Sunday, November 27, 2011

dear america: skinny is the new obese

so i'm feeling badly about myself after a few days of completely gorging myself on food. thanksgiving is never all that bad...i clearly eat too much...but at least it's healthy choices for the most part.  then comes black friday and saturday weekend where we must have a smorgasbourd of food to keep us going the entire 24 hour shopping extravaganza.  this leads me to my point; why must everything revolve around food?  this is what i hate about america, and no i'm not blaming my eating disorder on it, but seriously.  i'm pretty sure i read some stat that was like we eat (guesstimating the number here) like 30% more than we used to in the 50's.  WHYYYEEEEE.  i don't completely agree with blaming fast food, mcdonalds has been out there for decades, it's always been available.  although i do hate hearing people talk about how much they love fast food and how they eat it like 5 times a week.  that actually makes me want to throw something at them. to me that's like saying "omg i love eating plastic covered in lard".  once again don't get me wrong, i am guilty of "indugling" due to circumstances usually revolving around working 12 hour days, or being drunk, but when i'm hungry i NEVER think, "gee, a double cheeseburger and fries sounds really good right now".  i don't understand how people think they're A. going to be satisfied, and B. going to feel good about themselves after eating that.

anyways, this isn't about fast food, it's the emphasis our country puts on eating huge proportions.  like why is that the cool thing to do?  if you can't eat a 5 pound fat-ass challenge sandwich and a 2 pound milkshake in 15 minutes YOU ARE A FAILURE.  THIS IS AMURICA.

i am bitching because when food is present, i feel like i can just graze all day.  and it takes like 3 days of that and prob at least like 2 actual non water weight pounds, to realize, wow wtf am i doing.  i feel awful.  it is not cool to eat like, and excuse my reference, not trying to be offensive, but a concentration camp victim who's been starving for months.  i mean seriously, that is how i look back on it.  i ate breakfast, i don't need to eat lunch and dinner like i haven't eaten in 2 days.

food is here to keep us alive.  and yes, at times, for celebrations and maybe just to make us feel better.  but my point is something's gotta happen to change the way food is portrayed in america.  i plan on figuring that out. and also to stop grazing like a hippopotamus. the end.

Monday, November 21, 2011

what would i be doing if i could work out right now...

im starting to have work out withdrawal. how tempted am i to throw on my running shoes and fashionable new under armour running outfit and hit the road. SO TEMPTED. rawr. i dont even care that it's cold as much as i loathe winter; i'd be running all over that shit. for whatever reason whenever i am injured and i go a while not being able to really do any cardio (of choice) i always go through like running withdrawal.  i'm not even really supposed to be running and i wasn't running hard core before i had this surgery but i still feel like i need a fix.  it's actually really annoying especially since i'm not supposed to run after this's not recommended anyway. i don't think i'll be able to just give it up completely ever. i don't feel like anything, besides sports of course, has ever made me feel so good. i hate the eliptical because i don't feel like it does anything, i'm adjusting to the bike but i prefer to do it on a real bike outside which i can't do yet, and i guesssss i'm gonna start trying to swim eventually but i am so not excited about putting a bathing suit on to work out.

so if i could work out i would head down to the college track.  i would probably do interval distance running.  whenever i was trying to get into shape in the summers and increase my endurance i would start with oh, say, after a warm up lap, 4 laps of running, 1 lap of walking, 3 laps of running, 1 lap of walking, 2 laps...and so on. and eventually i could get up to like 8 laps and all the way down.  i also liked to use the bleachers every other lap and sprint up them and i would also incorporate walking lunges, usually doing the straights of the track.

notice how everything involves my legs being able to function. i am clearly so over my upper body and lifting. not that i'll be able to stop that now because i have seen good results just in doing that, but it gets so boring.

so remember when you don't feel like working out that there are people out there who physically can't work out and would trade body parts with you anyday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

take a knee: the life of an injured athlete

i've been feeling really nostalgic lately. it's kind of embarrassing but it has led to my motivation to be stalled and therefore lack of desire to blog. i know not many people prob read my first post--embarrassing in a nut shell background of why i started blogging--so i feel like reflecting on what has gotten me here in the first place.

