Protein+Fat=Happy Caronae

Today’s Happy Note: Crossing things off my to do list. ¬†I still have a lot to get done before this insane weekend, but I’m getting there. ūüôā

PS — Does anyone else add things to their to-do list that you have already done, just so you can experience the joy of crossing it out?

Marathon Training: Yesterday I did four and a half miles, with an easy mile and a half warm-up, 4x (400 fast/400 easy), and a mile cool down. ¬†It wasn’t terrible, but I just felt weak. ¬†Today, even more so. I feel lightheaded,blurry vision, etc. No idea what is going on, but I’ll be sure to monitor things and be careful.

I had my super easy yoga class today. We literally sat on chairs half the time and stretched. ¬†I’m taking it very easy this week, so this was perfectly acceptable.

I never told you about my endocrine visit on Monday! The doctor was extremely nice and extremely knowledgeable. ¬†She also seemed obscenely young (early thirties?) for a faculty practitioner (meaning she is a professor) which made me a bit nervous. ¬†She was very thorough. ¬†We talked about everything — diet, exercise, hormones, habits, genetics, blood sugar, endocrine/metabolic systems. ¬†She is running a really broad panel of tests to see if there is something significantly wrong. ¬†If nothing is found, then the “answer” is simply going to be that I have a little bit of a weird metabolic/hormonal system.

I am not freaking out as much as I was before though because of two things:

1. She basically told me that my weight “problem” actually isn’t a problem. ¬†Because of my healthy diet and exercise choices, being a few pounds over the recommended weight for my height isn’t a big deal. ¬†She was actually really soothing/comforting in this regard.

2. I have been making a conscious effort to eat more fat and protein lately and have lost seven pounds.  My period just ended, so some of this might be hormonal/water weight.  But still, seven pounds is a good chunk of my overall body weight.  I am hoping that continuing this eating pattern will help me lose a few more pounds.  But if not, I am not going to freak out.

I promise. ūüôā

So what have I been eating of late?

One carb I REFUSE to get rid of is oats (above: 1/4 C with 1/2 serving vanilla protein powder, 1 C vanilla soymilk, chopped apple, and walnuts). ¬†Other than that, I am not eating too many grains. ¬†And I am not giving up carbs entirely either. ¬†I kind of love them. ūüėČ ¬†I’m just making sure to reduce them and then pair them with more fat and protein.

One trap I have fallen into in the past is eating more protein without reducing carbs. ¬†That just results in more overall calories, which isn’t going to help anybody. ¬†Unless you are trying to gain weight, obviously.

Other eats:

Squash “pizza.” ¬†In reality this was actually a squash bowl stuffed with veggies, ground beef, and cheese. ¬†I cut it into little slices and ate it like a pizza though, which made it 10x more fun.

Really random lunch with two mini corn tortillas (which aren’t that good; I wanted wraps and thought these would be good since they were smaller, but they are dry), almond butter, carrots, and a protein cake (a la April) made with peanut flour and cocoa powder with PB.

Dinner was full of fat, veggies, and protein.   Exactly how I like it!  I used a base of pumpkin puree, topped that with ground beef/mushrooms/carrots and brussel sprouts/broccoli cooked in EVOO.  Enough to feed one small army OR one hungry Caronae.

I have heard a lot of different research about diets higher in proteins/fats. ¬†Some of what I have seen has indicated that a diet high in protein/fat, even of the saturated variety (think whole milk, meat, butter) is not harmful. ¬†I tend to agree with this with the caveat that people have very different metabolic/digestive systems with very different needs (I talked about my wants and needs with ¬†my diet in Monday’s post). ¬†I think that it isn’t animal fat or protein that’s killing us/making us obese, but processed crap full of chemicals, like candy bars and pop and snack foods.

I think that there is evidence on both sides of the spectrum, at the moment.  In my opinion, this just furthers my conclusion that different people are suited to different diets.

On the horizon the next few days: CRAZY INSANELY BUSY Caronae.  I promise to post before the marathon though.  Is anyone interested in tracking me/coming out to cheer and wants to know my number?

