The Problem With Your Fitness Tracker

Chances are if you are reading this, you have a fitness tracker. If not, I’m sure you have your own opinion about them because they seem to be everywhere you look nowadays. However, let me ask you this, how many times have you checked your watch today? Every hour, every five minutes…? After reading Robyn’s article it got me thinking and I wanted to voice my opinion on the topic.

You see, originally these glamorized fitness trackers were made to encourage people to be more active. Majority of Americans spend their entire day at a sedentary desk job and if they are wearing a FitBit they are probably going to feel more entitled to “get in their steps” for the day. But when does something turn from a healthy habit into a compulsive ritual?

Lets take a step back and look at the other majority of people buying them. Runners, athletes, kids as young as 10, and unfortunately people struggling with eating disorders are using these as well. Does that mean someone 20 pounds underweight needs to have the same fitness goals as someone 50 pounds overweight? Absolutely not. These so-called health standards of getting “10 thousand steps a day” to be considered a “healthy” adult is not variable. What if someone didn’t reach that 10K step goal? Does that automatically mean they are worth less…?

I fell into the trap. My boyfriend got me a new FitBit a couple months ago and of course I have felt obligated to wear it. But I started noticing a trend as I religiously put it on my wrist every morning, it started becoming obsessive. If I didn’t wear it, I felt like a part of me was missing. When I didn’t get a certain amount of steps in a day, I felt guilt. GUILT. OVER A NUMBER. A STUPID WATCH. Why should I let some inanimate object place even more stress in my life than I already have to deal with?! Anxiety and guilt should never be associated with exercise or your self-worth. Just because you move more on one day and less the next is totally NORMAL. Yeah, that’s right. It’s actually HEALTHY to not always be go-go-go every day. Not only for your physical health but for your mental health too. I am 100% for living a healthy lifestyle, but do I think a fitness tracker is good for everyone? Absolutely not.

Fitness is not an obligation. It’s not about steps. It’s not about an intense workout every day. It’s about listening to your body and letting that be the determinate of how you choose to move. You don’t need a watch. You don’t need to track. You just need to live.

I challenge whoever feels the need to wear one everyday to take it off. Doesn’t have to be forever, just a day… or two…. a week maybe. See how you feel. Maybe you will have less anxiety. Maybe you will be more in tune with your body. Maybe, just maybe you will be more focused on other things that you actually feel happier. C’mon, you can do it.

 

 

Summertime Sleepies: Adrenal Fatigue

Hey fraaands! Okay so I really wanted to do a Vlog updating you all with how things are going for me but I am really not the best with words. Like, I know what I want to say but don’t always know how to paraphrase it. For now, this will have to do (at least until I can get a good camera).

I want to tell you that I have been having an outstanding summer, but that would be just flat out lying. It hasn’t been. I used to be SUCH a morning person: your typical 6 am workout fitness chica before starting my busy day of classes. But now, when I wake up in the mornings, I no longer feel super pumped & enthused for the day ahead…. I feel like I could just go back to bed for the rest of the day. However, I still go on with my day thinking that things will turn around, but they usually don’t (unless I have coffee but i’m trying to back off). I find myself feeling drained before 3:00 and end up doing nothing all afternoon. To be honest I am surprised I am writing this post write now because even that seemed like too much for me to focus on.

I feel broken. Like someone has taken out my batteries and I am left hollow without purpose. I am beginning to think a lot of this is just psychological and my reaction to what I found out a couple weeks ago… but I’m just not sure. I have been reading up on adrenal fatigue (symptoms here) lately and it sounds almost exactly like what I am going through. With my hormones already being way out of whack, there’s no telling what kinds of crazy things my body and mind will do to protect itself.

As for now, I know I need to take it easy. After reading Robyn’s post about “how exercise affects hormones”, I really believe that in this phase of my life, I cannot handle high intense workouts anymore. I am ALL for living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and that is going to look different for each and every person. While some people can handle Crossfit or running 10 miles a day, my body can’t. It would push it deeper and deeper into an already complicated situation and I would be afraid to see the outcome.

Life is going to have so many up’s and down’s. You can’t always be the one to decide when those happen but you CAN do your very best to react accordingly. I can still be thankful that my heart is beating and that I have a roof over my head. I can choose to find things that make me happy that don’t involve stressing my body even more. I can choose to fight instead of letting this break me. I really have no idea how long I will have to give my body rest… 3 months…. 6 months…. a year? Who knows? Things don’t change overnight and because I am kinda sorta an impatient person this is going to be a challenge…. but I am also a very dedicated person.

