Lake Effect Series Roundup

Lindsay at Lean Green Bean is putting together a pinterest post.  I don’t do a lot of link ups but this was another great way to bring more awareness to eating disorders and the fundraising campaign.  As most people know, my next goal race, the Lake Effect Half Marathon is being run for charity.  The charity Ophelia’s Place, is an inpatient eating disorder center.  My goal is to raise 2000 dollars by February 23rd.  I cannot believe it is getting so close! I know I say in every post related to the Lake Half Marathon and Lake Effect Series but the amount of support whether it’s through comments or sharing your story, donating or sharing…the amount of support is absolutely great.  It does not feel as though I have

It’s hard to see such a dangerous topic get little awareness.  I can’t tell you how many people have sent me an email or message thanking me for creating this series or bringing a little bit more awareness.  It honestly isn’t me, it’s the entire community.  So thank you.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected such a powerful rally.

I’m exactly 400 dollars away from my huge goal of raising 2000 dollars!  If you are interested in sharing or donating, please don’t hesitate.  I know Ophelia’s Place would put it to get great use. 

Here are five stories I decided to reshare.  You can read all of them here.

Disordered Eating and Blogging

The writer suffered from disordered eating and what is normal.  After shutting down their blog and realizing they were comparing themselves they have fully recovered.

foodguidepyramid

A Sisters Point of View

The writer shares about her sister who suffered from an eating disorder.  It is a unique viewpoint, often times we hear from the person diagnosed but reading about how it affected the family is also truly heartbreaking.

ednos

Bulimia-

The writer shares her story to binging and purging her food.  “I had always sworn to myself that I would NEVER stoop low enough to vomit, but it was inevitable.”

factoid

Binge Eating-

A collegiate runner shares her struggle with binge eating.  After several years and constant yo yo dieting, she was able to fully recover and are now training for a 5k.

bingeeatingdisorder

EDNOS-

Laura talks about her struggles with life and how stress related to her disordered eating.

If you are interested in sharing your story, please don’t hesitate to email me.  No story is too strong, too powerful, too vague, too short or too long.  I can guarantee you someone has felt the same way.

Question for you: What causes or charities are close to your heart?

Continuing the Success

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about being successful and my own personal meaning about it.  In summary I thought:

Success is doing something you enjoy, being happy and able to make it. 

Whether you are working and doing something completely different then your major in college…

Whether you are taking care of your child and enjoying it…

Whether you are taking risks and making personal changes…

Whether you are doing something you swore you would never do…

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I hinted last week that I didn’t need material items right now to make me feel happy or successful.  I do crave the support of friends and family-both of which I have.  I can honestly say I have the absolute best friends in the entire world.   It is a great feeling to say that both my family and friends would do anything for me and I would do anything for them.

I haven’t always had this mindset though.  In college and even after, I had the mindset to always bite off more than I could chew.  I wanted to be the best at multiple things.  I would rather be a jack of all trades versus specialize in one or two different ideas.

I’ve been asked a lot about the comparison trap and how I stay content with being myself.  I’m not the world’s best blogger, I’m not the fastest runner, I’m still actively seeking a job and yet I feel happy and content with my life-despite it not being everything I had hoped for post college.

I think about how I desperately needed two solid months off of running after the marathon.  I watch as countless runners and bloggers can do shake out runs the day after or even the week after.  I was barely able to move for two weeks after let alone get into serious running.  I needed far more time to both physically and mentally recover from the marathon.

In college you are given an image that you feel you should strive to be.  Post college you should be applying for jobs and be hired within a couple of months for a job full time with benefits.  As far as your social life, you keep good friendships with your college friends.  Your college sweetheart and you get married a few months after graduation.  You make good friends with your new found coworkers as well as people with similar interests outside of work.

Then within a couple of years you have saved enough to put a down payment on a house.  Now you’re set?  Right?  You have a perfect job, perfect spouse, house and perhaps a couple of pets.  (Lord knows I’m not a pet person).

So here you are at the ripe age of 25 living the dream.  Or at least that was the impression that my college gave me.

I’m only 23 so I guess I have a few years to go.  I can guarantee you that probably none of that will be my life at 25.  I hope to have a job, I know I won’t be putting a down payment on a house and I know I think it’s highly unlikely I’ll have pets.

I do know one thing-that I’ll be content with myself.  I’ll be happy if I am working, enjoying my life and enjoying the process that is life. I think the more I think about this topic, the more I realize that there is no single measurement for happiness.  My life is nothing as I thought post college.  My life is nothing as I thought it would be six months ago…and you know what?

I’m okay with that.  I’m enjoying each stride.