If so, email me!  I know a few bloggies have already mentioned that they would like to know, but I have lost track.  So please leave a comment/email me and I will let you know.

T-4 days!  Ahhhhhh!!!!!

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We Can’t All Be Julia Child

Today’s Happy Note: Meeting my new students! ¬†I volunteer with high schoolers in NYC public schools and love it. ¬†Some of them told me that I have really strong arms and legs, randomly. ¬†I guess all my strength training and running pay off (although in reality the benefit for me is mostly mental — I want to look fit, but I don’t have a pathological need to “look good” — I’m past that stage, thank God)!

Marathon Training: During my hilly 9-miler this morning, I realized that my half-marathon on Saturday is not gonna be easy. ¬†I have already run 39 miles this week and will probably do 3 or so tomorrow. ¬†Saturday will include the half-mary plus an extra 5 for a grand total of 18 and 60 for the whole week. Wow. ¬†Holy crap. ¬†That’s a lot of miles.

I need new shoes just thinking about it.

Today was another super busy day of running, classes, therapy, more classes, volunteering and….law school fair! This probably sounds really boring to you, but applying to law school is actually something I’m genuinely excited about. Every time I find a new school that seems fun and vibrant and has good programs in the areas I’m interested in, I add it to The List. The List is getting bigger every day.

I haven’t felt so thrilled about most big changes or decisions in my life. ¬†But, like my decision to leave school in the second half of my sophomore year, this is just something that I feel clearly and simply right about. In my heart.

All this is to say that my life is crazy busy right now, just like so many of your lives!  And I want to share with you my favorite easy dinners (and easy dinner-making tips) for when life gets like this.

Sometimes I get home at 8 or 9 and I. Do. Not. Want. To. Cook.

Chopping vegetables and coming up with complicated fish marinades can be relaxing. ¬†But not when you haven’t eaten in six hours and you’re ready to eat the damn non-stick pan you’re cooking with.

Speedy-but-healthy weeknight dinner tips:

  1. Do not fear the afternoon snack. I always have one between three and five. ¬†Usually something relatively large. ¬†A good afternoon snack means that you’ll have the time and energy to prepare a tasty, healthy dinner.
  2. If you can, prep your vegetables on the weekend.  I like to either make a giant stir-fry over the weekend or just cut up a few cups of sliced carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, or whatever is in season and in my fridge!
  3. Simple does not necessarily mean bad. ¬†When you’re pressed for time and money, fancy is rarely an option, in fact. ¬†Pick simple proteins and fats. Don’t buy a live lobster or a 10 pound complicated rack of lamb. ¬†Some of my favorite choices: eggs, hummus and cheese, salmon (cooks quickly!), natural/organic deli turkey, canned beans, canned tuna, quinoa, frozen pre-cooked shrimp, extra firm tofu, and nut butters, of course. ¬†You can spice up a simple protein relatively easily and quickly.
  4. You don’t need a lot of equipment but the essentials are, well, essential. ¬†A cutting board (or a very sturdy plastic plate that I may or may not use as a cutting board), a good knife, a measuring cup, a glass mixing bowl or two, a good spatula, a wooden spoon, a pot, and a non-stick pan.
  5. Invest in some spices and sauces that you can throw into a dish to take it to the next level: salsa, hummus, peanut vinaigrette, green chiles, lemon pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, seedy mustard, guacamole, etc.

And without further ado, easy weeknight dinners in pictures!

I tend to go for easy stir-fry comobs. ¬†This was the one I mentioned yesterday — broccoli, onion, sweet potato, tofu, and peanut sauce. ¬†I paired it with some TJ’s carrot ginger soup. ¬†Soups, provided that they’re low in sodium and don’t have crazy ingredients, can be great sides or main dishes if you add in some fillers.

Sweet potatoes are really easy to steam in the microwave! ¬†I topped mine with turkey here, but you can also use beans, greek yogurt, nut butter — whatever. ¬†Paired with a side salad, dinner was good to go.