i always tell my parents they had a boy and 2 girls.  in reality they had 2 boys and girl but my older brothers were both into art and writing, always dressed well, where as i have always been the jock and my wardrobe contains a 3:1 ratio of sweats/gym clothes to nice clothes. i never wanted to wear pink or dresses even when i couldnt dress myself. i always wanted to be one of the boys; i still prefer it actually, but in a i'm definitely a girl i just hate bitch drama kinda way. so with all that said, naturally i was big into being active and somehow i was granted with the ability to be good at almost anything athletic.

i cant remember how i got into sports exactly per say, but i know it started out with basketball. i LOVED basketball. i started playing in camps when i was 8 and my heart was set on being in the WNBA someday...yeah i know, i was 8. my coach always said i was a natural, although how good can you actually be when youre 8, but i never felt like i wasn't one of the top players. i miss the days where i had confidence now that i think about it. i continued summer camps until 5th grade when we could actually start playing on an organized team. i loooooved being part of a team and i loved actually playing to win.

going into middle school i was one of the few chosen to play up for the 8th grade team. i was usually a top scorer and rebounder (i've always been one of the tall girls).  basketball was my main focus, but i also started getting into volleyball.  once again, i was just naturally good at it and learned to love playing it as well.

probably sometime in 8th grade i sort of made the switch from basketball being my main focus to volleyball.  i was good at basketball, but i guess i was exceptionally good at volleyball. going into my freshman year of high school, i can remember my coach asking me and one other player to come to a varsity summer tournament. i was so excited. and i didnt just go and sit on the bench, i got a lot of playing time. this was probably my peak confidence year of my life. i was going to start varsity as a freshman and i ended up getting to play all around too.  not only that but i also ended up playing/starting varsity in basketball too...mostly due to an injury of one of the seniors though.  it was still great; there hadn't been many people who had gotten to do that. i also played softball (the first year of my life i ever actually played) and i ended up lettering in all 3 sports as a freshman.  it was such an honor.  i wouldnt have been able to talk about it like this back then, i have never been a cocky asshole about my athletic ability, ive actually always been really hard on myself, but now that i miss it so much and have lost most of my ability to injury i have absolutely no problem bragging a bit. dont judge me.

so i continued to be a starter through my junior year.  that was probably my peak performance year as well as my most in shape year, but since i had more experience in playing varsity the pressure was really on to be a leader and always be a top performer.  i was probably the hardest on myself this year to always be the best and this is the year that i would say my eating disorder started.

i had a lot of pressure to be a certain size. i'm not going to go into detail on that; certain people will know exactly what im talking about.  i started running every day, in addition to practices, and i wouldn't admit it then, but i definitely restricted my eating a lot.  at first i would say i thought i was just being really healthy, and in a sense i was, but i dont think i was eating enough for how active i was.  anyways, i was really happy with my weight loss and i definitely got the attention for it, but i was also struggling with the pressure to stay thin and the pressure to continue restricting my diet. regardless, i was still accelling at my sports and i was determined to get a scholarship to play volleyball in college.

junior year is also when my athletic career was semi-ruined. in the spring at a volleyball tournament i came down from a hit on my right leg and i had a "ive fallen and i cant get up moment".  i would describe the feeling as an electric shock in the middle of my knee. it was unlike anything i had ever felt before and i knew something serious had happened.  wouldnt ya know it i had torn my acl completely and had a partial meniscus tear. surgery was necessary to continue playing sports and with surgery came a 6 month rehab package. awesome! by the time i got surgery, i would miss my whole senior year of volleyball and half my season of basketball, not to mention i was only going to get to come back at like 60% (i didn't know that at the time, i found it out the hard way). so i went through with the surgery. with all that considered i was already beginning to become depressed. my boyfriend broke up with me that summer. and my eating disorder soared. i gained pushing 30 pounds, yes 30. and that didnt help with the depression at all considering my past of working hard to lose the weight that i had.

