Weekend wrap up

Here comes one of my “relatively wordless” recaps from a great long weekend!

Don’t worry Mom, dedicated readers, there are words en route.



salmon, steamed greens (spinach, chard, kale)


potatoes, mushrooms/onions, chicken



coconut/banana eggs




kale, beef, mustard


a square or two


salmon, apple, sprouts


steak, spinach, veggies


salmon, apple, sprouts, berries



beef, mushrooms, and onions over kale

stir fry with onions, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, shrimp, chicken, and coconut





Play time:





mid-65km ride 🙂



Randoms: 20120903-084312.jpg

Tah-dah. Awesome weekend, done and done!

Go big or go home

Last night’s Eat By Design presentation was kind of a big deal.

I loved it. I loved hearing these people talk passionately about what they’re doing. I loved the call to action. I loved hearing how the questions people had were answered. I loved seeing people’s “aha” moments around the crowd. I loved meeting the people there. Did I mention I loved it?

Basically, the presentation went over the info that Life By Design puts out there for everyone on their Eat by Design page in a bit more detail. I don’t think I heard much that I didn’t know, but on that note–there’s a difference between knowing and doing and the cool part about the seminar is that it kicks off the 30 day challenge I mentioned earlier this week–the call to actually do it.

One thing that I really wanted to blog about was the call to go big on this challenge. For 30 days, it’s about just doing it–100% as a goal. That’s contrary to a lot of wisdom that says make changes slowly, but I know I get it and am willing to give it a go. I do have some thoughts on what it means to go balls to the wall instead of dipping your toes in the water:

  • Risking failure. Scratch that. Failing. I’m certain of one thing: I’m going to fail. I’m probably going to eat something that’s not by design, I’m going to mess up along the way with my training (hi, attempting to learn a whole new approach), I’m going to have days where I get down in the dumps and don’t apply the think by design principles. But I’m not giving myself a pass to do it. I want to go 30 days without those failures–but knowing that I will fail, let’s just admit it: we need to be okay with that! It’s not a true failure unless you fail to learn. You’re not a failure unless you give up. All that cheesy stuff that you know is true. But that means you have to take responsibility. Ate ice cream for lunch on day 1 of your challenge? Eat some veggies and meat for dinner and move the heck on. At 30 days, a “mistake” here and there won’t be as devastating as giving up. 
  • Thinking you “need” something. The thought of no froyo for 30 days was scary–yupp. Here’s my thoughts: but my friends are coming back and they’ll think i’m a bitch if i I don’t go with them. But how can I have a social life if I don’t drink? But what if I have to go to dinner and can’t be sure about what’s gonna be served? But but but…BUT the truth is, it’s 30 days. If your friends don’t like you any more cuz you won’t eat froyo with them (you could still sit with them, FYI), they’re kind of lame ass and must be insecure about their own choices. If you don’t drink and that pisses off your friends enough to be an issue, get new friends. If what’s getting you out of bed in the morning is _________ (insert food addiction of choice here), maybe you need to rethink things–find a purpose maybe? Also, it’s 30 days. After, you can play around. Write it down – “I skip froyo until October 1, 2012.” Seems pretty small, doesn’t it? How long are we here for? Is one month gonna kill you?
  • Being scared. I’m just going to admit it — I’m worried I’ll gain weight. I feel chubby and I’ve bought size after size of jeans (granted, I did get over a gnarly eating disorder and am ridiculously awesome right now). So I’m a bit worried that this upward swing is going to continue so trying something different is like letting go of control and risking ballooning, in my catastrophizing mind. So…the alternative. About that–there isn’t another option. When you hear something and you believe in it, not adopting it or trying it out on yourself requires zoning out, going unconscious, and is a form of giving up on yourself. If you’re new to my blog or just oblivious, I’m not good at zoning out–I’m good at zoning in and one thing I’m working on is trying to live on purpose with more consciousness and deliberate behaviour. So let’s just nip that in the bud, mmkay?

One note I feel totally compelled to add after some expressed concern from friends, family, etc. and just ‘cuz…

I’m speaking purely from personal experience here, but I don’t think that taking on a 30 day challenge to eat real foods, basing things on the foods that give us the most nutrients and ignoring the ones that you don’t need (I challenge you to tell me a nutrient I need to eat a piece of bread of a bowl of pasta to get that I can’t eat a veggie or a piece of meat to do the trick instead), is restrictive.

