Side Notes: The Long Road

Side Notes: The Long Road

As 2013 comes to a close there is so much that has happened that it’s hard to know where to start.  Every year I create resolutions, or what I deem “goals” (because resolutions seems to put too much pressure on me/us) and it always includes making leaps and bounds towards recovery.

And for once, in the last ten years, I can say I successfully accomplished one of my goals.

In 2011 I said this for 2012:

-Work as hard as I can on my recovery: Moving to a new place is always an adventure to me and I love discovering new things, but my biggest factor that I always have to fight is the loneliness.  When I get lonely I end up eating emotionally which always backfires on me and makes me feel guilty, starting the vicious cycle all over again.  I won’t have my counselor to talk to while I’m up there, so I think this is going to be a test of sorts to really see how much I have recovered, which I know is a lot in the past year.”

In 2012 I said this about 2013:

3. Staying on the Road of Recovery

Notice that it doesn’t say TOWARDS recovery, but OF recovery because truthfully I finally think I have gotten there.  FINALLY. I has taken almost 10 years of some serious hard work in every way shape and form (which you can always read on my Side Notes Page). I probably won’t be writing too many Side Notes now but I’m sure they will pop up occasionally.

It is finally done.  I have finally reached a point where I believe I have 99.9% recovered.  No longer (almost) are days where I worry about every single morsel of food that enters my body, how many calories I’ve ingested and how many miles I’ve run to burn as many calories as possible.

Now, I’m sure you noticed that it does not say 100% and that I ALMOST have no days of these guilty thoughts.  Obviously there are days where I don’t feel completely 100% amazing and wonderful because really, who the heck does?  Uh, no one.  I’m a real person and I’m not going to deny the fact that I have my off days.  I had a few a few weeks ago that had me going a tad bonkers.  I was worried about everything and anything.  I had put so much pressure on myself about how I would look for certain events and performs certain activities that it exploded in my face.

But the difference is, I saw what was happening and stopped it in it’s tracks. I’ve talked in length about how I now have the ability to realize what is going on, how I’m reacting and how to correct in the right way instead of beating/torturing myself over it.  Yeah, I might end up feeling like a fat-a$$ on some days, but within a few hours, I feel fine again. It may come back, but I just fight it off.

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2012 was the turning point for my recovery and had some real impact. I can’t talk enough about how gaining those 10 pounds in Peru helped me realize how my train of thought had been so messed up for so many years.  To finally, FINALLY be able to realize that people will love, care and help you no matter what you look like, how much you weigh, and what you have the ability to accomplish is such a relief! It sounds vein, to believe that everything is about looks and weight, but with our society conforming to the norms we have today, and all the pressure we encounter, it’s hard not to.

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The road to this level of recovery has made me realize how much was taken from me by my eating disorder.  I missed out on so many opportunities and most importantly friends, in the past ten years that it hurts my heart just thinking about it.  There were so many missed opportunities because I was afraid of eating something, not feeling beautiful enough, or believing I simply wasn’t worth it.  My friends have all been amazing to me through the thick and thin of this disease and I literally owe them my life.  They deserve so much more from me for what they have kindheartedly given me over the past ten years.

That is why, this post is for you.  You my readers, many who have become such close friends who I have connected with in real life or only through the internet.  Never have you let me down and let me drag myself back through the dirt to the sad sad place where I used to bury myself. You have always been there to encourage me to get back up on my feet, wipe off the dirt and look up in to the sun and see the birds (haha) and light that I so deserve.  You all deserve just as much love and support from me that I have yet to provide to you and I owe you.  My life would not be what it is today without you.  You may have only commented on my posts once in your life, but been reading for the almost 7 years I’ve been blogging, and it made I difference.  Every comment or email I ever got to encourage me to keep going was so powerful.

You have allowed me to step outside of the box and be who I really am; realize who I can be. Without you I would not be attending USC to earn a professional certificate (maybe even Master’s Degree??) in GIS, making new friends through birding and running, and experiences new place in my new home.  And of course realizing what I have already with who I am is amazing.

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I thank you all for all you have done for me. So this year, the blog is for you. I plan on being there for you and letting you see what my life is now like without the holds of a debilitating eating disorder that kept me from you for years.  I plan on bringing you more enjoyment through the blog rather than what horrible feelings may be developing.  I hope to make you smile with my crazy adventures and anything else I can muster up.  And of course there will be birds. Don’t think I’ll take that away from you.

