Blogging Just Evolves

I started blogging in 2001. My blog was hosted on Blogger, prior to it becoming a Google property. That was the point that I officially had what was called a “blog”. Before that I had a pre-cursor to the blog. I had a certain page that I just updated regularly to reflect my current likes/dislikes and other pages of static content about topics I found interesting. (All of that stuff started in 1993-1994 ish… So this means I’ve had my own online presence for 20+ years!)

Blogging in the early days was so different from the world now. Just about everybody that had a blog was someone who worked in a tech capacity. So even if we weren’t all blogging about technology, all of us were tech geeks in some form. Most blogs didn’t even have comments at first, so we were writing stuff that was potentially read by others by we didn’t interact with each other. As comments became more prolific, people started to build even more connections through blogs. Once Google acquired Blogger in 2003, it seems like the number of blogs out there started to increase rapidly.

Number of blogs from 2003-2005

How blogs started to increase in 2003

The process became easier and easier and soon anyone could set up a blog. We started to see the rise of more and more niches… but the Mommy Blog zone really had a lot of growth. I made several friends online in the 2005-08 time that would probably be called mommy bloggers. (I would not have been called one, as I was not a mommy at the time. But we wrote about some of the same topics, with the difference of them writing about their children interspersed into their writing and I wrote about… more of the same other crap? Whatever I wrote about at the time as a woman who worked out of her home with a husband gone all the time and before I had developed a running habit. What did I write about? Oh yeah, about going to the gym and doing yoga.) Anyway, moms found it a really great way to connect with other people, especially those that were stay-at-home moms. It was a community.

Mom Internet Users Who Blog

Then the product reviews and giveaways started to grow because moms are influencers! They buy stuff and they talk to others about buying stuff. Blogging conferences came on the scene. And some bloggers got more and more of these products from companies. And trips. And cars. Some of the big blogs just kept getting bigger and bigger. There was resentment, jealousy and envy from others.

And now I’ve seen an article passed around by several of my friends. Many of them are saying that it perfectly explains why they don’t blog anymore, or why they don’t comment anymore, or why they don’t read blogs anymore. [How The Blogger Killed Herself Off]

A part of me wanted to say, “YES!” when I first read it. I’ve seen the posts that are full of product placements. I’ve seen the bloggers fill their Instagram feeds with screenshots of their blog for their various giveaways. I’ve unfollowed people who fill all their media with too much of this.


I receive products for free to review on my site. I have been guilty of posting several posts in a row to meet the obligations I have with companies that have so graciously reached out to me. I can’t speak for all the other bloggers in the world, but I really do post a lot of these things because I think they would be of interest to my readers. And if I can’t use the product after testing, I pass things on to others who need/want the item. I have a full-time job, this blog isn’t my income nor does it really pay me much. I get a little bit of revenue from some things and that mainly goes right back into the site. I buy my hosting, I pay for things to review, I purchase a theme, etc. My blog is entirely a labor of love.

I have less time to spend on posting these days. I have companies reaching out to offer me product and I feel that if I accept something, they deserve to have a post geared toward their item and I feel that you as the readers deserve to get a more comprehensive review than if I just say that I received that item while mingling it in with content about what I’m currently eating. (I won’t go off on a tangent about that right now.) I won’t just take product because it’s offered for free, I feel very strongly that I need to have it tie into my general blogging theme. From my tech geeky side, I feel that the companies deserve a singular post about their product with keywords interspersed and SEO tactics applied. From my personal side, I feel that more and more it’s not worth my time to receive products that are worth $10 that require lots of testing and then time put forth to writing the review and then promoting that on social media. So my site grows and changes from year to year.

Blogging evolution needs to occur. And it is occurring. That’s just how things work.

