Joyful Exhaustion

So I cried on Sunday night.

Crying is pretty much a weekly occurrence just to let out all the emotions that have built up from the week, which might sound like there’s a problem that I need to fix, but crying is a very normal and therapeutic thing for me. Sometimes I cry by myself, and sometimes my parents kindly let me cry irrelevantly in the middle of our conversation (love you, Madre and Pop).

Needless to say, it’s been a long week. I started developing a very “woe is me” mentality by the end of the weekend, but the more I pray and talk about what I’m feeling with others, the more I realize that I have been given nothing but love through the people and circumstances God has placed in my life.

9 hours of sleep on Sunday night wasn’t a bad thing either.

Besides keeping up with school, here are some other things that have kept me joyfully exhausted lately:

1) Grabbing a cheeseburger with Fr. Barnes (the priest at our Catholic Center) for lunch on Thursday.

2) Gearing up for Holy Week!

3) Making time to spend with friends, even if only at the dining hall. This dining hall dinner involved double the carbs, which meant double the fun.

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seafood and sausage paella, so fancy!

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cheese ravioli

4) Cooking allllll the things at work, which gets so tiring after 5+ hours! I have so much respect for chefs and stay-at-home mothers/fathers. Yeesh.

5) Colby from You Make You (@be.happyhealthyfit) came to Beantown this weekend!! She crashed at my (now roach-free!) place, which meant a lot of quality time together 🙂

Some scenes from our foodie/fit/fun adventures:

Salads + corn bread at the food court on Friday night, followed by some bona fide college comedy.

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We had some study sessions. This one featured a Quest cinnamon roll cereal bar that Colby gave me. It totally brought me back to the cereal bars of my childhood.

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Friends who sweat together…

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 (even though we were both really sore this day)

Nothing some good pho can’t fix! This was my first time at Le’s, and it crushed the game.

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We split an XL bowl of chicken pho…

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…and a pork/shrimp vermicelli bowl, all for a grand total of $20! College wallets rejoice!

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We finished almost all of it.

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But our dessert stomachs were ready for [vegan] ice cream. Colby is sadly allergic to gluten and dairy, so FoMu was a Godsend.

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FoMu serves vegan, coconut milk-based ice cream. I got strawberry (per the server’s recommendation) and “f’oreo” in a waffle cone.

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Verdict? Delicious, rich, and creamy! But you have to be okay with coconut, because you can definitely taste the coconut in all the flavors.

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Colby got peanut butter (made with Teddie’s pb!) and strawberry

Then Colby spotted this gluten-free, vegan ice cream cookie sandwich and, being allergic to dairy/gluten and being deprived of places like FoMu at her school, she said, “when in Boston…”

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So we split it 🙂 (’twas a whopping $7+ though, what the freak!?)

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We took an Uber home because a) very full; b) raining.

Ugh, it was so fun spending the weekend with Colby. She is such a kind and genuine soul, and she has a refreshing presence in the healthy living social media world. I love you and am so honored to have spent this time with you, Colby!

6) This is the opposite of exhaustion, but shoutout to Megan for being the best roommate and always cleaning up our apartment without complaining or really saying anything. I see ya and appreciate you greatly, girl.

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egg in a hole on my Rainforest Cafe plate // Megan: “you have to see the logo if we want to be endorsed”

7) Workout/Bible study on Sunday mornings! This week, we had a great conversation about combatting the fear of living with our own selves.

8) Brunch with my fellow future PT friend, Selena! We went to Tatte on Sunday, and it was glorious.

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I recommended that Selena get the shakshuka, which is what I got last year. She loved it!

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And I got the turkey B.L.A.T (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato), which was fan-freaking-tastic. Thick cut applewood bacon, chipotle mayo, toasted and buttered multigrain bread MMM. Finished every last bite!

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Of course, we finished our meals with a pastry from the bakery. She got the creme brûlée croissant (!!!), and I got the pear almond muffin. Both were incredible.

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8) Lots of gross anatomy studying. We already have another exam next week?

9) Giving tours in the snow and the sunshine. This spring weather is sloooooooooooowly but surely coming along.

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10) Keeping up with relationships with friends, family, and God. I often take advantage of one or the other, but I am constantly reminded of how precious these relationships are.

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So my exhaustion is mostly first-world-induced, I know. But fast-paced, privileged lives can be surprisingly threatening to true peace and joy, which can best be found in the silence and simplicity of God’s Love.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me:

Have you felt super busy/exhausted recently?

Have you ever tried vegan ice cream? 

Two things you’re grateful for!

 

 

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Never Alone

Me right now:

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The week just started and I already feel smoked and kicked in the derrière.