Thank you again.  I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

Happy 2014!!!!!!

Posted in ED entry, ED Side Note, Home, Side Notes | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Trail Running Time

Soon after the 1/2 marathon was finished I was thinking about the next race I wanted to run. Originally I thought about running the Arizona Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon but after finishing Santa to the Sea, I knew I no longer wanted to do that race.  It just seems too long of a race to train for right now with my body still recovering from the last one.

So instead, I’m taking a step out of my running comfort box and doing a trail race! I have several coworkers and running buddies who love running trails and at first tried to get me to do the 1/2 marathon, but I settled on the 6k race at Boney Mountain instead.

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I am stoked for this race, and extremely terrified all at the same time.  Am I seriously going to do a trail race? The girl who is terrified of anything that might break a bone or strain a muscle?  Oh wait, I am accident prone and run. TA DA! HAHAH!

Anyhow, so I am doing the 6k (4 miles) on the 12th and have a few friends encouraging me to get my butt on the trails and start training. I’m lucky enough to have some hills right in my backyard so yesterday morning bright and early I headed up the hill.  And when I say headed up the hill, I mean I huffed and puffed and walked more than I would like.

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Gotta start somewhere right?  Some of trail I ran was cement lined, which was not quite what I was looking forward to in regards to rough terrain but don’t worry, I found some.  And some stairs that just about killed my butt. Literally.  Luckily on the way up, I saw this guy, who LOVED my camera.

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How funny is he!? Trying to literally fly into my camera! Ok, he was also dodging the dive bombs from another Anna’s Hummingbird nearby too. Poor guy!

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Don’t worry little dude, you’re famous now! Well, as much as he can be with my little rinky dink site!

DSCF0159I made it to the top and it was breathtaking. This is what I miss the most about the field: The Views.  They are SPECTACULAR!  I can’t wait to start exploring more trails around my place and work! And of course there is the awesome weather we have going on here in SoCal..tank top and short in the middle of December? Yes please!

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So I ran from the top of the hill, well, as far as I could get without going into restricted areas, then ran back down all the way to the beach and to the end of the pier!

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All came around full circle! I learned a lot on that run, like how I need to start training more on hills to increase my endurance…and start taping my piriformis because it is pissed this morning. Hills does that every time! Dang it!  Just means I need to start doing more of my strength training!

 

Posted in Running, Trail Running | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Santa to the Sea Half Marathon

Ok, school finally ended last week so I’ll stop complaining about it for the next..three weeks before it starts again. :)  I finished off the semester well enough for now; A in one class, awaiting my final report grade from the second. We shall see!

Anyhow, I ran a half marathon the other weekend?  Did I forget to tell you that? No, I know I complained about my hip and foot along the way!

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Well, just when I thought things couldn’t have gotten any worse, we think my colon might have twisted two nights before the race.  Either that, or some sort of very very bad Crohn’s flare up that had me in some serious pain.  I ended up deciding the morning of if I was actually going to run the race.  I could have gone either way, feeling ok but not 100%…but I’m glad I decided to, even if I was worried the whole race!

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Sunrise the morning of…

Anyhow, I ran with a good friend from my running group and no joke, could not have done it without him and one of the other club members who ended up running it with us too. I can’t thank them enough of course!

Anyhow, the whole race was rather interesting.  First off, it was COLD that morning.  38* at the start! I don’t think I have ever run a race that cold…I’ve attended one colder than that (remember your Disney Marathon in 2009 Meghann?!) but never run one.  I had planned the whole time though to run the race in shorts and a long sleeve because I simply get too hot too easily and knew it would turn into a problem if I wore capris.  That and all my capris fall off my butt. Haha!

Staying warm in the car near the start

Staying warm in the car near the start

Anyhow, the first few miles were fine, I was finally starting to warm up and thank goodness, not having any problems with my toes.  I lathered them up in the thickest lotion I had and I think it helped with insulation along with my new switwik socks and presto! I was good!  After about mile three though, my right hip started to get tight.  I figured it was probably just the cold, but not so much.

My right hip was tight the entire race.  I had to keep slowing down to do high knees or some sort of hip stretch to keep everything from making me stop completely.  It was hard to handle, along with my insides being on the verge of very angry the whole time, but it is what it is.