Finally, don’t forget to vote friends!  I’m starting to catch up!  🙂

Why I Think I Would Represent ZOOMA Well

I sat here for a while contemplating how to write this post.  I should have done it earlier but never in my wildest dreams did I believe the ZOOMA Napa Valley contest would take off as it has.  Never in my wildest dreams would I believe I would be a contender for such a large prize.  It’s not a secret that I have never wanted to win anything more in my life.  My heart is really into this contest and I’ve always wanted to run on the West Coast.   Every day I work my butt off to harass people to vote and while I apologize, I promise after February 24th I’ll be done harassing for a while.  Before I even say anything about myself I wanted to thank every single person who has stood behind me and voted and promoted me daily.  Each of you has helped so much.  Every single vote is amazing.  Each share, retweet, vote and LOL (even it’s a pretend LOL) at my bad jokes and art makes me smile.  

The reason I entered the ZOOMA contest is because I felt like I embodied the true values of ZOOMA. 

The ZOOMA mission is “To inspire women to live healthy, happy, & active lives.”

I personally think I have come to terms with living a healthy, happy and active life.  One of the most important factors to me in life is balance.  It’s important to balance your social life, your friends, your family, personal time as well as training time.  Throughout my three and a half years of blogging I think I have learned that.

I have learned that sometimes it is okay to skip a day of working out to hang out with a loved one.

I have learned that sometimes it is okay to say that you can’t hang out because you need some alone time, some workout time or need to do what’s best for you.

I have learned that while you should never strive to make anyone feel guilty or bad, only you can make yourself truly happy.  You must love and accept yourself before others will do the same.

Honestly despite all of my moves (2013 in a nut shell: NY->VA->Tx->NJ) and the rest of lives curve balls I have come to terms with being more balanced…  I am at a point in my life that I am truly happy.  As I sit here and reflect about that I realize how far I have come since college.  If you were to ask me “Hollie would you be happy living in NJ, eagerly awaiting job callbacks while sitting indoors while it’s 20 degrees?” I would have laughed.

I probably would have thought I would be stressed beyond belief.  I probably would have thought I would have fallen deeper and deeper into my social anxiety hole from early college but I have not.  I have risen and combated my social anxiety.  I have risen and done what makes me happy.  I have taken care of myself by making time for me.  I make time for my workouts, my personal life and other relaxation.

The fact is, I’m not stressed in the slightest and I can truly say my friends and family have been there for me.  I learned that first hand this fall when I was going through so much turmoil during marathon training.  I learned how supportive my friends from Hampton Roads, Potsdam, Oswego, Texas and from honestly all across the world are.  I don’t have to have met you in real life to realize how important each of you is to me.  Without everyone’s constant support, I probably would be stressed out.  I have realized that it is okay to ask for help in order to achieve that balance.  I can truly say that my life is healthy, happy and active.

A big dream of mine has always been to race on the West Coast.  Not just to update a new state to athlinks but because who wouldn’t want to race on the West Coast?  (I’m sure all West Coasters want to get out on the East Coast sometime…just not now it’s cold).  I was born in San Diego and have always dreamed of going back when I was little older.  The races always look so enjoyable.  When I found out ZOOMA was going to send a lucky blogger to race their Napa Valley Race I immediately wanted to win.  The moment I read that announcement was the moment I knew I had never wanted to win anything more. I ran the ZOOMA Annapolis race in 2012 and enjoyed it so I would assume I would enjoy the California one too.  (Plus it’s Califonia). 

I truly appreciate each person’s vote and support.  Do not vote for me because I am constantly harassing you or because I’ve never wanted to win something more in my life, vote for me because you believe I truly represent the ZOOMA mission well.  

If you are interested in reading my full running store…here is the link to that.  I haven’t always been a runner but I’m glad I decided to join this community.

In all honesty I couldn’t type up this post without tearing up and thinking about how special each person is to me.   Thank you all for your support and hopefully I can achieve this dream.  If not I will continue my quest to one day race on the west coast. 

Lake Effect Series: Bulimia and Swimming

Note from Hollie: I cannot believe there is less then a month to go until the Lake Effect Half Marathon.  This story is from someone who I know personally and it has touched me so much.  The first time I read this post I cried.  Thank you for sharing friend.  If you would like to submit your story please don’t hesitate to email me, I am looking for about 10 more.  Please don’t hesitate to donate to my fundraising campaign.  My goal today is to reach 1600 dollars (about 140 until that point).  It means a lot to me when you do, or if you share the page with someone else.  Sharing a story, my fundraising page, or raising awareness are all so helpful.  Thank you everyone for your support.   I know I have two various campaigns going on right now but this is by far the most important to me.  I have enjoyed how many people have donated, shared and how many lives this series of posts is touching.  I cannot believe how big it is becoming! 