so i missed and avoided my senior year of volleyball. i couldnt face watching my team (and we had a really good team) play without me. it was way too hard, as selfish as i knew it was.  i had a little bit higher hopes for basketball season since i knew i would get to play a little bit anyway so i was more dedicated to my season.  when it came time to be able to play, i was excited and nervous. i had to wear an awful brace and at that point i knew that i wasnt going to perform anywhere near what i used to. i had a little mini cheer section for my first game back, and it was away too so that felt nice, but i was also putting pressure on myself to play well. well, once i got on the court i basically felt like i sucked. and i became so discouraged. i was even less of being close to what i thought i could perform. i got a little better, but by the end of the season it hadnt been enough time of play to get back to the old me.

my senior year was a really hard year for me. i struggled through every bit of it. i didnt think i would be playing a sport in college and i wanted to go to school as far away as possible.  well that didnt end up happening.  last minute i got an offer to play volleyball at penn state behrend (the coach knew me from summer camps during high school) and i hesitantly decided to give it a shot.

i worked on getting in shape over the summer and played on a JO team and my ability started to come back.  one of my best friends from high school played at behrend and i was familiar with erie so adjusting there wasnt too hard.  i was a somewhat consistant starter as a freshman and i started gaining a little confidence back anyway. by the end of the season i felt like i was getting way more comfortable with my knee.  then came spring season. i swear mother nature hates me in the spring.  i was actually starting to feel almost 100% at this point. i made it through all the practices. we had one big tournament at the end and i was excited to play.  well i made it through the tournament until the very last game of the last match. went up for a block, landed like a normal person, and my left knee just buckled to the left. the minute i fell in my head i was like omg not this again. i instantly knew what had happened. i was balling. and not because of the pain, but because of how hard i had worked to get to where i was just for my other knee to be a dirty bitch and do the same thing to me all over again. i can remember saying "i cant do it again, i cant".  well i did it again, but this time my athletic career was officially officially over, and i struggled with depression again.  my grades started getting worse and i had no motivation in school.  i distanced myself from the team once again and i kind of felt like i was just out of place there.

i ended up transferring to penn state main campus. in a nut shell, not knowing anyone and going to a whole new place, and being depressed all at the same time didn't make my transition go well. i did okay at first, but eventually started failing and not going to any of my classes, and so i "medically withdrew" aka i dropped out. i dont feel like sugar coating it.

which brings me to where i am today.  when people ask me if im in school i hate answering it. and im not going to tell everyone i meet that i had to drop out because i was depressed. i dont want to say school isnt for me, because i know it is, i just dont think it was the right time. since all of that i have had my third surgery obviously.  and with this one i have been able to come out of it with a much better attitude. dropping out of school was my best decision yet that i have made and if anyone wants to judge me they can go eff themselves.  okay sorry haha that was harsh, but seriously.

i dont think ill ever forget about my past. it has made me who i am today. im still struggling with accepting that and i think that i always will. i guess i kind of live by the saying "what doesnt kill you makes you stronger", but it took 3 surgeries and 2 sport career enders to get me to that place.

this is super long and i feel like no one is going to want to read it, but it explains a lot about who i am. even if no one reads it i feel really good about getting it out of my system a bit and maybe ill have a normal person blog about working out later :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

chipotle style stuffed peppers and mousse!

well i had a whole day off and decided to have some fun in the kitchen.  i love stuffed peppers and got a hankering to make some and add my own twist. i did mine vegetarian style because soy crumbles are way easier to cook than ground beef and they're healthier anyways. as i've said before i like to wing my cooking so i'll give you a rough estimate of what i used and in what amounts.  but this is a pretty easy and super healthy dinner.  the rice i used was legit organic brown rice so that took the majority of the cooking time or i would say it's a quick fix meal too.  substitute instant brown for the real deal and it's def quick fix. due to lack of money and ingredients i only made enough filling for 2 peppers which can be inconvenient or convenient depending on who's reading this.

