Bless your heart.

Monday is here. Which means that when my alarm went off this morning, my first thought was: “Ugh, not again”.

My weeks have been freakishly non-stop busy since May rolled around and I think I *finally* may be getting a tiny little bit of reprieve. So I’m deciding to be optimistic and plan out my running schedule ahead of time instead of lacing up my shoes and running parking lot loops because I didn’t feel like facing the gym.

M: Rest! My day is full of patients and meetings and work, so it seems like the perfect day to just say no to running. Typically, a quick two miler puts a little pep in my step but I think my legs could use a break.

T: 3 miles

W: 4 miles

Th: 3 miles, speed on dreadmill

F: 2 miles of parking lot loops (yes, I said I wanted to avoid that…but it’s better than no run at all!) or rest, depending on my poor little legs

S: 3 miles

Su: 3 miles

Also, say a little prayer for my heart. I’m getting my cholesterol tested today (because high cholesterol runs in my family, blah blah blah) and I have to admit that I’m slightly nervous. My taking-care-of-myself meter has been running higher than usual lately, but I’m concerned about all of the junk I put into my body on a regular basis from May-July. That paired with family history/long-term use of birth control pills is leading me to feel the pressure. So put some positive thoughts out into the world and hopefully they’ll pay off!

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Quotatious Wednesday: Well-beaten paths

“Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path.” ~Unknown

Yeah, I can relate to that.

Where I am in my life right now (young, at a top ranked school, supposedly living it up) is where I always thought I would be. When I chose my field of study, I knew that this school was where I *had* to be, and there were no other options.

Problem is, something just doesn’t feel right. And, it’s probably apparent from all of my recent ramblings, but I’m just not as happy here as I feel I should be.

So this weekend I’m going back to visit school #2. To see if the spark is still there before I hit that all powerful “submit” button on my application and seal the deal.

It’s really hard to tell whether or not I’m headed in the right direction. On one hand, I am so comfortable with school #2. I know that if I have problems, someone will drop what they are doing and help me. It’s slightly disturbing to me that I feel that I have no one to go talk to here. Grad school is no joke, nor is it a solitary journey. I’ve tried reaching out the people repeatedly, but again…something just doesn’t feel right.

When it comes down to it, my decision is made. But I’m not quite sure how to let go of these expectations of myself to “suck it up” and “quit complaining” and “keep on truckin'”. I shouldn’t have to “suck it up” through what should be the happiest, free-est years of my life. But that is what was always expected of me, that is always what I expected of myself. I’m having a hard time realizing that I don’t have to cling to expectations if they are making me feel miserable.

Yeesh!

The kind of woman I want to be:

…the kind who kicks ass and takes names

…the kind who lives life for herself, apologetically

…the kind who realizes that work isn’t everything, but loving what she does is still important

…the kind who runs, does yoga, and flosses her teeth every night

…the kind with one of those, “wow, they are perfect for each other” relationships

…the kind who doesn’t look back as past events and say, “what if.”

…the kind who speaks her mind

…the kind who eats pizza and drinks beer with the boys, while completely dressed in pink

…the kind who never gives up but knows when to call it quits

…the kind who knows that taking care of herself is necessary in order to continue helping others

…the kind who gets excited over the tiny details but doesn’t sweat the small stuff

…the kind who loves her body, even on those squishy days

…the kind who lives life aloud, unabashedly, every. single. day.

I want to be that kind of woman.

Forgive yourself

I love this blog so deeply that when I read this post, I could not stop myself from tucking it away for myself on my very own blog. Truer words have never been spoken.

