Permission

On this Memorial Day, let us never forget those who served our nation for the sake of our freedom and safety.

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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

– Joseph Campbell

How was the weekend!? Or how IS the weekend (for those who have today off!)?

This weekend (alright, this whole week), I’ve given myself permission to embrace this period of almost zero obligations. I had to get over the phase of discombobulation of having nothing to do, but it’s been a pleasant week of acclimating to living farther from campus and relaxing.

Friday

There have been some errands and work in there too (keeps me sane TBH), like on Friday. I gave a campus tour, since a lot of BU’s tour guides are out of town these next few weeks. In classic me fashion, I was running late and had to speed walk for 1 hour to make it right on time.

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Luckily it was a beautiful day for rush-walking + touring!

Afterwards, I gave myself permission to do a quick 16-minute workout, even though I had all the time in the world and all the gym space in the world (three cheers for the summer lull!).

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‘Twas a fun one! 4 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:

Then I nommed on the lunch I packed that morning (part of the reason I was running late). I gave myself permission to take my time to eat this. I’m sure some of you understand that weekday lunch is often more or less inhaled on many days.

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leftover peas and roasted broccoli + egg, avocado, pepper jack, sriracha sandwich + blackberries

I had big plans to get a lot Brideshead Revisited reading done for book club, but I got through thirteen pages before I gave myself permission to take a nap in the library’s armchair.

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never goes to the library during the school year // falls asleep in the library during the summer

Before going to the library, though, I tried being that person to read on the stationary bike at the gym, but doing that kinda nauseated me. That + gym music = entirely ineffective reading.

I was awoken by an announcement that the library was closing in an hour. Thankfully, my friend Ben welcomed me to hang out with him before dinner, because I was groggy and without anything to do (what a nice problem to have).

Lauren, Nico, Ben and I went to Shawarma King for dinner. I got the vegetarian combo plate, which had falafel, hummus, babaganoush (omg so good), stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, cucumber tomato salad, rice, and pita. HOT DANG. I finished 85% of it.

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Then we went to Athan’s Bakery for dessert! I got their pistachio gelato, which was the most sub-par gelato I’ve ever had, but it was still a delicious frozen treat.

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We finished the night watching the original Grease movie. It’s the best bad movie of all time.

Saturday

Overnight oats to start the morning!

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strawberry banana overnight oats topped with the last of my KIND peanut butter granola

This fueled another nice long walk towards campus…

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please interpret this art

…for another Saturday Spartan workout with Ben!

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Ben planned out this fun workout for us:

4 rounds:

  • run around baseball field
  • 15 triangle pushups (slightly inclined)
  • 2 flexed arm hang holds, any grip (15 seconds each or until failure ← definitely only held it for 5 seconds at some points)
  • 25 Roman chair leg lifts
  • 15 inverted rows
  • 10 step up hops each leg

Topped it off with 10 minutes of core work.

I packed a snacky lunch to eat between the workout and a meeting with my spiritual director (basically someone who teaches me how to better give God permission to speak to me through prayer and to work in my life — the most important permission I could ever give).

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rosemary Triscuits with pepperjack cheese + carrots with hummus

I gave myself permission to actually think about the taste of this snack (I guess people call it “mindful eating”), and it was 10x more satisfying than any other time I’ve eaten carrots and hummus/crackers and cheese.

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loads o’ popcorn

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I rushed through the popcorn and KIND bar, but they were still tasty.

I also gave myself permission to buy water from Starbucks for $0.27 because all the places where I usually fill up my water bottle on campus were closed.

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This was less about permission and more about a fundamental need for water. I am endlessly grateful for constant, easy access to clean drinking water.

After spiritual direction, I video chatted with my uncle, aunt and cousins for two hours. We had a beautiful conversation. Ugh, I love them. I got to spend most of the two hours outdoors before I had to charge my phone.

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The only downside was standing up and realizing that the bench I was sitting on gave me splinters all over my backside.

I picked up some groceries afterwards and gave myself permission to take an Uber back home instead of walking or taking the bus (the fact that an Uber was only $2.20 at the time was also a big factor).

Look what I found at the store!

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Burpee plants!

Back at home, I showered, warmed up some leftovers for dinner, and spent time with Christie’s boyfriend’s dog, Koga. I got a taste of the neediness that most dog owners talk about. It’s annoying in the most adorable way.

Sunday

I gave myself permission to SLEEP. IN. I slept until 9:40! I promised I’d make French toast for all of us in the morning though, so I quickly got to work on that.

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one whole wheat + one brioche topped with butter sautéed bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, and slivered almonds + strawberries + glass o’ almond milk

Definitely taking full advantage of Christie’s pretty dishes and silverware for my food photos 🙂

I planned on running to the park ~4 miles away to meet my friends for a picnic in the afternoon, but my hip/quads/knee (!?) have been hurting these past few days, and running was a solid no-go yesterday. So I gave myself permission to pass on the picnic, walk home and do yoga instead.

