Try to look on the bright side–friends, pinterest, and being hurt

One of the things I love about fitness is that it brings us together with people we might not have otherwise met. Last year at CrossFit, I met my friend Katie, who has been through many miles and Clif bars with me since. Even though we met at the gym, we realized that we are both the kind of person who wants to run to and from the CrossFit workout and who thinks the seat of a bicycle is a fine spot to spend a Saturday. Katie is always giving me someone to chase and her first Ironman this year kept me believing in my first half Ironman–and her advice got me through a lot of the things I am not sure I would have thought of along the way!

Now, a little cranky with my slow comeback from my back injury last month (I dropped a barbell on my back–the side, down low–which has affected my leg if I try to run, then my back when I did a little too much yoga, maybe, and now is giving me pins and needles at school when I sit for long stretches, and is generally keeping me from being as active as I normally am), Katie has proven to have a little life coach in her too. I didn’t ask her if I could share the text she sent me last night to cheer me up, but she is generally one of the most encouraging folks I know, so the world needs this and I’m sure she’ll understand:

“I think your injury might be getting you down. So I decided to make you a list of benefits of being injured. I’m sure you’ll consider yourself lucky after reading it.:

1) A perfect manicure lasting two weeks!
2) Hair that looks great 2 and maybe even 3 days after a wash
3) Callus free hands (see above perfect manicure)
4) Less time spent doing laundry!!
5) A chance to wear your ‘real clothes’ not just your latest lulu’s.
6) Less time showering and training = more time to spend with people you love!

And the best part of all…building up the desire and drive to train your way through the winter into next season!”

It was too good not to share, and it definitely got me out of my little pity party. Of course I still want to be training, but I remember again that the reason I train is not because my worth depends on it–but because it makes me feel good! Right now, it doesn’t. So it’s time to rest. It’s simple, even if it’s not easy.

Beyond Katie’s sweet text message, I also have been turning to pinterest during my breaks that might otherwise have been filled with workouts. Here are some of the fruits of my labour, specific to injuries and staying positive. I’ll leave out the ones of chocolately peanut buttery goodies or outfits that also seem to lure me in!

gym cute injury

truth lion injury

bulldog adorable

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positive pants

I will never be happy for an injury, but at least I can take Katie’s advice and try to find my positive pants every day! Yay for the interwebs, but more importantly, yay for friends.

What helps you get through injuries?
How do you stay positive when you’re feeling down about something?

Turning to Dr. Google: On sane self-diagnosis

I have a (kind of bad) habit of self-diagnosing on google. Lately, my searches have included things related to my back injury (from dropping a barbell on it in August), to the (likely associated) IT band pain I’ve been having when I try to run, to exercise-induced asthma and bronchitis, to obsessive compulsive disorder. There’s something in me that wants to find an answer.

doctor google

I can remember vividly the kind of comfort I felt when I came across websites about the Female Athlete Triad. According to good old Wikipedia, this is “a syndrome in which eating disorders (or low energy availability), amenhorrhoea/oligomenorrhoa, and decreased bone mineral density (osteoporosis and osteopenia) are present. …[T]his condition is seen in females participating in sports that emphasize leanness or low body weight.” At the time, I was not having a period, I was pretty light, and I had received DEXA results that said my bones were not where they should be for a girl my age. I fit the bill—and I was so glad to have something outside of me.

It’s not my fault.

That’s the thought that I had.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking comfort from knowing that it’s not your fault, but with things like my eating disorder–where it remains tough to know what was biology and what was going on with my own choices—I think it’s worth noting that not being at fault and not being able to help it are very different.

With this week’s searches, I think I was looking for relief. From the guilt of worrying that I’m being a pansy with my leg pain, or that I’m too anxious—from things that I bring onto myself. I want it to be outside of me, even though at the end of the day, the problem doesn’t go away with the addition of a label. When I realized I had that Female Athlete Triad, it wasn’t like there was a pill to make it disappear. In the end, the shifts happened when I tackled what I could with the support of others. It required taking responsibility, which can be hard when we’re convinced that we aren’t at fault.

That self-diagnosis represents a relief.

It’s not our fault.

We have a condition, outside of us.

Does this mean that the responsibility is removed?

 

So, if I have a certain condition, I try to think, What caused it in the first place? What can I do to fix it? With the triad example, it was my eating disorder. And with my eating disorder, there were a lot of factors—many of which were up to me to choose differently around. Later, I turned to “adrenal fatigue” to make myself feel better for running myself into the ground. Solution? Take the stress off of my body, little by little–whether the condition existed or not. Basically: Slow. Down. Via different choices.