forgive yourself the nights you climb into bed full-face of makeup, too tired to take it off. forgive yourself the days when one latte is not enough, when the two major food groups are coffee and sugar. forgive yourself that one night when at two am you woke to use the bathroom and inhaled an entire chocolate bar instead. forgive the time spent with a man you now have not one nice thing to say about. and forgive just how long it took to get over him. he was not good and not kind and he is not your fault. keep some secrets closer. forgive yourself for actually loving the gentle curve of your hips. and to hell with a society which suggests you might not or should not. they herald your womanhood, the man you marry will lose himself in them, they will hoist groceries and children. they are sturdy–anchoring you firmly to this earth. forgive the nights you cannot sleep–sadness or some unnamed force pressing heavy on your chest. forgive the mistakes of the last several years. so you made them. okay. enough. move on. the mistakes and the fault-lines, they are the foundation. forgive yourself that you did not choose an easier path. and forgive yourself the sadness you caused those around you. the broken-promises and cutting words and the things left unsaid. fear was large and biting. forgive the anger you feel. feel it and then look again with kinder eyes. forgive yourself for not handling it all better, for feeling like you let others down. the path is not done, the road is not finished, why are you trying so hard to rush the whole thing? celebrate the fact that your story has some major departures. go ahead and use that expensive serum that promises to diminish those fine lines. protect and preserve your skin. but when the day does come when forehead creases no longer fade into the background, give thanks. humanity made visible! you will be loved all the more for this. you will love yourself all the more for this.  and please, for the love of all that is good and holy forgive yourself for loving a man who cannot love you back. love him anyway. send that love into the world and let it fill you up. the only way to know the story is to go out and and write it. live your way into it. ferociously. begin to live and work and fight and love with an unparalleled ferocity. let fear dictate nothing. unfurl your chest, you have all the armor you’ll ever need. see with wide eyes and don’t forget to laugh.

The luck of the evens

I spent last night with my 3 favorite men: Ben, Jerry, and Dr. McDreamy.

And while it’s a comforting and delicious habit, Ben and Jerry need to be out of my life (Dr. McDreamy can, ahem, stay as long as he wants though…)

My ed (yep, it doesn’t get capital letters any more because it doesn’t deserve that much recognition) habits are hard to break because they’re comforting; after a long day of studying, researching, and dealing with people who have problems far bigger than mine it’s nice to have a comfortable routine. Even if said routine isn’t exactly the best way to relax.

And today is the 30th. Because I’m a huge believer in doing things evenly (I always have to stop a run at a 5 or a 0 time…44? Nope…have to go to 45), I think this is the perfect day for me to finally say kthankxbye to my little ed friend.

So I am officially bribing myself. 5 days with no ed habits and I get to buy myself something pretty and new. I’m not sure what yet, but I plan on developing a “points system” for myself. Nothing else seems to be working at this point so I figured some good old fashioned bribing can’t hurt.

I’m just ready to be healthy and strong again! I’m starting off the day with a nice 5 mile run to get my head in the game

Earth Hour and a request

Fantastic title, I know.

I guess that’s what happens when every day seems to be a 10 hour day. Not that I mind. I’m doing what I love and I can’t think of any better way to spend my time…even if sometimes what I love means a billion research papers on topics that I sometimes think are duller than watching grass grow.

But I digress.

I’ve talked about my ED habits on here before. Not in detail, but they’ve been discussed in passing. And for months now I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m getting better and making progress and am better than I was this time last year.

The truth is, though, I’m not. And I’m not sure who to turn to at this moment; I get support from the boy, from my friends, from a counselor that I see every week. I need more though. But I don’t know where to get it.

I know the responsibility of healing is on me but I cannot do it alone and I feel like I’ve exhausted so many resources and I’m frustrated, to say the least.

So I’m reaching out to the bloggie community. I know it’s an anonymous community but there are some lovely people out there who leave me wonderful amazing comments (you know who you are 😉 ) so I know there is support out there. I guess I’m not really sure what I’m looking for, or even expecting anything…I’m just putting myself out there and seeing what the universe provides.

And on a completely different note, tomorrow = Earth Hour. It starts at 8:30 pm (your local time) and all you have to do is turn off the lights, unplug electronics, and exist without electricity for an hour. Fatigued me thought it was tonight and I sat in the dark for a good 15 minutes before I realized I had the wrong evening…not that saving electricity is ever a bad idea.

Happy Friday!

Mad puffy

I feel a little (code for a lot) puffy this morning after a night of overindulgence and under-hydration.

Thank goodness it’s warm enough out to suck down cold water and iced tea and kombucha.

When I’ve had setbacks in the past, I would wake up the next morning and “punish” my body for my poor mistakes; i.e. lots of running, very little food consumption. Thankfully, over time, I’ve learned healthier ways to combat bad decisions like by drinking lots of water, tea, kombucha, and (my new favorite) steaz…as well as focusing on fruits and vegetables. But basically I like to make my day as “normal” as possible so I don’t fall into the never-ending cycle of binging.

But while i’m glad that I’ve developed healthy coping for after the fact, I’m still working on the before. Because if I could stop the bad habits before they even began, that would be ideal.

In other news, it’s the first day back after spring break. Time to start writing papers!

How do you deal with your bad habits?

