Gratitude Wins, As Always

Random thought for your Monday morning: I really love the ice cubes in the dining halls.

They’re actually more like mini ice logs, but they’re kind of…light and airy? It’s so easy to chew them, and it kind feels like a snow cone texture when you do.

Hooray for really COOL [sorry] ice!

Now that I’ve celebrated that simple joy in life, let’s talk about how Friday morning sucked any kind of joy out of me.

Friday morning: Cloudy, damp, dreary, early. I walked approximately half an hour to my gynecology appointment with hopes of hearing results after the lab work from the previous Friday. That is, the lab work that I was supposed to have done two Fridays ago. The lab work that I (the worst “grownup” ever) didn’t actually complete because I didn’t realize that I had to go into a separate room after my appointment to get blood drawn.

Doc: “For some reason, the system has no indication of any lab work. Do you remember if you go that done?”

Me: “…Um, I don’t know. Actually, maybe I didn’t…”

Doc: “Did you get blood drawn?”

Me: “…No.”

Doc: “Oh okay, that was the lab work.”

Me: “Agh, I’m so sorry. She did say to go get lab work done after the appointment, but I guess I was just kinda confused and didn’t actually do that.”

What was actually going on in my brain: WTF, ALISON!?!?!?!?! 

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The super sweet gynecologist apologized for the inconvenience of me coming there for basically nothing. I apologized for being a dimwit, essentially. I then got my blood drawn like I was supposed to do the week before, and then I walked back home. The next earliest appointment they had for me is two months from now, so I must wait some more.

I was frustrated. Embarrassed. I felt so stupid. I cried.

I could have gotten answers by now. I could have gotten this out of the way sooner. I could have been smarter. I could have…

…wait, Alison.

I could be grateful. For quality healthcare. For being able to walk to my appointment. For such kind and compassionate gynecologists. For family and friends who are praying for me. For the new day of life that God granted to me.

Life ain’t so bad. This will all work itself out in due time.

Thank you to all of you who have supported and loved me through all of this. You know who you are.


The theme of gratitude only magnified as the weekend went on.

On Friday night, I had a long dinner with my friends, followed by a beautiful Mass in the North End with more friends.

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this was actually my lunch, but I’m grateful for corn bread

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Saturday morning came quickly with an early morning wake-up call for service! Some people from the Catholic Center spent the morning volunteering at the Red Cross Food Pantry, where there was nothing BUT gratitude. The people who work there are living saints, and the people whom we were serving are examples of grace and joy.

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Saturday night involved burritos— always a reason to be grateful.

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Oh, and the people who were eating the burritos with me—grateful for them too. Sophomore bonding night!

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Saturday night ended with girl talk with Rachel. Sunday morning started with breakfast also with Rachel. Ugh, it’s like we’re best friends or something. She’s everywhere!

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Lunch dessert was pretty bomb too.

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berry crisp a la mode

Lastly, Rachel and I have decided that we’re making this our BU bucket list: “50 Things to Eat in Boston Before You Die.”

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IT’S HAPPENING.

I’m grateful for a rejuvenating yet productive weekend. I’m grateful for YOU.

O Lord God: Thank you. Forgive me. Help me more.

Here we are at Monday! Hoping you find simple joys like really awesome ice cubes.

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMA! ♥ ♥ ♥ I love you lots.

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So tell me:

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever messed up on something that made you feel really dumb? 

Crushed or cubed ice? Crushed! Or mini logs!

Reflecting on My Exercise…Again

Deep breath. This post is important.

I’ll start by saying this: I genuinely enjoy exercise. I have learned this past semester especially (through my anatomy course and just through lack of time to work out) that I truly love exercising because it is a blessing to be able to move, sweat, produce endorphins, and do something good for my body. I no longer see it (primarily) as a way to burn calories or “look good.”

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While my relationship with exercise has improved during my freshman year of college though, one thing has not. My period. (Sorry, TMI for the fellas.) This is straight-face talk, and it’s very similar to my talk on this blog about a year and a half ago. I haven’t had my cycle in nine months, and I’m sure that my amenorrhea (absence of menstruation for an unusually long period of time) is due to a combination of school stress and— unfortunately—exercise stress. My history with an eating disorder very likely contributes as well.

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Another big reason why I think exercise is causing my amenorrhea is because I got my cycle last summer after only walking and doing yoga and eating more for a couple months. However, I have a hunch that I jumped back into intense exercise way too quickly, and although I had this hunch all year during school, I was in denial.

Finally, after reading Emily’s post about amenorrhea and Julia’s post about how she gave up exercise, I realized that I’m definitely putting too much stress on my body. Those two ladies are incredible— humble, honest, and inspiring. Ashley, Sam, and Courtney also have experience with hypothalamic amenorrhea, and they have been amazing resources.

(If you’re wondering why I don’t just check with my doctors, it’s because I did that last year for this same reason. All of them say my bone density is fine, my thyroid is fine, my weight is fine. They say exercise is fine, but I know in the depths of my being that my current exercise regime is not fine. See this article for more information.)

Even though I view exercise in a healthy way currently, I’m eating plenty, and I feel 100% healthy, I’m not actually quite where I need to be. Honesty is the best policy here on Moves and Grooves, and honestly, there has been pride involved in all of this too. All my friends see me as a healthy and active person, so if I stop exercising intensely, I feel as though I will lose this “image” that they all have of me.

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But I must remember that ultimately, fitness is not about lifting myself up— it’s about taking care of my body in order to lift up glory to God. Fitness is not what makes a person beautiful, and I firmly believe that. I have to believe that about myself too.

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So what am I going to do?

  1. Eat more. Like, EEEEEAAAAAATTTTT.
  2. Decrease exercise and intensity. Only walking, yoga, low impact bodyweight strengthening (barre/pilates). No burpees.
  3. Gain weight (fat, not just muscle).
  4. Pray.

Yes, I’m bummed. Yes, I question whether this is even worth it. What woman wants a period anyway? But alas, it’s important, and I don’t want my lack of menstruation to have future repercussions on my health/fertility. I am beyond thankful that I still have the sheer ability to move.

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For a while, I was disappointed that I would lose my fitness progress that I had worked so hard for in the past couple years. I’ll be losing some stamina, endurance, and strength. However, I realized that I have come to love the journey of reaching fitness goals, not just the result. I have learned to appreciate and celebrate progress. So wherever my body is when I start increasing my exercise again, I will hopefully be less frustrated with my slow start.

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Thank YOU for your support, encouragement, inspiration, and prayers. If you ever need a friend to talk to about this issue, email me at dailymovesandgrooves@gmail.com.

Hope you all have an awesome day!

So tell me: Whatever you’d like. 🙂