Knowing this, I still get sucked into the interwebs when I’m not feeling great about something going on with my body. I hope that if you’re a googler like me, you can notice what you’re after when you start turning to Dr. Google to make you feel better. My leg hurts when I run—knowing the name given to the pain I’m experiencing is less important than taking a break and coming back to it with a game plan to run pain free. I’m noticing some weird coping tendencies and some extra anxiety—whether or not this is clinical matters a whole lot less than dealing with what’s driving me to them. Etc. etc. etc.

All of this being said, I don’t want to discount the way that knowing that we aren’t entirely at fault when it comes to our health is not a bad thing. Back to that eating disorder—knowing that I had power but was not to blame was what let me take charge and decide to recover—and kept me going when the going got tough. I say we use our labels to make informed choices, not to let us off the hook or as some strange form of comfort that stops us from taking the best care of ourselves.

ek care

Do you self-diagnose on google?
Do you feel better knowing that you “have” something?

Forced to pause: What I’ve been doing with myself–and my body

Since my race in July, I’ve been pretty quiet about what I’ve been up to. That’s largely because it hasn’t been much. Sad face.

About a month ago, I was going through a regular ol’ weightlifting workout at the gym. I was on my own and I’d just finished training some clients and having woken up early, I was feeling pretty tired but nothing too out of the ordinary for a morning training session. I did a couple of snatches after a normal warm up and I ended up dropping the bar behind me and not bailing quick enough. So, the bar landed on my lower back (off to the side) and since then, I’ve been dealing with it.

The first two weeks were tough and even though I tried, my body yelled at me to back off. Lifting weights was definitely out of the question, but I thought yoga might be alright. Turns out, nope. After a while, I started to go to yoga and take it at an easy pace. I tried some runs and realized they were out. I went to the pool and avoided looking at the clock in favour of appreciating that I could move.

Like I said, it’s been about a month. I went on my first bike ride last week, and it nearly killed me. I took a few more days off. I started to do some light weights, avoiding things that hurt me. I tried biking again—success. My runs have created some kind of hamstring, or maybe IT band pain that is all new for me. Ohhhhh, left side of my body, how you test me!

I’ve been impressed with my ability not to freak out over this. I had the week leading up to my thesis defence without the normal outlet/distraction of working out to keep me from freaking out, and I think I was more prepared for it. And as I’ve come back to my activities, I’ve realized which ones make me feel good. I missed riding bikes with friends. I think I needed a break after my half ironman in July, and I didn’t take it – I went right back into it and raced (not so hotly) at Bluewater two weeks later. Maybe some higher power dropped this barbell on my back like he was trying to hit “pause” for me—the button just needed a pretty hefty push, apparently!

slow down

For now, I’m focusing on being grateful when I feel good and being patient when I don’t. I know in the past, I was compulsive about exercise and would have lost my marbles—for the first two weeks, I did less moving than I had in a normal week during training for my half, and I had to work as a personal trainer and watch my clients all killin’ it on a daily basis!

Now I’m feeling a little lost. I had plans to run a big trail run in mid-October, but running hurts the most right now. I thought about training for my Olympic Weightlifting debut, but I’m obviously a little discouraged there. I think for the first time, I’m going to give myself a break from trying to peak for anything in particular. Sure I have goals—10 chin-ups, anyone? (I’m at six)—and some events that I would like to do—bike rides in the fall are my favourite—but it might be nice to just “work out” for a little in the meantime instead of always feeling like I should be training my face off. I’ve written before about how exercise should improve the quality of our lives and how health ought to be a platform for us to live our best lives from, not the sole focus of our lives—and remembering that has gotten me through all of this! I am however glad to be able to bike myself to school, which started today (yahoo!).

biking to school

I write this because it’s part of a long journey from not being able to take a rest day on vacation without losing my mind or bingeing to realizing that I can rest—and should rest! I’ve seen that my appetite matches my activity level, that I don’t immediately get out of shape or look like a different person if I take some time off, and that I can release stress in other ways. I’ve had some time to think about what I want to do with myself and my body and to start considering what will make me feel like I’ve spent my time, energy, and money on the best options. I have realized how lucky I am to still be able to do things and that this too shall pass (as always). It could have been so much worse. I am not fragile, and I will come back stronger. I’m looking forward to my next comeback, whatever it’s back to…

setback

Have you had an injury that took you out of commission for a little?
Did you learn anything from being injured?
What are you focusing on this fall?
What do you like to do besides train?

on the right foot: questions and appreciation

a life lesson, a coaching gem, some insight from my own experiences, a question to get you thinking–what better day than monday for a positive post?

