Tag: inspo

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began & how I’VE evolved

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began & how I’VE evolved

The Evolution of Eat, Run, and Everything in Between: Where it all began and how I’VE evolved.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. It’s definitely long overdue. However, I also knew that writing this post would be a big undertaking. Why? Because I started this blog almost 5 years ago, at the beginning of my senior year in college. To those who have been following my journey from the start (primarily college besties & fam) THANK YOU for continuously supporting me through all my crazy foodie ups & downs. To those who are newer to the community, thanks for joining along! This post is to highlight the ups, the downs, and of course, everything in between of my health journey. This is certainly a more personal post of mine & is something I really don’t talk about often, even though my whole journey has truly shaped me to become the person I am proud of today! One last thing – I know this is long, but just stick through it, I promise there’s a purpose for sharing ALL of my past.

Though I began my blog nearing the end of my college career, my journey with food & health truly began around my sophomore year of high school. I had just completed my sophomore field hockey season and was starting up indoor track & field. I originally signed up for track as a means to stay in shape for field hockey and improve my speed. However, little did I know, this would turn into more than just that, running became a HUGE part of my life, very quickly. By the end of my spring track season, my coach and I began to realize that I had some talent here. I wouldn’t compare myself to the crazy fast girls on my team that went on to run at various Ivy leagues and such, but there was definitely something there worth exploring through A LOT of hard work, grueling track workouts, and serious dedication. At the end of my sophomore year, I decided I was going to pursue running all three seasons and drop field hockey. This was an extremely hard decision for me because I REALLY loved field hockey & it brought me so much joy. However, I knew that if I didn’t commit to training all year round, I wouldn’t make any of the championship meets I had longed to race at and would not be training with the fastest runners on the team.

That summer I trained my ass off, past the point of being “healthy/okay”. I look back at it now and it’s crazy to think I put my body through all of that! I would wake up early in the morning and go for a 5-miler. I’d come home, change, bike a few miles to the yacht club and then teach sailing all morning, have about a 1-hour break for lunch, then I had sailing lessons for another few hours out in the hot sun. I’d bike home and top off my mileage for the day anywhere from 3-5 more miles. I’d repeat this everyday that entire summer. On top of the increased running & additional exercise, I definitely was not feeding my body adequately. The added pressure I put on myself led to this idea that I had to have minimal fat on my body. The smaller I was, the faster a runner I would be. Of course now I know this is not true, but at the time, I really believed it. Also, I meant to mention that while all of this was going on, my parents were also in the process of getting a divorce. I think that is why I used running & food as an outlet. It was really the only thing at that time I could control and excel at. I also didn’t process it at the time, but running was 100% a form of meditation for me whether I realized it or not. PS – that fall, I ended up getting injured (stress fracture in my shin) early on in the XC season that put me out of commission for the rest of XC and into my winter track season. This was living proof that I put my body through too much and it had enough. It literally broke down.

That summer going into my junior year of high-school and prepping myself for cross-country was also the point in my life where my relationship with food changed. Before that point, I never thought to much on what I was putting into my body. There was no stress or anxiety that used to come around eating. Since then, I’ve had so many up’s and down’s with food – what’s healthy and what’s not? What’s the right diet and what’s not? The list goes on. Anyway, fast forward to the summer before entering my freshman year of college. I came into college pretty fit after following the XC training guide all summer. However, within just a few months, the “freshman 15” caught on for sure. I think I had this idea that because I ran everyday, I could also eat whatever I wanted to. I wasn’t used to this much freedom around food (and booze). On top of the weight gain, I also was not running fast. My body was changing, (as most most women do when hitting puberty – I was just a late bloomer!)and I wasn’t fueling myself with proper food to adapt to those changes.

Shifting to the summer going into my sophomore year of college, I decided running was the problem and quit XC. At the time, I do think this was the right decision for me. I joined the club field hockey team and still ran everyday. As a matter of fact, my running was improving and I was beginning to eat the RIGHT foods and not 3 servings of cheese pizza every night. Taking the pressure of competing on a college DI team out of the picture had a really positive affect on me. The only thing that I struggled with was that all of my best friends were still on the team. I missed them. Just as they were closing out their XC season, I reached out to the new track coach & before I knew it, I had rejoined the team and was prepared to compete that indoor track season. I’m so glad I took the time I needed to myself to realize that I really did miss my friends, the team atmosphere, and of course, competing. This had become a HUGE part of my life and would shape my college career.