There are growing pains, some bloggers lose their voice. However, they’re all just people trying to navigate a changing arena. I try really hard to maintain my integrity on this site and not get swept up in the whole “I’m sponsored by Companies X, Y, Z as well as A, B, C and an ambassador to 1, 2, 3.” The interesting thing is that in this evolution, it seems that commenting on blogs is dropping off on a large-scale. People prefer to skim and move on, or respond on Facebook/Twitter. And so often it seems that the really active commenters are trolls. (I do feel really fortunate that I’m not inundated with a lot of trolling, just a few from time-to-time. So thank you for that.) So if readers on the whole are still cool with the site’s content, they may not be commenting and sharing that appreciation as much. We’re all busy! So negativity is the message that pervades  comments online.

This whole thing just came from the fact that after reading that article on LinkedIn, it hasn’t sat right with me. I don’t know what the future of blogging is (I seem to have left my crystal ball somewhere, if you see it let me know, aiiiight?) All I know is that there are elements of truth in that article, but also elements of frustration and annoyance and a gamut of human emotions because we’re all just people navigating the changing tides of the world as well as well can. 

*I like big buts and I cannot lie

Lessons From My 2014 Garden

Growing a garden in the desert… it’s a challenge. Well, I think that growing a garden anywhere may be a challenge for me. It’s a learning experience, this is only my second year putting forth a real attempt at growing stuff. (Meaning I have grow boxes in my yard and I’ve actually planted things in the ground. I’ve killed plants in containers for several years now.) But so far, I can’t figure out a pattern to this gardening stuff… but I’ve figured out a couple of things. Maybe I’ll remember to refer back to this post next year. Or maybe I’ll just remember these lessons better if I’ve spelled them out.

Hornworms Leak

This is my second year that hornworms have moved into my tomato plants. I’m not entirely sure how to prevent them. I do know that you’re supposed to go pull the nasty buggers off the plants and drown them in soapy water if you spot them. And if you startle them by grabbing them, they leak this nasty green goo out the sides of their head. And it makes me shudder and squeal. (Which made A come up to me and say, “Is okay Mommy” while patting me on the leg… so sweet.) They’re horrible, disgusting creatures and when they start to show up, the plants die.


Zucchini plants hurt

Zucchini plants have giant leaves and the veggies are kind of hidden underneath these, so you have to push them aside to look for zucchini and to pick the goods. And they have prickly parts all over them. And after a few swipes around the plant, I end up with a rash that moves up my entire arm if I don’t move on and get it washed it off quickly.

Watermelon Entertaining, but Not Worth It

I was so excited when I started to see little melons show up in my garden. And when one of them finally met all the criteria of being ripe, I plucked it and took it inside. It was about the size of a grapefruit. And when I cut into it, it had a lot of rind and the edible amount of fruit was about the size of a golf ball. The plant starts to spread out quite a bit and I don’t have space for plants that need a ton of room. And it’s so easy to buy a little watermelon at the grocery store, often for just $2.99 and I get a lot of edible fruit from them.

Pumpkins Need Too Much Room

The pumpkin plant grew and grew and grew. And it overtook a whole region of the yard that wasn’t earmarked as garden space. One pumpkin grew successfully. The rest of it was a constant battle against squash bugs until it finally succumbed to some kind of fungus.  Too much work, not enough reward.

I’m tired of cucumbers

So…. many…. cucumbers. Is there some adage about a cucumber a day? What happens then? Cause I’m eating at least one lemon cucumber a day these days. And I’m the only one in the family that is eating them. (Who are we kidding, I’m the only one that eats most of the garden’s yield.)

I don’t know the secret to tomatoes

Last year I had an abundance of tomatoes. This year I got a couple of tomatoes earlier in the summer, had a really long dormant period and now I’m starting to get a few tomatoes. I’ve yet to eat one since A spots them and eats them straight off the vine. There is zero chance they’re going to make it in the house to get washed first. Sometimes she grabs green tomatoes and eats those too. We’ve had some good wind and rain storms which have beaten my tomato plants, they are all basically sideways right now. It’s a big tangled mess but I don’t want to pull them up yet because I want to get as much fruit from them as possible. Which will probably be about 25 grape tomatoes by the end of the season!

