An awkward post run snipe on a rainy day.
being a runner made navigating exercise in my recovery difficult. i didn’t start running because i had an eating disorder. in fact, it was the opposite if anything.
i love running. but my relationship with it wasn’t always great. specifically, as a distance runner, i was trained to run no matter what. if it hurt, if i was tired, if it was hailing- i got out and ran. this wasn’t the fault of my coach or the sport, it’s the way it is. it’s just unfortunate for the kids like me who have a genetic predisposition to become compulsive.
i carried this into the offseason, when my competitive running career was over, and so on. that’s when it became problematic. even in my recovery when i was allowed to start exercising again, if i had planned to run and suddenly it started hailing, i would still feel like i had to run. i’ve had to teach myself to be flexible. that running doesn’t have to be done in extreme conditions. let’s be honest, does anyone actually like running in subzero temperatures?
but i do love running in the rain. today i got to enjoy the rain with some great company, free of worries about pace, time, distance, or what i was going to eat for dinner. exercise is hard to navigate guys, and it’s different for everyone. it’s important to find something we love, and equally as important to find flexibility within that thing we love.
What is the proudest moment you've had as a mom? this was mine! 😭❤️😍 i have watched the video of him riding his bike on his own probably 30 times today, even after following him around the entire block. •
i can't stop watching it, because it just makes me think so much about life's challenges.
see, i never considered how hard riding a bike really is until i tried to break it down for my 2 year old. try as i may, i couldn't seem to explain in words how to move his legs, steer the wheel, and watch where he was going all at the same time. •
trying to get him to understand was hard. yet, you could see the passion and determination in his eyes. •
i pushed that kid around the house in circles so many times i got dizzy. i literally waddled/crawled behind the bike moving his feet for him trying to help him get it. •
slowly, but surely he made progress. first learning to brake, then learning to push one forward, then the next, then to steer, then to look and steer at the same time, then to brake before hitting something or reaching the road. •
a week ago he could only do this barefoot, fully feeling the pedals under his feet. and then today--today he shocked me with his tennis shoes on, taking off all on his own and riding around the entire block. ❤️ •
now, all i can think is that this is how life is. we face challenges daily, we have no clue what we are doing, but we have goals we want to reach. •
yet, we will never get there without trying. we won't succeed without determination. how long it takes to get through the challenge goes hand in hand with the amount of effort we put in. (this little guy worked hard to get here!) •
with that, we need to remember the process. we don't learn everything at once, rather, we learn things in steps, slowly, over time. ❤️ •
and someday, our hard work will see us off--we will take off, overcoming the challenge, and racing forward. we know we will have to continue to work; i mean, someday the training wheels will have to come off, but until then, we gain courage and strength from the little successes along the way. •
yes, watching him ride his bike is my most proud moment, because in it he taught me so much about life!
I’ve recently noticed a lot of areas i could grow in, very challenging, gross ones. my first instinct is to run, until i remember confrontation is good! more on the blog at arethajacobs.art or link in profile.
I was never on a formal meal plan.
when i was finally weight restored, my mom was told to keep picking my meals for me. so she did. i ate x amount of meals, and x amount of snacks. when i started transitioning into eating on my own, i was still told to eat x meals and x snacks. when i went back to school, i had to log x meals and x snacks.
i started jokingly calling it my “meal plan that isn’t a meal plan but is totally a meal plan.” the point of keeping me off said formal meal plan was to avoid rigidity. but like a lot of people with eating disorders, i know the exact nutrition content of absolutely everything. i became fixated on the exact amount of calories i was supposed to get at every meal. i didn’t eat the same thing everyday (i wasn’t allowed), but i had a memorized list of things that would fit. if it was even the slightest bit over, i wouldn’t eat it. every time my mom introduced a new food, she would be bombarded with the question, “is this equivalent to what i normally eat?”
one day we were arguing about a new breakfast food that i deemed was “not equivalent.” “don’t you understand that not everything has to be the exact same amount to fit in your diet? there’s no exact amount of calories your body needs every single meal. ”
i ignored her, but i was still listening. she was right. there are so many foods i enjoyed but wouldn’t eat because i was too rigid. if our ultimate goal is to become intuitive eaters in the end, then this is a good place to start.
i was at home this morning, and instead of making a boring old breakfast, i made something fun that i can’t make at school. no, this breakfast wasn’t exactly “equivalent” to what i typically eat every day, but guess what? it was delicious.
for years and years and years all i saw when i looked at food was x amount of calories. and i still do that sometimes. being flexible with the amount of food consumed at meals has been a hard and huge adjustment for me. it’s something i have to work hard for every day. but it’s so, so freeing.
your eating disorder doesn’t control you. they tell us that 24/7 in recovery. remember that your meal plan doesn’t either.
