Happy halloweenie

This post has nadda to do with Halloween but I bet you giggled at “halloweenie” – no?

Maybe this will get you giggling then…

If that fails, this one compliments of my sister might do the trick…


Other than those photos and a few pumpkin treats, there wasn’t much about my day that suggests it was Halloween. I’m not too upset…

I started my day sweaty, not spooky, with a session at crossfit. Deadlifting day is my fav and today was no exception! My 5RM is up to 215 and I managed to eke out 4 consecutive pull ups again today. That in itself would make for an accomplished morning but we also did rope climbs (love!) and the conditioning was 50 burpees for time or 3 minutes of awesome suck (3:06 to be particular)!

I popped into GFC to get checked and then was ready for a busy day. I also fuelled up with a banana and some raw almonds while I ran a few errands this morning.


Does anyone else think raw almond suck? I’d much rather have them roasted. And roasted in a nut butter would be best…but in terms of overeating I’m sure it looks like this in terms of worst offenders: peanut butter (roasted, salted, sugary, hydrogenated, etc.) = all holds gone > roasted natural nut butter > roasted nuts > raw natural nut butter > raw nuts. Hmmm…

I think I’ve gone through a half a jar of almond butter this week and you’ll see why if I fill you in on my meals for the day:

  • breakfast: eggs (with coconut milk), almond butter, apple, dried cherries



  • lunch: pork with kale, squash and raisins and cinnamon


  • snacks: 2 almond flour muffins (one with chocolate, one with raisins) + a pumpkin cookie I didn’t snap a photo of (but my bootcampers and my fellow CrossFitters approved of my second go at my paleo pumpkin cookie recipe)


  • dinner: pork chop and almond butter, straight out of the jar



At least I know what I could have done better: less nuts, more veggies.

I spent the afternoon on campus talking to some of my former writing professors about journalism, grad school, and all that kind of jazz. It feels good to be moving forward with my applications–I’ve got a lot of work to do but I’ve done it before and I am excited to write them again! It also felt good to be on campus, even I dare say it to be in the library working on my next freelance article about the paleo diet and cycling. It’s due in a week so I’ve got to get an outline and a draft together soon–it’s not like I’ve got a whole lot of free time to work on it!


I did some work but I definitely could have been productive. I got sucked into the Whole 9 website again and was reading all kinds of entries on it when I “shoulda” been working. Whatevs. Now I can share with you the link that got me sucked into the website…it was the blog “Lies We Tell Ourselves” and sheesh it was awesome. I clicked over to the posts about being addicted to stress, which really rocked my socks. I like that they include actionable things in their posts and that they’re personal about their writing. I like that The Whole 9 takes a big ol’ simple approach to things: either something makes you healthier or it doesn’t. Remember my realization that there’s no sideways/standing still in life? Same thing! What they talk about is a lot like Eat by Design and is probably the most user friendly stuff I’ve found in my reading. I have “It Starts With Food” and of all the “paleo-ish” books I’ve picked up, it might be my favourite recommendation for someone thinking about experimenting with their diet.

Anyways, now that I’ve rambled a bit…back to my day! I called it quits on campus mid-afternoon and came home to clean my apartment a bit. I was greeted by my level 1 certificate from CrossFit! I already knew that I’d passed but to have the certificate in the flesh feels pretty legit. 🙂


This evening I made it to a Moksha Flow class across town by the gym where I teach bootcamp. It was a sweaty hot class (I’m aware this is obvious) and we did lots of hip openers in what felt like an “easier” flow class. I really can’t complain–I probably needed more of a yin class than anything today since I’m pretty sore! The time was perfect though and the owner of the studio was teaching (always a treat!) so this class could become a regular thing for me. I had just enough time to shower and to eat a nanner before I headed across the street (literally) to teach bootcamp. I put my recruits through a tabata workout today (squats, pushups, lateral jumping, running, step-ups or box jumps, and planks). They didn’t like me but I had the pumpkin cookies to win them back over once we had stretched and cooled down!