So, I have myself a stress fracture.

Whomp whomp.

meme

The doctor’s orders are as follows: Take 4 to 6 weeks off of anything weight bearing. If it hurts to walk, I’m supposed to use crutches. I might be in denial, but I think it’s starting to get better. When I don’t have pain, ease back into activity (starting with 30 seconds of running alternating with 4.5 minutes of walking for 30 minutes total). Eat a healthy diet to promote healing. Don’t throw a shit fit.

I added that last part, but it’s mostly a joke. I threw myself a one evening pity party (in the form of crying for a bit, blogging, reading magazines, and ignoring my cell phone) and then decided that it was time to call in my appreciator, which I introduced in a post last month.

Coaching yourself can sometimes be a lost cause, but I did come up with some questions to help me move from the “my life is over” perspective into a more empowering place. Naturally, I included my word vomit insight.

What’s the gift in this situation? or What’s possible as a result of this situation?

I’m going back to school in approximately a week, which means that the more time I have to get my shit together organized, the better. On that note, not being able to work out as much as I’d like to (I can’t fathom swimming as often as I’ve been going to CrossFit, doing yoga, running, and biking, etc.) means I’ll need to find other ways to use my energy and other ways to fill myself up (exercise is my happy time). On my list of options? Journaling, reading, baking, cooking, writing letters and cards to friends, making a vision board, learning to knit (attempt #4) and playing my violin.

Another gift is a break from training that will give me the time to reassess where I’m at. This summer was a whirlwind in terms of what I was training for and how I was exercising—from CrossFit to soccer to yoga to running to kind of training for triathlon to going on my Outward Bound trip—and to be honest I’m a bit overwhelmed with what I should be doing and more importantly, what I want to do. This is sort of like a chance to start over. I very well might come back and instead of trying to maintain 20 different activities just be able to add in the ones that I really want to.

Getting hurt and being out of the gym also provided me with the insight that I wrote about last week in terms of looking at my self esteem in a different way–and that’s a pretty big deal!

The timing’s also something I’m grateful for—thank goodness this didn’t happen before my trip to North Carolina, which would probably have meant I couldn’t go.

What’s the lesson in this situation?

I’m learning that my body can only take so much and that overdoing it will eventually wear me down. I have managed to stay pretty lucky in regards to injuries even when I was exercising compulsively, but this is a big reminder to take care of myself. Along with making sure that I’m training in a healthy and sustainable way, this is a really good time to make sure I’m giving my body the nutrition it needs.

Who can I become as a result of this situation?

I’m becoming a cranky bitch for the next 6 weeks smarter athlete. I’m becoming more patient. I’m developing an appreciation for the ability of my body to heal. I’m becoming a stronger person mentally and emotionally. I’m becoming more dedicated to taking care of myself.

This is the kind of work that helps me get through things that bum me out and is the fastest way for me to start to get over it and see the bigger picture. I realize that in the grand scheme of things, 4 to 6 weeks is not a big deal, even if I am bummed that I can’t do Tough Mudder. In reality, this is a little thing–stress fractures suck but they heal on their own.

this too shall pass

I saw a woman in a wheelchair not too long after I left the doctor–instant perspective. I spent the weekend with friends who I haven’t seen as much of as I’d like to this summer because a friend of mine received health news last week that reminded me that we can’t take our health for granted and that life isn’t always fair and health doesn’t always make sense.

And if self coaching myself with some powerful questions doesn’t work, I’ve always got music that kind of goes with the theme.

Have you ever had a stress fracture?
How do you deal with things that bum you out?

It’s about time

Nah, I’m not talking about my race time from tonight’s Go the Distance race, but I do feel pretty content with my 41:36 8km time. I also feel good knowing that the money raised from the event went to such a good cause. I saw quite a few familiar faces at the race, including one friend who raised over $1000 for Hope’s Garden. AMAZING! She ROCKS.

