Monday, March 23, 2015

The Daily Struggle

A little over a month ago, i turned 29.  One more year until the big 3-0, an age that i have for a very long time feared.  I've recently been evaluating my life, my mental state, my wants.  I have been living in fear for a very long time, not just of getting older, but of not being good enough or where i should be.  I put into my mindset over a decade ago expectations for myself.  I had my entire adult life planned out before i was even a high school graduate.  I was going to be married by 23, kids by 25 and 27 and driving a Mercedes and owning my own extravagant house by the time i was 30.  None of that has happened.  Life doesn't always go as we plan, for its not ours to plan.  As a Christian, i have realized that God is the one who makes the plans for my life.  I can try and have these extravagant ideas and plans, but that doesn't mean they are going to happen. Life happens, and sometimes its not easy and not what we had planed for ourselves.  

My life has had many ups and downs the last 10 years.  Suffering from severe anorexia since I was 11 and then bulimia coming into play at 16 (something i still struggle with today), being an active alcoholic and past drug addict, and suffering massive anxiety attacks and depression.  I didn't have any of this in my life plans for myself, but they are here and they are something i deal with daily.   I wish i didn't have to have these struggles, but if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  I know that everything i am struggling with can one day be in the past.  I can get through this, i can get help and i can be better.  Those life plans i made for myself, they can still happen,  just at a later age.  The things i am overcoming and battling are a part of my life, for some reason, unknown to me, but i do know that they are going to help me to grow as a woman and one day i will be able to take what i have gone through (and am going through) and help someone else. 

The past few weeks, i have been doing some soul searching.  Trying to figure out just what it is i want from this life, and what exactly it is that i am afraid of.   I realized i have so many goals and one of my biggest fears is not accomplishing them, not being the best or being  good enough.  I have always been an extremely talented athlete.  Being a top swimmer the majority of my life and now taking that level of athleticism into running.  I was the top runner in high school, but when given the choice of D1 swimming or D1 running, i choose to swim as that is where i had invested the majority of my time growing up.   

With a half marathon coming up in June, i am confronted with fears.  What if im not the best? What if i dont run as fast as I and others expect me to? What will people think of me?  Im realizing, what does that matter!?  The point is, im getting out there, im going to run 13.1 miles, and im going to finish with a smile!  If i run a 7:30 pace instead of a 6:40, well then so be it.  As long as i can finish and say i gave it my everything, i didn't hold back and am proud of myself- then i have accomplished a goal.  

I have been struggling a lot lately with my eating disorder and my alcohol addiction.  I am so afraid of not getting "that skinny" one more time.  I have this thought that i need to be super skinny one more time in my life, just to "feel it"  and so i get scared to eat or i eat and have to purge.  My anxiety will overwhelm me and then i need to drink, and if i drink im drinking to skip eating.  Its a vicious cycle.  But once i take that first drink, its not enough, one bottle of wine isn't enough, heck sometimes 2 bottles isn't enough.  I have been an alcoholic since i was 18.  Drinking was kind of fun in the beginning but now its just a way to numb myself and not deal with life.  As i mentioned earlier, i have all these goals, well drinking is keeping me from achieving them and just aids in my depression.  I can get to day 3 without a drink and than my anxiety sky rockets and i throw a tantrum and demand that i have a 6 pack of beer or 2 bottles of wine immediately.  I tell my boyfriend i will leave him if i don't get a drink.  What kind of love is that displaying?  This is the man i want and plan to spend the rest of my life with, to start a family with and i am treating him like none of that matters, all because i want a drink.  

My head is in a constant fog, even as i write this, my thoughts seem disorganized and out of whack.  I don't like being this person. i don't like watching my running suffer. And i especially don't like seeing the look of hurt on my amazing boyfriends face.  I love you babe and im so sorry for all this "bullshit" i have had to put you through.  This isn't to say that i am fixed and it wont happen again, because it probably well. As i write this im thinking about how good a 6 pack of spotted cow would be right now, well, after i get in my run for the day.  

To my readers, i need to vent today, thank you for letting me.  Never give up on yourself or your goals.  Never sell yourself short.  You are worth it.  You do deserve to have good things happen to you.  We all do!  Thanks for letting me rant today, and as always LiveForFitness

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St. Pats 5K Recap

This past Saturday, March 14th, I competed in the St Pats Day 5k in Mount Pleasant WI.  This was my first race of 2015, and one i was not 100% prepared for.  I have been battling a lot of inner demons the past few years, and they have really affected my training.  I was not, and am not in my best shape right now.  I am still battling knee problems and constantly have tight calves no matter how much i stretch, hydrate, foam roll, and wear compression sleeves. The month prior to the race, i got out and ran a total of 10 times.  In the past, my training has been consistent, my meal times (yes i have an eating schedule) and food intake have been the same.  Not so much this time.  My training was weak and inconsistent, my meals were sporadic and hard to keep.  My body was not ready to take on this race.  My mental state was half-heartedly there. 

