Let’s Talk

Hey guys!

I hope you had a great weekend. Anyone else have today off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

I’m sooo enjoying one more day to relax before this busy semester begins!!

Okay. So today I want to talk about something a little bit more serious. I’ve never addressed it on my blog, because I think until recently, I was sort of in denial about it. I want to explain to you guys a little bit more about why exactly I decided to transfer home from my school in Chicago and why I wasn’t happy there.

Here’s a little bit of background:

When I was a senior in high school, I was so anxious to get out of Colorado and experience something entirely new. I had lived in the same town, the same house for nearly 18 years, and felt I needed an adventure.

my best girlfriends from high school

prom!

I had great friends, a wonderful high school experience, and lots of good memories. But we were all ready to just move on and do our own thing. So I didn’t even apply to one college in state.

When I first visited the university I attended in Chicago, I totally fell in love with the city.

The idea of living in such a big city after growing up in a fairly small town absolutely thrilled me. It was an easy decision to move to Chicago, and things seemed to line up perfectly.

I met several friends right away…

And of course I met this guy…

Everything seemed to be going exactly as I imagined.

When I went back to Chicago for my sophomore year, a lot of things had changed. One of my closest friends had decided to transfer back to her home in Ohio, and I realized that I didn’t have much in common with any of the people that I met.

As I became more and more interested in living a healthy lifestyle and working out, it seemed that my friends fell further into the typical college lifestyle. I liked to go to bed early so that I could get up early and hit the gym; they were more interested in late nights of partying and sleeping in the next day.

The “college” lifestyle has really just never been something that I feel like I fit in to. And I think the more they got into it, the more I rebelled against it.

Pretty soon, my two real friends were Ryan and the gym at school. I worked out at least once or twice a day, mostly because that is really the only thing I really enjoyed doing. Ryan was always pretty busy with baseball, so I would spend the nights that we weren’t together running on a treadmill, taking a spin class, or doing some yoga.

At that time, I was training for my first half marathon and I became totally obsessed.

Before I knew it, working out and training became my number one priority. I would even occasionally get irritated if Ryan wanted to hang out and it interfered with my workout plans.

I also didn’t realize that since the amount of time I was working out was increasing a ton, my calorie intake should have been increasing as well.

I was always focusing on eating really healthy, like I always had, but I was probably only eating around 1500 calories a day, sometimes less. And I definitely never did the late night taco bell runs or midnight pancake making that my roommates loved.

I didn’t have a scale, so I didn’t realize that I had lost quite a bit of weight since the start of the school year. What I should have realized is that I didn’t feel great. I felt really depressed, really moody, and fairly low energy most of the time. I also hadn’t gotten a visit from mother nature in several months. I also should have realized that when I got injured, it meant that I hadn’t been treating my body right. Instead, I just attributed it to the fact that runners often get injured. No big deal, right?

When my mom came to Chicago in February to surprise me for my birthday, she immediately knew something was wrong and told me that she was worried about me. I just attributed her concern to the fact that she’s a mom. They always overexaggerate, right? Ryan had told me a few times that I looked really thin, but once again, I dismissed his concern.

After a long and hard decision of going back on forth about the pros and cons of transferring, I decided that it would be best for me to just move home. I was definitely struggling with depression and really missed my friends and family in Colorado.

Honestly, I was shocked to realize that when I moved home, I only weighed 96 pounds.

Granted, I am a fairly small girl naturally. I’m only 5’2″ and come from a family of tiny women with small bones. But 96 pounds was definitely underweight. No wonder I hadn’t been feeling good!

Anyways, you guys know the rest of the story! I moved home and have been doing great. From the time that I moved home until now, I have gained nearly 10 pounds. I have come to realize that when you work out daily, you don’t need to be super strict with what you eat.

I still enjoy eating healthy foods, and tend to choose veggies over cheeseburgers more often than not.