So that’s basically what’s up been up. I can’t say I have really felt myself or felt like blogging but I do hope that I can start as I will have the extra time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any blog ideas, topics, comments, etc! Getting emails from you guys means so much to me! And if anyone has any advice or has gone through something similar let me know!

Email: emlove814@gmail.com ❤

 

What happens when you don’t take action

Well fuck.
It all started with an innocent visit to the doctors. I had scheduled a bone density scan because after 5 years of no menstrual cycle due to my past of restrictive eating I was curious to see how my bones were doing, but when I heard the words “Em, you have osteoporosis”, my heart sank. She told me a 90 year old woman came in earlier that day and that her bones were stronger than mine.

I cannot even explain what I was feeling because all I could think about was my future. “What could this possibly mean for me now”, “Will I ever truly be able to have kids”, “What if I won’t be able to lift anymore”, “Am I going to be in a wheelchair by age 40”? All of these thoughts rushed to my mind and I felt numb.

Osteoporosis is incurable. While I am only 19 years old, I have some years left to reverse some of it, however, a lot of damage is already done and that is something I can never go back and fix. Bones stop forming when you are 30 years of age. I want to say I’m sorry, sorry for letting you all down, but I shouldn’t have to apologize to anyone. I am actually sorry to myself for not taking my recovery more seriously and not taking action sooner. I had no idea this was going to catch up to me in the short period I had with my eating disorder, but THAT’S ALL IT TAKES.

Disclaimer: I have been nourishing my body well for over 2 years now, but if your body is not at it’s “happy weight”- health problems can most definitely arise even if you do not known about it.

If you are without a period for whatever reason, take this as your warning sign. A wake up call. FIX IT. Don’t wait until next year when you see the doctor to find this out. You NEED your period. Women need that estrogen to build healthy bones, just eating more calcium will not work because not all of that is actually absorbed by the body.

So what am I going to do?

I will gain the weight that should have been gained a long, long time ago(10-15 more lbs at least). At this point I don’t even care if I gain fat or muscle, because you need that fat to get a healthy period anyways. I will no longer be that small, shredded girl I have allowed myself to be and to be completely honest that does scare me a little- but not nearly as much as living with brittle bones my whole life. My body does NOT define who I am as a person. I will continue to weight lift because the doctor recommended that for healthy bones but with some modifications. I am taking this calcium supplement (500mg 2X DAY) plus I am going to go on birth control for a little while to give my body some estrogen until I gain a few more pounds. Note: I am not suggesting to go on the pill to cure your problems, this is temporary until my body is ready to start making its own hormones. If given circumstances weren’t as severe I would not go on birth control. I will be eating a TON more than I already have been.

I plan to distance myself from certain people via social media as it can be very unmotivating to see someone eating like a 5 year old while I am eating a whole pizza myself. I understand some will feel the need to unfollow me, but ask yourself this… what if I’m not the only one? What if that so called “healthy living” blogger you adore has it too but they fail to share. This is not something that is easy to be open about but I see no reason to hide it away.

I am sick & tired of how many people let this be silent and go about their lives like it’s “no big deal”- it’s a HUGE deal. Did you know that not having your period doesn’t just affect your bones? Amenorrhea can increase your risk of endometrial cancer as well as heart disease.

I am taking this as another obstacle that God has thrown my way because He knows I can do it. I CAN overcome this and I will be okay. I am surrendering to Him and trusting this process. You can get anything you want in life if you are willing to make difficult sacrifices and go against the mainstream. I am remaining faithful and I do believe I can fix this the best way I can.

If you read through all of this, thank you. I hope this message gets across to anyone dealing with amenorrhea and that you start getting help now. I am always here to talk as well, just email me at emlove814@gmail.com.

❤ ❤ ❤

9 Things That Have Been Making Me Happy

Lately I have been spending time reflecting on the little things. Those little occurrences that happen in a day end up bringing a whole lot more meaning to my life than big events. I think its important to recognize the things that make you smile, the things that make your heart happy, and the people that bring about all those wonderful feelings. Here are some that have been bringing me happiness:

  1. Brunch dates with my brother

We checked out this place in Nashville called Fido. We decided on breakfast bagel sammies- mine had scrambled eggs, cheese, and veggie sausage! Their iced americano was proabably the strongest coffee I ever did taste.

2. Going to the drive-in

My parents convinced me to go see Wonder Woman, which I was hesitant because action movies aren’t my hype. Glad I went because it turned out being really good! My favorite part was the ride back- my mom and I laid in the back of my dads truck and watched the stars as we drove home.