Where the motivation comes from is definitely key. As I touched on before, I’m a bit anxious about how much I weigh right now (it’s been on the upswing) and I hear all that old wisdom telling me that eating a lot of meat or having more fat or doing less cardio and lifting weights is going to add up to me being big. That being said, those fears aren’t stopping me. It’s okay to have fears but it’s not okay to let them hold you back. Putting them on the table and reading and talking about how other people have dealt or addressed the issue is empowering. Fear can be motivation if you channel it. One thing I know — eating a jar of nut butter every day is not really all that intuitively smart from a weight or health perspective. What is smart is eating lots of really nutrient dense foods in balance and eating plenty of vegetables, no? Just putting the fear out there in this post has felt like a huge release and has put it into perspective. I’m on a long term approach now–looking for health. I know that along with health comes a happy weight. So logically, and by going through this now, it makes sense to do this and to let the weight outcome come out as it is. I don’t plan on weighing myself again any time soon.

Back to my take on this. Restriction to me is about motives that aren’t based on healthy goals. In my ED, they were about being thin at all costs. Old habits — exercising through injury, doing at least an hour of cardio every day, never taking rest days, not thinking about strength/mobility/agility/anything besides what effects a workout would have on my physique, not getting enough sleep, eating fake food, being scared of food, not eating all day and bingeing at night, eating so much that I’d get physically sick, obsessively planning what and when I’d eat or not eat, using “cheat” days as rewards for being “good”, giving food moral power and a huge space in my life — THOSE are unhealthy.

Taking ownership for what I put in my body and being willing to experiment on myself–THIS is healthy. I think I’m on the same page as Nell Stephenson, who blogged about the idea that Paleo adherents are suffering from orthorexia. I actually call being able to do this a next step for me — from just getting to “okay and recovered” to actually going further and taking things to the awesome level instead–which is something I’ve realized I deserve and everyone deserves.

When someone else criticizes you, I think it has to do with their own insecurities. When you are sure of what you’re doing, you don’t really feel attacked by it. What’s cool is that I’ve had some “concerns” expressed to me about all of this (please note that more overwhelming support has come my way–and I so appreciate it!) but I am finding myself more and more prepared to talk about what I’m doing and to just own my decision. That’s leading back to me feeling better and better about myself and more motivated and comforted in the face of any trials, “failures”, or doubts that I have along the way.

I think summing this one up with a quote just makes sense:

What’s your take on the orthorexia/paleo thought?
Are you taking the 30 day challenge?



Holy poop – it’s Labour Day weekend.

How the heck did we get here so fast?

This week’s TGIF post came together really easily…

5 wordy (awesome) images




4 links I loved

4. Charlotte’s “Would you say losing weight is the “hardest, most important” thing you’ve ever done?”  post yesterday. My favourite insight was about how weight loss is “it’s one of the great narratives of our time. Dieting is a near-universal experience for first world people.”

3. Another Great Fitness Experiment (love!) link, this one about crossfit that I think touches on something a lot of people struggle with. I know what I thought before was that it was too high intensity and not based on much progression (i.e. I thought it was just random, which I think a lot of people who just check out the main site might think). The thing that people realize later–and I realized after talking to one of my friends who is a crossfit trainer in London, after hearing how the SC is bringing crossfit into what they’re doing, and after reading/deciding to do my cert–is that it’s not like that. Within a crossfit facility, things DO make sense. Workouts are scaled. Planned. Progressive. All that good stuff. 🙂

2. Paleoista’s take on orthorexia. I’m not sure if Nell Stephenson has ever had an eating disorder, but this is a topic I definitely want to get into at some point…soon. Her question, “Ok, so being interested in what we put in our bodies, where it came from and how it was prepared is a mental health concern?” screamed out to me because I think it’s a bigger concern to NOT care. That being said, caring about what you put in has to come from a healthy point–the source of motivation is what’s important.


3 weekend goals

3. Bicycle! Bicycle!

2. Making it to the farmer’s market.

1. Spending as much time with friends and family as possible — beach day, lunch dates, barbecues, etc.!

2 quotes I love

2. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Harold R. McAlindon

1. “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” ~ Paul Valery

1 song I have on repeat this week

1. This one, which I heard at the lululemon event last weekend and abso-freaking-lutely loved!

What did you love this week?
What are you up to this weekend? 

Next please



“There’s more to life than increasing its speed.” 




This is going to be a short (sweet!) post — today was a long (but fun-filled day). I had an adjustment this morning and I felt totally powered up and energized for a long day of training. We had a workshop and then did 10 minute sections of the classes the gym at school offers for video. AKA we worked out for a really long time, stop and go, sweat and drip, all that good stuff. After training wrapped up, I played tennis with a friend. We got kicked off the court, played some frisbee (I can’t catch), and here I am. I thought about running but then I realized how freaking tired I am and decided blogging, showering, and chilling for a bit was more what I needed.