And now here I am…ready for bed. For a day off, today sure was busy! Tomorrow I’ve got plans to get writing, a bootcamp to teach, some shopping plans with a few lovely lady friends, and a workout in the mix. If I’m feeling too much writer’s block a yoga class in the evening (yin, maybe!) could be just what I need. 🙂

Have a happy halloween!

What’s your favourite kind of nut butter?
Did you do anything to celebrate Halloween?

Paleo pumpkin cookies and more festive fun

Since a bunch of people have been questioning me about this little photo I posted on instagram this week…


I figured a post was most definitely in order. I’ve also literally been go go go go go -ing for the past 3 days so I think sitting down is a good idea.

The recipe I used was loosely inspired by Tina’s recipe on health.com but I added my own twist to it. I want to recreate them with raisins instead of chocolate chips (okay, I’ll just admit it–I ate all the chocolate chips in my house ;)!).

Paleo pumpkin cookies
3/4 c. almond flour
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. pumpkin
1 egg
1.5 tbsp. honey
1.5 tbsp. water
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. slivered almonds (tasty recommendation = toast ’em first!)

Combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips and almonds in a large bowl.
Mix well.
Add chocolate chips and almonds, stirring ’til combined.
Drop by spoonful onto a nonstick cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for ~20 minutes or til golden brown on the bottom.
Remove, cool, and enjoy!

Guess what?

You’re also getting a bonus recipe–and it’s festive too!

Candy Corn m&m Bark 


~1 c. chocolate (I used mostly unsweetened baker’s squares)
~1/2 c. crushed candies (candy corn m&ms for me!)

Melt chocolate in microwave (use 30 second increments, stirring after each).
Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Top with crushed candies.
Place in refrigerator until set.
Break into pieces.

And just to be even MORE festive…here’s my attempt at pumpkin carving from the weekend. The pumpkin carving party was more of a success than said attempt…


We ate all kinds of paleo/by design food and there was just too much cute all in one house since the ladies with kids brought ’em along for crafts. I am so glad I met these people through Life By Design, Gainsborough Family Chiropractic, and my CrossFit gym–they’ve become a huge support system and like a second family to me. 🙂

In other news, somehow half a jar of nut butter has disappeared over the weekend. I’ve been using it as a snack, adding it to sweet potatoes, plastering it on my thighs…JK! But seriously, I’m going through it at record pace. I’ve also been eating plenty of roasts that I put in the crock pot along with steamed greens that I just use the microwave at work to heat up really quickly with my and potatoes (my kind of “instant dinner”). Easy, delicious, whole food. I call that a win!

Yesterday’s spin class was sweaty awesomeness. Beforehand, I worked and went to a group class at CrossFit. I did 4 chin-ups in a row — my new PR! YAY! Today in class I squatted more than every – 125 for 5 twice successfully! – but gosh it sucked. I’m uber tired now (I also worked all day and taught bootcamp) so you can forgive me for being random and all over the place with this post.

One thing I know that isn’t random and all over the place is my plan to apply to Journalism school again. Tomorrow I’m heading to campus to meet up with some of my writing profs just to ask them some questions about grad school, writing, and all that kind of stuff. My applications are due in December and January but I know at the rate I’m going, it’s going to be time to apply before I know it! I’m also teaching a bootcamp tomorrow but I’ve got no costume as of yet — any last minute suggestions?

How are you celebrating halloween/fall?
Have you ever baked with almond flour? 

Go go go


While I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t busy (?!), I feel like my days have been particularly long lately. I’m not complaining, but I am trying to channel this little guy…


Yesterday was no exception. I was up early to teach before the sun came up. The triathlon club spins are great and now that I’m only teaching two spin classes a week, I can actually look forward to them (I had 4 at the beginning of the year but when I took my job at lululemon I knew maintaining such a busy teaching schedule wouldn’t work. It sucked to say bye bye to these classes and I felt guilty/like a flake but I’ve got great coworkers who have helped me out for the semester! Amen for that!). Yesterday’s was no exception!

