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Category: Fitness

Walt Disney Marathon Weekend

Hi guys! Long time no see!

Sorry for the long break! Past couple of weeks have been busy, busy, busy! But a lot happened in the past week that I have to tell you guys, and I will break it up into a few posts so it’s not overwhelming!

As a lot of you know, this past week Andrew and I were headed to Disney World for the marathon weekend. I was signed up for the Dopey Challenge (5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, marathon) and Andrew was signed up for the Goofy Challenge (1/2 marathon, marathon). As you’ll see, things didn’t go quite as planned, but it was still a wonderful weekend!

We left for Disney at 5:30 in the morning on Wednesday. It always surprises me how busy the SeaTac airport is even early in the morning. But it was a smooth process to get through security and to our gate. The flights went quickly for me as I slept the majority of the time, and we got into Orlando at 4:25 pm.

One wonderful thing about staying on Disney property is how smoothly everything runs and how easy they make it to get around. We went straight to Mickey’s Magical Express bus which got us to our resort in about 45 minutes. For this race-cation we stayed in Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, which is one of the lower-budget resorts. It was totally fine, especially since we didn’t spend too much time in the rooms, but Andrew and I will definitely stay at a nicer resort for our honeymoon!

We had to rush right from the hotel over to the race expo, since my first race was the next morning. We got right on the shuttle over to ESPN Wide World of Sports and went through the packet pick-up process. For the Dopey Challenge, they gave me six race shirts, one for each race, one for Goofy, and one for Dopey. Since this is not my first Disney race and we’re saving money for the wedding, I didn’t get any extra shirts or jackets, but I did get a Dopey headband from the official merchandise tent. The expo is always crowded, but the organization of the volunteers gets you in and out quickly. We had a reservation at Boma restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner, so we went straight from the expo over to eat.

Now Boma is a unique African buffet restaurant, and the food is absolutely fabulous, so the place is always jam packed. Our reservation was at 8:15 but we didn’t end up getting seated until 8:45! Totally worth it though. There wasn’t a single thing I ate that wasn’t totally worth it. Here’s a picture of my first plate, but I did end up getting seconds!

Some of the things I ate: prime rib, fried plaintains, sweet potato mash, curried pasta salad, lentil and goat cheese salad, spinach and corn pudding, white grits, and cornbread. After a long day of traveling, this dinner hit the spot!

After dinner, we tried to head straight back to the hotel, but through a series of unfortunate events and bus mixups, we didn’t end up getting back until 10:30! I knew the next morning was going to be an early one, so we headed right to bed!

5k recap:

My alarm went off at 3:30 to start getting ready for the WDW 5k. The last shuttle bus leaves the hotel at 4:30 and I know from experience that you don’t want to be on the last bus. So I planned to go out around 4:10. I slowly got ready, pinned my Dopey bib on, and Andrew and I went out to the shuttle. We got to the race site around 4:40 and the race doesn’t start until 6:00, so it was quite a lot of sitting here around and waiting. Luckily, there’s always a fun DJ keeping the energy high and tons of awesome costumes to look at, so time goes by fairly quickly.

At around 5:30, people started getting into their corrals. Corrals for the 5k and 10k were A-F and I was in D, so luckily I didn’t have to wait to the very end to start. Once your corral starts moving up to the start line, it’s so exciting! And when Rudy says, “Runners! Set! Goooooo!” it’s hard not to get caught up and jet right out!

But I knew I had a lot of running left to do this week (or so I thought), so I took the first mile very very easy. Andrew was waiting around the first turn, cheering for me, so I ran over and gave him a big kiss! Once I got to mile 1, I decided to walk for a while and take in the beautiful sights.

The 5k went around the Epcot world showcase and there were some absolutely gorgeous views!

I also had some great character sightings!

I walked when I wanted to, ran when I felt like it, and before I knew it, I was next to the giant ball in Epcot at mile 3!

There’s nothing like crossing a Disney finish line! And this time they had metal medals instead of rubber!