Peppers are Prolific

I’ve got a ton of green peppers this year. I finally had to freeze a bunch of them because I couldn’t stay on top of eating them all as they were ready. Three plants seems to be too many when they are thriving.

Peas were a huge success with the kid

I planted pea plants in the spring and those were a big hit. A and I would go pick peas every evening and she loved eating them. When it got too hot in the summer months for peas the plants died, but I recently planted seeds and we have the beginning starts of a new crop popping above the surface. Hopefully we get a good yield for a while throughout the fall!

Gardening is good for the kid too, she’ll try just about anything that we pull out of the garden 100% willingly. She loves to go pick things and I think it’s a good lesson about where food comes from. So I’ll keep it up, maybe some day I’ll master growing something? Radishes have been successful both years, maybe I’m a master radisher?

Chi Running App Giveaway

So when I mentioned the Chi Weekend in last week’s Friday Fête post, the kind Chi Running folks offered to give me a free download of their Chi Running app. But I already own that app… so I asked if I could give away a download code for the app. So…. here it is: a quick little giveaway for an iOS or Android download code (all depends on who ends up the winner!) I’m just going to leave this open through Friday so enter quickly if you’re interested.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ASICS Gel-Pursue [Shoe Review]

When I first started getting more serious about running and I went to a running store to buy shoes, I remember that the ASICS brand seemed to be what many of my new marathon-crazy friends wore. But when I went through the fit process, a pair of ASICS weren’t even brought out as an option, I tried shoes on,  I left with a different shoe, and I’ve never actually worn ASICS.

Until now… [Disclaimer: I was sent shoes in exchange for my honest review on the site.]

I was given the opportunity to try a new shoe, the Gel Pursue from ASICS, and I decided to give it a go. They didn’t fit the mold of the zero-drop shoes I’ve been running in of late, but they did receive the “Best Debut” honor from Runner’s World magazine in the September 2014 issue and I’m always open to experiment (for you, the sake of my readers!) with running products.

They’re attractive shoes, my 2-year-old was very impressed with the “purple running shoes” that arrived.


In fact, she insisted that we wear our “match shoes” out on a walk together.

That kid is so damn clever and cute.

Putting the ASICS Gel-Pursue on, I felt taller in them, as if I was wearing heels. That’s probably due to the roughly 9mm heel-to-toe drop. But they also have a nice amount of cushioning to them and they’re SUPER comfortable. I haven’t gotten a lot of running miles in them due to a weird pain in my hip (I’m unwilling to say it’s due to product experimentation, just a circumstance of life.) but I’ve worn these shoes for a lot of walks too and they felt great for that.

Some details:

  • They’re pretty lightweight, 8.7 oz for the women’s shoe, 10.6 oz for the men’s version
  • Support level good for a wide-range of runners (from a more neutral foot to a mild-moderate pronator)
  • They look nice without being overly flashy. My husband HATES all the bright colors all over shoes these days, these would be a good option for someone like that.
  • Standard price point for quality running shoes: $110


They’re comfy and well-made running shoes. They may not become my go-to, all-the-time running shoes, it still feels strange to me to have a heel/toe offset after 3ish years in pretty minimal shoes… but I’m also willing to rotate them in to my training cycle and give them a solid try. Or maybe if I ramp up for marathon training, I’ll want to revert back… I’ve never done a marathon in zero-drop! The cushioning definitely felt nice without feeling like a clown shoe and overall I liked these shoes quite a bit.

And remember, if you are running the 2014 NYC Marathon, visit ASICS Mini Marathoner site and get a statue version of yourself running!

One more… Check out the My ASICS website where you can build a training plan for any race distance. It’s kind of cool that you can set a date for a race way in the future and it will help you with a free plan. I think it’s kind of fun to play with, even if I would end up tweaking the schedule anyway. It’s just great to get new ideas.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Friday Fête

I’m in a major food rut. I’m just sick of meal planning, sick of cooking, sick of it all… We go out for dinner 1-2 times a week and it’s to the same 3 places and then I make the same 5-6 meals the rest of the time. I used to think I liked cooking, but then I realized I was married to a picky man. And then I had a child who wants lots of attention and doesn’t give me much space/time to prepare food. So now I hate cooking. I need help!

