Today’s been a weird day.

It started with a ridiculously cold nice run in Springbank with Bill. The loop is about 7.5 km and we ran it in just under 45 minutes–but held a conversation the whole time. Except for being chilly, I felt awesome on the run and enjoyed having company! One thing I’ve learned about running–it’s a great way to chat and to catch up and to get out and about.

After the run, I threw together some leftovers with a sweet potato (with almond butter) and kale. I also had a banana!


I also had some fudge!


Before I headed to work today, I wandered aimlessly through the mall for a while. It’s not really my fault–I had to park eons away from lululemon–but I did enjoy the people watching. It’s almost like people weren’t showered with gifts yesterday the way they were out in hoards shopping today. Add to it that there was an impending blizzard and I won’t lie–I think there were some crazies out today! The shift was fun and went by fast, even though I stayed late to help close well into the snowy night! 🙂

On my break I ate some snacks (an apple and a bag of carrots) plus the meat off of some schmammmmwiches we were provided for sustenance. Omnomnom.



When I got out, I had a slow drive to my apartment. I tried to get a photo of the snow but I’ll just sum it up: it’s coming down! And I’m a baby when it comes to winter and especially winter driving, so I was glad to be home.


I was also ravenous so a pretty unexciting plate of kale and turkey filled me up.


…by filled me up I mean sort of filled me up. The banana dessert (by dessert I mean bowl with a banana, coconut, and cashew butter with chocolate chips) I tossed together afterwards did the rest.


Lucky, since I made a gal at work some chocolate bark and would probably be eating it all right now if I wasn’t satisfied.


I’m feeling absolutely tired and ready for bed. I forgot to add in that I decided today was as good as any to go cold turkey on coffee. That being said, I had two teas this morning because I’m not really into going into full withdrawal. I expected headaches without caffeine so I think easing into this is a good idea. Two teas instead of multiple large mugs and/or cups of coffee is certainly a win. Easing off of coffee (or at least getting to a point where I drink more water than I do coffee ;)!) is something I keep saying I “want” to do. It’s something I put on my list of “health” things that I’d like to see myself achieve in 2013. I like the idea of starting your resolutions now if they matter so it’s about time I get down to business on this one.

That being said, you’ve been warned: if I’m weirder than normal a bit off the next time you see me, you’ll know why. If you see me with my face pressed against the window at Starbucks, please offer to drink a tea dirty water with me.

Christmas Clarity

Happy Boxing Day to you.

I hope you’re all waking up with happy hearts–and bellies–and are looking forward to whatever it is you have planned today. I am going for a run in Springbank, working on my apartment, and working this afternoon. I’m a bit nervous for what the mall (especially the parking lot) will be like today! I’ve never done boxing day shopping in London but I’m sure it will be busy and people will be out hunting deals. Hopefully by lunchtime when I start my shift, there’s a lull in things and I can find a parking spot. The weather’s promising to make things interesting too…

Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 7.35.51 AM

Luckily, I’m not in the mood to elbow anyone for a good deal today. I’ve boxing day shopped with my family before but particularly this year since I’m packing and trying to embrace a less is more kind of approach to things, I’m not looking to buy anything–even if it IS super cheap!

Santa did a good enough job of spoiling me with nice things yesterday. My sister knitted me headbands to match the circle scarf she made me last year. I got the rose gold watch I was drooling over–plus some bling bling to match it! I got goodies in my stocking–candy and nail stuff and makeup–and plenty of penguin-themed things. I have some new books and another journal to add to my bookshelf and I git a few things for the kitchen. I also got new boots, which came in super handy when I trekked out in the white Christmas yesterday.




After breakfast and a bit of a slow morning–I think I had a vulnerability hangover or something and just needed to get it out, I visited some of my friends and took a break from everything at–you guessed it–Starbucks! I ate more goodies (mostly unphotographed), I saw my friends, and I got to spend time with my family yesterday.








When I got back to London last night, I felt so much clearer. A pretty big turnaround for 24 hours, I’d say. It was like driving out of the storm and driving into clarity, as cheesy as that sounds.

Texting, talking to, and messaging my friends helped. Journalling at Starbucks helped, especially with inspiration from Brene Brown.


That tidbit is talking about how guilt and shame compare and how guilt is a good motivator–it indicates when we’re living out of line with our values. Shame, on the other hand, is a terrible motivator.

In terms of my fudge up the other night and my emotional eating as of late, I think I was feeling shame–until I opened up about it. What opening up did was to take the shame out of it–there’s nothing to be ashamed of. What it didn’t do was make it any less shitty. I think that having a place to put some stuff out there and to share my struggles and victories is part of what makes blogging so amazing.

In my journalling, I reasoned:

Yes, I feel guilty for bingeing. I feel guilty for emotionally eating on a regular basis the last few months. When I don’t fit in my clothes I feel uncomfortable. But this is not the same as being ashamed. I can recognize that bingeing is bad–but that couldn’t be more different from thinking that I am bad. I can dislike what my body looks like without disliking myself.

