MADELINEFINCH's SparkPeople Blog MADELINEFINCH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 15 Minutes I've been telling myself I'm "too busy" to take the time to exercise, eat right, clean the apartment, or sleep well. But that's not true. I just create a mind and space of chaos, which leads to crashing out and wasting time with self-destructive behaviors - like watching three episodes of Lost in a row on finals week. On finals week! <BR> <BR> If I can make time to crash, I can make time to PREVENT crashing. <BR> <BR> I can do anything in 15 minutes. Read my bible. Wash the dishes. Mop the... Tue, 2 Oct 2012 11:52:55 EST Fresh Vision I need to remember that my goal isn't just to survive freshman year, it's to learn to thrive as an independent adult - caring for my body, loving the people around me, excelling in my work, but most of all, glorifying and enjoying God. <BR> <BR> So I'm recommitted to sleep. I'm recommitted to eating quality over quantity. I'm recommitted to running/walking every morning, even if it's just for ten minutes. <BR> <BR> I have homemade hummus and quinoa in my fridge to kickoff a new week under... Sun, 16 Sep 2012 22:02:41 EST Happy September Hey, beauties! Glad to be back to Sparking. College has been a rush. In the past three weeks, I read hundreds of pages (completing at least five books and reading huge chunks of others), ate way too much sugar, went to marvelous parties (the kind with spontaneous worship and swing dancing and goofy ice-breaker games), got a job at McDonald's (oh, the irony), and otherwise crammed enough activity into three weeks to fill three months. <BR> <BR> August's top three college life lessons: <BR> ... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 03:25:07 EST Sparkle Oh, I love my spark friends. You guys have made me stick to this longer than I've ever stuck to one plan. This plan is real, and you have helped me feel that. It's messy and slow and challenging, but it's worth it. You have inspired me, encouraged me, released me from guilt. I've loved being a part of your journeys and so treasured that you have been a part of mine. So I'm sad that it's time for me to move away for a while. <BR> <BR> For the next step of my journey, I need to step away from... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 20:41:13 EST The Magical Restart Button Today, I almost gave up. I had my going away party today and ate sausage, coleslaw, potato salad, chips, crackers, deviled eggs, smatterings of fattening food that added up to an uncomfortable bulge in my stomach. I started talking myself into a corner, shaming myself, accusing myself. <BR> <BR> Then I pulled on my workout clothes and marched downstairs, running through the quick 10 minute workout that kicked off my Sweatsuit to Swimsuit Challenge. <BR> <BR> Ooooh, I love exercise. Why do... Sun, 29 Jul 2012 22:39:01 EST Imperfect I had my weigh in this morning: 154 lbs. I lost one pound this week! <BR> <BR> I always thought to lose weight, I had to struggle to maintain Perfect until I broke. But this week, I've eaten up and down. I've been off sugar, but there are plenty of other kinds of unhealthy foods I've dipped into. I binged once (didn't purge! yay!). I didn't exercise consistently. I wasn't perfect, but I still lost a perfectly adequate amount of weight. <BR> <BR> Wow. It makes me feel like I can really do... Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:30:19 EST Calories and Cookies I'm stuck on that ever-popular "Well, I've already eaten a cookie, I might as well swallow the box." When I make a mistake, I want to throw in the towel until tomorrow. If I can't be perfect, I'd rather be miserable. <BR> <BR> As I fight that attitude, all areas of my life improve. I may not be able to finish all my assignments early, but I can start a paper today, a book tomorrow. I may not be able to be pristinely organized, but I can keep my things in workable stacks. Life shouldn't be ... Sat, 21 Jul 2012 16:19:19 EST Victory It's day four of my sweets & tea fast, and my withdrawal headache has finally evaporated. I didn't binge or purge yesterday. I didn't oversnack. And I didn't get a chance to officially exercise, but I don't have a car, so I walk six to ten miles every day. Yay leg muscles! <BR> <BR> I'm back on track. Self-deception is shrinking from my brain as I turn my face back toward Jesus. I can feel the choking greed for moremoremore receding from my throat. The slumping laziness is rolling from my ba... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 10:30:52 EST Renewing the Spark: Goals - Track food intake three days this week. No more, no less. <BR> - Get moving! Aim for at least four half-hour sessions of movement. Running, dancing, wii fit, anything. <BR> - Restart morning pages (writing three pages of junk every morning). <BR> - Less carbs & fat, more fruits & veggies. <BR> <BR> We'll see how this goes :). Mon, 16 Jul 2012 01:49:34 EST Skidding When I found out I lost two pounds, I walked from the scale into the kitchen and binged. <BR> <BR> WHAT? I'd been stubbornly scrubbing off old skins, but my disorder has come flinging back these past weeks, sticking to my elbows. I'm alternately overwhelmed by the urge to eat everything in sight and the urge to stop eating and purge any "mistakes." Every good choice is quickly overwritten by a worse choice. I skip grabbing three servings of chips and stick with one, then gobble up cookies, ... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 01:28:27 EST Planting First Thoughts A gargantuan hill mounts before me, a monster of sidewalk and height. Yes, one mile up, steep enough to land you on your back. It's 85 degrees, I have sweat running down my calves, and at the moment, I hate running. But my first thought as I face the Hill is: I can do this. I will do this. I'm not an optimist of epic proportions. Trust me, at this point, I'm more likely to strangle myself with my shoelaces than chant a mantra. But I've learned to plant pockets of empowering thoughts along my... Fri, 29 Jun 2012 01:42:16 EST Tackling the Crazies Since graduation, my life has been tripping and twirling. This summer I'm teaching an art class, teaching a writing class, teaching piano, lifeguarding at a pool, babysitting, and mother's helpering (I take her kids to swimming lessons, wash dishes, change diapers, etc...). I'll be taking off in the middle of it all for a week to go to one of my best friends' wedding. (How did I get so old that my friends are getting MARRIED?). And burrowing in the back of my brain is a heightening awareness ... Sat, 23 Jun 2012 11:57:33 EST Quickie: 5k My life's gone mad, but I wanted to throw in a quick update: my 5k went wonderfully. I kept repeating to myself, "Upright and smiling" (thanks, Monica!). I realized what a delightful community the racing crowd is - I got high-fives and cheers, and even found a running buddy about a half mile in who pushed me to run harder than I thought I could. <BR> <BR> Thank you, sparkies, for your encouragement! Wed, 20 Jun 2012 15:21:30 EST Racing My first 5k was miserable. I had only been running for a week with the cross country team and had yet to successfully complete even one mile. I spent the ten minutes before the race started trying to find my coach to ask, "Should really try to do this? Couldn't I please wait until the next 5k?" Until suddenly I was shuttled onto the track and someone was shooting something and shouting "GO!" <BR> <BR> Later they told me it was the hardest race course we'd experience all year. Brutal hills, ... Mon, 11 Jun 2012 19:05:57 EST The Jiggling Jogger Madeline the Jiggling Jogger was replaced with Madeline the Runner for a brief, glorious moment on my run today. I saw my poor shadow shuffling along the pavement and I took pity on it. I lifted my my legs higher, and the power ran up my calves, and my lungs unfurled, and I felt fast and free. I smiled at the sunshine waking up on the hills, and I laughed at the goats chewing through foliage along the river. Yes, Maddie actually noticed her surroundings while RUNNING, usually a blind, hunchin... Thu, 7 Jun 2012 09:45:46 EST Intuitive Eating: 10 Principles I'm fully embracing intuitive eating. Today it feels great. I didn't do it perfectly, but I'm on the right track. I'm so grateful that my body is in a healthier position than it was the first time I attempted intuitive eating - bulimia had destroyed my natural body signals to the point where I could eat forever without feeling a pinch, or not eat for a week before I felt hunger pains. Now I'm much more attuned to my body, and it's much more ready for the challenge. <BR> <BR> I'll reprint th... Tue, 29 May 2012 00:03:26 EST Garbled Brain Well. <BR> <BR> I took the week off from running because it was the last full week of school and I needed the extra time, but that was a mistake. Running leaves me energetic and inspired, sitting around leaves me lethargic and grumpy. I would have accomplished more and much more cheerfully if I had just run. But hey, I learned more about my body: I'm fueled by movement, not just rest. <BR> <BR> The nasty part of my week was the relapse into bulimia. After months of