The night before the race, i had an anxiety attack.  I wanted to give up, not go, throw a tantrum fit for a two year old. I am very lucky i have such a loving and supportive boyfriend, who at times like that, deals with my shit.  I am not an easy person to live with when im, for lack of a better term, "freaking out".  

The morning of the race, i was in better spirits and had a smile on my face.  I drank my morning coffee, picked music to jam out to on the drive down and felt ready.  Once we got our bib numbers and checked in, my nerves started to hit.  My hands were shaky and my mind was racing.  I was observing every single person who was registering, looking for my competition.  I do this with every race, i observe the crowd and size everyone up.  I know, its judgmental, but i always pick out the winner before we start and know who i need to place myself near.  The winner of this 5K happened to be a 13 year old.  But, i looked at my boyfriend (oh yea- he and i ran this together) and said to him "That kid is the one to watch".  I never fail when it comes to sizing up the winner.  Runners have a body type, they have a stance, they have a look in their eyes that says "Ive come to win".  

My boyfriend said to me before the race that i should just go run the way i wanted and that i shouldn't worry about him.  I was fine with that, after all, i was there to win.  I told him i wanted him to start at the front of the line with me though.  I once made the mistake of not starting at the front, and that is one mistake that i will not repeat. When you get stuck in the back of the crowd and are there to race and not just for the fun that running can bring, you are screwed.  

The gun went off, and i was off with it, and that 13 year old was off even faster.  I was okay with that.  I knew from the get go that I didn't want to chase him and ruin my race.  Heading into the first mile I was running against the wind, but somehow it was my fastest mile. Unfortunately, i went out faster than someone who has weak training should.  I completed my first mile in 6:34 

At 1.5miles i started to feel my knees hurting and my mental state was going.  I was losing my positive attitude and quite honestly was ready to throw in the towel and give up. There were 2 people in front of me.  My boyfriend was the next person behind me.  I slowed down and waited for him and thank God he was there.  I wanted to stop and walk about 4 times the rest of the race and every time i did, he screamed encouragement at me.  I wasn't allowed to give up, we could do this, don't walk.  I would have not made it through the race if it weren't for him.  My mind is a stubborn mind.  When i want to stop, i stop.  When i want my bottle of wine, i cry and scream til i get it.  Its just the way i am.  At about 2.8 miles (on the up slant of a hill) i stopped. I walked (for 3 feet- although it felt like 100) and we got passed by a gentleman.   But once we rounded the corner and were at the 3 mile mark, my mind shifted back.  I was almost done, it was time to kick it up a notch and finish hard.  And finish hard we did!  My time was not the best for me. No where near it, but I finished tied for 4th overall and 1st female.  (so the race results say that im 5th-but my boyfriend is the name above me, and its the exact same time, so im saying we tied for 4th-either way i was 1st female and top 5).  For not having been in my best mindset and for having not trained properly going into this race, im okay with how i finished.  I came to win and win is what i did.  

Now its been four days, and i have yet to get in another run, so excuse me while i go lace up and pound some pavement!!

Wishing you all happy running, and as always, #LiveForFitness

Place     Time       Pace    Bib#             Name, City                Age   Division/Place   Sex/Place
    1     18:36.5    5:59.4  334  TONATIOH CHAVEZ, KENOSHA              13     - / M10-15        1 / M
    2     20:29.8    6:35.8  336  DAVID LA PERUGINI, KENOSHA            51     - / M50-54        2 / M
    3     21:46.4    7:00.5  330  ROBERT SAUDLE, RACINE                 39     - / M30-39        3 / M
    4     21:52.9    7:02.6  951  Paul Sisler, Greendale                26     1 / M20-29        4 / M
    5     21:52.9    7:02.6  918  Katelyn O'Neill, Greendale            29     - / F20-29        1 / F

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My mind is a warzone

The past week or so has brought upon new challenges and changes for me.  My boyfriend and i moved in together last week Saturday (my 29th birthday) and it has been better than i could have imagined.  I have been very blessed to have such a loving, understanding, patient man at my side.  At times i am not easy to deal with, much less live with, and he has been by my side in my moments of weakness, lifting me up and encouraging me to keep going. Challenges i have faced have been ones of opening up, letting someone else into my life and expressing my thoughts, feelings and emotions.  I am very used to being withdrawn, isolated; an introvert. 