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I finished the race in 1:52:05 (official finish time) and totally slammed my goal or breaking 1:54 (my old PR from the Oakland 1/2 Marathon).

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I told my friend that I could run the first 10 miles and that he just had to get me through the last three miles, and he did a great job getting me there! We ran the majority of our long runs together and his reminders of where we were on the race route in comparison to our long run route really helped me get through it.  He was even kind enough to let me finish ahead of him..and photobombed my official finish photo in the mean time:

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Gotta love the guy and his Mickey Mouse ears.  Classic! HAHAHA!

Of course after I finished running and everything was over, I flet amazing!!!

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My friend from high school also ran the race and hung out with Whit and I the majority of the time and was super speedy fast! She finished the race in 1:28 and blew everyone out of the water!

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My pacer!

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Best cheerleader a girl could ask for!  He got up and took my friend and I to the start, held onto all our stuff while we ran, waited around for us to finish and drove us home!

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And look who else I ran into!  I talked to Monica a few days before since she ran the race the year before and found out she would be there.  I think I passed her seconds before the end and didn’t even realize it!  Too funny!  She did a great job though!

Overall it was a great race.  It was well organized and there was a great amount of supplies along the way, water, powerade and gu’s.  They had cheering sections by neighborhoods along the way along with a few live bands and even taiko drums!  So fun!

There is only one thing…there was none of the normal excitement at the end of the race.  I remember when I PR’d in Oakland years ago, I was excited for days and couldn’t wait to run the next 1/2 marathon.  But this time, something just wasn’t there. I had fun, no doubt about it, but it just wasn’t the same for some reason.  Maybe because my hip was bothering me and my stomach was on edge, it wasn’t as fun as it could have been.

So, for now, no more half marathons for a bit. My hip is still angry and I’m going to work on some cross training to strengthen it up again.  So, Insanity workouts again it is! YAY!  I did one a few days ago and although my body fell into sync with the workout immediately, my muscles definitely did not. Haha!  I was hurting for days!

Anyhow, I’ve got my next race planned, but I’ll talk about that in my next post! Until then!

Posted in 1/2 Marathon, 1/2 Marathon Training, Oakland 1/2 Marathon, Race Recaps, Races, Running, Santa to the Sea 1/2 Marathon | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

School Gets In The Way

I blame school 100% for my absence.  Ok, that’s a lie. I blame school 55% for my absence, and work for the rest.  Can I just say that working holidays in retail is SO STINKING EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!  This is probably why I have never worked a real retail job in my life and why I prefer birds/wildlife to people. Although, sometimes I think people can be real animals too. Hah!

Anyways, I’m freaking exhausted, and I’m not even through the end of school or the holiday season yet.  I worked some pretty long shifts before and after Thanksgiving and let me just say that by Sunday you could see it in my face and I could feel myself breaking down pretty fast.  You add on top of that the stress I have put on myself with school and it’s a recipe for disaster.  But who wants a recipe for that, right? Because I know you’d rather have a recipe for this beauty:

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Anyone?

I made this yummy treat for a coworker who took a shift for me a few weeks ago and I thought I would let you drool over it for a little bit…then give you a link to the recipe.  It’s pretty easy to assemble except for the whole waiting game at the end of “cool on rack for XX min” then “Release spring from pan and wait XX min” thennnnn “Completely release the side of the spring-foam pan from the cheesecake and wait XX min before removing completely.”  Yeah…so this cheesecake essentially takes over two hours to create.  And when I say create, I mean it.

Otherwise, things have been revolving around my foot and the cat recently. I had my first sickness scare with her a week or so ago when she become super lethargic, sleeping way more than her crazy amount of sleeping hours and breathing kind of funny. I almost skipped Thanksgiving because I was so worried about her! But one morning she woke up and was back to her normal, fat and happy self.

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What a stinker!

Besides the cat, because obviously my world revolves around her crazy, scratching up my arms and hands self, I’ve been a worry wart about my foot as of late when this happened one night and I freaked you all out and didn’t respond:

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Worry Much?