The pain? Google says it could be some muscle tightness. Could be a labral tear. Hopefully not the latter.

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I forget what I did for the rest of the day, but in the evening I walked to campus for Mass, and my friend Evan kindly drove me home afterwards (God bless gentlemanly friends).

Chopped salad for dinner! (Read: Salad cut up with a pair of kitchen scissors.)

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spinach, feta, strawberries, avocado, sunflower seeds, and homemade honey mustard vinaigrette

Followed by dried figs with peanut butter and Greek yogurt. A classic.

Now I’m going to give myself permission to continue lying in bed and read Brideshead Revisited for real this time.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday/Memorial Day!

Give God permission. — St. Teresa of Calcutta

So tell me:

Do you find it hard to give yourself permission to relax?

What is one thing you gave yourself permission to do this weekend?

Any good books you’re reading? 

 

Being Judgmental of Your Own Hunger Cues

I have concluded that video games/virtual worlds are not my cup o’ tea.

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“Oh I’m supposed to follow the arrow!”

My brother and I took our cousins to Disney Quest— Disney’s multi-floor arcade and video game attraction— for a fun “kids” day while our parents dined at a fancy restaurant. It was super fun spending time with the dudes, but I can only stare at colorful lights and crazy pixels for so long (ironic because I can look at a computer screen for quite a long time…but that’s different from looking at crashing cars and flashing neon lights).

I was literally saying Hail Mary’s before going into one of those virtual roller coaster things that require you to go into a capsule, be strapped in, and stare at a virtual roller coaster on a screen while you’re being tossed around inside the capsule. Bleccchhhhh.

It’s no wonder that I was perfectly content just drawing Minnie Mouse at the “Animation Academy” lesson.

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My cousin said she was a chubby Minnie. I call it baby Minnie.

Air hockey, giant Fruit Ninja, and Dance Dance Revolution were also pretty fun 🙂

We ended our night at Splitsville “Luxury Bowling” for dinner (even though we didn’t bowl). We shared fried calamari to start, and then I had the ahi tuna salad with Asian pear dressing. Tasty!

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Earlier yesterday morning, I ate a nice and filling breakfast that consisted of butt-end toasts with sunflower seed butter and peanut butter; plain Greek yogurt with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and banana slices; and some mango.

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I woke up at 8:30 after going to bed at 2:30 AM, so I actually went back to sleep for another hour after breakfast and some blog reading. When I re-awoke, I ate another banana and then tackled some moves. Yesterday was a 5 minute jump rope warmup, foam rolling, and this at-home chipper workout from Tina.

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{via}

This is a GREAT workout. Challenging, quick, and no equipment required! However, I did use a 36# barbell for 50 of the squats and an abmat for the sit-ups for a little bit of an extra challenge. I also did jump lunges instead of alternating lunges. My quads were Jell-O.

Lunch followed immediately after! I ate some bites of my mom’s leftover seafood mofongo from Tuesday night, and then I made myself avocado toast and two-egg scramble with spinach and feta. I also ate a clementine after this— they’re sweet and juicy this time of year!

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We ate outside because the weather was perfection. I expressed my love for this moment on Instagram 🙂

Now I want to put on my serious-ish face and talk to you about something. (Warning: some of the following content may be triggering to those struggling with eating disorders. Take care! ♥ )

judgmental hunger cues

Whenever I go on day-long outings with family and friends other than my immediate family, I tend to fall into the dreaded comparison trap when it comes to food (obviously not a fault of my family or friends whatsoever!). I’ve gotten over the comparison trap quite successfully in college, but new situations always seem to throw me right back into it.

For example, I love breakfast, so I’m going to eat a big and/or dense morning meal such as the one I ate yesterday. Then I’ll see that every other person is eating half a waffle with a glass of juice or just a bowl of cereal, and they’ll be completely satisfied. “Oh…”

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This is not to say that there is anything wrong with small breakfasts if that’s your jazz!

It’s easier for me to brush this off because I know I tend to have bigger breakfasts than most of my friends, but that’s what works and that’s what I love. However, three hours later I might be hungry for a snack while no one else is.

There are also times when I’ll be hungry, have a snack, but then at dinner be just as hungry as everyone else who did not eat a snack since lunch. And sometimes I’ve had a bigger lunch than them.

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“Is there something wrong with me? Am I just thinking of food too much? (possibly.) C’mon, Alison, you can’t be hungry right now. You shouldn’t be.”

Shouldn’t. The judgmental word that messes with my brain and results in me overcomplicating food even more.

When I start judging my hunger cues, I sometimes end up eating more than I usually would once mealtime comes, because I don’t want to feel snacky later when no one else feels snacky. I am tempted to restrict (on a much, much smaller scale than I did during my eating disorder) or “compensate”.