Sound mind, sound body

I’m a Saucony kind of gal but I have a weak spot for the whole “sound mind sound body” ad campaign of Asics. Mostly because it’s true.

If your mind is happy, your body will follow. And vice versa. If I’m happy, or at least optimistic, my life balances out. The power of relaxation and positive thinking is truly amazing.

Last night was spectacular. I ate a ginormous cobb salad, drank an even more GINORMOUS Guinness, and finished off the night by splitting a brownie and scoop of ice cream.

The best part of the night? I had no idea how many calories I consumed. I wasn’t stuffed and I listened to my body. Honestly, I was having too much fun laughing hysterically and being tipsy to even worry about my crazy insecurities for more than a millisecond.

I call that a massive success.

(I would also say that simply talking about my problems, even through blog format, is a massive success because talking is the first step to completely healing!)

This morning, however, my body is screaming for cereal in skim milk, cleansing tea, a long run, and Kombucha. Proof that everything truly does balance out in the end when I listen to my body’s whispers.

Does talking things out help you? How does your body ask for balance?

Takin’ a rest day

I started this morning with a delicious vegan oat bran muffin, I’m spending the day with my dad, some delicious veggie pizza, and salads/St. Patty’s Day Guiness with my gal pals.

I’m thrilled, but also slightly anxious.

I know I shouldn’t be. Pizza is delicious, so is Guinness. And my legs clearly need a rest day. Rest days are just as important as hard workouts…I would even go as far as saying that they might be more important. Because without rest days, your muscles can’t heal and you can’t become a better runner. And carbs are amazing fuel for my runs. This is what I tell myself.

But there’s always that little voice shouting, “you’re going to turn into a little fluff-bot”.

Um, yeah. No.

I fully recognize that this type of thinking is ridiculous and irrational. But after so many years of disordered habits, it’s hard to let the normal seep in…no matter how badly I want it.

It’s so hard to separate what I eat and how much I run from my self-worth. Janae wrote a great post about this last night.

I am not a 6 mile run or a gargantuan salad. But a veggie munching runner is how I see myself. What am I without running? Well, I’m an awesome girlfriend, a loving daughter, an environmentally conscious nature lover, a book nerd, a baker of delicious muffins, and a future doctor. Clearly I have tons going for me other than running and veggies. So much.

So why are those two things so completely prominent, and overpowering even, in my life? Not cool, Maria, not cool.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!! How are you celebrating (or are you celebrating at all?) I’m not Irish but I am a lover of all things Irish.

Also, how do you find balance between your hobbies and the “rest” of your life?

Dear body,

Thank you for getting over this cold so quickly. I’m not sure what I did that helped you the most, but whatever it is I’m sure glad I did. Basically, you rock. I don’t feel 100% yet but when I’m usually battling a cold for a week, 1 day of miserable and 2 or 3 days of meh seems completely reasonable to me. I don’t know whether to credit the faster recovery to my immune system or the echinacea but I’m guessing it was a team effort.

I get a lot of questioning looks when I say how much I swear by echinacea because studies about its effectiveness have been so inconclusive (mostly because there are so many different forms that echinacea takes and many of the studies have been done using varying forms) but I find that I feel a little less miserable when I start drinking it at the first sign of an oncoming cold. I’m in the “okay so maybe it doesn’t help prevent colds but it certainly may help alleviate and shorten symptoms” camp. I guess it seems weird that a future doctor would so strongly believe in an herb but I am always up for trying the natural route first and then going the medicine route if that doesn’t work. I only had to take cold medicine twice during my (so far) 3 days of being sick. Much better than popping a pill every 4 hours, if you ask me.

I’m also glad that I have been able to feed you, body. In the past I was always afraid to feed my sick self because I didn’t want to “get fat”. And I’d be lying if some of those same fear didn’t linger. But I happily snacked on English muffins, oranges, and fruit bars all day long yesterday and then ate a ginormous dinner of stir fry veggies and soup. I think my ED died a little this weekend. I showed it who’s boss. And when it kept saying, “I don’t know if you should eat that orange/another English muffin” I said, “well, I’d like to get better faster so I am going to give my body the energy it needs.” Hallelujah!

Basically, body, I am thankful that you are relatively healthy and working properly. No more weak immune system because I’m not eating right or taking multivitamins. Nope, I treated you right and you, in turn, have treated me right. And I am oh so very grateful for that.

Love,

Maria