After the race, we caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel to sleep for a while! We ended up sleeping until around 10:30 and then heading over to Magic Kingdom, which was still decorated for Christmas!

Our first fast pass was for Peter Pan’s Flight, which was fun. It was a slower ride, and probably not one I would do again, but it was a good one to do once, a classic ride, and a nice introduction to the rest of the fun planned that day.

We walked around in Frontier Land for a while, checking out some souvenir shops and killing time until our next fast pass, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This one was perfect for me! Fast and fun but not overly scary. I can be a wimp when it comes to intense roller coasters, but Thunder Mountain is one I will be doing again!

After Thunder Mountain, we were getting hungry and thirsty, so we stopped into a little place in Frontier Land and got beef nachos to share. I also grabbed a slushy strawberry lemonade which was not only completely refreshing, but adorable!

When we had finished eating, I used my Disney app to check out close rides and saw that the carousel only had a ten minute wait. I have always had a soft spot for carousels, so we hopped in line and were climbing aboard our steeds in a few rotations of the ride!

Since we still had a while until our last fast pass, Space Mountain, we decided to hop over to the Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor, which is a fun improv comedy show performed by some very funny monsters! They pick people out of the audience to tease, all in good fun, and it was quite funny. It’s something I would definitely do on a return trip!

Andrew needed a snack, so I grabbed a Diet Coke and he got a cream cheese stuffed pretzel. I snuck a few bites and it was delicious!  Kind of like a danish inside a pretzel. Yummmmm!

With our snack devoured, we headed to Space Mountain, Andrew very excitedly, me with much trepidation. I was sooooo nervous! Andrew kept reassuring me it would be fun, but my heart was beating out of my chest!

As soon as the ride started, I screamed my head off and didn’t stop until it did! In our ride pictures, I’m gripping the lap bar and very obviously screaming! It was very fun though, and I would absolutely do it again! I screamed so much that the guy in front of me turned around at the end like, what the heck? I was beet red!

Since we had woken up so early that morning and had another early start the next morning, we decided to start heading back towards the hotel. Not before we caught the end of a performance in front of the castle and grabbed a delicious cake pop, though!

All in all, it was a fabulous day!

Next post: the 10k recap and Animal Kingdom!

This Week in Workouts

Hi guys!

I thought I’d do a quick post on what’s happening in my fitness world this week. I’ve been upping the cardio quite a bit to try and drop some of the weight that has been piling itself on since Andrew and I started dating. I definitely want to continue strength training, but losing some of the weight so that I can fit and look good in my wedding dress is the priority right now. And so far I’ve lost four pounds! I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like I can already see it in my face and how my clothes fit. It’s a sigh of relief, to be quite honest.

So onto the workouts!

  • Monday: 1 hour bike at gym
  • Tuesday: 30 minute run, 15 minute stair master
  • Wednesday: 30 minute run, 30 minute bike
  • Thursday: upper body strength, 30 minute run or stair master
  • Friday: 1 hour cardio to be decided! Possibly yoga?
  • Saturday: lower body strength, 30 min bike
  • Sunday: rest

As I’ve told Andrew, I’m just feeling good. I think with gaining over thirty pounds I was really starting to feel sluggish. Even though I’m tall (almost 5’11”!), thirty pounds is a heck of a lot to gain. My clothes started fitting funny or not fitting at all, and I’m really looking forward to getting back into some of my favorite jeans and cute dresses. Plus, I just keep thinking about my wedding dress and how I want to look and feel on my wedding day.

I know that Andrew is concerned that losing weight will trigger my ED. But I’m trying to be careful and resist any bingeing urges so that purging is not even an option. And honestly, after this year, I will be happy to eat a little bit more than I’m eating right now. I already swore to Andrew that on our honeymoon (to Disney World!!!) I will really relax and let myself eat and enjoy with no guilt, worries, or weight-talk. But for now, I just want to feel better and I know I will feel more comfortable and confident in my body if I just drop some pounds.

