That’s it. I’ve finally come to the point at which you realize if you don’t force yourself to be motivated, to get out there and climb that mountain you’ve been trying to weasel your way around, you’re never going to reach the peak. Tonight (or this morning, however you care to look at it), I have decided to face that obstacle. Starting tonight, I am turning my life around and getting healthy again.
Looking back, I have oh so many reasons to get in shape, so what’s holding me back? I have so many ridiculous fears - will I ever be the size I want, will it happen quickly, will I be healthy losing all the weight - and they’ve all kept me from doing little more than running every now and then (about once a month). I’ve had it. I’m tired of being held back by these fears. So what if I never fit into a size five pair of jeans? So what if it takes me a year, or deities forbid, even two? So long as I make sure I’m getting all the vitamins and minerals my body needs, and so long as I don’t push myself over the top at first, I should be fine.
Now, I’m not about to go off calling myself the F-word, because let’s face it, I’m not fat. I’m not out to get skinny either. I’m striving to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m out to get healthy. Being lost somewhere in between the two extremes would be fine by me. Granted, that’s about where I’m at now, but there’s a big difference between being 160-ish pounds of the F-word and 160-ish pounds of muscle.
I want to see a day where I can finally run a mile without stopping. I want to know the feeling of real energy, not the stuff derived from a can of Red Bull or a shot of 5 Hour Energy. I want to have a shape that I can be proud of. I want to feel beautiful.
So, Tumblr, here’s my promise to you - I will get healthy again, even if it takes the rest of my life. I mean, honestly, if I don’t make myself do it, who will?
A reflection on the last year
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but now that it’s February, I can officially mark the one year mark since I changed my lifestyle.
One year ago, I weighed 98 pounds. I will never say I had an eating disorder, but I was not eating enough, and the bulk of my diet consisted of sweets. I sat around during the day and did not do my school work while endlessly trying to appease a boyfriend who wasn’t happy. In February, my roommate asked me if I wanted to join a fitness boot camp with her. As it turns out, she dropped the course after the first week, but I stayed on for four. The coaches really encouraged us to eat right and commit to being there every single night, and even though I had to drive and finally branch out in a city I was not comfortable with, I went every single day, and I busted my ass. I went to the grocery store that first night after boot camp and bought all of the green vegetables and lean meats imaginable. I started tracking my intake to ensure I was eating enough of the right things. Before I knew it, the coaches were using me as motivation for the guys to get it in gear, because I was the fastest and the most dedicated. I was the model student. I loved the positive feedback and the changes I was seeing in my body.
Unfortunately, boot camp was only $40 for a month of training because of a groupon. The going rate was $120 per month, and I had no interest in paying for that, so I started going to the gym. I looked up exercises on bodybuilding.com and connected with my then-boyfriend over working out. I also decided that at this point, I was at a dangerously low weight, and it occurred to me one day that my ribs were extremely visible. I took a serious log of my calories every day, and it turned out that since I started eating lower calorie foods, and not a larger amount, I was not eating enough. And that’s when I decided to eat everything in sight and get to a healthy place.
I stopped working out regularly over the summer due to a ridiculous school and commuting schedule that conflicted with my ability to be in a healthy relationship with my ex, and my life was up in the air. In August, I started powerlifting. And in September, the ex boyfriend and I broke up, which allowed for me to focus on things other than salvaging a failed and unhealthy relationship.
To date, I’ve gained 14 pounds, and I have a healthy relationship with food and a love for weight training. I am known as the little girl in the squat rack (which I found out recently at an Underoath concert). I started this blog to hold myself accountable, and I can honestly say that it’s done so much more than that. It helped to put me in a good place mentally. It allowed me to meet some incredible people that I am now ‘real life internet friends’ with. And I’ve been able to interact with so many people from so many different walks of life.
I also reformed my study habits. I have an abysmal GPA, but last semester I ended with a 3.6, and I was able to bring my GPA up to a point where I think, as long as I finish strong, I can make a case for getting into medical school. It’s something that, after I erase the fear of failure, I grow more excited about every day.
I’ve gotten really excited about cooking and getting my eating habits back on track lately. I’ve subscribed to a lot of e-mail lists that send recipes, I’ve been poring through my Clean Eating magazines, and trolling through online forums for more food ideas. I’ve finally accepted that last semester was a lot different than this semester is going to be. I was getting over a bad relationship by investing my energy into what I had hoped was a new one. I didn’t spend a lot of time alone. This semester, I’m going to be alone more and I’m going to work harder. I don’t need to be around people to be happy.