Like most people with anorexia, i was banned from exercise for pretty much the entirety of my weight restoration. when my therapist first told me i could start taking walks, she warned me that i might find myself getting hungrier because of exercise. i scoffed and said, “walking isn’t even exercise.” she laughed and looked at me. “well, then what is it?” she said.
after years and years of being a runner, my ideals of exercise were either run yourself into the ground or don’t do anything at all. if i couldn’t get a huge workout in, well then what was the point? i still love being outside. i still love working up a sweat. just not seven days a week, just not when running gets in the way of other things in my life, just not when i’m exhausted. i’m only allowed to do cardio a few times a week right now, and most of the time, i’ll go for a run because i enjoy it. i’ve struggled most with navigating my exercise through my recovery, finding a balance. today pittsburgh saw the sun for the first time in probably three months. it was gorgeous and i was really bummed because i ran yesterday, and i’m running with friends tomorrow, so i couldn’t today. i wanted to enjoy the weather.
i realized, though, that there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the weather without running. my roommate and i decided to go on a walk, and honestly, i probably enjoyed that way more than i would’ve even enjoyed a run today. in the middle, we made the impulsive decision to stop at an ice cream shop in a nearby neighborhood we’ve been wanting to try.
this ice cream doesn’t cancel out the walk we took there, because exercise honestly shouldn’t be about burning calories. things like this aren’t enjoyable early on. they kind of suck. but you have to just keep doing it. keep fighting the urge to run, eat the ice cream, spend time with friends. because it gets easier. and one day, you’re gonna eat ice cream at 3:30 i the afternoon and realize that it was the best part of your week.
“it’s sports bra weather, but i’m not in sports bra shape.”
“i don’t look like you. i’m not gonna go shirtless.” if you ran cross country and track at all in high school, you probably heard all of this and so much more.
i’m disappointed that these phrases get mindlessly thrown around in the running community so often, but even more disappointed that i often was one of the people who complained that i didn’t have a sports bra body, whatever that means, anyway.
i recognize my thin privilege in society, but in competitive running, it’s different. this led to years of trying to turn my body into something it didn’t want to be. and guess what? it only hurt my running in the end.
i have a body, and i have a sports bra. so i have a sports bra body. it’s as simple as that.
i stopped doing core work when i was banned from exercise, and honestly, i never started back up because for me, it’s still disordered and it still plays into ocd and body dysmorphia. but that isn’t going to dictate what i do.
today it was 81 degrees and humid as ever. if i’m brave enough to run in this weather, then you bet the t-shirt is being left at home.
runners, or anyone actually, working out comfortably is not a privilege. it’s a right. own your body. encourage your teammates to own their bodies. honestly, at the end of the day, nobody really cares how your stomach looks. and if they do, then that’s not your flaw, it’s theirs.
ps- if you had told me six months ago i would post this, i would’ve laughed out loud. recovery takes time. keep moving forward. (literally and figuratively) 😉
When i learned about body dysmorphia for twelve seconds in ninth grade health class, i learned that it’s when you stand in front of a mirror and see yourself to be way bigger than you are. we’ve all seen the classic example of the cartoon standing in front of the mirror. but the thing is, i never saw my body as a whole to be bigger or smaller than it actually was.
i had this weird fixation on my legs for years. that was the part of my body that could never be small enough. it was the part of my body i was never satisfied with. at my lowest weight, i knew i was way too thin, but i still fixated and unhappy about my legs. and i realized that i never would be. it sounds ridiculous, but sometimes i wonder if that’s what kept me sick for so long.
i took down mirrors, yet i denied my body image issues all the way through recovery. it wasn’t until i started taking medication for ocd (bdd is a form of ocd) that i realized my obsession with my legs was body dysmorphia. i woke up one day, and realized that it didn’t matter as much. i stopped staring in the mirror first thing every morning to see how far my thighs would separate. this was something that i had accepted would always be part of my life. i’d experienced it for as long as i could remember.
i spent hours a day in high school wishing to change my body. but i’ve learned that we can fight it, restrict, purge, exercise, and whatever else, but ultimately, you can only manipulate your body for so long. and the consequences just aren’t worth it. i saw myself as my thighs for so long. and that’s ridiculous. because i am so much more exciting than just a pair of legs.
whether it’s body dysmorphia or just body image, remember that those flaws that you see aren’t flaws. they’re you. when people look at you, they see all of you. you see the parts you want to change. besides, you’re so much more than what you look like, as cliche as it sounds.
i’m thankful for the thousands of miles and seasons of running my legs have carried me through. instead of berating your body for what it can’t do, practice gratitude and thank it for what it can.