Those realizations are ephiphanies because I for so long identified with being a problem, not having problems. Problems can be fixed. You will never fix yourself. Until you start thinking of yourself as inherently good and believing that you are meant to be healthy, happy, and exactly who you need to be, you’re going to look for ways that you’re wrong and you’re going to experience shame and low self esteem (the two seem to go hand in hand).

I have been asked before how you can try to make a change–lose weight, etc.–and like yourself along the way. It’s a tough question to be asked and I certainly couldn’t find an answer that satisfied me. Those epiphanies helped, though. We don’t need to be broken to improve. We don’t have to wait for things to be falling apart to make them better. If there is something we want to change, we can do it without thinking that we are the problem. We can step back and see that our overspending, overeating, or whatever it is that we’re trying to change is the problem, not ourselves. When you have higher self esteem, you can not only see that the problem is something that you can control and fix, it’s also something that you are capable of changing. It’s actually like change requires self esteem–if you hate yourself into a change, you don’t believe you’re worth it. If you can love yourself into it, you’re doing it from a place of genuine belief and values and conviction. You have to like yourself enough to believe you deserve the things you are trying to make happen in your life–and that’s a self esteem issue. 

I have to focus on the fact that I deserve all the good in the world (I know you’ve heard that before!) and that at my core, we are all healthy and happy and beautiful. I deserve to have a healthy relationship with food, to eat dessert for dessert (not a mindf*ck’s) sake, and to have strong relationships with my friends and family. I deserve the career of my dreams (which I create from scratch and make into something powerful and mindblowing), I deserve the man of my dreams, I deserve to go on vacations and to have nice things and all of the other things I included on my newly-published bucket list

To a friend of mine yesterday who was having a tough go with some family dynamics (’tis the season, right?) who mentioned something awesome that happened in the middle of a bunch of yuck, I asked, “Could this be a turning point?”

That’s kind of a big deal. What’s cool about having a blog and telling my story is that by sharing what’s going on and where I’m at, I can see where I’ve come from and I have this extra level of feeling like I am writing my story. Looking forward, I think this Christmas was like a turning point for me. It brought new clarity, renewed emphasis on what’s important (self-esteem, self-love, self-confidence), and totally shook me up–which is just what I needed. Now’s the time of the year when we get excited about our goals, our resolutions, and our dreams, so I think this is perfect timing, even if it took a shit storm of sorts to get me to those aha moments. In a very cheesy way, I’m really thinking about what I’d like the next chapter to be in my story and what I want to look back on in 2013 and proudly be able to say that I accomplished. What do I want to spend more of my time and energy on? What do I want to let go? What do I want to achieve? Who do I want to be? With answers to those questions, it gets easier to decide what to do and thus how to make those things happen. Kind of exciting, isn’t it?

PS: Okay, I just can’t resist…


Fudge and fessing up



Things I love:

  • bacon
  • aha moments
  • bacon
  • cheesy videos
  • bacon
  • bacon
  • bacon
  • Christmas

I had a bit of an “aha” moment when I was listening to this Brene Brown talk today on my drive home to Sarnia. She was talking about how we don’t need the “how to” but more we need to get at what’s standing in the way of us getting what we want. I thought it was funny and you’ll see why when I introduce the title of the book I’m currently reading…



But, first, I thought it was worth tossing in that if you need to escape from your inlaws for 20 minutes today, I highly recommend getting sucked into one of her videos. That one will do!


I wish that the “aha” moment had stuck with me when I was snarfing fudge and left clutching my stomach and rushing to the bathroom a few hours later.


So here it comes…an oldie but a goodie: I know that it’s not good for me. I know that I don’t want to binge. I know that I’m capable of taking care of myself in new ways and that alternative coping mechanisms exist. Yet I still “fall”.


What’s worse, this time around, is feeling like I “should know better.” If I’m conscious that I deserve better and am capable of better, what’s it feel like to fall short?




I’ve been dabbling in The Six Pillars of Self Esteem and How to Raise Your Self Esteem (see the irony—but what if it’s low self esteem that stands in my way of applying the “how to have a six pack” advice I stumble on ;)?) and Nathaniel Branden’s premise, which is that the route to heighten your self-esteem is via conscious living, is simple. But again, if I know that and I still fall, aren’t I a failure?


Luckily, posting a “Merry Christmas I’m too busy to blog” post going unconscious would be failure, while word vomit bringing consciousness to the situation is a win or at least a step towards a win.