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They sent home the age group winners (2nd and 3rd too) with gift cards for Runner’s Choice (a running store here in London) so I have $10 to buy…something. Suggestions? I felt pretty sick during the race. My stomach is off and I found the chest cold I thought was pretty much gone. Things were clicking and snapping and hurting so you better believe I have a date with my foam roller and I think I need to rededicate not just to doing those awesome strength workouts I’m so fired up about (I started a box of WODs and ripped out routines from magazines and posted a teaser about bootcamp on Facebook today) but also to stretching, foam rolling, wearing my compression socks, and doing the little muscle work that I know is important for injury prevention. Promise!

I’m not sure what was up with my stomach. Nerves? I found myself nibbling all kinds of things this afternoon–I’m definitely one of those stress eaters. I did a pretty good job of fuelling today though, I’d say. I went to yoga this morning. I blogged. I sort of cleaned. My mom came for a quick visit and ran some errands and read some magazines with me (I’m a sucker for this month’s fitness mags since they’ve all got Olympic specials in them!). I sat around. 🙂

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Now I am so glad to be done for the day. I’m pooped and my stomach feels off! Must be a combination of a busy week, weird eats, the race, and everything catching up to me but I just want to foam roll and face plant into bed. Laundry can wait. Dishes can wait. Sleep is essential! I just had some chocolate (dark–bring on those antioxidants) so cravings are satisfied. I am thinking cough syrup and bedtime are in order. Not going to get sucked into Facebook, into another Jillian Michaels podcast (I think I’ve heard 5 today–catching up on old ones!), or into reading blogs (sorry guys). I am hoping to go home for a bike ride in the morning tomorrow and then come back for some fun with friends in London tomorrow. Somewhere in the next 4 days I’ve got a lot of studying to do…gonna worry about that later! 🙂 I’m preoccupied with how excited I am for finishing the tasks on my summer bucket list, having time to read non-school things at my leisure, for the opening of the outdoor pool (sweet one piece tan, let’s go), and for starting bootcamp<–especially this, but I guess if you’re going to be distracted it might as well be distracted by awesome.

How do you unwind after a long week?
Have you ever raced an 8k? What’d you think of the distance? – For me, I prefer 10k because it’s a bit more comfortable. Or maybe just familiar and I wasn’t sure how hard to push, or maybe it was the cold, or maybe I’m over thinking this! I had a good run and I was on the edge of my comfort zone and those kinds of workouts are important so I’m going to call it all a success. 😀
What are you doing this weekend?

  

Checking in


Pennsylvania has been good to me. Sunshine, quality time, shopping, a run…

I started the day off with a bowl of Kashi and Fibre 1 with a banana and soy milk (just like home).

Then my mom and I headed for a bit of shopping/errands! While we were out, we naturally ended up at Target, so we had snacks in the Starbucks there. I chose a greek yogurt with honey and then added a bit of my mom’s coffee cake crumble to make it delicious.

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I also played the crane game 🙂 … and won!

Sorry for the tummy shot!

When we got home I was ravenous so I whipped up a turkey sandwich. Best part of this bad boy = spicy mustard and american cheese. This is home sweet home!

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Here’s my haul: a fedora, anklets, a bunch of headbands that were 10 for 10 at Claire’s, pyjamas (the wild zebra shorts — I don’t believe in boring PJs), and that flannel shirt that screams lumberjack for the low low price of $1.99!

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After lunch, I headed for a run along the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail. My description is scenic but flat 🙂 It was uber hot and I felt really slow. Partway through my trek back, I turned my iPod off (there were so many birds to listen to and farms to look at, I figured I’d better enjoy it if I wasn’t distracted by my latest obsession (thanks Angela)!)

and I noticed my knee was clicking. It wasn’t bugging me, but that was a bit weird. When I got back to my car, I wasn’t feeling too hot. I went to the washroom and stretched/did some abs/pushups under the trees, and headed home. My foot started to hurt when I got out of the car, which blows. I’ll just whine: I don’t want to be injured! I already dealt with a yucky one this year and am just starting to trust my body again–this is scary! That being said, I’m not stupid. Ice, stretch, rest, etc. etc.

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And just because I like to share everything about myself, I’ll add in that while I was on my run today (mile 5 I think), my Aunt Flo came for a visit. Love her–it’s been five long years. But seriously. I must be relaxed! Might be thanks to the chocolate I devoured in the last 24 hours. I think all that remains in my treat bag is yogurt pretzels, nuts, papaya, and pretzels!