Before the class, my stomach was grumbling. I had some nuts with my coffee (I wonder if the Energizer Bunny runs on caffeine too?!). I’ve been brewing up pumpkin spice coffee from Target and it is deeeeelicious!


I had a life coaching session when I got home from the gym and then I threw together a quick breakfast (eggs, spinach, and potatoes with some cheese and bruschetta omnomnom!).



I worked a shift from 12 to 8 yesterday so I also packed up some lunch/dinner (kale, pork, and a sweet potato with almond butter and fruit!).


I hit up Superstore before my shift because I needed a pumpkin for a carving party that I’m uber excited for tomorrow. 20121027-092322.jpg


I also needed bananas and apples. I should have spent less than $10 in there but I bought myself a poncho (it’s huge, a blanket, and wonderful) so things got a little pricier. Whatever–it’s been pretty chilly out so it’s kind of perfect. And I can justify anything (yesterday was payday!). I had a little time to read before my shift started but I am really far behind in the book for tonight’s book club. That’s okay — I’m still planning on going!


When I finished my shift yesterday, I met up with Chelsea for a Starbucks date. I don’t see her as often as I’d like to but whenever I do she makes me so happy! If you haven’t checked out her blog, she’d probably make you: a) happy or b) hungry, too! I envy her foodie skills but it’s okay because I’ll just let her feed me her tasty recipes instead. Win.

When I got home I had a not so pretty but hit the spot combo of more pork, nut butter, and an apple before I crashed…hard.



I slept til almost 8am and my “maybe I’ll go to the gym” this morning quickly turned into a “I do not want another 15 hour day and I really need to shower at home” decision. I had energy though so I decided to do a quick workout (totally out of my ass) in my apartment while my coffee was a-brewin’!

It looked like this:

-warmup/mobility stuff (worked on my ankles, played with some pistol squats<–fail)

-for time:

50 squats / 5 pushups / 1 turkish get-up per side
40 squats / 5 pushups / 2 turkish get-ups per side
30 squats / 5 pushups / 3 turkish get-ups per side
20 squats / 5 pushups / 4 turkish get-ups per side
10 squats / 5 pushups / 5 turkish get-ups per side


+ tabata handstands (killing me this week!)

I felt accomplished and energized afterwards, which is an awesome feeling. I remember when I was more into spin class after spin class and swim after swim and run after run that I’d often feel wiped and like I should go back to bed or eat my entire kitchen after a session. I still love running and biking and swimming but I’m so glad I’ve got CrossFit and this kind of working out in my routine now! I’m hoping to get to a yoga class tomorrow night and then my week will be complete ;)!

I was hungry after my mini sweat session though, so I ate another breakie of eggs and spinach but this time with bananas, dried fruit, nuts, and nut butter. Yum!


Now I’ve got an hour before work and my energizer bunny is coming out. I am really tempted to go shopping (Christmas is coming!) but I think I’ll start my laundry, vacuum, and drink more coffee instead. 🙂 Tonight is book club which means I’ll probably crash again tonight. The freelancing assignment I’m working on and some other writing I want to get done will just have to wait–I’ve got Thursday off next week so I’m thinking of turning off all electronics and writing until I have drafts…whatever works, right?

Have an awesome weekend!

Falling, failing, fun

; Starting a blog might be the hardest part of the writing a blog process. That or knowing that complete strangers are reading all about you. Or maybe that people you sort of know might REALLY know you. Actually, that part’s cool. That being said, I’ve been a bit…inconsistent?…with my posts lately. Apologies. I’ve been a bit…inconsistent?…with just about everything lately. My laundry. My writing. My eating. My journalling. I sense a pattern. I was wondering to myself whether it was the not blogging that was making me go crazy (i.e. feel like I don’t know where my days are going, feeling unaccomplished, feeling like I’m eating like a monster) OR if it was the being off track that was keeping me from blogging. I really don’t hide much. But I don’t know if blogging is the reason I stay on track either. The answer is probably a combination of the two and the solution then is simple: blog and get back on track. Today was a busy day. I started things off with a session at CrossFit.