That sophomore year, going into junior year I began to focus on my weight again and watch what food I was putting into my body. As you can probably tell, I become extremely passionate and determined when I put my mind to something. This tends to be why I hit a lot of extreme “highs” and “lows”. This type of mentality continued throughout the rest of my college years. I went abroad to Spain my junior year and definitely over-indulged. I would run long, grueling miles throughout my time there to try my best to keep some of the weight off. I came back that summer and once again, whipped myself into shape and watched what I was eating. This brings me to the beginning of my senior year of college where I wrote my first blog post.

This in itself was scary and definitely out of my comfort zone. I still remember the day I shared my first blog post on facebook. I was scared to see what people would think or say about me. At that time, blogging (especially on food, health, and wellness) was still fairly new. I wish I could have told the old me WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK??? But, hey, you live and ya learn! It literally makes me cringe looking at the photography of my food pictures now haha! I also remember when I received my first free product from a well-known brand. I had written an article about chobani and they sent me a huge box of free yogurts. I was seriously HEAD OVER HEELS excited about this. I think I was only at 400 followers at the time, but I didn’t care. I finally felt like I had a purpose. Food blogging was unique to me and it was something I became extremely passionate about.

Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned a few times here, this passion can turn into an obsession for me, which it did. Looking back at some of the food I made in college now, I can’t even imagine how those portion sizes filled me?! Blogging in college had its benefits, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think many college kids can say they got creative in the kitchen. I never realized how much I enjoyed cooking in the kitchen until I started experimenting with my meals out of my college dorm room. Somehow, it’s been 4+ years since I started this blog and here I am, still going strong. I may not have a lot of followers, but it really never was about growing quickly for me. This was and has always been a passion of mine. Sometimes blogging had its negative impacts on me. There was always (and still is) the comparison trap. “So and so is eating that and running those times, so I should do the same” or “that girl is super small so I should copy her meals”, etc. etc. However, there’s also the positive side that came out of blogging. This movement is certainly more recent, but I’m so glad that people are being more vulnerable and putting emphasis on doing what’s RIGHT and HEALTHY for your body. Realizing that I can eat REAL food and fuel my body, while eating a higher caloric intake. Realizing that healthy FATS are good. Realizing that I didn’t need to eat a 100% vegan diet to be “healthy”. Realizing that EVERYONE’S body is different and what one person needs to feel healthy, isn’t necessarily what I need to eat and do to feel healthy. And lastly, being HEALTHY doesn’t mean I need to strive for a certain weight or “look” a certain way.

So with that, this blog post has now gotten to be a short novel and therefore, I’m thinking I’ll need to write a part II very soon. I hope this helps give you an idea about the person behind EATRUNANDALLINBETWEEN. I’m human too. I’ve had my struggles and have learned my lessons. We all have and it’s OK. All of this has shaped me to be the person I am today. I’m really happy with where I am and my relationship with food and fitness. I don’t run crazy miles everyday anymore. I’ve found happiness and simplicity in yoga and wholesome foods. I try my best to indulge every now and then, while maintaining a balanced diet and not letting it get the best of me. Everyday is still a work in progress, but I truly believe I’m in a better place now, more than ever.

5 Tips for Living a Balanced Lifestyle

If you would have asked me three years ago what it takes to live a “balanced” lifestyle after college, my answer most DEFINITELY would have been very different than what I’m about to give you now. It’s pretty crazy to see how my mindset has shifted in just a few years. I would say much of that is due to trial & error, along with continued research and solid advice from podcasts or fellow bloggers! Either way, I feel as though I’m at a pretty solid point in my life, so wanted to share any wisdom or advice gained in the past years with all of you. I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring as I continue to grow, love, and experience more!

IMG_8473

1) Beat the Sunday Scaries. Now this may sound ridiculous and I don’t even know if I’ve quite mastered this, BUT I will tell you that beating the Sunday scaries is the best thing you can do for yourself to start out each week on a positive note. I’m telling you, it all starts on Sunday – not Monday as most would assume.

