Hold on to your butts (anyone know what that’s from?) you know what I am going to start with here… my sincere thanks and appreciations regarding my last post! Even though I am always painfully honest on my blog, there is a certain reluctance I feel before posting every.single.one of “raw” posts, as I do have a fear of how people will react.
That last one from Wednesday, yep the slight hesitation was there before hitting the submit button, but of course there was no reason to. You all not only provided me with support, but also understanding, insight and suggestions. I can not thank you enough, nor will I ever be able to. Just trust me on this one, you all ROCK your socks off
Now that Friday is here, I am doing my usual thing of sharing some rather random finds, information, thoughts from my ever-scrambling and other tid-bits I feel are “worth mentioning” to all of you! Let’s get to it…
1) On Wednesday I wrote about how I am noticing that there are some health issues going on in the blog world right now, and there are many of us who are speaking about them with brutal honesty. Lack of periods, over-exercising, extreme fatigue, too much weight loss, obsessions about food… all items I can not only relate to, but am suffering through as well. I am just so glad there are many other bloggers opening up about such issues now, as I know now more than ever, that I am not alone in all of that I am going through.
Some ladies out there are much mentally stronger than I am right now and it’s them I need to look to for encouragement in facing my own rather serious and deeply imbedded weight gain fears… because SO MUCH of my health issues (especially the amenorrhea) is related to my too-low (for me) body weight and not enough fat to sustain a period.
Here are the posts that have really lit a fire under my ass this week, in a good way! lol
Laura from Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish writes here about the healthy ways to not only gain weight but also the importance, no, how essential it is to be at a weight in the name of HEALTH rather than vanity. Laura is so strong because she is internalizing the fact that while she would be more comfortable at a lower weight, this is not physically okay for her body and “health trumps vanity!”
Ashley from My Food and Fitness Diaries describes in this post how listening to her body has paid off. Like Laura, she has kept the goal of HEALTH in mind throughout her journey to her current physical successes and while a few pounds were gained along the way, in the grand scheme of things this does not matter… what she has now is the much more rewarding and important. Ashley is so much stronger than I am right now, but reading this gives me encouragement to keep on going.
Brittany from Itty Bits of Balance also had a very powerful post this week! Last year Brittany made an effort to lose some extra weight that had been making her uncomfortable for quite some time, and did so through healthy ways! However, like so many of us, her efforts were taken too far and now she is also dealing with a lack of period and food obsessions. Brittany understands changes need to be made and she is going to make them for her health and along the way will accept her beautiful body.
Thank you lovely ladies for such helpful, truthful and strong posts this week! I needed to hear them and I am sure so many others need to as well.
2) Guess what today is?! My final research presentation! I will be presenting all day long at the Undergraduate Research Conference to anyone that cares to come on by and I could not be more excited!
This project would NOT have been possible without those who contributed to the research by sharing your answers to the questions I asked back in March. I am not lying when I say that each person’s responses were used in some way, either a little or a lot, and none of your beautifully truthful answers were left unused.
When I talked to my advisers about where I was gathering most of my evidence from (all of you) and I mentioned using my blog, they were so surprised that this whole blog world existed and that people actually cared to help me out. I suppose I get where their thoughts are coming from, but I realize now that this community, this “healthy living” blog world is a place you simply cannot understand until you are a part of it.
While I did use several other resources such as various websites, articles, and also the answers from the Focus Group I conducted, I mean it when I say the genuine responses from those who emailed me, were the most helpful. So yeah, thanks
My poster is officially printed out (and looks nice if I do say so myself), the correlating 12-page paper is written, the resources are cited, and my speech has been practiced. I am set! I will show you the final poster after the conference, don’t want to give it away until the day is over
3) I stumbled upon this article a few weeks ago and have been meaning to share it, but just kept forgetting to. However, it’s a good day to finally showcase it though, as I am talking a whole lot about body image topics, and this article correlates nicely (in a not-so-good way!).
To summarize: the author talks about how Anorexia and eating disorders is on the rise among our population, especially young girls because of media influence, society standards, and so on…. stuff we know. But this article is referencing the Hunger Games, specifically the actress who plays Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence, focusing on how some reviews are saying the producers miscast her as the lead role because she is not thin enough to portray the half-starved Katniss from the book.
UMM EXCUSE ME? Just like…what?!
Because of my own obsession with my body, looks, eating, weight and such, I can’t help but to notice other women’s bodies as I am constantly comparing… not something I am proud of in the slightest, but it’s the truth. When I saw this movie a few weeks ago, I actually noted to myself how great I thought Jennifer Lawrence looked- like that is a woman’s body, curves, boobs, nice lips and all… she looks gorgeous.