Summary: sweaty, fun, but frustrated by my doubleunder skills…or lack thereof.

I went home for the day to get some bloodwork done at my family doctor. I had fun seeing my mom, shopping a bit, etc. but this happened…

Not to demonize candy, M&Ms, or whatever, but I didn’t need these bad boys. And I certainly don’t need them readily accessible. I think they’ll be going away soon because after eating just about everything in sight since losing my grandma (that’s not to say that her loss was the stress that set me off or that it was the only reason or that there’s an excuse to go off the deep end) and I’m way too smart to do this whole bingeing/overeating/using food for anything other than nourishment process. I get having a treat here and there–maybe even every day–but I don’t think that right now I’m even enjoying the times I do have “treats”.

I went through some serious “Am I relapsing?” and “What’s healthy?” and “What if I’ve been wrong?” thoughts. I’m a sucker for self doubt. But I’ve caught myself, identified not only what I’m doing but also the thought processes behind it, and I see the way out: stop. Again. I’m too smart for this. Add to that “too strong” plus “too determined” and we’re back on track.

Also add to it a kickass group of people who cheer me up and cheer me on on a regular basis. This afternoon’s highlight was the member appreciation night at Gainsborough Family Chiropractic. I helped out with the festivities–beats, food, door prizes, awesome–and I feel so special to have been invited to be a part of it! I kind of get this feeling every time I get to tell someone I’m part of this “club” (tribe? cult?)…special! Tonight I got to meet some more people who are part of the LBD group and a lot of practice members and new friends. Like I said, I’m surrounded by awesome people.

I’m excited for more events that are coming up soon with these folks. I’m jumping in on book club this weekend–we’re reading “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. I’m telling all kinds of people about the free class at CrossFit next week! There’s another Eat By Design seminar coming up which means another 30 day challenge. I think that’s a good thing for me. My failures and successes with all of this are moving me forward and are teaching me more and more that I am capable of being fit, healthy, awesome, above and beyond… 🙂 The failures aren’t easy, but the progress is worth it. Being off track for the past whirlwind of a week or two is just part of that…and it’s not been that bad. The times I’ve had some grains I’ve felt groggy and gotten a headache. I ate yogurt the other day and it was a little much for me all at once…maybe I need to try it again or ease into the probiotics or accept that it doesn’t actually agree with me. The candy and the chocolate and the junk is silly–that stuff has a place but it shouldn’t be nightly when I’m clearly feeding things besides hunger (and if I am hungry I can eat real food!). Lessons… Before I face plant into my computer, I think I’ll wrap this up! I’ll be up early tomorrow to teach spin, catch up with my life coach (it’s been too long…I’m jazzed for my session), and get organized for a busy weekend. Apologies for there being no real direction with this post…but it’s been a long (albeit awesome) day…but here’s some cheese to make it all better:

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.

; ;


I’m not promising to blog more but the simple thought that the 30 day challenge was just a way to start a life challenge and that I’m still in that process reminds me that checking in is easy and helpful … AKA talk to you soon!


I’m not sure how it’s after 9pm right now, but it is…

Today flew by.

I had an awesome massage (side note: I’m pretty sure my massage therapist is my favourite person right now–hilarious AND good at her job!), ran some errands, baked up (and ate a shit ton of) pumpkin granola, taught a sweaty bootcamp, and painted my nails after my earlier post.


Tonight was Life by Design 101. I took a friend along with me and had dinner with my mentors, friends, coaches–whatever you want to call ’em!–from Gainsborough Family Chiropractic tonight. Not only was it delicious…



…it was also a great chance for me to get re-inspired and re-focused.