Anyways, besides chocolate, I’ve been seeing a lot of pretty countryside and a buttload of COWS!

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I had a normal snack–peanut butter and an apple–when I got home. The afternoon went quick and some thunderstorms just rolled in along with an epic dinner (we collaborated on this one — me veggies and a salad, mom meatballs and pasta, uncle bob bread <— omg bread)!

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Consider me carbed up and ready to go for a bike ride tomorrow. I am really nervous about the traffic around here–does anyone have tips for how to find SAFE routes? I know Map My Ride might help…I bookmarked a page with some suggestions. I also found some maps from a nearby town that I might check out tonight! I’m planning on going late morning/early afternoon tomorrow (provided the weather is cooperating) so the traffic shouldn’t be awful. 🙂

So far, so good!

How’s your week?

 

Girl talk resources

Since I’ve been getting some feedback that people can relate to the post I made earlier about my issues with athletic induced amenorrhea, I thought I’d share some resources that have helped me out with the whole question of whether or not it’s really an issue, why it starts, how to get back to a healthy, normal cycle, etc.

It’s all over the place. These are just the articles I came back to tonight!

And now for some insight…Stuff that I think (my opinion on what I’ve read and my own experience):

  • You can still train, but the motivation should be right.
  • If it’s about energy balance, you’ve got to be willing to work through some experimenting and see what works for you. In my case, this also means accepting that in order to get my period, I need to be in calorie balance. Which means I cannot be losing weight, which I think for the last bit while I was trying to deal with my amenorrhea, I kind of didn’t accept. Recall my epiphany about always thinking with a weight loss mindset? Maybe now that I recognized that and I can move on to living healthy, I’ll be better able to fuel myself and to stay in balance. Once a doc suggested that even if I was maintaining my weight but it was sporadic eating (i.e. mostly at night after dieting during the day, ditto for the weekend after being “good” all week, etc.) my body would still be out of whack. Another suggested that it might have to do with refueling around workouts specifically (and promoted eating more immediately before and after, etc.). All good theories, if you’re willing to accept that your body has a weight that it wants to find and will find, if you let it.
  • Patience is key–this issue didn’t come around overnight and it won’t go away really quick either. For me, this means accepting that I spent a lot of time abusing my body and accepting that it’s not going to snap back right away. To be honest, I think this extends. My mind is recovered, I am making huge steps forward, etc. but it’s been interesting to see the effects of how much I put myself through (too much exercise, not enough eating, bingeing, purging, all the stuff that came along with ED) in their physical manifestations. Thyroid disease runs in my family, but not usually this young. None of my family members have issues with migraines, their periods, etc. I had low bone density at the age of 17, a time when I should have been building things up, not tearing them down. My heart took a beating and I have to go yearly for tests now to check in because of a scare I had in the height of things. It’s all pretty scary, it might not be due to ED, but it’s related and it’s also REAL. I’m also not blaming my injury issues on ED, but it’s true that I put my body through a hell of a lot of workouts and didn’t give it rest or love or so many of the things it deserved for a long time. I can’t expect it to bounce back perfectly — this struggle is just part of recovery!
  • The stuff associated with the Female Athlete Triad is really similar to ED and I see it in so many of my friends who I would never think of as having disordered eating. The compulsion to train, the thought that you can kind of be “proud” that you “work so hard” that you don’t get your period, etc. is kind of rampant and really sad once you step outside and see that it’s not actually healthy at all. This is a topic I know I want to work with when I’m a dietitian (sounds cool to say that!) because I am so passionate about it.
  • Maybe personally I spend too much time working out too hard. This might also be related to the awesome spin class that I went to this morning where the instructor talked about why recovery (within a class specifically) is so important. I’m kind of a balls to the wall person and even though I’ve been working with a coach, I find it so hard to tone my workouts down and to keep my heart rate in a happy zone. No wonder I’ve been so tired and exhausted and injury prone in the past, I know, but seriously! Maybe this has something to do with it…bring on the long, somewhat leisurely bike rides! 🙂 Variety is the spice of life.
  • Maybe I just am not in the place to have a baby. Emotionally, mentally and therefore physically.

Andddd enough of the girl talk (continued). It is SO past my bedtime it’s not even funny!

Can you relate?
Did you find any of these resources helpful?

 

Walk the walk

Ya know all that good stuff about talking the talk and backing it up by walking the walk?

Let me tell you, it’s delicious.

