Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Confidence Building Runs

I have struggled with low self-esteem issues for as long as I can remember. I was an above average swimmer and always had straight A's so I'm not entirely sure where my lack of confidence comes from. This lovely trait of mine continues to plague me as a runner as well. Sometimes I think it is actually good to be not completely confident so that you don't put too much pressure on yourself or expect too much. But at the same time that lack of confidence can knock you out of the game before it even starts.

When I first started training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon back in January I saw a lot of improvement in my running. My pace for easy runs dropped from a 10 minute mile to close to a 9 minute mile in only a few weeks. I was nailing my long runs and getting even faster. I was full of confidence about breaking the two hour mark. The problem was that I was too confident. I was losing motivation and skipped one too many workouts in favor of dinner with friends or just out of sheer laziness. My paces plateaued and my confidence plummeted. The worse my confidence was in my ability to get hard runs done the worse I actually did on those runs. It felt like a never ending circle.

Best running buddy!

After having a rest week last week I was feeling refreshed and ready to take on this last training block before my race. But things didn't exactly go as I had hoped. My first few workouts of the week were painfully bad. I felt tired, heavy, just awful. Not much in the way of helping my confidence levels. Wednesday night's track run turned things around for me. I was still nervous about Friday's long run but I wasn't dreading it anymore because at least some small part of me knew I could do it. And do it I did. Not only was I able to nail my prescribed paces but I went even faster on a pretty dang windy day.

Here was the plan:
2 mile w/u, 1 @ 8:20, .5 @ 9:00, 1 @ 8:10, .5 @ 9:00, 1 @ 8:00, .5 @8:30, 1 @ 7:50, .5 @ 8:30, 2 c/d

My splits for the hard miles:
8:19, 8:08, 7:47, 7:44

The first mile interval was pretty challenging but during the second one I started to get the hang of it. I felt great during the third one and decided to run hard and not look at my watch and see how it went. I was shocked to see 7:47. I felt like I was running closer to 7:57. For the last interval I was hoping to go under 7:40 but the wind got the better of me. There definitely wasn't a lack of effort though.

Maybe it's because I've been improving so quickly and my mind hasn't had time to catch up with my body but I still have a hard time comprehending that I can run sub 8 minute miles. Not long ago I was happy to see a number that started with an eight. Even as I'm writing this I am doubting myself about next week's long run.  Besides the obvious running I am going to try to spend the last weeks of training focusing on the mental side of it all. Even if my body is capable if my mind is not on board it is going to be hard to accomplish much. Looks like I'll be having quite a few dates with my Believe I Am journal.

Monday, March 25, 2013


When I saw a few posts this morning about what was in people's fitness wardrobe I thought showing you mine would be a fun snow day project. Yes, apparently mother nature didn't get the memo that it is spring and we are currently getting a solid few inches of snow. Nothing like having a week off for spring break and then your first day back is a snow day. I'll take it!

For this post I'm including only the things I wear the most. I have race shirts and older clothes back at home that I don't wear that much but keep in case I haven't done my laundry or forget to bring something home with me. Let's begin!

Brooks Nightlife Jacket III: This is one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. It actually makes me look forward to running in the rain and snow.

Brooks: I have more pairs of socks and socks from other brands but these are the ones I try to wear whenever possible.

Sports bras 
Reebok Core Seemless Bra: I'm pretty sure I have this bra in every color. Why change a good thing, right?

Smart Wool Liner Glove: These are the only gloves I will run in, if I use gloves at all. If I have on anything thicker I start to overheat.

Brooks Infiniti Headband: I don't normally wear a cold-weather headband but I really like this one. I had a smart wool one too but I can't seem to find it.
Sparkly Soul Lavender: I've only worn this a few times but it seems to stay in place as advertised. I've always had trouble with headbands slipping off but this one does the trick. Need to test for a long run though.
Compression socks
Pro Compression Marathon Socks in purple and pink. Absolutely love these!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 (2 pairs): Both of these pairs are just about worn out but I still use them for easy and recovery runs and some cross training.
Brooks Cascadia: My trail shoes. I got these on sale at DSW and really like them but I would be interested to spend more time looking into which trail shoe would be best for me.
Brooks Pure Cadence: I forget where I got the yellow ones from, sorry! But these are awesome, really. They are lightweight and perfect for a transition to a more mimimal shoe.
Saucony Mirage 3: I just got these shoes and am already in love with them. They are a good deal lighter than my other shoes so I had quite a bit of DOMS from wearing them. They will probably be my racing shoe for distances up to the half marathon.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 (unpictured): I wear these for my long runs but left them at home for next weekend.