I think the last little bit has been stressful and I’ve had a tough time dealing with stress, losing my grandma, and just adjusting to this year not being in school. But I took away the reminder to FOCUS ON WHAT’S STRONG, NOT ON WHAT’S WRONG. I don’t have any desire to go back to being one of those people who complains all the time or who doesn’t have an “I’m awesome” answer for “How are you?” or some ideas for “What gets you out of bed in the morning?”.

On that note, I’m choosing to focus on my progress over the last few months…

  • loving CrossFit, trusting that doing a fraction of the “cardio” that I used to force myself through (in favour of spinning and trail running and hiking to keep moving as I please) and feeling strong and fit and like I’m making some serious progress
  • focusing on whole foods and becoming increasingly aware of the ways I try to use food that don’t serve it’s intended purpose (a whole lot of words for “moving closer yet to intuitive eating”)
  • filling my time and mind with books, blogs, podcasts, articles, and surrounding myself with people who make me feel better and who are on the same wavelength as me
  • finding myself a full time job (I’m really happy to be back at lululemon!)
  • continuing to write–blogging and freelancing
  • working on my purpose (I know I’m “the best in the world” at bringing people together. I know I want to challenge the way people think about things–themselves, health, the world, etc. and I recognize that writing is a pretty kickass way to do that considering I actually enjoy it)

…which brings me to this BHAG that I have of being a force in the world of journalism. Here we go again, you’re saying. The regrets and the second guessing I had on Saturday over NOT being in journalism school are gone and replaced with curiosity and openness to the fact that writing is a passion of mine, something I would like to improve at, and as such a contender on the “what to do with my life” list. That being said, “what” to do is less important than “why” and there are so many options for me. I can keep writing and work on my skills on my own. I can take some more classes at Western to finish up my writing certificate. I can reapply to Journalism programs. I can look for an internship. The best thing? I can do all of this while I’m still working on everything else I love–training/coaching and working, developing, growing up…

Like I said, tonight was a much needed reminder to focus on what’s strong, not on what’s wrong. There’s no problem with having options–I’m confident that I can choose what I really want to do and what’s really right and not just go after opportunities or take something on for the security of it. That’s a pretty big jump from where I was last year at this time, scared shitless about what I’d do if I didn’t get in to J school, or where I was 6 months ago, scared poopless about what I’d do if I went through nutrition but couldn’t get an internship to be an RD. It’s pretty freaking awesome when you realize that you’re not destined to fail. It sounds pathetic–was I really that low in terms of self esteem?–but it’s just me being honest.

I don’t think I’m alone. I think the end of school is a big transition and fear is normal. I think a lot of people–graduates and “grown ups” alike–get stuck in this “I don’t know what to do” or “What if I fail?” kind of thinking trap, and it’s just that…a trap. We need to get back to the mindset that we SHOULD get out of bed every day and do something we love. If we’re not enjoying ourselves on a routine basis, it’s not working and we SHOULD dedicate some effort towards changing things and figuring out what WOULD make life a whole lot of fun. It’s a whirlwind when you’re chasing your dreams–as anyone who knows me can tell, I’m running around a lot–but it’s a fun one.

What works for me? Looking at myself as a heroine, a badass, a rockstar, a superhero…all awesome things…and then acting like it. It takes some faking–I’m repairing years of living with poor beliefs about myself and it’s a process–but it’s clicking. When you see yourself like someone who takes the world on, not someone who merely survives it, your whole perspective changes. Rather than someone who hopes that they’ll find a job so they can make money, worries about what they need to avoid to stay healthy, etc. etc. (focusing on what’s wrong or on what you want to avoid), you get to be someone who dreams and sets goals about what they want to do and about how amazing they want to be (strong thoughts!).

I think I just had a bit of an aha moment when I least expected it…funny how they happen!