I should have put a disclaimer on this photo and let everyone know there was an ice pack underneath that ace bandage…but I’m assuming you all knew that and that my ankle wasn’t the size of a softball…right?  Yes, anyhow…so I did a long run about a week and a half ago and a few miles into it I got this pain on the inside of my ankle. I had this before when I was training for my marathon a few years ago and with a little massage of the muscle, the pain would go away.  Well, not this time.  After a few more miles I had to massage it again, and again, and again.  Oh joy!  Fast forward to then having to stand for 9 hours on my feet at work and as soon as I came home and pulled my shoe off it was like Armageddon in my ankle tendon.  Great description right? Ok, the pain wasn’t that bad, but it hurt pretty bad.  I iced it up and put on some compression socks in hopes it would help and crossed my fingers going to sleep that everything would be well and gone in the morning.

Not so much.  Monday I found out I most likely had tendinitis…yay.  NOT. I had a half marathon to run in two weeks!  Ok, so I calmed down a little bit and with the help of a coworker got some rock tape to help the tendon receive more blood flow to help it repair and get me back on the road again.

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Rock tape to the rescue!

I’ve had this on for five days now, through a 7.5 mile run and a few shorter ones here and there, and I have been feeling great! Now if only I could apply that to my worry about the half marathon this weekend then I’d be set!

I’ll put it out there straight up I’m so terrified of this half marathon! My brain is telling me I’m under trained for it with my longest run being 10 miles three weeks ago.  Is that enough? How the heck am I supposed to know, especially with all these injuries going on?!

Ok, enough of my complaining…as it seems that that’s all I’ve done in this post anyhow.  So, to end it on a fun and pretty note, lets go back in time to happier times…shall we?

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Yeah, birds and flowers. I promise I’ll have something more uplifting to post about…in 15 days. After all the madness of school and final papers ends. Maybe.

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Side Notes: Where are Eating Disorders?

Side Notes: Where are Eating Disorders?

Yesterday was National GIS (Geographical Information Systems) Day, along with National Hug a Runner Day (I hope you hugged your runner friends…I got lots of hugs working at a running store!), two of my three favorite things, obviously besides birds (duh).

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(Source Source)

I have spent the last six years working in the biological field, focusing on the study of birds and now pursing the study of GIS to learn more about their spatial distributions and patterns, especially when it comes to migration and climate change. I have focused for so long on these guys and my quest to help in the environmental conservation world that GIS was always aimed in that direction.

But after a comment from a friend the other day, it suddenly switched…to the idea of where eating disorders are.  Is there a correlation, ANYWHERE, AMONG ANYTHING, when it comes to eating disorders? If we were to know any information about these things, could it help us prevent any kids, teens, or adults, men and women alike, from developing any type of eating disorder?  Anything from binge eating disorders? Bulimia? Anorexia? EDNOS?

I know from first hand experience that the majority of eating disorder cases go unreported and people are suffering by themselves to try and recover…or not.  There has been no type of national survey about who has what, where and why.  Of course, because many people go through this in secret, how could we compile a national survey like this and get a full spectrum of results?  I spent a few hours searching this morning for any scientific papers about this and when I got nothing but one article, I thought, WHY?  Why has no one thought to look into this yet?

The National Eating Disorders Association has numerous articles about how eating disorders are found across cultural and monetary boundaries, people of all ages….basically running rampant among us all.  But is there something more?  Obviously, people are conducting scientific research to try and understand if there is a genetic factor, behavioral factor or other indicators…but what about geographically?  Spatially, there has to be some sort of correlation..there has to be, right?

(Source)

Surveys have been conducted and Denmark is claimed to have the happiest people…I wonder if they have as many cases of people with eating disorders as…say a state of comparable population?  What is Denmark doing, or what do their people have, that could be preventing this?  Is there something we can do here to adapt that, and save even that one young boy or girl from going through the torture of developing an eating disorder?

I would do anything, ANYTHING, in my power to help as many people as I can to prevent and recover from an eating disorder. It is not at all something I would want another person to experience; even my worst enemy.  This disease is torturous, debilitating and dangerous, and something I wish never ever came into existence.

There are so many factors when it comes to how eating disorders develop. I have talked in the past about how mine spiraled from a loss of control, and a need to fit in with my college peers, but there are so many other reasons…how can we figure out what affects it the most?