I get very frustrated that I do the vast majority of parenting myself. And there are times that I’m really annoyed that I have to wake up way before dawn to be able to get in a run before the kid wakes up. But you know what is more annoying? Not even having that option. I really do like running early (except I still find it a lot harder to wake up in the 4AM hour than I ever did pre-kid, what up with that?) and this week my hubby has been out-of-town for work. From what I understand, it’s not considered “good parenting” to get up really early and go for a run and leave your toddler asleep at home alone. Even if you leave the dog behind to watch her. ;-)

And my hubby does usually take her to school each morning, so most days I can get started working early enough. But this week I’ve been late to work every day. Which means that I worked my 8 hours each day without taking any breaks so I could still go pick her up on time, 8-4. So no lunch break workouts either. All my fitness endeavors this week have been after I put her to bed. But no running, because remember… you’re not supposed to leave the kid home alone to go run! (And my treadmill scares me, it just changes incline on its own without warning. Which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t the fact that it decides to rise the incline all the way and then plummet back down. That’s dangerous!)

Not that I could have run anyway… my hip/groin/glute/quad/hammie/IT Band* has been bugging me. I’m on about 3 weeks of no running now. Taking my shoe selfies lets me know that my last run was on September 2. I think it might be starting to feel better, but I can’t tell for certain. Just when I think it might be easing up, then it gives me a sudden and sharp reminder about its existence.

And no running has been making me grumpy. I had to miss a half marathon I was registered for last weekend. Of course, a freak storm washed out the freeway and would have made travel to the race a nuisance anyway. But still… And it’s playing head games with me and making me have body confidence issues. (Just being totally honest here.) I feel the ED voice getting louder telling me that I’m getting huge with this break. I know that’s not the truth, but it’s hard when something that helps keep that voice quiet (running) is taken away from me. But it hasn’t been too overwhelmingly hot out so I’ve at least been able to take the kid out on a few evening walks in the stroller this week. (By not overwhelmingly hot I mean in the mid 90’s!)

* Seriously, I am not entirely sure what this pain is, the pain source seems to move all around. Some times I think it’s a groin injury, sometimes I think it’s my hip, sometimes I’m afraid it’s a bone injury, other days I’m sure it’s all muscular/soft tissue. And I don’t really want to go to the doctor because truthfully, I’m cheap. I hate going to my primary care doc and paying a $40 co-pay to have her say, “That sounds like this. Go see this specialist.” Then the specialist charges $50, then sends me for other diagnostics that cost more money. But I’ve been dealing with other health issues that I may or may not discuss on here, so all of the tests and appointments on that may have me nearing my deductible amount now. So that expense would be gone! I need a good sports chiropractor that isn’t super far away from my home.

If you’ve read my site long enough, you know that I am a fan of ChiRunning. I’ve wanted to attend a ChiRunning event with Danny Dreyer since 2007 or 2008 when I first stumbled upon the book. But who has time to go away for a week to a camp for grown ups?! They’ve just announced a ChiWeekend on October 24-26 in North Carolina. And I’d really like to go! I don’t think I’m going to get the opportunity, but one can dream, right?


Amazon announced a new kid-friendly Kindle Fire tablet. Watching stuff on the iPad is the closest my kid gets to watching TV. We watch a few videos from the Super Simple Songs channel on YouTube. Media is totally addicting to kids and she now begs to watch the videos. “Mommy, get the PAAAAAAD! One more? One more?” I can see her vocabulary expanding from these 3-5 minute clips, but it’s amazing how angry she can get when it’s time to shut it off. Media and children are a whole new world these days… we get in the car and she asks for certain songs to be played. And we can just bust out the iPhones and play it for her. *crotchety old voice* When I was a kid we had to wait for our favorite songs to be played on the radio and we were happy when it did! *end crotchety old voice*

Got any fun weekend plans? Have you ever dealt with pain-of-unknown-origin? How did you track down the problem?