What else works for me?

A hot drink and some super dark chocolate before bed…


What works for you?
Where do you focus on what’s strong? Where could you do a better job?

Rain rain go away

…or not.

Rain makes me happy, probably because it makes everyone else cranky and it reminds me how great it is to make your own sunshine.

Today I’m smiling because:

  • I ate chicken wrapped in bacon for breakfast.


  • I have a massage appointment this afternoon before bootcamp!
  • I get to hear Life By Design 101 tonight!

I’m particularly excited to be reminded of it all and inspired (it’s pretty much a guarantee). Lately I’ve been eating things that I probably shouldn’t, finding excuses, and not focusing on what’s important. Being healthy is simple!

Yesterday was busy. I started my day with muffins, a banana, and some almond butter — plus coffee, of course — before working the day away. I posted my goals while I was at work, which took giving up perfection/worrying too much. I also made sure that they were big and challenging enough to scare me and reminded myself that if you don’t fail at some of them, you’re not setting them big enough. So on there was a little something about being on the Today Show and publishing a book…big deal!


I bought lunch yesterday even though I’d packed my lunch to eat. I ate croutons, breadsticks I don’t even usually think about, and the dressing that was on the side. And I was distracted, texting and worrying about when I’d make it home to go to the doctors, get my car fixed, get to campus to pick up some stuff from the Gazette from last year, etc. etc. etc. Can you tell my mind was racing?



After work, I did one thing right: I made time to go to get checked at Gainsborough. And I felt a whole lot better after my power was turned on. I ran a few errands and then came home and ate my neglected lunch (salmon on salad with some nuts).


I taught spin last night and it was awesome but my stomach was way off. I blame it a bit on the big salad before-hand and on being seriously dehydrated. If i can do one simple thing for my health this week I need to drink more water. And that’s easy!

When I got home I was hungry so I ate a bit of chicken and some chocolate.


It’s these “bit ofs” that are bothering me lately. I’ve talked before about “sneaking”. The honest truth is that the other day I think I ate 5 squares of dark chocolate spread out over the day–but I only remember eating one. Hi distracted eating, cognitive dissonance, whatever. Hi, something I am not proud of. I’ve talked about my thoughts on not being able to stand still (i.e. there’s no sideways in life) so I’m determined to move in the positive direction this week. More water. Less chocolate (especially less chocolate standing up). More awesome.

That’s all kiddos. This morning I had a sweaty session at CrossFit. I upped my 5RM for deadlifts to 205. I think I’m on my way to the 300lb I wanna do within a year… :)! I’m also consistently getting 3 pullups in a row…4’s coming! 🙂

Enjoy the weather!


Whirlwind weekend

My weekend involved a whole lot of:

  • working 🙂 – and weekends feel busy to me so the time went by quickly!
  • eating









  • worrying

It went something like this yesterday: wake up, feel guilty for falling asleep with chocolate on my face Friday night, feel too sore/tired to train, watch the Today show instead, notice that Jenna Wolfe is jacked and want to be her, begin wondering if I should have taken the acceptance to Columbia, miss my gramma, realize it’s time for work, walk there to chill out, have a fun day, come home, resume freaking out, have a good heart to heart with my mom, work up the energy to go to my gal pal’s wine and cheese birthday celebration, cheer up thanks to chit chat (CrossFit and chiropractic even came up), come home, decide that I can be whatever I want to be and I’m going to be a good one, sleep.