But I’ve also learned the importance of giving into my cravings. Occasionally, you just need to eat a burger with grandpa!

Now, I feel better, I look healthier, and I learned a lot during the last year.

It was such a relief that over this Christmas season, I could feel totally fine taking a few days off of working out that I could eat whatever I wanted. I finally feel like I honestly have my priorities straight.

I got together with my highschool girlfriends over break…

…and I happy enjoyed appetizers and desserts, totally guilt free.

I spent amazing time with my boyfriend and my sister who live so far away without feeling bummed out or resentful that I was not getting a good workout in every single day.

And I’m happy to say that I owe a lot of this to you guys.

I owe a huge thank you to all of the amazing bloggers who’ve shown me that women can be strong, confident athletes without constantly obsessing over what they eat or missing a workout.

I’m sorry that I haven’t talked about this before, and I’m sorry it’s a bit of a heavy subject out of nowhere. But I really admire how you guys are all so honest with me, so I felt convicted to return the favor!

Have you ever realized that you had unknowingly been hadn’t been treating your body with the respect it deserves?

Ever gotten injured because you were overdoing the exercise and underdoing the nutrients??

Thanks for all of your support. Love you guys!!

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35 Comments

  1. Wow– thank you so much for opening up to us! It sounds like we have a pretty similar history, my friend, as I went through a crazy gym obsession too. I never realized it, but I was eating SO much less than I should have been for the 1-2 workouts I was doing a day.

    I’m so glad you came to this realization and came home, even if it meant a long distance relationship for you. You are such a strong and commendable woman :)

    Reply
  2. runningperspective

     /  January 16, 2012

    um I LOVE YOU and i can totally totally relate! i used to go to villanova and immediately just knew it was not the place for me…went through such similar things got really into running because that was really all i had..lost alot of weight unintentionally and was just so so depressed.
    finally after transferring and finding my own friends and LIFE (it took a year or so!!) i finally realized how happy i am!
    i am so glad this happened for you and i only wish we were freaking neighbors because youd be my freaking best friend for real tho!
    we need a meet up its happening one day. plus ryan needs to introduce some friends to meee hahahahahah love it<3 and love youuuuuuu!!

    Reply
  3. Stefanie T

     /  January 16, 2012

    I’m so glad you opened up! I think we might be in the same year of college, because I literally went through the exact same scenario a year ago! I went to a college far from home for a “change” and to “meet new people” but ended up hating it. I discovered healthy living & how great it made me feel and since I was so home sick I distracted myself & my empty schedule with exercise. Options at my old school were very limited as for healthy/clean eats so I tried my best to eat as clean as possible, but still never skipped meals and still always snacked, after all, I thought I was being healthy! Turns out I was eating a little too clean & not enough for my new active lifestyle (even though I would eat when hungry & stop when full), when I went home spring break I was down to 98 lbs (I’m also about 5 “2) and my mom was worried. I became aware I looked way too thin/frail, and so did other people. Once I willingly started to eat outside of the “clean” boundaries and added more dense foods into my diet I got back to a healthy strong weight. Now a year later, I am MUCH more educated on what it is to be “healthy” and work-out & still eat great food to my hearts desire!

    Reply
    • it sounds like we had the EXACT same experience!! thank you so much for commenting and letting me know that there are people out there that went through the exact same thing :)

      Reply
  4. It’s a little crazy, but the SAME EXACT thing happened to me. I definitely would have applied out of state if I could afford it, but I still went away to college in my home state. I did the whole party like crazy thing, and then I completely changed. I never went out, and the gym became my best friend. I moved home and it was the same thing. Really recently, I learned that I wasn’t eating enough to fuel my workouts. I counted calories one day and realized I was not getting close to enough of what I should have been eating. I did end up coming back to the college I first went away to and moved back away from home. Now I always try to fuel properly and eat enough! It’s definitely important to eat as much as it is to workout. I’m sooo happy that you love where you are now! It’s so great to hear that :D Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
    • i’m so glad i’m not the only one that went through this!! i’m glad that we both learned how to take care of ourselves :) thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  5. Thanks for sharing ! I can relate to your story :/

    I think my last injury might be due to overexercizing and a lack of calories. When I injured my harmstring, I was hyper and I wasn’t sleeping a lot, and I had lost a lot of weight. So my metabolism was on fire and I didn’t increase my food intake. And the injury happened :( I should have been more careful to my body.