My tip? Make the most of your Sunday and avoid stressing about work, school, or whatever it is you have going on beginning Monday. Think positively, enjoy the day, end relaxed, get a solid sleep, and wake up feeling rejuvenated and EXCITED (key word here) for the new week ahead of you!

enhanced-973-1397546256-1

How you ask? Here’s my idea of a perfect Sunday …wake up, sip some coffee & go out for a nice run. Come back and prep yourself a HUGE healthy breakfast or check out your nearest cafe to treat yourself. Personally, I love exploring new local health-food cafes during the weekend. From there – the balls in your court – do something active, go for a hike OR if shopping is your vice, then do that if it makes you happy! I typically end the day with a food shopping trip & I try to spend NO more than 1.5 hours on meal prepping for the week. I love ending the day with a calming yoga session in my living room. This is the best way to go to bed in a positive mood. Oh and don’t check your work emails right before bed!

2) Eat Intuitively. If you haven’t checked out my past few posts on intuitive eating, then I highly suggest you read up on it! Long story short, I have certainly spent a lot of my time throughout college and post-college, trying out new “diets” or wellness “fads”. Though these may work for some people, we’re all different and one persons way of living is not necessarily going to be the answer for everyone else. Of course, it took me 3+ years to discover this. That all being said, I finally gave in to eating intuitively.

“Intuition” as defined by Google is “the ability to understand something immediately, or a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” In it’s simplest form, it means that if I’m craving ice cream, then I’m going to go for it. Same goes for a crunchy & hearty salad. Or fish. Or a glass of wine!! Or WHATEVER it may be. It’s natural human instinct and that’s something that you shouldn’t ever refrain your body from. It’s certainly a mindset change, but once you fall into it, you’ll find more joy in eating and less worrying over how many calories you’re consuming.

IMG_7895

3) Work out Intuitively. So similar to above, I truly believe that working out should be intuitive as well. Like eating, this was a pretty challenging adjustment for me. Coming from a strict, routine running career for 8+ years, I was afraid that any change in my workout routine would quite frankly, make me fat. Of course, this was naive thinking. But, when you come from D1 college running where everyday, Monday-Sunday, was planned for you, it’s hard to let go of that routine.

What I’ve learned is that it’s SO much more important to listen to your body then keep yourself in such a strict routine. I should have learned this sooner having suffered from on and off running-related injuries. Regardless, I’m now in such a great place, where I wake up in the morning and decide what I’m feeling versus going to bed with a set plan. This simple shift in how I work out has helped my body and my mind recover.

IMG_8014

What does my typically workout routine look like right now? I just signed up for a half marathon in the fall, so my running/training will likely pick up! I’ve been running about 3-4 times a week, anywhere between 5-8 miles. On the other days, I’ll either hop on the spin bike or the stair master for 30-40 minutes. I’ll focus on strengthening my legs, arms, and core (all on separate days). I also have been incorporating a mix of yoga & pilates into my routine at least 2-3 times a week for about ~ 20 minutes. Lastly, I usually take a day off every other week. PLEASE note that again, one persons routine, isn’t necessarily the right routine for you. This is ALWAYS subject to shift based on how I’m feeling. If I’m extremely tired, I will take an extra day off where necessary. The most important thing is to LISTEN to your body.

4) Take risks and challenge yourself. I think the biggest thing my boyfriend and I are struggling with right now is not knowing where we will be living in a year and what we’ll be doing for work. We have so many ideas of where we’d love to live, travel, etc. but we also know that given circumstances, it’s impossible for us to plan a year ahead right now. So much can change in just a year, so rather than living in fear or uncertainty, it’s important to turn that into excitement of the unknown. It’s knowing that so much can change in just one year and you truly need to live day-by-day to enjoy those moments. In the end, you need to take opportunities that are granted to you, make the most of them, challenge yourself and know that taking risks can either fail or can turn into something greater than you could have ever imagined!

dbb099eb3a22bd36_shutterstock_111393362.preview

5) Think Positively and Love YOURSELF. I know this sounds super hippie dippy, but if there’s one thing I’ve taken away lately, it starts with loving and respecting yourself. It’s OKAY to be selfish and do things for you. We were all put on this earth for a different reason. We were all given different looks, shapes, and sizes for a reason.

Start embracing what you have and work with it! I honestly believe that the notion of thinking positively stars with self-love. At that point, your perspective becomes more humbling and gratifying. You can begin identifying the impact you can make and whatever your greater purpose is or may be one day. Just going into each day with a smile can make all the difference! Oh and PS – sometimes it takes just downing a cup of coffee to get to that state 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 6.41.20 AM

That’s my advice to you AND me! Though it’s taken me some time to get to this point, it doesn’t mean it stops here for me. Life’s all about growing and learning and I hope to continue doing that year over year.

I would love to hear how all of you practice a balanced lifestyle! Please share and comment below!


%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this: