More Giveaway Winners, Exercise History and Learning to Love Savasana

NOTE: this is not a recent picture this is about a month after my outpatient program, I'd like to think my arms look better these days! Mind you, eagle pose is very hard to do on carpet.

Moving on….

I actually received a few emails and looked at old posts and saw many inquiries about my exercise. If your new to the blog, you can go read the updated “about” section to learn more about the exercise issue.

These days, I dont exercise nearly as much as I used to, thank goodness. The funny thing is, when I was very sick, I worked out very “stupidly”. I did the SAME workout, every single day, I never touched weights, I just set the treadmill up, put on some headphones and zoned out for a while…..a long while. So it wasn’t that I was trying to get a “slammin” bod or anything. My exercise was quite simply a very effective time killer.

My exercise addiction intensified in college as there was plenty more time to waste. See, although I was physically rather sickly in high school too, I didn’t have much time for exercise, so the food intake was very regimented and controlled. In college, the insatiable appetite kicked in. I figured I’d only allow myself to eat once or twice a day but A LOT. And to pre-occupy me the rest of the time, I’d go run. But honestly, the runs turned to walks because I simply had no energy in me. Plus, my bones were so brittle and had a lot of hip pain, that even walking became nearly unbearable.

Then I went to treatment. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my treatment center was not typical. Exercise was part of the program, well, given that you were at a semi decent weight. But when I arrived, I wasn’t. So for about a month, while the other girls went for 15 or 30 min walks, I stayed home, and sat. And for the first month, I ate all the additions to the meal plan, and sat while everyone else was working it out. To my surprise I barely gained any weight.

Don’t fret, and its not like I’m blessed with some super high metabolism (on a side note: its annoying when people  claim to have a jack rabbit metabolism and say they eat everything in huge amounts, I think that claim is BS). But what this helped me realize is that I dont need exercise to maintain my weight, and that I can go a month of just “sitting” and I wouldn’t turn into the purple grimace from McDonalds.

And sure enough, I put on some weight, I got to workout with the rest of the girls and all was well, relatively.

When first got out, I was very disciplined with my workouts and with my circuit weight training (which I did my first time IN treatment). I wanted to mimic EXACTLY what I did in treatment.  But the sad thing about effective treatment centers is that they are a bubble. It’s not real life and getting thrown in back to the real world is difficult. For one, walking in LA is nothing like walking in the hills of Malibu. So that went out the window pretty quick in favor of the “rolling hills” of the treadmill. It was scary going back to the treadmill for the first time, I was convinced I forgot how to use it. But there was a difference now. Plus, I didnt have a trainer like I did in treatment to tell me how many reps to do. And frankly, I didn’t want to pay for one either (I’m a jew, I dont want to pay for anything).

But this time, I could actually run and not have my hip kill me in pain. I also realized I was satisfied with being on a treadmill for a lot less time than I used to spend on it. I also made a very clear decision to NOT workout at home. I kept a strict boundary between the gym and the rest of my life. The minute I would bring the exercise into the home was a red flag for me. Because at home, time limits slip away. At the gym (at least my gym) I can only park for a certain time period before I have to pay (and lord knows I’m a jew and will not pay for parking!).

Heather asked me in the comment section a few posts ago if I prefer cardio or weights. I wont lie that even after my first yoga training, I prefered cardio. I didn’t abuse it, but I felt like it justified a workout. As in, I thought “It’s not a workout unless I do cardio”.

But this past year, after yoga school, working in a crossfit gym, and picking up some weights, I actually think I’ve come like the weights. Why? For one, I can actually see changes. I’m not getting thinner (at least I hope not), but I’m developing some definintion. I can pick up heavier things: I can do more “chaturangas” without collapsing. I can do “Bakasana”.

Sometimes, recovery from anything can be hard because we don’t get to see results. Recovery doesn’t have a certain look to it, its like atoms, we know its there, but we cant see it and its hard to grasp. But I can SEE changes from stopping the treadmill and picking up the dumbbells.

I looked back at my iphoto album last night from the pictures of me in treatment. I can’t believe how scrawny I was. I thought I still was scrawny! But a few days ago when a group fitness instructor told me, “Wow, your strong!”. I loved that he A) said nothing about the way I LOOK and B) recognized something that is truly an inner virtue I was working towards.

I can’t admit to being THAT strong. I find myself still weak when it comes to certain things. Its still hard for me to abandon all forms of exercise. I told my therapist a while back that if there was an exercise pill, I wouldn’t take it. It doesn’t feel like a chore, but I feel it does energize me. Whats more is that I mix it up. Somedays I’ll get my yoga on, some days I’ll do some heavy lifting, and some days I’ll even step on a treadmill. In some ways, I still feel the compulsion to be active in some form. However, I dont use it as a “time killer” and I’ve certainly learned nothing happens when I sit for a while, a very long while. I’ve also learned to embrace this concept of……..rest! Its my favorite pose in Yoga (savasana or “corpse pose”). Its literally surrendering, becoming a corpse, even for a few minuetes. Letting everything go.  No yoga class is complete without out, and I carry that with me as a general rule towards my workout regime. I dont get to workout unless I take time to rest. Hmmm….another thing I’ve discovered I’m good at….rest!