My goal is between 25 and 30 pounds but I never know what’s gonna happen with my body and metabolism and the scale. It’s unpredictable. So I’m going to try and be nice to myself and relaxed through this process. Anyone who knows me knows this will be difficult, but luckily I’ve got my love to help and support me with his calm and laid back personality. It’ll be interesting if nothing else!

Hope you have a great Thursday!

What We’ve Been Up To

Hi guys!

It’s been a while! That’s completely my fault. Andrew and I have definitely been busy, but during this holiday time I just wanted to take some time to slow down, relax with my family, and consider where I want to go with the blog.

Now of course, fitness, health, and weight loss have all been extremely important parts of my life and will continue to be, in addition to eating disorder recovery. But my life is also much more than that, and I started the blog to be a lifestyle blog, not just a fitness blog. So I think I want to branch out and do a wider variety of posts. I tried to step out a bit with my top 5 winter skincare products, and I liked the way that post turned out, so I will continue to write what feels good and right at the time. Hopefully you will enjoy reading it!

Because it’s been a while since I posted, I figured I would catch you up on what’s been happening in Andrew’s and my life recently.

[gratuitous and adorable cat and dachshund snuggle shot]

Last week was a busy and hard week before Christmas. I had a couple of difficult situations at work that I was dealing with, so a night out with two of my bridesmaids was much needed! We went Wednesday night to a local place called Grapes and Crepes, which I highly recommend! I had a couple of glasses of Riesling, which is one of my favorite kinds of wine!

We talked and talked and ended up closing the place down at 9:00 after catching up for three hours! My sweet maids gave me a fun bachelorette dice game and I was able to give them their bridesmaid “proposal” boxes. Here’s a pic of the outside of one, but I don’t want to post the inside since two of my bridesmaids haven’t received theirs yet:

I can’t wait to get everyone together before the wedding! I have such wonderful, awesome people as bridesmaids.

Then on Friday, Andrew, my mother, my brothers, and I drove to Yakima to eat lunch together at Applebee’s. I have to say that the food was not great, but it was nice to eat lunch with my family. After lunch my mom took me to Ulta and I shopped my little heart out, snagging two Peter Thomas Roth face masks that I’ve been coveting for a while: the Irish moor mud mask and the pumpkin enzyme mask.  PS: the pumpkin mask smells like straight up pumpkin pie and worked wonders on my skin, helping clear some of the dry patches and texture after just one use! Love!

Then my mom and I drove to a place called JS Nails to get our nails done, which I was super excited about. My nails have been very fragile and splitty lately, so getting them done was a treat. I chose purple and gold for the playoff game on December 31st between Alabama and UW. Go Huskies!!

Sunday was Christmas of course, and it was a nice, relaxing holiday with the family. We ate homemade breakfast casserole and opened presents. My mom gave me some fun things including a Betty Crocker original reproduction cookbook with favorite recipes highlighted and kitchen chopping shears!

My fitness was so-so this week. I only ended up going to the gym three times, but I made sure to get a nice sweaty half-hour on the bike on Christmas Eve before the indulgence of the next day!

Last week ended up being wonderful, although the slightest bit stressful. Aren’t the holidays always a bit stressful?

Things I’m looking forward to this week: the playoff game, New Years Eve, seeing my other two bridesmaids, and just hanging out with my fiancé! I’ll be sure to pop in for a few more posts. Have a great day!

Santa Runs Tacoma Half Marathon Race Report

Hi guys!

So I hope you like this schedule of posting only a few times a week. I just don’t feel like I have enough going on to justify a daily posts, and this way the posts I do make will be longer and hopefully more interesting!

Anyway, let’s talk about yesterday. Our last half marathon/race of the season was scheduled to be the Santa Runs Tacoma race on December 10th. Initially I was very excited about this race. First of all, it’s a Christmas race, and you all know how I’m obsessed with Christmas. Second of all, this is the last race of three that we’ve done in the Tacoma series, and we get a special medal for completing it!

But after a week of checking the weather forecast (40 and raining) and overanalyzing how little running training I’ve done lately, I started feeling unsure.

We woke up on Saturday at 6:00 to eat and get dressed. For breakfast I had one packet of apples and cinnamon oatmeal and two spoonfuls of peanut butter. I’ll say right now, this was not enough food. I was starving by mile 3 on the racecourse, started getting fatigued way too early for my liking, and of course had failed to pack any fuel for the course. More on that later.

After we ate, we drove about a half hour to Tacoma and found a parking garage near the start. Andrew went and picked up our packets while I stood in line to pay for the parking.

We only had about fifteen minutes before the race started, plenty of time to use the restroom. Something great about this race was they had plenty of port-a-potties so the lines were very short!

There were lots of people dressed up in festive running outfits. Tutus, funny hats, even a few people in Christmas pajamas. Two Santas were bopping around and spreading Christmas cheer: one traditional Santa and one that was slightly more… colorful!

After a few more minutes of standing around in the cold, they started counting down to the start of the race! I felt the familiar jolt of nervous energy and we were off!

The first few miles of this race, I felt great. We were cruising along at a good pace (for me) and my legs were staying strong, which is a testament to all the strength training that we’ve been doing lately. However, I definitely have not been running enough and started to lose steam fairly quickly, which indicates a need to build my endurance back up.

We started out in downtown Tacoma. I didn’t take any pictures there because the scenery was fairly boring. At about mile five, we headed out down by the water, and had at least one nice view to one of our sides for the majority of the race.

When I got tired, we started doing what I call “intuitive intervals,” running and walking to certain landmarks based on how we [I] felt. At this point, I was STARVING! Luckily at around mile 8 they had a station with chia seed gels and I was able to take one on the way out and two on the way back for a burst of energy. We finally reached the turn-around of the out-and-back section around mile 9, and I incredibly happy to be heading back toward the finish line. I don’t think there’s any higher joy than seeing a turn-around during a race.

Around mile 11, I gave up on intervals all together and knew we would have to walk the rest of the race in. I was having foot and hip pain due to not having ran enough lately, and was getting some major chafing on my thighs. But once I saw mile 12, I knew that we were almost finished and I started speeding up towards the finish and that Christmas medal!

With Andrew’s encouragement, we ran [painfully jogged] it in! They even pronounced my name correctly as we came across the finish line! They handed us our sparkly medals and we started hobbling back up to our parked car. The race does not start and finish at the same point, so that is something to keep in mind if you want to run this one!

Our first priority after the race was food, and thankfully, there was a Pita Pit right across from the garage where we parked our car! We both snarfed down a pita and three collective bags of salt and vinegar chips! My pita had chicken breast, grilled mushrooms, pickles, olives, onions, spinach, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!

After lunch, we got in the car and slowly drove home. That evening and the next day were filled with plenty of movie watching, food eating, and recliner sitting! All in all, I’m very happy that we went and completed the race. It was a good test for Disney in January and the medal is just adorable!

Well, I hope you guys all had a great weekend and have a good Monday!

 

This Week in Workouts and WIAW

Hey guys!

I thought I’d do a mid-week check in with an overview of our workouts and dinners for this week, plus what I ate/am planning on eating today!

Workout plan:

  • Monday: strength at gym, lower body
  • Tuesday: 20 minutes of stair master, 25 minutes bike
  • Wednesday: strength at gym, upper body
  • Thursday: 6AM Hatha yoga class, cardio at gym
  • Friday: easy cardio at gym
  • Saturday: Santa Runs Tacoma half marathon (hopefully if the weather cooperates!)
  • Sunday: easy recovery cardio at gym

The only reason for the cardio before and after the half marathon is that we are in the middle of the 12 days of fitness challenge at the gym. You can only miss three days of the 15, and we have already missed one when we were in Seattle on Sunday.

Dinner meal plan:

  • Monday: Honey Dijon salmon and balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Tuesday: Avocado and egg sandwiches on wheat bread
  • Wednesday: spaghetti squash with shrimp and marinara sauce, side salad
  • Thursday: Beef and bok choy crockpot recipe from triathlete magazine
  • Friday: TBD
  • Saturday: Steak and roasted broccoli (nice recovery meal!)
  • Sunday: Eggroll in a bowl?

This week’s dinner menu is filled with lots of easy meals and repeat recipes. I just haven’t had the time to look up a bunch of new clean eating recipes. Also, since cutting out most dairy, pasta, and rice, I’m going to have to search for some recipes that are more friendly to my diet right now.

Okay, on to what I ate Wednesday!

Breakfast: homemade granola with plain Chobani Greek yogurt and chopped apple [I have been obsessed with granola bowls lately. Homemade granola is so easy and delicious. Plus much healthier than the store bought version!]

Lunch: two hard boiled eggs, the leftover balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts, and an apple with Wild Friends honey peanut butter [random assortment of things, I know. I was going to make chicken to put on a salad and completely spaced. I have also been very obsessed with nut butters! Wild friends make some very delicious choices with no refined sugars!]

Dinner: spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and shrimp, side salad [we had this meal last week and I bought another spaghetti squash because it was so good. It’s also an awesome substitute since I cut out pasta!]

So there are our plans for the week and my meals for the day! If you’re ever interested in following my nutrition and seeing some pictures, you can look for me on instagram at milaheartothere. Have a great Wednesday everyone!!

WIAW and Real Talk

Hey guys!

Popping in for a What I Ate (or am going to eat!) Wednesday post. I also have a bit of heavy stuff to get off my chest but let’s start with the fun bit!

Breakfast: Homemade granola with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, chopped apples, and a drizzle of honey.

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This was good, y’all. We made the granola this weekend because I love granola and the storebought has endless amounts of sugar. We basically took three cups of rolled oats, a cup of chopped almonds, two tablespoons of canola oil, a half a cup of honey, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Toasted the dry ingredients, mixed the wet ingredients in, spread it on a baking sheet, and baked it in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. So good and so easy. We’re almost out now, so I will be doing it again this weekend!

Lunch: Almond butter and banana sandwich on wheat bread. Side kale and Brussels sprout salad with feta and balsamic vinegarette.

Ok, kind of a random mix of ingredients. Truth is, we need to go to the grocery store tonight. I swear, we make like three grocery store trips a week. That’s just how we roll.

Dinner: Homemade ricotta pesto over wheat linguine. Leftover spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken.

Im super excited to try this ricotta pesto recipe. Pesto is one of my favorite ways to top pasta and homemade is always the best! We made the chicken for dinner last night and it was delicious. Here’s the recipe: http://www.simplehealthykitchen.com/spinach-goat-cheese-hasselbeck-chicken

Do you see a recurring food group in my meals? They’re pretty heavy on dairy. Not that there’s anything wrong with dairy, but I feel like I’ve been relying on it too heavily to complete my meals. So starting tomorrow, Andrew and I are going to try and cut back on/cut out dairy. It’s going to be hard, but it’s wonderful that there are now so many non-dairy options, even at places like Starbucks. I hope that reducing dairy will also settle some of my stomach issues that I have been having lately.

Ok on to the real talk. I’ve been struggling with body image lately, guys. I know that on blogs and instagram and Facebook, people tend to only see the best side of people’s lives. The happy parts, the clean eating, the working out, the positivity.

But there are always things going on behind the scenes. Because I am recovering from an eating disorder, I know that as healthy as my meals are, I have definitely gained weight. That’s what happens when you purge your food for two and a half years and royally screw up your metabolism.

I’m trying to make myself ok with everything. I am working on seeing myself in a different light and crafting a body that is strong, not skinny. But when you have been bombarded with people, magazines, movies, etc, your whole life that tells you weight=worth, that is incredibly difficult.