I was actually starving despite eating tons today:

  • breakfast – salmon, chard, grapes, and alfalfa plus an apple




  • AM snack – turkey jerky and almonds
  • 20120830-183827.jpg
  • lunch: chicken, spinach, avocado, and more alfalfa


  • PM snack when the workouts wrapped up: apple and more nuts



  • dinner?: kale, banana, cocoa, almond butter, and almond milk smoothie — I think I was more thirsty than hungry! 20120830-183840.jpg

Heavy on the fruit and the nuts today, but it’s one day so I’m choosing to move on! Tonight is Eat by Design and I can’t even describe how excited I am! The session is going to be at West London Crossfit, which opens next week. This is all so exciting, so even though I could face plant and probably sleep til tomorrow, I can’t wait to head to the talk!

I do feel like today got away from me — busy is good but thank god for this little break to just sit. Rushing around like this used to be my every day, complete with all kinds of exercise and always being late — and while it’s fine and dandy and fun every once in a while now, I think realizing that we all need a little down time has made for a happier Cheryl.

One thing I did have time to notice and reflect on was a conversation I had yesterday about people wanting to hear about things like Eat by Design or about the “responsibility and reality” concepts that Dr. K talked about last night. I have a tendency to want to convince everyone of what I’m thinking or doing. Whether it comes from validation or from me not wanting to be judged or just from not being used to speaking my truth out loud so openly I’m not sure. But one thing I know — when I believe in something, I want to share it. When someone disagrees with me, I used to get very upset over it and take it personally. I won’t lie–I still want to convince people of what I believe, but at some point, I’ve got to move on…

Case in point: I have some friends who just want to argue. At some point, it’s up to them–not to me–to decide what they want to do. I won’t judge them and in turn, they shouldn’t judge me. I’m leading by example, which is the most powerful thing! I also realized that energy spent talking to people with open minds and receptive attitudes feels really good. Today I told a fellow instructor about what LBD is and she was SO EXCITED just by association. THAT was awesome. Like I said, I have a vision of sharing this message and of inspiring people to take responsibility and be as awesome as they can and as healthy as we all deserve to be that involves me speaking about this — so on a small scale, I moved towards that today! Maybe reading that vision, reviewing those values, and looking at my goals is starting to pay off ALREADY.

Instant results, anyone?

Do you have a habit of arguing with people instead of working with them?
How do you know a workout’s not worth it? 

Tired but inspired

“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.”

Cary Grant quotes

Well howdy there!

As my title hinted, I’m tired but inspired–so this is the kind of tired, “I had such a kick butt day” that I think every day should be like…

We started our staff training today at the gym on campus. Since I’m teaching at campus rec this fall, I was in on this. I’m kind of a lifer now–and it feels cool to go back and see a whole new bunch of faces (cough *cute new boys* cough). The aquatics staff, events staff, memberships services, and fitness people all get together and do sessions that we have to (think computer sessions to teach us how to access info) and ones that we get to choose from (think workouts).



I started my day off with leftovers from last night. I’ve commented before about how I don’t really differentiate too much between what I eat in the morning and at night (does it really make sense to only eat certain foods at certain times of the day, after all?), but I did add in an apple to today’s breakfast.


Leftover beef, brussel sprouts, and onions in coconut oil + an apple

After a morning of info sessions, I was ravenous. I ate my lunch out of my lunchbox (hiding it) in the computer lab because I’m bad ass. FYI, stuffing your face with kale and sausage is not really discreet, but it is delicious.

Eating lunch before lunch time meant I had no problemo skipping out during our lunch break to hit up the (other) gym with one of my fellow fitness instructors. While everyone ate pizza, we sweat our butts off. Britt’s trying out for hockey so she’s all about squats and deadlifts, and I’m all about getting back into this so gosh it was perfect to have company for this trek!

After a few sets of each, we did a take on a workout from a crossfit site I’ve been poking around. For me: 15 tuck jumps / 7 modified pullups / 3 ground to overhead every 90 seconds for 15 minutes — it works out to 10 rounds if you’re not a mathlete. It also works out to mass quantities of sweat, dripping on the floor, arriving back at the gym stinking up a storm, and being far too happy to hop in the pool for an “Aquatic Adventure” (one of those optional sessions).


And by hop in I mean get flipped in off a tube — we played a match of innertube water polo. Let me tell you–this was not only FUN but also pretty physical! I spent a lot of energy just trying not to fall off my tube OR trying to get back in it if I had and missing the net on my shots. I don’t “throw like a girl” but I could definitely improve! The moral of the story is: random sports are fun. I want to play more of them. Intramurals, anyone?

