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11 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - WIAW: What\'s Eating You? · 0 replies · +3 points

I am coming out of lurking mode to post a brief comment. I did read Nicole's post, though from my phone where I suck at typing, and didn't know if I should post my comment. After reading your post, I'm compelled to go ahead and comment on this issue. I don't know if my comment will make me sound like a nutcase or not, but I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the two photos other than Christina's age. I actually had to do a google search before I could see that she'd gained considerable weight. I was somewhat leaning toward thinking the first picture looked better because of her hair/makeup until I read what it was I was supposed to be noticing. I think I'd like to think that I think thinner looks better simply because I know I qualify as 'thin,' regardless of whether I can see that, and I'd like to have a positive body image regarding my own appearance. But when it all comes down to it, I have to wonder if there aren't others out there who are more like me: unless the weight gain goes from morbidly obese to emaciated, it isn't something on which to focus. I know that many of my friends who are guys never could tell if I dropped/gained 5-10lbs. Maybe if they saw two pictures side by side they'd have been able to, I don't know, but they never noticed otherwise. It makes me wonder if this whole aesthetic appeal related to size is more prone to occur in women.

After reading Nicole's post, what I realized was that I'd like to think thinner is better (just so I could think about my own size in a positive way) but that I really don't think that. I thought that in Nicole's pictures, Christina was pretty in both... just better makeup in the first. I think maybe that says I don't believe thinner is better? Then too, I'm an oddball, because even at my lowest weight, I desired muscle more than thinness. I did fear gaining weight, don't get me wrong, but much of that fear stemmed from wanting to avoid gaining fat and wanting to gain weight in the 'right' way: muscle. Thank goodness "fitspo" didn't exist then!

Anyhow, I do agree with you that people should have their own opinions about these matters and that no one should feel forced to be PC about them. I think it's lovely that both you and Nicole have brought up this issue for discussion.

As for the honey issue: Even I will say that eating honey has always felt a bit like 'stealing' to me!!


11 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - Abs Are Made In The Ki... · 1 reply · +1 points

Once upon a time there was a girl who did 1000 sit-ups everyday in addition to running. One summer day she decided to run at the track in a sports bra and her stomach showed. Some other girl at the track said, in an almost flirtatious way, "Wow, you have man abs!" That was the end of 1000 sit-ups a day.

That girl with the supposed "man abs" was me. I really never thought about it until that moment, but I just got disgusted at the idea of having a man's stomach and that was the end of sit-ups. Not only can not just anyone get abs from doing sit-ups, but some of us (a.k.a. me anyway) just don't have nice looking abs!!!

It's an interesting point about abs being attributed so heavily to diet. I have read that in many individuals (all women) who recover from an eating disorder, abdominal fat is common. It's been so long since I've read any of these articles that I no longer remember why, but I just remember that the studies were done in Asia. I think that you're right that your stomach and/or abs can really only be changed with a combination of diet and exercise and definitely not one or the other. Another thing I do think affects your abs, though, is the type of sit-ups one does and which muscle they're working -- some of those crunches really don't do much (in my opinion). I tend to wonder if many people doing exercises and expecting results aren't also doing the wrong exercise for the result(s) they expect.

Lastly: I would soooo love to trade my size for your muscle!!! Seriously, when I see pictures of you it always makes me want to go lift because no matter what size you are, you always look strong!!

Hope your week is going well!!! xoxo

(PS> thanks for the b-day wishes :)

12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - WIAW: \'Free Pass?\' · 0 replies · +1 points

I should be studying for big scary test tomorrow, but I've dropped by quickly and have to take a couple seconds to type out a short comment: you mention the 'food ritual' thing and I just have to say that the way you describe eating is EXACTLY how my brother ate, and stil eats, most things. And he certainly doesn't have any ED. He will actually go so far as to answer anyone who questions his eating with, "It's [insert name of part of meal] time." He used to like to eat sandwiches that were just butter on bread exactly the way you describe the cheese sandwich (kinda sounds gross to me with butter). Anyhow, maybe it helps to know you aren't the only one who eats that way and that other non-EDed people eat that way too??