I cannot complain, though. First of all, I am blessed to be in school and to have wonderful opportunities ahead of me this week. Secondly, this weekend I went on the Catholic Center retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine, and the time away from school to spend a lot of quality time with God has refreshed my soul and filled my heart.

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The theme of the retreat was “Never Alone,” referring to the importance of friendships in this journey of life and faith. The speaker for the weekend, Fr. Tom, spoke about friendship in such a unique way. What he said was so simple and logical, yet so profound.

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Fr. Tom said two things that have been buzzing in my head all weekend long:

  1. It is improbable that we have the friends we have and that we are living the faith. There are so many improbable events that have happened to bring us to where we are now.
  2. There is such a thing as being “talented” at friendship.

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How true and beautiful those points are. It is no work of my own that has brought me into such a faithful family, to such a privileged life, and to such a loving community (both online and offline). Every good, bad, big, and little thing that has happened in my life shaped me into who I am today and continues to shape me into who God wills me to be.

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For instance, it sends chills down my spine to reflect on how the events of my life led me to start this little ol’ blog. My participation in performance sports ➔ my weight gain ➔ my obsessive and stubborn personality ➔ my discovery of healthy living blogs ➔ my eating disorder ➔ my loving family ➔ my recovery ➔ my renewed outlook on healthy living blogs ➔ the start of this blog ➔ the love and support I receive from the blogging community ➔ the friendships fostered here…

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It sucks that anyone has to have an eating disorder. It sucks that there is suffering and hurt. But the goodness that can be drawn from disorder and suffering can be more fruitful and expansive than anyone could ever hope or imagine. And this is largely because God gave us other people to live with. People can suck, don’t get me wrong, but people can be our companions on this journey that is life.

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Fr. Tom said that friendship is goal-oriented. If you have a shared destination, you have a shared journey. Furthermore, the depth and beauty of the goal impacts the depth and beauty of the friendship.

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happy 20th birthday, Rachel!!!

For me personally, eternal life with God is the ultimate goal, and sharing this goal with my friends transcends our conversations and interactions in order to match it.

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Recovery from an eating disorder is another profound goal that I can {fortunately and unfortunately} share with so many people, thanks to the blogging community. That goal has great depth and beauty, so our interactions with one another match that. I am constantly in awe of how close I have become to people from around the world through the internet, all because we know about hurt, and we know that we want something better.

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Two last things that stood out to me from Fr. Tom’s talks:

  1. The root of all religion is the desire to thank something or someone for life’s blessings.
  2. Each of us has a “sacred mission” and obligation to reach out to a specific person of God’s choosing. We won’t be able reach everyone, but we were definitely meant to reach someone.

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It’s impossible to count all the people who have made an improbable impact (whether it was positive or negative) on my life that has led me to where I am today. But I thank God for giving each one a sacred mission to reach out to me.

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This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week, and I think this weekend’s retreat theme is so pertinent to the occasion. There is comfort in trusting that everything happens for a reason. Everyone’s journey is different, but I can say from my own experience that I could not have recovered to this point had I not found this community of bloggers/readers who shared the same goal. I also could not have recovered had it not been for such improbable factors in my life, and for all these things, I thank God.

This year’s NEDA Week theme is: “Three Minutes Can Save a Life.” If there is a way that you can compassionately and gently spread the word about getting screened for an eating disorder to your friends or community, please do. It may just be that improbable factor that leads someone to recovery.

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Thank you to all who made this retreat weekend wonderful. Thank you to all of you who have shown me love at any point in my life. Thank you to the Lord of all.

So tell me:

What are some improbable events that have led you to where you are today?

What did you do this weekend?

Thoughts? 

Being Careful With So Much Free Time + Recent Eats

Remember Facebook/AIM/Twitter statuses like this?

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Translation: “Someone hit me up, I’m bored as !@#$.”

For the record, I never posted statuses like this, mostly because “af” was a little too rebellious for me. I did post photos like this though…

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ONLY five years ago!?

…which are 100x worse in my opinion. This is NETC, the Italian class “pet”. I’m in physical pain looking at this/thinking about the fact that I posted this on Facebook.

Anyway, I’ve been trying not to fall into that “bored af” mode. I’m keeping busy by meeting up with friends, catching up on blog stuff, chores, errands, exercise, and reading. My planner is really helping me stay accountable for daily tasks.

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That being said, I’d be lying if I said I’m not looking for things to do sometimes. Living in this age, when I’m looking for things to do, I almost robotically turn to social media. It pains me to say that I don’t turn to a good book or calling a friend or doing something else productive, but it’s true. I open up Facebook or Instagram.