My first instinct is to put myself down. I constantly catch myself looking in mirrors at the gym and frowning, pinching my hips, hiding my stomach with my arms. Luckily I have an incredibly supportive and wonderful fiancé. He knows the struggles I have been through and he is so patient with my self deprecating behavior. He constantly reassures me that I look beautiful, that he loves me the way I am, that he will never leave me, that I am becoming healthy and strong.

With his help, I will kick this ED’s ass. And I will become the strong, positive person I have always wanted to be.

This Week in Workouts

It’s Monday once again!

Yes, I’m mourning the end of my long, relaxing holiday weekend. However, Monday is always a nice fresh start and the week stretches out before you with possibility.

One of the things that motivates me every Monday is planning out our workouts for the week. On tap for this week:

  • Monday: upper body strength at the gym
  • Tuesday: 6 am Hatha yoga class
  • Wednesday: lower body strength at the gym
  • Thursday: 6 am Hatha yoga class
  • Friday: full body strength at the gym
  • Saturday: moderate run (4-5 miles)
  • Sunday: rest day (The Little Mermaid in Seattle!)

I’m telling you guys, I’m actually loving this strength/yoga heavy workout schedule. I’ve definitely started to notice a small amount of new muscle in my legs and I do believe it is going to help my running and triathlon in the upcoming season.

My healthy eating and sugar detox seems to be helping a lot in fueling my workouts. When I was running a lot and restricting calories, every workout left me feeling run down, fatigued, and slightly sick. Now I’m able to push myself and I feel strong and badass! I know it should be common sense, but I just never realized how different and good clean eating and strength training could feel!

Our tentative dinner meal plan for the week:

I’m really excited to be in Seattle on Sunday and to find some yummy, exciting, healthy food. Any suggestions?

Well, that’s the plan for the week, but we will see how we feel each day. Things may get switched around. But I’m excited for the week and especially The Little Mermaid! I hope you guys have a great Monday!!

Leftover Turkey Trot 5k Race Recap

Hey guys!

Today was the first time I’ve ran a 5k in a while; Andrew and I have mostly been doing long distance races. This was a nice change of pace, because just when it was getting really hard, I was done!

This morning we woke up at around 7:45 to eat breakfast and get dressed. The race started at 10:00, but we had about a 45 minute drive, so I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time to get there. For breakfast I ate a bowl of homemade granola that we cooked up last night with vanilla almond milk and a sliced banana.

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This ended up being a perfect meal to keep me fueled and energized during the race. We drove to the race site to pick up our packets, and as we got closer, we realized it was going to be a cold and foggy run! We had plenty of time after we grabbed our packets, so we rested in the heated car and dinked around on our phones.

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We got out of the car about ten minutes before the race to take a selfie with the banner!

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As we were taking the picture, this happened…

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My parents showed up!

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It was a really fun surprise to have them there to wish us luck and see us off!

P.S.- Isn’t this giant schnauzer gorgeous? The lady said he was still a puppy! Can’t imagine how big he will be when he gets older.

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Finally 10:00 rolled off and we were off! The race was on a greenway following the river, so we had some pretty (albeit foggy) views to our right.

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In case you don’t know me, I am a very slow runner. Usually averaging 12:00-13:00 per mile. Plus, Andrew and I have not run in a while, so I didn’t expect that much today. But my legs actually felt pretty good and my walk breaks were sparse. Before I even knew it, we were at the turnaround!

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We did speed up on the way back, and I tried to push myself, although my head hurt just a little. Must have been dehydrated? Anyway, as we neared the finish line, I could see that we were going to make it under 40:00, which is the speediest (ha) I’ve been in a while. We both opened up our strides and ended up crossing the line at 38:53!

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I was so happy and proud of this race. And of course, it was wonderful as always to run with my amazing, wonderful, supportive fiancé. Plus, getting another medal for the rack is never a bad thing!