I feel like I’ve come really far in the last year, and I’m honestly proud of my progress. Thank you to those of you who have been there with me through it all, and to those of you who continue to be. I can’t wait to see what changes occur in my life in the next year.
My new life goal is to become a filthy rich sellout of a novelist, so I can buy airfare for all of you, rent a convention room at the Holiday Inn, bring in a temporary bowling setup, and something to game and watch movies on the projection screen and we can have a stunning party which we will all write off as a business trip.
next tour i’m going to every single one of their shows in australia
next tour i’m going to line up at 2am for every single one
next tour i’m going to be at the front with my favourite people
next tour i’m going to have a tour jacket, just like chris’
next tour i’m going to be really happy because it’s going to be amazing and everything will be absolutely perfect :)
oh my god
I ran for a minute and a half without stopping. Twice. I’m in awe, oddly close to tears over something that should be so easy for basically everyone.
except I literally can’t think of a time when I was ever able to run for a minute and a half without stopping, nevermind twice in one session…
Someone asked me why I practice more and let other people practice on me even when I know most will have a problem with me (like in drawing blood).
I gave some politically correct for the situation answer, but here’s the reality: I was in and out of hospitals, specialist appointments, and my gp for about 8 years before I had any answers and 12 years before anyone found a solution that helped me. I can count the number of good doctors I saw on one hand.
I practice because I don’t want to suck at my job, and I’ve seen a lot of doctors who were really, really bad at their jobs. Just because it’s possible to get by in med school without doing something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. You know what your ‘it’ is.
Don’t suck. Improve the state of medicine.
Fasting and Feasting... my thoughts before Lent begins.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from criticism; feast on praise.
Fast from self-pity; feast on joy.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from jealousy; feast on love.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from fear; feast on faith.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
I’ve seen many versions of this, but in essence, it is a call to fast from unhealthy attitudes, ones that do more harm to yourself (and your relationship with God, though that’s not really what I want to make this post about) than good. And so, as lent begins tomorrow, this is what I shall concentrate on.
In Star Wars terms, we should stay away from thoughts and actions that lead to the Dark Side (anger leads to hate and hate leads to the Dark Side). Strive to live in the light. Be happy. Do Good.
I know I have been under a cloud for the last year—pessimistic, self-critical, bitter, discontent. This lenten season, I want to see if I can really morph my attitudes around. Just let the dark things roll off of me, and free my soul from the despair it so often wants to crawl into.
As much as it is in my control, I want to live in the light. Fake it till you make it—I really believe in that. I know so many people see lent as a time to give up something, and to some extent it is. It’s a time to give up something that gets in the way of what is best for you (your soul, and your relationship with God). It is also a time to take on something that can help you grow as a person, be happier, be stronger, whatever it may be.
I, too often, seek my pleasure in food (like chocolate…you understand) where I could be seeking my pleasure in other ways, ways that can help me be happier in the long run instead of the the “now”. When I get bored, I often eat, just to make myself happy. How about when I’m bored, I do something constructive instead?
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my biggest hobbies is photography. It makes me happy, and I’m damn good at it. The satisfaction from getting an A+ on all my assignments in one semester was amazing. It wasn’t anything like in bio where I could cram for the test and make an A, it was actual praise that I could accept because I knew I was good at it, loved what I was doing, and put in the effort that deserved the praise.
Since I graduated, I haven’t even so much as used one of my “real” cameras for many reasons… I was living in my own sadness, cultivating it, and not really doing anything constructive to get myself out of it. I think that if I make the effort and start doing the things I used to love so well again, that I would be happier in the long run as opposed to just expecting my stupid gloomy cloud to just go away. I’m not sure if that will work, since I do have a lot of other issues going on in my head of late. I’m just hoping it will give me a little more control of my own thoughts.
I know I have to study for my upcoming MCAT too, and while I haven’t yet, I know it’s going to be one of those things where as much as I hate to do it now, I will really appreciate having studied once the test comes. It’s like training for any race— you can’t cram for it.
Maybe by the time Easter comes around I’ll be a little happier, a little healthier, and little more sane. Maybe I’ll be able to praise myself.
Here’s what I’m giving up— basically, eating sugary treats for the small amount of pleasure they give me. There’s no point. I think I’ll be stronger if I don’t.
Here’s what I’m taking on— finding joy in activities I used to love, cleaning up my life, striving to be more joyful. I might even go find a church I actually like in this place.
I’m going to work harder for my long-term happiness.
As much as I am able, anyways.
I hope this message is applicable to anyone, too. It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not… I don’t mind if you do or not. Live and let live, and maybe we’ll all be happy in the end. We can all strive to be a little happier, can’t we?