Katherine from The Peanut Butter Lover just posted an incredible reflection on how subconscious scrolling is the norm these days. I am most definitely in that camp, and as hard as I strive to be more present (said everyone, always), I can’t help but fall into the trap of the hypnotic newsfeed, especially when I’m not as busy like I am during school.

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Besides the problem of not being present, I have to be careful with how much time I spend looking at fitness accounts on Instagram. I’ve recently found myself watching minutes, half-hours, whole hours browsing various fitness accounts.

Please let me be clear. I only enjoy following fitness accounts that are uplifting, genuinely inspiring, and balanced (for example, @kaisafit, @shaunaharrison, and @fitphotographermom). When I’m spending time on such accounts, I’m not comparing my body to theirs or thinking about how I can burn more calories. If I was, I would certainly express that (honesty is the best policy on Moves and Grooves after all). I’m more so thinking things like, “How can I get to where they are? What exercises do I have to do to achieve that? Should I do that today even though I’m sore? I want to be that strong too.”

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Even though my mind is in a much healthier place when I’m looking at social media these days, I still need to be wary of the comparison trap. I have come a long way throughout recovery, and the major lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t need to be her. I know this, but I need to remind myself of it often.

I do believe that I can find fitness inspiration without disordered thinking, but I just have to be careful not to become so immersed in it. I have an obsessive personality, so I need to use my extra free time prudently while I’m on break.


Now that we’ve had a nice heart to heart (or, my heart to yours…), let’s look at some of the good eats from this week!

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A classic: toast, pb, banana, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

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spaghetti squash, tomato basil sauce, and grilled Italian chicken (carbs were had before and after :))

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new favorite: Kylie’s simple paleo pancake with peanut butter, Greek yogurt, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

I met up with my dear friend Fiona (from college) on Monday. We went to the outlet mall, ate some Shake Shack, and had our own heart to heart conversations. She’s studying abroad this coming semester, so I’m gonna miss her like crazy!

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“Concrete” at Shake Shack. I got vanilla frozen custard with strawberry puree and “crispy crunchies”.

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chicken, avocado, mixed greens, colby jack cheese, and sriracha sandwich to go

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good ol’ overnight oats topped with granola

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avocado, egg, cheese, sriracha sandwich + salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

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clementines are off the CHAIN right now

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strawberries ‘n’ cream protein smoothie

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this was so good: quinoa, honey balsamic chicken, and roasted broccoli

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dried figs with Greek yogurt!!! bringing back the good stuff

Additionally, I’ve been eating leftover cookies that overfloweth in our refrigerator and caramel popcorn that my aunt gave us. It’s a hard life, eh?

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my aunt’s delicious oatmeal fruit cookie mini muffins

Hope you all have a great day! I mean it.

So tell me: 

What do you find yourself doing if you have too much free time?

Did you post embarrassing things on social media in your younger days?

Are you still eating leftover holiday treats? “New Year, new you” is not a thing here.

Have you tried any delicious recipes recently? I’m thinking that honey balsamic chicken and roasted broccoli will be regular recipes for us!

That’s When You Know… {MIMM #29}

Hello there!

 

I hope you all had a great weekend! This weekend was a good mix of work and play for us here. I noticed a lot of things that made me think, “That’s when you know…” so here is a weekend recap with all the things I now know. 

(Apparently “that’s when you know” is a trendy catch phrase right now, so you could call me a conformist. Mainstream is the new hipster.)

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You know it’s been a good weekend when you link up with Katie!

Home-cooked meals made my someone other than domestic Alison, the water pitcher always being full, and constantly hearing Thai TV in the background➔ That’s when you know Mom is home! (Even though now she’s already in Europe.) 😦

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Having breakfast WITHOUT nut butter➔ That’s when you know it’s Friday. (I’m giving up nut butters on Fridays for Lent— in addition to abstaining from meat— because it’s a much bigger sacrifice for me to give up nut butter than meat.) 😀

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Working out in the backyard (even if that means potentially being judged by the neighbors), rolling down the car windows, and road kill EVERYWHERE➔ That’s when you know it’s spring. (Except for the fact that there’s a 60% chance of snow on Tuesday. -_-)

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Watching the school production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, going to the diner with friends at 10 PM, and eating the most satisfying omelette + potatoes meal➔ That’s when you know it’s been a good Friday night.

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Wanting to do nothing but sleep from Saturday afternoon through Sunday➔ That’s when you know you had a tiring 5 hour dance rehearsal.

Scraping every last bit of peanut buttery-oatmealy-yogurty goodness out of your bowl➔ That’s when you know breakfast was killer. And that’s when you know you love the new peanut butter Mom brought home.

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DREAMY.

Literally jumping out of your chair while doing your homework and somewhat aggressively running up the stairs to do squat jumps and pushups➔ That’s when you know you’re antsy.