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We hopped right in the car and booked it over to Chipotle for some yummy burrito bowls! I got black beans, brown rice, sofritas (spicy tofu), pico de gallo, green salsa, and guacamole in mine. It was so delicious but so big that now I have half left for dinner!

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We’re now at home chilling in comfy clothes and watching the Alabama vs. Auburn game. Tonight we have one of my favorite activities, a CWU basketball game! Lots of fitness, food, and fun today! Roll Tide and gooooo Wildcats!

My Health, Fitness, and Weight Loss Journey: Part 3

Finally, right? I decided it was time to continue the story so that we could get closer to finishing this off.

We left off at my leaving for grad school. I was headed to Nashville for a four-year doctoral program in Audiology. At this point, I was 20 pounds heavier than what I thought was my optimal weight. I was not happy. For the first two years of grad school, my weight fluctuated in about a 15 pound range.

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My eating was becoming very disordered at this point. I swung wildly between eating too much and eating too little. I would go weeks at a time eating approximately 800-900 calories a day and then have a breaking moment. It would usually be after a long day of clinic when I was exhausted and coming home in the dark; I was cold and hungry and just couldn’t stand it anymore, so I would grab two family sized packages of cheese ravioli or three boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese, go home, and gobble down a huge bowl of it. I say gobble because that’s exactly what it was. I would down the whole thing in about 15 minutes and then spend the rest of the night with an achingly full belly and full of self hatred. Repeat.

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At that point, life threw me a huge curveball. One night I was home alone and got up to turn off my kitchen lights. All of a sudden, I was on the floor, coming out of a hallucination where I had been walking in a white room with people singing all around me, and my hands shaking uncontrollably. I ended up being diagnosed with a seizure disorder and put on a medication called Keppra.

Keppra was not good for me, not good at all. I was starting to get depressed, having suicidal thoughts, and suddenly, a switch was flipped. One night I was at home after a huge macaroni and cheese binge, sitting with a belly that was bloated and painful, and thought, “what if I just get rid of it?” And so that’s what I did. I purged for the first time that night. It scared me, it hurt, and I vowed never to do it again.

But there’s something about an eating disorder. It is sneaky, it’s dangerous, and it knows just how to prey on your insecurities and sadness. So three days later, I did it again. It got worse and worse. I was mostly restricting calories, but when I would finally crack and binge, I would purge the food I’d eaten. And I started to lose weight. So of course, that made me happy and the cycle continued.

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My mom had figured out what was happening and dragged me to my neurologist. Since suicidal thoughts and eating disorders can be side-effects of Keppra, my doctor switched me to a medication called Lamictal. The suicidal thoughts stopped. But it was too late for the eating disorder.

I remember when my disorder was at its worst. I was down to 157 pounds and had ended up injured, most likely due to running on such poor nutrition. I was throwing up almost every meal now, even if they weren’t substantial. I felt desperate to keep my weight moving down and would do anything it took. I went to Disney World for the Disney Princess Half Marathon with my mother, and one particular incident stands out and now brings tears to my eyes.

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We had gone and picked up my race packet and went to a cafeteria to get lunch. I ate one package of Reese’s peanut butter cups and a diet coke, and couldn’t stand the feeling of even that tiny bit of food in my stomach. My mom tried to stop me from getting up, but I went to the bathroom and purged it anyway. I came out of the bathroom flushed and eyes watering, and my mom was looking at me crying, with worry, concern, and disappointment all over her face. But my eating disorder had its hooks in me, and I didn’t think I would ever escape.

Wow. Every time I write one of these posts, I feel tired by the end. Re-living some of these moments is difficult, but we’re almost done. I’ll try to get part four, the final part, out sometime this week.

 

My Tips for Running Disney

Hey y’all!

I took a little break from blogging yesterday to just hang out with my man. We did some mundane life stuff: grocery store, cleaned the car, played with the dogs, watched a scary movie. One thing I do have to share with you is our dinner. Another delicious and easy one!