Tank top
I'm not much of a tank top wearer but this one is really comfy and doesn't ride up at all as some do. I think it's a Fila that I got from Kohl's a few years ago.

Short sleeve shirts
These are a mix from Nike, Under Armour and Reebok. They are all super light weight and soft. I get really hot in the summer so I like my shirts to be as thin as possible so I don't feel like I'm suffocating in them. The green one in the back is one of the Under Armour ones that is supposed to protect you from the sun. Not sure if it works or not but this pale redhead would like to think that it does.

Long sleeve shirts
Even in the winter I like my shirts to be on the thinner side. Again, I get really hot when running, even in the winter. I'm a big fan of the Nike half-zips that have the tiniest bit of fleece. They are not heavy by any means but are not ridiculously thin either. For days when it is crisp outside but not too cold I like to wear super thin long sleeve shirts. My favorite is that teal one. It's from Brooks and I got it at the Rock N' Roll Philadelphia expo.

I am pretty picky about my shorts and tights but have found a few that work. My favorites are the pinkish ones, which are from Under Armour, and the green, which are the Oiselle distance shorts. In the mix are a pair from Sugoi, Oiselle Rogas, Oiselle Lori shorts, and the only pair of Nike tempos that don't bother me.

Because I am so picky and because I prefer being cooler when I run I don't often wear tights. I have 2 pairs of tights from Reebok that are fleece lined and although I like them, they are way too warm for me to wear more than a handful of times each year. Based on my success with the Oiselle Lesley Knicker (see below) I really want to try out the Lesley running tight.

The Oiselle Lesley Knicker. I have professed my love for these before and I will continues to do so. I looked for over a year for a pair of running capri I liked with no success until I found these. They don't ride up or fall down, and they don't chafe either. They are lightweight enough that I can wear them in the winter and when the temps are a little warmer. I haven't tried them in the summer yet so I don't know how they are in the heat but most likely they will be too warm for me. Either way they are my absolute number one item in my wardrobe.

Bike jersey & shorts
I don't have many biking clothes and am still looking for a nice pair of bike shorts. I like the pair on the right but hate the pair on the left. I got a tri suit from SOAS for my birthday and really like the shorts so I might have to get another pair for just riding. The jersey and shorts on the right are from Nishiki and the shorts on the left are Pearl Izumi.

Bathing suits
This is just a fraction of my bathing suits. Being a former swimmer will do that to you. These are my favorites though in terms of pattern and comfort. The three on the top are from Speedo and are made of a different material that lasts forever. They are not as stretchy and are more expensive though. The ones on the bottom are from Dolfin. For good deals on bathing suits check out Swim Outlet. They have some really good deals.

After doing this I realized the variety of brands in my closet. I guess I like a little of everything. Over the past few months I have been drawn to Oiselle based on my success with their shorts and capris. I've been drooling over their spring line and am thinking about getting an outfit from there for my upcoming half. Any recommendations?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Rocky Relationship with the Pool

In addition to training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon, I have been putting in some base mileage for this summer's triathlon season. I've been swimming and doing trainer rides about twice a week for over a month now. Originally I didn't like the idea of jumping beyond my upcoming half. I wanted to only run with a little yoga and core work thrown in there. I quickly came to my senses and realized that all I was doing was a little cross training. I still was nervous about starting swimming again so early in the year.

I came from a strong swimming background and left the sport in a pretty ugly way. I have since struggled to get in more than a few swims each month even during the triathlon season. In fact, I didn't swim at all between my first and second triathlons which were almost two months apart. The last time I had been in the pool was September and I was perfectly fine with not returning until necessary.

Much to my surprise I have actually been loving swimming lately. The first week or two were pretty brutal. I felt really out of shape and pretty defeated. But soon enough my body remembered what to do and got to work. My times are nothing impressive. In fact, I'm not even sure what they are. For the most part I've been focusing on my technique during all of my workouts as well as getting stronger.

I'm not sure if it has anything to do with competitively swimming for 10 years or not but between running, biking, and swimming I have the least amount of trouble getting out of bed when I'm headed to the pool. Lately swimming has been almost like meditation for me. Maybe it's because it's so early and my mind hasn't woken up yet but I kind of zone out in the pool. It's my time to not worry about my upcoming exams and unwritten papers.