And now reviewers are saying that she looks a tad overweight? I just can’t. No wonder our society is so messed up. Now I knowww those reviewing are saying she is only too “big” for this particular role, but she is still being called out for her weight. The article was criticizing those who were saying she was overweight, so thank goodness there are still people in the media with half a brain. Okay vent over… for now.
4) A few weeks ago I talked about a reason for my chosen isolation is the irrational fear that a majority of the time people don’t like me and go out of their way not to hang out with me. Through the past and actual logic, I am understanding that this is just not true at all and that in fact, not everything is about me.
However, I did see this #whatshouldwecallme image and could not help but to share it here…. it just goes along so very well with what I discussed in that post
Reeses Cheesecake Brownies
(Source) I have seen this recipe pinned all over Pinterest and after hearing a request from some of my co-workers for some kind of cream cheese brownie, I kept their thoughts in mind and took it up a notch. I used a similar recipe from the source, but did make some changes which I noted below.
- One family-sized box chocolate fudge brownie mix
- One 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
- One 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I used low fat)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Teddy’s Organic smooth PB)
- 12 oz. Reese’s Pieces candy
- One 12-oz. bag milk chocolate chips (I ran out of milk chocolate chips so I used a combo of white and semi-sweet chips)
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- 12 large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped (I used 8 instead of 12… 12 seemed way excessive to me)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
- Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions. Spread the batter in pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with hand-held mixer until fluffy. Add condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Stir in the Reese’s Pieces candies.
- Spoon the mixture over the batter. Spread evenly.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and whipping cream for 1 minute, or until chips are melted. Stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake layer. Sprinkle Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces over top. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Funny story about these though. I made a rather amateur-hour baking mistake and did not test the middle once the cooking time had finished. I am sure you can guess where this is going… when I cut into the (I thought) baked brownies the next day, the middle was still rather raw and I seriously almost cried.
When I told my co-workers at the meeting, how the middle was still under-baked, they told me they wanted them anyway and would risk food poisoning… and turned out to be the best thing I had made thus far that year... according to my 23 staff members + 2 supervisors. I’ll take that! Oh and no one had any issues with the raw eggs
We all agree that uncooked brownie mix is pretty much awesome, and then mixed with a cream cheese/peanut butter mixture + chocolate and reeses?! Yeah… I die.
6) There is a lot of great stuff going around these parts this weekend! First of all, most of my work is donezooo for the semester so my mind (in regards to school work) will be much more at ease after tomorrow. Second, end of the year shenanigans are starting to take place around campus and I am helping out at a few of them once again!
I found that when I volunteered last weekend, it not only made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because I was helping others out, but it really did help with my anxiety around the free-time issue. So tomorrow for example there is a “carnival” of sorts taking place around my dorm with various activities such as a bouncy house and other blow-up structures face painting, hair wraps, obstacle courses…. anyway I’m psyched! Plus I am sure I will partake in several of these
7) In about one month Boston’s Run To Remember will be taking place, the half-marathon I have participated in for the last two years… in 2010 it was my first half-marathon ever!
I signed up for this event about three months ago, assuming I would be running in it… of course, no problem at all. Well with my recent fatigue, cut back from exercise and just generally not feeling great, I have decided not to run this year….heck I really do not have a choice in this. Attempting a half-marathon with how I feel right now would literally be a disaster, I know I would not be able to finish and that would make me 8343948 x worse.
How do I feel about this? Umm freakin terrible to be honest. I love this race and everything about it, especially the course as it goes through parts of Boston, along the Charles’ River, is nice and flat, and has people cheering you on throughout the entire run. I can’t believe my body is preventing me from doing it this year, but like I said before, I literally don’t have a choice. There is a 5-mile option I might drop down to, I mean I did pay for this damn thing already, but I will decide later.
Sorry to end on a less-than stellar note, but I just made the decision this morning, and had to get it out there! In the end this is the best thing to do, and I know this is true, and my body will thank me for it! The next time I attempt a half-marathon (you bet your bottom there will be a next time) I will be fantastic during it and maintaining that goal in mind helps me to get through this
And that’s it for today, items worth mentioning if you ask me!
1) Have you been feeling inspired or helped by the blog world before or recently?
2) Have you ever dropped out of a race, or decided not to be in one after signing up? What was your reason for not participating? How did you get over the mental angst of this decision?
3) Thoughts on the Jennifer Lawrence article? Like I said before, I know the critics are just saying she is overweight for the role, but STILL they are considering her body to be a touch to fat.
4) Do you eat raw/unbaked mixes? Favorite kind? Brownie and yellow cake mix ALWAYS prevail in my book I have been eating it for years too and have never experienced food poisoning from raw eggs. *Furiously knocking on wood as we speak!
5) What are your plans for the weekend? Anyone volunteering like me? Perhaps running a road race? Share anything so I can live vicariously through you
Have a most glorious weekend everyone and I will most likely see you all on Monday!