Damn….I wanted to do a funny post since the last post was all depressing and bordering on a rant….I promise, shits and giggles tomorrow!

And I totally forgot the Stevia giveaway was supposed to have FOUR winners, so I picked them today and they are:

Averie

Shesarunner

and Missy

Please email your info to: eden.leora@gmail.com

20 thoughts on “More Giveaway Winners, Exercise History and Learning to Love Savasana

  1. A long time ago I was in a hospital that was the worse experience of my life. Long story short, I was forced to eat beyond 3xxx cals, sit in a bed or chair…for more than 3 months…traumatic and wrong and absolutely mind-blowing cause it never legally ought to have happened…i digress…your comment about your place just got me thinking on that…

    i used to be a runner YEARS ago. And last May 2009 I just quit it all. I couldn’t run. Literally. And to this very day, I sitll cannot. People think I exaggerate or I am being whiny or pathetic. But its honest to god true….my body is just “shot” for lack of a better word. It won’t ever operate that way again.

    Cardio is OUT for me. A boring simple stroll is all I do, and to be honest , that it hard. I’m all “gimped ” up and just exhausted beyond repair methinks.

    I couldn’t jog for 20 seconds if I tried…and considering my past..that is mind-blowingly tuff to deal with.

    But it is what it is. And I try to be grateful just to have my two legs. I try to not focus on it at all and instead distract myself in any way that I can.

    I probably should do more yoga…but I don’t have that enthusisasm or concentration for it. So I do a gentle yoga sequence for 15-20 mins…maybe 3-4 x a week (if that)…I try anyway, but I’m not gonna beat myself up for not….life is too short for that crap. May as well just live and let live!

  2. Your journey with exercise has taken a lot of turns.

    I love that you love weights now. It is nice to see changes and feel changes in your body with weights.

    My thoughts on yoga are changing. I used to think Yoga was a waste of time–it certainly burn the calories I wanted, so why do it. Once my thoughts on why I exercise changed, I now see yoga as a great way to stretch and feel more relaxed and in-tune.

  3. Last year in college I would get up bright and early around 5:15 so that I could be done stretching and ab-crunching and ready to hit the cardio center by the time it opened at 5:45. Then I could pull off my 30-minute cardio run on the treadmill or my 20-minute session plus weights, shower, and be off for my day. I love exercising and “getting it out of the way” in the morning because it leaves me feeling refreshed and energized. Before going to Greece, I would follow the exact same routine, day in and day out, resting only on Sundays regardless of how I felt. I look at pictures and I see how emaciated I was and it’s scary. After coming back I have yet to stay on a treadmill more than 25 minutes, and that was a one time thing, and usually do some running or jogging on it for 20 minutes and call it quits. “If I want more, I can do more later if I have the energy” is what I tell myself. And I’ve learned that doing less than before I haven’t gained a crazy amount of weight, I don’t get up super early and feel dead for the rest of the day, and I don’t dread my workouts like I used to.

    I still have some fears of not working out (e.g. I feel like crap and feel lazy when I don’t, excluding my rest days) or not doing the same routine, but I am trying my best to switch up the cardio at least (doing biking some days or doing interval running – walk,jog,run repeat) and I’ve been doing basic weights. It just takes time to adjust and hopefully I’ll get there. Your post made me think about seeing the results and not only do I see a bit more meat on my body, I’m not depressed by it and I feel much better than before. A fair trade-off in my opinion. :)

  4. Hey love – thanks for answering my comment (with a link). I’m glad to hear that you’re starting to like the results of the lifting. I love feeling strong. I don’t want to be “skinny” I want people to look at me and say, “wow you’re one strong chick.” Strong is the new skinny ;-) Of course, saying that, you can always take that aspect too far as well. It seems there is always some sort of fine line of balance between just enough and not too much or too little.

  5. It’s so awesome recovery helped you find a balance with exercise. :) I still hit the gym hard, but I guess it did the same with me. Yoga was a huge part of recovery and I’m so glad I fell into it..so no doubt that’s a huge part of my day right now as well as gym time- but it’s no longer to burn calories..it’s for enjoyment and gaining strength. Like you said, you no longer have to spend immense amount of time on the treadmill and I agree. It feels SO good to go through a workout without even stepping on the the thing. And there are these girls I see day in and day out on the same elliptical the were on the day before..spinning for hours. Oh well, maybe one day they’ll find their balance, too. :)

  6. First, thank you for the win and I will be emailing you..omg i am a stevia addict so I can’t wait!!!

    Next regarding savasana…
    When I was your age, i was soooo into the physical burn and workout of yoga that i couldnt allow myself to really fully embrace the mental/spirtual aspects NOR could i ever, gasp, allow myself to rest. To just be. To embrace savasana.

