Obtain my b.s. degree in three weeks (ie GRADUATE)
Prepare for the GRE's
Apply myself to something rewarding and fulfilling
Plan a trip to Europe
Start a recipe blog
Plan a trip to Europe
Start a recipe blog
Maintain a healthy weight range so that I may start training for a race (good motivation, no?)
Wait. Me? Run a race?
I've been lucky enough to have been given a second (and third, etc...) chance. When I was able to run again, post treatment, I began to take a different approach-- a more mindful one. It wasn't, and still isn't always, easy, but I have learned how to avoid potential triggers.I've never considered myself particularly athletic. I was never really that coordinated nor did I take a particular interest in sports. However, within the past few years I've developed an adoration for running. I love how I feel when I move my body, I love sweating, I love the release of endorphins, and most importantly, I love that I love to do it. While, admittedly, there was a correlation between running and my eating disorder, the sport has also helped me through my recovery process.
I've learned a lot about running.
I've learned that running, mentally, does not have to equate to calorie burning or weight loss.
There was a time when I spent hours at the gym. I was allured by the numbers flashing at me from the machines. I was always pushing myself to do more, to work out harder and faster-- to be stronger. However, I soon realized I had created a false definition of 'strength'. To me strength equated with perfect muscle definition and minimal fat, which equated to thinness. Little did I know, the stronger I tried to be, the weaker I was, and ultimately, "getting strong" landed me in a hospital bed.
First, I try to run outside as often as possible, avoiding treadmills. In general, I try to avoid gyms, in effort to reduce comparisons to others, myself and the machines.
Secondly, while outside, I don't wear a watch or device that would track my pace or heart rate. My ultimate goal before I set out for a run is to be mindful. Mindful of what's going on in the streets around me, mindful of the warmth from the sunlight as it hits my face, of the sound of my feet against the pavement, of the smells from the seasonal changes and of the thoughts (and occasional Beyonce) streaming through my head.
I try to view the act of running as a mindful experience, as opposed to a work-out. It should be a stress reliever, not an anxiety enabler. It should produce energy and movement of my body, as opposed to trigger any harm.
Thus, I've learned that in order to enjoy such an experience, I must fuel my body. My muscles need carbohydrates, proteins and fats to carry me through the run and regenerate afterwards. My mind needs the nourishment to inhibit destructive thoughts, which generally lead to obsession and impulsive behaviors. And my body needs the energy to keep my attention focused and mood elevated.
Simply: I've learned that I need food.
If I want to run, which I do, then I need more food, because we know that calories are unit of energy. And to maintain a healthy weight range, I must always remember that energy output must equal my energy input.
(Side note: I am absolutely fascinated by the human body and what it is capable of doing... more to come in the next post)
To help me through more difficult times, I've hung self-affirmations that I've written on post-it notes. Many of the messages inspire and remind me that I have the potential to be something much more than a simple, breathing life -- there's a difference between living, and merely existing. One questions me to consider who I am trying to impress. Do I truly believe that I will be loved more if I look a certain way? Will my happiness be reflected by a trimmed and toned bicep? Will I let numbers define who I am?
I've learned that strength is beauty. And to be strong, both physically and mentally, I must honor and take care of my body. If I want to run, I must fuel and refuel.
If I want to accomplish the goals I've created for myself, I must fight the temptation to give into temporary satisfaction. I must face my fears every single day, until I have been able to transform the 'fear' into 'love'.
Our futures may begin at any moment. I'm ready to embrace and live mine.
“Life’s battles don't always go to the strongest or fastest man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can.” --Unknown