After all that splashing, the hungries came on hard at the end of the day so my afternoon snack was a “what the heck can I get in this hangry mouth right now” kind of situation. Almonds and then a banana with cinnamon on top fit the bill — easy, fast, good. 🙂



Top it off with an americano between appointments and errands and you’ve got perfection! 20120829-211705.jpg

I managed to get to the grocery store to pick up some goodies (no labels here) and I am cooking up some chicken and salmon now so I’ll have food for a few days!


I ended my night with the highlight of the day — dinner! It’s not the food that was awesome, although the salmon and salad was pretty bomb.



Tonight was my second Life By Design 101 dinner. I brought a pal along with me today who’s interested in chiropractic and on the same health wavelength as a lot of what LBD talks about.

Last month, I said Dr. K did a really great job of introducing what LBD is about. But today, he was like a whole new level of rockstar! I haven’t seen so much passion and enthusiasm in one person since…the last time I talked to him? I’m not really kidding, but tonight he was on fire! I can’t wait for next month (who wants to join me?). I was sitting there smiling and thinking — I want to do this (lucky for me I have a vision and it’s in line with that…:)!).

In short, the dinner is an intro to what LBD is about — the chiropractic side of things, the thinking, eating, and moving.

For me, the refresher brought some new insight. I think a big part of this whole journey for me is waking up and being present. Getting to hear about something I’ve already heard about but from where I am now is a cool experience.

One thing that Dr. K stressed and that I even took the time to write down in my trusty notebook was that it all comes down to reality and responsibility. 

Building off of that, I’ve been thinking. I started to beat myself up for having heard this and not acted sooner. After talking about squats and my (poor) mobility, I had to shift my focus.

On that topic, I don’t have the greatest mobility. I don’t squat very deep. Dr. K suggested a wesbite to me, but as it was coming out of his mouth I already new what he was going to say (so of course I said it along with him)–mobilitywod.com. So if I know about it, I must be using it right?

Uhhhh. Not so much. Cue thinking by design and focusing on what’s strong and not on what’s wrong. My job isn’t to beat myself up over not doing something sooner. Like I talked about yesterday, you’ve got to be okay with where you are in order to improve. So instead of calling myself lazy I am recognizing how cool it is that I realized that I can do something about all of this and taking this increased consciousness as just another awesome side effect of what I’m doing — taking ownership (responsibility), for the way things are (reality).

Other conscious thinking today involved re-reading my vision, chatting, hearing LBD 101, and the reading I’m about to do! Last night I cracked Atlas Shrugged and now I’m ready to get back into it before I fall asleep.

Like I said, it was a tiring day, but the good kind of tired. Here’s to more days like this — filled with awesome! Let’s just say that I feel even more excited about what I’m doing. I feel connected to something bigger. I feel like I’m on fire by association–cuz I am! 😀

What’s something you neglect in terms of fitness that you could give more attention to?
Do you eat breakfast for dinner? What about dinner for breakfast?
Have you ever played innertube water polo?

Beginning, believing, and being where I am

“You are today were your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” 

-James Allen

Wowzer — I never thought I’d get so much attention, support, props, and just all around awesome with my last post. Putting it all out there felt so good–but it’s only gotten better!

Today was a busy day but busy is life and I did my best!

As full as it was– I drove to Sarnia, changed my license/health card info, made it over the bridge to a doctors appointment, shopped a bit (obviously), ran and worked out with my stepbrother’s wife (whose baby is the CUTEST and who I just got to meet for the first time today), met up with one of my bestest old friends for a coffee, came back to London, and made it to yoga – I had a happy day.

It was awesome to run with a new friend. Company makes sweating more fun and lately running alone is pointless. Sad but true. Unless I’m alone and on a trail, which is bliss. We ran in the park, down to the bridge, and back along the water. We split up and I did a little picnic bench workout before heading back:

10 each x bench jumps / tricep dips / sit ups / incline pushups / squats, 9 each, 8 each, … 2 each, 1 each and a bonus round of 10 each for shits and giggles!

Meeting up with Lisa for coffee was a smart, impromptu decision. I could have come back — there are chores to be done and such, but I also haven’t seen her in ages and there was so much to catch up on. FYI, laundry will always be there–friends who live in different cities but miraculously are home at the same time as you with an afternoon to spare are rare and should be capitalized upon, in my opinion!



iced decaf americano (2nd starbucks visit of the day!)