Just a thought…

Posted in Eating Disorder, Eating Disorder Recovery, ED entry, ED Side Note | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Catalina Island, 1/2 Marathon Training Update and Running Shoes

Well, I am back from Catalina Island and let me just say, I now know what it would be like to be a FULL TIME USC graduate student. I’m only part time right now, and thank goodness for that.  Taking the classes I am and working part time just about has me wishing there were many more hours to a day.  But everyone wishes for that, right?

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I spent Thursday on a 6.5 mile hike, collecting data with two of my classmates and it was a workout! I don’t think I have ever hiked up a trail so steep in my life!  This is our before picture…

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And then along the way…

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When we finally reached the top of the ridge line, the scenery was amazing.  We could see down both sides of the ridge and it was so cool to be able to see the ocean just surrounding us from all sides.  We climbed over 1,600 ft in less than a mile!

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All the data we collected during our hike was used on a project we worked on for what felt like two very long, brain cell crunching days.  We got our results and created a great presentation and a poster, which may be used at some conferences in the near future! Exciting!

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Half Marathon News

While I was on the island I had every intention of doing some longer, tempo like runs to help me along my half marathon training…but that didn’t go so well.  Our school days were long and exhausting, and between that, the combination of new foods and the crazy hills along the only running path available, I ran once. I did the long hike, plus two other 4 mile hikes/walks, but that was it.

Going into this week I ran 4 times in the last two weeks, with my longest long run coming in at 9.5 miles. The half marathon is still three weeks away, but after a five miler a few days ago that felt like death, I’m a bit worried about the race now. I had ambitions to run the race and PR at 1:54, but I don’t know if that will happen anymore.  At this point, to ease my mind about the race, I just want to finish the race…maybe shoot for under two hours.  Wishful thinking maybe?  I guess I’ll have to wait and see how things go in the next few weeks…

At least if this race doesn’t go well, I already have another 1/2 marathon planned for January to make up for it! It will hopefully include some much needed time with these two wonderful friends…but we’ll talk more about that later as things progress ;)

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Mizuno Running

Other running news, working at a running store means being able to try some new shoes. I recently got a pair of Brooks Pure Flow shoes..and if you know me, I’m a huge Mizuno fan and hardly stray from them.  I have a past with Brooks, as the last two times I tried running in them, I ended up with a serious number of micro-tears in my calves, leaving me unable to run, even walk at times.

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I wore these around at work the other day without my custom made insoles and they felt pretty good, along with no calf pain. I have yet to take them out on a run, and am going to wait to take them out with my half marathon coming up.  I don’t want to risk the chance of injury since those tears take forever to heal so I’m going to stick to my tried and true Mizuno and Adidas for the time being.

Is anyone else favorable to one running shoe brand over the other? I remember trying Nike, New Balance and Aasics years ago when I was in high school, but running shoes ten years ago were much different than they are now…

I would love to hear why you all love brand or version of a shoe over the other…it’ll help me at work too ;)

Posted in 1/2 Marathon, 1/2 Marathon Training, Adidas Energy Boost, Blogger Love, Blogger Meetup, Catalina Island, EatingBender, Field Work, Hiking, injury, Jenn, Long Run, Mizuno Running Shoes, Phoenix 1/2 Marathon, Races, Running, Travel, USC, Vegan, Walking, work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Catalina Island

Well, USC has outdone itself in my book!

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On the way to Catalina…We saw Bird Rock. You know I counted all the birds on there!

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Lots of kelp and clear water off the cliffs near campus.

I have been on the island for four days now and it’s like I’ve gone on vacation! Ok, well, except for the whole, school part:

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Staring at computers hurts my back…boo.

 

We have certainly been working hard and I’ve been learning so many new ways to use GIS.  I’m really enjoying actually spending some time with some of my classmates and professor, because before this I had never seen nor really talked to them!  What a difference it makes learning someone’s attitudes to make learning so much more fun!

We have been spending some time outside the classroom though. You know, so we don’t all go bonkers.  For instance, our professor drove us to Little Bay yesterday after a presentation we made, get our feet wet a little.  Geez the water was cold though! I stayed on the beach and, what else, was birding.  And enjoying the sunset….

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So much life on this island!

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IMG_7139 IMG_7238 IMG_7157 IMG_7274I have a gnarly long hike to go on today to collect data for a project I’m working on while I’m here and school and I’m pretty excited. It’s around 6-7 miles on parts of the island I didn’t think we were going to get to see while we were here.  Should be interesting!