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Submitted by anonymous 

I had body image issues for as long as I can remember. For example, when I was in gymnastics: I was probably 6 or 7 the day I moved up from a white belt (belts symbolized your level) to a red belt and I remember being self-conscious when the lady was measuring out the elastic band to put around my waist. I was so upset, secretly, that my new red belt was bigger than my white belt. In my family food and weight has always been a weird topic. My parents would openly make rude remarks in front of us about fat people, or use them as an example of what we would look like if we didn’t eat healthy. My mom only wanted us to be healthy but it came across in a very negative way to me as a child and being fat seemed like the most shameful thing I could do. I started sneaking into my parents’ bathroom to weigh myself by the time I was 10.

My eating disorder began gradually in 8th grade and the summer before my freshman year of high school. I was a competitive swimmer and ever since I began, I had a lot of pressure on me to “reach my potential” and eventually get college scholarships. I felt so much pressure and stress to perform the way I was expected to, especially once I started swimming for the high school team and was the one expected to win all my races and save all the relays. Somehow, in my head I based my worth off my weight and became obsessed with getting thinner, convincing myself that I’d be faster. By that fall of my freshman year I was only eating an apple or a clif bar most days – while swimming 2 practices a day, a cross training/running PE class, and excessive exercise on my own when I got home at night. My weight never dropped low enough to be concerning and I hid my eating habits very well. Even when I was completely fatigued and exhausted, I always managed to push myself enough to scrape by – although I got frequent lectures about how I wasn’t swimming fast enough or training right. A lot of times I hid my physical exhaustion in my let’s-make-coach-mad antics. I was a troublemaker in the pool. Despite my issues and terrible self-esteem, I wasn’t miserable. In fact I had a false sense of pride – I was still the fastest swimmer and a straight-A student and I didn’t even need food to do it! But I still hated how “fat” I was and would constantly beat myself up over everything I did.

I couldn’t keep up this starvation act for long. In the springtime of my freshman year after passing out in the shower one morning, I was scared enough to eat a bit more. This turned into binging about once a week. But I started to gain weight. I had always sworn to myself that I would NEVER stoop low enough to vomit, but it was inevitable.

The first time I tried to make myself throw up was after I had pasta for dinner one night during a rare family dinner. I tried but had no luck. But once I had broken down that mental barrier, there was no stopping me and within a few weeks I was able to make myself throw up easily. By summertime I had full-blown bulimia. There were some days I’d eat and throw up 6 times in a row before heading to a workout. My sophomore year and the following summer were like this, still with periods where I’d just restrict my food to nothing. This all wreaked havoc on my swim practices and my times got slower, after that summer, not faster.

Junior year, I went back to being homeschooled. This meant I had tons of time and tons of food. Disaster. After morning practice I’d come home and eat and throw up. Sometimes once would be enough; sometimes it would happen over and over again. I kept gaining weight, which didn’t go unnoticed – especially when you’re a competitive swimmer. The missing food didn’t go unnoticed either. Eventually at some point my mother sent me to a nutritionist at the gym. I decided to come clean about my eating habits. I can’t remember exactly why – I was by no means willing to stop at that point. But long story short, eventually I got set up with a nutritionist and therapist in the closest city. That was one of the worst seasons of my life. My mom and I fought so much over this issue. I was going to appointments, but I didn’t like them at all. In the end the therapist basically told me to stop coming because we were just wasting money and time. I was having nothing to do with it (and no way I was able to follow a meal plan). The traditional eating disorder recovery approach was NOT going to work with me. (granted, I didn’t truly give it an honest effort. But at 15 or 16 this was my impression.)

Things got worse and at one point in which I realized I needed to stop hating myself and stop hurting myself. I realized I could never be the person I wanted to be if bulimia defined my life. The real kick in the butt came one night though. It was late at night and I started having chest pains, feeling faint, shaking uncontrollably, and was beginning to black out. I was desperate enough that I tried to get up and go downstairs to find my mom, but I couldn’t even walk down the hall. I was terrified. I may have hated myself, but deep down I cared enough about myself that this was not okay! Ruining my health and living my life in a self-obsessed bubble was NOT going to get me anywhere worth going. I decided to “fake it till I make it.” I basically pretended to be a confident person who loved herself and her body. Whenever I wanted to mentally beat myself up I would just stop and not let it happen. Slowly but surely without even realizing it my pretending turned into reality.

The food side of things was a bit harder, seeing as that was more like a physical addiction to me. Even when I stopped feeling super guilty every time I ate, my body had a hard time keeping down and digesting food. So then I would just NOT eat, but the deprivation would trigger such an intense desire for food that I would end up binging. Sometimes I purged, sometimes I didn’t. I sure didn’t like gaining weight from that though. I found a book that really resonated with me – it’s called Brain Over Binge and like me, the author didn’t find traditional therapy to be very effective. Instead, she looked at her bulimia from a physical standpoint where FOOD actually IS the issue (binging becomes an addiction). I was so glad to have read this book.  Gradually, my situation with food got better. I was over feeling guilty, so I just needed time for my body to get used to being fed consistently.