After last night’s big realization, I made good on my plans to live and love life last night. Rachel and I chit chatted and then met up with some girls I miss far too much for fro yo! It had been a few hours since dinner so I had a hefty, awesome cup of chocolate/amaretto mix with chia seeds, granola, coconut, and a cherry on top. I think I have this fro yo thing down to an art…

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And it was so good to catch up with everyone. 🙂 Fro yo or not, say yes to people when they ask you to hang out. Just go for the experience…when’s the last time you regretted hanging out with a friend?

When I got home I dove into bed and into the book I mentioned in my post — Do I Look Fat in This? Life Doesn’t Begin Five Pounds From Now and as I thought, it was just what I was searching for in my epiphany. There’s a whole chapter called “But I’m Just Trying to Be Healthy” and some stuff sticks out to me worth sharing…

  • “…to talk about health is to talk about more than just weight charts and fat counts. It is to talk about wholeness, wellness, and a sense of complete balance mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”
  • “Have you been dieting for well over half your life? Has the fact that you haven’t been able to reach the size you desire masked any of the other accomplishments you have achieved in your life?…I wonder how many other areas of your life are not being honoured because you are so restrictive.”
  • “It’s time for the woman you are now to confront your inner dieting child and find out if this is a pattern you wish to continue. Being healthy is about having a well-rounded life. Moving your body, eating balanced meals, and working on your emotional and spiritual health. If you spend all your time focused on food and your size, you may be missing the fullness of your life that is available to you now, not five pounds from now.”
Amen to that!
There’s a lot of talk in the book about walking the walk and that is what I need — reassurance that I can do it and the reminder that actually living it is the important thing! I also came across a post on Body Love Alchemy about the need to use your A-ha moments to change how you live. So that’s what I’m doing…
This morning I woke up pretty early, fixed myself a bowl of cereal, and decided to get on with my day.
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good

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better!

I spent the morning doing what I want to — blog, send emails, getting things ordered and some plans set to get excited about for the next couple weeks (things suddenly look more colourful), and drinking coffee of course.

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And this afternoon I am going to run with Ellen and then head on my road trip to see Lisa! I am beyond excited and proud of myself for going there just on a whim, eating dinner out, and not worrying about getting home late/when I’ll work out this weekend, etc. It’s time to fake it til I make it, and I’m doing it.

At the end of the day, if all I did was check my workouts off my to do list, eat my fruits and veggies, and that’s it, that’s fine. What’s not fine is if trying to do those things interferes with me living and interacting and doing fun stuff. Because isn’t being healthy supposed to make life more enjoyable? So when did it turn into something that we prioritize at the expense of other fun things? Yes workouts are important. Eating healthy is good for you. Schoolwork and work are important. But so is having fun and making time for friends, eating junk food, and being able to sleep in every once in a while.

I feel a whole bunch of these rambling posts coming on…and a whole lot of fun straight ahead for me!

Theme song…

Had any good realizations lately?
What are you doing this weekend? 

TGIF on time

After last week’s failed Friday post that ended up being on Saturday, I’ve made sure I’ve been paying attention to things going on this week and making some bookmarks to get this Friday post fired off for you guys!

Did I mention I love Fridays? And life?

5 inspirations

1. 

2. 

3. 

4. 

5. 

4 things I am adding to my summer to do list

1. Healthy Living Summit – With Chelsea, Meg, and I hope Bee, maybe Courtney, and whoever the heck else wants to jump on this awesome train. Takers?!

2. Canyon to Coast Jasper to Banff 500 Cycle Tour – Click on the link! This is my grad gift and I am freaking excited. 106 days (but who’s counting?). The description is good — “This tour for serious cyclists features the incredible beauty and diversity of British Columbia’s interior and coast. On this 520k / 320 mile tour you will not only get to ride the entire Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff, but you will also get to see some of the hidden and less visited gems in the Canadian Rockies and ride all of the amazing climbs to stunning vistas. This tour is geared toward ambitious intermediate to serious road riders and features 5,300 metres or 17,500 feet of elevation gain.” but the picture of the bear is funny. So long as I’m faster than one other person on the trip, I’m going to be good.

3. Yoga Slackers Adventure Summer Camp – This one I’ve not signed up for and think I might be jam packing my August a bit too much but I want to do it so I thought I’d share! A girl can dream…of slack lining, doing yoga, and trail running like a kid for a week, can’t they?