In living consciously vs. unconsciously, Branden says, consider



  • Awareness, even when awareness is challenging, versus unawareness–>I’m here. I’m writing. I’m not going to bed, planning how I’m going to drop 20lbs by summer, or out drinking.
  •   Respect for reality, whether pleasant or painful, versus avoidance of reality–>Bingeing is bad for me on an emotional, spiritual, and physical level. Emotionally it stops me from feeling what’s really going on and suggests that I can’t cope with whatever is going on in my life. Spiritually, bingeing suggests that I will never get enough—or that whatever is good (and delicious) is temporary and if I don’t get it all in now, it will be taken away (scarcity, anyone?). Physically, the bingeing is resulting in me feeling sick and heavy and in my jeans and even my gym clothes not fitting—when you eat food you don’t need, it goes somewhere—and that somewhere is unfortunately NOT my boobs.
  • Self confrontation vs. self avoidance–>It’d be more comfortable for me to accept this as my normal. I’ve struggled this year to shift my beliefs from those based on not being enough (good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, fit enough, old enough, smart enough, nice enough, etc.) to those based on all of us being whole, deserving all the good in the world, and being hardwired to be happy and healthy at our core. Shifting your consciousness and raising your self esteem isn’t easy and it takes standing up to the shitty committee in your head that says that you don’t deserve it or that you shouldn’t even try.
  • Honesty with self versus dishonesty–>I’d be lying to myself (and to you) if I pretended like this wasn’t something that’s bugging me. I ate the chocolate bark off a whole forest in the last month and I have to admit that making myself sick—even if it’s from eating too many Paleo approved foods—is a step away from where I want to go. Justifying it as an attempt at intuitive eating or using the fact that I used to have an eating disorder as an excuse in any of this is a lie.


One thing I highlighted in my reading was a tip about taking responsibility for generating the causes that lead to the effects that you desire.


For what feels like forever, I focused on the effects. I wanted to lose weight, I wanted to have a successful career, I wanted to find a boyfriend. I didn’t want to focus on the effects or to take responsibility for them—I didn’t realize that this was what I needed to do! I am just starting to understand that if I want those things, I have to do the things to make them happen and that getting at why I’m struggling with the how-tos is a better use of my energy than beating myself up for not being where I want to be: why am I eating chocolate in mass quantities daily if I want to eat real food and be leaner?  Why am I spending money on yoga pants I don’t need if I want to become financially independent from my parents? Why do I say yes to so many offers when I want to fill my life with hell-yeses and leave space for the things I love to grow?


Another thing from my readings that I’m actively working on is some of the sentence completion stems that Branden offers.


After asking you to look at a few areas where you could benefit to bring more consciousness to, he gives the following sentence stems and suggests writing (rapidly) 6 to 10 phrases to complete each before moving on to the next one.

“The hardest thing about staying fully conscious here is–…”

“The good thing about not being fully conscious here is–…”

“If I were to stay fully conscious here,–“


In terms of my emotional eating/bingeing, I came up with the following:


“The hardest thing about staying fully conscious here is:


  1. Admitting that I’m upset
  2. Feeling whatever I’m trying to stuff down
  3. I’m used to having bingeing as an option
  4. Painting my nails, knitting, or texting a friend (options on my “alternatives” list) don’t cut it
  5. I don’t want to admit that I’ve been doing this again and need to stop
  6. I already feel like a failure


“The good thing about not being fully conscious here is:


  1. It confirms the old idea that I’ll never be good enough
  2. It gives me something to focus on besides what’s really up
  3. After a binge, the only thing I want to do is go to bed
  4. It feels comfortable
  5. I’m used to this feeling
  6. It makes it make sense that I’m alone


“If I were to stay fully conscious here:


  1. If I was still unhappy, it’d be for real
  2. I’d be able to find my ideal weight
  3. I’d have to admit that I still have problems
  4. I’d have to fix everything else
  5. I wouldn’t have an excuse
  6. I’d be the reason I’m unhappy
  7. I’d have more energy
  8. I’d be friendlier to the people in my life


…the exercise is something you’re supposed to do on a daily basis for a week. The consciousness you generate is to carry over into your daily life and part of the exercise is thinking about what that might do for you.


For me, the last list gets at it: if I wasn’t busy feeling yucky about eating so much chocolate this month, I’d have been nicer to the people I love. When you dislike yourself, it’s hard to believe that others would like you. If I wasn’t confirming that I am a failure or deserve to be fat, I’d be busy focusing on the fact that I’m amazing and am meant to be healthy and optimal and that my body will take care of itself and land somewhere healthy, happy, and hot. But I’d also be wiping away the “Yes, I should be paying my own rent but I’m still dealing with this bingeing stuff so I’ll focus on that” or the “I deserve to be successful but I still have this problem so I don’t  deserve it yet” bullcrap that sneaks into my thoughts now and again. The list shows me how bingeing serves me and starts to show me what I’m going to have to get over in order to leave this habit behind.


I think it’s absolutely necessary for me to add in that I’m fully aware that: a) I’m a bit crazy for sharing this, and b)  this is just a snapshot and for the most part, things are abso-freaking-lutely amazing in my world.

The rest of my day was great today–I got to connect with friends, I had a stellar workout at CrossFit before I came home, and I feel ridiculously loved.





It’s hard to share this yucky stuff because it feels almost like I’m letting all of the wonderful things get buried under this blechhhhh. My goal isn’t to be miserable and to focus on what’s wrong–my goal here is to share something and to bring it into consciousness and to create some accountability for myself. I want to be open with what’s going on so that others can see it and maybe connect with it.


I don’t know if this made sense or if this is something I should have kept in my journal. There was another part in the Brene Brown video about loving yourself along the way and seeing yourself in your story. That’s what blogging about this kind of thing does for me—gives me a chance to share something that a lot of people feel “shame” over. I know, though, that I’m not wrong for bingeing even if bingeing is wrong. If you didn’t watch the video, she says something along the lines of “Guilt—I made a mistake. Shame—I am a mistake.”