I ate plenty of by design foods:

  • eggs, avocado, spinach + apple


  • pork, kale, and sprouts with some lemon juice and black pepper (smuggled into the states and eaten between appointments)

  • brussel sprouts, beef, and onion cooked in coconut butter for dinner

  • I also noshed on a banana (post-run) and a spoonful of almond butter (post-yoga) that went unphotographed.

I’m looking forward to the Eat By Design seminar on Thursday where I know I’ll learn better how to approach this. I think I’m just feeling around now—and now that I’m doing this with a bunch of other people who have done it or who are doing it too, I’m sure there will be some ideas and insight to make it all easier. Thank god for community!

Also on this note, I finally got my apartment really set up for this. I’ve been keeping my non-by-design foods (think pasta,
quinoa, beans, candy, granola bars, oats, etc.) in a big tupperware. I haven’t been eating them much but you can guess that when I did, it wasn’t good. I was guilty, I didn’t enjoy them, PLUS they weren’t serving me. Getting rid of them not only freed up space in my apartment, it also felt great!


I spent the free time I did have journaling and reading. I broke out an old fav—“The Success Principles” (it’s Jack Canfield, the Chicken Soup guy’s book) and got right into the section on purpose. I did a vision exercise – there’s a similar version of what I did online – and I’m printing the vision with the intention of reading it every morning and every night. I’m obviously going to continue to work on it, clarify it, tweak it, and all that good stuff, but with something to aim for things are feeling all the better!

Another chapter of the book I looked at talked about belief. My own beliefs—empowering, limiting, wrong, right, etc.—are something I’ve just started to realize determine where I am and how I’m feeling. When I was sick with my eating disorder and convinced that I deserved to be miserable, alone, and unhappy I was all of those things. Shifting my beliefs has been hard work but reframing things so that my default is “I deserve all the good in the world” set me up for where I am now.

Canfield talks about believing in yourself and how it’s absolutely necessary to see yourself as successful already in order to achieve your goals and vision. That’s pretty cool and pretty empowering, because when you see yourself as that successful person (or at least as someone on a defined progression towards that vision), it feels real. You lose the “I have so far to go” thoughts. Rather than beating yourself up for being where you’re at (maybe feeling out of shape, fat, or confused), the positivity helps you realize that just by deciding to do something about your circumstances and consciously pursuing that goal, you’ll make it.

One more insight. Today I realized just how cool my job as a fitness instructor already is. Sure, my vision involves me taking things to another level and really moving into a coaching kind of role, but visions are long term. Like I said, just by seeing myself as that coach I could recognize that I’m already her. Last night in spin class I had a motivational moment and while I’m not sure if it was working for my class (the room’s candlelit—facial expressions are impossible to read but the energy indicated that it was a success!) when I told the spinners to focus on something that they wanted to get out of the ride—a feeling they wanted to feel. I suggested a few words – powerful, determined, fit, strong, fierce – and had them repeat it to themselves. We came back to it after a few minutes of endurance spinning and I realized that just by doing that, maybe someone who had never thought of themselves as “fit” before got to be fit, albeit for a few minutes of their day. Still—that’s pretty cool stuff!

Before this turns into a heck of a novel, I’m going to wrap things up. Tomorrow is another busy day – staff training, apartment viewing, a workout, and a little Life By Design 101 refresher for me are shaping up for a full one! I’ll definitely want a full night’s sleep!

How was your Tuesday?
Do you have a defined purpose? A vision to aim for? 


It’s about time

This post has been coming together in my mind, on napkins and scrap paper, in journals, and all over the place for a while.

It’s about time I put it all together and just got real about what’s up with me…

I think the life coaches and inspirational junkies of the world might be out to inspire me:

  • Monday’s quote from Andrea Owen, in my inbox:

  • Last week’s behappy.me daily quote, also in my inbox:

So I’m going to do it….

So after a whole lot of thinking, blogging, journalling, talking, reflecting, etc. etc. I can say I’ve had a hella summer. It was filled with awesome things–travelling, meeting all kinds of people, making mistakes and learning lessons, having more fun than ever–and it brought me a lot of insight.

This week is the start of that Life By Design Challenge I mentioned earlier in the month. If you’re not familiar with Life By Design yet, puh-leeeeeeze check it out:

I’m telling you — whether it found me or I found it, I think there’s a match made in heaven here. This is my interpretation and what I’ve taken from being exposed to all of this –> Living by design means realizing that we’re MEANT to be strong, fit, healthy, beautiful, powerful, successful, _____________ [insert great adjective here] and then going after it. It’s about living on as awesome a level as you can and being awake and conscious of your life–not just settling for being okay or going through the motions but actually taking responsibility and stepping up!