    Anyway, the most important thing right now is that you feel better, you are not in denial of what happened to you in Chicago and you made the right choices for you =)

    Reply
  6. Great post, girl!! Thank you for sharing. :) For me, after my freshman year of college, I realized that I had gained a bunch of weight b/c I knew nothing about nutrition or calories. So that summer, I started working out and counting calories. However, I was clueless about how many calories my body needed. So I started eating just 1,000-1200 calories a day, thinking that I was doing the right thing. It took me a few years to finally realize that I needed A LOT more food than that. These days, I actually weigh less than I did back then … but I’m eating tons more. It’s such a good feeling to be fueling my body properly!

    Reply
  7. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for opening up Jordan!! I never really did and still don’t really have the typical college party urges like most students, and it’s frustrating because it can be hard to find others like that! I’m so glad that you made the decision that you did and that you are doing so well! While I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to leave Ryan, I think it’s awesome that you put your happiness and well-being first! I’m so excited that I’ve found your blog and that I can read about your journey! Love you girlie <3

    Reply
    • Thank you, Lindsay!! I’m glad to hear that I”m not the only girl who’s not into the college scene! I love that I found you and all of these other amazing bloggers :)

      Reply
  8. so inspirational!! Thanks for being so open about your experience. You are truly such an amazing person! I’m can particularly relate to the part about having trouble connecting to other college kids….i’m not big on the late night scene either. It’s been difficult but I’m staying true to myself and keeping faith that I will eventually find my place!

    Reply
  9. Aww, I had no idea you went through this but I’m so happy that you’re doing better. I understand that it can be hard when your lifestyle doesn’t match everyone else’s, and it’s easy to get depressed when you are away from your home and your family. My family lives really far away from me now and I miss them so much! I’m so glad that you made the decision to move home, get healthy, and get HAPPY (most importantly!). Sharing your story will serve as a great example to other people who are going through what you went through.

    Reply
  10. You have no idea how much we have in common. I thought I wanted the exact opposite of my high school too, so I went to Louisiana State University. Big mistake, ended up transferring back home for a semester until I decided to make the big move to Colorado and so glad I did! I feel more at home than ever here surrounded by people who work hard/play hard and live active lifestyles as well!

    Reply
  11. YOU are amazing girl! & so strong & brave for opening up! I’m so glad that I am not the only one that isn’t into the college party scene. :)

    Reply
  12. aaaah thanks for sharing!! I totally had a similar experience – I didn’t start out at Wililam and Mary! I went to a different school up in Maine, was on the cross-country/track team, but all my teammates were so cliquy and just wanted to drink and party….so I just focused on my training. I would sneak in extra runs and stay in the weight room after everyone else went to dinner…it was bad. I somehow never got injured (this past fall was the first time i’ve ever been injured in 5 years of running!), but it was no good. So I transferred! best decision ever! And I think at home, you’ve got the best of all worlds – you can be at home, live a healthy lifestyle, and STILL have great friends and an awesome boyfriend! all you do is win!!

    Reply
  13. Wow. This is such a beautifully written and inspiring post. The fact that you were able to truly listen to your body and realize that you needed to move back home is amazing.
    It sounds like we have VERY similar stories. I’ve always been passionate about exercise and health but there was a time where it definitely became an obsession. Like you, I took refuge in the gym. It was my escape and I ended up overworking my body because of it.
    Finding a balance like you have is such an important part of finding true happiness and peace with our bodies. Plus, now you’re healthy and can truly enjoy every moment with your family, friends, and boyfriend! (:

    Reply
  14. you are inspirational. Thank you for sharing your stories and just being here in the blog world!! (: You have great family and friends and esp. your boyfriend!