Today was much less dramatic than yesterday. I think I got through whatever I needed to yesterday, realized that if I was meant to go to Journalism school last year I still would be in another year and decided that reapplying would be easier and I’d only be a stronger candidate down the road, remembered that I love what I’m doing right now and that I’m on a “vision quest”, and then occupied myself accordingly today. I joined in on the fun at Strongman Sunday at CrossFit. It was fun today–we did some Jefferson deadlifts:

This is my twin.

followed by some Steinman squats (these I was not so…compatible?…with) some grip strength work, a tug of war faceoff, and death by frontsquats (1st minute 1 squat, 2nd minute 2, 3rd minute 3…13 minute 13, 14 minute DIE). My mom picked me up (I ambitiously ran the 6km to the gym, all uphill ;)!) and we spent the afternoon together. Coffee, a bit of shopping, chit chatting…just the mother daughter time I needed today. Now I’m just waiting on these guys (bacon wrapped chicken thighs…omnomnom) to finish…


before I head to a staff meeting.

Tomorrow I’m working all day and then am looking forward to CrossFit and teaching spin. It’ll be a long day to start the week (I’ll leave at 7:30 and get home at 9, probably)…but full of good stuff. Luckily I have Tuesday and Wednesday off to get my errands and chores taken care of. I can’t believe it’s the end of October already!

Happy Sunday/start to the week!

And tah-dahhhhh…


Normal…or not


I’m just checking in real quick before I head to work, but I had a thought today. Dr K sparked this one, but it’s something that got me thinking back to a process I’ve gone through to redefine “normal”. 

I am at a point where a differentiation between common and normal happens on a regular basis. Just because it’s common to be unhappy doesn’t mean it’s normal. Our default is happy. Just because it’s common to be down on your body doesn’t mean it’s normal. Our bodies are awesome–we should love them! Just because it’s common to be injured, sick, feeling blah doesn’t mean it’s normal. We should feel amazing–our default is health!

This kind of thing.

For a long time I worried that I wasn’t “normal” yet. That my eating and exercise habits were still out of whack after my eating disorder.

I thought eating things people would eat at dinner time in the morning made me “weird”…



Even this afternoon I thought that it wasn’t “normal” to eat avocado pudding for lunch…20121019-140834.jpg

I thought maybe it wasn’t normal to want to spin in the morning (and loving every minute of it) and do crossfit in the afternoon. Or that it wasn’t normal to be excited that we were doing Fran with burpees instead of pullups. Normal or not, the excitement was stupid. Ouch.

But the truth is, just cuz these things aren’t common doesn’t mean they’re not normal. Deciding that something needs to be “normal” sets you up for living according to what someone else says you should be doing. This goes for how you should exercise. How you should eat. How you should spend your money. Etc. etc. the list goes on.

The truth is, you decide what’s normal. Start doing what you really want to do, what really works, and what really feels good and there’s no need to worry about whether it’s normal or not. Regardless of whether everyone else is doing something, living on your own terms is normal–at least if you want to be happy! Somewhere along the line we get lost and look outside of ourselves to be told what we should be doing. It’s easy to assume that what’s common is normal, but when society is out of whack (and I think we can all agree that especially when it comes to health and happiness, the general population isn’t doing so well…), that’s a really dangerous assumption. It also takes the responsibility off of you and lets someone else dictate what you do. It’s nice then to blame something outside yourself if you end up unhappy, a failure, unsuccessful, whatever. But the honest truth is, it’s always up to you!

When I was a kid, I had a huge poster in my room with a dalmation on it. The spots on the dog were rainbow stripes and the cheesy tagline was “Dare to be different.” I have long since gotten rid of the poster, but I keep a card on my wall to remind me…


It’s not a surprise that this thing caught my eye today and it’s not a surprise that the less I’ve cared about what other people are doing and started taking ownership of what I’m doing, the happier I’ve been. It’s a hell of a lot easier to like yourself when you’re answering to you…

Moral of the story (I’m going to be late for work): Dare to be different. Common isn’t normal. Take responsibility for yourself. 





I don’t think anyone would describe the trip home as “short” but today’s trek flew by. My sister and her husband are chatty and that certainly helps. With all the family dysfunction fun, we had plenty to talk about.

But seriously, the trip did go quickly. We hit the road just after 8 and made a few pit stops.

I packed lunch (ham, kale, and an apple) and snacked on rice cakes.