With the exception of a few people, i largely avoided talking about my eating disorder around my friends for a long time. i was uncomfortable that friends, younger teammates who looked up to me, parents, teachers realized that they knew me while i was sick- and had no idea. it felt like this secret that i had been holding onto for so long was finally out.
i vowed that i was going to be honest with everyone who asked why i was home from school this fall- and i was, but it was so hard.
yesterday i had coffee with someone i’ve known for three or four years now. we connected over my blog & we were able to share stories and experiences and encouragement.
we talked about break throughs. those moments when you realize something crazy at a random time. i’ve had many that got me to where i am today, but everyone’s breakthroughs are different. she told me the story of the time she studied for hours for a test, only to get a d. she said she found herself identifying with that, and it was at that moment that she realized it was time to make a change.
we are not our grades. we are not what we eat. we are not at all what we eat.
i know this implicitly, but i never thought of it in such a blunt fashion. what i eat doesn’t impact my actions externally too much anymore, but it still gets to me internally. i wrote down this reminder for myself. with finals week coming up for all you fellow college kids, remember you are more than all the temptations that come with stress.
sometimes we want to share the stories from when we were at our sickest. lowest weight, the highest amount of purging, peak of exercising. sometimes, it’s okay to do that. but the most restorative approach part of recovery is sharing the joy. those breakthroughs. the encouragement. i’ll be sharing some soon. in the meantime, i want to hear yours ⬇️
Today was full of challenges. had to say goodbye to one of the most influential professors i’ve ever had as finals week approaches, went to a coffee shop to study today and forgot to pack a snack & had to buy one there. found myself wanting to skip dessert later tonight, so i bought this giant cookie to make sure that didn’t happen. i stayed on track perfectly. then one of my friends texted me and asked if i wanted to go to that “pittsburgh burger place i always talk about” tomorrow. i’ve had a lot of food outside of my comfort zone this week, and i’m going to over the weekend as well. i started racking my brain for a way to get out of going.
sometimes i do this thing where i justify slipping up because it’s not that bad. i can run an extra day, because i’ve been eating so many fear foods. i can lie to get out of this dinner out because i’ve been doing everything so well. it’s almost like i’m rewarding myself by allowing slip ups. but i’m rewarding my ed, really.
finals are over next friday and said friends will go back to maryland, 5 hours away. these are friends i’m going to have to wait months to see again. my eating disorder stole away so many moments i’ll never get back. from the joy of setting best times, to family vacations, to dinner outings with my friends.
don’t get me wrong- it’s okay to slip up. that’s part of recovery. but it’s not okay to let yourself slip up as a reward.
so tomorrow, i will be downtown eating burgers with my friends regardless of this cookie i’m about to eat, regardless of what i ate yesterday or what i’m going to eat this weekend. because i will never get those four years of my life back, but every day, every single day i have a choice. and i refuse to let my eating disorder get in the way of the things i truly value ever again. starting right now.
100 happy days | day 87 .
the air is thick with the aroma of freshly grounded coffee beans & the chatter of people squeezed in a small, tight, space. .
my fingertips are stained with the ink of blue & red ink, and my system is starting to buzz ever so slightly from the affects of caffine. .
my eyes are fixated on the drops of rain that begin to accumulate into a puddle of the slightly depressed area of the concrete in the parking lot while my mind attempts to recall the prevalence rate of dyslexia in children whose parents also struggled with reading disabilities.
i am fully present in the moment, and i feel the work flow. // 🧠
Can we talk about all the levels of weird in this bus ad. why is her leg up like that - right next to “ignite your passion”. is this “normal” dancing or erotic? why is she staring so creepily? why does this weird me out so much?
So happy i was able to get my bunnyhug today. i purposely ordered from spotlight in humboldt, and they were nice enough to send it to al anderson’s at no charge. i have been really moved by seeing sticks out, stickers, shirts, and ribbons. i hope for those friends and family who are grieving it is a comfort to see as well.