthy things you don’t do since you’ve come home.  You don’t drink alcohol.  You don’t go out to the bars on a regular basis.  You don’t eat fast food ever.  You rarely eat junk food.  You don’t drink any sugary or artificially based drinks.  Quite frankly, you don’t miss any of it.

Now think of all the healthy things you do.  You prepare and eat three balanced meals a day.  You drink lots of water.  You beat your Dunkin Donuts addiction.  You exercise moderately.  You get eight hours of sleep every night.  You’re managing to take some much needed “me” time without isolating.  You write.  You draw.  You read.  You daydream.

Reflect on that for a minute.  When was the last time you’ve done any of these things for a prolonged period of time?  And not only that, but at the same time?!  This is huge.

So please, cut yourself some slack and acknowledge the changes you’ve made.  You’re doing great.