Sometimes you just need a Smoothie In A Bowl for dinner. ¬†Throw on some granola and nuts for toppings to make it heartier. ¬†And pair it with a side salad if you’re weird like I am and don’t mind veggies with your smoothie.

Omelets or egg scrambles are always a good choice! Tonight I had one stuffed with broccoli, green pepper, and cheddar, with a bowl of oatmeal on the side.  Breakfast for dinner is usually quick and always tasty!

These have all been dinners from just this week. ¬†It’s easier than you think to be creative but tasty. ¬†Inexpensive yet healthy.

Some of my other favorite weekday dinners include quinoa with beans mixed in, salmon baked up with soy sauce, ginger, maple and roasted veggies, whole grain pasta with marinara and local grass-fed ground beef, wraps with avocado, hummus, spinach, and tuna…the list goes one.

Your favorite quick and easy dinners?

Because let’s face it. ¬†We can’t all be Julia Child all the time.

I have more exciting (and important) things to do than cook dinner.  BUT I still want to be nourished and satisfied. These tips and dinners fit the bill.

Rough Night+Chocolate

Today’s Happy Note: Pandora. ¬†Customizable music stations? ¬†No CDs or MP3s or iPods? ¬†I can listen to whatever I want when I’m studying? ¬†Me likes.

Marathon Training: Yoga class today followed by an easy 4-miler, with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile. Yoga was slow but nice; I definitely felt my legs and hips opening and stretching. ¬†The run was slooooowww. ¬†This is a pattern, following speedwork or long runs, that I have just come to accept. ¬†Meh.

Tonight was rough. Rough. ¬†It started when I decided not to go to my last class. ¬†Then I felt guilty. ¬†Then the guilt was compounded by stress because my INR is too low. ¬†Then there was a laundry fiasco. ¬†Then I was so hangry I almost ate my ears off. ¬†Then the printer wasn’t working properly. ¬†And now my whole left forearm itches.

Blech blech blech.

I’m drowning my sorrows in hulu, some frozen yogurt, and, per my mom’s advice, maybe a bit of meditation.

There is school work to be done. ¬†And it ain’t happenin’ tonight.

So I’m settling into my bed, with my crossword puzzle and some tea.

After blogging, of course. ūüôā

Leftover stir-fry topped with avocado.  This stir-fry consisted of sweet potato, onion, broccoli, EVOO, salt and pepper, ginger, tofu, and peanut sauce.  This is one of my fave stir-fry combos ever.

Do you have any fave stir-fry combos?

I reappropriated my leftovers into dinner too! ¬†I wanted to make something else but was too hungry to wait. ¬†Do you ever feel to hungry to cook? ¬†this time, I put the stir-fry into a cup of TJ’s carrot ginger soup with two big handfuls of spinach and ate it stew-style! ¬†Also very successful.

Sometimes I get fro yo and then bring it home and add my own toppings. ¬†Shhhh, don’t tell. ¬†You can’t even see the yogurt under my mess of toppings! ¬†It was half mango/half plain topped with dark chocolate, coconut, and TJ’s cat cookies.

Other food highlights of late:

Chocolate.

Chocolate.

More chocolate.

USB may or may not have given me not one but two boxes of chocolates last weekend.  Did I mention that he wrote me a poem tonight?

Um, yeah.

He’s a keeper, I’m pretty sure.

Goodnight friends! Hopefully when I see you tomorrow I’ll be less stressed! ¬†And happy almost-end-the-week!

Super Spectacular Really Good Yummy Pancakes

Today’s Happy Note: Spending time with my wonderful cousin before she moves to San Francisco.

Today felt both really busy and really lazy, at the same time.  Do you ever have days like that?  Sort of an odd feeling, I guess, but also kind of pleasant, because I wind up feeling both energized and relaxed.  I spent the morning making (and consuming) awesome pancakes,  the afternoon teaching a band of very sweet high schoolers, late afternoon with my cousin and her husband and then LSAT studying (mostly the dreaded logic games), and the evening working out.  I squeezed some grocery store shopping and tv watching in there and that was my day!