4.

including but not limited to: biking anywhere and everywhere in Ontario, trail running our faces off, kayaking, jumping in the river, eating copious amounts of fro yo and ice cream, hanging out on Barney's patio, doing ropes courses, going rock climbing, going to as many concerts as possible, signing up for races galore, etc. etc. etc.

3 blog posts you should read

1. Angela’s “An Injury Update & Finding the Silver Lining” : “When things happen in our lives that take us off our planned course (and they will), it’s a great time to stop and think about what other doors have opened. It can take time to figure out, but that’s ok too. Do a bit more of what feels good to you each day, and a bit less of what doesn’t.”

I think she was speaking to me! Injury or not, it’s a good message! Look at the opportunities, not what you might have missed out on. An injury blows, yes indeedy! But my own injury taught me a lot, got me back in the pool, and I’m not going to lie and say I’m not SCARED of getting hurt again, but I do know that I am bigger than letting my ability to run or bike or do whatever determine my happiness or self worth. Yeah, it blows not being able to do what you want to do. But if I’d been down in the dumps for the last 3 months because of my hip, I think I’d have missed out on the best semester of my life. An injury doesn’t stop you from living your life or give you an excuse to be miserable—it took me a lot of tears and being miserable to realize that, but life is too freaking short! You could be in the best shape of your life and die tomorrow, and if you spent your whole life working out and controlling things in order to be that fit, what do you have to show for it?! Toned biceps in your casket? Yeah…I’m seizing the day!

2. 7 Essential Steps to Giving Up the Fight with Food and Your Body  at Body Love A- The steps are awesome but so are the questions she asks of you at the beginning. And she ends things with “Your thoughts are creating your reality,” which sounds kind of familiar to a little epiphany I had this week, doesn’t it?

3. Tina’s Motivational Musing: This Is What It’s All About  post – her message = “Don’t let life pass you by. Take care of your body so you can live life abundantly. View a healthy lifestyle as a blessing to help you get the most out of life, instead of an obligation or obsession that robs the life out of you.”

And that’s a good message worth checking out! Did I mention I love her blog?!

2 things that made me drool this week

1. boys

2. Leanne’s 20 Healthy Gluten-free Power Snacks post filled with tasty looking eats I really want to try! Gluten or no gluten, they look good. Yummmmm.

1 new blog I found/loved this week 

1. Medical Marzipan – Learning to Love Your Body One Day At A Time – check it out. “Medicinal Marzipan is a blog about learning to love yourself a little bit more every day – to the best of your abilities and without any regrets.”

Sounds like a good goal to me!

Happy weekend!

What’d you stumble on this week worth sharing?

How much is too much?

So, looking back on my eats, one thing stands out. I am loving the high fibre cereal right now.

Last night, post-spin, I had yogurt with All Bran Buds.

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This morning, I combo’d more of the buds with Kashi and berries and soy milk for breakfast before swim.

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I had a snack that was not cereal–an apple–and after swim I ate a big salad with turkey, sweet potato, maple vinaigrette, dried cranberries, and pecans.

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I also did some core work and stretching with my swim because I’m nervous about my back of the knee pain. I thought it was in my hamstring, but now I think it’s in my calf. And I had calf pain last year similarly, so I know I can get through it. Nonetheless, blasting these songs is necessary:

And I’m moving on. I had a snack of more All Bran (but the original kind, so there’s the variety I know is important) with you guessed it, yogurt when I got home from texting and reading blogs at Starbucks  studying. Tomorrow’s exam is worth 20%, is open book, and is a Writing exam. I’m not sure what to expect because I’ve never had one of these before! So I’m studying a bit, staying calm, and trying not to worry (recall epiphany?).

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I’m just about to gear up for a ride. I hope my calf cooperates but I’m ready to do whatever I need to to take care of this/nip it in the bud! I think there’s a massage in my future and I’ll be stretching extra with all my spare time, rather than compulsively googling “back of the knee pain” etc. etc. and freaking myself out. Tonight I’m planning on seeing some friends, perhaps eating some fro yo, and on making sure I don’t eat All Bran for dinner! My fibre intake for the day is already over 50 grams, which is double the recommended intake. Yes, I am regular, thank you very much!

PS On my walk home today, I had time to slow down and notice some pretty flowers. Sometimes I get so in the zone and have my headphones on and my mind racing, but today I tried to walk and enjoy it! And tah-dah, look what stared me in the face!

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Do you ever get in food ruts?
Do you know if you eat enough fibre?