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Well, I’m off to pack up my gear, hike and then meet the rest of the department faculty tonight! I’m excited to meet one of the professors as she’s a pretty well known scholar and has worked with GIS and a lot of environmental aspects.  Maybe she’ll be able to convince me to actually go for my master’s degree instead of just a certificate…we’ll see.

Right quick, thank you so much to two of my wonderful and amazing friends, Gena, Claire and Biz for their shout-outs for me on my Ten Years on Recovery.   It’s women like that that have helped me through all the tough times, along with many others who have encouraged me along the way, and helped me really really enjoy life. This trip would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay different if I weren’t where I am today.  Instead of being excited about all the beautiful sights I’m going to see along my hike, I would have been worried about what I was going to eat, how little of it I could eat to not negate all the calories burned hiking.  Good grief! That doesn’t sound like a fun hike now, does it?!

Happy Thursday everyone!!!

 

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No Rest for the…Student

I know I still owe you a post about the other half of my trip to Mammoth…that won’t come any time soon, I’m sorry! I’ve got a crazy made week with school and work, then my brother just got into town and I’m going to try and spend some time with him before I have to leave for a week long trip for my class at USC on Catalina Island!  The madness of it all!  Throw in training for a half marathon and I’m pooped! And half these things haven’t even happened yet!

For now, I’ll leave you with a few bird photos I’ve taken recently…it has been the only way for me to chill out these days and not freak out!  Yeesh!  Well, and running of course!

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I hope everyone is doing well!

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Side Notes: Ten Years Later

Side Notes: Ten Years Later

A lot has gone on in the last ten years in regards to my eating disorder.  Hell, almost 10 years ago to date was when it started when I was a freshman in college. If you have been reading my blog since I started to really post back in 2008, you have been here for the majority of it.  There is still a huge part of my eating disorder that I have not talked to anyone about, as all those thoughts and emotions are currently sitting in 7 journals in a box at my parents house.  Those seven books, they are how everything was going when my eating disorder first started.  Oh so long ago…

It amazes me what I’ve gone through in the past ten years:

I went from a bubbling high school graduate…

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To a stressed out college freshman…

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To a very sick young woman struggling to figure out where she belonged and who she was…

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To fighting to bring myself back from killing my body and helping it recover…traveling the world and seeing all that it could teach me…

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To years of mental battles and successes with the helps of my friends and family…

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To a huge move to ultimate recovery 9 years after it started.

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It has been a very tough ten years. I can only imagine what everyone around me was thinking as I continued to battle this disease, but they were always there for me.  This disease is stubborn, burying itself so deeply inside of you that you forget how to think like a normal person…especially about food, but also about exercise and what you see in the mirror.

It’s much easier today. Today, I don’t worry about how much I weigh and think more about how I feel. Running is no longer done simply to burn calories, but to train for bigger and better races.  I don’t revolve everything about what I’m going to eat that day, how I’ll be able to exercise, and what everyone will think when they see me.  I can no concentrate on birds, ecology, school, friends, family….I have my life back. I finally have it back from my eating disorder.

It amazes me still that I have been able to get to this point in my recovery. Ask me a year ago if I’d ever get to this point and I would have told you it felt impossible.  Absolutely out of reach.  So far off in space, that it may just not exist.  But it does. There is always a turning point.  ALWAYS.  I have gone to the edge and back with this disease and felt so hopeless at times that I thought I would be forever plagued by guilt about food and everything else in between.

But here it is. Recovery.  I’ve finally taken the road and I’m so glad I found it.  It’s been there all along, I just had to figure out how to walk down it.  I talk to many of you ladies personally about how to get to this road, and it’s not one I can just direct you to. It’s one you have to find and walk down yourself. It may feel like an earthquake underneath you while you’re walking on it, but that’s when you run. You run as fast as you can and the light at the end of that road, it’s filled with everything you’ve ever dreamed of.  None of those dreams ever left you, they just…went into hiding for a bit.

So ladies, and gentlemen if you’re out there, don’t give up on recovery.  It took me almost ten years to get there.  It was a long, hard and what felt like an impossible journey. But it’s there.

I’m always here to help. ALWAYS. Because I know what you’re going through, and I know what lies in the future for you as you work hard to recover.

