The Truth Is…

How’s that for a dramatic title!?

I’m not revealing anything new to y’all, but I did want to update you on how my body’s been doing since I decided to cut down the exercise and bump up the eating about three months ago.

First things first: I have not gotten my period back, and in fact, I haven’t really had any signs of it at all (besides a little bit of acne?). Yeah, I’m getting a little pretty darn frustrated, but I’m doing my best to stick with it and be patient.

The truth is… Even though I’ve decreased exercise significantly (mostly yoga, walking, stretching, and some bodyweight strength exercises), I think my body has still been stressed in other ways besides exercise: lack of sleep, lots of traveling, moving back into college, anxious feelings more often than I’d like. I also don’t really feel out of shape, which I guess is good, but it’s also indicative of how hard my heart is still working just doing daily activities.

I’ve gained almost 10 lbs. (mostly fat, some muscle) in the past three months, and I feel more energetic. (I had to go on a shopping spree for a whole new set of jeans!)

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The truth is… I am very comfortable with my body, even as it continues to grow outwards and not upwards. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t looked in the mirror or at photos and thought, “Whoa, hello, childbearing hips.” Or I’ll put my hand on my waist and think, “Hm. Much squishier than before.”

Coming back to college has been mentally and physically tough. I’m still eating a lot, but I’m also walking ten times more than I usually do at home. I’m sure I’ve already lost a little weight just in the past week. Also, I feel like maybe I can go to the gym, just for a light workout. I honestly believe that I look and feel healthy and that I can enjoy working out without worrying about body image.

But the truth is… I put so much stress on my body during my eating disorder, and even during recovery. My endocrine and reproductive system are not happy with me. I might be 99.99999% mentally recovered, but my body obviously isn’t. My body has been damaged, and it needs time and energy to be fixed.

Despite my lack of a period after these three months, there is still so much I have gained (besides physical weight).

The truth is…

  • I know how much rest and fuel it takes to build muscle. I’m working out less than half the amount I used to be working out, but I actually gained muscle the first couple of weeks just from giving my body proper rest and lots of food.
  • I’ve learned the value of warming up and going back to basics. What used to be my warm-up is now my workout for the day, but I’ve found that my body needs to warm up for even that.
  • I’ve gained back some more mobility and flexibility because I don’t write off yoga and stretching as “nothing.”

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  • I am more efficient with my time of day. I used to be so concerned about moving and exercising whenever I could that it would distract from my other daily activities.
  • Most importantly, I’ve gained confidence in myself…

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…If I’m not considered that “fit person”, fine. If I don’t have abs, fine. If I can’t do 20 pushups in a row, fine.

If I put all my self-worth into my fitness, that’s NOT fine. I’m more than my body. It’s about time I started living like I truly, deeply believe that.

I’ll be the first to admit that dance class (and a one-time game of ultimate frisbee with friends last night) may or may not be too hard on me right now. I’ve been letting those things slide because my brain needs the movement as much as my body does after sitting and studying.

I’m going to the gynecologist today because I’m not 100% sure what’s happening in my body right now. Maybe I just need more time. I’m still planning on gaining weight here in college, and once I get into a school rhythm, things may normalize a little more. Or maybe I’ll need to cut out dance class. We’ll see.

I’ll post another update sometime later, but thanks for listening and being so supportive of me on this journey.

 

Happenings on the First Day of Classes

Thinking-Out-Loud

1) So I almost lost my student ID and room key on the first day of classes. But I didn’t! PJ and I had our first “workout” (I did some yoga-y stuff and he took a walk) together of the semester yesterday morning, and of course I had to take a selfie for the occasion…

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PJ is squinting from the sun, and I’m just being Asian

…But at some point within the 10 seconds it took me to take my phone out of the arm sleeve and snap the selfie, I dropped my lanyard in the grass. When we were walking to the dining hall to grab something to eat, I finally noticed that something was missing…(&%$!?) So I [literally] ran back to find my lanyard, praying that no one stole it yet.

2) After finding it, I went back to my dorm room instead of going back to the dining hall. In my dorm I ate salmon jerky and an entire bag of microwave-steamed broccoli.

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3) I was sweaty and smelly at that point, but since I knew I would be walking and dancing later, I didn’t want to take a shower. Thus, I resorted to a sponge bath for my armpits and arms over the sink + a face wash. It probably would have taken the same amount of time to take a quick shower, but guatever.

4) Speaking of dancing, modern dance class yesterday was GLORIOUS. I hadn’t done any artistic movement in such a long time, so you bet your bottom dollar that I am loving this class. To be honest, the class is the most structured and intense workout I’ve done in a while, but I’ll get to that whole update tomorrow.