New Workout Clothes Rock!

Have you ever thought things were just fine, but then when you got a new version or saw your belongings next to something new you realize how shabby they look? Yeah, I had that epiphany recently about my running wardrobe after I was sent some activewear from Lorna Jane.


I had not heard of Lorna Jane activewear before they reached out to me, but now I’m both glad and upset that I’ve been introduced to them. Glad: because they have a lot of cute stuff. Upset: because they have a lot of cute stuff and I’m tempted to buy it all! But for those of you who need an introduction, Lorna Jane is a global activewear brand, with 130 stores in Australia and now 30 in the USA. “We design activewear for women and inspire them to live their best active life through our philosophy of Move. Nourish. Believe.” I can get behind that message.

I loved all the stuff they sent, but my favorite was this tank, I love the keyhole opening in the back for extra ventilation. PS. It’s hard to take a picture of your own back, especially when you just decide to do it with your cell phone before heading out to run instead of taking the time to set up a tripod, DSLR and remote shutter!


The Max Run shorts they sent are shorter than I usually go, but I really liked how they looked when on. Plus they have a handy zipper pocket at the back as well as an internal pocket.

Max Run Short   Running   Activities   Styles   Shop   Categories   Lorna Jane US Site

Oh, I said the pink top up there was my favorite, but maybe this one was my favorite too… I love this top for Barre workouts or the Fitstar/Strava 26.2 workouts I’ve been doing lately.


A new Lorna Jane store will open Oct 16th at Fashion Show mall here in Las Vegas. I hope they have some kind of Grand Opening party that I can go to! It’s also probably a good thing that the Fashion Show mall is on The Strip and I don’t venture there all that much, because it would be too tempting to pop in the store all the time to see what else is new!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

It’s My Site and I’ll Vent if I Want To!

So… I’ve been without my iPhone since noon today due to the AWESOME iOS 8 update. My iPad updated just fine, but my phone? Nope… It went through the download process and started to install. All seemed fine until it came back up in the recovery mood and got stuck in a recovery loop. After I realized it had been sitting like that for a couple of hours (I was working at the same time!) I tried to make it stop installing or restart or something. I couldn’t reset it by holding down the home and power buttons, it just sat there ignoring me… taunting me with a white screen and a little black apple logo in the middle.


So it was time to send it into DFU mode.  Meaning I got to wipe my phone completely! No big deal, I backed it up. But then in the middle of the process (it has to be connected to the computer) iTunes crashed. And when I restarted it, it said it was corrupt. So I got to re-install iTunes!

And then I finally got my computer to say it recognized a phone in recovery mode, did I want to reinstall everything?
Okay, downloading the OS.
Which it has been doing for the past 6 hours.

It’s crazy, and probably slightly pathetic, how vulnerable this makes me feel. And I’m just done for the night… had it. So I’ll try again in the morning and go get some sleep. But then I have to wonder, “How will I wake up in the morning? My iPhone is my alarm. Am I supposed to use a regular alarm clock? How uncivilized!”

To leave this post on a less downer note… I’ve been watching The Office on Netflix lately and I really loved this quote from Pam in the finale.

It’d be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. Not that I’m a tragic person. I’m really happy now. But…it would just…just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself “be strong, trust yourself, love yourself. Conquer your fears. Just go after what you want and act fast, because life just isn’t that long.

Build Your Running Body [Book Review]

This may be it… the definitive running book that covers every aspect of the runner’s body and how to train each area.
Build Your Running Body
by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, Melissa Breyer


Want to know just how complete this is? The book is BIG… 434 pages… divided into 25 chapters, each one covering how to “Build Your… [insert topic here]” to help all distance runners, milers to ultramarathoners. And these chapters are PRECISE. Like “Build Your Motivation” and “Build Your Connective Tissue” and “Build Your Brain.”