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This was our eggroll in a bowl dinner. Basically, we marinated ground turkey in Asian spices and cooked it through. We then added a bag of dry coleslaw mix with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic, and ground ginger. It takes about 15-20 minutes from start to finish! We served it over California Golden Rice that we got from the grocery store. It supposedly has the nutritional profile of brown rice with the cook time of white rice. The golden rice was definitely a bit chewier than white rice, but delicious!

My post today is inspired by something I’m very excited about: Andrew and I will be at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January! Andrew will be running the Goofy Challenge- a half marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday. I will be running the Dopey Challenge- a 5k on Thursday, 10k on Friday, half marathon on Saturday, and marathon on Sunday. It’s going to be challenging, for sure. But running Disney is fun!

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I have run quite a few Disney races. My first was the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2014. I know this sounds cheesy, but it was totally magical and got me hooked on running Disney! Since then, I’ve been at the Disney World Marathon weekend, the Avengers Half Marathon Weekend, the Disney Land Half Marathon Weekend, and another repeat of the Disney Princess!

Running Disney is wonderful, because it is one of the most organized race experiences I have had. Everything is clearly planned out and marked, and you always know exactly where to go. It is expensive for sure, but in my eyes, it’s worth it! I mean, where else can you hang out with Snow White or Buzz Lightyear while running a 10k? That being said, I do have some tips to make running Disney the best experience it can be!

Tip #1: Don’t try to run for time.

This is probably the most important tip. For everyone except the most elite runners who start at the front of the pack, if you try to get a personal best time, you will likely be disappointed. Due to Disney being such a wonderful race venue, LOTS of people run the races. You will probably be in a giant crowd of people at all times. In fact, there are times where you will have to weave around people or be forced to walk because of the amount of people. There are other races to try and get your best time. Disney is for enjoying.

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Tips #2: That being said, if you can get into an earlier corral, do it.

Disney allows you to submit a proof of time from another race to place you in an appropriate corral. This prevents too much weaving around others and people walking in front of the faster runners. When I first ran the princess, I didn’t know about the proof and was put in corral N (with only one corral behind me). The next year, I submitted a previous half marathon time and was put in corral I. My experience that year was definitely more enjoyable. There was more room to move around on the race course and a better chance of taking pictures because the lines weren’t as long.

Tip #3: Enjoy the experience on the course.

This goes along with #1. Disney race courses are happy and fun. They place characters along the course and allow you to stop and take pictures with them. Do it! Don’t worry about how it will affect your time. Disney purposefully allows a generous time limit for all races (four hours for the half marathon, eight hours for the full) so that people can walk, stop for character experiences, and enjoy themselves. The more Disney races I ran, the less I cared about what time I was going to get and stopped for more and more pictures.

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Tip #4: Don’t discount the shorter races.

I know that sometimes, people who have been used to running longer distances may feel like the shorter races are not worth the time or money. Having run so many at Disney now, some of my best and most fun experiences were during a 5k or 10k! Running 3.1 or 6.2 miles (nothing to scoff at, by the way) is less pressure than 13.1 or 26.2 and you can relax a bit! Plus, you are only out there for 30-90 minutes rather than for up to 6 hours! The shorter races are completely inside the parks, you get the same character opportunities, and you still have the time and energy to have a full Disney day afterwards!

And finally, Tip #5: DRESS UP!!

What other time are you going to be able to run as your very favorite characters in the company of people who are doing the very same thing? Your outfit doesn’t have to be fancy, and it is very easy to build a character outfit out of running clothes so that you are still comfortable during the race. But I will tell you, there IS something magical about appealing to your inner child by dressing as Pocahontas or Elsa!

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Those are my best five tips, but I have many more and am perfectly happy to give someone advice or answer any questions if you are running or planning to run Disney!

I can’t wait for January, but for now, I will be planning my outfits and dreaming of Magic Kingdom!

Have a great weekend!