When I got home, I quickly tossed my stuff into the laundry basket (laundry is not a priority–my massive wardrobe means I can be lazy on that front) and headed to Gainsborough. I missed my second family and though I certainly felt “blah” when I walked in, I left feeling a bit clearer and back to my good old awesome self.

I went to CrossFit and, stiff as I was, trained. Luckily it was a fun group! We did some jumping, slamming medicine balls, etc. and then lifted (bench press and front squats). I worked up to 85lbs for both (3 sets of 5) and maybe maybe maybe next time I do front squats I’ll “love” them like some of my friends…here’s to hoping! I do love skipping…and our WOD today (200m run, 35 double unders (or 70 skips), 15 KB swings) was full of it. I managed to get my double unders going consecutively for the first time today…so I took a lengthy 9:23 to do the workout…and whipped myself and failed hard on the jumping. That’s okay. Afterwards I got into a better rhythm. Practice makes perfect. Adding double unders to the list of things I want to master–pistol squats, kipping pullups, handstand, rope climbs. Gosh I love CrossFit. 🙂

In the car, I snarfed some nuts to tide me over to dinner.


After my shower, I had a quick salad (kale, turkey, mayo, nothing special). It’s good to be home!


My priorities for the night are getting to bed early (I teach the triathlon club spin at 6:30am tomorrow!), making a playlist for the class, and journalling. One thing I’m sure of–even if we get “off track” and feel out of it, it doesn’t take much to get back “on track”. All I needed was a couple gentle reminders, a visit to my friends at GFC, a training session, and I’m feeling more like myself already. 🙂

Even though it’s technically just about the weekend, I’m just gearing up to go back to work. I missed lululemon and I’m excited for my shifts this weekend–they’ll go fast since we’re busy, I work with great people, and I really like working. I’m hoping to get plenty of sleep, see some friends, and get my apartment in order this weekend too! Exciting, huh?

What are your plans for the weekend?
How do you get back on track?



Yesterday was exactly what it needed to be — filled with family, tears, laughter, memories, etc.

The funeral was beautiful and sad and like I said–everything it needed to be. Lots of friends and family came for the visitation, funeral, and the burial.

I wanted to share a poem that they read during the funeral…

The Oak Tree

by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You’ll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you
I’m stronger than I ever knew

My grandma was a firecracker, so the stories we heard about her were always entertaining. She was also sweet, generous, and all kinds of awesome.

Yesterday was tough.

It was busy. In the morning I had a snack and then went for a workout. I ended up at a park in Lewisburg that had a whole area set up for workouts. It was pretty cool–not that banging my head on monkey bars, getting funny looks from parents whose children I’m scaring–for once. 🙂 It was cold and spooky, though, so it was a good thing I was using socks. I also played on the tennis courts–suicides anyone? — and did tabata something else (8 rounds x 20 seconds on/10 seconds off each for pullups (jumping), squats, pushups, and sit ups). Yowzer.






When I got home, I had a quick lunch before we started the day’s stuff.



My gramma’s dinner was just what she would have wanted–people drinking (i.e. coming out of their shells), plenty of hot food, and a simple party.






I ate a lot, laughed a lot, cried a lot. Unphotographed: chocolate. It’s a given. I’m not going to miss being in close proximity to a tower of carbs (pies, buns, chocolate, candy, cupcakes, brownies, you name it) and while the fat kid in me might’ve come out a bit this week, I know focusing on family and bonding and being here while I’m here was the most important thing. So in that way, I’m sad that we’re packing up today, but I miss my “family” at home and am craving some routine.

20121018-073247.jpgNow that breakfast is down the hatch (eggs, banana, trail mix, peanut butter, some milk and COFFEE!), it’s time to pack up. 😦

See you soon (and by soon I mean a hella long drive). I was hoping to read a lot more than I did on the drive down but my stomach apparently was having none of it. Maybe today will be better!

Happy Thursday.