Since the book is a beast and I can’t get through it all with a fine-tooth comb and still post a review in a timely manner, let’s just focus on one of the sections: Build Your Running Muscles.

The section starts off describing the different kinds of muscles in the body and the different kinds of muscle fibers. Then we move into the science of how to progress to get stronger the right way, not specific exercises yet… just information about how we must walk before we can run, and beginners working on the strength need to spend 2-4 weeks doing body-weight only exercises before incorporating weights.

Next we move into info on stretching and the 4 different kinds of stretching that exist, the whys and whens and hows of using stretching in your running program. I used to think there was just dynamic and static stretching… but there are more. There is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and Active Isolated Stretching (AIS). Although, these kinds seem to need some assistance.

Finally it is time to hit the photo illustrations of actual movements to work our running muscles. And the first movements it demonstrates, are ones that you may not think immediately as “I’m working my muscles!” – Walking, Walk/Jog, Easy Run, Beginner Fartleks… and so on, into Hill Strides and Downhill Running. Because really, the act of running is building our muscles. But there is more to do beyond just running… oh no, it can’t be that simple!

Now we are introduced to The Runner 360, a complete strength program for runners, especially for people who don’t want/have a lot of equipment and might prefer to take care of their workout at home or outdoors. The whole routine is supposed to take about 12 minutes, but I think that comes once you know all the steps and have them memorized as opposed to constantly looking back at the book to figure out what is up next.


Want a traditional weight room experience? Oh yes… we have a routine for that too. Photos and descriptions of all the exercises with recommendations on the order to do them in if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced are all included. And this is not the end, next we move into stretching. Lots of info on stretching, since we already established there are 4 types of stretching!

See?! It’s very comprehensive. And this is just my paraphrasing! The downside of this thoroughness is that it’s overwhelming… I am not quite sure where I should start! And if I’m working to build all my running components, then am I going to be spending all day long workout out? Does it fit into a normal person’s life?

There is an awesome 9-page chart toward the back of the book about injury rehab/prevention. It lists all the ailments you could possibly think of and then some, provides a description of that issue and then gives a list of the exercises that will help fix it. There are also some notes for each one such as certain problems where icing isn’t recommended or when you should see a doctor.

The book is awesome, especially if you are all geeky because there is a lot of science and big words in it! I am really impressed with this book, each time I pick it up and flip through it something else catches my eye and educates me. The book costs $13.88 in paperback on Amazon or you can pick up the Kindle version for $10.99.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Multi Flask

I was sent a Multi Flask by Precidio Design to test and review on the site. I was kind of intrigued by the description so I was willing to give it a go.

This newly, launched all-in-one system makes it easy to bring all kinds of healthy drinks on the go — without cluttering up the cabinets with eigth different bottles.

Simply enjoy your favorite drinks in one easy to carry bottle.

This complete drinking system allows you to create healthy, delicious fruit-infused drinks, power shakes and sports drinks, filtered drinks and all forms of hot & cold beverages in your best flavors. Equipped with a glass inner for hot beverages, a plastic inner that can be insulated or not for cool drinks, an infuser and a novel agitator cap for powder drinks, Multi Flask is the purest way to drink healthy.

The one-flask-six-functions system is dishwasher safe, making it easy to create drinks on the fly with minimal clean up.

One of the most exciting features of Multi Flask is that you can enjoy the benefits of glass safely with its patented inner glass design and protective, silicone shock-absorbing base. Enclosed in an indestructible Tritan outer shell, Multi Flask is the one bottle you need today.


I unpacked it and was a little overwhelmed with all the parts. I had to go to the Multi Flask website to figure out what each one was and how they all worked together. It’s not often that I need instructions to figure out how to drink from a vessel.


And after having it for a month, here’s what gets used regularly:


That’s the Tritan Outer, the Agitator and the Sport lid. The agitator is useful for shaking up powdered drinks and helping them get mixed up well.

Odds are you would never use this bottle while running, unless you really don’t mind holding on to something. It would work fine for sitting at a desk or in the car or around home or even while using some kind of cardio machine and keeping it in the drink holder.