<3

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Take Me To The Mountains: Mammoth Lakes, Pt. 1

Hi everyone! I had a crazy weekend, taking some time to visit my favorite location in the Sierra Mountains, Mammoth Lakes. I have posted about this wonderful town before as I’ve taken a trip in the past two years, one time with Whit and another by myself, and it is always worth posting about. I mean, how could you not love to look at something like this!?

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We did a lot of things in the 4 days we were there for sure! I was exhausted by the time i got home, one top of the fact that I wrote a paper for school while I was there AND had to study for a quiz which I had to take as soon as I got home! Yikes!

We made our way up through the desert and sadly weren’t able to visit Manzanar because of the government shut down…my Mom likes to visit the museum, as do the rest of us, to learn about the experience both my grandparents and their families went through during WWII and going to the internment camps.

mammoth 039 We did stop at my favorite bakery on the way up, Erick Schat’s Bakery in Bishop…so I could get my favorite treats and bread…and become only vegetarian and not vegan for the weekend. :)

mammoth 049 mammoth 066 mammoth 067 mammoth 071I live for their lemon and shortbread chocolate chip cookies! I am not normally a crispy cookie kind of gal, but these I make an exception for! My brother got a tub of their normal shortbread cookies I’ve been eating since I was a little kid and snuck in a few of those too…tasty!

We chilled out Friday night to acclimate (ok really, just Whit) to the altitude change but had great adventures planned for Saturday!

We decided to visit a place none of us had been to in about 20 years called Bodie State Park, an old ghost town out in the flats east of the Sierra’s!  I have pictures of this place from when I was a little little kid, of my cousins and I running around getting all creeped out by the degrading buildings and items literally left on the tables in houses, like the people had just been there for breakfast!

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There are a variety of different buildings still standing on the property, which used to house up to 10,000 people when the town was booming back in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s.

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The town is a bit of a drive from the main highway, and off a dirt road, but I think it was well worth the drive. It’s amazing to me that people could live out here in the harsh environment of the foothills near the Sierra’s, but when I think about it, towns like this used to exist literally everywhere that now house metropolitan cities! Crazy!

mammoth 104 mammoth 117 mammoth 118 mammoth 120 mammoth 122 mammoth 124We were trying to decide while we were walking around if we had made this up or not, but when we were kids we remember being told that if we took anything from Bodie that the ghosts would follow us home and haunt us, but I think it was a ploy from our parents to keep us from taking anything. Certainly worked as we were still talking about it during this trip!

mammoth 128 mammoth 150 mammoth 152 mammoth 158 mammoth 164 mammoth 166Are you officially creeped out yet? I know I was while I was there! I’m sure you can see that many of these pictures have reflections in them, and it’s because most of the photos were taken through windows. It’s pretty scary when you first look into the window because you never know what you’re going to see, and I’m always afraid I’ll see something that I’m not expecting!

mammoth 173 mammoth 155 mammoth 187 mammoth 194 mammoth 204 mammoth 210It was interesting to walk around and learn all abut the different buildings throughout the park. I remember some of them, but most I forgot! There were back stories about the almost daily murders in the town and how many people would say, “Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie“.  Pretty crazy, right?! So much to see there though! And so much cooler than I remember it, since I last week in the summer high!

On the way back we stopped at a lookout to see Mono Lake, an interesting lake and closed also because of the government shutdown! Arg! I love this lake because it is a huge migratory pocket for birds and it’s just so interesting!

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We left the Mono Basin and went to see the lakes in the June Lake Loop, which include Grant Lake, Silver Lake, Gull Lake and June Lake. All the lakes were low this year, which is to be expected with the lack of snowfall/rain in the past two years. It’s pretty devastating for this part of the country!

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We heard about a Beer Festival at Gull Lake and stopped there for a little bit to see what was going on. They had some microbreweries there from Mammoth but many were from where we are from, so not much to experience. Was pretty though!

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We headed out to June Lake, a childhood favorite for my Mom, as that’s where she spent many years fishing and swimming with her family! I love it here too, and found that out part of the movie Oblivion is filmed here!

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It was a long day and you can bet we were all exhausted by the time we got home!

I can’t wait to tell you all about our fishing experiences on Sunday! But that’s for another post! I think I’ve overloaded you with pictures for this post!

Anyone been to Mammoth? Where is your favorite mountain spot!?

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