Glad your Mum is feeling better too :)


12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - Stuck · 1 reply · +1 points

That weight gain actually somewhat puzzles me too. I could hypothesize that a.) it has to do with water weight and you fluctuated back to normal after recovering or b.) maybe your body it trying to hang onto calories because of the amount of training you do. While it doesn't sound like it should happen this way, perhaps training so much is actually in part to blame for the weight gain. I'd also be tempted to guess that if you stopped training as much you would first gain weight followed by a loss. My guess is based on my own past experiences when I've gone through this, except with me the training went from less-than-you-run to none in the times that come to mind. I'd be curious if other 'ultra' long-distance runners also experience problems similar to your's. I don't know if you've ever read any of the books written by these people, but your distances seem to fall between those of more 'regular' distance runners and these people (too much for most distance runners every week, too little for some (<-emphasis on some) of the ultra people). Unfortunately, the only one to come to mind is Dean Karnazes (sp?). Supposedly his books are really good even if you're not a marathon runner, so it might be interesting to read and see if he mentions anything about food beyond mention of the massive amounts his body requires. (I know he writes about ordering pizza WHILE running and having it delivered somewhere along his run so he can eat and run!!)

I know that many people may comment about your exercising being too much -- but everyone is different. While I think (and this is just my opinion, which could very well be wrong) that you run a little much while injured, I don't see anything wrong with your distances while healthy. I know that I could never manage those distances every week myself -- but we have different legs, injuries etc. You aren't the only one in the world to put in those distances, it just seems like people with your ability are few and far -- and finding ones who do it in a healthy manner seems even harder. Nonetheless, these people do exist and I often wonder if some of your food issues may be shared by these people and if they have everyone and his brother telling them they run too much too. Everyone trains differently, and anyone who is triggered really shouldn't read blogs devoted to running without expecting that to some degree. Even so, I can understand leaving it out due to repetition, comments, etc.

And lastly, I too have been guilty of thoughts about another runner's size while racing! I actually will tell you about the instance that comes to mind (briefly) because you may find it funny or surprising, so long story short: I raced 400-1000m distances, but once missed my race due to a poorly typed schedule/timing issues. I wound up having my choice of racing 200m (sudden death) or 3000m (long and painful death) instead. A teammate and I who had both missed our 800m went with the latter in hopes that our punishment from Coach would be lesser as a result. sooo... My first 3k, on a track, at really good school with runner who qualified for nationals and olympic trials: of course, I lost miserably, BUT somewhere during the final 1k this huge girl passed me. When I say huge I mean overweight-borderline obese by bmi standards, so I'll just say huge as the descriptor here. I felt AWFUL (and it was being broadcast and recorded for some tiny middle of nowhere TV channel = more awful). Well, huge girl then went on to pass my teammate and then went on to pass more people (but didn't win or place). It was the only race I ever lost in dead-last. It just goes to show that size will never be the determining factor in racing ability. Huge girl must have trained the heck out of that race and ran for a really good school - though she was one of their slower girls. I try to remember that race when I judge racing by size because it just blows my mind.

And now, I end my crazy long comment to you... sorry it's such a book!! I just felt like I had to reply to your comment :)

12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - Scale Self-Sabotage · 0 replies · +1 points

Jess, I'm so sorry to hear that your Mum is now sick too! I hope it will pass quickly and that she can get plenty to drink at least. Ugh I hate stomach issues! This sounds like the viral sort of stomach flu too, so I hope that no one else in your family will catch it!

Sending ((hugs)) your way!!