I think it’s safe to say I’m pretty hooked. I am drawn to these people–and not just because they’re jacked and fun to be around (this stuff works!). There’s something about the energy and the fact that they’re doing something on purpose that’s really refreshing–cuz it’s rare (but it shouldn’t be this way–how great would it be if we all woke up and actually lived?!) and cuz it’s inspiring! Safe to say I feel lucky to have met Dr. K at Starbucks one day and had an impromptu coaching session when I timidly talked about not being sure about becoming a dietitian and mentioned that I have a blog (without any confidence or feelings of deserving–in short, with much lower self esteem than I have now!).

So at the same time that I am really energized, motivated, and excited about all of the changes I’ve made, I feel like there’s a part of me that’s been holding back. Yes, I’ve made serious changes. But I’m frustrated and I feel stuck–and I know it’s up to me to change it!

As far as I’ve come, I still don’t feel like I’ve got it together. And that’s fine and dandy–you have to be okay with where you are to get anywhere better–but I’m not going to hide it: I want to be stronger. I’m sick of feeling soft and pudgy. I’m done pretending that I’m really fit when I realize I’m neglecting a whole lot of what it takes to train properly. That being said, I’m already working on these things, but I haven’t really announced it: I’m eating by design, I’m giving up my old approach to working out and training, I’m getting my power turned on with regular chiro visits, and I’m waking up for all of this. In short, I’m working on living by design.

Starting point:

It is what it is. I weigh 142lbs. I don’t lift weights very much, but I do a lot of body weight stuff. I don’t do 2 hours of cardio like I used to, but I still fall back on cardio workouts and sometimes think I need to do one every day. I like yoga and I do more of it. I play sports every once in a while. I read books, I spend time with friends, and I think I’m pretty conscious of what’s going on in my life. I’m actively working on my values, I’m defining my mission, I’m setting goals. I eat a lot of real food but I also have a lot to learn. I drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of froyo, and I sometimes let my emotions drive my food choices. I look like this:

Again, it is what it is.

So what’s it all mean?

I just made this kind of a bigger deal since I want to get even more conscious about what I’m doing. My posts are going to be more forwardly talking about applying the stuff I’m sure you read about — eating, moving, thinking, brain body connection, by design:

  • Health –> Not waiting for something to be wrong to care. Keeping a clear connection. Sleeping.
  • Eat –> Eating more real foods that are by design. My new idea is “nonfiction” food — real stuff that I can actually say where it came from. Sure “by design” foods from WalMart are better than BigMacs, but I have the resources and time and motivation to seek out stuff from real farms and producers that aren’t so far removed that I lose sight of where my food/nourishment is coming from. Recognizing that froyo and treats are fine–but they’re not “food” or fuel.
  • Move –> Working on that broad definition of fitness. My decision to get crossfit certified + being willing to make a little bit of an ass of myself learning the stuff that I don’t know (mainly: olympic lifts) and to play around with things (finding a balance between the cardio I love and the training I need to be strong and fit and all those good things) = next steps.
  • Think –> Focusing on the good stuff. The motto is “Focus on what’s strong, not on what’s wrong.” Working on my values, my purpose, and then acting on it. Reading more things that lift me up and less that just fill my world with fluff. Spending more time doing the things I like to do with the people who lift me higher.
  • Other –> Using my energy for the things that matter. Freelancing, teaching fitness, and blogging = doing more of what I love. Not signing up for a course this fall just because. Applying the if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no theory. Living out loud. Simplifying. Moving. Learning how to budget. Spending more time outside. Trusting the process.

NOW I feel ready for that 30 day challenge. Might as well start early, might as well go big, and might as well blog the heck out of it. There’s inspiration in seeing someone else’s trials, successes, progress and all that jazz and that’s what I want to do with this and that’s why I’m giving you this novel of a backgrounder. Accountability, motivation, something to reflect back on–those rock too!

Mondays can be marvellous!

Mondays can be marvelous and they should be marvellous.

Today was one of those days and I’m going to give myself credit for filling a dreary day with awesome things that ended up brightening it (and my mood!).

After this morning’s post, I met up with Sarah for coffee. She’s a kindred spirit (ha ha) so we had a good chit chat and life isn’t really complete until I have me some Starbucks.

I made a quick lunch of leftovers (cauliflower, chicken — no photo kids!) and then started on my to do list. I made a doctor’s appointment, set up some apartment viewings, and made a new spin playlist for tonight’s class.

I also ate the hugest carrot ever but the photo is beyond inappropriate. Use your imagination–or don’t!