Even when I fudge up (literally), I have no shame.




xo and merry christmas


Food, fitness, fun

If you toss in some work and a bit of sleep (not quite enough), that’s the summary of my past few days: food, fitness and fun. Snarfing, sweating, and smiling. I could go on but I don’t want to lose the only readers I have won’t.

In photo form, here’s the food:












You can multiply the chocolate bark by about 230920392 and add in a host of goodies from the treat exchange on Wednesday which was fan-freaking-tastic.

In words, the summary is like this: I’m making sure I eat plenty of real food (save for a dinner of chocolate and wine one night–so kill me!). I’m applying a “This is OK” approach to things and am reminding myself that if I’m stressed, chocolate won’t fix things and bingeing won’t fix things, but neither will worrying about the fact that I “overate” or fell into an old habit of heading to the kitchen.

There are such more important things to spend our energy on besides hating our bodies, even if we think we’ve been overeating or feel like we are works in progress. FYI, we’re always going to be a work in progress. One of those better things?


Saturday morning, before a stellar day of team training with the amazing team from GFC, I met Jackie. 1000m row, 50 thrusters, and 30 pull-ups. 10:30 of pure yuck.


The other day, I bumped up my 3RM deadlift to 245. Considering my 1RM was 255 not too long ago, I’d say this is something worth celebrating!


Today’s Strongman Sunday was particularly festive on my part. We did a “12 days of Christmas” workout that went something like this:

It took me over 17 minutes and I was fastest…long! ’tis the season to be sweaty, I suppose!


Other awesome things from this week?

Getting gifted more and more for my birthday and Christmas (thanks guys!)20121223-212855.jpg





Going bowling–twice–and beating Christina.



Lots of red wine. 20121223-212926.jpg


Getting to celebrate the fact that Christina, a friend from GFC and CrossFit, got accepted to chiropractic college in New Zealand. I smell a trip coming on–after a period of mourning her leaving, of course!

Since this post is already a bit of a random mix of what’s been going on, here are some other things I’m looking forward to or am excited about:

  • the amazing day I spent yesterday with the team from GFC and all of what is going to happen in 2013
  • looking back on 2012 and setting some new goals for 2013 — I smell a reading list, some themes, a direction for my blog, and a new bucket list coming on
  • wrapping presents tonight and sleeping in tomorrow
  • spending time with family and friends this week
  • moving next weekend
  • 2013

Happy Christmas Eve eve! I’m off to get wrapping! 😀


Give it a rest

Well, well, well!

It feels like a long time since my last post, but it’s really not been. I think because I’ve been so busy working and am pretty darn tired, things feel extra long.

Yesterday’s closing shift was a long one. I had a snack and some caffeine before I started. 20121219-181907.jpg


My raging hunger sent me to the food court for dinner. You can’t win ’em all, but I tried to at least minimize the yuckiness and went with some chicken on a ceasar salad. I picked around the croutons and got on with it! 20121219-181916.jpg


When I got home after midnight my tummy wanted something so I had some chocolate before faceplanting into bed. It is what it is!

I woke up with a grumbling stomach (although it felt a little off, I won’t lie) so I had some eggs and a banana with almond butter before work.


Today’s shift was busy. My lunch break was a nice relief and I chowed down on some cabbage with mustard and oil, a sausage, and an apple.


Tonight’s dinner was enjoyed at home — I had a sweet potato with some spinach and goat cheese and a piece of salmon. It looks ugly because it was packed to be “on the go” but I made a decision (after much back and forth thinking) to come home instead of rushing to CrossFit and then to teaching and then to a cookie exchange straight from work.


My back and forth thinking came down to this: the days when I feel guilty for not training are the days I probably am letting my thoughts go in the wrong direction–towards compulsiveness that I worked really hard to shift away from. They’re the days when I need to wake up and get real and usually to slow the you know what down.

I spent a lot of my days in my eating disorder recovery telling myself it was not only okay but also healthy to take rest days. After years of compulsive exercise, I can remember struggling through one rest day a week, often bingeing or caving and going to the gym on the day I was “supposed to” take off. Not too long ago, someone asked me how I take days off without stressing over it now and I commented that “I just do,” because it’s something that has gotten pretty easy and natural for me.

But today, I danced back and forth between whether or not to work out–and it wasn’t a smooth dance but more like a back and forth mind racing oh my god what am I going to do I am so stressed about this and my jeans don’t fit but my thighs are big from squatting more than ever but my jeans don’t fit and I ate chocolate yesterday and wow this is tiring I should focus on folding these hoodies kind of dance.

My gym clothes were in my car, my dinner was packed, I was good to go. But this morning I felt more anxious than I have in a really long time. Checking in, I realized that I haven’t stopped to just be still in a really long time and there’s absolutely not a minute to get that in in the next week. ’tis the season to be spread too thin?