    Reply
  15. Um, I absolutely loved this post! Thank you for your honesty! It was so wonderful to read the back story of why you chose Chicago and how you chose to return home.

    I’m so happy to hear that you’re feeling better now and that you are much healthier! I can relate, as I am bouncing back from an eating disorder and slowly gaining ground from a very unhealthy lifestyle of only eating clean foods and working out 9 times each week.

    I’m so happy we are blog friends and I can’t wait to keep reading!

    Reply
  16. I’m so glad you feel comfortable to talk about this here, Jordan! I’m even more glad and so happy for you that transferring has helped you release and adapt to the lifestyle you need. You are beautiful and strong!

    While I’ve had a semester or two of the “college” lifestyle, I too do not really enjoy it. I have felt like I HAVE to go out and do the college thing in order to have friends and meet new people. Unfortunately it took me until this past semester to realize that I can do what I want..even if that means going to bed at 10pm on a Friday so I can run 12 miles on a Saturday. But I’ve come to realize that the people that truly care about me understand!

    Good luck with the start of a new semester–starting with a blank slate is always the best :) xo

    Reply
  17. My blog helped me so much with finding a healthier balance! I can totally relate to your story and congratulations on getting to such a happy place. :) I am glad I found your page!

    Reply
  18. Jessica

     /  January 18, 2012

    This was such great timing for me to read this post as I am feeling similar thoughts. I know I am going to finish out my education at my current school, but like you, none of my friends here are in the same mind set. I am trying to work out/train for 1/2 marathons, eat healthy and lose weight while they barely work out, eat whatever they want and do those late night junk food runs.
    I have a lot of friends back home that are on the fitness/healthy living mindset, so it does make me want to go home a lot.
    My question is, what are your plans after college? Do you see yourself moving away from your hometown because right now I want to move back after college, but am not sure if that is the best move.

    Reply
    • hey girl, thanks for commenting! a big part of the reason that i decided to come back home for at least these last two years of school is because i have NO idea where i will be after i graduate! a lot of it depends on where my boyfriend Ryan gets a job and is living, and where i can find a job. i wanted to take advantage of living back home in colorado for as long as i could! i completely understand how you feel confused and unsure of what to do. i’m sure everything will work out for you; just do what is best for YOU and your health and happiness!

      Reply
  19. Awesome timing on this post, Jordan! I’m currently a freshman in college, and although I haven’t been here long I can totally relate! I love my healthy lifestyle filled with nutrients and fitness, but it seems like a lot of college students don’t have the same interests. I don’t do the late night pizza runs and binge drinking, I would rather stick to green smoothies, fruits and veggies thank you very much! By reading your post I realized I should be more careful about the amount of time I spend at the gym vs. nutrients I’m consuming, because I could easily see myself overdoing it and being in a similar situation. I am kind of taking your post as a warning if that makes sense. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for commenting, Lindsey!! It sounds like a lot of us college girls are in the same boat. I hope you really enjoy college and meet some friends that you can connect with!!

      Reply
  20. AHH I LOVE YOU! I am so glad your decision to move home has been beneficial in MANY ways!! AND I am so glad you and Ryan are able to work with the distance. WAY to go on the 10lbs. It doesn’t even show which is awesome!!

    Reply
  21. Bailey

     /  January 20, 2012

    I love you so much and I thank God every day for the amazing person you are! I’m glad that He led you back home and that you are feeling so much better. I just wish I could be there with you!!!!!!

    Reply
  22. Hey lady, I am just reading this now, sorry about not seeing it before! I want to give you a great big hug and thank you for opening op about all of this! I of course can relate in countless ways and the fact that you are taking the necessary steps towards a healthier future is just fantastic :)

    Reply

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