It’s not as if I’ve never worried about my weight or had poor body image since then, but it in no way shape or form dominates my thoughts anymore. I became more focused on what my body can DO versus what it looks like. I’m more proud of my athletic accomplishments than I ever will be about any weight loss. And I love my body enough to treat it well and want to feed it with appropriate nutrition to support my activities. I was very into crossfit and bootcamp classes late in high school and I started to appreciate my abilities rather than my looks.

I no longer swim. I started to swim in my freshman year of college, but I found myself mentally reverting back to old habits and thought processes. My eating disorder past is just too entwined with swimming. Now I’m in love with a new sport – rugby! If there’s any sport that is completely discourages eating disorders and thinness, rugby is it. I am incredibly lucky to be at a point where an eating disorder no longer dictates my life and I can focus on my friends and family, school, and rugby. My relationship with my mom was once extremely rocky and fragile, but now we’re very close and don’t fight anymore. We never talk about my eating disorder though. I hope that everyone struggling with an eating disorder can find their own path to recovery. Thanks Hollie for everything you’re doing!

Treadmill Base Building (70 miles)

This week has been a proud moment in my training.  This week fueledbyfuel told me that I look stronger (and not like an awkward flailing ostrich while I’m running).  I have been doing a little bit of core work (a few times a week) but I have never had someone tell me I was ripped or looked strong.

I’m not going to be posting photos of me half naked on the internet but just know my core is getting stronger for two reasons.  One you probably couldn’t tell anything of it and two, I don’t post half naked photos of me on the internet.  Like running your miles actually equates into faster training…who knew.

Since my last training post two weeks ago, I had made a lot of strides towards getting back to where I want to be.  I’m feeling a lot more confident in my training and life in general.  It’s honestly quite the improvement from my last Debbie Downer training post.  I think there could be a chance for a PR at the New Jersey Half Marathon April 27, but I am hoping to change my goal race to Napa Valley, CA .

As most of the East Coast has been hit by a winter storm, NJ was not excluded.   Most of my runs had to be done on the treadmill.  I struggled a bit with it this week and found myself getting more bored than usual.  My main was focus was to get these runs in and get good quality miles.  Something that is personally different for me on the treadmill is that I know the times I’m supposed to hit and can hit them without worry.  I cannot slog slower miles like I find myself doing running outdoors.  I’ve always believed that winter should be a base building and mile logging time period.  Unless you are training for a specific race during the winter, my primary goal is to come out injury free.

Monday: 11.25 mile run easy outside P90x Ab Ripper
Tuesday: 10.25 mile run progressive (8:16 overall pace)
Wednesday: 10.75 hills on the treadmill (2.0-8.0 incline) 8:50 pace Personal Core work
Thursday: 11.55 treadmill progressive run (6.7 pace-10.0 pace) P90X
Friday: AMT Cross training
Saturday: 11.23 miles treadmill (8:28 pace) P90X
Sunday: Tentative: 15 miles Nike training club abs
Total: Total: 70 miles And lots of core

My goal this week was to have one progressive run (Thursday) as well as one hill simulation run.  Running hills on the treadmill has become my staple treadmill workout.  The amount of sweat and accomplishment after 90 minutes is boarderline gross but I’m always glad I actually do it.

Where I live in NJ has no hills and is pretty flat so logging hilly miles is a challenge.  With treadmill workouts at least I can get some solid inclines in.  I’ve been doing set programs which have gone from 2.0-8.0 several times.  It seems to be working well for me.

My progressive run of the week was a 95 minute run (90+5 minutes of cooldown).  I always log a 6.7-7.0 for 45 minutes then just start increasing the pace from there for the next 45 minutes.  Eventually (for 1 whole minute) found myself at 10.0.  That was enough of that and after nearly flying off the back I went into cooldown (#selfie) mode.

So I have nothing bad to say about this week of base building.  Honestly it was awesome!  I was supposed to run a 5k today (Sunday) but it was cancelled again for ice.  This has not been my month with races but as long as I make it through this season injury free I will come back for a strong Spring season.

OH and Please please take a minute to vote.  I am only 200 votes away from first place.  Winning this ZOOMA trip means so much to me and I’ve never wanted to win anything more.  If you want to link it to your blog, retweet, share to friends facebooks I wouldn’t mind at all.  I’ve never been so close to winning something so amazing.   I’ll continue with daily memes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had 4 races cancelled in a month?

What was your best workout of the week?  

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