Sunday’s 3 workouts, Monday’s double dose, Tuesday’s class and run, plus working and trying to enjoy the season? That’s a tall order. Add in a shitty couple of sleeps and you can understand why I’m pooped. I don’t have toilet paper in my apartment, my laundry has been in the dryer for a day, and I feel like I’m getting snappy–all indications that I’m out of balance.

I hate shoulds and should nots, but let’s be honest: I should not complain about being stressed or busy if I’m bringing it on myself.

Yes, training is important. I don’t think we should give up our dedication to training over the holidays. I like the advice that you should make time for the things that are important for you and that keep you healthy–even if it ’tis the season.

That being said, the “don’t use the holidays as an excuse to get lazy” advice applies more to people who need to remind themselves to exercise three times in a week, not to people who need to remind themselves to stop exercising three times in one day.

Case in point, I need a rest day and a check in.

It’s always helpful for me to ask myself what I’d tell a friend or client in my shoes. In today’s case, I’d tell them to go home.

I’d assure them that rest days don’t make you fat, lazy, or out of shape. Rest days make you stronger.

I’d tell them that if missing a day ignites all kinds of stress in them, they’re dancing with compulsiveness. It’s one thing to love training, to be dedicated, and to miss it when you have to take a day off. It’s another to tell yourself some of the things I recognized as batshit crazy today:

  • “You shouldn’t take today off if you’re going to a cookie exchange.” — ACTUALLY, I’m going to the cookie exchange with a group of seriously awesome friends. The treats are just a bonus of the whole thing and doing a training session isn’t justification to eat things, nor is not exercising a reason to avoid them. Treats are treats. I don’t exercise to eat, I exercise to be strong and fit. I don’t eat because I exercise, I eat to live.
  • “You should just go–your workouts were easy yesterday.” — ACTUALLY, my workouts were exactly what they needed to be yesterday. I trust my training and I went for a run to zone out (which worked!).
  • “You look fat, how can you take a day off?” — I wore a down jacket to work today. Instant marshmallow. It has nothing to do with my size!
  • “Someone asked you if you were a size (BIGGER THAN I AM) today, the weight must be showing.” — But other people commented on how strong I’m looking–not just today, but yesterday and the day before. A lady in my spin class made a point of saying how she likes my class and how I look strong. I got a “you’re getting big” in response to my arms and lifting yesterday. I get a lot of “When I look at you, I see strong and fit.” So I’m going to focus on those and remind myself that the only opinion that really matters is the one I have about myself–and I know I’m stronger than ever and more conscious of ever that I need to work on believing that I am strong, fit, and powerful.

Okay, things got a little personal there, but that’s what this blog is all about. It works as therapy only when I’m open and out there and this is a huge learning opportunity. Yes, I love training. Yes, I look forward to my workouts every day. But exercise is a stress and needs to come in the right dose at the right time. To an exhausted body, it’s not worth it. To an exhausted mind, it might be a nice distraction but the truth is sitting down, lighting a candle, and folding that laundry is a far better use of my time. So tonight, I’m teaching bootcamp like always–me as the instructor and trainer and not participant. I’m going to a cookie exchange and promising myself to treat myself as the strong, fit, powerful gal I know I am (what would she do? focus on?) and am going to enjoy the company and the treats. I’m giving myself props for noticing a line of thinking that used to be my norm and switching the ticker tape. I’m doing what I know is the healthy, happy option. I’m giving it myself a rest!

Birthday, bark, and being busy

Hi there. My name’s Cheryl and I’m 24 years old. Whoah. Somewhere after falling short with fingers/toes to show my age, I ended up here. I can honestly say I thought I’d be in a very different place when I got here, but I’m in a pretty awesome place so how’s that?

Yesterday was exactly what I wanted from a birthday. I was busy! I worked in the morning.


When I got home I had a late lunch and worked a bit on organizing my apartment and made a new spin playlist filled with plenty of Britney (if I could ever justify it, it was going to be on my birthday!). There are a couple of songs I had to include (even if they’re not for spinning, just so I could listen to them in the car! ;)!).


After a visit to GFC and a cute little something from Cheri,


I made my way to CrossFit. Another something (a flax bag from the get together a few weekends ago) was waiting for me there. I am so special!


At the gym, we did a hella WOD with 50 each of burpees, pull-ups (I did jumping), push presses (I used the bar) and then Christina graciously invited me to do my birthday burpees on top of it all. Alright, I might have also been excited about them. At any rate, 98 burpees would be enough for some people, but I managed to rope her into coming to my spin class afterwards. What are friends for?!

When I got home, I had some leftover bacon-wrapped chicken thighs with steamed chard before I sampled the various barks I made earlier in the day. We’re having a treat exchange on Wednesday (I hope my bark survives)!  I chose my favourite and had a couple pieces before face planting into bed.





white chocolate with toasted pecans and cherries AND dark chocolate with toasted coconut and pecans = my favs!

After all that excitement, you’d think I’d have slept like a rock. Unfortunately, my mind was RACING and I woke up over and over again. I laid awake long enough and got frustrated so at 3am, I was up and at em. By 5 I had myself a snack and made my way to the 6am class at CrossFit.