I'm sure it won't stay like this but for now I'm going to soak it in. I must say, it's quite nice to be on good terms with the pool and swimming again. Non-swimmers might not understand this but the pool feels like home to me. It's where I'm the most comfortable despite all of my struggles with the sport and as much as I have fallen in love with running swimming will always be my number one.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Good Days & Bad Days

This week has been full of ups and downs. I started the week on very little sleep and stomach cramps that made me want to stay in bed all day. Despite feeling like complete crap I managed to get in a pretty good trainer ride Monday night. Maybe it had something to do with watching the Biggest Loser Season Finale.

Tuesday morning I had a 50 minute endurance run on the schedule. No big deal, or so I thought. This run was rough from the minute it started. I couldn't settle into a pace and felt like I was working way too hard for the pace I was going. I thought slowing down would help but that just felt worse. I'm pretty sure I counted down the minutes as soon as I started running. I desperately wanted to have a great run but it just wasn't happening.

I then went to the pool to get in a swim. Despite having such a bad run I figured I would feel okay swimming. Wrong. Not only were my legs tired but my arms felt like I had bricks attached to them. I started to feel better the longer I swam but I still felt far from normal.

I went back to the pool yesterday for my longest swim in probably a couple years. When I started swimming I realized my crappy workouts weren't just reserved for Tuesday. I felt even worse and was getting frustrated. I was coming off of a rest week so there was no real reason to feel so depleted. Yet I struggled to complete each and every one of those 3600 yards.

track running in the dark

I had a track workout scheduled for last night that I was increasingly nervous about given how bad I'd been feeling. I went into the workout dreading it, not because it was the first time back at the track since last summer, but because I didn't know if I could deal with another terrible workout.

Armed with my new Saucony Mirages I went to the track not expecting to get much out of it. During my warm up I thought about my shoes and making sure there was no pain or discomfort. When I checked my watch to see how much I had left I saw I was averaging 8:39 like it was no big thing. I started thinking that maybe this would be the workout I so desperately needed to give me a confidence boost.

LOVE the Mirage

The main set of my workout was 4 x 400 at 1:50 with 200 jog recovery. I was confident I could hit these paces but was surprised by how well I did.

1:39, 1:35, 1:37, 1:35

This workout was better than good. I left the track full of confidence and my faith restored in my ability to not completely suck at all things running and swimming. Honestly, I needed this workout in more ways than one. Before those few days of shitty workouts I needed a confidence boost. Couple low self-esteem with 3 consecutively terrible workouts and the result is not pretty. And instead of being nervous about tomorrow's long run I'm actually really excited because even though I know it's going to be challenging, I know I can do it.

How do you get through a bad workout? Have you ever had a period of bad workouts that really got you down?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Getting Down to Business

Yesterday marked the first day of my last build block before the Nike Women's Half Marathon. While I've had my ups and downs with balancing training with school I'm ready to dive in head first and make these final weeks count. Now that the semester is around half way over (how did that happen?!) I feel like I've finally figured out a schedule that works for me.

Lucky for me, this week is my spring break. That means I have a whole heck of a lot more time to get in my workouts and not worry about making sure I have enough time to study. I don't have any plans for break other than going to a mountain bike race this weekend so I will be spending my week getting ahead on school work, catching up on sleep, and finally getting a chance to read a book. Yay for rest and relaxation, right?!

I came home yesterday late afternoon and was greeted my a nice dusting plus some falling snow. I love running when it's snowing so I quickly changed and headed out the door for a super short jaunt through the snow with my favorite running buddy. There is just something so peaceful and beautiful about running in the snow. Our run was nothing special. We stopped to munch on some snow a few times and one of us even rolled around in it for a few minutes.

Later yesterday evening I had a date with my trainer for some intervals. I would much prefer doing 10 minute interval over 5 minutes. Is that normal? Anyway, I had a really good workout despite my stomach hurting like a bitch. Hopefully it will calm down some and not cause any more problems this week.

Maybe it is the thought of spring being right around of the corner, being half way done my semester or the rest week last week but I am feeling more ready than ever to give this last training block everything I've got and really push myself. I have seen so much progress and I'm excited to start putting that to the test. Race day is six weeks away. Time to get down to business!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Embracing Rest

This week is somewhat of a rest week for me. I still have daily workouts, the intensity and duration are just cut back some. I feel like I have been increasing  my workload every week since I started training so this bit of rest was a welcome change. Well I thought it would be a nice change. Instead I have been anxious about not putting in enough work. I spent the first few days of the week trying to sneak in extra workouts. I figured as long as they were short and easy there wouldn't be any harm. Luckily midterm week prevented me from doing much of anything else other than study.