3. Making someone that I love smile

I surprised my dad with an early Father’s Day gift a couple days beforehand. I got a bunch of his favorite goodies and was just too excited to wait to give it to him. The card I wrote him even got him teary eyed! And yes that is a poblano pepper with lips on a stick…

4. Letters from Cody

Having my boyfriend gone the entire summer at bootcamp is hard. I miss him- but getting cute letters from him really makes my day.

5. Big cereal bowls

Okay, don’t judge but cheerios have been my jam recently. I really love “protein cereal” where you just add some protein powder to your cereal with almond milk, especially chocolate because its like chocolate milk 😉 But I also love it with just some sliced nanners up in there!

6. Morning walks

I have always been the person to get up early to get my workout in first thing. But recently I have been enjoying a slower morning, starting with a nice walk in the park or my neighboorhood instead. Not only because it’s before it’s scorching hot but also because it wakes my body up and I love how quiet it is.

7. Binge watching Netflix

It feels like forever since this series was on and I am taking full advantage of summer break to allow myself to binge watch Netflix series. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

8. Recipe testing!

I have totally been slacking on recipe testing and posting on this blog! Something I want to do more of now that I have time. I made these delicious chocolate peanut butter energy balls the other day. Recipe can be found on my Instagram @emmys.yummys!

9. Feeling confident in my skin

It has taken so many years of trying to fully love myself. I still am working on it daily. But to be able to look in a mirror and not pick myself apart is like a dream come true. I feel free. Choosing recovery is the best decision of my life.

And of course these are just some of the great things I have been appreciating lately. Long phone calls with friends, swimming in my pool on 90 degree days, and waking up to my kitty lying on my tummy brings me joy like no other ❤

So tell me, what/who has been making your life happy lately?

 

Fuel YOUR Fitness

Do you like lifting heavy things? How about running til your feet hurt? Or how about a spontaneous hike with your friends? All of these wonderful ways of moving your body require something very essential: FUEL.

It isn’t uncommon that I see athletes under-fueling themselves and wondering why they aren’t making the progress they want as fast. That’s because our bodies run primarily on glycogen! And where does that come from exactly? CARBOHYDRATES. And since carbohydrates are the fastest form of energy, they are essential for every living thing. Our brains alone need at LEAST 130g of carbs a day! So can you imagine how much you actually need if you are trying to lift 200 lbs or run to China and back?….A LOT.

When the body doesn’t have enough glycogen stores in the muscles and the liver, the body then turns to fat stores instead.And when there are not enough fat stores, protein from muscles are used as energy which is NOT healthy as it can lead to heart problems and even death. While using up fat stores may seem ideal for an overweight individual to lose weight, I would never recommend a super low-carb diet to anyone. It all comes down to the types of foods you are choosing to fuel your body with. Growing, healthy young adults need not to compare their needs to someone of that context as their needs are going to be different.

For me personally, I like to get my early morning workout in before breakfast or sometime in the morning. I never train fasted because I have found that my energy is way more sustained throughout my workout if I at least have a small snack beforehand.

These are some easy pre-workout snack ideas that I enjoy:

  • 2 rice cake with peanut butter/jelly
  • GoMacro vegan bars, Larabars, RX bars, really any little energy bar 😉
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast with nut butter + banana
  • Dates with nut butter (can you see a trend here, haha, i’m nutty)
  • Protein smoothie with frozen banana, scoop of plant-based protein powder, cinnamon, ground flaxseed, maca powder, and sometimes cacao powder!
  • My almond butter chocolate chip energy balls
  • A few slices of cold cinnamon baked sweet potato that I usually bake the night before and stick in the fridge (aka perfection)
  • Coconut water
  • Cereal + fruit+ almond milk + MRM vegan cinnamon bun protein (right now I am loving Kashi cinnamon crumble cereal, Kashi dark chocolate karma wheat biscuits, Peanut butter puffins, and the ever so classic Cheerios!)


Really think about combing a good source of carbohydrates before with a little fat/protein to keep you from having a blood sugar crash mid workout. Having something small like in the list above 30-45 minutes before a workout is just enough time for it to digest a little to power you through!

And of course after, follow the same guidelines of eating a good quality source of carbohydrates with protein for muscle synthesis and a little fat. Personally, I love having a big breakfast to start my day and to keep my energy lasting so I don’t have the “afternoon slump”.