2 green bell peppers
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce (i used one can sauce and one can soup because that's all we had)
1 can black beans
1 cup rice (before it's cooked)
1/4 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 bag of crumbles
seasonings of choice--i used red pepper flakes and cilantro and a lotta shakes of chipotle tabasco (my faaaave)

after my rice was cooked and steaming, i sauteed my garlic and onion in 1 tbsp. of olive oil.  then i added my crumbles--they were mostly frozen so i turned the heat down to let the big chunk break apart.  then i added my tomato sauce, black beans, and rice.  once everything was combined i filled the bottom of the baking dish with part of the mixture and then wedged my peppers into it.  i overflowingly (i made that word up) filled the peppers with the mixture and put the remainder around the peppers.  my mixture was sort of dry; i probably could have used more sauce or less rice but it still tasted good anyways.  cook them at 350 for about a half an hour.  i sprinkled some 4 mexican cheese mix on top at the very end and ta-da you have yummy chipotle stuffed peppers. mmmm

and for dessert. the best part obviously.  i wasn't going to make anything originally but while getting my ingredients for the peppers ready i saw that we had a box of jello mousse temptations that needed made up.  and for 110 calories a pop why the hell are they sitting in there not getting made and eaten! crazy.  so it took about 5 minutes to whip those bad boys up.  all you need is milk.  it calls for 2% but we have skim and it worked out fine.  i topped a couple of mine with some crushed up andes mint because god forbid i dont have 5 of those incorporated into my day. and wallah! a low cal chocolatey goodness dessert. you cant go wrong.

i love cooking healthy because it makes me feel really good about myself and what i'm eating because i know what's going into it. it also makes me extra excited about eating healthy too which is always good especially when i'm in a rut which i somewhat am right now...mainly just the new schedule adjustment and because i'm a girl and this is what happens once a month.  sigh.

bon appetit!

Friday, November 4, 2011

how not to be a hunchback

i am still alive!  i feel i have been neglecting my blog and it's had me feeling pretty guilty.  i'm back to working 12 hour days, aka i'm back at under armour. i definitely missed it but my body is not used to jumping into my old routine so i've been very bed-attached when i get home and thinking is the last thing i feel like doing.  but i'm working at the gym and i was inspired today because whenever i'm doing physical therapy (i do pt at the same place i work--super convenient for an accident prone person like me) and this has been happening for years now, i get yelled at for my posture.  so my excuse is that rounded shoulders run in my family, and they do, but obviously there are ways to fix it so it doesn't get me very far here.  so with that said i figured i'd do a back workout today...i've been quite lazy work out wise so any kind of work out would have done...and why not share it because i can't be the only one who needs to do something about my hunchback and it's not like you have to have a hunchback to do a back workout anyway. fun for all!

so here is what i've come up with:
3 sets of 15 for each exercise--

lat pull
reverse flys
dumbbell side raises

floor cobra - throw this in at the end of ur strengthening exercises.  it's also a strengthening exercise but also like a stretch so it's a good transition move
    • lay on your stomach on the floor
    • lay hands to your side and raise chest and head up as far as you can go
    • squeeze your butt muscles and tighten your abs
    • hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times

strengthening the muscles is important but so is stretching, so here are few good stretches to work on your posture:

wall stretch:
  • stand in a door way and place your hands on either side
  • keep your feet in place and lean forward
  • the farther you lean forward the more stretch you'll feel
  • 3-5 reps 20 seconds each
pelvic thrusts:
  • lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent and palms down
  • lift your butt of the ground and hold for a few seconds, drop, and repeat
  • this is a great exercise to strengthen your hips, and core as well
chest stretch:
  • stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • reach your arms back behind you and interlock your fingers
  • reach as far as you can and you can bend over as well to feel more of a stretch
  • hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times
the stretches can be done everyday if you really feel you have a problem that needs corrected, but a few times a week following your upper body work outs will be preventative.

happy friday!