Legs up, compression sleeves on. Feels so good.

Last night something clicked for me. I have 6.5 weeks until race day, which means I probably will not have anymore rest weeks until its time to taper. Those last six weeks of training need to be my hardest. I know things will be ramping up so it would be wise of me to take my rest while I can.

In my attempt to fully embrace rest I skipped my evening class yesterday in favor of a nap. I have been doing much better with doing morning workouts but I haven't been very good about getting to sleep earlier. I try to go to bed earlier but I just lay awake, unable to sleep. The time change over the weekend didn't help. So when I could barely keep my eyes open before class yesterday I opted to go back home and get some much needed shut-eye.

Where you can find me at 7:45 in the morning

I was planning on spending all last night getting ahead on homework and apartment things before heading home for spring break next week. Instead, after my nap, I relaxed all night. I caught up on some TV shows and started reading a new book while sipping a hot mug of tea. I ate foods I wouldn't normally eat and enjoyed being done with midterms.

For the next few days I am going to continue to embrace rest. Today is my longest day of classes. I don't have class on Friday's so I like taking that opportunity to do my long runs before the weekend. My boyfriend is doing his first bike race early Saturday morning, which I am beyond excited about. I want the day to be about him and not have to worry about when I can squeeze in a workout.

Bring on the rest!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scars (Part 2)

I wanted to write a post, which turned into two posts, about my journey to running and triathlon. It quickly occurred to me that my journey actually started a few years ago long before I realized it. After my first surgery for my shattered finger I returned to swimming and bounced back to my previous fitness level rather quickly. It was my junior year of high school, which meant it was the beginning of college recruitment. Despite being out of the pool for more than a month, I was able to bike and cross train to keep in relatively good shape.

Unfortunately for me, the following summer I started having a lot of shoulder pain while swimming. By the end of the summer I was having surgery for a torn rotator cuff. This was surgery numero dos in less than twelve months. The recovery for this surgery required me to stay out of the water for 4 months. I was crushed by this surgery but still motivated to train. Unlike my first surgery, I struggled to go to practice everyday and cross train while watching all of my teammates swim. Instead I worked out at home about 50% of the time. In addition to being out of the pool longer I was also more limited with what I was able to do.

There were many times where I struggled to find the motivation to go through this all again. The first time was easier. I had dreams of swimming in college and knew that I needed to train hard so that when I was aloud to get back in the pool I wouldn't be so out of shape. In all honestly, four months is a really long time to ride a stationary bike for two hours a day followed by 30 minutes of ab exercises, 6 days a week by yourself. But I made it through those four months. By the time I left for college I was not back to where I was before this surgery but I was getting there.

Maybe a month or two after swimming in college my arm starting going numb. At first it only happened during class, but then it started happening when I was swimming. The trainers checked me out and didn't know what was wrong so they sent me to the hospital. At first the doctors thought I was having or had had a stroke. Hearing this was terrifying, especially since I was 3.5 hours away from my family and boyfriend.

It was later discovered that I had an extra rib near my neck that was pinching on a nerve. Once again I needed surgery, making my count three surgeries in three years. After I learned about this injury and that I had another extra rib on my other side that wasn't causing any damage, yet, I knew my days as a swimmer were over.

I finished my semester and then withdrew from school to return home and have surgery. I took online classes because I was not permitted to go to class. I wasn't allowed to do much of anything athletic for months. I quickly became depressed by all that was changing in my life. Before the surgery I became intrigued by the New York City Marathon. I decided I would start running to stay active. I don't think at the time I believed I would ever actually run a marathon. I wanted to but I think it was more of a far-off dream.

There are still times when I desperately miss swimming. But for the most part I'm okay with how things turned out. Having three surgeries for injuries in three years was devastating at the time but they are the reason I am where I am today. I often find myself thinking about where I am and how I got here and I truly believe that I am where I am supposed to be. Sure, there are things I would change. But for the most part I am happy with the course my life has taken in the past few years.

My scars of reminders of what I have gone through. They are my storybook. They are a part of who I am and despite the hard time they remind me of they challenge me to push through and be an even better version of myself.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Scars (Part 1)

A few days ago I read a post by professional triathlete Kim Schwabenbauer about scars. It got me thinking about my scars and what they mean to me. I didn't get my scars playing when I was a child. I got them from events that changed my life at the time, and consequently they hold a lot of meaning to me.