5) Winner winner dining hall dinner last night:

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That would be my first fruit crisp a la mode of the semester ♥

6) I have my first 8AM class of college ever today woooooooop.

7) Another semester, another banana pyramid in the dorm.

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8) What am I doing with my life?

9) I hope you all have a splendid day. Eat your broccoli and bananas and ice cream!

So tell me:

Do you ever sponge bath/deodorize like a madman, because you know you’ll have to shower later anyway?

Is there an activity that you haven’t done in a while that you’re craving?

What are you doing today?

Not Quite Back to Dining Hall Food

I unintentionally squandered my unlimited meal plan yesterday.

I didn’t eat a single meal in the dining hall. I did, however, use my unlimited swipe-ability without guilt to pick up some fruit as a snack.

Yesterday was our last hurrah before the start of classes, and I’m glad to say that it was both a productive and fun day (without any heart palpitations, thank God).

I felt like a spring chicken after sleeping in and doing a bit of yoga and foam rolling in the morning. Once I was finished with all that, it was 10AM, so a quick dorm breakfast felt like the way to go.

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peanut butter + vanilla protein + banana on Dave’s killer bread

Followed by some human physiology reading, Jesus loving (Mass), and then more food. The admissions office graciously hosted a welcome back BBQ for all the admissions ambassadors (tour guides, etc.), complete with burgers, dogs, cookies, and sunshine.

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there’s a big burger patty in there somewhere

I was kinda antisocial at the BBQ, but I didn’t mean to be. I just needed to sit down and eat my burger with two hands, which meant that I had to remove myself from all the people standing and talking. In reality I was doing everyone a favor by not talking to them with lettuce in my teeth and mustard on my cheeks.

Domestic dorm duties beckoned me, so I went back to the dorm to do laundry and tub scrubbing.

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fueled by some zucchini bread that my wonderful roommate baked

My roommates told me not to clean the bathroom since it’s only been a week, but I rebelled and cleaned it anyway. Mold preys quickly.

And I prey on peanut butter even more quickly.

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My accidental homage to “I ♥ NY (aka The Big Apple)” ;)

I passed more time with blogging, folding laundry, and getting distracted by Tori Kelly’s VMA performance before leaving for the Catholic Center’s trip to the North End!

This week for me is filled with the BU Catholic Center’s First Week events, which is a time for any and all returning students and new students to hang out, meet friends, and partake in a merry time.

Day one was a scavenger hunt with tasks such as proposing to a stranger (who happens to look like Morgan Freeman).

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Day two was a trip to Quincy Market and the North End of Boston, which is like a more quaint version of NYC’s Little Italy.

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gyro plate with rice pilaf and salad from Quincy Market

HOUSED THIS. I told Rachel, “It scares me and thrills me that half of this meat is fat.”

Afterwards we walked to Mike’s Pastry in the North End, where our bomb-dig priest generously bought forty cannoli(s?) for the group.

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best cannoli I ever did eat // no chocolate chips :D

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back to the endless selfies of college

Beautiful place and weather with beautiful people, eating beautiful food, and celebrating a beautiful Lord.

The day ended with deep thoughts/girl talk in my friends’ dorm room and typing up this blog post. Plus a shower, because hygiene is good.

P.S. I’m going to a modern dance class today, and I haven’t danced in forever, but I’m SO STOKED.

Wishing you all a beautiful day!

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So tell me:

Do you get self-conscious eating around people? I don’t usually, but when it comes to things with big leaves, I must hide my face.

Have you ever tried a cannoli?

Are you scrupulous about cleaning the bathroom like I am?

Ups and Downs of My First Week Back in Boston

Remember that cocktail of emotions that I was feeling right before leaving for Boston?

Well it has heightened, for better and for worse. I am filled with so much gratitude and joy seeing my friends and preparing for another year of learning, but for a few days I was also losing sleep over emotions like excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and fear. I know that’s normal for starting a new year of school, but it’s oddly intense. And I’m not even a freshman!

At first, I was just so excited to see everyone that I had to sorta numb my feelings or else I might have exploded with joy.

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But for whatever reason, I was going through a phase where my sympathetic nervous system was just ON. My heart was beating uncomfortably quickly for a few days for no good reason, my stomach felt tight, and I was breathing from my chest more than from my belly (a sign that my body is stressed).