We did oly lifting (snatches), pull-ups and ring dips (a somewhat poor showing on my tired part) and a 6 minute AMRAP of 5 box jumps, 10 pushups, and 15 squats. I got 7 rounds and was gassed after.

I took advantage of the morning and went grocery shopping. Since I work every day til Christmas Eve and have things planned for each night, I really don’t know when else I’ll get a chance to get in there. I impulse purchased a few things which made for my lunch/morning snack.


snausage, cheese, apple

This morning I got antsy and with a mind still racing, I laced up my runners and hit the trails. It sort of helped me calm down, but the real “oh crap” moment came during my life coaching session. I certainly am busy for a lot of the right reasons, but I also seem to be making myself busier than I need to be. We talked about a lot of things–money, food, purpose–and I checked in with the part of me that’s so frustrated. I clarified that I feel like I’m bringing shittiness upon myself when it comes to two big things: having my parents support (financial, in particular) and eating/my body. It feels good to be conscious, even if it’s uncomfortable to admit that in both of these ways, I’m resisting the permission to let myself (accept their help without beating myself up and telling myself that I’m not able to take care of myself for it, eat a piece of chocolate without eating 7 pieces and telling myself that I’m out of control). Awareness is the first step to action and I said “I’m so friggin’ aware!” but this is all part of the process.

I just had a little pick me up (bark, coffee) and am heading out the door to have myself a birthday (belated) massage before work. It’s going to take a lot of caffeine to keep me going today, I think! Word on the street is the closers have been at the store ’til nearly midnight these days so wish me luck–or bring me espresso. 20121218-131904.jpg

Birthday beginnings

Before I start singing happy birthday to myself (for real this time–I’ve been celebrating for a week BUT today’s the real day) or hi ho hi ho it’s off to work I go, I wanted to do something birthday themed.

Nope, not eat breakfast (but I did do that).


A year ago, I posted a list of 23 things I wanted to do in my 23rd year on my old blog.

Looking back at that list, I did a lot of the things I set out to do. I also changed my mind on some, totally dropped the ball on others, and am still working towards a few.

Here goes!

1)   Get into grad school for Journalism, or at least try my hardest and try try again if it doesn’t happen.

I got in.

2)   Graduate from Western with a BA Honors Spec in Kin (this is a given) and a Writing Certificate (this is going to take some work).

I got the kin part, not the Writing Certificate. I think I’m 0.5 courses off.

3)   Pitch a story to a magazine or website every single week (remember that comment about wanting to puke?). Hope that at least one gets picked up so it’s worth it, or look at it as part of learning to deal with rejection!

Nope. But I wrote a lot! Still winning!

4)   Start making video blogs! Inspired by “Ask a Monican” at Run Eat Repeat.

Does my testimonial count? I think it’s a way to ease into things!

5)   Organize my blog, giving it menus (recipes, workouts, inspirational links, etc.) and setting up a separate email to be associated with it.

I got hella organized—and jumped ship to this blog! And while I feel like a revamp might be in order, I’m gonna give myself props: I love this blog!

6)   Go to the 2012 Healthy Living Summit.

In the battle of HLS vs. Tough Mudder, Tough Mudder somehow won. Somehow I didn’t think getting shocked repeatedly would suck so hard.

7)   Run a sub 1:45 half marathon (improvement of just under 1 minute and 30 seconds from my first half this fall!)

Nope. Stay tuned.

8)   Run a trail race.

Also nope. Also stay tuned.

9)   Do the 24 hour bike ride in Michigan in June (hardest part? convincing my friends).

I blame my friends.

10)                 Run a sub 45 minute 10k. (PR was 0:46:52.70 in October ’10).

I ran some 10kms…but they were not this fast!

11)                  Bike across the country.

OR across the prettiest part of the country? And in another country? My cycling experiences were amaze-balls.

12)                 Go on an NOLS trip. Perhaps get my Wilderness First Aid cert and have a 1212198th backup plan for my life.

Still a bucket list item.

13)                 Get a boyfriend. Love is in the air. ha-ha. I know, you can’t hurry love. Whatever, Supremes.

Oh nelly.

14)                 Run Around the Bay…which means I get to be a runner!

Poo. This conjures up “remember that injury…” thoughts. Boo.

15)                 Get my period. (Wow, you guys appreciate honesty, right?)

BINGO! It’s not back with a force, but it did make an appearance!

16)                 Find my happy weight and decide if that’s a number (not likely) or a feeling and how I know.


17)                 Give a speech about eating disorder recovery.

I talked about it a lot, but not formally.

18)                 Make 5 people sign up for their first road race. (Anyone interested in having me chase them through one? I’m a lot of fun, ya know!)

I think I got a couple.

19)                 Do a headstand in yoga…without the wall.

I still haven’t done one in the middle of the room without a spotter, but I can do it without touching the wall. Must be a mental thing…must need to add this to this year’s list!

20)                Do five pull-ups in a row.

4! I’ll take it! 3 kipping ones. Winning!

21)                 Go to a hot yoga class in a bra and shorts (aka come to terms with my “tummy”).