I have been struggling the past few days with my inner demons.  That pesky eating disordered mind of mine has gotten a lot stronger this week.  I have been working really hard at my sobriety, staying sober is not an easy task for me. Thankfully i have a sponsor, an AA program, an amazing boyfriend and my Higher Power to help me through my obsession and constant "desire" to drink.  I have a strong desire to not drink (i know this sounds like i'm contradicting myself- but trust me i'm not) but sometimes this disease of alcoholism overtakes my mind and leaves me with an even stronger desire to pick up a drink.  That is when turn to others to help me through.  Having recently, again, removed alcohol from my life, my eating disorder has slowly begun to creep back in.  I call my eating disorder ED, so ED is creeping in and he is stronger than he has been in a very long time.  Yesterday he left me unable to even act like a normal human being.  He taunted me all day long, telling me i was unworthy, fat, ugly, undeserving.  I ended my night in tears and going to bed early.  Today ED has been in my mind as well, but i am stronger than him today.  I must take everything day by day.   

Thankfully, i was able to calm my mind, even though it was only for a brief period of time, with Yoga.  Today marks the last day of the #taketheleap challenge with #SweatPink and #Prana  I have really enjoyed the challenge, as it gave me the opportunity to dive more so into my practice and embrace my mediation and self awareness in a positive way. I also was able to advance my skill level in certain poses, such as crow and headstands.  I am very excited to continue to embrace my practice and become more involved in meditation.  I will post a few pictures at the end of this post for you to see how my yoga has advanced.  Also feel free to follow me on instagram for more of my yoga katielynn_grace

After having a very bad day with ED yesterday, i have decided to change my approach towards food a bit for the remainder of the week.  What i am going to do is eat by color.  That way i have a structured approach and don't have to worry about b/p occurring.  Today is green.  
Green= green apples, green tea, green peppers, avocado, cucumbers, romaine lettuce

however, i cant quite bring myself to eat today, so I've had 2 cups of coffee and a diet coke instead.  take what i can get.  My mind doesn't feel hectic or out of sorts so i'm not going to push myself to an uncomfortable level.  

tomorrow (Wednesday) is white foods.  white= egg whites, 2% greek yogurt, plain almond milk, cottage cheese, unsalted rice cakes (which i like to spread cream cheese on), water w/ lemon (yes a yellow), and string cheese.  

Thursday is brights- orange, red, yellow= red peppers, red pepper hummus, red peppers, cherry tomato, apples, tomato slices, carrots, lemon water, tea. 

Friday is brown/fuel for a long day Saturday .   brown= wheat bread, wheat thin crackers, organic peanut butter, coffee, lemon water, tea, chicken or turkey slices, chocolate almond milk. 

I'm going to see how these next few days of eating in color go.  I might adapt it as a permanent way of eating, i'm not sure.  I just know that my anxiety had been down since i put this idea into writing this morning. 

Mentioning Saturday being a busy day makes me think of running.  Saturday is a longer run day for me, which is why i need to fuel up more.  Yesterday i was supposed to start my half marathon training with my boyfriend, but having had ED control me yesterday, i had no fuel or energy to run so my boyfriend and i decided to take the day off and we are starting our training today.  This June 13 is the Milwaukee Rock N' Sole 1/2 marathon.  Its a race held on the Summerfest grounds that happens annually. Its one of the most popular races in Milwaukee in the summer.  I designed a 15 week training program for us to follow and am very excited to be running this with my boyfriend. Not saying we will finish at the same time, as i am super competitive and do everything with the "I WANT TO WIN" mindset.   My boyfriend wasn't really a "runner" until he and i started dating and i love the transformation that is occurring in him :) On March 14th, he and i will be racing a St. Pats 5K  This is his first race ever!!! I'm very excited for him! It will be my first race of 2015 and of course, i'm racing to win.  I also plan to compete in the Sweet Home Milwaukee 5k in April.  I ran that last year, very unprepared and did horrible.  i was 6min off my best 5k (finished in 21min) and got 3rd.  I am going in for my revenge (against my time) and to win.  I also plan to race in the Vibha dream mile 10K in July or August, and then do a half marathon with a close friend in Florida come fall.  

This is a year of challenge and change.  A year of i WILL's not i wish i would have.  I plan to make this one of the best years ive had in a long while.  I will get faster, i will get stronger, i will grow and i WILL overcome my demons!! 

Stay strong everyone, and as always #LiveForFitness