I like to procrastinate my schoolwork until Sundays. ūüôā

Let’s start with the pancakes!

I made these up on the spot and they turned out splendiferous. ¬†They were soft on the inside (that “ohmygoshthisissopillowy soft” not that “thisissosoftitmustberaw soft”) but crisp on the outside. ¬†Thick, with plenty of volume. ¬†And made with totally wholesome ingredients, and not a lot of added sugar at all. ¬†Basically, these are love, in protein pancake form (I am only calling them “protein pancakes” because the “base” is mostly protein-y and not carby — they are not some weird health food or anything, I promise!)

I was stupid and didn’t measure things out precisely or write the measurements down but this is roughly what it was:

1/4 C peanut flour (yes, I know this is a blog “fad” but it is an awesome fad that I actually like)

2 Tbsp oats

1 scoop vanilla hemp/whey protein powder (half serving)

1/2 Tsp baking powder

1/2 Tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp flax meal

1 whole egg

1/4 C pumpkin

Water (as needed) to thin out

Earth Balance or butter, to coat the pan with

Combine all dry ingredients, then add in wet ingredients until pancake-consistency is achieved (I know, I am really scientific). ¬†Heat the butter in the pan (you don’t need more than a teaspoon, at most) and when it starts to pop, dollop on your batter. ¬†I made three generous ‘cakes.

Top with more butter, real maple syrup, and fruit or nuts of choice.  I used sesame almonds!

Don’t let this up close picture fool you. ¬†These pancakes are generous. ¬†Also, far more nuts than that were involved. ūüôā

This morning meal made my day. ¬†Bonus: it kept me full for five hours of teaching bleary-eyed high school seniors. I needed a meal with some serious stamina and this was it! ¬†I have not made a “real” weekend breakfast in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is. ¬†It’s nice not to have oats or yogurt or a smoothie for once! ¬†Mmmmm. ¬†Now I just need some bacon and we’ll be all set…

I got home from my afternoon shenanigans around 6:00. ¬†I was technically supposed to run 8-10 miles, since I had skipped out on yesterday’s run, and tomorrow’s run isn’t going to be very long (10-12 miles). ¬†But I just was not feeling it. ¬†I don’t think it was a matter of laziness, either. ¬†It was a matter of “I need to have some oatmeal with nut butter and lie on my bed and read blogs and snuggle up in my fleece blanket right now“, in all actuality. ¬†And so that’s exactly what I did.

I find it sort of odd that oats with nut butter and melted dark chocolate and maple syrup are my comfort food.  But hey, there are worse things.  These are all whole foods.  Delicious whole foods.

What’s your idea of comfort food?

BUT after a few hours of winding down, which my brain/body needed, I felt ready for a workout. ¬†Normally, I am an all-or-nothing girl and I either feel like I have to “waste” my day by eating poorly and not working out or have a hardcore workout and eating perfectly. ¬†Silly, right? ¬†By this point, I genuinely wanted to run, but was feeling anxious about it, because of said all-or-nothing mindset. I felt like, “how can I go run now if I have been lazy all evening? ¬†Aren’t the two mutually exclusive???” ¬†Um, no. ¬†Duh, Caronae.

I ended up having a lovely workout! ¬†I lifted (arms and abs) for about 30 minutes then ran a slow, easy five miles, which was exactly what my body needed. ¬†Sometimes I just need my brain to shut-up so that I can listen to my body. ūüôā

All in all, a lovely Saturday.

And I’m looking forward to making tomorrow a lovely Sunday. ¬†And then having a lovely week.

Thanks for your support yesterday about my “busyness” — for lack of a better word. ¬†I truly don’t think I could do it without you all as friends. ūüôā

On the schedule for Run Write Therapy Life this week:

~Long run (tomorrow)/Long run eats

~Easy college student dinners

~Mental/Physical Health Intersections

~A fun announcement about the site

Should be a fun week!  Stay tuned, friends.  Goodnight for now!

Awesome Speed Workout/Awesome Food

Today’s Happy Note: finding pomegranate tea again! ¬†Haven’t had any in so very long, and it is one of my favorite herbal teas. ¬†It was accompanied by lovely conversation, more importantly!

I have to be a speed blogger tonight (haha, NOT my forte — I like talking, in case you haven’t noticed) because USB is coming to visit. ¬†It is going to be such a nice night for a walk!

Marathon Training: I really wanted to do my speed workout and weights today, for some reason. ¬†I knew there was no way both were going to happen before work, since I didn’t go to bad until after 2 (bad Caronae!). ¬†I start work at 11 on Fridays. ¬†This is sad, I know.

I tend to become more of a morning person as the semester wears on, oddly enough.  Anyways, I dragged myself out of bed at 10 and headed to the gym for a half hour of arm weights. Sometimes a half an hour is all you need to get your muscles nice and sore!

I followed that up with a delicious, steamy, spicy chai tea latte (made with soy — I was not feeling the dairy today) and an apple with honey PB:

A delicious bite of cinnamon roll from the guys at the mail room was also had ūüôā

I am fully aware that the icing on my hands in this picture does NOT look like icing.  It is, I swear.

I had a late afternoon lunch-snack of a chocolate chip muffin, in honor of Cookie Friday. ¬†Sometimes I think muffins are better than cookies. ¬†I think they *might* be my favorite baked good! ¬†Shhh, don’t tell the cookies that I told you that.

I came home after work and lazed around. ¬†I just did not want to start my run at all. ¬†I was feeling very grey, I suppose. ¬†I finally had a Luna Bar and got my butt out the door around 6:00, only because I knew that if I waited any longer it would be dark by the time I finished and I didn’t want to get mugged in the northern end of CP (which is a wee bit isolated/quiet at night).

The run ended up being wonderful! I felt really fast and strong and smooth. ¬†Some runs you just get into a rhythm and other runs…well, you don’t. ¬†I definitely found my groove today, which was nice after Wednesday’s sucky run.

2 Miles warm-up (10:00-10:30 min/mile pace)

4 x (1 mile “Cruise” Pace, 1/4 mile easy)

2 Miles cool down, easy

I don’t know what the difference is, necessarily, between “fast” and “cruise” and “tempo” and “speed.” ¬†And to be honest, I don’t particularly care. ¬†I have a few paces: 8:30, 9:00, 10:00, and slower than 10:00. ¬†I go based on how I feel. ¬†I think that the important thing for me is just practicing speeding up, learning how to move my legs faster. ¬†I definitely accomplished that today — I would say I was maybe running 8:45s? ¬†Hard to tell, but I worked hard and felt fast on the miles, so I was happy! ūüôā Nine miles in total.

Dinner later on was the giant burrito that I wanted yesterday but didn’t let myself have!

What, you don’t have your giant burrito with a side of steamed broccoli and roasted carrots/okra doused in TJS spicy peanut vinaigrette?

Inside the burrito: green peppers/onions, pinto beans, barbacoa meat (beef), corn salsa, a little cheese, lots of lettuce. ¬†It needed some spicier salsa, but other than that it was divine! ¬†If you ask really nicely at Chipotle, they’ll let you have the peppers/onions (which are normally for the vegetarian burritos) instead of rice. ¬†Rice+burrito+beans would be way too many carbohydrates for me to handle at once.

I love having the options of multiple fats at Chipotle: cheese, sour cream, or guacamole.  Do not fear the fats ladies!

I had a few squares of plain TJs dark chocolate after dinner (which I learned form Averie’s post today might be Scharffen Berger????), followed by about five gallons of water — I can always tell when I haven’t had enough to drink throughout the day based on how thirsty I am in the evenings!

Now onto a little activity inspired by the lovely Janetha G.! A few days ago she did a list of her favorite food for each letter of the alphabet. ¬†I got really bored in Harlem Renaissance Literature the other day and started my own. ūüôā

This is a really fun and oddly soothing thing to do. ¬†I might just have to go back and expand the list one day so that I can include all my favorite foods. ¬†For example, I feel like “avocados” and “almond butter” got left out on A. ¬†I don’t want to exclude anybody!

A: apples

B: bananas

C: cupcakes

D: dark chocolate

E: eggs

F: fish

G: gaz (a Persian candy made with rosewater and pistachio and AMAZINGNESS)

H: hummus

I: Indian

J: jumbo shrimp

K: kiwi

L: linguine

M: muffins

N: nuts

O: oats

P: peanut butter (duh)

Q: quinoa (blended, preferably)

R: raspberries

S: spinach

T: tofu

U: upside down cake (it’s a tradition in my dad’d family — a tasty, tasty tradition)

V: vanilla

W: whey protein

X: xantham gum

Y: yogurt (especially2% plain Greek)

Z: zucchini bread

Thanks for the idea Janetha!

What is your favorite baked good?

How do you know when a run (or workout) is good?

Therapy Thoughts: Body Hatred

Today’s Happy Note: Had a wonderful little “me” day. ¬†I did what I wanted — lifted weights, tried some new recipes, ¬†had an amazing, teary, breakthrough therapy sesh, baked, napped, and read. ¬†I took care of me in a way that I haven’t done in a while.

Marathon Training: I made it through 8 hilly miles yesterday.  My legs felt very tight for some reason, and no amount of stretching breaks seemed to help.  Meh.  At least it got done.  The general arc of my training plan is the same from week to week:

Sunday: long run

Monday: rest (weights/cross train/yoga)

Tuesday: speed work

Wednesday: short, easy run with 100 meter strides (3-5 miles)

Thursday: medium long run with hills

Friday: rest (weights/cross train/yoga)

Saturday: short, easy run (4-6 miles)

Pretty straightforward, no? ¬†It has been working for me quite well, minus the nagging pain in the back left hip. ¬†I have been making sure to rest and stretch. ¬†I suppose I could ice as well (the guys at one of the delis near me have been giving me small bags of ice that fit in my freezer for a dollar!!!!!). ¬†In the next one or two weeks, I plan on adding a sixth day of running in, probably on Fridays, just 3-6 easy miles. ¬†I will hit 41 miles this week, and would like to inch up to 50-55 over the next month, until mid-October when I “peak”, then taper. ¬†I have done a great job of increasing mileage slowly — I started around 25. ¬†I just think it is going to be very hard to get to 50-55 miles per week on 5 days of running. ¬†As long as the hip isn’t bothering me too much, I think I will take it up to six.

Thoughts? ¬†Anyone trained on six days a week before? ¬†What has been your peak mileage, if you’re a runner?

I know I have hit 55 before, maybe even 58-60.   I am definitely capable of it.  I went ahead and took the rest day today.  I lifted weights for an hour or so, which felt great.

I came home and had my first-ever blended hot cereal creation a la Katie!

Okay, so I freely admit that it does not look like the most appetizing thing you have ever seen. ¬†But holy amazing. This was easily the best way I have ever eaten my breakfast grains! I made a big batch of quinoa last night. ¬†This morning I used about 1.5 servings — I simply dumped it in the blender, added about another 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, a generous sprinkling of cinnamon, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. ¬†Then I blended and tossed in a sprinkle of xantham gum. ¬†When it was thoroughly blended, I poured it into a bowl and heated, then topped with sunbutter.

I thought I loved grains before. ¬†I think I might be in love with them now. ¬†This just took it to the next level. ¬†Hello creaminess, volume, and gloriousness. ¬†You must try this, if you are a breakfast grain eater (and who isn’t???).

Thank you Chocolate-Covered Katie! You’re my whole-grain hero.

Other food endeavors today involved Angela’s salt-kissed chunky PB chocolate chip cookies. ¬†I didn’t end up kissing them with salt though, as I am not a huge salt fan. ¬†I also subbed AB for the PB and used an egg instead of the canola oil, which worked fine. ¬†I didn’t mean to de-veganize it, but I had no canola oil and thought EVOO would taste weird.

The verdict?  I loved them!  These cookies managed to do something few cookies can do: they tasted healthy and earthy and not overly-sweet, but were also indulgent and satisfying. Cookie perfection, pretty much.

Bonus: they’re super easy — those two bowls contained all the ingredients (minus the chocolate chips). ¬†I’m pretty sure a 12 year old boy could do this.

The dough was really fun to shape into balls. ¬†I added about a billion extra chocolate chips. ūüôā

I enjoyed one warm and fresh with vanilla almond milk. ¬†This was one of the best Cookie Friday’s ever!

Lots of delicious food today — my mind and body feel nourished!

Onto heavier things…(FYI: this post is heavily focused on weight and body image — if these things are upsetting to you or not helpful in your recovery, please please please skip this section).

Therapy Thoughts

Today was a wonderful, amazing, painful breakthrough day. ¬†It hurt very, very much. ¬†It might have been the most pain I have ever felt during the moment of therapy, but afterwards, I felt like this giant burden was gone from me. Like a little bird had carried it away, across a mountain, never to return again. ¬†Today was sort of like a raging river, with no bridge across it: I had to go through it to get to the other side. ¬†There was no alternate route, no detour. ¬†The river was big and scary and it hurt. ¬†I felt like I was going to drown. ¬†But L was there with me. ¬†It was sort of like I knew I couldn’t drown with her there, but I came as close to drowning as one can — I could feel the water welling up against all the sides of me.

That was dramatic.  But today was a dramatic day, obviously.  One that I need very much to write about and share with you all.

Today was the day that I finally completely and totally opened up to L (and myself, in a way) about my body-hatred and my struggles with my weight and my eating.  I have always been open with you guys, but never to this extent.  In fact, there are some things about this journey that I have not and probably will not tell you all.   Forgive me.  The body is the most personal space.

The anguish I feel over my weight (which is approximately 10-15 pounds above what I would ideally like it to be right now, and a few pounds above the uppermost limit of the “healthy” BMI) is greater than any other anguish I feel (0r have felt) in my life. ¬†There is nothing that makes me want to die as much as the shape and size of my body does.

I feel tremendous guilt over this; it’s ridiculous. ¬†I am an educated, smart, creative, lovely young person with many many talents and all I can think about is my body, sometimes. ¬†For God’s sake, I study human rights: I know all about the real horrors that are happening in this world (genocide, gang rape, starvation) and my weight is not one of them.

As I spoke with L — sobbed to her is more accurate, actually — she was simultaneously gentle and compassionate and firm and serious. ¬†It was a miraculous combination. ¬†Somehow, in some way, her responses made it clear to me the ways in which I am judging myself. ¬†And it isn’t very nice. ¬†I would never, ever even think these things about another person. ¬†So why is it that my 15 extra pounds incapacitate me? ¬†Why do I feel morally reprehesnible and irresponsible and disgusting?

Well, of course, I don’t know exactly why I have come to feel this way — why this is the only way I have understood my body, since early adolescence. ¬†Maybe it is related to the face that I am not (and never will be) naturally thin. ¬†That is simply not the way I am built. ¬†I have spent the last five years trying to change that. ¬†Recovering from the pulmonary embolism has showed me that life isn’t fair. ¬†My body isn’t fair. ¬†I eat well. ¬†Sometimes I overeat. ¬†But I can run ultramarathons. ¬†I can run 50 miles a week and lift weights and do yoga. ¬†I love vegetables. ¬†So why me? ¬†I think “why me” is the wrong question and “when can I start loving myself regardless of the shape of my body” is the right question.

I have never actually been suicidal, but I have wanted to die.  Because of my body.  What is this world coming to that someone as talented and smart as I am wants to die because of the way she looks?  More importantly, what is happening in my world that makes me want to die because of my looks?

Between the now-uncontrolled PCOS (I can not take hormones now or ever again because of the PE), the sudden ending of the birth control pills, the stress, the physical recovery, and a few other things, my body is out of whack right now. ¬†There are, quite simply, things beyond my control. ¬†As I was sitting on the couch, rocking back and forth,. holding my face in my hands, so distraught that I couldn’t speak — I realized, clearly and distinctly, that I have to change the way I think about my body. ¬†Certainly there are moments when I like myself, physically. ¬†But there are many more moments where I despise my thighs or my breasts or my neck or the space just above my elbow.