DONE! And I ran this way.

22)                 Learn how to cross country ski.

Mother Nature made this one tough last year but I will certainly not complain about a mild winter.

23)                 Go meatless on Mondays.

…about that.

And now, let’s look forward. 24 things for when I’m 24:

  1. Get after my life coaching certification.
  2. Beat a running PR — either my 1/2 marathon (1:46:30) or my 10k (46:38) will do fine.
  3. RX Fran.
  4. Place top 10 in a trail race.
  5. Write an article for the CrossFit Journal.
  6. Do free-standing headstands AND handstands. Thank you, yoga and CrossFit, for putting my 23 year old version to shame!
  7. Coach CrossFit.
  8. Save enough money to plan a trip to New Zealand to visit Christina, surf, and make life plans. 🙂
  9. Rock climb outside.
  10. Do a CrossFit competition of some sort.
  11. Double my blog readership.
  12. Get business cards. Do you think someone can make me a large enough one to list my smorgasbord of jobs?
  13. Bike in the mountains.
  14. Finish my writing certificate from Western, or at least get the ball rolling on it.
  15. Start paying my own way. Thank you Gail Vaz-Oxlade for being my guru.
  16. Go camping/hiking somewhere wondrous. Rockies, perhaps?
  17. Go surfing/swim in the ocean!
  18. Bike from Jasper to Whistler.
  19. Switch to tea for a whole month.
  20. Start eating locally. I need to get my butt to the market more often. This should help!
  21. Start a professional website that incorporates coaching, my writing, and a blog.
  22. Cook/master the art of cooking new things from scratch: salsa, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, perogies (a family tradition).
  23. Learn to knit.
  24. Make v-logs, give talks, and be on podcasts.

Sweaty Sunday

Today was a long, awesome day.

I was up at the crack of dawn (nightmares suck) so I blogged, had  breakfast, and organized some stuff for my move (countdown: 14 days!) before anyone sane was awake.


Eggs, spinach, almond butter, coconut! MIA: banana!

I managed to squeeze in a quick run before I made my way to Strongman Sunday at CrossFit. It was pretty much pouring on me, but it’s ridiculously warm out so I will not complain! I ran for about 35 minutes with some intervals and some of the drills/skills work I picked up from all my CrossFit Endurance reading/exploring lately.


Soaking wet but smiling, I pulled my socks up and had a fun morning at the gym. 20121216-223647.jpg

Things got awesome:

  • Christina blew my mind lifting
  • I lifted the log overhead for the first time
  • A big group of us did Jenna’s birthday burpees with her
  • I did 3 kipping pullups (or something like them) in a row again

After the gym and a quick snack I met my mom for some birthday celebrations.


There were pedicures, coffees, cakes, gifts, and time to chat. The quality time was what I needed most, but the rest of it was the icing on the cake.




I’m special! I also have a new iPod nano and some saweet new Christmas decor. 

Before my birthday cake, I had a random dinner of chili from my freezer (I’m trying to eat through it!) and a sweet potato. Omnomnom.



Turtle cake. So. not. paleo.

After my mom left and I did some organizing around my place, I headed to yoga. It took reminding myself: people eat cake and go to yoga. People eat cake and go on with their life. So I did! Now I am ridiculously zen and too relaxed to care that I’m ending this post with a picture of a lamp.

20121216-223744.jpgI love lamp.

Okay, but seriously, how cool is this?! It’s making me even MORE excited to move (there’s not an overhead light in my new room).

My goals for the night = face plant and/or make a list of 24 things to do while I’m 24. Any suggestions?

Just for now

The picture’s funny. The issue’s not.

If you know me/have been following my blog, you’ll know I don’t think we should use the scale to measure our self worth.

In summary, a number on a scale is just an outcome (and it’s often misleading).

If I’m eating healthy and exercising and taking care of myself, I don’t want to weigh myself. I already feel awesome. I already know that I’m doing the right thing. I don’t need something to confirm that.

If I’m using food as a coping resource or bingeing, restricting or overexercising, or otherwise not taking care of myself, the scale is tempting. Maybe I’ve been able to “get away” with eating a jar of nut butter or a package of chocolate chips in a week. To that I say: You can get away with murder, but that still makes you a murderer.

When I catch myself wanting to hop on a scale, I know something’s up. Yucky. Consciousness and awareness might be the route to change and to happiness but that doesn’t make them easy or comfortable.

This is the icky part: I know that I’ve gained weight. I know that some of it is muscle, I know that some of it I probably needed, I know that weight is just an outcome. I also know that I have been coping with a lot, and coping a lot with food.

Without my scale, I have certainly done a better job of owning my actions instead of focusing on the outcome. A blog post I read today about how approaches of “just for now”  when it comes to our weight and health goals are damaging came to my inbox at a creepily necessary time.

I put on my jeans today–ones that used to be too big, of course–and couldn’t do them up. This isn’t new. I’ve worked my way up a bunch of sizes–and it’s been okay because for the most part, I was doing a much better job of using food for food. I’ve, as you know, been having a tougher time with not eating chocolate all day every day this last little bit so it’s no wonder I’m not slipping into things.