I have learned something about myself over the years of trail and error and that is to not ever compare your needs to someone else’s. Some people can do a fasted workout no problem, however, from what I have researched- the stress hormone, cortisol, is the highest in the morning. Eating in the morning helps lower cortisol levels which can help some who have hormonal imbalances. I strongly believe that healthy hormones play a huge role in the overall well-being of the body and I will do all it takes to keep it that way.

So tell me,

How do YOU fuel your fitness?

I Don’t Need A Label

I’m just going to jump right into this because it’s something I have been wanting to get off my chest. As most of you know I made the change to a completely vegan lifestyle in September 2016. You can read about that here. While I feel like this was exactly what I wanted to do for my body and for animals, I am trying to decide if this is exactly what I need to do right now….

Having recovered from a restrictive eating disorder, I know I am in a place now where I would never put that stress on my body ever again. However, I will admit that sometimes I do still feel restricted from certain things if it’s not 100% vegan. I think back to my life before I went vegan, before my eating disorder, heck even before puberty when I was completely carefree about everything. I want that again. Not saying I have been cutting back on my intake because I actually got myself to gain some weight being vegan, but I did it in ways that was a lot harder to do than if I had eaten some animal products.

I still truly believe a plant-based diet is one of the healthiest ways to live, but I do not want to feel like I have to live up to a certain standard just so I can label myself as “vegan”. Food should not have that much control over anyone…. its just food.

I was nervous about posting this out of fear of judgement from other vegans, but I really don’t care anymore. I do not need a label. I don’t need to live under anyone else’s standards either. If I get judgement from my choice, that doesn’t make you a better person. I just want to be happy. Completely happy. And as a college student it’s sometimes really hard to find a 100% vegan option when out with friends or at a social event. In that case I don’t want to be the only one left hungry and missing out on fun times because I couldn’t eat something that wasn’t completely vegan.

You have to do what is right for you. Doesn’t matter if you choose to be vegan, paleo, gluten free, whatever… we are all still human and food shouldn’t be super stressed out about. I will decide what is right for me. That being said, if something I eat has a little dairy or egg in it, it’s okay. No one should care so much what I choose to do anyways. I still don’t want to eat meat and that’s a personal decision of mine.

Shout out to Jen’s video for inspiring me to speak out ❤ She says it perfectly.

Afterthought, I would one day love to post videos of me talking instead of just blog posts but I find myself so camera awkward that I don’t think I could handle it hahah. But if anyone has any thoughts I am all ears!

Vegan Banana Date Bread

The last time I made my vegan pumpkin bread, I received a suggestion from my dad. He thought it would be yummy to add some chopped dates to the bread for extra sweetness. So I found myself bored out of my mind the other day as the weather was gloomy and cold. No motivation to study Chem anymore so naturally I started procrastibaking. But this series of procrastibaking turned into something very productive because this recipe rocked my fuzzy socks off!

I was originally planning to bake the same pumpkin bread as last time but we had a lot of ripe bananas that had to be used so I tried modifying the recipe. Instread of using pumpkin, I subbed extra banana for extra natural sweetness. Keeping my dad’s request in mind, threw in those dates 🙂

Recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 T. ground flaxseed
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 T. agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ground ginger
  • about 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates

First, mix ground flax into a large bowl and add 4 Tbsp. water and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add mashed banana, applesauce, agave and whisk.

Next, add baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and 1/2 cup water and whisk again.

In another bowl, combine the oat flour, oats and almond meal. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully combined. Then throw in the chopped dates and stir.

Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan and bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes and a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Allow to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge!

This bread is lightly sweetened because it contains no refined sugar, if you like things really sweet you can try adding any sweetener you would like but I don’t think it needed it!

As you can see, anything can be topped with peanut butter for good measure 😉

 

Weekly Recap: Being More Mindful

Is it just me or has this year completely flown by? I mean it’s November now but just last week it was 80 degrees… Definitely took me by surprise when I woke up this morning to 40 degree chills. Just wanted to share my completely mindful, intuitive, stress-free weekend with you all! If you know me well enough you would know I am the biggest planner… but sometimes it’s good to not plan but just go with the flow. You never know what kind of stuff you’ll find yourself doing!

My friend, Jenny and I tried a hot yoga class for the first time. I don’t normally sweat, like EVER, but sweet Jesus, there was sweat droplets flying off! Never have I ever been this drenched, even Jenny who is a runner said this was the most she sweat. The class wasn’t too difficult itself as far as the poses because I am overall pretty flexible… but because it was over 100 degrees I’d say that changes things.

