Health, Personal

“I No Longer Walk or Run. I Lumber.” (or: Furey’s First PPA Run in a Long Time)

Picture it: Lake Carmel, spring 2013. I was a run/walking maniac. I’d be outside every day, going 4-6 miles on foot while listening to Queen on blast, stopping to stretch. I also did free weights every other day, so I was in fantastic shape. I wasn’t eating junk, only needed one cup of coffee to get through the day, and slept very well.

Fast forward to June 2015, and I am a mess. I’m doughy, I’ve gained more weight than I thought, and I feel awful. I was still stuck in my terrible winter habit of waking up late, making the first of two cups of coffee, and eating brunch while staying cozy in my living room chair and catching up with my friend Hulu til it was time for me to go to work. In my head, I knew I had to get back in shape–I bought brand new hand weights, stocked up on fitness magazines, bought healthier food, just deterrrrmined to start exercising again. I mean, I had the basic motivation–smaller clothes, a better appearance, feeling good, having energy. I mean, I felt like a prince of the universe two summers ago:

But it didn’t fully click until today. I was sitting inside, on my laptop and streaming Hulu through my Xbox. I look outside, and see that it is gorgeous. It’s not ridiculously hot, nor is it cold and raining. So why the hell am I sitting inside? I got dressed, put on sunblock, and did some stretches before hitting the pavement. I felt good, I felt determined, I was ready to sprint. And I did–not very far, as I got winded rather quick. But that didn’t make me turn around and go home. I did my original 4 miles. Although I did have to stop from time to time, swore a lot (I think I said “fuck I’m fat/old” more than once) and couldn’t sprint for as long as I used to, I still did it.

So why today of all days? Was it simply the nice weather? No. It boiled down to two larger reasons:

–I Do NOT wish to repeat the health issues of 2009-11.

I can’t explain how or why, but around spring 2009, I started gaining weight which to me was alarming as after I had gained a shit ton of weight in the previous school year due to my over consumption of cheese, fattening coffee and champagne, I made a very conscious effort to drop the excess weight and then some. I kept it up, walking everywhere and taking a tae kwon do class which helped me get to a more manageable weight. But for whatever reason, no matter what I did in spring 2009, I just kept gaining weight. By early 2010, I was almost 300 lbs. 300 pounds, and I’m only 5’2″ and change.


I look like the female version of Cleveland Brown, Jr. What a sad time that was.

Then, my period, after being dormant for almost two years, came back in the form of blood clots. I admit stress didn’t help–lucky me graduated in 2009, when it was considered a miracle to be hired. But was it really just stress? Nope–turns out, my metabolism fully shit out on me, which contributed to the period mess, which contributed to the gall bladder issues, so on and so forth. I was able to get it under control and I was determined to keep it that way, making sure I was doing at least some form of exercise once a week, no being dormant. I don’t want to relieve that, my foot has started to act wonky from the lack of activity and I’m like, no way, I’m nipping this in the bud. No more health issues.

–I Do NOT Want to Let Depression* Win

Oddly enough, when I started my crazy running schedule, it had only been about six months since Matty’s passing. But after this killer winter, combined with seemingly everyone I know getting engaged/married/pregnant/promoted/new apartments in a short span of time, I was just shot. I’m angry about that. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy for my friends and their milestones, I’m angry because it’s been almost three years and I’m only now “waking up” from the grief fuzz and feel like Leo The Late Bloomer of life.  I mean, it’s a tough thing–some people seem to be fully up and running in a short amount of time, other people I know experienced loss over a decade ago and they’re still frozen in that time. I don’t want to be the latter–I made a promise to myself the night before Matty died that I would not completely fall apart, and want to stick to it. I want to make the most of things, not get trapped in the emotional heft of loss.

*I haven’t been formally diagnosed with depression, but I really didn’t know how else to put it

So, there you have it. My physical health and my mental health are what finally got me out the door, along with the nice weather. And I’m glad I did–I forgot how much fun it was to put on earbuds and just go. Be outside, see different people (yet not have to talk to them if you don’t want to,) not worry about appearances. It’s good to release those endorphins!


Leave Amanda Bynes Alone. Seriously.

Amanda Bynes has been everywhere lately. Sadly, it’s not because of an upcoming film project or television series, but because of her wellness, which appears to be in decline. I am not a doctor, nor is anyone on the LivLuna team, so we cannot diagnose any medical conditions. We are also not a gossip site. We do not wish to perpetuate any negative fodder about Bynes, but we do want to talk about the unfair coverage surrounding her and current state, one that’s all too familiar for many former child stars.


Every day, there seems to be a new item about Bynes–getting arrested for posession, tweeting about how she wants Drake to “murder her vagina,” throwing racially charged shade at Rhianna and then deleting it, denying she was involved in a photoshoot where she’s clearly in the photos, etc. But rather than just comment on what’s happening, many blogs seem to want to snark on her, how “crazy” she is, how she needs help, trying to diagnose her, etc. I’ve seen comments from people asking these blogs to stop, and I agree with them–they’re making things worse for Bynes. I believe a lot of it seems to stem from the fact that most people were first introduced to her when she was ten years old, and are now kind of stuck thinking of her as an eternal tween/teen, where she famously delivered quotes about how happy she was to live with her parents, how she wasn’t big on partying, so on and so forth.


However, let’s be honest. Bynes is twenty-seven now. She’s not going to be the same as she when she was a teenager. While I agree that there is something off about her behavior, I think that if people let go of the Bynes fromWhat I Like About Youand She’s The Man, they’ll be able to see that she is a woman who is in distress and needs to be helped, not shamed and ridiculed because she grew up. She’s being held to quotes from several years ago.


It’s not just her, either–Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus (who brilliantly called out critics for putting her on par with far worse people on SNL a while ago) Lindsay Lohan–are all former child stars who turned into troubled adults. Can we say that fame has had an effect? Mara Wilson seems to think so–yesterday, the former child actress wrote a wonderful piece for Cracked called “7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider’s Perspective),” recalling the time a reporter asked her what she thought about the Hugh Grant/Divine Brown scandal on the red carpet when she was seven, and finding photos of her feet on an adult foot fetish website when she was twelve.


While I’m not saying fame is the direct cause, it certainly doesn’t help anything. At the end of her piece, Wilson points out that some movies are starting to use CGI babies and while the technology is flawed, perhaps that will divert parents and kids from wanting to enter a business no one is ever really ready for, let alone a child. So, while Bynes would probably still have her issues whether or not she was a child star, perhaps they wouldn’t be as bad and they definitely wouldn’t be as public.


It’s easy to read of Bynes’ recent escapades and roll your eyes and/or comment on blogs, but it isn’t really helping anything. While it is hard to ignore a headline about someone throwing a bong out of a thirty-seven story window, don’t comment on it, don’t joke about it, just keep walking. Allow Bynes to disappear from the press, and maybe she’ll finally realize that the attention she’s receiving isn’t positive, it’s negative and not helping her in any way. Again, I’m aware it’s awkward to say “stop talking about her!” on a blog and I don’t know what her exact issue is, but enough is enough. The entertainment magazines need to stop reporting on her quotes and stop publishing rage inducing articles going into depth about her rough time.


Think about it this way–if this were someone you were close to being put on blast when there’s something not right with them, would you be happy knowing that others are getting a cheap thrill out of their issues splashed across a tabloid or a blog? Probably not.


So, should we leave Bynes alone, or do you think the negative press will push her into treatment? Or will it just fuel her behavior even further?