It’s also no wonder I feel like poop about it.

I had thoughts about how I could “give up _________” just ’til I fit into THOSE jeans. “They’re not even the smallest still kicking around in my closet,” (I’ve gotten rid of my smallest) I tried telling myself.


The way I treat myself now needs to be the way I treat myself always.

Even if my default has been “just for now” thinking, it’s a recipe to stay on the weight roller coaster. Just as fixating on a certain number on a scale and saying that you’ll __________ when you get there is like screaming at yourself “YOU’RE TOO FAT TO DESERVE __________,” using a pair of pants to do the same is a similar mindf*ck.

Looking back, I wish I’d done a lot of the things I put off, telling myself I’d do them when I was skinnier. Looking forward, I want to live “as if”–focusing on what I really want to do, really deserve, and really need to do. Regardless of what the scale–or your pants–tell you, you need to do the same things. It’s tempting to set goals about your weight, put off living until you achieve them, and tell yourself that you’re doing something healthy. Something healthy, in my mind, is figuring out why you don’t think you deserve those things.

Example: Losing 20lbs won’t make me deserve a boyfriend (to be happy, to be whatever). If I don’t think that I deserve that boyfriend (or happiness, or whatever) now, that’s a self esteem issue. What’s lucky is that the self esteem issue might very well be driving me to eat emotionally or to otherwise not take care of myself, but what I need to address is the self esteem issue, the emotional eating, and the not taking care of myself–the weight will follow.

FYI, it’s a lot easier to go on a diet than it is to work on your self esteem.

That being said, here’s a thought:

“Self acceptance my require that we make real to ourselves thoughts, feelings, or actions that disturb our equilibrium; it may shake up our “official” self concept. Self responsibility obliges us to face our ultimate aloneness; demands that we relinquish fantasies of a rescuer.” – Nathaniel Branden

The rescuer isn’t being smaller. It’s not being fitter. It’s not fitting in a certain pair of jeans. It’s not a diet. It’s not a training regime. It’s not a person, a hidden condition, or some other saviour. It’s my own conscious determination to do what I know is right: to eat food for fuel’s sake, not when I need a hug; to train hard for fitness’s sake, not to make up for eating; to live on purpose and in line with my values.

Going forward, I think I need more focus on the  “I deserve all of the good in the world” mantra that I’ve been steadily moving towards this year–not a new year’s resolution to stop eating emotionally or to lose weight or to “fix myself” in any way. With all the festivities of the season and all the food and all the history for me, moderation is a toughie. Allowing myself a treat when I feel like I should have requires me to check in: “Do I really want this?” “What would an accepting person do right now?” etc. etc. Deciding, owning, and getting on with things comes next.

Consciousness, acceptance, responsibility–these are the routes to self esteem and to feeling powerful and in control–not fitting in skinny jeans!

Where are you applying “just for now” thinking?
Where do you need to take some more personal responsibility?

Working for the weekend

I am indeed working for the weekend, and it’s been a fun one!

Yesterday I had short shift to get things going.

After an afternoon spent dawdling, I did a CrossFit workout with some friends from work (40 each of double unders, wall balls, kettlebell swings, lunges, OH squats, box jumps, pushups, double unders in ~11 minutes) and then got totally zen with a group of awesome friends and people from work at Yoga Shack. It was a perfect class and exactly what I needed.

After some friendly peer pressure was exerted, I got dressed and headed to a friend from CrossFit’s birthday celebrations! We took a birthday girl photo (I have never celebrated my birthday for so long), drank some vino, had some birthday bark, and they went downtown while I stayed up too late on interest working on my bucket list board went to bed.




This morning I set my alarm and got up for the 9:00 class at CrossFit. I haven’t done many Saturday classes because I usually work too early to make it on time, but today was a rare opportunity!

Saturday’s are conditioning day so there was nothing too heavy. We took a few minutes to work on kipping pull-ups. I put 3–okay, 2.5–together today for the first time.

My hands aren’t happy but I am.


And there are solutions:

  • more chalk

  • harden the heck up — my hands look much better than these (gross warning)


Our WOD was Helen, one of the more known CF ones. I could easily RX the kettlebell swings and I could do the runs no problem — I feel fast in my socks ;)! — but I can’t wait til I can do kipping pull-ups consistently! I’ve got work to do but they’re coming. 🙂 I was killing myself to beat Ethan–and I did. I’m not competitive at all, in case you were wondering. 20121215-201310.jpg

If I’ve rockstar-ed my workouts lately, I’ve not been so awesome about snapping photos of my eats. That being said, you can predict: meat, veggies, fruit, nuts/nut butter, sweet potatoes chocolate. And COFFEE!





Tonight I have plans for a movie–laundry, organizing for my move (2 weeks!), etc. can wait. 🙂 I’ve got a run, possibly a visit to the gym if I’m feeling extra motivated (I know someone who has some burpees to do and might want some company…) and then an afternoon with my mom (pedicures, anyone?) planned. I might also toss in some yoga since it’s my last day off for a week! Bring on the fun.