The day went really quickly but I made it to GFC for an adjustment. I knew I’d be out of it because of all the stuff that I stressed about over the weekend–but I am still amazed at how much clearer I felt after. I sorted a lot out mentally and then I think that Rachelle just put the icing on the cake.

Afterwards, I headed to Komoka to visit my friend Lori, whose baby is just over 4 months and is just beyond cute! It was good to catch up with her and to spend some time there before I came back to London. I had time to kill before spin so I ate my dinner at Starbucks and journalled. I felt so clear and so inspired (I told you — that adjustment adjusted more than my spine) — and you’ll see the fruits of that labour soon enough!

After spin and a quick visit to the weight room (I think I used the squat rack for the first time in … too. damn. long.), I fixed myself another treat (in the mix this time = almond butter, cocoa, flax seed, a bit of honey, and coconut) and now here I am. I’m going to work on channeling that inspiration and then call it a night. Tide yourself over by reading Dr. K’s awesome post about abundance and scarcity and his take on something I’ve only tried to touch on. To me, living with abundance at the forefront is about realizing that there’s enough awesome to go around and that we all deserve it. That plays out as helping others, lifting them up, sharing, and realizing that you deserve all the good in the world–without feeling guilty for going after it (money, health, love, whatever)!

Tomorrow I’m going to wake up early, head to Sarnia for a bit and get into the doctor (I’ve been rescheduling for a really long time and it’s the end of the summer) but I’ll be back to London in the afternoon. I’m hoping for some yoga, some froyo with friends, and more inspiration. 🙂



How was your Monday?
Do you have a take on what it means to live in abundance?

Find your focus

“It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”
-Anthony Robbins

Happy Monday!

It may be dreary outside, but I’m setting my focus on starting this week off on a positive note! After taking some time to journal and to do some big hairy goal setting last night/to work on my vision a bit–I wrote a bio for myself 5 years down the road = cool!–I’m going to give a go at trying to share something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately…

Drumroll, please!

…positive focus. (Okay, there was no surprise there after that quote, but cut me a break!)

For a long time, I based all my goals on avoidance:

  • I want to STOP eating junk food.
  • I want to LOSE weight.
  • I want a job so I’m not broke.
  • I want a boyfriend so I’m not lonely.

I also based a lot of my actions on what I thought I should do:

  • I should go to grad school — that’s what you do!
  • I should do x number of minutes of exercising every day — or else I’ll get fat.
  • I should eat 6 servings of grains, 3 of dairy, only 2 of meat…etc. etc.

Both of these ways of thinking are kind of downers, don’t you think? As I’ve started paying attention to how I’m working and thinking, I’ve realized that thinking like that is only bringing me down. It’s much more empowering to base goals on achievement and on things you want to bring more of into your life — I want to work out so I am strong and can do more pullups than any of my guy friends, I want to have a career that blends into my purpose and lets me empower people every day in all kinds of way, etc. In terms of actions, focusing more on what you want to do makes me feel a hell of a lot better — I want to eat more real food, I want to sweat once a day to feel awesome, I want to write because it brings me joy, etc. etc.

In someone else’s wise words, we should focus on what’s strong, not on what’s wrong.

I’ve mentioned before that I was feeling overwhelmed. There are lots of options for me — for everything from what to read to what to do with my life to what to eat to what to wear. But after a bit of thinking, I realized I was bringing that stressed feeling onto myself. Just because there are lots of options and opportunities doesn’t mean there are lots of things that I NEED to go after right now. Just because there are a million blogs out there doesn’t mean I have to read them all. I could go on, but in short: being choosy about how you spend your time, your energy, and your thoughts sets you up for happy. When you decide to filter out the things that bring you down or even better–that don’t lift you up–you make room for the things that do matter. If you’re too busy doing a whole buttload of shoulds or trying to avoid a whole bunch of shouldn’ts, where’s the time for the stuff you love?