{Allow me to clearly say: I have thankfully come a long way from my eating disorder, and I believe that I am at a healthy place mentally and physically. However, I think I speak on behalf of many people who have experienced EDs when I say that there are occasionally residual struggles that never truly disappear.}

In realizing the harm of judging my own hunger cues, I have also come to realize that I do not have the right to judge others’ eating habits (of course, unless something was clearly concerning). I used to wonder why some of my friends weren’t as hungry during lunch in high school, and I would criticize them for not eating enough. In reality, I was insecure about my own eating habits, and I unfortunately took it out on others.

God has mercifully given me the strength to deal with the temptation of judgement of myself and others, and I have been able to trust my body’s hunger cues. I know what works for me. Some days it’s a lot of snacks, and some days it’s three square meals. Some days I eat every meal three hours later than “normal” meal times, and some days I have totally disorganized mealtimes.

Our bodies are smart cookies (or smart banana in my case 😉 ) that all work uniquely for each individual. Even then, the body works uniquely for a single individual on different days.

There’s no place for judgement.

I’d also like to reiterate here that I almost never show everything I eat throughout the day on the blog!

Alrighty, I’m done.

Hope you all have a beautiful day! Go easy on yourself.

So tell me:

Do you ever find yourself judging your own eating habits?

Do you like visual-motion/simulator rides?

What is one delicious thing you ate yesterday?

Airboat Tour Adventure + Shoulder Burn Circuit Workout

I held an alligator yesterday!

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He’s 4.5 years old and his name is Sergio. The man said to hold his tail firmly, but apparently my grip on Sergio’s torso was a little too much, because then the man said, “If you hold him too tightly there, he’ll pass out and then you’ll have to give him mouth to mouth.”

I opted to just give Sergio pretend kisses. I miss him.

Where did I hold this alligator, you might ask? Wild Willy’s Airboat Tours! We had never been on an airboat before, so my mom and uncle found this company with stellar reviews on Yelp. It was truly an amazing experience! They took us on a laid-back yet informative tour through Lake Tohopekaliga to view the wildlife, which was abundant.

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“She’s going to put this on moves and grooves!”

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A COW (they wander into the shallow parts of the lake from the neighboring pastures)

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A terrible, mega-zoomed-in photo, but do you see the two bald eagles on top!?

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Wild Willy is the one with the sunglasses and camo pants!

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Ugh, it was such a beautiful day. I was totally awestruck by the beauty of nature as we sped through the waters on the airboat. I kinda wanted to cry tears of joy, but luckily, the wind blasting in my face kept my eyes dry and my embarrassment to a minimum.

If you’re ever in the St. Cloud, FL area, definitely check out Wild Willy’s Airboat Tours. We all give it five stars, two thumbs up, and three cheers!

Preceding our afternoon adventure, we had a slow start to the morning. I slept in and did my moves before breakfast, which is a rarity for me! I almost always need to eat something before I feel like a functioning human in the morning. I guess all that sushi the night before stuck pretty well.

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I missed you, burpees! This was a quick yet heart-pounding workout that made my shoulders burn. Those inchworm pushups are deceptively difficult after double unders!

[Super late] breakfast was an ol’ classic: Gina’s cookie dough cereal made with sunflower seed butter and a whole sliced banana. It will never stop being delicious.

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I also ate some random snacks with my fingers including pineapple, broccoli, and mango. I’m like a wild animal hunting for food or something, what the heck?

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Before leaving for the airboat tours, I made myself a sandwich with a two-egg scramble with a boatload [ 😀 ] of spinach and feta cheese. I ate it at around 3PM in the car on our way to the airboats.

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Part two of lunch came after the airboat tours when we decided to try some of their gator bites, aka gator nuggets, served with sweet & sour sauce and a creamy southwestern sauce. They tasted just like chicken nuggets except more chewy and a little less flavorful.

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Looks like mostly fries, but you can spot some of the nuggets in there!

Oh I had a bite of this smoked alligator jerky…”with pork.”

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The gator bites combo came with an ice cream “samich” that I happily ate. I will forever love these things, which are essentially jumbo ice cream Oreos.

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A late lunch called for a late dinner at 9PM again. Last night we dined at a local Latin/Caribbean restaurant, and everything was tasty!

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The world’s smallest house salad

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Grilled shrimp with white rice for me!

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Plus a few bites of my mom’s seafood mofongo (think Latin version of stuffing— made with fried green plantains, pork cracklings, and garlic)

Mofongo— the food you love to say and love to eat even more.

‘Twas a lovely and relaxing day indeed! Today I need to do work, which includes tour guide studying, blogging, letter-writing, bathroom cleaning, reading, and grocery shopping (there are no more bananas in our house and that makes me sad).

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

So tell me:

Have you ever held an alligator or other wild animal?

What was something fun you did yesterday?

Would you eat alligator?