being purge-free, I brok... Sun, 27 May 2012 21:16:59 EST Glistening I wore shorts today. The kind that ride up to show off all my lovely stretch marks and self-injury scars from my eating disorder past. And you know what? I felt amazing. <BR> <BR> I've noticed a change in my legs over the past three and 1/2 weeks. Muscles are shaping up underneath the wobble. I'm still the queen of cellulite and jiggles, but I refused to let that knock me. I knew I didn't look like a cheerleader in my shorts, but I looked like me. Me sporting fresh strength. <BR> <BR> Usu... Tue, 15 May 2012 23:26:08 EST Week 3 Begins Last week was a roller-coaster, wheeling over emotional breakdowns, sinking into failure, and flying through celebration and fitness and encouragement. I'm still on board. I've retained all my important limbs. I'm alive. <BR> <BR> I missed two days of my Bootcamp. I keep needing to remind myself that I made so many good choices last week, workouts I went over-and-above, days I forced myself to run even when I felt sluggish, moments I turned away from emotional eating or switched out ice cre... Tue, 8 May 2012 18:22:53 EST Dr. Seuss and Henry Ford Well. <BR> <BR> Today I chose not to track my calories as a guard against past obsessive behaviors, but I went ahead and plunged into crackers, tea, milk, and trail mix, then topped it off with a popsicle. I'd had a miserably hard day, and I let myself huddle inside my old nemesis - emotional eating [insert horror soundtrack violins]. <BR> <BR> I cannot justify my failure, but I can accept it as a lesson. The only way I'll be able to reforge my life is if I can reforge how I face failure. ... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 22:09:57 EST Kafka Moment: A Slug Wakes as a Cheetah Most mornings, I'm a snarling gimme-my-tea slug. I slam the snooze button twelve times and mumble unintelligible expletives at the sun, my family, and anything else that dares cross my path. I get soap in my eyes and forget to straighten the back of my hair, slouching miserably until lunch. <BR> <BR> But today woke up before my alarm clock at 6:30am, and my first thought was, "I want to go for a run." <BR> <BR> What? Who are you and what did you do with Madeline? <BR> <BR> Determined to ta... Sun, 29 Apr 2012 18:45:19 EST Rainbow Eyes & Irresistible Imagination With SparkPeople's Bikini Diet and Spring into Shape Bootcamp, I'm prepped to tackle the rest of my spring with zeal and zest. But when I begin new plans, I often shift into overachieve mode. I remember the beginning of my bulimia, when a simple step toward new habits became a hell of fasting and exercise, eventually leading to bingeing and purging. <BR> <BR> How can I stop this? Spears and arrows, of course! Here's my two magnificent weapons: <BR> <BR> 1. Rainbow eyes. Instead of focusing... Sat, 28 Apr 2012 12:06:14 EST What Frog? I jump in to new challenges with both feet. Even if I can't run a mile, I plan a marathon. Even if I've been overeating for weeks, I restrict to 1,000 calories a day. Even if I usually sleep in to the last second, I set my alarm for 4am, expecting a two hour workout. Of course I've heard that boiled frog metaphor, but I'm no frog. No logic can pierce the rosy hue of A New Beginning. <BR> <BR> And three days later I'm exhausted, sore, hungry, and all-around miserable. I hop out of the boili... Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:30:10 EST Savor: Goodbye Bulimia I bought eleven notebooks and a pack of colored pencils - Crayola, 94 cents. I picked up a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, extremely non-literary, thrilling fluff. I have a packet of poetry from a best friend sitting on my desk, unopened. <BR> <BR> I just want to be crazy and me and not the girl I've been. I want to savor. I want to believe in six impossible things before breakfast. I want to dream of cold castles and lush flying carpets, rose petals stinging my cheeks with freezin... Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:03:17 EST Paris and Bowling Balls I'm afraid of losing weight. I'm afraid I'd have to give up overeating. I'm afraid people would treat me differently. I'm afraid of people noticing, because I'd have to maintain the new me forever or look like a failure. <BR> <BR> But most of all, I'm afraid of losing weight because I wouldn't be able to hold my weight as an excuse between me and my life. I'd have to face it. My unhealthy habits would unravel and I'd be healthy. <BR> <BR> And I'm terrified of being healthy of mind, of h... Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:01:56 EST