    Fast forward 10+ years later, and i heart savasana. It came with maturity for me and i just wasnt ready to be present and embrace it back then.

    I am 34 and so when i started doing yoga 13 yrs ago at age 21 the world was very Different!! place. It wasnt as conscious and intune like people are becoming more now, so it took more for me to fully grasp it all since i wasnt rasised that way.

    Great tips bout your beverly hills prices vs poorer n’hoods prices that you left me. May sound harsh, but yes, i totally concur! and here’s to israeli or ethnic markets, im all about them!
    :)

  7. Yay! Very excited about the win! Thank you…I’ll email you after this.

    I think it is great that your views of exercise have changed…and your reasons for doing it are healthier, and you have your limits now- which is very important. I never used to lift weights either. It never really occurred to me to do it, because I spent all my time doing cardio. To me, exercise was a compulsion and I don’t even know why I did it to the excess that I did, I can’t really explain it. I know you understand though. My views have definitely changed. After going through treatment, I started exercising for health AND for enjoyment and peace of mind, as opposed to doing it for hours a day in order to ease my OCD mind. I know that good health includes maintaining a healthy weight and includes strength training so I make sure that I do it, and I actually enjoy it now! And I like feeling stronger, physically and emotionally.

  8. I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard someone else say that they intentionally refuse to work out at home… I have that dividing line too, because I’m worried about what would happen if my house turned into an extension of the gym! Not that I think I’d go crazy — I’m too lazy for that — but I’d spend way too much precious time beating myself up over the fact that I COULD be working out. If it isn’t an option, then no need for that. ;)
    <3 <3

  9. Eden,

    I just had to comment on this post because my eating disorder morphed from anorexia into exercise bulemia and I can emphasize so much with what you just wrote. I’ve never thought about the concept of exercise as a time filler, but I see now that that was exactly what I was using it for. It was such a dark, lonely time of my life and I used it to fill the time that should have been spent running around with friends being a teenager.

    Just wanted to say kudos and thanks,

    Emily (aka Curly Top)

  10. congrats beautiful ladies on winning!!!

    haha i love that u mentioned people who claim to eat whatever and have fast metabolisms. its funny cuz i always thought they were lying but i know for myself that when i started building muscle (for the first time) my body transformed back into a prepubescent teens’ where i could eat muffins every morning and have dessert when i want and stay slim. obviously cant say ‘ i eat all the time and can eat a whole plate of cake and stay the same’ cuz that wouldnt make sense.. but weight training can REALLY make a massive impact on one’s metabolism. i havent done much of it recently.. definitely more walking and yoga with a bit of running.

    XOXO

  11. I’ve been intrigued by weights for awhile, but they are so confusing to me. Reps and sets and how to do them correctly. I even got certified as a group fitness instructor hoping to learn a few things but they only drilled cardio and zumba moves into my head. Crossfit is interesting, i’ve heard it’s really intense. I’m happy that you’re seeing healthy physical changes in your body, congrats!

  12. After reading about your yoga story and your posts, I really want to check out a studio nearby. People around me has recommeded Bikram but I think I’m going to check out variety of classes and see which one I like.

  13. Ooo I really liked this post. My ed was never really about exercise until I started to “recover”, which I suppose is not that odd.

    I love it when I’m in a class and someone notes that I’m strong. Sometimes it makes me get competitive about yoga though… which is why I do it at home a lot. If I’m home I don’t overdo it but if I’m in class I will do *every* pose as far as I can go and it can be relaly tiring!

  14. Oh my gosh! I actually won! I will email you later :)

    Love this post – I am guilty of exercise for nothing more than calorie burn; but now, I am wanting to strength train so that I can be strong, functional, and see definition. I like results that are noticeable and am finally figuring out that treadmills aren’t the yellow brick road to get there!! I am also very interested in yoga – I’ve always been scared of it for some reason. But on many blogs I have read where it seems to help for recovery -and I really need that. So hopefully I can find a good beginners resource to try!
    Thanks again and I will email you later today!
    Missy

  15. I think thats the best compliment ever. Someone being impressed at your strength, not only outer strength but INNER strength. Impressive my friend! And you totally made my day with that last comment, can’t wait for more “shits and giggles.” haha! :)

  16. I am still amazed at what strength training has done for my body. It has made me a better run, it has leaned and toned my body in a way that no amount of cardio ever has, and who doesn’t love being a strong woman?

  17. i love this post – and the mathmetician one as well. I can – of course – relate. Sad- but true. I have also felt that way about yoga – but I do love it when I can get in the groove. I just have so much trouble shutting my brain off these days…and not even ED related – just in general. If only I could find my ‘off’ button.

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