The first scar I got was when I was 2 (3?). My preschool went to visit the Little Land of the Ponies in Gettysburg. Because I was so young I don't remember much from this trip other than a pony named Ariel and wanting to feed the various animals that were there. Not knowing any better (aka there were no signs saying not to), I fed a zebra. Big mistake. The zebra seemed to think my finger was a much better snack than whatever I paid 25 cents to actually feed him. My mom told me that she yanked my finger out of the zebra's mouth, not knowing if there would be a finger left. Luckily for me there was no damage other than needing stitches. Out of my five scars this one is the least significant to me but probably my favorite. What two year old gets bit by a zebra?! In Gettysburg no less.

I got my next scar at swim practice during my junior year of high school. I was at swim practice and was kicked by the girl swimming in front of me. I remember stopping in the middle of the pool to scream after it happened. I then finished practice, assuming I had only broken my finger. My swim coach was not the type to let you make excuses for anything. After practice was over we did dryland training. I was riding a stationary bike in tears when my coach came over and yelled at me to be more like Lance Armstrong. One of my other coaches came over and saw how swollen my finger was and told me I needed to go to the hospital. But I didn't. I planned on going to the orthopedic urgent care center where a friend's dad worked the next day.

While there the doctor that saw me (not my friend's dad) wanted to try to manually set my finger. At that point I didn't even really know what was wrong but I knew that was a bad idea. Once my friend's dad looked at the x-ray he sent me to a hand specialist about an hour away because there was a lot of damage. We went there that day. By then I was starting to realize that something was really wrong. When the nurses walked me in and asked my pain level I, for the first time ever, said "10." After looking at the x-rays the doctor told me that I had crushed all of the bones, ligaments, and tendons in my finger, and that I needed surgery at the end of the week. I was devastated.

After the surgery the doctor told me that I may never be able to make a first again. I had no idea what this meant for my swimming but I did everything I could to ensure that my career was not over. I later learned that my finger was as good as amputated before the surgery. Scary stuff. After a month, however, I was back in the pool with my finger in a neat little brace. I had to swim in my own lane so that my finger wouldn't get hit.

What my scar looks like today

Now, more than four years later, it is hard to tell that anything ever happened to my finger. There is a pretty large scar (for a finger) and the knuckle is a bit enlarged but at first glance these things are not very noticeable. What's also not noticeable is the pin holding my finger together.

This is my favorite scar. It feels like a part of me. I know it wasn't a life threatening injury, but it definitely changed my life at the time. During those months after the surgery I worked harder than I ever had before to get back into decent shape before nationals. I never would have thought it was possible at the time of the surgery but I ended up dropping time in my best events. I knew my hard work paid off. This scar reminds me that I am a fighter and I have overcome injury before. I know if I want something and I work hard the sky is the limit.

Stay tuned for part 2! 
How did you get your scars? Do they hold a lot of meaning to you?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sometimes Running Hurts

Tuesday evening I set out for my hill workout. I started the run feeling pretty good, excited to tackle this run that proves to be such a challenge each time I do it. The first repeat felt surprisingly good but I think I went a bit too hard. The second repeat reminded me why I love to hate this workout. By probably half way through the repeat my legs were quivering and my lungs were burning. At this moment I questioned my original thoughts that this workout wouldn't hurt as badly as last time. This workout more than any other reminds me of what I need to focus on most with my running.

Stay in the moment. Focus on the repeat (or mile) you are running.

To get there, you need to go there.

Nothing worth fighting for comes easy.

This week I also came to the very obvious realization that sometimes running hurts. This makes sense considering I've done a few hard workouts in my days. It really stuck with me running up those hills that running isn't always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it sucks. It hurts like hell. But it pushes you to challenge yourself and your limits and see what you're capable of when faced with something hard.

On Friday I had a tempo run on the schedule with 2x 15 minutes at 7:55 (10k) pace. My warm up didn't feel all that great but I figured it wasn't a big deal. The first interval started out great. I was holding a 7:52 pace and was surprised by how comfortable it felt. But after about ten minutes the sun started beating down on me and I started to feel out of energy. I fought my way to the end of the 15 minutes but struggled to break 8:00.

My first interval during tempo runs is usually slower and feels worse so I hoped I would nail my second one. Instead I just felt worse. I thought about quitting since I wasn't even hitting my paces but what would that get me? I was having a rough run and even if I wasn't going as fast as I would have liked I could still push myself. A hard run is still a hard run no matter how fast or slow you're running sometimes.