And these moments are only hurting me more.  Now that I say it out loud, it sounds obvious.  But hating myself only sucks out more energy and makes me feel worse.  These 15 pounds do not represent my life.  I am so much more than 15 fucking pounds.

FYI: I am NOT suicidal, by any means, at this moment. ¬†If you think you need help, please get help — you deserve to live. I have a list of resources on my Mental Health page, here. Although I am NOT a health professional, you are always welcome to email me as well.

Day 2: Adjusting

Today’s Happy Note: I had an interesting class this evening! ¬†Score. ¬†So far I have felt mostly sleepy and bored in school, but I think it’s just my body/mind transitioning back into student mode. ¬†The one this evening was called Narrative and Human Rights. ¬†Cool, no?

I only had two classes today. ¬†I have three, normally, but Iyengar Yoga doesn’t start until next week. ¬†I’m pretty excited about it! ¬†Confession: I feel asleep about eight times in my seminar this morning. ¬†It’s the same slightly crazy prof I wrote about yesterday. ¬†I have the pleasure of having him for two classes. ¬†Happy happy joy joy. ¬†He seems interesting though, and most definitely knowledgeable. ¬†The problem is that he is so knowledgeable that he spends the entire class talking about the background to the background of the history of the material he’s teaching. ¬†That doesn’t even make sense but I swear that’s what he does.

Harumph.

Marathon Training: Wednesday’s are usually an “easy” day on my plan. ¬†Today consisted of four sloooooowwwww miles with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile. ¬†I took advantage of my very open day to squeeze in 40 minutes of weights at the gym too (arms/abs). ¬†I always forget how much I walk during school days. ¬†I probably did about 3 miles walking today as well.

Eats:

Gloppy-looking 1/3 cup of oats with a fresh peach and an invisible scoop of sunbutter (~2 tablespoons).

Snacky day (also had another spoonful pb).

Lunch! ¬†Don’t let this innocent looking smoothie fool you; it has four servings of produce! ¬†Frozen berries, half a banana, spinach, and cucumber slices (plus almond milk and vanilla protein powder). ¬†I really liked it, but it needed ice. ¬†This is one of the great dilemmas of my life: my mini fridge freezer is too small for an ice tray. I need ice in my life. ¬†I crave it — I chew on it (I know it’s a terrible habit) and think it makes smoothies infinitely better. ¬†I can easily go through a whole tray in one smoothie.

So now my life (and my smoothies) are iceless. ¬†I don’t know what to do. ¬†Help! ¬†Anyone have any ice-making solutions?

I did indeed bring my own nut butter to The Lite Choice (in my defense, I only had the AB in my bag because I was on my way back from WF).

Stir fry leftovers (shrimp, rainbow chard, yellow squash, broccoli,  yellow pepper, coconut, peanut dressing) with brown rice for dinners.  Just had some hot cocoa to end the day, with a little dark chocolate melted in (my favorite way to eat it).

I feel like this is a good, healthy intake for a day of moderate exercise. ¬†I can never tell if I am eating too little, enough, or enough. Eating is a funny thing because every body is different. I am proud of myself, though, for trying to figure out what works for me. ¬†I feel pretty good right now, like I had enough but not too much. ¬†I don’t want to fall into the comparison trap, so I try to think of my eating only in terms of myself — also, I need to remember that most of my friends and peers are not training for a marathon and running 40-50 miles a week right now. ¬†So when I’m with friends and they don’t snack after dinner (or after lunch, or after breakfast, or after snack, or…), I need to not freak out and think I’m being weird or overeating. ¬†I just need to remember to listen to my body. ¬†It gets easier everyday that I do it. ūüôā

I hope you all had splendid, happy Wednesdays!

FYI, L has been on vacation so I’ll be at therapy on Friday this week. ¬†Thereafter I *think* I’ll be switching to Thursdays for the rest of the semester.

Goodnight friends!

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