Listening to Demi Lovato on Spotify all weekend➔ That’s when you know you’re a typical teen that thinks she has sophisticated music taste, but not really.

Not being able to find room in your stomach for dried figs and Greek yogurt➔ That’s when you know you’re full.

Your dance friend is trying to get ahead of her “ahead list”➔ That’s when you know there’s a busy week ahead.

Today marks the beginning of the busiest, most exciting week of the year for dance company! It’s Benefit Week, which is the equivalent of hell week for the theater peeps. Quick summary of Benefit Week: Our biggest show of the year is on Saturday, and we have rehearsals at the theater all week, as well as two free performances on Thursday and Friday for disabled and underprivileged people in the community.

For the dance company, there are also tons of fun things that go on backstage. It’s a tradition for each grade in company (freshmen/sophomores, juniors, and seniors) to decorate the dressing room on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with a particular theme that is a secret to all the other grades until the big reveal on their respective days. It sounds confusing, but here’s an example: Two years ago, the freshmen/sophomores decorated the dressing room on Wednesday with a jungle theme, juniors decorated on Thursday with an outer space theme, and seniors decorated on Friday with a Wizard of Oz theme.

We go all out for our dressing room themes— costumes and everything. It’s a little insane, but it’s a blast. It’s just funny when people think our themed costumes are our real dance costumes. Two years ago, people on Facebook thought the frog costume I wore in the dressing room was actually part of the show, but it was actually just a part of our jungle theme. No, I will not show you a picture of it. I was so close to posting it but…nah.

Basically, the themed dressing rooms have absolutely nothing to do with the dance show. They cost time and money, but they’re a tradition and we love them anyway!

I hope you all have a fantastic week! If you don’t hear from me, know that I’m just groovin’ it out at rehearsals or shows. 🙂

So tell me:

_____➔ That’s when you know…

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Are things looking spring-y where you are? 

Jam-Packed Weekend {MIMM #21}

Good morning!

Man, did I have a whirlwind of a weekend! It was jam-packed with long dance rehearsals and a performance, and it felt like we were going non-stop. I would say that it definitely made up for the wonky, half-ish week brought on by a couple snow delays/early dismissals. Nevertheless, I found a lot of marvelous moments to be grateful for 🙂

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Thanks, Katie, for hosting this Marvelous link up!

Friday

I was feeling incredibly antsy at school because we watched a bunch of different films/documentaries in different classes, so there was a whole of sitting. So much so that my hip flexors started hurting?! I sit straight up by habit, so maybe that engages my hip flexors? Either way, I needed to WALK, so that’s just what I did— a 45 minute treadmill incline walk.

Studying for midterms followed.

In the evening, I went to dinner with some of my best friends for Je’lyn’s birthday celebration! I love intimate little celebrations like these, where everyone can be included in the conversation at all times. And in true Alison fashion, I got a picture of my food, but I didn’t get a picture with the birthday girl…#foodoverfriends

I kid. 😉

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Golden beet salad with pistachios, gorgonzola, and dried cranberries— so good!

I also had Lentil Spinach soup, but the picture makes it look like a black abyss.

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Hazelnut gelato!

Saturday

I slept in, had a nice breakfast, and then headed off to a full day of dance: assisting junior master class, master class rehearsal, and then a local performance with company. At least I get to spend the day with these beauties:

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Also, my friend let me have some of this:

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Pesto. Gouda. CHEESE.

She called her mom to ask her where it was from, and it’s from TRADER JOE’S! Man, I love that Joe. I will be picking up some of that cheese soon.

When I came home at around 8:30, I ate dinner and did some homework and prepared my lesson for Sunday school.

Sunday

It was a struggle to get up. First up was teaching Sunday school. Then ’twas four hours in the dance studio for company rehearsal. We got a lot done, so that’s a good thing!

Afterwards, I came home, ate a snack, showered, and then went to the last English Mass of the weekend. I also swung by Stop and Shop to pick up some headbands and garlic for my mom. I came back with ten extra Fage yogurt cups though— they were $10 for 10!

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Studying for midterms.

Dinner.

Blog.

Wooooosh. I must admit that I had a minor crying session before going to Mass, but it was more of an emotional release than a breakdown or anything like that. I had been trying to keep a positive attitude all weekend despite the busyness and I wasn’t feeling very stressed, but all of a sudden, I let my typical emotional self take over for about five minutes. I felt much better after I let the tears out. Special shootout to the ‘rents who are always equipped with big hugs!

That may not make any sense to you, but let’s just say: It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to. 😉

Have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

How was your weekend?

What’s one awesome thing you ate this weekend?

Are you a crier like me?