After this run I felt defeated. A 7:55 pace should have been challenging but doable since I have run at least one of my intervals faster than that for the past few weeks. Instead of it being a much needed confidence boosting run it only brought me down more. I let myself be upset for a little and then tried to move on. As my coach Mike told me, I have put in a lot of hard work the past few weeks. Not every workout is going to be perfect. If you're truly working hard some workouts will just plain suck.

How do you get over a hard or bad workout?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Food is Fuel

I received a lot of support about my last post about disordered eating. So many people are going through or have gone through a similar situation, and it really nice to know that I'm not alone. Since writing that post I have tried to be more aware of which situations are the most problematic so that I can work on coming up with ways to minimize my chances of overeating.

I've always payed a fair amount of attention to how other people perceived my actions and decisions. This led me to eat less than I wanted when around other people to ensure that I fit in. Growing up I ate a lot more than all of my friends but was at a healthy weight and even skinny at times. This didn't stop people from making comments about how much I ate. Once I went to college and was no longer surrounded by the same people I became suddenly aware of how much I was eating. Never mind that I was considerably more active than those around me.

Instead of eating normal amounts when I am with other people I am eating enough food to keep me satisfied for a few hours so that I don't end up going home and eating more because I am still hungry. 

Honey Greek yogurt, blueberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, mint, drizzled with honey.. YUM!

I also realized that in my attempt to eat healthy I had cut out almost all carbs. I was eating almost exclusively fruits and vegetables with some crap food thrown in there. I love eating salads for lunch but they just weren't keeping me full. Carbs are an essential nutrient and are especially important for endurance athletes. Nutrition is such a big part of training and performance. With race day a little less than 8 weeks away it is even more important for me to be fueling my body properly.

So I am choosing to eat wholegrain carbs. I love carbs and have a tendency to eat too many of them, which is why I stopped eating them in the first place. I don't want to tell myself I can't have a bagel for breakfast if that is what I really want. I am instead trying to be smarter about the decisions I make. Tomorrow will hopefully (!) be a snow day which I am planning on spending watching movies and enjoying a loaf of homemade coconut banana bread.

I think the biggest thing I need to change is the way I look at food. Instead of thinking about food as a way to lose weight I need to think of food as fuel. Food is what is fueling my body for both everyday activities and training. More times than I would like to admit a workout has been ruined because of either what I ate or how much I ate beforehand. It is okay to indulge every once in awhile but for the most part I should be eating healthy, natural foods that will keep my body energized during the day.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Disordered Eating

If you've known me for some time you probably know that I have struggled with disordered eating habits since high school. I've never been diagnosed with an eating disorder and I am very aware that EDs are very serious. I know several girls who have/had diagnosed eating disorders and I by no means am trying to group myself with those who have truly suffered. What I am saying is that my eating habits for quite some time now have not been normal and I want to do something about it. Something needs to be done about it.

When I was in high school I went from being underweight (I got tall but didn't put on any weight- normal growing problems) to gaining close to 10 pounds in a few months. I was on the young side in high school and this weight gain was completely normal for my age but I didn't handle it well. I was still pretty thin but seeing a higher number on the scale literally terrified me. At first I tried to starve myself to lose the weight that I had seemed to gain overnight. But when my weight didn't go down I started binge eating. I thought that I had no control over my weight and might as well eat a ton of food.

I should mention that I've always loved food. A lot. I remember once eating 11 pancakes for breakfast when I was 12 (?) like it was no big thing. I was a very hungry child but with the amount of swimming I did my weight was never an issue. And the majority of the foods I was eating were pretty healthy anyway. In high school I thought since I could eat a lot of food I thought I might as well should.

Long story long short, my eating habits have improved some but really not enough. I do not binge eat nearly as badly as I did in high school but I certainly eat too much. I've put on some weight since the fall that I am not okay with. I try to generally eat healthy (I don't eat any meat and minimal dairy) but when I come home from class I end up eating to the point that I feel well past full. Now this is not every day but it is enough that it is affecting other parts of my life.

The problem is I'm not really sure what to do. I've tried so many times to get out of this habit but it feels like the more I try the worse it gets. I am asking for help. I need to find a way to get through this in a healthy way.

I came across this article from Runner's World that I think does a really good job of explaining the differences from having an eating disorder and disordered eating as well as provide insight to the struggles that come along with disordered eating.

Have you ever struggled with disordered eating? How did you overcome it? Do you still struggle with it? Any advice?