This is going to get random but sometimes the best thoughts come out of these lists, so here goes:

  • Work/career/direction: Do what you really want to. Realize that when you do this, you’re letting your passion lead you and your purpose will energize you and drive you towards producing things that have value–which is all the right stuff to make you successful.
  • Workouts: Stop listening to what you “should” do and use some common sense. If you’re tired, you should rest. Wanna be fit? Take a holistic approach to it — don’t focus just on losing weight, just on getting jacked, just on being fast — get real and realize that there’s more to health and fitness than one little aspect. Being ready for any kind of physical test–lifting a car off of someone like superman, doing a power yoga class, playing a game of soccer, running to the park, showing someone the way to the beach–that’s fitness. 🙂
  • Eating: Eat more of what is good for you — and let’s be honest, we all know that real foods are the best choice here — and worry less about avoiding the things you “shouldn’t” eat.  If you love ice cream, eat it, own that decision, but know that if it’s an issue for you and you can’t just say that you’re gonna do it, something bigger’s going on. I used to justify ice cream as a way to show I was recovered. I used to make ice cream wrong and never let myself have it. New thinking (with a little insight from others, of course): ice cream’s ice cream and that’s fine and dandy, but fruit and vegetables and meat and all those real foods that actually fuel me are food.
  • Friends: Want a quick way to feel really shitty? Hang out with people who complain, gossip, or beat themselves up all the time. Sure, we all have our moments and I know I have needed a lot of positivity from my friends along the way, but at the end of the day, if someone is consistently bringing you down, step back a bit. Find people who are on the same level as you–think values, think goals and ambitions, think about the important things–and then spend more time with them.
  • Self: Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with you or on how far you have to go, give yourself some props for how far you’ve already come. Can’t figure out your purpose? Keep trying and be proud of yourself for wanting to live with a mission–you’re doing better than countless people in this world (maybe your mission is to wake them up to theirs? ;)!)…Recognize how great you already are because yelling at yourself for what you’re not is only going to make you feel bad. I can’t think of a time where I’ve made any positive changes in my life based on things that were wrong with me.

And now that I’ve totally rambled and gone in a different direction, I’m going to wrap this one up, on a positive note–obviously!


Getting things together

“Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.”

 -Cynthia Nelms

Happy Sunday! I’m not going to lie — I had some ups and downs this weekend. But lucky for me I had plenty of reasons to smile…

  • Awesome sweaty workouts.

  …I’m all for the endorphins and the excitement since I am switching things up…and loving it. I felt so connected and so much positive energy at the yoga event I went to this evening in the park. It was luminescence and lululemon hosted it. Two of my favourite yoga studios came together and led a class after a run with the lulu run ambassadors and oh was it fun. I saw so many familiar faces, had friends along with me for company (the more the merrier is always my motto, especially when it comes to moving and getting active!), and we did candlelight yoga in the park. Can you say perfect? Not yet. But add in live music by this gal I’ve never heard (but will be needing to hear more of) and you’re coming pretty darn close to an 11 out of 10!

  • Yummy eats.

Breakie yesterday: sweet potato and kale with eggs, topped with cinnamon and almond butter


lunch yesterday: salmon, chard, and berries with raspberry dressing


Dinner last night: cauliflower, roasted potatoes, chicken, and salad


Breakfast today: leftover potatoes, spinach in eggs + some flax seed

Lunch today: sweet potato/almond butter, spinach/chicken


Dinner tonight – salmon and berries!



  • QT with friends: A girls’ day with Angela, a lucky meeting with Bon Bon, seeing pals at yoga…it’s all good!


  • Gifts! Check out the treat (it’s raw, kids) I was lucky to get when I helped out at West London Crossfit (it opens next week!). More importantly, check out the smile on my face ;)!


  • Laughing. Speaking of fun helping out, I didn’t really help today but I did get a really easy dose of happy when I hung out for a bit. If I just leave it at this–kids are awesome and everyone should hang out with ’em now and again–that’s good enough!

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  • New reading material.

  • Anticipation. I am really excited for September. I sent emails to say no to some of the opportunities I’ve realized aren’t “hell yes” material. That frees up space and time for more awesome things that I actually really feel drawn to, and that’s a good thing!
  • Community. It’s pretty cool and pretty freaking inspiring to hang out with the people at Life By Design. Energy is contagious and I’m really glad to be associated with something so awesome.
  • Friends. Last night involved putt putt, dinner, drinks, and all that good stuff with friends! To be honest I’m tireddddd from a summer of lots of this kind of thing, but I think so long as I remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes, I’m finding the right balance here!
  • Insight. I feel another post coming on…stay tuned!

…so I’m back to a happy place. What I’ve come to realize when I find myself getting down (listening to the itty bitty shitty committee that sometimes takes up space in my mind) is that I can choose a way to be happy. I don’t have to stay angry, sad, hurt, whatever–I can accept those feelings, do something about them, and move on. Done and done! 🙂 Now that the weekend is done, it’s time for a busy week to get going. We’ve got staff training at the gym, I’m meeting up with lots of friends who I’ve been missing for too long, and I know it’s time to get down to work on some of my to dos (apartment hunting, story pitching, interview seeking, etc.)…I know it’s going to be a good one. 😀 What did you get up to this weekend?