I suppose if I lived somewhere with more humidity and I had drinks that sweat a lot, I would use the Tritan inner and outer in combination more or when winter comes I would actually consider using the tea strainer/glass inner for hot drinks… but those haven’t been useful to me as of yet. And the idea of fruit-infused water sounds pleasant, but it also ends up being too much bother. I’ll just drink my water straight from the fridge dispenser. (Well, I’ll put it in a bottle or cup first, I’m not THAT uncivilized.)

And while the marketing-ese says it replaces 8 bottles cluttering the cabinets, you essentially end up with four bottles/bottle-ish-objects to store and some random littler pieces to stash… which is kind of harder to figure out where to put everything than if I had 8 different bottles.

So it still seems like a cool theory in concept, but I found that all the “features” aren’t really useful for me. It retails for $26.99 online.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

My Thinning Years [book review]

I was given the opportunity to be the first “stop” of a digital book tour for a new book by Jon Derek Croteau called My Thinning Years. The book is about the author’s life, growing up in a household where his father doesn’t accept him and his battle to learn how to accept himself. The subtext of the book is “Starving the Gay Within” – meaning it talks about the author’s struggle to come to grips with his homosexuality and the eating disorder he developed along the way in this battle.

My Thinning Years

While I’m not a man, I’m not a homosexual and I had parents that loved/accepted me… it’s still amazing how strongly I identified with elements of this book, particularly when he developed his eating disorder. From my experience, I think most people who develop an eating disorder feel out of control with some element(s) of their life and so they take the control back by controlling their body in some way.

The book paints a heartbreaking portrait of how difficult it was for the author to constantly be in flux with who he is. From the time he was young he knew he liked artistic endeavors, yet his father pushed him into sports. Despite injuries from the sports, his father still required him to be involved in many sports that made his life miserable. No child should have to feel completely unloved by a parent! And while he had a good relationship with his mother, his father didn’t condone having the close, confiding relationship with his mother and his mother had a hard time standing up to her husband.

And I had learned the hard way that when I told my mom things that I didn’t tell my dad, I’d just get her into trouble. Suffering in silence was the only option.

After the author dropped out of college (almost immediately after starting) he moved back home and to feel more in control of his own life he developed an eating disorder and an obsession with running. He would run miles upon miles with very little food to fuel him. Logically, people shouldn’t be able to physically do that… but I’ve been there and some other issues are fueling the fire inside to keep running. Because it just feels better to run on empty than to deal with the emotions and pain inside.

The inner dialogue began in my head. I wondered how many miles I could run without stopping. How little can I eat, I wondered, without running out of energy on a run? … I’d run in the rain, during thunderstorms, at five in the morning, and at eleven at night, oftentimes both. It didn’t matter, nothing could stop me. I never missed a day. As I soldiered on, something happened to me: I came to feel like a super hero.

The book is written in such a way that you really do feel how deep the pain went as well as feel such joy for the author when he has successes. Battling an eating disorder is hard… doing it as a man must be more difficult because they are not really recognized as having ED issues as much. In all my years of treatment, I only encountered one guy. He spoke about how hard it was to be in treatment as the only male. It makes me happy inside to know the author has found peace and a balance in his life, with friends/family that love him.

Now for some things I feel necessary to mention… if the reader is in the throes of an eating disorder or very early in the recovery process, this book could be triggering. I would recommend holding off for a while OR reading it with a support person to talk it over. I’m always scared to mention my crazed ED practices on the blog because I don’t want anyone with an eating disorder to stumble on those and think of them as suggestions or a how-to. This book is kind of descriptive in how he experienced ED. And if you or someone close to you is battling an eating disorder… please seek help. It may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done in your life. Making the call to a treatment center was super hard. But I’m glad that I did it, even with the difficult moments in treatment and the fact that I still consider myself recovering and question if I’ll ever be recovered. Getting that help and learning to experience my life (the good and the bad) has been worth it. YOU are worth it… always remember that!

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