12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - Stuck · 4 replies · +1 points

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling rather awful! But, with regards to the thoughts of wanting to pass other runners while running: Doesn't everyone get those thoughts? Well, ok, so I'm assuming most people don't get those thoughts all the time -- but I'm sure everyone has had that thought at some point. To me, having such thoughts seems fairly normal. You're not just a runner, you're someone who races and part of racing is beating people or trying to beat people. I know that I probably have thoughts like that on 99% of my runs and often wish I could turn them off or ignore them. I think that I rarely act on them, but they're there. In my case, about the only runners who I can bear allowing to pass me without having any such thoughts are male probably-marathon-runners/male probably-former(or current)-track/XC-runners and similar male runners. If a lady passes me, or any guy who doesn't fit the above description, I can almost guarantee that I'll have some feeling(s) of inadequacy, desire to pass them back or thoughts of my coach yelling at me. I can't tell you how lovely it was to run before those feelings started... but I'm sure you already know what I'm talking about anyway. I don't think forcing yourself to 'race' someone is necessarily bad unless you're doing it all the time or hurting yourself though. Assuming you didn't hurt yourself any more because of the racing in this particular run, I wouldn't feel too bad about it if I were you. Like I said, I think those feelings are fairly normal for most people who compete/have competed in the past (I can name at least 14 other people who I can guarantee have those thoughts too :)

I do hope you're getting over this stomach bug alright. I have to admit that I have been among the people to lose weight from such a thing, and the last time hospitalized me. I'd take not losing weight from such a thing any day! In fact, I don't think I even lost too much actual weight -- it was the water weight and dehydration that were behind my having to go to the hospital. I kind of get the feeling that most of the weight loss from this sort of thing has a lot to do with water weight. If you didn't lose any/much then it's a good sign that you're hydrating properly.

Lastly, I hope my comment doesn't get deleted. I commented in that now infamous comment sequence on your post with the lovely shot-putters and either it got deleted by the commenting system, is still lost in cyberspace, or you saved me from probably having to hear/read a possible array of angry comments :) As per usual, I agreed with your thoughts :)


12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - Cruel To Be KIND · 1 reply · 0 points

Aww, I'm sooo glad to hear you're feeling better! It was so KIND (lol) of Nicole to send you those bars. I do hope that you'll try to get some rest in the coming days while your body is still getting over the stomach virus. That stuff can be nasty and take some time to go away completely. As for the PhD deal... just hearing about how you were removed from the program after making what sound like rather logical and valid requests makes ME angry. On the bright side, the fact that you realize that it's important to do your job ON TIME might place you ahead should you attempt to enter the business world. Double standards piss me off in general, but it sounds like your advisors held you accountable for completing things in a proper amount of time and (although I may be misunderstanding) if they weren't also completing their marking of things within a reasonable timeframe (i.e. the timeframe they gave you) then that sounds like a valid concern. I can tell you that my advisor was always really busy and would also wait to what seemed like the last minute to complete things -- but he did always meet deadlines and he never got on my case if I also waited until the last minute to complete things. Your whole situation just makes me feel so awful because you are someone who is so talented and capable. Yet, at the same time, this does seem like somewhat of a blessing in disguise. I think that you are still going to be successful no matter what path you choose to follow in the future. I do hope, however, that whatever that path may be, it will be one that brings you happiness and satisfaction. xoxo

12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - The Definition Of A Ba... · 1 reply · +1 points

Oh Jess, I am soooo sorry to hear that your day has been miserable. When it rains it really pours sometimes.

For the sake of using clichés ad nauseum, I should also add in that line, "Be careful what you wish for." That's what my husband told me the morning before entering the preliminary exam in my previous stint in a PhD program. I think he was right too; there are so many things about the whole PhD lifestyle that I just couldn't stomach -- and I can see many of the same things true about your experience as well.

If I found myself in your shoes, I'd probably be nervous about what to do with the future and want to 'solve' that problem ASAP... so this makes me a huge hypocrite, but: I agree with the others above. You should really try to get some rest and go easy on yourself for a while. Especially if you're not feeling well!! Reading the letter above gives me a feeling of being sick too... so I can only imagine how that must have contributed to an already awful situation. (On a side note, that letter sums up how I feel about so many academic experiences I have had, complete with the words "sorry" and "regret". So, don't feel alone in this one! Let them feel the regret, because you have nothing to regret!!)

I do hope that you'll feel better soon!! I also hope that, although things may seem awful right now, this will be a new start for you to do something you truly enjoy (or something where your talents are truly appreciated).

sending lots of ((hugs)) xoxo

12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - Red Rag To A Bull · 1 reply · +1 points

At least creepy bald guy is creepy in front of crowds - less scary that way. I bet the others think he's an ass for trying to force people to lift more though.