I didn’t know what was up, but prayer, movement, music, being with good friends, and big deeeeeep belly breaths from my diaphragm all helped. Also, I’m thinking back to my own tips on how I deal with anxious feelings.

(Talk about a way to make my parents feel GREAT.)

The real medicine this time around, however, was letting go of hypersensitivity to what others thought of me. I have no idea why, but I became so preoccupied with trying to impress people (who I know and love from last year). However, as soon as I remembered that I have one person— God— in my audience, I started feeling better.

In the words of Tori Kelly: “Take it or leave it, babe, I’m not gonna change. If you don’t understand I don’t need you anyway.” <— please listen.

Now that that’s off my chest. Hello, lovely folks ♥

Despite my very minor heart palpitations, this weekend was pretty darn awesome.

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dorm breakfast feat. the breakfast trifecta

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bodyweight exercises in the great outdoors of Boston

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dorm snacks

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monster chicken, tomato, lettuce, avocado, sundried tomato, pesto pita wrap = lunch and dinner

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some steep ($5…) pistachio and nocciola gelato for the Feast of St. Anthony celebration in North End

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first dining hall meal! classic breakfast that I scarfed down because I had attend a meeting

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first dining hall dessert! they did not fail with this delicious carrot cake

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second dining hall dessert the night after — vegan apple cider oatmeal cookie mousse parfait — pretty luxurious and delicious

Lots of food. Some humans were involved too.

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It was also a productive weekend, getting lots of tasks done before classes actually start.

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including getting a head start on human physiology reading #nerd#geek#lame#sayittomyface

I genuinely hope each of you is doing well and that you have a wonderful week ahead! Today is my last Monday off before the grind begins woooooo.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
— James 1:2-4

So tell me:

Do you ever find yourself breathing from your chest more than usual?

Do you ever feel unusually sensitive to how others might perceive you?

What is your favorite kind of cake? Carrot cake all the way (WITH raisins).

What did you do this weekend? 

Living the Suite Life

If you’re under 25 years old, don’t tell me you don’t remember The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

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I still make references to that show in my daily conversations.

Anyway, the point of that reference is that I’m all moved into my dorm suite!

Madre and I left our house at 7AM and drove up about 4 hours to Boston yesterday. Any travel day of mine requires overnight oats if at all possible. Luckily (scarily) for me, I was polishing off yet another jar of peanut butter— perfect for overnight oats.

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brought four large, Costco-sized jars of pb to college, and that might be cutting it close

Once we arrived in Boston, we were hungry for lunch, so we stopped by our favorite cheap Vietnamese eatery for chicken vermicelli platters and egg rolls.

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fueled and fired up for moving in

Move-in went quite smoothly, thankfully! Madre was superwoman as always and helped me unpack and situate my belongings while I helped move Rachel from her summer apartment to the suite.

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my home for a while

The suite is set up as a double connected to another double, so Jordan (same roomie as last year!) + I are in one room together, and Rachel + Sheila are in the other.

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The space in the room and this view is quite remarkable. It’s quite an upgrade from our little box last year.

My only qualm is that the bathroom is in Rachel + Sheila’s side of the room. I tend to drink a lot of water, so I feel bad about walking through their room every time I need to empty my tiny tank.

Like last night at 2 AM. I woke up needing to pee, and I think I panicked for a good three minutes wondering whether I should try going to the bathroom in our suite or just going downstairs to the lobby to use the bathrooms there.

“It’s the first night, and I’m already going to piss off my roommates. Almost literally.”

“Should I just not flush? No, ew.”

“The guard in the lobby will think I’m a freak.”

The lobby idea won, and I learned my lesson to not chug half a water bottle before going to sleep.

Moving on…

The dining halls don’t open until Saturday night, so we’re doing our best with snacks and our MicroFridges.

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Jordan and Sheila cooked Rachel and me dinner last night though! A dorm-cooked meal, how lovely ♥

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They were able to cook this the night before in our dorm’s communal kitchen, which is BEAUTIFUL.

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We’re allowed to use it after 7pm on weekdays and anytime on the weekends. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, the sight of shiny kitchen appliances.

Jordan also brought us lunch from her work today. Cool roommate, that one.

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While most of my friends are working, I’ve been cleaning up the dorm rooms and doing other housekeeping things. I even got to go back to the beloved Esplanade to do some stretching and exercise. Goodness gracious, I’ve missed Boston.

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recycled picture from April when trees were still naked

Thankful.

So tell me:

Did you ever have to work out bathroom schedules/issues with roommates?

What is your favorite dorm food? peanutbuttersorrynotsorry.

Were you a fan of The Suite Life?