After yoga (and a much needed shower), we found a park. Then we had a picnic on it and talked about life for a while because we just deep like that 😉

Please applaud my dearest friend’s parking. She tried.

But apparently if you do this so often, you get letters from fellow humans from the back of a condom package….

Twas a really relaxing Saturday. Not stressing about finals or even tomorrow’s troubles. Just being present and enjoying the day.

On Sunday, I was visited by my parents. Cannot emphasize enough how blessed I am to have them. They literally make my day anytime they come because family means everything to me. Oh, and they buy me food which is a perk 🙂

I usually have a hard time with last minute things but I got together with a group of people and went bowling to celebrate the end of America on Election Day. We had no class sometimes you just gotta make the best out of a rainy day. Fun fact: I was better at bowling when I was 10.

Overall, I am getting better at trusting life’s curve balls and making the most of tough situations. It helps when I laugh at myself but sometimes it isn’t enough. I laugh, I cry because I am not perfect and not every day will be. I think one of the most interesting things about life is that we all have inner demons but all of it can be forgotten when you surround yourself with the ones that make you feel good.

 

Who in your life are YOU thankful for?

Have you tried hot yoga before?

Afraid Of The Unknown

Fear. It’s an  unsatisfying emotion caused by believing that something bad will happen. We as humans are able to tell when there is a threat, whether that be internal or external. But why are certain things more fearful to some  while others may deem no threat at all?

Me, being the totally Type A, plan-it-all-out, perfectionist struggle with fearing the unknown. There are many aspects of my life that I cannot simply write down in stone and plan out. I have no flippin idea where my life will be in 5 years, in 1 year, and not even in 6 months from now. Because change is inevitable and what my life has shown me so far is that things don’t always go according to plan. So, knowing this, why do I stress myself out over the little things?

I don’t know why. I think the wires in my brain got crossed somehow before I was born and I naturally tend to overthink every little thing…. And I need to work on that. I need to continue to work on practicing more of the things I preach to others. Because it can be so easy to give advice and fail to include yourself…..

Besides my future, I will admit that I am afraid of failure. In so many parts of my life that I could go on for longer than I want to make this post….

But what would I do if I wasn’t so afraid?

Well, for starters I would probably be the most stress-free person you would meet. I would  be way more spontaneous. I wouldn’t settle for anything less than what makes me happy. When I compare how I am doing now than to a year ago, I have made tremendous progress. However, little setbacks like to creep in if I am not careful. But that’s okay. It is OKAY to have “mental funks” as long as you can recognize them and respond in the best way possible.

I don’t want to fear anymore. I want to be fearless and conquer all the things I hold back from myself. Because life shouldn’t be lived worrying about things out of your control. It should be spent cherishing every breathing moment because every second of the day is very precious. I don’t want to take my health for granted. There are so many people out there who have it worse. I want to be more spontaneous in my actions every single day and not freak the hell out if something changes. There is a reason why things happen the way they do even if we don’t always have the answers why.

I will always be a person that values structure and a schedule, but there comes a point where I have to learn to balance it and give myself grace some days. Totally wing it and go with the flow of things. Some of my best memories are the ones that weren’t planned.

Here’s to leaving my comfort zone.

So tell me,

Are you a planner or a go-with-the-flow person?

What is your favorite way to de-stress?

 

 

Link Love 10/23/16

Hey guys! Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! I realize it’s been quite a long time since I did a Link Love so I figures why the hell not?! These are just some articles I have read this week that I hope you all enjoy. ❤

Mental/Physical Health:

We Are Too Hard On Ourselves – The Real Life RD

Robyn is one of my favorite bloggers. So full of life and really makes me think deeply about certain topics.

A Healthy Mindset During A Workout – Blissful Lyss

Alyssa is a great friend of mine who has such powerful insight  

I Stopped Doing Cardio And This Happened – Maddy Moon

All of Maddy’s posts are amazing. She is truly a wise and beautiful woman who has helped so many people. This is a great post for those with cardio addiction.

Noms:

Salted Caramel Coconut Balls – The Almond Eater

I admit to having the biggest sweet tooth so these sound fricken delicious

Leftover Pumpkin Pie Casserole  – Oh She Glows

This is SUCH a good idea! I think I may try it…. if there is any pie left

Turmeric Peanut Butter Chickpea Curry – Vegan Richa

Peanut butter? Count me in.

Fun Reads:

22 Pictures That Will Bring You Back 90’s Nostalgia

Oh man, everything about this takes me back to the simpler times in life ❤

33 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends and Family

Can’t decide on a gift? This is for all you crafty people out there 😉