As for me, I'm buried in studies right now... probably shouldn't even be commenting (though I owe you a few comments I think b/c I've been trying to keep up with reading your blog even though I don't make the time to comment :-/ And as for my current entry (assuming I don't post one between now and when you receive this), you're more than welcome to read it. Is wordpress being finicky and the password not working?? If so, let me know because I haven't changed it or tried to block anyone. I consider you to be one of the few friends I can completely trust, so I wouldn't ever write something and not want you to be able to read it (though I entirely understand if you'd rather not read any of my entries). Sometimes I feel like my password-protected entries are things that I just need to get out and thus they might be rather awful.

I hope your weekend has gone well so far... back to studying antibiotics for me!

12 years ago @ http://www.almostovern... - Red Rag To A Bull · 3 replies · +1 points

It's like I don't have words when I start writing responses to so many of your entries (I guess we can blame that on me being a bad writer) but I seriously don't know what to say about this one. Seriously, who the heck do these people at your gym think they are??!?! I can't even begin on how much I hatehatehate people who try to talk to me/INTERRUPT me when I'm working out at the gym... but half of the time, in my case, it's just been to ask an honest question. These people just take the cake! AND to say such mean, nasty and UNTRUE remarks!! seriously, for lack of a better response: wtf?! I'd have in mind to report the weird guy who follows you around to the gym staff. (Have you told him off ever? Or even tried a "I'm sorry, I'm busy right now!" sort of thing with him?? I'd probably have in mind to tell him to grow a pair and try to compete men rather than comparing his weight-lifting skills or lack thereof with a woman.) He sounds like a total creep. Maybe next time leg-complex lady starts going on about your legs, you can change the subject to ask her how she gets rid of creep guy and then the two of you can have a non-weight-related and possibly useful conversation. I think you sound pretty darn strong to somehow find the strength to go back to such a place everyday!! Those two alone would be enough to make me want to find a new gym.

As for the PhD panel... I'm fairly certain that they wouldn't want to lose you. I can think of two very good reasons: The important reason: you are SO talented. I've had a number of English/Literature/Writing teachers in the past who always wanted to push their writing style on others... and anything different from their style was crap (I think 'utter nonsense' were some of the actual words I remember). Maybe your professors are also this way and somehow think they're going to somehow 'shape' your thoughts and style to reflect their own and that somehow (in their twisted logic) this will improve your understanding and make you into a better writer than if they just told you what to improve in a kind manner. Of course, I think you're a good writer already, but people with egos might have a difficult time seeing past themselves? Number two reason why they probably don't want to lose you (sad, but probably true of most universities): it would make them look bad if they drove off any of their PhD students. Even this one lady who seemed to despise me in my previous program wasn't terribly pleased to hear I was leaving the program (though she may have been 50/50 on it since I think, in some ways, she was elated). In your case, you are brilliant and I think they must know that from when you did your MREs there (forgive me if the caps aren't correct on that). I have a feeling that if they didn't treat you this way, they'd find someone else to treat like that. Playing in the mind games of PhD people really isn't fun and I don't envy your position, but I can tell you to ignore it as much as is possible. It sounds to me like every PhD program everywhere is somewhat like the military in that they break people down to test them. The difference is, in the military, that's probably necessary. That one thing right there is probably one of the only reasons I would ever consider getting a PhD knowing what I now know: simply to be that one person with a PhD who doesn't play mind games with students. (Heck, my advisor was nice and even he played his fair share of confusing mind games: telling you to do something and then asking you why you did whatever -- as if I could answer "Because you told me to do it.") Maybe you can use that as motivation too: tell yourself that someday you'll be just as good as your advisors (or better) and not an asshole/crazy/demeaning/whatever toward your students or whomever is working for you in your future job.

Lastly, I hope you didn't wind up getting hurt too badly at the gym!! and I think you are sooo pretty in the picture off to the side. I also love your clothing style -- I'm a fan of the black and white stripes. There's nothing wrong with having a pretty photograph :) I hope your week turns out to be better than you expect!!!